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Facets of South Indian Art And Architecture (Two Volumes)
Facets of South Indian Art And Architecture (Two Volumes)
Description
About the Book

The book Facets of South Indian Art and Architecture is a stimulative and perceptive survey of different aspects of South Indian art, architecture, history and culture. It provides unparalleled source of insight into South Indian Civilization containing a detailed account of archaeological and artistic data and incorporating the latest researches on the subject.

Divided into two volumes, the book contains essays on important aspects of South Indian art and architecture, grouped under the following seven major headings: (1) The Beginnings, (2) Saiva Traditions, (3) Temple Art and Architecture, (4)Sakta Traditions, (5) Sculptural, (6) Bronzes and (7) Paintings, Jewels, etc. Each heading includes a number of self-contained articles discussed under a chronological framework. Fresh evidences in known subjects are marshaled and new aspects are outlined and each subject is provided a firm basis and viewed from a refreshingly original angle. Each study could be pursued individually or as a part of the whole for a proper understanding of South Indian art and architecture.

Perceptive, insightful and selective, the book is an indispensable reference tool. The unusual variety of the subject and the notable richness of illustrations combine to make this a work of endless fascination. The book will prove to be an invaluable asset not only to the academicians, art-historians, archaeologists, orientalists, researchers and libraries but also to the lay readers.

About the Author

Vidyavacaspati, Dr. R. Nagaswamy (1930): Master of Arts in Sanskrit Language and Literature from the University of Madras, Dr. Nagaswamy obtained doctorate degree from the Deccan College, Poona under Dr. H.D. Sankalia. He joined the Government Museum, Madras as the Curator for Art and Archaeology in 1959 and became the first Director of Archaeology of Tamil Nadu in 1966, in which capacity he served for 23 years, till his retirement in 1998. He also served as the first Vice-Chancellor of the Kanchipuram University. Later he became the National Consultant for Multimedia Documentation of Cultural Property under UNESCO programme of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi.

A multifaceted personality, Dr. Nagaswamy has specialized in Art, History, Archaeology, Epigraphy, Conservation, Agamic and Religious History, Ancient Law and Society, Numismatics, Classical Music and Dance. Along with Dr. Kapila Vatsyayana, he started the now world famous Chidambaram Natyanjali Festival. He has also produced several dance dramas, some of which were televised and broadcast several times. On behalf of the Government of India, Dr. Nagaswamy appeared in the London High Court as an Expert Witness in the London Nataraja case, and was mainly responsible for winning the case.

Dr. Nagaswamy has conducted excavations at places like the Chola capital of Gangaikondacholapuram, Karur, Alagankulam and Korkai. He was the first to initiate underwater archaeological exploration at Pumpuhar in Tamil Nadu in collaboration with Oceanographic Survey of Goa. He is the leading authority today on South Indian Bronzes and has published over twenty-five books including Masterpieces of South Indian Bronzes, Siva Bhakti, Tamil Nadu, Ancient Tamil Law and Society, and others. A recipient of several public honours, Dr. Nagaswamy was conferred the title of "Kalaimamani" by the Government of Tamil Nadu for his contribution to Art and Culture.

Preface

This volume is a collection of essays on important aspects of South Indian art and architecture, grouped under the following seven major headings: (1) The Beginnings, (2) Saiva Tradition, (3) Temple Art and Architecture, (4) Sakta Tradition, (5) Sculptural Art, (6) Bronzes and (7) Paintings, Jewels, and the rest. Each heading includes a number of self-contained articles discussed under a chronological framework. Fresh evidences in known subjects are marshaled and new aspects are outlined and each subject is provided a firm basis and viewed from a refreshingly original angle. Each study could be pursued individually or as a part of the whole for a proper understanding of South Indian art and architecture.

The role of village gods and festivals from ancient to modern times and the distinction between the folk and the classified are delimited. The cult of erecting dolmens ascribed to the Dravidian people turns out to be a Vedic custom with adequate data that would attract archaeologists. The place of agamas and Vastu texts in the layout of village settlements for over two thousand years is demonstrated through literature, monuments and epigraphs.

