Why could Mauryas not conquer Tamil Country

Dec 2009
577
#51
During the Maurya and Gupta period the eastern part of northern India was the center of Indian civilization. But after the collapse of the Gupta Dynasty the southern part of India(Deccan and south India) became the center of India. The most powerful Dynasties of India were established in southern part of India like the Chalukya, Rashtrakuta, Chola, Vijayanagar and Maratha Dynasties.
 

civfanatic

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
3,315
Des Moines, Iowa
#52
During the Maurya and Gupta period the eastern part of northern India was the center of Indian civilization. But after the collapse of the Gupta Dynasty the southern part of India(Deccan and south India) became the center of India. The most powerful Dynasties of India were established in southern part of India like the Chalukya, Rashtrakuta, Chola, Vijayanagar and Maratha Dynasties.
Yes, from the ascension of Pulakesin II in the early seventh century up to the Khalji-Tughlaq expansions of the early fourteenth century, the Deccan region and South India had the most powerful states in India and the most impressive cultural heritage. Even after the Muslim invasions, the Deccan region was still the leading region of India. The Bahmani Sultanate in the fifteenth century was the first state in India to deploy gunpowder weapons (at least 60 years before Babur), and Vijayanagara under Krishnadevaraya was the most powerful state in India during the early sixteenth century.
 
Dec 2009
577
#53
Yes, from the ascension of Pulakesin II in the early seventh century up to the Khalji-Tughlaq expansions of the early fourteenth century, the Deccan region and South India had the most powerful states in India and the most impressive cultural heritage. Even after the Muslim invasions, the Deccan region was still the leading region of India. The Bahmani Sultanate in the fifteenth century was the first state in India to deploy gunpowder weapons (at least 60 years before Babur), and Vijayanagara under Krishnadevaraya was the most powerful state in India during the early sixteenth century.
During the Satavahana period the southern part of India also became the center of military power in India. At that time huge parts of northern India was overrun by the Scythian invaders. The Satavahana Dynasty was the only native Indian Dynasty which was able to repel the Scythian invaders.
 
Jun 2011
1,812
São Tomé de Meliapore
#54
In fact I was about to write an article in another thread 'The Great Injustice to Ancient Indian History' and on seeing this thread I thought it is better to post it here and give reference there.

Now this aspect of whether Mauryas occupied Tamil lands we have to go by what Asoka edict says. Asoka's only war was with Kalinga and after that he never waged any war. It says that in his kingdom's south border there were Pandiyas,Cheras, Cholas and Sathyaputhras. The area ruled by Cheras, Cholas, Pandiyas were known but scholars were unable to identify the Sathyaputhras. But recently R Nagaswamy the reputed archaeologist from Tamil Nadu found proof of that. He concluded that the Sathyaputhras are the Adhiyaman from Dharmapuri and they occupied the land just on the southern bank of river South Pennar which is called 'Tirukkoviloor' and the kings of them have been well referred in Sangam literature.
I am giving below the report of Nagasamy
Asoka and the Tamil Country: a new link

Now coming to Asoka's edicts it is very much clear that Asoka did not wage war on these Tamil lands.

But interestingly as mentioned by Vinithonline that there are some references about Maurya's invasion of Tamil land. How could this happen? The scholars think that since Asoka was the very prominent king in their line, they just made a vague guess that it could could be Chandragupta or his son Bindusara. As there are some evidences that Chandra Gupta Maurya came to Karnataka along with Bhathrabagu the Jain monk and converted to Jainism and he spent his last days there near Shravana Belagola in Karnataka.

But did Chandra Gupta Maurya or his son Bindusara waged any war on South India? There is no reference in Hindu, Buddhist or Jain literature to support this theory.

