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An Epic Pilgrimage: History and Antiquity of Pehowa: Ancient Prithudaka

Devendra Handa (Author)
Synopsis 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 was 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 as 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. Unfinished doorway in the Prachi Siva Temple also indicates that Pehowa was the center 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 c cultural, historical and religious importance. The government of Haryana will do well to develop it as a tourist center.
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About the author

Devendra Handa

Shri Devendra Handa holds Post-Graduate degrees in Sanskrit, History and Education-all in First class and with top positions in the University. He obtained his Post-Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from the School of Archaeology (ASI, New Delhi) in 1964 with Credit (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 the following books and monographs: 1 Osian: History, Archaeology, Art & Architecture, Delhi, 1984; 2 Studies in Indian Coins and Seals, Delhi, 1985; 3 Indological Studies: Essays in Memory of Shri S.P. Singhal, Delhi, 1987 (Ed.); 4 Ajaya-Sri: Recent Studies in Indology (Prof. Ajay Mitra Shastri Felicitation Volume), 2 Vols., Delhi, 1989 (Ed.); 5 Praci-Prabha: Perspectives in Indololgy (Essays in honour of Prof. B.N. Mukherjee), New Delhi, 1989 (Ed. Jointly with Prof. D.C. Bhattacharyya); 6 Ratna-Chandrika: Panorama of Oriental Studies (Shri R.C. Agrawala Festschrift), New Delhi, 1989 (Ed. Jointly with Prof. Ashvini Agrawal); 7 Heritage of Haryana: Buddhist Remains, Chandigarh, 1989; 8 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); 9 Numismatic Studies, Vols. 1-3 (1991-93), New Delhi (Ed.); 10 Oriental Numismatic Studies, Vols. 1-2 (1994 & 1996), Delhi (Ed.). He has attended numerous national and international conferences and delivered lectures in various institutions. 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. After his retirement from the Panjab University, Chandigarh, he was a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study at Shimla (2000-2003) and Senior Fellow of the Ministry of Culture, GOPI, New Delhi (2003-2005). He presided over the 88th Annual Conference of the Numismatic Society of India at Nagpur in 2004 and Seminar on Coinage of the North West India at Chandigarh in 2005.

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Bibliographic information

Title An Epic Pilgrimage: History and Antiquity of Pehowa: Ancient Prithudaka
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173052722
length xvi+148p., Notes; Reference; Plates; Bibliography; Index; 25cm.
Subjects History