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Studies on Fortification in India

Studies on Fortification in India

Specifications

Item Code: IDK705

by Jean Deloche

Paperback (Edition: 2007)

Institut Francais De Pondichery Ecole Francaise D’Extreme-Orient
ISBN 2855396646

Size: 11.0" X 8.3"
Pages: 267 (Illustrated Throughout In B/W)
Price: $55.00
Discounted: $44.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
Viewed times since 16th Oct, 2009

Description

General Introduction

Citadels crowning the broken hills of the Aravallis, the scarped blocks of Central India or topping the rugged and cragged ridges of the Deccan with several lines of walls built at different levels upto the summt, and also strongholds of greater extent in the large alluvial Indo-gangetic plains or on the peninsular plateau, enclosing huge cities, on flat land, around occasional outcrops, on the banks of a river or in the slopes of a broad interfluve, innumerable are the fortifications scattered over the Indian subcontinent.

These countless defensive works, small or big, which had a crucial influence on the growth of kingdoms or on the expansion of empires, are of exceptional magnitude and importance. Yet, very little attention has been given to them. Despite wealth of books on religious monuments, there is a dearth of reliable literature on this particular subject: except for a few meritorious monographs, military architecture of India is almost unknown.

A precise and detailed history of fortifications in India is a subject that would amply repay the labour spent on its production. The present work barely indicates even the outline of such a history and has a far less ambitious aim.

These pages bring together essays on some prominent defensive works which have been constructed over many centuries across the Indian subcontinent, particularly South India.

The first chapter, on the Harappan period and Early Historic Indian sites, is based mainly on archaeological reports; all the other chapters, covering South India from the 3rd to the 18th century A.D., draw on the available historical material, both documentary and epigraphic, as well as on intense fieldwork and personal investigations carried out by the author over the past twenty years in numerous hill forts and fortified towns in India.

Much of the information has been already published piecemeal in a range of articles written in French in the Bulletin de l' Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient. Here, the findings of this body of work are freshly presented with an attempt at synthesis.

For each period a selection has been made of outstanding examples of fortification in order to analyse the building techniques, considering the evolution of military technology, particularly the development of artillery, to establish the typology of the structures and to bring into focus a reliable method for indentifying and dating defensive works in India.

The northern limit of our investigations being aurangabad, it is hoped that similar research will be carried out in the fortified sites of North India, including the Maratha hill forts and the much visited strongholds of Rajasthan.

Back of the Book

This book brings together essays on some prominent defensive works which have been constructed over many centuries across the Indian subcontinent, particularly South India.

The first chapter, on the Harappan period and Early Historic Indian sites, is based mainly on archaeological reports; all the other chapters, covering South India from the 3rd to the 18th century A.D., draw on the available historical material, both documentary and epigraphic, as well as on intense field work and personal investigations carried out by the author over the past twenty years in numerous hill forts and fortified towns in India.

Much of the information has been already published piecemeal in a range of articles written in French. Here, the findings of this body of work are freshly presented with an attempt at synthesis.

For each period a selection has been made of outstanding examples of fortification in order to analyse the building techniques, considering the evolution of military technology, particularly the development of artillery, to establish the typology of the structures and to bring into focus a reliable method for identifying and dating defensive works in India.

This analysis, which draws attention to the considerable skills and ingenuities of Indian fort builders, has something to engage the interest of all those concerned with India military monuments, be they engineers, archaeologists or historians.

Jean Deloche, a senior member of the Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient and the French Institute of Pondicherry, has devoted all, his academic career to the study of Indian History. Among the several books and articles written by him, two have been recently published in English: Origins of the Urban Development of Pondicherry according to Seventeenth Century Dutch Plans, 2004, and Senji (Gingee) A Fortified city in the Tamil Country, 2005.

Contents

General Introduction1
IFortifications in Ancient Indian3
IIThe Hindu System of Fortification in South India (3rd-14th century A.D.)49
IIIThe Muslim System of Fortification in the Deccan Kingdoms (15th-18th century)75
IVSurvival of the Hindu System of Fortification in South India (15th-18th century)153
VMysore Hill Forts (15th-18th century)187
VIGunpowder Artillery in South India (15th-18th century)235
General conclusion250
Bibliography251
Index263
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