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In the flux created by the Mughal conquest, Hindu landholders of eastern India began to build a spectacularly beautiful new style of brick temple, known as Ratna. This "bejeweled" style combined features of Sultanate mosques and thatched houses, and included second-story rooms conceived as the pleasure grounds of the gods, where Krishna and his beloved Radha could rekindle their passion. Pika Ghosh uses art historical, archaeological, textual, and ethnographic approaches to explore this innovation in the context of its times. Includes 82 stunning black-and-white images of rarely photographed structures. Pika Ghosh is Assistant Professor of Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Edward C. Dimock, Jr. Prize in the Indian Humanities, American Institute of Indian Studies (2005)

Table of Contents

ContentsList of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsNote on TransliterationIntroduction1. Desire, Devotion, and the Double-Storied Temple2. A Paradigm Shift3. Acts of Accommodation4. Axes and the Mediation of WorshipEpilogue: A New Sacred CenterGlossary of Architectural TermsNotesBibliographyIndex

About the Author

Pika Ghosh is Associate Professor of Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is co-editor (with Michael W. Meister) of Cooking for the Gods: The Art of Home Ritual in Bengal.


"[A]n excellent analytical study of a sensationally beautiful type of temple... This work is not just art historical but embraces ... religious studies, anthropology, history, and literature." oCatherine B. Asher "[A]dvances our knowledge of ... Bengali temple building practices, the complex inter-reliance between religion, state power, and art, and the ways in which Western colonial assumptions have distorted correct interpretation... A splendid book." Rachel Fell McDermott "THis book contributes significantly to our understanding of Bengali architecture."--TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT, 25 November 2005

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