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The Hindu Temple: An Introduction to Its Meaning and Forms [Paperback]

George Michell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 15, 1988 0226532305 978-0226532301 1
For more than 1500 years, from the Indian subcontinent to the islands of the Indonesian archipelago, the temple has embodied and symbolized the Hindu worldview at its deepest level and inspired the greatest architectural and artistic achievements in Hindu Asia. In The Hindu Temple, considered the standard introduction to the subject, George Michell explains the cultural, religious, and architectural significance of the temple. He illustrates his points with a profusion of photographs, building plans, and drawings of architectural details, making the book a useful guide for travelers to Asia as well as an illuminating text for students of architecture, religion, and Asian civilizations.

Michell's discussion of the meaning and forms of the temple in Hindu society encompasses the awe-inspiring rock-cut temples at Ellora and Elephanta, the soaring superstructures and extraordinary sexual exhibitionism of the sculptures at Khajuraho, and the colossal mortuary temple of Angkor Vat, as well as the tiny iconic shrines that many Hindus wear around their necks and the simple shrines found under trees or near ponds.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

George Michell is the author of Architecture of the Islamic World, Brick Temples of Bengal, and The Penguin Guide to the Monuments of India, Volume I. A native of Australia, he earned a Ph.D. in Indian archeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, the University of London.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (September 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226532305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226532301
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The classic text on the subject October 16, 2005
Michell is an extremely careful and conscientious chronicler of this difficult, dense subject. He writes unusually well - absolutely clear English - and makes his way through a wide array of topics. Invaluable to the student of the subject.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for the philosophy student October 10, 2001
By Beth
This book is great for those who want an in depth look at Hindu philosophy and the place of temples within it. It's a bit scanty on cultural practices and rituals - that is not the book's aim. It does a wonderful job of explaining things so that a Westerner (like me) can understand. It is, however, a very heavy book. It is certainly not light bed time reading like a National Geographic would be. :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Misses Feeling and Emotion May 14, 2012
This is a textbook introducing the architectural student to the Hindu temple. The author is methodical first reviewing the long standing features of the Hindu temple, which is a focal point in worship, in terms of art, architecture, and theology. The Hindu world view and the belief system has to be understood before looking at the technical and stylistic aspects of architecture, which itself is evolving.

With over a hundred illustrations and drawings, the author does his best to instruct. With a publisher that specializes in illustrations, such as Dorling Kindersley this book might have been elevated to an emotional experience, nevertheless, what we have is praiseworthy.
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