Mathura, widely known as birth place of Lord Krishna, is located on the western bank of the river Yamuna, north-west of Agra in the State of Uttar Pradesh, India. In times past, Mathura was the hub of culture and civilization and is held in sanctity by the Buddhists, Jain and Brahmanical faith alike.
The book "Mathura" has been undertaken to understand the spacial aspect of Mathura's early growth and culture and its socio-political and economic history. Drawing on the archaeological studies and also on the text and inscriptions, it explores the character of Mathura as a city.
The author has charted the development of the settlement pattern in Mathura region in this book. It covers the period from sixth century BC up to the end of the Gupta period. It also reflects the changing perspectives, methodologies and approaches to the study of an early Indian urban centre. The evidence for an early economy developing into an urban economy has been provided by archaeological excavations. This combined with literary evidence suggests that Mathura can be seen as an important variant in the typology of early historical urban centres, primarily because of the wealth of its art and epigraphic material.
The study shows that the settlements were usually adjacent to river courses in the PGW and NBP periods, but in the Sunga and the Saka Kusana periods several sites were not near any natural water source, indicating that with the development of technology, site location may be based on factors other than topography and environment.
About the Author:
Vijaya Laxmi Singh (b 1960) graduated in History (Honours) from the prestigious Patna Women`s College (Avila Convent), Patna. She obtained M.A. and M.Phil degrees from Delhi University and Ph.D. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. She is currently Reader in a Delhi University College. Her first monograph Ujjayini: A Numismatic and Epigraphic Study was published in 2000. She has also published many papers in academic journals. She has participated and lectured in national and international seminars/colloquiums. She has also worked in Delhi University as a member of statutory bodies like the Academic Council (1994-98) and the Executive Council (2000-2004).