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The Temples in Kumbhariya

M. A. Dhaky (Author) U.S. Moorti (Author)
Synopsis Kumbhariya (known anciently as Arasana or Arasanakara), now a non-descript hamlet, situated about a mile and half to the southeast of the famous holy tirtha-town Ambaji (Banaskantha district, Gujarat, India) and about 35 kms southeast of Mt. Abu was an important Jaina site in High Medieval times. Home to five exquisite Jaina temples and a Sivaite fane, these marble buildings, sacred to the faithful, were built during the Solanki period between the 11th and the late-13th centuries A.D. Being the smallest remainder of the precious architectural wealth of the past, they per se assume importance as very valuable visual documents of Jaina art and architecture of the medieval epoch in Gujarat. This work, for the first time delineates and accounts comprehensively albeit pointedly the historical, socio-religious and cultural perspective of Jainism in Gujarat, from its advent in the Mauryan period to the late Solanki period, as a prelude to the building of the Kumbhariya temples in the medieval period. While unfolding all its aspects – site’s and temples’ history, inscriptions, buildings and their descriptions supported by relevant drawings including floor-plans and photo-illustrations, the work concurrently makes a critical estimation and evaluation of the art of its architecture and sculpture as also the temples’ special contributions to the qualitative aspects of architectural aesthetics. This work also demonstrates that the spectacular interiors of the four Jaina temples at Kumbhariya are more ancient than those in the Delvada temples and the variety and richness of the columns and the ceilings equal or are on par with the Delvada temples on Mt. Abu. They thus provide on one side the visual links to, and on the other lend insights into the evolutionary development, casting as they also do additional light on the stylistic trends in the Jaina mode of temple planning as well as the nature of associated architectural components and details that preceded the world famous Delvada temples. Moreover, this refreshing work authentically and firmly situates this ensemble of temples in an honourable niche they so rightly deserve in the history of western Indian Jaina architecture.
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About the authors

M. A. Dhaky

Professor M.A. Dhaky, currently Director (Emeritus) at the American Institute of Indian Studies’ Centre for Art and Archaeology, Gurgaon (Haryana), is a historian and researcher of ancient and medieval Indian art and architecture and Sanskrit texts that relate to the architecture of the ancient buildings. Prof. Dhaky had served on deputation at the AIIS’ Varanasi Center from August 1966, first from the Department of Archaeology, Government of Gujarat, and from 1974 from the L.D. Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad, where he was till 1987 posted as the Research Professor of Indian Art and Architecture. Among his publications are the short and long monographs, chapters to the Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture and research papers in English, Gujarati, and in Hindi, on the history and literature including agamas and hymnology of the Nirgranthadarsana, as also articles involving criticism and interpretation of art and architecture, musicology and horticulture, all together numbering 290. He is recipient of many a awards and honours: the ‘Kumara’ silver medal (Ahmedabad 1974), an award of the Prakrta Jananabharati, Bangalore (1993), the Campbell Memorial Gold Medal of the Asiatic Society of Bombay (1994), the Hemacandracarya Award from Jaswanta Dharmarth Trust, Delhi (1997), and an award and gold medal from “Kalikalasarvjna Sri Hemacandracarya Navam Janma-Satabdi Smriti Samskara Siksana Nidhi” Trust, Ahmedabad (1999).

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U.S. Moorti

Udayaravi S. Moorti, currently Joint Director at the American Institute of Indian Studies’ Centre for Art and Archaeology, Gurgaon (Haryana) is a researcher of ancient and medieval Indian art, architecture, and archaeology. He studied Ancient Indian History and Epigraphy at the Karnatak University, Dharwad and obtained a Ph.D. from the Poona University. Later he pursued his postdoctoral studies at the University of Cambridge, U.K., on a Commonwealth Fellowship (1989-90). He has documented several important and less known ancient and medieval buildings in India. Among his publications are The Megalithic Culture of South India: Socio-Economic Perspectives, 1994, Varanasi, and several articles in the reputed journals. He served as Coordinator to the recently published Vol. I, Pt. 4-A (Integrated styles of South India, c. A.D. 1360-1762), the succeeding volume to these Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture, South India series, expected to be ready in the near future.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Temples in Kumbhariya
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173044341
length xxxiv186p., 244 B/w Plates; Bibliography; References; Glossary.