So who could have waged a war on South? There is a reference in Hindu puranas about Maha Padma Nandi who is supposed to be the first Nanda. It says that Maha Padma Nandi was like 2nd Parasurama and he won all the area in the Jamboodhdweeba(india). Parasaurama is glorified as the one who won all the Kshathriyas in India. So the purans when mentioning about Maha Padma Nandi as the 2nd Parasurama makes us believe that he could have waged war on Tami lands. But how could he have done this without first occupying the Karnataka or Andhra regions.

Now here comes a indirect proof that it indeed Maha Padma Nandi could have occupied Karnataka. He could have erected his pillars in Karnataka. I strongly believe that the Maski edicts in Karnataka is of Mahapadma Nandi.

Now why should I say that Maha Padma Nandi is the one who erected the Maski edicts? It is because Maha Padma Nandi was also called as 'Kalaasoka'.

I am giving below the link of Asoka's edicts. If you read the messages of the edicts carefully you will see a major difference between the Major/ Kalinga edicts in comparison to Minor Edicts. Two of the minor edicts are in Karnataka. While the major edicts talks of a king called Devanam Piyadassi it never mentions his name as Asoka. The major edicts shows the king to be a just/ethical/ and unbiased towards all religions and sects. Whereas in contrast to that, the minor edicts speak of a Devanm Piyadassi who is surely a rigid Buddhist and only here he is referred as ASOKA.
Giving below the link of Asoka's edicts.
KING ASHOKA: His Edicts and His Times

And the Buddhist literature also talks of a Asoka who is very rigid and supportive to Buddhism and tells the story that he was very cruel in the beginning and was converted by a Buddhist monk and later on became a true follower of Buddha and that he erected stubas and Viharas. So why can't this Mahapadma Nanda could be 'Devanam Piyadassi' and Kalaasoka. Devanam Piyadassi could only be a title name and not the original name. So there is every possibility that Maha Padma Nanda could be very cruel in the beginning and later become a Buddhist and erected Stubas and one of that could be Maski edict in Karnataka. And it was at this time he could have also tried to wage war on Tamil Nadu.
There is also an information that this Kalaasoka had a brother who was initially a Jain monk and he opposed Kalaasoka on the instigation of Jains. But he was subdued by Kalaasoka and was converted to Buddhism and become a Buddhist monk and he was called as 'Vitaasoka'. The Buddhist literature glorifies this Vitaskoa and says that his brother Kalaasoka built 5 rock type artificial hills in Pataliputra to bring his brother from a near by place which was a hilly area. All these information are available in an archaeological report submitted by K C Mukherji in the year 1898 when he excavated Pataliputra. I am giving below the link of the report.

http://asi.nic.in/asi_books/22557.pdf

There is supporting evidence for this from Jain literature also as they complain about their Jain monk converted to Buddhism by Kalaasoka.

Now I feel that this Kalaasoka's brother could be the person who could have gone to Srilanka and started Buddhism there. The Culavamsa says that the first person to land in their land was one 'Vijaya' and started their dynasty. Well the name Vitaasoka and Vijaya(He could possibly be called as 'Vijayaasoka also). I am giving below the link of Cula Vamsa in which you can see the Kings list of Srilanka and the first name is Vijaya. You will also notice that the 7th king in that list was on Devenam Piyatissa!!. That proves the theory that the Srilankans since adopted Buddhism have started naming their Kings as Piyatissa. And this king piyatissa is contemporary to our Asoka(The grand son of Chandra Gupta Maurya) who erected the Major Edicts.This proves that you can have 2 piyadassis in the same period. I am giving below the link of Culavamsa
Culavamsa Wilhelm Geiger Part 2

So there is every proof to support the theory that it could be Maha Padma Nandi who after converting to Buddhism, very actively trying to spread Buddhism all over India and Srilanka and in the process won many lands in India like 2nd Parasurama and that is how he could have erected the Pillars at Maski Karnataka.

