Tamil Architecture

Tamil architecture is the art and science of architecture of the ancient Tamils.  Tamil architecture had a special place in architectural technique a thousand years ago.  Building construction became an art form as human progress began to be organized by intellectuals, oral traditions, and processes.  Even after this, there are still unique types of buildings.  The whole of all these types of architecture can be called Tamil architecture.

There is no doubt that homes for the people, palaces for the kings, shrines, and many public buildings would have been built.  There is nothing left because these are all built of perishable materials.  Religious architecture, however, retained its primacy.  The intricacies of that architecture, with temples as the primary structure in the social system, are still prevalent in many South Asian countries, including India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives.  Furthermore, their influence, uniqueness and new features have been imprinted on the architecture of Tamil Nadu based on the kingdoms that ruled parts of Tamil Nadu in different periods.

Early construction materials

About 6 centuries ago hot clay, wood, sawdust, bamboo, straw, grass and brick were used in construction.  Signs of the existence of such houses, palaces, businesses, and public spaces can be found in many places today.  Black stone was used in construction after about the 6th century and buildings were formed.


It is a solid building material made of clay, dried and baked in a kiln-like manner


Wood is an excellent early construction material.  Wood building materials have many thousands of years of experience.  Buildings built of wood have a long-term potential.  Wooden buildings, no one, to date, are not permanent.

There are three types of trees: male, female and ali.  Female trees are suitable for timber, diameter, arch, porch bearing. Ali trees can be used for small diameter, frame, arms, fence.


Are made of limestone.  Wooden sticks and lime were used for this.  Swords have been in the case for centuries.  Later cement was used instead of lime.  Iron rods were used instead of wooden sticks.


Bamboo constructions used a strong and lightweight building material, bamboo completely or broken.  Thanks to its rapid growth, it is a rapidly renewable resource.


It is one of the oldest building materials and is very strong.  Straw harvested from wheat, rice, rye, and similar crops is earth-friendly and wallet-friendly.  Straw walls are sturdy enough to withstand heavy loads.


The word brick refers to a unit made of clay.  Baked bricks are one of the most durable and strongest building materials.  A brick is the oldest building material used to make walls and other elements in masonry construction.  A brick is made of clay bearing clay, sand and limestone.

Configuration methods

The people set up the buildings according to the needs and facilities of the people in accordance with the Sangam song ‘Perum Periyar Mannark Koppa Mana Vakuttu ..’  It was also customary to set up shop at selected times before building houses.  Common features in Tamil architecture are the foundation, walls and roof, plane or tower.  Any building system was built on their basis.  Beautiful carvings were made on the floors of the houses.  Various windows were installed in the walls of the house for air comfort.

The foundation of the old days

In the old days solid foundation systems were shaped.  Materials such as lime and black bars have been used for this purpose.  There were no engineers then to set up the footbridge as it is now.  However, they were able to build structures that could withstand time.  This is because they used natural materials that were easily available in the environment of the day.

Three elements are commonly found in Tamil architecture.  They are the bearing, the wall and the plane (tower).

Basement refers to the foundation, which is one of the elements of a traditional building set up according to the rules.  It was the first element of the early building to be erected above the ground.  Basements are formed by the addition of subassemblies that line up one on top of the other or in multiple forces.

A wall is usually a structure that defines or protects a space or space.  Walls are generally level structures, although there are also sloping walls.  Most commonly, walls divide the space within buildings into different rooms and the interior of the building from the exterior.

The tower is a tall man-made structure.  These are many times taller than their length and width.  Towers are usually built to benefit from their height.

Constructions on rocks

The Pallava period gave a new perspective on Tamil Nadu architecture.  Their architectural systems were divided into three types: the cave, the kartali and the construction temple.

Cave temples

Temples built over large hills are called “cave temples”.  It is believed that the buildings were constructed using wood, bamboo, straw and grass that did not last long.  In order to build sustainable buildings, they erected buildings where the Periyamalai rocks were located.  Start at the edge of the particular rock and carve the rock exactly according to the construction design.  Appropriate acoustic tests were carried out to determine the strength of the stones, as the work would be abandoned if cracks formed in the rock.


