Temple and Society in South India
Author Mavali Rajan, K (ed)
Year 2016
Binding Hardback
Pages xviii+286p, 26 cm.
ISBN10, ISBN13 8174791884, 9788174791887
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About the Book:

The temple is the focus for all aspects of everyday life in the Hindu community-religious, cultural, educational and social. It played many roles in society as place of worship, centre of learning, store house of state property, meeting place, court of justice, promoter of fine arts, etc. The temple also served as an agency for easier and more efficient extraction of surplus from the peasants in the agrarian economy and this contributed to the extension of agriculture. In the course of such extension the temples speed up the process of disintegration of tribal society and its reorganization as a caste society. In the newly formed caste society, the temple served as an integrating player linking the high and low in service. The temples maintained the morality of the society and religious faith of the people. The temples of medieval south India had been a great strengthening factor in keeping the people united and played a vital role as the centre of all social activities. The temples had given employment to a lot of people, as they needed people for the construction, maintenance and day to day function. They also employed the architects for the construction of temples, the artisans for the art and craft activities, sculptors and many servants for the engaging in various activities of the temple. The temples were also a place of religious conversation and musical discussions. All these have facilitated the propagation of religion, music, dance and other fine arts in the society.

This edited volume contains 20 articles covers different aspects of South Indian Temple and Society, which include the following facets like: Power and Legitimacy of Medieval South Indian Temples; Role of Religion in the Chola State and Society; Science behind Temple Worship; Cultural Aspects of Hindu Temples; Administrators and other Functionaries of the Hindu Temples; Temple Women; Socio-political Dimension of Early Kerala Temples; Religious Endowments; Role of Temple in Agrarian Expansions; Socio-cultural Facets of Vijayanagar Temples; Social Customs and Festivals in the Temple Art of Vijayanagar-Nayak Period; Early Buddhist Temples in East Coast of South India; Folk Traditions of South India and other social and historical related aspects. The strength of this edited volume spotlight on the wide ranges of aspects on the subject as well as projections of the learned scholars on the theme of this book. It is hoped that the readers would be immensely benefitted from the learned exposition of temple institutions as a centre of all social, economic and cultural activities.


Power and Legitimacy of Medieval South Indian Temples in the Society * Chidambaram Temple: Tracing the Role of Religion in the Chola State and Society * Science Behind Temple Worship * Cultural Aspects of Hindu Temples in Medieval Tamil Country * The Medieval Tamil Society and Temple Management * Administrators, Artisans and Servants: Temple’s Functionaries in Medieval South India * Temple and Earning Women in Medieval South India * Territories of the Divine: Temple Sanketams and Their Socio-political Dimensions in Early Kerala Society * Temple and Religious Endowments during the Pandyas * Horizontal Expansion of Temple Institutions and its Role to the Agrarian Changes: Study on Early Medieval South India * The Socio-cultural Facet of Temples with Reference to Vijayanagara Period * Social Customs and Festivals in the Temple Art of the Vijayanagara-Nayak Period in Tamilnadu * The Renowned Inscriptions of Sri Ninra Narayana Perumal Temple at Thiruttangal: A Historical Cram * Early Buddhist Temples in the East Coast of South India * Religious Status of Paraiyas in Medieval Hindu Tamilagam * Discourses on Policies of ‘Withdrawal’, ‘Non-Intervention’ and ‘Protection’ : A Colonial State’s Perspective on Hindu Religious Institutions in Madras Presidency * Migration: An Aspect of the Burden of Taxation under the Cholas * Villupattu Tradition: A Performing Art of Propitiation of Deities in Kanyakumari District * The Origins of Social Insurance for the Labouring Classes * Palm-Leaf Manuscripts of Tamil Nadu: A Panoramic View

About the Editor:

Dr. K. Mavali Rajan is presently working as Assistant Professor in the Department of Ancient Indian History Culture and Archaeology, Visva-Bharati (A Central University), Santiniketan, West Bengal. He obtained his M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. degree with specialization of medieval South Indian History from the School of Historical Studies, Madurai Kamaraj University, Tamil Nadu and also got his Master of Tourism Management degree further from the same university. He has also completed a course on Epigraphy from the Archeological Department of Tamil Nadu government in 2000. He started his academic career as a Guest Lecturer in History and served five years in various Government Arts colleges of Tamil Nadu. He has to his credit of a book namely “Medieval Tamil Society and Agrarian Slavery” which has published from Kolkata in 2014. He is associated with many notable historical associations of the Indian History Congress, South Indian History Congress, Tamil Nadu History Congress, and the Institute of Historical Studies. He is also associated with the editorial board of the Journal of Social Science and Humanity Researches, International Journal of Cotemporary Research in Social Science, the International Journal of Social Science Review and the Research Journal ‘Nilam’ and he is also an Associate editor of the International Journal of Kamata Anusandhan. He specializes in various aspects of socio-economic history of early India and History of ancient and medieval South India. His various research works has been published in several reputed journals of national and international.