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Chaitya Temple in Vedic Period – Hindu Temples In Vedas

Chaitya is a particular type of temple that existed during the Vedic period. These are the Hindu temples in Vedas.

The procedure of Chaitya worship is laid down in Asvalayana Grihya Sutra of 600 BC.

Chaitya contains the relics of a saintly person, collected from his funeral pyre, called Chita. As these temples were constructed of perishable materials, their remains are not found, but their replicas in the form of rock-cut caves can be seen.

A Chaitya temple has an apsidal elongated hall with the shrine at the apsidal end. The shrine has the platform over which a pot with the relics is placed for worship.

On the front side is a pillared hall with side aisles, which provide pradakshina (a path for circumambulation), which formed part of the Vedic ritual.

The roof was thatched over supporting rafter. A semicircular window was placed above the front door to light the hall. This window design was subsequently used as a decorative motif in caves and temples.

The Chaitya is generally built on a distant mountain to which the offerings are sent through a messenger, who is reimbursed for this travel expenses and provided with weapons for self-defense.