|This impact is
very significant and particularly interesting for the whole area comprising Jharkhand
spreading over portions of Bengal, Bihar (Chotanagpur) and Orissa which were wedded more
to the cult of Saivism and Saktaism. Bir Hambir, the Malla king of Bishnupur had
encouraged Vaishnavism but this had little effect on the common man. The Sardars
were more keen to worship various deities with liquor and meat.
They were allergic to softness in manners as in their religion.
Later the currents of Saivism and Saktaism brought about a rather heterogeneous effect on
the indigenous population. Various deities came to be worshipped. As a result we find
specimens of images belonging to different cults in the temples. The Gupta king Samudra
Gupta had defeated Chandra Varman of Bankura and had spread his suzerainty over portions
of Bengal including Midnapore.
Various Gupta coins have been found in the districts of
Midnapore, Bankura, Hooghly and other districts. During the Gupta days there was a higher
incidence or worship of Vishnu, Shiva and Surya. In the 7th century A.D. king Sasanka of
Karna Subarna or Murshidabad had overrun Midnapore. It has been observed: "But
whatever may be the extent of his rule in Bengal, Sasanka's domination probably included
Magadha from the very beginning and he soon felt powerful enough to follow an aggressive
foreign policy. He extended his suzerainty as far south as the Chilka Lake in Orissa. And
probably extended south to the Ganjam district."5
5. History of Bengal: Dacca University, vol. I,
p.60; Paschim Banger Sanskriti by Binoy Ghosh.