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Dabhoi  

Walter Smith

[anc. Dharbhavati]

Town 34 km south-east of Vadodara in Gujarat, India. Traditionally held to have been founded in the 7th century ad, the town had achieved sufficient prominence by the 11th century for a fort to be constructed. Built by King Jayasimha Siddharaja (reg 1093–1134) of the Solanki dynasty, the style of the fort’s architecture and sculpture relates to contemporary monuments at Sidhpura and Jhinjuvada. Its four impressive gateways were also the work of Siddharaja; additions to them were made during the reign of Visala (reg 1245–61), and further changes took place after 1300. The Hira (diamond) Gate on the east is the most elaborate; those on the north, south and west walls are respectively known as the Moti, Nandod and Baroda gates. The Hira Gate with its columns and brackets resembles a temple gateway (toraṇa) embedded in the wall. Two temples may be ascribed to the mid-13th century: a ruined structure south of the Hira Gate and another, much restored, the Kalika Mata, set in the wall north of it. A number of tanks and accompanying shrines also date to this period. After the fall of the Solanki capital of Patan in the late 13th century (...

Article

J. B. Harrison

Hill town in West Bengal, India. Built on land acquired by the British from the Raja of Sikkim in 1835 and subsequently annexed by them, it was laid out by Lord Napier in 1839 and grew rapidly as a sanatorium and hot weather retreat for members of the Bengal Government. A bungalow known as ‘The Shrubbery’ (1877) originally served as Government House, but after an earthquake in 1934 it was rebuilt more grandly, with the addition of a dome. Near by are the Secretariat buildings, the Natural History Museum (1915) and the ornate blocks of the Eden Sanatorium, with the Lloyd Botanic Garden (1878) below. To the north of the town, near St Andrew’s Church (1870), are the colonial Gothic town hall (1921) and the Darjeeling Gymkhana Club, with tennis courts, ballroom, skating rink and bijou theatre. The tea-planters had their own Darjeeling Club. Many hill-station bungalows were also built in the 19th and 20th centuries; those of the maharajas of Cooch Behar and Burdwan are the grandest. Among the schools for European children that proliferated during this period are the Loreto Convent School for girls (...

Article

Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty

Village and temple site on the Rajpur–Shankargarh–Kusmi road on a plateau close to the confluence of the rivers Kanhar, Galphulla and Surya in Madhya Pradesh, India. It flourished between the 7th century ad and the 10th. The temple ruins fall into three groups. One group, in the Oraontola area of the village, consists of a ruined Shiva temple with remains of a sanctum (Skt garbhag ṛha) and hall (ma ṇḍapa) and remnants of pillars and foundations of a few other temples. The largest of these temples yielded a damaged 17-line inscription (in two fragments; c. 9th century). A second group, known as Samatsarna, is near the rivers and consists of a large Shiva temple, a five-shrined (pañcāyatana) temple with Devi and Chamunda images, a double Shiva temple with three sanctums, a double row of small Shiva temples, a stepwell and the remains and foundations of other shrines. The third group of remains is scattered in the vast area between Samatsarna and Oraontola. It includes a five-shrined Vishnu temple near Samatsarna, four ruined Shiva temples close to an ancient tank with stone embankments known as Ranipokhra (Queen’s Tank) near Oraontola and two monastic residences. The temples are mostly in stone, while brick is used in the flooring of the monastic residences. They are generally built on a square or rectangular plan, but two temples are made on the stellate plan popular in South Kosala (...

Article

Delhi  

R. Nath and C. Uday Bhaskar

[anc. Ḍhillikā, Ḍhillī; Arab., Pers., Urdu: Dihlī.]

Capital of the Republic of India, situated on the west bank of the River Yamuna. Delhi has grown and prospered due mainly to its location on the river, its proximity to the ‘granaries’ of north India (the fertile lands between the Rivers Ganga and Yamuna as well as those of Haryana and Punjab) and its strategic position in the corridor leading from the mountain passes of Afghanistan to the Gangetic plain. Delhi’s role as a capital during the period of Muslim rule (c. 1200–1857) made it the premier centre of Islamic architecture in India. A majority of the city’s 1300 listed monuments date to this period. New Delhi was inaugurated as the capital of British India in 1931.

