5000 Years of the Art of India by Mario Bussagli

By Mario Bussagli

With 397 illustrations in colour. The dirt jacket is rate clipped and has chips and closed tears to the extremities.

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The major temples, whether freestanding or rock hewn, are often masterpieces rich in originality (for instance, those in the shape of chariots), in ingenious solutions, and in studied effects. The temples with curvilinear roofs (sikhara) and pyramidal stepped roofs (vimana) imitated the divine dwellings. Standing on sites chosen in special magic rites and charged with symbolic values, they were often gigantic in size. The largest ones were surrounded by monumental complexes so vast as to form actual religious cities- for instance, Khajuraho in Central India (see figs.

And for results. For there can be no question that, if they did not achieve the divine, they certainly succeeded in rendering the universal life of the cosmos, which is a manifest and tangible aspect of the divine. 31 30. Small monolithic shrine (mandapa) in Cave 33 (Indra Sabha) at Ellora. D. The overall structure is in the shape of a polygonal cross, lightened by the moldings. 32 31. Isolated elephant in the courtyard of Cave 33 (Indra Sabha) at Ellora. D. 750-850 The monumental complex at Ellora, and especially the Kilasanatha temple, are characterized by the presence of innumerable elephant images, sometimes used as caryatids.

National Museum, Karachi The seal representing the big humped bull with crescent horns and thick, heavy dewlap (b) is one of the most striking artistic creations of the Indus Valley civilization. The other, bearing an imaginary animal with a single horn (a), is probably a symbolic figure associated with particular rites. Note the suggestion of a saddlecloth. The two objects under the animal's muzzle are also related to some unknown rite, perhaps connected with purification and water. Maybe they provided the exact meaning of the symbolic composition.

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