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Eighteenth Century Deccan: Cultural History of the Peshwas
Eighteenth Century Deccan: Cultural History of the Peshwas
Description
From the Jacket

Presently one of the prominent debates in Indian History remains the eighteenth century period that revolves around the relationship between political stability and culture. Eighteenth century marked a significant stage in the Maratha history since in this century the Marahta rule expanded in North India and Karnataka. This century also witnessed an important position granted to the post of the Peshwa as seen from the Samad of Maratha king chhatrapati shahu in the name of Peshwa bestowing upon him total administrative authority. The political connections with the new provinces outside Maharashtra brought with them the streams of a new culture to the Deccan. Historical records reflect upon the intention of the Peshwas and their sardas to create the prototype especially of the culture of North India, Various dimensions of new culture such as Persian language luxurious items music and dance entered the Deccan and blended with its prevalent cultural characteristics. The eighteenth century towards its close also witnessed the entry of European culture into the Deccan. The book shows how cultural characteristics. The eighteenth century towards its close also witnessed the entry of European cultural into the Deccan. The books shows how cultural dynamism was operative in the eighteenth century Deccan with Special reference to the Peshwa period. The downfall of Maratha Empire took place in 1818 and hence the discussion in the book goes beyond the eighteenth century. In conclusion the books takes a stand that culture thrives in spite of political instability and that it migrates in search of patrongage. When culture settles in the new patron house its blend with the local trend in inevitable and thus the process paves the way for a composite culture.

The book will interest researches of the cultural history of India.

About the Author

Dr. Varsha Shirgaonkar, Professor and Head, Department of History, S.N.D.T. Women’s University, Mumbai is a well- known scholar of international repute. Her area of specialization is cultural history of eighteenth and nineteenth century Maharashtra and Bengal. Her study of lavani — as a source of cultural history of Maharashtra — fetched her invitations to participate in international conferences at the University of Venice (August 1997) and University of Sydney (January 1999) and to give a talk at San Diego Museum of Art, California (July 2003). Her project, for which she obtained grant from the UGC, is entitled, “Language and Culture: History of Maharashtra through Lavanis” (2000- 2002). She received a research grant of the Royal Numismatic Society of the British Museum, London in June 2003 for her project on Indian Tokens. She was the Sectiona’ President of Modern India in two state-level conferences in Maharashtra (Islampur — January 2000 and Satara —January 2004). Her research on Mumbat was duly recognized when she was invited as Sectional President of History of Mumbai in a state-level conference jointly convened by the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune and Department of Sanskrit, University of Mumbai in May 2007. Being a Project Coordinator, she completed a project, “Listing Present Fabric Status and Conservation Plan for the Fountains and Pyaavs in the City of Mumbai”, which was awarded by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Heritage Conservation Society to Department of History Ramnarain Ruia College, Matunga, Mumbai (March 2007). Dr. Varsha Shirgaonkar has five books and several research articles to her credit.

Preface

It gives me immense pleasure in presenting this book to the researches of Indian history. The idea of writing their book took root during the period of UGC grant to me (April 2000 to March 2002) I was then head Department of history at Ramnarian Ruia College Matunga Mumbai. The grant was entitled language & Culture History of Maharashtra through Lavanis. The book albeit was intended to be beyond the topic of the grant. My visits to the wadas in the medieval towns such as Wai Menavali and Satara generated a new awareness in me about the approach towards the writing of cultural history. The material evidence in corroboration with the historical records becomes an important resource for the reconstruction of cultural history. The research focusing upon the eighteenth century was undertaken since the eighteenth century dabate needs to be investigated from the point of view of Marahta history. Eighteenth century marked an important stage in the history of the Marathas as their rule expanded in North India and Karnataka during the period. The position of the Peshwa became prominent since Chhatrapati shahu bestowed upon the Peshwa and their Sardars to create a prototype especially of the culture of North India. The various dimensions of the new culture with the prevalent cultural characteristics. The eighteenth century towards its close also witnessed the entry of European culture into the Deccan. Thus the process of cultural dynamism was vibrant throughout the period. The downfall of the Maratha empire took place in 1818 and hence the discussion in the book goes beyond the eighteenth century. The analysis may point out that culture thrives in spite of political instability and that it migrates in search of patronage. When culture settles in the new patron house its blend with the local trend is inevitable and thus the process paves the way for a composite culture.