The dance of Siva and Nataraja and the temple of Chidambaram played a vital role in the development of Saivism in the South. A considerable attention is paid on the concept of Nataraja. Also various sub-sects among Saivas and a comparison with Kashmir Saivam are included here. Advaita exponent Adi Sankara refers to two important concepts of Indian thought- the Pasupata sutras (of Lakulisa) which he cites verbatim and on the 64 Yoginis and their cult, which are dealt with in this volume. Like men, women have participated in equal measure in temple building and reveal their individuality in owning property and contributing to administration through a secretariat of their own and through women appointed as high officials. The pivotal role played by the Gurus-preceptors to the kings and others, in the development of temple art and architecture is studied that would come as a corrective to the over-emphasis ascribed to the artists now.

It may be seen that art and architecture are reflections of various concepts that developed, crystallized and codified, are focused, as for example the Saiva and Sakta traditions. Among the contributions of South India, Chola bronzes are valued most the world over, for their artistic beauty. The dating of these bronzes is a fascinating field that is studied here, as well as some of the most outstanding bronzes. The Vijayanagara and Nayak bronzes are less refined when compared to the early pieces; they nevertheless played an influential role in the Society and are dealt with here. The history of South Indian paintings has not attracted due attention in the hands of Indologists so far. An essay in this volume fills up the gap. The volume also focuses on the artistic traditions imbibed by the South as in the case of Roman impact on South Indian art, as much as the impact it left on its neighbouring schools as in the case of Pallava art on the Chalukya and the Pandyas. Little known fields like the art of the Pandyas and the Maratha's contribution to South Indian art are also dealt with. Many of the artistic expressions found in Northern part of India are vaguely or arbitrarily dated, some to late periods. But a study of South Indian material would prove that those trends are firmly rooted in South India far earlier than hitherto held and would call for a revision of chronology of some aspects of Indian art. Many of the articles in this collection have not appeared anywhere, while others have appeared in scholarly publications some 20 or 30 years back. I am thankful to all of them for their kindness. The area covered will surely fascinate scholars and stimulate further studies in these fields. I am thankful to Sri Vikas Arya of the Aryan Books International for taking personal interest in this volume and publishing it out in such an attractive form.

Introduction

The contribution of any society is understood from not only the visual relics it has left behind, but also from the totality of its experience, expressed in space and time, evolving from simple to complex group of ideas, through arts, literature, music dance, faiths and philosophy, customs and manners. From simple village life to the complex life of the cities, the ideas travel and concretize. The study begins from the faith in the supernatural, conceived by the villager in his rural environment. The god he visualizes manifests in simple temple forms. The village temples, begin the most widespread and dominating elements, attract our attention first.

The inhabitant of a village feels the divine power in supernatural god and also in man who is dead but whom he saw in flesh and blood and with whom he interacted in life. Propitiation of the dead, out of fear and hope, manifests as funerary edifices like megaliths, urn burial, memorial stones and the like found throughout the length and breadth of the country. They so overwhelm the investigator in Tamilnadu that he associates them with the original inhabitants of the region, identified with the Dravidian people. A vast body of literature has grown in the past 150 years on the megalithic builders, identifying them with Dravidians, whose culture is said to be exclusive to their region. These conclusions are based mostly on the study of the relics alone, but a careful study of the larger Indian traditions, as expressed in Vedic literature and legal texts like the Dharmasastras, tend to prove that the Tamil society was all Indian in character and that the funerary customs and rites are rooted in Vedic tradition. This approach provides a fresh evaluation of the megalithic problem.

The earliest artistic traditions of Tamilnadu are expressed in a body of literature called the Sangam poetry that were assigned vaguely from the 6th century BC to 2nd century A.D. A series of numismatic and epigraphic discoveries in recent years, have brought the date closer to 1st century BC to 2nd century A.D., with a preference towards the latter. The period already shows western contact and includence. Karur, the ancient capital of the Cheras of the Sangam age has yielded a large number of antiquities, some inscribed and some revealing clearly Roman contact which needs attention. This society clearly attested by literature and antiquities exhibits meticulous planning and a highly developed urban civilzation that shows the seats of temporal powers, with central point of the village or town as the centre radiating power through a well-conceived diagram. These diagrammatic layouts of villages and towns are prescribed in texts like agamas which constitute the theoretical base but found in actual use as revealed by the existing villages that could be traced to early mediaeval times.

