The Indian subcontinent known as the Asian subcontinent and Indo subcontinent, is a southern region and peninsula of Asia situated on the Indian Plate and projecting southwards into the Indian Ocean from the Himalayas. Geologically, the Indian subcontinent is related to the land mass that rifted from Gondwana and merged with the Eurasian plate nearly 55 million years ago. Geographically, it is the peninsular region in south-central Asia delineated by the Himalayas in the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, the Arakanese in the east. Politically, the Indian subcontinent includes Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Sometimes, the geographical term'Indian subcontinent' is used interchangeably with'South Asia', although that last term is used as a political term and is used to include Afghanistan. Which countries should be included in either of these remains the subject of debate. According to Oxford English Dictionary, the term "subcontinent" signifies a "subdivision of a continent which has a distinct geographical, political, or cultural identity" and a "large land mass somewhat smaller than a continent".
It is first attested in 1845 to refer to the North and South Americas, before they were regarded as separate continents. Its use to refer to the Indian subcontinent is seen from the early twentieth century, it was convenient for referring to the region comprising both British India and the princely states under British Paramountcy. The term Indian subcontinent has a geological significance. Similar to various continents, it was a part of the supercontinent of Gondwana. A series of tectonic splits caused formation of various basins, each drifting in various directions; the geological region called "Greater India" once included Madagascar, Seychelles and Austrolasia along with the Indian subcontinent basin. As a geological term, Indian subcontinent has meant that region formed from the collision of the Indian basin with Eurasia nearly 55 million years ago, towards the end of Paleocene; the geographical region has simply been known as "India". Other related terms are South Asia, and the terms "Indian subcontinent" and "South Asia" are sometimes used interchangeably.
There is no globally accepted definition on which countries are a part of South Asia or the Indian subcontinent. The less common term "South Asian subcontinent" has seen occasional use since the 1970s. Geologically, the Indian subcontinent was first a part of so-called "Greater India", a region of Gondwana that drifted away from East Africa about 160 million years ago, around the Middle Jurassic period; the region experienced high volcanic activity and plate subdivisions, creating Madagascar, Antarctica and the Indian subcontinent basin. The Indian subcontinent drifted northeastwards, colliding with the Eurasian plate nearly 55 million years ago, towards the end of Paleocene; this geological region includes Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The zone where the Eurasian and Indian subcontinent plates meet remains one of the geologically active areas, prone to major earthquakes; the English term "subcontinent" continues to refer to the Indian subcontinent. Physiographically, it is a peninsular region in south-central Asia delineated by the Himalayas in the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, the Arakanese in the east.
It extends southward into the Indian Ocean with the Arabian Sea to the southwest and the Bay of Bengal to the southeast. Most of this region rests on the Indian Plate and is isolated from the rest of Asia by large mountain barriers. Using the more expansive definition – counting India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Maldives as the constituent countries – the Indian subcontinent covers about 4.4 million km2, 10% of the Asian continent or 3.3% of the world's land surface area. Overall, it is home to a vast array of peoples; the Indian subcontinent is a natural physical landmass in South Asia, geologically the dry-land portion of the Indian Plate, isolated from the rest of Eurasia. Given the difficulty of passage through the Himalayas, the sociocultural and political interaction of the Indian subcontinent has been through the valleys of Afghanistan in its northwest, the valleys of Manipur in its east, by maritime routes. More difficult but important interaction has occurred through passages pioneered by the Tibetans.
These routes and interactions have led to the spread of Buddhism out of the Indian subcontinent into other parts of Asia. And the Islamic expansion arrived into the Indian subcontinent in two ways, through Afghanistan on land and to Indian coast through the maritime routes on the Arabian Sea. Whether called the Indian subcontinent or South Asia, the definition of the geographical extent of this region varies. Geopolitically, it had formed the whole territory of Greater India. In terms of modern geopolitical boundaries, the Indian subcontinent comprises the Republic of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, besides, by convention, the island nation of Sri Lanka and other islands of the Indian Ocean, such as the Maldives; the term "Indian continent" is first introduced in the early 20th century, when most of the territory was part of British India. The Hindu Kush, centered on eastern Afghanistan, is the boundary connecting the Indian subcontinent with Central Asia to the northwest, the Persian Plateau to the west.
