Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Sanjeevani Flowers Sanjeevani Leaves

Sanjeevani Flowers and Sanjeevani Leaves

Hydroxichloroquine has emerged as Sanjeevani Butti for the patients of Covid19. And those consumed the Sanjeevani in part are passing through the immunity test against the attacks of daitya Corona.

This is Chaitra Krishna Paksha in Gujarati Vikram Samvat Hindu calendar, as the first day of the month starts after Amavasya. In North India, it is Baishakh, as the first day of the month starts after full moon day. Punjab has celebrated Baishakhi yesterday and Tamilnadu and West Bengal are celebrating their New Year Day as Happy Puthandu and Happy Bihu respectively. The Sun is exalted in Aries.

Building immunity of humans is the demand of the hour. The immunity building drink is generally taken during the Shukta days of Chaitra, but this year, the season is late by a fortnight, therefore, the flowering over Neem was not there. Now the flowers are available in plenty. Soak the neem flowers in a glass of water in the night and get your day started with this immunity drink in the morning. Neem flowers is “Sanjeevani Flowers” grant you great immunity to fight out all fivers and viral diseases.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says, ”Of all trees I am the Peepal Tree (asvatthah)” (10.26). This is the Spring and Peepal tree blossom with the new soft and shining leaves after abscission. Pray/request the tree and pick up some fresh tender leaves for the purpose of making a medicine. Dry them off in the heat of Sun but under the shed, and make powder of it. Take one teaspoon full powder twice in a day (morning and evening).. It’s a great medicine for heart, removes the blocks. To avoid stent or bypass, this a great pass, one should walk down in this month. Peepal leaves are Sanjeevani Leaves, saves lives.

Enjoy the season. Build immunity by drinking Neem Flower and remove blocks (including mental😊) by taking Peepal Leaves powder.

Happy Puthandu.
Happy Bihu.

शुभम् भवतु।

14 April 2020

NB: Use of Peepal leaves was taught to me by a famous Vaidhya Panchabhai Damaniya of Una (Gujarat).

Monday, April 13, 2020

Baisakhi 1919

Baishakhi 1919

13 April 1919, Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Day, processions were banned but 15000 people were gathered in the Bagh to protest against Rowlatt Act. Colonel Reginald Edward Harry Dyer went with Shikh, Gurkha, Rajput, Baloch troops and ordered them to fire to strike terror throughout Punjab. 1650 rounds were fired killing 379 and wounded 1100. Some people died in crushing and some by jumping into the well. It happened at 18.30, the curfew was operational after 20.00 hours, therefore, some injured died in the night without moving to the hospital.

Dyer was transferred, barred from further employment in India, retired from army, isolated he was paralysed and died of cerebral haemorrhage in 1927. Rabindranath Tagore renounced his knighthood in protest against inhuman cruelty. Mahatma Gandhi launched Non Cooperation Movement. It was a severe blow to Indian faith in British.

Irish, Sir Michael Francis O’Dwyer, ICS was the Lieutenant General of Punjab. He was not at the spot but had approved the action of General Dyer and subsequently imposed Martial Law in Punjab. He was assassinated by Udham Singh on 13 March 1940 in Caxton Hall, Westminster, London when he attending a meeting of East India Association. It was in revenge for the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. Shaheed Udham Singh was present at the spot on 13 April 1919 took a pledge to take revenge of the massacre. He was under surveillance of British Police but escaped to London, took a job of an engineer and waited for the opportunity. It was not clear, whether he was confused with the Surname O’Dyer and O’Dawyer and killed O’Dawyer  instead of O’Dyer. O’Dyer was died in 1927. Udham Singh was from a humble background but he was active revolutionary of Ghadar Party. He was executed.

Baishakh (Vaishakh) Sakranti, when Sun transits to its exalted house of Aries, and when Punjab welcomes good harvesting of wheat crop and celebrating Baisakhi in remembrance of Great Guru Gobind Singh for his casteless Singh Army of Khalsa and India mourns for the innocents died in Jallianwala Bagh tragedy that became the turning point of Indian Freedom movement.

Salutes to all the great sons of Mother India.

13 April 2020

Dhoop for Viral Fivers

Dhoop for Viral Fivers (विषम ज्वर)

Hindu religion is not a religion of superstitions but a religion of scientific living of long life. When modern chemical medicines were not invented, our Vaidhyas were protecting lives of millions and curing the diseases with the help of herbs, yagya, dhoop and incense sticks.

Any Virus visits us, it comes to stay permanently. It won’t go away by our hiding but strikes whenever it gets suitable environment to spread. Falgun and Chaitra months in India are the months of such viral attacks and therefore to protect humans, doing dhoop in every house was the custom.

Some of the viruses and insects could be kept away by smell-fragrance or by sound waves. Therefore, there is a practice of ringing bell and doing dhoop dipan aarti at public places like temple, etc, to protect the visitors from the communicable diseases. At home, daily dhoop is a common practice in all Hindu houses. Aromatherapy is one of the best ways to purify our living spaces.

Don’t you believe that the dhoop removes insects and viruses? Why don’t you try and test?

Charak Samhita has given a recipe of dhoop to treat all fivers and viral diseases. Take guggul, mustard, barley, neem leaves, harad and cow ghee in equal proportion and make dhoop powder. Take one spoonful of dhoop and spray over the fire of wood or cow dung cake in a bowl or a plate and move in all the rooms and corner and waranda of the house. The mosquitoes and insects will start running away, and you will be guarded under that aerial aroma protection wall.

God is not deaf but don’t forget to ring the bell when you visit the temple. It’s a ritual to create sound waves to kill the bacterias around. Hope now onwards, you will ensure daily dhoop in the house and will enjoy the sound of bell and Aarti instruments more.😊

13 April 2020

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Babur of Andijan, making of a Padshah-3

Babur of Andijan, making of a Padshah-3

Battle of Panipat

They reached Panipat on 12 April 1526. He had two bad experiences of losing battles with offensive attacks, therefore, considering the size of the troops of Ibrahim Lodi, he followed the strategy of defence cum offensive art of using his smaller troops to win the battle. Cannons (gun powder technology) invented by French, were decisive in Ottoman victory over the Safavid Empire in the battle of Chaldean in 1514. Progressive Babur incorporated artillery and ottoman artillery tactics into his army under the guidance of Ottoman gun master Ustad Ali Quli. 

He fortified his army: The town and suburb of Panipat was to their right. He secured his right flank against the city, while digging a trench covered with tree branches to secure his left flanks. In the centre, he placed 700 carts tied together with ropes. Between every two carts, there were breastworks for his matchlock men. Behind the row of carts, he deployed cannons. Front was loaded by guns and turas; infantry was placed in the rear of the guns and turas; on the left drew ditches and made defences of the boughs of trees; at the distance of every bowshot, a space was left large enough for a 100-150 men to issue forth.They stayed in Panipat for a week. Many of the troops were in great terror and alarm as they had 2-3 months long journey. 

On 19th night 4000 men were sent on a night attack but enemy was alert, therefore, they returned without loss. On 20th night, they had false alarm, followed by call to arms and uproar. 

On morning of 21st April 1526, Ibrahim attacked Babur. Babur troops braced on their helmets and armour and mounted. Right division was led by Humayun, left was commanded by Muhammad Sultan Mirza, right of the centre by Chain Faimar Sultan, left centre by Khalifa, advance was by Khosrou and on the flank of the right division Babur installed himself. 

Ibrahim army of 100000 men and 1000 elephants never made a halt and advanced right upon Babur’s force at a quick pace. When they came closer, they stood for a while but couldn’t halt and, because of narrow approach to Babur’s army, they were unable to advance with the same speed. Babur sent orders to extreme right and left divisions to wheel round the enemy’s flank with possible speed and instantly to attack them in the rear. The right and left divisions were ordered to charge the enemy. They accordingly wheeled on the rear of the enemy and began to make discharge of arrows on them. The battle was likewise obstinate on the right. Babur ordered Muhmadi to advance in the front of the centre and engage, discharged guns many times in front of the line. Mustafa on the left of the centre, managed his artillery with great effect. The right and left divisions, the centre and flankers having surrounded the enemy and taken them in rear, were now engaged in hot conflict and busy pouring in discharges of arrows on them. Ibrahim’s troops made one or two poor charges but were pushed back to their centre. 