While the distribution of powers in village and town layout is a pointer is a pointer to the divine nature of the secular habitations, similar distribution in temples, supported visually by sculptural representations, reveals the total personality and philosophy of a classical temple. Though there is underlying unity among classical temples in their expressions, there are subtle variations between two temples. Art historians try to discern evolution of motifs in these variations; in most cases these are due to divergent philosophy even within one and the same school like Saiva or Vaishnava. There are several sub-sects among various schools, each revealing a distinct personality. For example, the Saiva system has many sub-sects like Saivas, pasupatas, Kapalikas, and Kalamukhas. A study of the sub-sects is rewarding to comprehend the artistic and architectural movements.

The Chidambaram temple of Nataraja is the most famous of all the temples in Tamilnadu, A closer study of the philosophy and the customs of the worshipping priests, called Dikshitars, shows that they were the followers of Urdhva Saiva system that hold the dancing form of Siva as the Supreme Deity. A whole volume could be written on this temple from this new angle but suffice it to say that many peculiarities one notices here, like the tiled roof of the sanctum, prominence given to the bronze processional image than to main Siva-linga, and also the unique character of the worshipping priests, furnish fascinating fields of enquiry for historians, anthropologists, artists and philosophers. This unique character also provides an interesting comparison with religious ideas that came from different regions, especially Bengal, from where learned pilgrims came to Chidambaram. Epigraphic records show that men of great learning and mystic powers came from Bengal region to Chidambaram and were adopted as royal gurus by the imperial Cholas from about the 10th century to 13th century. These Bengali gurus were responsible for new expressions, one notices in architecture and iconography. Bengal's contribution to Tamilnadu is far deeper than had hitherto been understood.

After the great devotional movement headed by the Saiva saints in the 7th-8th centuries, a great upsurge is witnessed in the 10th to 13th centuries. This is witnessed in architecture and also in the Tevaram recitations. A harmonious blend of Vedic and Tamil traditions is noticeable side by side with no rancour. The age of Rajaraja (985-1015) was the golden age in every field of human endeavour. The religious zeal was at its height. This phase of Tamil history requires close study. The great temple of Tanjore and the Gangaikonda-cholapuram temple assembled together the best talents in the field of thought, and arts and literature. Behind the overwhelming architecture lie a towering philosophy, rhythmic music and dance and the energy and efficiency of administration. It is indeed a landmark in every field.

Kings like Rajaraja no doubt built temples. Women like Sembiyan-mehadevi, Kundavai the elder sister of Rajaraja and Lokamahadevi, the chief queen of Rajaraja, were equally great in building temples. The temple of Lokamahadevi-isvaram built by Lokamahadevi, the queen of Rajaraja, at Thiruvaiyaru, even as the great temple of Tanjore was coming up, throws valuable light on how women purchased lands and built temples and how they organized the administration. The great temples at Tanjore and Gangaikonda-cholapuram built within 20 years of each show altogether different forms not because of evolution nor to exhibit variety but because of change in philosophy. The sanctum tower at Melakkadambur is in the form of a wheeled chariot drawn by horses. Such changes are due to varying prayers and approaches. The role of raja gurus in temple building and religious philosophy, and also as guide to the king needs special reference.

The worship of Sakti as a primordial goddess in the South goes back to the beginning of the megalithic age. It gradually evolves into the most sophisticated cult of Lalita Tripurasundari.

The trend changes in 15th century with the Vijayanagara rule. The emphasis in temples shifts from the sanctum tower to entrance towers-gopuras. The contribution of the Nayak governors of the Vijayanagara kings deserves special attention. While the works of Tanjore and Madurai Nayaks are known, the contributions of Gingee Nayak have not received due attention. The Thiruk-kalukkunram gopuras for example near Mahabalipuram, reveal a character of their own. The Tanjore Nayaks seems to have hailed from Nerkunram in North Arcot district. They continued to enrich their native village in spite of setting in Tanjore. The royal officers and the architects of Tanjore a clue to the origin of Tanjore Nayak school.

