A light weekly podcast covering the history of India, from 6th century B.C. Enjoying the podcast? Please consider donating to the Snehal Sidhu Memorial Fund (http://tinyurl.com/prkvwll)
By the dry heart of empire
What was life like in the heart of the Chaulkiya empire? How did they survive in such a dry environment? How was the city defended? In this episode, we chat with Dr Hemanth Kadambi about stone horse hurdles, his youthful misadventures, must-see places if you visit Badami, and how the sacred survives the test of time.
Workers stranded by the lockdown
**Special episode on the current crisis** People are stranded all across India. They left to find work. Now the lockdown has come, they are out of work, out of money and out of food. We get to talk to Anushka and Nithya who are chatting to these workers every day, and hear some of their stories. They work for SWAN - the stranded workers action network. They can help you give money to stranded workers directly here: bit.ly/3euYfGF @strandedworkers on twitter for more.
Chalukyas by the book
(www.historyofindiapodcast.in) This week we chat to comic book author, novelist and fellow fan of the Chaulkiya period Dr. Shalini Srinivasan about the book she's been writing set in the Chaulkiyan empire. She tells us about how comic books get made, we share our favourite parts of the ruins, and I learn about how and why she writes. [Patchy audio quality in places]
By the whim of the master (part 2)
(www.historyofindiapodcast.in) ***Warning: contains upsetting details.*** The second special episode on slavery. This week, we hear about the lives of female slaves. We meet slaves in Buddhist monasteries. And we meet a young woman being sold into slavery. Also in this episode: how to construct a Buddhist cave, a boy survives seven attempted murders, and a vengeful woman crosses the ocean.
By the whim of the master
(www.historyofindiapodcast.in) ***Warning: contains upsetting details.*** This week, we learn a little about what life was like for slaves in ancient and early medieval India, from becoming a slave to being free. India might have been the best place in the ancient world to be a slave, but slave life was often still brutal. In this episode: bad food sends a slave running for freedom, another annoying rant about academia, and an ancient Indian slave talks about cold baths and Buddhism with her master.
Overtaken by the bogeyman
(www.historyofindiapodcast.in) This week, we meet some of the bogeymen of ancient India; a group among the most feared of the Barbarians. The mighty Kamboja horsemasters. And yet, these are real people. In this episode we hear the tales told about them, but we also get to know a bit about how they really lived, and even them described in their own words. Also in this episode: the moon kings rise, an ocean gets drunk up, and I get lost in a rant about pacifist kings.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Had the great opportunity of visiting India just prior to the COVID pandemic. Giving this podcast an opportunity to unwind the complex histories that make up the vast and various areas of India. This may take a while....
It’s been enlightening to familiarize with history again after drudging through oh my god boring in school. And love the creators effort to be neutral and sympathetic unlike earlier historians. The direct from source is such an amazing device to learn about the priorities of people in those days.
My main grouse is the rigid view of religion in India that the narrator has. Religion in India has always been much more fluid, alive and dominated by personalities and the structure is wholly different than the church dominated hierarchy of the west. This loses a lot of nuances of religio-political aspect of history which is a significant aspect of India’s story.
I’m generally very skeptical of histories of ancient India because of how many agendas there are about the subcontinent’s past, left, right or centre. This podcast has so far been an absolute destroyer of my skepticism.
Kit Patrick’s generous and respectful inclusion of original sources means we’re actually hearing the voices of Ancient Indians in a way we don’t usually. His heavy accent sometimes makes it hard for me to understand what the Sanskrit word he’s speaking (e.g., for the longest time I heard ‘Maukhari’ as ‘Malkari’), but nobody is perfect and this is as close to perfect as anyone’s gotten.
And I love the music as much as I love the content!