This volume focuses on the religious shrine in western India as an institution of cultural integration in the period spanning 200 BCE to 800 CE. It presents an analysis of religious architecture at multiple levels, both temporal and spatial, and distinguishes it as a ritual instrument that integrates individuals and communities into a cultural fabric. The work shows how these structures emphasise on communication with a host of audiences such as the lay worshipper, the ritual specialist, the royalty and the elite as well as the artisan and the sculptor. It also examines religious imagery, inscriptions, traditional lore and Sanskrit literature.
The book will be of special interest to researchers and scholars of ancient Indian history, Hinduism, religious studies, architecture and South Asian studies.
Tables and Figures. Preface. Introduction I. Monumental Remains: Defining Sacred Space II. Sacred Sites and Settlement Sites III. Religious Icons in Gujarat IV. Shared Space and Multiple Affiliations V. Religious Processes, Rituals and Pilgrimage VI. Gujarat in Context Bibliography. Index
This Series, in association with the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, reflects on the complex relationship between religion and society through new perspectives and advances in archaeology. It looks at this critical interface to provide alternative understandings of communities, beliefs, cultural systems, sacred sites, ritual practices, food habits, dietary modifications, power, and agents of political legitimisation. The books in the Series underline the importance of archaeological evidence in the production of knowledge of the past. They also emphasise that a systematic study of religion requires engagement with a diverse range of sources such as inscriptions, iconography, numismatics and architectural remains.