The study of ‘Toponymy’-a branch of ’Onomastics’ is one which is related to tracing the origin, history and culture of a particular place on the basis of its name which itself is an expression of the intellectual genius and cultural tendencies of the local people. When taken up on a regional level, it helps throw light not only at the roots of history and culture but on such varied aspects like tribal migrations, linguistics, religious traditions, myths and legends, folklore and other aspects of the intangible heritage of the region concerned. The present book is an attempt to study such places of Madhya Pradesh which are historically and culturally significant. The places so studied have been arranged alphabetically in the form of a Dictionary which will be a source book of ready reference for research scholars as well as lay readers alike in reconstruction of characteristics, history and cultural traditions of the state. References to the original sources have been provided for each entry.
Dr. R.K. Sharma (b. 1932), Convener, INTACH, Jabalpur Chapter is Retd. Professor and Head of the Department of Archaeology and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Jabalpur. Author of more than two dozen books and over one hundred research papers published in reputed research journals, his contributions to the cause of Indian archaeology in general and archaeology of Madhya Pradesh in particular are widely acclaimed. His academic achievements have led the Indian Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies (Pune) to institute a Life-time Achievement Award in his name entitled 'Professor R.K. Sharma Award for Excellence in Archaeology' which is given to deserving archaeologists of the country bi-annually. He is recipient of 'Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma Srijan Samman' (2009) of the Government of Madhya Pradesh.
Dr. Shambhu Dayal Guru (b. 1929) is Retd. Director of District Gazetteers as well as of the State Achieves of Madhya Pradesh government. Author of three books and editor of more than two dozen monographs on Freedom Movement and History, he has contributed over 300 articles on various aspects of the history and culture of Madhya Pradesh in reputed journals. A founder member of Madhya Pradesh Itihasa Parishad (1956), he was also its President and Secretary and Editor of its journal several times. He has been honoured by several organisations including M.P. Freedom Fighters' Trust, Jabalpur University, Bundelkhand Virasat Academy and M.P. Rashtrabhasha Samiti.
the name of a particular place does not originate by mere accident but is an outcome of social and historical conditions with which the community of the place concerned is intimately connected. These factors obtain currency in the language through the symbol of place names which is an expression of the intellectual genius and the cultural tendencies of the local people. This has given rise to the study of 'Toponymy' (a branch of 'Onomastics') - the study related to tracing the origin, history and culture of a particular place through its name.
Keeping in view that a study of the major place names of Madhya Pradesh toponymically will enrich our knowledge not only to trace the roots of history and culture but also of such varied subjects like tribal migrations, linguistics, religious traditions, myths and legends, folk and other aspects of the intangible heritage of the state, the present book is an attempt to study those places of the 52 districts of Madhya Pradesh which are historically and culturally significant. The places so studied have been alphabetically arranged in the form of a Dictionary which will be a source of ready reference for research scholars as well as lay readers in reconstructing the regional as well as local characteristics of the history and cultural traditions of the state. References have been provided in each case study.
We are grateful to the authorities of INTACH, New Delhi who very kindly assigned this project to Jabalpur Chapter and provided adequate funds for its execution. There are no words to thank adequately Maj. Gen. (Retd.) L.K. Gupta, AVSM, Chairman, INTACH for showing deep interest in conducting this project and for providing all possible assistance for its timely completion.
Adequate thanks are due to two Co-Conveners of INTACH Jabalpur Chapter, Dr. S.N. Mishra and Dr. Sanjay Mehrotra who were always available in providing all possible assistance to the Convener whenever he needed them, particularly during the period of his troubled health condition.
The study of `Toponymy'- a branch of 'Onomastics' is one which is related to tracing the origin, history and culture of a particular place on the basis of its name which itself is an expression of the intellectual genius and cultural tendencies of the local people. When taken up on a regional level, it helps throw light not only at the roots of history and culture but on such varied aspects like tribal migrations, linguistics, religious traditions, myths and legends, folklore and other aspects of the intangible heritage of the region concerned.
In India, interest in the subject of place and personal name study has been rather slow as compared to the countries of the West with good publications thereof. It is good that an initiative in the direction was taken by the Place Names Society of India founded in 1978 which regularly holds its Annual Sessions in different parts of the country under the auspices of different universities and research institutes. Publication of its journal Studies in Indian Place Names on an annual basis is a regular feature. The contribution of the Society in this regard is praiseworthy. This has resulted in publication of a few books, particularly by South Indian scholars.
Keeping this in view, when a project aimed to present a study of this kind for Central India was submitted to me by Professor R.K. Sharma, Convener of our Jabalpur Chapter, I approved of it immediately. I was given to understand that Prof. Sharma has been closely associated with the Place Names Society of India in the capacity of its Vice President and Consulting Editor of its journal during 1984-87. The result is the present Historical Place Names of Madhya Pradesh - A Dictionary which will speak itself to the scholarly world by the vast amount of critical data incorporated in it. Chapter II of the present study representing its chief objective is preceded by a historical account of the state in Chapter I and succeeded by a toponymical and morphological classification of Place Names in Chapter III. Every entry in the Dictionary is well documented by reference to the original source of information.
INTACH has always been promoting intellectual pursuits like the present one and helping in their publications. I am sure, the present study shall go a long way in advancement of knowledge pertaining to the tangible and intangible heritage of Central India.
I congratulate the author for his unique contribution in throwing fresh light on that part of the country which is rather lesser known. The author has concluded with an interesting remark that every place name has a song to sing and a story to narrate. I hope the so-called 'songs' sung and 'stories' narrated in the present volume shall present an interesting source of information for the scholarly world as well as common readers who are always interested in knowing the ancestry of the place where they live in and the traditions they have inherited.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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