Archaeological History of South-Eastern Rajasthan (An Old and Rare Book)
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Archaeological History of South-Eastern Rajasthan (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: NAW297
Author: Adris Banerji
Language: English
Edition: 1970
Pages: 208 (19 B/W Illustrations and 1 Map)
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 390 gm

Rajasthan in general and Mewar or Udaipur State in particular, has had always a fascination for me since I read the Bengali translation of Col. Tods Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan in my boyhood. Maharana Pratépa, Padminj, Panna the noble nanny, Badala, Jayamalla were familiar names.

While going to sleep, I used to hear of their brave deeds from my maternal grandmother (before I became literate), who were not Rajputs but near and dear ones, who sacrificed their all for the sanctity of the Gods, the religion and the society. Little did I then interest myself in the socialistic abuse of feudalism. The ambition to know Rajasthan grew more when I visited Ajmer in company of my deceased father in the winter of 1921. That visit was memorable for two reasons. I met at Agra for once and the only occasion in my life, the great Sir John Marshall, and what is more the veteran historian the late Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. G. H. Ojha. In 1927 Iwas to get acquainted with his son Ramesvara G, Ojha. This long desire I was able to fulfil decades later when after entering the Archaeological Survey, I was trans- ferred to New Delhi.

The scope of this work requires to be defined. Mewar, just before integration, extended from 23°49’ and 25°58’ N latitude and 37°91’ and 75°49’ E longitude. But this was not its original extent. The term Mewar has two connotations, Its most ancient name as found in the coins was ‘Madhyamika’. The place is also mentioned by Patajijali. Later epigraphs refer to it as Medapata, whose vulgarised form probably is Mewar or Mevada. G. H. Ojha thought that it was occupied by a people called Mevas, Meos or Medas. A tribe or a people called Medas are mentioned in the Manu Samhita (X 36 & 48). Varahamihira also mentioned these people (Medas) along with Bhadaris, Mandavyas (Mandor), Salvas, Maru, Matsya and Madhyamikg (xiv.2). Nilakantha, a commentator, equates Kshudras with Medas (Maha@bharata, AnugSsana Parva, XLVIII.25).. The Kshkudras were probably the Kshudrakas formerly of the Vahjzka country, who formed a confederation with the Malavas, according to Panini, and who possibly migrated to. Rajasthan, after their defeat at the hands of Alexander, like the latter. But both the Mahabharata and Manu regard them as mixed caste. Manu in particular ascribes their origin to a marriage between a native of Videha and a Nisha@da woman. In a subsequent chapter the author tries to identify them with Bhils, which is supported by the Angirasa S:mhita and Vyasa Samhita. But earlier Panini and Ganvpasha regarded them as Ayudhajivi Samphas.

‘The old area is now represented by the districts of Dungarpur, Banswara, Udaipur and probably Idar too, The: Marwar region of the old British . provinces of Ajmer-: Merwara and hills of Alwar are still inhabited by Meos. In its wider sense it comprised the modern districts of Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Bhilwara, Bundi and Kota, that is Hadavati ; Sawai Madhopur, Banswara, and portions of the old states of Gwalior and Indor like Gajgapur parganas and Namdawas etc. This land of immortal heroes seems to have shrunk: and widened according to political fortunes, originating as a small hill state under R4vals, consisting of Udaipur and: Chittorgarh valleys, the most tangled skein of hills and dales, wilds and gorges, separated by dessicated but fertile plains. The net result was a confluent surface of a mounta- nous country with huddled up hill ranges as though the seismic disturbances that threw them up were only yesterday. and notinremote Tertiary times.

The scope is limited. It is generally the practice to think of the past as Prehistoric and Historic. Prehistoric period was however longer and has to be interpreted mainly from: the evidence preserved in the rock formations, layerology of the soil on river banks, due to climatic changes and aggrada- tion and degradation, the rise and fall of the sea levels and evolution of flora and fauna, A damp and humid region transforming itself into a desert like Libya, Tunisia, Tripoli- tania, Morocco, Mesopotamia, Baluchistan and _ Sind. The millions of years during which Chambal cut. its gorges through granite and greisenic rocks. A fair assessment of all these and effect of all these on the people is an immense task. What is more, the work of identifying the physical features of those primitive peoples who were responsible for evolving the social, economic and political institutions in this rugged but nuclear area must be left for the future. Though amass of evidence has been garnered, even then we have no means to narrate the whole story coherently, since the data are neither comprehensive nor complete. No fossilised skeletons have so far been found in any part of Rajasthan. Nonethe- less, the material collected by my friends and former colleacues like M.N. Deshpande, S, R. Rao, K. V. Soundara Rajan, S. P. Srivastava, and last but not the least R.C. Agrawala are not contemptible. A good beginning has been made. Time will help us.

My ambition has been humble. To acquaint the general public and Rajasthanis, if not the advanced students or the Professors, the condition of researches from very early times to the advent of Rajputs. Nobody is more aware of his own shortcomings than the author himself; and if this brochure can create a just interest about the studies of Rajasthan, I shall be more than repaid. I am indebted to Shri A. Ghosh, the then Director-General of Archaeology, for having given me all the facilities to tour the areas, and, what is more, making me in- charge of the Central Antiquities Collection at Safdar Jung where I had first-hand opportunity to study the artefacts, pots and pans excavated all over India since 1946 on a compa- rative basis. I also appreciated his permission to study the antiquities of Sarasvati and Dyishadvati valleys, which have not been published, along with material remains of Rang Mahal culture, which historians like Dr. Sudhakar Chatterjee have completely ignored. To my daughters, companions of their old father, Chitra, Sipra Mitra and Alaka, my sons Partha Sarathi and Devasis Iam grateful for many kinds of help.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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