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Volume 12 Number 2, March 1959

Volume 12 Number 2

Rajasthani Sculpture

Rajasthani Sculpture (Editorial)

On the Origins of the Descendants of the Sun: Some Notes on the Historical Background of Rajasthan
Mulk Raj Anand

“Remnants Shored Against the Ruin”: Portfolio with Notes
R.C. Agrawala,  U.C. Bhattacharya,  S.R. Srivastava,  and MARG

Early Terracottas
1. Sunga, Kushan, Gupta, Suratgarh, Rangmahal, Bharatpur, Bairat, Rairh
Hermann Goetz and K.D. Bajpai

2. Nagari
H.D. Sankalia

Medieval Sculpture
1. Abaneri
Pupul Jayakar and R.C. Agrawala

2. Atru
L.K. Jha

3. Abu
S. Bharadwaj

4. Baroli
C. Verma

5. Chandravati
H.C. Chaturvedi

6. Chitorgarh
Hermann Goetz

7. Kiradu
R.C. Agrawala

8. Kishan Vilas
L.K. Jha

9. Nagda (Sas Bahu)
Brij Narayan

10. Osian
Pupul Jayakar

11. Paranagar (Alwar)
Pupul Jayakar

12. Ramgarh
Dolly Sahiar

13. Ranakpur
P.L. Mathur

14. Sikar
R.C. Agrawala

Rajasthani Sculpture [Editorial]
Anand, Mulk Raj
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 2-3

This special issue presents a fresh survey of sculptures from various centres of Rajasthan, with photographs communicating the aesthetic connotation of the significant examples. The editorial appeals to archaeologists to suitably display the material available in museums and ancient sites of Rajasthan, and thus bring them into the public eye. It is hoped that further research will reveal even more material on Rajput culture and Buddhist, Jaina, and Brahmanical iconography.

On the Origins of the Descendants of the Sun: Some Notes on the Historical Background of Rajasthan
Anand, Mulk Raj
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 4-10

Discusses the emergence of the Rajputs, their ethnic character, religious beliefs, and political conflicts in ancient and early medieval periods.

Portfolio: Remnants Shored Against the Ruin
Agrawala, R.C., Bhattacharya, U.C., Srivastava, Satya Prakash, Anand, Mulk Raj
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 11-23

The sculptures illustrated are of deities from various historical sites of Rajasthan. They reflect the different styles prevalent in Rajasthan during the early and later medieval periods.

Early Terracottas: Sunga, Kushan, Gupta, Suratgarh, Rangmahal, Bharatpur, Bairat, Rairh, Nagari
Goetz, Hermann, Bajpai, K.D., Sankalia, H.D.
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 24-27
The terracotta sculptures from the villages of Badopal to Rangmahal -- now in the Bikaner Museum, probably belonged to Hindu temples built from c. 200 CE, none of which are extant. They are closer to the Mathura than the Gandhara school, and drawn from Shaivism and Krishna-Gopala mythology. The sculptures are not Buddhist, as considered by Dr. Tessitori, the discoverer of the terracottas. Similar terracottas of the late Gupta period have been unearthed in the excavations at Ahichhattra-Ramgarh. Another set, comes from Barapas, 2 miles from Suratgarh. They may be assigned to the early Gupta period. D.R. Bhandarkar discovered 18 terracottas or moulded bricks at Nagari, 8 miles north of Chitorgarh. They come from the shrine of Kankali Mata and the Mahadeva temple, and depict non-religious subjects. The terracottas are not pre-Greek, as thought by Bhandarkar; they probably belong to the Gupta period, when moulded brick temples decorated with terracottas were in vogue.
Medieval Sculpture: Abaneri
Jayakar, Pupul
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 28-30

Abaneri (Abha Nagari) is a small village in the erstwhile state of Jaipur in Rajasthan. The walls and roof of the old temple of Harshat Mata (portions have been dated to the mid-7th and 9th centuries) carry sculptures mainly on secular themes: music, dance, nature, beauty, and love. Also seen is the half female form of Shiva, and dancing Matrikas in the company of dancing Shiva and Bhairava. The sculptures are in the Gupta tradition of Deogarh.

Medieval Sculpture: Atru
Jha, L.K.
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, p. 31

The heavily ornamented Atru shrine in Rajasthan was built by Raja Bhainsa Shah, but later destroyed by Aurangzeb. Its ruling deity is Shiva, and among the surviving sculptures are the details on the pillars and an image of Parvati.

Medieval Sculpture: Abu
Bharadwaj, S.
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 32-34

Jainism asserted itself in the region of Mount Abu around 1032 CE, interrupted by a phase of Shaivism in the 14th-15th centuries. Among the temples of Mount Abu are 5 shrines of the Dilwara group, and the temples of Vimalasah (1032), Vastupal and Tejpal (1231), Adinatha, Chaumukha (four-faced) shrine of Parsvanatha, and remains of old Hindu temples. The article describes the architecture and sculptures of these shrines. Achalgarh, 4 miles from Abu and the old stronghold of the Paramara kings, has ruins of shrines dedicated to Hindu deities.