Babur’s guns proved decisive. The sound of cannon frightened Ibrahim’s elephants, causing them to trample his own men. Confusion ensued, that the enemy unable to advance, found no road by which they could flee. The battle lasted till mid day, when the enemy were completely broken and routed. Sultan Ibrahim Lodi was killed with his 6000 troops around. He sent Humayun to Agra to take over possession of the treasury and sworn himself as the Emperor of Hindustan in Delhi, founded the ‘gunpowder empire’ of Mughal Dynasty. Babur had engaged in arms a strange nation and conquered, whose language they didn’t understand and who didn’t understand their.

Ibrahim was an ethnic Pashtun, attained throne of Delhi upon the death of his father Sikandar Lodi in 1517. Lodi dynasty was holding throne of Delhi since 1451 after the fall of Sayyid Dynasty (subservient of Timur’s son Shah Rukh). Ibrahim replaced his father’s experienced, old and senior commanders with younger and loyal to him and faced number of rebellions.. At battle of Panipat, he had 100000 men and 1000 elephants. But his troops were engaged to serve for hire. He was young man without experience, was negligent in all movements. He marched without order, retired or halted without plan and engaged in battle without foresight. Mighty army of 100,000 men and 1000 elephants of Ibrahim, in the space of half a day, laid in the dust by army of 12,000 men of Babur with defensive fortification of army, use of artillery and with strategic moves. Babur was a better general, stronger to war, strategy, equipment, bold fight and encounter.

Timur panicked the elephants of Tughluq by fire on camels’ back and Babur panicked Lodi’s elephants by artillery and secured easy victory. Indian elephants were weapons of wars since Mauryan Empire. Seleucus lost the war with Chandragupta in 305-303 BC and made peace treaty by marrying his daughter to Chandragupta Maurya in lieu of 500 war elephants for aiming victory over Europe. Elephants the instruments of victory since ancient time became the burden of defeats for Tughluq, Lodhi and Rajputs. 

Babur installed himself in the Lodi citadel of Delhi and Agra and declared himself Emperor of Hindustan. As tribute, 186 carat Kohinoor diamond was presented to Humayun by Gwalior family. Babur with better generalship and treachery of Hindu Sardar Silhadi of Malwa, defeated Rajput confederacy under Rana Sanga in the battle of Khandva in 1527 and captured Malwa in 1528. But his heart was in Kabul. His plan was to give Hindustan to Hindal (taker of Hind), Badakhshan to Humayun and he to command the continent from Kabul. But India was his destined last home.

His son Humayun 22y age fell ill in Sambal and was brought to Agra in 1530. His disease not yielding the treatment. Babur was depressed to see his son seriously ill and dying. Babur resolves to practice the rite of intercession and self surrender to save his life. He was urged rather to devote the great diamond kohinoor to pious use, refused the substitution of the jewel for his own life, performed the rite. For four days he circumambulated the bed of his son repeatedly, praying to Allah, begging to be taken to eternal world in his son’s place. His prayers were answered. 

22 year Humayun recovered and 47 year Babur fell ill and was bed ridden and died in December 1530 at Agra, leaving Hindustan for his heirs for three centuries. His body was buried first near Agra but later his remains were buried to his beloved Kabul at Bagh-e-Babur in 1543. Mughal Empire he had established ruled India for 332 years, till it was formally succeeded by British rule in 1858. The Emperor of Hindustan was replaced by the British Royal Queen in 1877. 

It is a surprising fact of the history that they were Uzbeks but they declared themselves Mughal. Why did they hide their identity as Uzbek? It’s a mystery.. Was Uzbeks a bad identity those days or was it hazardous in carrying out the affairs in Hindustan? There were 92 tribes in Uzbekistan but 12 were major. Timur was from Barlas tribe. He was known as Timur Koragoniy. Koragoniy means son in law of Chingiz. Chingiz was Mughal, therefore, Buburs successors, mainly Akbar popularised their identity as Mughal, Mughalia Saltnat.

With his limited stay and limited observations, he wrote about Hindustan, a country of Pagans (non-believers-kafir). He observed that the officers of revenue merchants and war place were all Hindus. They had names according to their families. The tradesman has received his trade from his forefathers, who for generations have all practiced the same trade. He found Hindustan, a country of few pleasures, where people were not handsome, no comprehension of mind, no politeness of manner, no ingenuity or mechanical invention in planning or executing their handicraft works, no skill or knowledge in design or architecture, no good houses, no good flesh, no grapes, no musk melons, no good fruits, no ice or cold water, no good food or bread in their bazars, no baths or colleges, no candles, no torches, not a candle stick. He noticed that high mode of calculation: hundred, thousand, lak, crore, arb, kerb, nil, padam, sang, was a proof of the abundance of wealth in Hindustan. He has recorded the methods of reckoning as to measures. He gave descriptions about the social, cultural Hindustan with its flora and fauna. 

He avoided drinking alcohol till he reached the age 30. But in Kabul, he began drinking. Many times, he preferred majjum to alcohol. He wrote: ‘everyone regrets drinking and swears an oath, I swore oath and regret that’. It’s a statement repeated/chanted by many alcoholics!

Babur was an educated, curious observer and nature lover man, had penned down his observations and events in his diary-autobiography Baburnama. He was believer of God, believed that, if a sword shook the earth from her place, not a vein would it cut till God wills. He had good deal of confidence in his feet, made him rough and tough during the wandering in Transoxiana.  He was a keen observer, strategist and had worked on micro details of the geography and the route plan of all his expeditions to Hindustan. He had pride of his clan therefore had recorded details of all members of Mirza families and friends with their names and their role. His diary covers diverse topics on astronomy, geography, military matters, weapons and battles, plants and animals, flora and fauna, poetry, music, paintings, monuments, tours, etc. He had described his life events, the people whom he came in contact and the history and geography of the areas where he lived in. 

Mughal/Uzbek culture had impacted Hindustani culture with music, atticates, food, crafts, paintings, flowers-gardens, and language. Their national dish Plov becomes our Pulao-Biryani. Somsa is our Samosa of mid day brunch. Plov, Somsa, Kabab, etc, mixed with our curry became favourite Mughlai cuisine of the subcontinent. Their tastes of melons, grapes were added into our tastes. Kashmir is more influenced with carpet weaving, embroidery and handicrafts trades as they carry skills of Bukhara. There are hundreds of common words in Uzbek and Hindustani languages. Dost, Dosti, Muhhabat, Mehman, Aziz, Janab, Kitab, Khushbo, Dukan, Bazar, Aasman, Bagh-Bagicha, Samosa, Pulao, Kabab, Rehmat, etc, are the gifts of Uzbek language to us. We welcome guest as God (अतिथि देवो भव।).. They welcome guests, ‘mekhmon otangdan ulug’ (a guest is more honoured than your father). Indian architecture of Mughal era, Humayun Tomb, Tajmahal, etc, were built following architecture of Registan and Gur e Amir of Samarkand. Uzbeks in general were literates because of the network of Madrasahs in Uzbekistan. How much literacy it had increased in India during the rule of three centuries, may be an issue of further study. Did they literate the converts? Babur’s grandson Akbar took some initiatives. 

Babur as founder of Mughal Empire, had secured permanent place in the history of medieval India, and left a lesson that, losers, if learn from the past, they can be successful like him in achieving their goals. 

3 November 2019

Closed System

Closed System

Human body is a complex machine where the life blood moves into the arteries and the oxygen depleted blood return through veins from birth to death in a closed circulatory system. The pure blood pumped into the system by the heart reaches to all the parts of the body and return to it and after purification in the lungs, it is pumped through blood vessels of different size and thickness: the arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins.

As we age, narrowing occurs in many capillaries and venules in peripheral, heart and brain, and with the death of cells the death of the organ starts and finally writes the death of the individual. Therefore, it is essential to keep this system clean to make the life longer.

LDL Cholesterols and Diabetes are the two major challenges before the present generation to overcome to maintain blood flow in all the cells upto the last mile of all the body parts from the head to the toes.

God is miraculous but is very wise. He made a heart pump in the creatures to supply pure blood to all the cells but kept the veins in our command to bring back the depleted blood for purification in lungs by movements. Therefore, all the creatures keep walking and moving. The calf muscles in human body are called peripheral heart. Unless they are moved regularly, good functioning of the veins can’t be maintained. Blocked veins may cause thrombosis and may lead into serious heart problems.

Keep walking daily, it extends life.

