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date: 20 September 2019

Sirpur [anc. Sripura]locked

  • Donald M. Stadtner

Extract

[anc. Sripura]

Site in Raipur District, Madhya Pradesh, India. It is noted for its Hindu and Buddhist monuments of the 7th century ad. The principal shrine is the Lakshmana Temple, a brick temple with a large sandstone sanctum doorway bearing a reclining image of Vishnu on the lintel and smaller images of his various incarnations (avatāras), including scenes from the life of Krishna on the uprights. The temple’s long pillared hall faces east; of this, only two parallel rows of stone pillar bases have survived. The brick superstructure has been heavily restored. There are also two smaller brick temples with dilapidated walls that reveal a layout based on a stellate plan. The brick walls of two Buddhist monasteries indicate a plan based around an open inner courtyard surrounded by individual cells; in the rear of each monastery is a sanctum containing a large stone Buddha. The monuments were erected by the Panduvamsi dynasty, which ruled from Sirpur during the latter part of the 6th century and first half of the 7th. A small group of late 7th- or 8th-century Buddhist bronzes from the site reveal affinities with metalwork from Bihar....

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