Temples are abodes of gods. One principal deity and several subordinate deities are carefully positioned in niches in appropriate directions. The best artistic form that one can conceive is lavished on the sculptures of the chosen god. Great care and attention applied to sculptures in early period show the aesthetic taste of the age. But this yields to quantitative increase in sculptural portrayal that resulted in less attention to aesthetics. And yet there do exist some very fine sculptures of the later period.

Tamilnadu's contribution to art of metal casting in making processional images is well known. Popularly called bronzes by and large are great masterpieces. The ones cast during the Chola reign are invariably great pieces. However, the dating of these pieces by art historians was based on stylistic considerations, which tended to be subjective with the result there were great differences between scholars. This trend is no more valid as a considerable number of bronzes is now firmly dated with the help of inscriptions. They form landmarks with the help of which a stronger stylistic comparison could now be attemped. This important development needs to be understood. The study also brings to light some later bronzes that are certainly of aesthetic interest and some are inscribed.

Tamilnadu is fortunate in having a continuous history of paintings that could be dated from A.D. 700. They invariably show change in form, costumes and jewellery. The Telugu tradition and the Mughal tradition followed by the Maratha school are all distinct phases providing valuable information on art of paining.

One would like to know, at the end, how successive generations of South India looked at these artistic and expressive contributions. For example, the Advaita exponent Adi-Sankara gives us a glimpse into the faiths of Mahesvara Saivas, who based their philosophy on Pasupata-sutra of Lkulisa. He also shows how a section of the society viewed the worship of Kali, 64 Yoginis and Ganesa, which would come as a revelation. Having first stated their stand, based on their scripture, Sankara refutes them from the Advaitic standpoint. Whatever the date of Sankara might be, the position during his time is now available from his commentary on Brahma-sutra and Bhagavad-gita.

How successive generations looked at the temple structures of chidambaram show slight shift in perception of the people? Both the traditional approach of Chidambaram show slight shift in perception of the people? Both the traditional approach and modern scientific approach speak the same identical technique which unfortunately is their understood nor even cared for. For require serious attention.

Contents
Prefacev
Introductionix
List of Illustrationsxiii
VOLUME I
SECTION I:THE BEGINNINGS
1.Temples of Village Gods3
2.Dolmens: Hero Gods10
3.Art of the Sangam Age32
4.Karur Antiquities42
5.Temporal Seat of Authority in Rural and Urban Settlements51
6.Agama and Village Layout62
SECTION II:SAIVA TRADITIONS
7.Iconography of a Siva Temple (Vyapohana Stava)71
8.Chidambara Natam77
9.The Festival of Dancing Siva (Nataraja & Kalamukhas)84
10.Saiva Sub-sets92
11.Chidambaram and Bengal98
12.Sankara on Pasupatas112
13.Nadanta Tandava and Urdhva Saivam122
14.Thirumandiram and Kashmir Saivam131
15.State of Saivism in the 11th Century A.D.139
16.Ksetrapala148
17.Virupaksha and Hazara Rama in Coins158
SECTION III:TEMPLE ARTS
18.The Temple (Chidambaram)163
19.Thiruppalanam: Pallava Chola Transitional Temple169
20.Chola Temples173
21.Vijayanagara Nayak Temples189
VOLUME II
SECTION IV:SAKTA TRADITIONS
22.Worship of Sakti in Tamil Nadu205
23.Lalita Tripurasundari208
24.Sri Cakkarayi215
25.Purnagiri, The Tantrapitha222
26.Sankara on 64 Yogini and Bhuta Worship227
SECTION V:SCULPTURAL ART
27.Synthesis in Sculptureal Art237
28.Pallava Influence on Chalukya Art241
29.Jain Art under the Pallavas245
30.Jainism under Cholas251
31.Pallava Influence on Pandyan Art255
32.Art of the Pandyas260
SECTION VI:BRONZES
33.Landmarks in Dating Tamil Bronzes271
34.Chola Bronzes282
35.Tripurantaka or Kirata ?293
36.Vijayanagara Nayak Bronzes300
SECTION VII:PAINTINGS AND JEWELLERY
37.A Survey of Tamil Paintings309
38.Maratha's Contribution323
39.The Indian Pictures of Governor Peter Anker332
40.Temple Jewellery335
41.Renovation at What Cost?340
Glossary345
Bibliography359

Facets of South Indian Art And Architecture (Two Volumes)

Item Code:
IDJ993
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2003
ISBN:
8173052468
Size:
11.2" X 8.8"
Pages:
396 (Halftone B/W Illustrations: 183 )
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$155.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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About the Book

The book Facets of South Indian Art and Architecture is a stimulative and perceptive survey of different aspects of South Indian art, architecture, history and culture. It provides unparalleled source of insight into South Indian Civilization containing a detailed account of archaeological and artistic data and incorporating the latest researches on the subject.

