North Indian Temple Sculpture
By Urmila Agarwal
Sculptural study provides a clear window to the socio-economic and religous study of the past. North India is full of numerous temples of early medieval period (9th to 13th centuries AD). Contemporary temples in the South have already been covered by several authors but no such exhaustive study of the North Indian temples has been done.
An attempt has been made in the present work, to study the sculptural wealth of the North Indian temples and to glean from it such light as they throw on the iconographic and the cultural life of the people.
The ingenuity of the sculptors in carving icons of rare beauty and arrangement of ayudhas of geometrical designs and human figures in the small friezes complete to the minutest details in commendable and to be wondered at. More so when we think of the ancient instruments and simple methods of working at their disposal.
The Pancadevas of Hindu mythology, Vaisnavas, Saiva and Sakta images: Surya and Ganesa, Kartikeya, Dikpalas, Navagrahas and Ganas, Yaksas and Surasundaris all have been studied in great details. The minor gods and goddesses like Nagadevas and Pisacas, Sitala and Manasa also find place in the study. Likewise Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism are dealt in great detail including Jain ascetics like Bahubali and Adisvaraswami and famous Buddhist monk Nagarjuna.
Scenes relating to schooling of children, relations between husband and wife, economic life, war and political life, customs, habits and pastimes have also been studied.
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