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The present work contains thirty-three articles of the authors on some unique, interesting and significant coins and sigils which throw flashes of light on various aspects of the history, culture, religion, art, economy, trade and commerce, science and technology of the people of India in different periods of its long history. It is for the first time that minuscule copper punch-marked coins from Vidisha have been brought to light which acquaint us of the local economy during the later half of the first millennium BCE. The uniface cast copper coins collected from eastern Malwa and Khandesh region establish relationship of the area with the Deccan which has yielded similar coins. Coins of the city-state of Hathodaka indicate the role the city-states played in the development of trade and commerce in the Narmada valley during the early centuries before the commencement of the Common Era. The silver and copper coins from Eran-Ujjayin» region indicate the continued use of the white metal and corroborate the popularity of Vaishªavism in central India evidenced earlier by the discovery of an elliptical temple plan and the Garu©a-dhvaja pillar inscription at Vidisha. The indigenous gold coin confirms the use of this valuable metal for indigenous coinage before the Kush¹ªas. Another coin takes back the antiquity of the auspicious Hindu mythological art-motif of cow suckling the calf to circa third-second century BCE. New Mitra and S¹tav¹hana coins add to our existing knowledge by bits while Kalachuri and inscribed Vishªukuª©in type coins betray the existence of the scions of these dynasties or their allies in central India. Indo-Sassanian, Param¹ra and Y¹dava type coins from the region reveal the political developments of the medieval period while a piece with erotic theme tells of the use of a hitherto unknown motif. The darb of Akbar betrays the erring human nature and a coin-die of the emperor confirms the existence of a mint-town. The tetra-lingual silver seal of Nabha bears evidence to the use and popularity of various languages in the Malwa region of Punjab and the secular outlook of its rulers. All the articles thus help us in our understanding of our history in a better way to enlighten our future course.
Devendra Handa is the recipient of Sir Mortimer Wheeler Prize, Maulana Azad and Archaeological Centenary Memorial medals (1964), Lowick Memorial Grant of the Royal Numismatic Society, London (1992 and 2007), Pandit Bhagwanlal Indraji Medal of the Indian Coin Society (2007) and Nelson Wright Medal of the Numismatic Society of India (2010). He was felicitated with Life-time Achievement Award by the NSI and Indian Coin Society in 2008 at Indore and has recently been honoured with Karmayogi Samman by the Haryana Institute of Fine Arts (2012). After his retirement from the Panjab University, Chandigarh he enjoyed Fellowship of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (2000-03), Senior Fellowship (Numismatics) of the Ministry of Culture, GOI, New Delhi (2003-05) and Senior Academic Fellowship of the ICHR, New Delhi (2009-11). He has authored Osian (Delhi, 1984), Studies in Indian Coins and Seals (Delhi, 1985), Jaina Bronzes from Hansi (New Delhi-Shimla, 2002), Buddhist Remains from Haryana (New Delhi, 2004), The Epic Pilgrimage – Pehowa (New Delhi, 2005), Early Indian Coins from Sugh (New Delhi, 2005), Sculptures from Haryana (2006) Tribal Coins of Ancient India (New Delhi, 2007), Coins and Temples (Mumbai, 2007), and Sculptures from Punjab (New Delhi, 2011).
Dr. Major M.K. Gupta, a medical practitioner by profession, served the Indian army during 1972-99. He is an avid collector and a collection of dated coins of each of the six hundred years from AH 818 earned him a place in the Limca Book of Records in 2004. He has a very vast collection not only of coins which range from the earliest to the present day ones but also of all sorts of antiques and curios which include 1500 seals and sealings from fourth to nineteenth century in Prakrit, Sanskrit, Hindi, Urdu, English and Panjabi languages written in Brahmi, Persian, Arabic, Roman, Devanagari and Gurumukhi scripts. A collection of about 120 coin-dies and nearly 600 images of Ganesh in various metals and stones are his proud possessions. He has been exhibiting his coins and other objects at various places and has won many awards including a gold medal of the Oriental Numismatic Society of London in International Coin Exhibition held at Nagpur in 1990. He has also contributed articles to various numismatic publications.
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The present work describes the material and moral progress which India had achieved during the paramount sovereignty of the Gupta emperors in the fourth and fifth centuries a.d. It traces the origin and rise of the ruling family to Srigupta (240-280 a.d.) and concludes with the reign of Kumaragupta III (543 a.d.). It discusses the spirit of the age and the various trends in the sphere of Religion, Economy, Society, Education, Administration, Art and Architecture. It seeks to bring together all the facts and data derivable from different sources--literary, epigraphic and numismatic, the accounts of foreign visitors, particularly of the Chinese pilgrim Fa-hien who has left a detached and valuable record of India`s civilization during the reign of Chandragupta II. Herein we get an accurate picture of India`s golden age, the growth of her various institutions, her activities of expansion, colonization and her intercourse with Indonesia, China and other countries. The work is divided into sixteen chapters. It has an index of proper names and an addenda on the hoard of new Imperial Gupta coins discovered at Bayana in Bharatpur. The work is very interesting and instructive and is designed to meet the requirements of the academic student of history and the general reader alike.
