A History of India, Third Edition

406 Pages · 2002 · 1.71 MB · English

  • A History of India, Third Edition


    A History of India presents the grand sweep of Indian history from antiquity

    to the present in a compact and readable survey. This new edition has been

    thoroughly revised, containing extensive new research and material, as well

    as an updated preface, bibliography, chronology and index.

    The authors examine the major political, economic, social and cultural

    forces which have shaped the history of the Indian subcontinent. This

    classic text is an authoritative and detailed account which emphasises and

    analyses the structural pattern of Indian history.

    Hermann Kulke holds the chair in Asian History at the University of Kiel.

    Dietmar Rothermund is Professor and Head of History at the South Asian

    Institute, University of Heidelberg. A HISTORY OF


    Third Edition

    Hermann Kulke and

    Dietmar Rothermund

    London and New York First published 1986 in hardback by

    Croom Helm Australia Pty Ltd

    Second edition first published 1990 in paperback

    This edition first published 1998 by Routledge

    11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE

    Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by


    29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001

    Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group

    This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2002.

    © 1986, 1990, 1998 Hermann Kulke and

    Dietmar Rothermund

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted

    or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic,

    mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter

    invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any

    information storage or retrieval system, without permission

    in writing from the publishers.

    British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

    A catalogue record for this book is available from the

    British Library

    Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication Data

    Kulke, Hermann.

    A History of India/Hermann Kulke and Dietmar

    Rothermund.—3rd ed.

    p. cm.

    Includes bibliographical references and index.

    1. India-History. I. Rothermund, Dietmar. II. Title.

    DS436.K8513 1998 97–14068 CIP


    ISBN 0-203-44345-4 Master e-book ISBN

    ISBN 0-203-75169-8 (Adobe eReader Format)

    ISBN 0–415–15481–2 (hbk)

    ISBN 0–415–15482–0 (pbk) CONTENTS

    List of maps vii

    Preface viii



    Prehistory and the Indus civilisation 16

    Immigration and settlement of the Indo-Aryans 29


    The rise of the Gangetic culture and the great empires

    of the east 47

    The end of the Maurya empire and the northern invaders 67

    The classical age of the Guptas 81

    The rise of South India 91



    The rise and conflicts of regional kingdoms 103

    Kings, princes and priests: the structure of Hindu realms 120

    Gods, temples and poets: the growth of regional cultures 130

    India’s impact on Southeast Asia: causes and consequences 143



    The Islamic conquest of northern India and the sultanate

    of Delhi 152

    The states of central and southern India in the period of

    the sultanate of Delhi 169


    The Great Mughals and their adversaries 184

    Indian landpower and European seapower 197

    The struggle for supremacy in India 210



    Company Bahadur: trader and ruler 224

    Imperial structure and the regional impact 239

    The pattern of constitutional reform 252


    OF INDIA 258

    The Indian freedom movement 258

    The partition of India 281

    8 THE REPUBLIC 294

    Internal affairs: political and economic development 294

    External affairs: global and regional dimensions 318


    Bibliography and notes 336

    Chronology 354

    Maps 362

    Index 373

    vi MAPS

    1 History and the Environment 362

    2 Indus Civilisation 363

    3 Early Cultures of the Gangetic Valley (c. 1000–500 BC) 363

    4 Maurya Empire under Ashoka (268–233 BC) 364

    5 India c. 0–AD 300 365

    6 The Gupta Empire (320–500) 366

    7 Regional Kingdoms in the Early Seventh Century 367

    8 Regional Kingdoms of the Early Middle Ages (c. 900–1200) 367

    9 Territorial Development of Orissa (c. 600–1400) 368

    10 Temple Donations and Ritual Policy in Vijayanagara

    (1505–9) 368

    11 Late Middle Ages (1206–1526): Delhi Sultanate and

    Late Regional Empires 369

    12 The Mughal Empire 370

    13 The British Penetration of India (1750–1860) 371

    14 The Republic of India 372

    vii PREFACE

    India’s history is the fascinating epic of a great civilisation. It is a history of

    amazing cultural continuity which has reasserted itself again and again.

