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==Met Museum timeline: *South Asia, 1400-1600*
==The Delhi Sultanate in decline: After the weak Sayyids (r.1414-48) virtually lose interest in ruling, the Lodhis (r.1451-1526) try their best to pull it together-- but fate is against them, and Babur is waiting in the wings. (*Routes*)
==Mandu (1405-34): After Timur's sack of Delhi in 1398, the Delhi Sultanate governor of Malwa declares his independence in 1401. After his death his son, Hoshang Shah (1405-34), shifts the capital to Mandu, and creates there some of the triumphs of Sultanate-period architecture. Discussion: *Imperial Gazetteer 2:185*; *India Nest*. Images: *architectural views*; also *Berger*: scroll down in the left-hand frame to "Madhya Pradesh" and "Mandu" (one set for each of seven buildings). (*Routes*)
==Ahmedabad too acquires some magnificent architecture, as the decline of the Delhi Sultanate makes it possible for Gujarat and other regional kingdoms, like that of the Sharqis in Jaunpur, to develop. Discussion and images: a good *overview site*. (*Routes*)
==Jodhpur and other Rajput forts (c.1459): "Rao Jodha, the maharaja of Marwar, founds Jodhpur. He builds a large hill fort and sets the pattern for Rajput states" (--Met). Like most such Rajput hill fortresses, this one was added to for the next several centuries, so that the buildings in it are of markedly different periods. Many other medieval Rajasthani forts, some gorgeous: *Berger* (scroll down in the left-hand frame to "Rajasthan"). Discussion: *art and archaeology*; *India Nest*. On the Rajputs: *Imperial Gazetteer*. (*Routes*)
==the Muslim world has adjusted to the new Mongol dynasties-- geographically and politically speaking, at least. By the 1480's, the Ottoman Empire is starting to take shape (*Univ. of Texas*). And it has its own magnificent art (*Met*).
==the Bhakti movement sweeps the north: During this century and the next, the bhakti movement comes into full flower in the whole of the north (*Sources of Indian Tradition*). Its cultural, literary, and artistic effects are incalculable, and continue into the present. (*Routes*)
==Kabir (1440?-1518?), the consummate poet of "nirgun bhakti" (worship of a God without form or features), is traditionally placed in this century. He is identified as a weaver by trade, and is famous for rejecting both formal Hinduism and formal Islam, and for seeking in his rough, colloquial poetry a path outside or beyond them. Poems attributed to him exist in a variety of dialectical forms; some are included in the Guru Granth Sahib. Kabir sources: *Columbia Univ.*. (*Routes*)
==Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of Sikhism, is also a great devotee of a "nirgun" God, and seeks a religious path that avoids the formal structures of both Islam and Hinduism. Shortly before the end of the century he attains full realization of the path he is to take, and begins to teach and to acquire followers. His poems, often sung, are the heart of the later Guru Granth Sahib. More on him and on Sikhism: *Sources of Indian Tradition*.
==Surdas and Krishna-bhakti (1479?-1581?). Another famous bhakti saint-poet traditionally placed in this century, Surdas is a preeminent practitioner of "sagun bhakti," the worship of a God with form and qualities. In his case, his preferred form of God is the child Krishna; his poems are greatly loved, and new ones are constantly attributed to him. Thus his collected work, the Sursagar, grows bigger with every edition. Many verses of his appear in the Guru Granth Sahib (for example, *sacred texts*, parts 12-15). (*Routes*)
==Chaitanya and Bengali Vaishnavism: The distinctively Bengali "Gaudiya sampraday" school of Krishna-bhakti takes shape under the influence of Shri Krishna Chaitanya (1486?-1534?) (*John Beames*), thought by his followers to be an incarnation of Krishna himself. Chaitanya incorporates the verses of Jayadeva (*Black Peacock*), and of his own slightly earlier Bengali contemporaries Chandidas (1417?-78?) (*sacred-texts*) and Bidyapati (1433?-81?) (*John Beames*), into a theology based on rapt contemplation of the love of Radha and Krishna (*British Museum*).
==the Hatha-yoga-pradipika (1400's) by Svatmarama: an influential handbook about a traditional meditative body-and-mind discipline, composed by an author about whom little is known. Available in a translation by *Brian Dana Akers*. A modern discussion of the discipline: *hatha yoga*. A good academic overview: *Theory And Practice of Yoga (2005)*.
==the Bahmanids break apart (c.1490 on): The governors of the four provinces of the Bahmanid sultanate in the Deccan break away, resulting in the formation of five smaller Deccani sultanates: *Ahmadnagar*, *Berar*, *Bidar* (their former capital city), *Bijapur*, and *Golconda*. The rulers of Bijapur, in particular, become great patrons of the arts: *Met*. Discussion: *Ikram Ch. 6*.  (*Routes*)
==Vasco da Gama arrives (1498) in Calicut, on the Malabar Coast: from then on, the Portuguese begin to visit the western coast of India, and gradually manage to establish trading posts and forts at Goa and elsewhere. Vasco da Gama himself (*British Library*; *Maritime Museum*; *Univ. of Michigan*) offers his own account of his first journey to India: *Internet Sourcebook*. A more detailed report: *Hernan Lopez de Castaneda*. (*Routes*)

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