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M. C. Subhadradis Diskul

[Srī Sajjanālaya]

City in Sukhothai Province, Thailand, that flourished from the late 13th century to the mid-15th. Si Satchanalai was one of the subsidiary or vice-regal capitals of the Sukhothai kingdom. It is situated on the west bank of the Yom River, one of the four tributaries that join at Nakhon Sawan to form the Chao Phraya River. It was linked to the city of Sukhothai, some 55 km to the north, by an ancient highway named Phra Ruang, the legendary founder of the kingdom. Like Sukhothai, it is built on a rectangular plan, 900×700 m, protected by laterite walls about 8 m high, with six gates and a moat between 10 and 12 m wide. The part of the wall near the Luang Rapids of the Yom River has been destroyed.

The most important of Si Satchanalai’s 18 monuments is Wat Chang Lom. The large bell-shaped chedi (the Thai version of the stupa) of this temple is in laterite and brick. According to Sukhothai stone inscription 1 (Bangkok, N. Mus.), in ...


Raja de Silva

[Sīgiriya, Sīgiri; Pali: Sīhagiri; Sinh. Sihigiri]

Site of an ancient capital city and Buddhist monastery, 172 km north-east of Colombo, Sri Lanka; flourished particularly in the 5th century ad. The buildings (now ruined) were spectacularly set on a mountain (a monadnock of gneiss) rising 180 m above the plain. The 23 caves at Sigiriya, of which nearly half are inscribed with donative records, bear witness to monastic activity during the last centuries bc and first centuries ad. In the second half of the 5th century ad the prince Kassapa usurped the throne from his father, Dhatusena of Anuradhapura, but then took refuge at Sigiriya, fearing the return of his brother Moggallana, the rightful heir. Kassapa ruled for 18 years (c. 479–97). He committed suicide in battle against Moggallana, who gave two monasteries at Sigiriya to the Mahayana-leaning Buddhist priesthood before proceeding as King to the capital Anuradhapura.

Excavation has revealed fortifications consisting of three lines of moats and ramparts, with the main entrance on the west side. Gates were also located on the north and south. The elaborate western entrance opens on to a 5-ha garden in several sections that contains island pavilions, baths, stone seats or thrones, fountains, paved watercourses, wells, pools, and a walled octagonal pond on five levels descending from the base of the rocky scarp to the western moat. The central path from the lower western gardens passes several ...



J. B. Harrison


Capital of Himachal Pradesh State, India. It was established by the British in the 19th century as a sanatorium and summer retreat, or hill station. The Simla Hills first came under British control in 1816, and by the mid-19th century the British governor-general took up residence there each year during the hot weather; by 1871 the Punjab government was also passing the summer there. A cart road was cut in 1856 and a narrow-gauge railway built in 1903.

The governor-general originally rented Peterhof (destr. 1981), a tin-roofed, two-storey chalet with five bedrooms. More ample quarters were provided in 1888 with the completion of the Viceregal Lodge to designs by the Superintendent of Works, Henry Irwin. With its tower, gables, tall chimney-stacks, oriel windows and Neo-Tudor strapwork porch, the exterior of the lodge presents a romantic skyline. Inside, the high-balconied entrance hall, with splendid woodwork, led to a ballroom, a state drawing-room and a teak-panelled dining-room. A wing in ‘Elizabethan’ style was added in ...


Paul LeValley

[Śravaṇa Beḷgoḷa]

Village 70 km north of Mysore in south India, site of the most venerated shrine of the Digambara Jainas. The village nestles between two temple-studded hills, Vindhyagiri and the smaller Chandragiri. According to inscriptions dating from 600 ad onward, the site was selected c. 298 bc by the Jaina leader Bhadrabahu and the emperor Chandragupta Maurya, after the latter’s abdication to follow the Jaina path. This occurred during a split within Jainism that was later formalized into the Digambara and Svetambara sects. A natural cavern on Chandragiri Hill known as Bhadrabahu’s Cave contains only carved footprints of undetermined date.

