layers to the multiple sovereignties of medieval history. As before, losers in
war fled to seek fortunes elsewhere. As during Chola expansion, chain
reactions followed. Conquered Rajputs defeated local rulers in the western
Himalayas and Punjab hills, who climbed to fight in higher valleys. As they
arrived in Nepal, Yaksha Malla (1429–1482) partitioned his kingdom among
his three sons, who ruled Katmandu, Patan, and Bhaktpur (all now inside the
city of Katmandu); and each son had to fight the kshatriyas who had fled
defeat in plains. Centuries of competitive interaction pervaded military rulers
with many common traits. Subordination, alliance-building, emulation and
learning brought about cultural borrowing, diffusion and amalgamation.
Multi-Cultural Patronage In new dynastic realms, a new kind of cultural
complex emerged that gave rulers many options, but a majority of the rulers
were typically engaged in multi-cultural patronage. In medieval societies, the
spirit and practice of Hindu bhakti mingled with those of Muslim sufi
mysticism around saintly examples of spiritual power and in music, poetry
and eclectic divine experience. Spiritual guides, teachers, mystics, poets,
festivities, and sacrificial offerings drew the attention of people. Turkish,
Afghan, Persian, and regional Hindu aesthetic and engineering motifs got
fused in the arts, fortresses, palaces and consumer taste.
Common Symbols and Rituals of Rank The regalia of royalty formed a
symbolic language of honour that was spoken by rulers of all religions, who
recognised one another’s authority and engaged in common rituals of rank.
Sultans and rajas fought, taxed, invested, administered and transacted with
one another using the same lexicon and technologies, learning from one
another. Vijayanagar provides one good example of such mingling. Its Rayas
faced deadly enemies in the Bahmani Sultans, who eventually destroyed
Vijayanagar; but Rayas themselves became Hindu sultans and their
techniques of power closely resembled Bahmani Sultans. Nayakas in the
south and Rajputs in the north likewise assumed the mixed character of
Hindu sultans.
Emergence of New Identities
Personality-Oriented Historical Writing            Individual identities appear
more clearly and elaborately