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Hindu Temple Legends in South India

Links to the project

The South Indian temple town of Kanchipuram has for centuries been considered one of the most sacred sites in Hinduism. Its significance for Hindu religiosity is substantiated by a large number of mythological narratives, which have been handed down as written text since the medieval period. They are, however, also reflected in temple architectures, in iconography, in inscriptions, in material culture, in rituals, and in the oral traditions of the city. These narratives are also of central importance for the Hindu traditions as practiced today.

The project ‘Hindu Temple Legends in South India’ explores these different forms of transmission and makes them accessible in a digital environment. At the core of the project is the production of digital editions of the entire corpus of Kanchipuram’s temple legends.

The gods approach Shiva (Wood engraving in a Tamil-print, 1900); ©HAdW/Ute Hüsken

Hindu Temple Legends in South India

Host Academy
Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities

Location and federal state
Heidelberg, Baden-Würrtemberg

Editions: Ancient History

Project number

These editions are based on an evaluation of all available textual witnesses, rendering the various often widely diverging versions in which the texts have been transmitted visible. In a second step, the editions will be linked with a digital documentation of the respective temple architecture and iconography as well as the related rituals and oral traditions. In this way, textual and non-textual forms of the temple legends are brought together in a consolidated digital corpus, creating a new understanding of this important cultural heritage both in its historical significance and as living practice.

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