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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.

Ringed by a wall and votive chortens (stupas), the religious enclave (Tib. chökhor) comprises three entrance chortens, a number of shrines and temples, the Dukhang (assembly hall) with its courtyard and monastic dwellings (see Tibet §II, and Indian subcontinent §III 6., (i), (a)...


A. P. Jamkhedkar

[anc. Aṁvaranātha, Ambaranātha]

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.

Enclosed within a wall (Skt prakāra) and facing west, the temple consists of a closed hall (gūḍha-maṇḍapa) with three porches, a vestibule and sanctuary (garbha-gṛha), the latter placed at a lower level and approached by steps. The exterior walls of the sanctuary and hall are subject to a series of projections and carry niches with divine figures. These include regents of the directions on the corners and themes of Vaishnava and Shaiva mythology: for example Vishnu in his incarnations as Varaha and Narasimha; Durga Slaying the Buffalo Demon (Mahiṣāsuramārdinī); and the marriage of Shiva and Parvati (Kalyanasundara). The main cardinal niches contain Mahakali (north); Gajasurasamhara, Shiva celebrating his victory over the elephant demon, shown dancing and wearing an elephant hide (south); and Hariharapitamaharka, a syncretistic god representing Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma and the Sun (east)....



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 ad until the mid-15th, when it was abandoned in the face of attacks from the neighbouring Thai kingdom of Ayutthaya. Each ruler built in the centre of his capital a state temple, usually in the form of a stepped pyramid representing Mt Meru, centre of the universe and abode of the gods, in accordance with the precepts of Hindu and Buddhist cosmology (see also Cambodia, §II, 1, (ii)). This state temple was generally surrounded by a series of concentric enclosures bounded by walls, ditches, moats and embankments, laid out in accordance with the same cosmological precepts. Within the enclosures were the chief buildings of the city, including the royal palace and other temples founded by the king, members of the royal family or leading state dignitaries. All but the religious monuments were built of wood. Important adjuncts to many of these royal cities were the reservoirs (Khmer ...



Gary Michael Tartakov

[Bādāmi; anc. Vātāpi]

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 ad 578 (Shaka era 500), the cave has a rich variety of lavishly decorated columns and an interesting early series of images showing the incarnations of Vishnu (...



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.

Primitive forms of shops and trade centres existed in early civilizations in the Near East, such as Sialk, Tepe in Kashan, Çatal Hüyük, Jerico, and Susa. After the 4th millennium BC, the population grew and villages gradually joined together to shape new cities, resulting in trade even with the remote areas as well as the acceleration of the population in towns. The advancement of trade and accumulation of wealth necessitated the creation of trade centres. Trade, and consequently marketplaces, worked as the main driving force in connecting separate civilizations, while fostering a division of labour, the diffusion of technological innovations, methods of intercultural communication, political and economic management, and techniques of farming and industrial production....


Kirit Mankodi

[Vidisha; Vidiśā; Vidiśānagarī; Vedisā; Vessanagara]

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 (c. 100 bc) known as Kham Baba. The pillar bears a Brahmi inscription stating that it was set up as a Garuda pillar in honour of Vasudeva (Vishnu) by one Heliodoros, a Greek from Taxila. Foundations of an elliptical temple have been excavated near by (...


Frederick M. Asher

and Gaya [Bodhgayā and Gayā]

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 bc probably drew Siddhartha Gautama to its outskirts, to the place now known as Bodhgaya, where, following profound meditation, he became a Buddha (Enlightened One). The tree under which he meditated (the bodhi tree) became an object of veneration; initially it was surrounded by a hypaethral temple (Pali bodhighara), the general form of which is known from relief sculptures of the 2nd–1st centuries bc at Bodhgaya and other sites (see also Indian subcontinent, §III, 3). A stone slab (Skt vajrāsana) at the site, dating to the 3rd century bc, carries motifs similar to those found on contemporary Mauryan pillars (see...


H. V. Trivedi

[Cāhamāna; Chahamanas of Rajasthan; Chauhan]

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 Gurjara-Pratihara king Vatsaraja (reg c. 777–808), defeated Dharmapala of Bengal (reg c. 781–812) in the last quarter of the 8th century. The Chahamana dominions extended to Sikar, where they built an impressive Shiva temple in the 10th century. To the north of Sikar was the kingdom of the Tomaras of Delhi, with whom the Chahamanas were on hostile terms: one of their records states that Chandna, a scion of the dynasty, defeated and killed the Tomara prince Rudra (Rudrena) in the 9th century. The last ruler of the house was Prithviraja III (reg c. 1178–92), who, after a glorious career of conquest, fell fighting with Muhammad Ghur (...


