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The Mughal succession wars were brutal; princes killed their own siblings, and family ties were broken in a mad scramble for the throne. The mighty emperor Shah Jahan was no exception. This is the story of an unforgiving system that catapulted Shah Jahan to the throne of the richest kingdom in the world, but reduced his personal life to a terribly tragic one.
The ambitious Alauddin Khilji of the Khilji dynasty earned fame through his ruthless methods. And just like any other king, he wanted to leave behind a lasting legacy. A minar taller and grander than the Qutub Minar in Delhi. The ruins of Alai Minar seen today tell us a different story. This story explores why a king known to ravage kingdoms in whole could not finish the tower of his dreams.
In the 1800s, the British in Chennai had no way to cool down during Indian summers. The many layers of their clothes didn’t help either. But an enterprising American found a way for the British to stay cool. He sent them ice. But how did ice survive a journey from America to Chennai’s Vivekananda House or the Ice House? This is that hot story.
What is the connection between an Englishman and the oldest Indian script in India? This is the story of how the determination of one Englishman to read the Brahmi script added volumes to Indian history. It is through this 2000-year old Indian script that India learnt about the greatest kings of India - Emperor Ashoka.
In a small village near Madurai, the village gods are quite unlike the Vedic gods. They may look fearsome and grim, but have colourful and human personalities. They are the go-to gods in case of any trouble, illness or grief. The ancient village gods of Tamil Nadu are the personal guardians of the village, the protectors of the people and have a specific role to play in the lives of Keezha Kuil Kudi village people.
In the 1800s, the Kingdom of Travancore followed the matrilineal system. This meant that the king’s heir was his nephew, not his son. His sister was the queen, not his wife. This inheritance system was followed not only by the royals but also by most Hindu communities in Kerala. This system had its advantages and disadvantages. This is the story of the matrilineal system of Kerala.