Now if this is true then he could have definitely try to invade Tamil Nadu. Now I shall come to Tamil Sangam literature. I am giving below the link of Sangam literature which talks about the possible invasion. You can read this as there is a translation is given for the song and you can understand the details.

http://sangampoemsinenglish.wordpress.com/mauryan-invasions-of-tamil-nadu/

Now if you notice the song, it talks about 'Moriyar'. In Tamil you don't have the word 'Mou' and hence it will be called as 'Mo'. So it is damn sure that these texts talks about Mauryas invasion.

Now song no 175 of Puranaanooru talks about a king called Ātanunkan who tried to resist the invasion of the Mauryan army.

Song no 69 of Akanaanooru gives some interesting information. It is inferred from the song that the Tamil King has indeed suffered some defeat in the war and that is why the poet try to console him and asking him not to drop his shoulders down. Very interesting indeed that it tells that the Mauryan army was creating the path for their chariots to role.(Remember Asoka edict talks of making long road across India and planting trees at the sides for shade).It also talks about the Maurya's army men bows were decorated with Peacock feathers.(Remember that Peacock is always connected with their Lineage and the name 'Maurya' is itself derived from the name 'Mayura which is peacock). And it also talks about some loots made and the loot was sent to one king by name 'Aai'.

Song no 251 of Aganaanooru also talks about the war. It also refers to the enemy as Kosars. Well in Silapathikaaram(the literature that came at the end of Sangam time), we hear about this Kosars who are described as great Bowman. Now coming back to this sangam song, It also says that the Mauryan have met a defeat as some body from a place called 'Mokur' did not submitted to them and resisted.And it connects the story with an example with an Elephant(Mauryas) and the 'Mokur' chieftain(Tiger).
I think here the translation seems to be slightly wrong. In my reading this should be like the Tiger escaped the mouth of the elephant and resides in a forest of teak-filled grove.
So it seems that though the person from 'Mokur' resisted he still had to leave his place and escape in to a forest. This should be the correct reading.

Now I shall give some very interesting information about this place 'Mokur'. Tamil scholars have identified this place as current ‘Mayavaram’ which is 40 kms from Kumbakonam. And it is very a much a ‘Chola territory’.The name Mayavaram is a corrupted word from ‘Mayurapattinam’. This place is also called as ‘Mayilaaduthurai’ in pure Tamil. ‘Mayil’ means ‘Peacock’, and ‘aadu’ means ‘dancing’ and ‘thurai’ means ‘Bank’. Since this place is on the banks of river Kaveri it could have been named like this. But there is nothing special about this place for peacocks. So it goes to show that this place ‘Mokur’ which was called in Sangam times could have been subsequently subdued by Mauryas and it could have been named as ‘Mayurapattinam’ since ‘Peacock’ is the symbol of Mauryas.

Now the song no 281 of Aganaanoru confirm this theory. It clearly says that the Mauryas are ‘Vadugar’ which means ‘Northeners’ and the same peacock feathers in their bow. It also gives one information that initially the Tamils thought that the invasion would not happen but it turned out to be false. And that the Mauryas cut the forest and made path for their chariots to move and the person who had to defend had left the place and escaped so that the local people had to deal with the situation.

So there is every reason to believe that it is not the Asoka, the grandchild of Chandragupta Maurya who never mentioned about his invasion of Tamil Nadu. But there is every reason to believe that it could be ‘Maha Padma Nanda’ who was called as ‘Kaalasoka’ who could have won the land for some time. This makes it possible for his brother ‘Vitaasoka’ to go to Srilanka and establish the Buddhism there.

Now some one has mentioned that the South Indian kings are always depended on the North Indian Kings for money and support. I have to say that that reading is completely wrong. I am not telling with any ulterior motive of having any bias with north vs south. But as a person who sees history as history without any bias I need to tell that when the Islamic fire was engulfing and consumed the North it was the South that withstood successfully thanks to a great Kingdom called ‘Vijaya Nagara’ empire.

