Taksasila to Tosali- Trade and Urbanization in Early Odisha
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Taksasila to Tosali- Trade and Urbanization in Early Odisha

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Item Code: NAY695
Author: Sunil Kumar Patnaik
Publisher: Pratibha Prakashan
Language: English
Edition: 2017
ISBN: 9788177023985
Pages: 203 (36 Color Illustrations)
Other Details 10.00 X 7.50 inch
Weight 700 gm
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About The Book

The present volume is a sincere attempt to highlight the recent researches on archaeological heritage and Buddhist studies of Early India. This volume deals with primary resources that are retrieved from the recent excavated Buddhist and Early Historic sites of Odisha undertaken by the OIMSEAS and other Organisations like ASI. The subject matter of the volume has been presented at different national and international conferences and also published in various research journals.

This volume stresses on the emergence of urbanism, trade and communication pattern, culturecomplexes of Early Historic Odisha. New research outcomes and their importance in regional and interregional level have been discussed. The new resources found from recent archaeological investigations have been incorporated for further research by the scholars in the area of Ancient History, Archaeology, Heritage Studies and Tourism. The Monograph would be a resource guide for Early Historical.

About the Author

Dr. Sunil Kumar Patnaik (b.1960) did his Post-Graduation in Ancient Indian History , Tourism and Indian Monuments (1982-84 & 1986-87) from the P.G.Deptt. of History, Berhampur University. He did his P.G. Diploma in Archaeology (1987-89) from the Institute of Archaeology, New Delhi and Ph.D. in Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology, Utkal University. He worked for some time as an ICHR Fellow on the Project "Buddhist Monuments of Odisha" (1990-92).

He has participated in various archaeological excavations at Kurukshetra, Haryana (1987-90) and Lalitagiri, Odisha (1990-92) and conducted the Archaeological Excavations at Early Historic Buddhist Sites of Radhanagar (2010-13) and Aragarh (2014-16). His field of research includes Early Historic Archaeology, Buddhism, Maritime Heritage and Heritage Tourism. He has also participated and conducted several explorations in Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh for Buddhist Archaeology and, Maritime and Early Historic sites. This book is the outcome of his prolonged study and research on Odishan Early Historical sites

Dr.Patnaik has presented research papers in several international and national conferences and visited countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Russia and Germany to attend Conferences and Travel Marts. He is a well-known resource person on Buddhist Archaeology, and Heritage Tourism and attached to many research organizations and Universities of India and abroad.

He has been working in the field of Archaeology and Heritage Tourism for more than three decades. At present, he is working as an archaeologist in Odisha State Archaeology and heads the Odishan Institute of Maritime and South East Asian Studies (OIMSEAS), Govt. of Odisha, Bhubaneswar which is a resource center for study of Buddhism, Archaeology and Heritage Tourism in Eastern India. His publications include Buddhist Heritage of Odisha (2000/2012), Puri: The Devine Destination (2008/2015), Buddhism and Maritime Heritage of South East Asia: Odishan Perspective, Ed. (2014), Excavations at Radhanagr (Kankia): An Early Historical Buddhist Site (2015), Studies in Maritime Heritage of Odisha (2016). Besides, he has contributed several research papers in international, national and regional journals. At present he is working in a Project on "Archaeology of Buddhism in Eastern India" .


A peep into the five thousand years of Indian history, reveals that there were phases of prosperity in terms of cities and towns and were linked intimately through trade and commerce. The prosperity has two phases and two of economic decline, alternating almost in a cyclical order. The glorious Indus or the Harppan civilization covers the entire third millennium (3200-2000 BCE), followed by degeneration from about 2000 to 500 BCE. Again India enjoyed undreamt of prosperity from about 500 BCE -400 CE when great empires arose from that of the Nandas to the Guptas. Again there was a declining phase and regionally grown with rise of several empire like Vardhanas, Palas, Bhaumakaras, Somavamsis, Gangas so also Cholas, Chalukyas, Pallavas, Chandellas etc. Our discussion on urbanisation and trade is limited to the period 500 BCE to 400 CE in Odishan perspective.