I owe a great deal to a large number of people who gave encouraging support to me and extended help in writing this book.

Dr. R.T. Sane, then Principal, Ramnarain Ruia College, Matunga, Mumbai, in spite of being specialized in the subject of Chemistry, took a keen interest in the research work. He extended technical assistance while the research was in progress.

Dr. P.M. Bandivadekar, the ex-Vice-Principal of Ramnarain Ruia College, Matunga, Mumbai, was supportive in the very formation of the book and extended his contacts of Wai to me. Prof. Vijay Pharande, ex-Vice-Principal of Kisanveer Mahavidyalay, Wai arranged my field-visits at Wai. I express my deep gratitude to them. Mr. Ashok Phadnis, the great

great-grandson of Nana Phadnis, the astute diplomat of Maratha period in the late eighteenth century, welcomed me at his estate at Menavali. I thank him for his detailed description of the wada of his ancestor.

I also express my thanks to honourable Sardar Anandrao Raste for giving me permission for photography of their Motibag Raste wada at Wai. Mr. Ashok Raste’s patient support also helped me while the book was in process. Rambhau Pethe of Waman Had Pethe Jewellers, Mumbai has always been enthusiastic in showing the eye-catching, precious jewellery of Maratha period in their private collection, the photographs of which have embellished the pages of this book. I express my sincere gratitude to him for showing the valuable ornaments and allowing me to take the photographs.

I express my special thanks to Dr. K.K. Maheshwari, an industrialist of repute and Chairman, Board of Trustees Indian Numismatic, Historical and Cultural Research Foundation (Two Divisions — 1. Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies and 2. Indian Rock Centre), who gave me the slides of the ganjiphas in his private collection for this book.

The Director, Department of Gazetteers, Maharashtra State has been helpful in arranging for the respective volumes of the Gazetteer. I express my gratitude to him. My special thanks are also due to my Ph.D. student, Dr. Vaidehi Pujari-Bhagvat, Assistant Research Officer, Department of Gazetteer, Maharashtra State. Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Maharashtra State arranged for my visit to their museum at Satara and to Adalat wada at Satara, some of the photographs of which are contained in this book. It is my pleasant duty to thank both, the Department and my student Mr. Bhalchandra Kulkarni, Technical Assistant, Department of Archaeology, Maharashfra State. Dr. Siddhartha Wakankar, Deputy Director, Oriental Institute, M.S. University of Baroda, Gujarat was generous in sending me the photocopies of his articles on ganjiphas and chess. I thank him for this generous gesture.

I thank the Department of History, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad for giving me permission to reproduce the photographs of exclusive paintings in their museum. I feel happy that Ms. Neelambari Jagtap, a younger friend of mine and a Museum Keeper at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad introduced me to their collection of Maratha paintings.

I am glad to acknowledge here the assistance rendered by Mr. Vinayak Y. Kelkar in giving me the lavanis and powadas from the precious collection of his father, late Yashwant N. Kelkar. Dr. Shailendra Bhandare, my former student and now Assistant Keeper, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, U. K. had introduced me to Mr. Vinayak Kelkar for which I thank him.

It gives me pleasure to say a word of thanks to my friends in Ramnarain Ruia College, Dr. Benaz Patel and Dr. Bhavna Narula who helped me in searching the botanical terms for the plants of the Peshwa period.

