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Early History of the Deccan and Miscellaneous Historical Essays (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: NAL364
Author: R. G. Bhandarkar
Publisher: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune
Language: English
Edition: 2022
ISBN: 9788194020080
Pages: 536
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.5 inch X 6.5 inch
Weight 810 gm
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Book Description

INDIA has no written history. Nothing was known till within recent times of the political condition of the country, the dynasties that ruled over the different provinces which composed it, and the great religious and social revolutions that it went through. The historical curiosity of the people was satisfied by legends. What we find of a historical nature in the literature of the country before the arrival of the Mahomedans comes to very little.

( I) We have a chronicle of Kashmir called the Rajatarangini, in which, however, there is a good deal which is not supported by contemporary evidence. Now and then, a bountiful prince or minister found a poet to sing his glories; and the works thus composed, contain a good deal of historical information, though, of course, an undue praise of the patron and his ancestors is to be expected. But a few such works only have hitherto been dis-' covered; and the oldest of them gives an account of a prince who lived in the first half of the seventh century. The literature of the Jainas of the Svetambara sect contains accounts mostly of the later princes of Gujarat and other noted personages. There are also similar accounts of the princes of Rajaputana. In the beginning or at the end of some Sanskrit works the names of the princes under whose patronage or in whose reign they were com- posed, are given; and sometimes we find a long genealogy of the family to which the particular prince belonged, with some short observation with reference to each of his ancestors. Lastly, the Puranas contain genealogies of the most powerful royal families. which ascend to a higher antiquity than the works noticed hitherto,

( II) But the information to be gathered from all these sources is extremely meagre; and there are many provinces on the history of which they do not throw any light. And the facts mentioned in them cannot be systematically arranged, or even chronologi- cally connected, except with the assistance of other sources of information, to which we shall now proceed. The invasion of Alexander the Great brought the Greeks in contact with the Hindus; and his successors in Syria kept up an intercourse with the Indian emperors for a long time. The notices of Indian persons and events contained in the writings of the Greeks, when compared with the statements occurring in the Puranas, admit, in some cases, of an easy identification; and from the known dates of the corresponding Greek persons or events, we are able to determine those of the Indian persons or events. In this manner, the date of the foundation of the Maurya dynasty by Candragupta has been determined to be about 322 B. C., and a good many other dates in Indian history have been ascer- tained. The writings of Chinese authors also throw a great deal of light on some periods of Indian history. Buddhism was intro- duced in China in the first century of the Christian era; and from time to time men from that country came to India as pilgrims; and some Indian Buddhists also must have found their way to China. The Chinese pilgrims wrote accounts of what they saw and did in India, and these works, which have come down to us, are very valuable for the elucidation of Indian history. The Chinese possessed a perfect system of chronology, and the dates of the pilgrimages are useful for the purposes of the Indian anti- quarian, Valuable accounts of India written by the Arabic visitors to the country in the Middle Ages have also become available.

(III) Another very important source, and fuller than any hith- erto noticed, consists of Inscriptions. Some of these are cut on stones or rocks, and others engraved on copperplates. These last are in all cases charters conveying grants of land made mostly by princes or chiefs to religious persons or to temples and monasteries. A great many of these are dated in one of the current eras. It is usual in these charters to give the pedigree of the grantor. The names of his ancestors together with some of their famous deeds are mentioned. As the authors who composed the grants cannot be expected to be impartial in their account of the reigning monarch, much of what they say about him cannot be accepted as historically true. And even in the case of his ancestors, the vague praise that we often find must be regarded simply as mean- ingless. But when they are represented to have done a specific deed, such as the conquest of Harsavardhana by Pulakesi II of the early Calukya dynasty, it must be accepted as historical; and when we have other sources available, we find the account con- firmed, as Hwhan Thsang does that of Pulakesi's exploit. Even in the case of the reigning monarch, the specific deeds such as wars with neighbouring princes, which are mentioned, may be accepted as historical; though, however, legitimate doubts may be entertained as regards the reported results.

The stone-inscriptions are intended to commemorate the dedi- cation of a temple or monastery or any part thereof, and of works of public utility such as tanks and wells, and sometimes grants of land also. A good many of these benefactions are by private indivi- duals; but not seldom the name of the king, in whose reign the dedication was made, is given together with the year of his reign, as well as the date in the current era. When it is a royal benefaction that is commemorated, we have a longer account of the reigning prince, and sometimes of his ancestors.




  Introductory 1-4
Section I : Etymology and Denotation of the word Deccan 5-6
Section II : Settlement of the Aryas in the Deccan 7-10
Section III : Date of the Aryan Settlement in the Deccan and Notices of Southern India in Ancient Indian Literature and Inscriptions 11-20
Section IV : Political History of the Deccan or Maha-rastra : Analysis of the Historical Inscrip-tions in the cave Temples of Western India 21-32
Section V : Native and Foreign Princes mentioned in the Inscriptions: Identification of the former with the Andhrabhrtyas of the Puranas 33-35
Section VI : Chronology of the Andhrabhrtyas or Sata-vahanas 36-51
Section VII : Political and Literary Traditions about the Satavahanas or Slilivahanas : 52- 56
Section VIII : Religious, Social and Economic Condi-tion of Maharastra under the Andhra-bhrtyas or Satavahanas 57-62
Section IX : Probable History of the Period between the Extinction of the Andhrabhrtyas and the Rise of the Calukyas 63-65
Section X : The Early Calukyas 66-84
Section XI : The Rastrakutas 85-108
Section XII : The Later Calukyas 109-127
Section XIII : The Kalacuris 128-133
Section XIV: The Yadavas of Devagiri : Early History of the Family 136-146
Section XV : The Yadavas of Devagiri - Their Later History 147-168
Section XVI : The Silaharas of Kolhapur 169-175


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