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Nayaka Temples

History, Architecture & Iconography

Author :M. Ragunath
ISBN :978-81-926983-6-6
Price :  2,700.00    2,430.00
Size :25 cm
Year :2014
Format :Hardbound
Description :xx+ 204 p., plans, 212 b/w illus., Bibliography, Index
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About the Book

The book is based on extensive survey of Vijayanagara-Nayaka temples in the Natunatu sub-division of Tamilnadu, the topographical entity that covers the land falling in between Tirukkoyilur in the west to the Bay in the east. The history, architecture and iconography of the temples examined are those of Trivikrama (Tirukkovalur), Vrddhagirisvara (Vrddhacalam), Varadaraja (Panrutti), Vaidhyanathasvami (Tittakuti), Tirukkamesvara (Villiyanur), including the Cola temple at Bakur and so on. Most temples examined in this book are unreported. It is based on excellent field work. Nearly 1,000 photographic illustrations were collected for the purpose of which about 100 are illustrated. Though most of the temples claim hoary antiquity, all these attained full-fledged form under the Vijayanagara-Nayaka rulers of Tamilnadu; particularly the Nayakas of Tancavur, Cenci and Maturai. The history of the temples is mainly based on literary and epigraphical sources. An important contribution is that all the hymns of the Alvars (Visnu) and Nayanmar (Siva) bearing on the temples have been brought to English. Some western scholars from the England and Ohio (USA) have written on one or two temples of the region (e.g. Srimusnam/Tirumuttam, Citamparam) that suffer mainly from the handicap of not-investigating the Tamil sources and traditions. These scholars record the Tamil sources in “half-man” style. The present work is an authoritative account of the Nayaka temples in the region mainly reflecting on architecture and iconography. The author is a creative sculptor and speaks in the language of a silpacarya.

About the Author

Dr M. Ragunath is basically trained in the western-turned-Indian modern art faculty. He took his BFA (Bharathiar Palkalaikoodam, Pondicherry University) and MFA (Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore University). He chose to do his M.Phil. and Ph.D. in the Tamil University of Thanjavur under the inspiration of Prof. Raju Kalidos. He is a creative sculptor and researcher, and brilliant scholar. During his career of intensive research in the Tamil University, he has attended several conferences of the South Indian History Congress and published articles. He is also a member of the Tamilnadu History Congress. He has participated in several National Level “artist camps” and won several awards. He did his solid research works in the Tamil University. His M.Phil. thesis on the Tirukkamesvara temple is awaiting publication. He has extensively travelled all over India and Tamilnadu and participated in artists camps and scholarly seminars. He has concentrated on the Vijayanagara-Nayaka art in Central Tamilnadu that is called Natunatu. He has plans to survey the entire gamut of Vijayanagara-Nayaka temples of the region mainly from the point of a sculptor. His aim is to prove “western scholarship” is a phantom when compared with “Indian scholarship” on subjects dealing with Indian and Dravidian art.