Subject: [Aoife-Links] Medieval India
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2004 20:01:50 -0500

Greetings, my Faithful Readers!

This week's Links List commemorates my return to the workforce full time (for the first time in 17 years!). I have recently found work on the staff of Yoga International, a magazine dedicated to --you guessed it--Yoga! Therefore this week's Links List is about Medieval India.

As always, please share this information wherever it will find a ready audience.


Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon
Endless Hills

Medieval India
(Site Excerpt) The period following the death of Harsha is known as the Rajput period. The word Rajput connotes the scion of a royal family and these princes claimed descent from the sun or the moon. This was an era of chivalry and feudalism. Family feuds and strong notions of personal pride often exacerbated conflicts. The Rajputs weakened each other by constant fighting. This allowed the foreigners (Turks) to embark on victorious campaigns using duplicity and deceit wherever military strength failed against Rajputs.

(Site Excerpt) India, which historically includes Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan, is also known as Bharat Varsha, a land of famous King Bharata or Hindustan. The name `India' was applied to this country by Greeks. Aryans, the early inhabitants of the subcontinent were mystified by the mighty river which they named Sindhu (in Sanskrit, it means `like an ocean').

RBI Monteray Museum: Medieval India Coinage
(Site Excerpt) The Arabs conquered Sindh in 712 AD and ruled it as a province of the Caliphate. By the 9th Century AD, provincial governors established independent rule and struck their own coins. However, it was with the emergence of Turkish Sultans of Delhi in the 12th Century that a decisive break was made with the past and the existing motifs were gradually replaced by Islamic devices, largely calligraphy.

Topics on Life in Medieval India
Last updated : November 24,2004
Fortyone links to articles and illustrations on a variety of topics including women, clothing, music, food, society, etc.

Internet Indian History Sourcebook
A resource of vast amounts of information on the History of the area that covers modern India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka, and much more.

Art of Medieval India
35 image examples.

Asian Art
Many links to images

Emperors of India
Various Links and webbed news articles

History of the Taj Mahal
(Site Excerpt) In 1631, Mumtaz Mahal died giving birth to their 14th child. Her heartbroken husband spent approximately two decades, and much of the money in the royal treasury, fulfilling his wife's dying wish by building a monument to their love. The Taj Mahal is considered one of the wonders of the world. It stands amid acres of gardens on the banks of the Yamuna River in Agra. The most famous part of the monument is the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal with its white marble dome, but the 42-acre complex also includes mosques, minarets and other buildings.

History of Yoga
(Site Excerpt) The first archaeological evidence of Yoga's existence is found in stone seals excavated from the Indus valley. The stone seals depict figures performing Yoga postures. These artifacts officially put Yoga on the History books circa 3000 B.C., and more importantly link it to the great Indus-Sarasvati Civilization. The Indus-Sarasvati was the largest civilization in the ancient world and exceptionally modern for its time. Named after the two rivers that flowed through India, the Indus-Sarasvati was a maritime society, exporting goods throughout the Middle East and Africa. They constructed multistory buildings, a sewage system, and laid out geometrical brick roads.

Choli Pattern (Woman's Blouse)

How to wear a Sari
(Site Excerpt) No exotic fancy dress, but a garment that is worn daily by women through the length and breadth of India, 5 metres of continuous fabric. Unstitched. Yet a perfect fit for every figure. And not as complicated to wear as you might suppose.

Drinking in Ancient Karnataka
by Dr. Jyotsna Kamat
(Site Excerpt) Brewing and drinking of various liquors was developed into an art in ancient India as well as in Karnataka (map- topics). Several interpretations exist on the drinking habit of Kannadigas. Smritis or sacred texts (like Manusmriti and Yajayavalkyasmriti) consider drinking liquor (sura) was a great sin and forbidden to certain communities (Brahmins, Jains, Veerashaivas). Some commentators on Smritis, however, considered it as a minor sin that could be reattributed by observing Prayaschitta or punishment.

Food and Food Habits in Vijayanagara Times
By Jyotsna Burde
(Site Excerpt) ...Then, "to see limes that come each day such that those of Povos are of no account, and also loads of sweet and sour oranges, and wild brinjals, and other garden stuff, in such abundance as to stupefy one [2]". Paes was a widely travelled man. He had visited important cities of South Europe and might have come across many cities in the course of his travel from Portugal to Vijayanagara. Therefore his observation that the city of Vijayanagara was ' the best-provided city in the world' has great significance.

