Garden and Landscape Practice in Pre-colonial India: Histories from the Deccan 9780415585941, 9781138659865, 9780415664936


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Table of contents :
Cover
Half Title
Series Page
Title Page
Copyright Page
Dedication Page
Contents
List of Plates and Tables
Glossary
Acknowledgements
Preface
Introduction
1. The Use of Garden Imagery in Early Indian Buddhism
2. Botanical Technology and Garden Culture in Someśvara’s Mānasollāsa
3. Nature, Dams, Wells, and Gardens: The Route of Water in and around Bidar
4. Paradise on Earth: The Deccan Sultanates
5. In Amīn Khān’s Garden: Charitable Gardens in Qutb Shāhi Andhra
6. The Use of Imaginary Landscapes in Paintings from Bijapur
7. Reading Gardens in Deccani Court Poetry: A Reappraisal of Nusratī’s Gulshan-i ‘Ishq
8. The Nizamshahi Persianate Garden in Zuhūrī’s Sāqīnāma
9. Heavenly Gardens: Astrology and Magic in the Garden Culture of the Medieval Deccan
About the Editors
About the Contributors
Index
Recommend Papers

Garden and Landscape Practice in Pre-colonial India: Histories from the Deccan
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Garden and Landscape Practice in Pre-colonial India

Visual & Media Histories Series Editor: Monica Juneja, University of Heidelberg This Series takes as its starting point notions of the visual, and of vision, as central in producing meanings, maintaining aesthetic values and relations of power. Through individual studies, it hopes to chart the trajectories of the visual as an activating principle of history. An important premise here is the conviction that the making, theorising and historicising of images do not exist in exclusive distinction of one another. Opening up the field of vision as an arena in which meanings get constituted simultaneously anchors vision to other media such as audio, spatial and the dynamics of spectatorship. It calls for closer attention to inter-textual and inter-pictorial relationships through which ever-accruing layers of readings and responses are brought alive. Through its regional focus on South Asia the Series locates itself within a prolific field of writing on non-Western cultures which have opened the way to pluralise iconographies, and to perceive temporalities as scrambled and palimpsestic. These studies, it is hoped, will continue to reframe debates and conceptual categories in visual histories. The importance attached here to investigating the historical dimensions of visual practice implies close attention to specific local contexts which intersect and negotiate with the global, and can re-constitute it. Examining the ways in which different media are to be read onto and through one another would extend the thematic range of the subjects to be addressed by the Series to include those which cross the boundaries that once separated the privileged subjects of art historical scholarship — sculpture, painting and monumental architecture — from other media: studies of film, photography and prints on the one hand, advertising, television, posters, calendars, comics, buildings and cityscapes on the other.

Also in the Series 1. Sumathi Ramaswamy (ed.), Barefoot Across the Nation: Maqbool Fida Husain and the Idea of India ISBN: 978-0-415-58594-1 (Not for sale in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh)

Garden and Landscape Practice in Pre-colonial India Histories from the Deccan

Editors Daud Ali Emma J. Flatt

LONDON NEW YORK NEW DELHI

First published 2012 in India by Routledge 912 Tolstoy House, 15–17 Tolstoy Marg, Connaught Place, New Delhi 110 001

Simultaneously published in the UK by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 4RN First issued in paperback 2015 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business

© 2012 Daud Ali & Emma J. Flatt

Typeset by Star Compugraphics Private Limited 5, CSC, Near City Apartments Vasundhara Enclave Delhi 110 096

Sonepat 131 028, Haryana All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. This publication has been made possible by a grant from the Scouloudi Foundation in association with the Institute of Historical Research, London.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN-13: 978-1-138-65986-5 (pbk) ISBN-13: 978-0-415-66493-6 (hbk)

for Sugra & for Iqbal

Contents List of Plates and Tables Glossary Acknowledgements Preface by Monica Juneja Introduction Daud Ali & Emma J. Flatt

ix xiii xvii xix 1

1.

The Use of Garden Imagery in Early Indian Buddhism Akira Shimada

18

2.

Botanical Technology and Garden Culture in Someśvara’s Mānasollāsa Daud Ali

39

3.

Nature, Dams, Wells, and Gardens: The Route of Water in and around Bidar Klaus Rötzer and Pushkar Sohoni

54

4.

Paradise on Earth: The Deccan Sultanates Ronald Inden

74

5.

In Amīn Khān’s Garden: Charitable Gardens in Qutb Shāhi Andhra Phillip B. Wagoner

98

6.

The Use of Imaginary Landscapes in Paintings from Bijapur Deborah Hutton

127

7.

Reading Gardens in Deccani Court Poetry: A Reappraisal of Nusratī’s Gulshan-i ‘Ishq Ali Akbar Husain

148

8.

The Nizamshahi Persianate Garden in Zuhūrī’s Sāqīnāma Sunil Sharma

159

9.

Heavenly Gardens: Astrology and Magic in the Garden Culture of the Medieval Deccan Emma J. Flatt

172

About the Editors About the Contributors Index

195 196 198

List of Plates and Tables Plates 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 1.10 2.1 2.2 2.3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11 3.12

Rail Coping, Bharhut, Madhya Pradesh. Indian Museum, Kolkata, West Bengal. Photo © Akira Shimada. Śālabhañjikā, Eastern Gateway, Sanchi I, Madhya Pradesh. Photo © Daud Ali. Couples in the pleasure garden, East Pillar, Northern Gateway, Sanchi I, Madhya Pradesh. Photo © Akira Shimada. Couples in the pleasure garden, North Pillar, Western Gateway, Sanchi I, Madhya Pradesh. Photo © Akira Shimada. Stūpa Railing (outer face, courtly ladies), Bhutesar, Uttar Pradesh. Indian Museum, Kolkata, West Bengal. Photo © Akira Shimada. Stūpa Railing (inner face, Buddha’s legends), Bhutesar, Uttar Pradesh. Indian Museum, Kolkata, West Bengal. Photo © Akira Shimada. Mithuna-s, Karla caitya, Karla Caves, Maharashtra. Photo © Akira Shimada. Mithuna-s on Drum Frieze (male raising female’s face), Nagarjunakonda, Andhra Pradesh. National Museum, New Delhi. Photo © Akira Shimada. Mithuna-s on Drum Frieze (embracing and drinking), Nagarjunakonda, Andhra Pradesh. National Museum, New Delhi. Photo © Akira Shimada. Mithuna-s on Drum Frieze, Nagarjunakonda. Archaeological Museum, Nagarjunakonda, Andhra Pradesh. Photo © Takashi Koezuka. Used with permission.

26

Woman gazing into mirror under bower, Hoysaḷa, 12th century, Belur, Karnataka. Photo © Daud Ali. Woman under bower, Vijayanagara, 15th century, Hampi, Karnataka. Photo © Daud Ali. Foliate border, Hoysal.a, 12th century, Belur, Karnataka. Photo © Daud Ali.

47

Map of Bidar (Karnataka) and surroundings © Klaus Rötzer. Plan of western dam and sluicegate, Bidar Fort, Karnataka © Klaus Rötzer. Plan of baoli cut into Laterite, Chidri Road, Bidar, Karnataka © Klaus Rötzer. Plan of baoli watering the lower royal gardens, view from lower western level, Bidar Fort, Karnataka © Klaus Rötzer. Plan of baoli near the tomb of Khalīlu’llāh, Ashtur, Karnataka © Klaus Rötzer. Well south of the Takht Mahal, Bidar Fort, Karnataka. Photo © Klaus Rötzer. Plan of well south of the Takht Mahal, Bidar Fort, Karnataka © Klaus Rötzer. Plan of funerary garden of Khan Jahan Barīd Shāh, 16th century, Bidar, Karnataka © Klaus Rötzer. Plan of funerary garden of ‘Alī Barīd Shāh I, Bidar, Karnataka © Klaus Rötzer. Plan of well east of the tomb of ‘Alī Barīd Shāh I, Bidar, Karnataka © Klaus Rötzer. Plan of funerary garden of ‘Alī Barīd Shāh I, southern waterworks, c. AD 1576, Bidar, Karnataka © Klaus Rötzer. Plan of funerary garden of Qasim Barīd Shāh II, Bidar, Karnataka © Klaus Rötzer.

55 58 59 61

26 28 28 29 29 31 32 32 34

48 48

62 63 67 68 69 71 72

x

4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5

4.6

4.7

4.8

5.1 5.2 5.3

6.1

6.2

6.3

6.4

6.5 6.6

Garden and Landscape Practices in Pre-colonial India

Bahmani basin in garden of Bidar Fort, Karnataka. Photo © Daud Ali. Floor plan of Outer Audience Hall, Bidar Fort, Karnataka © Ronald Inden. Reconstruction of Inner Audience Hall, Bidar Fort, Karnataka © Ronald Inden. Lowland seen from the palace of Bidar Fort, Karnataka. Photo © Ronald Inden. Shirin entertains Khusrau, from an anthology including the Khamsas of Nizami and Amir Khusrau, AH 840/AD 1436, attributable to Bidar, Karnataka. Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ms. Persian 124, fol. 44b © The Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. Reproduced with permission. Convivial party in men’s pavilion, Āftābī, Tarīf-i Husain Shāh Badshāh Dakhan, c. AD 1565–69, Ahmadnagar, Maharashtra © Bharata Itihasa Samshodhaka Mandala, Pune. Reproduced with permission. Sultan and Queen in joint pavilion, Āftābī, Tarīf-i Husain Shāh Badshāh Dakhan, c. AD 1565–69, Ahmadnagar, Maharashtra © Bharata Itihasa Samshodhaka Mandala, Pune. Reproduced with permission. Sultan with Queen in garden, Āftābī, Tarīf-i Husain Shāh Badshāh Dakhan, c. AD 1565–69, Ahmadnagar, Maharashtra © Bharata Itihasa Samshodhaka Mandala, Pune. Reproduced with permission.

78 80 82 86 89

Tomb of Amīn Khān from south, completed AH 976/AD 1568, Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh. Photo © Phillip B. Wagoner. Interior of Amīn’s Khān’s tomb, Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh. Photo © Phillip B. Wagoner. Inscription on outer eastern wall, dated AH 976/AD 1568 (upper slab) and Shahūr San AH 984/AD 1583 (lower slab), Amīn Khān’s tomb, Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh. Photo © Phillip B. Wagoner.

99

Pushpamala N. and Clare Arni, Yogini (after Bijapur School, Deccani miniature painting, c. early 17th century). From the photo-performance project Native Women of South India: Manners and Customs, 2000–2004 © Bose Pacia Gallery, New York. Reproduced with permission. Yogini holding Myna bird, c. AD 1605, Bijapur, Karnataka. Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ms. Persian 31, fol. 11a © The Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. Reproduced with permission. Ascetic visited by a yogini, early 17th century, Bijapur, Karnataka. Islamisches Museum, Berlin, T.4596, fol. 4a © Archiv Preuβischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin. Reproduced with permission. Princely figure seated on a golden throne in landscape, c. AD 1600, Bijapur, Karnataka. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, IS 2-1969 © V&A Images/Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Reproduced with permission. Siesta, early 17th century, Bijapur, Karnataka. Islamisches Museum, Berlin, T. 4595, fol. 36 © Archiv Preuβischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin. Reproduced with permission. Prince listening to a yogini play music, Pem Nem, c. AD 1591–1604, Bijapur, Karnataka. The British Library, London, ADD. 16880, fol. 46 © British Library Board. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced with permission.

90

92

93

100 102

128

129

132

133

135 138

List of Plates and Tables

6.7

xi

Prince, on carpet with King, fainting at the sight of his beloved, Pem Nem, c. AD 1591–1604, Bijapur, Karnataka. The British Library, London, ADD. 16880, fol. 82v © British Library Board. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced with permission. Princess with court women celebrating Holi, Pem Nem, c. AD 1591–1604, Bijapur, Karnataka. The British Library, London, ADD. 16880, fol. 138 © British Library Board. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced with permission.

139

7.1

Prince Candersen, stricken by love for Campavati, falls in Prince Manhar’s arms, Gulshan-i ‘Ishq, AD 1743, Deccan © Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 1945-65-22, p. 458. Reproduced with permission.

155

8.1

Plan of a garden, Nūr al-Dīn Muhammad Zuhūrī Turshīzī, Sāqīnāma. The British Library, London, Or. 338, fol. 110b © British Library Board. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced with permission.

166

9.1

The 26th degree of Taurus: cultivated ground, ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh, Nujūm al-‘Ulūm, attributable to 17th century, Bijapur, Karnataka. Wellcome Library, London, Persian Ms. 373 fol. 36b © Wellcome Library, London. Reproduced with permission. The 26th degree of Taurus: cultivated ground (detail), ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh, Nujūm al-‘Ulūm, attributable to 17th century, Bijapur, Karnataka. Wellcome Library, London, Persian Ms. 373 fol. 36b © Wellcome Library, London. Reproduced with permission. The 5th degree of Scorpio: someone who is making the ground muddy and is giving water to the vine, ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh, Nujūm al-‘Ulūm, attributable to 17th century, Bijapur, Karnataka. Wellcome Library, London, Persian Ms. 373 fol. 25a © Wellcome Library, London. Reproduced with permission. The 5th degree of Scorpio: someone who is making the ground muddy and is giving water to the vine (detail), ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh, Nujūm al-‘Ulūm, attributable to 17th century, Bijapur, Karnataka. Wellcome Library, London, Persian Ms. 373 fol. 25a © Wellcome Library, London. Reproduced with permission. Illustration accompanying talisman to make the ground fertile and flourishing, ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh, Nujūm al-‘Ulūm, AD 1575, Bijapur, Karnataka. Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ms IN2, fol. 101a © The Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. Reproduced with permission. Illustration accompanying talisman to make the ground fertile and flourishing (detail), ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh, Nujūm al-‘Ulūm, AD 1575, Bijapur, Karnataka. Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ms IN2, fol. 101a © The Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. Reproduced with permission.

182

6.8

9.2

9.3

9.4

9.5

9.6

140

183

184

185

186

187

Tables 5.1

Plants in Amīn Khān’s Garden: Identification and Uses

120

9.1

Correlations between Planets and Plants in the Nujūm al-‘Ulūm

194

Glossary acca-tĕlugu āftāb agar agrahāram akhlāqāt akhrot amīr ‘angan angūr anjīr annas ‘aqrab arthālam.kāra ashjār, sing. shajar ‘ashqiyyā masnavī bachan badām bāgh bālā ban bārī bāvulu bel mandvā ber bulbul burj, pl. burĕj būstān cĕruvu, pl. cĕruvulu chakra chaman chaman bandī chambelī champā chāshnīgīr chehbeche chilghozā chitarsāl chūā dāk mandvā dāna / dāna-dharma darja, pl. darajāt

pure Telugu, devoid of Sanskrit loan-words sun frankincense brahman village morals, ethics walnut commander, governor, chief, leader, lord, a person of rank or distinction, noble terrace grape fig pineapple Scorpio meaning-based ornament in poetry tree-filled places verse romance idiomatic expression almond garden Indian mallow grove thicket; hedge pools trellis-climber jujube nightingale zodiac sign(s) perfume or scent garden large-scale irrigation tank astrological chart garden plot gardening jasmine champak; Joy perfume tree taster to a prince; cupbearer small pool/cistern pine nut palace pavilion with murals an ambergris perfume preparation grape trellis making religious gifts degree (a unit of astrological time)

xiv

Glossary

daunā dharma-gād. i dharma-kōneru dharma-satramu dīwāna dohad dulāb duryān fākhtā faqīr farah farāh bakhsh farmān fihrist gend makhmal gul gul chīn gul-i aurang gul-i chānd gulistān gul-i sur gulzār hauz hindolā hourīs hudhud ‘īdgāh imrat in‘ām jagat gurū jām jāmā jāman jannat jāsun kabūtar kakatuyyā kalghā-i ātishi kāluva kalvī kamrakh kamūd kanduriyyan kanīr surkh kanval kavvā

origanum charitable water troughs for animals charitable water tanks for public use charitable rest houses or feeding houses for pilgrims, wayfarers or the indigent madman desire, craving; the longing of a pregnant woman well durian spotted dove mendicant joyfulness, cheerfulness; lit. opening joy-bestowing mandate, command, order, or royal patent table of contents African marigold flower Frangipani globe Amaranth Moonflower rose garden Sunflower flower garden pools swing maidens (celestial) Hoopoe a place for the recitation of congregational prayers during festivals life-giving elixir land given as a gift, often free from revenue world-teacher Rose Apple cloak (Indian) Black Plum paradise China Rose Pigeon Cockatoo cockscomb canal watercourse; streamlet Star-fruit white, night-opening Water Lily floorspreads fragrant Oleander or Rose bay Lotus Crow

Glossary

kāvya kesū koel kulangan kurtā lafz lālā mā’ani mainā majlis mandap mandvā mangal marvā masīdu masnavī mauz mirrīkh missī mizāj molsarī muhūrtaśāstra, musallas musallisāt mushtarī mustawī naghzak nagkesar nāikvārīs nakshatra nauras neshkar nīru-nela niyogis nūtulu pān Pāras parganah phaḷ phannas phūḷ phūl mandvā pīlak pirāyā pitambar prema rasa

xv

poetry Indian Cuckoo Heron long shirt word Poppy; Tulip meaning Myna; Starling assembly canopy arbour the planet Mars (Sanskrit) artemesia Telugu transcription of the Arabic masjid or ‘place of prostration’ (i.e., mosque) poem; poetry composed of distichs corresponding in measure, each consisting of a pair of rhymes Banana the planet Mars (Arabic) teeth-whitener flavour Bullet-wood tree; Spanish cherry the science of signs and omens triangular triangles the planet Jupiter (Arabic) temperate, moderate mango Ironwood tree landed military aristocracy lunar asterisms nine essences Sugarcane wet-land, irrigated fields Brahman administrators wells betel-leaf Philosopher’s stone a district, a division of a province fruits Jack fruit flowers arbor Golden Oriole style yellow silk the essence of love

xvi

Glossary

puṇya-kathalu qamar raihān rās rasa śabdālaṃkāra sabzi safarjal sairgāh sapta-santānam sarāī sarkār-i bāgh satram sanyāsi saur seb shab-i gūsh shani shārik śrāddha śṛṅgāra-rasa takhallus takhte tambūl taṭāka/ taṭākamu tatorā tatsama tirmitī toṃṭa-pŏlamu totā tūt ūd battī utārid vĕli-pŏlamu zā’frān zar’ zira’ Zil-i Khudā zuhal zuhra zunb

stories of virtue the moon Basil; Myrtle the ascending lunar node, considered a heavenly body in Islamicate astrology essence sound-based ornament in poetry vegetables quince place of perambulation ‘seven kinds of progeny’ — meritorious acts thought to bring the performer fame in this world and auspicious condition in the next an inn a superintendent of gardens feeding-houses sage Taurus Apple Tuberose the planet Saturn (Sanskrit) Starling . funerary rites the aesthetic mood of erotic love pen-name (flower) beds betel large-scale irrigation tanks Sandpiper Sanskrit loan-words Merlin garden-land Parrot Mulberry incense sticks the planet Mercury dry-land, unirrigated fields Saffron sowing seeds agriculture Shadow of God the planet Saturn (Arabic) the planet Venus (Arabic) the descending lunar node, considered a heavenly body in Islamicate astrology

Acknowledgements This volume has taken rather longer to complete than we originally envisioned and so our heartfelt thanks must go first of all to our contributors for their patience and good-natured forbearance throughout. This volume was made possible thanks to a grant from the Scouloudi Foundation in association with the Institute of Historical Research. The School of Oriental and African Studies provided an intellectual space in which we could initiate this project and we would like to thank the staff of the libraries of SOAS, the Wellcome Trust and the Asian and African reading room of the British Library for their help during the research for the volume. Some of the essays in this volume were first presented at a workshop entitled Fragrance, Symmetry and Light: The History of Gardens and Garden Culture in the Deccan, which was held at Central University of Hyderabad, 22–25 January 2007. This workshop was sponsored by Society for South Asian Studies and the Central University of Hyderabad. We would particularly like to thank Michael Willis of the Society for South Asian Studies and Atlury Murali of the History Department of the Central University of Hyderabad without whose help the workshop could never have taken place. Vasant Bawa and Oudesh Rani of the Centre for Deccan Studies provided help with local knowledge, entertainment and logistics. Helen Philon hosted a Hyderabadi dinner for participants in a hill-top medieval garden pavilion. Thanks are also due to the participants at that workshop, whose contributions to a vibrant discussion were key in developing some of the ideas in this volume: Mark Brand, John Fritz, Christopher Hill, Ali Akbar Husain, Deborah Hutton, Abdul Ghani Imaratwale, Ronald Inden, Omar Khalidi, George Michell, Kathleen Morrison, M.A. Nayeem, Aloka Parasher-Sen, Laura Parodi, Helen Philon, Klaus Rotzer, Yuthika Sharma, Pushkar Sohoni, Sanjay Subodh, Dhirendranath Varma and Timothy Walker. And last, but by no means least, we would also like to thank particular colleagues, friends and family members who helped this project in numerous ways, including Ravi Ahuja, Sugra Bibi, Richard Eaton, Adrian and Patricia Flatt, Hazel and John Flatt (avid gardeners, who both died before this project was completed), Yunus Jaffery, James Lees, Rakesh Pandey, Avril Powell, N.S., and Iqbal Singh Sevea. Without their support, this volume would never have seen the light of day!

Preface MONICA JUNEJA ‘And all the stones, trees, grasses, plants, flowers and whatever exists in the seven regions are to be found here. There are even more than a thousand tall trees from the New World, never seen before, and as well as these, sindora, loquat, sandalwood, kermes, oak, box, oleander, tamarisk, date palm, larch, stone pine, storax, Ethiopian cardamom, cassia, sycamore, fig, banana, pistachio, mastic tree, oriental sweet gum trees, fifty varieties of fig tree that bear fruit seven times a year and seventy varieties of grape-bearing vine….’1

T

his inventory of the profuse and richly diverse products of nature yielded by the garden of Arhonoz that can be read in the fascinating 17th century account of Evliya Çelebi as he journeyed through the towns and villages of the Ottoman Empire and its neighbouring regions, continues over pages to describe varieties of flowers, medicinal plants, singing birds, buildings, waterworks, and walks. While the graphic detail of Çelebi’s account may indeed be unusual and a treasure trove for the historian of gardens, it does not represent an exceptional phenomenon. Travel writings across the globe — Ibn Battuta’s Rihla, the favourite of many, Babur’s oft-cited impressions of Hindustan, the Jesuit Attiret’s absorbing account of the Qianlong garden near Beijing, or Englebert Kämpfer’s descriptions and drawings of the gardens in Isfahan — when recording the new sights, tastes and manners of the lands and people their authors encounter, invariably include gardens as one of those hallmarks of civilised societies which, together with good governance, agricultural and commercial prosperity, quality of buildings, size of cities, and the condition of women, deserve to be commented upon by the observer from without. Landscape, spatial organisation of gardens and their produce are meticulously described in narratives which seem to share the belief that gardens epitomise a human urge to shape nature so as to cast it as a space for multifarious human activities. Çelebi’s prose ranges from scientific detail to lyrical hyperbole and moves seamlessly from agronomical observations to aesthetic appreciation, from the evocation of sounds and fragrances to ideas about eternal life and experiencing the divine. The garden emerges as a complex of spaces and different places, from wilderness to the urban; lovers swim in the encircling river, they ‘watch birds feeding their infants in the rose garden’, while ‘madmen of deep love’ recover from their sorrow and are restored to sanity.2 While historical testimonies leave us with a vivid sense of the variety of forms, uses and meanings attached to gardens of the past, for a long time research on the culture of gardens and landscape 1

Nurhan Atasoy, ‘Matraçi Nasuh and Evliya Çelebi: Perspectives on Ottoman Gardens (1534–1682)’, in Michel Conan (ed.), Middle East Garden Traditions: Unity and Diversity: Questions, Methods and Resources in a Multicultural Perspective, Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2007, pp. 203–4. 2 Ibid., p. 207.

xx

Preface

architecture has tended to focus on matters of style, defined in a narrow art- historical sense to be read off dynastic history. This innovative collection of articles takes the disciplinary legacy of the 19th century head on by bringing together case studies which collectively work to unsettle many of the taxonomies, exclusionary paradigms and cultural certitudes that have informed academic writings on gardens and landscapes of South Asia. By exploring multiple facets of the garden as object, space and representation, the authors in this book have succeeded in anchoring garden history in a wide body of literary, artistic, archaeological, and epigraphic sources, read from perspectives which frequently transcend disciplinary divides. This approach achieves a level of sophistication that marks recent endeavours in the field of garden culture: the garden is conceived as a cultural space, an aesthetic form which unites the visual with the olfactory and auditory senses, a political arena where both rituals of power unfold and control of resources is at stake, a site of memory preserved and constituted through literary, visual and musical media. Most writings view gardens as an important pivot defining human relationship to nature; the essentialising trap such a position could lead to has been pointed out as well: ‘nature’ could end up as timeless, transcendent and reducible to national or civilisational stereotypes, as a space beyond human agency, social life and political action.3 While the contributions to this volume scrupulously eschew such explanations, they do chalk out the processes involved in the transformation of nature into a garden as a field of enquiry which they proceed to historicise in the regional context of the Deccan. The different articles choose a variety of entry points: the urge to domesticate wild landscape and make it productive through irrigation — an expression of political control of resources as well as a sign of divine bounty; and as a designed artefact which at the same time formed part of a larger interactive system incorporating the built environment as well as the landscape beyond. Growth cycles of plants, seasonal rhythms, even hourly changes of light, all of which dynamise the experience of space and time, make the garden a reservoir of literary and artistic tropes — a metaphor for the passage of time, nostalgia, loss or ruin, cosmological fears and hope, profane love and sexual yearning. At the same time the garden could be cast, as some articles show, as a space in opposition to temporal cycles, as a realm of marvel and fantasy. An innovative methodological feature of these articles is the ways in which the authors treat the boundaries between ‘real’ and ‘imagined’ spaces as porous, voyages of fantasy and physical journey through space as mutually reinforcing, vegetation as both living and memory. A question frequently raised in relation to literary and visual media is the extent to which lost garden forms and details of vegetation can be recuperated from these genres. While it goes without saying that visual or poetic representations cannot be treated blandly as a window onto the world, textures of experience might be teased out of their narrative programmes. Most images of gardens from pre-modern South Asia eschew naturalist modes of portraying their subjects. And yet painted images often draw on a combination of clear everyday material detail and coded elements, making the visual a dense cluster of assumptions, expectations and dreams which surrounded the garden some centuries ago. Art historians have tended to be preoccupied with gauging the extent of assimilation or mastery of naturalist techniques in South Asian pictorial creations of the early modern period following the encounter with European imagery. Plant and animal studies abundantly produced in Mughal ateliers have been read as examples of a growing concern with scientific observation, whereas the more ‘stylized’ renderings of landscapes and vegetation observable in pictorial idioms from regions

3

Craig Clunas, Fruitful Sites: Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China, London: Reaktion Books, 1996, p. 12.

Preface

xxi

beyond the Mughal empire tend to be interpreted as expressions of tension between Mughal ‘influences’ and the pull of a ‘traditional’ sensibility that eschews the urge to document reality. Both readings impose on their subjects a view that deploys illusionism, understood as the desire to be ‘faithful to nature’, as a central criterion to plot the relationship between art and nature. In doing so they miss an opportunity to reflect on a range of possibilities of summoning nature into the realm of aesthetic feeling and expression. Deccani art, for instance, often played with different modes — the Persianate, Mughal as well as regional idioms — which it encountered resulting from the migratory journeys of artists, patrons and objects. Its complex compositions refer to objects rather than reproducing them, disregard illusionist proportions, instead serve to trigger mental journeys, memories, metaphors, and feelings of time and place. Rather than translate a scene onto a two-dimensional picture plane, the translation of intangible experiences and emotions calls for alternative readings which grapple with local canons of composition, colour and brushwork on the one hand, and metaphors and codes on the other. Histories of gardens invariably draw attention to the problems posed for research by the ephemeral nature of gardens, many of which were created and have been lost without leaving substantial traces. This has meant on the one hand that interpretations of the historical past have taken place through the lens of those models which have survived and have left behind more ‘permanent’ evidence in the form of architectural plans or literary references to symbolism and cosmology, the latter genre more often than not barely historicised. On the other hand, the obliteration of traces as well as the circumstance of over-layering through historical time have together produced a craving to recover the ‘authentic’ garden that could function as a metonym for an unadulterated national tradition. This becomes a barrier to looking for the migratory histories of horticultural and aesthetic practices whose trajectories were even in the distant historical past — as the young and burgeoning field of garden archaeology has managed to establish — unhampered by political or cultural boundaries. Gardens and their histories occupy a transcultural domain, and can open up fresh areas of enquiry. Plants from one region constantly travelled to new locations with comparable climates. Circulatory practices were not confined to plants alone but extended to include hydraulic engineering techniques, arboriculture and architectural models for walls, pavilions and towers. Research has testified to the historical existence of networks of practitioners — engineers, horticulturists, architects, and plant tradesmen — making gardening an activity that connected continents. At another level, shared conceptions of political space, imperial displays, notions of spiritual merit and the symbolic appropriation of sites of nature such as trees and rocks, travelled across the Eurasian world, invariably taking on local inflections. Transcultural mobility could account for the shifting nature and mutual permeability of many of the functions of gardens — the same gardens could be adapted locally to serve different purposes, from the political to the ritual or private pleasure. This volume encapsulates many of the insights of such a perspective, even while it does not explicitly adopt a transcultural view. Among the strengths of this volume is its examination of the mutually constitutive role of texts, aesthetic values and practices. Such an approach refines and enhances the scope of the visual medium by positing a continuum rather than a separation of experiential realms, wherein the visual resonates with and through literary, architectural, even technical media, as well as through cosmological beliefs. The garden, defined as a complex artefact, emerges as a space of sensual encounter with light, sound, fragrance, and taste which might have been a source of mystical experience, alternatively of ethical reflection, a palimpsest of time and memory or a site of romantic sentiment. The authors of this fine collection have succeeded in recapturing some of the spirit of Çelebi’s richly textured narrative of gardens: the notion of a garden is no longer confined to a site or a physical space, but enters into a

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dynamic relationship with the landscape beyond, with built structures, with hydraulic technology, plants, flowers and fruits. Symbol, allegory, physical experience, emotion and belief coalesce into a medium that intersects a number of fields and opens them for new questions and investigations.

References Atasoy, Nurhan, ‘Matraçi Nasuh and Evliya Çelebi: Perspectives on Ottoman Gardens (1534–1682)’, in Michel Conan (ed.), Middle East Garden Traditions: Unity and Diversity: Questions, Methods and Resources in a Multicultural Perspective, Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2007, pp. 197–218. Clunas, Craig, Fruitful Sites: Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China, London: Reaktion Books, 1996.

Introduction DAUD ALI AND EMMA J. FLATT

On 28 May 1490, the rebellious Bahmani noble Ahmad Nizām al-Mulk Bahri launched a surprise night-attack on the Bahmani army that had been sent to quash his insurrection. Having decisively routed the Sultan’s army, so the chronicler Muhammad Qāsim Firishta tells us, Ahmad celebrated his victory by laying out a garden at the site of the battle and endowing the nearby village of Jivar as waqf for the ulama. He then returned to his capital of Junnar where the khutba (Friday sermon) was read in his name and a royal chhatrī (umbrella) raised over his head as a mark of his status as an independent ruler — Ahmad Nizām Shah.1 The link between Ahmad’s new garden and the emerging independent sultanate of Ahmadnagar was hardly coincidental. The battle was memorialised as the ‘War of the Garden’ (jang-i bāgh) and the garden immediately became a site at which Ahmad’s army could pause to rest and recuperate during the campaigns to establish his paramountcy in the region. Four years later, when Ahmad Nizām Shah’s hold on the region was secure enough to build himself a capital city, the site he chose, on the banks of the river Sena, flanked the walls of his garden. The royal palace was built in the garden and the city of Ahmadnagar was built around it. Later known as Bāgh-i Nizām, the garden and its buildings were adorned and extended by each descendant of Ahmad Nizām Shah, frequently to celebrate a military conquest. The Ahmadnagar chronicler Sayyid ‘Alī Tabātabā’ī notes that in 1565 the ulama of the court chose to bury Husain Nizām Shah I in the Bāgh-i Nizām — further increasing the importance, as well as the semiotic density, of this garden site.2 The importance of a garden in the self-perception and self-image of the emergent sultanate of Ahmadnagar is striking, but perhaps what is more striking is that such an anecdote has received little or no scholarly comment. It was the presence of anecdotes like this that first suggested to us that gardens and garden culture in the Deccan was a fertile topic that merited further exploration. The articles in this volume emerged from a conference entitled ‘Fragrance, Symmetry and Light: Gardens and Garden Culture in the Deccan’, held at the University of Hyderabad in January 2007. The purpose of the conference was twofold: first, to shed light on the little studied tradition of gardens and garden culture in the Deccan; and second, to rethink a number of conceptual issues around landscape and garden culture from interdisciplinary perspectives. In both goals the conference was a success:

1

Muhammad Qāsim Hindu Shāh Firishta, Tārīkh-i Firishta, (eds) John Briggs and Mir Khairat Ali Khan, Kanpur: Naval Kishore Press, 1884, vol. 2, p. 96; John Briggs, History of the Rise of the Mahomedan Power in India till the Year 1612, Translated from the Original Persian of Mahomed Kasim Ferishta, Delhi: Low Price Publications, 1997, vol. 3, p. 121. 2 T. W. Haig, ‘The History of the Nizam Shahi Kings of Ahmadnagar’, Indian Antiquary, vol. 50, 1921, p. 195.

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new materials were brought to light, and more importantly, a variety of new interpretations and perspectives significantly extended discussion and debate on the subject. This volume represents the first fruits of these on-going discussions. The subject of gardens has drawn intermittent but enduring interest among art historians and architects of South Asia from the beginning of the twentieth century. It had a sporadic history through the latter half of the 19th century, followed by several important articles by E. B. Havell in 1904, and a monograph by Constance Mary Villiers–Stuart entitled Gardens of the Great Mughals in 1913.3 Several points are notable about these early studies, which set the parameters for much later scholarship. First, these early, colonial conceptualisations of South Asian gardens were dominated by those of the Mughal empire (1526–1857) — partly because Mughal gardens (and the palaces and tombs to which they were typically attached) were better preserved than their forerunners, but also because the British took keen interest in preserving the monumental legacy of the Mughals to be able to harness it for their own political ends.4 Second, the colonial engagement with Mughal gardens (including botanical, architectural and conservational aspects) was in many ways an extension of metropolitan concerns and evolving notions of gardens and landscapes in Victorian Britain. Early studies of Mughal gardens were similarly influenced by these 19th century engagements with landscape and architecture in Britain.5 The legacy of this history is palpable even today, as Mughal art and architecture continues to draw the bulk of scholarly and public interest in the monumental and material past of South Asia. The more scholarly treatment of Mughal gardens in recent decades has therefore been shaped by (even if antagonistic to) this historical legacy. Mughal gardens and garden architecture in Delhi, Fatehpur Sikri and Lahore have continued to generate great enthusiasm and inspire both specific studies as well as synthetic overviews. Earlier studies focused on developing classifications or ‘typologies’ of Mughal gardens and assessing the historical influences upon them,6 while more recent approaches have focused on form, function and meaning.7 3

See the discussion in James Wescoat and Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn, ‘Sources, Places, Representations and Prospects’, in idem (eds), Mughal Gardens: Sources, Places, Representations, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1996, pp. 16–18. 4 See A. Julie Etter, ‘Antiquarian Knowledge, Preservation of Monuments and Museums at the Turn of the 19th Century’, in Indra Sengupta and Daud Ali (eds), Knowledge Production, Pedagogy and Institutions in Colonial India, New York: Palgrave, 2011. 5 These included the late 18th century and early 19th century fashion for the picturesque, as well as the public parks movement, which began in the 1830s. See John Dixon Hunt, Gardens and the Picturesque: Studies in the History of Landscape Architecture, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994; Hazel Conway, People’s Parks: The Design and Development of Victorian Parks in Britain, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991; and Harriet Jordon, ‘Public Parks, 1885–1914’, Garden History, vol. 22, no. 1, 1994, pp. 85–113. 6 For early studies of Mughal gardens, see Sheila Haywood and Susan Jellicoe, The Gardens of Mughal India, London: Thames and Hudson, 1972, and Elizabeth Moynihan, Paradise as a Garden in Persia and Mughal India, London: Scholar Press, 1980. 7 See the landmark publication of Wescoat and Wolschke-Bulmahn (eds), Mughal Gardens, particularly the introduction by the editors, and John Richards, ‘The Historiography of the Mughal Gardens’, pp. 259–66. See also Mahmood Husain et al. (eds), The Mughal Garden: Interpretation, Conservation, Implications, Lahore: Ferozsons, 1996; the articles on Mughal gardens in Attilio Petruccioli (ed.), Gardens in the Time of the Great Muslim Empires, Leiden: Brill, 1997; Ebba Koch, ‘Mughal Palace Gardens from Babur to Shah Jahan (1526–1648)’, Muqarnas, vol. 14 , 1997, pp. 143–65; and idem, The Complete Taj Mahal and the Riverfront Gardens of Agra, London: Thames and Hudson, 2006.

Introduction

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As enabling as the recent research on Mughal gardens has been for the study of gardens in South Asia more generally, it has also had the unwitting effect of obscuring divergent traditions which predated the advent of Mughal rule and which were current in areas outside of, or peripheral to, the Mughal empire, thereby giving credence to older colonial fixations on everything Mughal. It might even be concluded from a perusal of the secondary literature that gardens in earlier periods were simply non-existent. Yet we know from literary, sculptural and archaeological evidence that gardens were prevalent institutions among elites in South Asia from as early as Mauryan times. The neglect of the secondary literature has been fuelled, of course, by the fact that few non-Mughal gardens have survived to the present. This is in part due to long-standing neglect in favour of better preserved Timurid and Mughal gardens, but also the damaging methods of colonial archaeology and preservation. Neglected landscapes and gardens, by virtue of their structurally interstitial and monumentally evanescent nature, were typically ‘invisible’ or ‘insignificant’ to 19th century archaeologists, scholars who approached monuments as individual, stand-alone objects rather than related elements within larger articulated spaces.8 Excavation and preservation focused on buildings and, at best neglected but just as often destroyed, important surrounding landscape evidence. This has made the reconstruction of garden spaces particularly difficult, even impossible in many cases. Thus, it is perhaps no surprise that attempts to understand the history of gardens and garden culture outside the Mughal empire have been tentative at most, and it is only recently that the gardens of regional kingdoms like those of the Rajput households or gardens from earlier periods of history have even been examined by scholars.9 Indeed, the very topic of our conference was met with bemused scepticism and incredulity by some experts, who described it as ‘ephemeral’ and, with more than a hint of sarcasm, ‘intriguing’. A key problem in understanding pre- and non-Mughal gardens is that they have often been perceived through frameworks of Mughal and Timurid aesthetic ideals. Symmetrically planned, quadripartite, walled gardens with water channels have been the model, and poorly preserved remains without these features have often been passed over.10 Early garden-sites with alternative structures are not very well understood, but their existence is certain. References to pleasure gardens are ubiquitous in Indian literature, but the layout and structure of these gardens remains elusive, because secular and palace architecture in early India is so poorly preserved, constructed

8

See the remarks of Monica Juneja, ‘Introduction’, in idem (ed.), Architecture in Medieval India: Forms, Contexts, Histories, Delhi: Permanent Black, 2001, p. 70. 9 On gardens in early India see Daud Ali, ‘Gardens in Early Indian Court Life’, Studies in History, vol. 19, no. 2, 2003, pp. 221–52, and Gregory Schopen, ‘The Buddhist “Monastery” and the Indian Garden: Aesthetics, Assimilation, and the Siting of Monastic Establishments’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 126, no. 4, 2006, pp. 487–505. On ‘sultanate’ gardens, see Yves Porter, ‘Jardins Pré-Moghols’, in Rika Gyselen (ed.), Res Orientales, vol. 3: Jardins D’ Orient, Paris: Groupe pour L’ Etude de la Civilisation du Moyen Orient, 1991, pp. 37–53; on ‘Rajput’ gardens, Catherine Asher, ‘Gardens of the Nobility: Raja Man Singh and the Bāgh-i Wah’, in Mahmood Husain, et al. (eds), The Mughal Garden, pp. 61–72; and Jennifer Joffee and D. Fairchild Ruggles, ‘Rajput Gardens and Landscapes’, in Michel Conan (ed.), Middle East Garden Traditions: Unity and Diversity: Questions, Methods and Resources in a Multicultural Perspective, Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2007, pp. 269–86. 10 Noted by Juneja, ‘Introduction’, p. 72. For Mughal perceptions of pre-Mughal gardens see Anthony Welch, ‘Gardens That Babur did not Like: Landscape, Water, and Architecture of the Sultans of Dehli’, in Wescoat and Wolschke-Bulmahn (eds), Mughal Gardens, pp. 59–94.

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as they were in brick and wood. Early religious architecture is perhaps more suggestive. Verdurous landscapes and manipulated natural environments seem to have been central to the development of Buddhist monastic complexes, though traces which might help us understand this aspect of monastic culture have generally been ignored, built-over and trivialised by excavators.11 Some early garden-sites clearly show influences from other traditions and seem to have been composite forms. Perhaps the most well-preserved pre-Mughal garden-site in South Asia comes not from north India but Sri Lanka, where below the 5th century palace–citadel of Sigiriya were discovered the remarkable remains of a large, three-part garden complex by archaeologists at the end of the 19th century. This complex is exceptional not least because one of its enclosed components is dominated by a symmetrically arranged, four-part water garden, preceding all known South Asian examples by almost a millennium. Interpreted in the 1980s–90s as an expression of a unique and sui generis garden tradition, it is now emerging that parts of this garden were likely based on Sassanian prototypes introduced through trade exchanges between Central Asia and Sri Lanka during the 4th and 5th centuries AD.12 The degree to which gardens in early medieval South Asia developed and transformed through cultural exchanges with Sassanian Central Asia is a topic at this point nearly impossible to assess based on garden-remains, but we know from sites like Ajanta that Sassanian influences on the material and sartorial lifestyles of the elite were felt not only in north India, but in the Deccan as well.13 Another interpretive concept with which any discussion of gardens in South Asia, particularly in medieval times, must come to terms, is the well-entrenched idea of the ‘Islamic garden’.14 Largely a construct of the discipline of Art History, two assumptions have tended to undergird the idea of the Islamic garden. First, it is assumed that the Islamic garden is essentially an earthly representation of Paradise as described in the Qur’an. Even though the Qur’an itself omits any description of the layout of the gardens of Paradise, many have interpreted the mention of the four rivers in Paradise as the origin of the geometrical compartmented garden, known as the chahārbāgh. Behrens-Abouseif points out that the Islamic garden actually owes much of its assumed layout to the survival and early study of Mughal gardens in India.15 Despite scholarly research from the 1970s demonstrating that the chahārbāgh layout was a part of Persianate tradition as early as Achaemenid Persia, and counterclaims by others that its origins can be found in ancient Egypt, the assumption that the Islamic garden was a chahārbāgh endures.16 This leads us to the second assumption undergirding 11

See the remarks in Schopen, ‘The Buddhist “Monastery” and the Indian Garden’. Osmund Bopearachchi, The Pleasure Gardens of Sigiriya: A New Approach, Colombo: Godage Book Emporium, 2006. For earlier interpretations see Senake Bandaranayake, ‘Sigiriya: Research and Management at a Fifth-century Garden Complex’, Journal of Garden History, vol. 17, no. 1, 1997, pp. 78–85; and idem, ‘Amongst Asia’s Earliest Surviving Gardens: The Royal and Monastic Gardens at Sigiriya and Anuradhapura’, in Historic Gardens and Sites, Colombo: Sri Lanka Committee of ICOMOS, 1993, pp. 2–35. 13 Nearly a millennium before the Vijayanagara kings adopted the Persian kulāh (Telugu kuḷḷayī) at their court, we find the appearance of the early Persian predecessor of this headdress at Ajanta, attested in contemporary Sanskrit literature as khola: see V. S. Agrawala, The Deeds of Harsha: Being a Cultural Study of Bāṇa’s Harshacarita, Varanasi: Prithvi Prakashan, 1969, p. 189. 14 See, for example, E. B. MacDougall and Richard Ettinghausen (eds), The Islamic Garden, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1976. 15 Doris Behrens-Abouseif, ‘The Qur‘anic Garden and the Islamic Garden’, unpublished paper. 16 Ralph Pinder–Wilson, ‘The Persian Garden: Bagh and Chahar Bagh’, in MacDougall and Ettinghausen (eds), The Islamic Garden, pp. 71–85; and A. Erman, s.v.v. ‘Garten’, ‘Gartenanlage’, in W. Helck and W. Westendorf (eds), Lexikon der Agyptologie, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1975, quoted in Behrens-Abouseif, ‘Qur‘anic Garden’, n.p. 12

Introduction

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the idea of the ‘Islamic garden’; the idea that its constituent elements (roses, tulips, jasmine, rivers) were so stable that they provided a fund of metaphors on which poets from across the Islamic world drew indifferently, to create a conventional and stylised image of Paradise. While certain of these elements surely have resonance as historically contingent ideas and practices at various points in the history of western and southern Asia, nowhere do they become parts of a coherent entity called the ‘Islamic garden’. This concept has been applied by modern scholars in often deeply essentialist and ahistorical ways to a multitude of contexts, from Spain to Indonesia, regardless of the idiosyncrasies of time or geography, being used as a self-evident explanatory device, and in some cases coming to stand for a homogenised Islamic cultural essence. Mirroring a tendency that Craig Clunas has noticed in scholarly writings on gardens in China which collapse the ‘Chinese garden’ into the ‘Chinese idea of nature’, much of this work is based on the premise of ascribed essences considered to be intrinsic to the ‘Islamic garden’, ‘Islamic culture’ and the ‘religion of Islam’ more generally.17 Recent scholarship, particularly by scholars working on the Middle-East and the Mediterranean, has seriously complicated any notion of an ahistorical ideal type, despite occasionally being framed under its nomenclature.18 This volume seeks to move beyond essentialised notions of ‘Islamic’ and ‘Timurid’ gardens that have dominated the discussion of gardens in South Asia, and to overcome the seeming evidentiary impasse which has effectively muted discussion of South Asian gardens in non-Mughal contexts. To do this, we have had recourse to the serious advances that have taken place in the more general field of garden and landscape studies in the past 20 years. One of our major intellectual influences has been the work of John Dixon Hunt, and in particular his important work, The Afterlife of Gardens which moves away from the traditional garden historian’s focus on garden design and instead directs attention towards what he terms the ‘afterlife’ of a garden, examining the myriad ways gardens have been experienced by those visiting them.19 Arguing for the application of literary reception theory to the study of gardens, he examines a wide range of textual genres and graphic imagery from the 15th century to the present in order to create a history of responses to particular gardens. Dixon Hunt’s work is an instructive example of how the study of gardens can enter into a vibrant conversation with literary, social, economic, political and geographical history. A second influential study has been Craig Clunas’ Fruitful Sites, Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China. Clunas makes a powerful and persuasive argument for considering both contemporary writings about and paintings of gardens as consciously constructed representations rather than unstructured mines of information that mirror some authentic reality. Interrogating a wide range of contemporary visual and textual sources from the perspectives of economic, literary, social, cultural and political history, he demonstrates the complex, dynamic and multifaceted nature of what he terms ‘garden culture’; that intersecting network of discursive practices which surround the idea of the garden, in Ming China. Clunas and Dixon Hunt are not alone in their investigation of literary and visual responses to gardens. A similar concern to understand the culturally constructed representations of gardens

17

See Craig Clunas, Fruitful Sites: Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China, London: Reaktion Books, 1996, pp. 11–12. See Conan (ed.), Middle East Garden Traditions, and D. Fairchild Ruggles, Islamic Gardens and Landscapes, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007. 19 John Dixon Hunt, The Afterlife of Gardens, London: Reaktion Books, 2004. 18

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motivates Deirdre Fairchild Ruggles’ investigation of agronomy manuals and garden poetry in her study of gardens in Islamic Spain.20 Michel Conan’s edited volumes on profane and sacred rituals in gardens and landscapes are further signs that the move away from questions of design and form is being more widely embraced by scholars of various disciplines studying gardens.21 Following a number of now established innovations in the study of gardens in other parts of the world therefore, this volume focuses on garden culture rather than gardens as merely physical sites. Taking our lead from scholars like Clunas and Dixon Hunt, we understand ‘garden culture’ as a broadly defined set of discursive practices surrounding the institution of the garden.22 The intention of this distinction is to move away from the rather narrow focus on gardens as physical objects of enquiry that has characterised much scholarly writing on this topic, to a more inclusive understanding of gardens as culturally produced institutions. This allows us to interrogate the widest possible range of sources — monumental, textual and visual. Our contributors have used not only monumental and physical remains and geological contexts, but sculpture, painting, epigraphy, and a variety of written sources, including historical chronicles, maps, sumptuary manuals, poetry, plays, religious texts, letters, and treatises on medicine, perfumery and astrology. Contemporary and noncontemporary material from other regions including those associated with the early dynasties of northern India, the Delhi Sultans, the Timurids and the Mughal emperors is used to provide a comparative perspective and to supplement empirical lacunae. At the level of ‘evidence’, then, we consider what has often been seen as a liability — the lack of well-preserved, surviving gardens — as a fortuitous catalyst for the exploration of other types of sources. Such sources in turn suggest the garden as a place with a ‘life’ far beyond its physical space. The representations, practices and attitudes of people who designed, funded, worked in, and enjoyed gardens, all form part of the history of the garden as an institution. The intention is not to turn a blemish into a beauty-mark, or to dismiss the interpretation of surviving garden-remains, but instead to remind ourselves that the physical spaces of gardens are not our only sources to write the history of gardens and that the garden as an institution is both created, experienced and represented by a vast skein of material and discursive relations extending their reach through diverse social locales. In this sense, the field of garden studies in South Asia is still very much in its infancy. In a similar vein, our contributors have also sought to treat the garden not as an inward-looking and self-contained spatial entity but as a place inextricably connected to wider locales and environments. We therefore see gardens as integral parts of both humanly-manipulated built environments and natural landscapes. Our contributors have understood this both in terms of ‘real’ built environments created in the cities, palaces and tombs of the Deccan as well as the literary, poetic and visual emplotment of ‘imaginary’ gardens within cosmological and narrative spatial contexts. For, just as the walled palace garden or a charitable city garden may only be understood in relation to the built environments and landscapes of use and resource that spread out around them, so too the idea of the garden gains its specific cultural meanings only through its relation to other ideational spaces.

20 D. Fairchild Ruggles, Gardens, Landscape and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain, Philadelphia: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000. 21 Michel Conan (ed.), Performance and Appropriation: Profane Rituals in Gardens and Landscapes, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2007, and idem (ed.), Sacred Gardens and Landscapes: Ritual and Agency, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2007. 22 See Clunas, Fruitful Sites, pp. 13–14, and, by way of example, Hunt, The Afterlife of Gardens.

Introduction

7

Indeed, if the garden is more than simply a physical space, but not merely an ‘imagined’ one, then its ideational life must also surely be supported by a network of related and contrasting topoi. This view ‘outward’ from the garden has necessitated engaging with a broad range of sources and a variety of methods for dealing with them. Our contributors have made use of recent approaches to urban and natural environments, ethics, leisure, and practices and concepts of romantic and divine love. Although we do not claim that our modest efforts here constitute a significant intervention in other fields, we hope that the implications of some of the theoretical approaches taken by our contributors will suggest new ways of beginning to consider how to write the history of intangible but crucially important cultural phenomena such as space or sense or emotions that have shaped the trajectory of the past as much as political events. Finally, we hope to disaggregate garden practices from some of the persistent associations with modern identities, whether Islamic, Hindu, Indian or even ‘Deccani’. In challenging the category of the ‘Islamic garden’ we do not intend to replace it with an equally unhelpful alternative category assuming the fixity of some other cultural or religious essence. Rather, we wish to consider the plurality of garden culture and the multiplicity of meanings and uses which gardens may have inspired in a particular geographical region that was rarely, if ever, under a single political ruler. What are we to make, for example, of the bilingual foundation inscription from Bidar announcing the construction of a stepwell by Bībī Shahnāz Makduma-i Jahān, wife of Ahmad Shāh Bahmani I (1422–36)? The Persian portion of the inscription speaks of the queen’s bounty in providing water, while the Sanskrit portion, though conceding this benefit, is couched in highly aestheticised language, describing the well as surrounded by beautiful gardens.23 The absence of the garden from the Persian portion of the inscription and its idealised depiction in Sanskrit raises interesting questions about the relationship between representational registers and garden practice across the Islamicate and Indic traditions. We do not claim such intersections to be unique to the Deccan, but by limiting our focus to this complex linguistic and cultural region, we hope to interrogate a particular cultural artefact, the garden, in order to illuminate the diversity of discursive meanings invested in it and the non-linear historical trajectory taken by some of those meanings.

The Deccan: History and Historiography The region of peninsular India known as the Deccan is one whose geographical limits are somewhat amorphous — although confined in most accounts to a massive region bounded by the Vindhya mountains in the north and the upper reaches of the Kaveri and the Mysore plateau in the south, the term expands in some accounts to encompass the whole of peninsular India south of the Vindhya mountains and the Narmada river.24 Other historical definitions of the term include the regions

23

For the Persian portion, see Z. A. Desai, ‘Inscriptions from the State Museum of Hyderabad’, Epigraphia Indica (Arabic and Persian Supplement), 1959–61, pp. 27–37; for the Sanskrit portion, see R. M. Joshi, ‘Sanskrit Version of the Bilingual Inscription from the State Museum Hyderabad’, Epigraphia Indica (Arabic and Persian Supplement), 1959–61, pp. 38–40; and B. Datta and C. L. Suri, ‘The Sanskrit Portion of the Bidar Inscription in the Hyderabad Museum’, Epigraphia Indica (Arabic and Persian Supplement), 1962–63, pp. 81–84. 24 The Imperial Gazetteer, vol. XI, p. 205, quoted in P. M. Joshi, ‘Historical Geography of Medieval Deccan’, in H. K. Sherwani and P. M. Joshi (eds), History of Medieval Deccan, 1295–1724, vol. 1, Hyderabad: Government of Andhra Pradesh, 1973.

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south of the Narmada and Mahanadi rivers in the north. The imprecise nature of the term is compounded, as Richard Eaton has recently noted, by the lack of a single enduring political or cultural centre with which the region can be conveniently identified.25 Eaton’s solution was to follow the Indo-Persian court chronicler Muhammad Qāsim Firishta, defining the Deccan as the region where Marathi, Telugu and Kannada were spoken.26 Even this definition, characterised as it is by linguistic heterogeneity rather than homogeneity serves, however, to underline the complexity of the region. The cultural history of the Deccan is correspondingly complex, and must be set against what begins as a rather sketchy and episodic political framework inaugurated by a Mauryan presence in the region as far south as Chitaldrug district near Mysore in the 3rd century BC, but followed not long after by the emergence of an indigenous polity known as the Sātavāhanas. The Sātavāhanas developed relations with local lords and client-states in key sub-regions to the east and south of their capital at Paithan, leading to the first powerful regional polity of the Deccan, lasting until the beginning of the 3rd century AD. While Sātavāhana kings affiliated themselves with a reformed Vedic religion, the monumental legacy of the Sātavāhanas and their client-states in the region is overwhelmingly Buddhist. As in other areas of southern India, the public and monumental culture of the Deccan’s early history seems to have been deeply connected to the heterodox religious orders. It is during the wider Sātavāhana period that we find our first representations of ‘gardens’ or verdurous landscapes in sculpture and literature. The only surviving archaeological evidence of gardens and manipulated landscapes from Sātavāhana times may actually come from monastic sites, where preliminary hints have suggested activities connected to the enjoyment of landscapes.27 Further research on the landscapes around such monuments, to the extent still possible, needs to be undertaken and judging from textual sources, such research might very well prove important. As a result of the Gupta consolidation of power in north and central India in the 4th century AD, partly in collaboration and rivalry with the Vākāṭakas of the Deccan, smaller lineages and kingdoms appeared throughout the subcontinent imitating Gupta political culture. By the 6th century, a variety of royal lineage polities had emerged in the Deccan with some powerful kingdoms able to challenge the ruling houses of northern India. A ruler from the powerful Cālukya family based in Badami (in modern-day Karnataka), defeated the north Indian king Harṣavardhana and sent embassies to the Sassanian court. Important in this era were the triumph of the theistic religious doctrines of Vaiṣṇavism and Śaivism which promulgated worship in permanent temple monuments. The Cālukya temples of the 6th and 7th centuries remain among the most impressive early temples throughout the subcontinent and seem to have inaugurated imperial temple-building projects on a grand scale. Though supplanted by the Rāṣṭrakūṭas in the 8th century, Cālukya dynasties appear throughout the Deccan and beyond in later times, most notably families in Vengi (Andhra Pradesh) and Kalyani (Karnataka), where they vied with other kingdoms like the Hoysaḷas, Kākatīyas and Yādavas. Also, from the 7th century, hosts of smaller houses — Raṭṭas, Sindas, Kadambas, Bāṇas, Gaṅgas, Nolambas appeared with subordinate titles, though they issued their own records throughout the region.

25

Richard M. Eaton, A Social History of the Deccan, 1300–1761: Eight Indian Lives, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 1. 26 Ibid., p. 2. 27 See the remarks on what seem to be viewing benches in the cave monasteries of the western Deccan by Schopen, ‘The Buddhist “Monastery” and the Indian Garden’, pp. 498–504.

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The history of the Deccan in post-Gupta India can be seen from two angles relevant to the history of gardens and landscapes. First, the consolidation of rice agriculture and agrarian empires in select lowland regions (along river valleys and coastal regions) down to the end of the first millennium AD. And second, the spread of intensive agriculture to drier, upland areas where new types of warrior lineages emerged, largely based in ‘forts’, which in turn exerted their influence over lowland areas. These complex and overlapping processes were accompanied by the spread of Śaivism, Vaiṣṇavism, and to a much lesser extent Jainism, into the towns and countryside under state patronage. Royal and imperial palaces have by and large not survived from these periods, though with the rise of ‘fort’based polities in select areas from the turn of the millennium, there is some scope for the exploration of articulated natural spaces. Despite this, literary evidence is considerable, and it would seem that pleasure gardens and various garden-related landscape features were conventional elements of elite and royal dwellings. Surviving religious monuments have been less helpful, for unlike monastic complexes, Hindu temples do not seem to have been integrated into garden or verdurous landscapes. On the other hand, flower gardens were necessary for the daily performance of temple rituals and many inscriptions speak of arrangements for and upkeep of such productive gardens. Despite these evidentiary possibilities, there has been little if any interest in the problem of gardens and landscapes in historical and archaeological writing on this period. At the end of the 13th century an increasingly powerful and expansionist Delhi Sultanate under Alā’ al-Dīn Khaljī launched a series of raiding expeditions into the southern peninsula, securing, under the slave-general Malik Kāfūr, lucrative victories against the Yādavas of Devagiri, the Hoysaḷas of Dvarasamudra and the Kākatīyas of Warangal. Further military campaigns (1321–23) under the Tughluqs led to the full absorption of the southern kingdoms into the Delhi Sultanate. Soon after his accession, Muhammad Tughluq (AD 1324–51) made Devagiri his second capital, renamed it Daulatabad, and forced many high-ranking Delhi Muslims to relocate there. Although Tughluq rule in the Deccan was brief, it facilitated the emergence of new political elites, both Hindu and Muslim, through the destruction of existing regional kingdoms and their elite. Sometime between 1336 and 1346, as Tughluq power waned, the Vijayanagara Empire emerged in the western Deccan south of the Krishna river, founded by the Sangama brothers, local warriors formerly in the employ of Muhammad Tughluq. Shortly afterwards, a rebellion by local military commanders of the Delhi Sultanate in Daulatabad in 1345 eventually drew enough support to culminate in the establishment of the independent Bahmani Sultanate in 1347, based in the western Deccan north of the Krishna river, under a leading rebel, now titled Alā’ al-Dīn Bahman Shah. The Bahmani Sultanate soon moved its capital south from Daulatabad, first to Gulbarga, and then in the 1420s, to Bidar. Competition to gain control of two particularly fertile areas — the Raichur Doab and the Krishna Godavari Delta — as well as the ports of the western coast and the military supplies of the Indian Ocean maritime trade kept conflict between Vijayanagara and the Bahmanis frequent. From the early 15th century, the Bahmani Sultanate promoted the immigration of scholars, ulama, merchants, poets, artists and artisans from western Asia. From the middle of the same century Vijayanagara also encouraged the immigration of military technicians from west Asia and the neighbouring Bahmani Sultanate, and later from the successor states. The importance of these artistic and technical specialists for garden culture is suggested by the introduction of new building practices and irrigation technologies as well as diverse aesthetics of ornamentation, illustration and decoration. By the end of the 15th century, endemic factional conflict amongst the multi-ethnic nobility led to the fragmentation of the Bahmani Sultanate into five rival sultanates under five new dynasties: Bijapur, ruled by the ‘Ādil Shāhis (AD 1490–1686); Ahmadnagar, ruled by the Nizām Shāhis (AD 1496–1636);

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Golkonda, ruled by the Qutb Shāhis (c. AD 1520–1687); Berar, ruled by the ‘Imād Shāhis (AD 1490–1574) and Bidar, ruled by the Barīd Shahis (AD 1504–1619). Throughout the 16th century these five sultanates and the Vijayanagara Empire to the south grappled for territorial resources in a constantly shifting series of alliances and counter-alliances. As during the time of the Bahmanis, courtiers frequently moved easily between these six courts. This movement enabled the development of a composite courtly culture (most obvious in the realms of material culture, particularly dress and architecture); literary trends; and most notably in language use, with the rise of the vernacular Dakani language (which combines aspects of the grammar and syntax of north Indian vernaculars with Indic, Persian and Arabic vocabulary) as a court language. Mentions of gardens in dynastic chronicles and in the accounts of foreign travellers, supplemented by fragmentary architectural remains of gardens in the capital cities of the sultanates of Bijapur,28 Ahmadnagar,29 Bidar30 and Golkonda31 suggest the importance of gardens as a courtly space. The frequent garden imagery of Dakani poetry from this period underlines the garden’s role as a cultural artefact as well as a physical space. Less physical evidence of gardens in the city of Vijayanagara exists, although further excavation and study may yet reveal some remains. The role of garden culture in Kannada and Telugu literature on the other hand are fertile but as yet unexamined arenas for study. During the battle of Talikota in 1565, a rare military collaboration between Bijapur, Ahmadnagar and Golkonda against Vijayanagar killed the powerful regent Rama Raya of Vijayanagara and wreaked significant damage on the city of Vijayanagara.32 Following this battle the greatly reduced Vijayanagara Empire retrenched to southern Andhra and the three victorious Deccan sultanates continued to expand their territories at the expense of the remaining two: Ahmadnagar absorbing Berar in 1574 and Bijapur taking over full control of Bidar in 1619. By the end of the 16th century, the expansion of the Mughal Empire to the borders of the Deccan had brought a powerful new player into the political scene, with important consequences for cultural as well as political developments. It is surely not without significance that one of the surviving monuments of Mughal rule in Bidar, the erstwhile capital of the Bahmani Sultanate, was a garden, the Farah Bagh, laid out by the Mughal governor Mukhtār Khān, in 1671.33 The 17th century saw the gradual erosion of the Deccan sultanates, commencing with the Mughal conquest of Ahmadnagar city and the 36 years of sporadic guerrilla war waged against them by the Ahmadnagar regent and former

28 See Abdul Gani Imaratwale, ‘Adil Shahi Gardens, Resorts and Tanks of Bijapur: The Sources of Royal Pleasure and Public Utility’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, pp. 85–115. A description of the garden of an ‘Ādil Shāhi noble may be found in Barthelemy Carré, The Travels of Abbé Carré in India and the Near East 1672 to 1674, trans. from French by Lady Fawcett, London: The Hakluyt Society, 1947, pp. 298–99. 29 See Pushkar Sohoni, ‘Change and Memory in Farah Bagh, Ahmadnagar — Metamorphosis of a Deccan Palace: From Farah Bakhsh Bagh to a Silk Factory’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, pp. 59–77; Omar Khalidi, ‘From Deccan to Hindustan? Gardens in the Deccan and Beyond’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, pp. 42–58; Pramode Gadre, Cultural Archaeology of Ahmadnagar during the Nizam Shahi Period (1492–1632), Delhi: B. R. Publishing Corporation, 1986. 30 See Ghulam Yazdani, Bidar: Its History and Monuments, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1995, pp. 52–53. 31 See Ali Akbar Husain, Scent in the Islamic Garden: A Study of Deccani Urdu Literary Sources, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2000; M. A. Nayeem, ‘Qutb Shahi Gardens in Golconda and Hyderabad during 16th-17th Centuries’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, pp. 5–41. 32 The battle of Talikota is also variously known as the battle of Rakshasa-Tagadi, or Banihatti. 33 See Yazdani, Bidar, pp. 176–80.

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slave Malik ‘Ambar. As the power of Bijapur waned under pressure from the Mughals, the Maratha warrior Shivāji Bhonsle was able to carve out an independent kingdom in the frontier regions of Bijapur and Ahmadnagar, based on a highly effective warrior community that posed a significant challenge to the imperial Mughal army. The sultanates of Bijapur and Golkonda lasted until 1686 and 1687 respectively, when prolonged sieges by the Mughal army under Aurangzeb led to the fall of both sultanates. Following the fall of Bijapur, the Mughals focused their efforts on conquering the Marathas. However, when a treaty was finally signed in 1719, the Marathas retained a considerable degree of independence. The Mughal Deccan province was initially ruled by governors, but a Mughal general, Nizām al-Mulk, managed to gain control of the eastern Deccan in 1724 and established his own dynasty — the Āsaf Jāhis, or Nizāms of Hyderabad whose state, the richest and most powerful princely state in India lasted until 1948. While the gardens of 18th/19th century Deccan fall outside the purview of this volume, the importance of garden landscapes and garden culture in the Nizamate development of the city of Hyderabad suggest fertile ground for scholarly exploration.34 Nineteenth-century interest in the history of the Deccan was initially spurred by the ‘discovery’ of the architectural ruins of Bijapur and Vijayanagara by colonial administrators in the western Deccan, and by the translation of the Persian chronicle of Muhammad Qāsim Firishta by John Briggs. The precise descriptions and visual records of Bijapur by Henry Cousens and James Fergusson are noteworthy for the signal lack of discussion of garden areas surrounding or within the monuments, an absence that reflects colonial ideas of landscape aesthetics rather than the (non-)existence of garden landscapes in pre-colonial Deccan.35 Slightly more attention was paid to gardens by the early 20th century archaeologists and epigraphists in the employ of the Nizām, most notably Ghulam Yazdani, whose ground-breaking work would occasionally allude to earlier garden-sites within the monuments and inscriptions he published.36 Nationalist historians like H. K. Sherwani generally confined mentions of gardens to stray references within chapters on the ‘social and economic conditions’ of particular sultanates, often appended to the main historical narrative.37 Gardens remained largely invisible in subsequent historiography on the Deccan, which has focused particularly on religious institutions and figures and, most recently, on the social history of the region.38 34 The use of gardens in the demarcation of public and private space within Hyderabad and the influence of European ideas of garden aesthetics embodied by the laying out of the British Resident James Kirkpatrick’s Residency gardens according to 18th century English taste are two areas that merit further scholarly investigation. 35 Yuthika Sharma, ‘Of Sultanate Follies in English Gardens: Archaeology, Tourism, and Landscaping of Sultanate Sites, A Case Study of Colonial Delhi (1849–1936)’, unpublished paper presented at the conference ‘Fragrance, Symmetry and Light: the History of Gardens and Garden Culture in the Deccan’, University of Hyderabad, January 2007. 36 See Yazdani, Bidar, p. 53 on the Lā’l Bāgh; p. 104 on the ‘Alī Bāgh; pp. 148–49, 152, 164 on the garden near the Barīdi tombs; pp. 176-180 on the Mughal garden of Farah Bāgh. For epigraphy, see the useful essay by Z. A. Desai, ‘Arabic and Persian Epigraphy’, in H. K. Sherwani and P. M. Joshi (eds), History of Medieval Deccan, 1295–1724, vol. 2, Hyderabad: Govt of Andhra Pradesh, 1974, pp. 362–79, especially p. 372. 37 For example H. K. Sherwani, History of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty, Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1974, pp. 309–10, on the gardens of Hyderabad. 38 For example Richard M. Eaton, Sufis of Bijapur, 1300–1700: Social Roles of Sufis in Medieval India, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978, and Eaton, Social History of the Deccan. Despite its botanical title, Carl Ernst’s fascinating study of the Chishti silsila of Rauza, The Eternal Garden: Mysticism, History and Politics at a South Asian Sufi Center, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992, has little to say about gardens or garden culture.

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Until the publication of Ali Akbar Husain’s landmark work Scent in the Islamic Garden: a Study of Deccani Urdu Literary Sources, the study of gardens and garden culture in the Deccan was therefore virtually non-existent.39 The distinct lack of impressive physical remains of garden-sites made the Deccan a lacklustre prospect for art and architectural historians when compared to the monumental garden structures of the Mughal Empire. The importance of Husain’s book for the study of gardens in the Deccan, in supplementing meagre archaeological remains with information from a wide range of literary sources from perfume manuals and medical texts to Deccani poetry, is invaluable. Its significance for the wider reconsideration of gardens which we have been outlining here is even more important. In connecting garden culture with the history of sensorial practices, notions of health, environment, and religious symbolism, Scent in the Islamic Garden showed how the study of garden culture could substantially contribute to an understanding of contemporary cultural, religious and literary trends in South Asia. The conference, of which the articles in the present volume are the outcome, was in many ways inspired by this book, seeking to build on some of its crucial insights as well as adding new ones drawn from other disciplines and approaches to gardens. We also sought to capitalise on the growth of interest in the Deccan as a field of study among a new generation of scholars informed by various disciplinary and theoretical approaches. The Deccan still presents an exceedingly rich and largely untapped reservoir of historical materials for a range of disciplinary interactions.

