Religions of South Asia, Vol 4, No 1 (2010)

Votive Inscriptions on the Sculptures of Early Medieval Samataṭa-Harikela, Bengal: Explorations in Socio-religious History

Birendra Nath Prasad
Issued Date: 22 Feb 2011


In this paper, I attempt to look into the patterns of social patronage to Buddhism and Brahmanism in the Samataṭa-Harikela subregion of early medieval Bengal through the prism of votive inscriptions on sculptures. I have also looked into some of the social and religious processes that were in operation in this part of early medieval Bengal. I have argued that despite being part of the cultural and socio-economic matrix of early medieval Bihar and Bengal, Samataṭa-Harikela had some peculiarities of its own. That, however, does not justify treating this entire area as a ‘frontier’. This paper questions those historiographical models which explain the Islamization of this area in terms of Islam being the ‘harbinger of rice revolution’ in the same during the medieval period.

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DOI: 10.1558/rosa.v4i1.27


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