Archaeological excavations indicate that Delhi (see fig.) was settled as early as 1000 bc. At the Purana Qil‛a (Urdu: ‘Old Fort’; 1a) archaeologists uncovered shards of Painted Grey ware (a fine grey earthenware often with designs in black) datable to about the ...

Article

Dhaka  

Perween Hasan

[Dacca.]

Capital of Bangladesh, located about 160 km above the mouths of the Ganga on the northern bank of the Buriganga River (known to Muslim historians as the Dulai River). The city gained ascendancy in the 17th century as a provincial capital of the Mughal empire.

Dhaka was part of the ancient region of Vanga. Its earliest history is unclear, but terracotta plaques with seated Buddha images as well as post-Gupta-period gold coins (Dhaka, N. Mus. Bangladesh) of the 7th–8th centuries ad discovered at Savar, 25 km to the north of Dhaka, indicate the antiquity of local settlements. The area was brought under the sultans of Delhi in the 13th century; these rulers were then replaced by the independent sultans of Bengal in the 14th century. The settlement of Muslims in Dhaka is attested by two stone inscriptions, one recording the building of Binat Bibi’s mosque in 1457 (ah 861) and the other of a gate in ...

Article

Dholka  

Walter Smith

[anc. Dhavalakkaka.]

Town about 30 km south-west of Ahmadabad, Gujarat, India. Its earliest known monument is an artificial lake built by Queen Mainaladevi in the late 11th century. Al-Idrisi (c. 1100–c. 1165), Court Geographer of Roger II of Sicily, mentioned the town (as Dhulaka) as an important centre of trade. Inscriptions and manuscripts refer to the building of Hindu and Jaina temples by wealthy merchants and by the brothers Vastupala and Tejapala, ministers of King Viradhavala (reg 1243–61), who established his capital in Dholka, but none of these structures survives.

During the 14th century Dholka was the seat of the semi-independent governors of the Delhi Sultanate (see Indian subcontinent, §I, 2, (iv)). The mosques of this period adhere to indigenous forms, using the structural and decorative vocabulary of the Gujarati tradition; the Hilal Khan Qadi mosque (1333), for example, is set within a walled courtyard and has five bays, each covered with a conical corbelled dome supported by columns salvaged from Hindu or Jaina temples. Its ceiling panels are elaborately carved, and the central niche, or mihrab, is decorated with ‘Hindu’ window motifs (Skt ...

Article

Eran  

Michael D. Willis

[anc. Airikiṇa.]

Site of a ruined city and temple complex in Sagar District, Madhya Pradesh, India, 80 km north-west of Vidisha. The site first drew the attention of archaeologists in the mid-19th century but was excavated only in the 1960s, by a team from the University of Sagar that set the origin of the settlement to c. 1750 bc. Eran was an important religious centre in the eastern Malwa region in the 4th and 5th centuries ad; as with many ancient cities, the sacred complex was set apart from the town proper. By the 8th century Eran had been largely superseded by Badoh.

The monumental remains at Eran, clustered together on a gentle curve of the Bina River, consist of a row of four ruined shrines, two standing pillars and numerous sculptural and architectural fragments. The oldest stone sculpture at the site is a broken image of a yakṣī (female nature spirit) that dates to the second half of the 4th century ...

Article

R. Nath

[Fatḥpur Sīkrī; Fatehpur Sīkri.]

Town in Uttar Pradesh, India, 40 km from Agra. It is situated adjacent to a lake (now dry) on a long narrow ridge (see fig.); red sandstone of fine quality was quarried from the ridge from an early date, and the town is known mainly for a red sandstone palace complex built by the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605).

Article

R. Nagaswamy

[Gaṅgaikoṇḍacoḷapuram]

Town and temple site in Tamil Nadu, India. It was founded by Rajendra Chola I (reg ad 1012–44) to commemorate his conquests up to the River Ganga in northern India. Displacing the earlier centre at Thanjavur, Gangaikondacholapuram remained the capital of the Chola dynasty until the 13th century.

