Ajeevika, an ascetic sect that emerged in India about the same time as Buddhism and Jainism and that lasted until the 14th century. It was founded by Goshala Maskariputra, a friend of Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara. Basic premise of this school was ‘Niyati’ or destiny. So, Ajivikas were fatalists and adhered to inaction as according to them everything is pre-determined. Ashoka built Lomus caves in Barbar Hilla near Bodh Gaya, Bihar for them.


Brihaspati and/or Charvaka is supposed to be the founder. The word Charvaka means ‘sweet/agreeable talkers’. This philosophy is even more materialistic and according to it, what cannot be recognised by the senses of  humans doesn’t exist and  hence  god  also doesn’t exist. According to Charvaka  there  is no other world. Hence, death is the end of humans and pleasures the ultimate object in life. It doesn’t believe in atma, parmatma or transmigration. Since God, soul, and heaven, cannot be perceived, they are not recognized by Charvakas. Out of the five elements earth, water, fire, air and ether, the Charvakas do not recognize ether as it is not known through perception. The whole universe according to them is thus consisted of four elements.

This school is also called Lokayatta which means prevalence of world. Kautilya’s Arthshastra refers to only 3 philosophies – Samkhya, Yoga and Lokayata. Due to its rejection of traditional doctrines of Hinduism, it is also known as a heterodox or naastik school.


Antayajas were a class of people living outside the town, as they were considered untouchables. The synonym Chandala has also been used for them. They were considered even lower than the sudras and outside Chaturvarna system.


It was a monistic religion that was propounded by Akbar. It was based on 10 virtues and concept of Sulah-e-kul or universal harmony.


Pashupata Shaivism was one of the main Shaivite schools. The Pashupatas are the oldest named Shaivite group. The Pasupata doctrine gave rise to two extreme schools, the Kalamukha and the Kapalika, known as Atimargika (schools away from the path), as well as a moderate sect, the Saivas (also called the Siddhanta school), which developed into modern Saivism.


It is also known as Tantric Buddhism and it grew out of infusion of Tribal ideas. According to Vajrayana scriptures Vajrayana refers to one of three vehicles or routes to enlightenment, the other two being the Hinayana and Mahayana. It also has a new goddess – Tara. A new form of paintng is also associated with it which is called ‘Thanka painting’. Its main scriptures are called Tantras.


Shilpshastra defines three types of architectural styles – Nagara, Dravida and Vesara. Today, only temple architecture remains from ancient India, but it doesn’t mean that other types of buildings were not constructed. Non-religious buildings were made from perishable materials and hence are not to be found today. Often old houses were destroyed to built new ones, but religious places were not destroyed as they had sacred value.


  • Location – According to the Silpasastras, the temples in North India are Nagara style while those situated between the Krishna river and Kanyakumari are Dravida.
  • Central Tower – The Nagara style which developed for the fifth century is characterized by a beehive shaped curvilinear tower (called a Shikhara, in northern terminology) made up of layer upon layer of architectural elements and a cruciform ground plan. While Dravida architecture had a pyramidical shaped central tower (called Vimana in Dravida style). There can be multiple Shikharas in Nagara style, but in Dravidian style there is only a single Shikhara or Vimana. Usually central tower is crowned  in both the styles and in Nagara style, it is called Kalasha.
  • Gopuram – The Gateway – The most significant visual difference between the later northern and southern styles are the gateways. In the north the shikhara remains the most prominent element of the temple and the gateway is usually modest or even absent. While in Dravidian style, the Gopurams are very stylized and big in size.
  • Boundary – Nagara style temples have less emphasis on boundary and are generally absent, while Dravida temples have elaborated boundary. Further, on boundary, the deities of directions, i.e., the ashtadikpalas face the eight key directions on the outer walls of the sanctum and/or on the outer walls of a temple.
  • Entrance – While in Nagara style, Ganga and Yamuna rivers are depicted in personified form at the entrance of Garbhagriha or sanctum sanctorum, in Dravida style ‘Dwarpalas’ are there on entrance.
  • Tower – There is always a single tower in Dravida style temple, while there are multiple towers in many of the Nagara style temples as in case of Khajuraho temples.
  • Pedestal – Nagara style temples are put on a pedestal considerably higher than ground, Dravida style are more or less at ground level.
  • Deities on the Outside – Dravida architecture had deities on the outside, while mostly Nagara style temples have deities inside.
  • OrnamentalDetails – In Dravida architecture, the details on the outside and inside – in form of carvings, sculptures of deities etc – are so enormous that they often make the architecture itself look insignificant as in case of Madurai temple, Tanjore temple etc.
  • Reservoir – In Dravida style temples, there is usually a reservoir tank also inside temple.
  • Consistencyof Architecture – Since Southern Dravida style was restricted in small area and was less prone to outside influences, its architecture style was more or less consistent over the period, while Nagra style had more variation due to influence of other style such as Greeko Roman, Buddhist, Islamist etc. Nagara temples are classified on the basis of its shikhara style in three types – Rekha Prasada/Deul type shikhara; Phamansa type and Vallabhi type. In Vallabhi type, shikhara has a square base.
  • Material Used – Hard crystalline rocks like granite typical of the area around Mamallapuram prevented detailed carving and resulted in the shallow reliefs associated with Pallava temples of the seventh and with centuries. Overall, there are a lot of variations in material used across India.
  • Purpose – Most of the temples in Nagara style had only religious prupose, but temples in South have not only been religious centers, but were also used for administrative activities, controlling vast areas of land and were also centers of education.

Examples of Nagara style temples are Khajuraho temples, Sun Konark, Jagganath temple, Vishnu Temple at Deogarh, Varah Temple at Eran. The finest examples of Dravidian style (south Indian style) are temples of Tanjore, Madurai, Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram.


Vesara is a type of Indian architecture primarily used in temples. The two other prominent styles are Dravida and Nagara. Vesara is a combination of these two temple styles which existed in Deccan. In the border areas between the two major styles, particularly in the modern states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, there was a good deal of stylistic overlap as well as several distinctive architectural features.

Chalukyas of Badami can be said to have laid the foundation of this style which was later taken forward by the Hoysalas who built temples at Belur, Halebidu and Somnathpura. Generally, pillars, door frames and ceilings are intricately carved in both the styles.