The socio-religious history of Afghanistan are related to the Turkish-influenced Central Asia and no
The Pala Empire was an imperial power during the Late Classical period on the Indian subcontinent, which originated in the region of Bengal. It is named after its ruling dynasty, they were followers of the Tantric schools of Buddhism. The empire was founded with the election of Gopala as the emperor of Gauda in 750 CE; the Pala stronghold was located in Bengal and Bihar, which included the major cities of Vikrampura, Gauda, Somapura, Ramvati and Jaggadala. The Palas were military conquerors, their army was noted for its vast war elephant corps. Their navy performed both defensive roles in the Bay of Bengal; the Palas were important promoters of classical Indian philosophy, literature and sculpture. They built grand temples and monasteries, including the Somapura Mahavihara, patronised the great universities of Nalanda and Vikramashila; the Proto-Bengali language developed under Pala rule. The empire enjoyed relations with the Srivijaya Empire, the Tibetan Empire and the Arab Abbasid Caliphate. Islam first appeared in Bengal during Pala rule, as a result of increased trade between Bengal and the Middle East.
Abbasid coinage found in Pala archaeological sites, as well as records of Arab historians, point to flourishing mercantile and intellectual contacts. The House of Wisdom in Baghdad absorbed the mathematical and astronomical achievements of Indian civilisation during this period. At its height in the early 9th century, the Pala Empire was the dominant power in the northern Indian subcontinent, with its territory stretching across parts of modern-day eastern Pakistan and northeastern India and Bangladesh; the empire reached its peak under Emperors Devapala. The Palas exerted a strong cultural influence under Atisa in Tibet, as well as in Southeast Asia. Pala control of North India was ephemeral, as they struggled with the Gurjara-Pratiharas and the Rashtrakutas for the control of Kannauj and were defeated. After a short lived decline, Emperor Mahipala I defended imperial bastions in Bengal and Bihar against South Indian Chola invasions. Emperor Ramapala was the last strong Pala ruler, who gained control of Kalinga.
The empire was weakened by the 11th century, with many areas engulfed in rebellion. The resurgent Hindu Sena dynasty dethroned the Pala Empire in the 12th century, ending the reign of the last major Buddhist imperial power in the Indian subcontinent; the Pala period is considered one of the golden eras of Bengali history. The Palas brought stability and prosperity to Bengal after centuries of civil war between warring divisions, they advanced the achievements of previous Bengali civilisations and created outstanding works of art and architecture. They laid the basis for the Bengali language, including the Charyapada; the Pala legacy is still reflected in Tibetan Buddhism. According to the Khalimpur copper plate inscription, the first Pala king Gopala was the son of a warrior named Vapyata; the Ramacharitam attests. The ethnic origins of the dynasty are unknown, although the records claim that Gopala was a Kshatriya belonging to the legendary Solar dynasty; the Ballala-Carita states that the Palas were Kshatriyas, a claim reiterated by Taranatha in his History of Buddhism in India as well as Ghanaram Chakrabarty in his Dharmamangala.
The Ramacharitam attests the fifteenth Pala emperor, Ramapala, as a Kshatriya. Claims of belonging to the legendary Solar dynasty are unreliable and appear to be an attempt to cover up the humble origins of the dynasty; the Pala dynasty has been branded as Śudra in some sources such as Manjushri-Mulakalpa. According to Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak, the Palas were Kayasthas. There are accounts that claim Gopala may have been from a Brahmin lineage. After the fall of Shashanka's kingdom, the Bengal region was in a state of anarchy. There was no central authority, there was constant struggle between petty chieftains; the contemporary writings describe this situation as matsya nyaya. Gopala ascended the throne as the first Pala king during these times; the Khalimpur copper plate suggests. Taranatha, writing nearly 800 years also writes that he was democratically elected by the people of Bengal. However, his account is in form of a legend, is considered unreliable; the legend mentions that after a period of anarchy, the people elected several kings in succession, all of whom were consumed by the Naga queen of an earlier king on the night following their election.
