The Social Impact of Hindu Temples in East Bengal under the Mughals

Speaker: Dr Sandrine Gill
Date: October 20, 2007
Time: 15:30

Session 5 of the 2007 Shivdasani Conference.

Paradoxically, in Bengal, most of the standing Hindu temples postdate the arrival of the Mughals, at the end of the 16th century. What significance did these Hindu landmarks have in the social and historical context? Where they simply commemorative, vindictive or did they compromise with the “hostile” rulers? How did these Hindu temples integrate landscapes with outstanding Muslim monuments?

The archaeology of the imposing Kantanagar temple in north Bengal, and many other shrines from different parts of Bengal provide a rich matter of thought. They are particularly interesting as they incorporate the traditional skills of local terracotta artisans and brick builders into a variety of iconographical and architectural creations deeply rooted in a specific social background.