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BIHAR AND ORISSA RESEARCH SOCIETY
For the year 1916,
His Honour Sir Edward Albert Gait, K.C.S.I., C.I.E., I.C.S.
The Hon'ble Sir Edward Vere Levinge, K.C.I.E., C.S.I., I.C.S.
The Hon'ble Sir William Henry Hoare Vincent, Kt., I.C.S.
The Hon'ble Maharaja Bahadur Sir Rameswar Singh, G.C.I.E., of Darbhanga.
The Hon'ble Maharaja Bahadur Sir Ravaneswar Prasad Singh, K.C.I.E., of Gidhaur.
Maharaja Bir Mitradaya Singh Deo of Sonepur State.
His Honour Sir Edward Albert Gait, K.C.S.I., C.I.E., I.C.S.
Secretaries for History Section-K. P. Jayaswal, Esq., M.A., Bar.-atLaw, and Professor J. N. Samaddar, B.A.
Sccretary for Archaeology and Numismatics-D. B. Spooner, Esq., B.A., Ph.D.
Secretary for Anthropology and Folk-lore-Babu S. C. Roy, M.A., B.L. Secretaries for Philology-Mahamahopadhyaya Pandit Hara Prasad Shastri, M.A., C.I.E., and Nawab Shams-ul-'Ulama Saiyid Imdad Imam.
(Continued on page 3 of cover.)
BIHAR AND ORISSA
I.-Temple Types in Tirhut. *
By D. B. Spooner, B.A., Ph.D.
In his great "History of Indian and Eastern Architecture" Fergusson classifies all Hindu temple-forms under one or other of three styles, which he designates Dravidian, Chalukyan and Indo-Aryan or Northern. The great Lingaraj temple at Bhuvaneswar (Plate A) and the more famous Black Pagoda at Konārak are his principal examples of the third or Indo-Aryan style, and Fergusson asserts that he has devoted more time to a consideration of the origin and development of this architectural form than to any other problem in connexion with his work, but nevertheless without reaching any satisfactory solution. Speaking of the temple type in Orissan architecture, which according to him is the norm for Northern India, Fergusson gives one to understand that its essential characteristics are a square cella for the image, indicated externally by a tall tower, which tower is always curvilinear, never shows any trace of storeys, and is surmounted by that massive circular coping stone which is known as the amalaka, on which finally rests the finial
*Lecture delivered before the Bihar and Orissa Research Society at Patna in February 1916,
or kalasa. To the sikhara or tower so constructed there may be and usually is added a porch or jagamohan, with sometimes other similar adjuncts. But temples of this style are essentially tripartite as described, and their main characteristic is their curvilinear outline. This appears to be the form already stereotyped in the oldest known examples in North India, and Fergusson, beyond suggesting that their peculiarities were a structural necessity, leaves the problem of origin unsolved. If this is true of the oldest specimens of this type, it is, if possible, still more so of what Fergusson looks upon as the latest, most modern development of this general class, which he illustrates with a modern "Bengal temple ", as he calls it, in Benares (Plate B). "This Bengal example," he tells us, (Vol. II, page 90), "recalls nothing known in civil or domestic architecture. Neither the pyramid nor the tumulus affords any suggestion as to the origin of the form, nor does the tower, either square or circular; nor does any form of civil or domestic architecture. It does not seem to be derived from any of these and, whether we consider it as beautiful or otherwise, it seems certainly to have been invented principally at least for æsthetic purposes, and to have retained that 'impress from the earliest till the present day". Elsewhere (Vol. I, page 326), he suggests that some day the discovery of some earlier example than any now known may render the evolution clearer, but beyond his suggestion of constructional necessity he was not himself able to go. It is the purpose of the present paper to propound a solution of the problem so simple that Fergusson completely overlooked it, despite his obvious knowledge of the facts.
First of all I wish to question Fergusson's conclusion that his so-called Bengal temple in Benares is a lineal descendant of the Orissan type. This paper does not deal with these Orissan forms, and I will therefore not discuss here the special problems attaching to the history of their development; but I am persuaded that the Benares type which Fergusson illustrates is not to be derived from any such beginnings, and I suspect that it was primarily because of this initial misconception that Fergusson,
with all his unparalleled knowledge of the subject, failed to trace the origin and growth he sought.
But however diverse in history this form of northern, or as I will henceforth call it, Tirhut type of temple may be, it too is essentially tripartite, and consists as a rule of cella, tower and porch, which latter element is obviously a later adjunct to the structure. In the simplest form in which this sort of temple could appear, in point of theory, we should have a small square room, to contain the sacred image, with a more or less lordinary roof, sloped to keep the rain off, and in course of time, a narrow portico in front to keep the fierceness of the sun from entering the shrine. Such a structure as this would be about the simplest form of house we could imagine, granting these three elements as essential, and we will take this as our theoretical starting point, although it is evident that there is nothing curvilinear about it, and that such a primitive type of structure is remote indeed from, say, the Black Pagoda at Konārak. Nor will the development which I mean to trace bring us at any point nearer to this building in essentials.
Now in studying architectural developments, it is usually assumed, I believe, that if we could arrange all our temples in order of their dates, their development would stand out, except for the fact that the earliest, most primitive types are supposed to have died out and to be thus no longer adducible. There is, of course, some truth in this assertion. If we had an unbroken series from the beginning, and knew their dates, the tracing of the development would doubtless be easy enough. In Tirhut, however, such a proceeding is certainly not possible, because, in the first place, there are extremely few temples of any real antiquity, (certainly none at all of the remote past), and the dates of those which do exist are not readily determinable in most cases. If then we are to trace this development in the buildings of this region to-day, it will be due in the main to the falsity of the assumption that the primitive types have ceased. We must bear in mind, however, that the assumption is not altogether false. Close approxima