Please Wait...

Hindu Military System of Orissa

Hindu Military System of Orissa
$70.00
Item Code: NAY670
Author: Sujata Das
Publisher: Pratibha Prakashan
Language: English
Edition: 2013
ISBN: 9788177023268
Pages: 316 (Throughout Color and B/w Illustrations)
Cover: HARDCOVER
Other Details: 10.00 X 7.50 inch
weight of the book: 0.87 kg
About the Book
Hindu Military System of Orissa from the ancient times until it lost its independence in 1568 A.D. with particular emphasis on the imperial Gangas and the Suryavamsi Gajapatis who had built up a prosperous empire in the south eastern India. The traditional military system under the two famous and illustrious royal dynasties reached the highest watermark of glory and fame.

Particularly under the Gajapati Kapilendradeva the empire was turned practically to a military state.

Besides the four fold army, people irrespective of castes, creed, sects and sex participated in the war operations directly or indirectly for the safety and prosperity of their motherland.

Despite the military strength, well established monarchy headed by great monarchs of such celebrated dynasties met ignominious fall in the hands of more powerful enemies repeating the historical process of rise and fall. The Gajapati empire, the last ever known in the annals of Orissa was disintegrated. The last Gajapati emperor Prataprudardeva was no match to the emperor Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagar empire.

In dealing with the military system of the Gangas and the Gajapatis author have attempted to refer, directly or indirectly to the contemporary Hindu kingdoms which subsequently supplemented the knowledge on the subject. Structurally the system was similar in almost all the Hindu kingdoms except the gigantic elephant force and the regional differences.

However, the presentation is exhaustive and comprehensive, as far as possible, may not be construed to be conclusive. The work will be useful to the students of history, historians, archaeologists and art historians.

About the Author
Dr (Mrs) Sujata Oas was born in 1966 in the temple city of Bhubaneswar, Odisha. She successfully passed M.A. in History from the Utkal University Bhubaneswar in the year 1988, B.Ed. in 1989 and Ph.D in 2002. She has been studious and meritorious all through her career. She was very much interested in Military history of Odisha, known in the past as Odra- Utkal and Kalinga. In ancient and medieval times Kalinga was a vast empire extending its suzerainty from the Ganga in the north to the Godavari in the south and particularly during the time of Kapilendra Dev the southern boundary of the empire was extended as far as Kaveri.

Her research activities continued unceasingly on the aspects like art and architecture, forts and strongholds, religion and inscriptional studies etc. She participated as delegate in several National seminars like Indian ·Art History Congress, Kharavela and Jainism in Odisha organized by the Rishavdev Foundation, New Delhi and many State seminars on various facets of history and culture resulting in publication of the research papers in books and journals.

Preface
I have made a benign but sincere attempt in the work entitled "Military System of Orissa from the ancient times until it lost its independence in 1568 A.D. with particular emphasis on the imperial Gangas and the Suryavamsi Gajapatis who had built up a prosperous empire in the south eastern India. The traditional military system under their two famous and illustrious royal dynasties reached the highest watermark of glory and fame. Particularly under the Gajapati Kapilendradeva the empire was turned practically to a military state. Besides the four fold army, people irrespective of castes, creed, sects and sex participated in the war operations directly or indirectly for the Safety and prosperity of their motherland. Even tile women took part in the war operations carrying the weapons and food stuff on their carrying poles in the war processions, as we find in the sculptural representation of the period. The forts and strongholds built, rebuilt and acquired were numerous stretching from the river Kaveri to the Ganges. The military citadels garrisoned with armies played decisive roles in checking the inroads of intruders, defending the frontiers' and assisting the monarch in war expeditions against the enemies. Before the rise of the Gangas the monarchs adopted the defensive policy but the Gangas and Suryavamsis paid more attention to offence rather than defense. As a result the neighboring states, being consternated at the stupendous military strength of Kalinga, remained at bay. Despite the military strength, well established monarchy headed by great monarchs of such celebrated dynasties met ignominious fall in the hands of more powerful enemies repeating the historical process of rise and fall. The Gajapati empire, the last ever known in the annals of Orissa was disintegrated. The last Gajapati emperor Prataprudardeva was no match to the emperor Kiishnadevaraya of Vijay anagar empire. The Muslim powers of the south and the north took the opportunity of disintegration of the state from all frontiers.

In dealing with the military system of the Gangas and the Gajapatis I have attempted to refer, directly or indirectly to the contemporary Hindu kingdoms which subsequently supplemented my knowledge on the subject. This was felt essential to understand the Indian military system as a whole. Structurally the system was similar in almost all the Hindu kingdoms except the gigantic elephant force and the regional differences.

The field covered in this work, I must confess, is not untouched. The eminent scholars like E. W. Hopkins, P. C. Chakravarti, H. C. Ray, B. K. Majumdar and others have contributed substantially on one aspect or the other of the interesting topic relating to the country as a whole.

