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The blog has moved

The blog ran away and left a note. The new address is http://palmleaf.wordpress.com

The reason for the move, it seems is that the history blog has a low visitor count and a hosted service is sufficient for now. It seems Superbowl Sunday was an auspicious day for the move and the updates will be done only there.

Please update your feeds.

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New Blog: Indian Sculpture

There are not many blogs on Indian history and so it gives us great happiness to see yet another software engineer on this low-visitor-count market. Also, this new blog Indian Sculpture is inspired by The Palm Leaf

Indian temples are a great source of cultural information and goal of this new blog is to glean information of dress, weapons or anything else of that time period.

I am fascinated by the detail in these sculptures. It’s almost like they were 3-D photographs of their day. Many of the sculptures that I saw had different faces and had different accesories. They were clearly meant to represent different people. Whether or not it was real people or the sculptor’s fancy is anyone’s guess. It’s pretty amazing how many details spring to your eye once you actually start looking for this sort of thing though.

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I am traveling for the next three weeks and so suggestions on how to improve the world will be sporadic. Instead there will be picture updates from random locations till Thanksgiving.

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Shah Jahan runs ASI

The Archaeological Survey of India is doing a great job with the financial constraints they have. But once in a while they do something which makes you want to bang your head on a nearby archaeological structure. One such incident came to light when we found from whom the ASI takes instructions — Emperor Shah Jahan. The fact that the emperor has become fossil fuel hundreds of years back has no effect on the ASI. They dare not violate one of his orders, for what if he comes out of the grave.

The issue is regarding the pay for the Imam who takes care of the mosque in the precints of Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan had fixed it at 15 gold ‘asharfis’ about four hundred years back. Now after adjusting for the new currency and inflation, the ASI has come up with an amount which should provide him with a posh life — Rs. 15. Yes, he gets fifteen rupees which is the amount an auto driver would charge you in Chennai if you looked at his vehicle.

“The salary of the Imam was fixed in accordance with the spirit of the Mughal ‘firman’ (rules), issued by Shah Jahan, who had fixed it at 15 coins,” said an ASI official.

What else can we do, we are bound by the will of the emperor,” the official told IANS over telephone from Agra.

Ironically, a peon appointed by the government to assist the Imam, receives a monthly salary of more than Rs.5,000.[For ASI, 15 Mughal gold coins and Rs 15 are same]

Someone gotta break the news, gently, to the ASI official that the emperor is not going to strike back.

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Ruins of India

A bunch of folks have started a flickr group called Ruins of India with some amazing pictures. Please take a look and contribute if possible.

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