Good morning 😊

16 February 2019

My encounter with H1N1

My encounter with H1N1

After an exciting trip of Himalayan Mountains of North Sikkim, we were returning home happily on 6 January 2019. A Bengali young man, an urban planner was my co-passenger had a high grade viral fever. Unfortunate but compulsion of travel with him from Bagdogra to Delhi as the flight was full. We left him at Bagdogra, but was carrying a fear of catching up his infection. Air conditioned Airports are potential places of the spread of air borne diseases. 

On Monday, I resumed office cheerfully, conducted weekly meeting, attended function of flagging off of 33 new ambulances to the 108 fleet by the CM and DyCM, cleared files of the week and met visitors. That night went normal. Tuesday morning started as routine but had three important meetings of the GMSCL. As the day progressed, I felt body ache, was losing interest in the meeting and somehow hurriedly concluded the last meeting and returned home.. I was caught up in fever. It was cold winter night. My back was paining the worst. I writhed and passed the night in pains. I skipped the CoS and Cabinet of the Wednesday but I had to go to office in the afternoon because there was a pre-fixed meeting with a Japanese delegation. Post lunch, there was a meeting with the CM. In the condition of high grade fever and body ache I managed to pass the day attending meetings but when returned home couldn’t stand, straight went into the bed without changing the clothes.. As per family protocol, I breathe in some steam twice in a day. Wednesday night, literally, I cried out the pain. On Thursday, a doctor from Civil Hospital was called. He did general checking prescribed one antibiotic and a paracetamol tablets. For clearing doubts of pneumonia, X-ray was taken but it was clear. It was concluded a viral fever. Under the moral pressure of the doctor I took one tablet of antibiotic and one paracetamol. The night went in pain and uneasiness. I wished to cough out but couldn’t. The chest was jammed. 

Friday early morning, I tried to resume meditation. After few minutes, as if I (not as human identity) moved to another world in a sound of aum released by a jhalar and was about to be pushed forward, the brain in fear, pushed the physical body down from the sofa to the bed. The head was completely wet by sweating, and with lose motion and vomiting, the fever went away. 

The doctor came in the morning and did the routine check up: oxygen saturation, pulse, BP, etc. However, the crepitation coming from the lower zone of both the lungs was puzzling him. The X-Ray was clear, no fever, but to rule out doubts, they took throat swabs and sent for the testing of H1N1. It was the 4th day of the illness. He advised to continue with single antibiotic doze that I had consumed only two. By the evening, the report came H1N1 positive. 

The Civil Hospital, the GMC, teams visited immediately and started the treatment of Oseltamivir Capsules of 75 mg on Friday evening. As I am ACS of the Department, they doubled the dose Oseltamivir! I was advised to move to the isolation ward of the Civil Hospital but I preferred to stay at home in a quarantined room. Family members and children were now kept away. Masks were applied. Necessary instructions of do’s and don’ts were given. 

The whole crucial period of damaging of the lungs in 72 hours was already crossed. The body fought against the disease on it’s strength, suffered severe pain but overcome the crisis. Oseltamivir came very late could take pride of killing the dead army of the H1N1 and our team is following up the protocol. 

Weak I was bedridden and the media lines started on the screen on Friday evening, made my illness viral across the Gujarati global world. Messages, calls from friends and well wishers multiplied. Many relatives visited our place. As these were weekends of Makarsakranti, there was no maid support, but my daughter in law Kinjal and my wife Lakshmi managed them well. Lakshmi proved extra courageous because she stayed closest to me and was serving and helping me in those severe painful 72 hours. She had fever on Monday and dry coughing all these days but she firmly rested with her herbal option and took care of me without fear of any cross infection. She was tested H1N1 negative on Sunday.

I recovered but crepitation persisted. It took more than a fortnight to comeback to normal. I skipped the VG-2019 inauguration function but managed to attend the Seminar on Health Care and Pharma. 

Now H1N1 (Swaine flu) is a seasonal flu spread across the country and can encounter anyone but olds, pregnant ladies, children, patients with comorbidities have to take extra care to come out of the disease which a danger to life. The viral load if not treated timely goes down into the lungs and turns into pneumonia. The lungs bag full of infection can’t inhale oxygen and if the ventilator support and suction if not managed accurately the patient may die. We thank all the well wishers who sided with us in that bad time of illness. 

ACS Health and Family Welfare Department caught up in H1N1 was a catchy news lines for the media. 😂 

10 February 2019

Time destined for Gandhi

Time destined for Gandhi

That day, Sardar Patel came for the meeting at 4pm. It was so important that none of the assistants disturbed Gandhiji when the time of prayer passed at 5pm. He was not keeping his waist watch those days. He was suffering from cough and cold in the winter of Delhi after breaking his fast until death on 18/1/1948 that was to stop the communal violence in Delhi. His demands to give ₹55 crore cash share to Pakistan and to repair the Kaki Masjid of Delhi damaged by the rioters added fuel to the fire amongst the communal refugees and the persons planning his assassination. Madanlal Pahva threw a bomb in Birla Bhavan, 2 days after the break of his fast on 20/1/1948 but failed to kill Gandhi. He had faith in God and believed that if death is destined, it can’t be stopped by any security, therefore, didn’t allow the thorough checking of the visitors. When the bomb attempt failed to kill him, he remarked: “ऐसे ही हम डर जाय तो सचमुच यह कोई हो जाय तो हमारा हाल कैसा होगा?”

In that bad health, he visited the Ursh of Kaki masjid on 29/1/1948. Godse, Karkare and Apte had positioned themselves in Old Delhi Railway Room no.6.. Like Gandhi, they also wake up in the brahma muhurta. Gandhi listened the slokas of Gita and one Gujarati Bhajan and then meditated as per his routine schedule. One of his assistants Abha didn’t join the session that morning, displeased him. 

As Clove or pepper powder is a great medicine for cold and cough, he was given clove powder twice in a day. That morning on 30 January, he took his normal drink of hot water with lemon and honey but missed the clove powder because it was finished. When Manu tried to make the powder in the afternoon of 30/1, he commented “who knows what is going to happen before nightfall or even whether I shall be alive. If at night I am still alive you can easily prepare some then." His had intuition that somebody is chasing him to kill. 

Godse initially planned to fire on him from the distance and Karkare and Apte to clear people if someone would come in the way. With Beretta M9 pistol in pocket of Godse, they three easily entered into the Birala House Campus. Generally, Dr Sushila Nayar or one man Gurbachan Singh used to walk ahead of Gandhi to clear the way. But that day, Dr Nayar was away to Pakistan and Gurbachan Singh was caught up in the group. There were hardly 250 persons including 20 policemen in plain clothes present in the campus. 

When Manu drew his attention of getting late in prayer time, the meeting with Sardar ended. Two leaders of Saurastra Dhebarbhai and Rasiklal Parikh came to discuss formation of districts in Saurastra State and asked for the meeting, but Gandhi told, “tell them that I will, but only after the prayer meeting, and that too if I am still living. We shall then talk things over." Patel was returning to his bungalow. Gandhi’s meeting with Nehru and Maulana Azad was scheduled at 7pmthat evening and his plan to go to Sevagram on next day or on 2nd February was to be announced in the prayer meeting.

65 inch tall and 50 kg weight, 79 years old Bapu took them his took his last steps towards eternity with his two walking sticks Abha to the left and Manu to the right. As no one was in front of Gandhi, Godse changed his plan to fire from the distance and grab the opportunity, pulled out pistol from the pocket, pushed forcefully Manu aside, and fired three rounds of bullets very closely on his heart and stomach. With the third fire Gandhi slowly sank to the left on the ground into the hands and lap of Abha and gasped ‘hey ram’ and departed. It was 5.17pm. Smoke filled the air. Confusion and panic reigned. His face turned pale, his white shawl of Australian wool was turning crimson with blood. Deputy to Pyarelal, Kalyanam was walking to the left of him behind Abha, therefore, couldn’t hear hey ram.. But believing Gandhi’s word to Manu early that very morning, "If someone fires bullets at me and I die without a groan and with God's name on my lips, then you should tell the world that here was a real Mahatma...". He was our Mahatma, sacrificed life for the unity of Hindu-Muslim in India.. His journey to truth and from darkness to light will lantern India for centuries. Godse killed his body but made him immortal. 

Had the prayer been conducted at 5pm as per the schedule, Godse might had failed in his attempt. But his departure was destined at 5.17 pm.

