The Making of a Historian
- The Family and Childhood (1933-44)
- Education and Research (Agra): (1944-50, 1950-54, 1963-65, 1965-74)
- St.John’s College Agra
- Gwalior (1974-79): The Thick of the Academic Battle
- University of Rajasthan Jaipur and National and International Lectures (1979-95)
- Linguistic Accomplishment
- Back to Agra and finally to Ajmer (1995-2010)
Professor (Dr.) R. Nath, M. A., Ph.D., D. Litt.
(Retired Professor of History, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur)
‘Tapasya’, 7, Gulab Bari Enclave
(Behind Asharam Choudhary)
Gulab Bari, Ajmer-305007. (Rajasthan, India)
E-mail: email@example.com Mob.: 09413617454
नास्ति येषां यशः काये जरामररााजम् भयं।
( He whose body is ‘yasa’ (fame) is not afraid of old age or death)
Professor R. Nath (Ram Nath) hails from an Agarwal family of Agra, but he does not use any surname. As the old bahis (record-books) of the family – Panda of Soron recorded, his ancestors were in charge of Mughal travel and transport in the eastern region, between Agra and Allahabad, and were well acquainted with land and water routes, and means of travel and transport. When Railway was introduced by the British in early 1870s, they took charge of the supply of hard-coke in the same region. Hence, the family came to be known as ‘Koyle-Waley’, by which appellation his great-grandfather Kalyandas and grandfather Devidas were known. Kalyandas had a large, three- storeyed, stone-masonry house in the ‘Patema-Gali’, inside Luhar-Gali, in Rawatpara, which is one of the oldest localities of Agra. A few ancient rich Agarwal families had built their havelis in Luhar-Gali. They were all business-men. There also lived his maternal grandfather (Nana) Kedarnath (father of his mother Tara Devi) and his (Nana’s) cousins who managed the annual events of the famous ‘Ram-Lila’, ‘Ram-Barat’and ‘Krishna-Lila’ of Agra, until recent times.
Established by Akbar, the Great, Agra–Fatehpur Sikri duo was the greatest centre of manufacture of quality cotton durries and, on a moderate scale, of woollen carpets, and nearly 300 karigars(workers) all Muslim, were engaged in this trade. His father Kapoor Chand switched on, around 1920s, to this business. He built up a net-work in Gujarat, with HQ at Siddhpur (the ancient town founded on the bank of the river Saraswati by Jaisingh Siddharaj Chalukya). This is how the family now became famous as ‘Durri-Waley’. Gradually, he moved to Bombay where, in mid–1940s, he established a flourishing carpet business. It continued after the Independence. His reputation and goodwill in the trade brought him the coveted contract of carpeting the warship ‘Delhi’ which was the first cruiser bought by India. But a simple and innocent man, and a thorough gentleman, he was betrayed by his own people, and pilferage did not let him prosper.
The family had shifted, in the meantime, to a house in Khalsa-Gali where R.Nath was born on 27 October 1933 (official d.o.b. 9 March 1933). Later, the family shifted to Manpara, in Seth-Gali, which is also an old locality situated on the highest mound in the City, from a small house to a spacious and comfortable three-storeyed one, where they lived for more than two decades (1943-1965) and where R.Nath spent his school and college days.
All the while, when his father was out on business tours his grandmother (Amma) managed the household. She was a devout Jaina and strictly vegetarian in food habits, as well as in conduct. She was also an excellent Vaidya and looked after the health of the family well. She brought up the children most caringly and R.Nath was affectionately attached to his ‘Amma’ during his childhood.
He was educated at D.A.V. High School Agra from class-IV (1944) to class-X (High School, 1950) which examination he passed in FIRST division with distinction in Science and Maths. Even in his school days, he loved to play in the monuments which are scattered all around Agra. On Sundays and holidays and even on week days, he used to assemble his friends and go to Victoria Park (now ShahJehan Garden), and thence to the Taj Mahal which, then, had no entry fee, and where good well-water for drinking was available.
He joined St. John’s College Agra and passed his B.A. in 1954 in second division (securing FIRST position in the College), with Hindi Literature, English Literature and Philosophy as his subjects. They were hereditary travellers and migrants and, even during his student life, he travelled a lot with his father and visited prominent historical sites in Rajasthan, Gujarat, M.P. and Maharashtra. His fascination of the Taj continued unabated and, in the college days too, he spent his holiday evenings there, in the company of his bosom friends Ayaz, Fiyaz and Amar Singh, some times up to midnight, and enjoyed Urdu poetry, besides the romance of the Taj Mahal.
