The main thrust of the paper is to examine the evolution of a composite culture in Bengal, and to explain its nature and character, especially from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century which is the period when it evolved and flourished in the region. This exercise is significant even today as the legacy from the past is still vibrant in many parts of the country, Bangladesh or West Bengal. For instance, there was a news report in The Statesman of 10 January 2006 that at a place in rural Bengal, called Maynagar in Tamluk, about 90 kms west of Kolkata, a pir’s dargah is looked after by a Hindu trustee and a fair organized by the authorities of a Radhagobinda [a popular deity] Temple includes a Muslim as part of centuries-old tradition.1 Such instances abound in many parts of Bengal even now and there is little doubt that this tradition comes down from several centuries earlier.