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Gaddi Land in Chamba: Its History, Art & Culture

O.C. Handa (Author)

Ancient Brahmpur (Brahmaur) kingdom is the traditional home of Gaddis, hence also called Gadderan. Brahmpur has been the only Himalayan Kingdom that may claim its antiquity to as early as 6th century, based on its magnificent wooden and stone temples, exquisite image, inscriptions, etc., which reflect an amalgam of varied religion-artistic traditions. In the present work, all the temples and images have been discussed at length in the light of evidences found during the last five decades, tracing their genesis to the ancient Buddhist structural activities and the later pan-Indian aesthetic ferment.

Brahmpur lost its glory in 10th century, after the capital was shifted to Chamba, and it remained in oblivion until 12th century, when the shepherding people from mainland settled there. They were known as Gaddis. Gradually, they developed a distinct and quint-essential way of living in the Himalayan mountainous interior. Thus, the Gaddis and emerged as one of the most cultured and interesting people for their ethno-cultural distinctiveness. The present work discusses all those aspects lucidly.

The book is spread in seven chapters, covering physiography of the area of study, ethnographic miieu, political scenario, technique and style of image-making and the artisans, Gaddi domestic architecture and the wooden and stone temples. Three useful appendices further make this study comprehensive and up-to-date.

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About the author

O.C. Handa

Dr. O.C. Handa is a well-known connoisseur of are and culture, and an outstanding scholar in history and archaeology, especially of the Himalayan region, having been in the field now for almost a half century. In his exploratory pursuits, he has been undertaking several expeditions, many of them the solo ones, to the far-flung nooks and corners of the Western and Central Himalayan regions. That would underscore his zeal to explore the antique but extant material evidences of history, art and culture of the Himalayan region, and his commitment to acquire the firsthand and authentic knowledge of almost all aspects of the creative enterprise of the people of this region. This quality is well reflected in his writings. He did his post-graduation in History from the University of Mysore, Ph. D. from the Meerut University and D. Litt. From the Agra University. Having come from the civil engineering background, Himachal Pradesh for several years. Dr. Handa has more than fifteen exclusive and four edited books on the art, history, archaeology and culture of the himalayan region to his credit. Besides, he has been writing articles and research papers for various national and international research journals and magazines. He has also been performing for the radio and TV. He has participated in several regional, national and international seminars and workshops and delivered lectures on the subjects of his specialty at various forums in India and abroad. He remained a member of different expert committees of the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi and the ministry of Tourism & Culture, Govt. of India. Dr. Handa remained a fellow of the Himachal Academy of Art, Language and culture, Shimla, India Council of Historical Research, New Delhi and the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla at different periods. He was a Senior Fellow of the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi from 2001 to 2003.  He is a fellow of US-based Infinity Foundation, working on the Himalayan domestic architecture.

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Bibliographic information

Title Gaddi Land in Chamba: Its History, Art & Culture
Author O.C. Handa
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173871744
length 206p., Figures; Plates; Notes; Appendices; Bibliography; Index; 23cm.