Sugarcane is first said to have been cultivated in New Guinea, around 10,000 years ago. From there, knowledge relating to cultivation of this plant spread to southeast Asia, southern China, and then India. In 510 BC, Emperor Darius of Persia invaded India where he found ‘the reed which gives honey without bees’. […]
Cashmere, a type of fine woolen fabric, is made from the processing of the hair of a goat named Capra Hircus, which lives on the Tibetan highlands, in the Himalayas and principally in Mongolia. The animal produces a particularly fine wool that is soft and warm, which protects it from the harshness of winter (-40° C). After the animal moults, or after shearing, its hairs are selected, cleaned and then woven into threads. Cashmere is much softer, warmer and holds more heat than sheep’s wool. […]
Sushruta, a physician in ancient India (800-600 BC), described cataract as a disorder of the lens, and even performed minor surgery to remove the cloudy part. He is said to have been the first physician to have performed such a surgery, which is now known as ‘couching,’ and described the procedure in his book, Sushruta Samhita (Compendium of Sushruta). The procedure involved using a curved needle to push the opaque matter in the eye out of the way of vision; the opaque, phlegm-like matter was then blown out of the nose. The eye was later soaked with warm ghee and then bandaged. However, ‘couching’ was regarded by later physicians as a dangerous method as the slightest mistake could result damage to the cornea and possible blindness. The removal of cataract by surgery is to have been introduced to China from India, where it flourished in the Sui (AD 581-618) and Tang dynasties (AD 618–907). […]
Black pepper, now commonly used as a seasoning around the world, originated in India – it was grown primarily in the Malabar coast or present-day Kerala. It was used in Indian cooking as early as 2000 BC, and spread from India to Southeast Asia. The spice, which imparted a great deal of flavor even when used minimally, was seen as a valuable spice by the ancient European traders, and was referred to as ‘black gold’. Following this, in the Dutch language, ‘pepper expensive’ (peperduur) is an expression for something very expensive. It was in search of trade in this spice that Vasco de Gama even led an expedition to India. […]
If you are a comic buff (especially Marvel), you would know of Cain Marko or the ‘Juggernaut’. The gigantic man with superhuman strength, who is unstoppable once he starts to run, and can smash mountains and skyscrapers with ease.
The character’s name is derived from an English word – Juggernaut – which is used to describe something or someone who is powerful and dominant. […]
When you wash your hair, what do you use? Shampoo, of course. Many of the shampoo brands available today are made by companies based abroad, but did you know that the word ‘shampoo’ was derived from Hindi? […]
Printing using natural vegetable dyes has caught the fancy of people across the world. But, one of the oldest traditions of creating intricate designs using vegetable dyes is India’s very own kalamkari. […]