Gopal, however remained on the throne. The historical evidence indicates that Gopala was not elected directly by his citizens, but by a group of feudal chieftains; such elections were quite common in contemporary societies of the region. Gopala's ascension was a significant political event as the several independent chiefs recognised his political authority without any struggle. Gopala's empire was expanded by his son Dharmapala and his grandson Devapala. Dharmapala was defeated by the Pratihara ruler Vatsaraja; the Rashtrakuta king Dhruva defeated both Dharmapala and Vatsaraja. After Dhruva left for the Deccan region, Dharmapala built a mighty empire in the northern India, he defeated Indrayudha of Kannauj, installed his own nominee Chakrayudha on the throne of Kannauj. Sev
Partition of Bengal (1947)
The Partition of Bengal in 1947, part of the Partition of India, divided the British Indian province of Bengal based on the Radcliffe Line between India and Pakistan. Predominantly Hindu West Bengal became a state of India, predominantly Muslim East Bengal became a province of Pakistan. On 20 June 1947, the Bengal Legislative Assembly met to decide the future of the Bengal Presidency, on whether it would be a United Bengal within India or Pakistan. At the preliminary joint session, the assembly decided by 120 votes to 90 that it should remain united if it joined the new Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. A separate meeting of legislators from West Bengal decided by 58 votes to 21 that the province should be partitioned and that West Bengal should join the existing Constituent Assembly of India. In another separate meeting of legislators from East Bengal, it was decided by 106 votes to 35 that that province should not be partitioned and 107 votes to 34 that East Bengal should join Pakistan in the event of partition.
On 6 July 1947, the Sylhet referendum decided to sever Sylhet from Assam and merge it into East Bengal. The partition, with the power transferred to Pakistan and India on 14–15 August 1947, was done according to what has come to be known as the "3 June Plan" or "Mountbatten Plan". India's independence on 15 August 1947 ended over 150 years of British influence in the Indian subcontinent. East Bengal became the independent country of Bangladesh after the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. In 1905, the first partition in Bengal was implemented as an administrative preference, making governing the two provinces and East Bengal, easier. While the partition split the province between West Bengal, in which the majority was Hindu, the East, where the majority was Muslim, the 1905 partition left considerable minorities of Hindus in East Bengal and Muslims in West Bengal. While the Muslims were in favour of the partition, as they would have their own province, Hindus were not; this controversy led to increased violence and protest and in 1911, the two provinces were once again united.
However, the disagreements between Hindus and Muslims in Bengal which had sparked the Partition of Bengal in 1905 still remained and laws, including the Partition of Bengal in 1947, were implemented to fulfill the political needs of the parties involved. As per the plan, on 20 June 1947, The members of the Bengal Legislative Assembly cast three separate votes on the proposal to partition Bengal: In the joint session of the house, composed of all the members of the Assembly, the division of the joint session of the House stood at 126 votes against and 90 votes for joining the existing Constituent Assembly Then the members of the Muslim-majority areas of Bengal in a separate session passed a motion by 106–35 votes against partitioning Bengal and instead joining a new Constituent Assembly as a whole; this was followed by the separate meeting of the members of the non-Muslim-majority areas of Bengal who by a division of 58–21 voted for partition of the province. Under the Mountbatten Plan, a single majority vote in favour of partition by either notionally divided half of the Assembly would have decided the division of the province, hence the house proceedings on 20 June resulted in the decision to partition Bengal.
This set the stage for the creation of West Bengal as a province of the Union of India and East Bengal as a province of the Dominion of Pakistan. In accordance with the Mountbatten Plan, in a referendum held on 7 July, the electorate of Sylhet voted to join East Bengal. Further, the Boundary Commission headed by Sir Cyril Radcliffe decided on the territorial demarcation between the two newly created provinces. Power was transferred to Pakistan and India on 14 and 15 August under the Indian Independence Act 1947. After it became apparent that the division of India on the basis of the Two-nation theory would certainly result in the partition of the Bengal province along religious lines, Bengal provincial Muslim League leader Suhrawardy came up with a new plan to create an independent Bengal state that would join neither Pakistan nor India and remain unpartitioned. Suhrawardy realised that if Bengal was partitioned, it would be economically disastrous for East Bengal as all coal mines, all jute mills but two and other industrial plants would go to the western part since these were in an overwhelmingly Hindu majority area.
Most important of all, Calcutta the largest city in India, an industrial and commercial hub and the largest port, would go to the western part. Suhrawardy floated his idea on 24 April 1947 at a press conference in Delhi. However, the plan directly ran counter to that of the Muslim League's, which demanded the creation of a separate Muslim homeland on the basis of the two-nation theory. Bengal provincial Muslim League leadership opinion was divided. Barddhaman's League leader Abul Hashim supported it. On the other hand, Nurul Amin and Mohammad Akram Khan opposed it, but Muhammad Ali Jinnah realised the validity of Suhrawardy's argument and gave his tacit support to the plan. After Jinnah's approval, Suhrawardy started gathering support for his plan. On the Congress side, only a handful of leaders agreed to the plan. Among them was the influential Bengal provincial congress leader Sarat Chandra Bose, the elder brother of Netaji and Kiran Shankar Roy; however most other BPCC leaders and Congress leadership including Nehru and Patel rejected the plan.
