The Latina form, with its curved spire (shikhara), developed from multi-tiered shrines known from the Gupta period (fourth-fifth centuries AD) onwards, with pavilions crowned by amalakas (rounded, ribbed element) at the corners of their false storeys. It was predominant type of Nagara (north Indian) temple between the seventh century and the tenth, when it was overshadowed by its offspring, the multi-spired Shekhari (or Anekandaka) mode of Nagara.
Some obvious questions arise about design and construction, and we have been exploring these through measured surveys. Do the plans follow grids? Is there a module for plan and elevation, or are there several? Does the geometry of the gavakshas (arched dormer motifs) relate to an all-encompassing system? What is the nature of the curvature of the shikhara, and of its constituent segments, and how was this achieved? What are the rules for successively diminishing the stages of the superstructure?
Latina temples have been measured and studied at the following sites:
Madhya Pradesh: Amrol, Bateshara, Gwalior (Gujari Museum), Nareshara, Terahi.
Gujarat: Roda, Shamalaji, Modhera. Rajasthan: Osian. Karnataka: Pattadakal.
Andhra Pradesh: Alampur.