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The Torana in Indian and Southeast Asian Architecture

 
Parul Pandya Dhar (Author)
Synopsis

The present work discusses in depth the subject of toranas (arched portals or festoons) in the ancient and medieval architecture of South- and South-east Asia, with special emphasis on Indian representations. Their antiquity and rationale; their continued presence in association with stupas, caves, temples, mosques, cities, forts, and palaces; their myriad forms and transformations; and their aesthetic and symbolic relationship to the structure in question are analyzed stage-by-stage in this book. The rich corpus of toranas included here has been critically and comparatively analyzed in relation to traditional practice, as well as in the light of the medieval architectural treatises, historical records, and other literary sources. The approach is ‘micro’ in the sense of being focused on a specific architectural element but ‘macro’ in its regional and temporal span. In addition, the exposition reveals the grammar as well as the manifold visual formulations of the torana as representative of the basic principles of traditional Indian architectural ornament: integral to the structure, functionally apt, aesthetically significant, and visually evocative, with sound and sophisticated design principles.

The text is richly illustrated with photographs and line drawings, bringing together material scattered over several well-known as well as remote sites, museums, and archival collections. Whereas a major part of this book details the journey of the torana in ancient and medieval India, the section on early beginnings also includes references from Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the final chapter surveys, with a view to compare, parallel yet distinct expressions in Cambodia, Thailand, Champa, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

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About the author

Parul Pandya Dhar

Parul Pandya Dhar, presently Assistant Professor, History of Art, at National Museum Institute, New Delhi, is also a noted Indian classical dance exponent. Well acquainted with classical Indian languages and literature, her core research interests center on Indian temple art & architecture. Recipient of prestigious fellowships and grants, she is currently working on Toranas in Indian Architecture: with comparative reference to southeast Asia. Her lecture-performing arts of India as also her work on the interpretation and adaptation of Sanskrit poetry to the language of dance have been well received by artists and art historians within India and abroad.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Torana in Indian and Southeast Asian Architecture
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2009
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher D K Printworld
Language: English
isbn 8124605343, 9788124605349
length xvii+317p., Colour Plates; Plates; Appendices; Bibliography; Glossary; Index; 30cm.