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|Title Review |
The entire sprawl of the Indian subcontinent is adorned with great architectural monuments. Among them, the temples at Belur and Halebid, the Sun Temple at Konark, the Kailash Temple at Ellora, the Buddhist Stupa at Sanchi are all expressions of an abiding artistic exuberance that is a fascinating part of India''s cultural heritage. For centuries, Indian mythology: whether of the Hindus, the Buddhists, or the Jainas, has enriched the imagination of its artist in a thousand different ways, like a lotus flower. In the splendour of architectural spaces, a column, a ceiling, or a wall served for the artist as a canvas to be painted upon, to be chiselled, and to be sculpted, for celebration, or worship, or adoration. Gods and goddesses, yaksas and yaksis, dancers and musicians, apsaras and nagins, trees and flowers, all revealed a drama that was endless and mystic. An Indian temple is, thus, a veritable gallery, a theatre and a museum.
The Jains have been the great temple builders in India, particularly in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. And their temples too have been built as masterfully as other indigenous temples. Professor Sehdev Kumar''s book focusses on the two well-known temple complexes of the Jainas in Rajasthan: one at Dilwara in Mount Abu and the other at Ranakpur. Among the most outstanding features of these temples are the thousand-petalled lotuses that decorate the domes in the rangamandapas, signifying a very highly evolved technical and artistic achievement.
Illustrated from cover to cover with exquisite photographs: in both colour and b/w, the book explores the iconographic and architectural details of these two eminent temple-complexes of the Jainas, in the larger context of Indian arts and temple architecture. Though the two sets of temples are separated from each other by some five hundred years and two hundred kilometers, there is, says the author, an unbroken continuity of icons and images in these temples that represent the continuous tradition of temple architecture in the subcontinent.
Sehdev Kumar, currently Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo, Canada, has for long been involved with Indian artistic and spiritual tradition.
Partial Contents :
In the Beginning: Jainism and its Cosmology -- Lotus in the Stone: Jain Temples at Dilwara -- The Temple at Ranakpur: An Architectural Splendour -- Feminine Mystique: Goddesses in Jain Temples -- Across the Bhavasagar: Jinas and their Images -- Outside In/Inside Out: Nature and the Indian Arts.
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|Related Subjects |
| 1. Religion|
| 2. Architecture|
| 3. Art And Fine Arts|
A thousand petalled lotus Jain temples of Rajasthan architecture & iconography