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    The Great Sixteen - Mahajanapadas

    Travel about 35 km north-west from Pakistan's capital city Islamabad and you will find an archaeological site that has been the epicentre of a fair bit of historical debate as three great empires - that of the Achaemenids (Persia), Macedonians (Greek) and Mauryans - laid claim to it. This site which is today known as the Bhir Mound, forms a part of the famous ancient city Taxila and is a UNESCO World...

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    In Search of a Madia-Gond Hero

    You often hear of rags to riches stories & legends from the past. But how often do you hear of an ordinary villager, a vulnerable tribal at that, to rise up the social ladder and be ultimately awarded the Albert Medal, the highest gallantry award under the imperial British Empire? Sama Veladi is, till today, the only tribal to ever win the highest peacetime bravery award under the Imperial British Empire....

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    Kartarpur Corridor: Bridging Two Peoples, One Faith

    Seventy-two years after Cyril Radcliffe, a British barrister, cleaved two nations with the stroke of his pen, the Sikh community in India will finally gain access to one of their holiest shrines, which Radcliffe left on the other side of the border. This is the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib and it commemorates the place where Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru and founder of the Sikh faith, is said to...

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    'Fun & Games' in Old Calcutta

    It is hard not to be amazed looking at old paintings of Europeans in 18th century Calcutta. Dressed in European finery hardly suitable for the sweltering heat of Bengal, they attempted to transport European manners to the foreign land. Tropical diseases, war and wild animals took a heavy toll on the population. Life was hard for the European and Indian settlers in early colonial Calcutta. Despite the many charms of...

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    India's Oldest Surviving Temples

    Temples in India are usually elaborate structures, be it scale, ornamentation or both. Think Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, the magnificent temples of Khajuraho, or the ornate Dilwara Temple of Rajasthan. So it may be a bit of a surprise that the oldest surviving temple in the country is a small, nondescript shrine in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh. This does not mean that temples were not built before this time. Remnants...

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    Mah Laqa Bai: An Enigma

    In the year 1802, during the celebration of the Persian New Year in the court of Mir Nizam Ali Khan of Hyderabad, an event was held to honor soldiers and courtiers with gifts, titles and grants. Amidst the multiple men who received these was a 34-year-old woman, standing elegantly with dark, plaited hair reaching her knees. She was at that point, arguably, the most influential woman in the Deccan - playing...

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    Hooghly Imambara: Gift From A Grateful Merchant

    It's an excellent place for prayer and reflection on the banks of the Hooghly River around 70 km north of Kolkata. Step inside the monumental gateway of this magnificent religious complex and you are at once humbled by 80-foot-tall twin towers on either side. A large quadrangular courtyard stretches in front of you but your attention is drawn to the sheer size and grandeur of the colossal...

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    Sindh's Other 'City of the Dead'

    The Harappan city of Mohenjodaro in Sindh, quite literally, means 'Mound of the Dead'. But did you know that about 100 km from Karachi in Pakistan's Sindh province lies one of the largest necropolises in the world - the Makli Necropolis? Situated on the outskirts of the city of Thatta, it houses more than half a million tombs and graves, which bear testimony to the social and political history of...

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    Mumbai, Hyderabad Join UNESCO's 'Creative Cities Network'

    UNESCO has given Mumbaiites and Hyderbadis something to celebrate by adding their cities to its Creative Cities Network - Mumbai as a Creative City of Cinema and Hyderabad as a Creative City of Gastronomy. This announcement was made on the 31st of October, World Cities Day 2019. The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was launched in 2004 to "promote cooperation with and among cities that...

    • 2 weeks ago
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    Ahmedabad's Patel Stadium 'At Risk'?

    Two Indian sites have been included in the World Monuments 2020, a watch list drawn up by the New York-based non-profit, World Monuments Fund (WMF). The 'is a biennial selection of at-risk cultural heritage sites that combine great historical significance with contemporary social impact', and on the 29th of October, the WMF announced the World Monuments 2020. This year's list includes 25 sites...

    • 2 weeks ago

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