The Present book is the outcome of my continued study of the history of tribes of Ancient India. In past years I wrote some books on tribes which have been well received by scholars and the present treatise is an improvement of them and I have added many new tribes to it. The object of the volume is to present a comprehensive an systematic account of some tirbes inhabiting different parts of India, viz. North, South, East, West and central, who played an important part in the early history of India.
In preparing the volume, I have utilised original works in Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Tibetan and Chinese and I have also derived help from other sources, such as epigraphy, archaeology, numismatics, and itineraries of the Chinese pilgrims. In a work of this kind, legends cannot altogether be ignored as they very often contain a substratum of truth. In my treatment I have spared no pains to make full use of the materials that may be gathered from our ancient literature. Modern literature on the subject, too, has been duly utilised. I have tried as far as possible to separate legends from authentic history. But the task is fraught with difficulties and it is not always easy to draw the dividing line. It must, however, be admitted that the history of India is not complete with without a thorough knowledge of the history of tribes. Hence an attempt has been made here to present an exhaustive and careful study of the ancient Indian tribes without parti pris and in a spirit of scientific research. I believe that this work will remove a long felt want and will prove to be of some use to scholars interested in the history of ancient India.
I am grateful to the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona, for having kindly included it in their series.
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