About the Book:
Sonepur, the ancient Suvar?apura or Sunapura Kataka, played a leading role in
the history and culture of Odisha since prehistoric days. Ruled by the Somavamsis,
Telugu-Chodas, Gangas, Bhanjas and the Chauhans, it was, for centuries, the
center of administration of western part of Odisha, the provincial headquarter
of Paschimadesa and the capital of Kosala country. Known as the second Varanasi,
it was a famous centre of pilgrimage. Adorned with numerous temples in ancient
times remains of which are still found. Even today, there are about thirty-five
temples. Though these temples, prima facie, exhibit Kalinga style of temple
architecture, a closer look reveals certain central Indian characteristics and
the synthesis of both. Sonepur was also a strong seat of Buddhist tantricism,
the effect of which can be felt even today. The antiquity of the place is also
ascertained from the presence of the pre-historic sites, the rock-art sites,
the discovery of punch-marked coins of 4th century B.C., along with numerous
other gold and silver coins and charters belonging to different dynasties.
This book, for the first time, presents a complete picture of the archaeo-cultural
heritage of Sonepur as a whole. It is an humble attempt to make an in depth
survey of the archaeological sites, detailed study of the architectural as well
as sculptural wealth of existing as well as ancient temples, critical analysis
of the epigraphic and numismatic findings, comparative study of the present
day culture with the age old tradition etc. This book will hopefully be serve
as a source of reference for future researches in Sonepur vis-à-vis Odisha.
About the Author:
Dr. Sangeeta Mishra (b. 1977) has obtained her M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D.
degree from the Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture & Archaeology,
Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, and Post-Graduate Diploma-in-Archaeology
from the Institute of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi.
She is a recipient of Junior Research Fellowship from the Indian Council of
Historical Research, New Delhi. She was associated with the Research project,
“Religious History of Odisha” funded by the Tubingen University,
Germany. She was also a Guest Faculty in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality
Services and the Department Buddhist Studies of the Utkal University of Culture,
Bhubaneswar, Odisha. She has participated and presented research papers in a
number of national and international seminars and conferences on Art, Architecture,
Archaeology, History, Buddhist Heritage and other related subjects. With a flair
for serious writing, she has contributed research articles to many reputed and
refereed journals. Her first book titled “Nrisimhanath : An Archaeological
Perspective” was published in 2015.
While working as Assistant Curator in the Odisha State Maritime Museum, Cuttack,
Odisha, she visited Germany to attend a museum management programme, on the
invitation of the Federal Republic of Germany. She is now working as a Junior
Lecturer in the Department of Higher Education, Government of Odisha. She is
also a Counselor at IGNOU.