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 IN FAVOUR OF  GOVINDADEVAJĪ:
HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS RELATING TO A DEITY OF VRINDAVANA AND EASTREN RAJASTHAN

MONIKA HORSTMANN

1999, xvi+374pp., Facsimilies; bibl., index, ISBN: 81-7304-315-9, Rs. 1250 (HB)


Śrī Govindadevajī, a family deity of Amber's Kachavāhā dynasty, now dwells in Jaipur, along with his consort Rādhā. His first appearance, however, he made in Vṛndāvana where he came to reside in the great temple built for him by Rājā Mānsingh and consecrated in 1590. Govindadevajī was a symbol of Mānsingh’s power and became a focus of political interaction of the Mughal Emperor and the Kachavāhās and, hence, an object of imperial and royal patronage. In the end of the seventeenth century, Govindadevajī and Rādhā, accompanied by Vṛndāvana’s tutelary goddess, Vṛndādevī, were taken to the Amber territory to protect them from damage by the hands of iconoclasts. Govindadevajī and his consort eventually came to reside in the palatial temple in the precincts of the City Palace of Mahārājā Savāī Jaisingh's new capital, Jaipur. The rise of the deity to the status of a symbol of regnal power also meant the rise of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism and the deity's custodians to power in the Kachavāhā territory.

The documents published in this book span more than three and a half centuries. In their own style which is that of fiscal and other official papers, they tell of the fortunes of Govindadevajī Apart from their importance as testimonies of religious policy, they also permit insight into the administrative and diplomatic usage of the Kachavāha chancery, an aspect which the author has attempted to highlight.


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