Indian History Carnival – 47: Sabha, Mughal Miniatures, Calicut, Linnaeus Tripe, Project "Sesame"

  1. Sriram explains how the Sabha culture originated in Chennai
  2. Chennai was uniquely positioned for the birth of such a concept. When Chennai or Madras first came into existence in 1639, the performing arts were dependent exclusively on the patronage of the rulers, landholders and noblemen. They held private soirees to which their intimate friends were invited or on occasion sponsored public performances in temples or open spaces where the ordinary folk could attend. Temple festivals and weddings in the houses of the rich were occasions when people could attend these performances without invitation.

  3. Fëanor has some photographs of the Mughal miniatures he saw at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin
  4. Based on the 17th century notes by Roger Hawkes, Maddy gives us a glimpse of life in Calicut during that period.
  5. 7. We see that the textile traders in Calicut were mainly from West Godavari regions.
    8. We see that the Shabander or governor had responsibility for repayment of goods sold. Dubious practices of him needing to be bribed can be seen as a lack of law and order, and more consistent with activities today. We also see that he had authority to decide who got control of the goods cleared through customs.

  6. One of the earliest photographers in India was Felice Beato. But before Beato, there was Linnaeus Tripe who took photographs of South India and Burma. India Ink has more with some of the photographs.
  7. The part of Mr. Tripe’s career that he is most well-known for can be broken into three parts: The first was in December 1854 when, on leave again, he went to photograph the temples at Halebid and Belur in Mysore. One of Sotheby’s portfolios contains 56 prints from this trip, including 26 unique prints and three previously unknown photographs. One of the newly discovered images is of a Hoysala-era Ganesha statue at the temple in Halebid.

  8. Apparently, the plan to move the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi was a secret, writes India Realtime blog
  9. Those who did know about it referred to the plan by the codename “Sesame.” The queen wasn’t told about it till the party arrived in India, according to architectural historian Robert Grant Irving. The viceroys of the provinces concerned weren’t told a thing till the night of Dec. 11.
    The ceremonial laying of the foundation stone of the new capital, which took place on Dec. 15, isn’t mentioned anywhere in the detailed official program of the week’s events, which had been released earlier. Two days after the Durbar, 500 invitations were hurriedly distributed for the stone-laying, wrote Mr. Irving.

Thanks: Sandeep V & Fëanor
If you find interesting blog posts on Indian history, please send it to @gmail or as a tweet to @varnam_blog. The next carnival will be up on Dec 15th.

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