Excavations have revealed that the royal enclave at Gangaikondacholapuram was laid out according to canonical prescription. The palace was in the centre and shrines to various gods were placed in the appropriate quarters (Shiva to the north-east, Vishnu to the west, etc). Two broad brick walls, with the intervening space filled with sand, formed the base for the fort walls and a multi-storey palace. Only the base and parts of the lime-plaster flooring have been exposed. Inscriptions in contemporary temples refer to outer and inner fortifications, named the Rajendra Chola madil (Tamil: ‘enclosure of Rajendra Chola’) and uṭpaḍaivīttu madil (‘inner garrisoned enclosure’). Also mentioned are such multi-storey palace structures as the Gangaikondacholan Maligai and such features as the ...

Article

Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty

Village and temple site 3 km from Keskal on the Raipur–Jagdalpur road, Bastar District, Madhya Pradesh, India. Sixteen mounds, cleared by the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Madhya Pradesh, and a number of significant images in the surrounding area, are the most notable features of the site. Twelve mounds yielded temples, which follow designs established at Bhongapal (also in Bastar District), namely a sanctum (Skt garbhagṛha) with a constricted vestibule (antarāla) demarcated by brick pilasters, the sanctum being occasionally provided externally with a central projection (bhadra) and sometimes with this and a subsidiary offset (prati) and corner offset (karṇa). The preference is for a sequence of tall, flat mouldings like the base (vedībandha) at the Deorani Temple, Tala. Three of the mounds are large and were built in terrace formation, in a sequence of successive squares or rectangles, of diminishing size and rising height. The square or rectangular plan, with an occasional apsidal sanctum, the plinth (...

Article

Gaur  

Perween Hasan

[Lakṣmaṇāvatī; Lakhnautī]

Ruined city situated on the international border between Bangladesh and India. The southern suburb, with the most important monument in the area, the Chota Sona Masjid, is in Nawabganj District, Bangladesh. The walled city and the inner citadel to the north, still called Gaur, are in Malda District, West Bengal, India.

Before the 12th century Gauda was the name of a kingdom comprising the city and surrounding area. In the 12th century it became the capital of the Sena dynasty of Bengal and was known as Lakṣmaṇāvatī after King Lakshmanasena (reg c. 1178–1206). In the 13th century, when the sultans of Delhi conquered parts of Bengal, they made Gaur their capital. It was known as Lakhnautī to Muslim historians. Difficulties in controlling Bengal from Delhi led Sultan Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq (reg 1320–25) to divide the region into three administrative units, Lakhnautī, Satgaon and Sonargaon. By the middle of the 14th century Bengal was ruled by independent sultans. Gaur served as a capital for these kings until the 16th century, except for the period from ...

Article

Ghazna  

[now Ghaznī]

City in eastern Afghanistan that served as the capital of the Ghaznavid dynasty from 977 to 1163. In pre-Islamic times the city was a Buddhist centre, and excavations have uncovered remains of a stupa and clay and terracotta Buddhas. In ad 977 the Samanid slave commander Sebüktigin (reg 977–97) rose to power in Ghazna and founded the Ghaznavid dynasty (reg 977–1186). Ghazna became the capital of an empire that at the death of Sebüktigin’s son Mahmud (reg 998–1030) stretched from western Iran to the Ganges valley. The city commanded a dominating position on the borderland between the Islamic and Indian worlds and was an important entrepôt for trade. It was also a centre of literature and art: the poet Firdawsi (940–1020), for example, composed the Shāhnāma (‘Book of kings’) at the court of Mahmud c. 1010.

According to the late 10th-century geographer al-Muqaddasi, Ghazna was a thriving frontier town with many markets. It had a citadel (modern Bala-Hisar) with the ruler’s palace in the centre. The suburbs had more markets and houses for the wealthy, some of which have been excavated on the hill to the east of the town. Both ...