The Articles The intention of the conference held in Hyderabad was to initiate a productive conversation about the possibilities of writing the history of gardens in a situation where often only scant physical remains can be recovered. Inevitably, given the linguistic and cultural complexity of the Deccan region and the broad temporal boundaries of investigation, the range of topics and questions covered in the resulting essays were somewhat uneven. Nevertheless one of the most interesting results was the way in which articles, ostensibly concerned with different time periods and focusing on different polities, actually spoke to each other in a variety of ways, illuminating commonalities in the ways in which gardens have been perceived and experienced over time and space. While this volume can hardly be taken as (nor is it intended to be) the definitive word on gardens in the Deccan, it will hopefully stimulate further research on the subject by suggesting new potential methods, sources and paradigms for the study of gardens in the Deccan, and in South Asia more generally. The articles in this volume intersect and inter-relate in a variety of ways. One major distinction, which runs through many articles, is that of the garden as an actual space designed, built and enjoyed by royal and aristocratic groups, versus the garden as a concept, ideal, or representation, an imagined space invested with dense semioticity. These dual senses of the garden were intimately related, obviously, but were not always symmetrically aligned. Ronald Inden’s essay is a reconsideration of what has become almost a platitude in the study of ‘Islamic’ gardens — that gardens were deemed ‘paradises on earth’. He takes this contention seriously, arguing that the creation and enjoyment of gardens was not a ‘metaphor’ or ‘symbol’ for paradise in the Bahmani Sultanate, as in other medieval kingships, but a partial realisation and anticipation of paradise on earth. Such an approach not only sees the garden as a central institution of rulership, it puts the emphasis on the actual practices and experiences of gardens rather than their use as symbols in representational media.

39

Husain, Scent in the Islamic Garden.

Introduction

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Focus on the garden as a place connected to the practices of elites and rulers is shared by several other essays in the volume. Philip Wagoner’s essay considers the construction by nobles of ‘charitable gardens’ in Qutb Shāhi times, in the context of seven specific meritorious acts recommended in Telugu textual traditions which were thought to enhance a noble’s prestige. Sunil Sharma considers how a poet could raise his patron’s prestige by praising his construction of the ideal city and its gardens, and Emma Flatt argues that a garden could become the site in which nobles demonstrated their competency in, or their inadequate grasp of, courtly skills such as garden design and astrology. Running alongside this understanding of gardens as real places, on the other hand, other articles have focused on the garden as a ‘represented’ space — in painting, poetry, and historical narrative. Gardens formed parts of imagined landscapes, ideal cities, and heavenly realms. The models for these larger-than-life gardens were the gardens constructed by kings and nobles, to be sure, and their wondrous and fantastic elements were often reproduced in actual garden spaces — so we are not dealing here with mundane ‘natural’ gardens on the one hand and fantastic, imagined gardens on the other. The distinctions were more of degree rather than kind: the manuals directed to Buddhist and Hindu courtiers include technical instructions for creating the same wondrous phenomena associated with the gardens of more powerful beings in celestial realms. Having said this, gardens also serve in literature as integral accoutrements of the Indo-Persianate ideal of the city, as Sunil Sharma shows or of Buddhist paradises, as pointed out by Akira Shimada. Elements of gardens also took on lives of their own — as sexually suggestive and luxuriant framing devices in architectural motifs, or as metaphorical embodiments of spiritual attainment. Here the garden often takes on a different function, where gardens or certain garden elements are hypertrophied into symbolic meanings associated with affective states and moral attainments: fructification becomes a fantasy of fulfilment, but also a painful reminder of a lover’s absence. In its physical incarnation, the demarcation and enclosure of space is a crucial element of the garden, and one that is so obvious as to pass without mention in much scholarly work. An unconscious tendency therefore emerges to treat gardens as isolated and self-contained spatial units, existing without reference to the world outside their walls. In this volume, by contrast, several of the contributors consider how the meaning of a garden is inherently connected to and contrasted with the world outside. The essays by Ronald Inden and Deborah Hutton examine the ways in which the fantastical landscapes of forest wilderness (Hutton), or the ‘verdurous landscapes’ beyond the garden (Inden), provide a crucial counterpoint to the domesticated space of the garden. Yet both insist on placing garden and landscape on a continuum, rather than positing an essential opposition between the two. In Hutton’s analysis of a series of miniatures in the manuscript of the Dakani poem Pem Nem, she considers how the wilderness and garden landscapes depicted in the poem provide a visualisation of the steps on the physical journey and emotional stages of the spiritual quest undertaken by the poem’s hero. Inden, on the other hand, in his discussion of the fort of Bidar as an earthly paradise constructed by the Bahmani rulers, considers both the domesticated garden space inside the fort and the verdurous landscapes within the fort walls, which were barely distinguishable from the wilder landscape visible beyond those walls as necessary components of a constructed earthly paradise. For Inden, these ‘verdurous landscapes’ were distinguished from the formal gardens of the inner fort, by the manipulation of natural elements in relation to one another, rather than by reference to an architectural frame. The essay by Klaus Rötzer and Pushkar Sohoni, who focus specifically on irrigation technologies used in the gardens of the Bahmani fort at Bidar, likewise emphasises the connections between gardens and the surrounding agricultural landscape,

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visible from the garden pavilions and mediated through the crucially important water systems which served the needs of both landscape types. In a related, but slightly different, strain Sharma’s essay on the gardens in the Sāqīnāma of the Indo-Persian poet Zuhūrī, locates the garden within the urban and courtly context of the ideal city. Not only does the garden figure prominently in Zuhūrī’s topographical catalogue of the key sites of the city, but the entire city becomes a garden through the poet’s use of garden-related metaphors. The idea, put forward by Inden, of the Indo-Persianate garden comprising a spatially articulated ensemble of constituent natural elements — a landscape — is one which finds resonance, even by contrast, in earlier traditions. Daud Ali’s essay, which focuses on the descriptions of gardens in the 12th century text known as the Mānasollāsa or ‘Delight of the Mind’ suggests that in Sanskrit writing on gardens and in contemporary visual descriptions, to the extent they are available, the presence of the individual attributes of the garden takes precedence over the formal disposition of those attributes in relation to one another in space. The implication here is the absence in early traditions of the garden as an orchestrated ‘landscape’ — and perhaps landscape more generally, as a way of envisioning and thinking about built and natural environments. A key concern of the Mānasollāsa, according to Ali, was creating the pleasure garden as a place in opposition to the temporal rhythms, spatial organisation and botanical norms of the agricultural world. The creation of a privileged space in which botanical marvels defied the bounds of possibility was predicated on the dominance of the seasonal cycle of agricultural production in the socioeconomic world of early medieval India. A similar attempt to use the garden, albeit in a different manner, to manipulate the rightful order of the world is considered in Flatt’s essay which examines how the correlations between the attributes of a garden (such as plants and buildings), as well as the practices of planting and nourishing and astrological bodies were mobilised in order to alter the subsequent course of events, particularly the fortune of the owner of the garden. Another theme that emerged was the important part played by gardens in real and metaphorical journeys. In Inden’s essay journeys play an important role in garden practices: the procession along the axial way of the town to the garden in the royal fort forms a crucial practice that reaffirms the garden as an earthly paradise. The essays by Ali Akbar Husain and Deborah Hutton consider how the journeys undertaken by the heroes in two different Dakani masnawis — the Gulshan-i ‘Ishq (Husain) and the Pem Nem (Hutton) — are structured around a series of gardens which act as waymarks on their physical and spiritual journeys, and at the same time mirror the emotional state of the hero through the various types and well-being of plants and flowers mentioned in these gardens. Husain’s discussion of the Gulshan-i ‘Ishq emphasises another important and neglected theme — the experiential aspect of visiting gardens. He argues that while poets and their audiences were familiar with the symbolism and allegory of gardens, they preferred to focus on the savour of love in the garden as experienced through nature. Shimada’s essay, which explores floral imagery depicted on the early Buddhist architecture of the Deccan and in textual traditions as an example of the interaction of courtly and religious milieux, also emphasises the sensual experience of visiting the garden. A slightly different emotion provoked by garden-visiting is explored in Ali’s essay — that of wonder in the face of botanical marvels which defy temporal and spatial norms. Taken as a whole, the articles suggest several directions for future research. First, they indicate a need to move beyond the relatively well-preserved and comparatively over-worked gardens of the Mughal empire to understand those of other regions. Not only did the garden traditions of the Deccani kingdoms before Mughal conquest in the 17th century have diverse design and conceptual origins, clearly not simply deriving from some Timurid prototype, but their analysis may open up

Introduction

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interpretive ‘faultlines’ in existing understandings of Mughal gardens themselves. The poor condition of the physical remains of gardens in the Deccan has compelled us to look for other sources to approach the subject. These sources, in turn, have raised several new perspectives beyond the traditional subjects of architectural design and water management. These will remain felicitous, we believe, in any South Asian context, not least those of Mughal India, where these dimensions of garden life could be correlated with more robust physical remains and textual archives. Finally, we remind the reader that the issues raised here must remain preliminary. Only future research which expands, deepens and correlates some of the approaches and observations taken up in these articles, will be able to realise the true potential of new perspectives on landscapes and gardens in the pre-colonial Deccan, and South Asia more widely — one which relates the garden as practice or site of meaning with the wider social histories of sense, emotion and space.

References Agrawala, V. S., The Deeds of Harsha: Being a Cultural Study of Bāṇa’s Harshacarita, Varanasi: Prithvi Prakashan, 1969. Ali, Daud, ‘Gardens in Early Indian Court Life’, Studies in History, vol. 19, no. 2, 2003, pp. 221–52. Asher, Catherine, ‘Gardens of the Nobility: Raja Man Singh and the Bāgh-i Wah’, in Mahmood Husain et al. (eds), The Mughal Garden: Interpretation, Conservation, Implications, Lahore: Ferozsons, 1996, pp. 61–72. Bandaranayake, Senake, ‘Sigiriya: Research and Management at a Fifth-century Garden Complex’, Journal of Garden History, vol. 17, no. 1, 1997, pp. 78–85. ———, ‘Amongst Asia’s Earliest Surviving Gardens: The Royal and Monastic Gardens at Sigiriya and Anuradhapura’, in Historic Gardens and Sites. Colombo: Sri Lanka Committee of ICOMOS, 1993, pp. 2–35. Behrens-Abouseif, Doris, ‘The Qur‘anic Garden and the Islamic Garden’, unpublished paper. Bopearachchi, Osmund, The Pleasure Gardens of Sigiriya: A New Approach, Colombo: Godage Book Emporium, 2006. Briggs, John, History of the Rise of the Mahomedan Power in India till the Year 1612, Translated from the Original Persian of Mahomed Kasim Ferishta, Delhi: Low Price Publications, 1997. Carré, Barthelemy, The Travels of Abbé Carré in India and the Near East 1672 to 1674, trans. from French by Lady Fawcett , London: The Hakluyt Society, 1947. Clunas, Craig, Fruitful Sites: Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China, London: Reaktion Books, 1996. Conan, Michel (ed.), Performance and Appropriation: Profane Rituals in Gardens and Landscapes, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2007. ——— (ed.), Sacred Gardens and Landscapes: Ritual and Agency, Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2007. ——— (ed.), Middle East Garden Traditions: Unity and Diversity: Questions, Methods and Resources in a Multicultural Perspective, Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2007. Conway, Hazel, People’s Parks: The Design and Development of Victorian Parks in Britain, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. Datta, B., and C. L. Suri, ‘The Sanskrit Portion of the Bidar Inscription in the Hyderabad Museum’, Epigraphia Indica (Arabic and Persian Supplement), 1962–63, pp. 81–84. Desai, Z. A., ‘Inscriptions from the State Museum of Hyderabad’, Epigraphia Indica (Arabic and Persian Supplement), 1959–61, pp. 27–37. ———, ‘Arabic and Persian Epigraphy’, in H. K. Sherwani and P. M. Joshi (eds), History of Medieval Deccan, 1295–1724, vol. 2, Hyderabad: Govt of Andhra Pradesh, 1974, pp. 362–79. Dixon Hunt, John, Gardens and the Picturesque: Studies in the History of Landscape Architecture, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994.

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Eaton, Richard M., Sufis of Bijapur, 1300–1700: Social Roles of Sufis in Medieval India. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978. ———, A Social History of the Deccan, 1300–1761: Eight Indian Lives, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Erman, A., ‘Garten’, ‘Gartenanlage’, in W. Welck and W. Westendorf (eds), Lexikon der Agyptologie, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz 1975. Ernst, Carl, The Eternal Garden: Mysticism, History and Politics at a South Asian Sufi Center, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992. Etter, A. Julie, ‘Antiquarian Knowledge, Preservation of Monuments and Museums at the turn of the 19th century’, in Indra Sengupta and Daud Ali (eds), Knowledge Production, Pedagogy and Institutions in Colonial India, New York: Palgrave, 2011. Firishta, Muhammad Qāsim Hindu Shāh, Tārīkh-i Firishta, (eds) John Briggs and Mir Khairat Ali Khan, Kanpur: Naval Kishore Press, 1884. Gadre, Pramode, Cultural Archaeology of Ahmadnagar during the Nizam Shahi Period (1492–1632), Delhi: B. R. Publishing Corporation, 1986. Haig, T. W., ‘The History of the Nizam Shahi Kings of Ahmadnagar’, Indian Antiquary, vol. 50, June 1921. Haywood, Sheila, and Susan Jellicoe, The Gardens of Mughal India. London: Thames and Hudson, 1972. Husain, Ali Akbar, Scent in the Islamic Garden: A Study of Deccani Urdu Literary Sources, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2000. Husain, Mahmood et al. (eds), The Mughal Garden: Interpretation, Conservation, Implications. Lahore: Ferozsons, 1996. Imaratwale, Abdul Gani, ‘Adil Shahi Gardens, Resorts and Tanks of Bijapur: The Sources of Royal Pleasure and Public Utility’, Deccan Studies. vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, pp. 85–115. Joffee, Jennifer, and D. Fairchild Ruggles, ‘Rajput Gardens and Landscapes’, in Michel Conan (ed.), Middle East Garden Traditions: Unity and Diversity: Questions, Methods and Resources in a Multicultural Perspective, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2007, pp. 269–86. Jordon, Harriet, ‘Public Parks, 1885–1914’, Garden History, vol. 22, no. 1, 1994, pp. 85–113. Joshi, P. M., ‘Historical Geography of Medieval Deccan’, in H. K. Sherwani and P. M. Joshi (eds), History of Medieval Deccan, 1295–1724, vol. 1, Hyderabad: Government of Andhra Pradesh, 1973. Joshi, R. M., ‘Sanskrit Version of the Bilingual Inscription from the State Museum Hyderabad’, Epigraphia Indica (Arabic and Persian Supplement), 1959–61, pp. 38–40. Juneja, Monica (ed.), Architecture in Medieval India: Forms, Contexts, Histories, Delhi: Permanent Black, 2001. Khalidi, Omar, ‘From Deccan to Hindustan? Gardens in the Deccan and Beyond’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, pp. 42–58. Koch, Ebba, ‘Mughal Palace Gardens from Babur to Shah Jahan (1526–1648)’, Muqarnas, vol. 14 , 1997, pp. 143–65. ———, The Complete Taj Mahal and the Riverfront Gardens of Agra, London: Thames and Hudson, 2006. MacDougall, E.B. and Ettinghausen, Richard (eds), The Islamic Garden. Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1976. Moynihan, Elizabeth, Paradise as a Garden in Persia and Mughal India, London: Scholar Press, 1980. Nayeem, M. A., ‘Qutb Shahi Gardens in Golconda and Hyderabad during 16th–17th Centuries’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, pp. 5–41. Petruccioli, Attilio (ed.), Gardens in the Time of the Great Muslim Empires, Leiden: Brill, 1997. Pinder–Wilson, Ralph, ‘The Persian Garden: Bagh and Chahar Bagh’, in E. B. MacDougall and Richard Ettinghausen (eds), The Islamic Garden, pp. 71–85. Porter, Yves, ‘Jardins Pré-Moghols’, in Rika Gyselen (ed.), Res Orientales, vol. 3: Jardins D’ Orient, Paris: Groupe pour L’ Etude de la Civilisation du Moyen Orient, 1991, pp. 37–53. Richards, John F., ‘The Historiography of Mughal Gardens’, in James L. Wescoat and Joachim Wolsche-Bulmahn (eds), Mughal Gardens: Sources, Places, Representations, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1996, pp. 259–66. Ruggles, D. Fairchild, Gardens, Landscape and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain, Philadelphia: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000.

Introduction

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Schopen, Gregory, ‘The Buddhist “Monastery” and the Indian Garden: Aesthetics, Assimilation, and the Siting of Monastic Establishments’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 126, no. 4, 2006, pp. 487–505. Sharma, Yuthika, ‘Of Sultanate Follies in English Gardens: Archaeology, Tourism, and Landscaping of Sultanate Sites, A Case Study of Colonial Delhi (1849–1936)’, unpublished paper presented at the conference ‘Fragrance Symmetry and Light: The History of Gardens and Garden Culture in the Deccan’, University of Hyderabad, January 2007. Sherwani, H. K., History of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty, Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd, 1974. Sohoni, Pushkar, ‘Change and Memory in Farah Bagh, Ahmadnagar — Metamorphosis of a Deccan Palace: From Farah Bakhsh Bagh to a Silk Factory’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, pp. 59–77. Welch, Anthony, ‘Gardens That Babur did not Like: Landscape, Water, and Architecture of the Sultans of Dehli’, in James L. Wescoat and Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn (eds), Mughal Gardens: Sources, Places, Representations, Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1996, pp. 59–94. Wescoat, James, and Joachim Wolschke–Bulmahn (eds), ‘Sources, Places, Representations and Prospects’, in idem (eds), Mughal Gardens: Sources, Places, Representations, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1996. Yazdani, Ghulam, Bidar: Its History and Monuments, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt Ltd, 1995.

1

The Use of Garden Imagery in Early Indian Buddhism AKIRA SHIMADA Now at that time the twin Sāla trees were all one mass of bloom with flowers out of season; and all over the body of the Tathāgata these dropped and sprinkled and scattered themselves, out of reverence for the successor of the Buddhas of old. (Mahāparinibbānasutta, 5.2)

As a result of growing urbanisation and the rise of sedentary societies, early historic India (c. 500 BC–AD 300) saw significant social change. One of the most remarkable changes was the emergence of two new social classes, the urban elites (nāgaraka) and social renouncers (śramaṇa). Of them, the more successful group of śramaṇas was certainly the Buddhist saṁgha, which gained a foothold in the lower Gangetic valley and soon expanded into other parts of the Indian subcontinent (particularly after the Maurya period, c. 300–200 BC). Through its expansion, Buddhism significantly shaped certain aspects of urban society, and in turn adopted a variety of ideas and practices from the nāgaraka. This article will explore the integration of Buddhism into early urban India through its use and adaptation of garden imagery. Royal gardens and rich, urban household gardens were cultural institutions of some significance in the period, and Buddhist order seems to have developed a close relationship with garden culture.1 As a result, there is a rich garden imagery in early Buddhist literature and architecture (c. 200 BC–AD 300). Early Buddhist texts often use flower and plant imagery to glorify the Buddha’s miraculous acts. Early Buddhist architecture, particularly stūpas, were also full of motifs linked with gardens — lotuses, vine-scrolls, trees, fruits and courtly figures playing in gardens. How did early Buddhist literature and architecture adopt garden imagery and accommodate it within a Buddhist framework? What are the historical implications behind this phenomenon? This article addresses these questions by examining the Buddhist use of garden imagery in textual and artistic traditions. In the first section, I will give an overview of the nature of the garden in early historical India and its geographical, social and ideological links with Buddhism; then, I will examine the use of garden imagery in representative Buddhist scriptures compiled in the early centuries AD, such as the Buddhacarita and early Mahāyāna sūtras. In the third and fourth sections, I will examine the use of garden motifs in early Buddhist stūpas (c. 200 BC–AD 300) to highlight their distinctive features, particularly in the treatment of erotic figures. The geographical focus of this section will be central India and the Deccan as they were core

1

Daud Ali, ‘Gardens in Early Indian Court Life’, Studies in History, vol. 19, no. 2, 2003, pp. 221–52; Gregory Schopen, ‘The Buddhist “Monastery” and the Indian Garden: Aesthetics, Assimilation, and the Siting of Monastic Establishments’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 126, no. 4, 2006, pp. 487–505.

Garden Imagery in Early Indian Buddhism

areas of growing urbanisation in India between 200 Buddhist remains of this period.

BC

and

AD

19

300. They also preserve the richest

Gardens and Early Buddhism Judging from the sources, there were probably a number of ‘types’ of gardens in early India — residential gardens attached to palaces, mansions, or wealthy households, orchards on royal lands, and what may have been ‘public’ gardens maintained by the king. The most commonly mentioned among these is the residential garden — although in many texts the precise type of garden described is less than clear. Daud Ali has argued that palatial and mansion gardens (ārāma) in ancient India were beautiful, highly ordered and carefully ornamented places continuous with the ordered domestic space of the palace.2 But unlike the royal residential quarters and assembly hall which formed the official arenas of courtly life, the garden functioned as a place of more private and intimate enjoyments. Various courtly activities such as the Spring Festival and the related worship of Kāmadeva, picnics with companions and secret meetings with lovers and courtesans took place there.3 According to the Kāmasūtra, lovers (nāyaka, nāyikā) were to play various games in the gardens using plants and flowers, including the opening of mangoes, eating roasted grains and lotus stems, playing with new leaves and so on. They were also to enjoy various activities connected with erotic pleasures, including drinking wine, dancing, spraying water and various games of courtship.4 Such garden activities are confirmed in Buddhist literature. In the Buddhacarita by Aśvaghoṣa (c. 2nd century AD), for example, there is an episode depicting the Bodhisattva’s walk in the pleasure garden accompanied by courtesans who were asked to seduce him. The scene is described as follows: Then surrounded by the women, the prince wandered through the garden, like an elephant through the Himalayan forest, accompanied by a herd of females. In that lovely grove he shone with the women in attendance on him, like Vivasvat surrounded by Apsaras-es in the pleasance of Vidhrāja. Then some of the young women there, pretending to be under the influence of intoxication, touched him with their firm, rounded, close-set, charming breasts. One made a false stumble and clasped him by force by her tender arm-creepers, which hung down loosely from her dropping shoulders. Another, whose mouth with copper-coloured lower lip smelt of spirituous liquor, whispered in his ear, ‘Listen to a secret’. 5

Such prescriptive and poetical representations suggest that the garden in ancient India was not merely a place for cultivating plants, but had unique and indispensable functions in urban and courtly society, distinctively different from those of the royal palace. While the royal palace was a kind of ‘public’ space where a series of fixed manners and customs had to be observed, gardens were ‘private’, intimate and ‘fluid’ places where expected social customs, such as the continence of sexual desire, were likely to be violated.6 The royal assembly and the pleasure garden thus formed complementary topoi in the urban courtly culture. 2

Ali, ‘Gardens in Early Indian Court Life’, pp. 223, 225–34, 237–38. Ibid., pp. 235–36. 4 Kāmasūtra, 1.4.24–29. See also the discussion of garden games in the Mānasollāsa in Daud Ali’s article in this volume. 5 Buddhacarita, 3.27–31. 6 Ali, ‘Gardens in Early Indian Court Life’, p. 237 3

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Why, then, did Buddhism make such use of the garden and its imagery — which appears ostensibly at odds with monastic life? There are two possible reasons. The first was the geographical and social ‘separated proximity’ of the garden to the urban space. As indicated by both textual and nontextual evidence, gardens and Buddhist monasteries both tended to be located at the ‘periphery’ of or ‘interstices’ between more densely settled areas. In the Buddhacarita, the Buddha goes to a pleasure grove not directly from the palace but by passing through the city to a spatially separate garden, perhaps for nobles. This seems to indicate that the grove was not attached to the palace and was located in a remote part of the city.7 Schopen’s study of the Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya suggests that gardens and monasteries were located very close to each other and had similar environmental conditions.8 My archaeological survey of the Andhra region in the eastern Deccan also indicates that early historic cities of this region had Buddhist monasteries in fringe areas around the fortifications.9 An apparent reason for their geographical and environmental ‘separated proximity’ was that both gardens and monasteries required quiet, sheltered surroundings, but also easy access from or to the city centre — in this sense they were urban rather than rustic phenomena. It may also be noted that both gardens and monasteries were places for extraordinary activities, such as the Spring Festival, lover’s meetings and ascetic life, in which everyday social customs and ethics were transcended.10 Although their functions and aims were quite different and even seemingly incompatible, they were nevertheless related institutions in urban spaces in terms of their ‘separated’ or ‘insulated’ nature. A garden could, thus, easily be converted into a monastery. It provided an ideal space for accommodating the Buddhist saṁgha within an urban setting. Perhaps the most famous episode highlighting this point is the story of Anāthapiṇḍika, a powerful gahapati who donated the Buddhist monastery at Śrāvastī. Looking for a place which was …neither too far from a village, nor too near, suitable for coming and going, accessible to people whenever they want, not crowded by day, having little noise at night, little sound, without folks’ breath, secluded from people, fitting for meditation ...

he eventually purchased the pleasure grove of prince Jeta and gave it to the saṁgha.11 In addition to spatial and social ‘separated proximity’, another possible link between Buddhism and garden culture was the symbolic importance of garden plants in representing a new non-agonistic

7

Buddhacarita 3.1–5. Schopen, ‘The Buddhist “Monastery” and the Indian Garden’, pp. 494–95. It should be noted that the religious sanctuary (caitya) in ancient India seems to have had very similar features to gardens. Buddhist and nonBuddhist sources suggest that caityas were located on the peripheral part of the settlements (Arthaśāstra, 2.4.20– 23; Digha Nikaya, III, pp. 9–10). People visited the caitya not only for worshipping shrines, but also for enjoyment (Mahāparinibbānasutta, 3.2, 3.5, 3.45–47 [Digha Nikaya, II, pp. 102–3; 117–18]). A Jain text Uttarādhyayana sūtra, for instance, tells us that a Magadha king Srenika [= Bimbisāla] visited Maṇḍikukuṣi caitya for an excursion. The text compares the caitya with Indra’s Nandana garden, and praises its beauty with many trees, creepers, birds, and flowers (Uttarādhyayana sūtra, 20.2–3; Jacobi trans., pt. II, p. 100). 9 Akira Shimada, ‘Amaravati and Dhānyakaṭaka: Topology of Monastic Spaces in Ancient Indian Cities’, in Jason Hawkes and Akira Shimada (eds), Buddhist Stūpas in South Asia: Recent Archaeological, Art-Historical and Historical Perspectives, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 217–22. 10 See Shimada, ‘Amaravati and Dhānyakaṭaka’, pp. 222–29. 11 I. B. Horner, trans., The Book of the Discipline (Vinaya-Pitaka), vol. 5, London: Luzac & Company, 1963, p. 222 [Vinaya Pitaka, II, p. 158]. 8

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21

social order.12 As Brian K. Smith has argued, in the Vedic value system plants were ranked at the bottom of the conceptual social order of living beings since they were deemed immobile, weak and were simply consumed by higher, mobile species.13 With the widespread practice of agriculture and the development of class societies, the rise of states, towns and cities however, the social meaning of plants changed considerably. Besides the practical value of plants as food and medicine, urban elites now began to appreciate their aesthetic value and constructed gardens for enjoyment, which became an integral element of sophisticated life. As indicated by the Aśokan edicts as well as Buddhist and non-Buddhist textual sources, intellectuals also began to question the value of violent animal sacrifice, the core of Vedic religion, developing instead non-violent rituals using plants and other vegetal substances.14 Certain types of plants slowly became among the most important signs of the refined, graceful and non-violent urban lifestyle that distinguished the new propertied and elite classes from their historical predecessors. For Buddhism, the urban religion supporting nonviolence, the use of garden imagery was an effective and preferable option for propagating their distinct and refined doctrines. Yet gardens and garden imagery might well have been problematic for Buddhism. One major problem would have been its highly sensual nature. Theoretically, Buddhism denied the value of sensual beauty: everything having colour and shape (rūpa), as well as the human engagement with it, including feeling (vedanā), perception (saṁjñā), habitual tendencies (saṁskāra) and consciousness (vijñāna), were deemed impermanent. Attachment to sensual beauty thus caused suffering (dukha). Even more problematic for Buddhists was the fact that the garden and its plants were not only beautiful, but had developed strong erotic connotations among the elite. As mentioned earlier, gardens had important functions for courtship and the pursuit of erotic pleasure (kāma) — as a place where one met lovers and courtesans. Interestingly enough, a good source for the erotic connotations of gardens is again the Buddhacarita, in which the poet Aśvaghoṣa voices an explicit connection between garden plants and eroticism through the mouth of a courtesan: See, my lord, this mango loaded with honey-scented flowers, in which the koïl calls, looking as if imprisoned in a golden cage. Look at this aśoka tree, the increaser of lovers’ sorrows, in which the bees murmur as if scorched by fire. Behold this tilaka tree, embraced by a woman with yellow body-paint. See the kurubaka in full bloom, shining like lac just squeezed out, which bends over as if dazzled by the brilliance of the women’s nails. And look at this young aśoka tree, all covered with young shoots, which stands as if abashed by the glitter of our hands. See the pond enveloped by the sinduvāra bushes growing on its bank, like a woman lying down and clothed in white silk.15

12

Ali, ‘Gardens in Early Indian Court Life’, pp. 224, 239–40. Brian K. Smith, Classifying the Universe: The Ancient Indian Varna System and the Origin of Caste, New York: Oxford University Press, 1994, pp. 209–17. 14 D. C. Sircar, Inscriptions of Asoka, 4th edn, Delhi: Publications Division, 1998, pp. 32–33 (Rock Edicts, chaps 1 and 2); Kūtadanta-sutta (Digha Nikaya, no. 5); Manu 5.26–56. 15 Buddhacarita, 4.44–49. 13

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As one might expect, the Bodhisattva did not heed such words. According to the story, the Buddha was embarrassed by the courtesans’ unawareness of the transitory nature of youth and beauty, and sunk into further contemplation. The erotic connotations of garden plants would thus seem not so easily compatible with the Buddhist goal of nirvāṇa through the negation of kāma. On the other hand, one may also note that the erotic imagery in the Buddhacarita effectively works not only to highlight Buddha’s unwavering mind, but also to beautify the narrative. There is little doubt that Aśvaghoṣa was fully conscious of the problematic but attractive nature of garden imagery. In short, the relationship between Buddhism and gardens exhibits an important dimension of the accommodation of Buddhism with urban society. In terms of spatial proximity and the sharing of the new ethics of urban society, Buddhist practice and garden culture were closely related. In this sense, it would hardly be surprising that Buddhism adopted garden and plant imagery for its propagation. On the other hand, it is difficult to understand how Buddhism would have adopted courtly imagery tout court without seriously compromising its vision. How did early Buddhism cope with this problem and establish a distinctively Buddhist use of gardens and plant culture? To address these questions, it is necessary to explore the textual and material evidence more closely.

Garden Imagery in Buddhist Literature As already mentioned, early Buddhist literature contains numerous references suggesting a close relationship between gardens and Buddhism. The most persistent association was that between gardens and events of the Buddha’s life. It is well known that the Buddha’s legends were often associated with gardens, groves and trees: his birth in the Lumbinī garden; first meditation under the rose-apple tree; enlightenment under the bodhi tree near Gayā; his first sermon at the Deer-park (Mṛgadāva) near Kāśī; and his parinirvāṇa at the Sāla grove in Kuśinagara. An obvious reason for this association is that the Buddha, as a śramaṇa, actually resided in these gardens and groves. It is also possible, however, that Buddhists preferred to attach the Buddha’s life events to gardens because their particular characteristics — places separated and distinct from the courtly and urban milieu, yet protected, managed and refined — were deemed appropriate for both emphasising the Buddha’s miraculous life and distinguishing it from those of secular lords.16 It was because of this close association between the Buddha’s legend and gardens that Buddhist literature developed elaborate uses for garden imagery in representing the Buddha’s life and Buddhist

16 Notable in this regard is Buddha’s birth-legend at Lumbinī. Interestingly, some of the Buddha’s birth-stories recorded in Pāli canons do not mention the Lumbinī garden. The Mahāvadāna-sutta (Digha Nikaya, II, no. 14), for instance, simply says that Gautama was born at Kapilavastu (Rhys Davids trans., vol. 2, p. 40). In the Sutta-nipāta (v. 683), Buddha’s birthplace was a village of Śākya tribe in the Lumbinī region (Sakyāna gāme janade Lumbhiyye). The Acchariyabbhutadhamma-sutta (Majjhima Nikaya, no. 123) makes no mention of the place of the Buddha’s birth, while describing a series of miracles at his birth (Chalmers trans., 1927, vol. 2, pp. 222–26). The majority of later Buddhist narratives, however, agree that Buddha was born in the Lumbinī garden, not the palace at Kapilavastu. One possible reason for this selection was that childbirth would cause defilements and should be avoided in traditional ideology of Brahminism (cf. Manu, 5.50). It is also likely, however, that the garden was regarded as an ideal place to glorify the Buddha’s miraculous birth which, as is well known, happened by Māyā’s grasping of the branch of a tree.

Garden Imagery in Early Indian Buddhism

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cosmology. One common deployment, as shown by the cited passages of the Mahāparinibbānasutta, was to signify and aestheticise the Buddha’s miraculous acts through plant imagery. In the early centuries AD, such use of garden imagery increased in frequency and detail. The Buddhacarita, for instance, describes various horticultural and botanical miracles beginning with Māyā’s grasping of a tree in order to give birth. When the newborn Bodhisattva lay on a couch, the leaders of the yakṣas stood surrounding him with golden lotuses; nāgas sprinkled Mandāra flowers; and an unclouded sky showered red and blue lotuses upon them. At the Lumbinī grove, flowers bloomed, rivers flowed quietly, and animals stopped fighting and calling.17 Even more elaborate versions may be seen in the Lalitavistara and Fo benzing ji jing. When the Buddha’s birth was due, lotuses, flowers and trees sprouted as auspicious signs; When he was born, a large lotus appeared from the earth to receive him; as he took seven steps, lotuses sprouted at the spots where his feet touched the ground; a cosmic Aśvattha tree appeared at the centre of the continent, and 500 gardens appeared surrounding the capital!18 This use of garden imagery seems to have facilitated the development of an important new concept: seeing the Buddha’s ideal abode as a garden. The Lalitavistara, compiled in the early centuries AD, contains an impressive description of the preparation for the Buddha’s enlightenment. Two chapters of the text describe how the gods prepared the road from the Nairañjanā river to the seat of enlightenment (bodhimaṇḍa), and dwells at length on the bodhimaṇḍa itself. The road was decorated by palm trees, garlands, lotus-ponds with steps made of precious stones, fragrant water and flowers. The bodhimaṇḍa was surrounded by seven altars, seven rows of tāla trees, seven nets with bells and other materials.19 The bodhisattvas of different directions also provided the bodhimaṇḍa with umbrellas, various additional buildings, golden lotuses, showers of flowers and garlands.20 In short, the place of enlightenment was envisioned as a highly elaborate and miraculous garden. In early Mahāyāna texts (compiled around the same time as the Lalitavistara) this idea further developed into the concept of ‘paradise’, a celestial or cosmic abode where the Buddha lives and preaches eternally. According to the Sukhāvatīvyūhasūtra, Amitābha’s paradise (sukhāvatī) is equipped with seven rows of railings and tāla trees; nets with bells; lotus-ponds made from seven jewels and surrounded by jewel-trees; constant showers of Mandārava flowers; and beautiful birds such as peacocks.21 In the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra, numerous Buddha-paradises created by the light emitted from the eternal Buddha’s uṣṇīṣa, and each includes various jewel-trees (ratnavṛkṣas) embellished with golden nets containing the seven treasures.22 Like the place of enlightenment described in the Lalitavistara, the Buddha’s abodes in these texts were highly embellished gardens.

17

Buddhacarita, 1.17, 19, 21, 24–26. See the Lalitavistara, chap. 7; Fo benxing ji jing (Taisho, vol. 3, no. 190, pp. 687b, 689a, 697a). For detailed textual and visual references to the Buddha’s birth-legend, see Dieter Schlingloff, Studies in the Ajanta Paintings: Identifications and Interpretations, Delhi: Ajanta Publications, 1988, pp. 20–21. 19 Lalitavistara, chap. 19. Fangguang da zhuangyan jing, vol. 9, chap. 19 (Taisho, vol. 3. no. 278, p. 585c). 20 Lalitavistara, chap. 20; Fangguang da zhuangyan jing , vol. 9, chap. 20 (Taisho, vol. 3. pp. 588–90). 21 The Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha, paras 15–23; Wuliang shou jing (Taisho, vol. 12, p. 270c–272b); The Smaller Sukhāvatīvyūha, paras 2–7; Amituo jing (Taisho, vol. 12, pp. 346c–347a). 22 Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra, chap. 11; Miaofa lianhua jīng (Taisho, vol. 9, pp. 32b–34b). 18

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We should also note that Buddhists assumed that such celestial gardens were not only the abodes of Buddhas, but also of other powerful beings, such as nāgas and gods like Indra. The Saṅkhapāka jātaka, for example, describes the abode of a nāga king as surrounded by a sapphire wall and a mango grove. Amidst the groves was a gold cloth set in silver.23 Indra’s pleasure garden, called Nandana, is frequently mentioned in both Buddhist and non-Buddhist texts. The Mahābhārata repeatedly praises Nandana as a great place with trees, flowers, fragrance and beautiful apsarases.24 The same text also mentions Indra’s abode, Amarāvatī, which is adorned with jewels and trees yielding any sort of fruit that might be desired.25 These references indicate that the concept of luxurious gardens as the ideal abodes of great beings was not an exclusively Buddhist idea but was a widely prevalent notion in contemporary society. Lying behind this ubiquitous imagery, no doubt providing it with some basis for elaboration, must have been a well-established garden culture. It is also notable that the gardens conceptualised by Buddhists were highly material places embellished by jewels and gold. Xinru Liu has argued that the inclusion of such items in Buddhist scriptures was very likely the reflection of materially rich urban culture which flourished in the early centuries AD.26 Between the Buddhas’ paradise gardens described in Buddhist scriptures and those of other deities, however, we may note a significant difference. In the description of the gardens of Indra and the Nāgas, the beauty and enjoyment of celestial women or apsarases forms an important feature. Buddha-paradises, on the other hand, hardly contain any such descriptions. In chapters 19 and 20 of the Lalitavistara, apsarases appear to sprinkle fragrant waters and flowers on the road to the bodhimaṇḍa. Beautiful females also appear from the golden lotus to praise Buddha. However, their role seems to be entirely ‘decorative’ and their descriptions minimal in comparison to the detailed elaborations of the Boddhisattvas and their acts of embellishing the bodhimaṇḍa. The Buddha-abodes of the Sukhāvatīvyūha and Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra are fantastic places with glittering trees and flowers, beautiful ponds and heavenly music. In the Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha, however, no female may stay in Amitābha’s paradise (Sukhāvatī) because of the vow made by the bhikṣu Dharmākara.27 Although the text briefly mentions the presence of apsarases, there is no detailed description of their beauty.28 The Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra also affirms that there were no females and sexual conduct in Sukhāvatī,29 as females had to become male before being reborn in heaven.30 As Ali has pointed out, when compared with courtly representations, the Buddhist paradise gardens described in normative texts are highly sensual but remarkably desexualised places.31 The texts visualise bliss (sukha) surpassing the sphere of mundane pleasure.

23

Jātaka, no. 524, pt. V, pp. 168–69. Also see the Bhūridatta Jātaka (Jātaka, no. 543, pt. VI, pp. 173–74). Mahābhārata, 1.84.17. 25 Mahābhārata, 3.164.42–48. 26 On the influence of the urban material culture into Buddhism, see Xinru Liu, Ancient India and Ancient China: Trade and Religious Exchanges AD 1600, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1988. 27 The Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha, para 8.34; Wuliang shou jing (Taisho, vol. 12, p. 268c) 28 Ibid., para 23. 29 Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra, chap. 24, v. 31. 30 Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra, chap 11; Miaofa lianhua jīng (Taisho, vol. 9, p. 35c). 31 Ali, ‘Gardens in Early Indian Court Life’, p. 247. 24

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Gardens depicted at Buddhist Stūpa St pass The above features of Buddhist gardens in normative texts lead us to focus on our next topic: the Buddha’s abode as a garden embodied in contemporary Buddhist architecture. The best example to address this issue is undoubtedly the Buddhist stūpa, the eternal abode of the Buddha in this world.32 From c. 200 BC, central India and the Deccan experienced active state formation and urbanisation characterised by the emergence of local rulers, courtly officials, coinage, writing scripts and mercantile associations or guilds.33 These new developments were clearly associated with the spread of Buddhist monasteries, which may have played an active role in the development of cities.34 With the exception of Gandhāra, these regions have the richest surviving examples of early Buddhist monasteries and stūpas, built between c. 200 BC and AD 300, particularly on the main trade routes and commercial centres.35 As is well known, the railings and gateways of these early stūpas depict, besides the narratives of the Buddha’s life, rich ‘decorative’ motifs. The primary motifs of this ‘decorative’ sculpture include a variety of plants as well as figurative designs associated with plants and trees. The plants represented in these sculptures are highly vibrant and ‘productive’. As shown by the example of the Bhārhut railing in central India, the vine scrolls twist and generate young leaves, flowers, various fruits and even treasures (Plate 1.1). The lotuses are full-blown or about to bloom. In the case of Amarāvatī in the eastern Deccan, some lotuses even physically protrude from the vedika as if they were sprouting from a real lattice or wooden railing. Among the figurative motifs, the most prominent are the socalled śālabhañjikā or female figures embracing or grasping flowering trees typically located at the entrances of the railings and the consoles of the gateways (Plate 1.2). A variety of animals are also found among the plants, including forest creatures such as the nāga, lion, bull, squirrels, tortoise, elephant and peacock. Some of these ‘decorative’ motifs apparently show their fantastic nature. The vine-scrolls depicted in the stūpa railings and gateways, as mentioned above, not only emit flowers and fruits but various jewels as well, like a wish-fulfilling tree (kalpavṛkṣa). Sculpted animals also include a variety of fantastic forest creatures, such as turtles which themselves emit plants and flowers, winged-lions, elephants with deer-horns and makaras. Equally notable in this regard is the decoration of the Bhārhut rail coping. Below the central band depicting vine-creepers and story narratives one may notice a narrow band that represents a net with bells which is a typical ornament

32 On the concept of stūpa as the living Buddha, see Gregory Schopen, ‘Burial Ad Sanctos and the Physical Presence of the Buddha in Early Indian Buddhism’, in G. Schopen, Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks: Collected Papers on the Archaeology, Epigraphy, and Texts of Monastic Buddhism in India, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1997, pp. 114–47. 33 H. P. Ray, Monastery and Guild: Commerce under the Sātavāhanas, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1986, pp. 51–89; idem, ‘Networks of Power: Maritime History and Archaeology of Early Andhra’, Proceedings of the Andhra Pradesh History Congress, 21st session, 1997, pp. 8–16; B. D. Chattopadhyaya, ‘Transition to the Early Historical Phase in the Deccan: A Note’, in B. M. Pande and B. D. Chattopadhyaya (eds), Archaeology and History: Essays in Memory of Sri A. Ghosh, Delhi: Agam Kala Prakashan, 1987, vol. 2, pp. 727–32. 34 Shimada, ‘Amarāvatī and Dhānyakaṭaka’, pp. 229–33. 35 James Heitzman, ‘Early Buddhism, Trade and Empire’, in Kenneth A. R. Kennedy and Gregory L. Possehl (eds), Studies in the Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology of South Asia, New Delhi: Oxford & IBH, 1984, p. 131.

Plate 1.1

Rail Coping, Bharhut, Madhya Pradesh. Indian Museum, Kolkata, West Bengal.

Plate 1. 2 Śālabhañjikā, Eastern Gateway, Sanchi I, Madhya Pradesh.

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of the celestial Buddha’s abodes as described in the Sukhāvatīvyūha and Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra (Plate 1.1). The symbolic world represented by the decorative elements of these stūpas is not simply an incidental place abounding in plants and animals; it invokes, more precisely, the highly ornamented gardens which are described in the early Buddhist scriptures.36 Comparison with the textual descriptions of Buddhist celestial gardens, however, reveals a distinctive feature of the gardens represented at stūpas, namely, the existence of ‘female’ or erotic elements. As argued above, Buddhist paradise gardens described in the early Mahāyāna scriptures substantially diminish female figures and erotic associations of gardens. In early Buddhist stūpas, however, voluptuous women and erotic scenes often appear as prominent motifs on the railings. As already noted, the śālabhañjikā figure is certainly one of the most prominent figures in this category. In addition, mithunas (amorous couples) also frequently appear in stūpa decoration. The Sānchī stūpa I west and north gateways (c. 50 BC), for instance, depict mithunas in heavenly gardens (Plates 1.3, 1.4).37 In the gardens, which have lotus-ponds, waterfalls, flowers and plants, railings and bowers shaded by artificially trimmed trees, amorous couples enjoy various activities, such as drinking wine, soaking their feet in ponds, playing music and elephant riding. Interestingly, in the later period (c. AD 1–300), the figures of females and mithuna couples appear more prominently in the decoration of stūpas. At Kuṣāṇa period Mathurā, for example, we see a variety of seductive female figures carved on the outer face of the stūpa railing, such as the ones found at Bhūtesar mound (Plates 1.5, 1.6). The females are engaged in various courtly activities such as picking flowers, washing their hair at a waterfall, drinking wine, looking at mirrors and playing with birds. Some of their activities seem to conform to the 64 arts to be mastered by nāyakas and nāyikās listed in the Kāmasūtra.38 Above the female figure, the railing also depicts an amorous couple drinking wine. In the western Deccan, mithuna figures appear at entrances of caitya halls as early as c. 100–50 BC at Phitalkorā and Kondane.39 This iconographic tradition continued and further developed at the famous Kārlā caitya of the Sātavāhana period (c. AD 50), described in a votive inscription as ‘the most excellent cavedwelling in Jambūdvīpa’40 The caitya depicts large mithunas at the main entrance and numerous smaller mithunas on the porch’s side-walls (Plate 1.7). The couples are present even inside the caitya,

36

In an argument akin to Curtius’ regarding the representation of nature in medieval European literature, Robert Brown has suggested that the lotuses and vine-creepers seen at Bhārhut and Sāñchī were not faithful representations of ‘real’ plants, but took highly regularised forms by using the repetitions of patterns. According to Brown, such patterned shapes of plant motifs may have been intended to introduce a perfect and infinite nature to sacred religious space. Brown defines such natural forms used in early stūpas as the representation of utopian or ‘dharma’ space. See Robert L. Brown, ‘Nature as Utopian Space on the Early Stūpas of India’, in Hawkes and Shimada (eds), Buddhist Stūpas in South Asia, pp. 63–80; see also Ernst Robert Curtius, European Literature in the Latin Middle Ages, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, pp. 183ff. 37 John Marshall and Alfred Foucher, Monuments of Sāñchī, vol. 2, Delhi: Swati Publications, 1983, plates 34b, 64c. 38 Kāmasūtra, 1.3.15. 39 D. Mitra, Buddhist Monuments, Calcutta: Sahitya Samsad, 1971, plate 104; V. Dehejia, Early Buddhist Rock Temples, London: Thames & Hudson, 1972, plates 30–32. 40 E. Senart, ‘The Inscriptions in the Caves at Karle’, Epigraphia Indica, vol. 7, 1902–3, no. 1; H. Lüders, ‘A List of Brahmi Inscriptions from the Earliest Times to about A.D. 400 with the Exception of those of Aśoka’, Epigraphia Indica, vol. 10, 1909–10, no. 1087.

Plate 1. 3 Couples in the pleasure garden, East Pillar, Northern Gateway, Sanchi I, Madhya Pradesh.

Plate 1. 4 Couples in the pleasure garden, North Pillar, Western Gateway, Sanchi I, Madhya Pradesh.

Plate 1. 5 Stūpa Railing (outer face, courtly ladies), Bhutesar, Uttar Pradesh. Indian Museum, Kolkata, West Bengal.

Plate 1. 6 Stūpa Railing (inner face, Buddha’s legends), Bhutesar, Uttar Pradesh. Indian Museum, Kolkata, West Bengal.

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as mithunas of animals are found on pillars dividing the nave and aisle of the hall.41 This decoration of the caitya was largely copied in the Kanherī caitya (c. AD 200) as well.42 In the eastern Deccan, drum friezes at Amarāvatī begin to insert mithunas between the legends of the Buddha around c. AD 200–250. Unlike the mithunas in Kārlā and Kanherī which face the front and show little interaction between male and female, the couples at Amarāvatī clearly gaze at each other and depict activities such as drinking wine and looking at mirrors.43 On the drum friezes at Nāgārjunakoṇḍa, dated to the Ikṣvāku period (c. AD 250–300), mithunas show even more explicit acts of courtship, such as embracing, drinking wine, forcibly raising a female’s face (possibly for kissing) and so on (Plates 1.8, 1.9).44 These various postures find parallels in the descriptions of lovers in contemporary court literature such as the Kāmasūtra and Gathāsaptaśatī.45 Traditionally, these erotic figures have not been interpreted as connected with gardens or garden culture. Rather, they have been linked to pre-Buddhist religious traditions, particularly putative ‘fertility cults’ associated with sacred trees. This theory argues that the generative power of the tree was the object of popular worship from time immemorial in ancient India, dating as far back as the Harappan times. In the Vedic period the tree cult was manifested in the notion of the so-called ‘cosmic tree’ that grew from Heaven and generated all beings. The tradition continued in the postVedic period through the worship of the sacred tree as caitya, which was the abode of yakṣa and yakṣī, the deities of wealth and fertility. The generative plants and the related figurative motifs such as the śālabhañjikā figure are thus understood as the Buddhist adaptation of popular religion.46 We should note, however, that the validity of this influential model is still highly contested. A major problem with this theory, often overlooked, is that we know almost nothing about the details of the so-called tree and yakṣa cults outside of the scattered Brahmanical and Buddhist textual references and Buddhist art-historical evidence. We thus cannot be certain of the extent to which such tree and yakṣa cults prevailed before the advent of Buddhism.47 Moreover, and particularly germane to the interpretations presented here, this theory tends to dismiss the significance of plant

41

Mitra, Buddhist Monuments, plate 101. Another important example is Budh Lena at Junnar (c. AD 100). Here a large female figure or lakṣmī is depicted above the entrance; cf. ibid., plate 102. Also Kuda caitya VI (c. AD 200) has large mithunas inside the cave, although the stūpa shrine and mithunas were divided by a wall. See Dehejia, Early Buddhist, plates 68, 70, 71. 42 See Dehejia, Early Buddhist, plates 75–79. 43 C. Sivaramamurti, Amaravati Sculptures in the Madras Government Museum, Madras: Director of Stationery and Printing, 1977, plate 59-1; Robert Knox, Amaravati: Buddhist Sculpture from the Buddhist Stūpa, London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1992, no. 55. 44 Elizabeth Rosen Stone, The Buddhist Art of Nāgārjunakoṇḍa, New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt Ltd, 1994, figures 205, 214–15. 45 Kāmasūtra, 2.1–2.2; Gāthāsaptaśatī, 6.50, 52, 55, 89. 46 As for the representative studies of this theory, see M. Eliade, Patterns in Comparative Religion, trans. by R. Sheed, New York: New American Library, 1958, pp. 265–330; F. D. K. Bosch, The Golden Germ: An Introduction to Indian Symbolism, The Hague: Mouton, 1960. 47 As Julia Shaw has argued, if we follow strictly the available archaeological data, it is only possible to say that the tree and yakṣa/yakṣī cults may have taken concrete shape with the advent of Buddhism and urbanisation. J. Shaw, ‘Nāga Sculptures in Sanchi’s Archaeological Landscape: Buddhism, Vaiṣnavism, and Local Agricultural Cults in Central India, First Century BCE to Fifth Century CE’, Artibus Asiae, vol. 64, no. 1, 2004, pp. 50–52.

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Plate 1.7

31

Mithuna-s, Karla caitya, Karla Caves, Maharashtra.

imagery in contemporary society. For the visitors to the stūpas who were mostly urban citizens, the plants depicted on the stūpa railings were more likely to remind them of contemporary gardens than manifestations of archaic tree-cults. Besides the abundant lotuses, vine-creepers, birds and animals which were all important components of gardens, a prominent motif suggesting this interpretation is the voluptuous female figures decorating the stūpas (Plate 1.2). Because of the tree-cult theory and epigraphic evidence at Bhārhut, these female figures are almost unanimously identified as yakṣīs, śālabhañjikās or vṛkṣakās.48 As Dorith Meth Srinivasan has pointed out, however, we have no strong evidence to persuade us that all of these female figures were such tree spirits.49 Considering the close association of females and courtly garden culture and the prevalence of garden culture in contemporary urban society, it is highly possible that the voluptuous female signified the romantic activities that transpired in either mundane or celestial pleasure gardens, as seen in the passages of the Buddhacarita. These court women, whether divine or human, were associated with dalliance and sexual pleasure rather than fertility. Erotic female figures seen at Bhūtesar, Amarāvatī and Nāgārjunakoṇḍa also corroborate this interpretation. Of course, this view may not exclude the

48

H. Lüders (rev. and supplemented by E. Waldschmit and M. A. Mehendare), Bhārhut Inscriptions (Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, 2.ii), Ootacamund: Government Epigraphist for India, 1963, B2. For representative interpretations of these female figures, see A. K. Coomaraswamy, Yakṣas, New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd, 1971, pp. 32–36; S. L. Huntington, for instance, identifies Bhutesar figure as yakṣī. See Susan L. Huntington (with contribution by John L. Huntington), The Art of Ancient India: Buddhist Hindu and Jain, New York: Weatherhill, 1984, p. 150. 49 Dorith Meth Srinivasan, ‘The Mauryan Gaṇikā from Dīdarganj (Pātaliputra), East and West, vol. 55, 2005, p. 362.

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Plate 1.8 Mithuna-s on Drum Frieze (male raising female’s face), Nagarjunakonda, Andhra Pradesh. National Museum, New Delhi.

Plate 1.9 Mithuna-s on Drum Frieze (embracing and drinking), Nagarjunakonda, Andhra Pradesh. National Museum, New Delhi.

possibility of identifying such female figures as yakṣīs, since figures may have had multiple attributions.50 Yet along with other such meanings, we contend here that for the urban elite who were familiar with courtly and estate gardens, these figures more likely drew their cultural resonances from the human or divine courtly attendants associated with the residences of powerful lords.

The St Stūpa pa as an Urban Buddhist Garden As our brief survey above has shown, the early Buddhist tradition developed the concept of the Buddha’s abode as a sensual and highly embellished garden in the early centuries AD (the KuṣāṇaSātavāhana-Ikṣvāku period). Further, we have seen a major difference in the representation of gardens between textual/scriptural sources on the one hand, and sculptural depictions on stūpas, particularly in the Deccan, on the other. While the textual descriptions of Buddhist paradise gardens barely include the presence of female figures and their erotic beauty in order to show the capacity of Buddhas and bodhisattvas to overcome kāma, the gardens represented on the stūpas persistently

50 On the multivalent meaning of early Indian images, see Vidya Dehejia, ‘Aniconism and the Multivalence of Emblem’, Arts Orientalis, vol. 21, 1991, pp. 45–66.

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include seductive female figures and amorous couples from the very earliest surviving monuments (c. 150–100 BC). These motifs, and their courtly features, actually increase in prominence during Kuṣāṇa-Sātavāhana-Ikṣvāku times. In other words, while the Buddha’s paradise gardens in normative texts exclude any elements of kāma, the Buddha’s garden represented in the stūpa context clearly includes kāma elements in its iconography through its depiction of common garden practices like drinking and courtship. How do we understand this phenomenon? One possible explanation might be gained by focusing on the different ‘audiences’ or ‘readers’ of texts and stūpas. While it is likely that the ‘readers’ of normative Buddhist texts were almost exclusively Buddhist monks and other religious elites, the stūpa was an open space for much wider audiences, notable among whom were the urban lay elite. Inevitably, the edifice was gradually imprinted with the taste or urban society. In other words, if we follow this theory, the garden in the stūpa may be understood as a hybrid version of the Buddhist and courtly gardens. Although a hybrid form may partly explain this phenomenon, it may not be entirely satisfactory. A fundamental problem here is that the construction and decoration of the stūpas were accomplished with substantial support from the monastic community. As far as we understand from numerous epigraphic records, a major group of donors to early Indian stūpas were monks and nuns.51 Moreover, textual and epigraphic evidence from the Deccan indicates that whoever the donors may have been, building works were typically authorised and overseen by monastic supervisors (navakarmika).52 Although it is true that the stūpa was a kind of fluid space where monastic and secular cultures intermingled and possibly influenced one another, it would be simplistic to regard the decorative scheme of the stūpa as a sort of ‘compromise’ between secular custom and the ‘authentic’ Buddhist gardens of the textual traditions. Furthermore, this line of argument sees the motifs on Buddhist stūpas as a kind of ‘repository’ of external influences rather than a set of conscious design choices, an interpretation clearly belied by the office of navakarmika. Instead, I see such depictions of gardens on stūpas as an explicit effort to hierarchise, encompass and ultimately, control, the world of kāma. A piece of evidence supporting this view lies in the architectural location of such erotic imagery. It is well-known that on the early stūpa railings, such as those at Bhārhut and Amarāvatī, the outer face of railings was adorned with ‘decorative’ and nonnarrative motifs, while their inner faces contained the depiction of sacred legends. An obvious reason for this layout, it would seem, was to enable visitors to see the narratives of the Buddha’s lives while circumambulating the stūpas from within the railing. In addition, it was probably thought that the inner side of the railing, which faced the Buddha [=stūpa], should display appropriately sacred images. The same principle seems to inform the stūpa railing from Bhūtesar (Plates 1.5, 1.6). As described above, each pillar-post of this railing depicts a highly seductive female figure. What we should notice, however, is that the erotic images are always depicted on the outer faces of the pillars (Plate 1.5). The inner sides facing the stūpa depict various jātakas telling of the Bodhisattva’s heroic

51

See G. Schopen, ‘Two Problems in the History of Indian Buddhism: The Layman/Monk Distinction and the Doctrines of the Transference of Merits’, in idem, Bones, Stone and Buddhist Monks, pp. 30–32. 52 For epigraphic evidence of navakarmikas, see Lüders (ed.), Bhārhut Inscriptions, A59; idem, ‘A List of Brāhmī Inscriptions’, no. 1250 (Amarāvatī); Sobhana Gokhale, Kanheri Inscriptions, Pune: Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute, 1991, no. 5; J. P. Vogel, ‘Prakrit Inscriptions from a Buddhist Site at Nagarjunikonda’, Epigraphia Indica, vol. 20 (1929–30), nos. C1 and F. For textual corroboration, see Cullavagga, 5.1–3 [Vinaya Pitaka II, p. 159]; Bhikkhunivibhaṅgha, 1.1 [Vinaya Pitaka IV, p. 211].

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Plate 1.10 Mithuna-s on Drum Frieze, Nagarjunakonda. Archaeological Museum, Nagarjunakonda, Andhra Pradesh.

deeds (Plate 1.6). The railing thus spatially ‘excluded’ erotic imagery from the more important inner space. We may recognise a similar logic at stūpas in the western Deccan as well. In the majority of cases, rock-cut caityas in this region have mithunas outside the caitya hall, typically at the entrances. Although the Kārlā and Kanherī caityas have mithunas depicted at the entrance and even inside the hall, the mithunas in the hall, located on the top of the columns, are much smaller and inconspicuous compared to the large mithunas placed at the entrances of the caityas. At Amrāvatī and Nāgārjunakoṇḍa in the eastern Deccan, erotic mithuna couples are carved on the drum friezes attached to the mound of the stūpa. The frieze juxtaposes a mithuna next to a scene of Buddha’s life as well. However, the mithunas and Buddha legends are clearly separated by dividing walls and pilasters (Plate 1.10). In short, despite their conspicuous nature, erotic figures were thoughtfully differentiated from more desexualised sacred iconography and largely placed in peripheral locations on the stūpas, so that they served to beautify them without dominating or spoiling the Buddha’s abode. Garden imagery represented in stūpas thus is not a simple adaptation of courtly garden. It represents a unique space where urban courtly culture was successfully integrated within a Buddhist ethic.

Conclusion Buddhism, as has been widely stressed, developed in an atmosphere of growing urbanisation. The religion was supported by urban citizens who were otherwise encouraged to pursue pleasure (kāma) along with accumulating wealth (artha) and doing social duty (dharma).53 On the other hand, the

53

See Arthaśāstra, 1.7.4–5.

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core idea of Buddhism is the denial of the supreme value of such worldly practices in order to attain release (mokṣa). The question of how to understand and find a proper relationship with urban culture thus became a more important issue for Buddhism. This brief survey of the use of garden imagery in early Buddhist literature and architecture provides some useful clues to understand how Buddhism coped with this issue and encompassed courtly culture within a Buddhist framework. Based on the existing links between the garden and monastic Buddhism and influence from urban material culture, Buddhists developed the notion of the Buddha’s abode as a highly sensual garden, examples of which may be seen in a number of both Buddhist scriptures and early stūpas. Buddha’s garden abodes represented in the normative texts and those depicted on stūpas, however, exhibit different features. While the texts describe the Buddha’s abode as a fantastic, celestial and significantly desexualised Buddhist paradise-garden, the stūpa, the tangible abode of the Buddha in this world and a unique religious space open to an urban audience, includes the more mundane or terrestrial elements of gardens, such as erotic female figures and amorous couples. These representations, however, were hierarchised and encompassed within the sculptural programs of stūpas. By locating the erotic elements of courtly garden in peripheral or interstitial spaces clearly separated from the more sacred iconography of the Buddha’s life, the stūpa effectively hierarchised courtly culture. When taken together, it is clear that the texts and monuments of the first centuries AD created a sort of hierarchical ensemble of topoi which, while incorporating worldly gardens, carefully subordinated them to increasingly desexualised, transcendental and fantastic gardens found in higher spheres of existence. Overall, the effect of this hierarchy, with its sophisticated uses of garden imagery, was not simply to ‘accommodate’ worldly gardens with their erotic connotations but to connect them to a wider moral cosmos with its own, self-consciously sublime, aesthetic.

References Primary Sources Arthaśāstra The Kauṭilīya Arthaśāstra, 2nd edn, ed. and trans. from Sanskrit by R. P. Kangle, 3 vols, Bombay: University of Bombay, 1969–72. Buddhacarita The Buddhacarita or Acts of the Buddha, ed. and trans. from Sanskrit by E. H. Johnston, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas Publishers Pvt Ltd, 1972. Gāthā Saptaśatī Gāthā Saptaśatī Compiled by King Hāla, ed. and trans. from Sanskrit by R. Basak, Calcutta: The Asiatic Society, 1971. Jātaka The Jataka, together with its Commentary (ed.) V. Fausböll, 7 vols, London: Trübner, 1877–97; rpt. London: The Pali Text Society, 1963. The Jātaka or Stories of the Buddha’s former Births, trans. from Pāli by E. B. Cowell et al., 6 vols, London: Luzac & Company, 1957.

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Kāma Sūtra Kamasutra, trans. from Sanskrit by Wendy Doniger and Sudhir Kakar, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Lalitavistara Le Lalita Vistara: l’histoire du Bouddha Çakya-mouni depuis sa naissance jusqu’a sa predication, trans. from Sanskrit by P. E. Foucaux, Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1892. Mahābhārata Electronic Mahabharata (ed.) Muneo Tokunaga, with the revision of John Smith, Bombay: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 1999, http://bombay.indology.info/mahabharata/statement.html, accessed on 18 August 2008. Manu Dharmaśāstra Manu-Smrti with the ‘Manubhāṣya’ of Medhātithi (ed.) M. G. Jha, Bibliotheca Indica no. 256, 3 vols, Allahabad: Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1932. The Law Code of Manu, trans. from Sanskrit by P. Olivelle, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. Pāli Nikāya The Dīgha Nikāya (ed.) T. W. Rhys Davids and J. E. Carpenter, 3 vols, London: Pali Text Society, 1890–1911. The Majjhima Nikaya (ed.) V. Trenckner, 4 vols, London: Henry Frowde, 1888–1925. Dialogues of the Buddha, 4th edn, trans. from Pali by T. W. Rhys Davids and C. A. F. Rhys Davids, 3 vols, London: Luzac & Company, 1956–59. Further Dialogues of the Buddha, trans. from Pali by Lord Charmers, 2 vols, London: Humphrey Milford, 1926–27. The Collection of Middle Length Sayings (Majjhima-Nikāya), trans. from Pali by I. B. Horner, 3 vols, London: Luzac, 1954-59; rpt., Oxford: Pali Text Society, 1993–1994. Pāli Vinaya The Vinaya Piṭakaṃ: One of the Principal Buddhist Holy Scriptures in Pali Language (ed.) H. Oldenberg, 5 vols, London: Williams and Norgate, 1879–1881. The Book of the Discipline (Vinaya-Piṭaka), trans. from Pali by I. B. Horner, 5 vols, London: Luzac & Company, 1949–63. Saddarmapuṇḍarīka Sūtra The Saddarmapuṇḍarīka or the Lotus of the True Law, trans. from Sanskrit by H. Kern, Sacred Books of the East, vol. 21, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1909. The Land of Bliss: The Paradise of the Buddha of Measureless Light, Sanskrit and Chinese Versions of the Sukhāvatīvyūha Sutras, trans. from Sanskrit and Chinese by Luis O. Gomez, Honolulu and Kyoto: University of Hawai’i Press and Higashi Honganji Shinshu Otani Ha, 1996. Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtras In Buddhist Mahāyāna Texts, part II, trans. from Sanskrit by M. Müller, Sacred Books of the East, vol. 49, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1909. Taisho Shinsyu Daizokyo SAT Daizōkyō Text Database, Tokyo: The SAT Daizōkyō Text Database Committee (updated 1 April 2008), http://21dzk.l.u-tokyo.ac.jp/SAT/index_en.html, accessed on 4 May 2010. Uttarādhyayana sūtra In Jaina Sūtras, part II, trans. from Sanskrit by Herman Jacobi, Sacred Books of the East, vol. 45, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt Ltd, rpt 1964.

Secondary Sources Ali, Daud, ‘Gardens in Early Indian Court Life’, Studies in History, vol. 19, no. 2, 2003, pp. 221–52. Bosch, F. D. K., The Golden Germ: An Introduction to Indian Symbolism, The Hague: Mouton, 1960.

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Brown, Robert L., ‘Nature as Utopian Space on the Early Stūpa-s of India’, in Jason Hawkes and Akira Shimada (eds), Buddhist Stūpas in South Asia: Recent Archaeological, Art-Historical and Historical Perspectives, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 63–80 Chattopadhyaya, B. D., ‘Transition to the Early Historical Phase in the Deccan: A Note’, in B. M. Pande and B. D. Chattopadhyaya (eds), Archaeology and History: Essays in Memory of Sri A. Ghosh, Delhi: Agam Kala Prakashan, 1987, vol. 2, pp. 727–32. Coomaraswamy, A. K., Yaksas, New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd, 1971. Curtius, Ernst Robert, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990. Dehejia, Vidya, Early Buddhist Rock Temples, London: Thames and Hudson, 1972. ———, ‘Aniconism and the Multivalence of Emblem’, Arts Orientalis, vol. 21, 1991, pp. 45–66. Eliade, M., Patterns in Comparative Religion, trans. from French by R. Sheed, New York: New American Library, 1958. Gokhale, Sobhana, Kanheri Inscriptions, Pune: Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute, 1991. Heitzman, James, ‘Early Buddhism, Trade and Empire’, in Kenneth A. R. Kennedy and Gregory L. Possehl (eds), Studies in the Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology of South Asia, New Delhi: Oxford & IBH, 1984, pp. 121–37. Huntington, S. L., with contribution by John L. Huntington, The Art of Ancient India: Buddhist Hindu and Jain, New York: Weatherhill, 1984. Knox, Robert, Amaravati: Buddhist Sculpture from the Buddhist Stūpa, London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1992. Lüders, H., Bhārhut Inscriptions, revised and supplemented by E. Waldschmit and M. A. Mehendare Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum, vol. 2-ii, Ootacamund: Government Epigraphist for India, 1963. ———, ‘A List of Brahmi Inscriptions from the Earliest Times to about A.D. 400 with the Exception of those of Aśoka’, Epigraphia Indica, vol. 10, 1909–10, Appendix. Marshall, John and Alfred Foucher, Monuments of Sānchī, vol. 2, Delhi: Swati Publications, rpt 1983. Mitra, D., Buddhist Monuments, Calcutta: Sahitya Samsad, 1971. Ray, H. P., Monastery and Guild: Commerce under the Sātavāhanas, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1986. ———, ‘Networks of Power: Maritime History and Archaeology of Early Andhra’, Proceedings of the Andhra Pradesh History Congress, 21st session, 1997, pp. 8–16. Schlingloff, Dieter, Studies in the Ajanta Paintings: Identifications and Interpretations, Delhi: Ajanta Publications, 1988. Schopen, Gregory, ‘The Buddhist “Monastery” and the Indian Garden: Aesthetics, Assimilation, and the Siting of Monastic Establishments’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 126, no. 4, 2006, pp. 487–505. ———, ‘Burial Ad Sanctos and the Physical Presence of the Buddha in Early Indian Buddhism’, in idem, Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks: Collected Papers on the Archaeology, Epigraphy, and Texts of Monastic Buddhism in India, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1997, pp. 114–47. ———, ‘Two Problems in the History of Indian Buddhism: The Layman/Monk Distinction and the Doctorines of the Transference of Merits’, in idem, Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks: Collected Papers on the Archaeology, Epigraphy, and Texts of Monastic Buddhism in India, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1997, pp. 23–55. Senart, E., ‘The Inscriptions in the Caves at Karle’, Epigraphia Indica, vol. 7, no. 1, 1902–3, pp. 47–74. Shaw, J., ‘Nāga Sculptures in Sanchi’s Archaeological Landscape: Buddhism, Vaisnavism, and Local Agricultural Cults in Central India, First Century BCE to Fifth Century CE’, Artibus Asiae, vol. 64, no. 1, 2004, pp. 5–59. Shimada, Akira, ‘Amaravati and Dhānyakaṭaka: Topology of Monastic Spaces in Ancient Indian Cities’, in Jason Hawkes and Akira Shimada (eds), Buddhist Stūpas in South Asia: Recent Archaeological, Art-Historical and Historical Perspectives, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 216–34. Sircar, D. C., Inscriptions of Asoka, 4th edn, Delhi: Publications Division, 1998. Sivaramamurti, C., Amaravati Sculptures in the Madras Government Museum, Madras: Director of Stationery and Printing, 1977. Smith, Brian K., Classifying the Universe: The Ancient Indian Varna System and the Origin of Caste, New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

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Srinivasan, Dorith Meth, ‘The Mauryan Gaṇikā from Dīdarganj (Pātaliputra)’, East and West, vol. 55, 2005, pp. 345–62. Stone, Elizabeth Rosen, The Buddhist Art of Nāgārjunakoṇḍa, New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt Ltd, 1994. Vogel, J. P., ‘Prakrit Inscriptions from a Buddhist Site at Nagarjunikonda’, Epigraphia Indica, vol. 20, 1929–30, pp. 1–37.

