Sculptural Heritage of Assam

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Item Code: NAB132
Author: Dr. R. D. Choudhury
Publisher: National Museum, New Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2000
Pages: 20 (Thirteen Color Plates)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 17.3" x 11.5"
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Book Description
Assam, like the rest of India, had its cultural roots in the Old Stone Age, going back in time to more than half-a-million years. It also passed through the Late Stone Age and New Stone Age or Neolithic, but it did not witness the emergence of Bronze Age comparable to the Indus Valley Civilization of the third millennium B.C. No pre-historic rockcut cave painting as reported from some regions, is noticed in Assam, nay in the North East India. In ancient period, Assam was known as Pragjyotisa and it is mentioned in the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Later on Assam came to be known as Kamarupa, of which Pragjyotispura i.e., present Guwahati, was the capital. In the late medieval period, Kamarupa came to be known as Assam, which included in the entire North-East.

The art of stone sculpture in Assam was, however, still later, not earlier than the 1st century A.D. when at a place called Sri Surya Pahar some 'votive' stupas, i.e., small sized stupas in round, were carved out of solid rocks. We have no evidence of Mauryan (3rd century B.C.), works of art in this part of the country, so far. The Bhaitbai remains, after excavation, though studied by scholars, the claim to be the remains of a Buddhist stupa dating back to 200 or 300 B.C. made by some scholars is yet to be conclusively proved. But it is proved that Western Assam witnessed Buddhist settlement in the past.

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