If asked about monasteries in ancient and medieval India, most of us will think of the Buddhist vihara, with its cloistered monks’ cells surrounding a central courtyard. It may vaguely come to mind that Śaivite maṭhas rose to prominence toward the end of the first millennium, but until now there has been no book to show us their architecture. Among general works, Susan Huntington’s The Art of Ancient India is exceptional in devoting a few pages to the tenth-century monastery and adjacent circular temple at Chandrehe, publishing a plan, and speculating on the beliefs and practices of the Mattamayūra (Drunken Peacock) ascetic sect who inhabited it.1

Not that the handful of...

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