Did ancient India witness the Great Flood ?
Why did the Buddha give his first sermon at Sarnath ?
How did the Europeans map India ?
This is a meticulous write up by Sanjeev Sanyal, who has brought to the fore, history and geography of India in an interesting blend.
The book shows that the author has taken pains to do research to bring out interesting facts which were less heard of previously.
It never appears that author is a professional economist, rather a historian.
What impressed me was that he doesn’t carry the baggage of the past, instead he has portrayed and expressed his thoughts.
He has done good analysis of the facts.
The book has been logically divided so that users can continue the flow without getting confused.
Some excerpts from the book :
“Great and renowned kings envied the immense wealth of the seafaring merchants of the opulent city of Puhar.Ships and caravans from foreign lands poured in abundance rare objects and diverse merchandise”
“If Sher Shah Suri had lived longer, it is possible that we would not remember Mughal rule as anything more than one more Central Asian raid.”
“There is a story that Cleopatra , when defeated by the Romans, had hoped to escape with her family to India.”
“One of the most prominent feature of early European maps of India is the kingdom of “Narsinga” that covers much of the southern peninsula. Most modern Indians will have difficulty identifying this name because it refers to what is now remembered as the Vijaynagar empire, named after its capital city.”
“I do not want to leave the reader with the impression that medieval India was only about the building, pillaging, abandoning and rebuilding of cities. One must remember that most of the population lived in rural areas. Babur tells us that Indian villagers rarely invested in either irrigation or in building permanent homes. Instead, they were ever prepared to abandon their villages and take refuge in the forests. This is how the common people had coped with the previous three centuries of invasion and war”
USP of the book:
Sanjeev has discussed about Vedas, Ramayana, Mahabharat, Harappans as well as urban landscape of Gurgaon, office towers, metro-stations,malls etc.
The author has discussed how rapid growth & urbanization of today is impacting the demography of subcontinent.The political, economic and demographic analysis has been taken into consideration to explain the evolving structure of Indian cities.
All in all its a great work for anyone who wants to know more about some uncovered facts about our great land and people.It can be enjoyed by both one who has good historical background of India as well as any layman who has little information about our history.
About the Author:
Currently the Global Strategist of one of the world’s largest banks, Sanjeev Sanyal is a prolific writer who divides his time between India and Singapore. An Eisenhower Fellow, he was named Young Global Leader for 2010 by the World Economic Forum. Sanjeev is a prolific writer who divides his time between Delhi and Singapore
Rating : 4/5