Anyway coming back to the subject, there is also information in Sangam literature about one great Chola king ‘Karigaalan’. He went with a huge army and subdued Magadha and went all the way up to Himalayas and engraved his Chola empire symbol that is ‘Tiger’. Is this war of ‘Karigaalan’ is a revenge to the one earlier by Mauryas. Well we can only speculate.

For understanding the Karigaalan exploits of his northern conquest I am giving below the link of the other thread ‘The Great Injustice to Indan Ancient History’.

http://historum.com/asian-history/42338-great-injustice-ancient-indian-history-90.html
Well written post.

I am posting the link to the Sangam poems which mentions Maurya's Invasion or incursions.

maurya | Search Results | Sangam Poems Translated by Vaidehi
 

Jinit

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
5,274
India
#55
I am not exaggerating. Is it not true. Vijaynagar gets mentioned because at that time there was no strong and large kingdom that was Hindu up north so Vijaynagar filled that void. Had there been strong Hindu kingdoms up north Vijaynagar would not be as popularly known. When you look at history it becomes more Magadha, Gangetic plain, Punjab area centric. Bengal to some extent. Places like Assam, TN, Kerala etc. are neglected. I am not exaggerating. I just feel this Delhi, Gangetic plain centrism of history must stop. That Tamils got culture only from north and had no contribution but of the derivative type is erroneous.

I am also extremely critical of Dravidist historians so you cant accuse me of exaggeration. We must have a balance thats all am asking. I deny and reject Dravidian Tamil theories with the same vigour as well.
There were Gangas and Gajapatis of Odissa,who were probably the first native power in subcontinent to organize offensive and not defensive attacks on Muslim sultanates and then there were Rajput kingdoms of west which actually outlasted everything and everybody from Mamluks and Khiljis to Mughals. And Of course there was a tiny kingdom of Mithila/Tirhut whose rich cultural legacy certainly disproportionate to its tiny size, earned appropriate comparison with Vijayanagara and descriptions like "A Hindu island in vast Muslim sea" by RC Majumdar. Mention of Assam, Gondwana, Nepal, tiny Hindu principalities of Gujarat certainly seem out of question in a situation when even the notable ones like the one mentioned above do not merit much attention. So if Vijayanagara gets attention because there was no Hindu kingdom to fill its void then its not the most accurate reason. There were many and certainly some notable ones. Of course it doesn't undermine the importance given to the Vijayanagara but the reasons given for it are completely misplaced one. Infact if we talk about that particular time period then only two polities that get some specific attention are Vijayanagara and Mughals, while in reality even in case of Muslim domains in addition to the Mughals there were many powerful sultanates which left behind rich legacy.


The reason for this specific phenomenon has nothing to do with north vs south. It has more to do with the fact that Indian history is written with mostly imperialistic perspective (probably as a result of never ending quest to find some Roman empire of India). Almost all the polities that get disproportionate attention whether Mauryas/ Guptas/ Mughals/ Vijayangara fall into this category or are forcefully fitted into such category (as in case of Cholas/ Pandyas etc who for the most part didn't even rule entire Tamilnadu yet frequently categorized as an empire). As a large polity affecting large parts of India, they do warrant certain attention but that shouldn't be the only criteria. Why should the Vakatakas get less attention than Guptas while talking about "Classical age"? Afterall it is the caves of Ajanta created under the patronage of Vakatakas that epitomize that classical age like nothing else? Or why should one discuss the Pratiharas, Palas and Rashtrakutas in terms of the boring tripertite struggle only while in reality all three left behind some very interesting and rich cultural legacy?

That Tamils got culture only from north and had no contribution but of the derivative type is erroneous.
But that is the fact. Can you tell me any part of Tamil culture that is completely unadulterated of any outside influence and can be proven to go back to times before appearance of any influence from north of Tamil lands? If there is any I can't think of it. They weren't barbarians but their subsequent culture isn't the same as mentioned in Sangam literature. And this doesn't undermine its history or significance at all since that is the case for all the regions of India (even civilization of Gangetic plains owns it to the migration from north west (which in turn might be the product of SSC). And they themselves developed the same culture even further. Bhakti movement for instance, that began in the Tamil lands ultimately influenced large parts of India in return and significantly shaped later day Hinduism.

