Sharada Books are synonymous with detailed but accessible academic history publications, covering all aspects of India’s philosophical, cultural, and religious heritage. The publisher is known for the depth of their content and the beauty of their books – with each title available as an imposing hardback, rich with photographs, line drawings, and references. So far in 2021, there have been five notable new releases, each strongly recommended for private book collections, universities, and libraries.
1) ‘Sarnath: The Appraisal’ – by Ajay Srivastava & Sachin Kr. Tiwary (ISBN: 978-93-83221-33-2, £161.99)
Sarnath: The Appraisal is a comparative study of the memorials, monuments, and religious buildings found in the ancient Indian city of Sarnath, a site sacred to Buddhists, Jains and Hindus. This is the defining book on the subject, with detailed descriptions of artefacts and items found on the site, and a full synopsis of all archaeological surveys and investigations.
2) ‘History of Jainism in Kerala’ – by M.S. Dhiraj (ISBN: 978-93-83221-30-1, £139.99)
M.S Dhiraj’s ground-breaking study on the origins and history of Jainism in Kerala is an important new contribution to the cultural history of southern India, and builds on the latest academic and archaeological research in the area.
3) ‘Folk Architecture of Asian Villages and Towns : A Comparative Study’ – by Durga Basu (ed) (ISBN: 978-93-83221-31-8, £88.99)
Prof Durga Basu, formerly of the Department of Archaeology at Calcutta University, presents a volume of 15 original articles about vernacular, or folk, architecture in southern Asia, and the implications for customs, technology, beliefs, religion, and legal practices in the region.
4) ‘Stone Age to Iron Age: Development of Early Human Culture in Andhra Pradesh’ – by P.C. Venkatasubbaiah (ISBN: 978-93-83221-34-9, £81.99)
Drawing on extensive archaeological studies, Stone Age to Iron Age reconstructs half a million years of Indian prehistory, spanning the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherer cultures, to the development of farming, and later of urbanisation, in the Neolithic period – on to the formation of recognisable political, cultural, and religious civilisations in the Bronze and Iron Age. P.C. Venkatasubbaiah presents an epic evaluation of early human culture in Andhra Pradesh, drawing on the latest analysis of prehistoric sites, burial mounds, temples, figurines, icons, weapons, and inscriptions.
5) ‘Philosophy and Cultural Traditions of East Asia’ – by A. Appan Ramanujam (ISBN: 978-93-83221-32-5, £59.99)
Philosophy and Cultural Traditions of East Asia is a comparative study of the three main schools of East Asian philosophy, namely Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. The author traces the interplay of social, moral, and metaphysical ideas between the systems, how each has influenced social and political development, and the various attempts of Chinese thinkers and political leaders to synthesise or transcend these ideas.