ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE DOMAIN OF TEMPLE PATRONAGE IN EARLY MEDIEVAL ODISHA
Barada Prasad Jena
PhD Research Scholar, Visva-Bharati University
Studying the role of women in the domain of temple patronage in early medieval Odisha is a fresh trend of analysis in Odishan art history. In that male-dominated early medieval society, less number of epigraphs gives an account of the role of women in the religious sphere managing certain ecclesiastic matters. However, handful of donative epigraphs entails about their role as a temple builder, donor, temple staffs etc., who patronised those temples. Some queens were patronised to construct numerous remarkable temples in Odisha. Some inscriptional records refer about donation to brahmanic deities by several women belonged from various social and geographical background of the then society being an integral part of temple life. So many royal ladies built various brahmanical shrines and donated cash and kind to support in maintaining those temples. Temples were associated with music, dance, marriage and festivals etc. Therefore the role of women was very vital to study to understand the socio-cultural history. We have got references of different types of devadasis or temple girls in Madala Panji, who was associated with various kinds of ritual performance inside the temple premises. Likewise, other women temple staffs were there to perform their temple assignments, they were lady garland maker or kaula maluni, sweeper and milkmaid etc. Worthy and wealthy women donated various necessary items such as perpetual lamp, gold, land, milch animals e.g., cow, buffalo, goat and sheep etc for oil and other milk products. Along with temples, the female patrons established local markets or hattas, mandapas, stepped wells or vapi, additional shrines, roads and gardens for the smoother function of temples. In the domain of gift giving to gods and goddess, we have seen a sense hierarchy among patrons of various class and caste. Hence, this paper is aiming to analysis the less highlighted part of temple patronage that is the role of women as patron in the process of maintain and upkeep those temples of early medieval Odisha.
Keywords: women, patron, devadasi, kaula malani, queen, temple, music, dance, donation
Journal Name :
EPRA International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (IJMR)
Published on : 2022-04-05