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Deul at Banda, Purulia
Hindu temple in Faridpur District, Bangladesh
11th century Jain temple in Bankura district, West Bengal

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,[1] 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.[2] The later representatives of this style were generally smaller and included features influenced by Islamic architecture.[2] The towers of ek-ratna temples resemble the earlier deul style, as do the central towers of pancharatna and navaratna styles.[2] The earliest temple still standing of the rekha deul pre-Muslim style is Siddheshvari temple at Barakar.[3]


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.
Simplified Deul-Type in the Kalinga-Architecture


  1. ^ Harle, 216
  2. ^ a b c Amit Guha, Classification of Terracotta Temples, archived from the original on 31 January 2016, retrieved 2 February 2016
  3. ^ 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.