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On fish in Manasollasa (c. 1131 AD)

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Abstract

We came across a very interesting description of fishing for royal recreation in the 12th century compendium in Sanskrit titled Abhilashitarthachintamani or Manasollasa and authored by the Western Chalukya King Someshvardeva (1126-1138 AD). The text includes description of 35 kinds of marine and fresh water fishes, each with a distinct name, the feeds provided to few fishes, and the art of angling. The text also includes a brief description of cooking fish. We have made an attempt to identify Latin names of the fishes from the names given by Someshvardeva. Fishes described in the text include sharks, a sawfish, a triggerfish, garfishes, carps, croakers, a spiny eel, catfishes, barbels, murrels, a ray fish, gobies, and snakeheads. Only half a dozen of these were nurtured for the royal game of angling. It is evident that considerable knowledge of fishes was gathered almost 900 years ago, but was ignored in subsequent centuries.

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... In 1127-1138 AD, the King of Western Chalukya, King Someshvara III, authored a compendium in Sanskrit "Mansollasa-Mānasollāsa" (meaning the "refresher of the mind"). This referred to 35 different species of marine and freshwater sport fishes, each with unique name (Sadhale and Nene 2005;Jayaram 2005). Within these works, the riverine game fish called 'Mahashila' is described as a 'riverine scaly large fish'. ...
... Within these works, the riverine game fish called 'Mahashila' is described as a 'riverine scaly large fish'. Mahashila in Sanskrit means a large stone-like (powerful) fish, and is thought to refer to the mahseers (Hora 1953;Sadhale and Nene 2005). There are, however, contradictory views among researchers regarding the exact species of mahseer to which this refers (Hora 1953;Sadhale and Nene 2005). ...
... Mahashila in Sanskrit means a large stone-like (powerful) fish, and is thought to refer to the mahseers (Hora 1953;Sadhale and Nene 2005). There are, however, contradictory views among researchers regarding the exact species of mahseer to which this refers (Hora 1953;Sadhale and Nene 2005). Indeed, during the rule of Someshvara III, the Empire of Western Chalukya was confined to the current geographical areas of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra states, meaning that the fish could have been any one or a combination of Tor species found in Southern India. ...
Article
The mahseer fishes (Tor spp.) represent an iconic genus of large-bodied species of the Cyprini-dae family. Across the 16 recognised species in the genus, individual fish can attain weights over 50 kg, resulting in some species being considered as premier sport fishes. Tor species also generally have high religious and cultural significance throughout South and Southeast Asia. Despite their economic and cultural importance, the status of Tor fishes has been increasingly imperilled through their riverine habitats being impacted by anthropogenic activities, such as hydropower dam construction and exploitation. Moreover, conservation efforts have been constrained by knowledge on the genus being heavily skewed
... In 1127-1138 AD, the King of Western Chalukya, King Someshvara III, authored a compendium in Sanskrit "Mansollasa-Mānasollāsa" (meaning the "refresher of the mind"). This referred to 35 different species of marine and freshwater sport fishes, each with unique name (Sadhale and Nene 2005;Jayaram 2005). Within these works, the riverine game fish called 'Mahashila' is described as a 'riverine scaly large fish'. ...
... Within these works, the riverine game fish called 'Mahashila' is described as a 'riverine scaly large fish'. Mahashila in Sanskrit means a large stone-like (powerful) fish, and is thought to refer to the mahseers (Hora 1953;Sadhale and Nene 2005). There are, however, contradictory views among researchers regarding the exact species of mahseer to which this refers (Hora 1953;Sadhale and Nene 2005). ...
... Mahashila in Sanskrit means a large stone-like (powerful) fish, and is thought to refer to the mahseers (Hora 1953;Sadhale and Nene 2005). There are, however, contradictory views among researchers regarding the exact species of mahseer to which this refers (Hora 1953;Sadhale and Nene 2005). Indeed, during the rule of Someshvara III, the Empire of Western Chalukya was confined to the current geographical areas of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra states, meaning that the fish could have been any one or a combination of Tor species found in Southern India. ...
Article
Full-text available
