Highnoon in the Raj

Highnoon in the Raj- Part 1

Highnoon in the Raj- Part 1

Franz Ferdinand’s World Tour, 1892-93: Sri Lanka and India

 

On 28 June 1914 while visiting Sarajevo the Archduke and heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were assassinated, sparking off the fuse that would light the world ablaze in the first world war. Due of this event his name lives in infamy, but much of his life has been forgotten.

In his own life one episode of great international sensation was his world tour in which upon his coming of age he traveled abroad; customary for European princes at that time. His journal provides us with one of the most detailed accounts of India in the 19th century, its places people, beliefs, history, culture, society and more.

He departed on 12 December 1892 via a train from Vienna to the port of Trieste in the Adriatic Sea. From Trieste he traveled to Greece and the Isle of Crete, to Egypt and through the Suez Canal to Aden in South Arabia. He crossed the Arabian Sea where he reached Ceylon on 5 January 1893. Shrouds of mist covered the horizon as Franz’s ship the SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth approached Colombo where many Sinhalese came out in boats to greet him. Read more about Highnoon in the Raj- Part 1

A Masterpiece of a Well: Adalaj Ni Vav

A Masterpiece of a Well: Adalaj Ni Vav

A Masterpiece of a Well: Adalaj Ni Vav

This unique stepwell 18 km from Ahmedabad will take your breath away….

King Rana Veer Singh was the ruler of Dandai Desh, the area around today’s Adalaj. He was a descent from the Vaghela dynasty. A dynasty whose end was caused by Allauddin Khilji of the Delhi Sultanate.

King Rana Veer Singh was sensitive towards his subjects, especially their need for water considering the arid conditions in his kingdom. To provide for year round water for his subjects, the King decided to build a stepwell. Read more about A Masterpiece of a Well: Adalaj Ni Vav

Razia Sultan: India’s Most Underrated Ruler

Razia Sultan: India’s Most Underrated Ruler

Razia Sultan: India’s Most Underrated Ruler

Razia Sultan’s short reign in the 13th century was more radical than any other in Indian history

We’ve read about Boudica’s wrath and Joan of Arc’s exemplary leadership. We’ve heard great stories of Queens and lady warriors in Europe and Russia but do we have similar counterparts in India as well?

Yes we do.

India, has been a vast country never fully united in history like it is today. But India’s capital Delhi has seen power struggle and court politics for centuries together.

Most of us may point to the Mughals and say that they were the first to rule from the region of Delhi. Although this is not true.

The first Islamic rulers in India were not the Mughals but the Delhi Sultanate rulers. They came to the subcontinent from Turkey. Since they haven’t left many beautiful monuments to gawk at unlike the flamboyant Mughals, the Delhi Sultanate is almost forgotten by us today.

Nonetheless, as history would have it, the Delhi Sultanate left behind something more important and awe inspiring than even the Taj Mahal– a female ruler.

This female ruler is known to us as Razia Sultan. Unfortunately she isn’t a part of folklore as much as she should be. Razia Sultan is not even prominently mentioned in history textbooks. Let us set history right today and learn more about this incredible Muslim female ruler. Read more about Razia Sultan: India’s Most Underrated Ruler

The Curse of Fatehpur Sikri

The Curse of Fatehpur Sikri

The Curse of Fatehpur Sikri

This beautiful city Emperor Akbar built had a tragic fate

Red sandstone on more intricately carved sandstone and in that sea of red, a peaceful white marble abode, calm and serene. That is how you could describe Fatehpur Sikri.

I visited the cities of Delhi and Agra a couple of years ago. It was one of those long awaited school trips, the best of the lot. Needless to say, we had tremendous fun. It was icing on the cake that this trip came long with a package of many historical monuments.

Amongst these plethora of historical monuments, is the city of Fatehpur Sikri. If you look at legends, the origins of Fatehpur Sikri all point to Emperor Akbar.  Read more about The Curse of Fatehpur Sikri