Although the engraving of the icons did
not continue after 11 th-12th century A. D.
mainly due to lack of royal patronage.
The faith still continues as a living
religion in different communities of the
country. The wealthy Jaina merchants
came forward to keep alive the faith as
well as the art tradition.
The treatise "Jaina Art in Odisha"
presents lucidly the Jaina icons and
architecture that enveloped and
developed in the state from the time of
the Aira Monarch Mahameghavahana
Kharavela in the 1- century B.C. till about
11th-12th century A.D. The Jaina
cultural art of different evolutionary
phases and the bronzes with exquisite
workmanship speak of the rich art
heritage of the state. The art specimens
incorporated in this book have been
brought to light mainly through field
survey and exploration.
The Jaina Art is not an isolated
phenomenon. It flourished simultaneously with other forms of art
maintaining close liaison and interaction, despite the sectarian rivalry,
jealously and intolerance. But one thing
is clear that all forms of sculptural art,
irrespective of pantheons, were carved
out by the sculptors of similar schools.
This book is a type by itself as it
specifically deals with the orthodox Jaina
Art in a chronological sequence. It is
hoped this work will be of great use to
the archaeologists, historians, art
historians, the Jainas themselves, the
research scholars and the interested
readers at large.
After retirement also he took up a special
scheme to study the tribals and the forests.
He along with two research scholars
explored in details the interaction of
Langia Souras and Buddha Souras and Katie
Kondhas and edited jointly a stupendous
volume published by the Universe,
When he became the Head of the
Museums, he busied himself with mostly
in administrative affairs. Under the
influence of the archaeologist
Padmashree Paramananda Acharya,
historian, K.N. Mohapatra and
epigraphist Padmashree S.N. Raj guru he
switched over to history and archaeology.
Having good knowledge and wide
experience, he surveyed almost all
important archaeological and historical
sites of the state and outside the state as
well. As a musicologist he played a vital
role in museum movement of India. Being
a founder Secretary of the Odisha Institute
of Maritime and South East Asian Studies,
he travelled to important ancient port
sites of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra
His immense contribution to the
scholarly field lies in publication of a
number of books on Tourism, Religion,
History, Martial Tradition, Tribal Culture,
Art and Architecture, Music etc., and a
number of edited volumes on different
subjects. He acted as one of the editors of
the Odisha Historical Research Journal.
He played an important role in editing of
the district wise Cultural Heritage of
Odisha in 14 volumes till date. Seven
scholars. in history including an Italian
one have been awarded Ph.D. degree
under his guidance and supervision. List
of his published and edited books is in this
volume itself. At present he is engaged in
editing the Cultural Volume of other
districts of Odisha and Erotic Art of India
Art is one of the most important aspects of culture which delineates with exactitude
the progress or decadence of human civilization. The emotions and sentiments, ethos and
mores, aesthetic sensibility and religious perceptions are clearly reflected through the
specimens of art and architecture. This aspect is essential in understanding the pas!
civilizations, when written records were yet to evolve.
Despite its incredible diversity, Indian art and culture are bound in a unity that
stretches way back into unwritten history. There is hardly a thought in philosophy, religion,
science, and arts in which one will not find a grain in India. All through the ages in its
long history, India's art, culture and all their traits have been continuously evolving and
developing, shaped by its varied experiences within itself. In the real sense, it has not
hesitated to adopt and adapt and assimilate new thoughts and ideas. However, the rigid
and orthodox the Indian system might seem, much of its strength lies in its flexibility.
In the art illustration and appreciation, beauty, and pleasure are universal criteria,
particularly in its decorative aspect. Because decorative art is rapagaia (related to form)
and creates beauty (Shobha) in an object which itself is inherent in human nature and it
persists from the ancient times to the present day. It played a dominant role in the primitive
art and still continues in the present day. The decorative art owing to its applied dimensions
is subject to change from period to period and culture to culture in matters of refinement,
delicacy, exuberance, expressiveness, experience, ideology and mode of manifestation. It
is more artistic, aesthetic, and auspicious than religious and moral. The free will and
intention of the artist is expressed in it. In the canonical art the artist seldom finds freedom
and opportunity to go beyond the rules. Despite the restrictions, decoration or
embellishment of the cult-images is an integral part of the whole composition. Devoid of
decoration the image fails to beam forth elegance, nuance required to reveal the specified
rasa. Thus, religious perception, rasas or sentiments and decoration or embellishment of
art of any form in all situations are the bases in art presentation or appreciation, particularly
in the Indian sub-continent. The multi-faceted arts of Odisha are to be assessed from
these angles, quantitatively and qualitatively.
Based primarily on the canonical prescriptions the Jaina art has greatly enriched the
art heritage of India. The specimens of this religious art, mostly in scriptural form and
occasionally in paintings, reflect the emotions and sentiments of strict discipline and deep
austerity of the Tirthankaras, Sasanadevis, Vidyadevis etc., attracting the attention of the
followers and the general mass. The decorative aspect of the images exuberantly relate to
the ingenious creation of the artists. This aspect changing from generation to generation
of the artists is marked for clear expressiveness, spiritual sensibilities and nuances keeping
in view to the emotions and sentiments of the pursuers.
In the sacred land of Odisha the orthodox Jaina religion spread from the time of the
Nandas who preceded the Mauryas in about fourth century B.C. in North India. The
Kalingan emperor Mahameghavahana Kharavela in the 1st century B.C. championed the
cause of Jainism, made it the state religion and spearheaded the Jaina Art heritage in
onto relieve in the cave temples of Khandagiri and Udayagiri hills at Bhubaneswar. The
art form delineated in the caves. in narrative forms introduced by the Sungas of Magadha
depict mostly interesting scenes connected decoratively with the Jaina monarch in war
processions, return of the victorious monarch and his army along with the hunting scene,
flora and fauna of the time particularly in the Rangumpha. The interesting scenes in the
Anantagurnpha of Khandagiri hill are religious in character exhibiting the Gajalaxmi,
Sun, Moon, tree-worship, serpent-worship etc., are the earliest depiction in the history of
In the Khandagiri hills the sculptural art in depiction of different scenes including
the 24 Tirthankaras and Sasana Devis, continued till about the Somavmsi period in free
standing three dimensional forms. Deprived of royal patronage the wealthy merchants of
the [aina communities contributed profusely for the flourishing Jaina art keeping in view
to the rich art tradition of Odisha.
In some pockets of the state, the petty Rajas and Zamindars lavishly patronized the
Jaina art, the specimens of which are to be found in large. numbers particularly in the
undivided Koraput and Keonjhar districts.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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