Also it should be remembered that while discussing ancient Indian history this north vs south division is completely inappropriate. Since even in south Deccan and peninsular India follows different streams. Ideally it is better to divide Indian subcontinent in context of ancient Indian history as Peninsular India (Mostly Tamilnadu and Kerala), Deccan(Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra), Western India, Central India and upper and middle Gangetic plains (Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP, Bihar upto Gaya, Malwa although they can be subdivided into western India, Malwa and Gangetic plains), Eastern India (rest of Bihar, Bengal, Odissa, Assam), North west India (Punjab, Haryana, Kashmir, SWAT parts of Afghanistan although Kashmir can be taken as separate region), and other regions such as Himalayan regions, forested regions of central India, Sindh etc.

Anyway the reason for the neglect towards Tamil history isn't any prejudice or bias (Tamilnadu has much more material surviving from medieval times to attract the scholars) but the political one. The same regional chauvinism which discourages scholarship into Maratha history is also the reason behind the relative neglect of Tamil history.
 
Likes: macon

tornada

Ad Honoris
Mar 2013
15,385
India
#56
There were Gangas and Gajapatis of Odissa,who were probably the first native power in subcontinent to organize offensive and not defensive attacks on Muslim sultanates and then there were Rajput kingdoms of west which actually outlasted everything and everybody from Mamluks and Khiljis to Mughals. And Of course there was a tiny kingdom of Mithila/Tirhut whose rich cultural legacy certainly disproportionate to its tiny size, earned appropriate comparison with Vijayanagara and descriptions like "A Hindu island in vast Muslim sea" by RC Majumdar. Mention of Assam, Gondwana, Nepal, tiny Hindu principalities of Gujarat certainly seem out of question in a situation when even the notable ones like the one mentioned above do not merit much attention. So if Vijayanagara gets attention because there was no Hindu kingdom to fill its void then its not the most accurate reason. There were many and certainly some notable ones. Of course it doesn't undermine the importance given to the Vijayanagara but the reasons given for it are completely misplaced one. Infact if we talk about that particular time period then only two polities that get some specific attention are Vijayanagara and Mughals, while in reality even in case of Muslim domains in addition to the Mughals there were many powerful sultanates which left behind rich legacy.


The reason for this specific phenomenon has nothing to do with north vs south. It has more to do with the fact that Indian history is written with mostly imperialistic perspective (probably as a result of never ending quest to find some Roman empire of India). Almost all the polities that get disproportionate attention whether Mauryas/ Guptas/ Mughals/ Vijayangara fall into this category or are forcefully fitted into such category (as in case of Cholas/ Pandyas etc who for the most part didn't even rule entire Tamilnadu yet frequently categorized as an empire). As a large polity affecting large parts of India, they do warrant certain attention but that shouldn't be the only criteria. Why should the Vakatakas get less attention than Guptas while talking about "Classical age"? Afterall it is the caves of Ajanta created under the patronage of Vakatakas that epitomize that classical age like nothing else? Or why should one discuss the Pratiharas, Palas and Rashtrakutas in terms of the boring tripertite struggle only while in reality all three left behind some very interesting and rich cultural legacy?



But that is the fact. Can you tell me any part of Tamil culture that is completely unadulterated of any outside influence and can be proven to go back to times before appearance of any influence from north of Tamil lands? If there is any I can't think of it. They weren't barbarians but their subsequent culture isn't the same as mentioned in Sangam literature. And this doesn't undermine its history or significance at all since that is the case for all the regions of India (even civilization of Gangetic plains owns it to the migration from north west (which in turn might be the product of SSC). And they themselves developed the same culture even further. Bhakti movement for instance, that began in the Tamil lands ultimately influenced large parts of India in return and significantly shaped later day Hinduism.

