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CFP: Special Issue on “Dandabhukti to Dantan: a Historical and Cultural Journey”

Special Issue (Vol. IV, No. 1)

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From Dandabhukti to Dantan: a Historical and Cultural Journey

This is a project taken up by Chitrolekha Magazine (www.chitrolekha.com, ISSN 2231-4822) for locating the ancient janapada Dandabhukti at and around modern-day Dantan, Paschim Medinipur and for exploring its cultural history from the ancient to the modern times. This also seeks to discuss various aspects of the Moghalmari Buddhist Monastery (Sri Vandak Mahabihar), other archaeological remains of the village, and other historical sites around Moghalmari like Kakrajit, Kurumbera Fort, Satdeulia of Dantan, the ponds like Sarashanka, Bidyadhar, Dharmasagar and the Raibania Fort of Orissa, all of which at some points of time functioned through a live interconnected cultural and economic network. We have preliminarily selected certain topic/s or areas for convenience:

Topics:

General Topics:

  • Buddhism in Bengal (Bangladesh and West Bengal)
  • Buddhist Sites in Bengal
  • Tamralipta and its relation to Dandabhukti

Topics relating to Dandabhukti and Moghalmari Buddhist Monastery

1.Locating and justifying ancient Dandabhukti at and around Dantan
2. The trade and pilgrimage road from the eastern india via Dantan to the South India and Puri
3. Moghalmari Buddhist monastery

  • History
  • Architecture
  • Sculpture
  • Pottery
  • Buddhist Sect/s
  • Other Buddhist structures found at Moghalmari

4. Plan for archaeological and eco tourism centring round the Monastery.
5. Satdeulia or the place of seven temples and its surrounding areas
6. Kakrajit and its statues of Surya
7. Sarashanka and its history
8. Temples of Dantan: Shyamaleshwar, Chandaneshwar and Jagannath temples
9. Statues found at Dantan and their analyses
10. Local legends
11. Gaganeshwar, Kurumbera Fort and its historical significance
12. The shifting course of the river Subarnarekha
13. Raibania Fort of Orissa.

We cordially invite your opinions, suggestions for inclusion of other topics and contributions to the topics. The issue will be published online and hopefully in hard paper format as a volume.

Word-limit: 2000-5000 words (including notes and references)

Style-sheet to follow: APA

Contact: Tarun Tapas Mukherjee & Sreecheta Mukherjee at editor@chitrolekha.com and ttm1974@gmail.com

Submission Deadline March 31, 2014.

Expected Schedule of Publication: May 2014.

In the Footsteps of Hsüan-tsang, in karnasubarna

Sumit Soren

Independent Researcher


Download PDF version

 In those days when there was no discovery channel or BBC; people learnt about distant lands through the travels of brave travelers who undertook perilous journey across thousands of miles. Travelling was certainly not easy in those days when there were no airplanes, motor vehicles or diesel powered ships. Travelling was also not possible through personal endeavor only; often travelers undertook voyage under the patronage or sponsorship of religious institutions or funding from Kings. For these travelers who mainly travelled on foot, caravans or by ships, India was always a favored destination for number of reasons. Stories of the great wealth of India had reached far and wide, the abundance of Buddhist literature and monasteries also invited the travelers to come to India. So we may say India was an attractive destination because of both material and spiritual reason, and thus we find a number of travelers visiting India at different times. Hsüan-tsang, Ibn Batuta, Jean Baptiste Tavernier, Francois Bernier all visited India in different times and left for us a reliable picture of life in India in those times.

Brihadeeswara Temple: “Dakshina Meru”

Sudha Jagannath

Brihannayika Culture Resource, New Delhi


The Brihadeesvara Temple stands as a supreme example of Chola architecture. Built on a scale appropriate enough to house the presiding deity, Sri Brihadeesvara, or the Lord of the Universe, the temple continues to excite wonder at its many unique architectural features and living presence as a centre of Saiva devotion. During the period when Chola power was in the ascendant, (around 850-1350 AD) architecture in the Tamil country went through dramatic changes. Indeed before the time of the most famous Chola king, Rajaraja I, gopurams in temple complexes were not built on a very grand scale. During the reign of Rajaraja I, the temple at Tanjore was built not only as a monument to the sway of Chola power over many southern lands but as a living sign of Saiva concepts and beliefs. It was called ‘Dakdhina Meru’ as a complement to the ‘Uttara Meru’ or the sacred mount of Kailasa, thought of as the spine of the universe. The Dakshina Meru was thought to be a centre of divine power analogous to the northern centre of Sri Kailas. Many inscriptions of Rajaraja I (A D 985-1012) reveal him to be a great warrior and an ardent devotee of Shiva. It is this spirit of ardent devotion that visualizes the entire temple complex itself as a visible symbol of the divine presence. Over the centuries the successive powers of the Nayakas and the Marathas added smaller shrines and other embellishments to the temple complex in a manner that is a tribute to the original founder as well as the spirit of Saivism.

The Mystery of Indian Floor Paintings

Swarup Dutta

Dean Academics, Indian Institute of Crafts and Design


 As a child one of my fondest memories is of Lakshmi Puja. The whole household seemed transformed. There was activity all around the household. I could sense a joyous mood in everyone. But the most remarkable reminder of this day to me was alpona – the beautiful floor decorations which my mother and sisters made on the threshold of our household, on the doorsteps leading to the prayer alter…”, remembers Narayan Sinha, a renowned sculptor, who has spent his childhood in rural Bengal.

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