Contents

Prefacevii
List of Illustrationsxiii
Introduction xxi
1Eighteenth Century Debate and Maratha Historiography An Interpretation of emerging culture in the Deccan 1
2Localities Structures and Gardens37
3Fabrics And Ornaments 65
4Religion and Festivals during Peshwa Period79
5Natakshalas and Kumbins 98
6Folk Performances and Pastimes 113
7Reconstruction of Cultural history of Medieval Deccan through Lavanis132
8Postscript 157
Bibliography 161
Index171

Eighteenth Century Deccan: Cultural History of the Peshwas

Item Code:
NAC942
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2010
ISBN:
9788173053917
Size:
11.0 Inch X 8.5 Inch
Pages:
406 (94 Color Illustrations)
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Weight of the Book: 1.08 kg
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$70.00
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From the Jacket

Presently one of the prominent debates in Indian History remains the eighteenth century period that revolves around the relationship between political stability and culture. Eighteenth century marked a significant stage in the Maratha history since in this century the Marahta rule expanded in North India and Karnataka. This century also witnessed an important position granted to the post of the Peshwa as seen from the Samad of Maratha king chhatrapati shahu in the name of Peshwa bestowing upon him total administrative authority. The political connections with the new provinces outside Maharashtra brought with them the streams of a new culture to the Deccan. Historical records reflect upon the intention of the Peshwas and their sardas to create the prototype especially of the culture of North India, Various dimensions of new culture such as Persian language luxurious items music and dance entered the Deccan and blended with its prevalent cultural characteristics. The eighteenth century towards its close also witnessed the entry of European culture into the Deccan. The book shows how cultural characteristics. The eighteenth century towards its close also witnessed the entry of European cultural into the Deccan. The books shows how cultural dynamism was operative in the eighteenth century Deccan with Special reference to the Peshwa period. The downfall of Maratha Empire took place in 1818 and hence the discussion in the book goes beyond the eighteenth century. In conclusion the books takes a stand that culture thrives in spite of political instability and that it migrates in search of patrongage. When culture settles in the new patron house its blend with the local trend in inevitable and thus the process paves the way for a composite culture.

The book will interest researches of the cultural history of India.

About the Author

Dr. Varsha Shirgaonkar, Professor and Head, Department of History, S.N.D.T. Women’s University, Mumbai is a well- known scholar of international repute. Her area of specialization is cultural history of eighteenth and nineteenth century Maharashtra and Bengal. Her study of lavani — as a source of cultural history of Maharashtra — fetched her invitations to participate in international conferences at the University of Venice (August 1997) and University of Sydney (January 1999) and to give a talk at San Diego Museum of Art, California (July 2003). Her project, for which she obtained grant from the UGC, is entitled, “Language and Culture: History of Maharashtra through Lavanis” (2000- 2002). She received a research grant of the Royal Numismatic Society of the British Museum, London in June 2003 for her project on Indian Tokens. She was the Sectiona’ President of Modern India in two state-level conferences in Maharashtra (Islampur — January 2000 and Satara —January 2004). Her research on Mumbat was duly recognized when she was invited as Sectional President of History of Mumbai in a state-level conference jointly convened by the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune and Department of Sanskrit, University of Mumbai in May 2007. Being a Project Coordinator, she completed a project, “Listing Present Fabric Status and Conservation Plan for the Fountains and Pyaavs in the City of Mumbai”, which was awarded by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Heritage Conservation Society to Department of History Ramnarain Ruia College, Matunga, Mumbai (March 2007). Dr. Varsha Shirgaonkar has five books and several research articles to her credit.

Preface

It gives me immense pleasure in presenting this book to the researches of Indian history. The idea of writing their book took root during the period of UGC grant to me (April 2000 to March 2002) I was then head Department of history at Ramnarian Ruia College Matunga Mumbai. The grant was entitled language & Culture History of Maharashtra through Lavanis. The book albeit was intended to be beyond the topic of the grant. My visits to the wadas in the medieval towns such as Wai Menavali and Satara generated a new awareness in me about the approach towards the writing of cultural history. The material evidence in corroboration with the historical records becomes an important resource for the reconstruction of cultural history. The research focusing upon the eighteenth century was undertaken since the eighteenth century dabate needs to be investigated from the point of view of Marahta history. Eighteenth century marked an important stage in the history of the Marathas as their rule expanded in North India and Karnataka during the period. The position of the Peshwa became prominent since Chhatrapati shahu bestowed upon the Peshwa and their Sardars to create a prototype especially of the culture of North India. The various dimensions of the new culture with the prevalent cultural characteristics. The eighteenth century towards its close also witnessed the entry of European culture into the Deccan. Thus the process of cultural dynamism was vibrant throughout the period. The downfall of the Maratha empire took place in 1818 and hence the discussion in the book goes beyond the eighteenth century. The analysis may point out that culture thrives in spite of political instability and that it migrates in search of patronage. When culture settles in the new patron house its blend with the local trend is inevitable and thus the process paves the way for a composite culture.