2

Botanical Technology and Garden Culture in – – Somes´vara’s Manasollasa DAUD ALI

Though early Sanskrit literary texts and inscriptions make frequent enough reference to a variety of types of gardens, we do not possess even a single well-preserved garden-site from the subcontinent before Sultanate times, save the exceptional remains at Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. This state of affairs is part of a general paucity of archaeological evidence of palaces and royal architecture in pre-Sultanate India. The Deccan is by and large no exception to this general situation, though the extensive remains at Vijayanagara’s royal centre, whose origins lie at the end of this period, do suggest some possibilities for exploration. The lack of surviving garden-remains, however, hardly closes the matter, for both prescriptive and literary texts make frequent reference to gardens as an important feature of aristocratic life. Gardens, groves, pleasances, manipulated verdurous spaces and other loci amoeni make frequent appearances in medieval court literatures in South Asia. Though literary depictions give these landscapes a highly conventional and idealised aspect, it is not enough to dismiss them as merely rhetorical fictions, as has been claimed for representations of landscapes in the medieval Latinate world.1 This is because we have numerous manuals on horticulture which would seem to be animated by the same concerns as poets. This article focuses on a small portion of a large prescriptive manual called the Mānasollāsa (‘Delight of the Mind’). Written at the court of the Western Cālukya king Someśvara III (AD 1126–1138), son of the powerful and long-ruling Cālukya monarch Vikramāditya VI (AD 1076–1126), the Mānasollāsa is an unusual document — an extensive verse–compendium of courtly practice and royal life, part encyclopedia, part ‘mirror for princes’.2 Probably composed by a court poet but attributed to king Someśvara, the Mānasollāsa was influential in the Deccan and beyond. Its verses are repeatedly quoted and/or cited in at least two 14th century verse anthologies associated with the royal court of Vijayanagara, and the text’s manuscript traditions extended as far as Rajasthan and Gujarat.3

1 Ernst Robert Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990, p. 183f. 2 See the recent remarks of Sheldon Pollock, The Language of the Gods in the World of Men, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007, pp. 184ff. For general studies of the work, see S. S. Misra, Fine Arts and Technical Sciences in Ancient India with Special Reference to Someśvara’s Mānasollāsa, Varanasi: Krishnadas Sanskrit Academy, 1982; P. Arundhati, Royal Life in Mānasollāsa, Delhi: Sundeep Prakashan, 1994; idem, Games and Pastimes in Mānasollāsa, Delhi, P. Arundhati, 2004; and M. N. Joshi, Art and Science in Mānasollāsa, Delhi: New Bharatiya Book Corp., 2003. 3 The Mānasollāsa is cited in the Sūktiratnahāra compiled by Sūrya and the Subhāṣitasudhānidhi assembled by Sāyaṇa. The latter includes a eulogy of Kampaṇṇa, presumably the son of the Sangama king Bukka I (AD 1343–1379).

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The Mānasollāsa is divided into five sections ( prakaraṇas) of 20 chapters, each providing the king with some knowledge related to royal life, widely conceived. The first two sections concern the topics of the acquisition ( prāpti) and maintenance (sthira) of a kingdom (rājya) respectively, and thus draw considerably on the traditional literature on artha and nīti in Sanskrit. The remaining sections, however, are concerned largely with ‘sumptuary’ and aesthetic issues. The third prakaraṇa consists of 20 chapters on the material ‘enjoyments’ (upabhoga) of the king, including his palace, baths, clothes, sandals, unguents, ornaments, garlands, betel leaf, and ointments. The fourth book contains 20 chapters on ‘entertainments’ (vinoda) for the king, including such activities as learned discussions, poetry, stories, music, song, dance, displays of weaponry, wrestling, and various animal fights. The final prakaraṇa consists of 20 chapters on ‘games’ or ‘sports’ (krīḍā) to be enjoyed by the king. It is in the final section, which includes games as diverse as those to be played with boards, in the water, in moonlight or on swings, that we find chapters explicitly concerned with the royal pleasure garden. Despite the topical focus on ‘games’, much of the actual material in the relevant chapters is concerned as much with setting the scene as it is with dalliance. The construction and attributes of the royal pleasure garden are detailed, along with the use of various technologies to produce a distinctive botanical and natural environment for royal enjoyment. As such, the Mānasollāsa’s materials on gardens draw heavily from a wider śāstric literature on plants and their propagation. This article draws out some of these dimensions of the text and relates them to the overall ideological purpose of the Mānasollāsa. It is divided in three parts: it first places the knowledge on gardens in the Mānasollāsa against a wider discursive context — namely, the variety of knowledges on horticulture and agriculture in early India; then, it presents a brief preçis of the chapters relating to gardens contained in the Mānasollāsa; and finally, it offers some specific analyses of this account in relation to the themes of this volume.

The Literatures on Horticulture and Agriculture in Sanskrit It would seem that from the very beginnings of śāstra (prescriptive knowledge traditions) there had been a persistent concern with the relation of plants and agriculture to settled human society. Two types of knowledge can be distinguished in the earliest texts — what is known as vṛkṣāyurveda, literally the ‘science of the lifespan (or health and cultivation) of trees’, and what is variously called phalaveda, sasyaveda or more commonly from medieval times, kṛṣiśāstra, the ‘science of crops and plough agriculture’. Down to the later Gupta period, however, these knowledges, while notionally distinct, were incorporated together and mixed variously into other types of treatises. Both terms (kṛṣitantra and vṛkṣāyurveda) appear in Kauṭilya’s manual on politics, the Arthaśāstra, as distinct but juxtaposed spheres of knowledge which were to be mastered by the ‘overseer of planting’ (sītādhyakṣa).4 Varāhamihira’s 6th century astronomical treatise, the Bṛhatsaṁhitā, contains chapters on the astrology of crops (sasyajātaka), the cultivation of trees and plants (vṛkṣāyurveda), as well as prognostics from flowers and creepers (kusumalatā). The presumption here, apparent in other

For citations, see Sūktiratnahāra 142.1; 166.10; 167.14; 167.15; 164.13; 136.7 and Subhāṣitasudhānidhi 146.13; 249.15; 148.10 (attrib.). On the relation of these two texts see Ludwik Sternbach, Subhāṣita, Gnomic and Didactic Literature, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1974, pp. 19–20. G. K. Shrigondekar prepared an edition of the text based on manuscripts in Baroda, Poona and Bikaner. 4 Arthaśāstra, 2.24.1.

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parts of the work, was that houses of the zodiac held sway over different substances like water, plants and minerals — and that the movement of heavenly bodies into the zodiacal houses at particular times had favourable or unfavourable effects on the substances governed by these domains.5 While astrological knowledge was to remain central to the predictive dimension of crop-farming and the seasonal and calendrical rhythms of the agricultural process (from rainfall to harvest), it is significant that it is included along with a large number of related and unrelated knowledges, the most importance of which, from our perspective, was vṛkṣāyurveda, which had little to do with the movement of heavenly bodies. In post-Gupta times the sciences of agriculture and vṛkṣāyurveda seem to have matured in divergent directions, and by the end of the millennium the first separate and independent treatises emerge on these subjects. As Wotjilla has noted in the context of agricultural science (kṛṣiśāstra), this condensation seems to have largely paralleled the rapid expansion and growth of the agrarian economy in many regions of the subcontinent through the course of the post-Gupta centuries.6 Sanskrit treatises like the Kāśyapīyakṛṣisūkti (from c. 8th century, with continuous additions) and Kṛṣiparāśara (c. 11th century) are joined in the second millennium AD by manuals and collections of sayings on agriculture in vernacular languages like Malayalam, Bengali and Tamil, either as separate collections or incorporated into anthologies on worldly wisdom in the manner of the nīti kośas. Vṛkṣāyurveda seems to have been less productive in medieval times than kṛṣiśāstra, but a number of separate treatises clearly circulated. The famous 14th-century compendium known as the Śārṅgadharapaddhati contains an unusual chapter of about 40 verses on the topic which both purports to have been drawn from ‘various treatises on vṛkṣāyurveda’ (nānāvṛkṣāyurvedaśāstra), as well as seeming to be a disaggregable text that formed the basis of a number of later, separate treatises on the subject.7 Included in the chapter are topics as diverse as the classification of different types of plants, hymns to the greatness of trees, lore related to the auspiciousness and inauspiciousness of different types of trees, and techniques for the sowing, watering, propagation, grafting, and cultivation of plants. But judging from the Śārṅgadharapaddhati, vṛkṣāyurveda was most often (but perhaps not exclusively) associated with gardens (upavana) of various types rather than larger-scale foodproductive fields, as assumed in kṛṣiśāstra. Gardens, in this literature, were generally conceived as enclosed spaces featuring various plants — notably fruiting, but even more importantly, flowering plants — along with ‘landscape’ elements, particularly ponds and hills. Vṛkṣāyurveda may thus broadly be considered equivalent to ‘horticulture’. Moreover, vṛkṣāyurveda, as embodied in the Śārṅgadharapaddhati, also included an explicitly aesthetic dimension and was decidedly oriented towards aristocratic lifestyles. Indeed, the Śārṅgadharapaddhati’s account of vṛkṣāyurveda is titled ‘the entertainment of gardens’ (upavanavinoda). It begins with the following two verses:

5

Bṛhat Saṁhitā, 41.1ff. For an overview of this literature, see Gyula Wojtilla, History of Kṛṣiśāstra, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 2006. For an excellent and compelling analysis of a key text on agriculture in the context of agrarian economy, see Ryosuke Furui, ‘The Rural World of an Agricultural Text: A Study on the Kṛṣiparāśara’, Studies in History, vol. 21, no. 2, 2005, pp. 149–71. 7 Śārṅgadharapaddhati, p. 340. See also Śārṅgadharapaddhati 2804: śāstrāṇi tāvad avalokya mayā munīnām arthaḥ sa eva gaditaḥ paramārthayuktyā, ‘I have related the meanings of the learned ones in detail only after having consulted the treatises’. The chapter has been extracted and published separately as the Upavanavinoda. 6

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puṁsāṁ sarvasukhaikasādhanaphalāḥ saundaryagarvoddhura— krīḍālolavilāsinījanamanaḥ sphītapramodāvahāḥ | guñjadbhṛṅgavinidrapaṅkajabharasphārollasadīrghikā— yuktāḥ santi gṛheṣu yasya vipulārāmāḥ sa pṛthvīpatiḥ || 1 || navam vayo hāri vapurvarāṅganāḥ sakhā kalāvitkalavallakīsvanaḥ | dhanaṁ hi sarvaṁ viphalaṁ sukhaiṣiṇo vinā vihāropavanāni bhupateḥ || 2 ||8 He is a king in whose palaces are extensive gardens possessed of large shining pools filled with expanded lotuses and humming black bees, giving intense pleasure to the minds of unrestrained, playful, and restless women proud on account of their beauty, the single fruit of fulfilment of all happiness for man. For kings seeking happiness, who are without pleasure gardens, youth, charm, beautiful women, companions, knowledge of the arts, the sound of a melodious lute, wealth — all these are useless.

These verses place the knowledge of vṛkṣāyurveda squarely within the world of the royal household and its lifestyle. The practices associated with gardens, particularly listening to music, the practice of the ‘arts’ (kalā) and companionship with the young make clear what the terms used for gardens in these passages (ārāma, vihāropavana) here imply — that this was a place indelibly associated with the refined enjoyments of aristocratic life. Indeed, vṛkṣāyurveda seems to have had an intimate association with elite lifestyles from at least as early as the Gupta period (AD 350–550). The Kāmasūtra includes it among the 64 ‘arts’ (kalā) to be acquired by the courtier–urbanite (nāgaraka).9 Such contexts are in marked distinction to kṛṣiśāstra. Consider the opening verses of the 11th century Kṛṣiparāśara: after an invocation to Prajāpati, the text asserts that even a Brahmin is humiliated by solicitation and that by means of agriculture alone is power gained: suvarṇaraupyamāṇikyavasanair api pūritāḥ | tathāpi prārthayanty eva kṛṣakān bhaktatṛṣṇayā || 4 || kaṇṭhe karṇe ca haste ca suvarṇaṁ vidyate yadi | upavāsas tathāpi syād annābhāvena dehinām || 5 ||10 Even those sated with gold, silver, rubies, and garments still beseech cultivators out of a desire for food; though having gold on the hand, ears and neck, people still must fast if there is no food.

The orientation of this knowledge is very clearly directed beyond the confines of, and to a certain extent is antagonistic to (at least rhetorically), the preoccupations of the aristocratic classes. It is significant that rather than the sublimity of royal and courtly enjoyments, the discourse on kṛṣi emphasises food. It would be a mistake to assume too rigid an opposition between the ‘pragmatic’ world of agriculture and the aestheticised world of the garden. For one, we know that gardens were both an urban and rural phenomenon, and both produced important commodities like fruits and flowers which since early historic times had become valued items in rural and urban cultures. Not only were

8

Śārṅgadharapaddhati, 2082–83. Kāmāsūtra 1.3.16. 10 Kṛṣi-Parāśara, 4–5. 9

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horticultural products grown and used in courtly scenarios,11 the liturgies for Vaiṣṇava and Śaiva temples, often established in rural settings, made extensive use of flowers, leaves, and fruits. Inscriptions make clear that temples were often equipped with their own gardens and gardeners to supply fruits and flowers for daily worship.12 This overall context underwrote what Jack Goody has rightly called a veritable ‘culture of flowers’.13 On the other hand, knowledge of crop production and rural agricultural environments were common at court. The author of the Mānasollāsa, for example, must surely have been aware of the Kannada treatise called the Lokopakāram (‘Assistance in Worldly Affairs’), composed by a Jain minister named Cāvuṇḍarāya at the Cālukya court in c. 1025 AD, which included elements of both kṛṣiśāstra and vṛkṣāyurveda.14 Agricultural land was also sometmies aestheticised in court poetry as well as religious hagiography and folk genres. Cekkiḻar’s famous hagiographical poem, the Periyapurāṇam, to take an example from south of the Deccan, portrays the rice fields of the Kāverī delta in strikingly courtly tones, as a locus ameonus.15 Moreover, even the Mānasollāsa contains directions for dalliances to be enjoyed in fields and pastures. Such representations notwithstanding, however, the spaces of the garden and the field emerge as distinctive and largely contrary, if complementary, loci, and the knowledges which grew up around both remained distinct. The mutual historical development of kṛṣiśāstra and vṛkṣāyurveda as independent sciences becomes significant in the context of the intensive agricultural expansion and the varieties of urban development which came to mark post-Gupta India. Indeed, the pleasure garden as a place, I suggest, cannot be adequately understood outside of its wider agricultural context.

The Mānasoll nasollāsa’s sa’s Chapters on Gardens Someśvara’s concerns seem to have been remarkably similar to those of Śārṅgadhara, and though the Mānasollāsa did not seem to be a source for the later anthology, it seems not only to form part of its general precursive context but to proceed from the same tradition of vṛkṣāyurveda.16 We are unsure of the textual resources that the author of the Mānasollāsa had before him with regard to agriculture and gardening but they probably include the Lokopakāra, written at the Cālukya court about 100 years before the author of our text. Like the Śārṅgadharapaddhati, the material related to gardens in the Mānasollāsa is drawn together in a chapter with a specifically courtly resonance — in the section on

11

The Kāmasūtra, for example, includes numerous skills and games which involve the use of either fresh or artificial flowers and tender leaves. See ibid., 1.3.16; 1.4.42. It also recommends that the wife care for a domestic garden which is said to produce flowers, herbs, and spices, ibid., 4.1.6–8. 12 To date there has been no systematic study of garden references in inscriptions. A partial exception to this is A. K. Ranade’s ‘Epigraphical References to Horticulture’, Journal of the Epigraphical Society of India, vol. 26, 2000, pp. 108–12, which focuses on a small sub-area of northern Konkan. 13 See the very useful preliminary thoughts on the subject in Jack Goody, The Culture of Flowers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp. 321–46. 14 Wotjilla, History of Kṛṣiśāstra, p. 71. 15 See Periyapurāṇam, 1.51-85. I would like to thank Sascha Ebeling for pointing out the significance of this passage to me. 16 The Śārṅgadharapaddhati mentions neither Someśvara nor the Mānasollāsa among the some 280 sources drawn upon in the anthology. See H. D. Sharma, ‘An Analysis of Authorities Quoted in the Śārṅgadharapaddhati’, Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, vol. 18, 1937, pp. 77–84.

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‘games’ (or krīḍā) — specifically, games to be played by the king while in different parts of the royal grounds. Two chapters entitled, respectively, ‘Games for the Mountain’ (Bhūdharakrīḍā) and ‘Games for the Grove’ (Vanakrīḍā), contain the material relevant to gardens. Having said this, a number of later chapters in this section of the Mānasollāsa also seem to refer to other outdoor games which may (or may not) have taken place in gardens — like water games, for example, which could be played in lotus-ponds and wells. There were also other verdant places where the king could engage in games which clearly are not described as gardens. Chapters describe, for example, games to be played on visits that the king was to make to pastures or grassy areas (śādvalakrīḍā) where the royal entourage established a camp by setting down tents and spreading out carpets, or to his personal agricultural lands (sasyakrīḍā) where a reception-gateway was to be constructed out of crops, through which the king would pass to the sound of music with brahmins and courtiers in attendance. The chapters on Bhūdharakrīḍā and Vanakrīḍā, however, seem to specifically refer to what had been well known since early medieval times by the terms pramadavana or krīḍāvana — the ‘pleasure garden.’ The central geographical feature of the garden in the Mānasollāsa is a large hill, known variously in literature and other sources as a ‘pleasure hill’ (krīḍāparvata). This hill was to be positioned at the centre of the garden and was to be ‘delightful, luminous, high-peaked, covered with various types of trees and large rock surfaces, and charming for the purposes of games’.17 Someśvara says very little else about the spatial layout of the garden — other than the fact that the pleasure mountain was to be its centre. His primary concern seems to be the flora on and around the krīḍāparvata. According to the text, the mountain was to be covered with fruit and flower-bearing trees of diverse shape and feature, with different types of leaves and bark, of many sizes with a variety of fruits. There were also to be gardens surrounding the pleasure mountain (tasminn upavanaṁ kuryāt krīḍāśaile samantataḥ).18 The text then dwells at considerable length on the means of achieving this end through various techniques of gardening. This includes the treatment of seeds of different types which are variously soaked, dried, smeared with various substances, and/or copiously fumigated. It is followed by directions for preparing the soil for sowing, including the digging of pits and their fertilisation — which entailed the burning of bone and dung, the placement of gravel and the sprinkling of water with the fat of female goats. Either seeds or plants with roots transported from forests can now be planted in these pits, which are watered according to season, and when needed, through special watering pits placed at the base of each tree. Various prophylactic measures against frost, hailstorms, disease, and insects are detailed. The Mānasollāsa then turns to what seems to be the major concern of his treatise, the directions on how to cause various fruit trees to be productive in all seasons, that is, out of normal times when they would naturally flower and fruit. There is also a concern for improving the taste and abundance of fruit. Techniques here include the fumigation (dhūpana) of the moistened fruit-bearing parts of the tree with the smoke of various burning substances like clarified butter, fish and animal fats, the watering (secana) of plants with decoctions of substances like milk, ghee, crushed roots, and animal fats, the manuring of plants with detritus and the flesh and fat of various animals, the application of ointments to the roots and buds of trees, and the specialised scratching and tearing of the roots, bark and fruiting points of plants.19

17

Mānasollāsa, 5.1.1. Ibid., 5.1.12. 19 Ibid., 5.1.35–60. 18

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The text then turns to recipes and methods for inducing plants to blossom and to improve the fragrance and number of their flowers. Here the text relies on well-known associations like the glances, kicks and touches of longing women (kāminī), as well as practices similar to those used to cause plants to fruit, like manuring, watering with decoctions and seed treatment. Various techniques are also mentioned for producing specific types of flowers. Thus, the application of honey to immature trees causes red flowers, while the same with ghee, white flowers; the binding together of seedlings with the application of both honey and ghee, causes them to grow together as one and produce white and red flowers.20 Such methods of using ‘bound’ or ‘grafted’ (veṣṭita) plant parts are mentioned elsewhere among a series of other techniques for further altering the outcome of flowers and fruits from trees and creepers. These other techniques, including the use of special watering decoctions and seed treatments, caused fruits never to ripen, or more spectacularly, one species of tree to bear the fruit of another (as a mango tree bearing grapes or a pumpkin plant bearing aubergines). Such unusual garden phenomena — plants either producing the leaves, flowers and fruits of other species or fruits that never ripened — also occur in the Upavanavinoda. Artificial embellishments are the next extended subject of the chapter. The Mānasollāsa recommends a variety of artificial trees made with green-coloured silk cloth, flowers fashioned from gold and fruits made from coral and various gems. The artificial trees made from these precious substances were to resemble fabulous wish-giving trees (kalpavṛkṣas) known to be prevalent in distant lands and paradises. Artificial lakes and caves were also to be created in the garden. The lakes were to be filled with scented water which was to be clear and blue like sapphire. The water bodies were to be populated by swans, crowded with golden lotuses and have banks made from golden mud strewn with pearls and gems. The remainder of the chapter sets out the activities of the king in the garden. According to the text, the king was to ornament himself, ascend his elephant, which was itself decorated for a līlāgamana, or ‘play excursion’, and, along with his attendants and female lovers, make a procession to the garden. There the king was to play with the women, sitting on benches or at the base of the fabulous trees in the garden. He gave out gifts to his favoured courtiers, and continued sporting with desirous women in the shady parts of the garden, along the banks of artificial streams and ponds, where he plucked and gathered fragrant smelling flowers for the purpose of making ornaments. Eventually, he was to descend from the top of the artificial mountain and return to his residence on his choice elephant. The next chapter is entitled vanakrīḍā, or games meant to be played in the groves or wooded sections of the garden. According to the Mānasollāsa, at the commencement of spring, when the wind blew from the southern direction, the king was to enter the garden (veṇuvana) with women of the court, accompanied by his courtiers (prasādapātra). The plants of the garden at this time were to be sprouting leaves, flowers and fruits. Some flowers were to be budding and others in full bloom; fruits were to be fully visible. The text then details the activities of the garden party — the king was to show each plant and creeper to the women, and sit with them in a spot in a beautiful maṇḍapa, surrounded by trees and creepers. He then concealed himself from the women while they searched for him in a sort of game of ‘hide-and-go-seek’. All the while, the king was to move about the garden with his companions, plucking flowers, fruits and tender leaves. He was to make the women happy by tying flowers in their hair. After some time, the entourage was to proceed to the lake where

20

Ibid., 5.1.75–76.

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they washed their feet or bathed. The women fanned the king with plantain leaves, and they all entered the plantain grove to enjoy fruits, coconut water and roots; they then assumed seats suitable to their rank and the king distributed betel leaves with camphor, cloves and sandal to each, as per their status.

The Garden as an Aggregation of Wonders The Mānasollāsa’s account may be taken in a number of directions — in terms of the conceptualisation, construction, management and use of the royal pleasure garden. As I have written elsewhere on the theme of the garden and romance, an extensive theme in court literature,21 here I would like to focus largely on three other, more technical, dimensions of gardens — the conceptualisation of the garden as an articulated space, the relation of the garden to time, and the garden as a collection of plants and objects. The terminology used for gardens in the Mānasollāsa is worth pausing over momentarily before turning to the specific features of gardens we may reconstruct from Someśvara’s treatise. The text uses the words vana and upavana to denote the garden, terms that had somewhat distinct lexical orientations. While the presumably older term vana had the sense of woods or forest and the term upavana, a smaller cluster of trees or grove, and, by extension, a garden, by the time that the classical thesauri of Sanskrit literature came into vogue in the Gupta period they were often interchangeable — but in unconnected contexts could have quite distinct meanings.

The Garden Visualised In the Mānasollāsa the spatial layout of the garden is not specified in any detail. The idea seems to have been that a ‘pleasure mountain’, or krīḍāparvata, was situated at the centre of the garden enclosure with fruiting and flowering trees on all sides. Although the krīḍāparvata is well-known from courtly sources in Sanskrit, its central positioning in the Mānasollāsa is not corroborated by other treatises like the Śārṅgadharapaddhati. Water bodies are also mentioned, particularly a small artificial lake and man-made streams or channels feeding it, but there are no directions as to where these various features were to be placed in relation to one another. The Mānasollāsa does not present the pleasuregarden as a meticulously choreographed space. The ‘picture’ that emerges from its account is not a landscape in the sense of a deliberate or adventitious emplotment of elements into a whole with the explicit or implicit aesthetics of vision; rather, the garden is presented as a congregation of specific features or elements. These appurtenances became the occasion for detailed elaboration both in prescriptive and poetic texts with commentators sometimes noting their beauty, sub-types and construction, cultivation and uses, but their positioning in an overall spatial ensemble is not defined. In short, the garden was a collection of features rather than a landscape. This is reflected in contemporary artistic conventions. Given the treatment of gardens in prescriptive treatises like the Mānasollāsa and Śārṅgadharapaddhati and their near ubiquitous appearance in literary texts, the relative absence of gardens in plastic and visual art is notable, even striking. Very rarely do the copious sculptures which cover the temples of the medieval Deccan depict clearly identifiable garden-scenes or landscapes. Upon closer inspection, however, one may notice the widespread presence of floral and foliate designs at the peripheries of much figural sculpture and the use of such designs as decorative elements on architectural features like pillars, doorframes, basements, and 21

Daud Ali, ‘Gardens in Early Indian Court Life’, Studies in History, vol. 19, no. 2, 2003, pp. 221–52.

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frieze borders. These conventions have precedents in early Indian sculpture and architecture and are a much-neglected topic in art history.22 In some cases these foliate designs would seem to indicate an outdoor or garden setting. Plates 2.1 and 2.2, from Hoysala and Vijayanagara temples respectively, depict women surrounded by enclosing foliate borders in the form of a creeper. This seems likely to represent a ‘bower’, a frequently depicted scene in literary texts. Other foliate borders, as in Plate 2.3, are common in many temple contexts and may in some cases have served to iconise a botanical or floral setting for the monument itself which was conceived of as a palaceresidence for the deity. The important point is that these depictions, which amount to our only visualisations of floral and garden scenery in temple sculpture, are presented more as decorative framing patterns rather than as visualised landscapes. As Robert Brown has argued in the context of early Buddhist stūpas, this patterning served to orient the reader spatially in a ‘perfected’ world,23 and even demonstrate its enjoyments — but the presentation of garden imagery often took the

Plate 2.1

22

Woman gazing into mirror under bower, Hoysaḷa, 12th century, Belur, Karnataka.

The exception to this is F. D. K. Bosch, The Golden Germ: An Introduction to Indian Symbolism, The Hague: Mouton, 1960, but more recently and relevant to the concerns of this article is the important work of Robert Brown, ‘Nature as Utopian Space on the Early Stūpas of India’, in Jason Hawkes and Akira Shimada (eds), Buddhist Stūpas in South Asia, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 63–80. 23 Brown, ‘Nature as Utopian Space’, p. 79.

Plate 2.2

Woman under bower, Vijayanagara, 15th century, Hampi, Karnataka.

Plate 2.3 Foliate border, Hoysaḷa, 12th century, Belur, Karnataka.

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form of the juxtaposition of discrete and often disaggregable elements (the bower, the creeper, the tree, the flower) rather than their articulation in space as part of a ‘landscape’.

The Garden and Time The pressing concern of the Mānasollāsa’s chapters on garden and mountain games, importantly, has less to do with games themselves than on equipping the garden with the appropriate ambience for such courtly pleasures through the careful cultivation and propagation of plants. Much information about particular techniques and plants is preserved in this material. What is notable about this account, however, is the overweening emphasis on altering the normal course of plant cycles. This seems to have been an integral part of the knowledge of vṛkṣāyurveda as found in the Deccan and elsewhere. The idea was to have plants which otherwise fruited or flowered in certain seasons bloom all year round or bloom at one’s whim. The aim of the gardener, in other words, was to create a place in which flowers and fruits were always in bloom. Seasonally, botanical symptoms were manipulated in such a way as to create the effects of spring, the most desirable and blossoming season, at other times of the year. The ideal garden was perpetually in the bloom of spring. This was possible not only because the cultivated garden had supplemental and continual sources for water, but because every other aspect of plant growth could be assisted, manipulated and transformed by the gardener’s intervention. The preoccupation with techniques of enhanced blossoming is attested in Sanskrit literature. Harṣa’s 7th-century play Ratnāvalī, for example, depicts king Vatsarāja and his queen Vāsavadattā tending rival creepers (mādhavi and navamallika respectively) in the beautiful Makaranda garden during the spring festival. In the early acts of the play it is revealed that the king has been planning to effect an ‘untimely’ (akāla) flowering of the navamallika creeper by gaining a secret formula from a man named Śrīkhaṇḍadāsa. Later we hear the vidūṣaka announce to the king that as soon as the remedy was applied, the navamallika burst into bloom as if laughing disdainfully at the queen’s mādhavi creeper. The king relishes the thought of the queen’s dismay and anger when she will see the creeper — indeed, he muses, it will be like seeing another woman in love with the king — a prescient metaphor for the ensuing plot of the play.24 Such accounts confirm not only the court’s general concern with perpetual bloom but also that specialists were often employed to bring forth such results. What is the significance of this preoccupation with unseasonal bloom? Some clue, I believe, lies in the nature and importance of seasons themselves in early medieval society. The everyday experience of time in the medieval Deccan, as elsewhere in the subcontinent, was overwhelmingly structured by the rhythms of seasonal agriculture. Social relationships, religious rituals, population movements, prices, markets, and even affective and emotional dynamics were synchronised to this labour process. The regularity of this world depended on water, seasonal rainfall and its storage in tanks for irrigation. Yet rain could vary on a yearly basis and agricultural lore, based on practical, local knowledge, was thus centrally concerned with the prediction of rain. The Kṛṣiparāśara provides both environmental and astrological methods for predicting annual and monthly rainfall. Lying behind these calculations were key linkages between the seasonal and calendrical movements of the heavenly bodies and the labour processes. The Kṛṣiparāśara places great emphasis on the proper sequence and timing for agricultural activities like seed preparation, ploughing, sowing, transplanting, and harvesting. In a key sense, then, agriculture and agricultural knowledge was about time. 24

Ratnāvalī of Harṣa, 1.18+; 2.0+; 2.3+–2.4.

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The royal garden was built upon this world of agriculture in at least two senses. First, like other elements of aristocratic life, the pleasure garden attached to the royal household sat at the apex of a series of social relations which in one sense began in the millet and paddy fields. The chief source of wealth for the aristocratic elites of the Cālukya and Vijayanagara empires remained revenues expropriated from agriculture through rent, tax and tribute — and agriculture was never far from the minds of those who lived in urban palaces or royal cities. Indeed, paddy fields and threshing floors are often given a kind of idealised portrayal in courtly sources and occasionally juxtaposed or merged with verdant garden landscapes. Yet at another level, however, the garden defined itself in distinction to the world of productive agriculture. If kṛṣiśāstra was preoccupied with divining the monthly rainfall from the movement of heavenly bodies, garden knowledge, as presented in the Mānasollāsa, sought, by contrast, to effect the blooming and fruiting of plants in spite of such temporal and environmental regularities. It is not that royal courts ignored seasonal regularities altogether. Descriptions of the seasons (ṛtuvarṇana) formed a regular feature of Sanskrit mahākāvya and celebrations like the ‘Spring Festival’ (vasantotsava), which marked the beginning of the agricultural year, were elaborate courtly as well as village events. Yet the technologies of palace gardens (partly, no doubt, because of more regular access to water) sought to produce exceptional blooming and fruiting. So even within the context of a seasonally defined moment, at the Spring Festival portrayed by Harsa in his Ratnāvalī, the play’s protagonist Vatsarāja is clearly intent on producing an unseasonal bloom through special means to the astonishment and delight of the entire court. So, in a sense, the cycle of agricultural labour and the vicissitudes of the seasons formed the necessary quotidian without which the pleasure garden as a unique place of wondrous enjoyment unconnected with labour and sustenance, made little sense.

Gardens of the Marvellous It may well be argued that this emphasis on human intervention and manipulation has been crucial to garden culture in many contexts, far beyond the confines of South Asia. But I want to take this point in another, more specific direction. The Mānasollāsa also deals with what it deems to be fabulous plants, causing ‘wonder in the hearts of all’ (sarveṣām adbhutam hṛdi), what the Śārṅgadharapaddhati later calls ‘miraculous techniques’ (vicitrakaraṇa).25 In the Mānasollāsa these marvels include the production of special botanical ‘miscegenations’ like the growth of grapes from mango trees or aubergines from pumpkin plants, but also many techniques continuous with its other advice — to bring about unusual, unseasonal or generally unexpected results from various types of garden plants. This I think is underscored by the culmination of the Mānasollāsa’s description of gardening techniques with an account of artificial (kṛtrima) trees constructed from precious substances — silks, coral, gold, and gems.26 The fabulous trees of the Mānasollāsa are of course reminiscent of the famous ratnavṛkṣas of Buddhist Mahāyāna paradises described in texts like the Saddharmapuṇḍarīka and Sukhāvativyūha. The explicit comparison in the text, however, is with the related and famous kalpavṛkṣa, a tree which 25

Mānasollāsa, 5.1.92; 5.1.97; Śārṅgadharapaddhati 2276–2312. There were criticisms of this sort of botanical artifice. The viṭa of Īśvaradatta’s (Gupta period?) Dhūrtaviṭasaṁvāda derides heavenly enjoyments and those who seek after them as silly and unsophisticated: ‘The mention of “golden houses” and “golden flowers” indicates that the gods are without any of the sophistication (adākṣiṇya) of the learned. If both houses and trees are made of gold, then which will women decorate themselves with? What is so special about it? How would gold for building houses cause beauty in women? How can the pleasure of flowers in the form of gold, which will be stiff by nature, be like the enjoyment of bunches of flowers (on earth)

26

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bestowed wealth and happiness, often in the form of precious objects. These fabulous trees were well known in India from at least early historic times as sources of great wealth and fortune. By early medieval times kings were regularly compared to them in their generosity to supplicants. Yet it is obvious from the Mānasollāsa that these trees were not simply ‘imagined’ or ‘ideal’ landscape elements, but objects which were physically present in royal gardens. Whether these artificial constructions were deemed representations of fabulous trees or wondrous ratnavṛkṣas themselves matters little — the point is that they were ‘enacted’ and ‘embodied’ in practice rather than visualised in literary ideal. Undoubtedly, one of the functions of these garden features was their enjoyment as objects in and of themselves, for their capacity to evoke wonder and charm for the visitors of the garden. They also formed part of the important activities which people undertook in gardens — viewing and hearing special objects, picking and smelling flowers, decorating themselves, bathing, etc. — what might be called, collectively, ‘sensorial’ practices. These practices were in turn most often connected to courtship and romance, to be sure. Vātsyāyana recommends that when the king wishes to seduce another man’s wife visiting his palace, he should send a servant girl to her in order to lure her to see the ‘charming’ things (ramaṇīyaka) of the palace — which included, inter alia, gardens having outdoor floors inlaid with coral and jewels, tame deer and mechanical contrivances.27 The idea was that such experiences were themselves ‘charming’ and had some power over the woman, predisposing her to the king’s advances.28 In courtly sources like the Kāmasūtra, the royal pleasure garden formed a crucial appurtenance of the king’s larger domestic setting, conceived of as a great mansion of delights. In works more directly concerned with kingship, including the Mānasollāsa, the king’s household was conceived as a place where the most excellent things of the world were to be enjoyed — indeed, an entire section of 20 chapters in the Mānasollāsa is organised under such ‘enjoyments’. The garden formed the context for the production of some of these material enjoyments (flower-garlands, for example), but more importantly, for a series of further games to be enjoyed by the king with his intimates included in a separate section of the text. The royal pleasure garden — as a botanical wonder, floral cornucopia and collection of cunning contrivances — was an aristocratic enjoyment deemed fabulous by virtue of its very ability to exceed the expectations of everyday life, making it more of a place of wonderment and fantasy than a morally sanctioned ‘paradise’. Indeed, the garden was ‘paradisal’ not so much in the sense that it was itself a paradise but in that it formed a feature which indicated the eminence of the king’s household above any other, a wondrous place like the house of a god. The Mānasollāsa repeatedly asserts that the king’s presence in his pleasure garden resembled Indra accompanied by his apsarases or Rāmacandra climbing on the Puṣpakavimāna. The point of this article has been to show how royal gardening, particularly the techniques of botanical manipulation, had an explicit role to play in the creation of this aura or analogy.

which decorate the hair of young women, and come from young trees in the gardens attached to households, being looked after and treated by women as their own sons?’, Dhūrtaviṭasaṁvāda, 67+. 27 Kāmasūtra, 5.5.13–16. 28 Yaśodhara glosses ramaṇīyaka, ‘charming’, as cittaharaṇa, literally ‘stealing the heart.’

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References Primary Sources Arthaśāstra The Kautilīya Arthasāstra, 2nd edn, ed. and trans. from Sanskrit by R. P. Kangle, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1988. Bṛhat Saṁhitā Bṛhat Saṁhitā of Varāhamihira, ed. and trans. from Sanskrit by M. Ramakrishna Bhat, Delhi: Motilal Barnarsidass, 1981. Dhūrtaviṭasaṁvāda Dhūrtaviṭasaṁvāda, in The Quartet of Causeries by Śyāmalika, Vararuci, Śūdraka, and Īśvaradatta, ed. and trans. from Sanskrit by Csaba Dezso and Somadeva Vasudeva, New York: Clay Sanskrit Series, 2009. Kāmasūtra Kāmasūtram (ed.) Goswami Damodar Shastri, Banares: Jaikrishnadas and Haridas Gupta, 1929. Kṛṣi-Parāśara Kṛṣi-Parāśara (ed.) and trans. from Sanskrit by G. P. Majumdar and S. C. Banerji, Calcutta: Royal Asiatic Society, rpt 2001. Mānasollāsa Mānasollāsa of King Someśvara (ed.) G. K. Shrigondekar, 3 vols, Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1925, 1939, 1961. Periyapurāṇam Periyapurāṇam eṉṉum Tiruttoṇḍar Purāṇam (ed.) Cupprimaṇiya Muṭāliyar. Coimbatore: Kovai Tamil Caṅkam, 1978–. Ratnāvali Ratnāvali of Harṣa, ed. and trans. from Sanskrit by C. R. Devadhar and N. G. Suru, Poona: Ganesh Printing Works, 1925. Śārṅgadharapaddhati Śārṅgadharapaddhati (ed.) Peter Peterson, Delhi: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratisthan, 1987. Subhāṣitasudhānidhi Subhāṣitasudhānidhi (ed.) K. Krishnamoorthy, Dharwar: Karnatak University, 1968. Sūktiratnahāra Sūktiratnahāra (ed.) K. Sambasiva Sastri, Trivandrum: Government Press, 1938. Upavanavinoda (A Sanskrit Treatise on Arbori-Horticulture), ed. and trans. from Sanskrit by G. P. Majumdar, Calcutta: Indian Research Institute, 1935.

Secondary Sources Ali, Daud, ‘Gardens in Early Indian Court Life’, Studies in History, vol. 19, no. 2, 2003, pp. 221–52. Arundhati, P., Royal Life in Mānasollāsa, Delhi: Sundeep Prakashan, 1994. ———, Games and Pastimes in Mānasollāsa, Delhi, P. Arundhati, 2004. Bosch, F. D. K., The Golden Germ: An Introduction to Indian Symbolism, The Hague: Mouton, 1960. Brown, Robert, ‘Nature as Utopian Space on the Early Stūpas of India’, in Jason Hawkes and Akira Shimada (eds), Buddhist Stūpas in South Asia, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 63–80. Curtius, Ernst Robert, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990. Furui, Ryosuke, ‘The Rural World of an Agricultural Text; A Study on the Kṛṣiparāśara’, Studies in History, vol. 21, no. 2, 2005, pp. 149–71.

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Goody, Jack, The Culture of Flowers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Joshi, M. N., Art and Science in Mānasollāsa, Delhi: New Bharatiya Book Corp., 2003. Misra, S. S., Fine Arts and Technical Sciences in Ancient India with Special Reference to Someśvara’s Mānasollāsa, Varanasi: Krishnadas Sanskrit Academy, 1982. Pollock, Sheldon, The Language of the Gods in the World of Men, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007. Ranade, A. K., ‘Epigraphical References to Horticulture’, Journal of the Epigraphical Society of India, vol. 26, 2000, pp. 108–12. Sharma, H. D., ‘An Analysis of Authorities Quoted in the Śārṅgadharapaddhati’, Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, vol. 18, 1937, pp. 77–84. Sternbach, Ludwik, Subhāṣita, Gnomic and Didactic Literature, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1974. Wojtilla, Gyula, History of Kṛṣiśāstra, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 2006.

3

Nature, Dams, Wells, and Gardens: The Route of Water in and around Bidar ¨ TZER AND PUSHKAR SOHONI KLAUS RO

S

ome knowledge of the management of water resources as they pertain to gardens in the Deccan may be recovered from various sites in Bidar, laid down by the reigning Bahmanis (c. 1325 – c. AD 1528). The Barīdis, who succeeded them, also constructed their own gardens, incorporating some watersupply architecture as well. These few sites around Bidar thus serve as a palimpsest of gardendesign and associated water systems. This article considers the relationship between natural agents of water and man-made water management systems in and around Bidar, systems constructed by various polities through the 15th and 16th centuries as the sources of hydraulic and water management technologies changed. It is a study of the site as the converging locus of natural and cultural processes that are both described in some detail. Water supply was a key consideration in the laying out of gardens, required for purposes of irrigation, aesthetics and leisure activities. Visual and literary tropes in the Persianate world considered water an integral element of gardens and water architecture was often the setting for recreational activities which formed an important part of courtly life.1 The location of gardens was also often dictated by the pragmatic consideration of providing water. A study of water systems thus forms an integral part of the study of gardens. Focusing on Bidar, it is possible to trace the route taken by the monsoon rainfall as it seeped into the earth and the fissures of the rocks, was stopped and stored by a dam and then channelled into canals running from the dam to the gardens in order to irrigate the plants during the dry season. Bidar and its surrounding areas are located in a shatter zone not only linguistically and culturally, as has been noted elsewhere, but geologically as well (Plate 3.1).2

1

For example, most of the palaces built by the sultans in the Deccan mentioned in contemporary texts like the Burhān-i Ma‘āsir and the Tārīkh-i Firishta have elements of water architecture in their planning, and formed the ceremonial settings for a range of activities — from small intimate parties to receiving embassies. 2 The term ‘shatter zone’ was used by Richard M. Eaton and Phillip Wagoner to describe the region around Kalyani (now called Basavakalyan) and Bidar in their lecture ‘Architecture and Contested Terrain in the Medieval Deccan’, The Barbara Stoler Miller Lecture, Columbia University, 28 April 2006. On the map (Plate 3.1), areas of laterite are indicated in orange; areas of basalt in green; the reservoirs around Bidar are indicated in blue; the village of Kamthana (mentioned below) is too far away, on the south-west, to be on this map.

1000 m

Plate 3.1

Map of Bidar (Karnataka) and surroundings.

MADRASA

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Geology and Geography The Bidar fort, the old city and the Barīdi gardens to the west are located on a layer of laterite, about 30 metres thick. North of the fort and settlement of Bidar, the laterite formation stops abruptly. Here, a basaltic scarp overhangs the large undulating plain of black cotton soil which covers basaltic rocks. Not far away, to the east of this area, are the granite formations commonly associated with south India. For the study of gardens and the provision of water in Bidar, the characteristics of laterite and basalt need to be understood before we go further. The laterite formations of Bidar have important consequences for the water resources of the region. When exposed to the sun, the uppermost layer of the laterite hardens into an impenetrable armour which does not allow water seepage. But when this armour is cracked, the water seeps through and gets stored in the sponge-like lower layers known as aquifers. Laterite formations are rich in aquifers and the city of Bidar itself was built on a vast aquifer. The soil produced by the decay of laterite is a red earth rich in clay, which is effective in preventing water to run off. In such a region where this kind of earth is widely available, it is easy to build efficient earthen dams. The physical properties of basaltic rock vary from one layer to the other. Each layer is between 2 and 6 metres thick. Water can only penetrate basalt with the presence of cracks and fissures in the rock. Hence, compact layers of basalt do not contain water but fissured layers do. When a well is to be excavated in a basaltic region, a special investigation needs to be conducted to find a spot where there is such a convergence of such fissures in the rock. Earth produced by the decay of basalt is the famous black cotton soil.3 The undulating plain on the northern side of Bidar has such soil. At the end of the dry season, this black soil is riven with deep fissures; when the rains commence, the water penetrates quite deep, with the soil acting like a sponge. Water enters the basaltic rock underneath only when the upper layer is fissured. Dams built with black cotton soil do not hold water very efficiently.

Water Management and Devices Built on laterite and next to a basaltic plain, Bidar has a special geological setting. The laterite offers an aquifer beneath an impermeable soil; the basalt provides compact or fissured rocks beneath a permeable soil. These natural conditions have led to many means of water-harvesting, some indigenous and some imported from the Persianate world during the 15th and 16th centuries. The significant types of water architecture at Bidar are described below, and include dams and wells.

Dams For successful agricultural production in a region dependent on seasonal rains, the first farmers needed to stop the run-off and to store the water by building dams. Dams have to be built in valleys in order to accumulate water efficiently. If the dam is just a thick wall built in a straight line and made only out of earth and stones without any mortar, it can be washed away by floods. It is safer, and was therefore more common, to build such a structure only in the middle course of a seasonal stream

3

Black cotton soil is commonly found across the Deccan, and is formed by the breaking down of basaltic rock (volcanic rock or lava) and is noted for being extremely fertile.

Water in and around Bidar

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and not on a river. An overflow system is also a necessity. In central India, the only pre-modern dam built on a river is at Bhojpur on the Betwa River near Bhopal, possibly built on the orders of an 11thcentury Paramara king. At Naldurg in the Deccan, a masonry dam was built in 1614–15 on a small river in the reign of ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh I of Bijāpur.4 All other pre-modern dams seen in central India and the Deccan are built on seasonal streams, and those at Bidar are no exception. Without mortar, the degree of water-permeability of the older dams in the Deccan depended on the characteristics of the earth used for their construction. The black cotton soil over the basaltic Deccan traps was not good as building material; such a dam would have had to be massive, and although it could stop the run off, it could not store water for a long time. Building a dam out of black cotton soil was therefore inefficient, especially in terms of labour and the end result.5 In the Bidar region, the laterite is rich in clay. Since Bidar is located in close proximity to the geological boundary between the Deccan traps and the gneiss of Telangana, on the laterite plateau old dams are a common element. The two largest dams are at the western end of Bidar fort and near the village of Kamthana. They may have been originally raised under the Kākatīya dynasty and need to be studied with this consideration in mind. In the Bahmani and Barīdi reigns, sluices and overflows were added, with the former being planned in a way that a measured quantity of water could be released (Plate 3.2).6 Inside the defensive walls of the fort, on the lower level of the western wall, the run-off from the whole fort was blocked by a huge earthen dam and fed two reservoirs. The northern reservoir, still containing water, was part of the service quarters; elephants were bathed there. The southern reservoir, now filled up, was within the boundaries of the lower royal garden. The sluice by the southern reservoir is a rectangular tower (B, C), which opens towards the dam. The eastern face (A) on the waterfront has six tiers, each composed of one outlet (a) and two brackets (b). To regulate the water level, a man would move alongside the brackets to open the related outlet. The quantity of water discharged was measured by the time of the outflow. The four upper outlets are bigger, because during the rainy season the surplus of water flooding the garden had to be discharged rapidly. Although the whole system is no longer working, it can be deduced that the water entered the sluice (B) to fill a partly covered tank which served both to measure the volume of water allowed out and as a pool for swimming and bathing. At the end of this tank, cut into the floor was a vertical outlet that fed an underground channel discharging the water into the double moat of the defence line. An octagonal leisure area (D) was actually built behind the sluice, with stairs ( J) leading from the water below to the top of the dam. Hidden between the sluice and the dam, at the edge of the covered pool, this shaded place would have provided a pleasant resort for the royal ladies. This blend of utilitarian and leisure activities was a typical Bahmani feature. Remains of other dams also exist in the plain covered by black cotton soil north of Bidar. An examination of the dam outside Ashtur Village, near the royal tombs of the Bahmani sultans, shows

4 Epigraphia Indica: Arabic and Persian Supplement (hereafter EIAPS), 1917–18, p. 3, Plate Ia; Annual Report on Indian Epigraphy (hereafter ARIE), 1964–65, D, 206. 5 By contrast, in the peninsular gneiss and granitic regions of Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the clay derived from the decomposition of these rocks is a good, watertight material. As a consequence these regions have large numbers of dams and irrigated agriculture has been prevalent for at least 1,500 years; huge dams of the Kākatīyā empire in Telangana are still in working condition today. 6 The letters cited in the text correspond to the letters in Plate 3.3.

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Plate 3.2 Plan of western dam and sluicegate, Bidar Fort, Karnataka.

that a wall of rubble stone and lime mortar formed the watertight component of this dam. This would have been built in the Bahmani period. Another dam from this period, situated to the north of the dargāh of Khalīlu’llāh, built in the reign of ‘Alāu’ddīn Ahmad Shāh II (AD 1436–58), is made of laterite. It should be emphasised that much of the technology required for building dams was already understood during the Kākatīya period. Improvements that can be dated to the Bahmani and Barīdi periods include the sluices measuring the flow of water and the watertight mortar, technological changes that may possibly be attributed to émigrés from the Persianate world.

Wells In Bidar, three different types of wells were sunk: baolis with staircases; wells comprising a vertical square shaft and a water-lifting device; and qanāts, horizontal wells with manholes. To find water in the geological formation in the Deccan, one had to reach the meeting point of aquifer cracks, a flow of vesicular traps or an inter-trappean sedimentary bed. Baoli (Step-Well) The baoli, or ‘step-well’, was an architectural feature which enabled people to descend down to the level of the water. One or more flights of steps were constructed, and the wells also commonly had landings and platforms as part of the staircase structure which allowed the use of the well as places of rest and recreation. The baolis constructed on the laterite plateau are distinctive when compared to those in the basaltic plains. As explained earlier, the laterite plateau near Bidar contains an aquifer. Pragmatically, it would be easier to dig a well than to carve out a baoli. Nevertheless, at least eight baolis on the plateau can be documented. Two of these have two staircases, and the most elaborate is in the fields near

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Plate 3.3 Plan of baoli cut into Laterite, Chidri Road, Bidar, Karnataka.

Chidri Road (Plate 3.3).7 The entire structure of this baoli is cut into the laterite, and no masonry is used. The baoli (A) is square with three tiers of walks (a); two non-symmetrical stairways (B, C) run from ground level to below the water line on an east–west axis. To the south, a well (D) has been added. We can identify three periods of construction in this structure: in the first period the baoli and the western stairway were built; then the eastern stairway with the recesses (e, f), which may have been used as small Hindu temples; and last, the well (D) to lift water for drinking or irrigation. This well and water-lifting system dates from the Bahmani period. There are several other extant examples of this type of baoli, cut entirely into the laterite and without masonry. The baoli within the dargāh complex of Shāh Abu’l Faiz at Mangalpet, for example, was

7 Being out of use, the baoli is currently filled with filthy, stagnant water; as such, the description here is restricted to the visible parts of the structure.

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restored during the 15th century by vaulting the staircase and adding a water-drawing Persian wheel. Another baoli, found in the granary complex of Bidar fort, was filled in and replaced with a well. The five extant baolis located on the basaltic plain were built in masonry inside garden compounds during the 15th and 16th centuries. They all have staircases and drawing platforms, and were used recreationally by people who would enjoy the coolness in the summers. This is confirmed by a bilingual Persian–Sanskrit inscription from Bidar, now at the Andhra Pradesh State Archaeological Museum, Hyderabad. It records the construction of a baoli in AD 1444 by Makhdūma-i Jahān Bībī Shahnāz, in the reign of Ahmad Shāh Bahmani II. Bībī Shahnāz is mentioned as the wife of Ahmad Shāh Bahmani I and mother of Mahmūd Khān. While the Persian portion contains details pertaining mainly to its patron and date, the Sanskrit part provides a more elaborate description of the well (vāpī) as ‘beautiful’ (ramya) and ‘endowed with many steps’ (bhūrisopānasaṁpat).8 It also mentions a ‘beautiful garden’ (upavanaṁ ramyaṁ) around the well, suggesting that step-wells were situated within gardens, though it may be significant that the garden is mentioned only in the Sanskrit portion. Water from baolis could also be drawn to irrigate the surrounding garden. The most elaborate examples of this type are found in the royal garden beneath the Takht Mahal and near the dargāh of Khalīlu’llāh. The lower royal garden of Bidar fort extends west of the Takht Mahal from the foot of the scarp up to the southern reservoir. It was watered by two wells, two qanāts and two baolis. On the southern side of the reservoir is one of these baolis (Plate 3.4). It consists of a shaft (A, B), a partly covered stairway (C), and a water-lifting structure. The shaft is formed by three cylindrical elements topped off by an octagonal one. A low parapet prevents people from falling inside and provided a place to sit during moments of leisure. Access to the water was by the stairs. However, the main aim of this baoli was irrigation. The lifted water (D) filled two tanks (E, F), which were connected by pipes to channels. The dargāh of Khalīlu’llāh crowns a hill overlooking Ashtur Valley, east of the fort. Two baolis are attached to this complex: one at the base of the hill for the needs of the devotees, the other in a former garden that extended west of the tomb. The latter is described here in some detail (Plates 3.5, 3.6). An inscription found near this baoli bears the date: AH 850/AD 1446.9 The upper tier is badly damaged and water covers the bottom of the structure. However, the middle tier and the water-lifting structure are preserved. The octagonal masonry shaft collects the water contained in a network of fissures that criss-cross the basaltic layers of the hill. From the lifting board, the water flowed towards the tomb of the holy man and fed the irrigation channels. But the baoli would also have been used as a place of leisure. Stairs led to the landings (A, B and D). The best place to sit was E, under the waterlifting board. After a dive one could go up again by the double staircase (C).10 When in use, the water was clean and at a lower level than it is nowadays. Both the garden and the baoli were probably reserved for the use of Khalīlu’llāh’s family members or disciples.

8

The Persian portion does not use a word for ‘well’ but simply mentions that ‘this was constructed’. Z. A. Desai, ‘Inscriptions from the State Museum, Hyderabad: Inscription no. 3’, in EIAPS, 1959–60. pp. 33–34, Plate VIII(a). For the Sanskrit portion, see B. Datta and C. L. Suri, ‘Sanskrit Portion of the Bidar Inscription in the Hyderabad Museum’, EIAPS, 1960–61, pp. 81–84, Plate 26. 9 The inscription that provides this date has been published in full in G. Yazdani, Bidar: Its History and Monuments, London: Oxford University Press, 1947, p. 147. 10 This function was observed at the site as recently as 2008.

Plate 3.4 Plan of baoli watering the lower royal gardens, view from lower western level, Bidar Fort, Karnataka.

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Plate 3.5 Plan of baoli near the tomb of Khalīlu’llāh, Ashtur, Karnataka.

Vertical Shaft-Wells On the laterite plateau in the fort, the walled city and the garden suburbs, vertical shaft-wells are plentiful. They consist of a square or rectangular vertical shaft and a raised water-lifting platform with accessories. The shaft is carved out of the laterite. The square or rectangular shape of the shaft was chosen for its plainness since there is very little structural pressure on the facing. The depth is usually about 20 metres. Holes carved at an angle (for pegs) allowed descent for cleaning or deepening. At the surface a parapet of masonry ensured safety. The water-lifting platform is raised and the pulley was fastened to wooden beams fixed in basalt stones. Large leather buckets to which ropes were attached drew the water from the well. Pairs of oxen were yoked to pull the ropes, going down the ramp behind the platform. The water was collected in two reservoirs. Baked clay pipes as well as narrow channels carried the water wherever it was needed. In some cases Persian wheels were also used. In the fort, the area to the south of the Takht Mahal and the Audience Hall must have been a large garden; here, it is designated as the Upper Royal Garden. Pavilions with underground chambers provided cool refuge during the summer heat. This included a complex with a pool and underground basins. Five wells are located around this area. Some have lifting structures about 10 metres high (Plate 3.7) which provided water under pressure to the fountains of the Takht Mahal. This structure demonstrates that at least the two elaborate basins, east and west of the domed Coronation Chamber, were fed by gushing water fountains. The symbolism of such water spurts, that of the sultan controlling and bestowing water to the country would not have been lost on the viewer.

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Plate 3.6 Well south of the Takht Mahal, Bidar Fort, Karnataka.

Many of these wells were situated at the edge of a compound rather than inside it so that the water could be used by the owner and also by the public. A similar feature in the layout was noted in Rötzer’s study on wells in Banaras during the 18th and 19th centuries.11 The water drawn from the well was intended to be used for different needs by different people. A fundamental shift in the perception of water distribution and management is therefore better represented by the use of wells rather than baolis. Qanāt (Horizontal Well) The qanāt (horizontal well) was invented in Iran over 3,000 years ago. Some qanāts in Iran are up to 70 kms in length. They are an incredible technical achievement, developed for a particular geographical situation. In Bidar, the geological foundations are different but immigrants from Iranian lands were able to adapt their technique to a different environment thereby allowing water resources to be tapped more easily. During the 16th century the technology was re-exported from Bidar and adapted to yet another geological environment: the basaltic traps of the Deccan at Bijapur, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, and Burhanpur.

11

See K. Rötzer, ‘Mughal Gardens in Benares and Its Neighbourhood in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries’, in Françoise ‘Nalini’ Delvoye (ed.), Confluence of Cultures: French Contributions to Indo-Persian Studies, Delhi: Manohar Publishers and Distributors, 1994, pp. 131–70.

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Plate 3.7 Plan of well south of the Takht Mahal, Bidar Fort, Karnataka.

The earliest qanāts were probably simple tunnels carved into the aquifer of the laterite plateau. An example of this is found at the edge of the laterite plateau on which Bidar is built which ends suddenly in a scarp. At the bottom of this scarp the aquifer contained in the laterite formation leaks out as a spring. The space watered by this spring, protected by the scarp and overlooking the plain was an ideal location for the establishment of a garden. The flow of the spring was improved by the Persian engineers for whom a qanāt was a familiar device to maximise the quantity of water obtained. A tunnel was carved into the aquifer to create the qanāt. Other examples of such qanāts at Bidar include the Farah Bāgh (now in the grounds of Narasimha Temple) and the chashma (spring) of Sayyid-us-Salam (now in the Sikh precinct of Nanak Jhira). Yazdani identified at least one full-fledged qanāt (with manholes) which crossed the whole town and ended inside the fort.12 Another similar qanāt exists in the suburb of Naubad. These two qanāts are horizontal wells cut into the aquifer. From the manholes, it was possible to draw clean drinking water along their course.

Water Supply and Gardens The final section of this article will consider two types of gardens. The first is the royal garden whose establishment was probably contemporaneous to the building of the Takht Mahal by the Bahmanis in the mid-15th century. The second — the so-called funerary gardens — are of the Barīd Shāhi dynasty, particularly that of ‘Alī Barīd Shāh I (r. AD 1542–80), built in 1576. 12

Yazdani, Bidar, pp. 205–6.

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Royal Gardens The royal garden below the Takht Mahal is found in the western part of the fort where two lowlands are edged by an earthen dam. At present they are covered by well-irrigated vegetable gardens and a talāb (tank). The garden to the south was integrated into the royal residence. The lower level of this garden, presently cultivated, was in the past occupied by another talāb. The sluice described above and depicted earlier (Plate 3.2) is proof of this hypothesis. Between the sluice and the dam, a space for leisure was established which is now in a ruinous shape. This royal garden was watered by two wells, two qanāts and two baolis. Water was drawn up from the wells and the baolis by animals. These features were not situated on the boundaries or edges of the garden but within the complex. In such a site the spaces for leisure within the garden and the spaces for the functioning of the garden were integrated. The presence of baolis integrated into water systems for gardens seems to have been common, and the earlier mentioned ex situ bilingual inscription from the period confirms such an arrangement.13 The Sanskrit portion of this inscription normatively positioned a stepped well in the midst of gardens, which it would then have irrigated. At Ashtur, another bilingual inscription has been recovered in situ, and is about 100 metres south of the tomb of Ahmad Shāh Wali. This inscription — in Marathi and Persian — records the construction of a well with steps by Jagat Rao in AD 1609 in the reign of ‘Alī Barīd Shāh III (r. AD 1600–9).14 It does not explicitly mention gardens but since it is located inside the large funerary garden complex of the Bahmani kings, the connection is quite obvious.

Funerary Gardens Barīd Shāhi funerary complexes followed different patterns than Bahmani sites as regards both their location and the layout. The tombs of the Bahmani dynasty are at the bottom of a fertile valley of black cotton soil, to the east of the fort. They are perfectly aligned on an east–west axis and they make up a royal cemetery surrounded by baolis, trees and irrigated land. On the other hand the tombs of the Barīdi dynasty are on the red, dry laterite plateau to the west of the fort. They are scattered, each one orthographically oriented in a garden within a square compound. The layout was geometrically precise and a residential unit was attached to the south-west side outside the garden. The gardens were irrigated by deep wells tapping the ground water. These wells were also relegated to the outside of the boundary walls of the garden. The tomb of ‘Alī Barīd Shāh I represents the most elaborate and perfect example of the Barīdi vision of a funerary complex. A brief survey of two earlier Barīdi funerary complexes will show the evolution of these structures to their full maturity with the tomb and garden of ‘Alī Barīd. Tomb of Amīr Barīd I Amīr Barīd I (d. AD 1542) was buried in a garden south of ‘Alī Barīd’s funerary complex. The following buildings are still preserved at the site: a huge unfinished garden pavilion; five small tombs, including one inside the pavilion; three wells; and two baolis. This complex has no boundary walls. The baolis are carved out of the laterite rock and are probably the oldest structures at the site. The wells are 13

Z. A. Desai, ‘Inscriptions from the State Museum, Hyderabad: Inscription no. 3’, EIAPS, 1959–60, pp. 33–34, Plate VIII(a); B. Datta and C. L. Suri, ‘Sanskrit Portion of the Bidar Inscription in the Hyderabad Museum’, EIAPS, 1961–62, pp. 81–84, Plate 26. 14 Yazdani, Bidar, p. 140.

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inside the garden, each with a water-lifting device. The pavilion resembles the tomb of Mahmūd Shāh Bahmani (d. AD 1518); when it was turned into a tomb for Amīr Barīd, a mihrāb was added and the western doorway was walled up. Amīr Barīd died before the completion of the dome and it was not completed after his death. A small structure hastily built inside the pavilion serves as his tomb. The unfinished main building and the garden pavilion converted into a tomb at the owner’s death followed the Bahmani style of architecture rather than a new trend. Tomb of Khān Jahān Barīd Khān Jahān Barīd was the brother of Amīr Barīd I (r. AD 1504–42). His funerary garden (Plate 3.8) is well-preserved and presents a unique layout. It is situated on the laterite plateau, 2 kms west of the fort, not far away from the scarp overlooking the Manjara river valley. The garden is square in plan, orientated to the cardinal directions. Rather than a boundary wall, a ditch (d) is carved into the laterite crust. The tomb (T) stands in the centre on a very large two-tiered platform. There is only one entrance to the garden, a small gate (G) on the north–south axis. Outside, at the south-west corner there is a residential unit composed of a building (RB) a mosque (M) a pool (P), and a well (W). The garden is divided by paths running parallel to the sides, and along the diagonals and medians. At the intersections of the paths there are small octagonal platforms, seven in total. This design is unique in the garden architecture of the Deccan. The water to irrigate the garden was supplied by two wells situated outside the garden. The one nearest the residential unit fed the pool and a trough. It also provided drinking water to the inhabitants of the residence. The garden was irrigated by another well, which is no longer extant. Only a part of the channel (c) carrying the water over the ditch is still preserved. There is no well inside the garden since it was meant to represent a realm beyond the material world of reality, embodied in a functioning water source and its associated labour. Using a ditch as a boundary for a funerary complex was not a common practice. It had the advantage of severing the verdant and fertile symbolically designed space from the red, dry, wild countryside while still allowing the people sitting on the platform round the tomb to enjoy the vast landscape. Moreover, the ditch also serves a practical purpose: it collects the run-off during the rainy season and feeds the ground water. However, unlike a wall, a ditch provided no protection from wind or from the intrusive gaze of outsiders. Three points should be emphasised with regard to Khān Jahān’s funerary garden. First, the general arrangement is new: this complex comprises a square garden with a tomb in the centre, a residential unit attached to the south-west corner and wells outside the garden. Second, the complex layout of the garden is perfectly geometrical and is charged with a great deal of symbolic meanings. Finally, the boundary is a ditch, rather than a wall. Tomb of ‘Alī Barīd Shāh I ‘Alī Barīd Shāh I was the greatest builder of the Barīd Shāhi dynasty. During his rule the fort and city fortifications were improved, two large wrought iron guns were mounted on the walls and the Rangīn Mahal was rebuilt. His funerary complex consists of a garden, a tomb and a residential unit. The tomb itself is dated AH 984/AD 1576 and is well preserved.15 From the date of the tomb, it is obvious that it was commissioned and supervised by the king himself.

15

This date is on the basis of a chronogram that appears on the tomb itself. For details, see Yazdani, Bidar, p. 152.

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Plate 3.8

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Plan of funerary garden of Khan Jahan Barīd Shāh, 16th century, Bidar, Karnataka.

In contrast to the earlier Barīd Shāhi tombs, the funerary complex of Ali Barīd Shāh I (Plate 3.9) comprises a chahar bāgh (quadripartite garden) with the tomb in the centre (T), a main gate south (G), three wells outside (W1, W2, W3), and a residential unit west of the main gate. The garden was enclosed by walls which are now only partially preserved. Their height was such that only a man on horseback was able to see what was happening inside. There were four gates, the main one to the

T Tomb of ‘Alī Barīd Sha¯h I

Plate 3.9

Plan of funerary garden of ‘Alī Barīd Shāh I, Bidar, Karnataka.

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Plate 3.10 Plan of well east of tomb of ‘Ali Barīd Shāh I, Bidar, Karnataka.

south. The tomb is on a broad, two-tiered platform; an open structure with four arches supporting a lofty dome. It gives an impression of aerial greatness and differs completely from the closed, dark and mysterious, interior spaces of the Bahmani tombs. The residential unit is also walled in. The main gate opens to a small garden and a mosque (M); the residential building (RB) standing to the south has an open hall on the ground floor and a living space on the first floor, with lavatory. From the terrace of the pavilion the inhabitants could observe the whole funerary complex and the outside world. The first floor of the main gate (G) was a more stunning dwelling, a sort of vantage point from where an important personage (perhaps the queenmother) could watch everything going on underneath. Three wells provided the water for this funerary complex but were built outside the walls, suggesting a strict spatial separation between zones of function and leisure. Nevertheless, water had to be shared; every well procured water for the garden and also for the use of those outside. This was a system common to most wells in Bidar, which generally had two or more uses: an irrigation system as well as a pool, tank, fountain or drinking trough. Placed outside a private garden, the water in the well was lifted at the cost of the owner but distributed free to the public when needed. There exist a number of wells surrounding ‘Alī Barīd’s garden (Plate 3.10). One of these wells (W3) is located east of the tomb of ‘Alī Barīd. This well is of a standard type, commonly found from the 15th century onwards. The square shaft (a) is carved into the laterite rock; it is about 20 metres deep.