The eleven years’ period, from 1954 to 1965, was the toughest and the most difficult of his life when he struggled hard, through rough waters and rocks, not for a livelihood, but for a congenial engagement and profession which could ensure the pursuit of his first love, viz. study of monuments, precisely, HISTORICAL ARCHITECTURE. His father was suffering from diabetes, BP and kidney failure, and he constantly assisted him, in day-time, to run his business which called for dealing with more than a hundred karigars, besides looking after a large family, and it was an all-absorbing engagement. A man of fiercely independent and self-respecting nature, he had also joined a Govt. service and worked during night-time too. In 1963, he joined M.A. History at St. John’s College Agra, and class lectures and Library study added to his already hectic daily schedule to 16-18 working hours, in three different situations! He was married in 1955 and Savitri, who hails from a cultured Jaina family, relieved him of household worries.
In spite of all this, he passed his M.A. in History, in 1965, in First division with First position in the Agra University. Soon thereafter, he joined Agra College Agra as Lecturer in History and, thus, changed the whole course
of his life’s journey. His father died the same year and he devoted himself entirely to academia in which he was inherently interested, and from which he derived subtle aesthetic pleasure. He did his Ph.D. in 1969 from St. John’s College Agra (Agra University) on the subject: ‘Some Aspects of Mughal Architecture’ (with reference to the Monuments of Agra), and D.Litt in 1975, also from Agra University, on the subject: ‘History of Decorative Art in Mughal Architecture’ (1556-1658 A.D.). Both these theses have been published in several parts. Professor Ishwari Prasad (Allahabad) was one of the two examiners of his Ph.D thesis. Such eminent and renowned art-historians as Nihar Ranjan Ray (Calcutta), Moti Chandra and Karl J. Khandalavala (both Bombay) were his D.Litt examiners, appointed by a Vice-Chancellor of the stature of Bal Krishna Rao (I.C.S).
Nath was associated with St. John’s College Agra, practically from 1950 to 2000: not only did he pass his B.A. and M.A. and did Ph.D and D.Litt from there, all his later fellowships and research projects were also based at St. John’s, which was his alma mater in the real sense of the term. Its Principal, Dr. P.T. Chandi, immensely helped him to begin. He initiated him to deliver his First Lecture in February 1965, while he was still a student, in the Seminar composed of research-scholars of the College and their professor-guides, on his M.A. dissertation entitled: Agra and its Monuments (submitted in lieu of a paper). It was ex-tempore and the audience heartily applauded it. Chandi also inspired him to write a history of St. John’s College Agra, which was published in abridged form in the Hindu Madras (30 March 1997) (see 1/1)
At the behest of Dorilal Agarwal, famous Founder-Editor of Amar Ujala (daily, Agra), he wrote a series of popular articles in Hindi entitled: ‘Agre-ki-bhuli-bisri-imaraten’ (on the Forgotten Monuments of Agra) which was published in the Amar Ujala regularly from 14 Oct. 1970 to 5 March 1972 and was widely acclaimed, so much so that people loved to preserve its complete file. He also published numerous other articles, in Hindi and English, on the monuments of Agra, based on his recent researches. His article: ‘The Taj in Danger’ published in the Sunday Standard Bombay (7 April 1968), created a nation-wide stir and even rocked the Parliament (see 1/2). It is still valid and relevant. A similar series: ‘Gwalior-ki-dekhi-andekhi-imaraten’ (known and unknown Monuments of Gwalior) was published in Swadesh Gwalior in 1975.
Ayaz Ahmed who hailed from a respectable family of Hakiman-Gali, Gudri-Mansoor Khan Agra, was his class-fellow in B.A. (1952-54), whence began a life-long friendship. They stood together for 50 years through thick and thin of life, until ‘Ayazbhai’ died in 2002. Off and on, he goes to his grave and laments: “How a few rose flowers and a few tears could express the feeling which bound us together? Even after his death? and, perhaps, also of mine? He lives in my memory and a noble soul, a grand man and a sincere friend as he was, he will continue to live. Death cannot overtake him, nor can separate us!”
Humble and unassuming, as self-made men are, he abbreviated his name to ‘R.Nath’ by which, through his writings, he became famous all over the world. R. Nath denotes ‘Mughal Architecture’ and vice versa: so inseparably bonded are these two phenomena.