Michael D. Willis

[Candella; Candrātreya; Candrella]

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 Khajuraho, the Chandellas were at the height of power under Yashovarman (c. 925–54) and Dhangadeva (c. 954–1002). The region they ruled, now called Bundelkhand, is bounded on the north by the River Yamuna, on the east by the River Tons and on the west by the River Betwa. During Chandella times this territory was called Jejakabhukti or Jejakadesha after the ruler Jayashakti (Pkt Jejā or Jejjāka), who ruled c. 865–85. The important centres of Chandella power were Mahoba, Ajayagarh and Kalanjara. The interesting ruins of the fort of Kalanjara have yet to be thoroughly studied.

The earliest known record of the Chandella dynasty is the Lakshmana Temple inscription from ...



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) and figure in the earliest Tamil literature (1st–4th century ad). However, little archaeological evidence exists for the Cholas before the 9th century ad. The first ruler, Vijayalaya (reg c. 846–71), captured Thanjavur from his Pallava overlords. Aditya I (reg c. 871–907) annexed the Pallava kingdom in Tondaimandalam (now Tamil Nadu) in 903, and Parantaka I (reg c. 907–55) attacked and conquered the Pandya rulers of Madurai. The two greatest Chola rulers were Rajaraja I (reg 985–1014) and his son Rajendra I (reg 1012–44), made co-regent in 1012. Apart from their conquests, which extended from Sri Lanka to Sumatra, they were responsible for splendid temple buildings. That at Thanjavur, the ...


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 linga regarded as the guardian deity of the Sisodia Maharanas of Mewar. However, the earliest temple in the complex is the Lakulisha Temple (971–2), a simple building consisting of a sanctuary (vimāna), a hall (maṇḍapa) and a porch. One wall niche contains an image of the goddess Sarasvati (see Indian subcontinent §V 7., (iii), (a)), and inside the sanctum is a seated sculpture of Lakulisha, founder of the Pashupata sect; the doorway has a similar image on the lintel. Although the hall is square, its supporting columns form an octagonal space. Niches on its outer walls contain relief sculptures of a variety of goddesses. The main Eklingji temple dates from the 15th century. The principal sanctuary and the two-storey hall are constructed of marble, and there is a curved tower over the sanctuary. Inside the sanctum is a highly decorated silver doorway and screen preceding the central image, a black marble four-faced Shiva ...


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 Ghazna, now in Afghanistan. His son Mahmud (reg 998–1030) transformed this principality into a highly militarized empire. At first this expansion was achieved at the expense of the Samanid, Buyid and Qarakhanid dynasties, but Mahmud’s streamlined military machine also had a more ambitious target: 17 near-annual raids were launched between 1001 and 1024 against northern India, an ongoing holy war that made Mahmud’s name a byword for religious orthodoxy. It also brought vast booty and briefly made Ghazna a famous metropolis, with a fabulous mosque prinked out in gold, alabaster and marble, a university, madrasas, libraries, aqueducts and other public works. These campaigns also tilted Ghaznavid policies away from Iran, a weakness successfully exploited by the Saljuq dynasty at the battle of Dandanqan (...



R. Nath and Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair


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 998–1030), and the Ghurids assumed independence. Under ‛Alaا al-Din Husayn (reg 1149–61) the Ghurids captured and sacked Ghazna and forced the last of the Ghaznavids to Lahore. ‛Alaا al-Din was succeeded by his son Sayf al-Din (reg 1161–3), on whose death the principality of Ghur passed to his cousin Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad (reg 1163–1203). In 1173 Ghiyath al-Din appointed his brother Shihab al-Din (better known as Mu‛izz al-Din Muhammad) to rule from Ghazna and turned his own attention to campaigns in the west. Together the brothers established an empire stretching nearly from the Caspian Sea to north India. Mu‛izz al-Din, known in Indian history as Muhammad ibn Sam or simply Muhammad of Ghur, drove the Ghaznavids from Lahore in ...


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 (reg c. 810–33) expanded the kingdom to the west and east, taking Kannauj, the ancient capital of the Gangetic heartland. The long reign of Mihira Bhoja (reg c. 836–85) marked the high-point of Gurjara-Pratihara power. The eastern frontier was pushed into Bihar, and military campaigns carried out in Malwa and Saurashtra. Centres of power included Gwalior. Mahendrapala I (reg c. 885–910) over-extended the kingdom by pushing deep into eastern India; internal conflicts became evident during and after his reign. Devapala (reg c....



