After passing a first degree in History of Art and a bachelors degree in Archaeology at the University Paris-IV Sorbonne, Doria Tichit decided to specialise in Indian Art. In parallel with her research for her masters degree, she was registered at the University Paris III - Sorbonne Nouvelle for the bachelors degree in Indian Studies, in order to learn Sanskrit. Her research work was on the artistic production of the Hoysala dynasty, with a particular interest in iconography of the deity Vishnu. The focus of this study was the originality of the Hosyalas' artistic interpretation, aiming to throw into relief the interaction between political, religious and artistic fields. Her PhD research is funded by the AHRC as part of the project 'The Indian Temple: Production, Place, Patronage'.
The Udayeshvara temple at Udayapur, Madhya Pradesh, was erected during the reign of the Paramara king Udayaditya (1070-1086). Although this temple is well known, it has not been subject to detailed academic study. The temple offers various advantages: it is well-preserved, representative of the style elaborated under the Paramara dynasty, and one of the earliest examples of Bhumija temple architecture. The temple seems to represent a new architectural formula, and this phenomenon needs to be examined.
Developing an overview of its historical and geographical background will be the first stage in understanding the Udayeshvara temple, giving a framework for analysis of the art of this period and leading to the analysis of structure of the monument. The geometry of stellate, turned square plans will be studied in order to understand the particular characteristics of this example. An attempt will be made to reconstruct the context provided by the architectural tradition to which the monument belongs, through study of previous and contemporary structures.
The iconographical programme of the temple has to be reconstructed. Identification of the images and knowledge of their sequence will allow an understanding of what was presented to the devotee circumambulating the shrine. It should be possible to discover whether or not the iconographic programme of this temple is unique. In considering the relative placing of the images, it may be possible to show that the artists created a mise en scène, dramatising metaphysical concepts. A comparison between the images and textual sources will be pertinent in order to discover which moment of a mythological account may have been selected, and whether the iconographical prescriptions have been observed. An attempt will be made to bring together an iconographic approach with a study of sculptural style, placing Paramara art in its regional context and aiming to define its specific character.