Article

Walter Smith

[anc. Tiruvippirambedu]

Village and temple site in south-eastern Andhra Pradesh, India. The oldest and most important feature of the site is a li ṅga (h. 0.8 m;) in the form of a naturalistically rendered phallus with a figure of Shiva carved on one side. Shiva holds a spear, a water pot and an antelope skin and stands on a dwarfish earth spirit (yakṣa) symbolizing fertility and abundance. Stylistically, the figure represents a stage between the sculptures of Bharhut and Bodhgaya and is therefore the earliest extant li ṅga erected for worship in a temple. Recent excavations have shown that the li ṅga was originally surrounded by a stone railing similar to that shown in a relief of li ṅga worship from Mathura (c. 2nd century ad; Mathura, Govt Mus., see Chandra, 1975, pls 2, 3). It has been restored to this original format. The li ṅga was originally housed in an apsidal brick temple; the present temple, also apsidal, is of late Chola date (...

Article

George Michell

[Gulbargā]

Town in Karnataka State, India. It was the capital of the Bahmani family dynasty from 1347 until 1424 (when it was superseded by Bidar). As Gulbarga was the first urban centre of Islamic power in the Deccan, it was the starting-point of raids against the Vijayanagara dynasty in an attempt to expand Muslim territories southwards. At the core of the city is the approximately circular fort, its double walls buttressed with semicircular bastions and protected by a moat. Inside the fort stands the Jami‛ Masjid (c. 1367), built during the reign of Muhammad I (reg c. 1358–75). This unique structure has no courtyard, being roofed entirely with domes and vaults. A formidable and solid keep, the Bala Hisar, stands north-east of the mosque. A bazaar street lined with small vaulted chambers leads to the main entrance to the fort; this projects outwards from the walls at the north-west corner. Mounds of rubble inside the fort probably conceal the ruins of the Bahmani palace....

Article

Gwalior  

Michael D. Willis

[Gvāliyar; anc. Gopagiri; Gopādri: ‘Mountain of the cowherd’]

City in Madhya Pradesh, India, situated around a rocky plateau known as Gwalior Fort. The site’s strategic importance accounts for its central role in the region’s history and thus its succession of important monuments. Sandstone quarries in the environs are the source of virtually all material used for the city’s buildings and sculpture.

According to local lore, Gwalior was founded by a king who received a blessing from a sage named Gvalipa. Its oldest known artefact, however, is a small standing Buddha (3rd century ad; Gwalior, Archaeol. Mus.) made from the mottled red sandstone of Mathura and evidently imported from that city. This type of work was copied in local sandstone, as is shown by a damaged seated Buddha (Gwalior, Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Mus.). The earliest inscription (6th century ad) comes from the Suraj Kund (Hindi: ‘sun tank’) in the Fort. It records the establishment of a Sun temple (destr.) in the time of King Mihirakula, the son of the Huna king Toramana (...

Article

Gyantse  

Barry Till

[rgyal rtse; Gyangzê]

Fourth largest city in Tibet, strategically located between Lhasa and Shigatse along the caravan route to India, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. Gyantse is most famous for its fortress citadel, or Dzong, and its lamasery. The 15th-century fortress, situated on a hill overlooking the town, served as an effective buffer against invasions from the south for centuries until 1904, when it was partially destroyed and conquered by British forces led by Francis Younghusband. It suffered further damage by the Chinese in the 1960s. Although in poor condition, the fort still has significant traces of ancient wall paintings.

The complex of buildings within the old walls at Gyantse, often referred to as the Palkhor Choide or Pelkor Chode (dpal ‘khor chos sde) Lamasery, was founded in 1418 by Rabten Kunsang (1389–1442), a follower of Khedrup Je (1385–1438), himself a disciple of Tsong Khapa (1357–1419), the founder of the Gelugpa sect. The monastic complex was formerly much more extensive, but a number of buildings were dismantled during the 1960s. The main buildings have survived relatively intact, however. Chief among these and one of the most impressive buildings in all of Tibet is the ...