By the 9th century, the jungle meditations of the naked, peace-loving Digambara folk hero Bahubali had become a popular subject for sculpture at the site. Breaking from the earlier relief tradition of Badami and Aihole, which showed the long-haired hero surrounded by witnesses, sculptors at Sravana Belgola developed a second style: a free-standing, short-haired and solitary figure. Colossal size eventually became part of the Sravana Belgola tradition as well. In a transitional 9th-century bronze ...


Frederick M. Asher

[Śrāvastī, Sāvatthī; mod. Saheth or Saheth-Maheth]

Site of an ancient city sacred to Buddhism and Jainism that flourished c. 6th century bc to c. 12th century ad, on the border of Gonda and Bahraich districts, Uttar Pradesh, India.

A number of events in the history of Buddhism occurred at Sravasti, which became an important pilgrimage centre. It was the site where the Buddha performed a miracle described in the commentary on the Dhammapada in which, among other things, he caused multiple images of himself to appear. The miracle is frequently depicted in the sculpture of the Gandhara region (1st–3rd century ad; see Indian subcontinent §V 5., (ii)) and in later Buddhist art. A tree-temple (Pali bodhighara) is recorded as having been built at the site of the miracle. Sravasti was also the location of the Jetavana, a wooded park given to the Buddha by Anathapindaka, a wealthy lay-disciple. His purchase of the land for the Buddha by covering it with gold coins is illustrated in early relief sculpture at ...


Clare Harris

[Śrīnagara; anc. Srinagari]

Principal city of Kashmir and now capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Set at an altitude of 1593 m beside Dal Lake, on the River Jhelum, the city stands at the head of passes leading from the plains of India into Central Asia. It was always an important commercial and strategic centre, while the natural beauty of its lakes and surrounding hills was a great attraction to both Mughal and British rulers (see Indian subcontinent §I 2., (iv)).

Srinagar is best known for its Islamic monuments. Its most important mosque, the Jami‛ Masjid, lies at the heart of the city. Inside, over 370 columns, each made from a single deodar trunk, support a series of pyramidal roofs and pagoda-shaped minarets. The 117 m-long side walls are pierced by arched entrances. The first Jami‛ Masjid, completed in 1385 at the time of Sultan Sikander (reg...


M. C. Subhadradis Diskul

[anc. Sukhodaya]

City in central Thailand, 440 km north of Bangkok. It was the capital of the kingdom of the same name, which flourished from the late 13th century to the mid-15th. Sukhothai art is generally regarded as the finest expression of Thai culture and has exercised a profound influence over the arts in Thailand subsequently.

In accordance with the cosmological rules that determined the plan of most traditional South-east Asian cities, the city of Sukhothai (see fig.) is rectangular, 1400×1800 m, and surrounded by three rings of earthen ramparts. At each of the four cardinal points on each rampart there is a gate (1a–d), and traces remain of a semicircular earthen fort in front of the innermost gates. Between each rampart there is a moat about 20 m wide. At the corners and on top of the ramparts are heaps of brick and laterite that may be remnants of fortifications. Inside the city are the ruins of 16 ...


J. Dumarçay

[Sala; Solo]

City in Central Java, on the west bank of the River Solo. It was founded in 1746 by Pakubuwono II (reg 1725–49) after he abandoned Kartasura, the capital of the Mataram kingdom from 1680. Surakarta was the capital of the whole region for only a short while: after a serious dispute over the succession, the sultanate was divided, and from 1755 Surakarta had to share the royal honours with Yogyakarta. Kartasura, 25 km west of Surakarta, was for long a symbol of the lost unity of the Mataram kingdom and still has remains of palace walls. The artistic and cultural life of Surakarta was even more closely linked to court life than that of Yogyakarta. It was in the court, ruled over by the Susuhunan, that all initiatives began. However, after the creation of the Indonesian Republic after World War II the Susuhunan lost all temporal power.

Construction of the ...



