Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fact and Fiction - Books on (New) Delhi and the Mughal times

Books on (New)Delhi and historical fiction set in the Mughal times

On Delhi, Vibha writes.....

In William Dlarymple's words, "Though it had been burned by the invaders time and time again, millennium after millennium, still the city was rebuilt, each time it rose like a phoenix from the fire."

Delhi - A diversely and thickly populated city and one of the oldest inhabited cities of the world has been successful in working its charm on many natives and visitors alike. The city which has been adorned and plundered numerous times, the city which has witnessed zeniths and nadirs of dynasties and rulers has been the epicenter of activities all through the history of our country.

Delhi has mesmerized people with its resilience, its  endurance and its extendable cover for all who took refuge in its folds from time to time. Anyone who headed towards the city, whether it was after the partition of India or during the ethnic violence many times thereafter, has been offered succor first and subsequently home and belongingness in some by-lanes of this city. An epitome of being a perfect melting pot, Delhi seems to be holding onto some parts ofevery bygone period and has much to educate people through its monuments, ruins, buildings and even streets and bazaars.

Tales of Historic Delhi - A walk through its many cities
Author and Illustrator : Premola Ghose
Publisher : Young Zubaan and Amber Books
Age : 8-12years
Historical Fiction
Review by Vibha

Tales of Historic Delhi by Premola Ghose is a fun-filled illustrated book on Delhi. Animal friends from the forests of Ranthambore decide to embark on a historical journey to the country's capital on the occasion of city celebrating its 100th birthday in 2011. The super-excited animals begin Dilli-Darshan from the world's tallest minaret - Qutb Minar and cover Siri Fort, Nizamuddin, Tughlaqabad,  Hauz Khas,Lodi Gardens, Humayun's Tomb, Lal Qila, Chandni Chowk,Safdarjung's Tomb, and New Delhi in that order. A chapter is dedicated to each monument and each chapter begins with facts about that particular monument. To go through the timeline of Delhi in brief, there is one provided at the end. The book offers nice introduction to various monuments in Delhi, however, the animal banter which goes on and on, gets a little annoying at times.
(Pic Src : Flipkart)

 New Delhi (Glo Adventure)
Publisher : GLO bOOKS
Age : 8-12 years
Review by Vibha
Historical Facts

Glo adventure on New Delhi is a perfect supplement to the course book (Frank's Social Studies Book Class III). There is a brief mention of almost every aspect of the city in the magazine ranging from features,weather, culture, religion, lifestyle, food, art, to tales of Delhi. The entertainment quotient has not been ignored wither and some fun exercises are provided too but otherwise it gives fact based information mostly.
(Pic Src : Glo Books)

The Ash and Tara Adventures
By Jeanne Perrett
Penguin India
Ages 8 and above
Historical Fiction
Review by Wordjunkie

The Ash and Tara adventures (there seem to be two so far) feature a young brother and sister duo and is set against the backdrop of Akbar’s Agra. A young Akbar at that – he was, after all, a teenaged king. Quick paced and fun, the books have the kids battling all kinds of sinister villains, ferreting out clues and running wild through the bylanes of Agra in the 1500s. 

The DOA Detective Files
By Sonja Chandrachud
Penguin India
Ages 10 and above
Historical Fiction
Review by Wordjunkie

Magic meets mayhem meets time travel in this new series about three kids with some very unusual powers solving crimes with the help of a time travelling rikshaw. In ‘Trouble at the Taj’, first of the series, the kids travel to Agra circa 1636, summoned by a ghost, no less! For  the chief architect of the Taj Mahal has been kidnapped while the beautiful building is only half done and the dead queen is worried that she will be stuck with an ugly tomb if someone else is brought in to finish the job.The children soon discover darker forces at play and greater games afoot than a mere abduction. Racing against time and a very tetchy queen - the kids unravel conspiracies, learn all kinds of historical facts and manage to make, being embroiled in ancient political intrigue, seem like rib-tickling fun.
(Pic Src :

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