The trade network of the early historic period has been highlighted by field studies of the routes which connected the Ganga plains to the Deccan through Odishan region (ancient Kalinga) and further linked with the trance -oceanic circuit, particularly Southeast Asia. The Mauryan Empire was the benchmark for this study and the four- most important provincial headquarters i.e., Taksasila, Ujjain, Tosali and Suvarnagiri, covering the Indian Sub-continent were linked with land routes. Kalinga played a crucial role having in the background the famous Kalinga War in 261 BCE, which raised many pertinent questions about the growth of urban centers, trade and communication, emergence of script, religion and many other social traits that are budding through recent field studies i.e., exploration and excavation. Buddhism again played a major role, since the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka embraced Buddhism just after Kalinga War around 258 BCE. As many as sixty Edicts of all types are discovered so far and many sites and settlements were brought to limelight in the recent pasts which are visible records of our times of yore. In recent times, our surveys in Odishan context brought to limelight early historical settlements, urban centers, trade routes, Buddhist art forms as also some missing links which were postulated by historians like K.C.Panigrahi, N.Lahiri, R. Thapar and D. K. Chakravarti in recent times in eastern Indian context.

Recent researches on the basis of material culture have shown that several Buddhist establishments were developed in post-Ashokan period, particularly at Dhauli, Jaugarh, Lalitgiri, Langudi, Radhanagar, Udayagiri, Ratnagiri and Aragarh. This development was the outcome of cultural interaction of Central Asia and Southeast Asia in which Odisha (ancient Kalinga) remained as the nucleus. This has been substantiated from the recent survey of the trade routes from Balkh and Bamiyan in Afaganisthan where Silk route met and then continued through north Indian Ganga valley up to Tamralipti (Tamluk) and then connected the Buddhist establishments of Odisha (Kalinga) and passed through south India like Kalingapattinam, Salihunam, Nagarjunikonda and Kaveripattinam. The early Buddhist sites are mostly located near urban centers along the trade routes. Thus, the northwesterly town of Taksasila (Taxila), the Gangetic cities like Sravasti and Pataliputra and central, eastern and southern centers of Sanchi, Vidisha, Tamralipti, Tosali, Samapa, Amaravati and Suvarnagiri became closely connected through the intertwined networks of trade and Buddhism. This network was in practice which encompassed the regions of Eastern India and Sri Lanka. From a close study, it is evident that there was gradual development of urban structure from village based economy as understood from the newly excavated sites of Odisha like Radhanagar, Sisupalgarh, Talapada, Asurgarh, Budhigarh etc. This phenomenon is triggered by the espousal of trade and religion in which Buddhism played a pivotal role, especially in the post -Kalinga War epoch.

The recently surveyed sites along the East-Coast stretching from Tamralipti (Tamluk) to Sannati reveals evidences from the Buddhist sites like Radhanagar, Langudi, Lalitgiri, Dhauli, Aragarh, Samapa, Salihundam, Thatalkonda, Bhavikonda and Sannati portraying the name of Ashoka and Kalinga and the availability of large number of early Buddhist monuments provide ingredients for unveiling the historical phenomenon of Odisha. This research outcome has for the first time been delineated in this monograph which is one of the most exciting and intriguing area of research in Odishan history. Except general interpretation of Ashokan Edicts and Hatigumpha inscription not much has been done so far due to lack of material evidences. Further, the post- Kharavela period up to Matharas again need examination of material evidences as two historians remark that "we have no idea of about nature of State in the pre-Ashokan period, nor immediately prior to the invasion of Samudragupta" (P.K.Mishra and J.K.Samal, 2010, Comprehensive History and Culture of Odisha, Part-1, p.xxx) Now, our discussion on recent discovered historical evidences would certainly help to know the early history and culture of Odihsan region and its civilizational intensification in ancient India. The present study narrates the story of evolution of Kalinga (early Odisha) and the activities of people of the region in pan-Indian context on the basis of hard archaeological and epigraphical evidences. All these papers were published and presented in different Conferences and Seminars .As a professional Archaeologist and scholar of Buddhist Archaeology in particular, some questions were raised for Dantapura, Tosali, Kalinganagara, Samapa, with recently discovered fortified (urban) sites of Radhanagar, Lathi, Talapada, Dantapura, Budhigarh and earlier one Sisupalgarh in historical context. I hope it would bring new area of research in South Asian prospectives.

