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Temples of Assam and Odisha- A Comparative Study of Management System

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Item Code: UAW212
Author: Tapan Kalita
Publisher: EBH Publishers, Guwahati
Language: English
Edition: 2022
ISBN: 9789390434008
Pages: 319 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Other Details 9.50 X 6.50 inch
Weight 680 gm
Book Description

Inumeral studies on the temples of India, more particularly on those of South India have been made by scholars of repute of India and abroad while the temples of Assam are still awaiting a proper attention of the scholars. The author of this work has made an attempt for a comparative study on the management system of the temples of Assam and Odisha and thus have opened up a vast and virgin field of research on the socio-economic and politico- cultural life of the two parts of our great country - "India' in the true sense of the term.. The present work will certainly be of great help for them who are seriously engaged in studying history and management of the temples of Assam and Odisha in particular. Its prime beauty that one can enjoy and utilize is the theory of 'unity in diversity' has been convincingly portraited here without a single layer of any kind of emotion and reservation. It will definitely serve the purposes of the general readers as well.

About The Author

Dr. Tapan Kalita, M.A. in History from Gauhati University, Assam and currently he is an Associate Professor in the Department of History, Nirmal Halol College, Patacharkuchi (Bajall District) under Gauhati University. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from Gauhati University, for his dissertation "Management System of the Temples of Assam and Orissa: A Comparative Study". In connection with academic activities he visited several Universities in India. Three text books for degree level and more than 15 research papers published in journals of National stander. Number of popular articles in magazines and periodicals are there to credit of Dr. Kalita. He is a life member of North East India History Association (NEIHA) and Kamarupa Anusandhan Samiti (Assam Historical Research Society) where he also served as an Executive Member (EM). He was even a founder member of Axom Buranji Sabha.


Assam formerly known as Prägjotisa- Kamarúpa maintained a close relation with its neighbouring provinces of Bengal and Odisha since hoary past and vice-versa. Bhauma-Naraka, whom is regarded to be the progenitor of all the pre Ahom ruling dynasties viz., the Varmanas, the Salastambhas and the Palas as tradition claims, was a political adventurer from Mithla, a part of early Odisha region. Likewise, the origin of the Bhauma-Kara dynasty of Odisha is also evidently claimed from the same Bhauma-Nararaka line of kings of Kamarupa. The epigraphs of early Assam record, under the patronage of her rulers a number of brahmanas from northern India including Odisha region came to Assam and got their proper settlements as per the provision of Hindu scriptures. Similarly, brahmanas from Kamarupa like Vishnusomacharya of Parisara gotra went to Odisha at the royal invitation of the Eastern Ganga king Anantavarmana, received Brahmottara grant of land and then stayed there permanently. The same Indradunnya legend of Lord Jagannatha of Puri is found connected with the images of the presiding deities of Hayagriva temple at Hajo in Assam.


The temples were and still are being popular places of festivals and community gatherings, they helps in strengthening intermixing the people of different strata of the society. Earlier the temples and the royal authority always maintained a mutual relation. In order to win over the people, the local deities mostly non-Aryan were often made identified by the Sastrakāras with their counterparts extolled in Vedic and Puranic literatures.

A number of temples including that of Mahagauri, Kameśvari, Hatakasulinśiva and Vasu Madhava were some centers of the 'nuclear areas' in early Assam under the rule of the Varmana, Šālastambha and the Pala Kings (C.E 4-12 Century). Likewise, the Hindu temples including the famous temple of Lord Jagannatha at Puri, Lord Lingaraja at Bhubaneswar and that of Goddess Virajā at Jajpur were some of the nerve centers of the kingdoms of Somavamsi and Süryavamsi Gajapati Kings (CE 9" Century - 16" Century). These temples were also endowed lavishly with men, lands and other valuables both movable and immovable by the kings of the respective dynasties.

According to an estimate made in CE 1954 Assam owns 103 temples of which 44 belong to Saiva, 26 to Säkta and 24 to Vaisnava sect, while in Odisha out of 153 central and state protected temples 79 belong to Saiva, 23 to Säkta and 34 to Vaisnava sect.


A temple is a house of gods and goddesses or any other objects of worship. The word temple has been derived from the Latin Templum' meaning a square place of a deity. It has therefore a great resemblance with the Sanskrit word Devagrha and all of its synonyms viz., Dol, Devalaya, Devayatana etc. Banikanta Kakati however finds its Austric origin which connotes the same thing. Whatever may be the truth, the word temple carries the meaning of a residence of a god. In the texts of the Indian art and architecture more than 101 terms are found to mean a Hindu temple. Among these grha, Pitha, Matha, Mandira, Saudha, Präsäda have been commonly used. To suit our purpose here we have used the word temple to mean a place of worship of the Hindu or Hinduised gods and goddesses with a masonry or brick built building in standing order or in ruins bearing endowments of land, men and valuables, wherein daily and regular worship was performed and still being performed.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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