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Temple Architecture of the Western Himalaya

O.C. Handa (Author)
Synopsis The Western Himalayan region conjures up a vision of a vast mountainscape, with its snow - crested lofty peaks, verdant mountain slopes, cascading streams and sun-bathed glens and valleys. This region has been one of the most active and vibrant rendezvous for races and cultures since remotest times. Generation after generation, hordes of people, belonging to diverse ethno-cultural backgrounds, different religious beliefs and varying art-traditions have been pouring into this region from all directions. This work strives to discover those racio-cultural strains, and presents a kaleidoscopic picture through the study of wooden temples of this region as a living and organic entity of the socio-cultural whole. For proper understanding of the Western Himalayan wooden temples, it is essential that these are evaluated as the living and dynamic institutions of the society. For, these temples are so articulate in their silent expressions that by following their decorative details, one can recreate socio-cultural past of the society. The present study, divided into two parts, deals with the socio-geographical mosaic, the racio-cultural background and discusses the factors responsible for the development of the wooden temple architecture in this region. The classification of the wooden temples on their elevational peculiarities, etc. has been attempted. Typological analysis of these temples forms a very important component of the study. Attempt has also been made to set right certain laring incongruities that have cropped up in the writings on the temple architecture and related topics of this region.
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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 Temple Architecture of the Western Himalaya
Author O.C. Handa
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173871159
length iv+336p., Figures; Plates; Maps; References; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.