The ambition to be complete required a lot
of fieldwork, because about 50 of the 220
monuments included have not been published
before. But not only 'new' temples were visited;
without exception all temples presented in this
book were seen at least once. During each visit
many photographs were made. All of the
approximately 1400 photographs published in
the second and third volumes were made by the
In addition to their scholarly value, the
present volumes are very valuable for any layman
with interest in architecture. This is because the
monuments often period are so extremely
interesting for their sophisticated play with
architectural elements, and because the photo-
graphs are so carefully taken and so instructive.
With regard to photographs this book easily
surpasses all others on old Indian temples.
Writing a monograph on Kalyana Calukya
temples was a still more ambitious task. The
mayoralty of the extensive fieldwork, required to
completely Cover all important temples, took
place in the 1995-96 season in close contact with
several scholars from the Karnataka University in
Dharwad. At the end of the year 2000 the
manuscript and the photographs for the present
volumes were ready for press.
His books on HoysaJa and Calukya temples
predominantly have the character of the
presentation of facts. The abundant material
presented in them allows new conclusions about
the temples. These are laid down in a Ph.D. thesis that he will defend in November 2003 at
It is my conviction that a proper knowledge of a body of monuments is only possible
by interpreting descriptions. Illustrations are indispensable to follow the descriptions.
By comparing descriptions and illustrations we can educate our eye, understand the
ideas of others and come closer to our goal. This goal of course is to know what kind of
buildings the temples are, to find patterns in their overall design and in their numerous
details, and to explain and to understand these patterns.
In this monograph, attention is focused on the morphology of the temples. How
exactly do the temples look and which variations can be found? It is possible to understand
their architectural details as a part of a larger design and as a part of an architectural
tradition, and that kind of understanding is our subject. The religious meaning of designs
and details is another matter. When a design does not directly serve a ritual need, very
different meanings are possible. Sometimes I have a suggestion, but I leave it to scholars
of the religious and social history of India to look further. One of my aims is to provide
them with useful facts.
Finally a more personal aim must be mentioned: to make fully visible the beauty of
the temples. The ability of Indian medieval society to produce highly sophisticated
temples was stunning, and today the surviving results can still be the subject of great
admiration and wonder.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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