    Today it is the history of one-fifth of mankind which is, therefore, of

    importance to all of us. Both Indian and foreign historians have been

    attracted by this great theme and each generation has produced its own

    histories of India. Several histories of India have been written in recent

    times, thus the authors of the present volume may be asked why they have

    dared to publish yet another account of Indian history. First of all research

    in Indian history to which both authors have contributed in their own way

    is progressing rapidly and an adequate synthesis is needed at more frequent

    intervals which reflects the current state of knowledge and stimulates

    further inquiries. This kind of up-to-date synthesis the authors hope to

    have provided here. Furthermore, Indian history from antiquity to the

    present is such an enormous subject that it requires more than one author

    to cope with it. Consequently many surveys of Indian history have been

    presented by teams of authors, but these authors rarely have had the

    benefit of working together in the same department discussing problems of

    Indian history for many years. This has been the good fortune of the

    present authors who have worked together at the South Asia Institute of

    Heidelberg University for nearly twenty years. In the late 1970s they first

    embarked on this joint venture at the request of a German publisher. The

    German edition of this volume was published in 1982. The first English

    edition was published by David Croom of Croom Helm, London, in 1986.

    Subsequently the rights were acquired by Routledge, London, and ever

    since the Routledge editorial team has been helpful in bringing out several

    new editions of this text which seem to have attracted many readers.

    Inspired by this interest in their work the authors have prepared this

    thoroughly revised edition in January 1997. They updated the text not only

    with regard to recent history, they also tried to take into account all major

    new publications in the field so as to reflect the state of the art in historical

    research. They have benefited from numerous discussions with Indian,

    British and American colleagues many of whom cannot read their German

    viii PREFACE

    publications and, therefore, they are glad to be able to communicate with

    them in this way. But, of course, this history of India is not primarily

    devoted to a dialogue among historians, it is written for the student and

    the general reader.

    To this reader the authors want to introduce themselves here. Hermann

    Kulke studied Indology (Sanskrit) and history at Freiburg University and

    did his PhD thesis on the Cidambaram Mahatmya, a text which

    encompasses the tradition of the South Indian temple city Chidambaram.

    His second major book was on the Gajapati kingship of Orissa. He has

    actively participated in the Orissa Research Project of the German

    Research Council and was co-editor of The Cult of Jagannath and the

    Regional Tradition of Orissa. At present he is conducting a research

    project on the temple chronicles of Orissa. He has also worked on Indian

    historiography and medieval state formation in India and Indonesia and on

    the Devaraja cult of Angkor. Recently he published a book on state

    formation and legitimation in India and Southeast Asia and edited The

    State in India 1000–1700. In 1988 he was called to the new Chair of Asian

    History at Kiel University. The distance between Heidelberg and Kiel has

    not reduced the contacts with his co-author. Dietmar Rothermund studied

    history and philosophy at Marburg and Munich Universities and at the

    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, where he did his PhD thesis on

    the history of eighteenth-century Pennsylvania. He then went to India and

    worked on a history of the Indian freedom movement which was published

    in 1965. He subsequently published a book on India and the Soviet Union

    and a detailed research monograph on agrarian relations in India under

    British rule. His most recent publication is a comprehensive political

    biography of Mahatma Gandhi. He participated in the Dhanbad Project of

    the South Asia Interdisciplinary Regional Research Programme. This

    project was devoted to the study of the history, economy and social

    conditions of an Indian coalfield and its rural hinterland. He has mostly

    worked on Indian economic history. In recent years he has published An

    Economic History of India as a companion volume to A History of India.

    This short textbook first appeared in 1988; a revised edition was published

    in 1993 by Routledge. He has produced a research monograph on India in

    the Great Depression, 1929–1939 (1992), followed by a more general text

    on Global Impact of the Great Depression, 1929–1939 (1996). He is now

    working on a research monograph on liberalisation in India. The research

    interests of the two authors are also reflected in the pages of this volume,

    but they have taken care to present a balanced picture and not to get

    carried away by their enthusiasm for their favourite subjects. As An

    Economic History of India covers this aspect of Indian history, references

    to the economic context have been restricted here to some essential points.

    In keeping with their respective fields of specialisation the authors have

    divided the work on this volume. Hermann Kulke has written chapters 1 to


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