Divided into two volumes, the book contains essays on important aspects of South Indian art and architecture, grouped under the following seven major headings: (1) The Beginnings, (2) Saiva Traditions, (3) Temple Art and Architecture, (4)Sakta Traditions, (5) Sculptural, (6) Bronzes and (7) Paintings, Jewels, etc. Each heading includes a number of self-contained articles discussed under a chronological framework. Fresh evidences in known subjects are marshaled and new aspects are outlined and each subject is provided a firm basis and viewed from a refreshingly original angle. Each study could be pursued individually or as a part of the whole for a proper understanding of South Indian art and architecture.

Perceptive, insightful and selective, the book is an indispensable reference tool. The unusual variety of the subject and the notable richness of illustrations combine to make this a work of endless fascination. The book will prove to be an invaluable asset not only to the academicians, art-historians, archaeologists, orientalists, researchers and libraries but also to the lay readers.

About the Author

Vidyavacaspati, Dr. R. Nagaswamy (1930): Master of Arts in Sanskrit Language and Literature from the University of Madras, Dr. Nagaswamy obtained doctorate degree from the Deccan College, Poona under Dr. H.D. Sankalia. He joined the Government Museum, Madras as the Curator for Art and Archaeology in 1959 and became the first Director of Archaeology of Tamil Nadu in 1966, in which capacity he served for 23 years, till his retirement in 1998. He also served as the first Vice-Chancellor of the Kanchipuram University. Later he became the National Consultant for Multimedia Documentation of Cultural Property under UNESCO programme of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi.

A multifaceted personality, Dr. Nagaswamy has specialized in Art, History, Archaeology, Epigraphy, Conservation, Agamic and Religious History, Ancient Law and Society, Numismatics, Classical Music and Dance. Along with Dr. Kapila Vatsyayana, he started the now world famous Chidambaram Natyanjali Festival. He has also produced several dance dramas, some of which were televised and broadcast several times. On behalf of the Government of India, Dr. Nagaswamy appeared in the London High Court as an Expert Witness in the London Nataraja case, and was mainly responsible for winning the case.

Dr. Nagaswamy has conducted excavations at places like the Chola capital of Gangaikondacholapuram, Karur, Alagankulam and Korkai. He was the first to initiate underwater archaeological exploration at Pumpuhar in Tamil Nadu in collaboration with Oceanographic Survey of Goa. He is the leading authority today on South Indian Bronzes and has published over twenty-five books including Masterpieces of South Indian Bronzes, Siva Bhakti, Tamil Nadu, Ancient Tamil Law and Society, and others. A recipient of several public honours, Dr. Nagaswamy was conferred the title of "Kalaimamani" by the Government of Tamil Nadu for his contribution to Art and Culture.

Preface

This volume is a collection of essays on important aspects of South Indian art and architecture, grouped under the following seven major headings: (1) The Beginnings, (2) Saiva Tradition, (3) Temple Art and Architecture, (4) Sakta Tradition, (5) Sculptural Art, (6) Bronzes and (7) Paintings, Jewels, and the rest. Each heading includes a number of self-contained articles discussed under a chronological framework. Fresh evidences in known subjects are marshaled and new aspects are outlined and each subject is provided a firm basis and viewed from a refreshingly original angle. Each study could be pursued individually or as a part of the whole for a proper understanding of South Indian art and architecture.

The role of village gods and festivals from ancient to modern times and the distinction between the folk and the classified are delimited. The cult of erecting dolmens ascribed to the Dravidian people turns out to be a Vedic custom with adequate data that would attract archaeologists. The place of agamas and Vastu texts in the layout of village settlements for over two thousand years is demonstrated through literature, monuments and epigraphs.

