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Imperial Designs: the Tamil Temple and the Vijayanagara Empire

Imperial Designs: the Tamil Temple and the Vijayanagara Empire
UTM Kaneff Building, Room 137
Time: Apr 1st, 4:00 pm End: Apr 1st, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: South Asian, Religion, Study of (FAS), History (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), Architecture, Landscape, Design, Archaeology, Anthropology (UTSC), Anthropology (UTM), Anthropology (FAS), 1500-1800, 1200-1500
Lecture by Dr. Crispin Branfoot, SOAS, University of London

The Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts on Translation and the Multiplicity of Languages is pleased to present the fourth lecture (of 4) in the series "Exchanging Glances: Imag(in)ing Hindu-Muslim Visual Pieties in the Deccan.

Dr. Crispin Branfoot, SOAS University of London

Imperial Designs: the Tamil temple and the Vijayanagara Empire

In the early 15th century the construction of a new temple at the heart of the Vijayanagara empire’s capital in a recognisably Tamil architectural manner demonstrated not only a new significance to the worship of Rama in the Deccan, but also the genesis of an imperial language of temple design for an expanding empire. At the height of the empire in the early 16th century under Krishnadeva and his successors, many large temples with multiple pyramidal gateways or gopuras were built at the capital and across the Deccan. This was the moment when the regional, Tamil language of architectural form became a widely south Indian style that transcended the geographical, ethnic and linguistic diversity across the wide and disparate empire. This paper aims to consider to what extent the empire under Krishnadeva and his successors was unified - albeit briefly – and established a long-term legacy by the visual coherence of monumental religious architecture, with the towering gopura as its most visible manifestation across southern India.

This event is co-sponsored by:

  • Centre for South Asian Civilizations
  • UTM Department of Historical Studies
  • UTM Department of Anthropology

This event is free and open to the public.  Registration is not required.  For further information, please contact the Jackman Humanities Institute at (416) 946-0313.

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