New Book Release

Walter Slaje, Kingship in Kaśmīr ( AD 1148‒1459). From the Pen of Jonarāja, Court Paṇḍit to Sulṭān Zayn al-‛Ābidīn.

Critically Edited with an Annotated Translation, Indexes and Maps. [Studia Indologica Universitatis Halensis. 7].

Halle: Universitätsverlag Halle-Wittenberg 2014. pp. 330, 2 Maps. ISBN 978-3-86977-88-8


Commissioned by Sulṭān Zayn al-‘Ābidīn to carry on Kalhaṇa’s Rājataraṅgiṇī, Paṇḍit Jonarāja was the first to compose another Rājataraṅgiṇī in continuation. Jonarāja’s work covers the period of Hindu rule in Kaśmīr from AD 1148 until its decline in AD 1339 (Koṭā Devī) and the transition to Islamic sovereignty exercised by the Šāh Mīr dynasty. His account, couched in poetical language, breaks off in AD 1459, the year of his death. The latter half of Jonarāja’s chronicle focuses on the three Sulṭāns of Kaśmīr, Sikandar Šāh and his sons ‘Alī Šāh and Zayn al-‘Ābidīn, whose lives he had recorded for the most part as an eyewitness. The causes and circumstances accompanying the Islamization of the valley from AD 1339 onward are accordingly depicted in a comparatively detailed manner. The present critical edition of Jonarāja was prepared mainly from Śāradā manuscripts, which have only recently emerged, and from the pool of variant readings reported by Srikanth Kaul (1967). It comprises all additional and substitutional stanzas of Pseudo-Jonarāja and is accompanied by an annotated translation that also includes a rendering of Pseudo-Jonarāja’s text, translated here for the first time.The book comes with a Rājataraṅgiṇī research bibliography, comprehensive indexes of contemporary personal names and toponyms along with their geographic coordinates. An image of Sulṭān Zayn’s founding stone of his artificial island (Laṅkā) in the Volur Lake and four maps with historical sites of central importance to events and personalities as portrayed by Jonarāja conclude the volume.

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Author: Mrinal Kaul

I am a Kashmirian Orientalist

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