From Pot to Palate
(Site Excerpt) India is well-known for its tradition of vegetarianism which has a history spanning more than two millennia. However, this was not always the case. During the Vedic period (1500-500 BC), the priestly castes sacrificed animals to appease and gain boons from the gods, after which the flesh was consumed. But the trend of meat-eating shifted with the times. The anti-meat eating sentiment was already felt at the end of the Vedic period.

Social Life in Medieval Karnataka
by Jyotsna Kamat
Food and Drinks
(Site Excerpt) Food habits of pre-Vijayanagar times have with little change come down to our own days. Cookery was known as a science (Supasastra) and it developed to a finesse. Sound dietetics was a subject intimately connected with the welfare of the royalty and is discussed at length by Somadeva Suri [1]. Somesvara [1a] has devoted 268 verses to food alone, and the varieties of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes he describes are astonishing. And in ancient times, food was equated with life itself.

About: Hunduism: A Glossary of Sanskrit Words
(Site Excerpt--note that there are only 20 letters to click) Here is a glossary of Sanskrit terms generally used in Hindu teachings. Click on the appropriate initial letter in the index box below to view the words and meanings.

University of Calgary Library Pathfinder
Medieval Hinduism Bibliography

History of Hinduism: The Medieval Period
By V.Jayaram
(Site Excerpt) Hinduism faced a very stiff competition from Islam during the medieval period. Free booters and plunderers from the harsh plains of central Asia and Persia descended upon the Indian subcontinent carrying in their hands the flag of Islam and in their hearts dreams of looting the vast and legendary treasures of the country and establishing great empires.

(Site Excerpt) Although the courtly culture of the Mughal rulers of the Indian subcontinent is the most well known, a cosmopolitan outlook was not new to India; several sources point to a thriving system of international trade that linked the ports of Southern India with those of Ancient Rome. The chronicles of the Greek Periplus reveal that Indian exports included a variety of spices, aromatics, quality textiles (muslins and cottons), ivory, high quality iron and gems.

The medieval Tamil-language inscriptions in Southeast Asia and China
(Site Excerpt) Early inscriptions written in Indian languages and scripts abound in Southeast Asia. Literacy in the very early states of Southeast Asia - aside from the portion of north Vietnam annexed by China - began with the importing, by local rulers, of modified cults of Buddhism or Hinduism, and the attendant adoption of Sanskrit or Pali language for the writing of religious texts. Later, in the seventh century, a broader range of texts began to appear on permanent materials, written in indigenous languages.

Ethics of India 30 BC To 1300
(Site Excerpt) Ashvaghosha was the son of a Brahmin and at first traveled around arguing against Buddhism until he was converted, probably by Parshva Ashvaghosha wrote the earliest Sanskrit drama still partially extant; in the Shariputra-prakarana the Buddha converts Maudgalyayana and Sariputra by philosophical discussion. His poem Buddhacharita describes the life and teachings of the Buddha very beautifully.

National Museum of India Arms and Armor

Unique Memorial to a Learned Lady
by Jyotsna Kamat

(Site Excerpt) But inside the village lie scattered, the hero-stones, sculptured stones erected by the people centuries ago to commemorate the glorious dead, who fell fighting in the battle or while facing wild beasts, or saving their cattle from the raids. Some of the sculptures depict scenes helpful in reconstructing social history of the period. But the outstanding sculpture is the one which introduces a remarkable woman-scholar of the 10th century, Savinirmadi.

Steel Bows in India
By D. Elmy
(Site Excerpt) Throughout the ages experiments with steel as a bow material have been made in various countries. The Indians were the first people, I believe, to have overcome the problems presented by steel and produced a weapon, which, while it may not have had the cast and range of its predecessor, the composite bow, was nevertheless a decidedly workable weapon.

By Ajit Joshi, PhD
(Site Excerpt) SHIVAJI, the great Hindu king in India escaped from the clutches of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb at Agra in 1666 AD. This website gives brief information on how Shivaji escaped from Agra, based on in-depth research using original historical documents, the psychology of Shivaji, Aurangzeb and his Mansabdars, political and social practices in the Moghul court and empire, ...