Kartali in Tamil architecture are temple structures that are built from the top to the bottom of a rock or hill that protrudes from the ground.  Later, in the early seventh century, temples were built of stone.  The most important of them is the Mamallapuram Beach Temple.  It has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.  There are temples like this today which are almost 45 feet high and are examples of Tamil architecture.

Technical features

We find some of the most intriguing engineering pieces of modern architecture in ancient Tamil architecture.  It is possible to know that Palanthamil has built many beautiful looking windows (windows).

Later, Tamil architecture flourished during the Chola period and a large number of temples were built during the reign of Rajaraja Chola and Rajendra Chola at the end of the tenth century.  Although they followed the construction style of the Pallavas, they differed from them in various stages.  The Cholas built many temples specially designed with black stones.  It is noteworthy that they developed architecture by designing various public structures.

The height of the Tanjore tower built by the king is 216 feet.  So how deep and wide should its foot be?  The only stone at the top of the tower is twenty-five feet square.  It weighs eighty tons by today’s standards.  This is called ‘Brahmandirathalakkal’.  It is astonishing how such a large stone could be lifted to a height of 216 feet in a time when there are no new machines that can lift the load and lift it upwards.  Tamils ​​were also skilled in building dams and stagnant engineering.  The Cholan Charcoal Valley is the pride of the shores of the Cauvery and the majesty of the tombs are immortal symbols of irrigation engineering architecture.

Thereafter temples were erected in the south to match the architectural features of the Vijayanagara state with outstanding architects.

Stone.  The way in which Tamil architecture developed into temples, palaces, forts and fortifications using wood, copper, iron, lacquer, etc., all exemplify their historical significance, cultural pride and engineering intelligence.

Engineering Specialist

Architects of the day were as skilled in construction as today’s engineers.  The poets, who were well versed in the art of sculpture (architecture), held the thread straight and marked the directions and changed the house according to the royal tradition, underestimating the deities standing in those directions.  The custom of holding a thread and looking at the size and direction is still practiced by masons today.

Architecture and security

Like temples and palaces, the Tamils ​​have fortified forts for protection and their elements such as moats and walls.  There is ample evidence to suggest that the Tamils ​​were highly skilled in building fort walls and moats for protection.

The elongated walls were fitted with traps of various types of keys for protection.  Self-tapping arrows, black-tailed traps, stone-throwing catapults, enemy oil-flipping traps, iron-clad sniper rifles.  Silappathikaram describes that various types of machine traps were built into the wall, such as cast iron brackets, bait traps, pig traps, needle traps, and chain traps.

This evidence suggests that the ancients possessed knowledge of civil engineering as well as military engineering.  Tamil kings built tunnels from the palace to the temple and secretly outside the city.  Of these, Madhilaran, which is associated with architecture, is generally referred to as ‘Purisai’, but can be classified into four: wall, oil, ginger and cho.  Purisa means bending or encircling.


Of the four types of ramparts, only one is the tallest wall.


Ail with height and width.


Inchi is strong with height and width

Today’s architecture

Modern architecture refers to an architectural style that emerged in many Western countries in the decades following World War I.  The influence of the Portuguese and English architectural styles manifested itself in public structures.  Public buildings, including apartments, were then constructed using different natural materials according to the living practices of the people.

Modern architecture today refers to a unique style of architecture that developed and developed in the 20th century.

It is based on the principles of modern architecture, application-based design, and the rational use of building materials.  It abandoned the pursuit of historical styles and the use of decorative arrays, emphasizing the need to bring out the inherent aesthetics of building materials and building forms.  Thus modern architecture gave buildings a simpler shape.

It is worth noting that due to the development of today’s construction technology it is possible to create and settle homes beautifully in a few weeks with the ‘pre-fabricated’ construction technique that builds structures quickly.



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