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Category:Art/Architecture/History
Jaina Tradition of the Deccan: Shravanabelagola, Mudabidri, Karkala
Julia A. B. Hegewald
J-3032  
Rs.499  
128p  
ISBN 978-93-90166-92-3  
IN COLOUR

The awe-inspiring Gommateshvara image at the summit of Vindhyagiri above the town of Shravanabelagola in Karnataka is the largest figural monolith in India. Dating back to the 10th century, it is today the most popular pilgrimage destination for Jainas in southern India, especially during the Mahamastak Abhisheka festival held here every twelve years. Smaller versions of the Gommateshvara statue belonging to later times are also seen at Karkala and Venur. Together with the town of Mudabidri, these sites all have Jaina shrines known as basadis built in local architectural styles housing stone and metal statues of the Jaina Tirthankaras.

Authored by Julia A. B. Hegewald, a specialist in Jaina architectural traditions and ritual practices, and illustrated with specially commissioned photographs by Surendra Kumar, Jaina Tradition of the Deccan provides an essential introduction to all these Jaina monuments. After outlining the history of Jainism in the Deccan, its beliefs and practices, the volume directs visitors up the granite hills at Shravanabelagola and Karkala to visit the basadis and Gommateshvara images. It then conducts visitors around the towns of Shravanabelagola and Mudabidri, describing the various basadis and their collections of precious images. It also covers the murals to be seen in the maths at Shravanabelagola and Mudabidri. This information should prove indispensable to interested visitors, scholars and students.

JULIA A. B. HEGEWALD graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, from where she obtained a PhD, and is now Professor and Head of the Department of Asian and Islamic Art History at the University of Bonn. Between 2002 and 2014, she was Director of the Emmy Noether Research Project on Jainism in Karnataka. She is the author of Water Architecture in South Asia: A Study of Types, Developments and Meanings (Leiden 2002); Jaina Temple Architecture in India: The Development of a Distinct Language in Space and Ritual (Berlin 2009; Mumbai 2018); and the editor of The Jaina Heritage: Distinction, Decline and Resilience (New Delhi 2011).

SURENDRA KUMAR is a photographer based in Hampi, Karnataka, specialising in topographic views and architectural documentation. His images have been published in Discovering the Deccan: A Panoramic Journey Through Historical Landscapes and Monuments (Mumbai 2011), Temple Architecture and Art of the Early Chalukyas (New Delhi 2014), and Lepakshi: Architecture, Sculpture, Painting (New Delhi 2019). He has provided images for many guidebooks in this series, including The Hoysala Legacy: Belur, Halebidu, Somanathapura (2019).
   

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