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A double sequence of holes provides footholds to aid descent by means of a rope for the maintenance of the shaft. The water was lifted by draught animals working along a ramp. The lifting device (b) at the head of the ramp rests on an arch so that the pulley overhangs the water. The wooden posts that held the pulley were fixed onto two protruding basalt beams. The water was lifted in a leather container tied to a rope and poured onto a slope (b). From there it was channelled to a tank (c) and the garden, or in the opposite direction (d) to a drinking trough. A second well (Plate 3.11) near the tomb of ‘Alī Barīd Shāh I (W1) similarly had a dual function. It is composed of a shaft (I) and a lifting device (II). Although it did not feed the garden directly, this well fed both a pool (IV), and a small tank for public use, no longer extant, which was placed outside the enclosure wall of the residential unit. The water was carried to the pool by means of a small aqueduct supported by three arches (III). This pool is square, framed by a high platform, which originally had two sets of stairs to reach the edge of the pool, although one set of stairs is now missing. Steps at the four corners lead down to a bench that could be submerged. The level of the water was regulated by three channels on the northern side; the upper channel served the overflow, the lower channel was used to empty the pool. The water was collected in a recess (e) before flowing towards the garden. The pool was used for bathing and for ablutions. To provide some privacy for the ladies of the royal harem, hangings (f) could be fixed onto wooden posts. ‘Alī Barīd’s funerary complex seems to have been taken as a model by some of his successors. A brief examination of the funeral garden of Qāsim Barīd Shāh II (r. 1587–91), recalls many of the elements seen in ‘Alī Barīd’s funerary complex. Qāsim Barīd was the second son of ‘Alī Barīd; he succeeded his brother Ibrāhīm in AD 1589 and died three years later. His garden is situated, like all the Barīdi gardens, on the laterite plateau, west of the city, just after the main ‘Idgāh and north of the historical polo ground. The original layout of Qāsim Barīd’s tomb complex is not preserved. The garden was enlarged several times as members of the Barīdi family added their own tombs to the complex during the 17th century. During this process, some buildings and part of the boundary wall disappeared. But it is possible to reconstruct the main features since the layout follows the model created by ‘Alī Barīd Shāh I (Plate 3.12). The garden was square, cardinally oriented, with the tomb in the centre. The gateway (G) is an important structure on the north–south axis; it juts out of the southern wall. The tomb is on a very broad, high, freestone platform probably used for meetings. The attached residential area is on the south-west corner, projecting south. There, only the mosque (M), the well (W1) and the pool (P) are preserved. The water for the garden was provided by two wells, their square shafts carved into the laterite rock, about 20 metres deep. The water was lifted about three metres above ground level by draught animals working all along a ramp. The well (W1) fed the pool (P) that could also be used as a tank for ablutions. From the pool a channel directed the water to the garden for irrigation. The second well (W2) has the same main features as the previous well. The raised well-water flowed to the garden and fed a drinking trough. When the Barīdi family visited the garden, the horses and elephants were kept near this well. Later it was included within the garden when the funerary complex was extended towards the ‘Idgāh.

Conclusion The study of the waterworks in Bidar shows that during the 15th and 16th centuries important changes occurred in attitudes towards water, and the understanding of geology. These transformations had implications for garden design and technology. It is difficult to posit the precise causal relationship

Plate 3.11

Plan of funerary garden of ‘Alī Barīd Shāh I, southern waterworks, c. AD 1576, Bidar, Karnataka.

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Plate 3.12

Plan of funerary garden of Qasim Barīd Shāh II, Bidar, Karnataka.

between all these shifts but the temporal concurrence of these developments within only a century suggests the centrality of irrigation ideas and practices in the laying out of gardens. The complex baoli system rooted in religious beliefs gave way to a technical knowledge under the influence of émigrés from Iranian lands. The new types of wells and the qanāts provided water for multiple classes of society and for a variety of needs. Garden complexes and the location of waterworks with respect to gardens also changed during this period although it is difficult to determine the exact relationship between these social and technological changes. It would also be hazardous to insist on a direct causal relationship between these two phenomena in the absence of any other evidence. Nevertheless, Bidar is an important site for the evolution of gardens and the social responses to them, as the Bahmani polity set the tone for the five sultanates that followed them, both in terms of technology and reception. In this period, gardens evolved from informal landscapes with monumental buildings to welldefined and geometrically-planned regimented spaces. The other important change in the gardens from the Bahmani to the Barīdi period was that of the locations for the functional and leisure aspects of water systems. Initially, the water sources and lifting devices were inside the garden. The division between the working and leisure aspects of the water system would have been marked temporally; there would have been a discrete period of time for working the water system and then a time for leisure in the garden. It could be thought of as a schedule in which the gardeners took care of the

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plants and the labouring people and animals raised and distributed water, which was marked off from the time when patrons enjoyed the site. Such gardens were large and flexible in their layouts, as can be seen from the garden necropolis at Ashtur. Later, during Barīdi rule, the formal garden became a norm. The space for leisure was visually and physically separated from the source of water and the hard work of water-lifting and distribution for the purposes of irrigation. In the process, the sweat of labour was relocated outside the walls of paradise.

References Datta, B. and C. L. Suri, ‘Sanskrit Portion of the Bidar Inscription in the Hyderabad Museum’, Epigraphia Indica: Arabic and Persian Supplement, 1960–61, pp. 81–84, Plate 26. Desai, Z. A., ‘Inscriptions from the State Museum, Hyderabad: Inscription no. 3’, Epigraphia Indica: Arabic and Persian Supplement, 1960–61, pp. 33–34, Plate 8(a). Firishtā, Muḥammad Qāsim Hindū Shāh, Tārīkh-i Firishtā, (eds) John Briggs and Mir Khairat ‘Alī Khān, Bombay: Mirza Hasan Shirazi, 1832. Rötzer, Klaus, ‘Mughal Gardens in Benares and Its Neighbourhood in the 18th and 19th Centuries’, in Françoise ‘Nalini’ Delvoye (ed.), Confluence of Cultures: French Contributions to Indo-Persian Studies, Delhi: Manohar Publishers & Distributors, 1994. Tabātabā’ī, Sayyid ‘Alī ibn ‘Azīz Allāh, Burhān-i Ma‘āsir, Delhi: Matba`at-i Jami`a-i Dihli, 1936. Yazdani, Ghulam, Bidar: Its History and Monuments, London: Oxford University Press, 1947. Epigraphia Indo-Moslemica, 1917–18, Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing. Annual Report on Indian Epigraphy, 1964–65. New Delhi: Director of Publications, Archaeological Survey of India.

4

Paradise on Earth: The Deccan Sultanates RONALD INDEN

The sultanates of the Deccan, I argue here, saw themselves as making their palaces, mosques and tombs into ‘paradises’ on earth. Gardens and verdurous landscapes were integral to these constructed paradises, but their builders (like their Iranian contemporaries) departed from their Middle-Eastern predecessors, shifting from symmetrical to asymmetrical gardens. They also began to represent the ‘natural’ features of gardens and landscapes as articulated among themselves independently of architecture. This article focuses on the palace and garden complex of Bidar under the Bahmanis, who arose at the time of the Mongol khanate (AD 1206–1368) in Central Asia, and the Delhi Sultanate of the Tughluqs (AD 1316–1398) in northern India. The Bahmani Sultanate was founded in AD 1347 by the nobleman Hasan Gangu after he succeeded in a revolt against the sultan of Delhi, Muhammad bin Tughluq (r. AD 1325–51); he then took the title ‘Alā-u’d-dīn, which was the name of the Khaljī conqueror of the Deccan (AD 1296–1316), the ruling clan of Turks in north India. Simultaneously, he claimed descent from an ancient Iranian king, Bahman, and took the royal title of Bahman Shāh in AD 1347 when he established his own sultanate.1 The Bahmani Sultanate, first based in Gulbarga and later in Bidar, broke up into five successor sultanates (Barīd Shāhis of Bidar, Imād Shāhis of Berar, the Qutb Shāhis of Golconda, the Ahmad Shāhis of Ahmadnagar and the ‘Ādil Shāhis of Bijapur) in 1518. The Bahmani Sultanate was one of a number of sultanates in India that gained recognition with the decline of the Delhi Sultanate. They belonged to what I call the Timurid imperial formation (AD 1380–1500), i.e., a network of interacting polities that not only formed rivalries and alliances among themselves but mutually defined one another. The chief of these was the empire of the Timurids in Khurasan. Timur (AD 1369–1405, r. AD 1380–1405) had his capital at Samarqand. He invaded India and attacked Delhi in AD 1398, toppled the Tughluqs and replaced them with their vassals, the Sayyids (AD 1414–1451). The Bahmanis were the only one of the five sultanates that attained imperial status; this is reflected in its palace ruins that are among the most extensive to be found in India, certainly more extensive than anything of a comparable age in Iran. Even though most of the buildings in it are in poor condition, at this point in my researches it is overall the easiest of the Deccan sites to comprehend from the perspective taken here.

1 Haroon Khan Sherwani, The Bahmanis of the Deccan, Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1953, rpt 1985, pp. 28, 34–36.

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Another kind of evidence on which I draw — painting — is problematic for the Bahmanis; it does, however, exist in unproblematic abundance among their contemporaries, the Timurids, and among the five successor sultanates.2 Relevant textual material is drawn from inscriptions on buildings in Bidar and from the ‘Rose Garden of Ibrāhīm’, written by Firishta. Born in Persia, Muhammad Qāsim Firishta spent the period from 1591 to 1623 in the sultanate of Bijapur, invited by its ruler Ibrāhīm ‘Ādil Shāh II (r. AD 1580–1627), whence its paradisiac title.3 The sultan Bāhman Shāh, as he would come to be known, built extensively in the capital city, but also took steps to honour the leading Muslim religious figures of the Deccan, the Sufi masters (shaikh) of different orders, who had settled in nearby Daulatabad, men who themselves were destined for Paradise and, possessed of divine power (baraka), could provide the means for their followers to reach a paradise, whether on earth or beyond.

Citadels & Palaces Shihābu’d-dīn Ahmad I (AD 1422–1436) shifted the capital from Gulbarga to Bidar, one of his provincial capitals, in AD 1432, and renamed it Muhammadabad after his third son whom he had sent to build it in AD 1424.4 A case may be made that the founding of Bidar was itself motivated by concerns about paradise on earth. The historian of the Bahmanis, H. K. Sherwani, states that the decades before this shift of capital had been one of ‘intrigues, murders and faithlessness’, ending with the death of his preceptor, the Sufi master Syed Muhammad Gesū Darāz in AD 1422.5 Gulbarga, built in the same architectural style as that of the Tughluqs had, in other words, become an inauspicious site for ruling a prosperous and peaceful kingdom, a place where paradise on earth could not be achieved, belonging as it did to an old and fading imperial formation. Ahmad enhanced his qualifications to dwell in a paradise on earth by commissioning an epic history of his dynasty, to be written by the court poet Shaikh Āzarī (d. AD 1462–63). Modelled after Firdausi’s (AD 940 – c. 1020) classic Persian epic, the Shāhnāmā (‘Book of Kings’), he called it the Bahmannāmā-i Daknī after Bahman, the ancient Iranian king in the Shāhnāmā whom Ahmad, like his predecessors, claimed as the dynasty’s ancestor.6 He also boosted his association with divinity while disentangling himself from the local Sufi situation by sending a delegation (c. AD 1423–24) to invite 2

For a general survey of this material, see George Michell and Mark Zebrowski, Art and Architecture of the Deccan Sultanates, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. 3 Muhammad Qāsim Firishta (b. c. AD 1570–d. 1623), Gulshan-i Ibrāhīmī also known as Naurasnāmā, more generally as Tārīkh-i Firishta, trans. from Persian by John Briggs, History of the Rise of the Mahomedan Power in India, Delhi: Low Price Publications, 1829, rpt 1997 (henceforth HORMP); also, M. Nazir Ahmad, ‘Language and Literature: Persian’, in H. K. Sherwani and P. M. Joshi (eds), History of the Medieval Deccan 1295—1724 (henceforth HOMD), 2 volumes, I (Mainly Political and Military Aspects); II (Mainly Cultural Aspects), Hyderabad: Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, 1974, vol. 2, pp. 107, 577–78. 4 Ibid., pp. 125–26, 128, 148. Imperial rulers almost invariably named their newly-built capitals after themselves; this is an exception. Briggs , HORMP, vol. 1, p. 257, gives the name as ‘Ahmadabad’. 5 Sherwani and Joshi, HOMD, vol. 1, p. 164. See also Richard M. Eaton, ‘Muhammad Gisu Daraz (1321–1422): Muslim Piety and State Authority’, in idem, A Social History of the Deccan, 1300–1761: Eight Indian Lives, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp. 33–58. 6 Nazir Ahmad, ‘Persian’, in Sherwani and Joshi, HOMD, vol. 2, pp. 78, 85–87.

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the Sufi master, Ni‘matullāh Shāh Kirmāni (d. AD 1431) of the Qādirī order at Mahan (near Kerman, Iran) to come and settle in the Deccan. Although that invitation was not accepted, Ahmad eventually persuaded the master to send his grandson, Mirzā Nūrullah. He went in procession to welcome the Mirzā, and granted him a landed estate and a village, Ni‘matabad, outside Bidar. He was also granted the title of King of Masters (Malik al-Mashaikh), and was provided with the seat of highest honour in the sultan’s audiences, who also gave him his daughter in marriage.7 As the sultan embellished his divine right to dwell in Paradise, he also undertook to build a new paradise on earth. The fortified city of Bidar, like other capitals of the period (and earlier in the Middle-East), consisted of a walled square divided into quarters with a citadel palace either in the centre or to one side.8 For adornment, Ahmad and his successors turned to a ‘lighter’ Persian architectural style, one which made use of encaustic tiling. Such tiling was applied to the walls of most of the major edifices in the citadel palace. The result was a city on a larger architectural scale than any in Iran and more decorated in a celestial and paradisiac manner. These moves were integral to the representation of the city as a paradise on earth that could be seen to surpass the imperial efforts of the Tughluqs and even of the Timurids. Moreover, the Bahmanis’ use of architectural features of the rival Vijayanagara kingdom as minor elements in their own buildings also showed their recognition of but superiority over that kingdom. The citadel palace, an irregular walled oblong with 7 gates and 11 towers, was situated just outside the city to the north. It was quite extensive, about 5/8th by 1/2 mile square. The western third of this consisted of lowland gardens with a large tank. The upland of the citadel was itself divided into a larger area to the north, mostly devoid of edifices, and a smaller, walled area to the south, the palace proper. It is likely, given the number of wells dispersed across the upland beyond the palace, that visiting courtiers and military leaders pitched their tents there. The idea that the citadel palace of the Bahmanis was built as a paradise on earth is not my imposition on their kingship. The historian Sayyid ‘Alī ibn ‘Azīz Allāh Tabātabā’ī9 states that ‘the soil of Bidar is as glittering as the firmament and is full of rivulets and flowers, while paths are bounded by green grass and the air is like the air of paradise itself.’10 An inscription on the forehead of the Tiger Gate from AD 1503 continues with the paradise theme. The voice of the inscription’s author announces to its reader that the threshold he is about to cross, the court he is about to enter, is a heaven (note also the surviving tiles): O ground (zamīn) of (this) your citadel (dargāh), you are the sky of dominion (mulk) and faith (dīn) if the sky could exist on earth (zamīn). Your first storey matches the seven heavens; the engraving over your entrance (says): ‘You have been good, so enter here (paradise, jannat) to dwell forever.’ (Qur’ān Az-Zumar 73) 7 Muhammad Suleman Siddiqi, The Bahmani Sufis, Delhi: Idarah-i Adabiyat-i Dihli, 1989, pp. 78–85, 155–158. A few years later his son Shāh Khalīlūllah (d. AD 1455) came. 8 George Michell and Richard M. Eaton, Firuzabad: Palace City of the Deccan, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992, p. 67. 9 He came to the Deccan from Samnan, Iraq, around AD 1580. Burhān Nizām Shāh II commissioned him to write his history, Burhān-i Ma‘āsir in AD 1591–92. The first chapter deals with the history of the Bahmanis at Gulbarga, the second, at Bidar, and the third and longest, with the history of the Nizām Shāhīs of Ahmadnagar. 10 Sherwani, The Bahmanis of the Deccan, p. 124.

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The dome of your gatehouse (dargāh) is the royal proclamation/mandate (manshūr) of the sultanate. The arrangement (rasm) of your pillars (rukn, pl. arkan) supports the tenets of faith. The circumference of your gatehouse/audience hall is the earring of greatness and dignity. The steps to your exalted audience hall (sadr) are its strength dominion (mulk) and faith (dīn).11

Throne Halls & Audiences Palaces in South Asia and the Middle-East were typically divided into a men’s quarter (mardānā) or outer palace (birūn), and a women’s quarter (zanānā) or inner palace (andrūn). I would argue that the palace complex of the citadel at Bidar was also so divided, though the division is not obvious on first sight because of alterations. After entering the citadel palace, a visitor passed a number of buildings and came to a large courtyard (now called the Lal Bagh). The Shāhi Hammām (Royal Bath), late Bahmani or Barīdi, faces south onto this courtyard. The main edifice along the side of this courtyard is the so-called Solah Khamba (‘16 column’) mosque of the palace. The forecourt of the Lal Bagh has a Bahmani lotus-shaped basin (Plate 4.1) in it, but this is in alignment with the entrance of neither the bath nor the mosque (visible behind the basin), so how it and the garden that once surrounded it articulated with either of these structures is difficult to determine. The basin is not integrated with visible channels, covered or open, so it was not the basin of a quadripartite garden.12 What I would suggest, provisionally, is that the basin was at the centre of a courtyard and perhaps a garden of delights that linked the royal bath and the mosque and provided access to the men’s quarter or outer palace. It was almost certainly not part of the women’s quarter, as later people have assumed when they call the mosque the Zanānī Masjid (‘Harem Mosque’) and place the Lal Bagh inside the harem enclosure.13 The men’s quarter beyond this court was itself divided into outer and inner palaces. The outer consisted, at a distance of about 150 feet, of an outer audience hall (dīvānkhānā) called the Hall of Public

11

It concludes: ‘The builder of this gate (is) Ayāz, entitled Saif Khān, Kotwālbek: in the year AH 909 (AD 1503). Written by Mahmūd Shāh son of Muhammad Shāh as-Sultān al-Bahmanī’, Epigraphia Indo-Moslemica, 1925–26, p. 18. See also G. Yazdani, Bidar: Its History and Monuments, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1995, p. 33, n. 1. This translation is by Pedram Partovi. 12 The edifice that dominated the courtyard in its later configuration was undoubtedly the Tarkash Mahal. Part of this three-storey building was a reservoir (fed by a well) that provided the water for an ensemble of cascades, basin and channel. The longer of the two cascades dropped from a fountain on the terrace of the Tarkash Mahal. This ensemble of waterworks, extending into the middle of the court, was in alignment with the Tarkash Mahal and not the mosque or the royal bath, so it was the central axis of a quadripartite garden belonging to the Tarkash Mahal and not to the mosque, which was separated from it by a wall (removed by the Archaeological Survey of India), never mind the bath (cf., Yazdani, Bidar, Plate 17, pp. 52–53). 13 Later the Barīdis, belonging to the Safavid-Mughal imperial formation, reconfigured the citadel as a new palace complex. They abandoned the older outer audience hall and the sultan’s residence. They built the Tarkash Mahal as their sultan’s residence, walling off the mosque and converting the court of the mosque into a large quadripartite garden with a pavilion in its centre. It was, thus, a joint pavilion garden which the sultan could enjoy in the company of his women. They lived in the southern apartments of the Tarkash Mahal and in the rebuilt Gagan Mahal.

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Plate 4.1

Bahmani basin in garden of Bidar Fort, Karnataka.

Audience. Beyond that lay the sultan’s or inner palace of the men’s quarter, called the Takht Mahal (‘Throne Hall’); its main feature was an inner audience hall. The outer audience hall or dīvān-i ‘ām (Plate 4.2)14 is south of the outer court of the inner audience hall. It is an iwān, the Persian equivalent of a basilica, an oblong pillared hall (109×52 ft) with a suite of rooms at its sides and back. The throne was almost certainly placed in the hall in front of the door to the middle room, there being more space between the middle pillars (15ft 9in.) than the others (13ft). There was an octagonal basin of polished black stone with water jets opposite the hall and in direct line of sight with the throne. This basin with its fountain jets was integral to the representation of the audience hall as a paradise on earth. It complemented the glistening floral and geometric decorations of the walls. The placement of a basin in this axial position evoked the basin of resurrection and the channel or channels emanating from it, the river or rivers of paradise. It furthermore announced that the sultan himself was master of a paradise on earth, entry to which was within his power to grant. The placement of a pool in front of a throne was commonplace in Iranian and Indian painting of the period under consideration, as will be seen later, and seems always to have had the connotation I suggest here. The idea was to inspire awe in the participant and especially the visitor. Here in this place was an epiphany of God, the sultan, whose beneficence and surroundings were an earthly paradise.

14

The author, based on Yazdani, Bidar, Plate 23.

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Beyond the outer audience hall was the sultan’s palace, access to which was mediated by outer and inner courts with gates. Those courtiers, select dignitaries or guests who were invited into the sultan’s palace for an audience with him were subjected to careful regulation and observation so as to maintain the safety of the sultan. They first proceeded to the gate of the outer court of the sultan’s palace. This gate was typical, having two arched doorways. There was a reason for having two doorways, especially for those gates that had closable doors: guards could close the inner door, permit men to enter, then close the outer door. After these men had dismounted using the side platforms and had been inspected or searched, guards would open the inner door and permit them to enter the enclosed court. The court here had a small pillared porch on its north side. This was probably used as a waiting area for important visitors. Guests had to proceed through another inspection before entering the court of the sultan’s palace, this time through a five-arched outer gate to the inner court. After inspection, guests passed through another arched gate. Like the much larger domed gate that regulated entrance into the palace as a whole, this probably had a dome, indicating the entrance of the visitors into the inner precincts of the men’s quarters, the sultan’s palace. The room at the north end of the suite of the sultan’s palace (royal chamber), the edifice first to be seen upon coming through the gate into the court, is the best preserved. It was, in my view, probably the vestibule of the suite, having a circular staircase facing the courtyard that would have been reserved for the use of the sultan. Octagonal in design, it was some 46 ft high. The remains of a dome exist. The dynastic tiger-sun emblem of the Bahmanis appeared on either side of the arch of the entry,15 confirming the view that this was the sultan’s entrance. One would, of course, expect a dome to signal here the entrance into the heavenly precincts of the sultan’s palace. Next to the imperial vestibule was an oblong prayer hall (43×26ft 8in). Built into its threshold is a fragment of spolia from a Hindu temple, again emphasising the Islamic nature of the architecture and kingship. This room had three niches in its back wall, oriented towards Mecca, mirrored by three doorways opposite. These opened onto a staircase, next to which were cisterns that led to the courtyard below. The jambs of the niches, of black stone, are decorated with floral designs more Deccani than Persian in style. The doors connecting this room to those on both sides also had decorative jambs.16 The sultan could enter this hall from the side to perform his prayers (salāt, namāz) or to lead them. Courtiers had simply to turn and face the hall to perform their prayers. The staircase was probably for the use of a prayer leader (imām) other than the sultan. Going through the door on the south side of the prayer hall, one enters another octagonal room, this one with a fountain in the corner. Adjacent to the bedroom suite, it was probably a sitting room. The sultan’s bedroom itself consisted of a suite of three rooms, the bedroom and two side chambers used for storage and for guards and/or servants. The doors and windows of the sultan’s bedroom, with pointed arches, faced onto a small courtyard mostly taken up with a pool. The breeze wafting its way over the pool and through these doors and drawn out the large windows on the opposite wall of the bedroom (as well as up funnels toward the ceiling) would have kept the sultan cool, as would a leisurely swim. A threshold of black stone with sockets indicates the use of screens to separate the bedroom from the court.

15 16

Yazdani, Bidar, Plate 37. Ibid., p. 71.

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Plate 4.2

Floor plan of Outer Audience Hall, Bidar Fort, Karnataka.

The inner audience hall (dīvān-i khas), which the sultan could enter from the court with the pool, was the largest edifice in the sultan’s residence (51×51ft). The hall had arched walls and a dome. According to Yazdani, ‘it was probably the highest dome in the fort and rose over 100 feet from the floor’.17 The hall itself was of the iwān type, a pillared porch open on one side with entrances to rooms on the other three sides. The audience hall itself was the octagonal room directly behind the porch. My reconstruction (Plate 4.3) combines the pillars of a surviving Bijapuri audience hall of this type (which had no dome) with the dome typically found on a Bahmani mosque or royal tomb. There was probably a basin in the hall aligned with the throne, as there was in the outer audience hall, though no archaeological evidence of one remains. The centre-piece of this hall was the throne itself, known as the Takht-i Fīrozā, the Turquoise Throne, presented to Muhammad I by the raja of Telangana. It had an ebony frame gilded with gold

17

Ibid., p. 72.

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and inlaid with gems, to which successive sultans added. The panels of it were covered with turquoise enamel, whence its name.18 Muhammad’s father had installed a silver throne in the audience hall in Gulbarga and Muhammad himself had fixed a jewel-inlaid golden orb, on the top of which was a bird-of-paradise made of precious stones, on its canopy. On its head was a ruby that the raja of Vijayanagara had presented to him. The earlier ‘throne of silver, placed under a magnificent canopy, on a rich carpet, and the court before the hall of audience was shaded either by an awning of velvet brocade, or some other costly manufacture.’19 The placement of the new throne was no doubt the same. Procession into this inner audience hall was set up so as to be a series of revelations, of wonders at the grandeur and power of the sultan, starting with the gate into the outer courtyard and ending with the domed audience hall and turquoise throne, on which the sultan, displaying himself as an epiphany, sat. The historian ‘Alī Tabātabā’ī continues his account of Bidar as a paradise with a poetic description of this building and the citadel in general. His account names the architect and the poet of the verses he cites, Shaikh Āzarī, author of the Bahmannāmā-i Daknī, both Persian.20 The use of large domes and arches in the building of the palace were remarkable for the time and the description compares it with the Paradise in or beyond the sky: In this year, within the Muhammadabad citadel (qilā‘) of Bidar, Sultan Farīdūn Khisāl, architect of the prospering realm and through the efforts of the royal will (himmat-i humāyūn) laid the foundations (buniyād) for a palace (qasr) and domed throne hall (pīshgāh). The builder of the age, although he is [just] an architect of the created and transitory world (‘ālam-i qawn va fisād), had never proposed or built such a building in the civilised (ma’mūrah, ‘built up’) part of the inhabited quarter of the world, nor under the shelter of the ever-changing sky (siphr-i būqalamūn).21 The height of the palace was overcome through the assistance of steps so that vertigo during the ascent was among the class of impossibilities (az qabīl-i mumtan‘āt). And devils (shayātīn)22 stealthily circling the sky (bi qadam-i istirāq pīrāmun-i āsmān gashtan) around the palace, out of fear of the arrows of its guards, counted among its improbabilities. Because of the delicate beauty and pleasure of that Paradise-like palace (litāfat va safā-yi ān qasr-i Firdaus‘āsā), it made the Houris of heaven (bihisht) long for the earth, and as in Paradise (jannat al-ma’vá, Quranic expression literally meaning ‘Paradise, the Abode’), trouble and toil (mihnat va ‘anā) remain far from it. And like Paradise its interiors are bright and fragrant, the rays of its ceiling ornament (shamsah) like the radiant (ziyā gustar) sun, and its upper apartments like the risings of the sun and moon: Could a basement for a palace better than this be built but through the will of that auspicious (kāmrān) Shah?

18

Briggs, HORMP, vol. 2, pp. 189–90. Ibid., vol. 2, p. 184. 20 For an analysis of Persian poetic descriptions of Ghaznavid palaces, see Julie S. Meisami, ‘Palaces and Paradises: Palace Description in Medieval Persian Poetry’, in Oleg Grabar and Cynthia Robinson (eds), Islamic Art and Literature, Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2001, pp. 21–54. 21 This sentence could also be read as follows: ‘He is the builder of the age and, although (merely) an architect in the created and transitory world, no such structure had ever been proposed or built in the civilised part of the inhabited quarter of the world, nor under the shelter of the ever-changing sky.’ 22 Could also mean ‘demons’ or ‘jinn’. 19

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Plate 4.3

Reconstruction of Inner Audience Hall, Bidar Fort, Karnataka.

The finial [of its dome] reaches the limits of the sky, so that one can watch the heavens from the perspective of the stars. In the dark of night the brightness of its white walls makes the muezzins think it morning. Since the floor tiles of its court (‘arsah) have the colour of turquoise, the sky mistakenly comes into its midst. Steeped in imagination (vahm-i dūr andīsh) a hundred times over, it is able to capture your gaze. The stars of the sky together turned into sunlight when the throne hall’s ceiling ornament shone its rays on the sky. When first this sultan’s palace of good fortune (bārgah-i iqbāl) opened its doors, happiness came and prostrated itself at its threshold (āstān).

In a word, when through the efforts of the slave of the great king (khusrau kayvān ghulām) a building of such delicate beauty, desirability, cheer, and pleasure reached completion, Shaikh Āzarī, whose fame needs no description or explanation, in honour of the adored Emperor happily found himself there and delivered these two verses in description of the palace of the realm that he had composed: How marvellous! The sky itself is the threshold (pāyah) in the architecture of the gateway (dargāh) of this well-built palace (qasr) due to its exceeding greatness.

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The sky, however, could not say this was rude, for it is the palace of the sultan of the world, Ahmad Bahman Shāh.23

Was the palace described in these passages here simply an analogue of Paradise or rather an instantiation of it with its sultans acting as epiphanies of the godhead? The text is ambiguous. My sense is that many people assumed the latter was the case, but it is also highly likely that a number of Muslim legal scholars would have objected, though perhaps not too strongly. The culmination of many if not all processions was some sort of audience (darbār, darśan). The Bahmani sultans, like imperial kings elsewhere, held daily audiences. Firishta reports of Muhammad, in Gulbarga, that, ‘every day, excepting on Fridays, he gave public audience early in the morning, and continued to transact business till the crier proclaimed noontide prayer, when the court broke up.’24 I would assume that after the move to Bidar, these daily audiences were held in the outer audience hall. Audiences smaller in scale and more intimate in nature would have been held in the inner audience hall. The audiences held on special occasions invariably involved feasts or banquets (bazm, majlis-i bazm, meeting for a feast) either in the audience hall itself or in a tent or pavilion. Feasts were an important institution of the Bahmani court. The Russian traveller Athanasius Nikitin (in the Deccan from AD 1469–74) reported that the minister Mahmūd Gāwān dined with 500 invitees every day.25 The court historian of ‘Alā u‘d-dīn Hasan, the first Bahmani sultan, describes a feast given to him on the occasion of his son’s wedding. It began at 11am: Silk tapestries were spread and table-cloths laid. Leavened and unleavened bread was kept ready, various items of salad were there, green and crisp. Then came roast quail and partridge and roast chicken and roast lamb. Curry-puffs (samosās) and cooked vegetables were there as accompaniments. Juicy almond puddings and halwās were served as dessert and they were scented with camphor and musk. The meal ended with distribution of betel by the tāmbūldār. And then the nobles and leaders of the army were presented to the royal guest.26

Where this feast took place — a pavilion or tent specially erected for the marriage ceremony at the bride’s father’s mansion is most likely — is not stated. I have not seen a Deccani representation of a feast, but it is likely that the many guests invited to the one described above sat on carpets in small groups around cloths spread for the occasion.

Pavilions, Gardens, & Pleasures Outside the palace but close to the suite of rooms next to the inner audience hall was the sultan’s pavilion (46ft 8in×30ft). Built on the edge of a plateau, its octagonal domed room commanded a good view through arched floor-to-ceiling windows of the lowland gardens inside the palace wall. The dadoes were decorated with floral tiles.27

23

This passage from Tabātabā’ī, reproduced from Yazdani, Bidar, pp. 66-67, has been translated by Pedram Partovi and Diego Giolitti. 24 Briggs, HORMP, vol. 2, p. 184. 25 Cited in Sherwani and Joshi, HOMD, vol. 1, p. 185. 26 Ibid., pp. 213, 152. 27 Yazdani, Bidar, Plate 40, pp. 75–76.

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Pavilion-gardens were major features of the palaces of the Middle-East from the time of the Achæmenids. These ‘gardens of delight’ (bāgh-i bihisht, jannat al-naīm) all had a water feature. Insofar as the garden was symmetrical, the water feature consisted of one or more basins linked by a channel and aligned with the garden’s pavilion at the middle of one side of the garden. The ‘classic’ quadripartite garden (chahārbāgh, chārbāgh) had a basin in the middle and four channels emanating from it. The sultan’s pavilion is not, however, attached to a symmetrical or quadripartite garden, the type on which scholarship has mostly focused. Nor is there any evidence of a basin in the floor of the pavilion. There is a reason for these apparent anomalies. Scholars have assumed that because quadripartite gardens predominated in the ‘Abbāsid period (AD 749–1258), they must have constituted an ‘Islamic’ garden and predominated in all Muslim empires.28 The evidence from the Timurid imperial formation, which arose after that of the Mongols, is problematic on this front. The architectural evidence shows that their gardens were only partly symmetrical.29 The pictorial evidence shows that painters took up methods for representing items in a landscape. I would like to suggest that in fact the builders and artists and the courts for which they worked actually ended up appropriating and instituting among themselves a sensitivity for landscape and the representation of landscape that they previously did not have. This consisted of perceiving landscape as an ensemble of elements articulated among themselves independently of architecture. Furthermore, they used this idea of landscape for the making of asymmetrical gardens. Earlier gardens and their representations were all architecturally framed. The new gardens that appeared first in Turkoman and Timurid paintings and then in Safavid and Deccani paintings differed from the earlier gardens. They placed architectural features — a pavilion with basins, and channels — within or adjacent to its complement, an enclosed garden that can hardly be distinguished from a verdurous landscape. Within this garden, they articulated skies and clouds, mountains, rocky outcrops and rivulets, trees, and flowering plants in relation to one another rather than to an architectural frame.

28

Virtually all pictorial evidence for the quadripartite garden comes, in fact, not from the ‘Abbāsids but from the Mughals. Studies of the Islamic garden often introduce their topic with this evidence, typical of which is Norah Titley’s introductory essay and her treatment of the Persian garden: ‘The usual garden design consists of a central water channel with others leading off it at right angles with flower beds situated between them. This forms the chahār bāgh literally “four gardens” design which was also introduced into India in the 16th century by the first Mughal emperor Bābur.’ See Norah Titley, Plants and Gardens in Persian, Mughal and Turkish Art, London: The British Library, 1979, p. 16. The book cover displays a detail of one of the Mughal paintings of Babur’s Bāgh-i Vafā (Garden of Fidelity) commonly used for this purpose. 29 Yves Porter shows that the dynastic predecessors of the Bahmanis in northern India built gardens and that most if not all of them were probably not quadripartite. See Yves Porter, ‘Jardins pré-Moghols’, in Rika Gyselen (ed.), Jardins d’Orient, Paris: Groupe pour l’Étude du Civilisation du Moyen-Orient, 1991, pp. 37–53. M. Alemi, relying on 17th century European drawings, analyses the types of gardens in Safavid Iran and concludes that ‘we have substantially to modify the prevailing stereotyped image of a symmetrical layout with rigid axialities. In fact, an attentive analysis of the drawings allows us to discover a disposition toward rhythm, partial symmetry, hierarchy, and differentiation of axes as well as the occurrence of irregularities that reveal a certain taste for the picturesque that underlies Persian architecture.’ See Mahvash Alemi, ‘The Royal Gardens of the Safavid Period: Types and Models’, in Attilio Petruccioli (ed.), Gardens in the Time of the Great Muslim Empires: Theory and Design, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1997, p. 78. See also Kristoffer Damgaard, ‘Tracing the Timurid Chahār Bāgh: The Paradisiacal Garden’, Danish Society for Central Asia Journal, vol. 1, 2005, pp. 29–38.

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The Iranian architects who built Bidar brought these new practices with them to a part of India where tanks were used in conjunction with intensive agriculture. The result is what we see in the remains there. The pavilion outside the sultan’s palace is a belvedere (manzar) and its complement is a large, irregularly shaped lowland (Plate 4.4) with its basin in the shape of a huge Indian tank at right angle to the gardens overlooked by the pavilion. This complementarity of pavilion and garden is duplicated by the sultan’s palace itself, the bedroom and vestibule of which also look out over the lowlands. The picture of it was taken from the large bedroom window. A verdurous landscape can be seen there even today. Whether the rows of closely cultivated parterres in it now are old and were articulated as quadripartite gardens by the Bahmanis is doubtful. The Barīdis, though, because they belonged to the Safavid-Mughal imperial formation and did build quadripartite gardens, may have done this. Even a cursory comparison of the Bidar fort with the Mughal citadel (Red Fort) in Delhi shows that the complementary pavilion and quadripartite garden which dominate the latter are absent in the former (leaving aside the Barīdi rebuild of the Tarkash Mahal and court of the mosque).30 The Bahmanis could have strolled, set up temporary pavilions for different purposes, and even hunted in the lowland within the fort as well as enjoy the view and the use of the plants grown in its gardens. The sultan could have used the pavilion itself for smaller, less formal audiences, with food and entertainment. Visitors would have arrived to see the sultan sitting under the heavenly dome of the pavilion with the paradise of the lowland gardens behind him. I would suggest that the sultan also used this edifice as the men’s pavilion, the place where the sultan and his favourite courtiers sat together and enjoyed the pleasures of conversation and poetry along with wine and betel and tasty foods, to the accompaniment of dance and music. Some recent scholarship has focused on the importance of the practice that was in my view central to the institution of paradise on earth for royal or imperial courts. Dominic Brookshaw refers to this practice, distinct from the feast and the audience or other event, such as a marriage, that accompanied it, as the convivial party, his translation of one form of gathering or meeting (majlis, pl. majālis), the gathering of companionship (majlis al-uns), drinking party (majlis al-sharāb), or dance and song party (majlis-i raqs-o sarod), as distinct from a scholarly meeting (majlis al-mujādalā) for debate or theological disputation.31 People in South Asia have also used another term for meeting (mahfil, pl. mahāfil) to designate these parties and yet another to refer more specifically to competitive gatherings of poets (mushāirā). Much of the scholarship that deals with gardens and their representations in Arab, Iranian and Indian regions conflates the pleasures that kings enjoyed in their palaces with the enjoyments of the harem. Yet, as Cynthia Robinson points out in her study of one Andalusian court, the convivial party was a homosocial practice, one involving the sultan and his favourite courtiers as companions (nadīm, pl. nudāmā).32 Arabic, Persian and Urdu poetry, both lyric and epic, was created for performance

30

J. P. Losty, ‘The Delhi Palace in 1846: A Panoramic View by Mazhar ‘Ali Khan’, in Rosemary Crill, Susan Stronge and Andrew Topsfield (eds), Arts of Mughal India: Studies in Honour of Robert Skelton, Ahmedabad: Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd., 2004, pp. 286–302. 31 Dominic P. Brookshaw, ‘Palaces, Pavilions and Pleasure-gardens: The Context and Setting of the Medieval Majlis’, Middle Eastern Literatures, vol. 6, no. 2, 2003, pp. 199–223. 32 Cynthia Robinson, In Praise of Song: The Making of Courtly Culture in al-Andalus and Provence, 1005–1134 A.D., Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2002.

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Plate 4.4 Lowland seen from the palace of Bidar Fort, Karnataka.

at these gatherings as were the illustrated manuscripts of these works. Especially important for the men’s gatherings were epics about the heroic deeds of kings of the past such as the 10th century Shāhnāma of Firdausi.33 The Sufi masters of the Deccan, including those to whom the sultans offered their allegiance, also held song sessions (samā’, also and later mostly called mahfil). These were at least as important, as liberating homosocial gatherings, as the convivial parties of the sultans. The charismatic Sufis convened these sessions at the tombs of the masters of their liturgical lineages (silsilā, ‘chain’) and elsewhere. The point of these sessions was to offer ‘remembrances’ (zikr), chants and songs (qavvālī) in order to induce a trance (hāl), central to which was the experience of ecstasy (wajd), often characterised as a kind of intoxication (kaifiyat, mastī,).34 The songs contained some of the same themes of love and separation as those of the convivial parties and some of the same masters appeared at

33

Dick Davis, Epic and Sedition: The Case of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, Washington, DC: Mage Publishers, 1999, and Hakīm Abu’l-Qāsim Firdausī, Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings: Stories from the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, trans. from Persian by Dick Davis, New York: Viking, 2006. 34 Claire Devos, Qawwali: la musique des maˆi tres du soufisme, Paris: Éditions du Makar, 1995. On the Chishtis and for discourses on samā’, see Carl Ernst and Bruce Lawrence, Sufi Martyrs of Love: The Chishti Order, New York: Palgrave, 2002, especially pp. 34–46.

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both the court parties and the Sufi sessions. Notable among these was the poet and musician Amīr Khusrau Dihlavī (AD 1253–1325).35 The practice of holding convivial parties at the Deccani courts is assumed in Firishta’s narrative. He only mentions those that are exceptional for one reason or another. Processions to the palace culminated in an audience, as already stated. Audiences were, in turn, followed by celebrations involving food, drink and entertainment. Muhammad Shah held a convivial party as part of this festival to which ‘…a number of musicians, who had learned the compositions of Ameer Khusrow, and Khwaja Hussun, of Dehly, and some who had even heard those great masters, came, attended by three hundred singers, from Dehly to Koolburga.’36 A courtier described in poetic language the ecstatic response of the sultan when, ‘one evening, when the fragrance of the garden of pleasure had suffused the cheek of Mahomed Shah with the rosy tinge of delight, a band of musicians sang two verses of Ameer Khusrow, descriptive of royal festivity.’37 The sultan, ‘delighted beyond measure’ ordered a large gratuity be given to them. As can be seen just from this one fragment of text, gardens and the fragrances of their flowers and herbs are deeply implicated in the language of the poetry and lyrics that were heard on these occasions as one excellent study of Deccan gardens shows.38 Describing the virtues of the sultan Tāju‘d-dīn Fīroz Shāh, the historian Firishta notes that ‘he was guilty of no offences against the doctrines of religion but that of drinking wine and listening to music’. Observing the etiquette expected of a good ruler, he frequently ‘expressed contrition’ for these faults but justified them on the grounds that ‘music elevated his soul to the contemplation of the Deity’ and that ‘he did not drink wine so as to affect his reason’.39 Firishta gives a lengthy account of the court parties that Fīroz held in the evening, presumably because they differed from the norm. Fīroz was not only a poet who excelled Muhammad bin Tughluq, but had interest in natural philosophy, lectures on which he regularly attended.40 His court parties were, accordingly, like the most elevated of Greek symposia: ‘He generally spent his time till midnight in the company of divines, poets, reciters of history, readers of the Shāh Nāma, and the most learned and witty among his courtiers.’ On these occasions, he suspended the protocols of the court: ‘He desired that all the members of these parties might come in or go out at will; that each person might call for what he chose to eat and drink, and speak freely on all subjects but two.’ These were ‘affairs of state’ and ‘slander of an absent person’.41 These symposia were, presumably, held in a men’s pavilion in the new city of Firozabad. For a long time art historians have argued that the Bahmani Sultanate produced no paintings, that is, no illustrated manuscripts, and attributed this to the orthodoxy of the sultans.42 Recently,

35

Sunil Sharma, Amir Khusraw: The Poet of Sufis and Sultans, Oxford: One World Publications, 2005. Briggs, HORMP, vol. 2, p. 190. 37 Ibid. 38 Ali Akbar Husain, Scent in the Islamic Garden: A Study of Deccani Urdu Literary Sources, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2000. 39 Briggs, HORMP, vol. 2, p. 224. 40 Ibid., vol. 2, p. 227. 41 Ibid., p. 224. 42 Jagdish Mittal makes such a pronouncement in ‘Painting’, Sherwani and Joshi, HOMD, vol. 2, p. 204. 36

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however, Barbara Brend has argued that some illustrated manuscripts can reasonably be attributed to the Bahmanis.43 None of the illustrations in these manuscripts, either reproduced or described, happens to provide a pictorial representation of the enjoyments to be had in a royal garden of delights. There are many such, however, from their Iranian contemporaries and from the successor dynasties of the Deccan (as well as from their Mughal and Rajput contemporaries). The Timurids, and after them the Safavids (AD 1501–1732), were fond of pavilion-gardens. These display the new sensitivity to the elements of landscape and a new way of representing them and using them to constitute a garden. One Safavid miniature exemplifies this change. It consists of two facing illustrations: the left one shows courtiers arriving with an offering; the right illustration shows the sultan in a hexagonal pavilion at the convivial party that followed the reception. Three young men serve him, two inside the pavilion, one outside and holding a falcon. Musicians play below the pavilion. The large dishes of rice and platters with roasts that would be present at a feast are replaced at this convivial gathering by trays of pomegranates and decanters of wine. The slim and delicately constructed pavilion, resting on a plinth with tiled sides, railing and steps, is situated in a landscape and almost disappears into it. The water feature here is a rivulet that emanates from a spring in a rocky mountain, the distinctive ensemble of a Chinese landscape. It passes between rocks and flowers and wanders around the pavilion replacing the straight channels and geometrical basin of a symmetrical garden. The descendants of Chinese dragon clouds are set in an awe-inspiring golden sky. Some symmetry is retained around this only piece of architecture — in the ornate floral and geometric design of the pyramidal roof and the matching pairs of cypress and deciduous trees that flank a flowering tree of paradise behind the pavilion.44 Other Timurid and Safavid paintings mix symmetrical and asymmetrical features in various proportions as even a cursory glance at the paintings in a collection will show. At least one manuscript illustration painted by a Persian artist but attributed to the Deccan exhibits the new sensitivity to garden and landscape representation (Plate 4.5).45 It shows a rivulet in an asymmetrical garden (or, more likely, a semi-arid landscape) in spring, when the plants are all green and in bloom. The carpet on which a couple sit is placed next to the rivulet and on the ground. This painting breaks away from the architectural framing of garden or landscape elements common in the work of Indian (and earlier Iraqi and Syrian) painters who had not taken up the Persian techniques for creating landscapes or gardens. A trace of this framing can be seen where the tree, acting as a canopy for the couple sitting on the carpet, separates the sky from the ground. Another illustration from the same series, depicting an interior, shows the architectural framing. A carpet frames the main reclining figure and windows frame the heads of her two attendants. A door partially frames the onlookers. Finally, the tree in bloom that represents the garden or landscape outside the palace pavilion is itself framed by a door that opens onto a balcony.46 43

These include at least one Shāhnāma, an anthology including the Khamsa/s of Nizami and Amir Khusrau, and a dispersed Khamsa of Amir Khusrau; cf., Barbara Brend, Perspectives on Persian Painting: Illustrations to Amīr Khusrau’s Khamsah, London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003. 44 ‘Abdollah-e Mozahheb, miniature, Sefatol-‘Āsheqin of Helāli, AD 1581, Mashhad, fol. 2, Binney collection, Abolala Soudavar, Art of the Persian Courts, New York: Rizzoli, 1992, Figure 90a, p. 229. 45 ‘Shirin entertains Khusrau’, Anthology including the Khamsa/s of Nizami and Amir Khusrau, 44b, Persian 124, Bahmanī Sultanate, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin: Brend, Perspectives, Plate D. 46 Shakar poisoned by Māh Sāmān, Anthology including the Khamsa/s of Nizami and Amir Khusrau, 63b, Persian 124, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin: Brend, Perspectives, Plate E.

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Plate 4.5 Shirin entertains Khusrau, from an anthology including the Khamsas of Nizami and Amir Khusrau, AH 840/AD 1436, attributable to Bidar, Karnataka.

Some Deccani depictions of pavilion-gardens executed by Indian artists continued to place their gardens in an architectural framework. One of these, an early miniature from the Nizām Shāhī sultanate, in fact depicts a convivial party in a men’s pavilion in the sultan’s palace (Plate 4.6). Here the purpose of the gathering is to watch a dance performance. This takes place below the platform on which the sultan and courtiers sit — a lower register used to add depth. The sultan is attended by a servant who carries the royal mace and unfurls a scarf of victory. The sultan, on a cushioned seat with a bolster, faces one musician and singer who stand in the doorway. Plates of party food and decanters of wine are placed on a carpet in front of the shah. The foliage of the garden pavilion can be seen only in the upper right window.47 Some of the paintings from Bijapur and Golkonda, however, do exemplify the new sensitivity to landscape.48 The painting of Muhammad Qutb Shāh hawking in a verdurous landscape shows the

47 Anon., Ahmadnagar, 1565–69; reproduced in Āftābī, Tarīf-i Husain Shāh Badshāh Dakhan, trans. from Persian by G. T. Kulkarni and M. S. Mate, Pune: Bharata Itihasa Samshodhaka Mandala, 1987, Plate on p. 118. Miniature illustrations that survive from the sultanate of Mandu (Malwa), done between AD 1495–1505, are similar in their treatment of garden and landscape: cf., The Ni‘matnāma Manuscript of the Sultans of Mandu: The Sultan’s Book of Delights, trans. from Persian by Norah M. Titley, London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2005. 48 The artists of the Pem Nem of Hasan Manjhu Khalji, AD 1591–1604, depict figures in Persianate landscapes that are almost free of architectural framing; see Deborah Hutton’s article in this volume, and her Art of the Court of Bijapur, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006, Plates 8, 9 and 11, pp. 71–83.

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Plate 4.6 Convivial party in men’s pavilion, Āftābī, Tarīf-i Husain Shāh Badshāh Dakhan, c. AD 1565–69, Ahmadnagar, Maharashtra.

features of landscape that came to predominate in the Timurid and Safavid paintings — mountain and rivulet — in an exaggerated, almost surreal fashion.49 The architectural element of the painting, the citadels and building in the background, is itself placed behind the mountains. All that distinguishes this landscape from a garden in similar Bijapur or Golkonda paintings is the absence of a pavilion, terrace or railing. Many of the Bahmani and later sultans of the Deccan not only held convivial parties, they themselves composed poems and songs, and played musical instruments. Aside from the Bahmani sultans, Fīroz and Ahmad I, perhaps the most well-known of the Bijapur sultans in this regard was Ibrāhīm

49 ‘Prince Hawking’, Golconda, c. AD 1620–30, reproduced in Mark Zebrowski, Deccan Painting, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983, Figure 138, p. 173. For similar Bijapur paintings, see Hutton, Art of the Court of Bijapur, pp. 96–103.

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‘Ādil Shāh II.50 Muhammad Qulī Qutb Shāh (AD 1580–1611), the founder of Hyderabad, like his contemporary in Bijapur, was also a supporter of painting, music and poetry, and a poet in his own right. A huge collection of his poems, Kulliyāt, illustrated with court scenes, is extant.51 The sultan enjoyed the company of his women in a pavilion-garden which I call a joint paviliongarden, located within the women’s quarter, the inner or queens’ palace. Likewise, the Tarkash Mahal and its garden were the joint pavilion of the Barīdi period. It is at present, however, difficult to clearly identify a joint pavilion of the Bahmani period. The women’s quarter (Gagan Mahal) of the Bidar palace consisted of rooms built around two courts. This building may have been used as a women’s pavilion-garden. A narrow stairway at the south-west corner of the porch went up to the first floor where traces of a large hall (48ft×22ft 11in) with decorative niches and carving exist. It was probably a room reserved, as Yazdani suggests, for the sultan’s use in the women’s quarter. Above it was another room (35ft×21ft 6in) with arched doorways overlooking a terrace and from there overlooking the fort and countryside around it. Adorned with plants and a basin with fountain jets as it may have been, this was probably used by the sultan as a joint pavilion. Erotic activity was the major preoccupation of the joint pavilions in the earthly paradise of the inner palace. Scholars in conjunction with singers and musicians, poets, dancers, and painters elaborated a complex system of erotic emotions (rāga) to which they gave specificity in the shape of musical modes and pictorial representations in the Mughal-Safavid imperial formation. These were integral to the poetry (ghazal, gīt), dance and music performances, and love-making that took place in the joint pavilion-gardens. Frequently they were interwoven with erotic tales of the youthful Krishna and his mistress Radha in Indic languages and the romances of Lailā and Majnūn in Persian, and Khusrau and Shīrīn or Farhad and Shīrīn in Persian and Indian languages.52 Hasan Manjhu Khalji’s Pem Nem (‘Vicissitudes of Love’) AD 1591–1604, about the separation of Ratan Sen, prince of Chittor, and Padmāvatī, princess of Simhala, and Nusratī’s Gulshan-i Ishq (‘Rose-garden of Love’), tale of prince Manohar of Kanaknagar and Madhumālatī are examples of such erotic romances in Dakhni Urdu.53 There are paintings from the later Deccan sultanates that I would take as depicting scenes in the joint and women’s pavilion-gardens. One of these is from Ahmadnagar. Sultan Husain Nizām Shāh is shown seated with his queen Humāyūn (later mostly obliterated), on a throne with a hexagonal canopy inside a joint pavilion (Plate 4.7). In front of the throne on a tiled terrace is the basin of paradise. Attendants unfurl the scarves of victory and another woman looks out from a window in an upper storey. The pavilion is set in or adjacent to a garden, the foliage of which can be seen at the left of his pavilion.54 A second miniature from the same set shows the sultan and his queen seated in the

50

A miniature shows him playing his tambur, named Moti Khan, in an asymmetrical garden or verdurous landscape while three singers clap their hands and sing. Decanters of wine are in a tray in the foreground. A servant brings food. Elephants and buildings appear in the background. Leningrad painter, c. AD 1595–1600, Naprstek Museum, Prague, reproduced in Zebrowski, Deccan Painting, Plate 10, Figure 70, pp. 94–95. This sultan composed a treatise on songs, Kitāb-i Nauras in Dakhnī; see Ahmad, ‘Persian’, Sherwani and Joshi, HOMD, p. 80. 51 H. K. Sherwani, Muhammad-Quli Qutb Shāh: Founder of Haidarabad, New York: Asia Publishing House, 1968. 52 Nizāmī Ganjavi (AD 1140/41–1208/9) is the most famous reteller of these romances, included in his Khamsa (‘Quintet’), Lailā va Majnūn (AD 1188) and Khusrau va Shīrīn (AD 1176–86). There are numerous illustrated manuscripts of these works; see Barbara Brend, The Emperor Akbar’s Khamsa of Nizāmī, London: The British Library, 1995. 53 Hutton, Art of the Court of Bijapur, p. 73 and M. H. Khan, ‘Dakhnī-Urdu’, in Sherwani and Joshi, HOMD, vol. 2, p. 28. 54 Anon., Ahmadnagar, AD 1565–69, Bharata Itihasa Samshodhaka Mandala, Pune, reproduced in Zebrowski, Deccan Painting, Plate 1, pp. 17–19.

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Plate 4.7

Sultan and Queen in joint pavilion, Āftābī, Tarīf-i Husain Shāh Badshāh Dakhan, c. AD 1565–69, Ahmadnagar, Maharashtra.

garden itself (Plate 4.8) rather than in the pavilion facing it.55 Here the artist has abandoned most of the architectural framing used in his other pictures, but still rests the garden on a tiled terrace and places the trees behind the royal couple to form a canopy or arch over them. Two others depict the sultan and queen in a room or pavilion inside the inner palace attended by women.56 Yet another (fol. 29a) shows the queen Humāyūn in a garden, we may infer, in the women’s quarter.57

55

Anon., Ahmadnagar, AD 1565–69, Bharata Itihasa Samshodhaka Mandala, Pune, reproduced in Āftābī, Tarif-i Husain Shah, Plate on p. 104. 56 The couple in both are seated, as in the pavilion-garden, under a double canopy, but instead of showing the foliage and flowers of a garden, it displays architectural features. One picture shows the sultan and queen about to eat and drink from trays of pomegranates, other delicacies and a cup and decanter of wine offered by female attendants. Anon., Ahmadnagar, AD 1565–69, Bharata Itihasa Samshodhaka Mandala, Pune, reproduced in Āftābī, Tarif-i Husain Shah, Plate on p. 150. The other shows attendants of different nations standing near the settee while two attendants unfurl the scarves of victory; Anon., Ahmadnagar, AD 1565–69, Bharata Itihasa Samshodhaka Mandala, Pune, reproduced in Āftābī, Tarif-i Husain Shah, Plate on p. 156. 57 I infer this because the queen stands on or near a terrace. She touches a tree to make it burst into flower. Given the dark blue sky, the scene appears to take place at night. The artist has given a certain symmetry to this

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Plate 4.8

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Sultan with Queen in garden, Āftābī, Tarīf-i Husain Shāh Badshāh Dakhan, c. AD 1565–69, Ahmadnagar, Maharashtra.

Numerous examples of paintings of the erotic emotions from the Deccan also survive. As in such paintings elsewhere, the people (or deities) depicting the emotions indicated often appear in gardens and their pavilions. One depiction of the erotic and musical mode, Mālkauñs (Malkos, also, previously, Kauśik) rāga,58 shows the hero placing a rolled betel-leaf in the mouth of his lover. The couple sit on a divan in a joint pavilion-garden. Next to the pavilion is a quadripartite garden with a square basin and fountain jet in the middle. This is one of the earliest depictions of a quadripartite garden from the Deccan, but it is well within the Safavid-Mughal period and shows affinities with similar Rajput representations.

garden not only by placing the sky inside an arch but by placing a pair of cypresses and a plantain tree on either side. There is, however, no basin in evidence, never mind the channels that would divide it into a quadripartite garden. This is the only one of the series of miniatures from the Tarif-i Husain Shahi where the figure of the queen has not been obliterated. 58 Illustration, Ragamala series, Chandrakas Ragaputra of Malkos Raga, northern Deccan, AD 1675–1700, Sotheby’s Catalogue, Important Indian Paintings from the Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck Collection, New York: Sotheby’s, 2002, Fig. 14, p. 18.

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The citadel palace of Bidar was, thus, a garden-palace. The garden of delights that its paviliongarden contained was not the quadripartite garden that had came to predominate in the MughalSafavid imperial formation, it consisted rather of the entire lowlands below the pavilion which functioned as a belvedere. The pavilion-garden of the Bidar garden-palace was not the only one of its kind in the Deccani kingdoms. Fīroz had built his second capital, Firozabad, as a showcase audience hall and pavilion-garden. ‘Alau’d-dīn Ahmad II (AD 1436–1458), successor to Ahmad, built a garden-palace at Ni‘matabad.59 The sultans of Bijapur built three gardens inside their citadel capital, south of the large tank, the Taj Bauri, the lowest area of the city: ‘Alavī Bāgh, Bāgh-i ‘Ali and Bāgh-i Darwaza, none of them extant. They also built a series of pavilion-gardens at Kumatgi, east of the capital. Ibrāhīm ‘Ādil Shāh II built Nauraspur (‘City of Nine Flavours’) in AD 1599 as a twin capital, in my terms, a huge men’s pavilion-garden.60 The sultan processed there with his court along a straight processional way partly lined with shops for the celebration of a holiday invented for the site, ‘Īd-i Nauras. This celebration consisted, in effect, of a large, theatrical convivial gathering involving poetry, story-telling and music, no doubt accompanied by wine and party food. The Qutb Shāhis built a large pavilion-garden, Nagīnā Bāgh, inside their citadel palace of Golkonda. At the highest point in the citadel they placed a pavilion that overlooked the countryside. The sultans used this as an audience hall but probably also as a men’s pavilion. Muhammad Qulī Qutb Shāh founded the new capital of Hyderabad in AD 1592. Modeling it after Isfahan, the Safavid capital, the sultan proclaimed it would be ‘unequaled the world over and would be a replica of Paradise itself’. He erected a pavilion-garden, Nadī Mahal, on the banks of the Musi. To the north of the river he built a pavilion-garden called Nabāt Ghāt (present-day Public Gardens) and on a hill to the south of the capital, one named Kuh-i Tūr (now Faluknuma Palace). The shah and his courtiers attached gardens to their palaces and mansions there. People came to call the capital Bāghnagar, ‘Garden City’.61 ‘Abdu’llāh Qutb Shāh (AD 1626–1672) built Tārāmatī Bārādarī, a joint pavilion, on a hill outside Golkonda (now restored as a convention centre). Finally, the Nizām Shāhis built an impressive pavilion-garden, Farah Bāgh, AD 1576–83, located, like the pavilions at Kumatgi, as the centre-piece of a large tank.62

Conclusion The institution of paradise on earth was integral to kingship in the Bahmani Sultanate and its successors. It was not an escape from kingship confined to the gardens in the harems of the sultans. I have tried to show that the Bahmanī sultans saw their entire citadel palaces as earthly paradises. The walls excluded those not entitled to be in a paradise on earth as well as protecting those inside who were. Processional ways led to the gates. These, with their heavenly domes, announced the entry into a paradise, as well as regulated it. The audience halls, adorned with tree-like pillars, decorated with flowers and freshened with fountains were likened to the audience hall where God himself

59

Sherwani, Bahmanis of the Deccan, p. 155. Hutton, Art of the Court of Bijapur, 107–19, 160–61. 61 Sherwani, Muhammad-Qulī Qụtb Shah, pp. 12–27 and M. A. Nayeem, The Heritage of the Qutb Shahis of Golconda and Hyderabad, Hyderabad: Hyderabad Publishers, 2006, pp. 10–14. 62 Z. A. Desai, ‘Architecture: Bahmanī Successor States’, in Sherwani and Joshi, HOMD, vol. 2, p. 266. 60

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sat on his throne. Pavilion-gardens with their springs or basins, channels or rivulets and trees and flowers, considered homologous with those of the heavenly Paradise itself, were the centre-pieces of these palaces because it was in them that the sultan and his courtiers, wives and courtesans engaged in the liberating experiences of paradise. These experiences were valued in themselves because those engaged in them saw them as homologous with and anticipatory of those in Paradise itself. While gardens of delight were central to the earthly paradises built by the sultans of the Deccan, the garden at issue was not a uniform, unchanging Islamic garden of symmetrical, quadripartite design. I have indicated in a preliminary way that through a complex process for which the Mongol conquests were crucial, Iranians and, following them, South Asians, adapted elements of Chinese landscapes and the means for their design and representation. This occurred during the Timurid imperial formation to which the Bahmani Sultanate belonged. The Mughals were perhaps the most committed of any major dynasty to the quadripartite garden — indeed, their representations of them are often taken as typical of the Islamic garden itself. Yet they can no longer be seen as simply restoring a tradition, for the turn to landscape had seriously disrupted that tradition. Their buildings and paintings combined their preoccupation with the quadripartite garden with a Timurid, Safavid and Deccani sensitivity to landscape and its representation. It is also important to distinguish among the activities in which the sultans engaged in their earthly paradises. Processions were primarily intended to induce awe on the part of those who witnessed them. Audiences were intended to induce awe in those who attended them while the feats and entertainments that accompanied them were intended to foster a feeling of participation in the court. The convivial parties that the sultan staged in a pavilion-garden took participation one step further, aiming to induce the ecstasy of paradise in the sultan and his companions. The sultans considered these convivial parties which they held as the culmination of their activities as kings, their reward for having been just rulers and bringers of prosperity. They did not by default conflate their convivial parties with their erotic encounters in the joint pavilions of the inner palace and see these as inherently antithetical to the wise and just rule of their kingdoms. This view rests on the mistakenly narrow equation of earthly paradise with the garden. Once we see the garden as part of a larger paradise on earth, the citadel palace and the ecstatic experiences of the pavilion-garden as part of the kingship, as a complex, shifting set of activities, then we can see that the entertainments of the garden could be taken as the momentary high-points of life in an earthly paradise. This positioning of the garden and its pleasurable activities was of course not automatic. It was the result of the articulation of the edifices and activities of kingship. Certainly it would be correct to say that the earthly paradises were flawed. Conflicts between outsiders and indigenous people, between dynasties and men of the same dynasty, and between governors vitiated the efforts to build and maintain their citadel palaces as paradises. There were also disagreements about what exactly led to an earthly paradise and to the Paradise beyond. Some Sufis maintained that only an abstemious life devoid of sensuous pleasure could lead to Paradise, itself a problematic state. The convivial parties of kings and the singing sessions of dervishes were antithetical to that. Some, the Chishtis, held that singing sessions were integral to attainment of union with the godhead, itself consisting of a kind of intoxication. These sessions, with their amatory language and garden imagery, converged with the convivial parties of the sultans in their pavilion-gardens.

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References Āftābī, Tarīf-ī Husain Shāh Badshāh Dakhan, trans. from Persian by G. T. Kulkarni and M. S. Mate, Pune: Bharata Itihasa Samshodhaka Mandala, 1987. Alemi, Mahvash, ‘The Royal Gardens of the Safavid Period: Types and Models’, in Attilio Petruccioli (ed.), Gardens in the Time of the Great Muslim Empires: Theory and Design. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1997, pp. 72–96. Brend, Barbara, The Emperor Akbar’s Khamsa of Nizāmī, London: The British Library, 1995. ———, Perspectives on Persian Painting: Illustrations to Amīr Khusrau’s Khamsah, London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003. Brookshaw, Dominic P., ‘Palaces, Pavilions and Pleasure-gardens: The Context and Setting of the Medieval Majlis’, Middle Eastern Literatures, vol. 6, no. 2, 2003, pp. 199–223. Damgaard, Kristoffer, ‘Tracing the Timurid Chahār Bāgh: The Paradisiacal Garden’, Danish Society for Central Asia Journal, vol. 1, 2005, pp. 29–38. Davis, Dick, Epic and Sedition: The Case of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, Washington, DC: Mage Publishers, 1999. Devos, Claire, Qawwali: la musique des maiˆ tres du soufisme, Paris: Éditions du Makar, 1995. Eaton, Richard, A Social History of the Deccan, 1300–1761: Eight Indian Lives, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Ernst, Carl and Bruce Lawrence,, Sufi Martyrs of Love: The Chishti Order. New York: Palgrave, 2002. Firdausī, Hakīm Abu’l-Qāsim, Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings: Stories from the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, trans. from Persian by Dick Davis. New York: Viking, 2006. Firishta, Muhammad Qāsim Hindu Shāh. History of the Rise of the Mahomedan Power in India translated from the original Persian of Mahomed Kasim Ferishta, 2 vols, trans. from Persian by J. Briggs, Delhi: Low Price Publications, rpt 1997. Husain, Ali Akbar, Scent in the Islamic Garden: A Study of Deccani Urdu Literary Sources, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2000. Hutton, Deborah, Art of the Court of Bijapur, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006. Losty, Jeremiah P., ‘The Delhi Palace in 1846: A Panoramic View by Mazhar ‘Ali Khan’, in Rosemary Crill, Susan Stronge and Andrew Topsfield (eds), Arts of Mughal India: Studies in Honour of Robert Skelton, Ahmedabad: Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd., 2004, pp. 286–302. Meisami, Julie S., ‘Palaces and Paradises: Palace Description in Medieval Persian Poetry’, in Oleg Grabar and Cynthia Robinson (eds), Islamic Art and Literature, Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2001, pp. 21–54. Michell, George and Richard M. Eaton, Firuzabad: Palace City of the Deccan, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. ——— and Mark Zebrowski, Architecture and Art of the Deccan Sultanates, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Nayeem, M. A., The Heritage of the Qutb Shahis of Golconda and Hyderabad, Hyderabad: Hyderabad Publishers, 2006. Porter, Yves, ‘Jardins pré-Moghols’, in Rika Gyselen (ed.), Jardins d’Orient, Paris: Groupe pour l’ Étude du Civilisation du Moyen-Orient, 1991, pp. 37–53. Robinson, Cynthia, In Praise of Song: The Making of Courtly Culture in al-Andalus and Provence, 1005–1134 A.D., Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2002. Sharma, Sunil, Amir Khusraw: The Poet of Sufis and Sultans, Oxford: One World Publications, 2005. Sherwani, H. K., Muhammad-Quli Qutb Shāh: Founder of Haidarabad. New York: Asia Publishing House, 1968. ———, The Bahmanis of the Deccan: An Objective Study. Delhi: Manoharlal, 1985. ———, and P. M. Joshi, History of Medieval Deccan, 1295–1724, 2 vols, Hyderabad: Government of Andhra Pradesh, 1974. Siddiqi, Muhammad Suleman, The Bahmani Sufis, Delhi: Idarah-i Adabiyat-i Dihli, 1989. Sotheby’s Catalogue, Important Indian Paintings from the Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck Collection, New York: Sotheby’s, 2002. Soudavar, Abolala, Art of the Persian Courts, New York: Rizzoli, 1992.

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Titley, Norah, Plants and Gardens in Persian, Mughal and Turkish Art, London: The British Library, 1979. ———, The Ni‘matnāma Manuscript of the Sultans of Mandu: The Sultan’s Book of Delights, trans. from Persian by Norah M. Titley, London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2005. Yazdani, Ghulam, Bidar: Its History and Monuments. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt Ltd, 1995. Zebrowski, Mark, Deccan Painting, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983.

