From the Jacket
This two-volume work explains in detail the religious and spiritual significance of the temple by means of copious references to Sanskrit texts-both sacred and scientific. It depicts the Hindu Temple as not merely a heap of brick, stone or wood but a visible symbol of aspirations of pious men and women, the throbbings of their hearts in religious fervor and their endeavor for the attainment of salvation.
The first four parts of the work are devoted to the philosophy of temple architecture. Part V deals with the origin and development of the temple from the Vedic fire altars to the latest forms. Part VI discusses the pyramidal and curvilinear superstructures in the main varieties of the Sikhara, the Sikhara enmeshed in Gavaksas and the composite Sikhara. Part VII describes the proportional measurements and the rhythmic disposition of the garbha-grha and the vertical section. It discusses the proportions of the Mandapa and the types of temples described in ancient Sanskrit texts like the Brhatsamhita and the Samarangana-sutradhara.
This most comprehensive and authoritative treatise of ancient Indian Temple Architecture will prove of immense help to the students of ancient Indian culture.
About the Author
Stella Kramrisch, the world-renowned specialist in Ancient Indian Art and Architecture, needs no introduction. Her epoch-making works-The Indian Sculpture, The Indian Sculpture in the Boston Museum and The Hindu Temple - have elicited the well-merited praise from the galaxy of art critics all over the world.
Stella Kramrisch passed away in 1993.
An attempt has here been made to set up the Hindu temple conceptually from the foundation to its finial. Its structure is rooted in Vedic tradition and primeval modes of building have contributed their shapes. The principles are given in the sacred books of India and the structural rules in the treatises on architecture. They are carried out in the shrines which still and throughout the country and which were built in many varieties and style over a millennium and a half from the fifth century A.D.
The purpose of the Hindu temple is shown by its form. It is the concrete symbol of Reintegration and coheres with the rhythm of the thought images in its carvings and laid out in its propositions. Their perfection is a celebration of all the rites enacted during the building of the temple from the ground to its pinnacle. Nothing that is seen on the temple is left unsaid in the verbal tradition nor is any of the detail arbitrary or superfluous. Each has a definite place and is part of the whole.
The Hindu Temple is the sum total of architectural rites performed on the basis of its myth. The myth covers the ground and is the plan on which the structure is raised.
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