Volume 34 Number 2, March 1982
Shivaji and Facets of Maratha Culture
|Specifications:||212 pages, 155 illustrations|
|Dimensions:||324 x 241 mm|
The vision of Shivaji and those who succeeded him brought forth in Maharashtra a cultural and artistic ferment which expressed itself in varied facets. Temples and manor houses were built, their walls embellished with frescos of dancing gopis and divinities. Literature, music, and dance were patronized extensively. This volume devotes itself to highlighting the various aspects of Maratha culture. Erudite texts outline the achievements of Shivaji and the Maratha generals describing their innovative military tactics and naval manoeuvres. There are articles on Maratha forts and siege tactics, paintings, art and architecture, costumes, mansions, arms and armour.
Saryu Doshi, scholar and art historian, is a specialist in the history of Indian miniature painting. She is the Editor of Marg Publications.
Most Noble Prince: Introduction
Shivaji - A Total Personality
Setu Madhavrao Pagadi
Chhatrapatis and Peshwas - A Historical Survey
Maratha Coins and Mints
Marathi Bhakti Poetry
Verses of Ramdas
Varkaris of Pandharpur
Maratha Forts and Siege Tactics
Arms and Armour
The Bhavani Sword of Shivaji
ARCHITECTURE AND PAINTING
Maratha Wadas – A Way of Life
Gopal Krishna Kanhere
Mansions and Monasteries of Paithan
Religious and Funerary Monuments of Nagpur
The Tradition of Painting – Its Origin and Continuity
Glass Paintings of Maharashtra
Ganjifa – The Indian Card Game
Attire and Ornaments
THE MARATHAS OF TANJORE
The Heritage of Tanjore
A selection of quotes describing Shivaji's princely qualities.
An account of Shivaji's (1630-80) early life, military exploits, administration, and personality.
The Maratha military power, administration, and relationship with the Mughals saw fluctuating fortunes under the Chatrapati rulers Shivaji (1630-80), Sambhaji (1680-89), Rajaram (1689-1700), and Shahu (1708-49), and the Peshwas Balaji Vishvanath Bhat (1713-20), Bajirao I (1720-40), Nana Saheb (1740-61), Madhavrao I (1761-72), and Bajirao II.
Shivaji issued gold (Shivarayi Hon) and copper (Shivarayi) coins with the Nagari legend Shri Raja Shiva/Chhatrapati. The Peshwas struck gold coins with the Nagari-Persian legend Shri Ganapati and Shah Alam/Shri Pantapradhan. The coins were issued from various state and private mints, including Satara, Panhala, and Chinchwad. The article briefly discusses the mint organization in the Maratha kingdom.
The Bhakti movement came to Maharashtra from the south, and Pandharpur became the main centre and a place of pilgrimage. The important saints of Pandharpur were Jnanadeva, Namdev, Narasimha Sarasvati (c. 1378-1458), Eknath (1533-99), Tukaram (1598-1649) and his disciple Niloba, and Ramdas (1608-81). Mahipati (1715-90) was the most important biographer of the poet saints of Maharashtra.
Text and translations of some verses of Ramdas, a poet-saint of Maharashtra.
The Varkari Sampradaya was one of the major and most popular religious sects of Maharashtra. The followers of the sect are devotees of Vithoba -- Shri Vitthala of the pilgrimage centre of Pandharpur. The poet-saints Jñaneshvar and Namdeva gave an impetus to the popularity of the sect.
Samarth Ramdas (1608-81), the celebrated poet-saint of Maharashtra and the guru of Shivaji, established his first matha at Takoli. His important compositions include Tirthavali, Parachakra Nirupama, Asmani Sultani, and Dasbodh.
The article describes the location and classification of Maratha forts, their architectural features, and administration. Also discussed are the siege tactics of the Mughals and Marathas.
Among the various weapons employed by the Marathas were stone missiles, bows and arrows, swords and daggers, clawed weapons, spears and javelins, maces, armour, shields, and guns of different kinds. In their military tactics, the Marathas were initially successful through the bargiri method of indirect warfare, the astute use of forts by Shivaji, and the mobility of the soldiers. Later, however, Maratha military power degenerated, leading to the decline of the Marathas.
Shivaji conquered most of the Konkan between 1657 and 1663, and launched a programme of ship-building in 1659. Within a decade, he had a sizeable fleet, which was used in his engagements with the Portuguese, Siddis, and Basrur (south Kanara). The marine forts formed the basic element in the naval strategy of the Marathas. The fleet itself consisted of warships and merchantships. It grew in numbers and tonnage under the Angre family of Maratha navy commanders. With the fall of the Angres, the Maratha navy also declined.
