Turkish History and Culture in India

Identity, Art and Transregional Connections


This interdisciplinary volume addresses the history, literature and material culture of peoples of Turkish origins in India over the eleventh to eighteenth centuries. Although many ruling dynasties and members of the elite in this period claimed Turkish descent, this aspect of their identity has seldom received much scholarly attention. The discussion is enriched by a focus on connections and comparisons with other parts of the broader Turko-Persian world, especially Anatolia. Although discussions of Turkish-Muslim rulers in India take account of their Central Asian origins and connections, links with Anatolia, stretching back to the medieval period, were also important in the formation of Turkish society and culture in India, and have been much less explored in the literature. The volume contains contributions by some of the leading scholars in the field.

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Richard Piran McClary, Ph.D. (2015), University of Edinburgh, is the lecturer of Islamic Art and Architecture at the University of York. He has published monographs, articles and book chapters on ceramics and architecture in the wider Iranian world, including Rum Seljuq Architecture, 1170-1220 (EUP, 2017).
A.C.S. Peacock, PhD (2003), University of Cambridge, is Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic History at the University of St Andrews, UK. Publications include The Great Seljuk Empire (2015) and Islam, Literature and Society in Mongol Anatolia (2019).
List of Figures
A Note on Transliteration and Dates
Notes on Contributors
A.C.S. Peacock and Richard Piran McClary

Part 1: Turkish Origins, Identity and History in India

 1 Warfare and Environment in Medieval Eurasia: Turkic Frontiers at Dandanqan, Somnath and Manzikert
George Malagaris
 2 Turks, Turks and türk Turks: Anatolia, Iran and India in Comparative Perspective
Stephen Frederic Dale
 3 The “Advent of the Turks” and the Question of Turkish Identity in the Court of Delhi in the Early Thirteenth Century
Blain Auer
 4 Merchants, Young Heroes and Caliphs: Revisiting Maḥmūd Gāwān
Maya Petrovich
 5 The Trouble with Lineage: On Why the Timurid Prince Muḥammad Zamān Mīrzā Did Not Become Emperor
Ali Anooshahr
 6 Remembering Turkish Origins in the Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-century Deccan: The Qaraqoyunlu Past in the Persian Chronicles of the Qutbshahi Dynasty
A.C.S. Peacock

Part 2: Art, Material Culture, Literature and Transregional Connections

 7 Transregional Connections: The “Lion and Sun” Motif and Coinage between Anatolia and India
Shailendra Bhandare
 8 When Brick Met Stone: Turko-Iranian Brick Architecture and its Interaction with the Lithic Traditions of India and Anatolia
Richard Piran McClary
 9 The Jami Masjid Miḥrāb of Bijapur: Inscribing Turkic Identities in a Contested Space
Sara Mondini
 10 “Made in Istanbul, Delhi or Agra”: Serving Imperial and Princely Courts in the Ottoman and Mughal Worlds
Suraiya Faroqhi
 11 Mapping the Boundaries of the World: India and the Indian Ocean in the Early Modern Ottoman Geographical Imagination
Pınar Emiralioğlu
 12 Turki Language and Literature in Late Mughal India as Reflected in a Unique Collection of Texts
Benedek Péri
All interested in the role of Turks and Turkish in the history and material culture of the Indian subcontinent in the medieval and early modern periods.