Temple to Love

Temple to Love

Architecture and Devotion in Seventeenth-Century Bengal
Pika Ghosh
Distribution: World
Publication date: 04/20/2005
Format: Hardback 88 b&w photos, 2 figures, 1 maps, 1 bibliog., 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-34487-8
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Edward C. Dimock, Jr. Prize in the Indian Humanities, American Institute of Indian Studies (2005)

[A]n excellent analytical study of a sensationally beautiful type of temple.... This work is not just art historical but embraces... religious studies, anthropology, history, and literature." —Catherine B. Asher

[A]dvances our knowledge of... Bengali temple building practices, the complex inter-reliance between religion, state power, and art, and the ways in which Western colonial assumptions have distorted correct interpretation.... A splendid book." —Rachel Fell McDermott

In the flux created by the Mughal conquest, Hindu landholders of eastern India began to build a spectacularly beautiful new style of brick temple, known as Ratna. This "bejeweled" style combined features of Sultanate mosques and thatched houses, and included second-story rooms conceived as the pleasure grounds of the gods, where Krishna and his beloved Radha could rekindle their passion. Pika Ghosh uses art historical, archaeological, textual, and ethnographic approaches to explore this innovation in the context of its times. Includes 82 stunning black-and-white images of rarely photographed structures.

Published in association with the American Institute of Indian Studies

Author Bio

Pika Ghosh is Associate Professor of Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is co-editor (with Michael W. Meister) of Cooking for the Gods: The Art of Home Ritual in Bengal.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Note on Transliteration

1. Desire, Devotion, and the Double-Storied Temple
2. A Paradigm Shift
3. Acts of Accommodation
4. Axes and the Mediation of Worship
Epilogue: A New Sacred Center

Glossary of Architectural Terms