The Satavahanas at Sanchi
ADMIN , November 30, 2020 , LEAVE A COMMENT
It is possibly the oldest STONE monument in India. Your history teacher taught you that it was built by Ashoka the Great of the Mauryan dynasty. And you have seen it in umpteen travel brochures. You know the Sanchi Stupa, of course. Can you conjure up a mental picture of the monument? Does it look like this? Good. Now, guess which part of the structure was built by Ashoka? If you answered “ALL OF IT” – Congratulations; you remembered everything your history teacher taught you. But your teacher was wrong. The right answer is, “NONE OF IT”! Surprised? The original […]
Mariamman – the Village Goddess who travelled
ADMIN , September 30, 2020 , 3 Comments
Deep in southern India, in the villages of Tamilnadu and Karnataka, there is this very ancient tradition of Mariamman worship. According to scholars, the cult of Mariamman pre-dates the Vedic Gods, which means that it is probably over 4000 years old. In the pre-Vedic times, when Hinduism was not yet the expansive religion it is today, villagers in south India worshipped very localized Gods. These were the Village Gods. Each village had its own non-transferable, “our-very-own” God that understood local concerns and provided them specific relief. Perhaps, this is how Mariamman worship evolved. What would have worried an agrarian village […]
The Pious Armenian of Madras: Coja Petrus Uscan
ADMIN , April 22, 2020 , 1 Comment
The Armenians started coming to Madras (old Chennai) around the 16th century. Most of them migrated from Julfa, a suburb of Isfahan in Persia, because Madras was fast becoming a cosmopolitan trade centre.
The Indian Travelogue of Niccolao Manucci
ADMIN , April 15, 2020 , LEAVE A COMMENT
When the Mughal Prince, Dara Shikoh was defeated by his brother, Aurangzeb, he had an Italian artilleryman in his employ by the name of Nicolau Manucci. According to Manucci, he was offered the chance to join Aurangzeb’s army but he decided to flee instead. In his memoir, Storia do Mogor (or Story of the Mughal), Manucci paints a fabulous picture of his life and casts himself as the long-suffering hero and Aurangzeb as the evil villain, his arch-nemesis. But can we believe him?
- Alai Darwaza – Qutub Minar Complex, Delhi NOVEMBER 21, 2020
- Marking History through British buildings NOVEMBER 17, 2020
- The last great queen of Travancore NOVEMBER 7, 2020
- Brahmi and the evolution of scripts OCTOBER 15, 2020
- The Cambodian King of Kanchipuram OCTOBER 14, 2020
- James Prinsep – the man who read the writing on the wall OCTOBER 10, 2020
- Mariamman – the Village Goddess who travelled SEPTEMBER 30, 2020
- Misnamed Monuments of Mamallapuram SEPTEMBER 28, 2020
India Exists In Her Stories
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