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Books By Dr. R. P. Mohapatra

Orissan Art , Archaeology, Architecture, History, Culture & Religion


Fashion Styles of Ancient India,
B. R. Publishing Corp., Delhi, 1992
The book, a seminal study, the first of its kind, gives a graphic authentic account of the varied exotic dress and beutiful hair styles prevalent in Orissa.
Costumes played a dominant role in beautifying human body in all ages. Next to language, it was probably the best item to recognize a group of people belonging to a specific race or living in a Particular society. The present work envisages a study of Orissa's costumes and coiffures from the 1st Century to the beginning of the 16th Century, based on the archaeological evidences and literary corroborations. Orissa, as is well known, is dotted with a large number of monuments. These monuments include caves, Temples, viharas, stupas and stray sculpture. Orissa, in fact, is a true repository of its ancient culture, with Particular reference to costumes and hair styles. But this aspect remained neglected so far. Here is a genuine attempt to collect, classify, narrate and illustrate the innumerable varieties of costumes and hair styles as evidenced by the sculpture of Orissa. The glossary of terms given towards the end of the book will prove greatly enrichening.


Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves
D. K. Publications, Delhi, 1981

This book is based on Dr. Mohapatra’s doctoral thesis who was the former Curator (Archaeology) of Orissa State Museum, Bhubaneswar. Illustrated and fully documented, the book gives a lucid account of the importance of the twin caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri in the development of Indian art and architecture. After giving a factual description of the caves, the author than analyses the peculiar significance of the cave architecture that flourished in Ancient India especially under the impact of Buddhism and Jainism. As these caves were beautifully sculpted, Mohapatra brings out their sculptural significance in a long chapter which is a book in itself. Dr. Mohapatra does not look at Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves merely from the point of view of Indian art and architecture but takes pains to analyse the religious and social impulses that shaped them. To do so he unravels the iconography of the sculptural representations and writes critically about the Inscriptions that are found in the caves. The chapter describing the builders of the caves is full of human interest throwing lights on the social condition of the age.

It is an excellent and very thorough study far above the average standard of Indian Ph. D thesis.On the Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves by Dr. R.P. Mohapatra
Dr. A. L. Basham,
Prof. and Head of Deptt of Asian Civilization,
Australian National University
Who wrote the book 'Wonder that was India'


Temple Legends of Orissa
Orissa Sahitya Akademi, Bhubaneswar, 1992
A Popular book that presents various Myths and Legends associated with the Temples in Orissa


Ornaments Of Orissa
( Co-authored Prof. Thomas E. Donaldson )
B. R. Publishing Corp., Delhi, 1998
The book, a seminal study, the first of its kind, gives graphic authentic account of the varied exotic Ornaments and Jewelaries that prevalent in Orissa.
This book has been organised into numerous chapters with multiple sections for the sake of easy access in regard to period, figures and individual ornaments. Chapter 1 gives descriptions of adornment gleaned from later texts. Chapters 2 and 3 provide textual descriptions of adornment for specific male and female deities respectively in an attempt to determine which ornaments may be peculiar to each. Capter 4 is devoted to adornment on Orissan images from the earliest times to the Bhauma period. Beginning with chapter 5 and the widespread production of images throughout the state, a more systematic approach is introduced. The complete adornment for select individual male and female figures is a described. Chapter 5 is devoted to the Bhauma period, chapter 6 to the Somavamsi period and chapter 7 to the Ganga period and later. Chapters 8 and 9 are devoted to the adornment peculiarities of individual male and female deities respectively. 1200 drawings of the ornaments and 101 excellent photographs given at the end of the book are particularly delightful. An exhaustive glossary on ornaments enhances the usefulness of the book.
Dr. R. P.  Mohapatra
Dr. Ramesh Prasad Mohapatra was a scholar par excellence, who made important contribution to the historical research, especially in the field of archaeology, art history, cultural history and religion. He was born at Bhapur, Dhenkanal on Oct. 1, 1939 and died at the young age of 49 on Jan. 14, 1989. Author of over a dozen valuable books on culture and archaeology, Dr. Mohapatra was lately Curator Archaeology, Orissa State Museum. He distinguished himself with his monumental work on the world-famous caves of Khandagiri and Udayagiri.


