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History

The ancient town of Muziris in southern India attracted traders from all around the world as far back as the first century BCE. Traders from Rome came with gold and left with something they considered even more precious – black pepper. The port thrived until a catastrophic flood wiped out all traces of it in the 1300s. For many years after, Muziris remained shrouded in mystery until recent excavations revealed some of its fascinating history.
Which are the oldest languages and scripts in India? Is there a mother of all scripts, in a land that is as diverse and variegated as India? What similarities or differences exist between the south Indian scripts, and do they have anything in common with the ones used in north India? The first of this two-part video story explores these fascinating questions and more as it traces the evolution of Indian scripts over the last 2500 years.
Was Makar Sankranti always celebrated on the 14th of January? Why are some festivals celebrated on different dates every year while others have fixed dates? Different cultures have used different calendar systems to map time and consequently, significant events like festivals. What methods did they use, and how accurate were they? And what exactly is the Hindu calendar? This fascinating article explores all this and more!
Armenians have been known to travel far and wide in pursuit of trading opportunities for centuries. And India happens to be one of the places that they share a special connection with. Coja Petrus Uscan was one of the prominent members of the Armenian community of Madras in colonial times. A rather remarkable personality, he was known for his fierce loyalty to the British in India. Read on to find out just what made him so extraordinary.
How did a German missionary preach to the locals who spoke neither Danish nor German in the Danish colony of Tranquebar? He learnt Tamil, of course. And he became so proficient at it that he translated the Bible into Tamil. This is the story of Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg, the man who published the first ever translation of the Bible in an Indian language.