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Gods and Temples in South India: In South India

Winand M. Callewaert (Author)
Synopsis Millions of Foreign and Indian tourist and pilgrims visit the thousands of shrines that testify to India’s great cultural and religious heritage. For many of them the local priests of their own childhood treading of the Indrajal comics are the only aids to understand and interiorize the massage of the ‘stones’ for them and for others this book has been written as an introduction to the mythological and religious background of the gods worshipped in temples and carved in beautiful statues. It also gives a detailed description of the numerous episodes depicted on the walls and inside the shrines. A Journey through south India is definitely an aesthetic experience. It becomes a religious experience if the visitor can enter into the mind of the sculptors and devotees who gave the best of their lives to construct and decorate the temples. Their efforts were inspired mainly by devotion, even if some of them belonged to traveling guilds who were responsible for the great similarlty in the immense variety of sculptures. With this in mind, the visitor knows he walks on sacred ground, centuries old, when he enters a temple or climbs the Shravana Belgola hill to have darshan of Shree Gomateshvara. At the Same time she or he may like to know why Ganeshji has the head of an elephant or why Snake-gods are so abundantly present on the walls of temples, along with erotic scenes and images of Shiva in so many different forms. And what stories of the mythological past are told to explain ancient India was not only worshipped as a man, but also a woman. All that ‘appears’ if one looks attentively at the living stones. A Fascinating reading for all those interested in the history of and cultural tourism in India.
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About the author

Winand M. Callewaert

Winand M. Callewaert is professor of Sanskrit and Hinduism at the KUlEUVEN, Belgium. He has been studying and working in India since 1965, holding degrees in Hindi, Sanskrit and Philosophy from Ranchi, Pune and Varanasi, and a Ph.D. and D. Lit. from Leuven. Besides numerous research articles he has published 17 books in English or Hindi and 14 in Dutch.

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Bibliographic information

Title Gods and Temples in South India: In South India
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition Reprint
Language: English
isbn 8173046565
length vi+243p., Figures; Maps; Bibliography; Index; 23cm