IndianRepublic of IndiaIND
In the 20th century, Indian literature was influenced by the works of the Bengali poet and novelist Rabindranath Tagore, who was a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Indian music ranges over various traditions and regional styles. Classical music encompasses two genres and their various folk offshoots: the northern Hindustani and southern Carnatic schools. Regionalised popular forms include filmi and folk music; the syncretic tradition of the bauls is a well-known form of the latter. Indian dance also features diverse folk and classical forms.

Bengali language

The Bengali language is the quintessential element of Bengali identity and binds together a culturally diverse region. Sanskrit was practised by the priests in Bengal since the first millennium BCE. But, the local people were speaking in some varieties of Prakrita languages. Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee coined it as "eastern variety of Magdhi Prakrita". During the Gupta Empire, Bengal was a hub of Sanskrit literature. The Middle Indo-Aryan dialects were influential in Bengal in the first millennium when the region was a part of the Magadha Realm. These dialects were called Magadhi Prakrit spoken in current Bihar state of India.

West Bengal

West Bengal, IndiaBengalWestern Bengal
West Bengal has a long tradition of folk literature, evidenced by the Charyapada, a collection of Buddhist mystic songs dating back to the 10th and 11thcenturies; Mangalkavya, a collection of Hindu narrative poetry composed around the 13thcentury; Shreekrishna Kirtana, a pastoral Vaishnava drama in verse composed by Boru Chandidas; Thakurmar Jhuli, a collection of Bengali folk and fairy tales compiled by Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumder; and stories of Gopal Bhar, a court jester in medieval Bengal.


People's Republic of BangladeshBangladeshiBangla Desh
In the Gupta Empire, Sanskrit literature thrived in the region. Bengali developed from Sanskrit and Magadhi Prakrit in the from the 8th to 10th century. Bengali literature is a millennium-old tradition; the Charyapada s are the earliest examples of Bengali poetry. Sufi spiritualism inspired many Bengali Muslim writers. During the Bengal Sultanate, medieval Bengali writers were influenced by Arabic and Persian works. The Chandidas are the notable lyric poets from the early Medieval Age. Syed Alaol was a noted secular poet and translator from the Arakan region. The Bengal Renaissance shaped the emergence of modern Bengali literature, including novels, short stories and science fiction.


Federal Democratic Republic of NepalNepaleseNepali
Suniti Kumar Chatterji thought that 'Nepal' originated from Tibeto-Burman roots- Ne, of uncertain meaning (as multiple possibilities exist), and pala or bal, whose meaning is lost entirely. Neolithic tools found in the Kathmandu Valley indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for at least eleven thousand years. Nepal is mentioned in the late Vedic Atharvaveda Pariśiṣṭa and in the post-Vedic Atharvashirsha Upanishad. Nepal is also mentioned in Hindu texts such as the Narayana Puja and the regional text "Nepal Mahatmya" which claims to be a part of Skanda Purana. The Gopal Bansa were likely one of the earliest inhabitants of Kathmandu valley.

Maithili language

Scholars in Mithila used Sanskrit for their literary work and Maithili was the language of the common folk (Abahatta). The beginning of Maithili language and literature can be traced back to the 'Charyapadas', a form of Buddhist mystical verses, composed during the period of 700-1300 AD. These padas were written in Sandhya bhasa by several Siddhas who belonged to Vajrayana Buddhism and were scattered throughout the territory of Assam, Bengal, Bihar and Odisha. Several of Siddas were from Mithila region such as Kanhapa, Sarhapa etc.


Bihar stateBihar, IndiaState of Bihar
Bihar and Bengal was invaded by Rajendra Chola I of the Chola dynasty in the 11th century. Buddhism in Magadha went into decline due to the invasion of Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji, during which many of the viharas and the famed universities of Nalanda and Vikramashila were destroyed. It was claimed that thousands of Buddhist monks were massacred during the 12th century. D. N. Jha suggests, instead, that these incidents were the result of Buddhist-Brahmin skirmishes in a fight for supremacy. After the fall of the Pala Empire, the Chero dynasty ruled some parts of Bihar from the 12th century to the 16th century until Mughal rule.


BengaliBengali peopleIndian Bengali
Bengali literature is one of the most enriched bodies of literature in Modern India and Bangladesh. The first works in Bengali, written in new Bengali, appeared between 10th and 12th centuries CE It is generally known as the Charyapada. These are mystic songs composed by various Buddhist seer-poets: Luipada, Kanhapada, Kukkuripada, Chatilpada, Bhusukupada, Kamlipada, Dhendhanpada, Shantipada, Shabarapada, etc. The famous Bengali linguist Haraprasad Shastri discovered the palm-leaf Charyapada manuscript in the Nepal Royal Court Library in 1907. The Middle Bengali Literature is a period in the history of Bengali literature dating from 15th to 18th centuries.


