A Morphological Study of the Ancient Buddhist Monasteries of Bengal


  • Pushpita Eshika Arkansas State University, Heritage Studies Program, Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA




Morphology, Buddhism, Spatial organization, Ancient, Monastery


Vajrayana, or Bengali Buddhism, was a significant derivation from traditional Buddhist schools of ancient India. This Buddhist school was erected in ancient Bengal, adopting the prevailing esoteric tantric practices, and reigned every corner of Bengal from around the 7th to the 13th century. This morphological research focuses on the spatial layout of five Bengal Buddhist monasteries constructed between the 5th and 12th centuries and tries to find the underlying pattern of evolution through the lens of the philosophical development of Buddhism in Bengal. The findings show a significant shift in the morphological character of the Bengal Buddhist monastery after the 8th century ad. The introduction and growth of tantra-oriented Buddhist schools, primarily the Vajrayana school, played a vital role in the spatial evolution and transformation of the Buddhist monasteries of Bengal. This study tries to unveil how religion's intrinsic and extrinsic forces shaped forms and spatial patterns of Buddhist architecture in Ancient Bengal.


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How to Cite

Eshika, P. (2023). A Morphological Study of the Ancient Buddhist Monasteries of Bengal. Proceedings of the International Conference of Contemporary Affairs in Architecture and Urbanism-ICCAUA, 6(1), 880–894. https://doi.org/10.38027/iccaua2023en0344