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Item Code: IDD610
Author: Thomas Donaldson
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New Delhi
Edition: 2003
ISBN: 0195664892
Pages: 97( B & W Illus: 23, Color Illus: 4, With Maps)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.6" X 5.6"
About the Book:

The Modern State of Orissa (Odra, Utkala, of Kalinga in antiquity) is well known as 'a land of temples', its great sanctity extolled in various Sanskrit texts. The Orissan style of architecture represents a unique region variation of the northern style of Hindu temples. Architecturally, the Sun Temple at Konark, built by King Narasimha I in the mid-thirteenth century, represents the climax of a thousand-year evolution of Orissan temple construction.

Although the temple is now a colossay ruin, it has been said to be 'the most richly ornamented building - externally at least - in the whole world'. Its decorative elements run the gamut from the sacred to the erotic, including exquisitely carved monumental images of the Sun God, celestial female musicians, and scenes of the daily life of the Oriya people. In this volume, Thomas Donaldson addresses numerous myths and theories related to the temple's construction, while outlining its architectural features and sculptural programme in an accessible manner. Detailed site information, a helpful glossary, and extensive photographs and plans are also included.

Written by an expert in Orissan art and temple architecture, this informative and useful book will be welcomed by archaeologists and art historians, as well as general readers and tourists interested in this magnificent epitome of Orissan temple architecture.

Monumental Legacy:

The Monumental Legacy series presents a brief introduction to the major World Heritage (cultural) Sites in India. Written by an authority on the subject, each book provides historical background, a detailed guide to the monuments, and an easy-to-follow glossary of various art and architectural terms, enabling general readers and visitors to the site to view the monuments in their proper perspective.

About the Author:

Thomas Donaldson is Professor of Art History at Cleveland State University, USA. His many books include Hindu Temple Art of Orissa (3 Volumes, 1985-7) and Iconography of the Buddhist Sculpture of Orissa (2 Volumes, 2001).


List of Illustrations

  1. Introduction
  2. The Sanctity of Konark
  3. The Mahagayatri (Mayadevi) Temple
  4. King Narasimha I, Builder of the Surya Deul
  5. Collapse and Later Conservation
  6. The Surya Deul
      Bada Decoration
      Gandhi (Spire) Decoration
      Entrance Portals
      Cult Images
      Erotic Imagery
      Secularization of the Iconographic Programme
      Figure and Decorative Motifs
  7. Vaishnava Brick Temple
Site Information


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