Vajrayana BuddhismTantric Buddhismtantric
At least two of the Mahasiddhas cited in the Buddhist literature are comparable with the Shaiva Nath saints (Gorakshanath and Matsyendranath) who practiced Hatha Yoga. According to Schumann, a movement called Sahaja-siddhi developed in the 8th century in Bengal. It was dominated by long-haired, wandering Mahasiddhas who openly challenged and ridiculed the Buddhist establishment. The Mahasiddhas pursued siddhis, magical powers such as flight and extrasensory perception as well as liberation. Ronald M.


Sanskrit languageClassical SanskritSkt.
Examples include numerous, modern, North Indian, subcontinental daughter languages such as Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati, Sindhi, Kashmiri, Kumaoni, Garhwali, Urdu, Dogri, Maithili, Konkani, Assamese, Odia, and Nepali. The body of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of philosophical and religious texts, as well as poetry, music, drama, scientific, technical and other texts. In the ancient era, Sanskrit compositions were orally transmitted by methods of memorisation of exceptional complexity, rigour and fidelity. The earliest known inscriptions in Sanskrit are from the 1st century BCE, such as the few discovered in Ayodhya and Ghosundi-Hathibada (Chittorgarh).


This suggests that Buddhist literature of different traditions shared a common core of Buddhist texts in the early centuries of its history, until Mahāyāna literature diverged about and after the 1st century CE. Mahāyāna also has a very large literature of philosophical and exegetical texts. These are often called śāstra (treatises) or vrittis (commentaries). Some of this literature was also written in verse form (karikās), the most famous of which is the Mūlamadhyamika-karikā (Root Verses on the Middle Way) by Nagarjuna, the foundational text of the Madhyamika school. During the Gupta Empire, a new class of Buddhist sacred literature began to develop, which are called the Tantras.

Assamese language

The Indo-Aryan language in Kamarupa had differentiated by the 7th-century, before it did in Bengal or Orissa. These changes were likely due to non-Indo-Aryan speakers adopting the language. The evidence of the newly differentiated language is found in the Prakritisms of the Kamarupa inscriptions. The earliest forms of Assamese in literature are found in the ninth-century Buddhist verses called Charyapada, and in 12-14th century works of Ramai Pundit (Sunya Puran), Boru Chandidas (Krishna Kirtan), Sukur Mamud (Gopichandrar Gan), Durllava Mullik (Gobindachandrar Git) and Bhavani Das (Mainamatir Gan). In these works, Assamese features coexist with features from other Modern Indian Languages.


Jain PrakritPrakritsPrakrit language
Prakrit literature was produced across a wide area of South Asia, from Kashmir in the north to Tamil Nadu in the south, and from Sindh in the west to Bengal in the east. Outside India, the language was also known in Cambodia and Java. Prakrit is often wrongly assumed to have been a language (or languages) spoken by the common people, because it is different from Sanskrit, which is the predominant language of the ancient Indian literature. Several modern scholars, such as George Abraham Grierson and Richard Pischel, have asserted that the literary Prakrit does not represent the actual languages spoken by the common people of ancient India.


Kamarupa kingdomPragjyotishaKamrup
After the death of Tyāgasimha without an heir, a member of the Bhauma family, Brahmapala (900–920), was elected as king by the ruling chieftains, just as Gopala of the Pala Empire of Bengal was elected. The original capital of this dynasty was Hadapeshvara, and was shifted to Durjaya built by Ratnapala (920–960), near modern Guwahati. The greatest of the Pala kings, Dharmapala (1035–1060) had his capital at Kamarupanagara, now identified with North Guwahati. The last Pala king was Jayapala (1075–1100). Around this time, Kamarupa was attacked and the western portion was conquered by the Pala king Ramapala.

List of Bengalis

BengalisList of notable writers
Narayan Sanyal, writer of modern Bengali literature. Subodh Sarkar, poet. Ramprasad Sen, Shakta poet of eighteenth century Bengal. Mallika Sengupta, Bengali poet, feminist, and reader of sociology from Kolkata. Nares Chandra Sen-Gupta (1882–1964), novelist and legal scholar. Haraprasad Shastri, known as the inventor of Charyapada. Syed Mustafa Siraj, poet, novelist, short story writer, Sahitya Akademi awardee. Srijato, won Ananda Puroskar in 2004. Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), poet, novelist and essayist. Jasim Uddin (1903–1976), poet, novelist and essayist. Vidyapati, medieval poet and Sanskrit writer.

Presidencies and provinces of British India

British IndiaIndiaBritish
Eastern Bengal and Assam: created in 1905 upon the partition of Bengal, together with the former province of Assam. Re-merged with Bengal in 1912, with north-eastern part re-established as the province of Assam. Bihar and Orissa: separated from Bengal in 1912. Renamed Bihar in 1936 when Orissa became a separate province. Delhi: Separated from Punjab in 1912, when it became the capital of British India. Orissa: Separate province by carving out certain portions from the Bihar-Orissa Province and the Madras Province in 1936. Sind: Separated from Bombay in 1936. Panth-Piploda: made a province in 1942, from territories ceded by a native ruler.

