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Facets Of Indian Art, Iconography and Numismatics

Devendra Handa (Author)

This book contains sixteen essays on different aspects of Indian art, iconography and numismatics. The first one deals with the literary history of Svayambhu Brahma, the god of creation, referring to his earliest representations in stone and clay, pushing back the antiquity of his portrayal to second century bce on numismatic evidence and delineating his different roles as known through sculptural art. Numerous terracottas of different types from Sugh near Yamunanagar in Haryana published here will establish its place comparable to Ahichchhatra, Kaushambi and Mathura. The site has yielded evidence of the earliest portrayal and deification of Rama and Hanuman, the former corroborated by numismatic evidence also going back to second century bce. Glyptics from Sanghol prove that the multiplication of hands of Siva started in the Parthian period and also portray the god as holding trident and sword. Sword in Siva’s hand at such an early period is a rare occurrence and has been explained with reference to literary evidence from the Mahabharata. Terracotta figurines of Mahishamardini from Haryana indicate her popularity in the region through the centuries and the changes in her artistic representations. Bachoonch in Himachal preserves a very rare sculpture of Mahishamardini killing the demon in human form with buffalo totally absent in the relief. Relics from Ahrwan in Palwal district show that it was an important Buddhist centre during the Kushan period. Terracottas from Agroha establish it as a great religious and art centre in the early period. Evidence of itinerant artists is provided by Gupta image of Jaina yaksha Parsva from village Murti in the Salt Range in Pakistan. Evidence of the popularity of the epics in Haryana comes to us from the early medieval depiction of epic scenes from a lost temple at Pehowa, the ancient Prithudaka. Hat Koti in Himachal has preserved an unusual image of Vishnu. The importance of auspiciousness of tortoise, lotus and conch as enunciated in literature, thought and art has been brought out in the next three essays. Glyptics from Kurukshetra have brought to light the artistic form of hitherto unknown deity Sannihitadevi mentioned in the Mahabharata. Very rare images of Satyavan-Savitri and Ardhanarisvara form the subject matter of the last two essays. Facts and statements have been substantiated, documented and illustrated with 49 line-drawings and 163 plates. Bibliography and Index enhance the usability of the work further.

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About the author

Devendra Handa

Shri Devendra Handa holds Post-Graduate degrees in Sanskrit, History and Education-all in First class and with top positions in the University. He obtained his Post-Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from the School of Archaeology (ASI, New Delhi) in 1964 with Credit (Distinction). He is the recipient of Maulana Azad and Archaeological Centenary Commemoration Medals, Sir Mortimer Wheeler Prize and various other awards. He is known to the indologists through more than three hundred research papers and the following books and monographs: 1 Osian: History, Archaeology, Art & Architecture, Delhi, 1984; 2 Studies in Indian Coins and Seals, Delhi, 1985; 3 Indological Studies: Essays in Memory of Shri S.P. Singhal, Delhi, 1987 (Ed.); 4 Ajaya-Sri: Recent Studies in Indology (Prof. Ajay Mitra Shastri Felicitation Volume), 2 Vols., Delhi, 1989 (Ed.); 5 Praci-Prabha: Perspectives in Indololgy (Essays in honour of Prof. B.N. Mukherjee), New Delhi, 1989 (Ed. Jointly with Prof. D.C. Bhattacharyya); 6 Ratna-Chandrika: Panorama of Oriental Studies (Shri R.C. Agrawala Festschrift), New Delhi, 1989 (Ed. Jointly with Prof. Ashvini Agrawal); 7 Heritage of Haryana: Buddhist Remains, Chandigarh, 1989; 8 Vishvambhara: Probings in Orientology (Prof. V.S. Pathak Festschrift), 2 Vols. New Delhi, 1995 (Ed. Jointly with Prof. Ajay Mitra Shastri and C.S. Gupta); 9 Numismatic Studies, Vols. 1-3 (1991-93), New Delhi (Ed.); 10 Oriental Numismatic Studies, Vols. 1-2 (1994 & 1996), Delhi (Ed.). He has attended numerous national and international conferences and delivered lectures in various institutions. In 1992, he got the Lowick Memorial Grant of the Royal Numismatic Society, London for studying the tribal coins of India. In 1993, he visited Sri Lanka on the invitation of the Sri Lanka Numismatic Society. He was honoured for his contributions to the science of numismatics at Calcutta in 1994. After a teaching career of more than thirty years, he finally retired from the Panjab University, Chandigarh in 1999. After his retirement from the Panjab University, Chandigarh, he was a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study at Shimla (2000-2003) and Senior Fellow of the Ministry of Culture, GOPI, New Delhi (2003-2005). He presided over the 88th Annual Conference of the Numismatic Society of India at Nagpur in 2004 and Seminar on Coinage of the North West India at Chandigarh in 2005.

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Bibliographic information

Title Facets Of Indian Art, Iconography and Numismatics
Format Hardcover
Date published: 08.01.2021
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788173056512
length xx + 244p., 15cm x 22cm.