In Praise of Kings is a study of Gujarat in the long-neglected fifteenth century. The interregnum between the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire has conventionally been regarded as a period of decline. By contrast, this book shows the cultural and political dynamism of an important South Asian region at this critical moment in its history.
This book highlights how, after the fall of the Delhi Sultanate the political landscape of fifteenth-century Gujarat was dominated by Rajput warrior chieftains and the Muzaffarid sultans. The interaction between these competing political players have been traditionally viewed as a clash between two religious groups. Querying this perspective, the book demonstrates how both the Rajputs and the sultans fashioned a common warrior ethos that was constructed with diverse literary and cultural elements.
Notably, the study draws on rarely used literary works in Sanskrit and Gujarati to reconstruct the royal courts of fifteenth-century Gujarat and recasts the period as one of creative transformations. It also questions the deeply-entrenched perception that Gujarat was predominantly a land of traders and merchants. Through a close analysis of original primary sources, it shows how Gujarat’s warrior past was also integral to this region’s history and identity.