He shifted to Gwalior (M.P.) in 1974 to study the monuments of Gwalior and neighbourhood; Shivpuri and Chanderi; Ujjain, Dhar and Mandu; Khajuraho and other historical sites of Madhya Pradesh. This was also a tremendously creative and fruitful period of his life when, besides working on these sites, he planned and worked on his magnum opus, viz. a multi-volume series: ‘History of Mughal Architecture’; he worked on several research projects (under fellowships) during this period, including the one on the monuments of Chittorgadh (Rajasthan) (published in several volumes), in pursuit of Agra-Fatehpur Sikri, Gopadri (Gwalior), Medapata (Mewar) architectural connection; and he also worked on a series of translations from Persian and Urdu into English, and produced such works as : ‘India As Seen by Amir Khusrau’ (1318 A.D.) (tr. of the Third Chapter of Amir Khusrau’s famous Mathnawi, the Nuh-Sipihr); ‘Monuments of Delhi: A Historical Study’ (tr. of Sayyid Ahmed Khan’s Urdu work:‘Athar’al Sanadid’ on the Monuments of Delhi, first published in 1846); and: ‘The Taj Mahal and Its Incarnation’ (Original Persian Data on its Material, Builders, Costs and Measurements) (see 1/3).
In 1979, he was appointed Reader/Associate Professor in the Department of History & Indian Culture, University of Rajasthan Jaipur, from where he retired as Professor & Head of the Department in 1993. He taught ‘Islamic Civilization’, ‘Sultanate and Mughal History’ and ‘Medieval Indian Culture’ (including Architecture) to Graduate, Post-Graduate and M.Phil students. He proved to be an excellent teacher, as good as he was a research scholar and a competent Head of the Department and on his retirement three farewells were given to him: by the Department, by Maharani College and by RUTA. He was pursuing his research simultaneously. He also worked on several projects and visited almost all historical sites of Rajasthan and published a large number of books, research-papers and popular articles during this period of sixteen years (see 1/4).
It was also about this time that he attended a number of National and International Seminars, Symposia and Conferences on Mughal Architecture, and delivered lectures and Memorial Lectures at various prestigious institutions throughout India. He delivered, with the help of slides, the keynote address to the International Symposium on Fatehpur Sikri, held at Harvard University (and MIT) (Cambridge, U.S.A.) on 17-19 October 1985 (published in the ‘Fatehpur Sikri’ Special Number of the Marg Bombay (1987) under the title : ‘Sources and Determinants of the Architecture of Fatehpur Sikri’, 149-84 & illus.). He was also invited to participate in the International Seminars/Symposia : at the University of Iowa, Iowa (U.S.A.) on the ‘Role of Calligraphy on Islamic Architecture in India’ (15-17 November 1985); at the University of Heidelberg (G.F.R.) held on 14-19 July 1986 on the ‘Sastric Tradition in Indian Art’; at the International Congress for the History of Art Washington ( U.S.A.) on 11-18 August 1986; and the University of Rome (Italy) on ‘Ritual Movement in Urban Architecture under the Mughals’ on 26-28 June 1987, where he sent his papers which were read in absentia (see 1/5).
He delivered lectures and Memorial Lectures, on Mughal Architecture at: the Heras Institute of Indian History & Culture Bombay; Salarjung Museum Hyderabad; ICHR New Delhi; Vikram University Ujjain; Iran Society Calcutta; SIAACM Ernakulam (Cochin) (to the Joint session of the IAS and IHCS); and All India Museums Annual Conference held at the National Institute of Conservation Lucknow.
He also visited Lahore (Pakistan) in 1988 to study its Mughal monuments, and to exchange views and ideas. His article: ‘My Impressions of Pakistan’ was published, in abridged form, in the Sunday Standard Bombay (26 February 1989) under the title: ‘The people, the places, and the past’. It is a beautiful memorial of this study-tour. (see 1/6).
Simultaneously, he prepared basic tools of the study of, and research in Mughal Architecture, in order to found it on a sound Theory, and make it a perfect discipline (see 1/7).
At Agra, Gwalior and Jaipur (1950-93) where he had access to College, University and other rich libraries, he READ voluminously and in tons, in faithful adherence to the dictum:
“Jisne – achchha – pada – nahin – hai,
voh – achchha – likh – nahin – sakta”.
(He who has not read enormously, cannot write competently), and by continuous WRITING, he gradually acquired mastery of Hindi (his mother tongue) and English. He can speak and write both these languages fluently, with spontaneity. Sanskrit was taught to him in school and he developed his proficiency in this classical language by constant practice. He learnt Gujarati while he lived in Gujarat, and Persian from a learned Maulvi of Jami Masjid Agra.
