This book presents a set of new and innovative essays on landscape and garden culture in precolonial India, with a special focus on the Deccan. Most research to date has concentrated on the comparatively well preserved gardens and built landscapes of the celebrated Mughal empire, giving the impression that they have been lacking in other times and regions. Not only does this volume provide a corrective to such assumptions, it also moves away from traditional art-historical approaches by posing new questions and exploring hitherto neglected source materials.
The contributors understand gardens in two related ways: first as real or imagined spaces and manipulated landscapes that are often invested with pronounced semiotic density; and second as congeries of institutions and practices with far-reaching social ramifications for the constitution of elite societies. The essays here present a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of garden culture in precolonial India, and together suggest several new and exciting directions of enquiry for those working in the Deccan, Mughal India, and beyond.
Table of Contents
Foreword Monica Juneja. Contents. Glossary. List of Plates. Acknowledgements. Introduction Daud Ali & Emma J. Flatt 1. The Use of Garden Imagery in Early Indian Buddhism Akira Shimada 2. Botanical Technology and Garden Culture in Somesvara's Manasollasa Daud Ali 3. Nature, Dams, Wells and Gardens: The Route of Water in and around Bidar Klaus Rotzer & Pushkar Sohoni 4. Paradise on Earth: The Deccan Sultanates Ronald Inden 5. In Amin Khan's Garden: Charitable Gardens in Qutb Shahi Andhra Phillip B. Wagoner 6. The Use of Imaginary Landscapes in Paintings from Bijapur Deborah Hutton 7. Reading Gardens in Deccani Court Poetry: A Reappraisal of Nusrati's Gulshan-i Ishq Ali Akbar Husain 8. The Nizamshahi Persianate Garden in Zuhuri's Saqinama Sunil Sharma 9. Heavenly Gardens: Astrology and Magic in the Garden Culture of the Medieval Deccan Emma J. Flatt. About the Editors. About the Contributors. Index
Daud Ali is Associate Professor, Department of South Asian Studies, University of Pennsylvania.
Emma J. Flatt is Assistant Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.