This paper focuses on the vihara architecture of Bengal constructed during the period of the Gupta dynasty (320 AD- 550 AD), a time when the Indian sub continent was enjoying its Golden Age in art and architecture. Archaeological research in the region of Bengal has revealed traces of numerous Buddhist religious structures from fifth until the eleventh century AD. Physical conditions of most of these structures are extremely poor, making the establishment of its detailed architectural characteristics almost impossible. However, from archaeological excavations scholars have been able to establish the layout, architectural plan and spatial organization of these structures. Relatively little archeological work has been conducted on the Gupta legacy, especially in Bengal; it is difficult therefore to determine the characteristics of the architectural style solely from the archeological evidence of that particular period. Evidence from the post-Gupta dynasties, such as the Gouda, Khadga, Vardhan and mainly the Pala, also bear evidences of Gupta influence on later periods. This study uses available archaeological, geographical, historical and social-anthropological resources to explore possible existence of the Gupta vihara architecture of Bengal.
|Keywords:||Bengal, Gupta Vihara, Buddhist Monastery|
MPhil student, Department of Architecture, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
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