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Swords And Chandeliers

The Bahmanis, Vijayanagara, Shivaji...a fine history of the Deccan bristles with cruel and grand potentates, frustrated Mughals and snooty Persians

Swords And Chandeliers
Swords And Chandeliers
outlookindia.com
2018-08-31T11:14:41+05:30

This is a fascinating book, with delectable minutiae in practically every page. Unlike the usual turgid tomes we encounter when we go in search of aut­horitative books, Manu Pillai’s volume tells us, succinctly but with sufficient wei­ght, the turbulent history of 500 years of the Deccan—from the events leading to the founding of the Bahmani kingdom to the ascent of the Marathas, who nagged Aura­ngzeb until he died a disappointed and bitter man.

The Sultans, both Muslim and Hindu, were at once magnificent and bloodthir­sty—killing thousands without comp­un­ction and destroying cities and places of worship that took decades to reach eminence in a few terrible days of loot and arson. At the same time, they have left beautiful monuments and rare works of art. The cities of Bijapur, Hyd­e­rabad, Aurangabad and the ruined wonder of Hampi are their creations.  

The Sangamas of Vijayanagar called themselves Hinduraya Suratrana, Sul­tan among Hindu kings. Krishna Deva Raya, the most famous of them, “gave...

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