<== BACKWARD << through time >> FORWARD ==>
 


==Met Museum timeline: *South Asia, 1600-1800*
==Dozens of maps-- A great many interesting maps from this period are available: *Columbia Univ.*.
==the British East India Company gets a charter from Queen Elizabeth (1600) for trade with South and East Asia. In 1641 the East India Company sets up "factories" (=warehouses) at Madras. By now, has "globalization" begun? Discussion: *wikipedia*; *John Richards*; *Imperial Gazetteer*; *W. W. Hunter*.
==Mughal influence in Bengal (1600's) becomes more pervasive and complex. Political and religious loyalties to the Mughal empire are by now more thoroughly integrated into local cultural patterns. Akbar's policy of religious tolerance is carried out in practice as well as theory: consider Fr. Manrique's story of his servants and the charges of peacock-murder, in Chapter 7 of *Richard Eaton's book*.
==Jahangir (r.1605-27): On Akbar's death, his son Jahangir (whose mother is a Rajput princess, making him half-Rajput) takes the throne. After a rebellious youth, he settles down to a relatively quiet reign. In 1606 he marries the forceful Nur Jahan. She and her father Itimad ud-Daulah become major powers behind the throne; on her father's death, she builds him a magnificent tomb (*IGNCA*; *Berger*; *ANU*; *art and architecture*). Jahangir composes the "Jahangir Namah," a wonderful memoir in the family tradition, and has it illustrated by his superb court painters. He also oversees the (re)design and construction of Akbar's tomb at Sikandara (*IGNCA*; *Berger*; *ANU*; *DSAL*; *archnet*; *art and architecture*). Discussion: *Ikram Ch. 14*; *wikipedia*. (*Routes*)
==Sir Thomas Roe at the Mughal court (1615-19): Sent as ambassador by James I, he obtains (618) a "farman" from Prince Khurram (the future Shah Jahan), the governor of Gujarat, which gives "reasonable facilities for trade," but does not allow "a building to be bought or built as permanent residence." Jahangir sends a polite letter to James I: *Internet Sourcebook*. (*Routes*)
==Shah Jahan (r.1627-56): On Jahangir's death, his son Shah Jahan (whose mother is a Rajput princess, thus making him 3/4 Rajput) becomes the great architect of the dynasty; the Peacock Throne is his design. He doesn't quite conquer the Deccan, and he has even worse luck with his Central Asian plans; it can also be said that he does a poor job managing his four ambitious sons. But who can quarrel with his taste in art? Discussion: *islamic art*. Shah Jahan's picture album, the "Padshahnamah": *Univ. of Penn.*; another lovely album: *British Library*. Discussion: *Ikram Ch. 14*; *wikipedia*. (*Routes*)
==the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort: In 1631 Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan's beloved queen, dies giving birth to her fourteenth child. Shah Jahan, almost inconsolable, begins construction of her tomb, the Taj Mahal. Image sources: *IGNCA* (with discussion); *Berger*; *ANU*; *DSAL*; and everybody who ever went to Agra with a camera (*BBC*); try this *google search* and see for yourself. Overshadowed but equally magnificent is the Agra Fort nearby, which Shah Jahan expands far beyond Akbar's initial work: *IGNCA* (with discussion); *Berger*; *ANU*; *Phil G.*. General overview: *Havell on Agra*. (*Routes*)
==Fort Saint George is founded (1640): The future Madras, the first significant fortified position held by the English, has a strong mercantile and international flavor from the beginning. In 1653 it becomes a Presidency. Discussion: *Imperial Gazetteer*. (*Routes*)
==Sir Thomas Browne, in a thoughtful discussion of Pigmies (1646),  concludes that one must doubt the reliability of reports that there are Pigmies "about Ganges in Asia": *Univ. of Chicago*.
==Shahjahanabad, another Delhi: "In 1648 Shah Jahan moves his capital from Agra to Delhi and establishes a new fort called Shahjahanabad. This palace city, measuring 5 million square feet, contains royal apartments, harems, a secretariat, military barracks, a treasury, a mint, and housing for thousands of slaves, servants, and courtiers" (--Met). Images from *Berger*; *ANU*; from Archnet: *Jam'a Masjid*; *Red Fort*; *Divan-e 'Am*; *Khas Mahal*; *Naqqar Khanah*. (*Routes*)
==Dara Shikoh (1615-59), Shah Jahan's oldest and favorite son, is by temperament a mystic and scholar of mysticism. He translates fifty Upanishads into Persian, and not only studies with Sufis but also holds discussions with Hindus about Vedanta. His work "Majma' al-Bahrain" (Confluence of the Two Ocens) is of considerable intellectual interest (*AAS*). Unfortunately, he is not cut out to be a military tactician, nor is he a good judge of men; Bernier's account of his death: *Columbia Univ.*.
