Reference Entry

Shamalaji

Sara L. Schastok

in Oxford Art Online


Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T078000

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Pilgrimage centre located on the Mesvo River in Sabarkantha District, Gujarat. The ancient name of the village is unknown, but its modern appellation is derived from the main image of its primary temple, a medieval structure dedicated to Shamal or Shyamala (Black One), a glistening black image of Vishnu that may date to the 7th or 8th century ad. Shamalaji’s most ancient remains are those of the 4th- or 5th-century Buddhist monastic complex at Devni Mori, 2 km from the village proper, which was excavated in 1960–63 by a team from Maharajah Sayajirao University, Vadodara (see Mehta and Chowdhary). Subsequently inundated owing to the construction of a dam on the Mesvo, Devni Mori contained a large multi-tiered stupa, a prayer-hall (Skt caitya) and a monastery (vihāra); finds included terracotta images of the Buddha seated in a meditation posture (dhyāna mudrā), an inscribed casket and 64 coins, primarily of Kshatrapa date. Both the excavators and Umakant P. Shah are adamant that the stupa and the images associated with it cannot, on archaeological grounds, be dated later than ...

Reference Entry.  900 words. 

Subjects: Architecture ; South and Southeast Asian Art

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