The mahseer fishes (Tor spp.) represent an iconic genus of large-bodied species of the Cyprinidae family. Across the 16 recognised species in the genus, individual fish can attain weights over 50 kg, resulting in some species being considered as premier sport fishes. Tor species also generally have high religious and cultural significance throughout South and Southeast Asia. Despite their economic and cultural importance, the status of Tor fishes has been increasingly imperilled through their riverine habitats being impacted by anthropogenic activities, such as hydropower dam construction and exploitation. Moreover, conservation efforts have been constrained by knowledge on the genus being heavily skewed towards aquaculture, with considerable knowledge gaps on their taxonomy, autecology, distribution and population status. Whilst taxonomic ambiguity has been a major constraint on conservation efforts, this has been partially overcome by recent, robust taxonomic revisions. This has enabled revision of the IUCN Red List status of Tor fishes; three species are now assessed as ‘Near Threatened’, one ‘Vulnerable’, three ‘Endangered’ and one ‘Critically Endangered’. However, eight species remain ‘Data deficient’. Here, information on these 16 Tor fishes is synthesised for the first time, outlining the current state of knowledge for each species, including their known distributions and population status. For each species, the outstanding gaps in knowledge are also identified, and their population threats and conservation prospects outlined. Consequently, this review provides the basis for researchers to challenge and enhance the knowledge base necessary to conserve these freshwater icons in an era of unprecedented environmental changes.
... In the ancient Indian literature, Sanskrit Encyclopedia-Manasollasa (1126-1138 this species was named Vadisha and categorized as a large, riverine, scaly herbivorous fish. But later Hora (1951) identified this species as Notopterus chitala (Hamilton) and reported its carnivorous feeding habit (Sadhale and Nene, 2005). Chitala is considered as one of the most commercially important and highly priced fish for food, sport and aquarium purposes (Sarkar et al., 2009a) due to its rarity and delicacy. ...
Article
Full-text available
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... Loài cá này phân bố chủ yếu ở nước lợ nhưng cũng xuất hiện ở nước ngọt (Trương Thủ Khoa và Trần Thị Thu Hương, 1993). Cá ngát là một loài cá kinh tế quan trọng ở vùng ven biển, thuộc danh sách đỏ, cần được bảo vệ ở nhiều nước (Trần Ngọc Hải và Nguyễn Thanh Phương, 2006); là một trong những loài cá sống phổ biến ở vùng ven bờ và cửa sông (Mackensize, 1962;Sadhale and Nene, 2005); và là một trong 35 loài cá kinh tế quan trọng ở Malaysia (Bujang et al., 2006). Ở Việt Nam theo đánh giá của Trần Ngọc Hải và ctv (2008) đây là một trong những loài cá bản xứ có giá trị cao. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
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... Elephants were also given chickpea grain (Gode, 1961). The Manasollasa (1131 AD) mentions chickpea flour as fish feed, and the grain as feed for buffaloes (used in fights) and boars (Gode, 1961;Sadhale and Nene, 2005). ...
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Hastishastra or the science dealing with elephants originated in India. Kings in ancient India maintained a separate division of manned elephants in their armies besides the foot soldiers, chariot riders, and horse riders. Capturing elephants from forests, managing them, treating their ailments, and training for various purposes formed an important activity in most kingdoms. Hastyayurvedasamhita (a manual of the science of elephant-life), a work by the sage Palakappya, is an ancient text that has been preserved in the Raja Serfoji Saraswathi Mahal Library of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The encyclopedic work, Manasollasa, or Abhilashitarthachintamani has been ascribed to the Western Chalukya King, Someshvardeva or Somadeva III, who ruled in the twelfth century AD. A large number of verses deal with elephants and their management. For the first time ever, these verses have been translated into English in this article with a discussion. This paper is the first in a series of three articles.
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Hastishastra or the science dealing with elephants originated in India. Kings in ancient India maintained a separate division of manned elephants in their armies. Capturing elephants from forests and managing them was an important activity in most kingdoms. Two papers, one on elephant habitat and methods of capturing and the other on diseases and treatments were published in the previous two issues of this journal. In this paper English translation of 256 verses (Manasollasa: Section IV, Chapter 3 - Gajavahyali) related to the sports in arena have been presented and discussed. It is obvious that though the sports were dangerous, human participation was voluntary and precautions were taken to reduce risk to human lives.
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Hastishastra or the science dealing with elephants originated in India. Kings in ancient India maintained a separate division of manned elephants in their armies. Capturing elephants from forests and managing them was an important activity in most kingdoms. The article "On elephants in Manasollasa – 1. Characteristics, habitat, methods of capturing and training" was published in the previous issue of this journal. In this article English translation of 58 verses (Manasollasa: Section II, Chapter 6 – Baladhyaya) and a commentary are presented. It is obvious that the knowledge of was extensively used to treat various ailments of elephants during the twelfth century AD. The reference to plant diseases is worth noting.