The Making of Regional Cultures

Rajputs influenced our history very effectively. Rajput Tradition of Heroism preserved stories of loyalty, chivalry and friendship in ballads and songs. Rajput men loved to die rather than flee from the battlefield. Rajput women equalled men in all respects. Sati and jauhar practices glorified them in the medieval society. Kathak is one of the eight forms of classical dances. It originated in North India as a temple dance. During Mughal era, it transformed from a temple dance to a court dance. Kathak was developed as a major art form by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow.

Earlier, miniature paintings were made on palm leaves, bark of trees or wood. Mughals introduced miniature paintings on cloth and paper. They adorned manuscripts such as Hamzanama, Akbarnama and Ramayana. Decline of Mughal court resulted in the outflow of painters to regional kingdoms. Regional school of paintings emerged. Pahari style of painting developed in the hills extending from Jammu to Garhwal. Two new painting styles that evolved in Himalayan foot hills were Basohli and Kangra School.

Commercial ties between Bengal and Magadha led to the growing influence of Sanskrit. Bengali literature has two categories: Epic Poems and Bhakti literature, and Nath literature. Earlier political system of Bengal broke down. This led to political disturbance and lack of social order. The unstable conditions of the region were settled by religious teachers, called Pirs. Temple building started with the influence of Bhakti saints. Temples were made using brick and terracotta. Tribal Deities were placed in temples resembling chala shrines. Temples copied double roofed (dochala) or four roofed structures (chauchala) of the thatched huts.

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