Mountain Temples and Temple Mountains

Mountain Temples and Temple Mountains: Architecture, Religion, and Nature

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Nachiket Chanchani
Global South Asia
  • Seattle, WA: 
    University of Washington Press
    , March
     280 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


From approximately the third century BCE through the thirteenth century CE, the remote mountainous landscape around the glacial sources of the Ganga (Ganges) River in the Central Himalayas in northern India was transformed into a region encoded with deep meaning, one approached by millions of Hindus as a primary locus of pilgrimage.

Nachiket Chanchani’s innovative study explores scores of stone edifices and steles that were erected in this landscape. Through their forms, locations, interactions with the natural environment, and sociopolitical context, these lithic ensembles evoked legendary worlds, embedded historical memories in the topography, changed the mountain range’s appearance, and shifted its semiotic effect. Mountain Temples and Temple Mountains also alters our understanding of the transmission of architectural knowledge and provides new evidence of how an enduring idea of India emerged in the subcontinent.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Nachiket Chanchani is associate professor in the Department of the History of Art and the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


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