Author: Henri Stierlin
ISBN/UPC (if available): 3822876496
This volume surveys the masterpieces of Hindu and Jain architecture, the products of a millenarian tradition.
The earthly dwellings of the cosmic deities: such is the Indian temple. Its walls swarm with statues and symbols of the Indian pantheon.
The Indian temple transposes the universe into stone. It symbolizes the cosmic mountain: the dwelling of the gods. Its plan is defined by the magic pattern of the manadalas. This history takes us from the rock-cut temples of the dawn of the first millennium to the colossal temples of the 17th century. Ranging from the Himalayan foothills over the central plateau of the Deccan to the southernmost tip of the sub-continent, it testifies to the extraordinary diversity of Hindu architecture.
Until the 6th century AD, temples translated into stone the rudiments of timber architecture. Rock-cut gave way to freestanding temples, but both embodied the complex Indian cosmology.
Then, in the 8th century, came new styles: the Nagara in the north-east, the Vesara of the central plateau and the Dravida style in the south. To the Nagara style we owe the erotic sculptures of Khajuraho, where absidioles surround the sanctum like foothills around the cosmic mountain. The most recent and audacious style, the Dravida, attains truly gigantic dimensions. In the concentric walls that ring its sacred cities, the devotee saw the mountains encompassing the terrestrial world.
THE AUTHOR & EDITOR:
Henri Stierlin was born in Alexandria in 1928, and after classical studies worked as a journalist and produced numerous radio and television programmes on the history of civilization. From 1964 to 1972 he worked as editor on the 16-column standard work Architecture Universelle. For Swiss TV he produced three extended reports on Indian art and architecture.
He published both Le Monde de l'Inde, Paris/Geneva, , and , with his wife Anne, Inde-des Moghols aux Maharajas, Paris.
A Religious Architecture
THE FIRST FLOWERING OF MEDIEVAL TEMPLES
From Man-Made Caves to Stone-Built temples
THE GREAT FLOWERING OF MEDIEVAL TEMPLES
From the Chalukya School to the Cholas of Thanjavur
THE CULMINATION OF MEDIEVAL ARCHITECTURE: KHUJURAHO
A Consummate Architectural Achievement
NEW ARCHITECTURE IN THE DECCAN
The Hoysala Style and the Soapstone Temples
THE APOTHEOSIS OF SOUTHERN INDIAN ARCHITECTURE
From the Hampi princes to the Nayaks of Madurai
The Weight of Tradition
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND CREDITS