Shikhara Geometry in Temple

shikhara geometry

Shikhara geometry refers to the geometric principles and elements used in the design and construction of Shikharas, which are the tower or spire structures that crown the sanctum sanctorum (garbhagriha) of Hindu temples. The geometry of Shikharas plays a crucial role in their structural stability and aesthetic appeal. Here are some key aspects of Shikhara geometry:


Symmetry: Shikharas are often designed with symmetrical geometric patterns. The temple’s central axis is typically maintained to achieve balance and harmony in the overall composition. Symmetry can be observed in the overall shape of the Shikhara, as well as in the arrangement of decorative elements.

shikhara fractal

Tapering Form

Tapering Form: Shikharas exhibit a tapering form, with the structure gradually narrowing as it ascends. This tapering shape is often achieved by using a stepped or tiered design, with each successive level reducing in size. The tapering form enhances the visual appeal and stability of the Shikhara.

Curvilinear and Angular

Curvilinear and Angular Elements: Shikharas can have curvilinear or angular geometric elements, depending on the regional style. Curvilinear elements create a sense of fluidity and grace, while angular elements convey a sense of strength and solidity. The combination of curves and angles adds visual interest to the Shikhara.

shikhara geometry

Geometric Ornaments

Geometric Ornaments: Shikharas are adorned with various geometric ornaments, such as lotus petals, geometric patterns, and repetitive motifs. These ornaments are often arranged in concentric circles or symmetrical arrangements, emphasizing the geometric harmony of the structure.


Proportions: The proportions of a Shikhara are carefully considered to achieve an aesthetically pleasing result. The height-to-width ratio, the size and spacing of the decorative elements, and the overall proportions of the Shikhara are all taken into account. These proportions are often based on ancient principles of temple architecture and are believed to have symbolic significance.

shikhara geometry 3

Mathematical Precision

Mathematical Precision: Shikharas often demonstrate a high level of mathematical precision in their design. Ancient treatises on temple architecture, such as the Shilpa Shastras, prescribe mathematical formulas and ratios for the construction of Shikharas. These formulas ensure structural stability and visual harmony.

The geometry of Shikharas is a combination of artistic expression, structural engineering, and cultural symbolism. It reflects the skilled craftsmanship and deep understanding of geometry and proportion in traditional Indian temple architecture. The careful application of geometric principles contributes to the timeless beauty and enduring appeal of Shikharas.

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