Lord Venkateshvara is a form of Vishnu who descended to earth near Tirupati, in Andhra Pradesh, southern India, in ancient times. He is a very popular deity and today the temple on the site of his incarnation is visited by many thousands of devotees daily. He is also present in the United States where he is the presiding deity at several Hindu temples, including the older of the two temples built by the Hindu Temple of Atlanta in Riverside, a suburb of Atlanta. First envisioned in1982, the temple was designed by a renowned temple architect, raised through the concerted efforts of a determined community, and consecrated in 1996. The temple was built in a traditional Indian architectural language, according to the prescriptions in ancient texts governing the construction of temples. 'The Venkateshvara Temple in Riverdale, Georgia' is a guidebook that describes and explains in detail the architectural elements of the temple, laying emphasis on the shrines and great gatehouse tower, the rajagopuram. The book also describes the sculptures that adorn the towers and walls of the shrines, identifying the deities, the items they hold and the jewelry and clothes they wear. The figures of the deities under worship within the shrines, being the actual presence of the Divine, are not discussed. Being in their presence is a personal experience that extends beyond the appreciation of art. Intended for the general, non-specialist reader the guidebook has the same structure as the author s other guidebooks to American Hindu temples. Organised in five chapters, the first introduces the presiding deity of the temple, the architect, and the origins of the architectural ideas expressed in the building. The next two chapters deal briefly with the early history of the temple and the temple s plan before the reader, in chapter four, is taken on a tour of the exterior of the temple. During this circumambulation, key elements of the architecture and the sculptures on the towers are described. The final chapter takes the reader inside and explores the features of the great hall. Particular attention is given to the fine stucco sculptures of deities on the embedded pillars of the north and south walls The text is accompanied by fifty-three back and white photographs, a floor-plan of the temple, a comprehensive glossary, and a list of books recommended for further reading.
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Adrian Smythies, author and publisher, was educated at Rugby School, King's College (London) and Balliol College (Oxford). His interest in South Asia was sparked in early childhood by his grandfather, E. A. Smythies (I.F.S.), who regaled the young boy with stories of life as a forest officer in the foothills of the Himalayas. Today, Adrian Smythies writes on the architecture and iconography of American Hindu temples.
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Book Description Mahatmya Publishing, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 75 pages. 10.70x8.10x0.30 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0982694415