The State of Orissa, in the southeast coast of India, is known for its rich heritage in Art and Architecture. Over the centuries, the creative genius of the Orissan sculptors found expression in numerous beautiful images, which can vie with the best works made anywhere in India.
The sculptural images of Orissa display one of the most distinctive regional styles of India. The study of this style is particularly rewarding as there is continuous sculptural activity in the region, spanning over a period of thousand years for each of the three major religions, i.e. Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism. The style is characterized by the overall clarity and consistency of its evolving iconographic program. In this monograph the important sculptures are analysed with reference to their aesthetic value, style and iconography.
The iconographic features of Jaina, Buddhist and Brahmanical images have been described with photographic documentation to highlight Orissa's cultural splendour. This important handbook on sculpture masterpieces from Orissa will be indispensable for scholars, students of comparative religion, and anyone who wants to know Orissa and understand its composite identity.
About the Author:
Dr. Karuna Sagar Behera, born on 5th December, 1939 at Angul, was educated in Angul High School, Angul and Revenshaw College, Cuttack. He earned M.A. in History in 1960 from Utkal University with first position. He obtained Post-Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from the School of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi. He was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Literature by Utkal University for his study of Konarak. He joined Orissa Educational service in 1961 and in 1962, he was appointed as Lecturer in the Post-Graduate Department of History, Utkal University.
Subsequently he held the position of Reader in History and became a Professor in 1976. He has contributed to the academic life of the University as Professor and Head of the Post-Graduate Department of History, Chairman of the Post-Graduate Council, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, and Member of the Syndicate of the University for four years. He was the President of the Orissa History Congress, Member of the Central Advisory Board of Archaeology, Govt. of India and Member of the Governing Body of the National Council of Science Museums. His foreign visits include Gemany, Finland, U.K., China and Indonesia.
He has published several articles on Orissan History, Culture, Art and Archaeology. He is the author of Temples of Orissa; Konarak : The Heritage of Mankind (2 Vols.) and Sculptural Masterpieces from Orissa : Style and Iconography (co-author). He has also contributed to Orissa Bibliography and Orissa Gazetteers. He is at present Professor of History, Utkal University and Director, Orissan Institute of Maritime and South-east Asian Studies in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. He is currently conducting research into indigenous tradition of boat-building and navigation in the Indian Ocean.