The Ganges flows through northern India and Bangladesh for more than 1,500 miles before emptying into the Bay of Bengal. It is sacred to Hindus who worship Ganga, the river goddess. But it has also long been a magnet for foreigners, some seeking to unravel its mysteries and others who have come in search of plunder. In On the Ganges, George Black, who chronicled the exploration of the American West and the creation of Yellowstone National Park in Empire of Shadows, takes readers on an extraordinary journey from the glaciers of the Himalayas to the sacred city of Varanasi to the “hundred mouths” of the Ganges Delta.
On the Ganges, parts of which originated from a New Yorker article published last year, introduces us to a vivid and often eccentric cast of characters who worship the river, pollute it, and flock to it from all over the world in search of enlightenment and adventure. Black encounters those who run the corrupt cremation business, workers who eke out a living in squalid factories, religious fanatics, and Brits who continue to live as if the Raj had never ended.
By the end of his journey, Black has given us a memorable picture of the great river, with all its riddles and contradictions, both sacred and profane, giving the last word to a man scavenging for the gifts left by pilgrims: "There are good days and there are bad days. It all depends. Everything is in the hands of our mother, Ma Ganga."
Delhi & Agra is a topographical anthology that explores the cities' sites of interest and recreates the key events, customs and lives of the past, drawing on diaries, letters, memoirs and commentaries written by residents and visitors over the course of 600 years.
Extracts include Tamerlane's account of the sack of Delhi in 1398; descriptions of Shah Jahan building the Taj Mahal; recollections of Jesuits and mullahs debating the relative merits of their religions before the great Mogul emperor, Akbar; reports of cruelty and creativity, of addiction to drink and drugs; descriptions of elephant fights, suttee, the life of the bazaar and vice-regal banquets; and eyewitness accounts of the Indian Mutiny from both sides, and of the bloody aftermath of Partition. A great variety of topics are covered, vividly conveying an impression of how it would have been to live in, or visit, both cities from the recent past to hundreds of years ago.
Empire of Shadows is the epic story of the conquest of Yellowstone, a landscape uninhabited, inaccessible and shrouded in myth in the aftermath of the Civil War. In a radical reinterpretation of the nineteenth century West, George Black casts Yellowstone's creation as the culmination of three interwoven strands of history - the passion for exploration, the violence of the Indian Wars and the "civilizing" of the frontier - and charts its course through the lives of those who sought to lay bare its mysteries: Lt. Gustavus Cheyney Doane, a gifted but tormented cavalryman known as "the man who invented Wonderland"; the ambitious former vigilante leader Nathaniel Langford; scientist Ferdinand Hayden, who brought photographer William Henry Jackson and painter Thomas Moran to Yellowstone; and Gen. Phil Sheridan, Civil War hero and architect of the Indian Wars, who finally succeeded in having the new National Park placed under the protection of the US Cavalry. George Black1s Empire of Shadows is a groundbreaking historical account of the origins of America1s majestic national landmark.
Inside Lonely Planet's India Travel Guide:Colour maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - yoga, spas, volunteering, festivals, religion, history, cuisine, art, literature, architecture, environment, wildlife, trekking Over 220 maps Covers Delhi, Rajasthan, Kashmir, Ladakh, Agra, Varanasi, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Rishikesh, West Bengal, Darjeeling, Goa, Bengaluru (Bangalore), Mumbai (Bombay), Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kerala, Andaman Islands and more
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