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Multiple Headed and Hybrid Gods: In the Temples of South India

 
Myneni Krishna Kumari (Author)
Synopsis

The book deals with thes parsely discussed theme of the Hindu gods with multiple heads, arms and legs rarely found in the temples of medieval South India. The multiplicity of heads and limbs depicted in the temple sculptures is not only a feature of the Hindu religious art but it denotes several functions, activities of the gods, the rise of the cults and their spread in the different regions of the country Depiction of the hybrid gods by combining one or more animal or birdf orms with one human physical body represent the separate cults in single figure and reveals not only the underlying religious myths but also the religious transformations of the gods as well as their ever changingr oles and identities. Although them ulti-heads, multi-arms and many legs of the Hindu gods violate the anatomical naturalism they convey a sense of power endowed with superh uman elements and distinguishes themselves as the symbols of the Integration of the different sects. The study focuses mainly on the study of the less known icons of Siva as Juaraharesvara with multiple heads and legs, Panchamukha Ganesa, Sarabhesa, Sadasiva, Panchamukha Hanuman, Purushamriga, Panchamukha Garuda and the multiple headed animals such as three headed bull, two, three andf ive headed cows etc., closelya ssociated with the Hindu gods with Iconographical and mythological perspectives. It throws a welcome light on the unpublished images and provides a basis for the better understanding of the multiple headed and hybrid deities and the semi-divine beings worshipped in the temples of South India. The  large number of the images described and interpreted in the study is illustrated by 46 line drawings and 122 photographs.

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About the author

Myneni Krishna Kumari

Dr. Myneni Krishna Kumari obtained her Ph.D and D.Litt degrees in History and Archaeology from Andhra University in 1978 and 1999 respectively. She received many honours and distinctions in her academic career. She has been honoured with "The Best Researcher Award" by the Andhra University in 1992 and "The Best Teacher Award" by the Andhra Pradesh State Government in 2001. She has received "The Young Scientist Award" in the Humanities and Social Sciences from the U.G.C., Delhi in 1984-85. Presently she is working as a Professor in the Department of History and Archaeology, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam She has served the University in various capacities asHead of the Department, Chairperson P.G. Board of Studies and member of the Executive Council of the Andhra University. She is a "Visiting Professor" of Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah (US). She has participated in more than 100 seminars, conferences and international workshops and presented several papers. She is a prolific writer,a good researcher, has authored eight books and edited two volumes related to the history the culture of the Andhras.

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Bibliographic information

Title Multiple Headed and Hybrid Gods: In the Temples of South India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2022
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9789391123130
length 230p., 46 Illustrations, 122 Photographs; 29cm