8 December 2018

Exciting trip to Gurudongmar Lake in Winter

Exciting trip to Gurudongmar Lake in winter

Teesta river originates from two sources: Tso Lhamo Lake (17490ft) of Zemu, Kamgtse/Pauhunri glaciers; and Gurudongmar Lake (17800 ft) of Kangchengyao glaciers situated in a high plateau area of North Sikkim near the International border with China. The Gurudongmar Lake freezes, the day temperature -25 degree Celsius and oxygen level of the area goes down to 2%, therefore, it is an adventurous tour for the tourists to make in winter. Uncertainty of weather with snowfall and high winds is another challenge the tourists have to face. Therefore, the entire route from Mangan to Lachen to Thangu to Gurudongmar keeps the tourists in guess whether they will make it or not. As the locals moved down to Gangtok, the companions of hope at the time of emergency are the army men located at regular intervals in transit camps. 

The journey starts from Gangtok at around 9-10 AM. As one needs permission of the police authority, the passes are collected by the agent/driver in the morning by submitting photos and photo ID. After 30 kms, the drive is along the river Teesta from Singtam. One may stop at the North Sikkim District HQ at Mangan or at the meeting point of two Teesta, one stream from Lachen and another from Lachung at Chungthang is a beautiful place to stop and take pictures. Thereafter, there is a drive upward where you watch the mountains covered with snow and the frozen streams making the environment decorative with their crystal clear looks. The Teesta to the left moves to right at the cross over bridge at Chautila valley. 

North Sikkim is famous for the cultivation of big cardamoms, the spicy flavour of non veg foods and biryans. It is the gold of north Sikkim, can be sold at a very high price in off season. 

It is a journey of watching plants, trees, and whites and colourful flags on the roadsides. They use flags of five colours to perform pooja for a new house or for other purposes. Flag Red is for Fire, Blue for water and river, Green for the flora and fauna, Yellow for the earth and White for the peaceful living of all. They do havana (yajya) and offer cereals etc, during pooja like Hindus. 

White flags over poles in long line are too common to see in Sikkim. They are for the deceased. Their death rituals are very lengthy, tiring and expensive. The Lamas perform rituals. They break the waist bones and knee joints of the dead body and place it in Buddhasana (sitting posture) and then packed it into a wooden box with ice and herbs. Then they check the astrological muhurta for the cremation and direction to move out the body from the house. The waiting time may be for a week. The family has to cook and serve meal to all present for all those seven days. The lama decides who can and can’t touch the dead body. On the day of muhurta, the dead body is moved out of the house, pulled out with a rope if the house is at upstairs, from the decided direction removing window or a wall if it is not auspicious to move out from the main door. The box of the dead body then taken to the top of the hill where it is placed upon a funeral pyre and then set on fire. The lamas will continue performing the ritual for the smooth travel of the Soul to the God. There are rituals for the 3rd, 7th, 21st, 49th days to be performed one after another. Total 108 poles with white flags are erected. The rituals will go on for a year and thereafter, to be continued for three years replacing the white flags yearly. Lamas are paid for their services. The money they spend on charity and Sada schools. The cost of funeral may vary from ₹70,000 to ₹3 lakh depending upon the economic conditions of the family.  

Studying the culture and enjoying the company of river flow, valleys, streams, falls and mountains when you reach Lachen at 4.30 PM, the hotel receptionist welcomes you with a welcome Cherry Brandy drink. A little seep of brandy surely gives some warmth in a cold weather of minus degree temperature. It becomes dark at 5 PM, outside temperature reaches -18 degree Celsius and waiting for Dinner till 7.30 PM ignite hunger, therefore, whatever is served, turns delicious. The room heater can’t heat the room but a double bed electric mattress is a great relief, provided there is electricity or a generator is on. 

Next day morning, one has to start at 5.30 AM as it is a day long journey of 9-10 hours to go and come back from Gurudongmar. The polite hotel staff serves you bed tea at call time and pack up breakfast to brunch on the way and keep your lunch ready when you return. 

Vehicle can go to the zero point upto the Gurudwara near the lake provided the approach road is not covered with snow. Crossing Kalep at 7 AM, Thangu (12000 ft, -19 degree) may be a spot to stop for a cup of tea at 7.20 AM, but in the absence of natives, Army transit camp only can serve, if you have some access to them. And if you are lucky to get a company of an Army Gypsy from Thangu, then you are surely in safe mode traveling to the last mile near the lake. 

As you travel high on the zigzag roads, somewhere covered with snow, it is a watchful and alert journey for the driver to perform till the end. Going upward, the vegetation reduces to nothing but still can see herds of yaks, few musk deers and few wild goats grazing around. Yaks graze yasagampu half grass half insect, that carries high nutritional value, increases longevity and stops ageing. Therefore, milk and meat of Yaks are expensive. Churpi made of yak milk is an expensive delicacy. 

The dogs of Himalayas are very bulky and scary. They can hunt human, therefore, beware, when stop for a natural call. The flowers of the State tree Rhododendrons are missing in winter. Frozen Teesta and mountains covered with snow are the common pictures all around. Golden rays of Sun over the mountains add strength and warmth to the journey making the pictures of nature HD. 

Chomo Yummo mountains to the left, mark the journey, from here, Lhasa is just 350 kms away. The MacMohan line (1914 Simla Convention) and 23 Cans are located to guard and patrol from both the sides. Indian and Chinese soldiers treat each other on national days. Chinese treat Indians on 1st January, 1st August and 1st October. Indians treat Chinese on 26th January, 15th August and Diwali. Indians are better host treat them with 2-3 varieties while they serve only burgers!

There is a helipad spot (16600 ft) just 6 kms before the lake for the VIP landing. Last 2 kms road to the lake is covered with snow, therefore, the vehicle with chain on wheels only can move further. One has to walk down the last mile watchfully of the surface covered with snow and guarding oneself from the chilled winds. It is an examination of one’s physical and mental strength together. Once reached to the lake at around 9.30 AM to 10 AM, it’s bingo. Weather, thereafter is very windy and risky with a very low level of oxygen (2%). Life may be on risk thereafter. South to the lake is the Kangchengyao glaciers, and east to it is the Dorjeela mountain.. The glaciers and the frozen lake shines white under the bright Sun, therefore dark goggles only can give comforts to enjoy the white beauty of nature at that height. 

Gurudongmar Lake is a religious place for the Buddhists and Sikhs. Buddhists in Sikkim are the followers of Vajrayan sect of Buddhism. Their Guru Padmashambhava (Guru Rinpoche) the incarnation of Lord Shiva has visited the lake and blessed the frozen lake to melt so that the locals get pure drinking water in winter. Shikhs claimed that Guru Nanakdev while returning from Tibet visited the lake and blessed it to water. They had built a Gurudwara near the lake but the matter then went into dispute as the Lamas objected their claim. The Gurudwara is closed thereafter. There is an old small structure of a monastery to the other side of the lake visible from the Gurudwara spot. 

After taking few pictures of the lake and glaciers, and watching the spot of Teesta river origination, one may conclude the exciting trip and start the return journey. The route is now familiar. Tourists generally move to Lachung and stay overnight to make a trip to Yumthang Valley and Zero Point next day. 

1 January 2018

New Uzbekistan has opened up

New Uzbekistan has opened up

Uzbekistan, a Central Asian country is  known for its mosques, mausoleums and sites linked to the Silk Road, the ancient trade route between China and Mediterranean. Samarkand, a major city on the route contains landmark Islamic architecture, a precursor to the Indian architecture of Mughal Empire. Bukhara is famous for 712 archeological sites most the world heritage sites and the popular silk carpets.

The trade and economic relation of India with Uzbekistan are older than silk route going back to Kushan era and before. The great scholar and polymath Abu Rahman Al Biruni was a native of Uzbekistan, travelled to India in 1017, and authored Indian culture Tarikh-al-Hind. Landlocked and bordering with five landlocked countries, and situated between the rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya, Uzbekistan and it’s culture has influence over Indian arts and culture because of its Uzbeks, who had ruled Hindustan for 322 years (1526-1857). Their son Zahiruddin Mirza Babur became the first Emperor of Hindustan in 1526. The last Emperor Sirazuddin Mirza Bahadur Shah Zafar (King of Delhi) was convicted for the charges of aiding and abetting the mutiny of the troops and assuming the sovereignty of Hindustan. His two sons and a grandson were shot by Hudson. He was exiled to Rangoon were he breathed his last in 1862. The title of Emperor of India was taken by the British Royal Family in 1877. Bahadur Shah Zafar had four wives, had many sons and daughters, therefore his heirs may exist today. One five years old Shahjada (grand son) was escaped with the Aaya to Kashmir and, his great grand son Zaynuddin at present is living in Tashkent, presenting himself as the legal heir of the Mughal.

