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An Epic Pilgrimage: History and Antiquity of Pehowa: Ancient Prithudaka (A Mahabharata Site on the Sarasvati)

Devendra Handa

ISBN 10: 8173052727 / ISBN 13: 9788173052729
Published by Aryan Books International, New Delhi, India, 2004
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Printed Pages: 164. Size: 19 Cms x 25 Cms. Bookseller Inventory # 002878

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Bibliographic Details

Title: An Epic Pilgrimage: History and Antiquity of...

Publisher: Aryan Books International, New Delhi, India

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


This book is the first comprehensive account of Pehowa, one of the oldest and most sacred place (tirtha), located on the banks of the illustrious Rigvedic river Sarasvati, in the Kurukshetra region. The modern name Pehowa is a corrupt form of the original Sanskrit name of the town, Prithudaka. Traditionally, it derives its name from Prithu, the first consecrated king of the world who introduced agriculture and sedentary life in the region for the first time. It is believed that Yudhisthira performed the obsequies of all those who died in the great war of Mahabharata, here. The tradition of performing the funerary rites and obsequies continues at Pehowa through the ages and the most recent instance is the immersion of the ashes of the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the Sarasvati at this place on May 28, 1991. After giving the geographical and archaeological background and the historical survey of the region, the book presents an account of the different places of pilgrimage - tirthas, asramas, holy spots connected with sages and divinities, etc., at and near Pehowa, giving copious textual citations. For the first time a complete and comprehensive account of the antiquarian remains found from the place so far has been presented. Sherds of Painted Grey Ware furnish corroborative evidence to the association of Pehowa with the Mahabharata. The terracottas found recently betray the existence of brick temples at Pehowa during the Gupta period. The two famous Pratihara inscriptions have been deciphered afresh making many improvements over the earlier readings and also identifying the places mentioned therein. The unfinished doorway in the Prachi Siva Temple also indicates that Pehowa was the centre of art at one time. Pehowa has a great touristic potential. It is hoped that the book will encourage tourists, historians and pilgrims to come to this town and rediscover its cultural, historical and religious importance. The government of Haryana will do well to develop it as a tourist centre.

About the Author:

Devendra Handa holds postgraduate degrees in Sanskrit, History and Education - all in First Class and with top positions in the University. He obtained his Postgraduate Diploma in Archaeology from the School of Archaeology (AS!, New Delhi) in 1964 with Distinction. He is the recipient of Maulana Azad and Archaeological Centenary Commemoration Medals, Sir Mortimer Wheeler Prize and various other awards. He is known to the indologists through more than three hundred research papers and numerous monographs. His major works include - Osian: History, Archaeology, Art & Architecture, Delhi, 1984; Studies in Indian Coins and Seals, Delhi, 1985; Indological Studies: Essays in Memory of Shri S.P. Singhal, Delhi, 1987 (Ed.); Ajaya-Sri: Recent Studies in Indology (Prof Ajay Mitra Shastri Felicitation Volume), 2 Vols., Delhi, 1989 (Ed.); Praci-Prabha: Perspectives in indology (Essays in Honour of Prof B.N. Mukherjee), New Delhi, 1989 (Ed. jointly with Prof. D.C. Bhattacharyya); Ratna-Chandrika: Panorama of Oriental Studies (Shri KC. Agrawala Festschrift), New Delhi, 1989 (Ed. jointly with Prof. Ashvini Agrawal); Heritage of Haryana: Buddhist Remains, Chandigarh, 1989; Vishvambhara: Probings in Orientology (Prof V.S. Pathak Festschrift), 2 Vols., New Delhi, 1995 (Ed. jointly with Prof. Ajay Mitra Shastri and C.S. Gupta); Numismatic Studies, Vols. 1-3 (1991-93), New Delhi (Ed.); Oriental Numismatic Studies, Vols. 1-2 (1994 & 1996), Delhi (Ed.); Jaina Bronzes from Hansi, (2002), Shimla. He has attended numerous national and international conferences and delivered lectures in various institutions. In 1991, he visited the British Museum, London, to study ancient Indian coins (tribal in particular) in its collection and participated in the XIth International Congress at Brussels (Belgium). In 1992, he got the Lowick Memorial Grant of the Royal Numismatic Society, London for studying the tribal coins of India. In 1993, he visited Sri Lanka on the invitation of the Sri Lanka Numismatic Society. He was honoured for his contributions to the science of numismatics at Calcutta in 1994. After a teaching career of more than thirty years, he finally retired from the Panjab University, Chandigarh in 1999. Presently, he is a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.

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