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Encyclopaedia of Hindu Iconography: Early Medieval (In 4 Volumes)

Raju Kalidos (Author)
Synopsis Vo. I Visnu was supported by a contingency grant of the ICHR. It contains the results of the author in literature and the field. Monuments of the early medieval period all over South Indian was visited and the literature in Tamil and Sanskrit consulted. Being the first in a series of four volumes, it has a chapter on religion and political background. The results of the monuments surveyed in the field are presented in the third chapter under the subheads ‘Upper Deccan’, ‘Lower Deccan’ and ‘Far South’. However, the most important part of the monograph is the investigation of Tamil sources that is a much-neglected aspect in Indian art historical research. In the present volume, the Tamil quota of thought embodied in the Nalayiram is examined. There are two annexure of which one was a paper presented in the Banares Hindu University. The other is an analysis of the Vaisnava divyaksetras as listed in the Nalayiram. Vol. II Siva is result of the projected submitted to the UGC fetched some funds for fieldwork. The field was visited few more times from Elephanta in the west to Vilinam in the Far South. The American Institute of Indian Studies offered a senior fellowship to do library work at Varanasi. The volume in design is slightly modified. The first chapter presents an examination of the sources in Tamil literature, especially the hymns of the bhakti savants, the Nayanmar, particularly the Tevaram. There are not less than 8000 hymns under vast corpus, the examination of which has inspired western scholars (e.g. Ellen Goldberg of the Queen’s University, Ontario) to pay attention to the Tamil sources in the investigation of an Indian iconographic theme such as Ardhanarisvara. The II-IV chapters examine the Saiva iconographical themes, as they are present in the Upper Deccan, Lower Deccan and Far South. The other chapters attempt an analytical study of the distribution patter of the iconographical themes and their aesthetic value. A recent article published in the Acta Orientalia deals with the origin and distribution pattern of Lingodbhavamurti, basing on the methodology followed in the present monograph. Vol. III is on Sakti Goddesses. The field was visited few more times in South India. The first chapter presents an account of sources in both Tamil and Sanskrit. The Tamil sources examined are those of the Cankam classics and the pre-Pallava Cilappatikaram and Manimekalai. In addition to the Devimahatmyam, some liturgical works (e.g. Lalitasahasranama) and the Mattavilasaprahasana are examined. The results of these sources have been published simultaneously in journals, East and West and Acta Orientalia. The nutshell of ideas from these articles is incorporated in the present volume. Chapters II-IV present an account of the iconographical typologies of Devi in Upper Deccan, Lower Deccan and Far South. The distribution patter and aesthetics of the forms of Devi as they appear in early medieval art are discussed in the other chapters. As in the other volumes, a simple quantitative method is applied to assess the status of Devi within the Hindu pantheon during the period under study. Vol. IV is in two parts. For the present study, the field was visited few more time. The first part deals with Ganapati and Skanda-Murukan. The second part deals with Brahma and other deities. The volume is designed in four chapters, the first dealing with sources and the others with iconographical forms found in the Upper Deccan, Lower Deccan and the Far South. The distribution pattern is discussed in a separate chapter. The chapter bearing on sources discusses th data forthcoming from Tamil and Sanskrit. In an overall perspective, the present series is an important contribution because it has a special bearing Tamil sources dealing with the major and minor deities of the Hindu pantheon. To our knowledge, no other researcher in iconography has done this job satisfactorily. Few American-Indian and British scholars have examined the Tamil sources in an entirely different context. They either are translations of the poems or discuss their cultural setting and not iconography.
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About the author

Raju Kalidos

The Editor of the book, Professor Raju Kalidos, is Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Chairman of the Department of Sculpture and Art History of the Tamil University of Thanjavur. Born in August 1947, Raju’s contribution to the nation is fitting if we look into the title and the sectarian trends of Indian politics at the time of the golden jubilee celebration of independence. Dr. Kalidos is an authority on South Indian art and Tamil literature, especially its bearing on iconology. The Editor has to his credit four books and a number of articles in internationally reputed Journals, published from Rome, Cambridge (U.K.), London, Nepales, Copenhagen and Osle. He has participated in international conferences at home and abroad; especially of the International Association of the Historians of Asia (Hong Kong and Thailand) and International Congress of Asian and North African Studies (Hong Kong). Publication in Journals of national level touch a centum. The associates of Raju Kalidos are equally meritorious, all having contributed/published in the international Journals. The are R.K.K. Rajarajan, S. Gopalakrishnan, V. Latha and A Meeneshwari. J. Rangasvami is Reader in the Department of Philosophy of the Tamil University. S. Ganeshram is Lecturer in the S.R. Naidu College, Sattur. Both of them are associated with the Editor in research projects for a pretty long time. V. Balambal was Professor of History in the University of Madras. A major UGC project, completed by Raju Kalidos on the Iconography of Early Medieval South India is being published by the Sharada Publishing House in five volumes.

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Bibliographic information

Title Encyclopaedia of Hindu Iconography: Early Medieval (In 4 Volumes)
Author Raju Kalidos
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2006
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 818893433X
length xxxvi+341p.; xix+319p.; xiii+171p.; xii+270p., Tables; Plates; Figures; Maps; References; 29cm.