Bengal Presidency

BengalBengal ProvincePresidency of Bengal
In 1905, Bengal proper was partitioned, with Eastern Bengal and Assam headquartered in Dacca and Shillong (summer capital). British India was reorganised in 1912 and the presidency was reunited into a single Bengali-speaking province. The Bengal Presidency was established in 1765, following the defeat of the last independent Nawab of Bengal at the Battle of Plassey in 23 June 1757, and the Battle of Buxar in 22 October 1764. Bengal was the economic, cultural and educational hub of the British Raj.

Rabindranath Tagore

TagoreRabindra Nath TagoreRabindranath
He reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of the "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse" of Gitanjali, he became in 1913 the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Tagore's poetic songs were viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his "elegant prose and magical poetry" remain largely unknown outside Bengal. He is sometimes referred to as "the Bard of Bengal". A Brahmo from Calcutta with ancestral gentry roots in Jessore, Tagore wrote poetry as an eight-year-old.


Bhattacharya, while discussing ancient Bengali literature, proffers that Lawapa composed the Kambalagītika ( "Lawapa's Song") and a few songs of realization in the Charyapada. Simmer-Brown (2001: p. 57) when conveying the ambiguity of ḍākinīs in their "worldly" and "wisdom" guises conveys a detailed narrative that provides the origin of Lawapa's name:"[W]orldly ḍākinīs are closely related to the māras of India, who haunted the Buddha under the tree of awakening. In this role, they took whatever form might correspond to the vulnerabilities of their target, including beguiling and seductive forms of exquisite beauty. When that ruse failed, they again became vicious ghouls and demonesses.


CalcuttaSouth KolkataCalcutta, India
As a nucleus of the 19th- and early 20th-century Bengal Renaissance and a religiously and ethnically diverse centre of culture in Bengal and India, Kolkata has local traditions in drama, art, film, theatre, and literature. Many people from Kolkata—among them several Nobel laureates—have contributed to the arts, the sciences, and other areas. Kolkata culture features idiosyncrasies that include distinctively close-knit neighbourhoods (paras) and freestyle intellectual exchanges (adda).

Odia language

OdiaOriyaOriya language
The history of the Odia language is divided into eras: The beginnings of Odia poetry coincide with the development of charya sahitya, the literature started by Vajrayana Buddhist poets such as in the Charyapada. This literature was written in a specific metaphor called twilight language and prominent poets included Luipa, Tilopa and Kanha. Quite importantly, the ragas that are mentioned for singing the Charyapadas are found abundantly in later Odia literature. Jayadeva was a Sanskrit poet. He was born in an Utkala Brahmin family of Puri in circa 1200 AD.

Sukumar Sen (linguist)

Sukumar SenDr. Sukumar SenSen, Sukumar
Linguists Suniti Kumar Chatterji and Irach Jehangir Sorabji Taraporewala were his teachers. He received a Premchand Roychand Scholarship and a PhD degree. Sen retired from the University in 1964. He joined the University of Calcutta as a lecturer in 1930, where he served as a professor for thirty four years. He became the second Khaira Professor in the Department of Comparative Philology after his mentor, Suniti Kumar Chatterji, in 1954. After assuming this title, the department attracted many scholars from India and abroad to study and conduct research.

History of Bengal

ancient BengalBengalBangla, Bengali: বাংলা/বঙ্গ
The area was a melting pot of the Bengali-Assamese languages. The Khadga dynasty was a Buddhist dynasty of eastern Bengal. One of the legacies of the dynasty is its gold coinage inscribed with the names of rulers such as Rajabhata. The Pala Empire (750–1120) was a Bengali empire and the last Buddhist imperial power the Indian subcontinent. The name Pala means protector and was used as an ending to the names of all Pala monarchs. The Palas were followers of the Mahayana and Vajrayana schools of Buddhism. Gopala I (750–770) was its first ruler. He came to power in 750 through an election by chieftains in Gauḍa.

Greater India

IndianizedIndianized kingdomIndianized kingdoms
Here the use of Greater India refers to popularization by a network of Bengali scholars in the 1920s who were all members of the Calcutta-based Greater India Society. The movement's early leaders included the historian R. C. Majumdar (1888–1980), the philologists Suniti Kumar Chatterji (1890–1977) and P. C. Bagchi (1898–1956), and the historians Phanindranath Bose and Kalidas Nag (1891–1966). The term Greater India, whether aligned or separate from the notion of ancient Hindu expansion into Southeast Asia, was linked to both Indian nationalism and Hindu nationalism.

History of Bangladesh

Independence of Bangladeshindependencehistory
This burst of Bengali power ended with the overthrow of Manava (his son), Bengal descended into a period marked by disunity and intrude once more. The Pala dynasty ruled Bengal until the middle of the twelfth century and expanded Bengali power to its farthest extent and supported Buddhism. It was the first independent Buddhist dynasty of Bengal. The name Pala (পাল pal) means protector and was used as an ending to the names of all Pala monarchs. The Palas were followers of the Mahayana and Tantric schools of Buddhism. Gopala was the first ruler from the dynasty. He came to power in 750 in Gaur, after being elected by a group of feudal chiefs.