Episode 21: South India Post Vijayanagar Empire till 1857


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Shrikanth talks to Maneesh about the History of South India post Vijayanagar kingdom till the year 1857.  He talks about the varies polities, their interactions and the Europeans among other facets that shaped the history of Deccan.

He wraps up the episode with the socio-cultural legacy of this period.


Sources and References:

1. History of the Nayaks of Madura : R Sathianatha Aiyar
2. The Nayaks of Tanjore : V. Vriddhagirisan
3. Textures of time : Writing history in South India – 1600-1800 – Sanjay Subramaniam, Velchuru Narayana Rao, David Shulman
4. Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan : Lewin Bowring
5. Symbols of Substance : Court and State in Nayaka Period Tamil Nadu – Sanjay Subramaniam, Velchuru Narayana Rao, David Shulman
6. Thomas Munro : The Origins of the Colonial State and His Vision of Empire – Burton Stein
7. Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not? Global Economic Divergence, 1600–1850 – Prasannan Parthasarathi

8. India, Modernity and the Great Divergence: Mysore and Gujarat 17th to 19th c – Kaveh Yazdani

9. History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India – Abhijit Banerjee and Lakshmi Iyer


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1 year ago

Listened to this podcast. Glad to see post Vijayanagara history covered here. However, there were some glaring omissions on which I would like to bring to your notice.
The role of Kingdom of Kochi & Nayakas of Keladi-Ikkeri have been completely omitted from the narrative.
Travancore never stretched till Malabar as the Kochi State occupied the intermediate region. Furthermore, language was not a hurdle for contact with the west. There was a good deal of knowledge & cultural exchange that took place during this period. Jesuits were deeply entrenched in the court of Kochi by 17th century and were well versed in Malayalam. In fact, they had brought out Malayalam-Portuguese dictionary in late 16th century itself and had set up a printing press in Varapuzha. This in addition to shipping a lot of manuscripts and translated texts back to Europe.
The libraries in Vatican and other parts of Italy, contain several Sanskrit, Tamil and Malayalam texts mainly sourced or translated by Jesuits. One can notice Ramayana, Mahabharata, Arthashastra and several manuscripts on topics of various Sciences. (Please see the book references listed at the end of my comments where you can find this info)
In another specific example, Hendrik van Rheede, the Dutch Governor of Kochi, wrote a treatise Hortus Malabaricus, which could perhaps be the earliest treatise on the tropical plants. He acknowledges the extensive help provided by one Itty Achuthan and 3 Konkani Brahmins of Kochi – Ranga Bhatta, Vinayaka Pandita & Appu Bhatta as they helped him translating manuscripts in compiling his book.
Now coming to Keladi-Ikkeri Nayakas, a dynasty which roughly ruled roughly 1/3rd of Karnataka and during its height was larger than Mysore finds no mention which is a bit odd.
Holding on to a territory stretching from Nileshwaram in north Malabar to Hangal in North Karnataka, managing to contain Bijapur & inflicting crushing defeats on the Portuguese on four different occasions was by no means an easy task.
Moreover, their rule gave birth to a unique style of architecture, known as Keladi architecture which no other Nayakas can boast off.
I see the disproportionate role the Mutts play in Karnataka politics as a result of the Keladi patronage to Mutts. Udupu, Sringeri and several Lingayat Mutts generously received their donations and patronage.
Would suggest below books, some of whom are the same authors referenced in this podcast.
1. The Nayakas of Ikkeri by KD Swaminathan
2. The Political Economy of Commerce: Southern India 1500-1650 – Sanjay Subrahmanyam
3. South Kanara by N. Sham Bhat
4. Kerala Mathematics: History and Its Possible Transmission to Europe by George Gheverghese Joseph (this contains several papers by scholars from both India and Europe)

1 year ago

Thanks for the comment! Yes, we could’ve definitely covered the Nayakas of Ikkeri. A miss from my end

And yes, it appears I was wrong about Travancore influence extending upto Malabar

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