Journal of the Indian institute of architects (JIIA)

87 | Smeya Shirley Deborah, Dr. Sharmila Jagadisan


 As a city, Jerusalem has been at war continually and has faced conflicts, invasions and the highest number of attacks throughout its history. Being one of the oldest and most congested cities in the world, Jerusalem is revered as a sacred city to three major Abrahamic religions: Jews, Muslims and Christians.  The Solomon Temple, popularly called the ‘Temple of Jerusalem’, is one of the oldest temples and a crown jewel of the city has been the centre of Judaism both physically and spiritually. Generally, nations seek others that share a similar history, cherished values, common religious bonds or similar interests. One question that arises is whether Israel and India share history or similarities in any field? Is there a noticeable architectural harmony that exists between Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem and Hindu temples in south India? This paper uses literature and comparative analysis method, to identify the similarities and differences between the above two temples with respect to the syncretism in architecture and their respective spatial understandings. Historians generally agree that great stimulus can be found in studying historical evidence that links disparate cultures together over time and space.  Though the timeline of the origin varies, the architectural similarities and resemblance of the spiritual purpose of spaces and elements are difficult to be ignored. There are a number of plausible and interesting conjectures like the basic plan, height differences for each space in these temples and the exterior spaces within the temple compound that offer useful starting points for investigating the connection that exists between architectural forms. Is it a coincidence or is it an influence? Plan of the divine? This paper might not give the right answer as to how this was possible but it does spark a theory or a question followed by research in that direction.


Solomon’s temple, Hindu temples, Syncretism, History, Literature, Spatial study

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