Most of the outstanding writings on the historical geography of ancient India, such as those of F.E. Pargiter, S.N. Majumdar Sastri, N. L. Dey, H.C. Raychaudhuri and B.C. Law, were produced in Calcutta, and the tradition is maintained by Prof. D.C. Sircar through his works entitled Cosmography and Geography in Early Indian Literature and Studies in the Geography of Ancient and Medieval India. While the first of these is a general treatment of the evidence of early literary works, mostly Indian, on the cosmographical ideas and geographical knowledge of the Indians of old, the second work, i.e. the present book now in its second edition.
This book contains, dissertations on numerous problems relating to India's historical geography of the ancient and medieval periods. In some of the chapters, the author has edited certain important geographical texts; in these as well as in many of the other chapters, attempts have been made to determine the correct forms of hundreds of geographical names as well as their location. There are also some special studies such as those on the sphere of the Indian emperor's influence, the early Indian concept-ions regarding the earth, the addition of numbers to geographical names, identical names of different localities, cartography, and elephant forests. A mere glance at the contents will be enough to indicate the wide scope of the work.
Dineshchandra Sircar (1907-1985) was an epigraphist, historian, numismatist and folklorist, known particularly for his work deciphering inscriptions in India and Bangladesh. He was born to a family of Ayurvedic physicians at Krishnanagar. He graduated with Honours in Sanskrit in 1929 and obtained a First Class in his MA Examination in 1931 in Ancient Indian History and Culture with specialisation in Epigraphy and Numismatics from the University of Calcutta. He was the Chief Epigraphist, Archaeological Survey of India, (1949-1962), Carmichael Professor of Ancient Indian History and Culture, University of Calcutta, (1962-1972) and the General President of the Indian History Congress. In 1972, Sircar was awarded the Sir William Jones Memorial Plaque. He authored more than forty books both in English and Bengali. Some of his best-known books include: Select Inscriptions Bearing on Indian History and Civilisation (two volumes), Indian Epigraphy (1965), Indian Epigraphical Glossary, Inscriptions of Asoka, Epigraphical Discoveries in East Pakistan, Studies in the Geography of Ancient and Medieval India, Some Epigraphical Records of the Mediaeval Period from Eastern India, Studies in Indian Coins, Journal of Ancient Indian History (Ed.). He has edited Epigraphia Indicavolumes XXVIII to XXXVI, three of them jointly and others independently.
It is a pleasure to me that my Studies in the Geography of Ancient and Medieval India (1960), in spite of its defects, was favourably received by the students of the subject, so that its first edition was exhausted much earlier than was expected.
A decade has now elapsed after the appearance of the first edition of the work, in which about 30 articles were presented in 22 Chapters and 2 Appendices. The number of my articles on geographical topics published during this period is about a dozen and a half. Most of these have been either incorporated in the old Chapters or presented in new Chapters. The old arrangement has also been altered M a few, cases. In the present edition, about 45 articles have been presented in 29 Chapters. As in the earlier edition, sometimes more papers than one have been clubbed together for the facility of presentation, and a few articles have been omitted. Among the omissions, mention may be made of 'Capital of the Later Aulikaras' (Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol. XXXVI, June-September, 1960, pp. 192 IT.) and 'Mahi-sagara-sangama' (i.e. the tirtha at the confluence of the Mahi and the Gulf of Cambay; Pur Vol. VI, No. 1, January 1964, pp. 215 ff.). I am grateful to the authorities of the publications, in which the various article's of mine originally appeared.
The sources of the papers incorporated in the different Chapters of the present edition are indicated below.
I-Sarapa Bhiirati (Lakshman Sarup Commemoration Volume), Hoshiarpur, 1954, pp. 315 ft; cf. journal of the [Royal] Asiatic Society [of Bengal], Calcutta, Letters, Vol. V, 1939, pp. 407 ff.
II-Journal of Indian History, Trivandrum, Vol. XLVI, Part I, April, 1968, pp. 19 IT.; Indian Culture, Calcutta, Vol. VII, 1940, p. 111.
III-Indian Historical Quarterly, Calcutta, Vol. XXI, 1945, pp. 297 if.
IV-Ibid. Vol. XXVII.), 1951, pp. 215 ff.
V-Indian Culture, Vol. VIII, 1941, pp. 32 ff.
VI-Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol. XXVIII, 1952, pp. 123 ff.; cf. Hindusthan Review, Patna, May-June, 1041, pp. 617 ff.
VII--Bharatlya Vidyil, Bombay, Vol. V, 1944, pp. 34 ff.; Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol. XXIII, 1947, pp. 62 ff. ; Indian Studies Past and Present, Calcutta, Vol. III, No. 3, April-June, 1962, pp. 355 ff.
VIII-Indian Museum Bulletin, Calcutta, Vol. II, No. 1, January, 1967, pp. 7 ff.; Journal of the Asiatic Society, Letters, Vol. XIX, 1953, pp. 33 ff.
IX--journal of Indian History, Vol. XLI (Silver Jubilee Number), 1963, pp. 263 ff.
X- Ibid., Vol. XXXIV, 1956, pp. 263 ff. (cf. Orissa Historical Research Journal, Bhubaneswar, Vol. IV, Nos. 3-4, 1955-56, pp. 51 ff.); Journal of the Oriental Institute, Baroda, Vol. XIII, No. 4, June, 1964, pp. 329 ff.
XI-Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol. XXI, 1945, pp. 61 f.; Vol. XXII, 1946, pp. 233 ff.; Vol. XXIII, 1947, pp. 65 ff.; Vol. XXIV, 1948, pp. 78 f.; Actes du Congres International Oriental, Tome XXI, Paris, 1948, pp. 199 ff.
XII-Purana, Varanasi, Vol. V, No. 2, July, 1963, pp. 251 ff.; cf. Vol. VI, No. 1, January, 1964, pp. 215 If.; Itiluisa (Bengali ), New Series, Vol. I, No. 3, KarttikaPaula, 1373 B.S., pp. 235 ff. (cf. Journal of Ancient Indian History, Calcutta, Vol. I, 1967-68, pp. 196-97); Blaratiya Vidya, Vol. XXV, pp. 1 ff.
XIII--Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, Bombay, 1947, pp. 91 ff.
X1V-journal of Indian History, Vol. XLIII, Part 3, December, 1965, pp. 693 ff.; also Part 2, August, 1965, pp. 343 ff.
XV-P. V. Kane Presentation Volume, Poona Oriental Series, Poona, 1941, pp. 469 114 Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, Varanaai, Vol. VIII, 1946, pp. 135 ff.
XVI-Indian Historical Quarterly, Vol. XXII, 1946, p. 315; Vol. XXIV, 1948, p. 78; Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, Vol. XII, 1950, pp. ,50ff.
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