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Introduction to Hindu Iconography

Introduction to Hindu Iconography

Welcome to “Introduction to Hindu Iconography,” a comprehensive online course designed to guide you through the rich spiritual and artistic traditions of Hindu art. This course offers an in-depth exploration of the sacred symbols and figures that have shaped Hindu culture across millennia. Whether you are a student of art history, a practitioner of Hinduism, or simply curious about the intricate world of religious iconography, this course will equip you with the knowledge to understand and appreciate the profound connection between divine representation and spiritual devotion in Hindu art.

Join us as we unravel the meanings embedded in the Sanskrit terms ‘Archa’, ‘Bera’, and ‘Vigraha’, and learn how these concepts offer more than just an understanding of statues but a bridge to the divine. With expert guidance, interactive sessions, and a rich reading list, you will emerge with a deep appreciation of one of the world’s oldest artistic traditions and a certificate demonstrating your new knowledge.

Enroll now to begin your journey into the heart of Hindu iconography and discover how ancient art forms continue to influence modern spirituality and cultural expressions.

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*The Course may not be offered if the number of registrations is less than 15.

15 Hours
Date & Time

16 July 2024 - 22 October 2024

7:00 PM-8:00 PM IST

Every Tuesday


Course Fee: ₹3500
Enrollment Manual
Medium of Instruction
One year from the end date of the course
Online through INDICA Courses Portal
Contact Details



Why study Hindu Iconography? Explore the rich tapestry of Hindu iconography through the lens of classical Indian scriptures. Unlike the English term “statue,” the Sanskrit words ‘Archa’, ‘Bera’, and ‘Vigraha’ encapsulate not just the form but the spirit of devotion embedded within Hindu art. This course offers a deep dive into the traditional and philosophical underpinnings that define Hindu iconography, linking worshipper and deity.

Artistic Devotion In Hinduism, iconography transcends mere artistry, serving as a conduit for devotion. Each crafted image invites a connection with the divine, a fusion of cultural heritage and spiritual practice. This course is designed to unravel the layers of meaning behind each symbol and figure, providing a comprehensive understanding of Indian art’s foundations. Without a thorough understanding of Hindu iconography, the study of Indian culture, history, art, and architecture remains incomplete.

Cultural Evolution Hindu iconography has evolved through centuries, shaped by historical changes and regional influences. This course will guide you through these transformations to better understand and appreciate the diversity and depth of this ancient art form.

Course Objectives

  • Master the Basics: Gain a solid foundation in the fundamental concepts of Hindu iconography.
  • Learn the Language: Acquaint yourself with the terminologies that are key to understanding sacred art.
  • Deity-Specific Studies: Understand the iconographic distinctions among various Hindu deities.
  • Explore Intangible Influences: Examine how abstract concepts and spiritual practices influence the development of Hindu icons.

Course Syllabus

  • The importance of icons in Hinduism
  • Core terminologies in Hindu iconography
  • Principles of Hindu Iconography
  • Exploring Shaiva, Shakta and Vaishnava Iconography
  • Studying Other Deity Associations

Reading List

  • “Elements of Hindu Iconography” by T.A. Gopinath Rao
  • “Indian Sculptures” by Stella Kramrisch
  • “Bhartiya Kala” by Vasudeva Sharan Agarwal
  • “Indian Sculpture and Iconography” by V. Ganpati Sthapati
  • “Bhartiya Murti Shastra” by N.P. Joshi

Course Features

  • Live Interactive Sessions: Participate in live lectures and discussions with ample opportunities for Q&A.
  • Flexible Learning: Access class recordings and materials at your convenience for asynchronous learning.
  • Certificate of Completion: Demonstrate your new knowledge with a certificate upon successfully completing the course.

*Important Enrollment Notice: Please note that this course requires a minimum of 15 registrations to commence. If the required number of students is not met, enrolled participants will be notified promptly and provided with options for a full refund or alternative courses.


Sushant Bharti

Sushant Bharti is a Conservation Architect and Researcher based in New Delhi. His broad interests lie in understanding the diverse architectural heritage of India. His area of research is centred around Indian temple architecture, iconography and the cultural heritage of Braj, known for its complex religious setting. He has previously worked with the National Museum, New Delhi to document the cultural heritage in Uttar Pradesh and Ladakh. As part of this work, he was tasked with conceptualizing designs for new museums at Kashi Vishwanath and Kedarnath.

He has been a keen advocate for the protection of the tangible and built heritage of the Braj region. He was selected under PM YUVA Fellowship by the National Book Trust, Ministry of Education to write a book on the Indian Independence movement. He is a recipient of the “Ideas Research Fellowship 2023” from the Society of Architectural Historians, Chicago. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Ireland and Great Britain and an Associate Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, London.

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