Highnoon In The Raj- Part 2

Highnoon In The Raj- Part 2

This is the second part of the three part series written by Gerald Kuchyt. Read the first part here

Franz Ferdinand had been to Ceylon where he was mesmerised by the people and the culture. From there he journeyed to the busy city of Bombay. He wrote about his first impression of Bombay-

“A thick fog covered the sea during the morning. When the veil lifted the profile of Bombay and the surrounding mountains became visible.”

He was again taken up by the people and the culture in this vast country under the British Raj- Hindustan.

From Bombay, he ventured into south Indian cities of Tadur (Telangana) and Hyderabad. Read more about Highnoon In The Raj- Part 2

Hampi, Living History in all its Glory

Hampi: Living History in all its Glory

Hampi: Living History in all its Glory

Suvendu Rout narrates his travel experience to this magnificent world heritage site of Hampi in India


Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a treat to all your senses. Its grandeur will leave you spellbound. Often when you hear lofty praises about a place, your expectations become so high that the actual experience could be a let-down! There are very few places that rise above your expectations; Hampi is one of them. Hampi, in south India is quite a marvel- history, heritage, architecture, nature, people, culture- all packed into a small bundle of joy. Last December (2017) I experienced this magical land and I will cherish the memory forever. I would like to share my vivid experience with you.

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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

The Princely States of Hindustan

The Princely States of Hindustan

The Princely States of Hindustan

Land of Tigers -The Rajputs


“India is a place beyond all others” said one of the 19th century’s most famous poets and native of India, Rudyard Kipling. From antiquity to present has India been a place of unfathomable wealth, a land of maharajas, nizams, sultans, and warrior princes, a crucible of faith and empire which had often attracted both the commerce and conquest of foreign powers such as the Mughals, Timurids, French, and English. At the heart of this wealth and struggle for political order were the Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh rulers, who descending from age old dynasties were among the most opulent and extravagant rulers in history. They built palaces of heavenly beauty, hosted the grandest of processions such as the Delhi Durbar, and were noted for their fortunes that would make even the gods envious. Thus when one sees a photo or listens to a story about them it is hard not to be struck with awe, yet their legacy today is also one of great controversy, for to secure their power often did they submit to and aid in the foreign occupation of India. For this when India achieved independence in 1947, within a decade did everyone of these centuries old monarchies crumble.

The Princely States of Hindustan
The Chamber of Princes was a body consisting of all the heads of the Princely States and presided over by the Viceroy of India

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Wonder Woman

The Secret History of Wonder Woman

The Secret History of Wonder Woman is Jack Edwards’ favourite. He acquaints us with it-


The Secret History of Wonder Woman: A Book by Jill Lepore

A sensational piece of writing, Jill Lepore’s award winning book is a marvellous journey through the history of what lead to the creation of one of the greatest comic book heroes in the world – Wonder Woman. Lepore’s begins with the early life of her creator, William Moulton Marston, recounting his youth and his time at university and how he was influenced by the women’s suffrage movement. It also delves into his early work in science and law, which lead him to develop a device which contributed to the invention of the lie detector.

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Indian Freedom Struggle

Origins of the British Empire

Origins of  the British Empire

A country with vast fertile land, a plethora of cultures and people, India has so much of diversity. This land had been set free 70 years before. 300 years of this land’s equally vast history has been reserved for the Indian Freedom Struggle.

As I always mention, history is a story. And every story has 2 perspectives. Similarly we are lucky enough to have 2 different versions of the Indian Freedom Struggle.

This weekend let us find an answer to this simple question- Why did a Company like the British East India Company want to set up a colony in India instead of Britain’s Monarch? Read more about Origins of the British Empire

Ancient Pergamon Library

Library of Pergamum

The Forgotten Library of Pergamum

The Library of Pergamum was the second largest library after the Library of Alexandria. Laura Rodríguez explains why it is missing from our history textbooks today and her opinion about how these old libraries revolutionised our world

Pergamum, now the modern Turkish city of Bergama, was one of the most important cities of Hellenistic Greece. Hellenistic Greece is the time period after the death of Alexander the Great till Greece’s downfall against the Roman empire. There was a culturally rich, extensive library founded by King Eunemes II in the city of Pergamum. This city had gained popularity as an administrative centre. The library of Pergamum was located on the northern end of this fortified city.

Bergama Ancient Pergamon Library
Pergamum was located in the present day Bergama in Turkey (Google Maps)

Plutarch, a Greek biographer and essayist, wrote that the library had a total of 200,000 volumes. There is no catalogue to ascertain the number of books that survives from that period. But it it is believed that Plutarch’s account is indeed true. Due to its 200,000 books, this library was the second most important after Alexandria and rivalled the latter, as Pliny the Elder, Roman author and natural philosopher, pointed out in his “Natural History”. It had a grammar school, but unlike Alexandria, where they specialised in the literary and critical texts, in Pergamun they leaned towards philosophy, especially the stoic Philosophy.

There was such a rivalry between both these libraries, tradition tells us that the Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt stopped the shipment of papyrus to Pergamum in the hope of putting the growth of the library to an end. But it didn’t help; the city turned parchment into substitute for papyrus and also became the centre for the production of parchment. Parchment is derived form the Pergamum which comes from Latin word pergamenum and the French word parchemin. Read more about Library of Pergamum

reading mania

Reading Mania

The scandalous Reading Mania

When books Cast their Spell on the World

reading mania

History Repeats Itself, this I believe. And let me tell you why.

In this world of social media staying away from it is like missing out on the latest news. Your interests might lie in any topic, social media is the best to get all the information as fast as possible. Newspapers and magazines always  seem to be an hour too late.

In this tech savvy world haven’t we all been in the situation when we have been warned- Social Media is bad, phones are bad, technology is bad. It’ll spoil your eyes, get you depressed, make you feel lonely and on and on. Yet these ‘harmful’ incidences are one in thousands, not seen everyday. These incidences are reports from the print media and this media is dying out. It makes one wonder, how much of these warnings are true?

This is not the first time big ‘influencers’ have used their powers to tell adult minds jargon against what their children are doing. The first of these cases started in the 17th century when influential law makers, thinkers decided that books were injurious to health. Read more about Reading Mania