Deul or Deoul is a local term in West India and Bengal for the tower of a Hindu temple — what would be called a shikara elsewhere in north India. In Odisha, as deula, the term can refer to temple towers, or to the whole temple. The term is also used for a style of temple architecture of Bengal, where the temple lacks the usual mandapa beside the main shrine, and the main unit consists only of the shrine and a deul above it; in other respects they are similar to the Kalinga architecture of Odisha, and some smaller temples in Odisha also take this form.
The type arose between the 6th and the 10th centuries and was revived in the 16th-19th century. The later representatives of this style were generally smaller and included features influenced by Islamic architecture. The towers of ek-ratna temples resemble the earlier deul style, as do the central towers of pancharatna and navaratna styles. The earliest temple still standing of the rekha deul pre-Muslim style is Siddheshvari temple at Barakar.
It is essentially to be distinguished between three tower or roof shapes:
- Rekha-Deul: this tower is similar in many respects to a Shikhara Tower; however, it differs by the almost vertical lines in the lower part of the Deul or the slightly curved lines in the Shikhara.
- Pitha-Deul: this roof design refers to a stepped, but overall pyramid-shaped roof structure over a porch (jagamohana) with a square floor plan.
- Khakhara Deul: This roof rises over a temple or a Cella (garbhagriha) with a transverse rectangular plan, the roof ends up in a house similar essay.
- Harle, 216
- Amit Guha, Classification of Terracotta Temples, archived from the original on 31 January 2016, retrieved 2 February 2016
- Priyanka Mangaonkar (2012). "Temples of Bengal: Material Style and Technological Evolution" (PDF). Chitrolekha International Magazine On Art And Design. 2 (1). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 August 2013.
- Harle, J.C., The Art and Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent, 2nd edn. 1994, Yale University Press Pelican History of Art, ISBN 0300062176
- Debala Mitra: "Bhubaneswar."Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi 1984, p. 14ff.
- George Michell: "The Hindu temple – architecture of a world religion. DuMont, Köln 1991, ISBN 3-7701-2770-6, S. 138ff.
- Robert Strasser: "Orissa-Bihar-Westbengalen. Landeskunde and guide to art centers."Indoculture, Kornwestheim, 1991, ISBN 3-921948-10-X, p. 41ff.
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