5

In Amīn Khān’s Garden: Charitable Gardens in Qutb Shāhi Andhra PHILLIP B. WAGONER

Medieval Indian Islamic gardens are generally understood to have been privileged spaces, intended for use solely by the ruling elite. This holds true whether the garden is seen primarily as an enclave for the pursuit of pleasure, or alternately, as a highly charged political space where much of the business of state was transacted, as Mughal gardens have increasingly been understood in recent years.1 In either case, ordinary people are assumed to have had little chance of gaining entry into these garden sanctuaries which would have been perceived as having little relevance to their own lives. This may well hold true for most types of gardens in the medieval Deccan, but there is at least one type of garden which stands as an exception to this pattern. The purpose of this article is to call attention to this type of garden, here referred to as the ‘charitable garden’. Not only do charitable gardens appear to have been open and accessible to anyone, but more importantly, the evidence suggests that their fundamental purpose was to produce fruits and medicinal substances for distribution to any and all who needed them, regardless of their social class. The existence of such charitable gardens, and even the occasional use of elite gardens for charitable purposes, is hinted at in many sources that are well-known to historians of Indian Islamic gardens, yet these sources are rarely explicit and detailed enough to provide a clear picture of the characteristics and functioning of the ‘charitable garden’ as a type. A welcome exception to this

1

Much recent scholarship on Mughal gardens (and their Timurid prototypes) has usefully stressed the political functions of these artificially constructed ‘natural’ environments. Mughal gardens are no longer understood simply as images of paradise, nor merely as ‘pleasure gardens’, where rulers might escape, however briefly, from the worries and cares of political life. To the contrary, they are now recognised as intensely political spaces, the design of which contributed significantly to the definition of sovereignty and authority. See, for example, Catherine B. Asher, ‘Babur and the Timurid Char Bagh: Use and Meaning’, Environmental Design: Journal of the Islamic Environmental Design Research Centre, vol. 1, no. 2, 1991, pp. 46–55; James L. Wescoat, Jr., ‘Gardens versus Citadels: The Territorial Context of Early Mughal Gardens’, in John Dixon Hunt (ed.), Garden History: Issues, Approaches, Methods, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1992, pp. 331–58; Lisa Golombek, ‘Timur’s Gardens: The Feminine Perspective’, in Mahmood Hussain, Abdul Rehman and James L. Wescoat, Jr. (eds), The Mughal Garden: Interpretation, Conservation, and Implications, Rawalpindi: Ferozsons (Pvt) Ltd., 1996, pp. 29–36; Ebba Koch, ‘Mughal Palace Gardens from Babur to Shah Jahan, 1526–1648’, Muqarnas, vol. 14, 1997, pp. 143–65; D. Fairchild Ruggles, ‘Humayun’s Tomb and Garden: Typologies and Visual Order’, in Attilio Petruccioli (ed.), Gardens in the Time of the Great Muslim Empires: Theory and Design, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1997, pp. 173–86.

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general rule is provided by the historical preface to an important but little-known work of 16th century Telugu literature — Yayāti Caritramu (‘Story of Yayati’) of Pŏnnikaṇṭi Tĕlaganārya — which happens to describe such a garden dating to the time of Sultan Ibrāhīm Qutb Shāh (r. AD 1550–1580). Although the description is quite brief, it is nonetheless rich in detail, and most importantly, the larger context in which it is described helps clarify many aspects of the garden’s function that might otherwise remain obscure. As a result, the preface to the Yayāti Caritramu offers a much clearer picture of the ‘charitable garden’ type than any other literary source of which I am aware.

Amīn Khān and Telugu Literature at the Qutb Shāhi Court The garden described in Yayāti Caritramu was founded not by the Sultan himself, but by one of his amīrs, ‘Abd al-Qādir Amīn Khān, who was also responsible for commissioning Tĕlaganārya’s literary work.2 The first canto of the poem conforms to 16th century Telugu literary conventions by tracing the patron’s genealogy and praising his accomplishments, and it is in this context that Tĕlaganārya describes Amīn Khān’s garden. Although the Yayāti Caritramu preface would appear to be the most detailed historical source available on Amīn Khān, there are two other limited bodies of evidence that also relate to him and are in substantial agreement with this literary evidence. These are, first, a group of archaeological remains preserved at Patancheru (Medak district, Andhra Pradesh, some 30 kms. North-west of Hyderabad), including Amīn Khān’s tomb (Plates 5.1, 5.2) and a second, smaller tomb, as well as a mosque, a sarāī, an īdgāh, and two inscriptions (Plate 5.3) recording the foundation of the larger tomb and the mosque by Amīn Khān; and second, two farmāns preserved in the Andhra Pradesh State Archives, which mention Amīn Khān’s son ‘Abd al-Karīm, who inherited his father’s title.3

2

Strictly speaking, ‘Amīn Khān’ is a title, and is accordingly born by several other figures, including Amīn Khān’s son ‘Abd al-Karīm; see Yusuf Husain Khan, Farmans and Sanads of the Deccan Sultans (1408–1687), rev. and enlarged by P. Sitapati and M. A. Nayeem, Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh State Archives, 1963, rpt 1980, # 5042, p. 49. It should also be noted that Amīn Khān’s garden is not to be confused with the slightly later ‘Amīn Bāgh’, which was established along the banks of the Musi river by Mīrzā Muhammad Amīn Shahristānī in the early 17th century: see Ali Akbar Husain, Scent in the Islamic Garden: A Study of Deccani Urdu Literary Sources, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 35. The site of Amīn Bāgh is today occupied by a maternity hospital, and there are no traces of the original foundation save an impressive fountain, some 10 feet high, carved of finely polished black stone; see M. A. Nayeem, ‘Qutb Shahi Gardens in Golconda and Hyderabad during 16th–17th centuries’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, pp. 5–41, Fig. 28. Amīn Bāgh is mistakenly ascribed to Amīn Khān by both H. K. Sherwani, History of the Qutb Shāhī Dynasty, Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd., 1974, p. 371, n. 127, and Nayeem, ‘Qutb Shahi Gardens’, p. 36. The latter, however, correctly ascribes it to Mīrzā Muḥammad Amīn Shahristānī in idem, The Heritage of the Qutb Shāhīs of Golconda and Hyderabad, Hyderabad: Hyderabad Publishers, 2006, p. 13. Amīn Bāgh cannot be Amīn Khān’s garden, as the latter was laid out in Amīnpuram (near Patancheru), not Hyderabad, which had not yet been founded during the height of Amīn Khān’s activity. 3 Amīn Khān has been discussed with characteristic insight by Sherwani, Qutb Shāhī Dynasty, pp. 183–85. For the Yayāti Caritramu, see the edition of M. Rangakrishnamacharyulu, Yayāti Caritramu, Pŏnnikaṇṭi Tĕlaganārya Praṇītamu, Hyderabad: Kakati Publications, 1977 and its Introduction; also the brief essay by Nidudavolu Shivasundareshvara Rao, ‘Acca Tĕnugu Pāduṣā — Amīnukhānu’, in B. Ramaraju (ed.), Khutub Ṣāhī Sultānulu — Āṁdhra Saṁskṛti, Hyderabad: Idarah-i Adabiyat-i Urdu, 1962, pp. 128–33.

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Plate 5.1 Tomb of Amīn Khān from south, completed AH 976/AD 1568, Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh.

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Plate 5.2 Interior of Amīn Khān’s tomb, Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh.

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Plate 5.3 Inscription on outer eastern wall, dated AH 976/AD 1568 (upper slab) and Shahūr San AH 984/AD 1583 (lower slab), Amīn Khān’s tomb, Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh.

For Amīn Khān’s inscriptions, see Ghulam Yazdani, ‘A Qutb Shāhī Inscription from Patancheru, Medak District, Hyderabad State’, Epigraphia Indo-Moslemica, 1935–36, pp. 60–62. It should be noted that the inscription of Amīn Khān published by Yazdani is actually two distinct inscriptions, engraved on two separate slabs of stone, but fitted together within the same arched niche on the east side of the tomb. The upper slab consists of an invocation and six lines of text arranged in three registers; the lower slab consists of two lines in a single register. Although the joint between the two slabs is not visible in the estampage published by Yazdani, it can be seen quite clearly in the field. The two inscriptions record two distinct acts that are separated by 15 years. The upper inscription records the completion of the tomb in AH 976/AD 1568 [not AD 1558, as erroneously appears in Yazdani’s translation]; the lower inscription records the construction of the mosque in Shahūr San AH 984/ AD 1583. (My thanks to Richard M. Eaton for a series of helpful discussions on the problems of interpreting Amīn Khān’s inscriptions.) Although the tomb is noted in passing by Yazdani and also by Syed Yusuf, Antiquarian Remains in Hyderabad State, Hyderabad: Archaeological Department, Government of Hyderabad, 1953, p. 36 [see S. No. 8 ‘Remains of Hindu Temples etc.’]) — who mentions as well the second tomb standing adjacent to it — the monuments of Patancheru do not yet appear to have been adequately published. Nayeem’s recent book is a welcome first step, as it briefly mentions the mosque and the sarāī, the two tombs and the īdgāh, and publishes photographs of all save the īdgāh; see Nayeem, Heritage of the Qutb Shahis, pp. 206–7, 209, 218, 229.

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On the basis of these complementary sources, we learn that Amīn Khān was a Sunni Muslim and a disciple of Shāh Muhammad al-Qādirī al-Multānī, a Sufi saint of the Qādirī order.4 We also learn that this ‘humble, lowly, and insignificant servant’ of al-Multāni was an intimate and advisor of Ibrāhīm Qutb Shāh, and that he enjoyed as his estate the district of Kasalnadu, over which he ruled from his headquarters in Patancheru.5 There and in the surrounding villages Amīn Khān carried out a number of public works for the benefit of the inhabitants of his domain. In particular, we learn from Amīn Khān’s inscription (Plate 5.3) that with the proceeds of his in‘ām lands, he constructed a mosque ‘with a prayer hall and an enclosure around the same mosque … built of solid masonry’.6 In all likelihood, this refers to the congregational mosque that still stands in Patancheru today, located a short distance to the north-east of Amīn Khān’s tomb, and which is also described in Yayāti Caritramu (see below). Although it has a number of later accretions, the core of the building is stylistically dateable to the period of Ibrāhīm Qutb Shāh, making it a likely candidate for the mosque mentioned in the tomb inscription. According to Tĕlaganārya, Amīn Khān also supported the populace through such acts as excavating irrigation tanks and by paying for the performance of marriage ceremonies for the young Brahmans in his domain.7 Even if one allows for a certain level of poetic exaggeration in the sources, it would appear that H. K. Sherwani was essentially correct in concluding that Amīn Khān was someone ‘who identified himself with the poor and the lowly, and felt himself as one with them before his Creator.’8 Some may find it surprising that a pious Sunni Muslim should have patronised the composition of Telugu poetry, and in particular not a work based on some Islamic theme but rather one inspired by an episode in the Mahābhārata. Yet, there is in fact nothing anomalous in this since the reign of Ibrāhīm Qutb Shāh was a time of profoundly creative interaction between Persianate and Indic

For the Persian text of the farmāns, dated AH 1003/AD 1594 and AH 1038/AD 1629 see Khan, Farmāns, # 5121, p. 44, and # 5042, p. 49. In the AD 1594 farmān, Amīn Khān’s son ‘Abd al-Karīm is referred to as recently deceased, and it is mentioned that ‘an edifice in his noble memory has been built’, apparently in Katareddipalli (‘Kajeridpalli’), a village several kilometers south-east of Patancheru. The farmān records that the artisans of the area had been interfering with the in‘ām of ‘Abd al-Karīm’s tomb, and with the market that had been established there. ‘Abd alKarīm’s children and clansmen brought this matter to the attention of the state, and the farmān was accordingly issued to order the artisans to desist. The AD 1629 farmān again refers to the children of ‘Abd al-Karīm Amīn Khān, and to further encroachments on the in‘ām lands of the latter’s tomb in Katareddipalli. Again the state ordered the perpetrator, one Saiyid Bābu, to desist. (My thanks again to Richard M. Eaton for kindly providing me with his translations of these two farmāns.) 4 In both inscriptions Amīn Khān credits the founder of the Qādirī order, Shaikh Muhī al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Qādir, with spiritually enabling him to complete his foundations. He also describes himself as a disciple of Shāh Muhammad al-Qādirī al-Multānī, who is stated to be the successor to Shaikh Ibrāhīm Makhdūm Shāhji Muhammad Qādirī. It is likely that this latter saint may be identified with the Makhdūm-ji Shaikh Muhammad who, according to ‘Abd al-Jabbār Mulkapūrī, Tazkira-yi Auliyā-yi Dakan (Urdu lithograph), 2 vols, Hyderabad: Hasan Press, 1912–13, p. 842, died in AH 972/AD 1564 and is entombed in Bidar (Richard M. Eaton, personal communication). 5 Yazdani, ‘Qutb Shāhī Inscription’, p. 62. 6 Ibid. 7 We also read that Amīn Khān’s senior wife, Baḍe Bībī, distributed free milk daily to all the children of the town (Yayāti Caritramu, 1.43). 8 Sherwani, Qutb Shāhī Dynasty, p. 185.

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cultural forms. Ibrāhīm himself is remembered in Telugu oral tradition not only as an ideal king but also as a great connoisseur and patron of Telugu literature. Ibrāhīm’s taste for Telugu was likely formed prior to his accession, during the seven years he spent residing at the Vijayanagara court as the guest of the de facto sovereign, Aravīṭi Rāmarāya. Although there is only one full-blown Telugu poetic work which survives as a product of Ibrāhīm’s direct patronage — Addanki Gangādhara’s Tapatī-Samvaraṇamu (‘Tapati and Samvarana’), another adaptation of a Mahābhārata episode — there is also a second work that is indirectly linked to Ibrāhīm (Kandukūri Rudrakavi’s Sugrīva Vijayamu), as well as an abundance of independent panegyric verses that survive in oral circulation.9 The preface to Tapatī Samvaraṇamu is of considerable interest for the light it sheds on the context of Telugu literary production and consumption at Ibrāhīm’s court. Gangādhara recounts that one day Ibrāhīm had been presiding over an assembly of scholars, poets, ambassadors, and military leaders, listening to recitations of the Mahābhārata epic. This would not have been the old Sanskrit original, but rather the great Telugu translation begun in the 11th century by the poet Nannaya. Listening to this recitation from Nannaya, Ibrāhīm found himself to be floating up on waves of bliss as he savoured the foaming nectar churned from the Bhārata’s Ocean of Milk with its countless stories of virtue.10

In this poetic metaphor, Gangādhara compares the Mahābhārata epic to the cosmic Milky Ocean of Hindu myth, from which the gods and demons had churned the nectar of immortality. Here, what is being ‘churned’ is the vast ocean of the Mahābhārata , through oral performance of the text’s ‘stories of virtue’ (puṇya-kathalu), and the nectar of immortality that rises up from the churning is none other than that provided by the bliss of aesthetic rapture. In the Mughal empire to the north, Ibrāhīm’s contemporary Akbar may have viewed the Sanskrit Mahābhārata largely as an object of ethnographic interest, having it translated into Persian as a means of acquainting the Mughal nobility with the beliefs and values of their Hindu subjects. But for Ibrāhīm, the contemporary Telugu version of the epic was something alive and vital, and provided a vehicle for direct aesthetic communion with his Telugu-speaking intimates at court. Accordingly, his response was not to objectify the text by sponsoring a Persian or Dakhni translation but rather to participate directly in the Telugu literary

9

For Tapatī-Samvaraṇamu, see the edition published by Patibanda Madhavasarma (ed.), Śrī Tapatī-Samvaraṇamu, Addanki Gangādhara-kavi Praṇītamu, Hyderabad: Sri Paramesvara Publications, 1972, and the article by I.Vasumati, ‘Addanki Gangādharakavi — Tapatī-saṃvaraṇōpākhyānamu’, in B. Ramaraju (ed.), Khutub Ṣāhī Sultānulu — Āṃdhra Saṃskṛti, Hyderabad: Idarah-i Adabiyat-i Urdu, 1962, pp. 42–68. Like Yayāti Caritramu, Tapatī Samvaraṇamu is a work inspired by a substory of the Mahābhārata — in this case, the story of Samvaraṇa, a young king of the ancient Bhārata lineage, who falls in love with Tapatī, the daughter of the sun-god, and eventually wins her hand in marriage. For Kandukūri Rudrakavi’s Sugrīva Vijayamu, see the edition published by R. Anantapadmanabha Rao (ed.), Kandukūri Rudrakavi Sugrīva Vijayamu, Cuddapah: Akashavani, 1981, and the article by Divakarla Venkatavadhani, ‘Prathamāndhra Yakṣagānamu’, in B. Ramaraju (ed.), Khutub Ṣāhī Sultānulu — Āṃdhra Saṃskṛti, pp. 77–83. For the independent verses preserved in oral circulation and collected in the early 20th century, see Veturi Prabhakara Sastri (ed.), Cāṭu Padya Maṇimañjari, 2 vols, Hyderabad: Manimanjari Pracuranalu, 1913, rpt 1988, vol. 2, verses 199–214. 10 Tapatī Samvaraṇamu, 1.14.

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tradition itself by doing what other great patrons of Telugu court poetry had done before him. Namely, Ibrāhīm selected one brief sub-story from Nannaya’s text, and requested Gangādhara to produce an expanded adaptation of it in which the concerns of narrative were subordinated to the interests of description and of building up the aesthetic mood of erotic love, śṛṅgāra-rasa. If the Qutb Shāhi sultan himself was engaged so actively in Telugu literary patronage, it is hardly surprising to find that his intimates at court, such as Amīn Khān, should have cultivated similar tastes. Indeed, given the numbers of Telugu-speaking Hindus involved in the administration of the Qutb Shāhi state, it is perfectly natural that both men should have expanded their interests beyond the Persianate sphere to engage also with the more deeply-rooted literary traditions of the local Telugu vernacular. Qutb Shāhi society was a remarkably multi-ethnic environment where recent Muslim immigrants from Iran, Central Asia and Ethiopia interacted daily with locally established Deccani Turks, Indian converts to Islam and Telugu-speaking Hindus of all colours, from peasant agriculturalists to members of the landed military aristocracy (nāikvārīs) and Brahman administrators (niyogis). In such a complex social setting, searching for areas of congruence and commensurability between cultures would have been a vital necessity, and the production and enjoyment of Telugu kāvya within a primarily Persianate courtly milieu would have provided one natural avenue for such exploration. Tĕlaganārya’s description of Amīn Khān’s mosque offers a striking example of this process. He refers to this quintessentially Islamic building as a masīdu, the word being a Telugu transcription of the Arabic masjid or ‘place of prostration’, which thus marks the building as something typologically distinctive and unfamiliar. But then the poet goes on to describe this masīdu as ‘so lofty that three-eyed Siva gave up all thought of returning to mount Kailasa’, preferring instead to reside atop the dome of the mosque.11 The poetic conceit of comparing a building to a cosmic mountain is of course a familiar one in descriptions of Hindu temples, so when Tĕlaganārya applies it to the masīdu, he is in effect asserting a fundamental similarity between mosque and temple even while his terminology acknowledges that they are distinct. While poetry thus provided an arena for the negotiating of cultural difference and the discovery of common ground, it also appears to have been an arena where cross-cultural interaction led to the development of new forms. Thus, returning again to the Yayāti Caritramu, although the work conforms to established Telugu conventions in terms of themes, structure, poetic effect, and verse-style, it marks a decisive departure from previous norms in terms of its language usage. It is the first known example of a work written entirely in acca-tĕlugu — that is, a highly contrived form of ‘pure Telugu’ that has been artificially purged of all tatsamas (direct Sanskrit loan-words). Since Telugu literary language of the 16th century typically relies so heavily on Sanskrit-derived vocabulary, the effect is a striking one and the language often becomes arcane, and sounds exotic.12 Many Telugu poets after Tĕlaganārya seem to have appreciated this effect as they followed suit by writing acca-tĕlugu literary

11

Yayāti Caritramu, 1.31. The effect is similar to that which would be obtained by purging all French and Latin loan-words from English, and replacing them with Anglo-Saxon derivatives. A vivid example is provided by Joseph M. Williams, who ‘tongueturned’ one of his own naturally written sentences to make the point: ‘Togetherworking with the outcome of the Norman Greatwin was the Newbirth’ (i.e., ‘Conspiring with the influence of the Norman Conquest was the Renaissance’). See Joseph M. Williams, Style: Toward Clarity and Grace, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990, p. 4. 12

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works of their own. In attempting to account for this convention of artificially ‘purifying’ Telugu, V. Narayana Rao has suggested that Tĕlaganārya and his followers were influenced by the conventions of Persian poetry.13 In particular there was the classical model provided by Firdausi’s Shāh Nāma, in which Firdausi deliberately chose to use Persian wherever possible, thus attempting to turn back the tide of Arabicisation and recapture something of the purity of pre-Islamic Persian culture. Thus, the creation of acca-tĕlugu may very well represent a form of stylistic accommodation in which certain values and practices of the classical Persian poetic tradition are transferred to Telugu for the benefit of the Persianate patron.14 In this connection, it is noteworthy that Tĕlaganārya states in his preface that the idea of composing the poem in acca-tĕlugu was not his own but his patron’s who explicitly charged him to do this in commissioning the poem.15

Amīn Khān’s Garden and the ‘Seven Kinds of Progeny’ (sapta santānam sant nam)) It is important to note that Amīn Khān’s establishment of a garden is described not in isolation but as one of seven meritorious actions that are traditionally referred to in Telugu as the saptasantānam (‘seven kinds of progeny’). Just like the begetting of a son, these actions were held to bring the performer fame in this world and an auspicious condition in the next. Definitions of the saptasantānas vary somewhat from one enumeration to another, but according to Cynthia Talbot all listings include ‘building a tank, installing a god in a temple, commissioning a poem, and planting a grove or a garden’.16 Other acts that are variably included are establishing a Brahman village (agrahāram), financing a marriage for a Brahman, storing up a treasure, and raising an adopted child. Although Tĕlaganārya does not explicitly use the term sapta-santānam to refer to the seven actions ascribed to Amīn Khān, it is nonetheless clear from their number and identity that he intends them to be understood within the framework of this concept. Thus, the acts carried out by Amīn Khān include: (a) the establishment of an agrahāram village (‘Amīnpuram’); (b) the excavation of a tank in Amīnpuram; (c) the construction of a mosque in Patancheru (which, as discussed earlier, was

13

V. Narayana Rao, ‘Multiple Literary Cultures in Telugu: Court, Temple, and Public’, in Sheldon Pollock (ed.), Literary Cultures in History: Reconstructions from South Asia, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003, p. 384, n. 1. 14 However, in view of the fact that a similar concern for lexical purity is also documented in Kannada in the work of the poet Andaiah (fl. AD 1217) who wrote well before the introduction of Persianate culture into the Deccan, Narayana Rao acknowledges the complexity of the issue and leaves open the question of where exactly the inspiration for Tĕlaganārya’s innovation lay. See also D. R. Nagaraj, ‘Critical Tensions in the History of Kannada Literary Culture’, in Pollock (ed.), Literary Cultures in History, pp. 365–67. In any case, even if Tĕlaganārya and his patron were in some measure aware of and indebted to the Kannada precedent, one suspects, given the sultanate context in which they were working, that an awareness of classical Persian attitudes toward Arabic may well have contributed at least in part to the interest in linguistic purity. Clearly, the nature of the interaction between Persianate and Telugu literary cultures — given their coexistence within the same social spaces — is a topic that deserves far more attention than it has yet received. 15 Yayāti Caritramu, 1.10. 16 Cynthia Talbot, Precolonial India in Practice: Society, Region, and Identity in Medieval Andhra, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 98–99.

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poetically equated with a temple); (d) financing marriages for young Brahmans; (e) the amassing of a treasure; (f) commissioning of literary works; and (g) the establishment of his garden, also in Amīnpuram.17 The fact that Amīn Khān’s garden is represented as embodying one of his saptasantānas is a key part of the context of the garden’s description, and accordingly we must consider the sapta-santānam concept further before turning to the details of the garden’s description. The idea of the sapta-santānas seems to be a peculiarly Andhra conception, first appearing in the epigraphic record in the early 12th century. As suggested above, these surrogate ‘sons’ function as effectively as an actual son, both in bringing fame to the one who ‘begets’ them and in ensuring a favourable condition for their begetter in the next world. Just as a son passes on the family name and ensures its continued survival through the generations, so too does each of these charitable acts ensure that the patron’s memory will be perpetuated. In the case of agrahāras, irrigation tanks, temples, and gardens, this is effected through the custom of formally naming the foundation after the patron; thus, Amīn Khān’s agrahāram village — Amīnpuram — still keeps his name alive more than four centuries later, and there are numerous other examples in Telangana of villages, tanks, temples, and gardens that preserve the names of their founders. Literary works rarely carry the names of their patrons,18 but they almost inevitably preserve the name of the patron in the preface and dedication, and usually a good number of biographical details as well as in the present case of Amīn Khān and the Yayāti Caritramu. Other forms of the sapta-santānas, like paying for the performance of a Brahman’s marriage, amassing a treasure or raising an adopted child would not have provided the same opportunities for formal naming yet, it is easy to see how they too would have contributed to the increase of the individual benefactor’s fame and social reputation. Sons do not just perpetuate the family name, they also ensure an auspicious condition for their parents in the afterlife by seeing to the performance of their funerary rites (śrāddha). It is only after the sacrifices associated with these funeral obsequies have been performed that the departed soul is able to reach the world of the ancestors, and it is the son who must be the patron of this sacrifice. By the early medieval period in Andhra, however, it had become common belief that the making of religious gifts (dāna or dāna-dharma) for the benefit of society at large could be just as effective as śrāddha rites in ensuring a place in heaven, whether for the donor or for someone else in whose name they were made.19 This belief in the soteriological power of serving the larger social good led to the increasing popularity of making charitable benefactions. Thus, medieval Telugu epigraphs make reference to such acts as the foundation of charitable water troughs for animals (dharma-gāḍi), charitable water tanks for public use (dharma-kōneru) and charitable rest houses or feeding-houses for pilgrims, wayfarers or the indigent (dharma-satramu).20 Just like these foundations, the various benefactions comprising the sapta-santānas also serve charitable purposes, providing sustenance, support and well-being for others, whether in physical, spiritual or aesthetic terms.

17

Yayāti Caritramu, 1.30–38. Although there are notable exceptions, like Vidyānātha’s Pratāparudrīyam, named after his patron Kākatīya Pratāparudra. 19 Talbot, Precolonial India, p. 92. 20 For epigraphic references see Kunduri Iswara Dutt, Inscriptional Glossary of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Sahitya Akademi, 1967, pp. 152–53; A. Suryakumari, The Temple in Andhradeśa, Madurai: Sarvodaya Ilakkiya Pannai, 1982, pp. 84–85. For further discussion see Phillip B. Wagoner, ‘Fortuitous Convergences and Essential Ambiguities: Transcultural Political Elites in the Medieval Deccan’, in Sushil Mittal (ed.), Surprising Bedfellows: Hindus and Muslims in Medieval and Early Modern India, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2003, pp. 47–48. 18

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What would be the social good served by a garden conceived according to this framework? Some idea may be provided by considering two Kākatīya-period inscriptions that describe charitable gardens. The first, from Karimnagar and dating to AD 1171, includes an enumeration (verse 32) of the sapta-santānas ‘begotten’ by Gangādhara (the minister of the reigning Kākatīya king Rudradeva) and describes some of them, including his establishment of an agrahāram, construction of a temple, excavation of a tank (taṭākamu), and laying out of gardens: By the grace of the lord of men [=Kākatīya Rudradeva], I gave the great agrahāra called Deṃḍōṃḍu to learned men and caused sacrifices to be performed in great grandeur. I constructed there the triple-shrined temple of Siva and a beautiful tank, and also laid out beautiful flower gardens and gardens of citrons, cloves, palmyras, and mangoes, so as to give happiness to all people [suṃdara-puḥpa-vāṭikaḷuṃ juṭṭina luṃgalavaṃga-tāla-mākaṃda-vanambulunu jana-sukha-pradamai velayaṃgaṃ jēsi] ….21

The inscription explicitly states that the gardens were for public enjoyment: literally, for the purpose of ‘giving happiness to all the people’ (jana-sukha-pradamai) who, by implication, must have been given access to them. Also significant is the description of the contents of the gardens. There are gardens of beautiful flowers but there are also gardens planted with trees, of which four kinds are enumerated: citrons, cloves, palmyras, and mangoes. These would have ‘given happiness to all the people’ not just through their visual and olfactory beauty but also and more importantly through their edible products which, the inscription suggests, would have been distributed to visitors. What the Karimnagar inscription only hints at is described in far more explicit terms in a second inscription, from Pillalamarri in Nalgonda District and dating to AD 1202. This inscription describes a garden laid out for the public good (literally, ‘for the sake of dharma’) by the local Kākatīya feudatory Recĕrla Nāmi Reḍḍi. In this case, the description of the garden is more extensive, including not only poetic evocations of its plantings but also references to infrastructural components such as irrigation tanks and buildings where visitors would have been fed: That great soul of great prosperity [Nāmi Reḍḍi] beautified land by big tanks which had deep, extensive and good waters, and which always gave happiness to numerous living beings. For the sake of dharma he planted groves (vṛkṣa-ṣaṇḍa) of cool shades, very pleasant with shining sprouts, filling the quarters with the fragrance of the flowers, beautiful with the humming of bees, bent under the weight of tasteful and excellent clusters of fruits — in short, enjoyable and giving pleasure to all the senses. In his wonderful alms-houses, people from various parts of the country — having eaten to their heart’s content wellcooked rice rich in good pulses, noteworthy ghee, along with vegetables of various tastes, buttermilk and curd — praise loudly, in their extreme joy, his good qualities in manifold ways. In his water-sheds containing cool water, constructed for the sake of numberless thirsty people, the fatigue of travellers quickly disappears even in the terrible summer and happiness arises.22

Although the inscription may appear to be describing four separate things in the four verses quoted here — irrigation tanks, gardens, feeding-houses, and water-sheds — it seems more likely that these four things are in fact conceived as components of a larger, integrated garden complex. Since the tanks are described as ‘big’ and as having ‘deep and extensive’ waters, it is clear that they could

21 P. Sreenivasachar (ed.), A Corpus of Inscriptions in the Telingana Districts of H.E.H. the Nizam’s Dominions, part 2, Hyderabad: Government of Hyderabad, 1940, no. 56, verses 16–17. 22 Ibid., no.41, verses 17–20.

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not have been mere cisterns or pools located within the garden; rather, they are clearly large-scale irrigation tanks (Skt taṭāka, Tel. cĕruvu) that would have been the first requirement for the gardens proper. The gardens would have been laid out in proximity to these water sources in land described as being ‘below the tank’, meaning that it would have been fed by canals (kāluva) leading out from the tank. The description of the garden ‘groves’ does not specify the kinds of plantings contained in the garden but it does make a point of describing how its varied contents give pleasure to all five senses, from the cool shade of its trees (touch), the beautiful shoots of its plants (sight) and the fragrance of its flowers (smell) to the buzzing of its bees (sound) and the flavours of its excellent clusters of fruits (taste). Significantly, the last sense to be accounted for is that of taste which leads naturally into the next verse which extends the themes of taste and eating in its description of the complex’s feeding-houses (satram), where the bounty of the garden is distributed to those who visit it. It is not clear whether these feeding-houses, and the watering-sheds of the next verse, would have been located within the garden itself or outside in close proximity, but in either case they are clearly conceived as an integral part of the complex in that they are the specific sites where the garden’s charitable purpose is fulfilled. In addition to the fruits mentioned in verse 18, the garden may also have been the source of some of the vegetables included in the full-course meals served in the feeding-house but it is clear that many of the other ingredients for these meals would have been produced outside the garden proper, most likely in adjacent agricultural lands that were also irrigated by the garden’s tanks.23 This epigraphic evidence thus demonstrates that from at least the 12th century there was an established tradition of founding charitable gardens in the Andhra country. The sources suggest that access to these gardens was not restricted to the elite but rather that they were open to the public, and that at least one of their primary purposes was the production of fruits, and possibly vegetables, for feeding travellers and the poor. The evidence also suggests that these gardens would have been located adjacent to tanks or other irrigation sources and that they would either have contained structures where people were fed and provided with drinking water or had such structures located outside in close proximity. Such charitable gardens were perfect embodiments of the sapta-santāna ideal, producing both fame and merit for those who founded them.

The Plants in Amīn Khān’s Garden: Feeding the Poor and Treating the Sick Let us turn now to Tĕlaganārya’s description of Amīn Khān’s garden: Wood-apples, rose-apples, mango trees cinnis and citrons — three different kinds — cashews and figs and pomegranates

23 It may seem incongruous to think of growing vegetables and grain in a garden with any ornamental pretensions, but the evidence suggests this was not uncommon in medieval Deccani gardens. Husain cites an 18thcentury description of the gardens of the Qutb Shāhi Ghosha Mahal that mentions ‘two beautiful vines’, rows of mango trees, date palm, coconut, fig, banana, orange, citron, and ‘“some yew trees” (presumably cypresses), “forming many petty topes” as well as “squares of turnip, carrot, French turnip, cabbage, pea, lentil, and other vegetables, with paddy, spiked millet, and chollu” (a species of Cymbopogon, possibly one of the aromatic grasses)’, Husain, Scent in the Islamic Garden, p. 75.

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jack-fruits, bananas and Champaka trees laurels and cherries and betel-nut palms lemons, palmyras and jujubes Butter trees, dates and Ambala plums pineapples, aloes and coconut trees. Grapes and cardamoms, screwpines and betel vines jasmine, viravāji and needle-flower creepers: Thus did Amīn Khān plant his garden to flower and fruit without end. The beautiful garden of Amīnpuram thrived and flowered, bloomed and bore fruit. It brought joy and rejuvenation to young and old alike as they wandered within admiring its views and receiving its wonderful fruits. He made feeding-houses and watering-sheds, pools and wells and flower-beds, and rustic bowers among its groves. Thus was Amīn Khān’s fame secured forever on the face of this earth.24

The description of the garden extends through four verses, with the first two verses devoted to an almost obsessive ‘catalogue’ of the various types of plants contained in the garden. This thick, botanical detail is something very different from what we have seen in the garden descriptions discussed in the previous section, and we shall return to it momentarily. The third and fourth verses, however, resonate very closely with those earlier descriptions. Thus, in the third verse we see the same emphasis on the public nature of the garden which is here described as a place where all kinds of people, ‘young and old alike’, are able to wander within, admiring the views and enjoying its fruits. In the fourth verse, we see an intriguing echo of the description of Nāmi Reḍḍi’s garden complex as there is again reference to the feeding-houses and watering-sheds, which in this case are clearly implied to be within the garden itself. There is also a reference to water sources but here they are identified as wells (nūtulu) and pools (bāvulu) located within the garden and are thus conceptually distinct from the large-scale irrigation tanks (cĕruvulu) described in Nāmi Reḍḍi’s inscription. But since Amīn Khān’s garden is stated to be located in Amīnpuram, where he also constructed an irrigation tank ‘as vast as the three oceans’ the garden would almost certainly have been located ‘below’ this tank, and would thus have been provided as well with an outside water source via its canals.25 The list of plants contained in the first two verses, however, is unprecedented in the epigraphic garden descriptions. The Pillalamarri inscription, it will be recalled, did not mention any particular kinds of plants but rather was concerned with evoking a multifaceted image of the garden as it would be experienced through all five senses. The Karimnagar inscription did mention specific plants, but only four: citrons, cloves, palmyras, and mangoes. In striking contrast, Tĕlaganārya lists as many as

24 25

Yayāti Caritramu, 1.36–38. Ibid., 1.30.

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34 different kinds of plants that were contained in Amīn Khān’s garden, and he does so in a manner that is suggestive of an inventory. His listing is dense and straightforward, eschewing all adjectives and poetic figures; in fact, the only thing that elevates this list to the status of poetry is its sound-based ornament (śabdālaṃkāra) created by the alliterative arrangement of the names within the dictated metrical structure (e.g., mārēḷḷu nērēḷḷu māmiḷḷu jinnulu mādīphalaṃbulu dūdinimma | līḍelu mēḍulu jīḍulu dāḍimbal anaṭulu panasalu canupakamulu …). Although the result is poetic, it is hardly typical of the style of poetry within which Tĕlaganārya was working, which tends to rely much more extensively on meaning-based ornaments (arthālaṃkāra) such as metaphor, hyperbole, double-entendre and a host of other figures. What this suggests is that Tĕlaganārya was more concerned with inventorying the garden’s particular contents than in displaying his poetic skill in these two verses. Of the 34 kinds of plants enumerated, it is possible to identify all but two botanically (see Appendix).26 Of these thirty-two, three represent different varieties of one species (the three kinds of citrons, Citrus medica), and two appear to represent different names for the male and female forms of the same species (screw-pine, Pandanus fascicularis). Thus, a total of 29 distinct species can be identified in Amīn Khān’s garden, affording invaluable evidence of the kinds of plants that would have been grown in charitable gardens.27 Three important points emerge from a careful consideration of this list. First, more than half the species would have contributed fruits or other products that could be regularly distributed to visitors in the garden’s feeding-houses. Eighteen of the 29 species produce fruits, nuts or seeds that are commonly eaten, either fresh off the tree or in cooked preparations. These include banana, betel leaf, betel nut, cardamom, cashew, citron, coconut, date, grape, jackfruit, jujube, lemon, mango, palmyra, pineapple, pomegranate, rose-apple and wood-apple. Additionally, four other species were also the object of regular human use, although in this case not as food but as items of bodily adornment. These include aloe or aloeswood (Aquilaria agallocha), a tree producing an oleoresin that is used as an unguent and a scent; champaka, a tree producing strongly scented flowers favoured for bodily adornment (both human and divine); and two species of jasmine used to make garlands for the hair and scented hair oil. Thus, the garden’s charitable purpose would have been further served by distributing the products of these trees as well.28 We must conclude that in Amīn Khān’s garden, enjoyment was not just limited to a visually mediated aesthetic mode but that it

26 These two are īḍe and viravādi. The Sūryarāyāndhra Nighaṇṭuvu glosses īḍe as ‘erra-kittali’, which would suggest some variety of orange that is reddish in colour. See Jayanti Ramayya Pantulu (ed.), Śrī Sūryarāyāndhra Nighaṇṭuvu, Hyderabad: Telugu University, 1936, rpt 1988, vol. 1, p. 522. Viravādi (also viravāji) is evidently some variety of jasmine (Jasminum) but I have not been able to identify the species. 27 Clearly, Tĕlaganārya was bound by the constraints of meter in enumerating the plants in the garden and, accordingly, it is obvious that the description must have a different evidentiary value than would an actual inventory compiled as documentation for legal purposes. Although the verses thus do not likely provide a complete and empirically accurate listing of the plants that may have been in the actual garden, the description is still of great value as it enables us to determine the range of species that would have been considered possible and appropriate in a garden of the type described. 28 Additionally, we should note that five more species — Ambala plum, butter tree, cluster fig, screw pine, and Spanish cherry — produce edible parts which, although not commonly eaten, are known to have been utilised as food during times of famine in the 19th century; see James Shortt, ‘List of Wild Plants and Vegetables used as Food by People in Famine Times’, Indian Forester, vol. 3, 1887, pp. 232–38. It is possible that these five species might also have been selected for the garden in part on account of their being edible, with the intention that they might provide additional sustenance to local inhabitants in times of poor harvest or famine.

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extended to a more immediate bodily mode as well in which the botanical products were physically ‘consumed’ — whether literally as food, or figuratively as bodily adornment. The second point to emerge is a more specialised extension of the first: namely, that every one of the 29 species in Amīn Khān’s garden yields products that are part of the materia medica of traditional Indian medicine. This suggests that the garden was also intended as a source of medicinal herbs for distribution as public charity.29 The range of specific uses for each plant in the various medical traditions — Ayurvedic, Unani, and folk — is indicated in the accompanying table, which has been compiled from data in a number of reference works and specialised studies on the pharmacopoeia of Indian medicine (see Appendix). Given that India is home to an estimated 45,000 species of plants, of which only some 2,500 or 5.5 per cent are used in traditional medicine, the fact that 100 per cent of the species in Amīn Khān’s garden have established medicinal uses can hardly be an accident.30 Clearly, the desire to provide a convenient and constant source of the most commonly used medicinal plants must have been a major factor entering into the design and planting of this charitable garden. Because of the wide range of medicinally effective phytochemicals present in each species and their variable distribution in different parts of the plant, most of the species present would have been useful in treating multiple conditions. In fact, over 60 different diseases or conditions would have been treatable with the products of Amīn Khān’s garden alone. These fall into the categories of skin disorders and external wounds (bleeding, ulcers, blisters, abscesses, burns, dermatitis, cracked skin, scabies, ringworm, snakebite, scorpion stings); stomach and intestinal disorders (loss of appetite, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, dysentery, flatulence, intestinal worms, haemorrhoids); respiratory disorders (colds, cough, asthma, sore throat, laryngitis, bronchitis, nasal inflammation, nosebleed); problems of the head (headache, migraine, eye inflammation, earache, toothache, gum disease), joint problems (gout, rheumatism, arthritis); problems of the heart (palpitations, general cardiac disorders), liver (jaundice, sluggish liver) and spleen (enlarged spleen); urinary disorders (painful urination, difficult urination, bladder infection, fluid retention and oedema); reproductive problems and obstetric concerns (low sexual drive, infertility, uterine diseases, excessive menstrual bleeding, danger of miscarriage, pain in the last months of pregnancy, insufficient lactation); contagious diseases and acute conditions (diphtheria, smallpox, leprosy, gonorrhoea, diabetes); and general conditions (fever, anemia, insomnia, depression, physical wasting from malnourishment). In short, Amīn Khān’s garden would have served as a well-stocked public dispensary for the inhabitants of Amīnpuram and its environs. The third point has to do with the inclusion of newly-introduced species in the garden, and what this suggests about charitable gardens as possible sites for experimentation with new plants and their possible uses. While most of the plants in the list are native to peninsular India, two — the

29 The custom of establishing gardens of medicinal plants has a long pedigree in South Asia, going all the way back to the beginnings of recorded history in the Mauryan age. Asoka’s Rock Edict II records that ‘everywhere provision has been made for two kinds of medical treatment, treatment for men and treatment for animals. Medicinal herbs, suitable for men and animals, have been imported and planted wherever they were not previously available. Also, where roots and fruits were lacking, they have been imported and planted.’ In Pillar Edict VII, Asoka similarly records his planting of mango groves, his digging of wells, and his construction of rest houses and watering stations ‘for the convenience of men and animals’ N. A. Nikam and Richard McKeon (eds and trans.), The Edicts of Asoka, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1959, rpt 1978, p. 64. 30 John A. Parotta, Healing Plants of Peninsular India, Oxon: CABI Publishing, 2001, p. 11.

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pineapple and the cashew — are New World species that the Portuguese had introduced to South Asia only a few decades before their mention by Tĕlaganārya. According to K. T. Achaya, the earliest mention of the pineapple in India dates to AD 1564; within a decade or two, pineapples were included in Amīn Khān’s garden, presumably for their edible fruits, and possibly also for experimentation with their medicinal properties.31 (At about the same time, the pineapple starts appearing as a decorative motif in Qutb Shāhi architecture.) By the early 17th century, the pineapple was already being described in an Ayurvedic treatise, the Rājavallabha Nighaṇṭu, where it is recommended as a diuretic, as a means of soothing the stomach and promoting digestion and as a means of expelling intestinal parasites.32 A similar trajectory is documented for the cashew, which is first documented in India in AD 1578, when C. Acosta noted its abundance in gardens in Cochin.33 Although it made its way quickly to Qutb Shāhi Andhra to appear in Amīn Khān’s garden, it appears to have taken much longer for its medicinal properties to be recognised; it apparently does not figure in Ayurvedic treatises until the 19th century.34 In thus functioning as a public dispensary, Amīn Khān’s garden would appear to have been part of a broader historical trend, as there was a well-documented upsurge in state patronage of both medical learning and public medical care in the Qutb Shāhi kingdom in the last quarter of the 16th century. It is certainly striking that the earliest known Qutb Shāhi illuminated manuscript is a copy of the medical encyclopaedia Zakhira-i Khwarazmshāhī (‘Treasures of the Khwarizmshahs’), copied according to its colophon at Golconda in AD 1572, at about the very time that Amīn Khān was planting his garden in Amīnpuram.35 Equally striking is the fact that when the new capital of Hyderabad was laid out in the 1590s, one of the first buildings to be constructed was the Dār al-Shīfā (AD 1595), a 400-bed hospital and centre for research in Unani and Ayurvedic medicine.36 It was most likely here that Mīr Mu’mīn Yazdī fulfilled Muhammad Qulī Qutb Shāh’s orders to write the Ikhtiyārat-i Qutb Shāhī, a revised and updated formulary for simple and compound medicines based on a 14th century Persian work, and there are yet other medical works that were produced in this period.37 Tellingly, the hospital adjoined one of the walls of the Bāgh-i Muhammad Shāhī — the extensive gardens laid out by Muhammad Qulī Qutb Shāh along the south bank of the Musi river — and one

31

K. T. Achaya, Indian Food: A Historical Companion, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 233. C. P. Khare (ed.), Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic and Other Traditional Usage, Botany, Berlin: Springer Verlag, 2004, pp. 476–77. 33 Henry Yule and A. C. Burnell, Hobson-Jobson: The Anglo-Indian Dictionary, Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions, 1886, rpt 1996, p. 168. 34 P. K. Warrier, V. P. K. Namiar and C. Ramankutty (eds), Indian Medicinal Plants: A Compendium of 500 Species, 5 vols, Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 1993, vol. 1, pp. 123–25. 35 See Linda Leach, Mughal and Other Indian Paintings from the Chester Beatty Library, 2 vols, London: Scorpion Cavendish, 1995, vol. 2, pp. 889–91. Leach notes that the tenth book of this encyclopedia deals with materia medica; it would be interesting to compare its contents with the plantings contained in Amīn Khān’s garden. 36 Sherwani, Qutb Shāhī Dynasty, pp. 314–15, 372 n. 134a. 37 Ibid., 404. On page 315 Sherwani states that the Ikhtiyārat was written by Hakim Muhammad ‘Ali al-Husaini, while Husain states that it was by the Peshwa, Mir Muhammad Mu’min Astarabadi, see Husain Scent in the Islamic Garden, pp. 26–27. 32

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suspects that many of the medicines dispensed in the hospital would have been grown in this garden.38 Although Tĕlaganārya’s description provides a good overall sense of how Amīn Khān’s garden would have functioned, it is unfortunately silent on many other points of interest — institutional, architectural and botanical. From an institutional perspective, the poem is silent on the matter of ownership, administration and staffing, leaving us to speculate on whether the garden might have been administratively part of the agrahāram village where it was located, or whether other arrangements might have been made to ensure its staffing and upkeep. From an architectural perspective, the poem tells us nothing about how the garden would have been bounded: would it have been enclosed by a built wall of stone or brick, or might it have been bounded instead by a live hedgerow of one of the species enumerated? Nor does the description tell us anything about the garden’s internal organisation and planning. It refers to ‘rustic bowers’, to ‘flower beds’, and to ‘wells and pools’, but it leaves us wondering whether these would have been arranged formally together with axial walkways, like the internal elements in contemporary, architecturally-documented gardens at Golconda such as the Nagīna Bāgh or the Bāgh-i Nayā Qil‘ā, or whether they might have been arranged instead in a looser and less formal manner.39 Finally, the description leaves us wondering whether yet other categories of plants might have been included in the garden, especially given the reference to the garden’s ‘feeding-houses’. In the case of the Pillalamarri inscription discussed above, the meals served in the feeding-house of Nāmi Reḍḍi’s garden are said to have included rice, dals, vegetables, and dairy products but not fruits; yet, only fruit and flower-producing plants are mentioned when describing the garden’s botanical contents. This might lead us to reject the idea that feeding-houses were an integral component of the pre-Islamic Deccani garden tradition were it not for the persistent link between garden and feeding-house in Telugu descriptions, and were it not for the fact that other epigraphic sources clearly indicate that both fruits and vegetables were commonly grown together in ‘garden-land’ (toṃṭa-pŏlamu).40 One possible scenario is that Amīn Khān’s garden might also have included some vegetable crops, but Tĕlaganārya chose to enumerate only the more aesthetically interesting flower and fruit-producing species. It may also be significant that all the species mentioned by Tĕlaganārya are trees, shrubs and vines that would yield their produce perennially, whereas the commonly utilised vegetables are annuals that die after their produce is harvested.

The Broader Context of Charitable Gardens in India Tĕlaganārya’s description of Amīn Khān’s garden may very well provide the clearest evidence for the functioning of a public, charitable garden but at the same time there are a number of other epigraphic and literary references which hint at the broader currency of charitable gardens beyond the confines of Qutb Shāhi Andhra. In the neighbouring territory of Bijapur, for example, Abdul Gani 38

Husain, Scent in the Islamic Garden, pp. 26–27. On the Golconda gardens see Nayeem, ‘Qutb Shahi Gardens’, Figs 2 and 12. 40 This type of land is conceptually differentiated from ‘wet-land’ (nīru-nela) — that is, irrigated fields dedicated to the cultivation of water-intensive crops like rice — even though both categories of land depend on irrigation and are thus opposed to ‘dry-land’ (vĕli-pŏlamu), the unirrigated fields where ‘dry’ crops like millets and sorghums can be grown. 39

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Imaratwale has called attention to an ‘Ādil Shāhi inscription, dated AH 963/AD 1555, that records the assignment of garden lands in the parganah of Raibag (Belgaum district, Karnataka) by Ibrāhīm I to one of his commanders on the condition that its vegetables, flowers and fruits be distributed to the poor.41 Moving further north in the Deccan, Irfan Habib has presented assorted evidence pointing to some of the larger gardens, both imperial and sub-imperial, having been open at various times in their histories to the larger public as an act of charity.42 He notes that when ‘Abd al-Rahīm Khān-i Khānān was Mughal viceroy in the Deccan at the end of the 16th century, he undertook a splendid rebuilding of the garden of the Fārūqī kings at Burhanpur. ‘Abd al-Rahīm’s biographer Nihawandī notes that previously ‘[‘Abd al-Rahīm] frequently obtained repose or held assemblies in this palace of seclusion (ḥaram-makān); but now, it has been made the place of perambulation (sairgāh) of the citizens of Burhanpur. Its gate has been opened to the select as well as to the general public by its wise owner … Thus all of God’s creatures are at par in obtaining benefit and felicity [from this garden].’ Nihawandī further credits ‘Abd al-Rahīm with founding publicly accessible gardens in neighbouring Gujarat. The Fath Bārī, laid out near Ahmedabad, was ‘the place of perambulation and promenade by the citizens of Ahmedabad’; while of another garden, laid out at Surat, Nihawandī says that ‘morning and evening it is the place of perambulation and passage of travellers of that country … All of God’s creatures have the same privilege of enjoying it’.43 Given his obvious devotion to realising the charitable potential of gardens as public institutions, one wonders if ‘Abd al-Rahīm might have been informed by an awareness of earlier Deccani precedents. Even into the 19th century, there is evidence suggesting that gardens persisted as preferred sites for the performance of acts of charity. Pushkar Sohoni has called attention to a fascinating episode recorded in a 19th century missionary narrative from Ahmadnagar.44 One Dr Graham, the Civil Surgeon at Ahmadnagar, had been permitted to lease the Farah Bagh garden, which had been founded outside Ahmadnagar in the 16th century at about the same time as Amīn Khān’s garden. Graham had planted Farah Bagh with mulberry trees in an attempt to introduce silk cultivation to the local populace. Graham also befriended a missionary — Mr Graves — and gave lodging to him and his wife in the Nizām Shāhī palace pavilion located at the centre of the garden. Graham writes: I fitted up rooms for this humble and dear Christian missionary and his tidy wife, in an ancient Mahomedan palace, called the Ferrie Bagh, about a mile from the city … Sometimes we sent a message into the city and called out all the blind, the halt and the poor, and gave them all a dinner on plates made of leaves,

41 See Abdul Gani Imaratwale, ‘‘Adil Shahi Gardens, Resorts, and Tanks of Bijapur: The Sources of Royal Pleasure and Public Utility’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, p. 94; and B. D. Verma, ‘An Inscription from Kolhapur’, The Journal of the University of Bombay, vol. 1, no. 4, January 1933, pp. 284–86. The inscription is bilingual, in Persian and Marathi. Although in the Persian portion the words after ‘vegetables’ (sabzi) are illegible, the corresponding section in the Marathi paraphrase mentions ‘flowers’ ( phūl ) and ‘fruits’ ( phal); ibid., p. 285, lines 6 and 15. I am grateful to Abdul Gani Imaratwale for sharing a copy of Verma’s publication with me. 42 Irfan Habib, ‘Notes on the Economic and Social Aspects of Mughal Gardens’, in James L. Wescoat, Jr. and Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn (eds), Mughal Gardens: Sources, Places, Representations, and Prospects, Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1996, pp. 135–36. 43 Ibid., p.136. 44 According to Sohoni the account is included in the compilation Memorial Papers of the American Marathi Mission, 1813–1881, Byculla: Bombay Education Society’s Press, 1882. See Pushkar Sohoni, ‘Change and Memory in Farah Bagh, Ahmadnagar: Metamorphosis of a Deccan Palace from Farah Bakhsh Bagh to a Silk Factory’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no.2, 2007, pp. 61–62.

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and seated them all on the ground under the fine shade of trees at the Ferrie Bagh and then Mr Graves would address them.45

No doubt these charitable meals would have been appreciated by their recipients anywhere, but we can well imagine that their effect would have been still further heightened in the picturesque surroundings of the Farah Bagh.46

Conclusion Hopefully, this article has established the importance of gardens with charitable purposes in the garden culture of the medieval Deccan. It cannot claim to be anything more than a preliminary study, based as it is on a limited number of sources, but if it prompts others to consider the nonelite dimensions of gardens or to correct and extend its findings, then it will have realised one of its major goals. Its other major purpose, of course, has been to make the fascinating figure of ‘Abd al-Qādir Amīn Khān better known to historians of the Deccan’s sultanate period. As someone who appears to have effectively straddled both the elite world of the Qutb Shāhi court and the village life of rural Patancheru, equally at home in Persian and in Telugu, he reminds us of the dangers of conceiving of the Golconda kingdom (or any other Deccani Sultanate for that matter) solely as an elite and Persianate space. The cultural landscape was clearly much more variegated than that, and there must certainly have been many more figures like Amīn Khān who could move with ease from one part of this complex world to the next. In taking leave of Amīn Khān, I cannot help but note that his one-time capital of Patancheru is today the world headquarters of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). With a total of eight centres in Africa and India, this non-profit, apolitical organisation is dedicated to improving the well-being of the poor in the semi-arid tropics by increasing agricultural productivity and food security, reducing poverty and protecting the environment.47 It does this through focused research on five essential crops — millet, sorghum, groundnut, chickpea, and pigeonpea — which has enabled the organisation to develop hardier, more nutritious and diseaseresistant strains of these crops and distribute them to farmers around the world. Although it appears doubtful that ICRISAT was aware of Amīn Khān and his garden when the site was selected, there is something deeply satisfying about its choice of Patancheru for its global headquarters. ICRISAT’s vast campus, with its own gardens and research facilities, is located on land that would once have belonged to Amīn Khān, and which lies just across the highway from his tomb. Although certainly unintentional, it is a fitting tribute to his charitable vision, and Amīn Khān would no doubt be pleased. May he rest in peace!

45

Quoted in Sohoni, ‘Change and Memory’, p. 62. Despite Dr Graham’s planting of mulberry trees, the garden’s original planting scheme and even many of its original trees appears to have survived as late as the end of the 19th century. Omar Khalidi notes that the 1884 Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency commented on the large number of trees that appeared to survive from the time of the garden’s foundation. See Omar Khalidi, ‘From Deccan to Hindustan: Gardens in the Deccan and Beyond’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, p. 48. 47 ICRISAT, ICRISAT: A Glimpse, Patancheru: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, http://www.icrisat.org/who-we-are/about-us/pdfs/icrisat-glimpse.pdf, accessed on 15 March 2010. 46

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References Achaya, K. T., Indian Food: A Historical Companion, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1994. Ali, Muhammad Shaiq, Shaukat Mahmud, Shaista Perveen, Viqar Uddin Ahmad, and Ghazala Hafeez Rizwani, ‘Epimers from the Leaves of Calophyllum inophyllum’, Phytochemistry, vol. 50, 1999, pp. 1385–89. Allen, J. A., ‘Calophyllum inophyllum L.’, in J. A. Vozzo (ed.), Tropical Tree Seed Manual, Agricultural Handbook 721, Washington, DC: US Forest Service, 2002, pp. 357–58. Anantapadmanabha Rao, R. (ed.), Kandukūri Rudrakavi Sugrīva Vijayamu, Cuddapah: Akashavani, 1981. Asher, Catherine B., ‘Babur and the Timurid Char Bagh: Use and Meaning’, Environmental Design: Journal of the Islamic Environmental Design Research Centre vol.1, no.2, 1991, pp. 46–55. Dahiru, D., E. T. William, and M. S. Nadro, ‘Protective Effect of Ziziphus mauritania Leaf Extract on Carbon Tetrachloride-induced Liver Injury’, African Journal of Biotechnology, vol. 4, no. 10, pp. 1177–79. Duraipandiyan, Veeramuthu, Muniappan Ayyanar, and Savarimuthu Ignacimuthu, ‘Antimicrobial Activity of Some Ethnomedical Plants used by Paliyar Tribe from Tamil Nadu, India’, BMC Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1472-6882-6-35.pdf, accessed on 15 March 2010. Freedman, Robert, ‘Famine Foods’, http://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/FamineFoods/ff_families/SAPOTACEAE.html, accessed on 15 March 2010. Golombek, Lisa, ‘Timur’s Gardens: The Feminine Perspective’, in Mahmood Hussain, Abdul Rehman and James L. Wescoat, Jr. (eds), The Mughal Garden – Interpretation, Conservation, and Implications, Rawalpindi: Ferozsons (Pvt.) Ltd., 1996, pp. 29–36. Habib, Irfan, ‘Notes on the Economic and Social Aspects of Mughal Gardens’, in James L. Wescoat, Jr. and Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn (eds), Mughal Gardens: Sources, Places, Representations, and Prospects, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1996, pp. 127–37. Husain, Ali Akbar, Scent in the Islamic Garden: A Study of Deccani Urdu Literary Sources, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2000. ICRISAT, ICRISAT: A Glimpse, Patancheru: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, http://www.icrisat.org/who-we-are/about-us/pdfs/icrisat-glimpse.pdf, accessed on 15 March 2010. Imaratwale, Abdul Ghani, ‘Adil Shahi Gardens, Resorts and Tanks of Bijapur: The Sources of Royal Pleasure and Public Utility’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, pp. 85–116. Iswara Dutt, Kunduri, Inscriptional Glossary of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Sahitya Akademi, 1967. Khalidi, Omar, ‘From Deccan to Hindustan: Gardens in the Deccan and Beyond’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, pp. 42–58. Khan, Yusuf Husain, Farmans and Sanads of the Deccan Sultans (1408–1687), 1963, revised and enlarged by P. Sitapati and M. A. Nayeem, Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh State Archives, 1980. Khare, C. P. (ed.), Indian Herbal Remedies: Rational Western Therapy, Ayurvedic and Other Traditional Usage, Botany, Berlin: Springer Verlag, 2004. Koch, Ebba, ‘Mughal Palace Gardens from Babur to Shah Jahan, 1526–1648’, Muqarnas, vol. 14, 1997, pp. 143–65. Leach, Linda, Mughal and Other Indian Paintings from the Chester Beatty Library, 2 vols, London: Scorpion Cavendish, 1995. Madhavasarma, Patibanda (ed.), Śrī Tapatī-Samvaraṇamu, Addanki Gangādhara-kavi Praṇītamu, Hyderabad: Sri Paramesvara Publications, 1972. Mandal, Subhash C., Tapan K. Maity, J. Das, B. P. Das, B. P. Saba, and M. Pal, ‘Anti-Inflammatory Evaluation of Ficus racemosa Linn. Leaf Extract’, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 72, pp. 87–92. Miniyar, P. B., T. S. Chitre, S. S. Karve, H. J. Deuskar, and K. S. Jain, ‘Anti-oxidant Activity of Ethyl Acetate Extract of aquilaria agallocha on Nitrite-induced Methemoglobin Formation’, International Journal of Green Pharmacy, vol. 2, 2008, pp. 43–45. Morton, Julia F., Fruits of Warm Climates, http://www.hortpurdue.edu/newcrop/morton/index.html, accessed on 15 March 2010.

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Telugu Name ponna (punnāgam)

agaru

aṃbāḷam

anaṭi

English Name

Alexandrian laurel

Aloes-wood

Ambala plum (Hog plum)

Banana Musa x paradisiaca L. (Musaceae)

(Continued)

FOOD: Eaten fresh as ripe fruit; unripe fruit (plantain) cooked as a vegetable. MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: Various parts of the plant (pith, bulb, root, fermented fruit, and an alkaline extract of the ashes) prescribed internally for the treatment of piles, urinary disease, abdominal problems, vomiting of blood and skin problems including loss of pigment. The ripe fruits were prescribed for their antiseptic and antitoxic properties. (Khare 2004: 320–21)

FOOD: Leaves eaten as greens in time of famine; fruit cooked into curries and pickled. Spondias pinnata (J. (Shortt 1878; Freedman n.d.) Koenig ex L. f.) Kurz; syn. Mangifera pinnata MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: Leaves and bark used to treat dysentery; the bark is also used to prevent vomiting. Juice of the leaves is applied topically to treat earache. Folk: A J. Koenig ex L. f.; paste prepared from the bark mixed with water, or from the fruits, is used as a rub Spondias mangifera to treat rheumatism. (Nadkarni 1976: 1166–67; Parotta 2001: 69) Willd. (Anacardiaceae)

Aquilaria agallocha Roxb. MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: The powdered root is used to treat fever, dermatosis, rheumatism, hiccough, and asthma. The oil prepared from the oleoresins in the (Thymelaeaceae) heartwood is used externally to treat ulcers, wounds, ringworm, and chronic skin diseases. Unani: Aloes-wood is used as an intestinal tonic and, in compounds, to treat indigestion, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Folk: The bark, root, and heartwood are all used to treat various conditions, including inflammation, arthritis, vomiting, cardiac disorders, cough, asthma, leprosy, and anorexia. (Khare 2004: 69–70; Miniyar et al. 2008) OTHER: The resinous heartwood is used to prepare unguents, scents and incense. (This oleoresin is actually the pathological product of fungal disease contracted by the tree through wounds to its trunk.)

Calophyllum inophyllum L. MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: the astringent bark is used to treat ulcers and inflammation of the eyes. Folk: The oil of the seeds is used to promote healing of wounds and (Clusiaceae) burns. The bark and leaves are also reportedly used as antiseptics, astringents, expectorants, diuretics, and purgatives. (Parotta 2001: 214–15; Ali et al. 1999; Allen 2002)

Traditional Uses: Food, Medicinal and Other

Plants in Amīn Khān’s Garden: Identification and Uses

Scientific Name

Appendix:

Telugu Name ākudīge

pōka-mrāku

ippa

ēlaki

jīḍi

English Name

Betel leaf vine

Betel nut

Butter tree (Mahua)

Cardamom

Cashew

FOOD: Seeds and pods used as a spice in cooking. MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: The seeds are used to treat indigestion and other stomach complaints, inflammation of the nasal and other mucous membranes. Unani: The seeds are an ingredient in a compound prescribed for intestinal disorders, vomiting and diarrhoea. (Nadkarni 1976: 475–76)

FOOD: The large flowers are both edible and nutritious, and their use as a famine food is documented in 19th century Madras. (Shortt 1887; Freedman n.d.) MEDICINAL: Ayurvedic: The flowers are used to treat diarrhoea, dysentery, deficient lactation, and sexual debility. A decoction of the flowers is used to treat cough, colds and bronchitis. Folk: The seed-oil is applied topically to treat skin diseases and rheumatism; it is taken internally to induce vomiting. (Khare 2004: 297–98) OTHER: Used as a feed resource for milk-producing livestock in Gujarat and Rajasthan. (Rangnekar 1994)

MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: Chewed (often together with betel leaves) as digestive, appetiser, stimulant, and breath freshener. The juice of the unripe nuts is used as a laxative; while the powdered nuts are taken internally to treat diarrhoea and urinary disorders, externally, they are used to treat skin diseases. Unani: nuts included as an ingredient in a compound used as a uterine tonic after delivery. (Parotta 2001: 110–11; Khare 2004: 70–71)

MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: Chewed as digestive and also used for various medicinal purposes, including as a treatment for inflammation of throat, larynx and bronchi. Folk: the leaf juice is mixed with honey or fresh ginger to treat respiratory ailments. The fresh leaves are also smeared with oil and applied as a dressing for wounds and blisters. (Khare 2004: 364–66; Nadkarni 1976: 960–64)

Traditional Uses: Food, Medicinal and Other

(Continued)

Anacardium occidentale L. FOOD: The nut and the pseudo-fruit (‘cashew apple’) are eaten. (Anacardiaceae) MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: A number of uses are recognized in 19th century texts (including Nighaṇṭu-ratnākara [AD 1837] and Śāligrāma-nighaṇṭu [AD 1896]), but since the cashew had just been introduced to India in the 16th century, it is uncertain that these uses would have been recognised yet at the time of the establishment of Amīn Khān’s garden. (Parotta 2001: 60–61; Warrier et al. 1993: I, 123–25; Nadkarni 1976: 96–97; Khare 2004: 495; Achaya 1994: 222)

Elettaria cardamomum (L.) Maton (Zingiberaceae)

Madhuca longifolia (L.) J. F. Macbr. var. latifolia (Roxb.) A. Chev., syn. Bassia latifolia Roxb., syn. Madhuca indica (Koenig) Gmelin (Sapotaceae)

Areca catechu L. (Arecaceae)

Piper betle L. (Piperaceae)

Scientific Name

Telugu Name canupakamu (sampengi)

cinni

1) mādīphalam, 2) dūdinimma, 3) nāradabba

mēḍi

English Name

Champaka

Cinni

Citron varieties

Cluster Figs

MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: The bark is used to reduce fever, to induce sweating, as a stimulant, to expel worms, to clear respiratory congestion, and as a diuretic. Flowers and fruits are used to relieve nausea, indigestion and fever. The seed oil or a decoction of the flowers is applied externally to relieve headache, inflammation of the eye, gout, and rheumatism (Parotta 2001: 469–70; Warrier et al. 1993: IV, 33–34). OTHER: The yellowish-white flowers of this evergreen tree have a strong, heady scent and are favoured for use as religious offerings.

Traditional Uses: Food, Medicinal and Other

Ficus racemosa L.; syn. Ficus glomerata Roxb. (Moraceae)

Citrus medica L. (Rutaceae)

(Continued)

FOOD: Fruits eaten ripe in time of famine. (Shortt 1887) MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: The tender fruits, steamed and mixed with curd, are used as a treatment for dysentery. The leaves are used for treating diarrhoea and haemorrhages. A decoction of the fruit, mixed with powdered Shali rice (Oryza sativa) are used to check miscarriage. Unani: The fruits and the root-water are presribed as a tonic for diabetics. Folk: The milky latex produced by the plant is used internally against piles and diarrhoea; externally, it is applied to heal ulcers and cracked or chapped skin. The root sap is used for treating diabetes. The fruits are taken to settle the stomach and expel gas. (Khare 2004: 222–23; Parotta 2001: 523–24; Mandal et al. 2000)

FOOD: Eaten as fruit or prepared as pickle. MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: The juice of the fruit is one of the components of a treatment for jaundice and anemia. The peel of the fruit is taken medicinally against dysentery and is also used as an expellant of snake and scorpion poison. The leaves and roots, cooked together with the roots of mango and rose-apple, yield a decoction which is administered to stop severe vomiting. Unani: The peel of the fruit is an important ingredient in liver, heart and brain tonics. (Khare 2004: 150; Nadkarni 1976: 348–49). OTHER: The wood is hard and fine-grained, and is often used to make agricultural implements and walking-sticks. (Morton 1987)

Acalypha fruticosa Forssk. MEDICINAL: Folk: Leaf decoction taken internally to treat dysentery and used (Euphorbiaceae) externally as a wash to promote healing of pustules; root and leaf paste applied externally to treat skin disease; root used to treat gonorrhea. (Duraipandiyan et al. 2006; Parotta 2001: 281)

Magnolia champaca (L.) Baill. ex Pierre; syn. Michelia champaca L. (Magnoliaceae)

Scientific Name

nārikaḍambu

kajjurambu

dāka

panasa

malli

Date

Grape

Jackfruit

Jasmine (Arabian Jasmine)

Telugu Name

Coconut

English Name

(?) Jasminum sambac (L.) Aiton (Oleaceae)

Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam., syn. Artocarpus integrifolius auct. (Moraceae)

Vitis vinifera (Vitaceae)

Phoenix sylvestris (L.) Roxb. (Arecaceae)

Cocos nucifera L. (Arecaceae)

Scientific Name

(Continued)

MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: Roots and leaves are used to treat eye diseases. Leaves are used to treat skin diseases, ulcers and fever (Warrier et al. 1993: III, 259; Khare 2004: 269–70). Folk: The root is used to promote normal menstruation. OTHER: Flowers used for personal adornment and religious offerings

FOOD: Eaten as fruit. The unripe fruit is also cooked as a vegetable, and used to make pickles. MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: A decoction of the roots is used to treat diarrhoea; the juice of the plant is applied externally to treat swollen glands and abscesses. The leaves are used to treat skin diseases and also as an antidote to snake poison. (Nadkarni 1976: 146–47; Parotta 2001: 511–12).

FOOD: Eaten as fruit (fresh and dried); fermented to make wine. MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: The shoots of the plant and the fruits are both used for treating cough, asthma, malnourishment from chronic disease, heart disorders, fever, and urinary problems. Unani: the tender leaves are prescribed for headache, dizziness. A paste of the leaves is applied topically to relieve headache and inflammation of the eye. Leaf juice is prescribed for diarrhoea and intestinal problems. Folk: raisins boiled with water and milk prescribed for diabetes. (Khare 2004: 476–77)

FOOD: Eaten as fruit. The sap of the tree is tapped in the winter months to produce a sweet beverage or to convert to jaggery (Parotta 2001: 116–17). The leaf-bud or ‘cabbage’ is eaten in time of famine. (Shortt 1887) MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: The fruits are used as a cardiac tonic, to relieve bronchitis, asthma, and other respiratory problems, and as a treatment for malnutrition and wasting due to chronic diseases. Unani: A preparation including the fruits is used as a tonic for sexual debility; milk boiled together with this preparation is used as a general tonic. Folk: The roots are made into a paste to treat toothache, nausea and pain at the end of pregnancy. (Khare 2004: 356–57; Parotta 2001: 116–17)

FOOD: The water from the unripe fruit is used as a beverage; the sweet white ‘meat’ of the ripe fruit (actually the endocarp of the seed) is used extensively in cooking. The oil pressed from the dried endocarp is used in cooking. MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: A decoction prepared from the roots is used as a diuretic and as a gargle for sore throat; also used in treating uterine diseases. The coconut ‘water’ is used to treat fever and urinary disorders. The ‘milk’ pressed from the ripe endocarp is administered to treat physical wasting and malnutrition associated with chronic diseases. Unani: The oil extracted from the burnt shell is used for difficult-to-treat skin diseases. (Khare 2004: 156–57; Parotta 2001: 114–15)

Traditional Uses: Food, Medicinal and Other

rēgu

nimma

māmiḍi

molla

Lemon

Mango

Needle flower jasmine (Yūthika)

Telugu Name

Jujube

English Name

Jasminum auriculatum Vahl. (Oleaceae)

Mangifera indica L. (Anacardiaceae)

Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f. (Rutaceae)

Ziziphus mauritiana Lam., syn. Rhamnus jujuba L., Ziziphus jujuba (L.) Gaertn. (Rhamnaceae)

Scientific Name

(Continued)

MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: The sprouts are used (either cooked as a vegetable or prepared as a decoction) to treat diarrhoea, colic, pain, and jaundice (Khare 2004: 269). The roots are used in the treatment of skin diseases, especially ringworm (Warrier et al. 1993: III, 245). OTHER: The flowers are used to produce perfumed hair oils.