Uzbekistan is known to the present generation of India for two important reasons, first, as a birth place of Babur the founder of Mughal Empire in India and second, because of sad demise of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkent on 11 January 1966 after signing peace treaty with Pakistan. The building where he died doesn’t exist today.

Plov is the National dish of Uzbekistan is popular as Pulao-Biryani in India-Pakistan-Bangladesh. Their Somsa is our Samosa, favourite of all. Plov, Somsa, Kabab, etc, dishes mixed with our Kari, became the favourite Mughlai cuisine of the subcontinent. They brought food dishes, gardens, flowers and perfume culture to India. Their tastiest fruits succulent melons, watermelons, grapes, apricots are popular fruits of India too. Tourists buy grapes, black walnuts and roasted almonds in good quality. Kashmir is famous for embroidery and carpet weaving in India. But their arts and crafts were trained from Bukhara.

There are hundreds of common words in Uzbek and Hindi-Urdu languages. Dost, dosti, muhabbat, mehman, aziz, janab, kitab, khusbu, dukan, bazar, aasman, bagh, bagicha, samosa, pulao, kabab, rahmat, etc, are the gifts of the Uzbek language to us. Indian culture welcomes guest like God (atithi devo bhav:) and Uzbeks respects guests similarly, ‘mekhmon otangdan ulug (a guest is more honoured than your father). The hospitality and honour bestowed upon the guests is incredible. At Desterkhan of a house or a dinning table in a hotel, it will be covered with plates of salad, cakes, sweets, fruits, bread, soft drink, vodka and green tea and the delicious seven course meal. The meal starts with prayer and ends with prayer.

Democracy has changed the world with the power of ballot and “sab ka saath sab ka vishvas” is the new mantra of the new world of development. All humans are in search of better quality of life and their desires are forcing the rulers to excel in their performance to retain the power.

Declaring independence on 31st August 1990, New Republic of Uzbekistan is promoting reforms based on development. Removing barriers to trade and improving investment environment is a top priority of the government under the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Large scale reforms were launched and giving highest priority to the ease of doing business by liberalisation of economy, opening of borders and reduction of trade duties. The government promises no role back of concessions with retrospective effects. Tashkent, Samarkand and  Bukhara are the most popular tourists destinations attracting thousands of tourists of the world. After opening up the economy for the world, the flow of foreign tourists from Europe, America, Asia and CIS countries have increased very high.

It’s an industrial and agrarian country lead by
gas, electrical and mechanical industries and mental processing. It’s a mineral rich country with a potential stock of $11 trillion. It ranks 4th in Gold reserves, 7th in Uranium, 10th in copper and 11th in Gas extraction in the world. Cotton, grain, vegetables and fruits are their major crops. The share of Agriculture is GDP is 19%. Russia and Kazakhstan are their main outlet markets. It’s unemployment rate is 9.3%.

1425 kms West to East and 930 kms from North to South, the country of 448.9 thousand square km is inhabited by 33.2 million people. The urban population is 50.5%. It has twelve provinces. Tashkent is the capital and Sum is their currency.

Though the health infrastructure is weak but people are healthy with male life expectancy of 73.8 years and female 76.2 years. Aged people walk straight with strength. People are industrious and hardworking, therefore, their physical strength is very good. Tall people with big head and big faces have good eyesight, therefore, very few wear number glasses. Their diet is healthy and nutritive, therefore, neither the problem of malnourishment of children and women nor the problem of stunting and wasting of the children puzzle them much.

Life in Uzbekistan is easy. The salary of a clerk is $100/month but he can live with it. The staple food item Lapuska (bread) costs Sum 1200 ($1= Sum 9400). Farm labour and home maid ($200/month) are cheap. Infrastructure is excellent. Transport and electricity is cheap making the life of the common man easy. Talgo high speed rail is easier, cheaper and faster than travelling on road by a car.

Fair, industrious, strongly built People are music lover. Ashula folklore is popular. Music with Doira (dafli) and tamburs Dutar, Sato and Rubab, songs with sweet folklore voice and light and charming dance of beautiful women, presents the medieval days of Mughal Darbars in Delhi and Agra. It’s an open society where women don’t cover their face with burkha but do wear the headscarf. They love Hindi movies as one exclusive channel is assigned for the Hindi movies. They are very much attached with India because of their Uzbeks ruled over India. Due to common words, many students study Hindi. One interpreter girl is doing her PhD on the literature of Indian writer Premchand. A India Study Centre and Sharda University have been started in Andijan. They have lands, buildings and openness, therefore, are happy and welcome India with openness. Simple people consider Indians like their own.

Babur conquered India but his heart was in his motherland, was missing his sweet people and the sweet taste of its fruits of melons and grapes. He had regretted his victory over Hindustan while missing the homeland.

Getting interest in Uzbekistan? Just take a flight, it takes 3.5 hours journey with approximately $600 two ways airfare, and you are on land of archeological sites, delicious food and fruits and opportunities to explore business.

23 October 2019

Babur of Andijan, Making of a Padshah-2

Babur of Andijan, Making of a Padshah-2

Following the victory over Delhi by his great great grand father Timurbek in 14th century, Babur after establishing in Kabul, launched invasion over north-western India. Ever since he came into Kabul, it has been in his mind to move on Hindustan. He pictured countries held by the Turk as his own and was resolved to get them in his hands whether peacefully or by force.

There were four roads lead into Kabul from Hindustan side: one by Khyber mountains, another by way of Bangash, another by way of Naghr and another through Farmul. Hindu Kush could only be crossed during autumn when the snow is less and the water are low. Indus could be crossed by ferry.

He made five expeditions to Hindustan.

When Sun being in Aquarius, he rode out of Kabul for his first expedition to Hindustan in February 1505 took a Pekhi Malek Abu Saeed Kamari as a guide from Garam Chesmeh and crossed Khyber and Jan in March 1505. Jan (Gorkhatri) was a holy place of Jogis and Hindu who come from long distances to shave their heads and beards there. From Jamrud he wanted to cross Indus but Baqi Cheghanisni advised him to proceed through Kohat. He plundered Kohat which was under Gagiani Afghans and then moved towards Bangash. He went through the route of Bigram, Kohat, Hangu, Bangash, Til, and reached Bamu. He plunde the Afghans and was marching forward with the help of the guides, but when his brother Jahangir Mirza informed him about a conspiracy of Baqi Cheghaniani might be with his confidant Beks to leave him, Babur decided to return and after crossing Deh Yakub and Kamari rivers by boat reached Kabul in May 1505.

His second expedition started in September 1507 but he returned to Kabul by mid winter as Shadiq Khan retired from Qandhar. When Sun bring in Pieces, on 6th March 1506, Humayun was born in Kabul. He remained busy in Kabul (1508-1519) settling conflicts of Shia-Sunni. He conquered Samarkand and Bukhara in 1511 but was defeated by Ubaid as he moved out of the town without preparation.

In his third expedition in March 1519, Babur crossed Indus for the first time. He received news of birth of baby boy from Kabul. He named him Hind-al, taking of Hind. He sent Mulla Murshid with peace proposal to Ibrahim Lodi, and returned to Kabul thinking that if they were to go into Hindustan, it should be on a proper basis. He saw rhinoceros first time in Swati side of Kashmir and Hindukush mountains. Swat-Swati (white) river might be named after Goddess Saraswati. In Sanskrit and Kashmiri script of Kashmir, Sharada is another name of Goddess Saraswati. Swat therefore, might be the river Saraswati we are searching for. The area near Hindukush mountain was known as Kafiristan and was famous for grapes (shahibi) wine. Males preferred wine to water, tying leather bags around their necks and were drinking wine sip by sip from. Was it a Som Rasa made of grapes (somvallari creeper), described in Vedas? One may study the routes of Vedic India in the valleys of Kashmir to Hindukush mountains.

