The End of Nana Sahib

It came as a shocker — a book by this name, from none other than Jules Verne!! This is going to be my next read, and the book is on the way. Who was Nana Sahib? More intriguing is — what happened to him? He disappeared in 1857 after playing a prominent role in the battles. Some said he had fled to Nepal, and there were rumours that he had escaped to Constantinople. Many people turned up claiming to be Nana Sahib. As it happens in India, no one knows for sure. And no one knows what happened on that fateful day on the ghat of the Ganga in Kanpur. I went and saw the graves of the soldiers at the All Souls Church. And spent a  harrowing 3 hrs walking around the army camp in search of that ill fated well where the British ladies and children had been dumped. I couldn’t locate it, but then exhausted I walked into...
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Where history lives with mythology

Brahmavarta, Near Kanpur When history unites with mythology, the combination can be both exhilarating and disastrous. Brahmavarta is a site of much historical significance – if by that we also mean mythological importance, for the two are so inseparable in Indian history. This is the place where the author of Ramayana, sage Valmiki, is said to have lived. This is also the place where Brahma created the universe, hence the name. And the place where prince Dhruva received immortality in the form of the Pole star. Whatever be the truth, the place, by its very association with the remotest times of Hindu religion, does not cease to excite. The Ganga river flows serenely till one can see into the horizon. The terrain is hilly and there isn’t much of vegetation left, though at one time, it must have been a thriving forested land. Modern history makes an appearance here, as this is also Bithoor, ruled by Nana Sahib, and the place Rani Laxmi Bai...
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The Historical Indian Cities – that Continue to Be in 21c

Travelling in North India can be tough. One has to battle against heat, dust, the crowds, and agents and touts. Moreover, these are not cities famous for scenic beauty, though historical monuments like the Taj Mahal do provide occasional relief. If travelling in cities like Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur and Allahabad is to be enjoyed, one must know their history and culture, much of which is shrouded in the dark. Varanasi, the oldest of the old cites of the world, sits adoring the Ganga river. Its mornings are famous, and the betel nut (paan). The narrow streets might be filthy, but on the other side of the river stands the Ramnagar fort and museum. Religion is life here, and the burning of the dead on the ghats. Near Kanpur lies Brahmavarta. Legend says saint Valmiki lived here, and so did Sita after she renounced Rama. Many legends of the Hindu myth find home in this hilly terrain adjoining the Ganga. Shravasti is where the...
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