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Volume 39 Number 2, March 1986

Volume 39 Number 2

Monarchs and Temples

Patron, Artist and Temple: An Introduction
Vidya Dehejia

Munificent Monarch and a Superior Sculptor: Eighth Century Chamba
Pratapaditya Pal

Inspired Patron of Himalayan Art: Eighth Century Kashmir
Robert E. Fisher

Kalachuri Monarch and his Circular Shrine of the Yoginis: Tenth Century Bheraghat
Vidya Dehejia

Lord of Kalanjara and his Shrine of the Emerald Linga: Eleventh Century Khajuraho
Devangana Desai

Scholar-emperor and a Funerary Temple: Eleventh Century Bhojpur
Kirit Mankodi

A Rare Icon of Padmavati dated A.D. 1636
Lalit Kumar

Woodcarving in Bassein
Teresa Albuquerque

Book Review

Patron, Artist and Temple: An Introduction
Dehejia, Vidya
Vol. 39 No. 2, March 1986, pp. 2-8 [Also in Royal Patrons and Great Temple Art edited by Vidya Dehejia; Vol. 39 No. 2, March 1988; ISBN: 81-85026-02-5, pp. 2-8]

One of the prime concerns of the patron of sacred monuments in India, whether of Buddhist, Jain, or Hindu affiliation, was the acquisition of religious merit which would bring divine favour on matters of state, and more significantly, would ensure favourable conditions in future birth. A temple often served to pronounce or underline a political statement, becoming a royal assertion of personal power. An entire temple or a stupa was a monumental undertaking and generally it was only a royal patron or a member of the aristocracy who had resources necessary to ensure its completion. However, if one looks back to the beginnings of construction in the medium of stone - to the century before Christ and the first few centuries CE—one finds that major monuments were erected through popular and collective patronage, such as the stupa at Sanchi. The artists responsible for the several monuments in India remain shadowy figures, but they are not always anonymous, and in certain parts of the country there are a plethora of individual names.

Munificent Monarch and a Superior Sculptor: Eighth-century Chamba
Pal, Pratapaditya
Vol. 39 No. 2, March 1986, pp. 9-24 [Also in Royal Patrons and Great Temple Art edited by Vidya Dehejia; Vol. 39 No. 2, March 1988; ISBN: 81-85026-02-5, pp. 9-24]

In Bharmaur, in the erstwhile native state of Chamba in Himachal Pradesh, there is a brass image of Ganesha, still worshipped in a modest, unpretentious shrine. This image was created by Gugga for his royal patron Meruvarman. There are three other brass figures made by the same workman Gugga for his king. Meruvarman probably ruled this area around 700 CE. As a patron, he seems to have been more interested in art and architecture than literature. The author suggests that Gugga was an eminent sculptor of Kashmir, who was brought to the neighbouring Brahmapura kingdom by Meruvarman to become his court artist. Gugga was not only responsible for creating the principal icons himself, but may well have supervised the design and the construction of the major temples. No other instance has survived from ancient India that demonstrates such obvious rapport between a royal connoisseur and his court artist.

Inspired Patron of Himalayan Art: Eighth-century Kashmir
Fisher, Robert E.
Vol. 39 No. 2, March 1986, pp. 25-36 [Also in Royal Patrons and Great Temple Art edited by Vidya Dehejia; Vol. 39 No. 2, March 1988; ISBN: 81-85026-02-5, pp. 25-36]

The ruler Lalitaditya's accomplishments in both political and artistic arenas have seldom been matched elsewhere and are certainly without equal in Kashmir. His political activities gained him the most extensive conquests in eighth-century India, while monumental ruins that remain throughout the Kashmiri valley attest to an equally spectacular patronage. Lalitaditya's patronage was not limited simply to images or hindered by sectarian beliefs. His donations ranged from individual shrine images to entire temples, and included at least one complex of Buddhist and Hindu temples and an entire new city. His best-known dedication is the majestic sun temple known as Martand. Perhaps his most ambitious complex was his town of Parihasapura.