Preface to First Edition:
This work was written in the last days of my teaching at the Lucknow University and suggested by its needs. Its title indicates its scope and limits. It deals only with imperial Gupta history, and not with that of the later Guptas. It seeks to bring together in a concise and condensed form all the facts and data which are derivable from different sources, literary, epigraphic or numismatic, but are treated in separate specialized works. It will thus be found useful to both students and teachers of its subject, who will find in one handy volume all its materials collected and utilized. A special feature of the work is its account of the moral and material progress of the country achieved in the spacious times of the Gupta Emperors, and of the various institutions, social, economic, and administrative in which that progress was embodied. It gives a picture of India's civilization in some of her best days, the days of national freedom and planning, of the beginnings of her expansion, and intercourse with Indonesia and China. It is hoped that it will thus have a larger and more general appeal beyond the narrow circle of academic students of history. Another special feature of the work is its Illustrations, some of which, especially those of coins, are based on line-drawings to bring out more clearly their details which are somewhat obscure or defaced in the originals. The Illustrations will thus serve as useful aids to the study of the coins. Some of the line-drawings I owe to the distinguished Artists, Messrs. Nanda Lal Bose, Asit Kumar Haldar, and P. Neogy, to whom I am grateful. There have been at places repetitions of the same material where it had to be presented from different points of view, and in its various aspects. Such repetitions have not been ruled out.
The method of transliteration adopted in the work is shown in the following examples: Krishna, Vamsa, Lichchhavi.
The publication has been delayed by the prevailing difficulties of printing, and by my deputation by Government to an FAO Conference at Washington (U.S.A.) in October 1946.
I owe acknowledgements to my following pupils who helped me in copying out my MS for the press: Abinas Srivastava, M.A., M. C. Joshi, M.A., Dina Nath Tandon. M.A., and B. Subba Rao, M.A. My thanks are due to Mr. Raja Ram Jayasval, M.A., for the Index.
I am grateful to my friend, Dr, Benjamin Schwartz, Ph.D., of the Indic Section of the Library of Congress at Washington, D.C., U.S.A., for his kind help in correcting the final proofs of the work at Washington.
Preface to Second Edition:
It is gratifying to the Author to find that a work which is somewhat technical in its character with its necessary documentation, literary, epigraphic and numismatic, should call for a second edition in such a short time. Some necessary additions have been made on the basis of new numismatic material derived from the Bayana hoard of Imperial Gupta gold coins recently found in Bharatpur State.
The Author is greatly indebted to the line drawings and other suggestions made by Sri Sivaramamurti, M.A., Superintendent of Archaeology, Indian Museum, Calcutta, in the preparation of the addendum.
The Author records his deep sorrow at the sad and untimely death of his old pupil Sri Raja Ram Jayaswal, M.A., who prepared the Index which remains unchanged in the Second Edition.
Preface to Third Edition:
That a third edition of the work has been called for is gratifying to the author. My thanks are due to the Publishers for their readiness to meet the demand and for the improved get-up which will now make the book more attractive to its readers.
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This book mainly deals with the development of art in this region mainly under Traikutakas and also talks about the motivating factors behind such specific developments in art and architecture. There is an attempt made to assess the contribution of Traikutakas to this change and continuity as the ruling dynasty of the region.
Born on 22nd March 1977, Dr. Suraj A. Pandit is working as Assistant Professor and Head of the Department of Ancient Indian Culture and Archaeology at Sathaye College, Mumbai. He is also Chairperson of Board of Studies in Ancient Indian Culture and Archaeology, University of Mumbai as well as member of Academic Council, Faculty of Arts, Board of University Teaching and Research in the faculty of Arts, Research and Recognition Committee in Ancient Indian Culture and Archaeology in University of Mumbai.
His specialization is Indian Buddhism and Buddhist architecture and archaeology. He did his Doctoral thesis on 'Kanheri Caves', a group of caves in Mumbai representing Western Indian Buddhist Rock-Cut Architecture, under the guidance of Prof. A. P. Jamkhedkar. He had received the K. T. Telang Research Fellowship in Indology of Asiatic Society of Mumbai in the year 2006-07. He has been delivering lectures for various courses under Mumbai University as well as in Pune University. He has total 19 paper published on his name in International as well as National journals.
He was working a visiting faculty for Post Graduate courses in History in SNDT University while he is a recognized teacher of the University of Mumbai. He has been in teaching Under Graduate and Post Graduate students of University of Mumbai and SNDT University, Mumbai for last 12 years. He is actively involved in the creating awareness among masses about the preservation of Heritage and delivered numerous public lectures on different monuments and heritage of Mumbai.
He has worked as consultant for the Ajanta Site Management Plan and Sisupalgar Site Management Plan. He had organized various seminars and workshops on Indology, Epigraphy, Buddhism and Heritage Conservation.
Presently he is working as Coordinator on a 'Research Project' on critical Editing of Manuscript in the possession of Asiatic Society of Mumbai, funded by Government of India. He has completed several projects funded by ICHR and American Institute of Indian Studies in the field of Epigraphy and Art History.
Echoes of the Golden Age (Art of the early 6th Century CE under Traikutakas)