Spiritual Journey, Imperial City : Pilgrimage to the Temples of Vijayanagara

Alexandra Mack, Vedams, 2002, xiii, 227 p, photos, line drawings, figs, appendix, ISBN : 8179360040, $60.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

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Spiritual Journey, Imperial City : Pilgrimage to the Temples of Vijayanagara/Alexandra Mack

Contents: Dedication. Acknowledgements. List of tables. List of figures. 1. Introduction. 2. Aspects of pilgrimage. 3. The city and Empire of Vijayanagara. 4. South Indian temples. 5. Vijayanagara inscriptions as history and archaeology. 6. Spatial organization of temples and pilgrimage. 7. Food production and social relations. 8. Conclusion. References. Appendix: Grinding stone and ceramic data.

"Pilgrimage is deeply rooted in human spirituality and charged with emotional and symbolic meanings, yet its economic, social, and political consequences have been little studied. In this book Alexandra Mack explores these themes with an archaeological perspective focused on Vijayanagara. The city, which served as the capital of an empire that dominated South India from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries, had ritual connections for centuries before the city was established, and several large Hindu temple complexes were constructed during the imperial period. Mack argues that pilgrimage reinforces feelings of group identity while at the same time preserving existing social boundaries. Multiple lines of evidence, including literary texts, ethnographic data, inscriptions from the temples, maps of Vijayanagara, and ceramic and grinding stone data create a holistic perspective of both the material and experiential aspects of pilgrimage." (jacket)

[Alexandra Mack received her PhD. In Anthropology (Archaeology Subdiscipline) from Arizona State University, Tempe. She has traveled throughout India and spent several seasons on site at Vijayanagara. She currently resides in Massachusetts.]

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