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Indo-Turkmenistan Relations And The Formation Of Cultural Heritage Of Turkmenistan In Middle Ages

R.L.Hangloo (India)

In Indo-Central Asian relations the Turkomen have played very important and historical role that constitutes the most significant aspect of cultural heritage of both these
countries in Middle Ages. .

Although contacts between India and Central Asia go back to antiquity but it was with the onset of 13th century when Delhi Sultanate was established in India that new processes were set in motion to nourish a vibrant relationship between India and Turkmenistan despite the immensity of distances. There is hardly any area of Indian civilization which did not register the Turkoman influence. In establishing the Sultanates of Delhi, Bengal, Kashmir and Deccan the Turkomen played a significant role in politics, administration, military, judiciary, architecture, art forms, literature, poetry and in'various other institutions like Sufism. Even though the Turkoman established large Sultanates in various regions but they were deeply rooted in to the Turkmenian culture. They always patronised streams of people from their territory to assist them in maiming their affairs. Be it Turkish-Chahalgam in Delhi, Shahmirs in Kashmir, or the Qutb Shah is in Deccan, their contributions in varied fields is very much living even to this day. Similarly the Great Turkomen Bairam Beg Khan who laid the foundation of the mightily Mughal Empire in India and the contribution of his son Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Kanan occupies an impol1ant place in the cultural heritage of both these countries. Hafiz Shirazi once said, «The black eyed beauties of Kashmir and the Turkoman of Samarkand Sing and dance to the strains of Hafiz Shirazi verse». It bespeaks of the cultural synthesis that took place between the two countries at the popular level as well.

The contacts between Indians and Turkomen in various fields of material culture and art and architecture at popular level facilitated by various Sultans and also been a source of great historical progress in formation of the cultural heritage of Turkmenistcan in medieval times. For example Sultan Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah who was from the Qara Qoyunlu tribe of Turkoman founded the City of Hyderabad in Deccan and was also a great poet and the author of rich collection of nearly 50000 couplets comprising ghazals, rwzm, masnavis, qasidas, ruboies and fytas. He is the founder of urdu language in Deccan which he did by blending Persian and Hindi.

There is plentiful of evidence to illustrate various elements which played an important role in formation of cultural heritage of Turkmenistan and its historical progress in Middle ages. All these details are focused very authentically in this paper by the author.

From presentation at the International Conference
"Cultural Heritage of Turkmenistan".
October, 2000. Ashgabat, Turkmenistan