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\\History Department\\ 'O' Round 2 pg. 68 (Page 97)

Amor. IF-Stunnerz
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Posted: 27 May 2011 at 6:40am | IP Logged
The story of Maharani of Dumraon and Indian Solar Eclipse of January 22, 1898. Indian society is dominated by superstition regarding Solar Eclipse. However, Maharani Beni Prashad Kuari was a progressive lady who encouraged scientific study of the event.

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radhikarani IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 27 May 2011 at 7:01am | IP Logged
Lovely infos bharti.. We need hist dept- 2nd session soon..
anu93 IF-Sizzlerz
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Posted: 27 May 2011 at 7:05am | IP Logged
Originally posted by radhikarani

Lovely infos bharti.. We need hist dept- 2nd session soon..

Aree Anki season-2 nahi History Department ka seperate forum bol...coz this cc is the treasure of Indian History

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anu93 IF-Sizzlerz
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Posted: 27 May 2011 at 7:06am | IP Logged
Thanks for amazing info khushiClapClap
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Posted: 27 May 2011 at 7:18am | IP Logged

Revealed: the woman who terrified the British Empire

A new biography explains how Jind Kaur, last queen of the Punjab, died in Victorian London
Maharani Jind Kaur, the beauty who fought the empire and reminded her son Maharajah Duleep Singh of his heritage

Maharani Jind Kaur, the beauty who fought the empire and reminded her son Maharajah Duleep Singh of his heritage

On 1 August 1863, shortly after 6:15 in the evening, a frail and partially-blind queen who had spent much of her life raging against the British Empire, died in her bed on the top floor of a Kensington townhouse.

It was a peculiar and remarkably quiet end for a woman once the scourge of the British Raj in India. Only 15 years earlier, Jind Kaur, the Maharani of the Punjab, had encouraged the Sikh Empire to wage two disastrous wars against the British which led to the annexation of the Punjab and Jind being torn from her son when he was just nine-years-old.

Adopted by a dour colonial surgeon, that son, Duleep Singh, swiftly shed his Punjabi customs, converted to Christianity and moved to England to live the life of a respectable country squire, shooting grouse on his estate and hosting decadent parties for Britain's Victorian elite.

The "Black Prince", as he was known in London, became firm friends with Queen Victoria, only to fall from grace after he was caught trying to persuade Russia to invade India and return his kingdom to him. His tale has been well documented.

But for the first time his mother's remarkable life has been uncovered by a British historian, Peter Bance, who publishes his findings this week in the book Maharajah Duleep Singh – Sovereign, Squire And Rebel.

While researching a tome on the Duleep Singh family, which lived in exile on a sprawling country estate near Thetford, Norfolk, Mr Bance stumbled upon the gravestone of Jind Kaur in the catacombs of the Kensal Green Dissenters' Chapel. Historians had assumed that the Maharani's cremation occurred in India but here was a simple white marble tombstone in London with her name on it.

As cremation was illegal in Britain at the time it appears that the Maharani's remains were kept in the chapel for nearly a year while Duleep arranged for her to be taken home. The astonishing relic of a person who made no secret of her dislike for the country where she eventually died lay hidden for more than a century.

Mr Bance has dug into who Jind Kaur really was, why she ended up dying in the capital of a country that was once her sworn enemy and how, as her life slipped away in a cold London townhouse, she reawakened her son's royal heritage and inspired him to take back his lost kingdom.

"It's an amazing find because Jind Kaur was only buried in Britain for little over year and yet someone went to the trouble of creating this very ornate gravestone for her," says Mr Bance. "The inscription is partly in English and partly in the Sikh Gurmukhi script and what makes it unusual is that very few people in Britain at the time would have been able to translate Gurmukhi, let alone carve it into marble. She is the first documented Sikh woman in Britain."

To say that Jind Kaur was a thorn in the side of the East India Company would be an understatement. She was born into humble origins, the daughter of the Royal Kennel Keeper at the Sikh court in Lahore, but she was ravishingly beautiful and soon caught the attention of the Punjab's greatest ruler, the one-eyed Ranjit Singh.

Having kept the British at bay for decades, Ranjit's empire began to crumble with his death in 1839. Following a series of bloody succession battles, Jind emerged as regent for Duleep who was less than a year old when his father died.

Concerned about the instability (and attracted to the kingdom's fabulous wealth) Britain began preparing to take the Punjab, goading the Sikh armies into two wars that eventually led to the disappearance of an indigenous Asian empire that stretched from the Khyber Pass to Kashmir.

Jind was instrumental in organising the Sikh resistance, rallying her generals to return to battle and plotting rebellion once the British finally took over the Punjab in 1849.

To halt her influence on the young Duleep, the Punjab's new colonial masters dragged the Queen away from her son and imprisoned her. The British press began a smear campaign against the Maharani, labelling her the "Messalina of the Punjab", portraying her as a licentious seductress who was too rebellious to control.

In a final act of defiance Jind Kaur escaped her jailers dressed as a slave girl and trekked 800 miles to Nepal where she was given begrudging asylum and a place in Sikh folklore as a national hero.

She was only allowed to see her son 13 years later when he returned to Kolkata for a tiger-hunting trip. Duleep asked to bring his mother from Kolkata to England. The British Government decided the last Queen of the Punjab no longer posed a threat and gave him permission.

But a number of historians now believe it was Jind Kaur's brief reunion with her son in the country she despised that rekindled Duleep's desire to take back his kingdom.