While ancient architectural (Vastu and Silpa) texts (a knowledge of which is essential) are in Sanskrit, medieval histories and inscriptions are in Persian, and both these languages: Sanskrit and Persian, are basic tools of research in this subject, without a workable knowledge of which, and without total command of ENGLISH in which its classical modern works are available (original and translations), and in which ideas and thoughts of this discipline can be best expressed, all this work could not have been possible. Collection of the data and making of drawings and photographs is only a preliminary exercise of research and its easier aspect (as explained hereinafter under link 3-(b) ; far more difficult is the reading of the language of stone, marshalling of the ideas, and linguistic craftsmanship, to be able to interpret effectively such a technical subject as Historical Architecture. It calls for precise intellectual application. This is how, Historical Architecture is excellent literature too, though it is not fiction. Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning, has to be virājamāna on the‘Vāṇī’ of a historian, so that both his ‘śabda’ and ‘aḳsara’ are siddhaṃ.
R.Nath returned to Agra in 1995 to settle his property matters and the impending marriages of his youngest children, from which, all, he was free by 2000. He purchased a new house in Kailash Vihar Agra and named it: ‘Tapasya’ which is how he defined his life’s journey. Now free from family commitments, and equipped with post-retirement intellectual maturity: maturity of thought and maturity of expression, which is a rare gift of age-ing, he concentrated on his table, whole-heartedly, and prepared/produced:
History of Mughal Architecture, Vol. IV Parts 1-2
Part -1 has been published and Part-2 is in press)
The Taj Mahal : A Complete Book
Islam in India: Predicaments of the Indian Musalman
( Historical Critique)
Mughal Sculpture (published)
Agra and Its Monuments (published)
Fatehpur Sikri and its Monuments (published)
Indigenous Characteristics of Mughal Architecture (published)
Mughal Inlay Art (published)
A Sketch of Aurangzeb ‘Alamgir’ (1658-1707 A.D.)
(based on his own histories)(in press)
Babur and His Monuments
Stone Ceilings of Mughal Architecture
Arch and Arch-Forms in Mughal Architecture
The Taj Mahal (published), Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort:
Works on UNESCO World Heritage (Medieval) Sites of India
Indologica Brajensia Vol-III (Research Journal) (published) and
He prepared an ambitious archive of architectural drawings and digital images of Mughal Architecture. He wrote popular articles in newspapers, magazines and other periodicals, and also gave TV interviews on contentious/controversial historical issues. It was also about this time that he (informally) guided the excavations at Fatehpur Sikri and surface exploration of its neighbourhood, and supervised the Ph.D. research of his research scholar D.V. Sharma on the same subject. Sharma worked extremely hard, under such a hard task-master as R.Nath, for more than five years, and successfully completed his Ph.D. His thesis:‘Archaeology of Fatehpur Sikri’ (New Discoveries) has been published and is widely acclaimed.
Nobody can claim to have said the last word, or the subject has been exhausted:
अनन्त शास्त्रं, अपरा विद्या
(Study is endless, knowledge is infinite)
One contributes his little bit, to the vast ocean of knowledge, to the best of his might, skill and ability, and departs. New-comers begin afresh from the stage he had left it and further advance the subject, which is how it grows and develops. Scholars come and go, the subject LIVES and knowledge endures, through thick and thin.
Having contributed his humble bit to the study of Mughal Architecture, which he thought was ENOUGH, and which will endure, and which TIME can not erase or falsify, he decided to migrate to Rajasthan. The art of it temples, palaces, havelis, water-structures and chhatris had been greatly fascinating, and he had been visiting Rajasthan since his College days. While living at Jaipur (1979-95), he had ample opportunity to survey its wonderful relics. His work:‘Rajasthan Architecture’ is result of this introductory study. He had worked out several research projects and as soon as he felt satiated with Mughal Architecture, he moved to Rajasthan to explore a new creative avenue of the same discipline: Historical Architecture, with nothing else except half a century’s experience of working in this field.
He shifted to Ajmer and built there a new house (April 2009 to July 2010), with Mughal idioms, in a beautiful natural environment – quiet and clean, serene and secluded – in the backdrop of the Aravalli Hills. With gardens in and out of it, it is, in fact, an ‘Ashram’ (Hermitage), and he has, again, rightly, named it ‘Tapasya’. Once again, he has uprooted the great Banyan tree and replanted it. From Agra (U.P.) to Gwalior (M.P.) to Jaipur (Rajasthan), back to Agra (U.P.) and finally to Ajmer (Rajasthan), he has been travelling, practically, for 45 years! Now at 84, he is beginning afresh (2012), with total faith in God, in himself and in his work!! Now he has three most important engagements:
1. finishing the incomplete works on hand;
2. revision and updating of hitherto published works;
3. writing new works on the architecture of Rajasthan ; and
4. Indian Aesthetics, his most cherished subject on which he has already been writing, e.g. in his book: ‘The Art of Khajuraho’ (New Delhi 1980). Since then, he is working on: ‘Ideals of Indian Womanhood’ (as described in classical Sanskrit texts and depicted in stone sculptures) which he wants to make a simple treatise on Indian Aesthetics.