==Aurangzeb (r.1658-1707), third son of Shah Jahan, is victorious in the vicious four-way succession struggle. He seizes the throne and places his father under house arrest in Agra Fort until his death (1666); he executes all three of his brothers, including Dara Shikoh. He lives a personally austere life, and tries to rule in an orthodox Muslim way; this causes him many problems with taxation and in other areas. Still, he ends up with more Hindus among his officers than any of his predecessors had had. He spends the last twenty years of his life in the Deccan, trying vainly to defeat the Marathas once and for all. Discussion: *Ikram Ch. 15*; *wikipedia*. (*Routes*)
==Francois Bernier, a French physician with entree into the Mughal court (1656-68), provides a gripping eyewitness account (1671) of the whole succession struggle and many of the events surrounding it. In Bernier's opinion, despite Aurangzeb's cruelties to his brothers, he is "endowed with a versatile and rare genius" and is a "consummate statesman, and a great King." Bernier's work: *Columbia Univ.*
==Tavernier's travels: Jean-Baptiste Tavernier (1605-89), the best-known traveler of the century, publishes in 1676 his multivolume "Travels," a uniquely comprehensive and fascinating tour guide to late Mughal India, meant especially for those who might want to follow in his footsteps as a dealer in fabrics, rarities, and fine jewels. He is a friend and cordial rival of Bernier's, lacking his political subtlety but far more widely and vividly descriptive: *Columbia Univ.*
==Aurangzeb and "the communalization of history" (*Manas*): Aurangzeb has become a polarizing figure, and is used as a symbol of intolerance in many modern debates. What kind of common culture existed? See *Alam and Subramanyam* for an illustration. Did Muslim rulers convert Hindus to Islam by the sword? See Chapter 5 of *Richard Eaton's book* for an overview of this and other theories. Did Muslim rulers destroy thousands of Hindu temples? See Eaton's two thoroughly researched articles on the subject: *one*; *two*. Was there a pre-Islamic Hindu "golden age"? Here's a thoughtful analysis by Sanjay Subramanyam: *Outlook* or *CU*. Aurangzeb becomes the hero of *a tragedy by Dryden*, and father of the imaginary princess *Lalla Rookh*.
==Sarmad, a convert to Sufism from an Armenian Jewish family in Iran, arrives in Sind around 1631 and soon becomes (in)famous for his passionate love of a Hindu boy named Abhay Chand; he wanders naked in the streets, reciting Persian poetry. A defender of Dara Shikoh's, he is executed by Aurangzeb around 1661/2. Discussion: *crda* (and some of his *quatrains*).
==Shivaji and the Marathas: Shivaji (c.1627-80), leader of a Maratha clan, is such a capable and effective warrior and guerrilla raider that he and his family and clan come to pose a serious, ongoing threat to Mughal power. For much of the eighteenth century the Maratha Confederacy remains an important military/political presence in both North and South India, until finally defeated by the British (*MSSU*). Discussion: *Manas*; *Imperial Gazetteer*. Shivaji's early raids are described by Bernier: *Columbia Univ.*. Nowadays Shivaji's name is often exploited politically: *Dilip Chitre*; *Piyush Mathur*.  (*Routes*)
==Rajasthani painting develops (c.1660) Aurangzeb's austerity causes his court musicians and many of his painters to seek new patronage opportunities at Rajasthani courts like Udaipur; a new Rajput school of painting also emerges at Basohli in the Punjab Hills. The fall of Bijapur in 1686 (and Golconda the following year) to Aurangzeb, and the travels of his Rajput generals, cause another wave of artistic influences to reach outlying courts.
==Goddess worship and tantra become more widespread as religious movements; their increasing prevalence is reflected in painting as well (*Sackler*). Tantra in particular has a long but marginalized history (*G. Thursby*). There are also tantric movements in Jainism and Buddhism; and goddess worship remains widely popular today (*Philip Lutgendorf*). (*Routes*)
==the French (in Pondicherry, 1673-1954): The French too acquire a colonial presence that lasts for several centuries. They provide a particularly fine array of maps and views of the early colonial port towns and fortresses. More information: *Imperial Gazetteer*. (*Routes*)
==Guru Gobind Singh and a new framework for Sikhism (16751708): The tenth and last Guru, Gobind Singh, becomes embroiled in a political conflict with Aurangzeb, and reorganizes the Sikh community (*SGPC*). Members of the "Khalsa" (Pure) are to give up their caste names, with men using "Singh" (Lion) and women "Kaur" (Princess). Male Sikhs are never to go without the five kakkars ("k" items): kangah (wooden comb), kirpan (dagger), kara (steel bracelet), kachch (shorts), and kesh (uncut hair). Guru Gobind Singh also compiles the Guru Granth Sahib (*sacred texts*), the Sikh scripture, which will be the Guru after his death.
==Calcutta is founded by Job Charnock in 1690, as the *Imperial Gazetteer* confidently asserts. Or maybe not, as the *Tribune India* firmly reports. Anyway, Job Charnock is wandering around there at that time, doing something. He's buried there, too. (*Routes*)



 
<== BACKWARD << through time >> FORWARD ==>
== INDIAN ROUTES index == sitemap == Glossary == FWP's main page ==