FOOD: Eaten as fruit. Seeds ground into meal in time of famine (Shortt 1887). MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: Juice of ripe mango, with honey, was prescribed to treat enlarged spleen. A decoction of the seed kernel, mixed with honey and sugar, was used to control vomiting and diarrhoea. In the 16th century, the tender leaves and the bark were used in compounds for treating diarrhoea and dysentery. Folk: In Madhya Pradesh, the seed-kernel is reportedly used by tribal inhabitants to treat diabetes. The powdered seed-kernel is used to expel intestinal worms; the dried flowers are used to treat diarrhoea, dysentery and inflammation of the bladder. The ash of the burnt leaves is used as a home remedy for burns. The astringent bark is used to treat diphtheria and rheumatism. (Khare 2004: 300–2; Parotta 2001: 65–67)

FOOD: Juice of the fruit used in cooking and to make beverages. MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: The juice of the fruit is used to aid digestion, to relieve nausea and constipation, to expel gas, and treat parasitic infection. It is also used against cough and asthma. Unani: Lemon juice is an ingredient in a compound used to treat indigestion, sluggish liver and nausea. Folk: The juice of the fruit, mixed with salt, is used topically to treat ringworm. (Khare 2004: 149)

FOOD: The sour fruits are eaten raw, cooked with vegetables or made into a pickle with salt and chillies. MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: The fruits are said to aid digestion. The kernels are used as a soporific, and as a treatment for nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. They are also used to make poultices for wounds on account of their antiseptic properties. The bark is made into a decoction for the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery and gingivitis. The root decoction is used to reduce fever. (Parotta 2001: 604–6; Khare 2004: 491–93; Nadkarni 1976: 1316; see also Dahiru et al. 2005)

Traditional Uses: Food, Medicinal and Other

kamma-rēṇu

anāsa

dāḍima

nērēḍu

Pineapple

Pomegranate

Rose-apple (jambu)

Telugu Name

Palmyra

English Name

Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels, syn. Eugenia cumini (L.) Druce, Eugenia jambolana Lam., Myrtus cumini L., Syzygium jambolanum (Lam.) DC (Myrtaceae)

Punica granatum L. (Lythraceae; formerly placed in Punicaceae)

Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.; syn. Ananas sativus Schult. & Schult. f. (Bromeliaceae)

Borassus flabellifer L. (Arecaceae)

Scientific Name

(Continued)

FOOD: Though astringent, the ripe fruits are commonly eaten, and also used to make pickles and drinks. MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: Seeds, leaves and stones of the fruits are all used in decoctions for treating diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. The bark is used as an astringent to treat various afflictions. Unani: The seed, mixed with mango seedkernels and flowers of Acacia arabica, is used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery. The seed is also used in a compound for treatment of diabetes mellitus. Folk: The ash of the dried bark is given with water to treat diabetic patients. The fresh bark-juice is mixed with goat’s milk to treat infantile diarrhoea (Khare 2004: 207–8; Parotta 2001: 536–37)

FOOD: Eaten as fruit. MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: The juice of the fruit is used to treat diarrhoea, excessive accumulation of fluids, cough, and loss of appetite. Unani: The astringent bark is used to strengthen the gums and to treat piles and anal prolapse. Folk: The powdered flower-buds are used to treat bronchitis. The juice of the flowers is used in compound (with leaves of Cynodon dactylon) to control nosebleeds. (Khare 2004: 390–92; Parotta 2001: 466–67)

FOOD: Eaten as fruit. MEDICINAL: Although the pineapple was introduced from Brazil only in the 16th century (the first reference is AD 1564), it quickly entered the materia medica of both systematic and folk medicinal traditions. Ayurveda: The Rājavallabha Nighaṇṭu (17th century) recommends its use as a diuretic, to soothe the stomach and promote digestion, and as a means of expelling intestinal parasites. Unani: The ripe fruit is boiled and soaked in sugar syrup and given as a heart tonic, and to control palpitations. Folk: Fresh juice of the leaves is taken with sugar to relieve hiccough. The juice of the unripe fruit is used to control bleeding. (Achaya 1994: 233; Khare 2004: 56–57)

FOOD: The tender fruits are eaten; the sap is fermented to make toddy. Leaf-buds eaten in time of famine (Shortt 1887) MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: The tender root, fruit and flowers are used to treat urinary problems. The dried leaves were included in a powder for treating skin disease and wounds. 16th century scholars attributed spermatogenic, aphrodisiac, cooling, and strength-promoting properties to the fruit (Khare 2004: 106–7).

Traditional Uses: Food, Medicinal and Other

female: gojjagi

Screw-pine (Keora)

Viravādi marēḍu

Viravādi

Wood-apple (Bael; Bengal quince)

FOOD: The ripe fruits are eaten fresh; a cooling beverage is made from the pulp, mixed with tamarind and water. MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: The unripe fruits are used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery, as well as migraine. The ripe fruits are eaten to relieve indigestion. A decoction made from the roots and bark of the tree is used for treating fever, and also as a remedy for melancholia and for palpitations. A poultice made from the leaves is used for treating inflammation of the eye. (Parmar and Kaushal 1982; Khare 2004: 27–28; Parotta 2001: 634–35)

?

(?)Jasminum sp. (Oleaceae) Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa (Rutaceae)

FOOD: Ripe fruits eaten in time of famine (Shortt 1887). MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: The fruit and flowers are used to prepare a lotion to treat wounds and ulcers; a powder of the dried flowers or fruits is sniffed to treat headache; the bark is used in infusion or decoction as a gargle to treat tooth and gum diseases. Folk: The bark is believed to promote female fertility. (Nadkarni 1976: 800–1; Khare 2004: 314–15; Parotta 2001: 657–58) OTHER: This ornamental tree has extremely fragrant flowers, which are favoured for religious offerings.

FOOD: Floral leaves eaten raw or cooked in time of famine (Shortt 1887) MEDICINAL: Ayurveda: The leaves are prescribed to treat tumors and painful urination. The oil prepared from the male inflorescence is used to treat headache and rheumatism. It is also used to treat rheumatism and gout. Unani: The leaves are used as a medicine for treating leprosy, smallpox, scabies, and diseases of the heart and brain. It is a major ingredient in Araq-i Keoraa, which is given to control palpitations (Parotta 2001: 561–62; Khare 2004: 349–50).

Traditional Uses: Food, Medicinal and Other

Mimusops elengi L. (Sapotaceae)

Pandanus fascicularis Lam., syn. Pandanus odoratissimus L. f. (Pandanaceae)

Scientific Name

Unidentified: īḍe: The Sūryarāya Āndhra Nighaṇṭuvu glosses īḍe as ‘erra-kittali’, which would be some variety of orange that is reddish in colour. It has not been possible to identify the species.

pogaḍa (vakula-vṛkṣamu)

Spanish cherry (Maulsari)

male: mogili

Telugu Name

English Name

6

The Use of Imaginary Landscapes in Paintings from Bijapur DEBORAH HUTTON

The recent work of Bangalore-based artist Pushpamala N. includes a series of 10 images entitled Native Women of South India: Manners and Customs. The staged photographs, all featuring the artist herself in various guises, recreate iconic artistic images of South Indian women.1 One of them (Plate 6.1) replicates the well-known 17th century Bijapuri painting of a yogini (female Hindu ascetic), now housed in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin (Plate 6.2). Pushpamala’s image essentially consists of two clearly divisible parts: one, of the artist herself posing as the figure of the female ascetic, complete with orangish-red salwar kameez, flowing scarf, ashen skin and bird in hand; and two, the painted backdrop featuring a golden sky, hilltop white palace and loads of lush, oversized plants and flowers. All these elements are found in the original miniature painting though there they exist on the same painted plane. What Pushpamala’s photographic re-creation, with its clearly delineated two parts, highlights about the original work and the reason why I bring it up in the context of this article, is the essentialness of the backdrop — the landscape — to the image, in terms of the composition and beauty but also in terms of the meaning and emotional qualities central to the work. If the re-creation featured only Pushpamala dressed and posed as the yogini, as thoroughly done as it is, the image would not work. To effectively evoke the physical appeal and emotional pull of the original, the work needs the landscape depicted in the painted backdrop. Pushpamala’s staging, in this way, serves to highlight the importance of the landscape in the original work as well. Although the yogini is what we typically think of as the subject matter of the Chester Beatty Yogini painting (hence the title by which art-historians commonly refer to it), the landscape is equally important to conveying the essence of the image. Exactly what and how does the landscape contribute to the image’s import? This article will examine this query and compare the Chester Beatty Yogini’s pictorial setting to those used in other Bijapuri paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries. Notably, the particular setting in question — an open landscape consisting of a craggy mountain topped by a white palace in the distance with lush foliage in the middle and foreground — is a reoccurring motif in Bijapuri painting. A number of single-page miniature paintings datable to the last decade of the 16th century and the first quarter of the 17th century, roughly corresponding with the reign of Ibrāhīm ‘Ādil Shāh II (r. AD 1580–1627), 1 The series, created between 2002 and 2003 in collaboration with Clare Arni, reframes the images in relation to one another as well as in relation to the set of female tropes that they evoke. For more information on the artist and the series, see Chaitanya Sambrani (ed.), Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India, London: Philip Wilson, 2005.

Plate 6.1 Pushpamala N. and Clare Arni, Yogini (after Bijapur School, Deccani miniature painting, c. early 17th century). From the photo-performance project Native Women of South India: Manners and Customs, 2000–2004.

Plate 6.2

Yogini holding Myna bird, c. AD 1605, Bijapur, Karnataka.

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feature the distant hill, white palace and verdant foliage combination. Its popularity in existing Bijapuri paintings is made more intriguing by the absence of depictions of enclosed, cultivated gardens, such as the chāhār bāghs (four-part gardens) commonly found in Mughal painting from the same period.2 Indeed, even though we know from architectural evidence and written sources that gardens played crucial roles in ‘Ādil Shāhi courtly life, it is rare to find depiction of gardens in Bijapuri paintings datable to pre-AD 1635, the period before Mughal encroachment in the region.3 Why the seeming preference for ‘wild’ open landscapes over cultivated gardens in paintings? What does this tell us about the relationship between art and nature in ‘Ādil Shāhi Bijapur? Since the field of Deccani painting is nascent in many ways, with much work on the dating and attribution of paintings still to be done, we need to be wary of drawing too many conclusions from apparent lacuna. At the same time, if approached judiciously and studied in conjunction with written sources from the period, the current visual evidence can speak to the relationship between painting, the natural environment and Deccani courtly culture. In this article, by parsing the meaning of the landscape motif found in the Chester Beatty Yogini as well as other works from Bijapur and contrasting it with depictions of cultivated gardens, I argue that this open landscape was meant to be an imaginary, liminal space directly related to the prevalent Sufi romances of the period in which the lover left life at court to go off in search of his or her beloved. The open landscape represents the ‘wild’ space (in the sense that it contrasts with the cultivated land of ordered society of which the garden is the principal example) that the hero or heroine has to traverse in order to be united with the beloved. I further posit that in many cases the artists deliberately included details (such as the oversized flowers in the Chester Beatty painting), to convey to the viewer the extraordinary nature of the landscape.

The Landscape Motif Deconstructed The Chester Beatty Yogini, attributable to c. AD 1605 Bijapur on stylistic grounds, has long been one of the most celebrated artworks from the medieval Deccan. Its renown results from both the painter’s skills and the almost mysterious quality that the picture conveys. Indeed, when Pushpamala explained her reasons for choosing this image, she said she was drawn to the extraordinary power of the yogini, whom she called a ‘sorceress’.4 In this context, the term yogini does not actually refer to a sorceress (i.e., someone with magical abilities) but rather to a female ascetic follower of the god Siva. The Chester Beatty Yogini, however, does exhibit enigmatic qualities, most notably the way in which she seems to communicate with the myna bird in her hand, which suggests something extraordinary is going on. As I have discussed elsewhere, the painter most likely intended the figure to represent

2

For a discussion of Mughal painting from this period, see Susan Stronge, Painting for the Mughal Emperor: The Art of the Book, 1560–1660, London: V&A Publications, 2002. 3 See the article by Abdul Gani Imaratwale, ‘‘Adil Shahi Gardens, Resorts and Tanks of Bijapur: The Sources of Royal Pleasure and Public Utility’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, pp. 85–116, for an excellent discussion of the role of gardens in ‘Ādil Shāhi courtly life and Bijapur’s urban environment. 4 The quote is from a wall text, written by the artist and accompanying the exhibition ‘Native Women of South India: Manners and Customs by Pushpamala N. and Clare Arni’, Bose Pacia Gallery, New York, 10 November – 23 December 2006.

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a noblewoman disguised as a yogini.5 While on the one hand her up-knotted hair and ashen skin identify her as a devotee of Siva, on the other, her elaborate clothing, extensive jewelry and pet bird act as visual clues to her status as a noblewoman. These latter details also augment her aesthetic appeal to the viewer. The juxtaposition of the ascetic and elite elements, as well as the unknown reason for her class and religious subversion, provide much of the painting’s mystery. The viewer is left to wonder why the beautiful young woman has left her life of privilege, adopted the guise of a yogini and gone off on a journey. Where is she going, and what is the secret she seems to confide to the myna bird? Despite the apparent central focus on the yogini in such an analysis, I contend that the golden sky, oversized flowers, lush foliage, and distant white palace perched on a mountain which make up the setting convey the mystery and beauty of the scene just as much as the female figure does. Many of the landscape elements found in this image are repeated in other Bijapur paintings from the same period. For example, in Ascetic Visited by a Yogini (Plate 6.3), a painting housed in the Islamisches Museum (in Berlin) and attributed to early 17th century Bijapur, the figures inhabit a similarly fertile landscape. A deep green carpet of foliage fills the foreground, where a yogi (Hindu mendicant) sits on a tiger skin guarded by two lions. The yogini who once again is most likely a noblewoman disguised as an ascetic, approaches the yogi from the other side of a large tree. In the distance, the artist has depicted a series of white buildings atop hills, with a row of trees and a golden sky behind them. In this particular painting, courtly figures inhabit the white palaces and an elephant-fight takes place on the hill at the extreme left. Other pictures of ascetics, whether male or female, feature similar settings. The Victoria & Albert Museum’s painting of a yogini kneeling by a stream sets her in an incredibly lush landscape, filled with oversized blooming flowers and capped with distant hilltop palaces. In a painting housed in the Israel Museum (in Jerusalem) and depicting a dervish wandering with his dog, the artist has posed the male ascetic between two exquisitely rendered oversized plants and placed white hilltop buildings behind him.6 It is not only images of ascetics that feature this background. Two oft-reproduced portraits of the ‘Ādil Shāhi ruler, Ibrāhīm II — Sultan Ibrāhīm II Playing the Tambur (Naprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Culture, Prague) and Ibrāhīm II Holding Castanets (The British Museum, London) — include the same landscape motifs.7 The current group of Bijapuri paintings identified by scholars also includes several images of generic princely figures set in such landscapes. In a painting housed in the Victoria & Albert Museum (Plate 6.4), a prince sits on a golden throne out in an improbably green countryside with the hilltop palace and golden sky behind him.

5

Deborah Hutton, Art of the Court of Bijapur, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006, pp. 83–96. I am not the first scholar to make the argument that the Deccani paintings of yoginis are in fact noblewomen disguised as yoginis; see M. L. Nigam, ‘The “Yogini” of the Deccani Miniatures’, Lalit Kala, vol. 23, 1988, pp. 35–41. 6 ‘Yogini by a Stream’, c. 1605-40, Bijapur, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, IS 133:56–1964, fol. 56a; and ‘Dervish Wandering with his Dog’, c. 1600, Bijapur, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, O.S. 5374.11.77. For illustrations and further information on these works, see Hutton, Art of the Court of Bijapur, pp. 83–96 and Plates 17 and 19. 7 ‘Sultan Ibrāhīm ‘Ādil Shāh II ‘Playing the Tambur’, c. 1600, Bijapur, Naprstek Museum of Asian, African, and American Cultures, Prague, A. 12182; and Ibrāhīm ‘Ādil Shāh II ‘Holding Castanets’, c. 1610, Bijapur, The British Museum, London, 1937 4–1002. For illustrations and further information on these works, see Hutton, Art of the Court of Bijapur, pp. 96–107 and Plates 21 and 22; also Mark Zebrowski, Deccani Painting, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983, pp. 76–81 and Plates 8 and 10.

Plate 6.3 Ascetic visited by a yogini, early 17th century, Bijapur, Karnataka.

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Plate 6.4 Princely figure seated on a golden throne in landscape, c. AD 1600, Bijapur, Karnataka.

As these examples demonstrate, the combination of dark green foliage, oversized flowers and craggy hills topped with white palaces is a hallmark of Bijapuri painting from the late 16th and early 17th centuries. In fact, the repertoire of motifs is so prevalent that it is one of the visual clues arthistorians use when identifying works from ‘Ādil Shāhi Bijapur.8 It is not the only setting used by Bijapur’s court artists; other works, particularly portraits, have blank or nearly blank backgrounds. Many images feature settings composed of one or more generic landscape elements such as flowering shrubs, trees or rolling hills — and it is important to distinguish these generic landscapes from the specific landscape motif being examined here. Less common but still to be found are scenes placed

8

See, for example, Robert Skelton, ‘Documents for the Study of Painting at Bijapur’, Arts Asiatiques, vol. 5, no. 2, 1958, pp. 97–125.

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in architectural settings. Two portraits of Ibrāhīm ‘Ādil Shāh II, one of Ibrāhīm presenting a necklace to his lover and other of the ruler venerating a Sufi, fall into this category.9 Notably, there are only a very few images set in what could be considered a garden, meaning, a specifically contained and/or cultivated outdoor space with natural elements such as trees or flowers. For a garden-setting to be indicated in a painting, a wall or other architectural element, a water feature such as a well or fountain or walkways, planted beds or other semi-permanent transformations of the land needs to be depicted. For example, in an illustration that Mark Zebrowski has identified as a portrait of Ibrāhīm ‘Ādil Shāh II from a Ni‘mat Nāma manuscript in the State Museum, Hyderabad, the raised grassy platform on which the ruler sits as he is attended to by servants suggests a cultivated garden, though damage to the page makes it difficult to analyse in detail.10 Jeremiah Losty has hypothesised that the recurring distant hilltop palace element found in the Bijapur landscape motif being analysed here may have come from European, particularly Dutch and Portuguese, prints and paintings that would have reached the Deccan through interaction with Goa.11 The Bijapuri painted landscapes also probably drew on the furrowed rocks, green fields and precisely rendered trees of 16th century Safavid painting, as well as the lush, deep green foliage of earlier local painting such as the ragamala scenes produced in the northern Deccan during the 16th century.12 Precise pinpointing of the motif’s origins is beyond the scope of this article. It is pertinent to note, however, that the specific repertoire of background elements under study clearly relates to other painting traditions, both local and foreign. At some point during the late 16th century, Bijapur’s court artists brought the disparate elements together to form a recognisable landscape motif that today serves as a visual signifier of a Bijapuri, or perhaps more generally Deccani sultanate, style.13 Yet, details, such as the oversized flowers flanking the yogini in the Chester Beatty painting or the distant white palace populated with courtly figures in the Berlin image of the yogini visiting the yogi suggest that this background was more than just a stylistic hallmark. A closer look at these backgrounds reveals additional details to suggest they were more than just generic, attractive landscape settings for the main figures. Notably, the artist of the V&A painting (Plate 6.4) has depicted one of the trees on the left side of the image as growing upside-down, with the leaves bending to point towards the prince, making it evident that the upside-down tree was a deliberate artistic choice. We see this upside-down element again in a well-known painting, sometimes titled Siesta, in the collection of the Islamisches Museum (Plate 6.5). The image depicts a princely 9 Sultan Ibrāhīm ‘Ādil Shāh II ‘Presenting a Necklace to his Lover’, c. 1620–35, Bijapur, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, IS 48–1956; and Ibrāhīm ‘Ādil Shāh II ‘Venerates a Sufi Saint’, c. 1630, Bijapur, The British Museum, London, 1997, 1108.01. For more information and reproductions of these works, see Hutton, Art of the Court of Bijapur, pp. 103–5. 10 Sultan Ibrāhīm ‘Ādil Shāh II, in a manuscript of the Nimat Nama, c. 1600–10, Bijapur, State Museum, Hyderabad. For more information and a reproduction of the work, see Zebrowski, Deccani Painting, pp. 76–78. 11 Jeremiah P. Losty, ‘The Development of the Golconda Style’, in John Guy (ed.), Indian Art and Connoisseurship: Essays in Honour of Douglas Barrett, New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, 1995, p. 313. 12 For recent discussions of 16th and 17th century Safavid painting, including colour reproductions, see Robert Hillenbrand, Persian Painting: From the Mongols to the Qajars, London: I. B. Tauris, 2001; Eleanor Sims, Peerless Images: Persian Painting and its Sources, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002; and James Allen, Hunt for Paradise: Court Arts of Safavid Iran 1501–76, Milan: Skira, 2004. For a discussion of painting from the northern Deccan, see Zebrowski, Deccani Painting, pp. 40–49. 13 Several paintings attributed to Qutb Shāhi Golconda, Bijapur’s neighbour to the east, also feature the landscape motif.

Plate 6.5

Siesta, early 17th century, Bijapur, Karnataka.

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figure taking a nap under a tree. On the left side, in the green patch below the distant palaces, are several upside-down flowers that compositionally serve to draw the viewer’s eye down to the prince and his companions while visually reinforcing the extraordinarily verdant nature of the land with plants seemingly sprouting up in every direction. These landscapes, while often including local plants, are clearly not about depicting actual landscapes. The question becomes how to investigate the meaning and appeal that the landscape motif held to the works’ original creators and viewers when there are still (and may always be) large gaps in available information relating to ‘Ādil Shāhi artistic culture. The optimal evidence would be an artist’s or patron’s statement discussing the precise meaning of the visual motif or a statement relating to the use of landscape in painting. Unfortunately, the chances of uncovering such a document is about as likely as finding an intact 17th century Deccani garden! An alternative method, then, is to identify the earliest uses of the visual motif in surviving paintings attributed to Bijapur. Of particular usefulness would be to locate and examine images connected to some sort of text that might provide clues or context for the motif’s usage. In this case, a valuable piece of evidence survives in the Pem Nem illustrated manuscript, although the manuscript comes with its own interpretive challenges, as will be explored.

The Use of Setting in the Pem Nem The Pem Nem, which can be translated as the ‘Rule of Love’ or ‘Laws of Love’, is a unique Dakani masnavī. The manuscript, now housed in The British Library, contains 239 folios and 34 illustrations. In the lengthy introduction to the work, the author gives his name as Hasan Manjhu Khaljī. From references in the introduction it is clear that he wrote the masnavī in Bijapur, that the author was connected in some way to the ‘Ādil Shāhi court, and that the manuscript was produced sometime between AD 1590 and 1604.14 In other words, the manuscript and its illustrations were made approximately 5 to 35 years before the various single-page paintings already discussed, and in the same environment. This is pertinent because the Pem Nem contains not only images that feature the distinctive landscape repertoire in question but also a number of palace scenes and, quite notably, three garden-scenes. Because it also brings together text and image in a single object (the manuscript) allowing us to make connections between the two forms of expression, the Pem Nem seems to provide the ‘perfect’ piece of evidence. There is, however, one drawback: the author wrote the Pem Nem in a form of Dakani that is very difficult to decipher. The text contains words from Marathi as well as other local dialects. The introduction, which is in prose format, is somewhat more readable than the poetic body of the masnavī, which periodically includes lengthy strings of single-syllable, rhyming words. David Matthews feels that the Pem Nem is unlike other Dakani writings from the period, except for a few verses from the Kitāb-i Nauras, the book of poems/songs attributed to Ibrāhīm ‘Ādil Shāh II, which employs similar eclectic language.15 Because of the language’s obscurity, the text has yet to be completely translated,

14

For a more complete discussion of the manuscript and reproductions of all 34 illustrations, see my ‘The Laws of Love: A Sixteenth-Century Illustrated Romance from Bijapur’, in Navina Haidar (ed.), The Art of India’s Deccan Sultans, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, forthcoming. 15 David Matthews, ‘Dakani Language and Literature, 1500–1700’, unpublished PhD dissertation, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1976, p. 80.

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and scholars have even disagreed on a few key details. J. F. Blumhardt read the names of the main characters as Ratansen and Padmavati, while more recently David Matthews has identified them as Shāh Jī and Māh Jī.16 Despite all of this confusion, it is clear that the story belongs to the Prem Marg (‘Path of Love’) genre of Sufi literature which used the format — a long story written in poetic verse — to tell a love story that mirrors the quest of the Sufi for union with God.17 Based on the typicality of the Prem Marg genre, the portions of the text that have been translated, and the 34 illustrations, the basic plot of the story is clear. The prince Shāh Jī sees a vision or image of the princess, falls passionately in love, and sets off on a journey to find her. In the manuscript’s first illustration (Plate 6.6), the prince is listening to a yogini play music. If the Pem Nem is similar to later Prem Marg literature, particularly that from the Lucknow region, the woman may be the princess disguised as a yogini, which would explain the jewellery worn by the female ascetic.18 The next series of illustrations depict Shāh Jī on his journey. Eventually the lovers meet, where upon seeing his beloved, Shāh Jī faints (Plate 6.7). He then takes up residence at the palace where Māh Jī lives; however, as the poet explains, Shāh Jī has come to see the vision of his beloved that he carries in his heart as reality and the woman before him as a mere reflection.19 Thus he decides to leave the palace to seek truth through contemplation. The story then describes the princess going through a Dara Kaan, a period of longing and lament covering the twelve months of the Hindu calendar, expressed by the poet in typical baramasa format.20 This period of longing is visually depicted by three paintings which show the princess and her female companions taking part in activities corresponding with various times of the year. For example, one image shows the women celebrating Holi (Plate 6.8). Finally the lovers are reunited and the masnavī ends with a lengthy description of their wedding, which is also the most heavily illustrated part of the manuscript. Twelve of the 34 illustrations depict the wedding festivities.

16

J. F. Blumhardt, Catalogue of the Hindu, Panjabi, and Hindustani Manuscripts in the Library of the British Museum, London: The British Museum, 1932, p. 57. My earlier analyses of the manuscript accepted Blumhardt’s interpretation of the text: see Hutton, Art of the Court of Bijapur, pp. 73–83; however, David Matthews has cogently argued that despite the words ratan khan (translatable as ‘jewel mine’) repeatedly appearing in the text, the characters’ names are in fact Shāh Jī and Māh Jī. My discussion of the manuscript here incorporates this, as well as other new information about the story presented by Matthews; cf. David Matthews, ‘Pem Nem: A 16th Century Dakani Manuscript’, in Warwick Ball and Leonard Harrow (eds), Cairo to Kabul: Afghan and Islamic Studies Presented to Ralph Pinder-Wilson, London: Melisende, 2002, pp. 170–75. I would like to thank Emma Flatt for bringing Matthew’s work to my attention. 17 For a discussion of the Prem Marg genre of literature see Aditya Behl and Simon Weightman, Madhumalati: An Indian Sufi Romance, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000, pp. xiii–xvii. 18 One example of such a Lucknow masnavi is Mir Hasan’s very popular 18th century poem, Sihr al-Bayan. Mir Hasan, The Nusr-i Benazīr, trans. from Urdu by Major Henry Court, Simla: J. Elston, 1871. 19 Matthews, ‘Pem Nem’, p. 174. 20 Ibid. See also Matthews, ‘Dakani Language and Literature’, p. 80. ‘Baramasa’ are songs or poems relating to the twelve months of the year, highlighting the seasonal changes, as experienced by a female lover/young wife consumed with pains of separation and longing for her beloved/husband. Baramasa poems were composed in many Indian languages, including Urdu, and are typically full of symbols and metaphors taken from local traditions and natural environments.

Plate 6.6 Prince listening to a yogini play music, Pem Nem, c. AD 1591–1604, Bijapur, Karnataka.

Plate 6.7

Prince, on carpet with King, fainting at the sight of his beloved, Pem Nem, c. AD 1591–1604, Bijapur, Karnataka.

Plate 6.8 Princess with court women celebrating Holi, Pem Nem, c. AD 1591–1604, Bijapur, Karnataka.

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A close stylistic analysis of the illustrations indicates that three different artists with distinct styles and levels of talent worked on the manuscript; 21 as a result there are some striking inconsistencies in the paintings. In particular, the main characters fluctuate in appearance from image to image, so much so that in some cases it would be difficult to recognise them if they were not the main figures in the scene. Thus it is crucial to take into account artistic styles and abilities when analysing specific details in the paintings. While the painters did not seem to synchronise the appearance of the main characters, they did coordinate two things. One was the use of innovative visual metaphors. Most prominently, in every single image of the prince, the face of the princess appears on his heart, or more specifically on his chest, right about the opening of his robe.22 Clearly this detail seems to reflect the idea that Shāh Jī has come to see the image of Māh Jī that he carries in his heart as reality. Similar sentiments can be found in other examples of Prem Marg literature. For example, in Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s Padmavati, an earlier Urdu masnavī, Ratansen says to Padmavati, ‘O lady, this heart is so attached to thee that both during the day and throughout the night it is by thy side.’23 The second facet of the illustrations that the artists seem to have coordinated with one another was the spatial progression of the settings, which moves from open spaces to more and more confined ones. This aspect of the manuscript relates directly to this article’s investigation of the depiction of landscapes in Bijapuri painting. Indeed, the opening five illustrations feature the verdant landscape with hilltop white palace motif (see Plate 6.6). Moreover, the Pem Nem’s paintings are the earliest dateable examples of its use in Bijapuri painting that I have located. Clearly, in the context of the masnavi this setting is the forest, by which I mean not a place filled with trees but rather an unknown place outside the bounds of the hero’s everyday courtly life and through which he must travel on his journey. The distant palace in the background then represents the contained, known space that the prince has left, at least temporarily. The next group of paintings in the Pem Nem is a transitional one depicting Shāh Jī moving from one space and one segment of his quest to another. In three of the paintings he remains in the countryside with the palace in the distance but other figures now fill the scenes. One such picture depicts the prince at the moment when he finds the princess, who stands behind her father, the king (Plate 6.7). The prince, seated on a carpet with the king, is shown fainting at the sight of his beloved. Then, in some of the illustrations, the prince is outside of the palace. Eventually he moves inside the palace, and in those images, the architecture now dominates the backdrop, with foliage still visible but limited to the edges of the picture. The next three paintings depict the princess with her female attendants during the 12 months of longing when the lovers are again separated. In one illustration (Plate 6.8), the court women celebrate Holi, while the princess sits in the middle of the scene, distractedly thinking about her lover. In fact, in another of the manuscript’s unique visual metaphors, flames (symbolising her passion)

21

The different hands that worked on the illustrations have been discussed by several scholars. See Douglas Barrett, ‘Painting at Bijapur’, in R. H. Pinder-Wilson (ed.), Paintings from Islamic Lands, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969, pp. 146–58; Jeremiah P. Losty, The Art of the Book of India, London: The British Library, 1982, p. 73. 22 For further discussion of the visual metaphors used in the Pem Nem’s illustrations, see Hutton, Art of the Court of Bijapur, pp. 76–83. 23 Lakshmi Dhar, Padmavati, London: Luzac, 1949, p. 168.

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rise from the princess despite having been doused with water by an attendant. In another painting the women attend to pet birds and play-board games, and in the third illustration they set off fireworks, perhaps in celebration of Diwali. All three paintings are set outside but rather than being the countryside or forest that is the setting for the journey scenes, the space represented in these seems to be a garden. Each painting contains some element to suggest it is a cultivated or contained space. For example, in the Holi scene (Plate 6.8), there is a fountain in the middle of the page and, on the left side, a well from which one of the women is gathering water. While this painting has a hill and building in the distance, the backgrounds of the other two paintings consist of green fields without any distant hill or a horizon line at all, suggesting that the view presented in them is a close-up, confined one rather than a broad landscape scene.24 After the Dara Kaan period, when the lovers are reunited, the setting returns to inside the palace and once again architecture dominates the pictures’ backgrounds. The final 12 paintings of the Pem Nem depict the couple’s wedding ceremony which is set for the most part, in extremely intimate spaces. The background of many of these images is blank except for a canopy depicted by a ‘V’ or a straight line across the top of the page from which tassels hang and occasionally behind which treetops peek out. When we consider the illustrations as a whole, from the first to the last of the 34 images, we can see that their settings emulate different aspects of the story in the same way that Sufi authors from the medieval and early modern Deccan often used poetic descriptions of spatial settings, particularly landscapes and gardens, as a way of evoking stages of the mystical journey.25 In the Pem Nem, the illustrations’ settings seem to correlate with the underlying messages of the masnavi in three distinct but interrelated ways. Most notably, the illustrations move from broad, outer spaces to increasingly confined inner spaces in a way that mirrors the Sufi’s journey. Movement from the outer world, the zāhir, to the inner essence or truth, the bātin, was the goal of the tarīqa (the Sufi path), and at the heart of what was being symbolised in the Prem Marg genre.26 The visual juxtaposition between the palace and the landscape conveys this progression from outer to inner in the Pem Nem. Perched on a far-off hill, the palace is just a distant view in the first few paintings while the open landscape or forest provides the immediate setting for the prince. As the hero moves closer to his goal, he moves closer to the palace as well. Eventually he is just outside the palace, then he leaves the forest and goes into the palace, and finally he crosses into the most confined space — under a canopy within the palace, where he is finally united with his beloved.

24

These images, though clearly gardens, would disappoint a viewer hoping to glean details of what Bijapuri gardens might have been like. In fact, the three illustrations contain fewer flowers than the open landscape scenes do. Like other Bijapuri paintings, clearly, these scenes were not about depicting reality but rather their primary purpose was conveying the narrative as well as the underlying emotions of the text. Thus, the artists only needed to convey enough of the setting to communicate what sort of space it was. 25 Ali Akbar Husain beautifully describes this use of setting in his article in this volume on Nusrati’s Gulshan-i Ishq. See also Ali Akbar Husain, Scent in the Islamic Garden: A Study of Deccani Urdu Literary Sources, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2000; and Peter Gaeffke, ‘The Garden of Light and the Forest of Darkness in Dakkini Sufi Literature and Painting’, Artibus Asiae, vol. 48, no. 3–4, 1987, pp. 223–46. 26 Annemarie Schimmel, ‘Inner and Outer Space in Islam’, in Kapila Vatsyayan (ed.), Concepts of Space Ancient and Modern, New Delhi: Indira Gandhi Centre for the Arts, 1991, p. 177.

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The spatial progression also seems to correspond with the three stages of ‘ishq (‘love’) in Sufi ideology: longing, proximity and intimacy.27 The forest through which the prince travels in search of the princess during the first part of the masnavī corresponds with longing. The palace symbolises the next stage, proximity, and the very confined spaces of the wedding (the space beneath the canopy, for example) that conclude the story, correspond with intimacy. Interestingly, during the period of lament, when the lovers are separated in the middle of the story, the princess inhabits not the palace (which would have suggested proximity) but rather she retreats with her ladies-inwaiting to the garden. In this context, the garden acts as a space of longing and thus parallels the open, wild landscape depicted in the early illustrations. The difference between the garden and the forest is that in the garden the princess and her attendants are still part of courtly life (as indicated by their activities, such as playing board games and attending to pet birds) while the prince has decidedly left his day-to-day life when he embarked on the quest. The garden, as cultivated nature, is a space of longing within the structures of society, and the forest, as wild, uncultivated nature, is a space of longing outside of both the comforts and restrictions offered by mainstream society and courtly life. This leads to the third way in which the settings mirror aspects of the masnavī, namely the relationship between Sufism and courtly life embodied in the story. If we understand the palace in the paintings to represent courtly life and the forest to be the space outside of that, then the distant hilltop palace depicted in the early search scenes has dual significance. It not only represents the prince’s destination, it also represents what he has left behind. By setting off on the quest, he has abandoned, at least temporarily, his home and his life at court. He has entered into the forest, which in the context of the Sufic journey is an in-between space (in-between his home and his destination), or what we might understand as a liminal space, where extraordinary things can happen and where people can take on other roles, ones outside the normal structures of society. Visually, the craggy mountains, distant palace and overly lush foliage serve to convey to the viewer the liminal status of the landscape.

The Landscape Motif Revisited The Pem Nem thus provides a useful model for understanding the use of the landscape motif in many of the single-page paintings that follow it. The manuscript and paintings are linked not only through the repetition of the motif but there very well may have been a more direct connection between the Pem Nem and many of the single-page paintings, including the Chester Beatty Yogini. As stated earlier, based on stylistic analysis, we can attribute the Pem Nem’s illustrations to three different artists (often labeled as Hands A, B and C). Hand A seems to have been responsible for approximately half of the 34 images, including folio 82v. which depicts the moment when the prince finds the princess (Plate 6.7). If we compare this image to the Chester Beatty Yogini (Plate 6.2), there are a series of striking similarities — the manner in which the women’s faces are depicted, the oversized flowers (in the Pem Nem’s image, the oversized flowers are in the distance, directly behind the princess), and the rocks behind them that suggest the same artist was responsible for both works. The Chester Beatty Yogini is a more accomplished image, technically as well as compositionally, than

27 M. Sirajul Islam, Sufism and Bhakti: A Comparative Study, Washington DC: The Council for Research in Value and Philosophy, 2004, p. 173.

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the Pem Nem page but most likely it was painted 5 to 10 years later. The differences, thus, can be attributed to the artist refining his style. Hand A also seems to have painted the Pem Nem’s first illustration which depicts the prince listening to a yogini play music (Plate 6.6). Again, there are striking similarities between this image and the Chester Beatty Yogini. Oversized pink flowers grow next to both yoginis, and the dress and general appearance of the women correlate to one another. Both wear their hair in topknots, a series of pearl necklaces around their necks, gold bangles at their wrists, orangish-red salwar kameez, and long, flowing gold scarves. This comparison not only suggests that the same artist produced both images but further suggests that the Pem Nem’s yogini and her role in the masnavī, whatever it may have been, provided the inspiration for the Chester Beatty Yogini painting. In other words, the Pem Nem’s yogini provided both the visual and literary inspiration for the Chester Beatty image. Returning now to the background of the Chester Beatty Yogini painting, the point where we began this inquiry, the landscape elements take on heightened significance. The palace in the distance represents the place she has left and perhaps also the destination of her quest. The hill makes it clear that the palace is far away and that the open landscape in which she is traveling is far removed from ‘civilisation’ in many ways. The oversized flowers not only mirror her magnificent beauty, they remind the viewer that the space she is inhabiting is an extraordinary one — where a princess can disguise herself as a female ascetic to escape the confines of purdah and go off in search of her beloved. Thus, the landscape elements, like details of her dress and the bird in her hand, are visual clues to the identity that she is currently hiding but to which, ultimately, she will return. In the painting’s original ‘Ādil Shāhi courtly context, the elements also allowed the viewers to connect the single-page painting with romantic narratives with which they may have been familiar and to even perhaps cast themselves as part of the stories. As they admired her beauty and the beauty of the painting overall, they became the lover longing for the beloved. In the painting of the yogini visiting an ascetic in the Islamisches Museum (Plate 6.3), the landscape operates in a similar manner though in this image the spatial distinctions between the court and the forest are even more overtly depicted. The princely figures that fill the windows and doorways of white palaces in the background and the elephant fight taking place on a hill on the left side unequivocally mark these distant spaces as courtly ones. A large, light-coloured hill takes up the painting’s middle ground and clearly separates the courtly realm from the space that the yogini now inhabits. Dark green foliage demarcates that space, which is occupied by the yogi and his two guard lions. The yogini stands in a worshipful pose next to a large tree and just behind the dark green ground rather than on it, suggesting that she has just arrived from the palace realm to visit the ascetic; she has left the courtly space to enter an extraordinary one. It is the juxtaposition between the hilltop palaces in the background and the verdant foliage in the foreground, along with the stark compositional divide of the tree, that communicate her journey between these two realms. It is worth noting that Mark Zebrowski has attributed the painting just analysed to the same artist responsible for the Chester Beatty Yogini and many of the images in the Pem Nem. He has further linked ‘Hand A’, sometimes also referred to as the ‘Dublin painter’ because of the Chester Beatty Yogini, to the Islamisches Museum painting of a prince taking a nap under a tree (Plate 6.5).28 It may be that the landscape motif in question was a particular hallmark of this artist’s style, though

28 For a discussion of the ‘Dublin painter’, and the images attributed to him, see Zebrowski, Deccani Painting, pp. 103–12.

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a number of images (such as Plate 6.4) not stylistically linked to the artist also employ the motif. The landscape motif does seem to have particular resonance and import in the images attributed to the ‘Hand A’ artist. For example, in the painting of the prince napping, not only have the trees and flowers been exuberantly rendered but they also seem to add another layer to the picture’s meaning. In fact, I believe that there are two ways of reading the background spaces in this work. One way is to see the patch of green and palace in the upper left corner as the space that the prince has left. He went out in the countryside with his attendants for relaxation and fell asleep under a tree. Because of the way that the upper green patch has been rendered, as a distinct unit with the upside-down flowers bending down towards the prince’s head, however, it provides a second reading. It is as if that magical landscape, with its white palace, is what the prince dreams of as he sleeps, i.e., the landscape and palace in which he will find his beloved.29 The oversized blossom and upside-down plants remind us that this is not an actual landscape but rather it is an imaginary one while the space that the prince inhabits under the tree is one of longing.30 When examined closely, these single-page paintings and the illustrations of the Pem Nem indicate that for Bijapuri artists and viewers background landscapes were not about reproducing actual environments that they might have encountered but rather about evoking emotions and poetic associations that would have held powerful appeal to them. The relationship between art and the natural environment was thus not a directly representational one but rather was mediated through poetry and religion. This may explain why we have not identified many pre-AD 1635 Bijapuri paintings with depictions of gardens that we can recognise as such. Gardens played such an important role in ‘Ādil Shāhi courtly culture that one could experience them with all their sensory pleasure throughout the built environment of Bijapur. What would a detailed painting of them have added to the experience? At the same time, painting provided a potent and unequaled means of visualising the mystical ideas and poetic metaphors circulating amongst the sultan, his courtiers and other members of the elite. Thus, the reason for the popularity of the distant hilltop palace and verdant foliage landscape motif, as opposed to depictions of formal gardens, may be explained because those motifs evoked an imaginary, liminal space. That space belonged to the realm of poetry and Sufism, both central to ‘Ādil Shāhi cultural identity, and the only way one could visually experience it was through paintings. In this context, the Chester Beatty Yogini must have resonated at several levels. The painting afforded viewers not only the aesthetic pleasure of admiring the young woman with her pet bird, elaborate clothes and jewelry, framed by two magnificent, large pink flowers and the gleaming white hilltop palace in the background, it also provided a visual embodiment of an imaginary, mystical space outside the bounds of society, where love and longing were felt more acutely. This space must have reminded its elite viewers of Sufi literature and poetry current at court, and admiring the painting was a way of participating in courtly culture. 29 The lover dreaming of his beloved and then setting off to find her was another common way in which poems from the Prem Marg genre began. For example, in a masnavi called Qutb Mushtari, written in AD 1609 by Mulla Wajhi, a poet at the court of Golconda, the story begins with the prince dreaming of the princess of Bengal and setting off to find her. Mas’ud Husain Khan, ‘Dakhni Urdu’, in H. K. Sherwani and P. M. Joshi (eds), History of Medieval Deccan, 1295–1724, 2 vols, Hyderabad: Government of Andhra Pradesh, 1973–74, vol. 2, p. 24. 30 In this reading of the painting’s spaces, the foreground that the prince and his attendants occupy may be a garden-like space. It depends upon how one reads the area on which the prince rests. It certainly does evoke life at court, and suggests that the prince has yet to set off on his quest.

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In many ways the contemporary work with which I began this investigation, Pushpamala’s recreation of the Chester Beatty Yogini, goes far beyond mere visual verisimilitude to capture the essential meaning and resonance of the original work. A large part of the significance of each image comes from an external reference: in the case of the Chester Beatty Yogini, it is Sufi romances like the Pem Nem, and in the case of Pushpamala’s work, it is the Chester Beatty painting. Just as my delight when first encountering the photograph arose out of my familiarity with the painting, an ‘Ādil Shāhi viewer’s appreciation for the yogini image probably rested in his or her knowledge of the pertinent literature and poetry. Additionally, like the painting’s heroine, Pushpamala temporarily adopted a new identity as a yogini in order to accomplish a specific goal, though now it was to remake and thereby reconsider an iconic image rather than to find her beloved. And finally, as in the original work, in the photographic re-creation, the landscape of the backdrop cannot be physically inhabited; it exists only in an imaginary and painted form.

References Allen, James, Hunt for Paradise: Court Arts of Safavid Iran 1501–76, Milan: Skira, 2004. Barrett, Douglas, ‘Painting at Bijapur’, in R. H. Pinder-Wilson (ed.), Paintings from Islamic Lands, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969, pp. 146–58. Behl, Aditya and Simon Weightman, Madhumalati: An Indian Sufi Romance, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Blumhardt, J. F., Catalogue of the Hindu, Panjabi, and Hindustani Manuscripts in the Library of the British Museum, London: The British Museum, 1932. Dhar, Lakshmi, Padmavati, London: Luzac, 1949. Gaeffke, Peter, ‘The Garden of Light and the Forest of Darkness in Dakkini Sufi Literature and Painting’, Artibus Asiae, vol. 48, no. 3–4, 1987, pp. 223–46. Hasan, Mir, The Nusr-i-Benazīr, trans. from Urdu by Major Henry Court. Simla: J. Elston, 1871. Hillenbrand, Robert, Persian Painting: From the Mongols to the Qajars, London: I. B. Tauris, 2001. Husain, Ali Akbar, Scent in the Islamic Garden: A Study of Deccani Urdu Literary Sources, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2000. Hutton, Deborah, Art of the Court of Bijapur, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006. ———, ‘The Laws of Love: A Sixteenth-Century Illustrated Romance from Bijapur’, in Navina Haidar (ed.), The Art of India’s Deccan Sultans, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, forthcoming. Imaratwale, Abdul Gani, ‘ ‘Adil Shahi Gardens, Resorts and Tanks of Bijapur: The Sources of Royal Pleasure and Public Utility’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, pp. 85–116. Islam, M. Sirajul, Sufism and Bhakti: A Comparative Study, Washington DC: The Council for Research in Value and Philosophy, 2004. Khan, Mas’ud Husain, ‘Dakhni-Urdu’, in H. K. Sherwani and P. M. Joshi (eds), History of Medieval Deccan, 1295–1724, Hyderabad: Government of Andhra Pradesh, 1973–74, vol. 2, pp. 17–35. Losty, Jeremiah P., The Art of the Book of India. London: The British Library, 1982. ———, ‘The Development of the Golconda Style’, in John Guy (ed.), Indian Art and Connoisseurship: Essays in Honour of Douglas Barett, New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, 1995, pp. 297–319. Matthews, David, ‘Dakani Language and Literature, 1500–1700’, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1976. ———, ‘Pem Nem: A 16th Century Dakani Manuscript’, in Warwick Ball and Leonard Harrow (eds), Cairo to Kabul: Afghan and Islamic Studies Presented to Ralph Pinder-Wilson, London: Melisende, 2002, pp. 170–75.

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Nigam, M. L., ‘The “Yogini” of the Deccani Miniatures’, Lalit Kala, vol. 23, 1988, pp. 35–41. Sambrani, Chaitanya (ed.), Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India, London: Philip Wilson, 2005. Schimmel, Annemarie, ‘Inner and Outer Space in Islam’, in Kapila Vatsyayan (ed.), Concepts of Space Ancient and Modern, New Delhi: Indira Gandhi Centre for the Arts, 1991, pp. 175–79. Sims, Eleanor, Peerless Images: Persian Painting and its Sources, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. Skelton, Robert, ‘Documents for the Study of Painting at Bijapur’, Arts Asiatiques, vol. 5, no. 2, 1958, pp. 97–125. Stronge, Susan, Painting for the Mughal Emperor: The Art of the Book, 1560–1660, London: V&A Publications, 2002. Zebrowski, Mark, Deccani Painting, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983.

7

Reading Gardens in Deccani Court Poetry: A Reappraisal of Nusratī’s Gulshan-i ‘Ishq ALI AKBAR HUSAIN∗

How may one read gardens in Deccani verse romance, the ‘ashqiyyā masnavī ? It is futile to expect poetry to lead to a reconstruction of Deccani gardens whose material traces have largely disappeared since the garden is never seen as a complete unit in Deccani poetry. However, the 16th and 17th century masnavīs written at the courts of the ‘Ādil Shāhis (in Bijapur) and Qutb Shāhis (in Golconda) enable a sense of how the garden was perceived by poets, their courtly audience and patrons, and what it signified to them. The spatial dimensions of the gardens written about may be difficult to establish but the evocation of qualities reveals a vision of the garden for the ‘delight of the soul’ or, in the words of the Deccani poet, ‘to brighten the eye and perfume the heart’.1 As the genre of descriptive and narrative poetry in the Arabo-Persian literary tradition (within which Urdu poetry is included),2 the masnavī — with its rhymed couplets and potentially limitless length — offered the Deccani poet the possibility of versifying history and storytelling. Moreover, the masnavī could incorporate ‘themes entirely alien to the Persian tradition’ and ‘flowers and trees that did not exist in the Central Asian and Iranian landscape’, as noted by Thackston in his appraisal of Mughal Gardens in Persian poetry.3 By allowing poets to manipulate the conventions of the genre, the masnavī suited the Deccani poets whose works had to be embedded in the kingdoms of their royal patrons on the Deccan plateau and in the evergreen and deciduous forests of peninsular India where the ‘Ādil Shāh and Qutb Shāh sultans had established their control in the 17th century. Although the ‘Ādil and Qutb Shāh sultans upheld the Persian speaking cultures of Central Asia and Iran as their predecessors in the region, the Bahmanis, they also promoted Deccani as a language of poetry at their courts. Conceivably, Deccani helped the sultans in declaring their hold over the Deccan plateau. In fact, it would seem that court poets like Mulla Nusratī (d. AD 1675) were commissioned to ∗

For an initial appraisal of the work, see my Scent in the Islamic Garden: A Study of Deccani Urdu Literary Sources, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2000, pp. 154–56; 164–70. 1 Mulla Nusrati, Gulshan-i ‘Ishq, (ed.) Syed Muhammad, Haidarabad, Dakkan: Majlis-i Isharat-i Dakkani Maktutat (Silsilah-i Yusufiyah series), 1954, p. 304: Wo tabā’a mu’atr disse rangīn nazar/ Jin sair karre ‘ishq ke iss gulshan men; Mulla Nusrati, ‘Ali nama, (ed.) Abdul Majid Siddiqui, Hyderabad, 1959, p. 152: Nazr ke rang dene kūn har yik gul rang kā kāsā/ Mu’atr mann ke karne kūn kalī har huqqā parmal kā. 2 Julie S. Meisami, Structure and Meaning in Medieval Arabic and Persian Poetry, London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003, p. xii. 3 Wheeler M. Thackston, ‘Mughal Gardens in Persian Poetry’, in James L. Wescoat, Jr. (ed.), Mughal Gardens: Sources, Representations, Places, and Prospects, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1996, p. 239.

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compose their masnavīs in Deccani rather than Persian during the course of the 17th century when the cultural syntheses promoted by the sultans, as an expression of their identities, seemed most threatened by the Mughals. As a plot, Nusratī’s Gulshan-i ‘Ishq is similar to the north Indian masnavī Madhumālatī of Mir Sayyid Manjhan Rajgiri, written in the 16th century in Hindavi.4 It also bears resemblances with the masnavī Mihr-o-Māh of ‘Aqil Khan Razi ‘Alamgiri, written in Persian at the Mughal court three years before Nusrati composed his own work. While Nusratī is silent on the sources of his work, ‘Aqil Khan is believed to have credited his narrative to one Mīr Jamman, as also to Mīr Manjhan.5 Deccani poets were inspired by the style of Persian poetry. They also admired the treatment of language in the Sanskrit poetical tradition, especially the art of idiomatic expression (bachan) which they thought uplifted a poetical work like the Indian trellis-climber (bel mandvā) ‘ascending the sky’ gave dimension to a garden. Thus Nusratī’s claim that The trellis climber of my words lovingly nourished, Rose to scale the canopy of the sky.6

To Nusratī, a Deccani masnavī combined Persian eloquence and Sanskrit idiom or, in garden terms, combined the Persian garden plot (chaman) with the flower-filled trellises of the Sanskrit tradition. Deccani littérateurs have commented that Deccani poetry is a mingling of two cultural streams: if its style (pirayā) is Persian, its flavour (mizāj) is distinctly Indian. The correspondence between garden and poem is a common element of poetry written in Persian and Deccani. The similarity of his work with a garden served the poet to lay emphasis on the significance of his poem’s meaning and/or its usage of the ‘word’ or idiomatic expression. For, if his poem was like a garden, the poet was like a gardener whose task was to nourish his garden to produce flowers and fruits of ‘meaning’. Thus the Ismā’ili poet Nasir-i Khusrau, writing in Iran in the 11th century declared that a poem that was meaningful was like ‘a garden in which flowers and fruits are the mā’ani (notions) borne by the supporting trees of elegant style (lafz)’.7 In a somewhat similar manner Nusratī declares that his Gulshan-i ‘Ishq is woven with the flowers (of noble thoughts) from his garden that, through His Grace, God has brought into bloom.8 Writing in praise of his patron Sultan ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh II, a writer of Deccani verse himself, Nusratī comments on the flowers his patron’s verses reveal and the ‘meaningful’ fruit of his verses savoured by his readers.9 Another court poet of the ‘Ādil Shāhs, ‘Abdul Dehlavi, who authored the Ibrahim nāma in praise of Sultan Ibrāhīm ‘Ādil Shāh II, likens the use of idiomatic expression (bachan) in Sanskrit verse to ‘the fragrance of the flower of intellect’ adding that each word in Sanskrit poetry is ‘laden with meaning as the pomegranate is with seeds’.10

4

Mulla Nusrati, Gulshan-i ‘Ishq, (ed.) Maulvi Abdul Haq, Karachi: Anjuman-i Taraqqi-i Urdu, 1952, p. 10. As per a communication with (late) Aditya Behl; also ibid., p. 17. 6 ‘Ali nāmā, p. 37: Kiya mayn bachan bel kun yun barri/ Barri so falak ka’ch mandwa charhi. 7 Meisami, Structure and Meaning, p. 17. 8 Gulshan-i ‘Ishq, (ed.) Syed Muhammad, p. 59. 9 Ibid., p. 36. 10 Abdul Dehlavi, Ibrahīm nāmā, (ed.) Muhammad H. Khan, Qadim Urdu, vol. 3, 1969, pp. 22, 34. 5

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The analogy of the garden with the world and/or cosmos in Deccani poetical works has been traced to Persian court poetry from the 10th to 13th centuries. The growth of analogical thinking in medieval Islamic thought and literature is attributed to the writings of the Ikhwān al Safā (‘Brethren of Purity’) of Basra in the 10th century, and in the expression of parallelism between the universe (an ordered whole) and man (a microcosmic embodiment of that larger whole).11 With the diffusion of Persian poetic forms in the Indian subcontinent, the analogical modes of poetry composed in medieval Iran came to characterise the Deccani verse romance, or ‘ashqiyyā masnavī. So, if in a 12th century Persian court romance such as Nizami’s Haft Paykar (‘Seven Portraits’), the spring-time garden stands for an ordered, ‘justly-governed world’ that is a man-made reflection of the heavenly garden and a microcosm of the ‘divinely-ordered cosmos’,12 we may rightly expect that this was what a garden in bloom signified to a Deccani poet writing in the 17th century. A garden of love, or Gulshan-i ‘Ishq, by extension, signifies worldly order and harmony created or restored in love’s fulfillment. Conversely, the neglected garden parallels the chaos resulting from the loss of loved ones and disharmonies among the stars. The analogy of the garden with a larger ‘ordered whole’ which came to characterise Decanni romantic masnavīs may be traced to early Indian court poetry just as it is credited to the Persian court romance. Daud Ali draws our attention to the earthly and celestial Buddhist gardens; his review of the texts suggests that the analogy of a garden with ‘a properly ruled and inhabited realm’ is ‘developed variously and copiously in both religious and courtly literature’.13 He refers to the Buddhist text Pali Digha Nikaya, which recounts the story of a king while making ‘a seamless link between the king’s garden and a morally ordered realm’. He adds that in this account the kingdom’s prosperity is suggested by ‘the beneficence displayed in this garden’ and its change in fortune by the ‘disarray’ of the garden.14 The Gulshan-i ‘Ishq testifies to a civilisation made possible by the triumph of love, a reordering of peace, justice and prosperity that, as the poet states, ensues in the union of Venus (Zohrā) and Jupiter (Mushtarī).15 Clearly, one purpose of the masnavī was to edify by illustrating the civilising power of love. Love, according to the poet, for the one who has drunk of this wine, is like collyrium for his heart’s eye whose radiance is the means to God’s hidden treasures. It is therefore a continuous yearning for the beauty of God (the beloved), for an eternal state that no imrat or life-giving elixir can bestow, the Philosopher’s stone (pāras) par excellence. Nusratī would have his readers see with the eye of love and discover, in the enhanced perception, that unique sensation of pleasure that presumably he himself has experienced. He would have his patron and courtly audience recognise that the passion that consumes his own heart, firing his verses and transforming his poem into a flaming flower garden is, or can be, the basis, the essential meaning, of their lives too. He would have his readers affirm that the pursuit of love with single-minded passion leads to the perfection of the garden of love, the eternal sanctuary and abode of peace.16 11

Julie S. Meisami, Medieval Persian Court Poetry, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987, p. 33. Ibid., pp. 352, 369. 13 Daud Ali, ‘Gardens in Early Indian Court Life’, Studies in History, vol. 19, no. 2, 2003, pp. 221–52, especially p. 249. 14 Ibid. 15 Gulshan-i ‘Ishq, (ed.) Syed Muhammad, p. 246: Mille jab yo Zohrā jo wo Mushtarī/ Dive jag kun it sā’ad tab bihtarī. 16 Ibid., pp. 46–48. 12

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Nusratī’s Gulshan-i ‘Ishq was completed in AD 1657, a year after ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh’s accession to the throne following the death of his father Muhammad after a 30-year reign. In praise of his young patron, Nusratī lists all the virtues that a ruler of his time was expected to cultivate. Justice, honesty, kindness, sympathy, and compassion were essential attributes of one who was the Shadow of God (Zil-i Khudā) and whose sultanate was blessed, inevitably, with peace and stability, but the young Shah is also said to combine a spiritual bent of mind with a practical, down-to-earth orientation, much-needed in a ruler. Above all, he was literate and cultured, sensitive and insightful. With his taste for music and poetry, it was his patron, writes Nusratī, who had refined the sensibilities of his court and distilled the essence (rasa) of the nine essences (nauras) credited to that great worldteacher ( jagat guru), Sultan Ibrahim ‘Ādil Shāh II (deceased for 50 years at the time of Nusratī’s composition). After all, argues the poet, who would know about love better than one through whom love is exalted, the flame that kindles the hearts of beautiful women? Recounting the young Shah’s generosity to the poet, Nusrati prays that the trees planted by the Shah remain a canopy for the sultanate so that the Shah’s name as a skilful gardener continues to be upheld.17 Nusratī’s story of love’s quest was an apt subject with which to greet the young sultan and his court. Nature held to be ‘a repository of moral examples’ in medieval cultures in general, the story’s nature settings undoubtedly served as precept and example to the sultan who needed instruction in the principles of good kingship. At the same time Nusratī emphasised, through the example of the lover’s unswerving devotion to his beloved, what his patron could expect of him and his courtiers, in general. As such, the story of the lover and the beloved also served the poet as an analogy illustrative of his own relation with his patron. It would appear that the Deccani court drew heavily on Persian models of court conduct and etiquette where loyalty and service were important both in the context of love and as virtues in themselves. As Meisami observes, the correspondence ‘between the ethics of love and courtly conduct’ that characterises medieval court poetry of both western and Islamic cultures, is reason enough to equate love poems with ‘poems about courtliness and courtly ethics and … issues of loyalty and justice’.18 The story of the Gulshan-i ‘Ishq is recounted for the most part through descriptions of palaces and of nature, both ordered and unadorned. The focus is on man’s artifacts, the palace-court and the man-made pleasance. The series of palaces and gardens that form part of the story may be seen as stages in Prince Manohar’s search for the essence (rasa) of love at Maharasanagar, in the vision of beauty that is Princess Madhumālatī, the common name of a popular climber of the Indian groves. As such, the gardens of the poem become ‘emblematic’ landscapes, or as the poet himself says, Each account is a garden heart-rejoicing, Each couplet an exalted palace on high.19

Each palace and garden, moreover, is a reference to the building and garden craft of the sultanate at Bijapur, and the glimpses of garden settings, garden architecture and garden planting that the poet enables us could be read, therefore, as impressions of actual gardens. And rightly so that, at a time of fluctuating fortunes for the sultanate,20 the poet’s Garden of Love, the image of an ordered 17

Ibid., pp. 36–38. Meisami, Court Poetry, p. 30. 19 Gulshan-i ‘Ishq, (ed.) Syed Muhammad, p. 303: Har yik dāstān būstān dil guzīn. 20 The Sultanate of Bijapur came under a joint attack from the Marathas and Mughals in the mid-17th century. 18

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world, should be located in the fortresses and forests of the sultanate rather than in the dimly perceived landscapes of Central Asia and Iran. As a prelude to the story we are acquainted with Raja Bikram of Kanakgīr, the personification of perfect kingship who is blessed with everything but children. That this is a scar borne by the raja becomes evident when a mendicant (faqīr) comes to his door but refuses the food he is offered by the raja and leaves without blessing him. In a bid, therefore, to obtain the blessing he never received, the ‘scarred’ raja sets out on a search for the faqīr. To be rewarded in his quest, however, he has to renounce his material comforts, take up a staff and begging bowl, and live the life of an Indian ascetic, his body smeared with ash. It is by burning away worldly desires and by experiencing want that he can become worthy of the blessing of a son who will bring order and harmony to the world. Thus the raja’s search takes him through hunger and thirst to many countries, groves, caves, and mountains. When the next scene of the Gulshan opens, we find him within a grove (ban), in a garden that ancient frankincense (agar) trees, creating shady vaults and canopies, have filled with fragrances. The garden is clearly intended to symbolise a stage in the journey that the raja has attained and, as fairies alight before his eyes in the garden pool (hauz), drawn to the garden by its fragrances, and cast off their clothes to bathe, the raja realises that this vision of light is his means to be delivered to the faqīr where he is to be instructed in his final lesson before the ‘fruit’ of his labours can be granted him. Appropriately titled darvish sarmast ka mast ban (‘Tavern of the Intoxicated Dervish’), the garden of the faqīr where the raja finds himself next within, apparently, a forest hermitage, is one to which bird and beast alike have been brought together by the joy of Creation and the ecstasy of love that fills the heart of the faqīr/dervish. It is a garden of pools brimming over with this love, trees that wave joyously having drunk of this glorious wine, and flowering bushes that, with hyacinth-like ringlets arranged on each floral stem, diffuse fragrances. Underneath the tree canopy are intoxicated flowers with flushed cheeks and languorous eyes that are bestirred by wind-scattered water-drops and, as the wind glides through the trees, their leaves set a beat into motion to whose accompaniment the birds among the trees swell forth with rapturous song, dancing and whirling with ecstasy or somersaulting in the air.21 We find this sense of intoxication when we visit other gardens in the Gulshan, although nowhere is it as marked as in the garden of Dervish Raushan Dil (‘Of the Illuminated Heart’). This is to say also that the poetic impressions of gardens vary in terms of the situations presented by the poet, whether it is love’s kindling, search, fulfillment or intoxication. Likewise, the imagery of flowers and birds in and around trees and pools prevails in other gardens visited in the Gulshan to greater or lesser degree, setting off the garden as an ordered ecosystem, a bringing together of the ‘mineral, plant and animal kingdoms’ and their unity with man. The story unfolds, alternating between scenes of palaces and forests and gardens that are accounts of journeys and destinations, toil and respite, separations and unions, the celebrations of birth, accession, marriage, moments of despair and exhilaration. The ‘reborn’ raja returns to his kingdom in Kanakgīr to father a son who, on the advice of court astrologers and sages, is brought up in a wholly sheltered environment, literally under the palace canopy, to protect him from the affliction of love that could descend on him from the sky. Fate cannot be averted of course and, ironically, fairies descend on the palace from the sky one magical, moon-lit night as the prince slumbers, and transport him across the seven seas to Mahārasanagar to enable him the vision of Madhumālatī for a night.

21

Gulshan-i ‘Ishq, (ed.) Syed Muhammad, pp. 72–74.

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The affliction of love having thus descended upon him, the prince seeks to claim the beautiful Madhumālatī in distant Maharasanagar when he awakens to find himself back in his palace. A convoy of boats is made ready to carry and escort him safely on his journey across the seven seas to Mahārasanagar, but because he must make the journey of love on his own, alone and unescorted, nature intervenes to ensure it shall be so, and the prince becomes the sole survivor of a sunken convoy some days after they set afloat. Subsequent trials await the prince when he is washed ashore, first a winter of ice that must be braved and then the Kājali Ban (‘Lampblack Forest’), with its imprisoning tangle of thickets, its allengulfing darkness and its unspeakable terrors that must be traversed.22 Prince Manohar over-comes the darkness and cold with the glow of love in his heart that lights up a passage for him in the dark depths of the forest. A sparkling fountain ‘within a bubble of light’ where he encounters a sage (sanyāsi) after six months in the forest signifies the lover’s spiritual awakening and the beginning of another stage in the journey of love. Six more months follow, this time across a desolate high plateau, a burnt wasteland, with ‘the sun a cloud of fire and the sunlight a flaming river’. The lover finally descends on the plateau arriving at a plain where he sets sight on a radiant palace garden but once inside he realises that, although it sparkles with precious stones, this garden devoid of people is soulless, a wine cup without wine, and not his journey’s end. The guiding light in the lover’s despair proves to be the princess Champāvatī held captive in the palace by a demon. It is her beauty in fact that illuminates the demon’s palace like a brilliant chandelier. Champāvatī, a friend of Madhumālatī, is the means by which the poet unites lover and beloved. Manohar is the means whereby she is freed from the demon’s hold. In the Deccani masnavī as in the medieval court romance in general, chivalry, like other virtues, had to be cultivated by the lover in his pursuit of love. The poet would have Manohar destroy the demon and escort Champāvatī to her grieving folk in Kanchannagar from where the demon flew her away in a whirl of dust. And because an appropriate match has to be found for Champāvatī, Prince Chandersen must now be brought in the story. Chandersen is introduced as Madhumālatī’s saviour when, in a final lesson of separation and longing following her brief union with Manohar (contrived by Champāvatī), she is unwittingly transformed into a parakeet that flies away from prince Manohar’s heart to the distant land where Prince Chandersen discovers it. The flight of the ‘bird of love’ and its restoration to the lover’s heart is the poet’s means of bringing together Champāvatī and Chandersen. As Madhumalatī’s kind-hearted saviour, Chandersen becomes worthy of Champāvatī. Thus harmony flows from Manohar’s union with Madhumālatī, following which Chandersen and Champāvatī are united and the two princes return with their princesses to rule over their kingdoms with justice and integrity, illustrating that love’s fulfillment restores the order of the world. The joy of Manohar and Madhumālatī’s union is described in terms of the spring-adorned, Farāh Bakhsh (‘Joy-Bestowing’) garden, and the anguish of the lovers’ separation represented by the drought-ravaged garden and images of a desolate battlefield. The engagement celebration that ushers in their wedding day is revealed in the splendour of a palace and garden constructed for the

22 According to a communication with (late) Aditya Behl, the ‘Kājali Ban’ is Nusrati’s version of the original Hindavi ‘Kādali Vana’ (plantain forest), which in Tantric and yogic texts indicates a place of ascetic mortification. According to Peter Gaeffke this forest is the ultimate trial, ‘faint reflections’ of which are to be found in Nizami’s Sarāf nāmā about Alexander’s search for the Water of Life (āb-i Hayāt); see Peter Gaeffke, ‘The Garden of Light and the Forest of Darkness in Dakkini Sufi Literature and Painting’, Artibus Asiae, vol. 48, nos 3–4, 1987, pp. 224–45, especially p. 231.