I owe a great deal to a large number of people who gave encouraging support to me and extended help in writing this book.

Dr. R.T. Sane, then Principal, Ramnarain Ruia College, Matunga, Mumbai, in spite of being specialized in the subject of Chemistry, took a keen interest in the research work. He extended technical assistance while the research was in progress.

Dr. P.M. Bandivadekar, the ex-Vice-Principal of Ramnarain Ruia College, Matunga, Mumbai, was supportive in the very formation of the book and extended his contacts of Wai to me. Prof. Vijay Pharande, ex-Vice-Principal of Kisanveer Mahavidyalay, Wai arranged my field-visits at Wai. I express my deep gratitude to them. Mr. Ashok Phadnis, the great

great-grandson of Nana Phadnis, the astute diplomat of Maratha period in the late eighteenth century, welcomed me at his estate at Menavali. I thank him for his detailed description of the wada of his ancestor.

I also express my thanks to honourable Sardar Anandrao Raste for giving me permission for photography of their Motibag Raste wada at Wai. Mr. Ashok Raste’s patient support also helped me while the book was in process. Rambhau Pethe of Waman Had Pethe Jewellers, Mumbai has always been enthusiastic in showing the eye-catching, precious jewellery of Maratha period in their private collection, the photographs of which have embellished the pages of this book. I express my sincere gratitude to him for showing the valuable ornaments and allowing me to take the photographs.

I express my special thanks to Dr. K.K. Maheshwari, an industrialist of repute and Chairman, Board of Trustees Indian Numismatic, Historical and Cultural Research Foundation (Two Divisions — 1. Indian Institute of Research in Numismatic Studies and 2. Indian Rock Centre), who gave me the slides of the ganjiphas in his private collection for this book.

The Director, Department of Gazetteers, Maharashtra State has been helpful in arranging for the respective volumes of the Gazetteer. I express my gratitude to him. My special thanks are also due to my Ph.D. student, Dr. Vaidehi Pujari-Bhagvat, Assistant Research Officer, Department of Gazetteer, Maharashtra State. Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Maharashtra State arranged for my visit to their museum at Satara and to Adalat wada at Satara, some of the photographs of which are contained in this book. It is my pleasant duty to thank both, the Department and my student Mr. Bhalchandra Kulkarni, Technical Assistant, Department of Archaeology, Maharashfra State. Dr. Siddhartha Wakankar, Deputy Director, Oriental Institute, M.S. University of Baroda, Gujarat was generous in sending me the photocopies of his articles on ganjiphas and chess. I thank him for this generous gesture.

I thank the Department of History, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad for giving me permission to reproduce the photographs of exclusive paintings in their museum. I feel happy that Ms. Neelambari Jagtap, a younger friend of mine and a Museum Keeper at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad introduced me to their collection of Maratha paintings.

I am glad to acknowledge here the assistance rendered by Mr. Vinayak Y. Kelkar in giving me the lavanis and powadas from the precious collection of his father, late Yashwant N. Kelkar. Dr. Shailendra Bhandare, my former student and now Assistant Keeper, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, U. K. had introduced me to Mr. Vinayak Kelkar for which I thank him.

It gives me pleasure to say a word of thanks to my friends in Ramnarain Ruia College, Dr. Benaz Patel and Dr. Bhavna Narula who helped me in searching the botanical terms for the plants of the Peshwa period.

Contents

Prefacevii
List of Illustrationsxiii
Introduction xxi
1Eighteenth Century Debate and Maratha Historiography An Interpretation of emerging culture in the Deccan 1
2Localities Structures and Gardens37
3Fabrics And Ornaments 65
4Religion and Festivals during Peshwa Period79
5Natakshalas and Kumbins 98
6Folk Performances and Pastimes 113
7Reconstruction of Cultural history of Medieval Deccan through Lavanis132
8Postscript 157
Bibliography 161
Index171
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