Bhubaneswar: From a Temple Town to a Capital City

Bhubaneswar: From a Temple Town to a Capital City

Bhubaneswar: From a Temple Town to a Capital City

Bhubaneswar: From a Temple Town to a Capital City

Synopsis

In this informative new book, Ravi Kalia continues his examination of the planning of Indian cities begun with his earlier study of Chandigarh. Here, Kalia makes systematic inquiries into the political circumstances that brought about modern Bhubaneswar, the capital of the state of Orissa, to reveal the historical and social circumstances that shaped the city. In this account, Kalia brilliantly shows the interplay of indigenous religious forces, regional loyalty, and Western secular ideas in the context of twentieth-century international architecture and planning movements. This book will prove invaluable to historians, architects, planners, sociologists, and scholars interested in India, as well as those interested in urban planning in developing countries.

Excerpt

Bhubaneswar before becoming the capital of Orissa in 1948 had been a temple town. As a temple town it prospered and thrived, becoming an important Hindu cultural and religious center. Although the early history of Bhubaneswar is mired in myth, based largely on legend and tradition, it is generally believed that the town probably developed around the Lingaraja temple, erected to commemorate Lord Shiva. Thus the name Bhubaneswar: the Lord of the Three Worlds, Tribhuvneshvara.

Bhubaneswar experienced several changes in its physical form, its ethnic composition, its religious character, and its role as a subcontinental socioreligious center from one century to another: the city's character alternating with Buddhism, Jainism, Shaivism, and Vaishnavism -- religions which found a home in Bhubaneswar at one time or another with the changing dynasties of Kalinga, the ancient name for Orissa. the presence of different religions gave Bhubaneswar its pluralistic character, but not without making the Oriya people suspicious of outsiders; and it also gave Bhubaneswar its definite religious character, which has endured into the present.

The same religious character of Bhubaneswar ultimately became responsible for its selection as the new capital of Orissa, although the city had never been the political capital of the region. But the Oriyas -- proud, sometimes too proud, brave, loyal and religious, often too religious -- signally searched for a city that exemplified Oriya spirit. in their drive to build a city that symbolized Oriya unity, the Oriyas occasionally displayed intolerance, inherently remained suspicious of new ideas and people, lacked a capacity for analysis, showed a strong inclination to act from feeling rather than from thought, possessed a narrow concept of community, invariably were fond of fiction and folklore, above all possessed too great an attachment to the romantic past, displaying . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.