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Religion and Society in Peninsular India (6th-16th Centuries CE)

N. Chandramouli (Editor)

Peninsular India moved into the medieval epoch more or less uniformly from 6th century CE onwards. The millennium between 6th and 16th centuries witnessed tumultuous socio-cultural and politico-economic changes culminating with the downfall of the Vijayanagara Empire. On the political and cultural fronts, the period between 7th-14th centuries saw the emergence of regional kingdoms based on geographical and linguistic demarcations which provided the congenial atmosphere for the expansion of sectarian faiths and efflorescence of associated vernacular literature, art, sculpture and iconography. The Bhakti movement of 7th-12th centuries CE emphasized the individualistic relationship with a personal deity. It was in this movement that women and members of the sudra and untouchable communities were included and were offered a place of importance. In the vanguard of this movement were poet-saints who eschewed the Sanskrit language and rituals of Brahmin priests in favour of emotive devotional songs expressed in regional vernaculars. The Pasupata, Kapalika, Kalamukha, Sakta and Siddha/Natha traditions of the tantric branch made significant contributions to the efflorescence of arts and letters.

The present volume is a collection of 18 research papers on various dimensions of religion and society in peninsular India during 6th-17th centuries written by distinguished and well-known scholars in their respective areas of research. The first paper deals with the general issues of historical and archaeological research followed by one on the making of religious traditions in peninsular India. Six papers trace the religious developments in the Karnataka region, focusing on the growth of Vaishnavism, sacred geography in the songs of Purandaradasa, the cult of Kartikeya, iconography of Narasimha and Mahishasuramardani and temple induced urbanism of Hampi. Three papers focus on Jainism, Saivism and maritime history of Tamil Nadu. Three papers are on the Kerala

region dealing with topics like Vaishnava Bhakti, Saptamatrika cult and growth of Padmanabhaswamy and Guruvayur Krishna temples during 10th-16th centuries CE. One paper deals with the construction of social ranking in medieval Andhra Pradesh while three papers are on Sufism in the Deccan region.

The volume will serve as a standard reference work for the scholars and students of the history of peninsular India.

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About the author

N. Chandramouli

Dr. N. Chandramouli is working as Associate Professor in the Department of History, Pondicherry University since December, 2006. Before joining Pondicherry University, he worked as Assistant Professor in the Department of Archaeology & Architecture, Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, Srisailam Campus, Andhra Pradesh. His research interests are in prehistoric and historical archaeology, field archaeology, Indian rock art, votive terracottas and religious studies.

He has published two books on rock art and edited one on archaeological studies. He has also published 35 research papers in various national and international journals and edited volumes. During the two decades of his research and teaching career, 16 M.Phil. and 2 Ph.D. degrees were awarded under his supervision and guidance.

As regional coordinator of the National Project (Adi Drishya) on the documentation of rock art initiated by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi, he has conducted extensive and intensive studies on the rock art of Andhra Pradesh as an extension to his doctoral research. He is life member of many professional bodies such as ISPQS, RASI, A.P. History Congress, Historical Society of Pondicherry etc. He has organized seven national seminars in the Department of History, Pondicherry University.

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Bibliographic information

Title Religion and Society in Peninsular India (6th-16th Centuries CE)
Format Hardcover
Date published: 03.02.2015
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788173055379
length xxiv+230p., Illustrations 56; 22cm x 28cm.