Pandya Architecture (1190-1310 A.D.):
The Pandyas (1190-1310 A.D.), although were not among the great building dynasties, built several ‘gopurams’ or monumental entrances to the existing temples. The earliest examples of ‘gopurams’ appear during the Pandyan period in the 12th and 13th centuries. A typical ‘gopuram’ consists of a building oblong in plan, rising up into a tapering tower often over 45.72 metres in height, and entered by a rectangular doorway in the centre of its long side. The Sundara Pandya ‘gopuram’, added to the temple of Jambukesvara around 1250 A.D. and the ‘gopuram’ of the great temple at Kumbakoman (c.1350 A.D.) are the best examples of the ‘gopurams’ of the Pandyan times. The Pandyas are also credited with the construction of the temple of Airyavatesvara at Darsuram in the Tanjore district towards the first half of the 14th century A.D.
Hoysala Architecture (1026-1343 A.D.):
Temples erected by the Hoysala kings have a distinctive style of architecture. The Hoysala temples have complicated plans, which may be polygonal or star-shaped with numerous angled projections. The carved surfaces are executed with remarkable precision, usually in chlorite. The columns are lathe-turned or are multi-faceted. Each temple is supported by a low-pyramidal tower, which is often surmounted by a vase-shaped ornament.
On many occasions many such pyramidal towers are used, making the temple look like a double or triple temple. Temples from the Hoysala period can be seen at Belur, Halebid and Sringeri in Karnataka. The ‘Channakeshava Temple’, built by the Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 A.D., is the most celebrated of all the temples at Belur. Halebid is famous for the star-like Hoysala temples. Each temple consists of two temples exactly of the same dimensions, built side by side. The ‘Hoysaleshvara Temple’ is the most famous of the Halebid temples.