The early medieval period (c. 600 – 1200 AD) witnessed a tremendous boom in temple construction all over the Deccan. Imperial and feudatory houses such as the Rashtrakutas, the Chalukyas, the Kalachuris, the Shilaharas and the Yadavas patronised varied religious sects and endowed shrines, temples and monasteries. The main source of information are the copper plate charters, which contain a host of information about various modalities of the endowments, a prominent component of which concerns money.
Numismatics and archaeology have always had a close relationship. Still in the study of archaeology and archaeological concepts, the discipline of numismatics is often relegated to a secondary importance. Though the use of religious tokens in India is not embedded in antiquity, it forms a part of the living traditions. The paper aims at consolidating numismatic research done so far on this topic and analyse this data in the context of other archaeological remains such as monuments and sculptures as well as religious texts.
In this lecture, I explore the form and function of the Sanskrit Mahabharata. I take up features of its design, its explicit statements about itself and its most prominent themes in order to make some suggestions as to what the Mahabharata sought to do, culturally and intellectually,in early South Asian society. I combine this with an analysis of the presence of the Mahabharata in select literary and epigraphical sources of the first millennium in order to explore the impact of the text from Guptan north India to Kerala and Kashmir.