Also it should be remembered that while discussing ancient Indian history this north vs south division is completely inappropriate. Since even in south Deccan and peninsular India follows different streams. Ideally it is better to divide Indian subcontinent in context of ancient Indian history as Peninsular India (Mostly Tamilnadu and Kerala), Deccan(Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra), Western India, Central India and upper and middle Gangetic plains (Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP, Bihar upto Gaya, Malwa although they can be subdivided into western India, Malwa and Gangetic plains), Eastern India (rest of Bihar, Bengal, Odissa, Assam), North west India (Punjab, Haryana, Kashmir, SWAT parts of Afghanistan although Kashmir can be taken as separate region), and other regions such as Himalayan regions, forested regions of central India, Sindh etc.

Anyway the reason for the neglect towards Tamil history isn't any prejudice or bias (Tamilnadu has much more material surviving from medieval times to attract the scholars) but the political one. The same regional chauvinism which discourages scholarship into Maratha history is also the reason behind the relative neglect of Tamil history.
Good post. You are certainly correct in that traditional historical education focusses largely on large polities and ignores small ones, and we should aim to try and change this a bit. But it is important to note that this is a trend seen in historiography across the world. For instance emphasis on the Etruscans or Magna Graecia in the classical period is not significant. But yes, regional players do seem to get a bit of a shrift. To be fair though that is changing. Increasingly history is less about specific dynasties but on overall trends. And while syllabi cannot ofcourse cover everything the construction of syllabi, while still outdated at least no longer inhibits a student from studying smaller dynasties and polities as was the case a few decades ago.
 
Jun 2015
122
India
#57
Actually smaller polities were more studied in past then now. Most good books on Solankis, Gahadvalas, Chandelas( quite rich legacy) are not even written now while you can get exhaustive information on small dynasties if you turn to few decades back, reasons are well known and do not need mention again and again.
 
Jun 2015
122
India
#58
There were Gangas and Gajapatis of Odissa,who were probably the first native power in subcontinent to organize offensive and not defensive attacks on Muslim sultanates and then there were Rajput kingdoms of west which actually outlasted everything and everybody from Mamluks and Khiljis to Mughals. And Of course there was a tiny kingdom of Mithila/Tirhut whose rich cultural legacy certainly disproportionate to its tiny size, earned appropriate comparison with Vijayanagara and descriptions like "A Hindu island in vast Muslim sea" by RC Majumdar. Mention of Assam, Gondwana, Nepal, tiny Hindu principalities of Gujarat certainly seem out of question in a situation when even the notable ones like the one mentioned above do not merit much attention. So if Vijayanagara gets attention because there was no Hindu kingdom to fill its void then its not the most accurate reason. There were many and certainly some notable ones. Of course it doesn't undermine the importance given to the Vijayanagara but the reasons given for it are completely misplaced one. Infact if we talk about that particular time period then only two polities that get some specific attention are Vijayanagara and Mughals, while in reality even in case of Muslim domains in addition to the Mughals there were many powerful sultanates which left behind rich legacy.


The reason for this specific phenomenon has nothing to do with north vs south. It has more to do with the fact that Indian history is written with mostly imperialistic perspective (probably as a result of never ending quest to find some Roman empire of India). Almost all the polities that get disproportionate attention whether Mauryas/ Guptas/ Mughals/ Vijayangara fall into this category or are forcefully fitted into such category (as in case of Cholas/ Pandyas etc who for the most part didn't even rule entire Tamilnadu yet frequently categorized as an empire). As a large polity affecting large parts of India, they do warrant certain attention but that shouldn't be the only criteria. Why should the Vakatakas get less attention than Guptas while talking about "Classical age"? Afterall it is the caves of Ajanta created under the patronage of Vakatakas that epitomize that classical age like nothing else? Or why should one discuss the Pratiharas, Palas and Rashtrakutas in terms of the boring tripertite struggle only while in reality all three left behind some very interesting and rich cultural legacy?