WIFE: R.Nath and Savitri (सावित्री) were married in 1955 and, since then, for the last sixtytwo (62) years, they are living an ideally HAPPY MARRIED Life. While he concentrated on his work (on the Table and Outdoors), she managed the household, and the children, excellently. Without her support, it could not have been possible for him to have worked day-in-and-day-out, in difficult situations. ! Extremely simple and unassuming, she has no personal ambitions, needs or desires, and she has completely identified herself with her ghar ((घर): ‘GHAR’ is her temple and she is entirely devoted to it, so much so that she has no independent existence without it, without him and without the children. She is an epitome of ‘Vasundharā’ and ‘Annapūrṇā’ together !
Now, she is ‘Nānī’ of the five grown-up grand-daughters and one grand-son, and ‘Ammā’ of two grand-daughters, who and their parents, are all dedicated to her as affectionately as she is attached to them ! Though 80, she knows NO REST, and she is still busy from 6.00 in the morning to 8.00 in the night, caring for every trifle of the ‘Parivār’ (family) !!!
R.Nath has FOUR well-educated, value-oriented and cultured children, with academic and artistic tastes, who are all decently settled
First Daughter: Dr Veena Goyal (Ajmer): She is M.A.(Sanskrit) and Ph.D., with specialization in Sanskrit texts on Śilpa-and-Vāstu, and Aesthetics. Her two books have been published, including her Ph.D. work: ‘Śilpa-Rasa-Nirūpaṇa’ (Aesthetics of Plastic Arts: Historical Study) (Delhi 2002). She was engaged in the study of: ‘Water Management and Water Conservation in Rajasthan since Ancient Times’ (based on Sanskrit texts) when, most unfortunately, she suffered a severe stroke of brain-haemorrhage on 20th April 2016 and, since then, for over a year, most sorrowfully, she is lying in coma, and in an unconscious state of mind. We have no remedy and are completely helpless and cannot do anything except to pray! She has two daughters: Devangana (देवांगना) who is married to Viresh and decently settled at Bangaluru (Karnataka). Viresh is working as ‘Principal Consultant – Solution Design’ in the Infosys. She is working as Lecturer in Management & Tourism, in the Academy of Business Management, Tourism & Research at Bangaluru. She is also an excellent Landscape and Architectural photographer and has won several prizes. Second daughter Shubhangana (शुभांगना) passed her B.B.A and also did two years Diploma Course in Interior Designing from the Arch Academy Jaipur. Now she is independently running the ‘Arte-Indiano’ Export House of Indian Handicrafts (www.arteindiano.in | email: firstname.lastname@example.org | 09636030234/07737648836)
Second Daughter: Dr Neelima Mittal (Ujjain): is M.A., Ph.D. with specialization in Fine Arts (Painting and Sculpture-Iconography). Her Ph.D. Thesis:Inconographic Study of theChittorgadh Kīrttistambha of Maharana Kumbha’ (1433-68 A.D.) has been published (Delhi 2004). She is a practicing artist and a miniaturist. She is married to Sanjay Mittal (son of Professor A.C.Mittal of Vikram University Ujjain). He is running a large company of Scientific Instruments under the name: INDOTRONIX. She has a daughter Pratyushti (प्रत्युश्टि) who has completed M. Pharma + M.B.A. (3 years course) at NMIMS ( Narsee Muljee Institute of Management Studies) Mumbai , and is now joining M/S Johnson & Johnson at Pune as Pharmacist; and a son Yash (यश) who has completed B.Tech (Mechanical) and is now pursuing M.B.A. at NMIMS Bombay.
Son: AJAY NATH (Ajmer): After doing M.A. in History he moved into publication and established: The Historical Research Documentation Programme’ and‘The Heritage’, and published about 25 classical titles on Art-History, and the Research-Journal: ‘Indologica– Jaipurensia’ / ‘Indologica-Brajensia’. He also prepared basic tools of Indian Historical Architecture (specifically MUGHAL Architecture) as drawings (of plans, sections and elevations of monuments) and digital images (for which and for his books, reference may be made to his website: www.mughalarchitecture.com). He has been working with his father R.Nath outdoors, in the monuments, for more than three decades and he has vast practical experience of this subject. He is also an excellent architectural photographer. His book business is based at F/2, India Square Building, India Motor Circle, Ajmer – 305001 (Mob:09509932229). He is married to Anju who is working as Lecturer in Education at Bhagwant University Ajmer. He has two daughters : Oshin (ओशीन) who has done CBSE XII Board exam, and is now doing B.Arch from Aayojan School of Architecture at Jaipur; and Ojasvi (Deepshikha (दीपशिखा) (6) (in Class I Sophia School at Ajmer), the youngest member of the family, is her grandfather’s best friend.
