Some years ago the study of arms and armour of the subcontinent reached a plateau where enough was known to allow curators and collectors a veneer of authority when writing and speaking about the topic. This book shows how very thin that veneer was. For political and more recently commercial reasons the cultural history of the subcontinent has been largely expressed through the Mughal experience of India. Whilst it is true that the Muslim Mughals dominated India the empire they ruled was predominantly Hindu. This book reclaims the Hindu contribution to the military culture of the Mughal period. The Rajputs were very closely aligned to the Mughals from the reign of Akbar in the sixteenth century but they retained their own distinctive values.
The armoury at Mehrangarh helps us to enter an unfamiliar world with a tradition of courage and self-sacrifice conserved in music and poetry that was so extreme that scholars have struggled to concede its existence. This radical book challenges arms and armour orthodoxy and is essential reading for scholars, collectors and dealers interested in India and its wider culture.