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A Study on Urban Centres in Eastern India: A Special Focus on Bengal (C. 9th Century A.D. – C. 12th Century A.D)


The Paper deals with an exhaustive and extensive account of urban centres which existed in eastern India between the period 9th century A.D.-12th century A.D. The geographical contour consisting of Orissa, Bengal (undivided), Bihar and Assam, have been given the necessary focus, and the political scenario as well as the nature of state in the period has been duly given importance and briefly discussed in this paper. The debate on the theory of de-urbanization and Third urbanization has also been analytically treated in this paper. A critical review of both the views have been done by us. We have discussed in total thirty-four urban centres of this period, of which eighteen are from Bengal only, as this region formed the political hub of eastern India during this period. Our significant sources include Archaeological excavation and exploration reports, inscriptions as well as contemporary Literature (both indigenous and foreign). In this paper we have whole-heartedly tried to bring out a realistic picture of  existing urban centres of the day. We have neither denied de-urbanization nor have we accepted the theory of third urbanization in toto. We have given our utmost endeavour to prove that urban centres existed in this period against a feudal backdrop.


Urban-centre, de-urbanization, third urbanization, jayaskandhāvār, man̟d̟apikā

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