Third Daughter: Sandhya Agarwal (Delhi): After passing B.A.Hons in Drawing & Painting, she did 3-years Diploma Course in Commercial Art and worked as Lecturer in Commercial Art in Women’s Polytechnic College Jaipur. She is married to Dr.Ashish Agrawal M.Sc., Ph.D. (Scientist, National Physical Laboratory Delhi) who hails from the renowned ‘Sāhū’ family of Bareilly. He has worked in Italy, Japan, the U.S.A. and other countries on Govt of India assignments, and Sandhya has also travelled with him. She has two daughters: Anusha (अनूषा) studying B.Tech IInd year at Banasthali Vidyapeeth (Rajasthan), and Anishka (अनिष्का) who is studing in class VII in Bal-Bharati Public School Delhi.
Photographs by Devangana
R.Nath’s Literary Writings (in Hindi)
It is not generally known that, simultaneously with his interest in Mughal monuments, R.Nath was also devoted to Hindi writings, in early life. He authored: sixteen novels (upanyās) (उपन्यास) (1952-1961), one of which titled: ‘Sābo’(सबो), was serialised in the ‘Amar Jagat’ (weekly) Agra (from 14 February 1966 to 28 November 1966) and was popularly acclaimed; five one-act plays (एकांकी) (1953-1956), onekhaṇḍa-kāvya (1953); more than 2000 poems and ‘geet’(गीत) (including Urdu and Braja-Bhasha poems) (1952-1956); and nearly a hundred articles, short-stories and ‘shabda-chitras’ (pen-portraits) (1953-1961). His‘muktaka’ (मुक्तक) poems and ‘shabda-chitra’ (शब्दचित्र) prose works were widely admired. But he never participated in any ‘mushāirā’ or ‘kavi-sammelan’or any other literary association.
R.Nath’s Hindi poems, articles and short-stories were published regularly in the ‘Vishal-Bhārat’ Calcutta from October 1952 to May 1954; in several other magazines like ‘Ārsī’ Kanpur, ‘Chitrā’ Calcutta,‘Jhankār’ Amritsar, ‘Lālimā’ Bharatpur and local weeklies and college magazines, during the years 1952 to 1954. In this field, he was greatly inspired by his elder friend Dr. Rangeya Raghava, renowned literary luminary of Agra in the fifties. R.Nath neatly packed his Hindi works (P-7 and P-8) in 1961, and rarely disclosed this literary activity to any body.
Honours and Awards
(I). R.Nath was granted an opportunity to meet the President of India, Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma (also a St. Johnian) on 17 May 1994. He discussed with him his 5-volume series: ‘History of Mughal Architecture’, and presented a copy each of its Vol. I, II, Supplement to Vol. II and Vol. III (see photos):
(II). His Highness Brig. Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singhji of Jaipur conferred ‘Raja-Kakil-Dev-Award-2006’ (consisting of Praśasti–Patra, Silver Kalaśa-Ganga-Sagar, Shawl and Rs. 11,000/-) upon R.Nath in recognition of his contribution to the study of MughalArchitecture, on 3 October 2006. Copy of the Prasasti – Patra is given herewith:
(III). Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Arabic & Persian Research Institute Tonk (Govt. of Rajasthan) also honoured R.Nath for his contribution to HISTORY, on 7 March 2017, and presented a shawl, pagdi, cash-prize, institute’s replica and Prasasti-Patra, copy whereof is given below;
Links of Chapter 1
R.Nath’s article: ‘Alma-Mater: St.John’s College Agra’ published in the Hindu Madras, in abridged form, under the title: ‘Alma-Mater: A Landmark in Transition’ on 30 March 1997
R.Nath’s article: ‘The Taj in Danger’ published in the Sunday Standard Bombay on 7 April 1968
List of Fellowships and Research – Projects under the heading: R.Nath’s ‘Experience of Research’
List of Historical Sites (Ancient and Medieval) R.Nath covered during the last half-a-century
List of National and International Seminars, Symposia and Conferences which R.Nath attended, or where his papers were read, and Lectures/Memorial Lectures R.Nath delivered
R.Nath’s article: My Impression of Pakistan’, published in abridged form, in the Times of India (Sunday Review) New Delhi, under the title: ‘The People, the places, the past on 26 February 1989
R.Nath’s preparation of the tools of the study of, and research in Indo-Muslim Architecture, under the heading: ‘On Various Aspects of the study of Indo-Muslim Architecture’ (1192-1803 A.D.)
