Indian History Carnival – 28

The Indian History Carnival, published on the 15th of every month, is a collection of posts related to Indian history and archaeology.

  1. Why are there no Chinese fishing nets in Calicut — the place where Zheng He visited — while Cochin has them? CHF has a theory. Please read the comments for this post as well.
  2. A more plausible explanation has been offered by Deepa Leslie in her article at According to her, it is the Portuguese Casado settlers from Macau who brought this form of fishing into Cochin. She explains further that the names of the various parts of the net currently in use are Portuguese in origin

  3. Fëanor writes about 16th century Manipur when texts in Meitei Mayek script were burned to make way for new Sanskrit texts.
  4. After Charai Rongba, his son Gareeb Niwaz fell under the influence of the Chaitanya school of Vaishnavism. He decided to no longer support the Meitei Mayek script, and – fearing that the old texts would undermine his efforts to establish Hinduism among the Manipuris, and quite probably encouraged by his Brahmin adviser Shantidas Adhikari – ordered the burning of documents written in it. Large numbers of histories and texts of the old faith were publicly set aflame. In view of the supposed prestige of the languages of the incoming new faith, Manipuri began to be written in the Bengali script, which along with Sanskrit, assumed greater importance in ritual matters.

  5. Inorite has the tale of the kingdom of Vadakkamkur in Kerala
  6. The fate of the dispossessed Rajahs of the Travancore region had always interested me and I could, at best, only find scattered sources that mentioned them in passing. I am still highly intrigued as to what happened to the Kayamkulam Rajah who was perhaps the fiercest and most difficult enemy of Travancore so much so that Marthanda Varma on his death bed instructed his successor that the enmity of the Kayamkulam Rajah was “never to be forgotten”.

  7. Between 1840 and 1870, a commodity that was imported to the Presidencies of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay was American Ice. This trade made one man — Frederic Tudor of Boston — a millionaire. Maddy writes about A Frozen Journey and varnam has a post on the The Forgotten American Ice Trade.
  8. The Oxford University Blog has an excerpt from the 1888 book The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook which gives practical advice to memsahibs in India.
  9. In regard to other supplies, the difficulty in procuring them depends entirely on your position. The district officials have none, while a mere globe-trotter may starve. It is merely a matter of coercion, for the peasant does not wish to sell, and will not sell, if he thinks it polite to refuse. This fact should never be forgotten by the mistress, for it is easy to understand how fearful a weapon for oppression that appalling necessity of camp life, the tâhseel chuprassi, or tâhseel office orderly, may become…

  10. Uber Desi has some photographs of coins used in pre-colonial and colonial India

If you find any posts related to Indian history published in the past one month, please send it to jk AT varnam DOT org or send a tweet to @varnam_blog. The next carnival will be up on May 15th.

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