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Aligarh  

Walter Smith

[anc. Koil]

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 Jaunpur and the armies of the Delhi Sultanate. The fort, built in 1524 during the reign of Ibrahim Lodi, was rebuilt by Sabit Khan in 1717 and extensively redesigned by the French in the early 19th century. Several monuments attributed to the period of the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605) in the Bagh-i-Gesu Khan (now a public cemetery) include a pillared pavilion with a low dome and the remains of another double-storey pavilion; the supposed tomb of Gesu Khan, an official of Akbar, is a red sandstone structure set on a plinth with lattice screens and crowned by a low dome. The Jami‛ Masjid, at the summit of a long, steep slope called the Bala Qila, was begun in the 17th century but almost completely reworked in ...

Article

J. B. Harrison

[anc. Prayaga]

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 c. 269–c. 232 bc), a panegyric of the Gupta king Samudragupta (reg c. ad 335–76) and a record of its re-erection in 1605 by the Mughal emperor Jahangir (reg 1605–27). Brooding over the Sangam (sacred bathing area) is the massive sandstone fort of Akbar (reg 1556–1605), built in 1584 to guard the river-route to Bengal. As at Agra, Delhi and Lahore, the fort enclosed residential quarters and palace buildings, but these were substantially altered during British tenure in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some indication of their former splendour is given in aquatints by Thomas and William Daniell family.

Mughal residences and gardens straggled along the Yamuna from the fort to the city. Prince Salim, the future emperor ...

Article

Ayodhya  

B. B. Lal

[Ayodhyā]

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 c. 700 bc, as is indicated by the occurrence of the earliest variety of Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW) and a few sherds assignable to a late stage in the production of Painted Grey Ware (PGW). The NBPW is very well fired, thin-sectioned, with a shining surface and showing a variety of colours: steel grey, coal black, indigo, silver, even gold. In the earliest levels the houses were of wattle and daub, but later they began to be constructed of kiln-fired bricks. Terracotta ringwells were used for disposing of sullage water. Concomitantly, systems of coinage (punch-marked and uninscribed cast coins) and weights (cylindrical pieces of jasper, chert etc) also came into being, laying the foundation of urbanization in the Ganga Valley around the middle of the 1st millennium ...

Article

Baroli  

Heather Elgood

[Badoli]

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 Ghateshvara Mahadeva Temple, comprising a columned porch, a sanctuary with a spire and a separate hall. Sacred to Shiva, the temple is named after a central liṅga formed of a natural stone resembling an inverted pot (ghaṭa). On the outer walls are sculptures including images of the dancing Shiva (Nataraja) on the west, Chamunda on the north and Shiva spearing Andaka on the south; there is a fine figure of Parvati within the sanctum. On the lintel of the sanctuary doorway is a dancing Shiva flanked by Brahma and Vishnu; on the jambs below are carvings of guardian figures and river goddesses shaded by lotus-leaf parasols. The adjoining porch contains six columns with female figures carved on the shafts and a pyramidal (...

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.

The symbolic and ritual centre of the complex is Pura Penataran Agung, the largest temple, which over the centuries has undergone numerous changes. Its 57 separate structures are arranged on six terraces. Originating probably in a simple prehistoric sanctuary, it has a terraced form suggesting a series of successive enlargements. The earliest structures were probably simple shrines and stone seats, represented now in developed form by the two uppermost shrines dedicated to the Lord of the Mountain. On current evidence, the pagoda-like shrines (...

Article

Bhagwan  

Philippa Vaughan

[Bagwan]

(fl late 1570s–c. 1600).

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 Hamzanāma (‘Tales of Hamza’, c. 1567–82, alternatively dated c. 1562–77); however, the tracing and awkward juxtaposition of Persian models show that the task was alien to him (fols 23r and 25v). Where Hindu conventions, and especially female forms, could be introduced, he was more confident (fol. 62r). This was a feature of his work in the Razmnāma (‘Book of wars’, 1582–6; Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Mus., MS AG. 1683–1850; fol. 93 designed by Lal, coloured by Bhagwan). Nonetheless, in many of the nine folios, to which he was assigned as colourist with the masters ...

