Somanatha, the many voices of a history
In 1026, Mahmud of Ghazni raided the temple of Somanatha. The history of this raid and subsequent events at the site have been reconstructed in the last couple of centuries largely on the basis of the Turko-Persian sources. There were other sources that also refer to events at Somanatha throughout a period of almost a thousand years, but these have rarely been quoted when reconstructing this history. Until very recent times, there were few attempts to either juxtapose or integrate these other texts in order to arrive at a more complete understanding of the history of Somanatha. Such sources include local Sanskrit inscriptions, biographies of kings and merchants written from a Jaina perspective, epics of Rajput-Turkish relations composed at various Rajput courts, popular narratives of the activities of pirs and gurus, all of which, in some way, have a bearing on the history of Somanatha. This book is an attempt to draw together these many voices, to view the sources comparatively, but above all to place each narrative in a historical context. This also involves exploring why a particular, and often distinctive, perspective was adopted by each. It suggests a different history of Somanatha from the one that has been projected through the last two centuries. It underlines the significance of examining the historical perceptions of how authors present events, both in the narratives written in the past and in the interpretations of past events in present times.
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The TurkoPersian Narratives
Sanskrit Inscriptions from Somanatha
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al-Din Arab Asia associated attack attempt Bhadreshvar Bhava Brihaspati Bohras brahmans Brihaspati Buddhist centre Chaulukya king chronicles claim colonial communities conquest context converted court culture deity desecrated destroyed destruction earlier elite epics event evidence Ferishta gates Ghazi Miyan Gujarat Haji Hemachandra Hindus and Muslims historians historiography icon iconoclasm identities idol Indian history Islam Isma'ili Jaina Jaina merchants Jaina temples Jaina texts Kaliyuga Kanhadade Kathiawar Khalji Kumarapala later lingam loot Mahmud of Ghazni Mahmud's raid Malwa Manat memory mentioned mosque Mularaja Munshi Muslim Muslim rule narratives Nazim Nur-ud-din op.cit patronage patrons period Persian pilgrimage pilgrims plunder political popular Prabhasa Prakrit raid of Mahmud raid on Somanatha raja Rajput reference religion religious renovation rulers Sanskrit Sanskrit Inscriptions Saurashtra sects Shaiva Shaivism shrine social society Somanatha temple sources story Sufi Sultan temple at Somanatha trade tradition Tripurantaka Turkish Turko-Persian Turks Veraval wealth western India worship Yavanas