Aurel Stein in Kashmir : The Sanskritist of Mohand Marg

S.N. Pandita, Om Publications, 2004, xxvi, 276 p, ISBN : 818686783X, $42.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents: Foreword. 1. Some facts by way of introduction. 2. Prologue. 3. The making and mould. 4. From Budapest to Brindisi. 5. Foretaste of the new home. 6. Motif of Rajatarangini. 7. Royal treasures behind the temple doors. 8. Antiquarian tours. 9. Mohand Marg - the other home. 10. Pearls from paradise. 11. Ambushed by cold. 12. Bedrock to the edifice of education. 13. The hour of glory. 14. Remembering the best Indian friend. 15. Dash - the companion of Marches. 16. Fabric of friendship. 17. From the fringes of sidelines. 18. Mohand Marg bewails. 19. Aurel Stein in Kashmir : some important dates. Bibliography. Index.

"Kashmir's past is full of extraordinary personalities who not only because of their achievements but also because of their personalities deserve to be held up as examples for the future. Their character and work has had an enriching effect not only on Kashmir but also on the world of science and universal knowledge and have earned international respect as a result. One such name is that of Sir Marc Aurel Stein. His name is linked forever with the silk road of Central Asia--one of the great romantic and evocative images of the east. The range and importance, style and success of Stein's archaeological finds have indeed immortalized him in the annals of human history, but what lifts his achievements into a special category is the historical vision as a Sanskrit scholar that to the end motivated his questing. Explorer, archaeologist and geographer, Stein is always acknowledged immediately, but a Sanskritist seldom, perhaps never. Even though Aurel Stein was the first among Europeans to understand the ethos of Kashmir's culture and recognize the value of its contribution to the history of world culture, yet his biographers have given only scanty accounts of his life and labours in Kashmir.

What the reader is now holding is not a biography of Sir Aurel Stein, nor is it a book on Kashmir history. In fairness it may be considered a memoir to Sir Aurel Stein's Kashmir life. It is a homage to his achievements as Sanskrit scholar and his relations with his adopted home-Kashmir and its native scholars. The book is a comprehensive research document which obliterates the gulf of time and distance that had so far obscured Stein's life and labours in Kashmir. It brings the spotlight on Stein's lesser known aspects and thus is an attempt to make him a better known figure that he is today. To sum up, the book shifts the focus on Aurel Stein from Central Asia to Kashmir and thereby breaks a new ground in Stein scholarship." (jacket)

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