Sri Govinda Devji (GD), a family deity of Amber''s Kachavaha dynasty, now resides in Jaipur (Rajasthan), along with his consort Radha -- in a temple that forms part of the precincts of Jaipur''s City Palace. GD''s image, however, was first installed by Rup Goswami: one of the six disciples of Caitanya (AD 1486-1533), in a temple located at the centre of Vrindaban: the Yogapitha, where the image is said to have manifested itself. In 1590, Raja Mansingh built a great temple consecrated to the deity. And GD became not only a symbol of Mansingh''s power, but also a focus of political interaction between the Mughal Emperor and the Kachavahas and, hence, an object of imperial and royal patronage. Towards the close of the 17th century, Govinda Devji and Radha, accompanied by Vrindaban''s tutelary goddess: Vrindadevi, were taken to Amber territory to protect them the onslaughts of the iconoclasts. A little later, these deities moved to Jaipur, the new capital of Kachavahas.
The documents, included in this volume, deal with Kachavaha grants and the affairs of the custodians of the Govinddevji temple: from the middle of the 17th century to the 1950s. Professor Horstmann interprets these official papers afresh to not only trace the centuries-long history of grants, but to show how these documents implicity establish an aspect of relationship between the Kachavaha dynasty of Eastern Rajasthan (Amber/Jaipur) and the Gaudiya sect of Vaisnavism -- and even beyond that between the modern state of Rajasthan and the specific religious sect. Unveiling, thus, a facet of the politico-religious history of the Vraj region and Rajasthan, Professor Horstmann also tries to examine the administrative and diplomatic usage of the Kachavaha chancery -- largely on the basis of the Persian documents.
Monika Horstmann is Professor of Modern Asian Studies at the South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg.
Introduction -- The Documents: Diplomatic and Administrative Aspects -- Calendar of Documents -- Texts and Translations.