The Hindu nationalist party Hindu Mahasabha under the leadership of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee vehemently opposed it. Their opinion was that the plan is nothing but a ploy by Suhrawardy to stop the partition of the state so that the industrially developed western part includi
The terms anno Domini and before Christ are used to label or number years in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The term anno Domini is Medieval Latin and means "in the year of the Lord", but is presented using "our Lord" instead of "the Lord", taken from the full original phrase "anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi", which translates to "in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ"; this calendar era is based on the traditionally reckoned year of the conception or birth of Jesus of Nazareth, with AD counting years from the start of this epoch, BC denoting years before the start of the era. There is no year zero in this scheme, so the year AD 1 follows the year 1 BC; this dating system was devised in 525 by Dionysius Exiguus of Scythia Minor, but was not used until after 800. The Gregorian calendar is the most used calendar in the world today. For decades, it has been the unofficial global standard, adopted in the pragmatic interests of international communication and commercial integration, recognized by international institutions such as the United Nations.
Traditionally, English followed Latin usage by placing the "AD" abbreviation before the year number. However, BC is placed after the year number, which preserves syntactic order; the abbreviation is widely used after the number of a century or millennium, as in "fourth century AD" or "second millennium AD". Because BC is the English abbreviation for Before Christ, it is sometimes incorrectly concluded that AD means After Death, i.e. after the death of Jesus. However, this would mean that the approximate 33 years associated with the life of Jesus would neither be included in the BC nor the AD time scales. Terminology, viewed by some as being more neutral and inclusive of non-Christian people is to call this the Current or Common Era, with the preceding years referred to as Before the Common or Current Era. Astronomical year numbering and ISO 8601 avoid words or abbreviations related to Christianity, but use the same numbers for AD years; the Anno Domini dating system was devised in 525 by Dionysius Exiguus to enumerate the years in his Easter table.
His system was to replace the Diocletian era, used in an old Easter table because he did not wish to continue the memory of a tyrant who persecuted Christians. The last year of the old table, Diocletian 247, was followed by the first year of his table, AD 532; when he devised his table, Julian calendar years were identified by naming the consuls who held office that year—he himself stated that the "present year" was "the consulship of Probus Junior", 525 years "since the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ". Thus Dionysius implied that Jesus' incarnation occurred 525 years earlier, without stating the specific year during which his birth or conception occurred. "However, nowhere in his exposition of his table does Dionysius relate his epoch to any other dating system, whether consulate, year of the world, or regnal year of Augustus. Among the sources of confusion are: In modern times, incarnation is synonymous with the conception, but some ancient writers, such as Bede, considered incarnation to be synonymous with the Nativity.
The civil or consular year began on 1 January but the Diocletian year began on 29 August. There were inaccuracies in the lists of consuls. There were confused summations of emperors' regnal years, it is not known. Two major theories are that Dionysius based his calculation on the Gospel of Luke, which states that Jesus was "about thirty years old" shortly after "the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar", hence subtracted thirty years from that date, or that Dionysius counted back 532 years from the first year of his new table, it has been speculated by Georges Declercq that Dionysius' desire to replace Diocletian years with a calendar based on the incarnation of Christ was intended to prevent people from believing the imminent end of the world. At the time, it was believed by some that the resurrection of the dead and end of the world would occur 500 years after the birth of Jesus; the old Anno Mundi calendar theoretically commenced with the creation of the world based on information in the Old Testament.
It was believed that, based on the Anno Mundi calendar, Jesus was born in the year 5500 with the year 6000 of the Anno Mundi calendar marking the end of the world. Anno Mundi 6000 was thus equated with the resurrection and the end of the world but this date had passed in the time of Dionysius; the Anglo-Saxon historian the Venerable Bede, familiar with the work of Dionysius Exiguus, used Anno Domini dating in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed in 731. In this same history, he used another Latin term, ante vero incarnationis dominicae tempus anno sexagesimo, equivalent to the English "before Christ", to identify years before the first year of this era. Both Dionysius and Bede regarded Anno Domini as beginning at the incarnation of Jesus, but "the distinction between Incarnation and Nativity was not drawn until the late 9th century, when in some places the Incarnation epoch was identified with Christ's conception, i.e. the Annunciation on March 25". On the continent of Europe, Anno
The Bengal Presidency reorganized as the Bengal Province, was once the largest subdivision of British India, with its seat in Calcutta. It was centred in the Bengal region. At its territorial peak in the 19th century, the presidency extended from the present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan in the west to Burma and Penang in the east; the Governor of Bengal was concurrently the Viceroy of India for many years. Most of the presidency's territories were incorporated into other British Indian provinces and crown colonies. In 1905, Bengal proper was partitioned, with Eastern Bengal and Assam headquartered in Dacca and Shillong. 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, the Battle of Buxar in 22 October 1764. Bengal was the economic and educational hub of the British Raj, it was the centre of the late 19th and early 20th century Bengali Renaissance and a hotbed of the Indian Independence Movement.