The dance of Siva and Nataraja and the temple of Chidambaram played a vital role in the development of Saivism in the South. A considerable attention is paid on the concept of Nataraja. Also various sub-sects among Saivas and a comparison with Kashmir Saivam are included here. Advaita exponent Adi Sankara refers to two important concepts of Indian thought- the Pasupata sutras (of Lakulisa) which he cites verbatim and on the 64 Yoginis and their cult, which are dealt with in this volume. Like men, women have participated in equal measure in temple building and reveal their individuality in owning property and contributing to administration through a secretariat of their own and through women appointed as high officials. The pivotal role played by the Gurus-preceptors to the kings and others, in the development of temple art and architecture is studied that would come as a corrective to the over-emphasis ascribed to the artists now.

It may be seen that art and architecture are reflections of various concepts that developed, crystallized and codified, are focused, as for example the Saiva and Sakta traditions. Among the contributions of South India, Chola bronzes are valued most the world over, for their artistic beauty. The dating of these bronzes is a fascinating field that is studied here, as well as some of the most outstanding bronzes. The Vijayanagara and Nayak bronzes are less refined when compared to the early pieces; they nevertheless played an influential role in the Society and are dealt with here. The history of South Indian paintings has not attracted due attention in the hands of Indologists so far. An essay in this volume fills up the gap. The volume also focuses on the artistic traditions imbibed by the South as in the case of Roman impact on South Indian art, as much as the impact it left on its neighbouring schools as in the case of Pallava art on the Chalukya and the Pandyas. Little known fields like the art of the Pandyas and the Maratha's contribution to South Indian art are also dealt with. Many of the artistic expressions found in Northern part of India are vaguely or arbitrarily dated, some to late periods. But a study of South Indian material would prove that those trends are firmly rooted in South India far earlier than hitherto held and would call for a revision of chronology of some aspects of Indian art. Many of the articles in this collection have not appeared anywhere, while others have appeared in scholarly publications some 20 or 30 years back. I am thankful to all of them for their kindness. The area covered will surely fascinate scholars and stimulate further studies in these fields. I am thankful to Sri Vikas Arya of the Aryan Books International for taking personal interest in this volume and publishing it out in such an attractive form.

Introduction

The contribution of any society is understood from not only the visual relics it has left behind, but also from the totality of its experience, expressed in space and time, evolving from simple to complex group of ideas, through arts, literature, music dance, faiths and philosophy, customs and manners. From simple village life to the complex life of the cities, the ideas travel and concretize. The study begins from the faith in the supernatural, conceived by the villager in his rural environment. The god he visualizes manifests in simple temple forms. The village temples, begin the most widespread and dominating elements, attract our attention first.

The inhabitant of a village feels the divine power in supernatural god and also in man who is dead but whom he saw in flesh and blood and with whom he interacted in life. Propitiation of the dead, out of fear and hope, manifests as funerary edifices like megaliths, urn burial, memorial stones and the like found throughout the length and breadth of the country. They so overwhelm the investigator in Tamilnadu that he associates them with the original inhabitants of the region, identified with the Dravidian people. A vast body of literature has grown in the past 150 years on the megalithic builders, identifying them with Dravidians, whose culture is said to be exclusive to their region. These conclusions are based mostly on the study of the relics alone, but a careful study of the larger Indian traditions, as expressed in Vedic literature and legal texts like the Dharmasastras, tend to prove that the Tamil society was all Indian in character and that the funerary customs and rites are rooted in Vedic tradition. This approach provides a fresh evaluation of the megalithic problem.

The earliest artistic traditions of Tamilnadu are expressed in a body of literature called the Sangam poetry that were assigned vaguely from the 6th century BC to 2nd century A.D. A series of numismatic and epigraphic discoveries in recent years, have brought the date closer to 1st century BC to 2nd century A.D., with a preference towards the latter. The period already shows western contact and includence. Karur, the ancient capital of the Cheras of the Sangam age has yielded a large number of antiquities, some inscribed and some revealing clearly Roman contact which needs attention. This society clearly attested by literature and antiquities exhibits meticulous planning and a highly developed urban civilzation that shows the seats of temporal powers, with central point of the village or town as the centre radiating power through a well-conceived diagram. These diagrammatic layouts of villages and towns are prescribed in texts like agamas which constitute the theoretical base but found in actual use as revealed by the existing villages that could be traced to early mediaeval times.

