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Royal Patronage and Religious Tolerance The Formative Period of Gupta–Vākāṭaka Culture

  • HANS BAKKER

Abstract

Patronage by the royal court of religious institutions and foundations is one of the hallmarks of the development of India under the rule of the Gupta and Vākāṭaka kings (4th–5th centuries). This patronage was extended also to religious movements other than the king's own persuasion. The evolving culture of religious tolerance and enthusiasm is apparent in the temple monuments of the time. In this article we focus on four archeological sites where these developments become best visible: Udayagiri, Māṇḍhaḷ, Rāmagiri (Ramtek), and Mansar. The close relationship of the Gupta and Vākāṭaka realms is investigated in its local settings. Renewed attention is given to the ‘Mandhal Inscription, Year 5’ of the Vākāṭaka king Rudrasena II and the deity on whose authority the charter was issued: Muṇḍasvāmin. It is argued that the name Muṇḍa refers to no one else than the Gupta queen of Rudrasena II, Prabhāvatī Guptā. During the last decade, excavations in Mansar (5 km west of Ramtek) have brought to light the state sanctuary of the youngest son of Prabhāvatī, Pravarasena II. The findings there are placed within the tradition that can be traced back, through Rāmagiri and Māṇḍhaḷ, to the religious foundations in Udayagiri.

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Royal Patronage and Religious Tolerance The Formative Period of Gupta–Vākāṭaka Culture

  • HANS BAKKER

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