But that is the fact. Can you tell me any part of Tamil culture that is completely unadulterated of any outside influence and can be proven to go back to times before appearance of any influence from north of Tamil lands? If there is any I can't think of it. They weren't barbarians but their subsequent culture isn't the same as mentioned in Sangam literature. And this doesn't undermine its history or significance at all since that is the case for all the regions of India (even civilization of Gangetic plains owns it to the migration from north west (which in turn might be the product of SSC). And they themselves developed the same culture even further. Bhakti movement for instance, that began in the Tamil lands ultimately influenced large parts of India in return and significantly shaped later day Hinduism.

Also it should be remembered that while discussing ancient Indian history this north vs south division is completely inappropriate. Since even in south Deccan and peninsular India follows different streams. Ideally it is better to divide Indian subcontinent in context of ancient Indian history as Peninsular India (Mostly Tamilnadu and Kerala), Deccan(Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra), Western India, Central India and upper and middle Gangetic plains (Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP, Bihar upto Gaya, Malwa although they can be subdivided into western India, Malwa and Gangetic plains), Eastern India (rest of Bihar, Bengal, Odissa, Assam), North west India (Punjab, Haryana, Kashmir, SWAT parts of Afghanistan although Kashmir can be taken as separate region), and other regions such as Himalayan regions, forested regions of central India, Sindh etc.

Anyway the reason for the neglect towards Tamil history isn't any prejudice or bias (Tamilnadu has much more material surviving from medieval times to attract the scholars) but the political one. The same regional chauvinism which discourages scholarship into Maratha history is also the reason behind the relative neglect of Tamil history.
Very great post. Can you explain this?

Anyway the reason for the neglect towards Tamil history isn't any prejudice or bias (Tamilnadu has much more material surviving from medieval times to attract the scholars) but the political one. The same regional chauvinism which discourages scholarship into Maratha history is also the reason behind the relative neglect of Tamil history
What regional chauvinism is discouraging study of Tamil history and Maratha history?

@greatstreetwarrior

I am posting this article which I wrote from another thread

"The very fact that KDR was fighting with Gajapati Oriyas in Udaygiri in start of his reign shows how much of Andhra was ruled By Gajapatis. Udaygiri is 3 times closer to Vijaynagar than it is to Cuttack capital of Gajapatis.

But as they say truth is truth and recently German Indologist Herman Kulke has been writing a lot on significance of Gangas and Gajapatis. His summary

"At the beginning of the thirteenth century Anantavarman’s successors clashed with the new Muslim rulers of Bengal; nevertheless, the Muslim could not make any inroads into Orissa. KingAnangabhima III (1216–39) proudly praised his Brahmin general, Vishnu,
in an inscription:
How are we to describe that heroism of Vishnu during his fight
with the Muslim king, while all alone he shot dead many excellent
soldiers? . . . [The display of heroism] became a grand feyst to the
sleepless and unwinking eyes of the gods who were the interested
lookers-on in the heaven above.

King Narasimhavarman I (1239–64), the builder of the great sun temple at Konarak, was one of the few Hindu rulers of his time who did not manage
simply to defend himself against the superior military forces of the Muslims, but who also launched an offensive against them.
When in 1243
the Muslim governor of Bengal wanted to increase his autonomy and extend his sway after the death of Iltutmish, an army from Orissa attacked him in
his capital, Lakhnaur, in central Bengal. The following year the Hindu forces scored another success in Bengal. Narasimhavarman’s offensive policy probably warded off a Muslim attack on Orissa for more than a century.

After overcoming these initial difficulties, however, Kapilendra soon became the greatest Hindu ruler of his day,
extending his realm all the way into Bengal in the north and, temporarily, to the mouth of the Kaveri in the south."


