The Stupa and Vihara of Kanishka I

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Item Code: NAD523
Author: K. Walton Dobbins
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 9789381574058
Pages: 99 (36 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.5 inch X 6.5 inch
Weight 350 gm
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Book Description

The present volume is the reprint of a book first published by the Asiatic Society in 1971. From the Preface by the author of the original edition we learn that: “This study of the Kanishka Vihãra was originally submitted, with slight revisions, in partial fulfillment of requirements for the Master of Arts degree in History at the University of Hawaii. The project of research was carried out in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan under the sponsorship of the East-West Center in the Summer and Fall of 1966.”

I am further tempted to quote the following excerpts from the introduction of the book by the author, which will adequately and succinctly describe the content of the study: “Thus literary and archaeological sources of information on Kanishka’s sti.ipa and vihara are available. However, no attempt has yet been made to reconstruct a comprehensive history of this establishment on the basis of all available sourtes. This is a desideratum for assessing its importance in the field of architecture, art and religion of the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent, and for determining the attitude of the Kushãnas toward Buddhism. The fact that both the monument and the Kushina king mentioned in the inscription are celebrated in Buddhist literature further emphasizes the necessity of such a study.”

“An attempt to fulfill this obvious need will be made in the following pages. We shall try to describe the mo1lument with the help of archaeological and literary information. Our next task will be to detuning the place of the objects of art and artifacts found here in the evolution of the Andhra art of the region. Then we shall give an account of the inhabitants of this Buddhist establishment and try to determine their relationship with Kanishka (I). And, finally, we should discuss the contributions of Kanishka and his monument to the growth and dissemination of Buddhism.”

I hope the scholars and students in the field will be immensely benefited by this reprint.



This study of the Kanishka Vihãra was originally submitted, with Blight revisions, in partial fulfillment of requirements for the Master of Arts degree in History at the University of Hawaii. The project of research was carried out in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan under the sponsorship of the East-West Center in the Summer and Fall of 1966. The study of the stylistic features of Gandhäran art and the Kanishka Reliquary was made in the Peshãwar Museum, and my findings were corroborated with sculptures and artifacts in several other museums. I wish to express my appreciation to the staffs of the museums of Peshäwar, KAbul, Swat (Mingora), LAhore, Taxilä, Karachi, Mathura, Lucknow, and the Indian Museum of Calcutta, and the curator of the coin collection at the last. My project was also assisted by the administrators of the University of Peshäwar and the Government Sanskrit College, Calcutta, who gave me full access to their facilities and provided residence. And I am indebted to the staff at the Asiatic Society, Calcutta, for their assistance and cooperation.

Special thanks deserve to be extended to Dr. Abmad H. Darji, Chairman of the Department of Archaeology, University of Peshawar, who guided my study of the Kbaroshthi script, provided complete access to his findings in excavations at Shaikhän Dheri, and devoted several hours in discussion about the problems in Kushäna studies. In Calcutta, Dr. Bratindra Nath Mukherjee, Hony. Associate Professor of Indology in the Research Department of the Sanskrit College, directed my research and writing of this study. Dr. Mukherjee placed at my disposal proofs and drafts of his works which are now partly published as well as other unpublished material. Simple words of thanks are not adequate. I wish also to mention my indebtedness to Prof. S. K. Saraswati for his assistance in my studies of art and architecture, and to Mr. Thomas Burke who provided photographs ShAh. jl. ki Dheri (Plate H).

I am indebted to Dr. Kenneth Gardiner for assistance in correcting the French and German translations of the texts of Wu-kung and Hye-cho an1 for advice in Chinese transliteration. Dr. Gardiner called my attention to the Korean pilgrim’s account, and for its inclusion the author is thankful to him.




  Foreword. v
  Preface vii
Chapter: I Introduction 1
Chapter II : Kanishka’s Monument 12
Chapter III The Kanishka Reliquary 24
Chapter IV Kanishka and the Vihra 33
Chapter V Summation and Conclusion 41
Appendix I Literary Information on Kanishka’s Stüpa and Vihra 44
Appendix I The Art of Gandhara 55
  Bibliography 79
  Index 87

Sample Pages

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