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Divine Wood: Woodcarvings in Western Himalayas
By: O.C. Handa

The Divine Wood: Woodcarvings in Western Himalayas, O.C. Handa


 
Our Price: $75.00
Members Price: $67.50
Author: O.C. Handa
Format: Hardcover (9"x11")
ISBN: 9788173056529
Publication Date: 2021

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Description Contents
 
The Western Himalayan region conjures up a vision of vast snow-covered mountainscape with the evergreen and lofty deodar forests. Besides, it has been a home to innumerable ancient and magnificent wooden temples, Buddhist monasteries and traditional wooden houses. All these edifices are richly adorned with the classical and immaculate woodcarvings by the hereditary woodcarvers. These artistic woodcarvings have been studied in detail for their aesthetic, stylistic and thematic qualities. Besides, an in-depth and detailed study about the artisans who built and embellished these beautiful edifices, but remained unknown so far, has been done for the first time.

For all these edifices, the artisans used only deodar wood for the inherent structural qualities of this timber. This precious timber has been eulogised variously in the Indian classical texts, highlighting its various qualities. Thus, it is the devadaru, i.e. the 'divine wood', the amaradaru or amarakashttha, i.e. the 'immortal wood'. The therapeutic merits of this wood may also be known from its various characterising names like daru, surahva, suradrum, suradaru, daruk, surapadap, devahv, devadrum, devakahttha, devahvay and mahadara, etc. in the classical texts. This underlines the importance of deodar as sacred wood in the Indian classical tradition and the folklore of the region. All these aspects have been studied in detail in this book.

Some of the finest examples of the longevity of this timber are the more than 1300 years old Lakshana Devi Temple at Brahmaur and the Shakti Devi Temple at Chitari, both in the interiors of the Ravi Valley of Chamba (Himachal Pradesh), the Markula Devi Temple in the Chandrabhaga Valley and an ancient Dakshineshvar Mahadev Temple in the Kurpan Valley at Nirmand. These are only a few of the richly carved wooden temples, but several more such temples exist in the interiors of this region. Many of these have been studied in detail in this work.

This is a pioneering work on the ancient wood-based art and architecture of the Western Himalayan region. The researchers, scholars and general readers shall find it very useful and informative.

The Divine Wood: Woodcarvings in Western Himalayas, O.C. Handa, Aryan Books International, Hardcover (9"x11"), 175 pages, $75.00

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