EXPERIENCE OF RESEARCH
(Fellowships and Research Projects)
- M.A. Dissertation (in lieu of a paper) entitled: Agra & Its Monuments
- Ph.D. Research on Some Aspects of Mughal Architecture (with special reference to the Monuments of Agra)
- D.Litt Research on History of Decorative Art in Mughal Architecture (with special reference to the Monuments of Agra and Fatehpur Sikri)
- Research project of the HOMI BHABHA FELLOWSHIPS COUNCIL Bombay on the subject: History of Medieval Architecture of India (Madhya Pradesh): Prepared two volumes (both published)
- Research project of the Indian Council of Historical Research entitled: An Analytical Study of theEvolution of the Sultanate Architecture of Delhi, Its Techniques, Norms and Concepts (published)
- Another Research Project of the ICHR entitled : Architectural Relics of Mahārānā Kumbhā of Mewār (1433-1468 A.D.) (Antiquities of Chittorgadh Series)
- Simultaneously engaged in the 5-volume Series : History of Mughal Architecture of which three volumes along with a Supplement and Part-I of Vol.IV have been published
- And in preparing basis tools of Study and Research in Indo-Muslim Architecture, of which Jharokhā: An Illustrated Glossary of Indo-Muslim Architecture; andHistoriographical Study ofIndo-Muslim Architecture have been published andTawārīkh : An Annotated Bibliography of the Sources of Medieval Indian History and Historiography (Persian Histories & Travel Accounts) and Āthār’al Hind : An Annotated Bibliography of Indo-Muslim Architecture, are to be published
- And in MUGHAL TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE : Stylistic Study of the Krishna Temples of the Braja Region (of the reigns of Akbar & Jehāngīr, c.1570-1627), a preliminary study of which entitled : Śrī-Govinda Devaji’s Itinerary (from Vrindaban to Jaipur, c. 1534 to 1727 A.D.) has been completed and published
- Also worked on the ICHR’s research project : HISTORICAL STUDY OF ARCHITECTURAL PROTOTYPES
- Since retirement in 1993, engaged in comprehensive study of the Taj Mahal ; Rajasthan Architecture and Ancient Indian Aesthetics
(ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL)
DURING THE LAST HALF-A-CENTURY
|Mathura-Vrindaban and the Neighbouring Sites|
|Sanchi and the Neighbouring
|Dholpur-Bari||Bharatpur –Deeg – Goverdhan|
NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL
SEMINARS, SYMPOSIA AND CONFERENCES
(which R.Nath attended, or where his papers were read )
AND LECTURES & MEMORIAL LECTURES (he delivered)
TOOLS FOR THE STUDY OF
ARCHITECTURE constitutes a veritable chronicle in stone. The stamp of an age and a people – their tastes, beliefs, values, standards, achievements, ideas, feelings and skills, everything that makes up a civilization is most faithfully imprinted upon its monuments. It is a Fine Art as much as a source of Medieval Indian History & Culture and, a perfect discipline. Attempt has been made, during the last half-a-century, to cover its various aspects as follows:
I. On a Standard Terminology of this Study :
Jharokhā: An Illustrated Glossary of Indo-Muslim Architecture (Jaipur, 1986)
II. On the Theory of this Art :
‘On the Theory of Indo-Muslim Architecture’ Paper contributed to the Seminar on the ‘The Sastric Tradition in India Art’ held at the South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg (G.F.R) July 14-19, 1986, published in its Proceedings (Heidelberg/Stuttgart 1989) and in Medieval Indian History & Architecture(New Delhi 1995)
III. On Sources, Nomenclature, Techniques, Aesthetics and Miscellaneous other aspects :
Seven collections of about 150 Research-papers (some of which are independent monographs) have been published:
- Some Aspects of Mughal Architecture (New Delhi 1976) (out of print)
- Islamic Architecture & Culture in India (New Delhi 1982) (out of print)
- Architecture of Fatepur Sikri:Norms, Techniques & Concepts (Jaipur 1988) (out of print)
- Medieval Indian History & Architecture (New Delhi 1995) (which includes study of such institutions as‘Supurdgāh’, ‘Khwājasarā’ and ‘Jharokhā’; customs as circumcision (Sunnati); and architectural elements as ‘dado’ and ‘Chaukhaṇḍī’)
