Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

1 - The Himalayas and Trans-Himalayas after the breakup of the Tibetan Empire

Friday, July 6
10:20 AM - 11:50 AM
Location: Silveroak I, Ground Floor

South Asian historiography is largely oblivious to an’ Empire’ from the seventh to the ninth centuries that linked the entire Himalayan chain through an overland route on the Tibetan plateau. (Beckwith C .1987 The Tibetan Empire in Central Asia Princeton) This paper explores the centrality of this connection, and argues that the emergence of Himalayan kingdoms in Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir), Bhramaur(Himachal Pradesh), Pandukeshwar (Uttarakhand) and Jumla (Far Western Nepal) in the Upper Himalayas in later centuries was linked to the breakup of this’ Empire’.


The focus of this study is Jumla, the capital of The Khasa Kingdom: A Trans-Himalayan Empire of the Middle Age (1988 Nirala); documented by Surya Mani Adhikari. This polity straddled the two linguistic worlds of Tibetan (Tucci documents) Sanskrit and Proto Pahari (gold and copper plate inscriptions). Its significance lay in the fact that from the eleventh to the fourteenth centuries it transformed the middle Himalayan mountains by introducing the plough and rice cultivation. The ensuing demographic increase led to a shift towards the south. The linkage with the trans-Himalayas continued, but from the fifteenth-century links with North India were strengthened and by the eighteenth century the conflict between the many Himalayan principalities and the kingdoms of Awadh, Rohilkhand and the East India Company produced a new dynamic of change.


This is studied in the next paper on this panel.      


   

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