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==Images and maps: Links to a great many miniature paintings, etc. from the period: *Columbia Univ.*. Links to period maps from Columbia: *1700-50* and *1750-1800*.
==After Aurangzeb: Aurangzeb dies in 1707, still in the Deccan, vainly pursuing the Marathas. After a series of chaotic succession struggles, Muhammad Shah (1719-48) has a long and increasingly ineffectual reign. The Mughal throne gradually becomes a source of symbolic legitimacy, rather than a real force in military and political affairs. Discussion: *Ikram Ch. 19*. Its power becomes limited first to the area of Delhi, then to the city itself; the *Imperial Gazetteer* has a great deal to say about the history of Delhi. (*Routes*)
==Local rulers and trade networks thrive:  As Mughal power wanes, local rulers seek to cut their own deals, and Europeans are eager to get a foothold. The result is a lively and complex commercial network that includes bazaars, piracy, raids for loot, military actions, missionary efforts, and even the sponsorship of religious festivals. Although there's plenty going on in Bihar (*Anand A. Yang*) and Bengal, the liveliest action centers on the ports of the Malabar and Coromandel Coasts. (*Routes*)
==Bernard Picart (1673-1733), a French engraver, produces the nine-volume "Religious Ceremonies and Customs of All the Peoples of the World" (1722, 1728), which becomes widely influential throughout Europe; his is just one of a number of such collections of cultural knowledge. (*Routes*)
==Punjabi poetry makes itself felt: Bullhe Shah (1680-1758) is, like Kabir, claimed by both Hindus and Muslims and loved for his swingy folk poetry (*the south asian*); Waris Shah (1719-90) creates the most famous retelling of the mystical folk romance "Hir Ranjha" (*Usborne translation, 1874*; *musical performances*). Waris Shah also has his own movie, and the lovers Hir and Ranjha have no fewer than three films to their credit.
==the Navabs of Avadh (1720-1856): By refusing a transfer to Malwa in 1727, Mughal governor Burhan ul-Mulk, now Saadat Khan (r.1720-39), politely establishes his independent power base. As the first of nine Nawabs of Avadh, he helps pacify this rich but fractious province in the Gangetic heartland; under the Navabs, Lucknow and its Shi'a aristocracy (*J. R. I. Cole*) patronize a distinctive local culture. The British seize the state in 1856; the *Imperial Gazetteer* has a good deal to say about its history. (*Routes*)
==Mir and the Urdu ghazal: Mir Muhammad Taqi "Mir" (1723-1810) becomes one of the first creators--and one of the two great masters--of the preeminent romantic and mystical genre of lyric poetry in Urdu, the ghazal. Emerging from Persian ghazal, Urdu ghazal begins at a high level of sophistication, and remains there until the post-1857 end of the elite Indo-Muslim cultural world (which includes many Hindus) that provides its chief patrons. Discussion: *F. W. Pritchett*. Mir spends his later years in Lucknow after the repeated sacking of Delhi (*Rosie Llewellyn-Jones*). On Mir's ghazals: *A Garden of Kashmir*.
==the Nizams of Hyderabad claim their independence (1724): Asaf Jah Nizam al-Mulk, a Mughal governor of the Deccan, quietly implements the independence of Hyderabad. The seven Nizams of Hyderabad rule India's largest princely state, covering most of the Deccan, until 1948; though over time they are increasingly under British tutelage. On Hyderabad: *Imperial Gazetteer*; also *My Life: being the Autobiography of Nawab Server-ul-Mulk Bahadur* . (*Routes*)
==Jaipur and the Jantar Mantars (c.1725): Raja Savai Jai Singh (*wiki*), an important Mughal officer, not only founds the city of Jaipur (*wiki*), with its beautiful fort and palace, but soon equips it with a remarkable astronomical observatory, the Jantar Mantar (*jantarmantar*) based on that of Ulugh Beg in Samarqand (1420) on the *silk road*. He builds a similar observatory in Delhi as well, and smaller ones elsewhere. Images of the Delhi one: *Berger*. Images of the Jaipur one: *google image search*. Discussion: *art and architecture*; *C. Hartley*. On the history of Jaipur state: *Imperial Gazetteer*. (*Routes*)
==Baji Rao sacks the Delhi suburbs (1738): Under their new Peshwa, Baji Rao I (1700-40) (*wiki*), the Maratha armies make a lightning raid on Delhi. They reach, and loot, the surrounding suburbs (including Talkatora) before retreating with equal speed. Mughal forces under Saadat Khan and others are caught off guard and can't react in time. On the crucial Maratha prince and power-broker Madhav Rao Sindhia (1730-94): *wiki*; *H. G. Keene, 1891*
==Nadir Shah sacks Delhi (1739): The Iranian ruler Nadir Shah (*encyclopedia*; *wiki*) invades India and sacks Delhi, taking back with him the Peacock Throne (*wiki*), the *Koh-i Nur* diamond, and 300 artisans. The weakness of the Mughals is by now clear to everybody.