Jaina Monuments of Orissa
D. K. Publications, Delhi, 1984
Archaeological evidences leave us in no doubt that at one time, Jainism flourished in Orissa, inspiring Indian sculptors to create rare works of the art. The discovery of the Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves first revealed to the world this ancient art heritage representing the earliest examples of Jain architecture throughout India. A systematic study of the Jaina monuments of Orissa is attempted in this work. The author, a reputed archaeologist, has sought out and examined the Scattered shrine images in Orissa and those displayed in museums, to probe into their antecedents. The background, traditions and history of Jainism in Orissa are firstly delineated, based on legendary and traditional accounts. The author then makes a survey of the Jaina monuments concentrated in the hill tracts of Koraput, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanja and the plains of Cuttack, Puri and Balasore districts of Orissa. The descriptions of each individual monuments are used to elucidate the development of art and architecture in Orissa. The thesis is further developed in chapters on Jaina architecture whose structural features as displayed in the famous Udayagiri and Khandagiri caves and the lesser-known Gumphas (caves) is discussed. The Jaina art and iconography as depicted in the relief sculptures and in the large number of figures in broinze and stone are described. The representation of human figures as also of various birds, animals and reptiles reflect the rare and consummate skill of the sculptors of yore. This tretise on the Jaina Monuments of Crissa, well supported by black-and white plates, will evoke wide interest among historians and scholars of Jaina religion,art and architecture.


Military History of Orissa
Cosmo Publications, Delhi, 1986
The Military History of Orissa has not been systematically studied or analyzed by competent scholars. To fill up the lacuna Dr. Ramesh Prasad Mohapatra, a reputed museologist and archaeologist, brought out this volume with meticulous care. History of Orissa although is a history of military and chivalrous warfare. Militarism of this heroic land rests on a series of illustrious personalities like Kharavel, Yayati-II, Narasimhadeva-I and Kapilendradeva at the helm of affairs, the character of her sturdy, stubborn and adventurous people, the geographical phenomena, favourable natural bounties, and the innumerable herds of elephants of high breed provided by her vast and dense forests. Her invincible army struck terror in the hearts of the enemies of the neighbouring dominions,

The ancient dictum "Kalinga Shashikah" identifies the people of Kalinga as a valorous race full of vitality, chivalry, and the spirit of adventure.

The glory of the past diminished, still survives to-day like the fire in a flint in the martial races of the land.

This monumental volume is based upon authentic historical records, examinations of original weapons and military accessories preserved in museums and private collecttions, and actual field studies of archeological sites and monuments. It deals with achievements of imperial power and dynastic ruler, organisation of army, technique of warfare and traditional weapons. The author subtantiates his viewpoint by illustrating the text with plates never before published and several hundreds of line drawing of weapons, military costumes, war accessories, panels on temple walls and layout plans of military strongholds. A true giant of a work.


Decorative Art of Parasuramesvar Temple
Orissa State Museum, Bhubaneswar, 1992
It is a unique work ever written by any scholar in Orissa giving adequate justice to the multitudinous decorative elements illustrated in the temple walls with dexterity, ingenuousness and inimitable genius betokening the early art tradition of Orissa.

Parasuramesvara; the most sumptuosly decorated edifice of the early period in good state of preservation, attracted the attention of Dr. Mohapatra for detailed study of the architectural pecularities,  sculptural arrangement embellished with different mythological scenes, sculptures and varieties of motifs, erotic sculptures, costumes, ornaments, and other decorative elements of the Parasuramesvara Temple of Bhubaneswar, India.
Archaeology in Orissa 2 Vols (Sites and Monuments)
B. R. Publishing Corp., Delhi, 1986
Author, an eminent archaeologist of international repute from Orissa,gone a great detail in exploring the archaeological remains of Orissa.He discovered hither to unknown archaeological sites and monuments located in remote part of Orissa.Long and detail introduction in the begining of the book enable one to introduce and understand the rich archaeological treasures in Orissa.Photographs and Glossary in the end are delightful.It's a magnificent volume on the archaeological sites and monuments of Orissa,also an important authoritative reference book on the subject based on pain-staking field work and study.Author surveys as many as 500 archeological sites and 5000 monuments spread all over Orissa presenting their location,period of Construction,history, and past glory to present condition in a very lucid manner.All the sites are in alphabetical order under an administrative district which enables one to locate a particular site very easily.The book is divided in two volumes.Its a great book for scholars working on South Asia,India and Orissan archaeology in particular.It is also very informative for the General readers and tourists who are interested in archaeology.