Perween Hasan


City in north-east Bangladesh and administrative headquarters of Sylhet district. Epigraphical evidence indicates the region was ruled by a line of kings of Harikela in the 9th century, who were succeeded by the Chandras, Varmans, Senas and Devas to the end of the 12th century. A stone inscription in Persian (Dhaka, N. Mus. Bangladesh) from the tomb of Shaikh Jalal al-Din, a Muslim saint, refers to the conquest of the area in the year ah 703 (1303) by the Muslims, one hundred years after their capture of north and west Bengal. According to tradition, Shaikh Jalal al-Din fought in the battle against the local Hindu king. The Shaikh’s fame was so widespread that the North African traveller Ibn Battuta went to visit him in Sylhet in 1345. His tomb complex, located on a hillock and including a mosque and a building from the Mughal period, remains a pilgrimage site. Scattered around the hill are architectural fragments from pre-Muslim buildings. Several stone inscriptions have been recovered from Sylhet (e.g. Dhaka, N. Mus. Bangladesh, and Shaikh Jalal al-Din tomb complex), but few buildings survive. Buildings in nearby towns include the Shankarpasha mosque in ...


Walter Smith

Town and temple site about 180 km south of Vijayanagara in southern Andhra Pradesh, India. Tadpatri was established on the banks of the Penner River at a point where it bends northwards, a particularly auspicious site in that the bend orientates the river towards the sacred River Ganges. Tadpatri was part of the Vijayanagara empire until 1565, when it fell under Muslim control.

Two temple complexes, the Ramalingeshvara and the Venkataramana, were built by governors of the Vijayanagara rulers. The Shaivite Ramalingeshvara Temple is on the south bank of the Penner. The two main temples within its walled enclosure date to the late 15th century, while an inscription indicates a date of 1509 for the four gopuras (gateways). The temples are shrines of the Vijayanagara style (see Indian subcontinent §III 6., (i), (f)). The Ramalingeshvara Temple comprises an audience hall and shrine; the liṅga enshrined within and its pedestal are bathed by a perennial spring. The Rama–Parvati Temple has an audience hall with a Parvati shrine on its eastern axis and a small Rama shrine centred on its northern wall. The lower walls of the astounding ...



Anna Maria Quagliotti

[anc. Takṣaśilā]

Site of an ancient city and centre of Buddhism on the Tamra River c. 32 km from Rawalpindi, Pakistan. At the crossroads of important trade routes in ancient times, Taxila lies in a valley bounded by the Murree Hills; a short spur, the Hathial Ridge, divides the valley into two unequal parts, the larger one to the north, the smaller one to the south. Taxila includes the city-sites of Bhir Mound, Sirkap and Sirsukh, the religious buildings in or near them and a number of Buddhist sites scattered throughout the valley (see fig.). Recent studies have partially modified the results of the excavations carried out by John Marshall in 1913–34 and Amalananda Gosh in 1944–5.

The earliest finds at Taxila (attributed to ‘Gandhara Grave Culture—Phase VI’) come from the Hathial Mound (1a). After a brief period of prosperity, Hathial may have been abandoned in favour of the Bhir Mound (...


Alessandra Lopez y Royo Iyer

[Tanjavur; Tanjore; Tamil Tañcavūr; anc. Tañcai]

Capital of the Chola dynasty from the mid-9th century ad to the mid-12th, in Tamil Nadu, India. Thanjavur is most famous for its huge temple to Lord Shiva.

The Cholas, an ancient dynasty, are mentioned repeatedly in the poetry of the Sangam age (c. 1st–3rd centuries ad) as the rulers of the Kaveri delta. It is not possible to establish whether there was any continuity between the Sangam Cholas and the historical Cholas, who appeared as a power of note in the mid-9th century when Vijayalaya (reg c. 846–71) conquered Thanjavur. Rajaraja I (reg 985–1014) consolidated and expanded Chola power by conquering territory of the Chalukyas of Kalyana, Pandinadu, Kerala and Coorg. The great temple at Thanjavur was meant most of all as a proclamation of the Chola ruler’s grandeur. Rajendra I (reg 1012–44) transferred the capital to Gangaikondacholapuram but Thanjavur retained some importance in later times, particularly under the ...



