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Tantra and Sakta Art of Orissa (3 Vols. set)

The emergence of Tantrism and Shaktism in the sixth-seventh centuries in ancient India symbolised a belief in fertility worship, worship of the female principle with the Devi/Goddess supreme as the Energy/Power -- the substance below

About This Book

The emergence of Tantrism and Shaktism in the sixth-seventh centuries in ancient India symbolised a belief in fertility worship, worship of the female principle with the Devi/Goddess supreme as the Energy/Power -- the substance of everything, pervading everything. In Orissa in particular, the shakta/tantra cults played a major role in the religion and culture of the region and this is testified by its many temples and sculptural wonders therein.

In this work, Prof. Donaldson presents a rich and variegated picture of the shakta/tantra art of Orissa, highlighting the evolving iconography of individual images. Based on largely first-hand study of the temples and their iconography and also referring to various textual sources, he deals with, in detail, the shakta mythology of the region along with its depiction in iconography. He focuses on different forms and depictions of the Goddess -- the Matrikas, Camunda, Naga/Nagi, Manasha/Jaratkuriu, Tara, the Mahavidyas, the Yoginis and Dakinis and images of Purusha/Prakriti, Agni/Soma and Linga/Yoni, Painstakingly analysing the architecture of a number of temples and their images. The work abounds in photographs (more than seven hundred) revealing the variety of forms of the Goddess and their widespread distribution and provides many maps, diagrams and iconographical charts as well.

A thorough research giving attention to minute details even while studying a wide range of iconographical traditions and forms, this work will prove an indispensable source book for young as well as established scholars.


Vol. 1: ISBN: 8124601976

2002, xvii, 469 p.; 685 B/w Figures; 51 Coloured illustrations; Glossary; Bibliography; Index; 29 cm.

Vol. 2: ISBN: 8124601984

2002, xiv, 471 to 968 p.; 685 B/w Figures; 51 Coloured illustrations; Glossary; Bibliography; Index; 29 cm.

Vol. 3: ISBN: 8124601992

2002, x, 969 to1398 p.; 685 B/w Figures; 51 Coloured illustrations; Glossary; Bibliography; Index; 29 cm.

  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124601969
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124601968
  • Edition : 1st edition
  • Year : 2002
  • Pages : xvii, xiv, x, 1398p.
  • Size : 29
  • Weight (approx.) : 6000
  • Bibliographic Details : 685 B/w photos; 51 coloured illustrations; Glossary; Bibliography; Index

Vol. 1

Map of Orissa with Newly Divided DIstricts
List of Maps, Plans, Diagrams and Iconographical Charts


1. Shaktism in Orissa

Tribal Goddesses, Sacrifice, Fertility and Durga-Puja
Aniconic form and Hinduisation
Mangala, Tara and Other Navigation and Maritime Goddesses
Fort Goddesses (Durga-Devata or Ishta-Devata) and Dashahara
Shitala, Shashthi and Goddesses of Disease and Health
Shakta-Pithas in Orissa

Viraja (Jajpur) -- Ekamra-Kshetra (Bhubaneshvar) -- Purushottma-Kshetra (Puri) -- Mahendragiri -- Jaleshvara-Pitha -- De-Bhogaka-Kshetra (Belkhandi)

Shakta Temples in Orissa

Bhubhaneshvar: Vaital Deul -- Bhubaneshvar: Mohini, Kalika Devi and Dakshina-Candi Temples -- Baideshvar: Durga Temple --  Shakta Shrines in Eighth-Ninth-Century Shaiva Temple Compounds -- Early Shakta Shrines in Western Orissa: Kalahandi and Bolangir DIstricts -- Khakhara Temples in North-Eastern Orissa: Kishorpur/Avana/Shergarh -- Ninth-Eleventh-Century Shakta Shrines in Mayurbhanja and Balasore Districts -- Ninth-Eleventh-Century Shkata Shrines in Keonjhar and Dhenkanal DIstricts -- Ninth-Eleventh-Century Shkata Shrines in the Dharmashala-Jajpur Area -- Ninth-Eleventh-Century Shkata Shrines in the Mahanadi Valley -- Ninth-Eleventh-Century Shkata Shrines in the Praci Valley -- Caurasi: Varahi Temple -- Bhubaneshvar: Gauri Temple -- Ninth-Eleventh-Century Shkata Shrines in the Kushabhadra and Daya River Valleys -- Ninth-Eleventh-Century Shkata Shrines in Southern Puri and Ganjam Districts -- Bhubaneshvar: Later Shakta Temples -- Beyalisbati: Gangeshvari Temple -- Kakatpur: Mangala Temple -- Twelfth-Fourteenth-Century Shakta Shrines in Coastal Orissa -- Later Shakta Shrines in Western Orissa -- Sonepur: Shakta Temples -- Later Shakta Shrines in Eastern and Nothern Orissa

2. Shakti Mythology and Iconography

Destruction of Madhu and Kaitabha
Destruction of Mahishasura
Mahishamardini Images in Orissa