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event, and in a feast spread out on colourful kanduriyyān (‘floor spreads’) that appear like a series of garden-plots (chaman) filled with strange and wonderful garden-plants. On the wedding day, the bride’s radiance as she is perfumed brings down the heavenly spheres and the brilliance of starbursts herald her union with the sun-like Manohar. Finally, the imagery of fire and flame is used to reveal the garden that the vision of Champāvatī kindles in Chandersen’s heart as a parallel to the Mount of Moses set ablaze in God’s glory. A painting preserved in a remarkable manuscript of the Gulshan-i ‘Ishq at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Plate 7.1) shows Chandarsen struck by ‘Love’s arrow and lightning bolt’ on his first glimpse of the radiant Champāvatī, who is shown adjusting her veil and walking away, followed by her companion. Manohar is seen holding up the unconscious Chandersen while Madhumālatī hurries to revive Chandersen. The garden in full bloom corresponds to the kindled heart. Appropriately enough, it is the Farāh Bakhsh garden that comes closest in the Gulshan-i ‘Ishq to describing a state of transcendental bliss. It is a destination marking the end of a journey of longing, a garden to cool the fire that has long smouldered in the lover’s heart, a garden in celebration of love’s fulfilment, a gift and reward, a blessing and balm. How does it function as a ‘celebrational image’? What image clusters give it identity? What flowers are found in this Deccani paradise? Farāh Bakhsh is a spring-adorned garden. For the celebration of the native Indian pageant of Holi, spring has set the candles aglow in the takhte (‘flower beds’) of its garden-plots, draping the garden bārī (‘enclosure’) and mandvā (‘bower’) with fabrics and tapestries woven by flowering climbers, and spreading a velvety mandap (‘canopy’) of foliage above. Flower-filled and of the greenest green, it is a reflection of the star-filled, emerald sky and truly joy-bestowing. Farāh Bakhsh is woven with light and perfume. Each flower bed of its plots is a brilliant floor spread whether of gend makhmal (African Marigold) or of gul-i aurang (Globe Amaranth), whether made with kalghā-i ātishi (Cockscomb) or with the lāla (Poppy). The slender arching floral stems within each bed, bearing rubies or glowing candles, are images crafted by the jeweller. Among individual flowers that receive focus are the poppy, a ruby idol its radiance set off by missī, the mesua (nakesar, the flower of the ironwood tree) whose stamens are the brilliance of henna-dyed fingers, the cinnamon jasmine (the flower of the madan bān bush, Artabortys odoratissimus) that, intoxicated by its own scent, gazes with the wine-filled eyes of the narcissus, and the raihān (basil) which entices the lover with its hyacinth-like curls. The spring garden in its radiance and perfume is also the aspect of the heavens. The gul-i chānd (moonflower) scars the breast of the moon, the gul-i sūr (sunflower) is the envy of the sun, the fragrance of the screwpine, sent aloft, is a comet with a long tail, the line of cypresses is the line of hourīs (maidens) in jannat (paradise).23 In this garden reception hosted by Spring, the birds and bees are the guests and form a male and a female majlis (assembly) in the garden. The poet describes an apparently localised forest association in terms essentially of colourful fabrics.24 The female birds wear saris, shawls and scarfs: the pīlak (Golden Oriole) in pitambar (yellow silk) and brown shawl, the bulbul (nightingale) in black sari with red border, her hair done up in a knot, the red-headed tirmitī (merlin) in purple dandhāras (the name of a fabric), the koel in black, the myna in smoky brown, the starling (shārik) in red. The jhakkar appears with kohl-lined eyes, the tatorā (sandpiper) with henna-dyed feet, and the parakeet’s (totā)

23

Gulshan-i ‘Ishq, (ed.) Syed Muhammad, pp. 185–87. Salim Ali, Book of Indian Birds, Delhi: Oxford University Press, rpt. 2003. The author considers ‘mixed assemblages a characteristic feature of Indian forests’, p. 139.

24

Plate 7.1 Prince Candersen, stricken by love for Campavati, falls in Prince Manhar’s arms, Gulshan-i ‘Ishq, AD 1743, Deccan. Of a sudden, for an instant, Candersen’s gaze, Fell upon and focused on Campavati / The spirit of love seizing him at that spot, Flung him on the ground, lifeless, selfless.

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lips are stained red with pān (betel-leaf). As for the male assembly, the hoopoe (woodpecker) shows off a crown, the kabūtar (pigeon) sports a white satin kurtā (shirt), the kākatuyyā (cockatoo) wears a green silk jāmā (cloak), the mor (peafowl) is in green and blue tāfti (taffeta), the shrikes are in white, the fākhtā (spotted dove) in brown, the kulangan (herons) appear like Arabs, and the watchman kavvā (crow) is bundled in a dark blanket.25 In turn, the colours of the birds are coordinated with the fragrances celebrated at the court to create image clusters, and the moon is drawn into the spectacle of the spring celebration. It is the moon, the poet reminds us, who, in the early hours of the morning, has brought the colours of the flowers with which to scatter and douse the birds and bees — the brilliant red of the poppy for the kusumbhā, the lac tree (Schleichera oleosa), the saffron threads of the zā’frān (saffron crocus) for the pīlak, the sandalwood white of the shab-i gūsh (tuberose) for the qubuk and qumriyyān, the distilled chuā (an ambergris preparation) from the violet for the bhanvar (drone bee) and the bhangrāj (drongo) … and ‘ūd battī (aloeswood incense sticks) from willow catkins, ambergris from the basil’s curls and rosewater from flower buds. The wind as cup-bearer fills the floral cups with wine from the bowl of the sky, and the birds and bees delighting in the blessings of fruit and flower, are delirious with happiness as they wander from flower to fruit garden to the brimming pools that are to be found all around the garden.26 It is love, the poet would have us note, that has brought this harmony among the various levels of God’s creation. Nusratī perfects the image of Farāh Bakhsh garden with a long account of the palace within the garden. The sun and moon and the sky and stars are brought down once more in references to its brick-tiling and lime-plaster, the splendour of the columned wood portico and the frescoes of the palace pavilion (chitarsāl; lit., picture gallery), and in the cloud-like cisterns placed before the pavilion where the plumes shot up from fountain jets return to the earth in a shower of stars. For the lover this experience of beauty is an elixir-like wine that dispels in one gulp his heart’s bitterness, cooling, cleansing and perfuming his spirit. Thus, each account, whether of the garden’s flowering plants, of its fruit garden, its birds and insects, or of its palaces, pools, and fountains is the discovery of a new treasure, infused with a sense of wonder. To the poet, the garden is an experience of pleasure, a place to appreciate its ambience as an ecosystem, contemplate its patterns, and above all marvel at its treasures. It is an ‘artifice’ set apart from nature, a human creation and artifact and paradoxically, a ‘fragment of nature’ and nature’s expression as a ‘dreamed, idealised totality’.27 While allegory and allusion govern our understanding of the gardens of the Gulshan-i ‘Ishq, it is the experiential aspects of these gardens with which the poet seems concerned too, and in illustrating how the rasa of love (prema rasa)28 is savoured in the garden. A garden of native and naturalised trees and shrubs of tropical and sub-tropical India is suggested by the fruits and flowers listed by the poet. He mentions naghzak (mango), mauz (banana), jāman (black plum), jām (rose apple), kamrakh (star-fruit), phannas (jack-fruit), duryān (durian), and

25

Ibid., pp. 187–89. Ibid., pp. 190–92. 27 Bernard St-Denis, ‘Just What is a Garden’, Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, vol. 27, no. 1, 2007, pp. 61–76. 28 For further discussion of prema rasa, ‘the savour fit to be enjoyed by kings’, see Aditya Behl and Simon Weightman, Madhumalati: An Indian Sufi Romance, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2000, p. xxxvi. 26

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annas (pineapple), some of which recall the semi-evergreen forests of peninsular India. Among others that he mentions, the ber ( jujube), tūt (mulberry), anjīr (fig), safarjal (quince), angūr ( grape), neshkar (sugarcane) and the citrus family characterise sub-tropical regions in general, including the high plateaus of the Deccan. The cool temperate region fruit listed, such as seb (apple), bādām (almond), akhrot (walnut) and chilghozā (pine-nut) are few in number, so in effect the poet’s fruitgarden is stocked with the produce of tropical and sub-tropical India. The bedding annuals that the poet lists — globe amaranth, celosia, marigold, poppy, basil — are floriferous over a long period in the Deccan as well as in northern India and Iran where their use was common in medieval Islamic times. Indian trees like the nagkesar (Mesua ferrea) and the champā (Michelia champaca), combined with Indian shrubs like the madan bān and the keorā (fragrant screwpine, Pandanus odoratissimus) help to locate this garden in an Indian, if not Deccani, setting and, if other garden descriptions in the masnavī were considered, this list of Indian plants could be expanded to include trees like the molsarī (Mimusops elengi) and kesū (Butea monsperma), shrubs such as the gul chīn (Plumeria spp.), the chambelī (Jasminum spp.), the marwā (Artemesia spp.), daunā (Origanum spp.), bālā (Abutilon spp.), and sewantī (Rosa moschata), and the kanval (pink lotus) and kamūd (white, night-opening water lily) among aquatics. As noted before, Madhumālatī, the name of Prince Manohar’s beloved, is a popular climber (Hiptage benghalensis) of Indian gardens, so one could expect the garden arbors (phūl mandvās) to be permeated with the fragrance of Madhumālatī.29 It is in its suggestions of garden planting that the rasas (essences) of peninsular Indian forests seem permeated in the Gulshan-i ‘Ishq but, as noted earlier, Nusratī claims more for his poetry. He maintains that his works combine the Persian chaman ( garden plot) with the Indian bel mandvā (arbor), so it would seem the poet wishes to delight his audience with both its Persian and Indian garden features: the illuminated takhte (beds) of annuals in the garden-plots (chamans) as well as the high mandap (velvety canopy) formed by closely-spaced trees along the walks; the floral tapestries of the typically Indian phūl mandvās (trellises for flowering climbers) and the patterns created by scandent shrubs among the phūl bārīs (upright trellises) with which presumably the entire garden and/or its various parts were surrounded. Garden descriptions also make mention of the kālviyyān (watercourses) bordering the green plots and the pools (hauz khāne) centred within each, which are Persian in conception, and other, presumably larger, pools filled with kanwal (pink lotus) or white, night-opening kamūd (water lily) that are a common sight in Indian tanks; and the poet also makes note of smaller ornamental chehbeche (cisterns) that are said to adorn the āngan (terraces) fronting the chitarsal (palace pavilions). In the fruit garden, hung among the mangoes of the Irano-Indian paradise, a hindolā (swing) is an inevitable Indian addition, and the glowing lanterns of the dāk mandvā (grape trellis) and the musk of champā, frangipani and fragrant keorā (screwpine) are other rasas to be savoured. The Gulshan-i ‘Ishq may be read as a progression of gardens centred on the conception of love — its kindling, longing, fulfillment, and intoxication. While the organisation of space in the garden, its form and layout remains unclear throughout the masnavī, we are made aware of the qualities — the light and perfume and the sounds of nature — with which each garden description is woven. A human

29

A longer list of Indian trees and shrubs may be obtained from the poet’s ‘Ali nāmā, so it is difficult to follow Peter Gaeffke’s argument that the Indian masnavī writers reworked ‘the scattered comparisons and metaphors’ of garden plants and birds in Persian poetry into extended garden descriptions of their ‘Dakkini Sufi narratives’; see Gaeffke, ‘The Garden of Light’, pp. 225, 234.

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creation and artifact, the garden also stands for nature, and the gardens in the masnavī may also be read as a record of the culture’s engagement and relationship with nature.30

References Ali, Daud, ‘Gardens in Early Indian Court Life’, Studies in History, vol 19, no. 2, 2003, pp. 221–52. Dehlavi, Abdul, Ibrahim nama, (ed.) Muhammad H. Khan, Qadim Urdu, vol. 3, 1969. Gaeffke, Peter, ‘The Garden of Light and the Forest of Darkness in Dakkini Sufi Literature and Painting’, Artibus Asiae, vol. 48, no. 3, 1987, pp. 224–34. Husain, Ali Akbar, Scent in the Islamic Garden: A Study of Deccani Urdu Literary Sources, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2000. Behl, Aditya and Simon Weightman, Madhumalati: An Indian Sufi Romance, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Meisami, Julie S., Medieval Persian Court Poetry. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987. ———, Structure and Meaning in Medieval Arabic and Persian Poetry. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003. Nusrati, Mulla, Gulshan-i ‘Ishq, (ed.) Maulvi Abdul Haq, Karachi: Anjuman-i Taraqqi-i Urdu, 1952. ———, Gulshan-i ‘Ishq, (ed.) Syed Muhammad, Haidarabad, Dakkan: Majlis-i Isharat-i Dakkani Maktutat (Silsilah-i Yusufiyah series), 1954. ———, ‘Alinama, (ed.) Abdul Majid Siddiqui, Hyderabad, 1959. St-Denis, Bernard, ‘Just What is a Garden’, The History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, vol. 27, no. 1, 2007, pp. 61–76. Thackston, Wheeler M., ‘Mughal Gardens in Persian Poetry’, in James L. Wescoat Jr. (ed.), Mughal Gardens: Sources, Representations, Places, and Prospects, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1996, pp. 233–57.

30

St-Denis, ‘Just What is a Garden’, p. 71.

8

The Nizamshahi Persianate Garden in Zuhūrī’s Sa¯q na¯ma SUNIL SHARMA∗

Gardens were a prominent feature of Persianate cities and, along with such structures as mosques, baths and bazaars, had aesthetic as well as utilitarian value for the inhabitants of a place. Especially when a new city was being planned, the architects were given the opportunity to construct an ideal setting for all the desired spaces. One such example in the pre-modern Deccan was the newly constructed section of the city of Ahmadnagar that, along with its fine gardens, was described in an idyllic vein by the Persian court poet Mullā Muhammad Tāhir Nūr al-Dīn ‘Zuhūrī’ (d. 1616 AD) in his long courtly poem Sāqīnāma (‘Book of the Cup-Bearer’).1 Zuhūrī provides vignettes of courtly life and spaces and then leads his reader on a tour of the public spaces of the city that he calls the shahr-i nau (new city). Such topographical descriptions would later become popular in the works of Mughal court poets, especially in the period of Shah Jahan (1628–58 AD), but the literary precedents for them in the Deccan have not been studied. The unusual length of Zuhūrī’s work suggests that he has a specific program in mind that includes the detailed mapping of urban life in a flourishing city of the Deccan in which gardens play a central role. Although there is considerable overlap in the poetic code used to convey the function and symbolic meaning of gardens, whether they occur in ghazals or masnavīs, in a work such as Zuhūrī’s (which is neither a narrative tale nor a short lyric) the context in which the poem was composed takes on greater valence. In contrast to gardens in narrative masnavīs, as discussed by Ali Akbar Husain in his article, those in non-narrative poems are not peopled by characters and, in addition to having an allegorical function, serve an ornamental purpose.2 In fact, the poetic language that Zuhūrī uses is infused with garden imagery to the point that every space and object is described using garden metaphors. The historical background in which Zuhūrī’s work was produced suggests ‘an analogy … between the vegetative world and the condition of the patron’s rule. No metaphor could better express the blessings of fortune bestowed on the latter than the outburst of beauty in a garden in



I am grateful to Emma J. Flatt for her bibliographical suggestions in connection with this article and for sharing her enthusiasm about Indo-Persian culture in the Deccan. 1 For biographical accounts of Zuhūrī and the numerous manuscripts and editions of this work, see C. A. Storey, Persian Literature: A Bio-Bibliographical Survey, London: Royal Asiatic Society, 1990, vol. 3, pt. 2, pp. 280–81. Nazir Ahmad’s Zuhuri: Life and Works, Allahabad: Khayaban, 1953, focuses on the various biographical notices of the poet and much less on his poetry. 2 See Ali Akbar Husain’s article in this volume.

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springtime.’3 The composition of the Sāqīnāma is inextricably linked to Zuhūrī’s stint as a professional poet in Ahmadnagar, and the poem holds clues to his permanent withdrawal from service from the Nizamshahi court. Zuhūrī left Iran and settled in Ahmadnagar in 1580 AD during the reign of sultan Murtazā Shāh (r. 1565–88 AD) and for about 16 years enjoyed the patronage of several Nizamshahi rulers. In Ahmadnagar he found mentors in Malik Qummī, the poet laureate of the court who had arrived from Iran a year before and whose daughter he married, as well as in Salābat Khān, another Iranian at court who also served as patron and friend to poets. These two were among the smaller group of émigré poets from Iran who chose to settle in the Deccan rather than at the Mughal court in the north. Although the number of Iranian poets in the Deccan was small, they added to the overall substantial community of émigrés from Iran which included artists and craftsmen as well. The ‘large movement of people from Iranian lands to the Deccan was responsible for materially fulfilling the ideological affiliation that the Deccan sultans had with Persianate lands.’4 The Mughal poet laureate Faizī (d. 1595 AD) was greatly impressed by Zuhūrī when he visited the Deccan in 1591–93 AD, and both poets maintained a correspondence with each other. During the political turmoil following the death of Burhān Shāh II in 1594 AD and the initial stage of the conquest of Ahmadnagar by the Mughals, Zuhūrī followed others like Malik Qummī and the historian Muhammad Qāsim Firishta to the Adilshahi court where the two poets devoted themselves to composing panegyrics for Sultan Ibrāhīm II (r. 1580–1627 AD). It is also said that at this time Zuhūrī was invited to the Mughal court by the Khān-i-khānān but chose not to leave the Deccan.5 In an opening line of a ghazal Zuhūrī proudly declares his attachment to the land: dil shuda vāla-yi Dakan tark-i Dakan namīkunad qibla agar shavad vatan rū bi-vatan namīkunad6 I am enamoured of the Deccan and will never quit it; even if my homeland is the qibla, I will not turn to it.

Zuhūrī passed away in his adopted land in 1616 AD, the same year as Malik Qummī. During his lifetime and after his death Zuhūrī had many admirers in Iran and India, especially for his ghazals, and he is considered as one of the pillars of Indo-Persian poetry. However, the works (in both poetry and prose) that were composed at the Adilshahi court, some co-authored with Malik Qummī, are better known today than his earlier poems dating from his Nizamshahi period. The fact that the poems of both poets are not available in modern editions has seriously hampered the study of Persian literature in the Deccan and our pronouncements on Indo-Persian literature are based on the evidence from the north. A study of their dīvāns reveals the preponderance of botanical imagery

3

J. T. P. de Bruijn, ‘Some Strips of Herbiage: Gardens in Persian Poetry’, in L. Tjon Sie Fat and E. de Jong (eds), The Authentic Garden: A Symposium on Gardens, Leiden: Clusius Foundation, 1991, p. 126. 4 Pushkar Sohoni, ‘Change and Memory in Farah Bagh, Ahmadnagar’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, p. 70. On the mobility of Iranians between north and south India see Omar Khalidi, ‘From Deccan to Hindustan? Gardens in the Deccan and Beyond’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, pp. 42–43. 5 T. N. Devare, A Short History of Persian Literature at the Bahmani, the Adilshahi and the Qutbshahi Courts — Deccan, Poona: S. Devare, 1961, pp. 214–16. 6 Nūr al-Dīn Muhammad Zuhūrī Turshīzī, Dīvān-i Mullā Nūr al-Dīn Zuhūrī, Kanpur: Nawal Kishore, 1879, p. 313.

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as well as the explicit link of gardens to bazaars, and poetry as a commodity that the poets offered to potential buyers.7 Zuhūrī dedicated his Sāqīnāma to Burhān Shāh II (r. 1591–94 AD), although it appears that he began this work earlier,8 which has significant implications for the study of the garden described in it. According to the historian Radhey Shyam, Burhān Shāh II ‘ascended the Nizam Shahi throne in his advanced age, amidst great rejoicings at the capital. Instead of addressing himself to the task which lay ahead, like other feeble and incompetent monarchs, he too gave himself to the pleasure of wine, women and music, ill suited to his old age and dignity.’9 The poet’s relationship with his patron appears to have been a complicated one for reasons that are not entirely clear to us. It would seem that Zuhūrī had lost the favour of the sultan and ‘due to intrigues and machinations of jealous courtiers, the situation deteriorated to such an extent that attempts were made to expel him from the court’; further, ‘though Zuhūrī admits his faults in a general way, their nature is however uncertain’.10 This is corroborated by a section in the poem devoted to the criticism of the times and his peers, as well as a defence of himself where the poet in a conventional fashion laments his sorry state of affairs. He declares that ‘It is alright if the price of my poetry is low; the sorrow is due to the joy of my enviers’ (bahā-yi mutā‘am agar kāsid ast/ghamī nīst gham-i shādī-i hāsid ast).11 In light of this evidence, it seems that Zuhūrī chose to finish the Sāqīnāma at a specific time in the history of the Nizamshahis as a verbal tribute to the accomplishments and harmonious rule of the dynasty, thus ensuring goodwill towards him. It is difficult to glean details of the matter since the hyperbolic quality of his language is in accord with the rhetorical techniques employed in Persian panegyric poetry. Gardens were laid out at the time of the founding of the city of Ahmadnagar.12According to the historian Radhey Shyam, ‘It must be noted here that these rulers [Nizamshahis] were more interested in laying out gardens round the buildings rather then [sic] beautifying them with elaborate carving, etc. They perhaps believed more in simplicity than in ornamentation.’13 The Ahmadnagar fort was constructed after the founding of the dynasty by Ahmad Nizām Shāh (r. 1490–1510 AD). The following description is found in one section of a contemporary chronicle, ‘Description of the Fort of Ahmadnagar’ (zikr-i banā-yi qil‘a-yi Ahmadnagar) by Sayyid ‘Alī Tabātabā’ī, author of the chronicle Burhān-i ma’āsir:

7 For instance, consider the ghazal by Zuhūrī with the refrain shiguft (‘bloomed’), Dīvān, pp. 132–33, where he hints at his precarious situation at the court that is alluded to in Sāqīnāma, as discussed below. 8 Zuhūrī also composed nine panegyric qasīdahs for this ruler in addition to other poems. On their patron-poet relationship see Ahmad, Zuhuri, pp. 93–99; regarding the stages of the composition of the Sāqīnāma, pp. 324–26. Interestingly, the poem also contains a panegyrical section on the ruler of Iran, Shah ‘Abbās I (r. 1587–1629 AD), whose patronage he had sought before his migration to India. It is possible that Zuhūrī may have begun parts of this poem while he was still in Iran; on the other hand, this reference to the Persian monarch would also have accorded well with the Nizamshahis who valourised everything from Iran. 9 Radhey Shyam, The Kingdom of Ahmadnagar, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1966, p. 211. 10 Devare, A Short History of Persian Literature, p. 217. 11 Zuhuri, Sāqīnāma-yi Zuhūrī, Lucknow: Matba‘ Mustafā’ī Muhammad Mustafā Khān, p. 78. 12 For a survey of the buildings and gardens constructed by the Nizamshahis, see Radhey Shyam, The Kingdom of Ahmadnagar, pp. 390–97. 13 Ibid., p. 390.

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Inside the fort were many houses and buildings, gardens filled with paradisial trees and fruits, and its flower garden included varieties of herbs and flowers. The views were picturesque and the charming palaces adorned with domed roofs, the graceful walls were multi-coloured and latticed like the mirror of the satin sky, ornate with red and yellow, the floors decorated with turquoise and lapis lazuli. The palace was like the delightful garden and the fountain and pool were modeled on Kausar and Tasnim. Its air spreads the carpet of joy, its ground bestows the moisture of happiness. It is full of pleasure’s paraphernalia as a mirror reflecting fair bodies. Its flowers are fine musk and its water is rosewater — a happy place and season of youth!14

This elaborate topographical description bears comparison to Zuhūrī’s verses in praise of the buildings in the garden of the Sāqīnāma, preceding his section on the garden. One of the famed gardens of the Nizamshahis was the Bagh-i Hasht Bihisht (‘The Garden of Eight Paradises’): ‘[I]n the beginning it was known as Faiz Bakhsh or the gain giver . … Burhan Nizam Shah [r. 1510–53 AD] named it Hasht Bihisht and made in it eight flower-beds watered by a canal from the Sena and enlivened with singing birds. Murtaza Nizam Shah had a special attraction for it, and he often retired into it to play chess with a Delhi singer.’15 The other more famous garden which has been the subject of more recent scholarship was the Farahbakhsh Bagh (or Farah Bagh): ‘About two miles south east of the city are the ruins of the Farah Bagh, a fine building in the middle of which was a lake. The palace was begun for Burhan Nizam Shah by Changez Khan and finished by Niamat [sic] Khan. When he came to see it Burhan Nizam Shah disliked the design and, instigated by Shah Tahir who was the bitter enemy of Niamat Khan, ordered it to be pulled down and rebuilt. The work was entrusted to Salabat Khan I who died while it was in progress. It was finally finished by Salabat Khan’s nephew, the famous Salabat Khan II in 1583 A.D.’16 Another study of this city emphasises the importance of the complex: ‘More impressive are the courtly buildings on the periphery of the city, Farah Bagh, four kilometres south, is the centrepiece of a grandiose complex completed in 1583.’17 This is presumably the ‘new city’ which Zuhūrī refers to in his poem, although he does not identify any particular sites in his poem. The Mughal envoy Fathullāh Kāshī visited Ahmadnagar at this time

14

The verses quoted here are: havāyash basāt-afgan-i bīghamī/zamīnash tarāvat-dih-i khurramī; labālab zi asbāb-i ishrat chunān/kih āyīna az ‘aks-i sīmīn tanān//gulash mushk-i sārā u ābash gulāb/khushā dar chunīn jā va fasl-i shabāb; Sayyid ‘Alī ibn ‘Aziz Allāh Tabātabā’ī, Burhān-i Ma’āsir, (ed.) Sayyid Hashimi Faridabadi, Haidarabad, Dakkan: Majlis-i Maktubat-i Farsiya, 1355/1936, p. 219. It is curious that Tabātabā’ī does not quote Zuhūrī’s poem or mention him, even though they were at the Nizamshahi court at the same time; elsewhere in the history he quotes verses by Malik Qummī. 15 Shyam, The Kingdom of Ahmadnagar, p. 393. 16 Ibid., p. 395. For the inscription composed to commemorate the finishing of this project, see Pramod B. Gadre, Cultural Archaeology of Ahmadnagar during Nizam Shahi Period, 1494–1632, Delhi: B. R. Publishing Corporation, 1981, pp. 53, 137. 17 George Mitchell and Mark Zebrowski, Architecture and Art of the Deccan Sultanates, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, p. 38. Sohoni, ‘Change and Memory’, p. 69, writes, ‘Most cities in the Deccan in the late15th/early-16th centuries have a walled citadel for the ruling family, which is situated on the edge of the walled city. However, Ahmadnagar is unusual in this regard as compared to Gulbarga, Bidar, Golconda, or Daulatabad. The royal citadel is the Ahmadnagar fort and the walled city is at a distance of a few kilometers from the fort’.

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and the historian Tabātabā’ī describes the feast that was held in the garden on the occasion, quoting Malik Qummī’s qasīda in praise of the complex.18 Zuhūrī’s Sāqīnāma was part of a literary vogue in the genre that continued through the 16th and 17th centuries in the entire Persianate world.19 Malik Qummī also composed a sāqīnāma but his work is shorter and includes only the conventional topics of this genre.20 Zuhūrī found this poetic genre that dealt with issues of Iranian kingship and ethical issues by way of addressing the sāqī (cup-bearer) and mutrib (minstrel) to be conducive to his purpose, and he transformed what would usually be a shorter poem into a complex work of about 4,500 lines, that is, virtually a handbook to court life and public spaces of the Nizamshahi realm. This was a masterful achievement unmatched by any other poet in the tradition, although many tried to emulate him. Zuhūrī skillfully combined various poetic forms such as the amatory ghazal along with topoi such as wine, boast, panegyric, and shahrāshūb (praise of a city and its inhabitants) in his sāqīnāma. The first part of the work is centred on the figures of the wine-server and minstrel, as was conventional with this poetic genre, and describes various accoutrements of a royal assembly such as pān (betel-leaf), wine, candles and lamps, and dancers. These are interspersed with panegyric utterances to his patron and sultan Burhān Shāh II, and his mentor, the poet Malik Qummī. In the second part of the work, his focus is on the city of Ahmadnagar, an appropriate subject for a panegyric work. As Ebba Koch has shown in the case of the Mughal city of Agra, ‘The city reflected the concept of the garden as primordial residence of the Mughal dynasty and, in a wider ideological sense, served as a symbol of the flowering of Hindustan under the just rule of Shah Jahan.’21 In the case of the Nizamshahi rulers, they actually did use their gardens as residences, as well as places of entertainment.22 In describing the ideal city, Zuhūrī uses botanic metaphors, such as when he says, ‘The city’s skirt is full of tulips and verdure/it is paradisial spring in the city’s collar’ (pur az lāla u sabza dāman-i shahr/bahār-i iram dar garībān-i shahr).23 In the panegyric part of his poem, Zuhūrī makes a pact of fidelity with the sultan: ‘The world is my rose garden due to your nature, a place other than

18

Tabātabā’ī, Burhān-i Ma’āsir, pp. 538–39. Malik Qummī’s poem of 26 lines praises the whole complex, along with the sultan, and is not directly about the garden. On the occasion of a visit to it by Sultan Murtazā in 1584 the Bagh-i Farahbakhsh is further described on p. 542, where a few lines of a masnavī are quoted without attributing them to any poet. On Faizī’s description of the garden, see Omar Khalidi , ‘From Deccan to Hindustan?’, p. 46. 19 The origins of this genre are discussed in my article ‘Hāfiz’s Sāqīnāmah: The Genesis and Transformation of a Classical Poetic Genre’, Persica, vol. 18, 2002, pp. 75–83; see also Paul Losensky, s.v. ‘Sāqi-nāma’, Encyclopaedia Iranica, www.iranica.com, accessed on 29 March 2011. For a survey of Persian literature produced under Nizamshah patronage, see Shyam, The Kingdom of Ahmadnagar, pp. 378–90. 20 An anthology of sāqīnāmas was prepared in the early 17th century at the Mughal court by Mullā ‘Abd alNabī Fakhr al-Zamānī Qazvīnī, Maikhāna, (ed.) Muhammad Shafī‘, Lahore: Attar Chand Kapur and Sons, 1926; selections from Zuhūrī’s poem are on pp. 267–321, and Malik Qummī’s poem on pp. 262–67. Also see the modern appendix to this work by Ahmad Gulchīn-Ma‘ānī, Tazkira-yi Paimāna, Mashhad: Dānishgāh-i Mashhad, 1359/1980. The poet from the Shāh Jahān period, Fānī Kashmīrī’s sāqīnāma, in imitation of Zuhūrī’s poem, describes the landscape of Kashmir, including its gardens, a temple, and a pān-seller; ibid., pp. 325–62. 21 Ebba Koch, The Complete Taj Mahal and the Riverfront Gardens of Agra, London: Thames & Hudson, 2006, p. 23. 22 Sohoni, ‘Change and Memory’, p. 68. 23 Zuhuri, Sāqīnāma, p. 112.

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your lane is a prison for me’ (zi khalq-i tu ‘ālam gulistān-i man/jahān ghair-i kū-yi tu zindān-i man).24 Thus, an analysis of the garden in Zuhūrī’s Sāqīnāma is inextricably linked to his larger representation of the city, both in terms of the former being a vital component of the urban space but also because of the rhetorical and metaphorical language he employs throughout the poem. Scholars have also tended to emphasise the nature of Persian gardens as verdant spaces that are in contrast to the hostile and dry wasteland on the other side of the wall;25 however, in Indo-Persian poetry, given the nature of the benign geographic terrain, this opposition is given up in favour of integrating the garden into a larger cityscape.26 In her study on the allegorical meaning of gardens in Persian poetry, Julie Meisami has argued for a connection between three poetic spaces: nature’s garden of love (macrocosm), court (body politic), and wine shop and its garden (microcosm), where ‘an allusion to any of these dimensions implies, by virtue of this system of correspondences, the other two.’27 In Zuhūrī’s poem the garden and tavern are both microcosms and the city functions as a macrocosm, all being places that owe their flourishing state and joy to the body politic. The city also becomes the beloved, there being no protagonist in that role in such a poem and the analogical correspondence then can be made between the beloved/city and the patron. In the second portion of the work Zuhūrī’s promenade through the city begins with the private spaces of the courtly assembly (majlis) and tavern (maikhāna), both places where wine-drinking takes place. Then he proceeds to a promenade of various public spaces in the city, mentioning other important things connected to them: qil‘a (fort), tūp (canon), razm (battle), fīl (elephant), asp (horse), shamshīr (sword), shahr-i nau (the new city), langar (the almshouse), garmāba (hot bath), masjid (mosque), ‘imārāt (buildings), bāgh (garden), anba (mango), and bāzār (bazaar).28 In describing the general features of the city he anticipates the garden that he will describe later. The bazaar section, comprising 135 lines that describe the lively public life and the various classes of people to be found in the city, is compared to a garden as well: ‘What can I say of the ways of the bazaars? They are not bazaars, but fresh rose gardens’ (chi gūyam zi ā’īn-i bāzārhā/na bāzārhā tāza gulzārhā).29 The third and final section of the work is devoted to the art of poetry. At the end of his catalogue of buildings and just before the section on the garden, Zuhūrī describes a palace in 20 lines,30 which would seem to be the pavilion in the garden complex of Farah Bagh. 24

Ibid., p. 74. de Bruijn, ‘Some Strips of Herbiage’, p. 123; W. L. Hanaway, “Bāğ, in Persian Literature,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, vol. 3, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1989, p. 396. de Bruijn discusses the Ghaznavid poet Manūchihrī’s interest in the open countryside along with the garden; it is also significant that ‘trees, flowers and birds are foremost in his interest, animals far less so. Atmospherical phenomena like wind, rain, thunderstorms and, occasionally, falling stars provide dramatic elements to his tableaux’; ibid., p. 127. 26 This goes back as far as Amīr Khusrau’s poetry, such as the ideal garden described in the romance Khizr Khān Duval Rānī that includes both Persian and Indian flowers, the best of Khurasan and Hindustan. 27 Julie S. Meisami, ‘Allegorical Gardens in the Persian Poetic Tradition: Nezami, Rumi, Hafez’, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 17, no. XX , 1985, p. 253. 28 Gadre discusses the archaeological remains of a topkhāna, hamām and garden in the environs of Ahmadnagar; cf., idem, Cultural Archaeology of Ahmadnagar, pp. 52, 190. 29 Zuhūrī, Sāqīnāma, pp. 121–22. For the bazaar and commerce as topos in poetry, especially with reference to the shahrāshūb genre, see Sunil Sharma, ‘The City of Beauties in the Indo-Persian Landscape’, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, vol. 24, no. 2, 2004, pp. 73–81. 30 Zuhūrī, Sāqīnāma, pp. 117–18. 25

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The loftiness of the structure and magnificent view from it are special features of the building31 that makes it more resplendent than the Persian prince Bahrām Gūr’s fabled palace of Khavarnaq, as found in Nizāmī’s romance, Haft Paykar (‘The Seven Portraits’); indeed ‘its solidity is the stuff of legends’ (matānat shavad āla-yi dāstān). The heavens are in an uproar about this latter-day Qasr-i Shīrīn that was sculpted by the legendary lover Farhād in another of Nizāmī’s romance, Khusrau u Shīrīn. Zuhūrī employs a series of architectural terms woven into a hyperbolic praise of its qualities: īvān (vaulted hall), tāq (arch), pīshtāq (portal), muqarnas (inlaid or painted), rivāq (portico), saqf (ceiling), and jidār (door). The paintings on the wall and ceiling are a garden unto themselves that include roses and tulips (zi bustān-i tasvīr saqf u jidār/gul u lāla dar jaib-i bāgh u bahār). The Manilike painter with his magic has also painted beautiful beloveds (khūbān-i khātirfarīb) and waterfowl (murghāb) on the walls that appear to be so real to the viewer. The doors are also painted, perhaps with floral motifs, like the hearts of the mystically-minded, for gardens upon gardens open up to them (chi darhā chu lauh-i dil-i ahl-i rāz/chu gulzār bar rū-yi gulzār bāz). This then provides the transition to the garden itself. When it comes to the actual composition of the garden Julie Meisami writes that a Persian garden included ‘those elements that man finds most pleasing in nature. Its essential features included running water (perhaps the most important element) and a pool to reflect the beauties of sky and garden; trees of various sorts, some to provide shade merely and others to produce fruits; flowers, colourful and sweet-smelling; grass, usually growing wild under the trees; birds to fill the garden with song; the whole cooled by a pleasant breeze.’32 Not surprisingly, these are the very features to be found in Zuhūrī’s garden. This section of the poem (on the bāgh or gulzār, according to variant headings) consists of 31 lines in the lithographed edition although there are minor textual variations among the various manuscripts.33 The garden described here is primarily a place for pleasure, as the opening line emphasises the setting of the poem with the words ‘ishrat (pleasure) and nashāt ( joy). The botanical images and metaphors that are employed are commonplace in Persian literature and there is no particular detail that specifies a particularly Indian garden. In fact, it is clear that this is both a generic and an ideal Persian garden, albeit in an Indo-Persian landscape. The flowers that are found in the garden are: gul (rose), nīlūfar (water-lily), lāla (tulip), saman (jasmine), nargis (narcissus), sūsan (lily), banafsha (violet), shaqā’iq (anemone), all frequently encountered in Persian literature.

31

This loftiness is perhaps more than poetic hyperbole. In his discussion of pleasure palaces and garden pavilions in the Arab and Iranian context, Dominic P. Brookshaw writes: ‘Height was as important for the Persians as it had been for the ‘Abbāsids, and kiosks are often described in the texts as “lofty” (usually, ‘ālī) and reaching to the heavens. Tall pavilions provided excellent views over the city and surrounding countryside, their imposing height displaying the power of the ruler/patron and inspiring on-lookers with awe. To take full advantage of a pavilion’s height, majālis were often held on the roof, an excellent vantage point for contemplating the beauty of the surroundings whilst drinking’; idem, ‘Palaces, Pavilions and Pleasure-gardens: The Context and Setting of the Medieval Majlis’, Middle Eastern Literatures, vol. 6, no. 2, 2003, p. 206. 32 Meisami, ‘Allegorical Gardens’, p. 231. 33 I have also consulted two British Library manuscripts of the Sāqīnāma to compare the text: Add. 26,167 is dated AD 1640; the other, Or. 338, is an 18th century manuscript that contains 11 illustrations, one of which is reproduced in this article (Plate 8.1). In addition to the garden illustration, there are courtly scenes of drinking and entertainment, one of the bazaar in the walled city, horses and elephants, a hunting scene, and one of a mango tree.

Plate 8.1 Plan of a garden, Nūr al-Dīn Muhammad Zuhūrī Turshīzī, Sāqīnāma. From every side come the cries of birds, Intoxicated by the goblet of the fiery rose/ The mellifluous lily has prayer on its tongue for the praise of the king.

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In addition, the fragrant herb raihān (basil) finds a place here too. Trees that are mentioned are sarv (cypress) and sanaubar (pine). Courtly metaphors of wine-drinking and characteristics of the beloved are combined with botanical references, and the whole tone is one of joy, reflecting the felicitous state of the city, as the opening lines of the section indicate: ‘The carpet of pleasure is spread in the rose-garden; the roses can hardly contain themselves in joy’ (bi-gulzārash afganda ‘ishrat-basāt/ nagunjad dar pūst gul az nashāt). The season is one of spring and the zephyr wafts through the garden as if drunk. Signs of beauty (āsār-i husn) are manifest on the flowers and leaves while the fragrance of the flowers and herbs fills the air. Dewdrops on the plants are compared to pearls (durr), adding to the richness of the scene. The presence of ardent nightingales (hazārān) moves the hearts of buds, introducing the theme of love into the scene. In courtly poetry, the beloved’s drunken eyes are usually compared to a narcissus (nargis); here the nargis itself is used in a reverse metaphor, where the flower stands in for the beloved’s eyes: ‘By its winking the intoxicated narcissus glances at the eyes of the drunken beloved’ (bi-chashmak-zanī nargis-i pur khumār/nazar karda bi-nargis-i mast-i yār). Even the chirping birds are drunk from the fiery wine-like rose ( gul-i ātashīn). The sweet-talking lily (pasandīda-gū sūsan) is full of praise for the king (zi madh-i shahash minnatī bar zabān). There are similarities between botany and items of royal insignia: the rosebush (gulbun), which is a peacock parasol, and the bud (ghuncha), which is a Persian crown (tāj-i kāvūsī). The quality of being moist (tar) is introduced here, a connection being made between the fresh flowers and the viewer’s glance that is thirsty for the moisture. The limpid water reflects the colours of the flowers and makes the ground like Chinese silk (dībā-yi Chīn); additionally the lustre bestows purity (safā) on the soul (ravān, also meaning ‘flowing’), washes the rust from the hearts of the sorrowful ( ghamgīn) and dazzles the eye. If the eloquent tongue becomes tongue-tied, it expresses palatable meanings (agar lāl gardad azū tar zabān/kunad ma‘nī-i khushgavārī bayān). Even the sun does not dare remove its reflection from the water, where the fish swim about as if in the water of permanence (āb-i baqā). Everywhere the truthful dawn (haqqānī subhdam) is bright and the breeze of paradise (havā-yi iram) blows in a garden that is always bright, fresh and moist, all signs of spring (nau-bahār). The poet asks rhetorically: When the spring month of Khurdād does gardening here, how can there be autumn in Ābān? The trees have never seen autumn here and are youthful like the hopes of the old. The fruitladen trees of that place are prostrate in thanksgiving (dirakhtān-i pur bār-i ān sarzamīn/pay-yi sajda-yi shukr sar bar zamīn). The cypress and rose are so ravishing and joyful that the dove and nightingale have become rivals. The pine is all praises of the dove and the mango blossom has spread its wings around the sapling like a moth over a candle. The next section (dar ta‘rīf-i anba) comprises 27 lines of praise to the mango tree that is singled out of the whole garden as having pride of place in an Indian garden, just as a cypress would in a Persian garden. Incidentally, both historians of the Ahmadnagar court — Firishta and Tabātabā’ī — mention the large number of mango trees in the Farahbakhsh garden.34 Zuhūrī uses amatory language to describe a single fruit on the branch of a tree: bi-shākh anba bar barg ghalatān bi-nāz/chu tūtī parī dar qafas karda bāz nihālash chunān dilkash u dilrubā/kazū musht bar sīna kūbad havā On the branch the mango tosses around among the leaves coquettishly, like a caged parrot unfurling its wing. Its sapling is so ravishing and charming that the air beats its breast.

34

Khalidi, ‘From Deccan to Hindustan?’, p. 45.

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Its freshness (tāzagī, shādābī) is a quality that puts nature to shame, and even the basil (raihān) of the garden that was praised above is mere dry brush (khas-i khushk). But ‘if the king should turn a reproachful glance at it, the branch becomes ashamed out of fear’ (gar bīnadash shah bi-chashm-i ‘atāb/ shavad gurda-yi shākh az bīm āb), but also playing on gurda/garda the king’s glance makes an unripe mango juicy and ripe. Epic imagery is also brought to play here as the mango resembles a mace (gurz) on the shoulders that are branches during an assault of autumn in the orchard (būstān). The mango appears to be green and unripe, enticing to the beholder. He goes on to compare its verdure (sabzī) to the down of the beloved and the lustre of an emerald. Its freshness and moisture rejuvenates the leaves of the tree, while its fragrance, superior to the apple of the chin (sīb-i zaqan), is contained in saffron. Its honey-like sweetness is such that no one in the world has experienced it. Sated with the sensory experiences of the garden and orchard the poet moves on to the sights of the bazaar.35 A few years after completing the Sāqīnāma, when Zuhūrī finally received the recognition he had been seeking at the court of the Adilshahis in Bijapur, he had the occasion to praise the new garden city of Nauraspur founded by Sultan Ibrāhīm II (r. AD 1580–1627) in AD 1599. Nauraspur was planned on a much more ambitious scale than Ahmadnagar, although the ethos behind the use of this urban space was similar: ‘Ibrahim and his advisors seem to have designed the city principally as a physical embodiment of, and space in which to enact, the prevailing courtly culture centring around poetry, music, knowledge, and above all else, words.’36 In his prosimetrum panegyric essay ‘Khān-i khalīl’ (The Bounteous Spread) that forms part three of Sih Nasr (Three Prose Pieces), two of which were co-authored with the senior Malik Qummī, one finds the usual praise of the gardens and buildings of Nauraspur.37 In the first essay ‘Nauras’, while describing the actual manuscript of the Kitāb-i Nauras, the book of songs that was composed by sultan Ibrāhīm, Zuhūrī uses garden imagery to praise the object: The view of it is a flower-garden, and the blackness of its script is lit up by its whiteness. Every page is a meadow and every line a date palm, the attractive words are its leaves, and the clear meanings its fruit. The nightingale of eloquence declaims over the delicacy of the rose of writing, and the gaze of viewers is ensnared by the flow of its fresh expressions. The hyacinth of its letters is from the sigh of the impatient and the violet of its dots is from the moles of the beloveds. The brook of its lines is filled with the water of life from the sprinkling of its fresh words. Khizr is thirsty for the moisture of its style; Jesus dies for its life-giving breath. If we touch the edge of a leaf with the finger, every page will begin to tell a hundred tales.38

35

For a discussion of the bazaar section of the work, see Sharma, ‘City of Beauties’, pp. 74–75. For the founding of the city, see Deborah Hutton, Art of the Court of Bijapur, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006, pp. 107ff. The notion of an ideal city is used for Nauraspur too: ‘The 1565–68 building campaign of Bijapur city and the founding of Nauraspur also were intended to create ideal spaces removed from insecurities and harsh actualities’, ibid., p. 160. 37 There is no critical edition of the Sih nasr. I have used the text as found in Part III of Muhammad ‘Abd’ul Ghani, A History of Persian Language & Literature at the Mughal Court, Allahabad: The Indian Press, 1930, pp. 307–467. An English translation is also included here. 38 Ibid., p. 311. For the various connotations of the term nauras, see Devare, pp. 99–100; Hutton, Art of the Court of Bijapur, p. 110. 36

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In addition to this, while describing the garden of Nauraspur, there are 10 lines in verse (in masnavī form) that are directly quoted from the Sāqīnāma, from both the garden and mango sections.39 Thus, this reuse of the poet’s own verses provides a clue to the generic quality of the gardens described that could be applied to almost any garden at will. A significant modification is in line three where Zuhūrī has changed the fruit anba (mango) to chanpa (or champa, Magnolia champaca, a distinctly Indian flower that is not part of the conventional Persian garden) from the last line of the garden section in the Sāqīnāma, as he transitions to the mango section. As mentioned above, Zuhūrī had been working on the Sāqīnāma for a decade; perhaps he had already used portions of it, for at the end of the work he answers the critics on this charge and defends the vintage quality of his verses with a comparison to wine. He also propounds his views on the art of poetry as a conclusion to the work using garden imagery: bi mulk-i sukhan dar jahān-i khiyāl/bar ān bāghbān bāghbānī halāl kih chūn mīva-yi bāgh-i īn kākh chīd/bi-fikr-i buland az sar-i shākh chīd bināzad bi-ān bāghbān rūzgār/ki bā gulbunash ‘ishq varzad bahār bi-bustān-i mauzūn’ī-qadd-i shāh/bi-bālā-yi tūbā rasānam giyāh damānīda tab‘am bi-harf-i chaman/bi-lafz-i khasak ma‘nī-i nastaran 40 In poetry’s land and imagination’s world, gardening is permissible to the gardener Who picked this palace-garden’s fruits from the branches with lofty mind. The world is proud of that gardener on whose rose-bush spring showers love. I will convey the plant higher than the Tuba tree in the king’s tall harmonious orchard. My poetic talent with gardens will make the twig into an elegantine.

The work proves to the patron and the readers that Zuhūrī is the most able gardener whom the Nizamshahi should value. However, there is not much evidence about how the work was received at the time, especially by the sultan. Nowhere in his work does Zuhūrī mention the name of a specific garden, even though it would have been very easy to incorporate the word(s) farah-bakhsh; nor does he mention the city of Ahmadnagar. It is through the dedicatee of the work Sultan Burhān Shāh II and the context of the composition of the poem that it can be connected to the actual garden. Reading the garden section in the context of the entire work aids us in understanding that it is one piece of the mosaic that formed the panorama of the new city.41 Approaching literary texts with the expectation of finding

39 Ghani, A History of Persian Literature, pp. 403–4. Other verses from the Sāqīnāma are also reused by Zuhūrī in various sections of the Sih nasr. A more detailed comparison of the two texts will bring out the extent to which Zuhūrī recycled his earlier work in Bijapur. 40 Zuhūrī, Sāqīnāma, p. 217. 41 Shāh Jahān’s poet laureate Abū Tālib Kalīm (d. AD 1650) composed a masnavī of 237 lines on Akbarabad (Agra) that would seem to have been inspired by Zuhūrī’s poem. Kalīm’s work is a panoramic tour of the city in verse, with praise for the magnificent building complexes sponsored by the emperor, people of the bazaar, and ending with a description of the garden of Princess Jahānārā and a dedication to the empress Mumtāz Mahal. For a discussion of the poem and the list of flowers included, including many Indian ones, see Koch, The Complete Taj Mahal, p. 41, who judiciously concludes that ‘Persian poetics have their own conventions, so one does not know for certain whether these flowers really grew in the garden or whether Kalīm speaks of some ideal poetic vegetation. But since he names indigenous plants, and since he is generally inclined to include realistic observations in his verses, we can assume that he gives us here a rare glimpse of the flowers that were to be seen in an imperial Agra garden in the second quarter of the 17th century’, ibid., p. 41.

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specific and detailed information about the garden, or for that matter any other place or object, is a counter-productive exercise that ignores the conventions of classical Persian poetry.42 W. L. Hanaway explains, ‘Descriptions of gardens, however, are so conventionalised that they are non-distinctive, the only specific detail being the date of the event expressed in a chronogram.’43 The Persian court poet was more concerned with the act of writing and ultimately the garden becomes metaphor for the very act of composing poetry. In addition to the literariness of the text, its historical and social background is a more useful gauge of the meaning of the work. As we have seen, a Deccani narrative masnavī ‘may be read as a procession of gardens centred on the conception of love’, Zuhūrī’s work is a procession of urban spaces centred on the conception of praise. In Persian poetry, ‘gardens are places … for anyone who wants to be free from the restraints of society and who looks upon the powers of the world with scornful pity’,44 and the writing of the poem offered the poet a chance to vindicate himself and display his mastery. Although the garden served ‘as political metaphor for a golden age’,45 by his polysemic poetic language and direct exhortations to his patron Zuhūrī seems to suggest that that golden age has dawned except for the problem of his standing at court. It has been noticed that ‘the role of gardens and garden pavilions in the urban development of Ahmadnagar is quite undeniable’.46 However, as we know, the Nizamshahi utopia was brought to an end by the Mughals and the poet packed up and left to praise a new utopian city that would also be short-lived.

References Brookshaw, Dominic P., ‘Palaces, Pavilions and Pleasure-Gardens: The Context and Setting of the Medieval Majlis’, Middle Eastern Literatures, vol. 6, no. 2, 2003, pp. 199–223. de Bruijn, J. T. P., ‘Some Strips of Herbiage: Gardens in Persian Poetry’, in L. Tjon Sie Fat and E. de Jong (eds), The Authentic Garden: A Symposium on Gardens, Leiden: Clusius Foundation, 1991, pp. 123–30. Devare, T. N., A Short History of Persian Literature at the Bahmani, the Adilshahi and the Qutbshahi Courts — Deccan, Poona: S. Devare, 1961. Gadre, Pramod B., Cultural Archaeology of Ahmadnagar during Nizam Shahi Period, 1494–1632, Delhi: B. R. Publishing, 1981. Ghani, Muhammad ‘Abd’ul, A History of Persian Language & Literature at the Mughal Court, Allahabad: The Indian Press, 1930.

42

For example, consider W. M. Thackston’s view: ‘Typical of Mughal garden description is an overriding tendency to dwell upon architectural monuments at the expense of scenery and plantings’; idem, ‘Mughal Gardens in Persian Poetry’, in James L. Wescoat and Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn (eds), Mughal Gardens: Sources, Places, Representations, and Prospects, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1996, p. 249. Historians also express their frustration at poetry: ‘The works of contemporary Persian poets at the court of Ahmadnagar are of little use in reconstructing the social history’, Gadre, Cultural Archaeology of Ahmadnagar, p. 199. 43 Hanaway, ‘Bāğ’, p. 395. 44 de Bruijn, ‘Some Strips of Herbiage’, p. 123. 45 Koch, The Complete Taj Mahal, p. 24. 46 Sohoni, ‘Change and Memory in Farah Bagh, Ahmadnagar’, p. 69.

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Hanaway, W. L., ‘Bāğ’, Encyclopaedia Iranica, vol. 3, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1989. Hutton, Deborah, Art of the Court of Bijapur, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006. Khalidi, Omar, ‘From Deccan to Hindustan? Gardens in the Deccan and Beyond’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, 42–58. Koch, Ebba, The Complete Taj Mahal and the Riverfront Gardens of Agra, London: Thames & Hudson, 2006. Losensky, Paul, ‘Sāqi-nāma’, Encyclopaedia Iranica, www.iranica.com, accessed on 29 March 2011. Meisami, Julie S., ‘Allegorical Gardens in the Persian Poetic Tradition: Nezami, Rumi, Hafez’, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 17, no. 2, 1985, pp. 229–60. Michell, George, and Mark Zebrowski, Architecture and Art of the Deccan Sultanates, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Sharma, Sunil, ‘Hafiz’s Sāqīnāmah: The Genesis of a Classical Poetic Genre’, Persica, vol. 18, 2002, pp. 75–83. ———, ‘The City of Beauties in the Indo-Persian Landscape’, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, vol. 24, no. 2, 2004, pp. 73–81. Shyam, Radhey, The Kingdom of Ahmadnagar, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt Ltd, 1966. Sohoni, Pushkar, ‘Change and Memory in Farah Bagh, Ahmadnagar’, Deccan Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 2007, pp. 59–77. Storey, C. A., Persian Literature: A Bio-Bibliographical Survey, London: Royal Asiatic Society, 1990. Tabātabā’ī, Sayyid ‘Ali ibn ‘Aziz Allah, Burhān-i Ma‘āsir, (ed.) Sayyid Hashimi Faridabadi, Haidarabad, Dakkan: Majlis-i Maktubat-i Farsiya, 1355/1936. Thackston, W. M., ‘Mughal Gardens in Persian Poetry’, in James L. Wescoat and Joachim Wolschke-Bulmahn (eds), Mughal Gardens: Sources, Places, Representations, and Prospects, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1996, pp. 233–57. Zuhuri Turshāzi, Nur al-Din Muhammad, Sāqīnāma-yi Zuhūrī, Lucknow: Matba‘ Mustafā’ī Muhammad Mustafā Khān, 1844. ———, Dīvān-i Mullā Nūr al-Dīn Zuhūrī, Kanpur: Naval Kishore, 1879.

9

Heavenly Gardens: Astrology and Magic in the Garden Culture of the Medieval Deccan EMMA J. FLATT

This article is a preliminary and tentative examination of some of the ways in which the theories and practices of astrology and magic current in the medieval Deccan affected how gardens were designed, used, enjoyed, and understood. In approaching a subject as vast and complex as that of the history of astrological theory and practice, the ideas put forward here are no more than initial attempts to understand how a network of intersecting, competing and sometimes contradictory intellectual trends, beliefs and understandings rooted in a variety of differing, sometimes antagonistic, cultural and religious systems were negotiated and put into practice by individuals through the physical and metaphorical site of the garden. Without attempting to unravel the complex nexus of ideas about astrology and magic into their constituent ‘original’ parts or identifying influences of particular schools of astrology, this essay aims to consider how a wide variety of ideas about astrology and magic, regardless of their source, came to inform gardens and garden culture in the medieval Deccan. It focuses on Persian-language materials produced in the courts of the 16th Century Deccani sultanates, particularly Ahmadnagar, Bijapur and Golconda, although much of what is suggested here may be applicable to other geographical areas or time periods. Certainly the Persian-language sources that deal with astrology resist facile classification of particular ideas as Hindu/Muslim; indeed, as Pingree has shown, the history of astrology has been so characterised by the continual cross-fertilisation, exportation and re-importation of Hellenic, Indic, Sassanian, and Islamic ideas from the earliest times to make such an attempt of little value.1 Although this is not the place for a discussion of the position of astrology within medieval Islamic thought, a couple of points should be highlighted. Whilst astrology had many critics throughout the medieval period, including al-Ghazzāli and Ibn al-Jawzī, it also found many supporters and was

1

David Pingree, ‘Astronomy and Astrology in India and Iran’, Isis, vol. 54, no. 2, 1963, pp. 229–46. In my research I have relied heavily on the work of the polymathic and erudite scholar, David Pingree, historian of Exact Sciences whose scholarship is unique in that he defined his field of study as the scientific and cultural thought of the entire ancient and medieval world, rather than restricting himself to one region. This breadth of research enabled him to draw links across geographical and linguistic barriers.

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certainly not universally considered heretical.2 According to the 12th century ‘Mirror for Princes’, the Chahār Maqāla (‘The Four Discourses’) of Nizāmī ‘Arūzī, an astrologer was one of the four essential courtiers that no king should be without.3 Rebutting charges that by allowing planets to influence the world they were limiting God’s absolute omnipotence, supporters of astrology claimed that the heavens were the key to divine secrets or were agents of the divine will which could become known to man through expert interpretation by the initiated. Nuanced arguments were put forward to prove that astrology was not polytheism: God was said to exercise his control over the universe by endowing the heavens with powers but subjugating them entirely to his will.4 Given its potential to manifest the divine will, astrology became particularly popular in esoteric Shi‘ite thought, especially among those influenced by the Ikhwān al-Safā (‘Brethren of Purity’).5 Within the Islamic tradition, four different kinds of astrology can be identified.6 In this article, I concentrate mainly on catarchic astrology, which is the determination (from an examination of the situation of the heavens) of whether or not a particular moment is suitable for the commencement of a particular act. According to Pingree, this kind of astrology has close affinities with the branch of astrology known as Muhūrtaśāstra (the ‘science of signs and omens’) in the Sanskrit tradition.7 It is through catarchic, rather than deterministic, astrology that an interface is created between astrology and magic since the premise of catarchic astrology is that humans can take control of their own fate by choosing an auspicious rather than an inauspicious moment to commence a particular action. Furthermore, just as geometry provided the means for ascertaining the configurations of the stars and the relationships between them, magic was one outcome of understanding these relationships.8 In order to consider how astrology impinged on the garden culture of the Deccan, this article begins with an analysis of an event that took place in the kingdom of Ahmadnagar in the reign of Murtazā Nizām Shāh (r.1565–88 AD).

2

Compare John W. Livingstone, ‘Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah: A Fourteenth Century Defense against Astrological Divination and Alchemical Transmutation’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 91, no.1, 1971, pp. 96–103; and Robert G. Mourison, ‘The Portrayal of Nature in a Medieval Qur’an Commentary’, Studia Islamica, no. 94, 2002, pp. 115–37. 3 See Nizāmi ‘Arūḍī Samarqandi, The Chahār Maqāla (Four Discourses) of Nizāmi ‘Arūḍī-Samarqandi, trans. from Persian by Edward G. Browne, London: Luzac, 1900. 4 Mourison, ‘Portrayal of Nature’, pp. 123ff. 5 The Ikhwān al-Safā were an esoteric group based in Basra in the 10th and 11th centuries who expounded their teachings based on a mixture of Qur‘anic, Aristotelian and Neoplatonic ideas in a compendium of 52 letters known as the Rasā’īl Ikhwān al-Safā. See Ian Richard Netton, http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/rep/H051, accessed on 1 May 2007. 6 The other three are: ‘genethlialogy’, which relates the situation of the heavens at the moment of an individual’s nativity to all aspects of his life; ‘general astrology’, which relates the situation of the heavens at particularly significant moments (e.g., an eclipse) to events affecting broad classes of people, nations or the entire world; and ‘interrogatory astrology’, which answers specific questions (e.g., regarding the state of someone’s health) on the basis of the situation of the heavens at the time of the question. 7 Pingree, ‘Astrology and Astronomy’. 8 Julie Scott Meisami, ‘Introduction’, in Nizami Ganjavi, The Haft Paykar: A Medieval Persian Romance, trans. from Persian by Julie Scott Meisami, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.

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The Triangles of the Bagh-i gh-i Farah Baksh According to the Nizām Shāhi historian Tabātabā’ī, it was following a victory over ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh I of Bijapur that Murtazā Nizām Shāh conferred the office of chāshnīgīr (‘taster’) and the title of Khān on his favourite, Husain Khān Simnānī.9 Epigraphic evidence from Ahmadnagar suggests the significant power and wealth that Ni‘mat Khān’s new office carried: besides his own palace and garden, he built a charity house, mosque and cistern for public use in AD 1562–63; 10 constructed the Ni‘mat Khāni estate comprising confectionary shops, a caravansarai, hammam, mosque, and bazaar; and endowed this estate for public use in AD 1572–73, providing for the upkeep of the mosque and canals through the income of the Na‘im garden in the nearby village of Savar.11 His name is also associated with the construction of the aqueducts of Bhingar, Bhandara, Nepti, and Nimbgaon.12 In AD 1576, Murtazā Nizām Shāh ordered Ni‘mat Khān to construct a garden and a subterranean canal. Ni‘mat Khān engaged himself in this task and, according to Tabātabā’ī, ‘after a few days such a garden and edifices were built that the highest paradise melted in the fire of envy’.13 An inscription in Ahmadnagar states that the garden was named Farah Bakhsh (‘Joy Bestowing’) on account of the pleasantness of its water and air.14 However, the garden was not a success. The historian Firishta, at that time a noble in the Nizām Shāhi court, states blandly that: When Murtazā Nizām Shan went to that garden for amusement, it did not appeal to him […] he dismissed Ni‘mat Khān from the post of superintendent of that Garden and instructed Salābat Khān to pull down the building on which immense sums of money had been spent, and constructed another in its place.15

9 Khwajah Husain Shāh, son of Malik Mubin Khwajah Jalal al-Din al-Samnāni. See Epigraphia Indo-Moslemica (hereafter EIM), (ed.) Ghulam Yazdani, 1935–36, p. 38. 10 Inscription fixed on Mangalwar Gate. See EIM, Suppl. 1933–34, pp. 10–11; Pramode B. Gadre, Cultural Archaeology of Ahmadnagar during the Nizam Shāhi Period (1492–1632), Delhi: B. R. Publishing Corporation, 1986, p. 117. The dates of this inscription contradict Tabataba’i’ assertion that Ni’mat Khan received his title from Murtaza Nizam Shah (r. AD 1565–88), which substantiates the argument made below that Tabataba’i uses this anecdote to criticise an ‘uneducated’ courtier, rather than recounting historical facts. 11 Inscription on Mangalwar Gate, EIM, Suppl., 1933–34, p. 11. An Arabic inscription on the same gate carries a similar inscription perhaps referring to the same caravanserai and cistern, although written 5 years later; cf. EIM, 1935–36, p. 38. 12 See Gadre, Cultural Archaeology, pp. 50, 121. According to Gadre, the Nepti and Nimbgaon aqueducts were to provide water for his palace and garden. The Bombay Gazetteer attributes the building of the Behram Khāni and the Bena Palace to Ni‘mat Khān, the latter to celebrate his marriage in AD 1570; ibid., p. 53. 13 Sayyid ‘Alī ibn ‘Azīz Allāh Tabātabā’ī, Burhān-i Ma‘āsir, (ed.) Sayyid Hāshimī Farīdābādī, Haidarabad, Dakkan: Majlis-i Makhtūtāt-i Fārsīya, 1355/1936, p. 492, my trans. 14 The inscription is now attached to the wall of Chingiz Khān’s palace in Ahmadnagar; see EIM, Suppl., 1933–34, pp. 10-11, and Gadre, Cultural Archaeology, pp. 113ff: ‘Its name, on account of the pleasantness of its water and air, became Farah Bakhsh, may it be known thus! As Ni‘mat Khān made efforts for the foundation of this garden, May his efforts be commended! I sought its date from Wisdom, He said “O God, keep it inhabited till eternity [984]”.’ 15 Muhammad Qāsim Hindu Shāh Firishta, Tārīkh-i Firishta, (eds) John Briggs and Mir Khairat ‘Alī Khān, Kanpur: Nawal Kishore Press, 1884, vol. 2, p. 143, quoted in Gadre, Cultural Archaeology, p. 113, also includes a chronogram composed by Shāh Ahmad Murtazā Khān Inju: ‘Inform the dancers and singers, O King! Visit the Farah Bakhsh garden, O King! For the date of its construction, expel Ni‘mat Khān from the Farah Bakhsh Garden [991].’

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Tabātabā’ī’s account differs only slightly but with one significant detail. He writes: Some of the jealous ones, by way of enmity, petitioned the most eminent one that this edifice consisted of triangles (mushtamil bar musalisāt ast). Consequently, the world-subduing order was issued to destroy that [garden] and again, under the supervision of Salābat Khān, it was accomplished.16

The addition of that one detail — that the edifice ‘consisted of triangles’ — holds, I would argue, the key to the reaction of Murtazā Nizām Shāh to the design of the garden, a reaction that seems excessive even for a king commonly known by the epithet dīwāna, or madman. Number and geometrical symbolism pervades medieval Persianate culture, structuring poems as well as buildings and acting as literary, philosophical and spiritual metaphors as well as the basis of mathematical laws.17 The poet Sanā’ī likened the ability to behold the divine manifestation to the intellectual way of perception of a geometrician whilst Nizāmī Ganjavī worked out his masnavī (poem) Haft Paykar (‘Seven Portraits’) on the principle that ‘intellectual geometry provided the means of passing from material to spiritual understanding’.18 Thus, a circle symbolised perfection and divine oneness, a line symbolised earthly motion through time and space, and a square within a circle symbolised the four elements and humours, the basis of all creation maintained in an equilibrium. Nevertheless the meanings of particular numbers and geometrical shapes were multifarious and contextually specific rather than fixed and singular. The number three, for example, is variously the number of the soul (signifying its vegetative, animal and rational aspects): it is the number of the three kingdoms of creation (mineral, plant and animal); the number of three astral agents of the universal soul (signs of the zodiac, the spheres and the planets); of the trivium (grammar, rhetoric and poetry); of the division of the universe into material world, astral world and world of universals; and of the tripartite division of self-knowledge at the basis of the philosophy of the Ikhwān al-Safā.19 Within the Indic tradition, triangular fire-pits formed an integral part of the design of a sacrificial pavilion but sages would reject a building site that was triangular in shape.20 In Nizāmī’s Haft Paykar the triangle, expressed through colours, signifies the body, the spirit and the soul.21 However neither this meaning nor the suggestion that a ‘building consisting triangles’ may be a veiled reference to

16

Tabātabā’ī, Burhān-i Ma‘āsir, pp. 492–93, my trans., emphasis added. See Meisami, ‘Introduction’, pp. xxviff. 18 According to Sanā‘ī, ‘You only see with your imagination and your senses, when you have not learned about lines, planes and points.’ J. T. de Bruijn, Of Piety and Poetry: The Interaction of Religion and Literature in the Life and Works of Hakīm Sanā‘ī of Ghazna, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1983, p. 216, quoted in Meisami ‘Introduction’, p. xxvi. 19 I. Melikoff, ‘Nombres symboliques dans la literature epico-religeuse des Turcs d’Anatolie’, Journal Asiatique, no. 250, 1962, pp. 435–45. 20 Bruno Dagens (ed.), Mayamata: An Indian Treatise on Housing, Architecture and Iconography, New Delhi: Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Scientific Research, 1985, chapter 25, ‘Pavilions’, pp. 180–84. See also chapter 3, ‘Examination of the Site’, p. 5, sections 3.10b–12: ‘The sages however reject a site which smells like curds, melted butter, honey or oil, blood, carrion, fish, or fowl. They equally reject a site which is too near a hall, a sacred place, a palace, or a temple. They reject one planted with thorn trees, one which is round, triangular, irregular, or shaped like a vajra and one (raised in the centre) like a tortoise shell.’ 21 P. Chelkowski (ed.), Mirror of the Invisible World: Tales from the Khamseh of Nizami, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975, p. 113. 17

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a 12-pointed pavilion intending to glorify the Twelve Shia Imams22 explain the Shia king Murtazā Nizām Shāh’s violent reaction to Ni‘mat Khān’s garden. To understand it, we need to leave Ahmadnagar and turn to a manuscript written by Murtazā’s own brother-in-law at the Bijapur court in about AD 1570.23

The Nujūm Nuj m al-‘Ulūm al- Ul of ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh I The Nujūm al-‘Ulūm (‘The Stars of the Sciences’)24 was written by the king of Bijapur, ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh I25 who describes the genesis of his writing as follows: Some faithful companions and affectionately-mannered friends beseeched this humble person to put in writing a few words on each chapter of the sciences like astronomy, mysticism and so on, talismans, magic and tricks and similar things. And I [also] wrote chapters related to planting trees and medicine and things resembling that, so that this [book] may be an intimate friend of the hearts of those who are aware of the hidden mysteries and of the confidantes of the secrets of the soul and a director and guide to the seekers [of knowledge].26

Although this manuscript is generally classified as an astrological text, the contents page describes an encyclopaedic 53 chapters ranging from gardening, music, the qualities of elephants, and the power of Sufis and Yogis, to making fireworks, perfumes, sherbet, and the sciences of poetry, rhetoric and medicine, making it virtually a compendium of medieval courtly knowledge. Unfortunately only six chapters are extant, which deal largely with astrology and various forms of liturgical and talismanic magic. After a summary description of the planets’ positions and orbits, the author proceeds to list the special relationships between each anthropomorphised planet and a bewildering range of objects including stones, plants, animals, fruits, grains, meats, colours, items, buildings, smells, rivers, mountains, castes, occupations, and instruments. Although the Nujūm al-‘Ulūm limits itself to the lists of correlations without explaining the consequences of these relationships, they appear to be based on the theory that anyone hoping to harness the powers of the planets should use these substances or objects in constructing amulets, incenses, inks, preparing food, costume, and arranging his sacrifice.

