Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

2 - Integrating Lives and Spaces: A Study of the Shrines Under the Valkha Kings (c. 357/58-486/87 CE)

Friday, July 6
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Willow, First Floor

Primarily based on epigraphs, the present paper focuses on the processes of integration of different people, communities and rural-forest spaces through the erection of shrines and sites of worship under the Valkha kings of Bagh-Mahishmati region of central India. The Valkha kings, who were subordinates of the mighty Gupta rulers, had themselves emerged from an obscure tribal background. They began to emulate the classical tradition and assumed the Gupta mantle, declaring themselves Maharaja. While the first ruler of this dynasty held a non-Sanskrit name, the names of the rest of the rulers are clearly Sanskritised. They also took to make land grants to shrines of Vishnu, Matrkas, Karttikeya, and at the same time, they also extended patronage to the local divinity, Bappapishachadeva. These shrines became a medium through which the autonomous space in the densely forested area of Bagh-Mahishmati was penetrated, integrated and transformed through spatial, material and cultural exchanges. Instead of Brahmanas, the shrines under the Valkha rulers were managed by the Pasupatacharyas, who as custodians of different shrines, seem to be playing a crucial role in the integration of both people as well as rural-forest spaces. The aim here is to analyze the role of shrines under the Pasupatacharyas, and this process of integration of social groups and rural-forest spaces under the Valkha rulers.

Ashish Kumar

Punjab University, India

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2 - Integrating Lives and Spaces: A Study of the Shrines Under the Valkha Kings (c. 357/58-486/87 CE)



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