Article

Michael D. Rabe

[Telugu: ‘Mountain of the fearsome god’]

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 ad, all eight caves house Shiva liṅgas within sanctuaries measuring c. 2×2×2 m. Life-size door guardians carved into the façade of each shrine lean upon heavy clubs; their abundant hair is set with single blades or triple forks, respectively identifying them as personifications of Shiva’s axe and trident. All but one of the cave façades are also adorned with smaller-scale icons of Brahma and Vishnu, which, together with the Shiva liṅgas, complete the Hindu trinity. Each cave is preceded by an open court containing a reclining image of Shiva’s vehicle, the bull Nandi, set facing the sanctum; relief panels on either side are carved with seated images of the elephant-headed deity Ganesha and the child-devotee Chandikesha. The external façades of caves 5–8 include porches with richly detailed parapets supported by twin pillars ...

Article

Philippa Vaughan

[Banvari; Banwari Kalan; Banwali Kalan]

(fl c. 1570–c. 1596).

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 Hamzanāma (‘Tales of Hamza’, c. 1567–82, alternatively dated c. 1562–77). His single contribution to the Dārābnāma (‘Story of Darab’, c. 1580–85; London, BL, Or. 4615, fol. 36r) is an awkward composition of carefully traced models from Persian sources. However, his work in the large-scale manuscripts of the 1580s, such as the Razmnāma (‘Book of wars’, 1582–6; Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Mus., MS. AG. 1683–1850, fols 15, 34–5, 62, 122 plus one sole composition fol. 168), shows he was a competent colourist. Further, he had a sole composition in the Tīmūrnāma (‘History of Timur’, ...

Article

Erberto F. Lo Bue

[Buḍhā Nilkaṇṭha]

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.

The Jalashayana Narayana of Budhanilkantha village is second in importance only to Changu Narayan in the worship of Vishnu in Nepal. It was carved from a single block of a variety of basalt found a few kilometres outside the Kathmandu Valley. Several artists must have contributed to the sculpture, although it appears to have been conceived by a single mind. Notwithstanding its huge size, the figure is well proportioned and seems to float in the spring-fed pool surrounding the cushion-like coils of Ananta, who shelters the god under the canopy of his eleven hoods. The statue was consecrated in ad 641–2 by Vishnugupta, a de facto...

Article

Indian, 20th century, female.

Born 1944, in India.

Painter. Figure compositions.

Suruchi Chand aims at interpreting episodes from Hindu mythology in a contemporary context. Gods and mythical figures rub shoulders with humans in compositions inspired by traditional miniatures. Chand is particularly interested in the status of women, their place within feminine mythology and their representations in Indian art. She has participated in a number of exhibitions including: Nouvelle Biennale de Paris (...

Article

Philippa Vaughan

[Kesu; Kesu Kalan; Keshava Kalan]

(fl c. 1570–c. 1602)

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 Akbar (reg 1556–1605). Named fifth of the seventeen painters listed in order of seniority in the Āyin-i Akbarī, a contemporary account of Akbar’s administration as it was c. 1590, Kesu Das was well established by the early 1580s and thus would have worked on the great Hamzanāma (‘Tales of Hamza’; c. 1567–82, alternatively dated 1562–77). In the Dārābnāma (‘Story of Darab’; c. 1580–85; London, BL, Or. 4615, fol. 46r...

Article

Milo Cleveland Beach

[Dasavanta]

(fl c. 1560; d 1584).

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 Akbar, who discovered his talent and sent him to the master painter ‛Abd al-Samad for training, and in ‘a short time he surpassed all painters and became the first master of the age’ (Eng. trans., p. 114). He is known mainly for his highly imaginative and original compositions, where the irrational tends to dominate the realistic. Contemporary writers described him as a madman, and Abu’l-Fazl acknowledged that some critics preferred the more naturalistic work of the painter Basawan.

Daswanth’s earliest known works are illustrations of the Ṭū ṭīnāma (‘Tales of a parrot’; c. 1556–61, other scholars prefer ...

Article

Dhannu  

Philippa Vaughan

[Dhanu]

(fl c. 1580–c. 1600).

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 Dārābnāma (‘Story of Darab’; c. 1580–85; London, BL, Or. 4615, fols 38r, 41r, 41v, 75r and 104v) are imaginative, with some attempt at naturalism in drawing and palette. His single contribution to the Razmnāma (‘Book of wars’; 1582–6; Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Mus., MS. AG. 1683–1850, fol. 12) was as the colourist of a design by Basawan, although in the Tīmūrnāma (‘History of Timur’; 1584; Bankipur, Patna, Khuda Bakhsh Lib., 269) he was the sole artist of two illustrations (fols 178v and 269r) and worked as a colourist on designs by Basawan (fol. 53...

