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Encyclopedia of Indian Temple Architecture- South India (Illustrated Glossary in 2 Volumes)

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Śrī Drāvida Dēvālaya-Vāstu Paribhāṣā Prajñapti (Annotated and Illustrated Glossary of Dravidian Temple Architectural Terms)

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Item Code: HAS141
Author: M. A. Dhaky
Publisher: Manohar Publishers And Distributors, American Institute Of Indian Studies
Language: English
Edition: 2024
ISBN: 9789394262669
Pages: 884 (B/W Illustrations)
Other Details 11.5x9 inch
Weight 3.34 kg
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Book Description
About the Book

After the appearance in print of the Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture (EITA), South India, Volume I, Part 4, logically and as planned, Part 5 was slated to appear. This most complex and difficult of the volumes, which presents an annotated and illustrated glossary of Southern Indian architectural terms, is now published. In each of the preceding publications (Parts 1-4), a glossary was appended, but detailed discussion of the terms, and the logic of their interconnections, was reserved for the final Part, namely this publication. The essay Parts 1-4 were contemplated for updating the information on regional and period styles and, to an extent, for demonstrating how the terms are to be used in describing the temples. This publication provides photographic images and drawings of architectural components that demonstrate the variations in configuration (and decorative detail wherever available).

The glossary is arranged according to the logic of temple construction and ordering of the parts of the sacred building. The glossary begins with a description of the procedure for examining the building site, followed by an exposition of terminology relevant to the floor plan, the kinds of measuring tools, units and measurements involved. These preliminaries are followed by a detailed discussion of the morphology of the sanctuary-building and the order of horizontal components, from the foundation to the finial. After listing the terminology of the structure of the sanctum, this volume elucidates the terminology for understanding the kit of parts that make up other structures in South Indian temple complexes, including halls, subsidiary shrines, ancillary buildings, the cloister, and finally the temple-compound walls and their gateways.

About the Author

PROFESSOR M. A. DHAKY (1927-2016), a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, India's third- highest civilian award, is an internationally renowned historian of temple art and architecture. Professor Dhaky was Director Emeritus of the American Institute of Indian Studies in Gurugram and spent his final years in Ahmedabad, Dhaky formulated, initiated, and guided the research and documentation for the monumental project, the Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture, fourteen volumes of which have been published by the American Institute of Indian Studies. He edited four of the volumes and authored one himself. Dhaky also edited the Nirgrantha, a trilingual research journal and published eleven books and more than 325 research articles. His publications on Indian monuments combine textual scholarship with observations of architecture and sculpture. Dhaky's masterly work on the ceilings (vitānas) of the temples of Gujarat exemplify this coordination of Västu texts and field research. His publications on The Vyala figures on the Medieval Temples of India (1965), The Indian Temple Forms in Karnāța Inscriptions and Architecture (1977), The Temples in Kumbhariya (2002), and The Indian Temple Traceries (2005) will continue to inspire students of Indian art. His essay, "Prāsāda as Cosmos", published in the Adyar Library Bulletin (1971) articulates the symbolism of the temple and its varied architectural parts. In addition to his mastery of temple architecture, Professor Dhaky was a scholar who wrote in three languages and on many subjects, including aesthetics; Jain philosophy, metaphysics, and hymnology; North Indian and Carnatic Classical Music; horticulture; gemology; and embroidery.

Professor Dhaky's many honors include the Campbell Memorial Gold Medal of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai in 1994; R.C. Parikh Gold Medal of the Gujarat Itihas Parishad, Ahmedabad, 2006; Ranjitram Gold Medal, and Gujarat Sahitya Sabha, Ahmedabad 2011. He was awarded Padma Bhushan by the President of India, in 2010.

With his passing in July 2016, the world of Indian art history lost one of its greatest scholars. Professor Dhaky was working on this volume of Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture, South India, Volume 1, Part 5, when he passed away.


Annotated and Illustrated Glossary of Dravidian Temple Architectural Terms is the last of the series of the Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture, published on Indian Temple Architecture, by the American Institute of Indian Studies.

The Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture is a phenomenal contribution to the study of Indian temple architecture. Its scope covers the vast geographical and regional diversity as well as the immense chronological span of centuries of design of temples in India.


After the appearance in print of Part 4, logically and as per plan, Part 5, the most complex and difficult of them all, which deals with the annotated and illustrated glossary of the Dravidian/Southern Indian architectural terms, now follows as a concluding/culminating Part of Volume I. The initial drafts for some of the glossarial entries inclusive of the supporting quotations from the Sanskrit västu-texts and along with them the corresponding sets of illustrative drawings had been prepared in the late sixties and early seventies. Most of the relevant photo-prints, to figure as black-and-white illustrations for those entries, also had been made. The work on this Part since then, particularly from 1977, had been suspended for giving precedence to completing the essay Parts (1-4) of Volume I (South India) as also those of Volume II (1-3) (North India) and it is only from the beginning of 1999 that the work on the glossary Part, and that too gradually and intermittently, could be resumed; for I also had to focus on two monographs.

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