East side of the Thanjavur Mahal Palace

This is a photograph of the east side of the Thanjavur Palace taken in the late 19th century. The Thanjavur Mahal Palace, locally known as Aranmanai, was built by the Nayakas in the 16th century and later inherited by the Marathas, whose descendants continue to call it home. During their reign, the Maratha rulers added… Read more »

Portrait of Horse Fatem Marakha, a personal ride of Maharana Pratap

This miniature painting depicts Maharana Pratap Singh’s Horse Fatem Marakha. Maharaja Pratap Singh (1764-1803) of Jaipur was the younger son of Maharaja Madho Singh. He ascended to the throne at 14 and reigned for over 25 years. Following the decline of Mughal court paintings, the Rajput and Pahari schools of painting increased in popularity. During… Read more »

Portrait of Horse Dilsringar, the ride of Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh

This miniature painting depicts Maharana Pratap Singh’s horse Dilsringar painted using opaque pigment on paper in the 18th century. Maharaja Pratap Singh (1764-1803) of Jaipur was the younger son of Maharaja Madho Singh. He ascended to the throne at 14 and reigned for over 25 years. Poems, art, and architecture were among Maharaja’s passions. The… Read more »

Street View, Tanjore

This photograph, by Samuel Bourne (c.1834 – 1912), is of a street in Thanjavur (formerly Tanjore) from the late 19th century.  Since ancient times, Thanjavur, located on the Kaveri Delta, has seen several historical dynasties and rulers from the Cholas, Vijayanagara rulers, Nayakas, Marathas and the British. The name is derived from Tamil, where tanjam, which means “refuge,”… Read more »

The Lure of Lost Kingdoms

We hope this Spotlight will leave you feeling intrigued and wanting to know more about the glorious, ambitious, farsighted, but ultimately, fallible personalities who once ruled India

Age of the Empires

The thrill of serendipity, the awakening of the imagination, the inevitability of being devoured heart and soul by a world you didn’t even know existed until this moment. In a way, being a student of history is like being an astronomer. Especially if the subject of study is an ancient or forgotten kingdom. Click to… Read more »

Brick by Brick: The Built Legacies of the Gujarat Sultanate

The Sultans of Gujarat built a lasting cultural legacy that lives on through the incredible mosques, tombs, palaces and shrines they left behind in Ahmedabad, Cambay, Patan and Champaner. Let’s go on a tour of the Sultanate through rare photographs from the Sarmaya collection

Empire of Faith: Into the realm of the Buddha & the Mauryas

Most Indians are familiar with the great emperors and exploits of the Mauryan empire. But until a few hundred years ago, their legacies lay buried in ruins, their faith forgotten by time. This is the story of a remarkable resurrection

Of Silk and Spice: A Tale of Two Empires

Sometimes rulers are remembered in song, sometimes in the clinking of coins. Let’s explore the empires of the Cheras and Kushans, whose greatness is echoed in the trade routes they forged

Mighty Mysore

Snapshots of Tipu’s territory, as seen through the Sarmaya collection