Orissa has been the Cinderella of Indian archaeological exploration. For historical reasons the decision makers deterred the spade of the archaeologists. Nonetheless, the occasional foray into the field threw a flood of light on the hitherto hidden historical, religious and artistic traditions of the state.
The excavation conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India from 1997 to 2000 at Udayagiri was epoch-making. It unearthed a grand monastery with magnificent shrines and unique architectural features-a true arch which ancient Indian architecture refused to use was unearthed.
The author who headed the excavation has written this book mainly for the edification of the general reader. His mastery of art-history aids him not only in bringing out the aesthetic tradition but also in tracing the varied artistic currents which the great Orissan artists assimilated and transformed.
About the Author:
Dr. Bimal Bandyopadhyay (b. 1948), was a student of the Government Sanskrit College and Presidency College, Calcutta. He got an Honours degree in Ancient Indian and World History from the University of Calcutta in 1967 and stood first, winning a gold medal. He was subsequently awarded a national scholarship for continuing his higher studies in Ancient Indian History and Culture and got the Master's degree in 1969 from the same University securing high marks in the fine Arts group. He was awarded the Ph.D. degree for his work in 'Early Metal Sculptures of Eastern India' in 1976. He has further specialised in field Archaeology and got the Diploma from the School of Archaeology, New Delhi, in 1977. He took part in various important excavations in Eastern India. At present, he is working in the Archaeological Survey of India and of the report on Ropar Excavation. He is currenlty preparing a monography of Temple Architecture of Eastern India.