Tatar Khan, the father of Daulat Khan, was one of the six Sardars who, sallying out and becoming dominant in Hindustan, made Bahlul Lodi Padshah. He held the country north of Satluj and Sirhind, the revenue exceeded 3 crores. On Tatar Khan’s death, Sikandar Lodi as over lord, took those countries from Tatar Khan’s sons and gave Lahore only to Daulat Khan. Under Ibrahim’s rule, Ibrahim was annoyed with disobedience. When Ibrahim summoned Daulat Khan, he sent his son Dilawar Khan who received bad reception and scolding for their disobedience. He escaped and reported the matter to his father and both opted for the alliance with Babur. Accordingly, Dilawar Khan went to Kabul with his father’s message of help. Babur asked, why he, whose family had so long eaten the salt of Lodi, had so suddenly deserted them for himself. Dilawar answered that his family through 40 years had upheld the Lodi throne, but that Ibrahim maltreated Sikandar’s amirs, had killed 25 of them without cause, some by hanging, some burned alive, and there was no hope of safety in him. Therefore, he had been sent by many Amirs to Babur whom they were ready to obey and for whose coming they were on the anxious watch.

At the dawn of the day following the feast, Babur prayed in the garden for a sign of victory in Hindustan, asking that it should be a gift to himself of mango or betel, fruit of that land. It so happened that Daulat Khan had sent him, as a present, half ripened mangoes preserved in honey. When these were set before him, he accepted them as a sign, and from that time forth, made preparation for a move on Hindustan.

Babur’s Fourth Expedition to Hindustan (1523-1524)

Babur took the route after fording Indus by the sub montane road through Kakar country, crossed Jhelum and Chenab and moved towards Lahore. Daulat Khan had fled for refuse to the colony of Baluchi as army of Ibrahim under Bihar Khan was after him. Babur defeated Bihar Khan with great slaughter, plundered Lahore and burned some of it’s Bazars. After staying for four days in Lahore, he moved to Dibalpur on 22nd January 1524, made a start for Sihrind but while looking at the hostility of Daulat Khan and Dilawar Khan non fulfilment of their engagement, placing danger in the rear of the eastward advance, he returned to Lahore, garrisoned Punjab and Lahore, places his men in Lahore, Dibalpur, Sialkot and Kalanur and returned to Kabul. Alam Khan was made Governor of Dibalpur. It took them four months (March-July 1524) to reach Kabul.

On return of Babur to Kabul, Daulat Khan took Sultanpur. He defeated Alam Khan (uncle of Ibrahim Lodi) in Dibalpur but couldn’t get back Sialkot and Lahore. Ibrahim Lodi sent army to re-conquer Punjab. Alam Khan fled to Kabul and promised Babur that he would take place of Ibrahim in Delhi and Babur would hold Lahore and all west of it with full suzerainty. Babur issued a royal letter for Lahore Begs to assist him and started working on his fifth the last expedition to Hindustan.

Babur’s Fifth expedition to Hindustan (1525-26)

He was 42 years old and became philosophical in his approach to life. He knew that death takes away life, therefore, focused on fame. He wrote, “with fame, even if I die, I am contented. Let fame be mine, since my body is death’s. When we are passed away and gone, God only surviver, unchangeable. Whosoever comes to the feast of life, must, before it is over, drink from the cup of death. He who arrives at the inn of mortality, must one day inevitably take his departure from the house of sorrow, the world. How much better is to it to die with honour than to live with infancy.”

When the Sun was in Sagittarius, he set out on his march to invade Hindustan on 17 December 1525. He crossed the hill of Yek-Kengch collected army and marched. At Barik-ab brothers of Nur joined bringing 20,000 shahrokhis in gold, in ashrefis and tenkis, sent by the Diwan of Lahore, Khwajeh Hussain. Greater part of it was sent to Balkh. At Bagh-e-wafa, Humayun joined him. For the delay, he had written a sharp letter to him and when he arrived spoke to him with considerable severity. Next day, they marched and halted at new garden between Sultanpur and  Khwajeh Rustam. He embarked on raft and ceded down the river and reached Kosh-Gumbez and joined camp. Next day he again embarked on a raft, halted at Kerik Arik, went to Germ Cheshmeh, moved to Yedeh-bir and joined the troops.

While camping, he with his closer group used to write and exchange verses good or bad for amusement. That night he made a unworthy verse and then his heart was stuck within regret. Babur had fever and was coughing up blood. He was cursing his tongue for composing satire, broke his pen and regretted before God for the tyrannised over his soul. He put self control kept himself away from such satirical vituperative and marched forward.

At Bekram, he appointed seven of his men as Superintendent to conduct embarkation at Nilab-Indus, to take down the name of every man in the army one by one and to inspect them. They camped for three days on the bank of river Indus, crosses it at Kech-ket, the Superintendents counted great and small, good and bad, servants and no servants, total 12000 persons. After passing river Behat, he sent two of his confidants to Lahore to enjoin troops with him at Sialkot or Perserur. The march reached the bank of river Chenab, then rode on towards Behlulpur and reached Sialkot on 29 December 1525. They were annoyed with the chief hardships created by Jets and Gujers, pouring down their buffalos and oxen in prodigious numbers from the hills and wilds to the road. He received news of defeat of Alam Khan by Sultan Ibrahim Lodi. Alam Khan, Dilawar Khan (son of Daulat Khan) and Haji Khan with 30-40000 men laid seige to Delhi but Ibrahim’s army made a night-early morning attack, set fire to tents and pavilions, shouting the war cry, dispersed the troops of Alam Khan. Alam Khan ran away.

From Sialkot, Babur moved to Perserur, found Ghazi Khan camp on the banks of Rabi towards Lahore. He sent party to get intelligence, but they ran away. Next day, they reached Kilanur where Ismael Khan, grandson of Daulat Khan joined. Daulat Khan was arrested with the two swords on his neck. Daulat Khan, Dilawar Khan and Ali Khan were made prisoners at Kitteh. Daulat Khan died in prison. They then reached Dun, the beautiful place with finest running water. Babur was eying over the movement of Ghazi Khan but no intelligence was received. He sent a detachment in pursuit of Ghazi Khan, and then placed his foot in the stir up of resolution, and hand on the reins of confidence in God and marched against Sultan Ibrahim.

They came to Rupur, it was extremely cold. They halted at Keril opposite to Sehrind. One Hindustani presented himself as an ambassador from Sultan Ibrahim but was without any royal letter. After two marches, they halted on the banks of the stream of Banur and Janur and received information that Sultan Ibrahim was advancing.

Babur reached Ambala on 25 February 1526. Humayun defeated Hamid Khan on 26 February. On 12 March, he received information that Ibrahim Ludi was advancing slowly by kos or two and halting for 2-3 days at each station. Babur camped at Sirsaweh. His men chased advanced party of Ibrahim and slaughtered them all the way to the limit of Ibrahim’s camp and created terror into the enemy. He then arranged whole army in order of battle and performed Vim. Under the custom of Vim, the whole army being mounted, the commander takes a bow or whips in his hand and guesses at the number of the army, and affirm that the army may be so many. Babur then fortified his force into right-left-centre-front-gun carriage, etc, designed and strategised in 5-6 days and held a general council.

19 October 2019

Babur of Andijan, making of a Padshah-1

Babur of Andijan, making of a Padshah-1

Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur Mirza was born in Andijan Uzbekistan, an important city on Great Silk Road bordering Kyrgyzstan in 1483. His father Umar Saikh Mirza II (son of Miran Shah and grand son of Timur) was a governor of Fergana valley in Uzbekistan. In Ramadan of 1494, when Umar was 38 years old, he died in freak accident in dovecote in Aksikent Fort, which was built at the edge of the building collapsed.

His eleven years old son Zahiruddin became the ruler of Fergana. He was popularly known as Babur (big-royal). His mother Qutlugh Nigar Khanum was a princess of the Chagatai Khanate and daughter of Yunus Khan of Moghulistan. They were from Timurid Dynasty of Turco-Mongol origin descended from Timurlane of Utarar tribe. They carry title Koragani (son-in-law) as Timurids were in laws of the line of Genghis Khan, the founder of Mongol Empire. They were descendants of Chagatai dynasty. Babur was the great great grandson of Timurlane. He was direct descendant of Genghis Khan through his mother and was descendant of Shujauddin Timur through his father. He was brave, energetic and physically extra fit worrier, made strategic moves to find his place in the history.

Teenage Babur was very ambitious. He knew the history of his ancestors and their rule over the subcontinent and had ambitions to recapture the lost area. He was Timurid and man of achievement. He aimed at filling Timuridbek.

