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Jaina Bronzes From Hansi

Devendra Handa (Editor)
Synopsis Haryana has been a terra incognita as far as the beginning of Jainism and Jaina art are concerned. The hoard of Jaina bronzes from Hansi in district Hisar, discovered just accidentally in February 1982, which has remained unpublished all these years, thus, forms an important discovery which throws very welcome light on the beginnings of Jainism in this northern state adjoining Delhi. It provides the earliest archaeological evidence of the prevalence of Jainism in Haryana as also of the bronze art of the region. The present hoard of fifty-eight bronze images belonging to the Svetambara and Digambara sects of the Jainas with two Buddhist images of bhumisparsa Buddha and Avalokitesvara Padmapani throws very significant light on the religious and art history of the region. The images belong to eighth through tenth centuries and were probably buried together at the time of the siege of the city towards the close of AD 1037. Many of the images show coatings and traces of sandal paste still sticking to them indicating thereby that they were under worship at the time of their burial. Another interesting fact is that the Svetambaras, Digambaras and the Buddhists joined together to bury these icons in one cauldron betraying the religious harmony that may have been prevailing at Hansi at that time. The images are not real bronzes but made of different alloys. They also betray the techniques of solid and hollow casting, welding, hammering, engraving on sheets, etc. to create them. The contents of the hoard reveal that Parsvanatha was the most popular tirthankara at Hansi followed by Mahavira, Adinatha (Rishabhanatha), Chandraprabha and Mallinatha. This hoard has provided us the first metallic image of female Mallinatha, the earliest and the only known example of the parents of the Jina in metal, and early examples of the metallic Sarvatobhadrik5s. Influence from Rajasthan and Gujarat is also discernible in their technique and iconography. The present book deals with all these aspects of the metal images and brings out their religious, cultural and art-historical importance.
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About the author

Devendra Handa

Shri Devendra Handa holds Post-Graduate degrees in Sanskrit, History and Education-all in First class and with top positions in the University. He obtained his Post-Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from the School of Archaeology (ASI, New Delhi) in 1964 with Credit (Distinction). He is the recipient of Maulana Azad and Archaeological Centenary Commemoration Medals, Sir Mortimer Wheeler Prize and various other awards. He is known to the indologists through more than three hundred research papers and the following books and monographs: 1 Osian: History, Archaeology, Art & Architecture, Delhi, 1984; 2 Studies in Indian Coins and Seals, Delhi, 1985; 3 Indological Studies: Essays in Memory of Shri S.P. Singhal, Delhi, 1987 (Ed.); 4 Ajaya-Sri: Recent Studies in Indology (Prof. Ajay Mitra Shastri Felicitation Volume), 2 Vols., Delhi, 1989 (Ed.); 5 Praci-Prabha: Perspectives in Indololgy (Essays in honour of Prof. B.N. Mukherjee), New Delhi, 1989 (Ed. Jointly with Prof. D.C. Bhattacharyya); 6 Ratna-Chandrika: Panorama of Oriental Studies (Shri R.C. Agrawala Festschrift), New Delhi, 1989 (Ed. Jointly with Prof. Ashvini Agrawal); 7 Heritage of Haryana: Buddhist Remains, Chandigarh, 1989; 8 Vishvambhara: Probings in Orientology (Prof. V.S. Pathak Festschrift), 2 Vols. New Delhi, 1995 (Ed. Jointly with Prof. Ajay Mitra Shastri and C.S. Gupta); 9 Numismatic Studies, Vols. 1-3 (1991-93), New Delhi (Ed.); 10 Oriental Numismatic Studies, Vols. 1-2 (1994 & 1996), Delhi (Ed.). He has attended numerous national and international conferences and delivered lectures in various institutions. In 1992, he got the Lowick Memorial Grant of the Royal Numismatic Society, London for studying the tribal coins of India. In 1993, he visited Sri Lanka on the invitation of the Sri Lanka Numismatic Society. He was honoured for his contributions to the science of numismatics at Calcutta in 1994. After a teaching career of more than thirty years, he finally retired from the Panjab University, Chandigarh in 1999. After his retirement from the Panjab University, Chandigarh, he was a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study at Shimla (2000-2003) and Senior Fellow of the Ministry of Culture, GOPI, New Delhi (2003-2005). He presided over the 88th Annual Conference of the Numismatic Society of India at Nagpur in 2004 and Seminar on Coinage of the North West India at Chandigarh in 2005.

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Bibliographic information

Title Jaina Bronzes From Hansi
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173052344
length xvi+46p., Col. & B/w Plates; Maps; Bibliography; Index; 25cm.