K.A. Nilakanta Sastri’s A History of South India was published by Oxford University Press India in 1955. Four editions and more than five
decades later it has attained the status of a classic on the subject. Exploring a long and complex span of history imaginatively and
comprehensively, the volume marked the beginning of a better understanding of South India’s role in shaping the subcontinent’s history and
An adapted version of the original book, The Illustrated History of South India has been developed with the aim of bringing the history
and culture of South India to a much wider audience, including young readers. A part of the ‘Oxford India Illustrated Collection’ that brings
together writings of enduring value, this edition combines the rich content of the original volume with more than sixty line drawings and
photographs. The maps and the genealogical charts have been aesthetically redrawn especially for this edition.
Showcasing Sastri’s enduring research in a contemporary format, this edition also presents a comprehensive and up to date overview
of subsequent research on South Indian history and the development of the discipline through two essays by prominent scholars of South India,
R. Champakalakshmi and P.M. Rajan Gurukkal, thus making it an invaluable guide for both students and general readers.
Back of the Book
K.A. Nilakanta Sastri’s A History of South India has the distinction of being the basic political narrative on pre-colonial South India for over five
decades. This special illustrated edition of the classic work showcases Sastri’s unmatched grasp over a wide variety of primary sources (Sanskrit
and Tamil), his interpretative acumen, and his interdisciplinary approach to the study of history.
R. Champakalakshmi’s Introduction emphasizes Sastri’s unique contribution and continuing relevance while critically analyzing his
work in the context of subsequent developments in historiography. Covering similar ground, P.M. Rajan Gurukkal details the value of the
illustrated edition in the light of the work of key scholars and the growth of the discipline.
The rich visual content - sixty new illustrations and the redrawn maps and genealogical charts-together with the additional contextual
material by two renowned scholars of South Indian history make this edition comprehensive and up to date for students and teachers of South
Indian history as well as lay readers.
K.A. Nilakanta Sastri (1892-1975) was Professor of History at the University of Madras.
R. Champakalakshmi was Professor at the Centre for Historic Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
P.M. Rajan Gurukkal is Vice-Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala.
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