Kalachuri Monarch and his Circular Shrine of the Yoginis: Tenth-century Bheraghat
Dehejia, Vidya
Vol. 39 No. 2, March 1986, pp. 37-44 [Also in Royal Patrons and Great Temple Art edited by Vidya Dehejia; Vol. 39 No. 2, March 1988; ISBN: 81-85026-02-5, pp. 77-84]
The construction of stone temples dedicated to yoginis was an enterprise that must have involved considerable expenditure, and one which was frequently the result of royal patronage. Yogini temples are circular enclosures with no roof and no hidden sanctum sanctorum. The entire phenomenon of yogini worship and the construction of temples dedicated to this group of goddesses has its roots outside the fold of orthodox Brahmanical worship. The yoginis, worshipped collectively in groups of generally 64 but occasionally also of 81and 42, are part of a tantric tradition. Worship of the group of 81 yoginis appears to have been the special prerogative of royalty. The Bheraghat yogini temple is the largest among the Yogini temples and has an open spacious circle. Along the inner face of the wall are 81 niches separated by pilasters; placed upon a lofty pedestal within each niche is the image of a yogini. There seems little doubt that Bheraghat's yogini temple was a royal chapel, built probably by Yuvaraja II who ruled the Kalachuri empire in the last quarter of the 10th century.
Lord of Kalanjara and his Shrine of the Emerald Linga: Eleventh-century Khajuraho
Desai, Devangana
Vol. 39 No. 2, March 1986, pp. 45-60 [Also in Royal Patrons and Great Temple Art edited by Vidya Dehejia; Vol. 39 No. 2, March 1988; ISBN: 81-85026-02-5, pp. 85-100]
The town of Khajuraho witnessed the extensive building of temples, lakes, and gardens by the Chandela royal family, their chiefs, and merchants in the period from 900 to 1150. Tradition records the existence of 85 temples, of which only 25 have survived. The mighty Chandela king Dhangadeva, who ruled at Khajuraho between 950 and 1002, built the magnificent Vishvanatha temple in the western area of the town. An inscription states that Dhangadeva dedicated two lingas to the temple, one of emerald and a second of stone. This article explores the reign of Dhangadeva and his role as a patron of the arts. It also discusses the role of artists and poets during Dhangadeva's rule. The main features of the Vishvanatha temple are described including its architecture, structure, and plan, as well as the sculptures and their themes, various sects that worshipped at the temple, and the epics associated with the temple.
Scholar-emperor and a Funerary Temple: Eleventh-century Bhojpur
Mankodi, Kirit
Vol. 39 No. 2, March 1986, pp. 61-72 [Also in Royal Patrons and Great Temple Art edited by Vidya Dehejia; Vol. 39 No. 2, March 1988; ISBN: 81-85026-02-5, pp. 101-112]

A gigantic Shiva temple stands in forlorn grandeur at the site of Bhojpur some 18 miles southeast of Bhopal. Unprepossessing except for its staggering size, it was never completely built. The temple is ascribed to the Paramara emperor Bhoja who also founded the town of Bhojpur. Bhoja is famous for his lavish patronage of art and literature; while many literary works have survived, the temples and sculptures which he patronized during his long reign of 50 years, have not and the Shiva temple of Bhojpur is the only shrine that can definitely be attributed to him. Since the temple was abandoned before it was completed, much evidence remains at the site which enables one to understand the mechanics of temple construction. There is also the possibility that the Bhojpur temple was not a temple in the usual sense of that word, but rather a funerary monument. The article further discusses Bhoja as a royal patron, the Bhojpur temple and the surroundings of the temple, and lastly examines whether it was, in fact, a memorial shrine.

Notes: A Rare Icon of Padmavati dated A.D. 1636; Woodcarving in Bassein
Kumar, Lalit and Albuquerque, Teresa
Vol. 39 No. 2, March 1986, pp. 73-77

The Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum, Ahmadabad, recently acquired an iconographically important brass image of Padmavati, carved in a somewhat crude, folk style. The image has two inscriptions in Devanagari. A description of the image and its importance in the Jain religion is discussed in this note. The section also includes an overview of the woodcarving tradition near Bassein.

Book Review
Vol. 39 No. 2, March 1986, p. 78

Life in Ancient India by M.P. Singh reviewed by R.N. Misra.