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Article

Aligarh  

Walter Smith

City in Uttar Pradesh, India, 135 km south-east of Delhi. A Rajput stronghold, Koil fell to Muslim invaders in ad 1194. Several later monuments were built on the foundations of its Hindu temples, no early examples of which survive. During the first half of the 15th century Koil figured in the confrontations between the Sharqis of ...

Article

J. B. Harrison

City of religious, strategic and administrative importance in Uttar Pradesh, India. Located at the confluence of the sacred rivers Ganga, Yamuna and mystical Saraswati, Allahabad has drawn Hindu pilgrims for centuries. The earliest monument is a stone pillar, inscribed with edicts of Ashoka (reg...

Article

Ayodhya  

B. B. Lal

City in Faizabad District, Uttar Pradesh, India. Located on the right bank of the River Sarayu, it was the capital of the ancient Kosala kingdom, one of whose kings, Rama, is regarded by Hindus as an incarnation of Vishnu.

Excavations in 17 different parts of the ancient mounds have revealed that the first occupation at Ayodhya commenced ...

Article

Baroli  

Heather Elgood

Group of Hindu temples of the 10th century ad, 45 km south-west of Kota in Rajasthan, India. Despite some damage, the three Baroli temples are among the finest examples of the Gurjara–Pratihara style in western India. Construction was begun in the mid-9th century. The best preserved is the ...

Article

Besakih  

D. J. Stuart-Fox

Balinese Hindu temple (pura) complex. It is situated on the south-western flank of the volcano Gunung Agung, Bali’s highest mountain, in the north-east of the island. Associated probably since prehistoric times with the Lord of the Mountain, now identified with the Hindu god Shiva, it has been a dynastic temple of several royal families since at least the 15th century. The complex consists of 22 temples, spread along three parallel ridges over a distance of more than a kilometre. The complex was not planned as an entity but seems to have been constructed piecemeal, and the overall structure that links the temples is more ritual and symbolic than physical. The annual cycle of more than 70 rituals culminates in the enormous centennial Ekadasa Rudra ceremony....

Article

Bhagwan  

Philippa Vaughan

Indian miniature painter. His career illustrates the difficulties experienced by Hindu artists in adjusting to the demanding patronage of the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605). His nine folios in the Dārābnāma (‘Story of Darab’, c. 1580–85; London, BL, Or. 4615) are the largest group by a single artist, indicating that he must have worked on the ...

Article

Michael D. Rabe

Site of a Hindu cave temple complex 140 km north-west of Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, India. Isolated between the precipitous red cliffs of a box canyon, the site comprises eight small and remarkably similar caves excavated from a single rock face above a stream. Datable by style and epigraphy to the 7th century ...

Article

Philippa Vaughan

Indian miniature painter. A Hindu, he was a lesser artist active throughout the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605). He worked on two folios in the Ṭūṭīnāma (‘Tales of a parrot’, c. 1567, alternatively dated 1556–60; Cleveland, OH, Mus. A., 62.279) and thus would have participated in producing the ...

Article

Erberto F. Lo Bue

Village 8 km north of Kathmandu, Nepal. It is the site of a stone image of the Hindu god Vishnu lying on the coiled mass of the serpent Ananta (l. 7 m), the largest sculpture in the Kathmandu Valley and one of its outstanding masterpieces....

Article

Philippa Vaughan

Indian miniature painter. A Hindu, he is best known for his copies and adaptations of European prints, of which the most famous is St Matthew the Evangelist. Signed Kesu Das and dated ah 996 (ad 1587–8), this is based on an engraving by Philip Galle after Maarten van Heemskerck. Kesu Das’s understanding and transformation of European techniques in rendering volume and space made a decisive contribution to the evolution of the studio under the Mughal emperor ...

Article

Milo Cleveland Beach

Indian miniature painter. His name indicates that he was a Hindu. According to Abu’l-Fazl, writing in the Ā’īn-i Akbarī, the annals of the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605), Daswanth was the son of a palanquin-bearer (kahār) who worked in the royal workship. He was a favourite artist of the emperor ...

Article

Dhannu  

Philippa Vaughan

Indian miniature painter. A Hindu, he was established in the studio of the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605) by the early 1580s and thus would have worked on the Hamzanāma (‘Tales of Hamza’; c. 1567–82; alternatively dated 1562–77). His five compositions in the ...

Article

R. Soekmono

Hindu temple site, 1800 m above sea-level in Central Java. Volcanic activity in the area led to the creation there from the 8th century ad of temples for the worship of the ancestors, who were deified and identified with the Hindu god Shiva. The site’s name is derived from Old Javanese ...

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

J. Marr

Southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent. Venerated as a Hindu holy place, the rocky promontory is associated with the cult of Parvati, who sought to win the god Shiva by doing penance. At first unsuccessful, she swore to remain a virgin (Skt kanyā), and she is worshipped here as such. The Kanyakumari Temple, entered through a gateway (...

Article

Philippa Vaughan

Indian miniature painter. A Hindu, he was 13th of the 17 artists listed in the Āyin-i Akbarī, a contemporary account of the administration of the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605) as it was c. 1590. As he was established by the 1580s, probably having worked on the ...

Article

Gautam Vajracharya

Capital of Nepal, situated on the Bagmati River. According to legends recorded in Hindu and Buddhist texts, in ancient times the entire Kathmandu Valley was a lake—a story given credibility by the type of alluvial soil found in the valley. The city of Kathmandu appears to have developed out of two small towns that grew partly because of the fertility of the soil and partly because a principal trans-Himalayan trade route passed through them. The limits of the two towns are still vaguely remembered in the designated routes and areas for such traditional cultural activities as chariot festivals and processions of an image of a local divinity....

Article

Kaviyur  

M. E. Heston

Temple site in Alleppey District, southern Kerala, India. It is known for two Hindu temples: the Mahadeva Temple of the late 10th century ad and an earlier rock-cut shrine dedicated to Shiva. The latter is of unknown date, although it is believed to pre-date the Kulashekhara dynasty (...

Article

R. N. Mehta

City at the mouth of the Mali River, c. 84 km south of Ahmadabad in Gujarat, India. Although it was a flourishing commercial centre from the 8th to the 18th century ad, Khambhat’s many Hindu and Jaina temples were destroyed by ‛Ala al-Din Khalji (...

Article

Konarak  

Walter Smith

Site of a Hindu temple sacred to the sun god Surya, on India’s eastern coast about 48 km south-east of Bhubaneswar, Orissa. The 13th-century temple marks the climax of the temple building tradition of Orissa (anc. Kalinga) both in its grandiose monumentality and in the quality and extent of its sculptural decoration. Some scholars have suggested, on the basis of local legends, that the Surya Temple was built on the site of an earlier temple dedicated to the sun god. While not archaeologically verified, the legends indicate that Konarak was sacred to Surya earlier than the ...