The Partition of British India in 1947 resulted in Bengal's division on religious grounds, between the Indian state of West Bengal and the Pakistanian province of East Bengal, which first became East Pakistan in 1955 under Pakistanian rule and the nation of Bangladesh in 1971. Under Warren Hastings the consolidation of British imperial rule over Bengal was solidified, with the conversion of a trade area into an occupied territory under a military-civil government, while the formation of a regularised system of legislation was brought in under John Shore. Acting through Lord Cornwallis Governor-General, he ascertained and defined the rights of the landholders over the soil; these landholders under the previous system had started, for the most part, as collectors of the revenues, acquired certain prescriptive rights as quasi-proprietors of the estates entrusted to them by the government. In 1793 Lord Cornwallis declared their rights perpetual, gave over the land of Bengal to the previous quasi-proprietors or zamindars, on condition of the payment of a fixed land tax.
This piece of legislation is known as the Permanent Settlement of the Land Revenue. It was designed to "introduce" ideas of property rights to India, stimulate a market in land; the former aim misunderstood the nature of landholding in India, the latter was an abject failure. The Cornwallis Code, while defining the rights of the proprietors, failed to give adequate recognition to the rights of the under-tenants and the cultivators; this remained a serious problem for the duration of British Rule, as throughout the Bengal Presidency ryots found themselves oppressed by rack-renting landlords, who knew that every rupee they could squeeze from their tenants over and above the fixed revenue demanded from the Government represented pure profit. Furthermore, the Permanent Settlement took no account of inflation, meaning that the value of the revenue to Government declined year by year, whilst the heavy burden on the peasantry grew no less; this was compounded in the early 19th century by compulsory schemes for the cultivation of opium and indigo, the former by the state, the latter by British planters.
Peasants were forced to grow a certain area of these crops, which were purchased at below market rates for export. This added to rural poverty. So unsuccessful was the Permanent Settlement that it was not introduced in the North-Western Provinces after 1831, in Punjab after its conquest in 1849, or in Oudh, annexed in 1856; these regions remained administratively distinct. The area of the Presidency under direct administration was sometimes referred to as Lower Bengal to distinguish it from the Presidency as a whole. Punjab and Allahabad had Lieutenant-Governors subject to the authority of the Governor of Bengal in Calcutta, but in practice they were more or less independent; the only all-Presidency institutions which remained were the Civil Service. The Bengal Army was amalgamated into the new British-Indian Army in 1904–5, after a lengthy struggle over its reform between Lord Kitchener, the Commander-in-Chief, Lord Curzon, the Viceroy; the partition of the large province of Bengal, decided upon by Lord Curzon, Cayan Uddin Ahmet, the Chief Secretary of Bengal carried into execution in October 1905.
The Chittagong and Rajshahi divisions, the Malda District and the States of Hill Tripura and Comilla were transferred from Bengal to a new province, Eastern Bengal and Assam. The province of West Bengal consisted of the thirty-three districts of Burdwan, Bankura, Hughli, Twenty-four Parganas, Nadia, Jessore, Patna, Shahabad, Champaran, Darbhanga, Bhagalpur, Santhal Parganas, Balasore and Kandhmal, Sambalpur, Hazaribagh, Ranchi and Manbhum; the princely states of Sikkim and the tributary states of Odisha and Chhota Nagpur were not part of Bengal, but British relations with them were managed
Culture of Bengal
The Culture of Bengal encompasses the Bengal region of South Asia, including Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal and Assam's Barak Valley, where the Bengali language is the official and primary language. Bengal has a recorded history of 1,400 years; the Bengali people are its dominant ethnolinguistic tribe. The region has been a historical melting point, blending indigenous traditions with cosmopolitan influences from Ancient Indian empires. Bengal was the richest part of Medieval India and hosted the subcontinent's most advanced political and cultural centers during the British Raj; the partition of Bengal left its own cultural legacy. Bangladesh is the scene of a dominant Bengali Muslim culture, whereas Indian Bengali-speaking regions have a Bengali Hindu majority. Muslim-majority Bangladesh is home to a significant Hindu minority, whereas West Bengal has a large Muslim minority. Apart from these, there are numerous ethnic and religious minorities. Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, is a cosmopolitan city which houses a sizeable number of ethnic communities.
