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Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram): Monumental Legacy

R Nagaswamy (Author)
Synopsis Built in 700 CE by the famous Pallava King Rajasimha, Mahabalipuram is a unique monument where art form combines with religion and legends. Also known as Mamallapuram, it showcases the best of Tamil art and architecture. The beauty of the monument is further enhanced by its location on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, the latter significantly influencing the creations. Part of the prestigious monumental legacy series, this book takes readers on a fascinating tour of the site and its monuments--Mandapas (cave temples), Rathas (chariots), open air bas-reliefs, and structural temples--all carved out of single sandstones. Arjuna's penance to obtain Pashupata Astra from Lord Shiva; Goddess Durga's victory over Mahishasura, the buffalo-headed demon; Vishnu's incarnation as Varaha, a wild boar; Goddess Lakshmi, personification of beauty and feminity; Krishna lifting the Govardhana Hill--many familiar legends come alive in Mahabalipuram. The author also surveys other related sculptures, panels, and inscriptions--Adivaraha cave, Mahishasura Mardini cave, Mahishasuramardini panel, Varaha panel, Vishnu as Tirvikrama, Shore temple, the diving Varaha, and the seated lion. The illustrations, layout plans, maps, and photographs in this volume provide a comprehensive visual presentation of the site for visitors who will also find the glossary and practical tips useful. Lucidly written, this book will be indispensable for general readers, and informed tourists visiting the site. Students and scholars of history, cultural studies, and arts and architecture will find the work interesting.
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About the author

R Nagaswamy

Dr. R. Nagaswamy, is the author of many books in English and Tamil including Master pieces of South Indian Bronzes, Siva Bhakti etc.  He has also edited several books including Foundations of Indian Art (Proceedings of the Chidambaram Seminar on Art and Religion).  He has organized several District, State, National and International Conferences like the International conference on Mahabharata-Madras, 2003.  Dr. R. Nagaswamyu has delivered lectures in almost all leading Universities of the world spread over France, Germany, Denmark, USSR, Sweden, UK, Canada and USA (including at Harvard, Pennsylvania, Cornell, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Austin, South Carolina and Other places).  He has toured in Thailand and Combodia and made an extensive study of South East Asian Art, Monuments, Religion and Inscriptions.  He directed Sound and Light programme at the 17th cent.  Nayak Palace at Madurai and was the first to undertake Underwater Archaeological exploration off the coast of Pumpuhar in Tamilnadu.  Appeared as an expert witness in the London High Court on behalf of Government of India, in the famous London Nataraja Case.  He is the recipient of several public honours including the title Kalaimamani conferred by the Government of Tamil Nadu for his signal contribution to Tamil art and literature.  He is the Founder Trustee of the Chidambaram Natyanjali Trust.  Justice Ian Kennedy, Judge, London High Court, mentioned in his judgement (1988) that 'Dr. R. Nagaswamy, I am satisfied, is an unequalled expert in his subject'.

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Bibliographic information

Title Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram): Monumental Legacy
Author R Nagaswamy
Format Hardcover
Date published: 17.04.2008
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780195693737
length xiv+94p., Figures; Plates; Maps; Glossary; 22cm.