Daniel Ehnbom

[Tatta; Thatta; Skt: ‘place on a river’

City in Sind, Pakistan. It is said to be of great antiquity and certainly existed by the 13th century ad. In the late 13th century or early 14th, a rapid and favourable shift of a spur of the Indus River thrust the city into strategic and commercial prominence. Another change in the course of the river (1756–1800) left the city isolated, causing a decline in its importance. Of art-historical interest are the many monuments built successively in the Samma (1335–1520), Arghun and Tarkhan (1520–93) and Mughal (1526–1857) periods.

The earliest and largest complex is the necropolis of Makli Hill on the western outskirts of the city. The site has been a major centre of religious and funerary activity since at least the late 13th century. Poetically described in early chronicles as a place of gardens and cypresses, in the early 21st century it is a barren landscape filled with thousands of relatively modest graves and tombs. More imposing architectural remains were built of brick, stone or rubble with a stone facing. The earliest are stone, domed pavilions associated with religious schools and tombs of 14th-century saints (Dani, pp. 27–35). The stone and brickwork traditions of Makli Hill show continuity throughout all periods with pre-Islamic techniques and motifs in Sind. A surprisingly late and very imposing example is the ...



City on the Kaveri River c. 400 km south-west of Madras in Tamil Nadu, India. An important Hindu religious centre since the 7th century ad, it is dominated by an immense granite rock some 85 m high, on the summit of which is a modern shrine dedicated to the elephant-headed god Ganesha. Hewn into the rock on the south side are two caves, the uppermost dating from the time of the Pallava king Mahendravarman I (reg c. 570–630) and the lower to the Pandya era (c. 8th century). The façade of the upper temple is of squat, octagonal pillars bearing Tamil and Sanskrit inscriptions executed in beautiful Pallava script. Inside, at the east end, is a bare cell; opposite this is an important sculpted panel representing the descent of Ganga into the hair of Shiva, who is shown surrounded by devotees. The lower cave is a columned hall (...


Pilgrimage centre and fortified site in Andhra Pradesh, India. It is divided into three main areas: the town of Tirupati, the sacred hill of Tirumalai (h. 700 m) to the north-west, and the fortified hill of Chandragiri to the south-west. All three benefited from the patronage of the Vijayanagara rulers after 1565, when the Vijayanagara capital (Hampi) was sacked and the capital relocated to Chandragiri. In 1646 Chandragiri was captured by ‛Abdallah Qutb Shah of Golconda (reg 1626–72), and in 1782 it fell to Haydar ‛Ali (reg ?1761–82).

The Vaishnava Govindaraja Temple in Tirupati dates mainly from the 15th–17th centuries. Built in the Vijayanagara and Nayaka styles, the complex comprises three enclosures entered by gate towers (gopuras). It contains a number of remarkable sculptures, including a figure of Vishnu reclining on the serpent Ananta (see Indian subcontinent §V 7., (vi)). The principal monument in the Venkatachalam sanctuary on Tirumalai Hill is the Venkateshvara Temple, also dedicated to Vishnu. Dating from the 10th century and later, it is one of the richest temples in India and up to 10,000 pilgrims visit it daily. Comprising two enclosures, the temple is entered through a columned portico containing life-size copper figures of the Vijayanagara kings Krishnadeva Raya (...


J. B. Harrison


Town in Tamil Nadu, India. It was granted to the Danish East India Company in 1620 and held by them until its sale to the English East India Company in 1845. The earliest Danish building, Fort Dansborg (1620–21), a simple square structure with corner bastions, housed barracks, warehouses, a church and two-storey quarters for the governor, chaplain and merchants. The Indian township with its temples and mosque at first lay open; battlements and a moat were added piecemeal later in the 17th century and allowed a European exodus from the cramped fort. A plan of Tranquebar dated 1733 shows streets laid out on a grid plan, box-like houses with pitched roofs of country tiles, tree-filled squares, two churches and the commander’s residence, a three-storey building with a blind arcaded ground floor, a first floor with a verandah and a top floor with a central dormer. Zion Church (...