While the distribution of powers in village and town layout is a pointer is a pointer to the divine nature of the secular habitations, similar distribution in temples, supported visually by sculptural representations, reveals the total personality and philosophy of a classical temple. Though there is underlying unity among classical temples in their expressions, there are subtle variations between two temples. Art historians try to discern evolution of motifs in these variations; in most cases these are due to divergent philosophy even within one and the same school like Saiva or Vaishnava. There are several sub-sects among various schools, each revealing a distinct personality. For example, the Saiva system has many sub-sects like Saivas, pasupatas, Kapalikas, and Kalamukhas. A study of the sub-sects is rewarding to comprehend the artistic and architectural movements.

The Chidambaram temple of Nataraja is the most famous of all the temples in Tamilnadu, A closer study of the philosophy and the customs of the worshipping priests, called Dikshitars, shows that they were the followers of Urdhva Saiva system that hold the dancing form of Siva as the Supreme Deity. A whole volume could be written on this temple from this new angle but suffice it to say that many peculiarities one notices here, like the tiled roof of the sanctum, prominence given to the bronze processional image than to main Siva-linga, and also the unique character of the worshipping priests, furnish fascinating fields of enquiry for historians, anthropologists, artists and philosophers. This unique character also provides an interesting comparison with religious ideas that came from different regions, especially Bengal, from where learned pilgrims came to Chidambaram. Epigraphic records show that men of great learning and mystic powers came from Bengal region to Chidambaram and were adopted as royal gurus by the imperial Cholas from about the 10th century to 13th century. These Bengali gurus were responsible for new expressions, one notices in architecture and iconography. Bengal's contribution to Tamilnadu is far deeper than had hitherto been understood.

After the great devotional movement headed by the Saiva saints in the 7th-8th centuries, a great upsurge is witnessed in the 10th to 13th centuries. This is witnessed in architecture and also in the Tevaram recitations. A harmonious blend of Vedic and Tamil traditions is noticeable side by side with no rancour. The age of Rajaraja (985-1015) was the golden age in every field of human endeavour. The religious zeal was at its height. This phase of Tamil history requires close study. The great temple of Tanjore and the Gangaikonda-cholapuram temple assembled together the best talents in the field of thought, and arts and literature. Behind the overwhelming architecture lie a towering philosophy, rhythmic music and dance and the energy and efficiency of administration. It is indeed a landmark in every field.

Kings like Rajaraja no doubt built temples. Women like Sembiyan-mehadevi, Kundavai the elder sister of Rajaraja and Lokamahadevi, the chief queen of Rajaraja, were equally great in building temples. The temple of Lokamahadevi-isvaram built by Lokamahadevi, the queen of Rajaraja, at Thiruvaiyaru, even as the great temple of Tanjore was coming up, throws valuable light on how women purchased lands and built temples and how they organized the administration. The great temples at Tanjore and Gangaikonda-cholapuram built within 20 years of each show altogether different forms not because of evolution nor to exhibit variety but because of change in philosophy. The sanctum tower at Melakkadambur is in the form of a wheeled chariot drawn by horses. Such changes are due to varying prayers and approaches. The role of raja gurus in temple building and religious philosophy, and also as guide to the king needs special reference.

The worship of Sakti as a primordial goddess in the South goes back to the beginning of the megalithic age. It gradually evolves into the most sophisticated cult of Lalita Tripurasundari.

The trend changes in 15th century with the Vijayanagara rule. The emphasis in temples shifts from the sanctum tower to entrance towers-gopuras. The contribution of the Nayak governors of the Vijayanagara kings deserves special attention. While the works of Tanjore and Madurai Nayaks are known, the contributions of Gingee Nayak have not received due attention. The Thiruk-kalukkunram gopuras for example near Mahabalipuram, reveal a character of their own. The Tanjore Nayaks seems to have hailed from Nerkunram in North Arcot district. They continued to enrich their native village in spite of setting in Tanjore. The royal officers and the architects of Tanjore a clue to the origin of Tanjore Nayak school.

