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  • Temple as Royal Abode: The Regal, the Real, and the Ideal in Fifteenth-Century Mewār

    Deborah L. Stein

    Chapter from the book: Stein, D. 2018. The Hegemony of Heritage: Ritual and the Record in Stone.


    Chapter 3: Temple as Royal Abode explores the origin myths of Mewāri glory across a backdrop of archaeological evidence in Southern Rajasthan. With a focus on kirttistambha, we see for the first time the interior sculpture of an eight story tower, which can be considered as one of India’s earliest museums, or visual archives. Encased in this impressive monument misunderstood as a victory tower, the sculptural program of the tower of glory reveals what the “entire cosmos” looked like in the minds of the patrons, architects, and sutradharas of King Kumbha’s era. The chapter concludes with a myth and image look at women as both agents in their own right and as the personification of ideals. The mythic poet Mīrabai in Mewār, the daughter of Kumbha named Ramabai who lived in Jāwar, and the infamous Queen Padmini of Chittōr give us three different examples of how fifteenth century architecture and ideas reflect different roles of Mewari women as architectural patron, as a saint, and as a queen.

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    Stein, D. 2018. Temple as Royal Abode: The Regal, the Real, and the Ideal in Fifteenth-Century Mewār. In: Stein, D, The Hegemony of Heritage. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.46.d

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    Published on May 4, 2018


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