From the 6th to 11th centuries, there appeared, on Orissa’s sacred landscape, a large number of temples. Which exercised a powerful influence on the cultural life in this eastern Indian region. Earlier approaches to the study of temples tend to perpetuate an over-determined reading of art. They either objectify the temple aesthetically as a ‘non-living, static monument’ with architectural complexities; or institutionalize it as a symbol of royal legitimacy. As a result, temple architecture in Orissa is almost invariably discussed within a unilinear evolutionary context, ignoring its material and cultural basis that sustains it, as an institution.
A marked departure from the existing studies, this book tries to explore the extended, and possibly continuous, relationship between temple and the community. “The monument,” says the author, “has also a life after its making and can interact with its users over a time in significant ways beyond the intention of its artists, reflecting the dynamism beneath its architectural configuration.”