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New perspective on India’s ancient temples

24 Tachwedd 2007

India saw an extraordinary explosion of temple building between the sixth and thirteenth centuries. Buddhists, Hindus and Jains built elaborate and striking structures across South Asia.

Dr Adam Hardy, the Welsh School of Architecture, has now published a new book which aims to make these complex buildings understandable to the general reader.

Dr Hardy has been studying the structure of Indian temples for 25 years, during which time he has visited hundreds of temple sites all over the subcontinent. His research is brought together in The Temple Architecture of India, which is lavishly illustrated with colour pictures and numerous analytical drawings by Dr Hardy, explaining the elements of temple design.

The book examines why these temples still have such vitality and explores the lessons they have for artists and architects today.

Dr Hardy, who has been involved in the design of several new temples in Britain, said: "I wanted to write something which was comprehensive and definitive, but also accessible. The starting point is to recognise that a temple design is made up of lots of images of smaller temples. It’s a simple point, and once you realise this you see all kinds of self-similar structures, rather like the modern idea of fractals. The patterns that these are arranged in are dynamic ones, like an expanding universe."

The Temple Architecture of India is published by Wiley and is on general sale.