Episode 13: History of South India from 1100-1400 AD


13th Episode of the History Podcast.  Shrikanth, Mukunda and Gaurav speak to Maneesh on all things South India from 1100-1400 AD.

The dynasties that ruled, the zeitgeist of the era and the legacy that thrives.




Sources and References:

1. A History of South India – K.A Nilakantha Sastri
2. Essay on Vedanta Deshika – Elisa Freschi : https://iep.utm.edu/venkatan/
3. Tarikh-i-Firuz Shahi – Ziauddin Barani (an early history of Delhi Sultanate)
4. Tarikh-i-Farishta – Mohammad Qasim Farishta
6. A Forgotten Empire : Vijayanagar – By Robert Sewell
7. Futuh-us-Salatin by Abdul-Malik Isamy
8. Tiruvendipuram inscription of Rajaraja III – https://archive.org/details/epigraphiaindica014351mbp/page/n199/mode/2up
9. Travels of Marco Polo – Marco Polo
10. Travels of Ibn Batutah – Ibn Batutah (1325 – 1354)
11. Philosophy of Madhvacharya – BNK Sharma – https://archive.org/details/Philosophy.of.Sri.Madhvacarya



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V C Vijayaraghavan
V C Vijayaraghavan
1 year ago

Going thro’ the talk and the books consulted/referred, it looks like lot of new research on south Indian history especially what were the ingredients of state formation and social stability has been overlooked. These authors see south Indian social history having two pillars Brahman-Vellala co-operation. Vellalas are the agricultural castes. By 5th c when the south indian agricultural society took shape with new settlements along riverine plains. Brahmins were given village donations and their settlements were called Brahmadeyas. The identity of the south Indian society consisted of Brahmdeyas, ethno-territories called Nadus and the castes were divided as Left hand and Right hand castes. Major polities like Cholas or Chalukyas rose but it was not unitary state with a bureaucracy, more diffuse powers . It also incorporated the idea of sacral kingship.

Karashima did lot of statistical analysis of inscriptions of land grants and holdings. BTW, medieval south Indian society recorded lot of things in inscriptions of stone and copper, so we know exactly lot of details of land holdings, names of people who were witnesses. Usually the iscriptions had an introduction section called Prasasti in Sasnkrit which detailed which regnal year of which king, which Nadu/Sabha/Ur etc.

Inscriptions are quite extensive; for example the Great Temple i.e. Brihadeeswara temple in Thanjavur has inscriptions going over many centuries. It has all the Bharathanatyam poses carved, names of Devadasis i.e. women dedicated to the service of the temple and their address also in Tanjore.

The system of Brahmin-Vellala cooperation lasted till Vijayanagara empire which it underpinned. By 18th/19th Centuries it disintegrated. The rise of Non-brahmin movement in the south India for the last 150 years may be attributed to the collapse of medieval SI social model .

A great example of how the society was run in medieval times is the Uttaramerur inscription of 13th C found in a temple in Uttiramerur as to the mechanics of Sabha it’s way of election and other rules


Important authors

1 year ago

The part about Shudra communities getting their own privileges for their deities in temples (around 1:03:00) sounds like what happened is brahmins were called by the kings in the south to integrate the people into a common religion. and in exchange for bringing their deities into a common tradition, they retained certain access to its worship as a balance for being a part of a growing movement.

1 year ago
Reply to  DaThang

Later there is a discussion of dharma. It sounds like the newer notion of dharma is subjective duties contingent on the behaviour of the subject’s own group.

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