About the Book
The articles in this volume present new ways of looking at historical landscapes and garden cultures. While its focus on the Deccan and central India in pre-colonial times marks a move away from the predominant study of Mughal gardens amongst scholars, its questions, archives
and methodologies distinguish it from standard art-historical studies.
Scholars from across the disciplines — history, literature, archaeology, architecture, art history — access a variety of sources ranging from illustrated manuscripts, poems, political chronicles and paintings to architecture, astrology, medicinal texts, urban layout and morphology to argue for a recognition of landscapes and gardens as dynamic spaces for interaction and negotiation in pre-colonial India. The articles understand gardens in two related ways: as real or imagined spaces as well as manipulated landscapes frequently invested with intense meanings, and as a set of institutions and practices with far-reaching social ramifications for the constitution of elite societies — thus, at once a physical space, a cultural object and a literary-cum-artistic trope.
Through its novel approach and questions, and its methodological rigour, the volume makes a contribution to the growing field of garden and horticultural studies in history, while also contributing to the deeply-felt need to find new sources for historical study, and new ways of
studying existing historical sources.