In an informal, engaging style, The Puffin History of India for Children 3000 BC – AD 1947 tells the fascinating story of our land from the Indus Valley Civilization to Independence. Tracing the social, political, cultural and economic development of India, the book focuses on the high points of Indian history: the Vedic Age, the Mauryan Empire, the Gupta period, the Battle of Panipat, the conquests of Alauddin Khalji, who had the largest empire since Ashoka, the Brahmani and Vijayanagara kingdoms and their conflicts, the rule of Akbar, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb and the building of the Taj Mahal, the British conquest, the 1857 Revolt, the Nationalist movement and, finally, the triumph of Independence.
The contribution of the important personalities who shaped this history, from Mahavira, Buddha, Alexander, Ashoka, Harsha and Babur to Tipu Sultan, Ranjit Singh, Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru, is vividly described in fascinating detail. Every now and then the narrative pauses to dwell on the social and cultural life of the people, and the political, economic and religious changes that have been wrought over centuries, providing a comprehensive picture of what life was like in India at various points of time. The colourful description of people, events and cultures, complemented by a host of illustrations and maps, brings history dramatically to life for the reader.
Informative, well researched entertaining and easy of follow this is the perfect introduction to india's history for children of all ages. This new edition features an attractive layout, all new illustrations, a revised and updated text, and several brand new chapter.
Roshen Dalal was born in Mussoorie in 1952 and studied in various schools. After a BA (Hons.) in History she completed an MA and PhD in Ancient Indian History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has worked on various research projects in History, and has taught for two years at Jawaharlal Nehru University and for four years at Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh. She currently works as an editor and a freelance writer, She lives in New Delhi.
This book is a result of my years of teaching at the Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh. The young students were lively, curious and full of questions but there were no books on Indian history which they could easily read and understand.
This book therefore has been written with young people in mind. It has been divided into relatively short chapters, with numerous subheads to make for easy reading. While concepts and ideas have been included, the book is also information based and therefore will serve as a source of reference.
While writing this history I have kept certain factors in mind- it should be accurate, incorporating recognized viewpoints of history; it should introduce young people to different sources, including archaeology; it should give equal emphasis to the history of south India, an area usually neglected. Finally, it should be something young people can read and understand themselves.
I have used various different sources which are too many to list here. However, some of the main secondary sources are- Romila Thapar, A History of India Vol I; Percival Spear, A History of India Vol II; A.L. Basham, The Wonder That Was India, Pt I; S.A.A.Rizvi, The Wonder That Was India, Pt II; R.C. Majumdar, et. al., An Advanced History of India; the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan series edited by R.C. Majumdar on the History and Culture of the Indian People, Bridget and Raymond Allchin, The Rise of Civilisation in India and Pakistan; Bipan Chandra, et. al., India’s Struggle for Independence; Nilakanta Sastri, History of South India; the series of history textbooks published by the NCERT, and the Social Science textbooks published by the Ekalavya group in Hoshangabad. In addition I have utilized my own research as well as other original sources.
I should like to thank Prof. Romila Thapar for going through the manuscript and making valuable suggestions, many of which I was able to incorporate, my editor Anubha Doyle for her dedicated work in giving the book its final shape and form, and my family for their support and encouragement. Thanks are also due to Aarohi Phadke for illustrating the book and Suman Tarafdar for preparing the maps. Most of all I would like to thank the students of the Rishi Valley School whom I taught or came in contact with between 1988 and 1994.
This new edition incorporates material from sources read over a number of years, which are too numerous to mention. Statistics for the pre- Independence period vary in different sources and those in chapter 61 are based mainly on the Gazetteer of India of the Publications Division.
I should like to thank Paul Vinay Kumar of Penguin India for encouraging me to work on a new edition, Udayan Mitra and Ajanta Guhathakurta of Penguin India for taking care of editing, design and production, Arvinder Chawla and Arun Pottirayil for the new illustrations, and Suman Tarafdar for additional maps. I should also like to thank Chanda Rani Akhouri for data on women in the electoral process, and my family for their help and support.
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