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ŚILPA-PRAKĀŚA

by

RĀMACANDRA MAHĀPĀTRA KAULA BHAṬṬĀRAKA
(Medieval Orissan Sanskrit Text on Temple Architecture)
(KMS No 52)


Introduction and Translation by ALICE BONER AND SADASIVA NATH SARMA
 
Revised and Edited by: BETTINA BÄUMER, RAJENDRA PRASAD DAS AND SADANANA DAS

2005,xix+471pp., 21 figs., plates, notes, gloss., bibl., indexes, ISBN : 81-208-2052-5, Rs.1795(HB).


"The Śilpa-prakāśa is an important addition to the existing literature on Indian Śilpa texts" (V.S. Agrawala). This early text on Orissan Temple architecture (possibly from the tenth century CE) describes various temple types of Orissa, but especially a tantric temple termed Vimānamālinī with its sub-types padmagarbha and Kāmagarbha. The latter could be identified with the tenth century Vārāhī Temple at Caurāsī near Koṇārka. The text goes into great detail of the architecture, the iconography and the symbolism of all the parts of the temple. Its unique contribution lies in the description of yantras or symbolic diagrams underlying the architecture as well as sculpture.

The original author was not only a practising tantric, but also an expert architect speaking from experience. The text was first discovered, edited and translated by Alice Boner with the help of Pandit Sadasiva Nath Sarma of Purī, and published by Brill (Leiden) in 1966. The present edition is a completely revised version of text and translation, with new illustrations, on the basis of a palmleaf manuscript, with added indices.

This edition will be extremely valuable for understanding not only the temple construction but
the entire symbolism underlying the unique temples of Orissa.

 


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