Indian

Doyen of Assamese Films

Assam and its sister states namely Meghalya, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh & Nagaland jointly called 7 sisters once upon a time constituted only one state and were known as Assam only. Like every other state and great diversity of cultures in India, Assam and its sister states have preserved their unique culture. One reason for this is lesser contact with rest of the country due to nature of terrain and Central government’s apathy for years. Despite being very rich in resources, the area has not seen the prosperity due to it. The most important ingredients for an area to… Read More »Doyen of Assamese Films

Professor Yasmin Saikia

One day a program on Ahoms-the kings who ruled the state of Assam for almost 700 years-was telecast on Doordarshan TV. It talked about how Tai Ahoms came to Assam from Yunnan province and settled here bewitched by the natural beauty of the land. I have been to the place and stayed there for 3 years and I can vouch for the fact. Although they ruled the state for such a long period, adopted the language of the region, married into the local inhabitants, the truth about the history is not all that clear. I searched on Google and the… Read More »Professor Yasmin Saikia

Harappa Culture

In the early part of 3rd millennium, three great civilizations developed nearly simultaneously on Nile, Euphrates & Indus rivers. We know a great deal about the first two because they have left us written records in the form of papyrus scrolls or long engravings on stones. People of Indus valley, on the other hand, hardly left any written records except few inscriptions on the seals. So knowledge about Indus valley civilization is incomplete and subject to continuous updation. Archaeologists call this civilization Harappa culture after the modern name of the place in Punjab located on the left bank of river… Read More »Harappa Culture

Koh-I-Noor: A diamond with troubled history

Koh-I-NoorSize: 105.602 carats (21.1204 g)Colour: Finest whiteCut: CushionDiscovered: Date unknown in India The name means” Mountain of light” in Persian language. Once known as the largest diamond in the world. It is believed to have originated in Andhra together with its double called”Darya-ye-Noor” meaning “Sea of light”. It was originally owned by Kakatiya Dynasty which installed it in a temple as the EYE of the goddess. It has had a troubled history having been stolen, confiscated or taken over as war loot by various invaders. Presently it is a part of the Crown of Queen Elizabeth having been confiscated from… Read More »Koh-I-Noor: A diamond with troubled history

Chandragupta Maurya

When Alexander the great entered Indian subcontinent he crossed Hindu Kush occupied KabulĀ  and reached Indus and crossed it, it was 326 BCE. The land of India thus attracted outsiders since times immemorial. Omphis, the king of Taxila had already submitted without much resistance. Beyond Jhelum river was the land ruled by warlike king of Punjab, Porus. Alexander was with great difficulty able to defeat Porus in a surprise attack. Porus was capturedĀ  and brought before his conqueror. Porus was said to be very tall and handsome man. At the time he was brought before Alexander, he had nine wounds… Read More »Chandragupta Maurya

Tai Ahoms: The Easterly Kshatriyas

Indian subcontinent can be accessed on land and by sea from three sides. In the past, invaders entered it through West from the side of Afghanistan. It is protected from North by Himalayas which act as a formidable wall. The mountains which cover the India from North West to North East have been responsible for keeping the invaders entering from the North directly. lt is also responsible for creating the weather particularly the Monsoon which gives India respite from sweltering heat and helps in meeting the irrigation requirements and bestow bounteous crops to the region. Its snow capped mountains feed… Read More »Tai Ahoms: The Easterly Kshatriyas

Lascars: Indian Sailors on European Ships

Lascars were sailors on the European ships mostly the British ships at a time when the European powers were locked in great tussle for taking control of the routes and spices found in India. British finally ousted all others and took control of India, first as East India Company and from 1857’s mutiny onwards for almost 100 years as British India Empire. The term “Lascar” is derived from Persian word “Lashkar” which means army or a group of soldiers. They worked on the foreign ships under Lascar agreement which gave the owners more powers under which lascars could be shifted… Read More »Lascars: Indian Sailors on European Ships

Ashoka-The Great King

Ashoka-also written as Asoka and Akbar are considered as great and noble kings of the world. Ashoka belonged to the great Mauryan lineage of kings begun by his equally great grandfather Chandragupta Maurya. He succeeded to the throne in 269 B.C. Although according to Buddhist sources, Ashoka is said to have begun as a tyrant and usurped the crown by killing all his possible rivals, these may not be facts but speculations. After the war of Kalinga in the eighth year of his rule there was a complete change of heart. In his own words he accepted that 100000 men… Read More »Ashoka-The Great King

Dulla Bhatti: More than a Robinhood

Dulla Bhatti is a famous folklore hero of Punjab. Punjab means here the erstwhile Punjab of undivided India. His ballad called Dulle Di Vaar (Ballad of Dulla) is very popular in the rural area of Punjab. It extols the deeds of his extraordinary bravery in the form of songs. I still remember in our younger days, the ballad sung by folk singer Kuldeep Manak was a craze in whole of Punjab. He is seen like Robinhood, who was savior of the poor and helpless, rescuer of the young girls abducted by Mogul soldiers during their raids. Dulla was a contemporary… Read More »Dulla Bhatti: More than a Robinhood

Jayanti Devi Temple

Temple of Jayanti Devi is situated on a hillock at the village Jainti Majri about 8 kilometers from PGI Chandigarh. It is nestled between the Shiwalik hills. As you travel to temple from Chandigarh, the verdant plains change into hills. There are cliffs all around. Although the area falls under Punjab but it is more like a village sitting at the lap of hills. The area is lush green with the fields of various crops common to Punjab. Condition of the approach road is not good although a new road has been built but in parts near the village it… Read More »Jayanti Devi Temple