Author: Margaret H Case
Editor(s): Margaret H Case
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8185503036
The red sandstone temple of Govindadeva, built in the sixteenth century, stands on a hill in the midst of the holy city of Vrindaban. It is the largest temple ever built to have been designed as a single structure, and immediately impresses a visitor with the strength of its massive exterior and the flying, vaulted spaces of its interior. It could, in fact, be called a Mughat temple, for it was built with Akbar’s patronage by Mana Simha, one of the highest Mughal officials, and its red sandstone construction stamped it with the hallmark of Mughal imperial style. But it was designed to serve the purposes of the now devotional Vaisnavism being spread by the followers of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
This volume for the first time presents a detailed study of Govindadeva’s design and iconography, richly illustrated with photographs and drawings. Other chapters discuss the history of its construction and desecration under Auranzeb, and describe he temples built along the way for the image of Sri Govindadeva when he travelled to his present home in Jaipur. Documentation from manuscript archives brings alive the lineage of priests serving the temple, and the ritual life of the temple is reconstructed from manuscript sources. The authors are noted Indian, American, and European Scholars.
The present study, brings into focus the multi-faceted ad multi-layered personality of Vraja through the great Temple. Contributors to the volume are Dr Kapila Vatsyayan, Acharya Shrivastsa Goswami, Dr Monika Horstman, Shri Gopal Narayan Bahura, Dr Catherine Asher, Dr Asimakrishna Dasa and Dr Chandramani Singh. The volume brings into focus some of the little-known historical and cultural aspects of the Govindadeva Temple.