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Article

Alchi  

W. A. P. Marr

Buddhist monastery in a small valley on the left bank of the River Indus, c. 64 km west of Leh in Ladakh, India. Tradition attributes the monastery’s origin to the Tibetan scholar and temple-builder Rinchen Sangpo (ad 958–1055), the ‘great translator’, and although its buildings mostly date from the 11th century, the site is replete with his memory, from the ancient tree he planted to his portraits and images in the temples. A treasure-house of art, Alchi has been preserved because of its isolation from trade routes and the decline of its community, the monks of the Dromtön sect of the Kadampa order....

Article

A. P. Jamkhedkar

Site of a Shiva temple in Maharashtra, India, some 7 km south-east of Kalyan, a suburb of Bombay. An inscription inside the hall records that it was repaired in 1061 (Shaka year 982) by one Mamvaniraja (Mummuniraja) of the Shilahara dynasty, dating the temple to the early 11th century or before....

Article

Angkor  

John Villiers, Guy Nafilyan and Madeleine Giteau

Site in northern Cambodia, in a fertile plain to the north-east of the northern tip of the Tonle Sap (Great Lake) and near the modern town of Siem Reap. Angkor was the site of almost all the capital cities founded by successive rulers of the Khmer realm from the end of the 9th century ...

Article

Badami  

Gary Michael Tartakov

Temple site and city in Karnataka, India, that flourished c. ad 542–1600. The most important remains date to the early Chalukya dynasty (6th century to mid-8th), known from the site as the Chalukyas of Badami (see Chalukya, §1). Building activity continued into the Mughal period. Badami is located on the western edge of a rocky plateau near the Malaprabha River. Set in a box canyon around an ancient tank, it first rose to prominence in 542 when it was fortified by the early Chalukyas. In the third quarter of the 6th century four shrines were cut in the south cliff. Caves I and II form a pair and are dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu respectively. These were followed by Cave III, the most spectacular of the series. Dated by inscription to ...

Article

Bazaar  

Mohammad Gharipour

Bazaar, which is rooted in Middle Persian wāzār and Armenian vačaṟ, has acquired three different meanings: the market as a whole, a market day, and the marketplace. The bazaar as a place is an assemblage of workshops and stores where various goods and services are offered....

Article

Kirit Mankodi

City and temple site in Vidisha District, Madhya Pradesh, India, near the modern town of Vidisha. It flourished c. 3rd century bc to the 13th century ad and was the principal city of the Dasarna region in ancient times. Besnagar was established at the confluence of the rivers Betwa (Vetravati) and Bes (Vidisha). The River Bes has given the town its various names through history. Few monuments survive, but vestiges of a substantial rampart remain on the west side of the city, where it is not skirted by rivers, and numerous mounds mark the sites of abandoned habitations and prominent religious structures. Just north of the ruined city is a free-standing pillar (...

Article

Frederick M. Asher

Pilgrimage centres and towns located on the Phalagu (Niranjana) River in Bihar, India. From an early date Gaya has been a site for the performance of śrāddha, rites for recently deceased parents. This ancient tradition and the general sanctity of Gaya in the 5th century...

Article

H. V. Trivedi

Indian Rajput clan, several branches of which ruled in Rajasthan from medieval times. The earliest Chahamanas originated with Vasudeva, who established himself at Sakambhari, or Sambhar, near Jaipur, in the early 7th century ad. This house came into prominence when one of its scions, Durlabharaja, a feudatory of the ...

Article

Michael D. Willis

Dynasty of Rajputs who ruled parts of northern India from the 9th century to the early 14th. The Chandellas were an important regional house that came into prominence with the decline of the imperial Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty in the mid-10th century. Best-known for their patronage of temple architecture at ...

Article

Chola  

J. Marr

Dynasty in south India that was prominent until the 13th century ad. The Cholas, best known for their patronage of temple architecture, were one of the principal royal lineages of the Tamil country. They are mentioned in the edicts of Ashoka (3rd century bc...

Article

Heather Elgood

Two groups of Hindu temples of the 10th–15th centuries ad on the edge of a small lake near Udaipur in Rajasthan, India. The complex is enclosed by undecorated walls similar to those at Baroli. The main temple at Eklingji is dedicated to Shiva and houses a ...

Article

Robert Hillenbrand

Islamic dynasty that ruled in Afghanistan, Transoxiana, eastern Iran and northern India from ad 977 to 1186. The founder was Sebüktigin (d 997), a Turkish slave employed by the Samanid dynasty, who eventually defied their authority and set up his own principality with its capital at ...

Article

Ghurid  

R. Nath, Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Dynasty that ruled portions of Afghanistan and north-west India c. 1030–1206. It originated in the Ghur region of Afghanistan; its first fully historical figure is ‛Izz al-Din, who paid tribute to Saljuq and Ghaznavid rulers. Ghaznavid power declined after the death of Mahmud (reg...

Article

Michael D. Willis

Dynasty that ruled parts of northern India from the mid-8th century to the mid-11th century ad. The Gurjaras established power in the Malwa region under Nagabhatta I in the mid-8th century. However, under pressure from the neighbouring Rashtrakuta dynasty, Vatsaraja (reg c. 777–808) was defeated and forced to withdraw to Rajasthan. Later Gurjara-Pratihara rulers maintained that area as a power base. Nagabhatta II (...

Article

Haihaya  

Donald M. Stadtner

Dynasty that flourished in central India from the 8th century ad to the early 13th. Tripuri, the capital of the dynasty, was located at the present village of Tewar, near Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. As the large kingdom of the Gurjara-Pratiharas fell apart in the 10th century, the Haihayas vied with the ...

Article

Cynthia Packert Atherton

Fort near Bhanpura in Mandasor District, Madhya Pradesh, India. It is in the territory of Malwa, a region that achieved prominence under the rule of the Paramara dynasty, who seem to have established the fort during the apogee of their power in the 10th and 11th centuries. After their demise the fort fell into disuse and ruin. With the ascendancy of Holkar rule in the 19th century the fort was restored; some palace buildings, temples and gateways remain from this era. The most important structure in the fort is the still active shrine of the goddess Hinglaj Mata, which may date from the 9th century or earlier. Both sculptural and inscriptional evidence suggests that goddess worship in this area has an ancient and extensive history....

Article

J. Marr

Dynasty that ruled portions of the eastern Deccan, India, from the 11th century to the 14th. Originally feudatories of the Chalukyas of Kalyana (see Chalukya, §2), the Kakatiyas emerged as a power of note under Parola I, a tributary of Someshvara I (...

Article

Seaport and centre of Buddhism in Thanjavur District, Tamil Nadu, India. Nagappattinam had significant connections with China, with Sri Lanka and with the kingdom of Srivijaya in Sumatra from the 7th century ad to the 15th. The earliest reference dates to the time of the Pallava king Narasimhavarman II Rajasimha (...

Article

Pagan  

Pierre Pichard and Richard M. Cooler

Capital of the first kingdom of Burma from the 11th to the 14th century. Famous for its temples and other religious monuments, Pagan was probably founded in the 9th century ad. The city’s official Pali name, meaning ‘crusher of foes’, appears in contemporary stone inscriptions. The name Pagan is first mentioned (as Pukam) in Chinese sources ...

Article

Susan L. Huntington

Two dynasties that ruled portions of the eastern Gangetic region of South Asia from the 8th century ad to the 13th. The Palas reigned over large territories equivalent to much of modern Bihar, West Bengal and Bangladesh from the 8th century to perhaps the early 13th, while the Senas ruled parts of West Bengal and Bangladesh from the late 11th century to early 13th....