Mode 1: Demon in Hybrid Form with a Human Body and Buffalo-Head -- Mode 2: Demon in Human Form Issuing from Decapitated Buffalo-Carcass -- Mode 3: Demon in Theriomorphic Form

Durga Iconography

Simhavahini/Enthroned Durga Images in Orissa -- Standing/Dancing Durga Images in Orissa

Parvati: Mythology and Iconography

Tapasvini-Parvati Images in Orissa -- Standing Parvati Images in Orissa -- Seated Parvati Images in Orissa

Shri-Lakshmi: Mythology and Iconography
Sarasvati: Mythology and Iconography

3. Camunda/Kali and Matrikas

Matrikas Images in Orissa: Iconography

Brahmi -- Maheshvari (Shivani) -- Kaumari -- Vaishnavi -- Indrani -- Eighth Matrika: Nrisimhi/Mahalakshmi -- Virabhadra (Vireshvara) -- Varahi : Mythology and Iconography -- Varahi as a Matrika -- Varahi as a Presiding Deity -- Varahi as a Parshva-Devata/Avatara-Devata 

Camunda/Kali: Non-Matrika Mythology, Sacrifice and the Graveyard

Camunda: Iconography -- Camunda as a Matrika -- Camunda as a Presiding Deity/Parshva-Devata -- Standing/Dancing Images of Camunda -- Bhairava as the Consort of Camunda and as a Shakta/Tantra Deity -- Standing/Dancing Bhairava Images -- Seated Bhairava Images -- Ekapada Bhairava


Vol. 2

List of Maps, Plans, Diagrams and Iconographic Charts

4. Naga/Nagi Images and the Cult of Manasa/Astika Jaratkaru

Manasa/Jaratkaru: Mythology and Iconography
Manasa Images in Orissa
Astikajaratkaru Images in Orissa
Naga/Nagi-Stambhas on Orissan Temples

5. Kali/Tara and Mahavidyas

Avarana-Shaktis on Early Shakta Temples of Orissa
Mahavidyas: Mythology and Number
Kali: Mythology and Iconography
Kali as a Presiding Deity, Parshva-Devata and Apotropaic Motif -- Kali as an Avarana-Shakti and Mahavidya
Tara: Iconography
Tara as a Presiding Deity -- Tara as an Avarana-Shakti and Mahavidya
Mahavidya Images in Orissa

Shodashi (Tripurasundari/Shrividya/Lalita) -- Bhuvaneshvari -- Chinnamasta/Pracandacandika -- Bhairavi/Tripura and Annapurna -- Multi-Armed Bhairavi Images -- Dhumavati -- Bagala -- Matangi -- Kamala (Shri/Lakshmi)

River Goddesses: Ganga and Yamuna
Brahmanical Dvarapalas

6. Yoginis, Dakinis, Sakinis and Witchcraft

The Yogic Cult: Mythology and Tantric Affiliation

Yoginis: Number -- Yoginis: Iconography -- Yoginis: Sadhana/Rituals

The Yogini Cult in Orissa

Hirapur: Caushat-Yogini Pitha -- Ranipur-Jharial: Caushat-Yogini Pitha

Dakinis, Sakinis and Witchcraft

7. Purusha/Prakriti, Agni/Soma, and Linga/Yoni (Shiva/Shakti)

Linga/Yoni: Mythology and Iconography
Ardhanarishvara: Mythology and Iconography
Hara-Parvati: Mythology and Iconography
Lakshmi-Narayana: Mythology and Iconography

Lakshmi-Narayana Images in Orissa -- Lakshmi-Nrisimha Images in Orissa -- Lakshmi-Nrisimha Seated on Shesha -- Lakshmi-Purushottama/Trailokyamohana Images -- Linga-Mahishamardini-Purushottama Trinity Images in Orissa

Baladeva-Ekanamsha-Krishna Trinity
Jagannatha Trinity Images in Orissa
Radha/Krishna and Gopinatha Images in Orissa
God/Consort-Shakti Imagery

Kama-Consort Images in Orissa -- Shakti-Ganapati Images in Orissa -- Shakti-Karttikeya Images in Orissa -- Surya-Consort and Composite Surya Images in Orissa -- Dikpala-Patni Images in Orissa

Halahala Lokeshvara Images in Orissa
Jain Shasana-Devi Images in Orissa

8. Erotic and Secular Imagery

The Nature of Woman
Kumari/Kanya (Virgin/Maiden) and Devadasi (Temple Dancer) -- Auspicious Exhibitionism and Personified Yoni
Shakta/Tantra Sadhana and Erotic Imagery

Erotic Rituals on Orissan Temples -- Mithuna/Maithuna Images on Orissan Temples -- Pleasure Gardens and the Pursuit of Love

Secularisation of the Iconographic Programme

Guru and Shikshadana Images on Orissan Temples -- Royal Figures on Orissan Temples



Vol. 3

List of Figures (Black and White Illustrations)
List of Coloured Illustrations
Figures and Coloured Illustrations
Coloured Illustrations

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