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Article

Alchi  

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)...

Article

Angkor  

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 ...

Article

Bazaar  

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....

Article

Belur  

Gary Michael Tartakov

[Belūr]

Indian town and temple site in southern Karnataka that flourished c. 1100–1800. The most important temple at the site is the Chhennakeshava (or Vijayanarayana) temple, the earliest example of the uniquely ornate style developed under the Hoysala dynasty. The temple was dedicated to Vishnu in 1117 by Bittiga (Vishnuvardhana) (reg c. 1106–56) in celebration of his victory over the Cholas and attainment of undisputed Hoysala independence in southern Karnataka. Within the same compound stand the Kappechhennigaraya temple, constructed by Vishnuvardhana’s queen, and many later structures, including a Vijayanagara-period gopura (towered gateway) built in 1397.

The Chhennakeshava temple stands on a wide platform opposite the gopura. The complex, star-shaped plan of the sanctum contrasts with the square, faceted plan of the multi-pillared hall (Skt navaraṅga) that precedes it. An exceptionally elaborate, nine-course moulded socle is mainly geometric above an initial frieze of elephants. The low-roofed navaraṅga, originally open on the front and sides, was closed in with the standard, richly embellished screens and doorways of the later Hoysala style (...

Article

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...

Article

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 (...

Article

[Châlons-sur-Marne]

Collegiate church in Champagne, Marne, France. A chapel is known to have existed on the site from at least the 9th century ad. The church was a regular centre of pilgrimage, particularly after 1128, when an epidemic swept the country. In the 12th century Notre-Dame-en-Vaux was under the patronage of the cathedral chapter, but the canons of Notre-Dame vigorously resented any intervention in their administration. Conflicts easily flared up, culminating in a dispute (1180–87) concerning legal rights and prebends.

In 1157 a tower collapsed, initiating the complete reconstruction of the church. The first building campaign (1157–c. 1175) involved the lower levels of the nave and transept. At the same time, a cloister with an important sculptural programme was erected on the north side of the nave. After c. 1180 the construction of the church was interrupted, perhaps owing to the dispute with the cathedral chapter. It is likely that the cloister was already finished at that time. The church was completed in a second campaign from ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Chola  

J. Marr

[Coḷa]

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 ...

Article

J. Marr and Christopher Tadgell

[Daulatābād; anc. Devagiri, Deogiri]

Fortress site in central Maharashtra, India, a key link in the chain of forts that once controlled the Deccan. The conical mountain of granite, rising over 180 m, was originally a Buddhist monastic site; some of its excavated shrines were incorporated into the earliest defences, which were probably created in the 9th century ad by a feudatory of the Rashtrakuta dynasty. In 1187, the Yadava king Billama V (reg 1185–93) made Devagiri his capital, after which a succession of dynasties vied for its control. Devagiri first fell in 1293 to the powerful Sultanate armies of ‛Ala al-Din Khalji (reg 1296–1316). The Jami‛ Masjid (congregational mosque) was founded in 1318; recycled temple pillars figure in its construction. After the Tughluq dynasty took control of the Sultanate in 1320, they continued a policy of expansion into the Deccan. In 1328, feeling that Delhi was too far from his military operations, Muhammad Tughluq (...

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

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 (...

Article

Ghurid  

R. Nath and Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

[Ghuri; Ghorid]

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 ...

Article

Haihaya  

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 ...

Article

Hoysala  

J. Marr

Dynasty that ruled the southern Deccan, India, from the early 12th century to the mid-14th. The name refers to a story of the dynastic founder Sala (reg mid-11th century) killing a tiger (hoy) that was menacing a Jaina ascetic. Dates for the earlier rulers are uncertain. Bittiga (also known as Bittideva or Vishnuvardhana) for example reigned, according to various sources, c. 1106–42, c. 1132–41 or c. 1106–56. Originally feudatories of the Ganga rulers, the Hoysalas were established at Belur and controlled the large tract between the Kaveri River and the Tungabhadra River. The Chennakesava Temple to the god Vishnu at Belur, founded by Bittiga, was completed by Narasimha I (reg c. 1156–73), with pierced screens and doorways being added later. The Hoysalas also built such renowned temples as the Hoysaleshvara Temple to Shiva at Halebid and the Keshava Temple to Vishnu at Somnathpur. In the late 12th century and early 13th, as the Chalukyas of Kalyana declined, the Hoysalas became increasingly powerful. Narasimha III (...

Article

J. Marr

[Kākatīya]

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...

Article

[Kalacuris of Kalyāṇa]

Dynasty that ruled in Maharashtra, India, in the 12th century. The Kalachuris were an offshoot of the Haihaya or Chedi family that ruled at Tripuri (mod. Tewar) near Jabalpur, Madya Pradesh, and was also related by marriage to the Chalukyas of Kalyana (see Chalukya §2) and the Rashtrakuta royal house. Dates for the earliest Kalachuri rulers are not known. The first prince of this family was Krishna, who is spoken of as Vishnu. The sequence of father-to-son successions was Krishna, Jogama, Paramardin and Vijjana (or Bijjala, reg 1156–68). Vijjana was a feudatory of the Chalukya king Tailapa III (reg 1150–65), who repulsed the attacks of the Chalukya Kumarapala of Gujarat (reg c. 1145–72) and the Chola king Kulottunga II (reg c. 1133–50) but was taken prisoner when he marched against the Kakatiya ruler Parola II (reg c. 1115–58). Subsequent to this event, Vijjana practically had sovereignty over the Deccan though acknowledged the nominal sway of the Chalukya house until the death of Tailapa III. Vijjana humbled all his enemies and also subdued a religious revolution led by his minister Basava. He abdicated in ...

Article

Michael Curschmann

The medieval term mappa mundi (also forma mundi, historia/istoire) covers a broad array of maps of the world of which roughly 1100 survive. These have resisted systematic classification, but the clearly dominant type is one that aims at comprehensively symbolistic representation. Its early, schematic form is a disc composed of three continents surrounded and separated from one another by water (“T-O Map”) and associated with the three sons of Noah: Asia (Shem) occupies all of the upper half, Europe (Japhet) to the left and Africa (Ham) to the right share the lower half. Quadripartite cartographic schemes included the antipodes as a fourth continent, but the tripartite model was adopted by the large majority of the more developed world maps in use from the 11th century on and—with important variations—well into the Renaissance. While details were added as available space permitted, the Mediterranean continued to serve as the vertical axis and, with diminishing clarity, the rivers Don and Nile as the horizontal one. The map also continues to be ‘oriented’ towards Asia, where paradise sits at the very top. A circular ocean forms the perimeter and not infrequently the city of Jerusalem constitutes its centre....

Article

Pagan  

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....

Article

Susan L. Huntington

[Pāla]

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 ...