- Studies in Medieval Indian Architecture (New Delhi 1995)
- Glories of Medieval Indian Architecture (New Delhi 2010)
- Mysteries and Marvels of Mughal Architecture (Gurgaon 2010)
IV. On its Historiography & Methodology:
- ‘On the study of Indo-Muslim Architecture’ Part-1 (Indica, Bombay, XXII. 1 March 1985)
- Its Part-II (to be Published)
- ‘Calligraphic Art in Mughal Architecture: Historiographical Survey’ (Vishveshvaranand Indological Journal Hoshiarpur, XXII, 1984)
- ‘Resemblance’ As a Source of Mughal Architecture (published in Medieval Indian History and Architecture, New Delhi 1995, 123-126)
- Historiographical Study of Indo-Muslim Architecture (Jaipur 1989, 2nd ed. 1991)
- A Survey of the Study of Indo-Muslim Architecture (Puratattva New Delhi, No.25, 1994-5, 40-56)
- Review articles on (1) Begley & Desai’s ‘Shāhjehān-Nāmah’; (2) Catherine B. Asher’s ‘Architecture of Mughal India’; (3) Begley & Desai’s ‘Taj Mahal : ‘The Illumined Tomb’; and (4) Ebba Koch’s ‘Mughal Architecture: An Outline of its History & Architecture’
- The Munshi-Namah: A Historiographical Critique (to be published)
V. On Constructional Data :
The Taj Mahal & Its Incarnation (Original Persian Data on its Builders, Material, Costs, Measurements etc.) (Jaipur 1985) (out of print)
VI. On two Basic Bibliographies :
- Tawārīkh : An Annotated Bibliography of the Sources of Medieval Indian History & Historiography (Persian Histories & Travel Accounts) (to be published), and
- Āthār’ al-Hind; An Annotated Bibliography of Indo-Muslim Architecture (under preparation)
VII. On Stylistic Study of Sultanate and Mughal Architecture (A.D. 1192-1803) (being the Central Architectural Style of the Jamuna-Chambal region, covering Delhi, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Dholpur and Gwalior, and such sites as Ajmer, Lahore, Jaunpur and Sasaram on the Periphery) with respect to the plan and design of buildings, making of the façade, organization of the superstructure and distinctive characteristics (architectural features and ornaments) in the context of the sources of inspiration, determinants (Historico-Cultural and Geo-Physical) and the evolutionary process:
- History of Sultanate Architecture (New Delhi 1978) (out of print)
- History of Mughal Architecture : 5-Vol. Series
VIII. On Different Sites :
- The Immortal Taj Mahal (Bombay 1972) (out of print)
- The Art & Architecture of the Taj Mahal (Agra 1996) (out of print)
- Agra & Its Monumental Glory (Bombay 1976) (out of print)
- The Art of Chanderi (Delhi 1979)
- The Monuments of Delhi : Historical Study (New Delhi 1979) translation of Sayyid Ahmed Khan’s Āthār al-Ṣanādīd (Urdu ed.1846) (2nd revised & updated ed. Agra 2010)
- Agra and Its Monuments (Agra 1997)
- Fatehpur Sikri and Its Monuments (Agra 1999)
- Ajmer and Its Monuments (under preparation)
- The Taj Mahal (A Complete Book) (to be published)
- The Taj Mahal (UNESCO World Heritage Site) (Agra 2010)
- Agra Fort (to be published)
- Fatehpur Sikri (to be published)
- Red Fort Delhi
- Qutb Minar Complex and Its Monuments, Mehrauli Delhi
- Humayun’s Tomb complex Delhi
- The Art of Khajuraho (New Delhi 1984)
- Temples and Erotic Art of Khajuraho (New Delhi 2003)
- Antiquities of Chittorgadh (Jaipur 1984)
- Jaina Kirttistambha of Chittorgadh (Jaipur 1994)
- Chittorgadh Kirttistambha of Maharana Kumbha (New Delhi 1999)
IX. On Ornamental Aspects (both Schemes and Modes, and Motifs and Designs, including Calligraphic Art) :
- Colour Decoration in Mughal Architecture (Bombay 1970; second revised edition published in 1990)
- History of Decorative Art in Mughal Architecture (Delhi 1976) (being revised and updated under the title : ‘Motifsand Designs of Mughal Architecture’)
- Calligraphic Art in Mughal Architecture (Calcutta 1979)
X. On the Study of Mughal Miniature Painting as a Source of Contemporary Architecture :
Studied in three Research-Papers Nos. 137,142 and 193 (as per the list enclosed with Section-2)
XI. Historical Study of Architecture Prototypes : Research project channelled into two Parts : The Indigenous Sources and the Exotic Sources (a preliminary study of which is being published in The History Today New Delhi)