Donald M. Stadtner

[Chedis; Kalachuris of Chedi; Kalacuris of Tripuri]

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 Chandella and Paramara dynasties and other powers for supremacy in north India. The last notable king was Gayakarna (reg c. 1122–53). The Haihayas lingered until 1211 when the Chandella king Trailokyavarman (reg c. 1205–41) overran the greater part of their domain.

The Haihayas were largely patrons of Hindu temples, although Jaina and, to a lesser extent, Buddhist sculptures are found throughout their realm. The earliest sculpture associated with the dynasty is a relief panel depicting a royal couple, with an inscription datable to the 8th century (U. Sagar, Archaeol. Mus.). Stylistically related work is found at Nand Chand, Chhoti Deori and Tigowa, all in the Dahala territory ruled by the Haihayas. A school of Shaiva Siddhanta was introduced into the kingdom in the 10th century: the monastery at Chandrehe, dated by an epigraph to ...


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.

Hinglajgarh is best known for the large number of sculptures recovered from the site; most of them are now in the Birla Museum and the State Archaeological Museum in Bhopal, the Central Museum, Indore, and the site museum at the fort, and all are of a pale grey sandstone. In addition, the remains of numerous temples and shrines are scattered around the base of the fort and embedded in its walls. The surviving ...


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 (reg c. 1043–68). Parola II (reg c. 1115–58) asserted independence after the death of Vikramaditya VI (reg c. 1076–1126) and ruled the territories between the Godavari River and the Krishna River, with capitals at Hanamkonda and Warangal. Unusually for India, the capital at Warangal had circular ramparts and four roads converging at a temple of Shiva in the centre of the city. The extant monumental gates of the ruined temple are reminiscent of those at Sanchi. The Kakatiya king Prataparudra (reg c. 1290–1326) faced an attack on Warangal by armies of the Khalji sultanate of Delhi led by Malik Kafur in 1309–10...


[Nāgapaṭṭiṇam; Nāgapaṭṭaṇam; Nāgipaṭṭaṇam]

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 (reg 690–728), during whose rule a temple was built for Chinese Buddhists who had come to India for trading purposes. Mahayana Buddhism was also encouraged by members of the Javanese Shailendra dynasty, who in the mid-9th century extended their rule into Sumatra (Suvarnadvipa). In the 11th century they provided grants for the construction of shrines (Skt caityas). These were built under the patronage of the contemporary kings of the Chola dynasty and named Rajaraja-perum-palli and Rajendra-Chola-perum-palli after Rajaraja I (reg c. 985–1014) and Rajendra I (reg 1012–44) respectively. None of these monuments survives. The last remarkable Buddhist temple, a brick-built tower-like structure, perhaps dating to Pallava times, was pulled down in the mid-19th century, but its appearance is preserved in a sketch of ...



Pierre Pichard and Richard M. Cooler

[Pali Arimaddanapura]

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 c. 1004 and in a Cham inscription from Po Nagar in Vietnam dated 1050. Pagan’s foreign relations were mostly with eastern India (Bengal and Orissa), Sri Lanka, the Mon kingdoms to the south and China. The chief influences on its architecture and arts came from Burma itself (Pyu and Mon), from eastern India and from Sri Lanka.

Pierre Pichard

The city is on a bend of the Irrawaddy River in the arid region of central Burma, described in ancient inscriptions as tattadessa (the parched land). Its subsistence was always dependent on the rice-producing areas of Kyaukse, some 170 km upstream, and Minbu, 110 km downstream. The site is an alluvial terrace on the east bank of the river. It is bordered on the south-east by a low hill range; a higher range closes the western horizon across the river. At the foot of the south-east range a dam was built in the 12th century to store water during the meagre rainy season (June to November). A few other reservoirs were set up in the plain, but no evidence of irrigation channels has been found. Several streams cross the site from the east to the Irrawaddy; they are dry most of the year, their sandy beds used as cart tracks. Most of the plain is cultivated (palm trees and dry crops such as millet, sesame, cotton and groundnuts). About 36,000 people live in several villages within the archaeological area of some 13×8 km....


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.

The Pala lineage and chronology are well known from a number of copperplate inscriptions, a large corpus of stone inscriptions and abundant textual and historical documentation. So far, 21 Pala kings have been identified, beginning with Gopala I (reg c. 750–75). Other well-known rulers include Dharmapala (reg c. 775–812) and Devapala (reg c. 812–50), both of whom are believed to have been important patrons of Buddhist monastic institutions of the region, Mahipala I (reg c. 992–1042) and Ramapala (reg c. 1087–1141), whose reign was immortalized in the Sanskrit poem known as the ...