His great great grand father Timur invaded India in 1398, defeated Sultan of Delhi Nasir ud-din Mahmud Shah Tughluq by creating panic amongst the elephants by the hay setting on fire which were loaded on camels’ backs. Stamped back the elephants made the victory of Timur easy. The richest city of the world Delhi was sacked and thousands of captives were killed. Timur left Delhi in destruction and in power vacuum. Timur died en route during his winter campaign against Ming China in 1404 at Farab on side of Syr Daria. Timur’s mausoleum of Gur Emir is located in Samarkand. In succession, his youngest son Shah Rukh took over the throne in 1409. With the permission of Shah Rukh, Khizr Khan the governor of Multan, later became the Sultan of Delhi in 1414 (Sayyid Dynasty). Shah Rukh’s son Ulugh Beg was notable for his work in astronomy related mathematics, such a trigonometry and spherical geometry.

In teenage, Babur aimed at the most famous Samarkand (2250 years old), as it for nearly 140 years was the capital of their dynasty. In 1497, he conquered Samarkand but fell ill. His speech was impeded and they drop water into mouth with cotton. After recovered from illness and he had received messages of rebellion from his mother and grandmother from Andijan to return, he left Samarkand (ruled 100 days) for Andijan in March 1497. But, in anxiety for Andijan, he has given Samarkand out of his hands, then heard he had lost Andijan. In ignorance, made to leave Samarkand and lost Andijan. Auzan Hasan took over Andijan in Ali-dost’s presence.

Babur went to Khujand, then mounted for Samarkand but couldn’t capture. Twice he tried to move out of Khujand the poor place, once for Andijan and once for Samarkand but failed and role out to Pashaghar. In June 1498, he had fever but receiving the message of Ali-dost to take over Andijan, he marched 3 days and 2 nights with his 240 men to recapture his farher’s country Andijan. He faced rebellion of his brother Jahangir Mirza. Peace was made, he took Andijan side and gave away Akshi side to Jahangir. Together they would march to Samarkand and once Babur was in possession of Samarkand, Andijan was to be given to Jahangir. At Andijan, Ali-dost, backed by Tambal started his humiliation.

He re-conquered Samarkand when he was 19 years old. He married to his cousin Ayisha Sultan Begim, from whom first child Fakari-n-nsa born but died in 40 days. Babur maddened and afflicted himself for a boy named Baburi in the camp bazar, described him, “o’thief of my heart”.

When Shihibani invaded Samarkand, he in astronomical calculation of eight stars positing between the two armies and after 13-14 days would moved to the bake of the enemy, he marched out of Samarkand and was defeated. He had surrendered Samarkand to Shahibani Khan in July 1501, took his mother and two women with leaving elder sister Khan-zada Begim into the hands of Shaibani Khan’s left Samarkand in the darkness of night. They lost way and wandered reached Khalila village before the dawn and then went to Dizak, then to Auratipa to Dikhkat and reached Tashkent searching a place for shelter. At Dikhkat where they stayed, the mother of the head man was 111 years old. Some relatives of her had gone with Timur Beg’s army to Hindustan. She had that in her mind and used to tell the tale. It sparked interest for Hindustan in the mind of Babur.

Shaibani Khan was after him, hearing he was coming up into Aura-tipa, they crossed Abu-burdan pass into Macha hill country. Wandering from mountain to mountain, homeless and house less, without country or abiding place, he had passed through bad days. In 1502-03, during his stay in Tashkent, he endured much poverty and humiliation. He had no country or no hope of one. Most of his retainers dispersed. Bare headed, bare foot, he was meeting relative. That uncertainty and want of house and home drove him at last to despair, said, “it would be better to take his head and go off than live in such misery; better to go my feet can carry me than be seen of men in such poverty and humiliation.” He writes, “Except my soul, no friend worth trust found I; Except my heart, no confident found I.”

He tried to compromise with his brother Jahangir, sent his ermine cap for Jahangir and large broad sword (made by Nuyan Kukuldash) for Tambal. In an encounter, his thigh was injured with arrow and Tambal chopped the sword at his head that large wound was made on his head, though not a thread of the cap was cut. He turned rein and crossed Khak-an caral.

1503-4, he spent a year in hill country of Sukh and Hushiar in great misery. He was not only homeless and poor but shut in by enemies. Wandering barefooted, his feet were unable to differentiate stone or rock. Not yet, 22, he left Sukh intended to go to Hussain Mirza in Khurasan but he changed that plan for one taking him to Kabul where a Timurid might claim to dispossess the Afghans then holding it since the death of his uncle Aulugh Beg Mirza Kabuli. He in his 23rd year, applied the razor to his face when half at a place near Hisar while going to Kabul. As Tambal at Ferghana and Shahibaq Khan at Samarkand were after him and didn’t allow him to conquer his native, without fight or effort he obtained Kabul and Ghazni in October 1504.

To stabilise his rule, he created terror amongst Afghans by group slaughtering. He observed that when Afghans are powerless to resist, they go before their foe with grass between their teeth, this being as much as to say, “I am your cow”. His mother died in Kabul on 4th June 1505. He had recorded earthquakes with high magnitude on 5th July 1505, 33 tremors on first day and 2-3 quakes per day for a month.

He conquered Bukhara and Samarkand in October 1511 (10 months after reaching Kabul) and re-enter the town after 9 years, but lost to Ubaid as he went out to challenge him unprepared and without reinforcement. He had to return to Kabul. He in Kabul, Badakhshan and Balkh augmented by various Mirzas in exile, in whose need of employment, he was in need of wider territory, therefore, he decided to embark Hindustan.

19 October 2019



Located on the ancient Grand Silk Road, Samarkand is one of the oldest (2500 Y) cities of the world. Kand-khand means pradesh-area and Mar means dessert, therefore, it was called Markanda in Greek. Sa mean semi, Sa-mar means semi desert area, therefore, it became Samarkand. The caravans passing through the route used to stay over night here, as there were many Sarais to serve them food, drink and to provide accommodations, therefore could be called Safar-kand, stoppage of the tour. Sama means Jama, where people assemble, sama bandhana is important for musical discourse, the place where caravans stopping and people were enjoining their food, drink, music, dance and stay, therefore, Samarkand. Similarly Tash means stones, the land of stones is called Tashkent.

Samarkand was first conquered by Cyrus the great (Achaemenid Empire), and was under the Sogdiana (the Turan-Turkmenistan of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) Ksharaps. It was annexed by Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great in 328 BC. The area was the second homeland of Aryans of Ahura Mazda.  It was under Kushan (Bactria Greece origin) rule of Parthian tribe and was following Mahayan Buddhism. Kushan Empire was the centre point of the major civilisations. It was capital of Timurids for 140 years. One of the theories routs Chandra Gupta Maurya in Kshatraps, commanding areas around Taxila before his march to Pataliputra.

When East was growing in Arts and Culture following principles of Buddhism, Western Asia was growing under Mesopotamia civilisation, China with his art, handicrafts, silk and education, was searching for the markets, therefore, the Silk Road trade route was developed connecting East-Southeast-South Asia with Persia, Arabia, East Afrika and Southern Europe. Great Wall of China was extended for the trade protection. The silk route became a travel route of their economic, cultural, educational (astronomy), religious (Buddhism) and political interactions. It was a symbol of their peace, prosperity and growth. It became famous with silk carpet weaving of Bukhara. However, disease like plaque were spread along the road. But later invaders used the route for looting.

Samarkand was under Iranian and Turki rulers was conquered by Genghis Khan Mongol in 1220 AD and thereafter, it became a major centre for Islamic studies. It became capital of Timur in 14th century and remained as capital of Beks for 140 years before Babur conquered it for a short time.

There was a river flowing through the city but when it was dried up, the Registan (desert) Square was developed fo public proclamations and executions. Three Madrasahs (west-Ulughbek, centre-Tilya Kori-gold covered and east-Sher-Dor) were framed with Islamic architecture. Sher-lion is suggestive of big and royal. On the face of Sher-Dor madrassa, two tigers mosaics with rising Sun and the two deers mosaic in the centre create an Persian-Zoroastria-Hindu influence, as otherwise depiction of living beings is banned in Islam. Timur returned from India carrying building and stone and tilework workers with him, and they were used in making the Madrasahs. The light and sound show travels you through the historical journey of Samarkand.

Gur Emir Mausoleum is a landmark monument of the city is a burial place of Amir Timur, his spiritual mentor Mir Said Baraka, his sons Shah Rukh and Miran Shah and grand sons Muhammad Sultan and Ulughbek. The mausoleum is a fine example of medieval architectural craftsmanship of Turko-Persian art, a precursor and model for later Mughal architecture tombs in India, i.e., Humayun’s Tomb and Taj Mahal. The gilding work, mosaic of light and dark blue glazed tiles and paintings have enriched the mausoleum.