The historians have referred to the subject directly or indirectly in connection with political history. The archaeologists have fed the military history with the new materials unearthed through excavations. So far Orissa is concerned, I must owe greatly to Dr. H. C. Das for his work 'Military History of Kalinga' and to Dr. R. P. Mohapatra for his 'Military History of Orissa'. These two pioneering works though comprehensive lack certain aspects of military system of the medieval Orissa. In addition to these 'History of Orissa' by Dr. H. K. Mahtab, 'History of Orissa' by Prof. K. C. Panigrahi, 'Suryavamsi Gajapatis of Orissa' by R. Subramanian, 'The Gajapati Kings of Orissa! by P. Mukherjee in particular have been of great use to me in understanding the political and cultural history of Orissa, which is virtually inter-related with the military system. To dive further deep into the subject, I had to survey several important archaeological sites including the remains efforts and temples, to refer to published works and some unpublished manuscripts, to photograph the relevant temple panels and to prepare sketches. In the absence of adequate data in the chronological sequence I had to deal with the subject along with the political history of Orissa concurrently.

However, my dissertation, though exhaustive and comprehensive, as far as possible, may not be construed to be conclusive. I hope, the work will be useful to the students of history, historians, archaeologists and art historians.

Introduction
'Self Preservation' and 'Self. Expansion' . have been the natural impulse of human being right from the dawn of reflection. The first basic instinct was virtually essential for safety from natural hazards and the second was enviable to achieve more dignified position in the society than others.

With the march of civilization the man invented arms and weapons and learnt their use to defend himself, his family and fellow brethren. At a later stage he fought against others' to enhance his status, power and prestige. With the formation of states, fighting against each other for supremacy was almost inevitable. This process became more prominent all through the ancient and medieval epochs of history and even continues till today among the countries.

India has been a conglomeration of different ethnic groups, heterogeneous cultures, numerous religious faiths, conflicting social phenomena, different geographical situations and several other factors including foreign incursion. This historical phenomenon is marked from the time of emergence of the sixteen Mahajanapadas in the 6th century B. C. For existence, and rise these earliest states had to fight endless series of battles. Through this process the smaller states succumbed to the greater states which expanded exerting more power, glory, economic prosperity and territory leading to formation of empire. The policy of territorial expansion gave rise to the concept of Chakravartin (the supreme suzerain power). This paramount was achieved through bloody battles, intrigues and diplomacy. The Muslims, Mughals and Marathas of the later period could build up empires in India having no unified resistance from the indigenous kingdoms. In many cases, fortune did not favor the Indian monarchs, though there was no dearth of great personalities, economic affluence, military strength but the lack of adequate historical literature put the scholars in difficulty to throw light on the subject systematically and comprehensively.

I may benignly confess that writing a military history has been an extremely difficult task mainly due to lack of adequate authentic historical data. To concentrate on this aspect of history of a particular region of India is even more difficult, as the successive ruling dynasties did not systematically maintain the records of their achievements. Whatever materials like archaeological,' historical and literary made available to us cannot possibly form a proper chronology. Further, the historians, both of India and foreign countries paid more attention to the political history, describing the military aspect imperceptibly. I have had to face the same problem while attempting the subject .

My effort in this work is to highlight the military history of Orissa, from 1078 A.D. to 1568 A.D. The year 1078 A.D is a turning point in the history of Orissa witnessing the rise of the Gangas as an imperial power with Anantaverman Chodagangadeva as the first emperor of the Kalingan empire in the medieval times. His glorious and epoch making reign of long 50 years brought economic prosperity, religious efflorescence with Sri Jagannath as the cult hero, unprecedented development of art, architecture and literature, achievements of military victories in all frontiers and social transformation. The glorious epoch marks the rise of the imperial Gangas followed by the Suryavamsi Gajapatis (1078- 1535 A.D.) may rightly be termed as the Golden Age in the history of Orissa. The period of 32 years following the decadence of the Gajapati empire in 1535 A.D. tells a sad story of internal dissension, internecine strife over occupation of the throne, treachery, foreign intrusion, finally leading to its fall. The history will never excuse those monarchs of the petty dynasties successively following the Gajapatis who were squarely responsible for collapse of the empire like a house of cards. Inversely Mukundadeva in a short spell of only 8 years of rule tried his utmost to save the kingdom from the Muslims. It is an irony of fate that he was killed by Ramachandra, a king of Saran gag ad a in a fratricidal battle fought at Gohiratikra. During the Ganga and Gajapati rule in a long period of about 4 centuries and a half the traditional military system reached the pinnacle of glory in the country. The gigantic elephant force (2,00,000 under the Gajapati Kapilendradeva) earned the monarchs the alluring title of Gajapati' (Lord of elephants). The elephant force in Orissa occupied the front line in the army operation. The four fold army organization, though developed and modified over the centuries remained fundamentally the same. The system of fortification, enunciated by Kautilya and others continued till the end of Gajapati rule, of course, with great modification.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages










Add a review

Your email address will not be published *

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Post a Query

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

CATEGORIES

Related Items