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Royal Temples of Gupta Period: Excavations at Bhitari

Vidula Jayaswal (Author)
Synopsis Gupta period, the golden age of Indian history, is named so, since almost all the basic norms of Indian Culture were formulated during this period. The essence of Indian culture is religion with elaborate ritual practices, the nucleus of which is the abode or shrine of the divinities. The tradition to build temples was not only initiated, but after undergoing a number of stages of development, a logical format embracing architectural and ritualistic requirements was acquired during Gupta period. The main temple at Bhitari is a classical temple of the period and is also unique in more than one ways. At most of the sites of the Ganga plains, Gupta period is either poorly represented or is indistinct. This has raised a number of historical issues, which at times even questions the relevance of the label 'Golden Age' for Gupta period. To find amicable solutions to such doubts, it is imperative to have detailed documentation of extensively excavated remains of the early historical period in general and Gupta period in particular. Bhitari is so far the only Gupta period settlement, which has been horizontally unearthed. Excavated by senior archaeologists of the Banaras Hindu University, Bhitari provides for the first time the much awaited scientific data and fulfills this lacuna. This book is not only important for bringing out the new elements of the royal temples, but it is also significant for elaborating the typical features of the elements of material culture, such as pottery, terracotta, other daily utility items of the Gupta period, which is not distinctively classified in other excavation reports.
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About the author

Vidula Jayaswal

Grand daughter of (Late) Dr. K.P. Jayaswal, Dr. Vidula Jayaswal is presently teaching and guiding research in Ancient Indian History in general and Archaeology in particular at the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. Dr. Jayaswal was selected by the Government of India under the National Scholarship Scheme to study abroad and received specialized training in Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A. She also served the Archaeological Survey of India. Author of eight books, five in English – Palaeohistory of India, Chopper-Chopping Component of Palaeolithic India, Kushana Clay Art, An Ethno Archaeological View of Indian Terracottas and Paisra: The Stone Settlement of Bhiar (last two in co-authorship) and three text books in Hindi-Bharatiya Itihas ke Adi Charan Ki Roop Rekha (Pura Prastar Yuga), Bharatiya Itihas Ka Madhya Prastar Yuga , and Bharatiya Itihas Ka Nav Prastar Yuga. She has also edited a proceeding of workshop which is published as Ancient Ceramics. Dr. Jayaswal has to her credit more than fifty research papers, which have been published in the proceedings of International Symposia and various publications of repute. Her noteworthy field investigations are excavations of prehistoric sites at Lahariandih in Mirzapur and Paisra in Munger districts and excavation of historical settlement at Bhitari, and, surveys of pottery and terracotta producing centres of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Her recent discovery of the Ancient Quarries of Asokan times and subsequent periods, near Chunar is a significant contribution to both Archaeology and History of Arts.

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Bibliographic information

Title Royal Temples of Gupta Period: Excavations at Bhitari
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173052077
length xii+220p., Figures; Plates; Maps; Appendices; Bibliography; Index; 28cm.