==Ahmad Shah Abdali sacks Delhi repeatedly in a series of raids (1748-61) (*wiki*). He begins as one of Nadir Shah's officers, and after Nadir Shah's death he becomes an Afghan tribal ruler in his own right and decides to continue this highly profitable activity. Although he doesn't get such astonishing loot, he makes a number of raids, so that during the middle part of the century Delhi is never secure, and never really has time to recover. Finally, he allies himself with Mughal nobles to defeat the Marathas in the *battle of Panipat, 1761*; *his tomb*
== Clive and the Battle of Plassey (1757): The battle (*wiki*) is, militarily speaking, nothing much: the East India Company's forces under Robert Clive, buoyed by earlier victories in Arcot and elsewhere, defeat Nawab Siraj ad-Daula in a brief skirmish decided not by force of arms but by a prearranged deal, as Clive himself reports: *Internet Sourcebook*. But this foothold opens the way to the battle of Buxar (1764) and the Company's assumption of the revenue collection (and governance) for the whole huge province of Bengal (1772). On this period: *Imperial Gazetteer*; on the whole colonial history of Bengal: *Imperial Gazetteer*. On Clive's career: *Macaulay*. Further discussion: *Sources of Indian Traditions*. (*Routes*)
==Dean Mahomed (1759-1851), the first South Asian Muslim to record his own life story in English, emerges as a remarkable character whose life spans the cultural divide between North India (where he fights enthusiastically with the Company's army) and England (where he later becomes a sort of massage-physician). For the full story, see Michael Fisher's edition of Dean Mahomed's letters: *Univ. of California Press*.
==The first Resident in Avadh (1772): The Company sends to the court of Navab Shuja ud-Daulah of Avadh (*wiki*) a "Resident" to represent its interests. After the Navab's major defeat in the battle of Buxar, he is unable to refuse. The British East India Company now begins to surround and encapsulate the "native states" (*wiki*).
==Col. Polier and his letters (1773-79): Col. Antoine Louis Henri Polier (1741-95) is one of a number of Europeans, especially Frenchmen, serving at the court of Navab Shuja ud-Daulah and living very Lakhnavi lives. His Persian letters to his two wives and many business associates form a unique source of cultural information. Discussion: *Peter Marshall*. (*Routes*)
==Claude Martin and his schools: Another Frenchman in Lucknow, Claude Martin (1735-1800), is such a successful wheeler-dealer that he becomes the second richest man in the city (after the Navab). When he dies, he leaves his extravagant mansion and huge fortune for the founding of schools in Lucknow, Calcutta, and Lyons, France. Discussion: *Rukun Advani*. More on the Lucknow school, La Martiniere: *Rosie Llewellyn-Jones*. (*Routes*)
==Sir William Jones (1746-94), a brilliant polymath and admirer of the American independence movement, founds the Asiatic Society of Bengal (1784); works as a judge in Calcutta; writes extensively about India; first recognizes the linguistic sisterhood among Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit; and translates, along with legal and historical texts, both Persian ghazals by Hafiz, and Kalidasa's masterpiece "Shakuntala." Sources on his work: *Columbia Univ.*. (*Routes*)
==Ghulam Qadir sacks Delhi (1787-88): The Afghan chieftain invades Delhi and is driven out, then returns the next year with more success; among many other cruelties, he blinds the hapless Mughal emperor Shah Alam II. The Marathas hunt him down and kill him, and then find it expedient to restore the blinded Shah Alam II to the throne.
==Tipu Sultan of Mysore (r.1782-99): Tipu Sultan (1750?-99), following in the footsteps of his capable father Haidar Ali, makes energetic and creative efforts to drive out the British (*Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan*); he seeks with some (but not enough) success, to enlist the French as allies in this campaign. His neighbors, victims of his territorial conquests, help the British defeat him. About his life and times: *BBC Gallery*. (*Routes*)
==James Achilles Kirkpatrick (1764-1805), British Resident at the court of the Nizam of Hyderabad, contrives to marry Begam Khair un-Nisa, a lady closely connected to the court, and converts to Islam in the process--all this in the midst of the conflict with Tipu Sultan (1799-1800). He and other such "white Mughals" are the subject of a fascinating and carefully researched account by *William Dalrymple*.
==Francois Balthasar Solvyns, a Belgian, comes to Calcutta in 1790, hoping to succeed as a coach-painter. Instead, over the next fourteen years he creates a remarkable body of over 600 colored etchings "descriptive of the Manners, Customs and Dresses of the Hindoos" of Calcutta. Thanks to the *Univ. of Texas*, these are now available online. (*Routes*)



 
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