Article

Halebid  

Gary Michael Tartakov

[Haḷebiḍ; anc. Dōrasamudra, Dvārasamudra]

Indian town and temple site in southern Karnataka that flourished c. 1100–1350. It was the capital of the Hoysala dynasty; remains include four major temples and several irrigation tanks. Two temples were built in the reign of Vishnuvardhana (reg c. 1108–42), who consolidated the dynasty’s power—the Jaina Parshvanatha (1133) and Shaiva Hoysaleshvara (c. 1121–60)—and two in the reign of his grandson Ballala II (reg c. 1173–1220)—the Jaina Shantinatha (1196) and Shaiva Kedareshvara (1219). The site was pillaged by Malik Kafur in 1311.

The Hoysaleshvara is the most extensive and mature example of the dynasty’s characteristic, ornate style. Built for Ketamalla, an officer of Vishnuvardhana, by the architect Kedaroja, it is a two-shrined (dvikū ṭa) Shiva temple, resembling a double version of the Chhennakeshava temple at Belur. The two halves are linked by a complex system of subshrines on the interior, with corresponding projecting offsets on the outside wall. The temple stands on a high platform that serves as an exterior circumambulatory passage (...

Article

Hampi  

George Michell

Site of the ruined city of Vijayanagara in Bellary District, Karnataka, India. The city was founded in the 14th century at the sacred centre of Hampi. The modern village of the same name occupies part of the site.

Vijayanagara (‘City of victory’) emerged as the capital of an empire comprising much of peninsular India by the end of the 14th century, a position it maintained throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. While its rulers were Hindu, its society included an influential Muslim minority. Foreign travellers were welcomed; descriptions of the city’s grandeur survive in accounts of Persian, Portuguese and Italian visitors; Arab horse-traders also visited the city at this time. Celebrated kings include Deva Raya I (reg 1406–22) of the Sangama dynasty and Krishnadeva Raya (reg 1510–29) and Achyutadeva Raya (reg 1529–42) of the third or Tuluva dynasty. Vijayanagara’s rivals for supremacy in the Deccan were the Muslim kingdoms to the north. In ...

Article

Gary Michael Tartakov

[Hanamkoṇḍa; Anmakoṇḍa and Warangal; Orguṅgallu; anc. Ānumakoṇḍa and Orukallu]

Cities, some 6 km apart, in Warangal District, Andhra Pradesh, India, that flourished c. ad 1100–1325. Both are temple sites and former capital cities of the Kakatiya dynasty. Hanamkonda became the Kakatiya capital in the 11th century, when the rulers were given title to the Telingana region by the Chalukyas of Kalyana (see Chalukya §2). The site rose to special prominence after the Kakatiyas asserted independence under Parola II (reg c. 1115–58) and Rudradeva (reg c. 1158–95).

The most important monument at Hanamkonda is the ‘Thousand-pillared’ temple dedicated by Rudradeva in 1163, according to an inscription. Set within a walled compound entered by a gateway on its east, the temple is of the triple-sanctum (Skt trikū ṭa) type. It has a somewhat ambivalent orientation. As a whole it faces south, unusually, and its elevated platform (upapī ṭha) extends into the vast, 300-pillared hall after which it is named. This hall is connected to the temple by a narrow platform, on which is an impressive image of the recumbent Nandi, the bull vehicle of Shiva, facing directly into the central sanctum, although this, surprisingly, is not the Shiva sanctum. The sanctums, dedicated to the gods Surya (on the east), Shiva (west) and Vishnu (central), are arranged on three sides of a hall of nine bays (...

Article

Harappa  

Gregory L. Possehl

[Harappā]

Ancient city on the southern bank of the Ravi River, western Punjab, Pakistan, and the type site for the Indus civilization that flourished c. 2500–2000 bc (see also Mohenjo-daro). Harappa is the name of the modern village adjacent to the mounds and is not thought to be of ancient derivation, although the place-name Hariyupiya does occur in the Ṛg veda and has been associated with the site by some scholars (see Wheeler, pp. 78–82). The archaeological site was first recognized in 1826 by Charles Masson, an early traveller in the region. The city as a whole was robbed for bricks in the mid-19th century and is not well preserved. Alexander Cunningham, the first Director–General of the Archaeological Survey of India, excavated part of the site in 1871–2 and published the first of a series of important stamp seals associated with the Harappan civilization. The results of excavations undertaken in ...