Anyone who believes that Vijaynagar was only large Hindu kingdom in that time is seriously mistaken.
 
Likes: macon
Jun 2015
122
India
#59
But that is the fact. Can you tell me any part of Tamil culture that is completely unadulterated of any outside influence and can be proven to go back to times before appearance of any influence from north of Tamil lands? If there is any I can't think of it. They weren't barbarians but their subsequent culture isn't the same as mentioned in Sangam literature. And this doesn't undermine its history or significance at all since that is the case for all the regions of India (even civilization of Gangetic plains owns it to the migration from north west (which in turn might be the product of SSC). And they themselves developed the same culture even further. Bhakti movement for instance, that began in the Tamil lands ultimately influenced large parts of India in return and significantly shaped later day Hinduism.
Very correct. When there was one civilization from Kashmir to Sri Lanka and Gandhara to Assam, I do not even know how well educated people so vociferously deny borrowings from other parts. That is too evident to ignore. Gangetic plains owed its civilization to migrations from NW and Deccanis owed it to migrations from North. Tamil country owed it to Pallavas and Sri Lankans.
 

Jinit

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
5,274
India
#60
Good post. You are certainly correct in that traditional historical education focusses largely on large polities and ignores small ones, and we should aim to try and change this a bit. But it is important to note that this is a trend seen in historiography across the world. For instance emphasis on the Etruscans or Magna Graecia in the classical period is not significant. But yes, regional players do seem to get a bit of a shrift. To be fair though that is changing. Increasingly history is less about specific dynasties but on overall trends. And while syllabi cannot ofcourse cover everything the construction of syllabi, while still outdated at least no longer inhibits a student from studying smaller dynasties and polities as was the case a few decades ago.
Well I was going to post the same thing that Kumarvyasa mentioned. There are lot many books on regional dynasties before 60s. They wrote from the perspective of empires but gave importance to regional dynasties. So for instance Pandyas and Cholas got attention albeit as empires. What happened few decades ago was that Marxists school of historiography became dominant who deemed political history as rather unimportant and started rhetoric about overall trends in history. Now studying history in terms of its overall trends is nothing wrong. But they were guilty of atleast three mistakes. First as I said they totally side lined the political history since they considered it as history of elites. While this assumption is certainly true but it can't be denied that major changes in political history many a times indicates major shifts in general trends. so it can't be ignored nor can be taken lightly. Second as they followed Marxism (an ideology emerged in European context) it is obvious that they also tried to find parallel with European history and attempted to forcefully fit Indian history into the Marxist format of European history (while as pointed out by Andre Wink in reality their knowledge of European history itself was very questionable since the European historiography itself has done away with the dark age myth). So for instance large number of land grants were taken as a sign of feudalism while in reality was completely different. Third they were completely ignorant of primary source material and current traditions. So for instance majority of land grants were actually donations to the Brahmins which in reality was a part of tradition that existed throughout the Indian history from the Vedic periods onwards. Giving Dakshina to the Brahmin in return for their religious service was & is important part of Hindu tradition. So in reality it didn't signify any new trend just increase in practice already in existence since Vedic times. But in their obsession to fit it with European version they just came up with this completely mutant version of Indian history. Further more RS Sharma one of main proponent of this theory was also the one who controlled purses for academical research. Considering the morally corrupt nature of Marxists it isn't any surprise that only scholars who adhered to his version were patronized. No doubt then that regional history (of which political history was main component) suffered greatly. None the less recently scholars have started taking interest in regional history as you rightly suggested but it is still about studying regional aspects of those general trends. Their knowledge hasn't been completely utilized in writing a proper books on regional histories.

Also as I mentioned large polities do merit certain amount of special attention it is unavoidable but it shouldn't be forgotten that so called regional polities of India were small only in relative terms. Otherwise many of them were as large as entire European nations and certainly left behind very rich legacy.
 
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