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 di-hyang, ‘the abode of the gods’. The Dieng temples are spread over a pear-shaped valley and its bordering elevations. Many, however, have been destroyed, and the few that remain standing cannot be ascribed to any one period. Even the temples that belong to the ‘Arjuna group’ show at least two styles: the squat candi (ancient religious monuments built of stone) Arjuna, Semar, Srikandi and Gatokaca, which are strongly influenced by south Indian architecture, and the slender Candi Puntadewa with its two-tier foundation and its high protruding niches. Quite different is Candi Bima, 1.6 km south of the Arjuna compound. Its upper structure is obviously a north Indian shikhara, but the ornamental elements reveal south Indian influence. Remains of monasteries indicate that the plateau was a lively pilgrimage resort, possibly for many centuries, as is suggested by a date equivalent to ...

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 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 ...

Article

J. Marr

[Kanniyakumari; Cape Cormorin]

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 (gopura), is quite small. Overlooking the sea where the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea meet, it is hidden behind a high wall, and a rocky pool for ritual bathing adjoins it. Some 500 m out to sea is the Vivekananda Rock, a large granite outcrop upon which Swami Vivekananda sat meditating in 1892 prior to beginning his preaching mission in India and abroad. In 1970 the rock’s appearance was transformed when a memorial pavilion in ‘neo-Dravida’ style was built upon it. Ashore is the Gandhi Mandapa, commemorating Mahatma Gandhi....

Article

Philippa Vaughan

[Khem; Kemkaran]

(fl c. 1580–c. 1605).

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 Hamzanāma (‘Tales of Hamza’; c. 1567–82; alternatively dated 1562–77), his fine composition in the Dārābnāma (‘Story of Darab’; c. 1580–85; London, BL, Or. 4615, fol. 89v) qualified him to work in several capacities on the Razmnāma (‘Book of wars’; 1582–6; Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Mus., MS. AG. 1683–1850): as sole artist (fols 27, 53 and 107), as designer (fol. 28) and as colourist (fols 78 and 165). Perhaps he was a poor teacher, or a slow worker, for in the other manuscripts produced by teams of artists his few illustrations were sole compositions: Tīmūrnāma (1584...

Article

Gautam Vajracharya

[anc. Yāpriṅ]

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.

In the Lichchhavi period (c. ad 300–800) the two sections of this city were known as Koligrama and Dakshina (‘southern’) Koligrama. A massive inscribed stone threshold has helped to identify the location of a no longer extant Lichchhavi palace known as Dakshina-rajakula (‘Southern palace’), situated in the southern section on part of the site where the Hanuman Dhoka palace now stands. An older palace was located at Hadigaon, about 6 km north-east of the Southern Palace. Little survives of Kathmandu’s Lichchhavi-period monuments, though art historians have identified a range of works from this period in the city and its environs....

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 (c. 800–1124). It demonstrates strong stylistic affinities with excavations of the Pandya period in lower Tamil Nadu (see Indian subcontinent §III 5., (i), (j)). The façade pillars rise from a square base to an octagonal mid-section; the bevelled corbels support pendent volutes. The beautifully executed relief carvings in the hall preceding the shrine include a human figure that may represent a chieftain. Steps lead up to the sanctum, which contains a rock-cut liṅga (Skt: phallic emblem of Shiva). The nearby Mahadeva Temple is a circular shrine of the Kerala type, with a sloping tiled roof, a granite base and exterior walls of carved wood. The complex is approached through a tall, Kerala-style gateway (...

Article

R. N. Mehta

[Cambay; Khambhayat]

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 (reg 1296–1316) in 1299, and it suffered further invasions between the 14th and 17th centuries, including a Portuguese raid in 1538. Several European factories were built during the 17th century. However, the final decline of the city was caused by the depredations of the Marathas in the late 18th century and the silting up of the harbour, which diverted trade to nearby Surat.

The remarkable congregational mosque (Jami‛ Masjid), dated by inscription to 1325, consists of an inner courtyard surrounded by a colonnade constructed of pillars from local temples and a prayer-hall with bays marked by low domes; each dome, apart from those above the three prayer niches, or mihrabs, has a corresponding window perforated with lattice patterns in the traditional Gujarati style. Attached to the south side of the mosque is a square, pillared chamber with a ruined circular inner court, housing the intricately carved tomb of the wealthy merchant ...