Iconography Of Siva In Pahari Paintings
In the present work the authoress has attempted to bring to light the important paintings of Saivite themes from the Punjab hills. Lord Siva is the foremost God in the Hindu pantheon. He is given the supreme position in the Hindu Trinity, and that is why he is known as Mahadeva or the Great God. The popularity of Siva is spread throughout India and also in some countries which had cultural affinity with India. Although the worship of Siva was prevalent almost everywhere in India, particularly in South India, it is of interest to note that Lord Siva is, in epic and puranic mythologies, intimately associated with the Himalayas which is considered to be the abode. According to tradition, he was married to Parvati (daughter of the mountain). Siva?s abode is said to be the mount Kailas in the Himalayas and accordingly, he is known as Kailasadhipati. In the Western belts, in the regions commonly known as Punjab hills, a somewhat similar situation existed, although in that area was never erected any edifice of Siva of that stature and celebrity as those of the Pasupatinatha temple in Nepal or enormous temple edifices of Southern India. The present work has been divided into six chapters. The first chapter discusses the supreme position of Siva in the Hindu pantheon and his popularity in the various parts of India. In the second chapter, an attempt has been made to describe the source materials for the study in the third chapter, numerous paintings representing Siva in various forms have been described. The fourth chapter deals with the relationship between the represented forms and the description in canonical texts. A comparative study of the Saivite income types noticed in the Pahari paintings and also represented in the paintings and sculptures of other parts of India and outside India has been undertaken in the fifth chapter. In the sixth chapter some observations have been made the sum up the basic points of iconography of Siva that emerge out of the present study.
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