Maharana Kumbha of Mewar, who was the preceptor of Medieval Indian Renaissance, built his greatest monument, the Kirttistambha in the fort of Chittorgadh (Rajasthan) between 1440 and 1460 A D. It is generally known by the misnomer Vijaya Stambha (The Tower of Victory), though it was not built to commemorate a military event. The author has examined here the fundamental question : what was the idea which led to its incarnation in such a beautiful form, under such headings as Mahameru, Vedic Skambha, Trailokya-Mahagrha, and Garuda and Janardana Dhvaja Stambha; enumerated the classical background of this thought and philosophy; and traced the various stages of its development, and representation thereof in stone.
It has been architecturally studied and the sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses which make it an Illustrated Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and a unique work on medieval Iconography, as much as on Architecture, have been identified, Texts and translation of epigraphs including the Kirttistambha-Prasasti (which was carved on four stone-slabs); colophon-prasastis of his literary works; and Vastu-texts on Kirttistambhas have been given in 12 appendices. The text is adequately illustrated by 16 figures and 48 b&w plates.
Table of Contents:
- Bibliographical Abbreviations
- List of Diactiricals
- List of Illustrations (Maps, Figures & Plates)
- Exertions of the Adivaraha
- Architectural Text and Relics
- Defensive Wars and a Fictitious Victory
- The Misnomer: Vijayastambha
- Vedic Skambha and Trailokya-Mahagrha
- Garuda and Janardana Dhvaja-Stambha
- The Precursor: Jaina Kirtti-Stambha (JKS)
- Architecture and Sculpture of the Kirtti-Stambha
About the Author:
Ram Nath was educated at St. John's College, Agra and he did his PhD and D. Litt on the Mughal monuments of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Delhi, from Agra University. Having studied Ancient and Medieval Indian Architecture in the field and worked at about 45 historical sites, and authored 40 books and 150 research papers, he is one of the front-ranking scholars and art-historians of the country and an authority, of international repute, on Mughal Architecture. He has been lecturing at the Heras Institute, Bombay, Fine Arts Department Harvard University and other prestigious institutions.