Maratha Empire The term “Maratha” originally referred to the speakers of the Marathi language. In the 17th century, it emerged as a designation for peasants from Deccan who served as soldiers in the armies of Muslim rulers and later in the armies of Shivaji Maharaj. Thus the term ‘Maratha’ became a marker of an endogamous caste. It was further expanded into a vast empire by the Maratha Confederacy including Peshwas , stretching from central India  in the south, to Peshawar  in modern-day Pakistan on the Afghanistan border in the north, and with expeditions to Bengal in the east. By the 19th century, the empire had become a confederacy of individual states controlled by Maratha chiefs such as Gaikwad ‘s of Baroda , the Holkars of Indore , the Scindias of Gwalior , the Puars of Dhar and Dewas , and Bhonsles of Nagpur. In the Thane District Gazetteer of , the term was used to denote elite layers within various castes: Marathas and other Kunbis. The Kunbis allowed it and the higher status Marathas prohibited it.
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Share this article Share As the train’s 16 passengers started the bonding process, we also walked round the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens which house India’s largest collection of rare tropical plants. The Golden Chariot was then waiting for us at Bangalore’s Yeshwantpur railway station. Garlands were hung round our necks and cold drinks and moist towels handed out before we were claimed by our various stewards and shown to our cabins on the train. If you are sharing, there is very little room to hang clothes but the beds are comfortable and the bathroom is cleverly designed with a very efficient shower.
There are two ornately decorated dining cars with very fast service. But the Western-style food isn’t great, so it is best to stick to the local delicacies such as the curries vegetarian and meat , breads, different kinds of rice and imaginative chutneys all presented in numerous small bowls on individual large silver plates. Travelling time on the train varies from day to day and sometimes you are asleep in the dead of night when it moves.
That first evening we reached Mysore at midnight. At 10am, having packed an overnight bag, we departed by coach for Kabini River Lodge, nestling on the fringes of the Nagarahole and Bandipur National Parks, which was once the hunting lodge of the Mysore Maharajas. Accommodation here is comfortable enough, but basic. We were taken out in specially adapted viewing boats and saw enough birds – cormorants, osprey, peacocks and crested serpent eagles – to keep a twitcher happy for years.
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Sep 24, , Naaro Devi is fighting stage IV cervical cancer. Undergoing chemotherapy at the Army hospital here, this war widow has been advised to stay in an air-conditioned room. The women say electricity was cut more than 40 days ago after the Army sent them bills of Rs lakh dating back four years. This came as a shock as they had never been asked to pay for electricity. None of the houses have power meters.
History[ edit ] According to rules concerning temple worship Agamas , dance and music are necessary ingredients of daily puja of deities in temples. Ancient and medieval history[ edit ] The first reference to dancing girls in temples is found in Kalidasa ‘s “Meghadhoot”. It is said that dancing girls were present at the time of worship in the Mahakal Temple of Ujjain. Some scholars are of the opinion that probably the custom of dedicating girls to temples became quite common in the 6th century CE, as most of the Puranas containing reference to it have been written during this period.
Several Puranas recommended that arrangements should be made to enlist the services of singing girls for worship at temples. By the end of the 10th century, the total number of devadasis in many temples was in direct proportion to the wealth and prestige of the temple. During the medieval period, they were regarded as a part of the normal establishment of temples; they occupied a rank next only to priests and their number often reached high proportions. For example, there were devadasis attached to the temples at Tanjore and Travancore.
Local kings often invited temple dancers to dance in their courts, the occurrence of which created a new category of dancers, rajadasis , and modified the technique and themes of the recitals. A devadasi had to satisfy her own soul while she danced unwatched and offered herself to the god, but the rajadasi’s dance was meant to be an entertainment. The popularity of devadasis seems to have reached its pinnacle around 10th and 11th century CE. The rise and fall in the status of devadasis can be seen to be running parallel to the rise and fall of Hindu temples.
Invaders from West Asia attained their first victory in India at the beginning of the second millennium CE. The destruction of temples by invaders started from the northwestern borders of the country and spread through the whole of the country.
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Brahmin Who are they? The Brahmin people are a prominent community spread across the whole of India. The Brahmin are the highest of the four Hindu castes, made up of priests and scholars of Vedic literature and their traditional occupation is to concern themselves with the spiritual guidance of the people, conduct rites at marriages, births, deaths and other auspicious occasions.
