Demon As Devotee: A Universe of Detail in Hoysala Sculpture. Dr Parul Pandya Dhar. March 5, 2022

Hoysala sculptors are justly famous for the imaginative intricacy of their carvings. For instance, in the sculptures portraying ‘Ravana’s attempt to lift the mountain-abode of Shiva' at Belur and Halebidu, the sculptors have artfully concealed an entire universe of detail. By embellishing their compositions with a microcosm of significant sub-themes within the larger narrative frame, they have created a template that goes well beyond textual narrations of the divine-demonic encounter. In her illustrated talk, “Demon as Devotee: A Universe of Detail in Hoysala Sculpture, Dr. Parul Pandya Dhar identifies and interprets the complex textures of meaning that such a visualisation yields. About the Speaker: Parul Pandya Dhar is a Professor in the Department of History, University of Delhi. Her work engages with Indian art and architecture, art historiography, and connected histories of South and Southeast Asia. She has authored The Toraṇa in Indian and Southeast Asian Architecture (2010), edited The Multivalence of an Epic: Retelling the Ramayana in South India and Southeast Asia (2021) and Indian Art History: Changing Perspectives (2011), and co-edited Temple Architecture and Imagery of South and Southeast Asia (2016), Asian Encounters: Exploring Connected Histories (2014), and Cultural Interface of India with Asia (2004), besides contributing several research articles. She is currently writing on issues relating to connected histories of art across the Indian ocean and the arts of early medieval Deccan.