Unfolding A Mandala: The Buddhist Cave Temples at Ellora

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SUNY Press, 1993 - Architecture - 348 pages
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Ellora is one of the great cave temple sites of India, with thirty-four major Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain monuments of the late sixth to tenth centuries A. D. This book describes the Buddhist caves at Ellora and places them in the context of Buddhist art and iconography.

Ellora's twelve Buddhist cave temples, dating from the early seventh to the early eighth centuries, preserve an unparalleled one-hundred-year sequence of architectural and iconographical development. They reveal the evolution of a Buddhist mandala at sites in other regions often considered "peripheral" to the heartland of Buddhism in eastern India.

At Ellora, the mandala, ordinarily conceived as a two-dimensional diagram used to focus meditation, is unfolded into the three-dimensional program of the cave temples themselves, enabling devotees to walk through the mandala during worship. The mandala's development at Ellora is explained and its significance is considered for the evolution of Buddhist art and iconography elsewhere in India.
 

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Contents

TIRTHA AND MANDALA THE PLACE THE PEOPLE THE GODS
1
BUDDHIST CAVES OF THE FIRST PERIOD THE BEGINNING OF THE MANDALA
23
CAVES OF THE MIDDLE PERIOD THE MANDALA GROWS
45
THE LATE BUDDHIST CAVES THE MANDALA UNFOLDED
61
A CENTER ON THE PERIPHERY ELLORAS PLACE IN BUDDHIST ART
91
CONCLUSION
119
RELATIVE CHRONOLOGY OF ELLORAS BUDDHIST CAVES
123
NOTES
127
REFERENCES
151
ILLUSTRATIONS
159
INDEX
343
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About the author (1993)

Geri H. Malandra is Associate Director of Professional Development and Conference Services, Continuing Education and Extension at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. In addition to her work on the prehistory, history, languages and art of ancient South Asia, she has also pursued research on the prehistory and art of ancient Iran and on Sumerian and ancient Near Eastern economic texts.

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