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Ashapuri: The Cradle of Paramara & Pratihara Art: Temples Unveiled

Ashok Shah (Author)

While this book one takes journey into the Central India of the medieval period richly variegated with bewitching art of temple architecture and iconography which still stand today as a mark of unforgettable contribution of paramara, Pratihara, Chandella and other dynasties in the field of art and culture. Art located at 35 kilometres from Bhopal: the capital city of the Madhya Pradesh, Ashapuri exhibits the remains of numerous temples -- belonging to 9th to 12th centuries. Built in the elegant Nagara style of architecture, these temples are distinctly reminiscent of the grandeur and aesthetic sensibilities of the Paramara and Pratihra dynasties of central India. Again, Ashapuri happens to be one of the very few sites in central India which reveals the imprints of both these dynasties. Ashapuri gained historical importance, when it became the cultural capital of the Pratihara kings – who are known to have built not only the renowned temple of Bhojpur, but also a number of irrigation structures, like dams and water bodies, in and around Ashapuri.

During his tenure as Commissioner, Archaeology, Archives and Museums, the author carried extensive explorations of many different historical sites in Madhya Pradesh. Ashapuri – which was earlier protected as remains – caught his imagination. None before him knew that the site has more than 25 temples of different historical periods, reflecting an excellent blend of Paramara and Pratihara art style and iconography. He here offers an indepth study of all these temple remains which, in their heyday, were dedicated to the major Hindu deities. And also adorned with their exquisitely sculpted images. A number of the images, retrieved from Ashapuri, now figure among the masterly exhibits of different Indian museums. Ashok Shah not only examines these sculptures, but their iconographic attributes as well. Also, on the basis of authentic texts, he studies the original conceptualization of Ashapuri architecture, sculptural art and iconography. The book is enriched with as many as 225 engaging illustrations.

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About the author

Ashok Shah

Ashok Shah was the Commissioner, Archaeology, Archives and Museums, when he carried out extensive explorations in and around Ashapuri. Currently, he is Principal Secretary to the Government of Madhya Pradesh.

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Bibliographic information

Title Ashapuri: The Cradle of Paramara & Pratihara Art: Temples Unveiled
Author Ashok Shah
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2014
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 9789380574578
length 240p., Illustrations; Colour; Map; 29cm.