Temples are abodes of gods. One principal deity and several subordinate deities are carefully positioned in niches in appropriate directions. The best artistic form that one can conceive is lavished on the sculptures of the chosen god. Great care and attention applied to sculptures in early period show the aesthetic taste of the age. But this yields to quantitative increase in sculptural portrayal that resulted in less attention to aesthetics. And yet there do exist some very fine sculptures of the later period.

Tamilnadu's contribution to art of metal casting in making processional images is well known. Popularly called bronzes by and large are great masterpieces. The ones cast during the Chola reign are invariably great pieces. However, the dating of these pieces by art historians was based on stylistic considerations, which tended to be subjective with the result there were great differences between scholars. This trend is no more valid as a considerable number of bronzes is now firmly dated with the help of inscriptions. They form landmarks with the help of which a stronger stylistic comparison could now be attemped. This important development needs to be understood. The study also brings to light some later bronzes that are certainly of aesthetic interest and some are inscribed.

Tamilnadu is fortunate in having a continuous history of paintings that could be dated from A.D. 700. They invariably show change in form, costumes and jewellery. The Telugu tradition and the Mughal tradition followed by the Maratha school are all distinct phases providing valuable information on art of paining.

One would like to know, at the end, how successive generations of South India looked at these artistic and expressive contributions. For example, the Advaita exponent Adi-Sankara gives us a glimpse into the faiths of Mahesvara Saivas, who based their philosophy on Pasupata-sutra of Lkulisa. He also shows how a section of the society viewed the worship of Kali, 64 Yoginis and Ganesa, which would come as a revelation. Having first stated their stand, based on their scripture, Sankara refutes them from the Advaitic standpoint. Whatever the date of Sankara might be, the position during his time is now available from his commentary on Brahma-sutra and Bhagavad-gita.

How successive generations looked at the temple structures of chidambaram show slight shift in perception of the people? Both the traditional approach of Chidambaram show slight shift in perception of the people? Both the traditional approach and modern scientific approach speak the same identical technique which unfortunately is their understood nor even cared for. For require serious attention.

Contents
Prefacev
Introductionix
List of Illustrationsxiii
VOLUME I
SECTION I:THE BEGINNINGS
1.Temples of Village Gods3
2.Dolmens: Hero Gods10
3.Art of the Sangam Age32
4.Karur Antiquities42
5.Temporal Seat of Authority in Rural and Urban Settlements51
6.Agama and Village Layout62
SECTION II:SAIVA TRADITIONS
7.Iconography of a Siva Temple (Vyapohana Stava)71
8.Chidambara Natam77
9.The Festival of Dancing Siva (Nataraja & Kalamukhas)84
10.Saiva Sub-sets92
11.Chidambaram and Bengal98
12.Sankara on Pasupatas112
13.Nadanta Tandava and Urdhva Saivam122
14.Thirumandiram and Kashmir Saivam131
15.State of Saivism in the 11th Century A.D.139
16.Ksetrapala148
17.Virupaksha and Hazara Rama in Coins158
SECTION III:TEMPLE ARTS
18.The Temple (Chidambaram)163
19.Thiruppalanam: Pallava Chola Transitional Temple169
20.Chola Temples173
21.Vijayanagara Nayak Temples189
VOLUME II
SECTION IV:SAKTA TRADITIONS
22.Worship of Sakti in Tamil Nadu205
23.Lalita Tripurasundari208
24.Sri Cakkarayi215
25.Purnagiri, The Tantrapitha222
26.Sankara on 64 Yogini and Bhuta Worship227
SECTION V:SCULPTURAL ART
27.Synthesis in Sculptureal Art237
28.Pallava Influence on Chalukya Art241
29.Jain Art under the Pallavas245
30.Jainism under Cholas251
31.Pallava Influence on Pandyan Art255
32.Art of the Pandyas260
SECTION VI:BRONZES
33.Landmarks in Dating Tamil Bronzes271
34.Chola Bronzes282
35.Tripurantaka or Kirata ?293
36.Vijayanagara Nayak Bronzes300
SECTION VII:PAINTINGS AND JEWELLERY
37.A Survey of Tamil Paintings309
38.Maratha's Contribution323
39.The Indian Pictures of Governor Peter Anker332
40.Temple Jewellery335
41.Renovation at What Cost?340
Glossary345
Bibliography359
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