Now reading: The stories every picture tells

An initiation into the Sarmaya team involves the confrontation of and acclimating to certain books from our library. New ‘uns are told this is necessary reading meant to familiarise them with the genres of the collection. Each object inhabits a world that is resonant and multi-faceted and it’s impossible to know where to start. “Today… Read more »

Bhaktapur’s Mithila influence

This text and images below are reproduced with permission from the author Bhaskar Koirala and Nepali Times and it was originally published on the Nepali Times website     King Harisingh Deva of Simraongarh must have sat on his heavy-set chair while a pair of household staff was cross-legged on the black chlorite stone floor massaging… Read more »

The man behind History Men

In this interview with the author of ‘History Men’ TCA Raghavan, we talk about the ways in which history has been written, understood and shaped in the Subcontinent

Subcontinental drift

Author Anam Zakaria attempts to understand one of the most defining years in South Asian history with her new book, 1971: A People’s History from Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. The book goes beyond ideologies and politics in an attempt to find the truth and show how people’s history differs when compared to official records.

Fryer’s Travels

First published in 1689, this book was written by a surgeon who is best remembered today for his descriptions of seventeenth-century India and Persia. The publication was feted for its accuracy and wealth of cartographical detail.

Map of the Southern Provinces of India showing British possessions

This 1808 map of South India shows the territories held by the East India Company, outlined in pink. Mysore, nominally independent under the Wodeyar (Wadiyar) dynasty, is depicted in yellow, an island surrounded by British possessions. All territories marked B, N or M represent those areas ceded to the British and their allies, the Nizam… Read more »

Map of India in 1022

This map depicts geographical features and the distribution of various Hindu dynasties in India in 1022. In the north-west, the Ghaznavid Empire was at its zenith under Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (971 – 1030), who crossed the river Indus and plundered India seventeen times during the course of his reign. The map was published in… Read more »

Some Years Travels into Africa and Asia the Great

This is a mid-17th-century travelogue by historian Thomas Herbert, who chronicles his journey to the Middle- East, Asia and Africa with particular emphasis on the empires of Persia and India during the 17th century. Thomas Herbert (1606-1682) was a courtier to Charles I (1600-1649). He travelled to the court of Shah Abbas (1571-1629) of Persia… Read more »