Goa and Catholicism in India

Chapter 4, Part 1 For more than a millennium the area known today as Goa had been ruled by different clans, dynasties, kingdoms and sultanates before Vijayanagara took control of it in the… Continue reading

Perceiving Kerala

Chapter 3, Part 3 “If you go to India you have to visit Kerala!” “Why?” “Because it’s God’s Own Country.” Back in 2011 a business consultant from Kochi who worked in Jakarta said… Continue reading

Kochi: From Spices to Kathakali

Chapter 3, Part 2 On the Malabar Coast in the southwestern corner of the Indian subcontinent lie old trading ports which served as the main gateways for ancient traders and explorers, from China… Continue reading

The Fall of Constantinople

Chapter 3, Part 1 Istanbul, 1453. Around two thousand years earlier Buddhism began to spread across the Indian subcontinent, and for more than one millennium Buddhist kingdoms and empires rose and fell, from… Continue reading

Minangkabau: the Land of Buffalo Horns

Chapter 2, Part 10 In the highlands of western Sumatra live a society with a unique culture where house roof is anything but unimaginative and women own the family’s wealth. In spite of… Continue reading

Candi Cetho: A Creation of Those Who Remained

Chapter 2, Part 9 The narrow road keeps going up, climbing the slopes of Mount Lawu, an active volcano rising more than 3,000 meters on the island of Java. We are more than… Continue reading

Cirebon: A Cultural Melting Pot

Chapter 2, Part 8 As Demak rose to prominence and became independent from Majapahit, another sultanate began to flourish on the northwestern coast of Java. Previously under the sphere of influence of the… Continue reading

Rise of Islam in Java

Chapter 2, Part 7 Since more than a thousand years ago, the island of Java has been an important economic and cultural center among the vast archipelago which today makes up most of… Continue reading

Zheng He and the Treasure Voyages

Chapter 2, Part 6 Far from the heartland of Arabia where it was born, Islam reached the farthest side of the world known by the Arabs as Tsin, China. Muhammad himself in a… Continue reading

Sabang and Hikkaduwa: After the Tsunami

Chapter 2, Part 5 We were at Ulee Lheue, a mid-sized port on Mainland Aceh at the northern part of Sumatra where we would catch the boat to take us to Pulau Weh… Continue reading

Banda Aceh over the Centuries

Chapter 2, Part 4 Centuries after the introduction of Islam by Muhammad to the people of Mecca and Hijaz (Medina), the new religion spread quickly from the Arabian peninsula to North Africa and… Continue reading

Vijayanagara: the Legacy

Chapter 2, Part 3 “In this city you will find men belonging to every nation and people, because of the great trade which it has, and the many precious stones there … the… Continue reading

Vijayanagara: the Golden Period

Chapter 2, Part 2 In the 14th century Harihara I established Vijayanagara, a Hindu kingdom which would later become the most powerful empire in the history of South India, and Harihara II –… Continue reading

Vijayanagara: the Beginning

Chapter 2, Part 1 Powers rise and fall, a constant change on earth like the ebb and flow of the sea. Men’s insatiable need for power has caused the world’s political borders to… Continue reading

Kirtipur the Brave

Chapter 1, Part 21 For centuries the Malla kings had reigned over the Kathmandu Valley marked by periods of repetitious amity and enmity among the rulers of Kathmandu (Kantipur), Patan (Lalitpur) and Bhaktapur.… Continue reading