Bengal is an important hub of classical South Asian arts. Festivals on the secular Bengali calendar are celebrated. Bengal has one of the most developed literary traditions in Asia. A descent of ancient Sanskrit and Magadhi Prakrit, the Bengali language evolved circa 1000-1200 CE under the Pala Empire and the Sena dynasty, it became an official court language of the Sultanate of Bengal and absorbed influences from Arabic and Persian. Middle Bengali developed secular literature in the 17th centuries, it was spoken in Arakan. The Bengali renaissance in Calcutta developed the modern standardized form of the language in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Rabindranath Tagore became the first Bengali writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913, was the first non-European Nobel laureate. Kazi Nazrul Islam became known as the Rebel Poet of British India. After the partition of Bengal, a distinct literary culture developed in East Bengal, which became East Pakistan and Bangladesh; the works of ancient philosophers from Bengal have been preserved at libraries in Tibet and Central Asia.
These include the works of Tilopa. Medieval Hindu philosophy featured the works of Chaitanya. Sufi philosophy was influential in Islamic Bengal. Prominent Sufi practitioners were disciples of Jalaluddin Rumi, Abdul-Qadir Gilani and Moinuddin Chishti. One of the most revered Sufi saints of Bengal is Shah Jalal. Bengal has produced leading figures of Indian classical music, including Alauddin Khan, Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan. Common musical instruments include the sitar and sarod; the Baul tradition is a unique regional folk heritage. The most prominent practitioner was Lalon Shah. Other folk music forms include Gombhira and Bhawaiya. Folk music in Bengal is accompanied by the ektara, a one-stringed instrument. Other instruments include the dotara, bamboo flute, tabla. Songs written by Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam are popular. Bangladesh is the center of Bangla rock, as well as indie, Sufi fusion folk music. Bengali theater traces its roots to Sanskrit drama under the Gupta Empire in the 4th century CE.
It includes narrative forms and dance forms, supra-personae forms, performance with scroll paintings, puppet theatre and the processional forms like the Jatra. Bengal has an rich heritage of dancing dating back to antiquity, it includes classical and martial dance traditions. In antiquity, Bengal was a pioneer of painting in Asia under the Pala Empire. Miniature and scroll painting flourished during the Mughal Empire. Kalighat painting or Kalighat Pat originated in the 19th century Bengal, in the vicinity of Kalighat Kali Temple of Kolkata, from being items of souvenir taken by the visitors to the Kali temple, the paintings over a period of time developed as a distinct school of Indian painting. From the depiction of Hindu gods other mythological characters, the Kalighat paintings developed to reflect a variety of themes. Modern painting emerged in Calcutta with the Bengal school. East Pakistan developed its own contemporary painting tradition under Zainul Abedin. Modern Bangladeshi art has produced many of South Asia's leading painters, including SM Sultan, Mohammad Kibria, Shahabuddin Ahmed, Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Kafil Ahmed, Saifuddin Ahmed, Qayyum Chowdhury, Rashid Choudhury, Quamrul Hassan, Rafiqun Nabi and Syed Jahangir among others.
One of the prominent painters in his days was Jamini Roy, who brought folk art and " boutique" techniques to the fore. Other notable painters during the Bengali renaissance period were Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath Tagore among others; the earliest fortified cities in the region include Wari-Bateshwar and Mahasthangarh. Bengal has a glorious legacy of terracotta architecture from the medieval periods; the style includes many mosques, palaces, forts and caravanserais. Mughal Dhaka was known as the Venice of the East. Indo-Saracenic architecture flourished during the British period among the landed gentry. British Calcutta was known as the City of Palaces. Modernist terracotta architecture in South Asia by architects like Louis Kahn. Bengali village housing is noted as the origin of the bungalow. Ancient Bengal was home to the Pala-Sena school of Sculptural Art. Ivory sculptural art flourished across the region under the Nawabs of Bengal. Notable modernist sculptors include Nitun Kundu. Muslin production in Bengal dates back to the 4th century BCE.
The region exported the fabric to Ancient Rome. Bengali silk was known as Ganges Silk in the 13th cen