Cover

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Half title, Series page, Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-xii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

The writing of this book was as humbling an experience as it was exhilarating. This project would not have been possible without the assistance of several institutions. The research and writing of the dissertation was funded by a Social Science Research Council Dissertation Research Grant, an American Institute of Bangladesh Studies Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, ...

Note on Transliteration

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pp. xv-xvi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-38

This proclamation greets us as we approach the main entrance to the Shyam Ray Temple, one of the earliest monuments in the town of Vishnupur in Bankura district, West Bengal (figures 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.18). The inscription boldly asserts that the temple is new by using the phrase “new bejeweled temple” (navaratna ratnam), and unveils the new Ratna (jewel) typology.2 ...

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1. Desire, Devotion, and the Double-Storied Temple

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pp. 39-64

The radical new design embraced for Krishna’s temples provided the architectural environment for stimulating the intensely emotional relationship with the divine that Chaitanya upheld. This chapter explores the reorganization of temple space by the addition of a pavilion and a courtyard to make the divine more accessible to the community. ...

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2. A Paradigm Shift

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pp. 65-107

The intense creativity and resources invested in developing a new type of temple indicate that the pre-existing Nagara form, used for temple construction for over a thousand years, was no longer adequate in the seventeenth century. Major changes had taken place in Bengal during the late sixteenth century. ...

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3. Acts of Accommodation

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pp. 108-136

When turning to Sultanate forms for the lower story, the architects of Ratna temples did not entirely ignore the region’s pre-existing Nagara (Rekha) temples. One of the ways in which Sultanate mosques and shrines were modified for the ritual requirements of the emerging Gaudiya Vaishnava community was through the addition of an upper pavilion. ...

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4. Axes and the Mediation of Worship

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pp. 137-184

The experimentation in architectural form explored in the previous chapter is not limited to the superstructure of Ratna temples. Unlike their Nagara contemporaries, Ratna temples are bi-axial.1 They incorporate a second axis, which is devoted to the lay community’s activities (figure 4.1). This spatial reorganization of the temple is articulated not only in the ground plans but also in terra cotta ornament and ritual practice. ...

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Epilogue: A New Sacred Center

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pp. 185-200

Vishnupur’s architectural formation, including the Ratna temples and their placement in the new urban organization, was legitimized by the mapping of Vrindavan onto the younger town. Distinctive physical qualities of this older holy site were selectively reproduced, transforming the Malla capital into “Gupta Vrindavan,” that is, a hidden Vrindavan. ...

Glossary of Architectural Terms

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pp. 200-202

Notes

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pp. 203-228

Bibliography

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pp. 229-246

Index

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pp. 247-256

Further titles

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About the Author

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