Ramesh Prasad Mohapatra

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Ramesh Prasad Mohapatra
Born( 1939-10-01)1 October 1939
Bhapur, Dhenkanal, Orissa, India
Died14 January 1989(1989-01-14) (aged 49)
Alma materRavenshaw College, Utkal University
Known forStudies on Orissan cultural history, art, archaeology
AwardsDirector General Prize, Archaeological Survey of India
Puri Memorial Prize, Archaeological Survey of India
Citation by Orissa History Congress
Scientific career
Orissan Studies
Orissan Art
Orissa History
Orissan Culture
InstitutionsOrissa State Museum, INTACH
Doctoral advisorK . C. Panigrahi

Ramesh Prasad Mohapatra (1 October 1939 – 14 January 1989) was an archaeologist and scholar on Orissan Studies. He served as curator for archaeology at the Orissa State Museum from 1963 to 1989 and made important contributions to historical research especially in the fields of archaeology, art history, religion, and other aspects of Orissan cultural history.

Early life and education[edit]

Mohapatra was born in an orthodox Brahmin family with connections to the Royal family of Dhenkanal, something that greatly helped him in his later work on Military History of Orissa.[1] He was the eldest son of Sitanath Paramguru, then the Zamindar of the village, and Moti Devi and married to Kusum Mohapatra.

Mohapatra received his master's degree in History from Ravenshaw College in Cuttack, India and obtained a diploma from the Delhi School of Archaeology of the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi. He obtained his PhD for his work on the Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves from Utkal University, Bhubaneswar in 1976. His thesis[2] outlines the importance of the twin caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri in the development of Indian art and architecture, associated with the Kalinga emperor Kharavela. These caves represent the earliest examples of Jaina architecture in India. In 1979, Mohapatra obtained a DLitt from Utkal University for his work Jaina Monuments of Orissa,[3] presenting a systematic study of Jaina monuments of Orissa.

Mohapatra was initiated to historical research by N. K. Sahu with whom he had worked in 1962 (Utkal University History of Orissa, vol I, 1964, preface).[4] After joining the Orissa state museum as curator for archaeology, he took up research in field archaeology and Orissan art under the guidance of K. C. Panigrahi.

Mohapatra's reference book Archaeology in Orissa[5] published in two volumes, presents details of prehistoric and historical archaeology in the thirteen districts of Orissa. His collection of art-treasures, antiquities, and archaeological artefacts collected in the course of his field work is now in the Orissa State Museum.[5]

Mohapatra served on many committees both nationally and internationally. He was nominated as a member of the Orissa Lalit Kala Akademi.


  • Mohapatra, R. P. (1981). Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves. Delhi, India: D.K. Publications. pp. xxii+270. OCLC 8069640.
  • Mohapatra, R. P. (1984). Jaina monuments of Orissa. New Delhi, India: D.K. Publications. pp. xviii+254. OCLC 11645559.[6]
  • Mohapatra, R. P. (1986). Military History of Orissa. New Delhi, India: Cosmo Publications. pp. xii+336. OCLC 18694583.
  • Mohapatra, R. P. (1986). Archaeology in Orissa (Sites and Monuments). New Delhi, India: B. R. Publishing Corp. ISBN 978-81-7018-348-8.
  • Mohapatra, R. P. (1992). Fashion Styles of Ancient India. New Delhi, India: B. R. Publishing Corp. ISBN 81-7018-723-0.
  • Mohapatra, R. P. (1989). Temple Legends of Orissa. Bubaneswar: Orissa Sahitya Academy. pp. vii+104. OCLC 29859455.
  • Mohapatra, R. P. (1991). Decorative art of Parasuramesvar Temple. Bubaneswar: Orissa State Museum. OCLC 29335479.
  • Mohapatra, R. P.; Donaldson T. E. (1998). Ornaments of Orissa. Delhi, India: B. R. Publishing Corp. pp. xv+326. ISBN 978-81-7646-031-6.

Selected articles[edit]

Serial No. Article Name Published On(Source)
1 Griddles as depicted in temple sculpture of Bhubaneswar O.H.R.J, Vol. XII/1
2 Two Patta Paintings of Jagannath in Orissa State Museum O.H.R.J, Vol. XIII/4
3 Names of the Caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri O.H.R.J, Vol. XXII/3&4
4 Winged and Enigmatic animal figures in Udayagiri caves of Orissa O.H.R.J, Vol. XXIII/1-4
5 Position of Women as depicted in the early sculptures of Udayagiri and Khandagiri O.H.R.J, Vol. XXIV,XXv and XXVI
6 Tradition in Architecture Art Tradition of Orissa, Orissa Sahitya Academy, Bhubaneswar, 1982
7 Krishna Theme in Orissan sculpture O.H.R.J, Vol. XXXI No. 2,3,4
8 Folk elements of Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves in Orissa International Seminar on Folk Culture, 1978, Edited by Prof. K. S. Behera etc.
9 Tirthankar and Sasanadevis of Khandagiri Caves In proceedings of International Seminar on Buddhism and Jainaism
10 Architecture of Jaina religion shrines of Orissa Bharati, Prof. R. C. Majumdar Volume, Dept. of Ancient Indian History and Culture, Banaras Hindu University, Banaras
11 Problem of Kalinga Jina in Krishna Pratibha, Commemoration volume for Dr. K. C. Panigrahi, Edited by Dr. H. C. Das etc.

Note: O.H.R.J : Orissa Historical Research Journal


  1. ^ Das H. C., Tribute to Dr. R. P. Mohapatra in Tribute to Dr. Ramesh Prasad Mohapatra, 1989, Bhubaneswar
  2. ^ Mohapatra, R. P. (1981). Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves. Delhi, India: D.K. Publications. pp. xxii+270. OCLC 8069640.
  3. ^ Mohapatra, R. P. (1984). Jaina monuments of Orissa. New Delhi, India: D.K. Publications. pp. xviii+254. OCLC 11645559.
  4. ^ Mishra, L; Mishra S. (2005). Historians and Historiography of Orissa: A Study in Perception and Appropriation of Orissan History. New Delhi, India: Kaveri Books. pp. xii+400. ISBN 978-81-7479-052-1.
  5. ^ a b K. S. Behera, Passing away of a Great Scholar, First Dr. R. P. Mohapatra Memorial Lecture, 1990, Dr. R. P. Mohapatra Memorial Committee, Bhubaneswar
  6. ^ Tiwari, M. N. P. (1984). "Review of the book Jaina Monuments of Orissa". Indian Historical Review. 11.

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