Medieval Sculpture: Baroli
Verma, C.
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 35-38

The early medieval temple of Baroli, on the banks of the Chambal and 30 miles southwest of Kotah, was built - according to legend - by Raja Hoon, the Paramara king of Chandravati. The main shrine, dedicated to Shiva, has a carved shikhara. Beyond it is an enormous mandapa supported by decorative pillars, and a square structure called Sringar Chowrie. The four smaller shrines dedicated to Devi, Mahesh Murti, Narada, and Ganesha have little sculpture

Medieval Sculpture: Chandravati
Chaturvedi, H.C.
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 39-40

The Chandravati group of temples is one mile southeast of Jhalrapatan, on the banks of the Chandrabhaga river. The largest temple is the pillared lingam shrine of Sitaneswar Mahadeva. The other temples, including that of Kalika Devi, are in disrepair. In "History of Indian Architecture", Fergusson notes the importance of the Chandravati group, and dates it to c. 600 CE.

Medieval Sculpture: Chitorgarh
Goetz, Hermann
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 41-44
Chittorgarh was a key fortress of Rajasthan, and in the 14th century became the capital of the Rajput federation against the Delhi sultans. Its early architecture includes a small votive stupa, possibly of Mauryan times; the Annapurna temple with some late Gupta reliefs; reliefs of Karttikeya and Ganesha, and those adapted from Buddhist prototypes; the 8th century Surya temple; the temple of Mahakali with early Pratihara architecture; the Solanki-style Jaina and Sringar Chauri temples (1150); and the Kumbhasyama temple built by Rana Kumbha in 1448 upon a 9th-century substructure. Rana Kumbha's reign was the golden age of architecture and sculpture at Chittorgarh when many forts, temples, and palaces were built, including the "towers of victory" (Jayasthambha and Kirtisthambha).
Medieval Sculpture: Kiradu
Agrawala, R.C.
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 45-48

An account of the sculptures of the Kiradu temples, 124 miles from Jodhpur. The most prominent is the Somesvara temple dedicated to Shiva, with a shrine, ante-chamber, hall, and porch. The other remains are a smaller Shiva temple, two temples depicting Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu seated with their consorts, a broken garbhagriha and sabha mandapa, and other miscellaneous sculptures.

Medieval Sculpture: Kishan Vilas
Jha, L.K.
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 49-51

Kishan Vilas near Kota has the ruins and relics of many temples belonging probably to the 9th-11th centuries. They are mostly dedicated to Vishnu, as evident in the repeated carvings of the Dasavataras and an image of Vishnu sleeping on Seshanaga.

Medieval Sculpture: Nagda (Sas Bahu)
Narayan, Brij
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 52-53

The Sas Bahu group of shrines at Nagda, 15 miles from Udaipur, is carved out of granite. Many walls are left plain, but the convention of later iconography is set in the reliefs of the animal and human worlds. The bigger carvings - such as the bracket figure of a female spirit - pave the way for the sculptures of Paranagar and Baroli.

Medieval Sculpture: Osian
Jayakar, Pupul
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 54-59

Osian (ancient Ukesa), 32 miles northwest of Jodhpur, is a tiny desert city of temples, with a pleasure palace for its early rulers. At the principal gates of the city capital stones and Prakrit inscriptions of the Gurjara Pratihara king Kakkuka have been found. Among the three small temples of Harihara - possibly built by the Abhira kings in the late 7th or early 8th century CE - is a panchayatana shrine with images of Harihara, "sala bhañjika" (women standing under a tree), Vishnu as Trivikrama and Dhyani Buddha, and a king and queen. The other two Harihara temples complement each other, with sculptures of Ganesha, Ganga and Jamuna, the Navagraha, Vishnu on Garuda, and two dance panels. The temples of Surya and Sachiya Mata and Mahavira project the ascendancy of new deities.

Medieval Sculpture: Paranagar (Alwar)
Jayakar, Pupul
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 60-63

Paranagar (Alwar) may have been associated with the Jaina Tirthankara Parasnatha. The city gateway, built by Jaya Singh Raja of Jaipur in 1689, makes it likely that the place was important till the 18th century. The main temple is dedicated to Neelkantheshwar (blue-throated god) Shiva, and an inscription dated VS 1010 (956 CE) ascribes the temple to Bargujar Raja Ajayapala. The pillars are carved with nayikas and frescos, while the garbhagriha has a black stone lingam. Other images found are of Shiva as Tripurantaka, Surya, and dancing Ganesha. Besides the ruins of a Jaina temple, the largest mound west of Garha village indicates some very early temples (mostly dated to the 9th-10th centuries). Some of the sculptures belong to the Gurjara-Pratihara period (6th-8th centuries).

Medieval Sculpture: Ramgarh
Sahiar, Dolly
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 64-66

The antiquities in the village of Srinagar near Ramgarh, 60 miles east of Kota, were noted by Mr. Garrick, an assistant of Alexander Cunningham (Director General, Archaeological Survey of India), in his report of 1883-84. The outer wall of the main temple, still extant, is covered with carvings which appear like a series of bas reliefs. One of the most remarkable specimens at the site is the broken torso of a mother and child.

Medieval Sculpture: Ranakpur
Mathur, P.L.
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 67-68

The late medieval Jaina shrines at Ranakpur in western Marwar are strongly influenced by Mount Abu, particularly in the ceilings and decorated pillars

Medieval Sculpture: Sikar
Agrawala, R.C.
Vol. 12 No. 2, March 1959, pp. 69-72

A survey of the sculptures from the Shiva temple on Harshanatha hill, 8 miles from Sikar and 75 miles from Jaipur. Among the 100 sculptures from this temple now in the Sikar Museum are numerous decorative panels. A few other sculptures are in the Rajputana Museum, Ajmer.