In practice the caste and the profession are not to be treated as one. All Brahmin are not priests. In fact, a majority of them are not and there is a striking range of diversities in terms of status and occupation among the Brahmin all over the country.
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As an example where the widows vied for the honour to die with their common husband, the 5th-century BCE historian Herodotus mentions the Krestones tribe among the Thracians. The woman found to have been held highest in the husband’s favour while he lived had her throat slit on his grave, the surviving wives reputedly regarding it as a great shame to have to live on. Naer Oost Indien In Cambodia , both the lords and the wives of a dead king voluntarily burnt themselves in the 15th and 16th centuries.
There was thus less scope for the social reformer. Here, when a female slave had said she would be willing to die, her body was subsequently burned with her master on the pyre. Early 20th-century pioneering anthropologist James G. Frazer , for example, thought that the legendary Greek story of Capaneus , whose wife Evadne threw herself on his funeral pyre, might be a relic of an earlier custom of live widow-burning. Jauhar[ edit ] Main article:
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Diwali Fever Grips India Photogallery. Widows, who have been abandoned by their families, celebrate Diwali during an event organised by Sulabh International at K C Ghat in Vrindavan. (Pic: Subhash.
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Probably India did not have a clear local name earlier because, like China , it seemed to be the principal portion of the entire world, and so simply the world itself. Sumeru or Meru , the only one inhabited with humans identical to us. The only question was how much of it was taken up by India.
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This cultural variety makes South Asia a fascinating topic of study but it also means that the generalizations intrinsic to a synthesis of its history are more challengeable than those made about many other areas of the world. Over the past two millennia Aryan customs have gradually moved across the Deccan plateau into south India, but their influence remains uneven. Furthermore, these broad categories represent only the most obvious differences and ignore many cultural patterns that frequently were and are more meaningful in the lives of individual South Asian men and women.
Thus northwestern India has close cultural ties to Western Asia, whereas northeastern India reflects social arrangements found in Southeast Asia, even though both northwestern and northeastern India are encompassed in the Indo-European language sphere and have populations in which Muslims are a majority. Finally, none of these geographical and cultural categories indicate the intricate mosaic of tribal societies that tare concentrated primarily in northeastern and central India but exist throughout the South Asian subcontinent from the Himalayas to the Malabar coast.
These tribal societies have resisted integration into either the Aryan or Dravidian social frameworks until the twentieth century. Consequently, many scholars debate the validity of using the term Indian to describe such a multiplicity of cultures and regions. Nowhere is the problem of making generalizations more hazardous than in a survey of the history of women. The initial western stereotype of Indian women tended to focus on exotic practices of physical seclusion or purdah and the ritual suicide of widows or sati.
Indian nationalists reacted with theories of a golden age for Indian women before the arrival of either Muslim or British imperialists. Recent scholarship on women in South Asia has analyzed the manner in which class, religion, and colonial political and economic structures have influenced the condition of women. There has also been an effort to understand how South Asian women themselves view their options and positions.
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Compared to neighbouring countries, India has made good progress in reducing new HIV infections by half since Despite free antiretroviral treatment being available, uptake remains low as many people face difficulty in accessing clinics. India has the third largest HIV epidemic in the world. In , HIV prevalence among adults aged was an estimated 0. This figure is small compared to most other middle-income countries but because of India’s huge population 1. However, in , new infections increased to 88, from 80, and AIDS-related deaths increased to 69, from 62,
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Edit There are no reliable figures for the numbers who died by sati across the country. A local indication of the numbers is given in the records kept by the Bengal Presidency of the British East India Company. The total figure of known occurrences for the period to is 8, ;  another source gives a comparable number of 7, from to ,  thus giving an average of about to documented incidents per year in that period. Raja Ram Mohan Roy estimated that there were ten times as many cases of Sati in Bengal compared to the rest of the country.
It was little known or unknown in most of the population of India and the tribal groups, and little known or unknown in the lowest castes. According to at least one source, it was very rare for anyone in the later Mughal empire except royal wives to be burnt. About half the known sati stones in India are in Rajasthan. However, the extent to which individual instances of deaths resulted in veneration glorification implies that was not very common.
It is known to have occurred in the south from the 9th century through the period of the Vijayanagara empire. Madhavacharya, who is probably the best known of those historical figures who justified the practice, was originally a minister of the court of this empire. The practice continued to occur after the collapse of the empire, though apparently at a fairly low frequency.
In one instance more than fifty women committed Sati in Vijayanagara after the Battle of Talikota.