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Manuscripts

Introduction: The palm leaf manuscript section, one of the richest in the country, throws a flood of light on the manifested culture of Odisha. The importance of manuscripts was first felt by the oriental scholars in the 19th century. The first European scholar Rev. J. Long collected some Oriya manuscripts and published a list of them in J.A.S.B. in 1859. The second European scholar, Col. Mecenzi took pains to collect a large number of palm leaf manuscripts written in Oriya character from Ganjam and Koraput areas which now adorn the racks of the Government Oriental Manuscripts Library and Adyar Manuscripts Library of Madras and Saraswati Mahal Library of Tanjore. Read More

The palm leaf manuscript section, one of the richest in the country, throws a flood of light on the manifested culture of Odisha. The importance of manuscripts was first felt by the oriental scholars in the 19th century. The first European scholar Rev. J. Long collected some Oriya manuscripts and published a list of them in J.A.S.B. in 1859. The second European scholar, Col. Mecenzi took pains to collect a large number of palm leaf manuscripts written in Oriya character from Ganjam and Koraput areas which now adorn the racks of the Government Oriental Manuscripts Library and Adyar Manuscripts Library of Madras and Saraswati Mahal Library of Tanjore.

 

The credit of studying the Oriya Manuscripts goes to John Beams, the then Collector of Balasore who wrote a brilliant article of Rasakallola in Indian Antiquary Vol.1, 1871. His list of manuscripts finds place in Hunter's Odisha Vol.II. After John Beams, R.L.Mitra, Mahamahopadhaya Haraprasad Sastri, M.Chakravarty, Prof. Mc. Donell, K. P. Jayaswal, A. p. Banerji Sastri and many other distinguished scholars have thrown a flood of new light on the importance of palm-leaf manuscripts preserved in different parts of Odisha.

 

After the creation of Odisha as a separate province in 1936 a systematic survey was made to enlist palm leaf manuscripts preserved in different agencies and private concerns of Odisha, through the help of local pandits. It is understood that they have listed as many as 15,000 titles of which the list of some 11,000 are available in the Odisha State Museum. The provincial museum earlier located at Ravenshaw College, Cuttack too made a keen attempt for collection and preservation of palm-leaf manuscripts. In 1950 Late P. Acharya realised the cultural value of these manuscripts and opened a separate section in Odisha State Museum. Recently the gallery has been renovated and the manuscripts are being digitized through a powerful scanner for better preservation. Since then systematic attempt is being made to collect manuscripts from different sources through gift, purchase, etc. At present the collection is raised to a strength of about 37,000 including the illustrated ones in the field of (1) Veda, (2) Tantra, (3) Jyotisha, (4) Dharmasastra, (5) Ayurveda, (6) Ganita, (7) Silpasastra, (8) Samgita, (9) Abhidhana, (10) Vyakarana, (11) Sanskrit Purana, (12) Sanskrit Kavya, (13) Alamkara, (14)"Bengali (Sanskrit), (15) Bengali, (16) Devanagari, (17) Oriya Purana, (18) Oriya Kavya, (19) Oriya Prose, (20) Oriya Historical Literature, (21) Sanskrit Paper Manuscripts, (22) Oriya Paper Manuscripts, (23) Arabic Manuscripts, (24) Darsana Manuscripts, (25) Telugu Manuscripts, (26) Copied Manuscripts and, (27) Illustrated Manuscripts. All these manuscripts are properly kept in mobistak almirahs for better

Illustrated palmleaf and articles of interest

The illustrated manuscripts add a ver, important and brilliant chapter in the history c.4 pictorial art in Odisha. These illustrated manuscripts usually relate to two classes of manuscripts palmleaf and paper manuscripts of which palm-leaf manuscripts are of earlier date. But unfortunately such palm-leaf manuscripts earlier than the 17th century A.D. have not yet been acquired by the... Read More

Original Oriya works

The original works of Oriya literature like Samhita, Gita, Malika, Bhajana, Janana, Chautisa, Chhandas, Chaupadis, Chitau, Poi, Boli, Padia, Champu, Pala, Suanga, Lila, Rasa and Samar Sahitya have immense popularity. We have made a systematic attempt to collect a number of them in the recent years. The chhandas reached the climax in the hands of Upendra Bhanja. His Vaidehisha Vilasha and Lavanyavati have been... Read More

Oriya Purana

Sarala Dasa, the author of Sarala Mahabharata in Oriya also contributed a number of other works of importance like Sapta Kanda Ramayana, Chandi Purana, Valmiki Ramayana, Malasri Janana and Mahalakshmi Vrata. All these manuscripts have already been collected by the museum. The compositions of Sarala Das in 15th century have established Oriya as a rich language. Mahabharata written by Krishna Simha, Purusottama Dasa,... Read More