M. E. Heston

[Tricūr; anc. Tiruchchapērur; Tiruchchuppērur; Tṛśśivapērūr]

Town in the state of Kerala in south-west India, c. 60 km north of Ernakulam. According to the Keralolpatti, the traditional history of Kerala, it was one of the 32 original Brahman settlements of Kerala. The Vadakkunnatha Temple, dedicated to Shiva and situated in the centre of the town, was associated with that settlement and remains one of the major Hindu institutions of the region. The earliest inscriptions date to the 11th century ad, but the origins of the temple were probably several centuries earlier. The main gateway (Skt gopura) of the enclosure faces west; its single-storey stone base follows the south Indian (drāviḍa) model, but the triple-roofed, tiled and gabled superstructure is built of wood in the Kerala style (see Indian subcontinent §III 6., (i), (h)). A pavilion for dance, music and drama performances built by the Maharajas of Cochin in the late 19th century stands in the outer enclosure. The main shrines are located within the inner enclosure....


M. E. Heston


City, capital of the state of Kerala, India. It was named Tiruvanandapuram (‘city of the sacred Ananda’) after the reclining form of the Hindu deity Vishnu, to whom the Padmanabhasvami Temple at the heart of the original town was dedicated. The temple is mentioned in the Śilappadikkaram, an early Tamil narrative poem (2nd–5th century ad), and was praised by the Vaishnava saint Nammalvar (c. 8th century), although the earliest elements of the present complex seem to date from the 12th century. The Ay dynasty, which claimed Padmanabhasvami as its tutelary deity, ruled over most of southernmost Kerala until the 10th century. These territories, together with the areas north of and including Trivandrum, subsequently became the Venadu district of the Kulashekhara kingdom of central Kerala. After the demise of that kingdom in the 12th century, the former Venadu governors ruled as an independent dynasty, assuming the special prerogatives associated with the temple that were formerly claimed by the Ays. Tiruvanandapuram became the capital of ...


J. Marr


Town on the south-east coast of Tamil Nadu, India. Founded in 1540 by the Portuguese, it was captured by the Dutch in 1658. By 1700 there was a population of 50,000 according to Jesuit reports. In 1782 it was taken by the British, who restored it to the Dutch in 1785. It changed hands twice more and figured in the Poligar War of 1801, when it was held by the Poligar of Panchalamkuricchi, a petty chief called Kattabomman Wayaka (executed 1799), and his two brothers (both executed 1801). It passed to the British again in 1825. The Catholic church of Our Lady of the Snows dates from the 17th century. There is also an old Dutch cemetery containing some fine Baroque tombstones with armorial bearings.

A few kilometres to the south along the coast is the temple of Tiruchendur, commemorating the spot where the god Subrahmanya or Murugan is said to have leapt ashore after defeating the demon Surapadma in the sea. The nucleus of this temple is a shrine hewn out of the rock, probably under the ...



Asok Kumar Das

City in south-eastern Rajasthan, India. The earliest settlements were prehistoric. Excavations at Ahar (anc. Aghatapura), 3.2 km east of Udaipur, revealed two periods of occupation, the earlier dating to the second millennium bc; the second period is marked by the introduction of Northern Black polished ware (see Indian subcontinent §VIII 5., (i)) and seals and coins datable to the 3rd century bc and later. Ahar was subsequently important as the capital of the Guhila kings, ancestors of the Rajputs, during the 10th century ad. The ruins of a 10th-century fort, Dhul Kot (Fort of Ashes), survive, as do the temple of Mira Bai (10th century), the Adinatha Temple (11th century, with renovated tower) and a group of 15th-century Jaina temples. Ahar was the cremation ground of the Rajput rulers, and several elegant chatrīs (pavilion-shaped memorials) were erected there (17th century onwards).

Udaipur was established as the capital of Mewar by ...