Rajasthan, also called Rajputana within living memory, is an ancient land with a veritable treasure of oral and written histories, The region has a long history, stretching back to the Old Stone Age, and its geography and environment have played a significant role in shaping its many facets-politics, literature, music, art, architecture, and a vibrant and living intangible cultural heritage,
Richly illustrated, this book attempts to give you Rajasthan in a nutshell-a political, socio-cultural and economic history in a comprehensive, easy-to-read format.
Since history is more than a chronological list of events. Rajasthan: A Concise History has also used archival. Epigraphic, numismatic, art-history, architectural and archaeology related information to provide a general overview of one of the most colourful states of India.
Archaeologist, historian and writer, Rima Hooja is Consultant Director (Library & Archives) at Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, City Palace, Jaipur: Editor of Journal of Heritage Management; and Adjunct Faculty of Ahmedabad University's Centre for Heritage Management.
A PhD from Cambridge University, Distinguished International Academician of Minnesota University, and Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, Rima has held several academic posts and served on various governing boards.
Rajasthan: A Concise History recounts the long saga of Rajasthan from prehistoric times to the present in a single volume, and covers the major political, cultural, socio-economic, artistic and creative facets of this region. Rajasthan (also called Rajputana within living memory), is an ancient land with a veritable treasure of oral and written histories. Its ever-evolving and transforming cultures have been influenced by the Thar Desert, and in turn, have led to the creation of noteworthy literature, music and art; outstanding step-wells, forts and fortifications, towns and settlements; and a vibrant and living intangible cultural heritage.
The present-day State of Rajasthan came into being when nineteen princely states and two chiefdoms of Rajputana, who had previously signed individual 'Instruments of Accession' to the newly independent nation-state of India in 1947, became merged together to form a new administrative unit, along with the formerly British India tract of Ajmer-Merwara. The region has a long history, stretching from Old Stone Age onwards, in which geography and environment has played as much a part as politics and events in determining the locations of towns, cities and other settlements, and local architecture, food preferences etc. Despite the overshadowing and difficult-to-tame Thar Desert, long-established trade and travel routes have traversed this area through the centuries-and the apparently 'inhospitable' terrain has not had an absence of contact with other areas, nor of life itself!
The present book has tried to cover the basic political, sociocultural and economic history of Rajasthan in a comprehensive easy-to-read text aimed at the general reader. A more detailed book, with many more bibliographic references and numerous photographs, is available as this author's previously published A History of Rajasthan (Rupa & Co., 2006.)
In an age where it isn't fashionable (or 'politically correct') to see works with a strong chronological and dynasties-related slant, there is an element of that aspect in this book, particularly as traditional oral compositions, genealogies, court records, epigraphs, coins and texts carry a certain kind of information that has largely focused on warrior clans and their battles; the elite and the merchants; grants given to bards, priests, and religious sects; and so forth. Since history is more than a chronological list of events, Rajasthan: A Concise History has also used various archival, epigraphic, numismatic, architectural, archaeological, and art history etc. related information to provide a general overview of Rajasthan's history.
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