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  • Temple as Ritual Center: Tenth-Century Traces of Ritual and the Record in Stone

    Deborah L. Stein

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


    Chapter 5: Temple as Ritual Center returns to the “period of origin” to focus closely on a core cohort of temples from Mēdapāṭa, during the time when they were built in the second half of the tenth century. The Guhila dynasty is referenced in an inscription that records multisectarian debates held at Śri Ékaliṅgjī/Nāgadā in 971 CE. Parallel visual forms of icons, such as the liṅga, provide records in stone that complement textual references such as the Somaśambhupaddhati, leading to a search for new sites including previously unpublished temples of Āaṭ, known prior only from inscriptions in Hindi history books by Ojha. At Unvās and Jagat, some of the earliest goddess temples in regional style reveal tantric evidence in the programmatic approach to iconography, myth, and story telling left in the record in stone. Goddesses such as Kṣēmaṅkarī, Durgā-Mahiṣamardinī, and Cāmuṇḍā lend new visual evidence to a growing body of knowledge about medieval tantra and mantra through literature and translation of texts.

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    Stein, D. 2018. Temple as Ritual Center: Tenth-Century Traces of Ritual and the Record in Stone. In: Stein, D, The Hegemony of Heritage. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.46.f

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    Published on May 4, 2018


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