22

Personal communication from Dr Yunus Jaffery, Delhi College, February 2006. Murtazā Nizam Shāh and ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh were brothers-in-law twice over: Murtazā’s sister Chand Bībī had married ‘Alī, and ‘Alī’s sister Hudea had married Murtazā. 24 Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ms. no. IN2. The author of the manuscript does not mention the manuscript’s title, but the current title is taken from a seal on the frontispiece of the book which reads as follows: ‘The Book of the Stars of the Sciences (Nujūm al-‘Ulūm) by order of the King of Bijapur, Ibrāhīm Jagatguru, bought by Nawāb Sayyid Rustam Khān’. See Linda York Leach, Mughal and Other Indian Paintings from the Chester Beatty Library, Vol. 2: Paintings of the Deccan and Kashmir, London: Scorpion Cavendish, 1995, p. 818. All translations of the Nujūm al‘Ulūm are mine. 25 This manuscript has previously been thought to be anonymous, however on folio 43r, in the middle of the description of the planet Zuhra (Venus), we read as follows: ‘The writer of these traditions and the narrator of these questions and stories, the servant of the people of the house of the Prophet of Allah, is named ‘Alī, known as ‘Ādil Shāh ….’ See E. Flatt, ‘The Authorship of the Nujūm al-‘Ulūm’, Journal of American Oriental Society, forthcoming. 26 Nujūm al-‘Ulūm, fol. 1r. 23

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Pingree traces the earliest appearance of such lists to the Sanskrit text Yavanajātaka ‘The Nativity According to the Greeks’), a translation of a 2nd-century Greek text in which significant additions of local Indian knowledge were made to the original lists.27 Translations of this text from Sanskrit into Pahlavi, Syriac and Arabic brought the Indic traditions to the Middle-East and by the time of the composition of the 11th-century Ghāyat al-Hakīm (‘The Goals of the Wise’, commonly recognised as the most thorough exposition of celestial magic in Arabic), these lists were an integral part of catarchic astrology.28 Moreover, the lists were not transmitted as static repositories of ancient knowledge but were localised through a dialectical process of negotiation as the texts containing such lists travelled and were subject to various translations, compilations and editions. The addition of specifically Deccani knowledge to these lists, which were situated in courtly texts like the Nujūm al-‘Ulūm, played an important part in explaining, localising and rooting knowledge systems that were either alien, excessively regional or too cosmopolitan, and thus not of obvious immediate relevance to the intended readers. Consequently, ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh’s lists in the Nujūm al-‘Ulūm mention places within the kingdom of Bijapur, the Deccan and the rest of India and contain a wealth of Deccani terms, particularly alimentary and botanical words.29 The importance of these lists of correlations in furthering our understanding of Deccani garden culture is immediately made clear: throughout the descriptions of each planet’s likes and dislikes, each planet is associated with particular types of flowers, vines and trees: Mirrīkh (Mars) is said to like gul dobahāri (lit., ‘the rose of two springs’) ‘Utārid (Mercury) likes kevrā (Pandanus odoratissimus) and champā, whilst Zuhal (Saturn) likes black dhatura, which is said to have seven layers, one inside the other and gul alsī (flax flowers). Amongst vines, Qamar (the Moon) likes ‘bīl (berries) [and] barg-i khurdan (edible leaves) meaning tāmbūl (Betel)’, but tambūl vīl or betel berries are associated with Zuhal. The Cotton tree (kharak) was the favourite of Āftāb (Sun) but Zohra (Venus) likes the ‘gūlar tree (Ficus glomerata) and trees from which they collect liquor, like mandhī and toddy and marī and so on’.30 Gardens are even more evident in the section describing the moon, where we are told that ‘those tall trees and saplings and gardens (bāgh) and perfume gardens (būstān) and tree-filled places (ashjār) of the whole world are related to him.’31 Similarly, in the section on ‘Utārid (Mercury), we are told that ‘His heart is inclined to rose gardens (gulistān-hā) and flower gardens ( gulzār).’32 However, it is ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh ’s account of the fifth planet, Mirrīkh (Mars) that may help explain the destruction of Ni‘mat Khān’s Farah Bakhsh garden in Ahmadnagar and Tabātabā’ī’s mysterious

27

David Pingree, ‘Some of the Sources of the Ghāyat al-Hakīm’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol. 43, 1980, p. 6. 28 Ibid., p. 1, quotes Ibn Khaldun’s opinion on the Ghāyat al-Hakīm. 29 Each planet is associated with a region in India; for example the Sun is associated with Kalinga (Orissa) and ‘Utārid (Mercury) is associated with Kashi (Banares). Various Deccani terms include gandā (roots), mehvul gand (sweet potato), pehnas (jack fruit), and chechonda (gourd). 30 See Appendix for a table of planetary and botanical correlations compiled from these lists. 31 Nujūm al -‘Ulūm, fol. 25r. 32 Ibid., fol. 33r.

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justification that it was destroyed because it was ‘composed of triangles’; it is in the description of Mirrīkh that it is stated that ‘his buildings are triangular (musallas)’.33 The connection here makes sense if we remember that in both Indic and Persianate cultures, buildings were as fundamental to the garden as the plants. A garden was conceived of as a series of pavilions where the owner would enjoy shade and perfumed breezes as well as vistas of flowers and trees.34 Mirrīkh, who later in the text is also called Mangal, is described as the lesser inauspicious planet, Zuhal (Saturn; later called Shani) being the greater inauspicious planet. Throughout the Nujūm al-‘Ulūm but particularly in the section dealing with astrological charts (chakr), 35 the reader is warned of the bad consequences of the evil influence of Zuhal and Mirrīkh, together with the inauspicious heavenly bodies Ra’as and Zunb.36 Interestingly, although the consequences of inauspicious stars are generally understood to be concentrated on the person of the owner of the object (who will suffer injury, loss of material wealth, betrayal or death), at particular conjunctions the evil could also affect not only those related to the owner (such as wife, child and companions) but also the maker of the object. This is not to suggest that there is anything novel in the inauspiciousness of Mirrīkh as a cursory glance at any astrological text will demonstrate; in the Indic, Persianate and Hellenistic traditions Mangal, Mirrīkh and Mars have a long history of association with inauspiciousness. The important point here is how a group of nobles in Ahmadnagar could exploit a local understanding of an inauspicious planet’s association with a specific shape of building (in this case, triangular) and use it to discredit a garden built by their rival, implying that his inauspicious garden was either a deliberate attempt by a power-hungry social climber to bring misfortune to the sultan and his sultanate or was an involuntary consequence of Ni‘mat Khān’s own ignorance, low-birth and unsuitability for his high posts of chāshnīgīr and sarkār-i bāgh (superintendent of gardens), a point that will be discussed further later.

33

Ibid., fol. 28v. See D. Fairchild Ruggles, Gardens, Landscape and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain, University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000. European travellers in India and Persia frequently remarked on the inactivity of their hosts in the gardens they visited, contrasting it with Europeans’ fondness for walking in gardens. The 17th century traveller Chardin noted: ‘Persians don’t walk so much in gardens as we do, but content themselves with a bare prospect, and breathing the fresh air: for this end, they set themselves down in some part of the garden at their first coming into it and never move from their seats till they are going out of it.’ Quoted in Ralph Pinder-Wilson, ‘The Persian Garden: Bagh and Chahar Bagh’, in E. B. MacDougall and Richard Ettinghausen (eds), The Islamic Garden, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1976. 35 Chakr or astrological charts were drawn to determine the effect of the heavens on a particular action about to be undertaken or on a particular ritually important object. They are generally more diagrammatic in form than the complex coloured illustrations found in this version of the Nujūm al-’Ulūm. In this manuscript, the section on chakr begins abruptly with a description of how to find the ideal time for the ruler to sit on the throne. This section is followed by subsequent sections on the making of particular objects associated with a ruler or powerful men, such as palanquins, fans, umbrellas, musical instruments, and so on. For each section the writer gives a detailed textual description of the diagram which should be drawn, clear instructions as to the plotting of the 28 lunar asterisms (or nakshatra) on that diagram and an illustration of the chakr. For an example of the chakr illustrations see Leach, Mughal and Other Indian Paintings, pp. 852–63. 36 Nujūm al ‘Ulūm, fols 170r–233v. 34

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I would further argue that the case of the Farah Bakhsh garden is also important because it highlights a moment of contestation between the discourses of aesthetics and astrology. Ni‘mat Khān’s garden was not lacking in aesthetic merit: the chronicler Tabātabā’ī praised it for its great beauty, which caused ‘the highest paradise to melt in the fire of envy’. Yet, indifferent to this beauty, Murtazā Nizām Shāh ordered its destruction because of its inauspicious shape. This suggests that for some in the court of Ahmadnagar (including the sultan) adherence to astrological principles was not mere lip service to a convention but a serious consideration. Astrological inauspiciousness was inherently unacceptable and negated any potential for beauty.

Gardening According to the Stars In many medieval cultures, the discourse of gardens frequently intersected with other discursive fields including ideas and practices of magic, astronomy, geomancy, and numerology. Clunas has discussed how understandings of geomancy pervaded elite culture in Ming dynasty China and suggested how these normative views manifested themselves in both landscape painting and garden design.37 In Dixon Hunt’s analysis of the 15th century Venetian romance Hypnerotomacchia Poliphili (‘Poliphilo’s strife of Love in a Dream’), the hero is forced to confront a series of increasingly sensual and artificial gardens before undergoing ‘some new garden experiences that emphasize the intellect rather than the senses’ and culminating in a circular island laid out as a series of concentric gardens.38 That astrology played a significant part in both medieval Indian garden design and in the ongoing cycles of planting, pruning and fertilising is certainly suggested by contemporary evidence. Early medieval Sanskrit treatises on architecture like the Mayamata (‘The Thoughts of Maya’, 9–12th centuries) ensure that the offering consequent on taking possession of a site is made ‘[…] on a lunar day chosen as auspicious according to the configuration of the asterisms, in the favourable half of the day at a moment determined by a wise man […]’.39 The Persian chroniclers of the Deccani kingdoms frequently mentioned astrologers determining auspicious days for commencing building works, visiting a particular place or holding a coronation.40 In many medieval gardens astrology was not restricted to its initiatory role but played a constant role in the ongoing cycles of planting, growth, pruning and fertilising. The specific nakshatras (lunar asterisms) prescribed for tree-planting are discussed in the 6th century omina text, the Bṛhat Saṁhita (‘The Great Anthology’).41 Similarly, in the Irshād al-zira‘ (‘Treatise on Agriculture’) composed in Herat in AD 1515, the author Qāsim ibn Yūsuf dedicates the second of his eight chapters to the choice

37

Craig Clunas, Fruitful Sites: Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China, London: Reaktion Books, 1996, pp. 177–203. John Dixon Hunt, The Afterlife of Gardens, London: Reaktion Books, 2004, p. 70. 39 Dagens, Mayamata, p. 7, sections 4.8b–10a. 40 See for example Mahomed Kasim Ferishta, History of the Rise of the Mahomedan Power in India, trans. from Persian by John Briggs, 2 vols, Delhi: Low Price Publications, rpt 1997, vol. 3, pp. 21–22. 41 M. Ramakrishna Bhat, Varāhamihira’s Bṛhat Saṁhitā, 2 vols, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt Ltd, 1981, vol. 1, p. 535: ‘The asterisms prescribed by the seers of transcendental wisdom (such as Garga) for the planting of trees are the three Uttaras, Rohini, Anuradha, Citra, Mrgasirsa, Revati, Mula, Visakha, Pusya, Sravana, Asvini and Hasta.’ 38

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of an astrologically auspicious time for planting, choosing crops, dealing with pests, and so on.42 The Nujūm al ‘Ulūm’s lists of correlations between planets and plants demonstrate further that aesthetics, and indeed considerations of profit, since garden plants were also important cash crops, could be subject to astrological concerns. Nevertheless, the existence of multiple varieties of flowers, vines, fruits, and trees associated with one single planet suggests that both aesthetic and economic considerations could still be exercised, if within limits. Thus, when wanting to enhance the influence of āftāb one could choose between a flower, vine or tree, or sometimes between varieties: in this case kanīr surkh (Fragrant Oleander or Rose Bay) or jāsun (China Rose) flowers; grapes (angūr) or long pepper-vines.43 Of course, lacking clear evidence that these texts had more than a normative value, we cannot assume that decisions on garden plants were actually made according to the correlations laid down in texts like the Nujūm al-‘Ulūm or even that the correlations themselves were not made on the basis of commonly available plants. According to both the fihrist (table of contents) and the introduction, ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh also intended the Nujūm al-‘Ulūm to include a specific chapter on gardens with ‘a description and account of sowing seeds (zar’) and gardening (chaman bandī), the eastern wind and medicines for pests.’44 Although this chapter is no longer extant (if it ever existed) the section on talismans contains two spells designed to be of use to gardeners: one to make the ground fertile and flourishing, and another to bring rain. Both talismans are attributed to Balinas Hakim (Apollonius of Tyana) and follow a similar pattern.45 Here I will discuss only the talisman to make the ground flourish. The most crucial consideration when making talismans seems to have been choosing an appropriately auspicious time to begin the process. Astrological time was measured by the 12 zodiac signs (burj, pl. burūj), each of which was divided into 30 degrees (daraj, pl. darājat), and each degree corresponded approximately to a day. Chapter Two of the Nujūm manuscript gives a description and an illustration of each zodiac sign, and this is followed by 30 smaller illustrations with captions for each of the numbered degrees that made up the duration of the zodiac sign.46 The description of each talisman therefore begins with a list of the appropriate auspicious times to begin making that talisman. ‘Ādil Shāh states that one should only commence making the talisman for flourishing ground

42 M. E. Subtelny, ‘A Medieval Persian Agricultural Manual in Context: The Irshād al-Zirā‘ in Late Timurid and Early Safavid Khorasan’, Studia Iranica, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 167–217; idem, , ‘Mīrak-i Sayyid Ghiyās and the Timurid Tradition of Landscape Architecture: Further Notes to “A Medieval Persian Agricultural Manual in Context”,’ Studia Iranica, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 19–60, and Ralph Pinder-Wilson, ‘The Persian Garden’. 43 See Appendix. 44 Nujūm al -‘Ulūm, fol. 5v. 45 Leach, Mughal and Other Indian Paintings, p. 842. Leach argues that unlike the usual correlation of Balinus with Pliny, it is more credible here to associate Balinus with Apollonius. Moreover, this is not the well-known Apollonius of Pergamon who wrote on mathematics but the ‘more shadowy’ Apollonius of Tyana who is alleged to have written one work on ‘The Secrets of Creation’ and one on astrology. 46 These fascinating small pictures with their detailed captions range from depictions of particular animals (an eagle on a date palm tree; a man with the face of a dog), objects (a shield made of lead; a golden drum) and architectural details (a doorway) to illustrations of actions (a woman swimming; a man riding a horse; a woman holding a brass dildo) and snapshots of little scenes (a man blowing with a reed on the surface of the water; a woman who has fallen on her knees with another woman who is crying over her); see Leach, Mughal and Other Indian Paintings, pp. 833, 839 and 895 for examples.

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at the moment of the conjunction of the planet Zuhal with an auspicious degree. These degrees are listed and it is interesting that some of the illustrations of the auspicious degrees seem to reinforce the desired action of that talisman.47 In this case, the list includes the 26th degree of Taurus (Saur): ‘cultivated ground’ (Plates 9.1–9.2); and the fifth degree of Scorpio (‘Aqrab), ‘someone who is making the ground muddy and is giving water to the vine’ (Plates 9.3–9.4).48 The images of anthropomorphised time are therefore mobilised in support of the action of the talisman. The process of making the talisman commences at the moment of the auspicious conjunction; and in this case melted copper and lead is moulded: […] into an effigy of a ploughman who has seeds in his hand and is scattering them on the ground and make the form of two cows and with them a harness and agricultural tools like a plough and so on. Prepare them and make the form of a man who is driving the cows and [the farmer should be] in the way that agricultural people sow seeds.49 (Plates 9.5–9.6)

The effigy is then censed with vapours made from saffron, storax and the root of an olive tree and placed in a sealed pot made from clay taken from the land which is being cultivated. The pot is then buried, again at an auspicious moment in the aforesaid ground, near both an olive tree and the well (dulāb) which is used to water the seeds but not so near that it could be accidentally damaged or become wet. The author finishes by reiterating that Those buildings and that land will flourish and God will be the refuge from misfortune. It is extremely well tested and there are unlimited traditions of endeavours to show the proofs of this talisman, so men of knowledge are fully agreed that no-one can exert (themselves) for the ruin of that [land] and by the grace of the exalted God, fate cannot lay waste to it.50

The principle behind such talismanic magic is that celestial spirits can be drawn down to earth at certain astrologically determined moments by means of rituals involving the use of earthly objects of mineral, plant, animal, and compound natures appropriate to the celestial body, the use of images of the object of the operation and particular fragrances or incenses.51 Once drawn to earth, the spirit can be induced to enter the talismanic object, which will then possess well-defined magical powers. Thus far, the process is basically one of sympathetic magic wherein the talismans and their substances operate through sympathetic relations to the celestial spirits to effect the purpose over which the celestial spirits preside. This kind of magic is based on the principles of catarchic astrology which states that the most auspicious moments to commence activities can be discovered and therefore, by analogy, the well-informed astrologer can use these auspicious moments to exploit the influence of the planets to the best advantage. However, by attributing the success of the magic to God’s

47 Conversely it is interesting that not all the illustrations appear to have a logical connection to the desired action of the time, however, further research is needed before an explanation for this can be suggested. 48 Nujūm al’Ulūm, fols. 45v, 30v. Similarly the auspicious degrees suggested as the appropriate time to make a talisman to bring rain include the fifth degree of Pisces (Haut) — ‘a man who is drawing water from a well and pouring it into another well’, and the 25th degree of Scorpio (‘Aqrab) — ‘Many Canals’. 49 Nujūm al ‘Ulūm, fol. 101v. 50 Ibid., fol. 101r. 51 For a discussion of these processes see Pingree, ‘Ghāyat al-Hakīm’, pp. 4ff.

Plate 9.1

The 26th degree of Taurus: cultivated ground, ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh, Nujūm al-‘Ulūm, attributable to 17th century, Bijapur, Karnataka.

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Plate 9.2 The 26th degree of Taurus: cultivated ground (detail), ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh, Nujūm al-‘Ulūm, attributable to 17th century, Bijapur, Karnataka.

grace at the end of the talismanic ritual, ‘Ādil Shāh reiterates the principle behind both magic and catarchic astrology in the medieval Persianate tradition, that ‘all magical acts […] are sanctioned and effected by the power of God acting though his angels, the planets and the spirits who dwell […] in the celestial spheres.’52 These spirits are the highest beings whom man can reach and who can intervene on earth. The idea of God intervening in such practical ways in the daily growth of a garden intersected with esoteric and Sufi understandings of nature which held that all living things were created in order to worship God and were constantly praising Him. These understandings were so widely held that they eventually became poetic conventions, particularly in the oft-repeated trope of the plane trees raising their hands to heaven in prayer. The Indo-Persian poet Zuhūrī, who spent time at both the Ahmadnagar and Bijapur courts, plays heavily on such ideas in his Sāqīnāma.53 Nor was this convention restricted to poetry alone: ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh also opens the Nujūm al-‘Ulūm with the popular image of growing plants reciting the opening verse of the Qur’an — the Sura Fātiha — with silent tongues.54 52

Ibid., p. 4. Nur al-Din Muhammad Zuhuri Turshazi, Sāqīnāma, Cawnpore, 1871. 54 Nujūm al ‘Ulūm, fol. 1r. 53

Plate 9.3 The 5th degree of Scorpio: someone who is making the ground muddy and is giving water to the vine , ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh, Nujūm al-‘Ulūm, attributable to 17th century, Bijapur, Karnataka.

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Plate 9.4 The 5th degree of Scorpio: someone who is making the ground muddy and is giving water to the vine (detail), ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh, Nujūm al-‘Ulūm, attributable to 17th century, Bijapur, Karnataka.

Simultaneously, Indic concepts of the interpenetration of human and botanical worlds were interwoven into courtly culture throughout the Deccan. Sanskritic themes were depicted in a wide variety of miniature paintings in courtly manuscripts, including an image of the Queen Humāyūn Shāh of Ahmadnagar in a Dohad scene where the touch of a beautiful woman causes an Asoka tree to burst into flower,55 the illustration of the Kalpavriksh or wish-fulfilling tree surmounting the seven-storied throne in the Nujūm al-‘Ulūm.56 Sometimes these images drew on a variety of traditions: the slightly ominous composite picture from Golconda of the tree on the island of Waqwaq on the branches of which grew naked maidens rather than fruit, drew on the Sanskritic tradition of the Kalpavriksh, the Persianate Alexandrine legends and the ‘Ajā’ib al-Makhlūqāt (‘Wonders of Creation’) genre of Arabic writing about the marvels of the east.57 Moreover, state-sponsored studies of Indian medicine in

55

See Āftābī, Tarīf-i Husain Shāh Badshāh Dakhan, trans. from Persian by G. T. Kulkarni and M. S. Mate, Pune: Bharata Itihasa Samshodhaka Mandala, 1987. 56 Nujūm al ‘Ulūm, fols 187v–191v. In the description of how to make the ideal throne, ‘Ādil Shāh writes: ‘… and that place which is [called] adha, meaning the place of leaning, which is the back, that plank [should be carved] with the form of a tree of kalapvirksh [sic] and this is a tree which in the terminology of the people of these men of Hind means […] whatever is the expectation and all human imagination may be obtained. […] And he should chisel this tree with this ambition and imagination’, ibid., fols 190v–91r. For a discussion of the image of the seven-storied throne in this manuscript, see Deborah Hutton, Art of the Court of Bijapur, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006, pp. 64–67. 57 For the tree on the island of Waqwaq, see Mark Zebrowski, Deccani Painting, London: Sotheby Publications, 1983; al-Qazvīnī, ‘Ajā’ib al-Makhlūqāt, The British Library, Ms No. Add. 1621 [sixteenth-century Deccani copy]; and Sanjay Subrahmanyam, ‘Persianization and Mercantilism in Bay of Bengal History, 1400–1700’, in idem, Explorations in Connected History: From the Tagus to the Ganges, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 45–79.

Plate 9.5

Illustration accompanying talisman to make the ground fertile and flourishing, ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh, Nujūm al-‘Ulūm, AD 1575, Bijapur, Karnataka.

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Plate 9.6

187

Illustration accompanying Talisman to make the ground fertile and flourishing (detail), ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh, Nujūm al-‘Ulūm, AD 1575, Bijapur, Karnataka.

Golconda and Ahmadnagar brought Ayurvedic ideas to the forefront of courtly discussions.58 Dastūr al-Atibba, Firishta’s treatise on Indian medical traditions, for example, concludes with a discussion of how the Indian sages divide the inhabited world according to the quantity of water in the land and the type of trees that grow there. In Firishta’s account, the environment actually determines the temperament and physical features of the men that inhabit these areas. The men of Jangal Dīs where water is only reached by means of deep wells and trees do not grow, are ‘fierce and vigorous and strong and small-bellied and less lustful’.59 In Anūp Dīs, where the water is close to the surface of the land, ‘there are many fresh and moist trees and the men of that place have large stomachs […] and are sorrowful.’60 By contrast, Sādārān Dis is where the water from the bottom of the earth is near and subsequently it is moderate. And there are trees and greenery in abundant groups and individually, both small and large in those parts and the men of that place are also temperate (mustawī) in manners and morals (akhlāqat) and healthy in body.61

Astrology, Gardens and Ethics The potential of the correct balance of trees and water to create a man who was temperate in manners and morals points us to perhaps the most complex interaction of the discourses of astrology 58 State support for investigation into Indian medicine was particularly prominent in Golconda, where Muhammad Quli Qutb Shāh made the Dar al-Shifa’ (hospital) a centrepiece of his new city. 59 Muhammad Qasim Firishta, Dastūr al-atibba, The British Library, I.O. Islamic 2364, fols 223–24. 60 Ibid., fol. 224. 61 Ibid.

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and gardens in their interplay with the discourse of ethics. That gardens had an ethical dimension in Islam is self-evident, given the Qur‘anic descriptions of Paradise as a garden where believers would partake of their rewards. However, in the Persian literary tradition gardens had an equivalent importance as a didactic space, epitomised in perhaps the most famous work in Persian literature, Sa‘dī’s Gulistān (‘The Rose Garden’), and in the only slightly less famous Būstān (‘The Scent Garden’). By the 15th century the Gulistān had inspired innumerable imitators and was considered a standard first book prescribed for the education of children throughout the Persian-speaking world. In order to ensure that none of the valuable advice it contained was lost in the mists of time, Mahmud Shāh Bahmani II (r. AD 1482–1518) commissioned a dictionary of the obscure words in the Gulistān. Known as the Miftāh-i Gulistān (‘Key to the Rose Garden’) the author claimed his dictionary was itself so eloquent in language that it would alter its listeners merely by their hearing it, causing ‘joyfulness to melancholy hearts’ and ‘cheerfulness (farah, literally “opening”) to grieved souls’. 62 As the paradigmatic literary metaphor of correct ethical living, it is not inconceivable that the allegorical garden may have endowed its ‘real’ counterpart with a similar didactic quality. These qualities of gardening as an activity were frequently emphasised in other cultures: the garden played a key role in the thought of the 19th century German educator Froebel, epitomised in the eponymous kindergarten.63 Although neither gardens nor gardening are specifically recommended in Persian texts on ethics or in ‘Mirrors for Princes’ as a morally improving activity for young men, the author of the Qābūs Nāma (‘The Book of Qabus’) does remind his son that ‘A land-owner is valued by his villages and [cultivated] estates, and estates by their produce, which in turn is not to be procured except by cultivation.’64 Moreover, in the Islamic philosophical tradition, an ethical attitude was enjoined towards particular plants: the Akhlāq-i Nasirī (‘The Nasirean Ethics’) described the date palm as the highest plant form since it was said to possess the botanical equivalent of a human heart, and cited a Prophetic hadith (tradition) to the effect that ‘you should treat the date palm as your maternal aunt’.65 Poets often included astrological elements in their poems and the informed reader was supposed to interpret these elements as analogies to the events in the life of the human characters, rather than as predictive omens. The study and understanding of these elements was thought to train the reader in thinking analogically and encourage him to recognise ethically correct behaviour which in turn would lead him to higher things.66 A philosophical understanding of the man as microcosm

62 Awais Āla, known as Adam, Miftāh-i Gulistān, Noor Microfilm Centre, Delhi, Gujarat Libraries Catalogue, Dargah Hazrat Peer Muhammad Shāh , Mss No. 96, fol. 4r. 63 See Susan Herrington, ‘The Garden in Froebel’s Kindergarten: Beyond the Metaphor’, Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 326-38. 64 Kai Kā‘ūs ibn Iskander, A Mirror for Princes: The Qābūs Nāma by Kai Kā‘ūs Ibn Iskander Prince of Gurgan, trans. from Persian by Reuben Levy, London: The Cresset Press, 1951, chap. 25, ‘The Purchase of Houses and Estates’, p. 111. 65 Nasir al-Din Tūsi, The Nasirean Ethics by Nasir ad Din Tusi, trans. from Persian by G. M. Wickens, London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1964, pp. 44–45. 66 See Julie Scott Meisami, Medieval Persian Court Poetry, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1987, p. 233, n. 63; also, Nizami, Haft Paykar, §1: 39–41: ‘The subtle secrets of the stars I’ve studied; pondered occult lore, and puzzled what each page might mean: when I found you I washed them clean: I saw that all things turn to God and knew You as their mighty Lord.’

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in whom all the potentials of the macro-cosmic universe were contained is at the basis of the arguments of the Rasā’īl (Letters) of the Ikhwān al-Safā , and this philosophy was thought to be manifested in detailed parallelisms between the universe and man, including in social and ethical relationships.67 Thus, in literature, […] the regular course of the stars corresponds to good behaviour, retrograde motions to mistakes, stars rising or declining to success or failure among men. Agreements and harmonies among the stars are paralleled by human loves, conjunctions by union of the sexes, constellations by society, the breaking up of a star group by human separations.68

For the poet Nizāmī Gangavī astrology, like geometry, which was supposed to lead to an understanding of human justice and divine wisdom, was studied in order to purify the soul and instil in it the desire for celestial ascent. Unsurprisingly, these are the two sciences to which his hero in Haft Paykar, Bahrām Gūr, devotes himself during his early education.69 The guidance of the stars is not false guidance but a divinely appointed method for approaching God. When Bahrām achieves perfect wisdom at the end of the masnavī , he is able to dispense with the guidance of the stars.70 Returning to the case of the contestations over the Farah Bakhsh bagh discussed earlier, I would argue that the analogical and ethical reasoning gained through the study of astrology and the notion of gardens as a peculiarly ethical space actually intersect at the site of Tabātabā’ī’s account of the Farah Bakhsh bagh. In Tabātabā’ī’s chronicle, Ni‘mat Khān is presented as an uneducated servant of low descent who caught the eye of Murtazā Nizām Shāh and was undeservedly raised ‘from the corner of obscurity to the rank of honour and acceptance’.71 However, the epigraphic evidence contradicts Tabātabā’ī’s account, showing that Ni‘mat Khān was already rising in importance at the time of Murtazā’s grandfather Burhān Nizām Shāh; his association with Salābat Khān Gurzi in the building of the Bhingar and Bhandara aqueducts suggests that he may have been introduced at court by this noble.72 The disparity between the epigraphic evidence and Tabātabā’ī’s version makes sense if we accept the argument that Persian historical chronicles were intentionally constructed as exemplary and ethical narratives for didactic purposes rather than as ‘factual’ accounts of the past.73 In Tabātabā’ī’s account, Ni‘mat Khān’s lack of education and low origins is dramatically revealed in the exemplary ethical and didactic space of a garden when he builds a garden ‘made of triangles’, a garden that by its shape is drawing the influence of the inauspicious planet Mirrīkh upon the kingdom of Ahmadnagar. Ni‘mat Khān’s ignorance of the intricacies of astrology not only made his beautiful garden unacceptable to the king but exposed a lack of education, courtly refinement and spiritual understanding not to be expected from a ‘real’ noble.

67 See Ian Richard Netton, Ikhwān al-Safā, http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/rep/H051, accessed on 1 May 2007; and idem, Seek Knowledge: Thought and Travel in the House of Islam, Richmond: Curzon Press, 1996. 68 G. P. Conger, Theories of Macrocosms and Microcosms in the History of Philosophy, New York: Columbia University Press, 1922, quoted in Meisami, Medieval Persian Court Poetry, p. 32. 69 Meisami, ‘Introduction’. 70 Nizami, Haft Paykar, §52: 2–10. 71 Tabātabā’ī, Burhān-i Ma‘āsir, p. 492. 72 Gadre, Cultural Archaeology, pp. 70ff. 73 See Julie Scott Meisami, Persian Historiography to the End of the Twelfth Century, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999.

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A second site where these two discourses intersect is in the masnavī Falak al-Burūj (‘The Sky of Zodiac Signs’) written by Rūh al-Amīn, the takhallus (pen-name) of Mīr Jumla of Golconda. Like Nizāmī’s Haft Paykar (of which it is an imitation), Falak al-Burūj is structured by the twin motifs of gardens and astrology. Meisami has demonstrated how the three allegorical gardens of Haft Paykar act as a series of ethical spaces which motivate the heroes of the individual stories to correct action as well as providing together a progressive linear narrative that helps to direct their listener Bahrām Gūr to right action.74 Similarly, the astrological symbolism acts as an ethical guide bringing Bahrām closer to knowledge of God. In al-Amīn’s masnavī, gardens and gardeners are similarly prominent. The lengthy introductory section on advice to his son includes the pithy line, ‘Don’t be a betel-vine in the scent gardens, be a gardener in the rose gardens.’75 The word used for betel-vine, tambuli, can also be pronounced tambali, meaning lazy, thus counter-posing the industriousness of the gardener in the ethical space of the rose garden (Gulistān), with the laziness of the pān eater in the more sensual space of the scent garden (Būstān). The focus on gardeners as ethical and didactic beings continues in the first story, told in the blue dome, on the day of shanba (Saturday), which corresponds to the planet Zuhal, or Saturn, by the daughter of the Emperor of India.76 Not only is the story set in an Indian city garden which rivals paradise with ‘the fresh and pleasant air of eight gardens […] bestowing better fortune than the rose garden (gulshan)’, but the action is framed by and initially revolves around the gardener who protected this garden and his son, the apple of his eye, who disappears for 10 years, leaving his father heartbroken.77 On his return he has changed beyond recognition and dresses only in mourning. In the subsequent narrative the gardener’s son describes the journey he took in pursuit of a moonfaced beauty who turned out to be a jinn, and how in consequence of his obsession with that jinn he lost everything he had tried to obtain. As in the Haft Paykar, astrology also runs through the Falak al-Burūj as an ethical and didactic discourse guiding both the reader and Bahrām Gūr, the hero of the poem. Throughout the poem, Bahrām Gūr progresses through a series of astrologically linked domes similar (although arrayed in a different order) to those that his namesake visited in Haft Paykar. In the first story astrological symbols, including eclipses and inauspicious conjunctions, mirror the actions of the gardener’s son. For example, at the precise moment that the jinn first abandons the gardener’s son in a garden on

74 Julie Scott Meisami, ‘Allegorical Gardens in the Persian Poetic Tradition: Nezami, Rumi, Hafez’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 17, no. 2, May 1985, pp. 229–60. 75 Rūh al-Amīn, Falak al-Burūj, Khuda Bhaksh Oriental Public Library, Patna, Ms no. 302, fol. 75v. 76 In the Nujūm al-’Ulūm, Zuhal (Saturn) is said to be a Muslim by caste and is depicted as a bare-chested old man in a Persian crown, seated cross-legged on an elephant; see fols 47r–48r. 77 The figure of the gardener protecting the paradisical garden naturally recalls Rizvan, the gardener and guard of celestial Paradise, a frequent trope in Persian literature, sometimes used as a reference to Paradise itself. See, for example, the Golconda poet Haji Abarquhi’s verse, quoted in Ziauddin Ahmad Desai, ‘Haji Abarquhi and His Diwan’, Indo-Iranica, vol. 15, March, 1962, pp. 12–37: ‘I desired no other outcome of any affair except to circumambulate you, oh rose of the garden of Rizwan’. The Nujūm al -‘Ulūm gives a magic spell, attributed to Muhammad Siraj al-din Sakāki which guarantees that ‘... all angels, the most exalted and the lowest and Rizvan the gatekeeper of Paradise and those four cherubim angels and the angels of hell and the angels of punishment and the angels of mercy will be subdued by you.’ Cf., Nujūm al ‘Ulūm, fol. 117v.

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the summit of a high mountain, the inauspicious heavenly body Rās is eclipsed (lit., ‘swallowed’) by the similarly inauspicious heavenly body of the Dragon.78 This mirroring of inauspicious events in the skies and on the earth suggests that the author expected the knowledgeable reader to decipher the astrological symbolism to fully understand the ethical implications of the actions of the protagonist. It is my contention here that the recurrent combination of these two motifs of garden and astrology within the poem suggests that like Nizāmī, al-Amīn was drawing on wider understandings of the ethical aspects of both these discourses and using them to reinforce each other in the creation of an ethical reader.

Conclusion This article has been a tentative analysis of some of the ways in which the discourses of astrology and gardens interpenetrate each other. It considered how various theories and practices of astrology and magic current in the medieval Deccan were deployed in courtly circles and affected the ways gardens were designed, used, enjoyed, and understood. It showed how the ethical meanings invested in the metaphorical, and by extension also in the physical space of the garden intersected with understandings about the importance of astrology as one of the courtly knowledges, the possession of which signified a ‘real courtier’ in the eyes of his peers. Moreover, it underlined the way in which the idea of the garden as an ethical space intersected with understandings of the didactic qualities of astrology and suggested the importance of both garden culture and astrology in the self-formation of an ethical individual. Much work still remains to be done but I hope this article has succeeded in suggesting some of the possible directions that future research might take.

References Unpublished ‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh, Nujūm al-‘Ulūm, Dublin: Chester Beatty Library, Ms no. IN2. Awais Āla (known as Adam), Miftāh-i Gulistān, Delhi: Noor Microfilm Centre (Gujarat Libraries Catalogue, Dargah Hazrat Peer Muhammad Shah), Ms no. 96. al-Qazvīnī. ‘Ajā’ib al-Makhlūqāt, London: The British Library, Ms no. Add. 1621. Muhammad Qāsim Firishtā, Dastūr al-atibba, London: The British Library, Ms no. I.O. Islamic 2364. Rūh al-Amīn. Falak al-Burūj. Patna: Khuda Bhaksh Oriental Public Library, Ms no. 302.

Published Āftābī. Tarīf-i Husain Shāh Bādshāh Dakhan, trans. from Persian G. T. Kulkarni and M. S. Mate. Pune: Bharata Itihasa Samshodhaka Mandala, 1987. Bhat, M. Ramakrishna, Varahamihira’s Bṛhat Saṁhita, 2 vols. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt Ltd, 1981. Chelkowski, P. (ed.), Mirror of the Invisible World: Tales from the Khamseh of Nizami, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975.

78

Falak al-Burūj, fol. 102r: ‘When Rās was divided in half, it fell right into the mouth of the dragon.’

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Clunas, Craig, Fruitful Sites: Garden Culture in Ming Dynasty China, London: Reaktion Books, 1996. Conger, G. P., Theories of Macrocosms and Microcosms in the History of Philosophy, New York: Columbia University Press, 1922. Dagens, Bruno (ed)., Mayamata: An Indian Treatise on Housing, Architecture and Iconography, New Delhi: Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Scientific Research, 1985. de Bruijn, J. T., Of Piety and Poetry: The Interaction of Religion and Literature in the Life and Works of Hakīm Sanā‘ī of Ghazna. Leiden: E. J. Brill,1983. Desai, Ziauddin Ahmad, ‘Haji Abarquhi and His Diwan’. Indo-Iranica, vol. 15, March 1962, pp. 12–37. Epigraphia Indo-Moslemica, New Delhi: Government of India, 1933–34 (Supplement), 1935–36. Ferishta, Mahomed Kasim, History of the Rise of the Mahomedan Power in India, trans. from Persian by John Briggs, 2 vols, Delhi: Low Price Publications, 1997. Firishta, Muhammad Qāsim Hindu Shāh, Tārīkh-i Firishtā, (eds) John Briggs and Mir Khairat ‘Alī Khān, Kanpur: Naval Kishore Press, 1884. Flatt, Emma J. ‘The Authorship and Significance of the Nujūm al-‘Ulūm: A Sixteenth-Century Astrological Encyclopaedia from Bijapur’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, forthcoming. Gadre, Pramode B., Cultural Archaeology of Ahmadnagar during the Nizam Shahi Period (1492–1632), Delhi: B. R. Publishing Corporation, 1986. Ganjavi, Nizami, The Haft Paykar: A Medieval Persian Romance, trans. from Persian by Julie Scott Meisami, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995. Herrington, Susan, ‘The Garden in Froebel’s Kindergarten: Beyond the Metaphor’, Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, vol. 18, no. 4, 1988, pp. 326–38. Hunt, John Dixon, The Afterlife of Gardens, London: Reaktion Books, 2004. Hutton, Deborah, Art of the Court of Bijapur, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006. Kai Ka‘us ibn Iskander, A Mirror for Princes: The Qabus Nama by Kai Ka‘us ibn Iskander Prince of Gurgan, trans. from Persian by Reuben Levy, London: The Cresset Press, 1951. Leach, Linda York, Mughal and Other Indian Paintings from the Chester Beatty Library, Vol. 2: Paintings of the Deccan and Kashmir, London: Scorpion Cavendish, 1995. Livingstone, John W., ‘Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah: A Fourteenth Century Defense Against Astrological Divination and Alchemical Transmutation’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 91, no.1, 1971, pp. 96–103. MacDougall, E. B., and Richard Ettinghausen (eds), The Islamic Garden, Washington DC: Dumbarton Daks, 1976. Meisami, Julie Scott, ‘Allegorical Gardens in the Persian Poetic Tradition: Nezami, Rumi, Hafez’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 17, no. 2, 1985, pp. 229–60. ———, Medieval Persian Court Poetry, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987. ———, Persian Historiography to the End of the Twelfth Century, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999. Melikoff, I., ‘Nombres symboliques dans la literature epico-religeuse des Turcs d’Anatolie’, Journal Asiatique, no. 250, 1962, pp. 435–45. Netton, Ian Richard, Seek Knowledge: Thought and Travel in the House of Islam, Richmond: Curzon Press, 1996. ———, http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/rep/H051, accessed on 1 May 2007. Nizami ‘Arudi-Samarqandi, The Chahar Maqala (Four Discourses) of Nizami ‘Arudi-Samarqand, trans. from Persian by Edward G. Browne, London: Luzac, 1900. Pinder Wilson, Ralph, ‘The Persian Garden: Bagh and Chahar Bagh’, in E. B. MacDougall and Richard Ettinghausen (eds), The Islamic Garden: Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the History of Landscape Architecture IV, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks Trustees for Harvard University, 1976. Pingree, David, ‘Astronomy and Astrology in India and Iran’, Isis, vol. 54, no. 2, 1963 pp. 229–46. ———, ‘Some of the Sources of the Ghayat al-Hakim’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol. 43, 1980, pp. 1–15. Platts, J. T., A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English, London: W. H. Allen & Co., 1884. Ruggles, D. Fairchild, Gardens, Landscape and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain, University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000.

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Subrahmanyam, Sanjay, ‘Persianization and Mercantilism in Bay of Bengal History, 1400–1700’, in idem, Explorations in Connected History: From the Tagus to the Ganges, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 45–79. Subtelny, M. E., ‘A Medieval Persian Agricultural Manual in Context: The Irshad al-Zira‘ in Late Timurid and Early Safavid Khorasan’, Studia Iranica, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 167–217. ———, ‘Marak-i Sayyid Ghiyas and the Timurid Tradition of Landscape Architecture: Further Notes to “A Medieval Persian Agricultural Manual in Context”’, Studia Iranica, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 19–60. Tabataba’i, Sayyid ‘Ali ibn ‘Aziz Allah, Burhan-i ma‘asir, (ed.) Sayyid Hashimi Faridabadi, Haidarabad: Majlis-i Makhtubat-i Farsiya, 1355/1936. Tusi, Nasir al-Din, The Nasirean Ethics by Nasir ad Din Tusi, trans. from Persian by G. M. Wickens, London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1964. Zebrowski, Mark, Deccani Painting, London: Sotheby Publications, 1983. Zuhuri Turshizi, Nur al-Din Muhammad, Saqinama, (ed.), Cawnpore, 1871.

Kharak, which Bilās (?); and Khair (Acacia in the Hindi ‘…all the tall Catechu); and tongue they call trees, saplings, ‘…trees which Ahāk (cotton) gardens, are without perfume astringent gardens and juice/sap’ tree-filled places in the world belong to him’

Trees

Gul Kalā Atkari (?); ‘Dahtūrā Siāhī (Black Dahtura) which has 7 layers one inside the other’; Gul Alsī (flax) meaning the flower of Katān (a linen cloth so fine that it can be rent by moonlight)

Zuhal (Saturn)

Kālangarī (?); Gul-i Chechonda (gourd); Tambūl vīl (Betel berries) saras (?); Vālkī Kharbaza (melon) (?)

Jāyī (?)

Zuhra (Venus)

Aghārā tree Kahrubā Gūlar tree (Ficus ‘Trees from which sap (Achyranthes (Yellow Amber, glomerata) ‘… does not appear make Aspera, said to Valeria indica) and trees from him happy’ cure snakebite) which they collect liquor, like mandhī (exudation from the cocoa-nut) and tārī (juice of the palmyratree) and māri (juice of the Caryota palm) and so on…’

Kanduri (?); Chechonda (gourd)

Mūgrā (Jasmine)

Mushtarī (Jupiter)

Note: This table has been compiled from Nujūm al-‘Ulūm, Chester Beatty Library, Ms. No. IN2. All entries are direct transliterations from the text with explanations in brackets, where possible. For translations, I have used John T. Platts, A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English, London: W. H. Allen & Co., 1884. However, I have been unable to identify some of the plants as many terms appear to be in dialect.

Angūr (grapes); Bīl (Bel tree?); Sankā Taskī (?); and Falfal darāz ‘Barg-i Khurdan Tarkasī (?) (long pepper) (edible leaf) meaning Tambūl (Betel)’; Yabil (?); ‘Bītha meaning Majzabe (?)’

Vines (lit. ‘trees without trunks’)

Utārid (Mercury)

Gul Dobahāri (lit. Kiora (Pandanus Rose of the two odoratissimus); springs); Gul Champa Gulāl (Red rose)

Mirrīkh (Mars)

Kanir surkh Si‘oti (Dog Rose/ (Fragrant red China Rose); oleander or Nīlufar (blue Rose Bay); Jāsūn lotus); Kumad (China Rose) (water lily)

Qamar (Moon)

Correlations between Planets and Plants in the Nujūm al-‘Ulūm

Flowers

Āftāb (Sun)

Appendix:

About the Editors Daud Ali is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies, University of Pennsylvania. His publications include Courtly Culture and Political Life in Early Medieval India (2004); Querying the Medieval: Texts and the History of Practice in South Asia (co-author, 2000); Invoking the Past: The Uses of History in South Asia (editor, 1999); Ethical Life in South Asia (co-editor, 2010); and Knowledge Production, Pedagogy and Institutions in Colonial India (co-editor, 2011). Emma J. Flatt is Assistant Professor of History at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. After completing her Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies (London), she was Past & Present Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. Her research focuses on the social and cultural history of Indo-Islamicate courts and courtiers including investigations into practices of letter-writing, perfume-making, astrology and magic. She is currently preparing a manuscript on the courtly culture of Indo-Islamicate sultanates in medieval Deccan, and has recently started a new project researching the philosophies and practices of friendship and sociability in medieval India.

About the Series Editor Monica Juneja is Professor of Global Art History at the Karl Jaspers Centre for Transcultural Studies, University of Heidelberg. She has taught at the Universities of Delhi, Hannover, Vienna and at Emory University, Atlanta. In addition she has been Visiting Professor at the National Museum Institute for Art History, Conservation and Museology, New Delhi, The National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi and the Mohile Parekh Centre for Visual Arts, Mumbai. Her research and writing focus on transculturality and visual representation, disciplinary practices in the art history of Western Europe and South Asia, gender and political iconography, Christianisation and religious identities in early modern South Asia. Her publications include Peindre le paysan: L’image rurale dans le peinture française de Millet à Van Gogh (1998); Architecture in Medieval India: Forms, Contexts, Histories (editor, 2001); The Lives of Objects in Pre-Modern Societies (co-editor, 2006); BildGeschichten: Das Verhältnis von Bild und Text in den Berichten zu außereuropäischen Welten (co-author, 2008); Religion und Grenzen in Indien und Deutschland: Auf dem Weg zu einer transnationalen Historiographie (co-editor, 2009). She is the editor of The Medieval History Journal, Transcultural Studies, and a member of the editorial collective of the Werkstatt Geschichte.

About the Contributors Daud Ali is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies, University of Pennsylvania. His publications include Courtly Culture and Political Life in Early Medieval India (2004); Querying the Medieval: Texts and the History of Practice in South Asia (co-author, 2000); Invoking the Past: The Uses of History in South Asia (editor, 1999); Ethical Life in South Asia (co-editor, 2010); and Knowledge Production, Pedagogy and Institutions in Colonial India (co-editor, 2011). Emma J. Flatt is Assistant Professor of History at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. After completing her Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies (London), she was Past & Present Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. She is currently preparing a manuscript on the courtly culture of Indo-Islamicate sultanates in medieval Deccan. Ali Akbar Husain is Head, Department of Architecture, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in Karachi, Pakistan, having earlier taught in Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Lebanon. He is the author of Scent in the Islamic Garden: A Study of Deccani Urdu Literary Sources (2000), an interdisciplinary study of Islamic medicine, horticulture and poetry in an Indo-Islamic context. His teaching and research interests include healing landscapes in health care and ethno-botany. He has documented the tradition of wild-plant gathering in Lebanon, and is currently associated with an NGO as a landscape consultant for Pakistan’s first wetland park in Karachi, and is involved in a project to conserve a medieval Islamic garden in southern India. Deborah Hutton is Associate Professor in the Department of Art at The College of New Jersey. A specialist in early modern and modern Indo-Islamic art from the Deccan, she has particular interest in the relationships between cultural interaction, courtly identity, and visual culture. Her publications include Art of the Court of Bijapur (2006, recipient of the American Institute of Indian Studies Edward Cameron Dimock Jr. Prize in the Indian Humanities); Asian Art: An Anthology (co-editor, 2006); Blackwell Companion to Asian Art (co-editor, forthcoming 2011); and Deen Dayal: Vision, Modernity, and Photographic Culture in Late Nineteenth-Century India (co-author, forthcoming 2011). Ronald Inden is Professor Emeritus in the Departments of History and South Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago. His publications include Marriage and Rank in Bengali Culture: A History of Caste and Clan in Middle-Period Bengal (1976); Imagining India (1990); Text and Practice: Essays on South Asian History (2006); Kinship in Bengali Culture (co-author, 1977); and Querying the Medieval: Texts and the History of Practice in South Asia (co-author, 2000). He is currently studying people’s efforts to construct paradises or utopias on earth in and beside their everyday lives in medieval and contemporary times. Monica Juneja is Professor of Global Art History at the Karl Jaspers Centre for Transcultural Studies, University of Heidelberg. Her research and writing focus on transculturality and visual representation, disciplinary practices in the art history of Western Europe and South Asia, gender and political iconography, Christianisation and religious identities in early modern South Asia. Her publications include Peindre le paysan: L’image rurale dans le peinture française de Millet à Van Gogh (1998); Architecture

List of Plates and Tables

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in Medieval India: Forms, Contexts, Histories (editor, 2001); The Lives of Objects in Pre-Modern Societies (coeditor, 2006); BildGeschichten: Das Verhältnis von Bild und Text in den Berichten zu außereuropäischen Welten (co-author, 2008); Religion und Grenzen in Indien und Deutschland: Auf dem Weg zu einer transnationalen Historiographie (co-editor, 2009). Klaus Rötzer is an independent scholar based in India. He studied Art and Archaeology at the University of Strasbourg, and has lived and worked extensively in Afghanistan and India, where he also taught French. His interests include medieval water management technologies and military architecture. He has a particular interest in the Deccan, where he has documented fortifications at Vijayanagara and many other sultanate sites. Sunil Sharma is Assistant Professor of Persianate & Comparative Literature at Boston University. His publications include Persian Poetry at the Indian Frontier: Mas’ud Sa’d Salman of Lahore (2000); Amir Khusraw: Poet of Sultans and Sufis (2005); Atiya’s Journeys: A Muslim Woman from Colonial Bombay to Edwardian Britain (co-author, 2010); The Necklace of the Pleiades: 24 Essays on Persian Literature, Culture and Religion (co-editor, 2010); and In the Bazaar of Love: The Selcted Poetry of Amir Khusrau (co-translator, 2011). Akira Shimada is Assistant Professor in the Department of History, State University of New York at New Paltz. He obtained his Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies (London) for his research on the Amaravati stupa and the impact of Buddhism on early historic Andhra and the eastern Deccan. He is co-editor of Buddhist Stūpas in South Asia: Recent Archaeological, Art-Historical and Historical Perspectives (2009). Pushkar Sohoni is Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia, Canada and works on material culture of the late sultanate Deccan. Prior to this, he trained as an architect and studied Historic Preservation at the University of Pennsylvania, from where he received his Ph.D. in 2010 on the architecture of the Nizam Shahis of Ahmadnagar. Phillip B. Wagoner is Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Wesleyan University. His publications include Tidings of the King: A Translation and Ethnohistorical Analysis of the Rāyavācakamu (1993); and Vijayanagara: Architectural Inventory of the Sacred Centre (co-author, 2001). He is currently completing a book (with Richard M. Eaton) that is tentatively titled ‘Power, Memory, and Architecture: Contested Sites in the Sixteenth-Century Deccan’.

Index acca-tĕlugu literary works 105–6 Achaya, K. T. 113 ‘Ādil Shāhis 9, 74, 130, 168 agriculture: general spread of 14, 21; and labour 50; science of (kṛṣiśāstra) 40–43. See also under gardens. Ahmad I, Shihābu’d-dīn 75 Ahmadnagar 1, 10–11, 115, 159, 160, 161–63, 174 ‘Ajā’ib al-Makhlūqāt 185 Akhlāq-i Nasirī 188 ‘Alī Barīd Shāh, Tomb of 66–70 Ali, Daud 19, 150 Amarāvatī 24, 25, 30, 31, 33 Amīr Barīd I, Tomb of 65–66 apsaras-es 19, 24, 51 aquifers 56, 58, 64 ārāma 19, 42 Arthaśāstra 40 Āsaf Jāhis see Nizāms of Hyderabad ‘ashqiyyā masnavī 148, 150 astrology 40–41, 172–73, 176–77, 179, 181 Bagh-i Farah Baksh 174–76 Bagh-i Hasht Bihisht 162 Bagh-i Muhammad Shāhī 113 Bagh-i Nayā Qil‘ā 114 Bagh-i Nizām 1 Bahmani sultanate 9–10, 74; citadels and palaces 75–77; establishment of 75; funerary gardens of 65–70; royal gardens 65, 85, 91–94; successor sultanates 75; throne halls and audiences of 77–83 Bahmannāmā-i Daknī (Shaikh Āzarī) 75, 81 Barīd Shāhis 10, 64, 65–67 baoli (step-well) 7, 58–61 Bhūdharakrīḍā 44 Bidar: funerary gardens 67–73; geology and geography 56; palace and garden complex under Bahmanis 75; royal garden 63–66; water management and devices 56–63; water supply and gardens 63–73 Bijapur 10, 11, 63, 80, 94, 114, 151, 168n, 177, 183 Bijapuri paintings 89–90, 127–30; depictions of gardens 130, 134; of landscapes 130, 134–36, 143–46; of yogini 127–30, 143–46 bodhimaṇḍa 23, 24

bower. See pavilion Brend, Nora 87–88 Bṛhat Saṁhitā (Varāhamihira) 40–41, 179 Brown, Robert 36n, 47 Buddhacarita (Aśvaghoṣa) 19–22, 31 Buddhism: connection between garden plants and eroticism 21–22; and garden culture 19–22; and use of garden imagery 21, 22–24; and value of sensual beauty 21 Buddhist gardens: depicted at stūpas 25–32; features of 27; stūpas as urban Buddhist garden 32–34 Buddhist monasteries 4, 18, 20, 25 Buddhist stūpas 18; gardens depicted at 25–32; as urban Buddhist gardens 32–34 Burhān-i ma’āsir (Sayyid ‘Alī Tabātabā’ī) 81–83, 161–63, 166 Būstān (Sa‘dī) 188 Cālukya temples 8 cashew 109, 111, 113, 121 catarchic astrology 173, 177, 181–83 chahārbāgh 4–5, 67, 84, 130 Chahār Maqāla (Nizāmī ‘Arūzī) 173 charitable garden(s) 98, 99, 108–12, 114–15 Chinese gardens 5, 88, 167 citadels and palaces, of Bahmani Sultanate 77–79 Clunas, Craig 5 Conan, Michel 6 cosmic tree, concept of 23, 30 cross-cultural interaction 105 Dakani language 10, 91, 104, 136, 149 dams 56–58 Dār al-Shīfā (hospital and centre for research in Unani and Ayurvedic medicine) 113 Dastūr al-Atibba (Firishta) 187 Deccan peninsula: and expansion of Mughal Empire 10; expeditions of Alā’ al-Dīn Khaljī and Tughluqs 9; history and historiography of 7–12; water-resource management in 54 Deer-park (Mṛgadāva) 22 Delhi Sultanate 9, 74 Digha Nikaya 150 ‘Dublin painter’ 144–45

Index

Eaton, Richard 8 ethics: and courtliness 151; role in gardening 187–91 Falak al-Burūj (Rūh al-Amīn) 190–91 Farah Bagh garden (at Bidar, Ahmadnagar, Komatgi) 10, 64, 94, 115, 116, 162, 154–56, 164 Farahbakhsh Bagh see Farah Bagh garden feeding-houses 108, 109, 111–14 fertility cults 30, 31 flower(s): astrology and 177, 180, 194; blossoming of 18, 23, 25, 45, 49, 50, 131; as commodities 42–43, 115, 121–24; culture of 42–43; as decoration 23, 24, 25, 94, 111; fragrance of 45, 87, 109, 167, 177; in games 19, 45; in gardens or flower-gardens 9, 108, 162, 165; as meaning 149; oversized as motif in landscape painting 131, 133, 134, 143, 144, 145; prognostics from 40; species mentioned in Persian and Dakni literature 154, 156–57,165, 169n; visual pleasure and imagery of 23, 152, 167, 178 fountains. See under water funerary gardens 64–65: at tomb of ‘Alī Barīd Shāh 66–70; at tomb of Amīr Barīd I 65–66; at tomb of Khān Jahān Barīd 66, 67 funerary rites (śrāddha) 107 games 19, 40, 44, 51, 142, 143; in the grove 44, 45; on the pleasure mountain 44, 49 ‘garden-land’ (toṃṭa-pŏlamu) 114 garden(s) and architecture 2, 65, 84, 88, 151, 179 garden(s): ‘afterlife’ of 5; archaeological evidence during Sātavāhanas period 8; astrology 189–94; asymmetrical 84; and the Buddha’s life events 22–24; culture of 5–7, 10; depicted at Buddhist stūpas 25–32; and early Buddhism 19–22; and Hindu temples 9, 47; imagery of 22–24, 46–49, 95, 159, 168–69; Islamic 4–5, 7, 12, 84, 95; in Islamic Spain 6; Mānasollāsa chapters on 43–46; of the marvellous 50–51; of Nauraspur 168–69; as earthly paradise 13, 14, 78, 91, 94; and paradise 4–5, 12, 13, 23, 24, 27, 32, 33, 35, 45, 50, 51; role as cultural artefact 10. See also charitable gardens, funerary gardens, Mughal gardens, palace gardens, Persianate, public gardens, residential gardens, Timurid gardens and landscapes Gathāsaptaśatī 30 Ghāyat al-Hakīm 177 ghazals 91, 159, 160, 163 Gulistān (Sa’dī) 188 Gulshan-i ‘Ishq (Nusrati) 14, 149–51, 154, 156–57

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Haft Paykar (Nizami) 150, 165, 175 189–90 Hanaway, W. L. 170 Havell, E. B. 2 horticulture, science of. See vṛkṣāyurveda Hunt, John Dixon 5–6, 179 Husain, Ali Akbar 12 Hypnerotomacchia Poliphili 179 Ibrahim Nāma (‘Abdul Dehlavi) 149 Ikhtiyārat-i Qutb Shāhī (Mīr Mu’mīn Yazdī) 113 Ikhwān al-Safā 150, 173, 175, 189 Indo-Persian poetry 14, 160, 164, 183. See also Persian poetry International Crops Research Institute for the SemiArid Tropics (ICRISAT) 116 irrigation technologies 9, 41, 44–46, 49, 54–56, 72–73, 107, 162. See also water, wells Irshād al-zira‘ (Qāsim ibn Yūsuf) 179–80 Islamic garden 84, 95, 98; concept of 5–7; constituent elements 5; layout 4 Kāfūr, Malik 9 kalpavṛkṣa 24, 25, 45, 50, 185 kāma 21, 32–34 Kāmadeva 19 Kāmasūtra 19, 27, 30, 42, 51 Kārlā 27, 30, 31, 34 Kāśyapīyakṛṣisūkti 41 Khaljī, Alā’ al-Dīn 9, 74 Khaljī, Hasan Manjhu 91, 136 Khān, Amīn 102–3; as patron; 99–109; tomb of 99–100, 102 Khān Jahān Barīd, Tomb of 66–70 Khusrau, Nasir-i 149 Khusrau u Shīrīn (Nizāmī) 165 Kitāb-i Nauras (Sultan Ibrahim ‘Adil Shah II) 91, 136, 168 krīḍāparvata 44, 46 Kṛṣiparāśara 41, 42–43, 49 kṛṣiśāstra 40–43, 50 Kumatgi 94 Lal Bagh 77 Lalitavistara 23, 24 landscape 3–6, 8, 9, 11, 14, 39, 41, 46–49, 50, 51, 66, 72, 84, 89, 95 148, 151, 179; Chinese 88; depiction of literaature 164, 165; depiction of in painting 84, 88, 89, 90 127, 130–36, 141–45; verdurous 4, 8, 9, 13, 39, 74, 84–85, 89, 91 locus ameonus 43

200

Index

Lokopakāram (Cāvuṇḍarāya) 43 Losty, Jeremiah 134 Lumbinī garden 22–23 Madhumālatī (Mir Sayyid Manjhan Rajgiri) 149 Mahābhārata 24, 103, 104 Mahāyāna sūtras 18 mahfil 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 95 majlis 83, 85, 154, 164 Makaranda garden 49 Mānasollāsa (Someśvara) 14, 39–40, 43; account on garden as aggregation of wonders 46–51; chapters on gardens 43–46; circulation of 39n; visualisation of garden in 46–49 maṇḍapa. See pavilion masnavīs 136–37, 141, 144–47, 148–50, 153, 157, 159–60, 169–70, 175, 189, 190 Mauryan Empire 3, 8, 18 Mayamata 179 medical learning 112, 113, medicinal plants and herbs 112, 113, 115, 117, 120–26 medicine, and gardens 114,; and material medica 112; public in Qutb Shahi kingdom 113 Miftāh-i Gulistān (Awais Āla) 188 Mihr-o-Māh (‘Aqil Khan Razi ‘Alamgiri) 149 Ming dynasty, China 179 mithunas (amorous couples) 27, 30, 34 Mughal Empire 2, 3, 6, 10–11, 12, 14, 85, 88, 91, 94, 95, 104, 115, 130, 149, 163 Mughal gardens 2–4, 15, 98, 148; aesthetic ideals of 3. See also Timurid gardens and landscapes Muhūrtaśāstra 173 Mūlasarvāstivāda vinaya 20 nāgaraka 18, 42 Nagīna Bāgh 94, 114 nakshatras (lunar asterisms), prescribed for treeplanting 179 Nandana (Indra’s pleasure garden) 24 Nauraspur, garden-city of 94, 168–69 navakarmika 33 Nikitin, Athanasius 83 Ni‘mat Nāma 134 nirvāṇa 22 Nizāms of Hyderabad 11 Nizām Shāhis 9, 89, 161, 174 Nujūm al-‘Ulūm (‘Alī ‘Ādil Shāh I) 176–79, 180, 183 Padmavati (Malik Muhammad Jayasi) 141 painting: of Adil Shāhis 90–91, 127, 130 131, 136, 141; of the Bahmani Sultanate 87–88; Dutch and Portuguese

134; landscape conventions of Indian and Iranian 78, 84, 89–90, 130, 136 143–45, 179, 185; landscape innnovation in 95; Mughal 130; of the Nizam Shāhis 91–92; of the Qutb Shāhis 90–91; Safavid 88, 134; as a ‘source’ relating to gardens 5, 6, 13, 75; wall 165; Yogini 127 palaces 2, 3, 6, 9, 19–20, 39, 40, 42, 50, 51, 76–85, 87, 89, 91, 94–95, 115, 127, 136, 137, 141, 130, 131, 133, 134, 137, 141–44, 151, 162, 164–65, 169, palace gardens 6, 19, 49–50, 51, 75, 76, 94, 95, 115, 151, 153, 156, 165n, 169 pavilion/bower 14, 27, 45, 47, 49, 62, 65, 66, 69, 83–94, 110, 114 pavilion gardens 88–94 Pem Nem (Hasan Manjhu Khaljī) 13, 14, 91, 141, 142; use of landscape motif 143–46; use of setting in 136–43 Periyapurāṇam 43 Persianate garden 14, 84n, 149, 164, 165, 166, 169 Persian poetry 75, 81n, 85, 106, 148, 149, 150, 159, 160, 161, 164, 165, 170, 188. See also Indo-Persian poetry Persian wheel 60, 62 phalaveda 40 Pillalamarri inscription 108, 110, 114 plants (garden): aesthetic value 21–22; blossoming of 18, 23, 25, 45, 49, 50, 131; care and propagation of 44–45, 49; and decorative motifs 25–27; erotic connotations of 22; knowledge of 40–43; and materia medica 112; medicinal uses of 21, 112, 115, 185–87; local and non-local 113, 156–57, 169; in painting 127, 131, 136; poetic inventory of 110–11; wonderful or exotic 46, 50–51, 145, 154; uses of 20–21, 120–27; 109–114. See also flowers, trees prema rasa 156 Prem Marg literature 137, 141, 142 ‘public’ gardens 19, 20, 94, 108–9, 112, 115 Qābūs Nāma 188 qanāt (horizontal well) 58, 60, 63–64, 65, 72 Qur’an 4, 76, 81, 183 Qutb Shāhis 10, 74, 90–91, 94 Rājavallabha Nighaṇṭu 113, 125 ratnavṛkṣa 23, 50, 51 Ratnāvalī 49, 50 residential gardens 19. See also palace gardens Robinson, Cynthia 85 Rāṣṭrakūṭa dynasty 8 Ruggles, Deirdre Fairchild 6

Index

Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-sūtra 23, 24, 27, 50 Safavid Empire 85, 88, 91, 93, 94, 95 Safavid painting 84, 88, 90, 134 Śaivism, religious doctrines of 8, 9 śālabhañjikā 25–27, 30, 31 Sāñchī stūpa 27 Saṅkhapāka jātaka 24 Sanskrit literature: on agriculture (kṛṣiśāstra) 40–43, 50; on astrology 40; on horticulture (vṛkṣāyurveda) 40–43, 49; poetry (kāvya) 43, 50, 150 sapta-santānam (‘seven kinds of progeny’), concept of 106–9 Sāqīnāma 14, 159–64, 168–69, 183 Śārṅgadharapaddhati 41, 46, 50 sasyaveda 40 Sātavāhanas 8, 27, 32–33 Shāhnāmā (Firdausi) 75, 86, 106 Sherwani, H. K. 11, 75, 103 Sigiriya 4, 39 Smith, Brian K. 21 Spring Festival 19, 20, 49, 50 śramaṇa(s) 18, 22 Srinivasan, Dorith Meth 31 śṛṅgāra-rasa 105 Sufi literature 137, 142n, 143, 145, 146 Sugrīva Vijayamu (Kandukūri Rudrakavi) 104 sukhāvatī 23, 24 Sukhāvatīvyūhasūtra 23, 24, 27, 50 Takht Mahal 60, 62, 64, 78 talāb 66 Talbot, Cynthia 106 Talikota, Battle of (AD 1565) 10 Tarkash Mahal 77n, 85, 91 Tapatī-Samvaraṇamu (Addanki Gangādhara) 104 Telugu poetry under Qutb Shahis 104–6 temples, Hindu 8, 59, 105; construction of as meritorious action 106, 107, 108; decoration of 46; liturgies for 43; as spolia 79 throne halls and audiences, of Bahmani Sultanate 77–83 Timurid gardens and landscapes 3, 5, 14, 84, 88–89, 98n trees: artificial 50–51; in astrology and divination 41, 176, 179, 194; blossoming at touch of woman 25, 92n 185; Bodhi 22; in Buddhism 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 30; as

201

canopy or bower 27, 47, 88, 108, 109, 116, 152, 154, 157; cosmic 23, 30; cults relating to 30, 31; cypress 88, 93, 109, 116, 154, 167; depiction of in painting 134, 144–45; and division of the world 187; fabulous 45, 50–51, 145, 162; greatness of 41; hybridisation of 45; mango 24, 45, 50, 108, 109, 110, 111, 122, 124, 156, 157, 167–68; as productive 111, 119–26;. See also plants, ratnavṛkṣa, kalpavṛkṣa Tughluq, Muhammad bin 9, 74, 87 upavana 41, 45–46, 60 Upavanavinoda 41–42, 45 Vaiṣṇavism 8, 9, 43 vana 46 vanakrīḍā 44, 45 Varāhamihira. See Bṛhatsaṃhitā vegetables and gardens 65, 108, 109, 109n, 111, 114 verdurous landscapes. See under landscape verticle shaft-well 62–63 Vijayanagara Empire 9–10, 39, 50, 76, 198 Villiers-Stuart, Mary 2 vṛkṣāyurveda 40–43, 49 water: as artificial or natural feature within garden 46, 62, 69, 78, 79, 84, 88, 91, 93, 94, 142, 153, 156, 157, 134, 162, 164; as bounty 7, 108, 153n; controlled by heavenly bodies 40–41; fragrant 23, 24, 174; games in 19, 40, 44; fountains 62, 69, 78, 79, 91, 93, 94, 99n, 134, 142, 153, 162 ; management of 15, 54, 56, 64–73; reflection in 167; run-off 56–57, 68; sources and storage 49, 54, 56, 109, 110; architecture 54, 134; drinking water 107; public tanks/sheds 107, 108, 109, 110. See also dams and wells, irrigation water garden 4 wells: baoli (step-well) 7, 58–61; qanāt (horizontal well) 58, 60, 63–64, 65, 72; vertical shaft-wells 62–63 yaksa cult 30–31 Yavanajātaka 77 Yayāti Caritramu 99, 103–7 yogini 127, paintings 127–28, 146, 147 Zakhira-i Khwarazmshāhī 113 Zanānī Masjid 77 ‘Zuhūrī’, Mullā Muhammad Tāhir Nūr al-Dīn 159–67