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Rolling Temple at Guledgud

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Rolling Temple at Guledgud
Author(s): Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham
Keywords: South India-- Architecture;architecture;slide set
Series/Report no.: Basham Collection
Description: The Hindu cults of Early Medieval India differed from both Buddhist and Jainan [sic] in terms of their expressive value
that is, the Hindu artists were conscious of a more universal manifestation of the gods and understood them as free-roaming agents making homes for themselves wherever and whenever they pleased. Certain favorite abodes, the places where the gods liked to stay on earth, acquired sanctity through the permanence of a divine presence even if the object of the abode was not itself permanent. Shrines, for example, were at first no more than structures to house a supposed dwelling place of a god and in oldest times were made in wood. After the shrines began to be translated into stone, they preserved the wooden prototypes in their structural and decorational systems in all cases so that building was not a mason's art in India but a carpenter's. The concept of a portable shrine, housing that object which a god could or did inhabit, stemmed from the tradition of wooden structures which were easy to build and less permanent than stone buildings. The shrine could then be brought to other holy places to allow the god to communicate with his fellow divinities. It is significant that the shape of the portable shrine is after that of the 'Raths,' small counterparts of larger structural monuments, for 'Rath' means 'chariot of the gods.' The portable shrine was likewise a 'chariot of the god' reflecting his more permanent shrine yet affording the mobility of a chariot too.
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-1748


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