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Hindu Temples and Architecture

HIN 5502 Hindu Temples and Architecture 3 credits

Course Syllabus

Study of ancient medieval and contemporary styles: Harappa, Maurya; Ashoka’s times; Persian and Greek influences; under various kings from south to Kashmir, east to west. This course explores the emergence and development of the Hindu temple (Mandir), examines the relationship between form and function, rituals, iconography, and emphasizes the importance of considering temple sculpture and architecture together. While focusing on Hindu temples, also includes significantmonuments as well as shrines built to the Jain and Buddhist faiths.

The course will provide insight into Hindu temples, their form and architecture in ancient and contemporary times. Various philosophies and mythology underlying temples and architectural styles will also be discussed. There are no prerequisites for enrolling in the course.

The course consists of six sessions delivered on a weekly basis.

Course Topics

  • Topic One: Basic Hinduism FAQs.
  • Topic Two: A brief timeline of Hinduism, temples and architecture.
  • Topic Three: An overview of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
  • Topic Four: The Hindu Temple- understanding its form and architecture.
  • Topic Five: Detailed discussions on major temples, monuments and shrines.
  • Topic Six: Global perspective.


  1. Regular class attendance is obviously a must. Although the format will vary from week to week, depending on the material being covered, in general we will divide our time equally between background information/lecture, videos, and discussion of the reading. Please be sure to attend class each week ready to discuss the assigned material.
  2. There will be two exams, due as indicated in the syllabus below.
  3. There will be one final essay consisting of 2000 words. The essay topic shall be related to Hindu festivals and will be of your own choosing. The essay topic shall be selected in consultation and approval by the instructor.
  4. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the expectations of academic honesty found in the Hindu University of America(HUA) Catalog. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense, and all cases—without exception—will be reported to the HUA School administration.

Grading: Your overall grade for the course will be calculated as follows:

First exam        25%
Second exam        25%
Final essay        35%
Class participation        15%

Required Reading (Purchase of Books optional)


International Hindu University is a not-for-profit, post-secondary degree-granting institution recognized by the Florida Department of Education and Florida Commission on Independent Education under the authority of Florida State Statutes, Section 1005.06.

Vison of IHU

Uniting ancient spiritual and religious wisdom of the East with the curiosity of the West, IHU is dedicated to the emergence of Hindu Dharma in a world in need of peace, co-existence, and mutual respect. We welcome students of all ages, faiths, disciplines, and degrees to join us in exploring the modern legacy of the oldest religion on earth.

Contact Us

International Hindu University

5340 North Federal Highway, Lighthouse Point, Florida 33064


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