Kingdom of Mewar: Great Struggles and Glory of the World’s Oldest Ruling Dynasty
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Short DescriptionsSupported by beautiful illustrations, the study reconstructs the glorious history of the Rajput house of Mewar, perhaps the world’s oldest ruling family. It recounts its heroic battlefield engagements and examines its artistic and literary achievements.
A Premier princely state of Rajsthan, the erstwhile Rajputana (northwest India), till its merger into the Union territory in 1948, Mewar has been celebrated in history and legend. In this far-famed region are best represented not only the Rajput chivalry and high sense of honour, but also their arts, architecture, and fabulous cultural traditions. Developed from the author’s four-year long intensive research, the book tries to reconstruct the unparalleled, glorious history of (perhaps) the world’s oldest ruling family: the house of Mewar — now called the ‘clan of Sisodias’, in earliest times ‘Guhilots’. Tracing chronologically the entire course of events since their first known ancestor, Guhil (ad 566), Irmgard Meininger here unfolds a compelling story of brave Rajput men and women, with an exaggerated sense of honour, pride and independence — the story of their triumphs and tragedies, and simultaneously of palace intrigues and rivalries, and of supreme sacrifies and treacheries. And yet, in the main, it is an exciting story of Mewar’s heroic resistance: first to Afghan/Arab adventures and Delhi Sultans and, in the later days, to the Mughal imperialists. Weaving into her narrative the legendary episodes around Maharani Padmini’s fabulous beauty, the dread rite jauhar, Panna Dai’s unique loyalty, and Princess Mira’s bhakti, among others, the author also attempts to show how Mewar has been the repository not only of old Hindu traditions, but of the enchanting Rajput culture as well, and how Rajputs, notwithstanding their endless engagements in the battlefield, were great patrons of art, architecture, literature and music. Supported by numerous beautiful illustrations, bibliographic references and a glossary of non-English words, the book will fascinate anyone interested in India, particularly Rajasthan: whether as an inquisitive reader, tourist, hostorian, or a connoisseur of art.