This visually rich course explores two thousand years of Hindu temple tradition – the origins and evolution of temple traditions and regional styles in India and globally.
Kings, merchant guilds, wealthy patrons and even simple agricultural communities have poured time, labour and resources in constructing these glorious edifices. These in turn become enduring institutions embodying a kind of continuity that perpetually responds to the pulse of social evolution and development.
This course is an Art History class. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of Hindu symbolism and iconography and learn about the stories behind these images. We will gain insight into the life of temples by examining ritual and performance, adornment, processionals, and the festival calendar. We will also survey the spread of Hindu temples beyond India and Nepal by exploring the temples of Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and recent architectural innovation in countries around the world.