The Indian Temple - mirror of the world -

Abstract : Mirror of the world, the “Indian” temple mirrors India, by whom it has been created, as well as the cosmos where live its gods. Through it, architects and sculptors inspired by theologians have known how to re-invent Space and Time, combining both of them in a continuous performance, where the Creation of the Universe starts over and over, again and again and is constantly repeated through daily ceremonies and solemn festivals. To ensure continuity in this performance, they have petrified it in the temple ornamentation in the same way that they have inscribed the cosmos and its arrangement in the temple architecture as well as the pantheon and its mythology in the images on its walls. This Indian temple – such as the church, mosque, or even the Greek temple which it has sometimes encountered – has spread all over the world, thereby following the doctrines which produced it. It has thus become the mirror of many cultures, each of which has given its own interpretation in accordance with its own genius, but without ever discarding its basic characteristics which, as are defined in architecture treatises, allow recognition of its unity. In ancient times, the temple blossomed in India and then went to South-East Asia – especially to Cambodia and Indonesia – where appeared some of its most magnificent manifestations, such as Angkor-Wat. More recently, approximately since the last two centuries, Indians are building it on all continents. The present book aims at gathering in one presentation all these “Indian” temples irrespective of their origin and their date. Attempting to delimit the mutual contribution of each concerned culture, it constantly draws a parallel between theoretical data and actual monuments, from the oldest to the more recent and through the liveliness of Indian traditions which they bespeak.
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Contributor : Bruno Dagens <>
Submitted on : Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 11:06:24 AM
Last modification on : Friday, March 15, 2019 - 9:44:01 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-01446657, version 1



Bruno Dagens. The Indian Temple - mirror of the world -. Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts / New Age Books, 2016, The Indian Temple - Miror og the world, 978-81-7822-485-5. ⟨halshs-01446657⟩



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