"In a way she had the last laugh," says Harbinder Singh, director of the Anglo-Sikh Heritage Trail. "When you look at the life of Duleep Singh the moment where he began to turn his back on Britain and rebel was immediately after meeting his mother. The British assumed that this frail looking woman, who was nearly blind and had lost her looks, was no longer a force to be reckoned with. But she reminded her son of who he was and where his kingdom really lay."

In the end, Duleep's attempts to persuade the Tsar of Russia to invade India backfired spectacularly because British spies had followed his every move. Publicly humiliated, Duleep lived his final years in a Paris hotel room desperately seeking the forgiveness of Victoria.

"The whole family's story is desperately tragic," says Mr Bance. "None of Duleep's children gave birth to an heir and his lineage died out within a generation. But what gives me some comfort is the idea that, just before she died, this frail but formidable woman made him remember who he was."

Ousted emperors: Deposed by the British

*Mukarram Jah The final Nizam of Hyderabad lives in Turkey. After his kingdom was subsumed by India in 1948, Jah went to the Australian outback. In 1949 he was said to be the world's richest man but much of his wealth was lost in bad business deals.

*Bahadur Shah Zafar The Last Mughal Emperor was exiled to Burma after he supported the sepoys during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Three lineages of descendents survive today.

*Tippu Sultan Called the Tiger of Mysore, his armies fought the British in south India until his death in 1799. His family was exiled to Kolkata.

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radhikarani IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 27 May 2011 at 7:50am | IP Logged
Wow!! Anu, i love it so much.. Anu mujhe v tribute part 3 upload karni thi bt mera pc mujhe sahayta nhi ki! Neway, thnx Anu 4 awesome post!

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anu93

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Posted: 28 May 2011 at 1:53am | IP Logged
Fabulous jewels of the Nizam of Hyderabad including the legendary Imperial (Jacob) diamond.

In 1972 the prize jewels of the Nizams of Hyderabad were offered for sale to the Government of India for Rupees 218 crore. The deal was struck. However, it took almost 23 years to finally acquire the jewels, after prolonged court cases and colossal expenses.

First, the jewels were shifted to the vaults of the Reserve Bank of India from the Hongkong Bank where they were being held earlier. Later, the jewellery was exhibited for the first time at the National Museum in New Delhi for about two months during September - December, 2001.

The 173 piece collection was built up over seven generations of the Asaf Jahis or the Nizams as the rulers of Hyderabad were called. Although the Nizams ruled over the Deccan, they had adopted the lifestyle, court traditions and administrative practices of the Mughals.

The jewellery, therefore, is a synthesis of Mughal, deccani, as well as European influences. It reflects the ethos of a dynasty that originated in the Mughal court, ruled the Deccan and was a staunch ally of the British empire. It was during the seventh and the last Nizams -Mir Osman Ali Khan- time that care was taken to preserve the timeless treasure. It was difficult for the Nizams, who had a large family and a retinue of servants, to take care of their own.

It was then that Mir Osman Ali Khan, with a view to safeguarding this fabulous wealth, started liquidating a portion of his astronomical fortune and allocated it to a series of trusts. The most unique of these was the Nizam Jewellery Trust, being the only one to have been established by an Indian ruler. He also created a supplementary Jewellery Trust, incorporated in 1951, being the only one to have been established by an Indian ruler. He also created another supplementary Jewellery Trust after allocating gifts to his grandsons in 1952. The trustees kept this treasure of great historical value in the vaults of the Hongkong Bank.

The present collection comprises a total of 173 items. The actual number of the pieces is 325 (counting individual pieces and not as pairs) excluding about 22 unset emeralds and the legendary Jacob diamond.

The collection includes a number of sarpench (bejew-elled headgear), necklaces, waist-belts, buckles, brace-lets, anklets, armlets, toe-rings, finger -rings, pocket watches, watch chains, buttons and cuff-links, to name but a few. All the jewels are flamboyant, yet, there are certain pieces which stand out for their unique quality, size and colour, and most importantly, for their workmanship.

Most of the diamonds used in the jewellery came from the mines in Golconda which were owned by the Nizams. This is one reason why all the pieces invariably have diamonds that are either uncut or cut into magnificent pieces by the local artisans. The er and brilliance of the Golconda diamonds is most apparent in the sarpenchs, especially those that are to be worn over the headgear. These are in gold, set with diamonds, emerald beads and cabochon rubies. There is a very special sarpench which was made for a young prince, Mahabub Ali, when he ascended the throne. It is called Bachkana sarpench and has been chosen to be the logo of the exhibition. The brilliance of Golconda diamonds set in this piece outshines that in any other piece. A solitaire set in gold, with five smaller diamonds on each side, has on its top an exquisite bird crafted with small diamonds for its plumage and a ruby as its eye. Interestingly, the bird holds a tiny taveez (lucky charm) in its beak.

Among the exhibited pieces, the imperial diamond, known as Jacob diamond, is a fabulous piece, Weighing 184.75 carats, this sparkling beauty is double the size of the Koh-i-Noor diamond and is said to be the seventh largest in the world. It was acquired by the sixth Nizam, Mir Mahabub Ali Pasha in 1891 from a Jewish trader, A.K. Jacob and hence the name.

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Posted: 28 May 2011 at 2:11am | IP Logged
Thnx anu. For sharing. We stdy sme of dis in hist.
Lovely wrk anu. Heart Anu Clap

Edited by radhikarani - 28 May 2011 at 2:14am

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