A host of scholars, researchers and administrators have given their valuable suggestions to work on this compendium. I wish to put on record, my heartfelt thanks and sincere gratitude to them. I am extremely grateful to Sri Ashok Chandra Panda, Hon'ble Minister, Tourism and Culture, Govt. of Odisha, for his benevolent support for the research. I am exceedingly beholden to Sri R. Baiakrishnan, IAS, Development Commissioner and Addl. Chief Secretary, Odisha, Sri Manoranjan Panigrahi, IRS, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Culture, Sri A.KPatnaik, OAS (SAG), Director and Addl. Secretary, Culture for their constant inspiration, support and motivation to carry out research work.

I acknowledge the meaningful help received from the Department of Tourism and Culture, Odisha, Archaeological Survey of India, Odisha State Museum, Utkal University of Culture, P.G. Deptt. of AIHC & A, Utkal University and Odisha State Archaeology.

I am very much grateful to Prof. Bhairabi Prasad Sahu, Department of History, Delhi University, Delhi for his kind acceptance to write the foreword of this monograph.It is indeed a great honour to receive a few words from a senior scholar of history like him.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to Prof. A. K. Pattanayak, Former Vice-Chancellor, Utkal University of Culture, Prof. Sadasiba Pradhan, Prof. R. K. Mohanty, Prof Monica L.Smith (USA), Prof. K. K. Basa (Utkal), Prof. R. N. Singh (BHU), Prof. B. K. Tripathy (Amarkantak), Prof. Anand Singh (GBU), Dr. S. B. Ota , Jt. D.G. ASI, Dr. J. K. Patnaik (Former Supdt.ASI), Dr. Sanjaya Acharya (Utkal), Dr. S. K. Acharya (Ravenshaw), Dr. Sila Tripati (NIO, Goa), Dr. Sunil Gupta (Allahabad) and Dr.Baba Mishra (Govt.Aut.College, Bhawanipatna).

I acknowledge the help rendered by Sri G. C. Pradhan, Dr. Balaram Tripathy, Sri Subash Mishra and other staff members of the OIMSEAS.

I am also thankful to my wife Smt. Banjbala Mohapatra, and son and daughter, Sourav and Stuti for bearing me patiently while preparing this monograph.

I am grateful to Dr. Radhey Shyam Shukla of Pratibha Prakashan, New Delhi for evincing his sincere will and interest to bring out this monograph in a record time.


Taksasila to Tosali: Trade and urbanization in Early Odisha is a good edition to the growing volume of literature on early historical Odisha. It examines the rise of towns, archaeology of trade routes, certain settlement complexes such as Radhanagara-Langudi-Kayama complex and Dhauli and its surroundings, and the history of the Sailodbhavas and Sailendras in the larger context of the linkages between Kalinga and Indonesia. The archaeological evidence unearthed from different sites through the region in recent years has been pieced together, and an effort has been made to locate them in the background of the emergent patterns for early India. The work is also marked by the inclusion of evidence from western or hinterland Odisha as well as sites in modern northern coastal Andhra, which were a part of the historical region of pre-modern Kalinga.

The importance of the work lies in the fact that in focusing on the archaeology of a region where significant progress has been made over the last two decades it illuminates our understanding of its past.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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