The Reflective Indian

India – History and Society – for those who wish to think and learn for themselves

Guru Ghasi Das, the Satnami faith and Bilaspur

Bilaspur is a town in the central Indian state of Chattisgarh with a population of about 350,000. It lies north of the city of Raipur (the capital of Chattisgarh). Bilaspur … Continue reading

March 11, 2013 · Leave a comment

Kolhapuri footwear

Kolhapuri chappals (slippers) are a common sight in India. They were especially the rage in the 1980s and 1990s, where every college student seemed to wish to wear a pair. … Continue reading

March 9, 2013 · Leave a comment

Bidar and Bidriware

One of the most well known and instantly recognised handicrafts of India is Bidriware. Bidriware first appeared probably in the mid-fourteenth to fifteenth centuries in the city of Bidar in … Continue reading

March 4, 2013 · Leave a comment

Mazhar Ali Khan and the Delhi Panorama

The city of Delhi served as the first capital of the Mughal Emperors Babur and Humayun. Emperor Akbar however, preferred the city of Agra and shifted his capital there building … Continue reading

February 25, 2013 · Leave a comment

Raja Todar Mal

Raja Todar Mal remains famous in India, over 400 years since his death in 1589. Todar Mal was one of the jewels of Emperor Akbar’s court along with other luminaries … Continue reading

February 24, 2013 · Leave a comment

Wandiwash and Sir Eyre Coote

Vandavasi (Wandiwash) is a small town of about 50,000 residents lying about 100 kilometres to the south west of Madras (Chennai). It lies in the arid Arcot region in the … Continue reading

January 18, 2013 · Leave a comment

Rajahmundry and Arthur Cotton

Rajahmundry is a prosperous town in the Godavari district of the state of Andhra Pradesh in Deccan India. It is part of the rice bowl of Andhra Pradesh, a region … Continue reading

January 16, 2013 · Leave a comment

Baiga Tribe of Madhya Pradesh

The Baiga tribe of central India are one of the scheduled tribes of Madhya Pradesh, the central province of India. Madhya Pradesh is a large state, with many forests inhabited … Continue reading

January 9, 2013 · Leave a comment

Darjeeling Hill Railway

Darjeeling is a beautiful town lying at the foothills of the Himalayas, at the northern tip of the modern Indian state of West Bengal. Darjeeling was a small village until … Continue reading

January 7, 2013 · 1 Comment

The Dutch and Pulicat

Pulicat is a small fishing town to the north of Madras (Chennai) on the Coromandel Coast (the East Coast of peninsular India). Ignored and forgotten in modern India, Pulicat has … Continue reading

January 6, 2013 · Leave a comment

Schmidt Memorial of Madras

The Schmidt Memorial is located on the Elliots Beach in Besant Nagar, a part of South Madras (Chennai). Elliots Beach is named after Edward Elliot, a former governor of Madras … Continue reading

January 2, 2013 · 1 Comment

Bulleh Shah of Punjab

Bulleh Shah was a Sufi mystic who lived in the Punjab during a fairly turbulent period of Indian history. His thoughts and words attempted to heal divisions in society, in … Continue reading

January 1, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Chinatown In Calcutta

China and India are two nations who have reemerged from the shadows recently. A few hundred years ago, the Chinese and Indian economies accounted for a considerable proportion of world … Continue reading

December 27, 2012 · 1 Comment

Jamshed Nassiri – Iranians and Bengal Football

For those who grew up watching Indian football in the 1980s, two names remain etched in their memories. Jamshed Nassiri and Majid Bishkar (often spelt Bhaskar in error).  Both these … Continue reading

December 27, 2012 · Leave a comment

Timur and Delhi – the Eidgah at Hauz Khas

Timur the Lame (Tamerlane) (1336 to 1405) was one of the fiercest and most successful emperors ever. Despite being injured at a young age and becoming lame, his strong nature … Continue reading

December 26, 2012 · Leave a comment

Akbar and Sikandra

Sikandra is a dusty little village that lies on the national highway a few kilometres from Agra on the Delhi-Agra National Highway. Most would speed past this hamlet, observing the … Continue reading

December 24, 2012 · Leave a comment

Claude Martin

Claude Martin was one of the more successful and interesting figures of Imperial History in India.  Born in Lyon in France in 1735, he joined the French forces in India … Continue reading

December 23, 2012 · Leave a comment

Begumpur Masjid

In 1326, Muhammad bin Tughlaq decided to build a new city in the vicinity of Delhi. The city of Jahanpanah (refuge from the world) was built over the next few … Continue reading

December 23, 2012 · Leave a comment

Saurashtra and Madurai

The Saurashtrian community of Madurai is another example of a migrant group moving across India and establishing a vibrant and successful community in a distant land. Saurashtra may refer to … Continue reading

December 22, 2012 · Leave a comment

The Meghwal Tribe

india – gujarat, a photo by Retlaw Snellac on Flickr. The people of this tribe are famous for their exotic and colourful costumes and jewellery. Both hindu as well as … Continue reading

December 22, 2012 · Leave a comment

The Palaces of Hyderabad

Once upon a time, the Nizams of Hyderabad were amongst the wealthies of kings. The Seventh Nizam of Hyderabad was the wealthiest man in the world in the 1930s. Following … Continue reading

December 21, 2012 · Leave a comment


An account of Annawadi, a slum in Bombay. An account of the other India, not shining yet in a materialistic way, but glittering in many other ways.

December 21, 2012 · Leave a comment

Around India in 80 Trains

One of the great legacies that the British Empire left behind in the Jewel in the Crown was the Indian Railways.  To many in India and abroad, the railways typify … Continue reading

December 21, 2012 · Leave a comment

Kushans of India

The Kushan empire was perhaps one of the greatest empires at the time of Christ. Formed by immigrants from north-west China, displaced from their own homelands by other tribes, the … Continue reading

December 21, 2012 · Leave a comment

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