Baisakhi Sengupta

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Los Angeles, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10539

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Sengupta, Baisakhi (California, Los Angeles, U. of) "‘Ghora Galis' and Place-Making in the Indian Himalayas"

Baisakhi Sengupta completed her project titled “Ghora Galis”and Place-making in the Indian Himalayas. “Ghora-Gali” (or, horse passes) is generic term for local landscapes in the Jammu-Kashmir region of the Indian Himalayas known for a scatter of monumental stone sculptures clustered on hill slopes. She conducted archaeological survey at the Ramban District of Jammu to document three sites with evidence of hundreds of stylized three-dimensional horse and warrior sculptures, water fountains and reservoirs, stone reliefs, pillar fragments and other associated archaeological finds. Subsequently she conducted fieldwork in Himachal Pradesh to identify and map comparable water fountain and sculptural finds. Through this research she hypothesized that the Jammu/Kashmir region of the Western Himalayas was connected via trade networks to its southern neighbors, Chamba, Mandi, Kangra and Kullu (located in modern day adjacent state of Himachal Pradesh), thus suggesting a relative Early Medieval chronology (10th -12th centuries C.E.) of the finds at ghora gali. The Wenner Gren funded research on water fountains and sculptures in Jammu and Chamba provides important historical insights into Early Medieval water managements systems and commemorative practices in the Western Himalayas highlighting their significance for modern communities that continue to use and preserve them as their cultural heritage.