There is legend after the opening of the tombs by Russian authorities in 1941 to check the remains. Two days after the opening of the Timur’s tomb, Nazi Germany invaded Russia without declaring war 22 June 1941. Some people thought it was a curse of Timur. The remains were sent to Moscow for study but later were returned to Samarkand and were buried with full honour. That had enthused the Muslim soldiers who fought well and made the victory of battle of Stalingrad, the turning point of WW-II.

Bibi Khanym Mosque, one of the largest mosques of medieval period is a poetic presentation of architecture. There is a legend or a rumour that it was built by Timur’s famous wife Bibi-Khanym in honour of Timur’s trip to India. The architect fell in love with the queen and was delaying the construction. When the queen insisted for timely completion of the mosque before Timur’s arrival, the architect, mad in love, proposed to kiss her. In response the queen offered him her slave of his choice, stating example of painted eggs in different colours, looking different from outside but all are the same inside. The architect in reply brought two glasses, one he filled with water and another with white wine and replied the queen that both in appearance are the same but he doesn’t feel anything with water but wine gives him burn like the love. The queen allowed him to kiss and the architect completed the construction. But his hot kiss left a trace on her tender cheek. Timur was delighted with the beautiful gift but noticed the mark on tender cheek of his beautiful wife and when came to know the reason, ordered to bury the architect under the mausoleum.

In the north east part of the city, Shahi Zinda necropolis is the burial place of Kusamibn ibn Abbas, the cousin of Prophet Muhammad. It is known for its richest tile work. There is Ulughbek Observatory built is 1420, was destroyed in 1449 and was rediscovered in 1908.

The monuments of Samarkand couldn’t get place in the list of world heritage sites because of their renovation and restoration like replacements.

Tourists enjoy here the tastes of sweet fruits Grapes, Apple, Naspati (pear); tasty vegetables Pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, and delicious meal of plov (pulau), somsa (samosa), kebab, etc, with a flavour of Bukhara cuisine. And there are shops of Bukhara Silk Carpets and handicrafts. And if you go to Abdullah in Hujom Street a smiling smart General Manager will surely sell his silk carpet to you with high price but with better discount!

If get a chance to visit, don’t miss this old city located on the ancient Silk Road to appreciate the economic, cultural and political journey of Central Asia.


20 October 2019



When Spring Equinox (entry of Sun in Northern Hemisphere) day was in the zodiac backdrop of Mrigtrishna Nakshatra (Orion) in zodiac sign Taurus (bull, vrishabh) around 4000 BC, healthy White Bull was the symbol of religious-trade-authoritative identity; used for game, bull fights, and sacrifice for rituals.

The founder of Jainism is not the 24th Tirthankar Mahavir Swami. There were 23 Tirthankars before him. The 23rd Tirthankar Parsvanatha was born 250 years prior to Mahavira. The 22nd Tirthankar, Neminatha (Aristanemi) was the cousin of Lord Krishna. The founder of Jainism, the first Tirthankar Adinath-Rishabhnath lived probably in Orion era or before. He was spiritual leader and a social reformer, taught 72 arts to men and 64 to women.

Rishabhnath of Jainism and Shiva of Hindus might be the contemporaries or one and the same. Bull is the symbol of Adinath and Nandi (bull) is the vehicle of Mahadev. Many practices of tantra-matra were common amongst the Nathas of Shaivism and Digambara of Jainism. Except Mahavira, all the 23 Tirthankars were called Nath.

God Reseph of Sumerian culture, the worship of Reseph in Mesopotamia and Egypt, the Rushabh of Indus-Saraswati civilisation, the Nandi of Lord Shiva and the Rishabh of Rishabhnath were the ancient religious common practices of prevedic Orion era. The black stone (the right hand of the invisible God visible symbolically) installed at the eastern corner of Kaaba in Mecca and a yellow pole nearby where the prophet was standing for worshipping, may be carrying the same distance what the Linga and the Nandi have in a Shiva temple.

Rig vedic hymns and Puranas refers Rishabh as lord of lords. His mother and daughter the Cow is the merciful creature, serving the humans to acquire healthy, immune and long life.

ॐ श्री वृषभ देवाय नम: 😊

8 November 2019

Sufi Saint Kaki the first Uzbek came to India

Sufi Saint Kaki was the first Uzbek came to India (between 1211-1235) before Babur (1526)

After extinguishing fire of the east, Gandhi returned to Delhi on 30 September 1947. For security reason, he was stationed at Birla Bhavan. His heart was in Pakistan and he was not happy with the migration of the population both the sides. He desired to go to Pakistan to bring back the people who migrated to Pakistan after the partition. But the communal fire in Delhi didn’t allow him to move. How could Gandhi move forward when the people of Delhi were in trouble and the city was flooding with refugees? He went on his last fast of life until death for the peace in Delhi on 13 January 1948. With the assurance of the leaders of all the religions and major organisations he broke the fast on 18 January 1948. He took a visit of a Kaki Shrine in Mehrauli on annual Urs day on 29 January, a day prior to his assassination. The mosque was damaged during the riots and people living around were displaced. Repairing the mosque and returning the homes to the displaced was one of Gandhiji’s demands of agreement with the leaders while breaking the fast on 18 January 1948. It was the mosque and Shrine of Sufi Saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiyār Kaki.

Islam travelled to India through its warriors and the mystic Saints of Chishti silsila. Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki (1173-1235) was one of them. He was the spiritual successor of Persian Saint Moinuddin Chishti (Ajmer). Fariduddin Ganjshaker and Nizamudin Auliya were the spiritual successor of Kaki. Qutub Minar of Delhi was dedicated after him. He was born in a small town Osh (Fergana valley) Uzbekistan in 1173, and came to India during the rule of Caliph recognised ruler of Delhi, Mamluk Slave Sultan Iltutmish (of Bukhara origin). Kaki was descendant of Prophet Muhammad, discerned through Husain Ibn Ali. He was known as Kaki due to miracle (karamat).

Due to poverty, his wife used to buy buns-bread (Kak) on credit from the nearby baker. But when the baker stopped giving on credit because of unsettled previous dues, Kaki advised his wife to take the Kak from the corner of their house whenever she requires it. When the lady stopped coming to buy Kak from the bakery, the baker inquired through his wife, why the lady is not coming to his shop but serving the Kak to the visitors. And when the lady disclosed the truth of Kaki’s miracle, the Kak stopped appearing from the corner. From that day, people called him Kaki.

He attended a Mehfil-e-Sama in November 1235, and after listening the verses of Poet Ahmad e Jam :”those who are slain by the dagger of surrender, receive every moment a new life from the unseen”, he went into the state of ecstasy and died four days later in 1235. He was cremated in Mehrauli. Repaired and rebuilt the Shrine of Saint Kaki is a centre of faith for many believers. However, women are not allowed to go near the tomb. They can see it from the windows. Offering flowers, lit insane and praying are the common practice of worship like Hindus. At one of the tombs in the campus, a lamp is kept lit. It is a venue of autumn festival, “phoolawalo ki sair. It was started in 1812 by Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Mughal Emperor Akbar Shah II, offering chaddar to the shrine and flower pankha to the Yogmaya temple for the safe return of her son Mirza Jahangir, who was exiled to Allahabad by the British Resident in Red Fort, Sir Archibald Seton.

Another important Shrine place is at Chilla in Delhi, where Chishti Saint Nizamuddin Auliya (1138-1325), his disciple Amir Khusrow and Mirza Ghalib rest in the campus. Except the small area of the tombs, the area is thickly populated and is over crowded. Amir Khusrow preferred place of Guru to his material wealth. It is said that unless one visits the Auliya and then go to Ajmer, the pilgrimage is incomplete. Humayun tomb located nearby a world heritage site.

It is to note that in all the Muslim tombs, the dead bodies were placed south facing (head in north and legs in south). It is similar practice like Hindus, who ground the dead body and then put it on the pyre south facing. It follows the magnet ends of Mother Earth, the South Pole and the North Pole. In astrology, North is a Rahu point and South is a Ketu point. The ritual to place the dead body south facing is to facilitate the smooth journey of the spirit after the death.

Did you notice, our Vikram Yan was crashed while its journey towards the South Pole of Moon? The gravitational angle was missed. People in the ancient and medieval world were living life in harmony with the nature. The houses were built north-south and the temples-religious places were built east-west.

Mystic world has yet to uncover many mysteries.

2 December 2019
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