For the first time, Orissa has been placed family in the map of Eastern Indian bronzes. In this pioneering work, Bronzes from Archutrajpur, Orissa Dr. (Mrs) Debala Mitra has shown in clear terms that the eastern tradition of metal images that developed in the eastern region did penetrate also in Orissa.
The hoard of metal antiquities from Achutrajpur (District Puri) constitutes the largest find of its kind in Orissa. It includes ninety-two icons, most of which are of Buddhist affiliation, female figures metal stupas and other objects; all these have been described meticulously, aided by copious illustrations. Textual background of various icons, including some obscure Vajrayana deities, has made the study highly illuminating and useful.
In the first chapter, the author narrates the discovery of the site, and the second chapter is devoted to the historical survey of the Buddhist remains in Orissa. While describing the site and its environs in the third chapter, the author has established beyond doubt that Achutrajpur was an important centre of Buddhism. In her characteristic style, she has described in the next chapter the iconographical features and artistic merits of the metal images which, it is significant to note, include a few Brahmanical and Jaina icons as well. The chronology of these images and other antiquities and their casting technique have also been described in detail.
In the concluding chapter, Dr (Mrs) Mitra summarizes the entire evidence highlighting ceratain little-known facets of the finds of the Buddhist metal icons and their chronological horizons, which range in dates from the eighth to the twelfth century A.D. She has shown how this assorted collection of metal images reflects that olerant spirit of true Hinduism and eclectic attitude of the monastic institutions, thereby providing the glimpses of the ethos of the period when the impact of Hinduism had a telling effect on Buddhist creeds and practices.