The origin of Shivaji's Bhavani sword is shrouded in conflicting accounts -- legendary, literary, and historical. The search for the sword started in the early 19th century. The swords which have received serious consideration as the original Bhavani Talwar are the inscribed scimitar in the collection of Khan Bahadur Bomanji Pudumji of Pune, the sword inscribed "Shri Bhavani" in the Museum at Mhow, the Indian sword in Buckingham Palace, and the Bhavani sword in the collection of the royal family at Satara.
By the mid-18th century, the Maratha temple received increasing patronage, and eventually assumed a Maratha character. The article discusses the plan and architectural features of Maratha temple design, with notes on the 18th century temples in Maharashtra dedicated to Shiva, Rama, Khandoba, Vateshvar, Omkareshwar, Lakshmi-Narayana, Ganesha, and Parvati.
Palaces, mansions, and manors are a feature of the later Maratha period. The article discusses the concept, design, plan, and elevation of the wadas (spacious manors) of Maharashtra.
Discusses the architectural design and decorative features, including plans, of the main building and courtyard of some traditional Maratha wadas or residences of Maratha royalty and nobility.
Paithan, the ancient city of Pratishthan on the banks of the Godavari, was a flourishing centre of trade and commerce. The Paithan sahukars (merchants) brought living styles with them, resulting in evolved styles of secular architecture which contained elements from Hindu buildings of Gujarat and Rajasthan, and Muslim structures of the Mughals and Deccani Sultans. The article describes the characteristic architectural features of the wadas of the sahukars, and the mathas (Hindu temple monasteries) at Paithan.
Most of the mausoleums of Nagpur were constructed during the heyday of the Bhonsale dynasty. There are mausoleums dedicated to the memory of Raghuji I, founder of the Bhonsale House; Raja Bala (1816-17); Kashibai, wife of Raghuji II (1775-1816); and Raghuji III (1826-53). The temples of Nagpur show the prevalence of different temple-styles which filtered in: Orissan, Bengali, Maratha, and the Bhumija style of Malwa, Western India, and the Deccan. The Malhari-Martand temple complex at Hinganghat, built by a feudatory chief of Raghuji II, is profusely endowed with sculptures, both secular and religious.
Murals on the walls of palaces and temples in 18th-century Maharashtra were in the tradition of Ajanta, Ellora, and Gharapuri. Maratha society of the 18th century inherited a variety of paintings: illustrated horoscopes, patas, and wooden book-covers.
The Maratha miniature painting tradition started in c. 1750. It was patronized by Shivaji's grandson Shahu (1710-50) and Peshwa Bajirao. A distinct but short lived school emerged by 1760, with portraiture, court scenes, paintings of divinities, and erotic paintings. The miniatures were in a vigorous and bold style.
The Marathas inherited the mural tradition of the medieval or pre-Maratha period. Almost all surviving murals executed under Maratha patronage belong to the 18th century. Marathi literature of the 13th-18th centuries carries details of the technique and themes of these wall paintings.
Glass paintings became fashionable in Maharashtra in the 18th century. They belong to various categories: courtly, religious, and secular. The paintings are made on one side of the glass and framed with the unpainted side uppermost. Indian glass painting is highly ecclectic as well as robustly native, and consists of portraits, religious shrines, marriage mandapas, and pictures from everyday life.
Two varieties of Ganjifa cards were popular: the Dashavatari and Chang-Kanchana, of Hindu and Muslim affiliation, respectively. The game is mentioned in the Babarnama, Ain-i-Akbari, and the Shritatvanidhi, Kridakaushalya, and Ganjifa Khelna texts. In Maharashtra, cards were manufactured in Sawantwadi, and occasionally made of ivory.
The article describes and illustrates the traditional attire and ornaments of Maharashtrian women, men of Brahmin and other castes, "peasants", and the nobility.
The article provides the chronological succession of the Maratha rulers of Tanjavur (1675-1855), and discusses the contributions of this dynasty in the fields of architecture, painting, metalwork, and literary compositions on dance, drama, and music. The architecture is chiefly functional, such as fortifications and residential buildings. The Darbar Hall in the Tanjore Palace has mural paintings of the rulers, nobility, and deities. Besides murals, the Tanjavur rulers patronized illustrated manuscripts and paintings on ivory, glass, mica, and wood. The bronze images include icons and portrait figures of rulers, nobles, and a Maratha princess.
A glossary relating to Maratha culture.
A bibliography on Maratha culture, classified into subject references.