Akbar

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

Quissa Puran Bhagat

History of the undivided Punjab and adjoining areas on its western front is replete with stories of valour and love. This area acted like a conduit for those from the west who wanted to enter India. From the times immemorial, streams of people crossed into India in search of its rich resources. Some solely entered through this corridor for the purpose of looting and taking with the exploits back. Others like Aryans and Mughals came here and settled here permanently. Aryans are said to be the cattle raring people who were constantly on the move in search of green pastures… Read More »Quissa Puran Bhagat

“The Emperor’s Writings” by Professor Dirk Collier

Professor Dirk Collier the Belgian writer has written a fictional autobiography of Emperor Akbar, laced with facts. It is titled “The Emperor’s Writings”. Why it is fictional is that Akbar was illiterate. Written in the form of a letter to his Jahangir, it chronicles the life and times of the Mughal emperor. The author talks about being inspired by Akbar, the emperor’s 5,000 wives and more! Here are some conclusions from the book Akbar was not a very romantic man like other Great Mughal emperors including Jahangir and Shah Jahan. While he did sleep with countless women, particularly when he… Read More »“The Emperor’s Writings” by Professor Dirk Collier

Songs of Kuldeep Manak: Fragrance of Punjabi Soil

In North India particularly Punjab and Rajasthan, traditionally folk singers belonged to mostly Muslim communities. Foremost example is that of Mardana, the disciple of Guru Nanak, who played the Rabab when Guru sang the hymns of the God. He along with Bala were constant companions of the Guru and accompanied him on his sojourns far and wide. The tradition continued and many of the famous singers in Punjab claim to be the descendants of Mardana thorugh many generations. Also they have become so attached to Sikhism that from their outlook supporting the turban and beard, no one distinguishes them from… Read More »Songs of Kuldeep Manak: Fragrance of Punjabi Soil

Tana and Riri, Tansen and Akbar

Tansen was one of the Nine Ratna’s (9 Gems or extraordinarily talented) of Moghul King Akbar the great. He was a great musician with complete his mastery over Indian classical music. He is said to have created fire by singing the Raag Deepak (Lamp). His body was filled with heat and burning and he was in great pain due to the heat generated. He tried so many cures but there was no respite from this burning and suffering. Akbar distressed, suggested that the maestro go back to his home at Gwalior for some time and recuperate there. He went to… Read More »Tana and Riri, Tansen and Akbar

Mango : The King of Fruits

Hiuen Tsang, Chinese scholar after being in India is going back. Time AD 627-643, on the fabled Silk Route. Apart from his knowledge of Buddhism, his rucksack contains an extraordinary fruit called Mango. The name in hindi AaM is derived from Sanskrit word AMRA which seems to be the loan word from Dravidian and is related to Tamil words for Mango like “mamaram”. Portuguese were responsible for transferring the name to the West. It is growing in India since 4000 years at least. Moguls were great connoisseurs of the fruit. Akbar got 100000 mango trees planted in Lakhi Bagh (Lakhi:… Read More »Mango : The King of Fruits

Sacred Rivers

In Hindu religion, anything can become pious. God pervades everything ranging from the mammoth stars to the tiniest atoms. All the innate things are the forms of the God. God is everywhere, omnipresent. Therefore even stones can become the objects of veneration. So are many kinds of trees, rivers, hills and mountains are revered in Hinduism. Many of them have some form of association with the Gods. For example, the rat is the vehicle of Lord Ganesha. Siva mounts the bull Nandi which can be seen in the stone casts squatting outside the temples of Siva. There is a mammoth… Read More »Sacred Rivers