Chapter

The Kakatiya Political Network

Cynthia Talbot

in Precolonial India in Practice

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9780195136616
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834716 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195136616.003.0005
The Kakatiya Political Network

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The expansion of Kakatiya power from the core area of central Telangana throughout much of Andhra Pradesh is traced through the mapping of inscriptions acknowledging their overlordship. Analysis of Kakatiya political subordinates reveals an early preponderance of local chiefs and princes who were later superseded by a more humble class of warrior officers. The titles (biruda) and eulogies (prasasti) in Kakatiya‐ era inscriptions emphasize martial heroism and the bonds created through military service, thus challenging the notion that ritual sovereignty and royal patronage of religion were central to the constitution of medieval South Indian states. Instead, the Kakatiya state is conceptualized as a network of personal ties between multiple strata of warriors and the rulers, based primarily on joint military activity. Its dependence on political intermediaries and its dynamic, socially inclusive, and militaristic character refutes the model of a segmentary state advanced by Burton Stein.

Keywords: biruda; chiefs; Kakatiya; prasasti; princes; ritual sovereignty; royal patronage; segmentary state; Burton Stein; warrior officers

Chapter.  24974 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Hinduism

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