A FORGOTTEN EMPIRE VIJAYANAGAR PDF

Robert Sewell — worked in the civil service of the Madras Presidency during the period of colonial rule in India. He was Keeper of the Madras Record Office and was tasked with responsibility for documenting ancient inscriptions and remains in the region, As with other British administrators of his type at that period, his purpose was not scholarly but rather to bolster administrative control by constructing a history that placed British rule as a virtue and a necessity rather than something to be denigrated. Portrayal of historic factionalism among local figureheads and dominion by alien despots would, it was thought, enhance the perception that only the British could rescue the country from its past. Sewell undertook archaeological work, including at the Buddhist stupa at Amaravati, which had already been largely destroyed prior to his arrival. The site had previously been surveyed by Colin Mackenzie and Walter Elliot.

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Robert Sewell — worked in the civil service of the Madras Presidency during the period of colonial rule in India. He was Keeper of the Madras Record Office and was tasked with responsibility for documenting ancient inscriptions and remains in the region, As with other British administrators of his type at that period, his purpose was not scholarly but rather to bolster administrative control by constructing a history that placed British rule as a virtue and a necessity rather than something to be denigrated.

Portrayal of historic factionalism among local figureheads and dominion by alien despots would, it was thought, enhance the perception that only the British could rescue the country from its past. Sewell undertook archaeological work, including at the Buddhist stupa at Amaravati, which had already been largely destroyed prior to his arrival.

The site had previously been surveyed by Colin Mackenzie and Walter Elliot. His record-keeping at that site in has been criticised for making an already-bad situation worse, adding to the problems that meant it was impossible to correlate the finds made. Sewell was guided by various native speakers of the Kannada, Malayalam, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu languages spoken there.

Some of these aides went on to publish research of their own, such as S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar. The empire rose to prominence as a culmination of attempts by the southern powers to ward off Islamic invasions by the end of the 13th century. It lasted until , although its power declined after a major military defeat in by the Deccan sultanates. The empire is named after its capital city of Vijayanagara, whose ruins surround present day Hampi, now a World Heritage Site in Karnataka, India.

The previous temple building traditions in South India came together in the Vijayanagara Architecture style. The mingling of all faiths and vernaculars inspired architectural innovation of Hindu temple construction, first in the Deccan and later in the Dravidian idioms using the local granite.

Efficient administration and vigorous overseas trade brought new technologies such as water management systems for irrigation. The Vijayanagara Empire created an epoch in South Indian history that transcended regionalism by promoting Hinduism as a unifying factor. In the year A. With that date the volume of ancient history in that tract closes and the modern begins.

It is the epoch of transition from the Old to the New. This event was the foundation of the city and kingdom of Vijayanagar. Prior to A. When Vijayanagar sprang into existence the past was done with for ever, and the monarchs of the new state became lords or overlords of the territories lying between the Dakhan and Ceylon.

There was no miracle in this. It was the natural result of the persistent efforts made by the Muhammadans to conquer all India. When these dreaded invaders reached the Krishna River the Hindus to their south, stricken with terror, combined, and gathered in haste to the new standard which alone seemed to offer some hope of protection.

The decayed old states crumbled away into nothingness, and the fighting kings of Vijayanagar became the saviours of the south for two and a half centuries. Its rulers, however, in their day swayed the destinies of an empire far larger than Austria, and the city is declared by a succession of European visitors in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to have been marvellous for size and prosperity — a city with which for richness and magnificence no known western capital could compare.

Its importance is shown by the fact that almost all the struggles of the Portuguese on the western coast were carried on for the purpose of securing its maritime trade; and that when the empire fell in , the prosperity of Portuguese Goa fell with it never to rise again. Our very scanty knowledge of the events that succeeded one another in the large area dominated by the kings of Vijayanagar has been hitherto derived partly from the scattered remarks of European travellers and the desultory references in their writings to the politics of the inhabitants of India; partly from the summaries compiled by careful mediaeval historians such as Barros, Couto, and Correa, who, though to a certain degree interested in the general condition of the country, yet confined themselves mostly to recording the deeds of the European colonisers for the enlightenment of their European readers; partly from the chronicles of a few Muhammadan writers of the period, who often wrote in fear of the displeasure of their own lords; and partly from Hindu inscriptions recording grants of lands to temples and religious institutions, which documents, when viewed as state papers, seldom yield us more than a few names and dates.

The two chronicles, however, translated and printed at the end of this volume, will be seen to throw a flood of light upon the condition of the city of Vijayanagar early in the sixteenth century, and upon the history of its successive dynasties; and for the rest I have attempted, as an introduction to these chronicles, to collect all available materials from the different authorities alluded to and to weld them into a consecutive whole, so as to form a foundation upon which may hereafter be constructed a regular history of the Vijayanagar empire.

The result will perhaps seem disjointed, crude, and uninteresting; but let it be remembered that it is only a first attempt. Before proceeding to details we must shortly glance at the political condition of India in the first half of the fourteenth century, remembering that up to that time the Peninsula had been held by a number of distinct Hindu kingdoms, those of the Pandiyans at Madura and of the Cholas at Tanjore being the most important.

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Add to Wishlist. Description About the book: Robert Sewell — worked in the civil service of the Madras Presidency during the period of colonial rule in India.

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A Forgotten Empire Vijayanagar

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