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The Use of Quranic Inscriptions in the Bahmani Royal Mausoleums

The Case of Three Tombstones from Ashtur

Sara Mondini    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



Three inscribed tombstones have been (re)discovered within the second royal funerary complex of the Bahmani dynasty (1347-1527), in the village of Ashtur (Bidar district), in the modern state of Karnataka, India. The finding of the tombstones in situ and their hypothetical dating – based on the architectural analysis of the nearest structures – call for some considerations with regard to their peculiar location in a funerary chamber under the base of one of the structures of the complex. At the same time, the examination of the content of the inscriptions and the specific choice of some Quranic verses (ayat) allow us to reflect on the use and recurrence of  Quranic inscriptions in the Gulbarga and Bidar districts in the first half of the Bahmani Sultanate (ca 1347-1436), and on the specific meanings and powers attributed to them when associated with royal burials.


Keywords: DeccanInscriptionsTombstoneQuranBahmani

Copyright: © 2016 Sara Mondini. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.