Thursday 29 December 2011

History of clock


Time, a central theme in modern life, has for most of human history been thought of in very imprecise terms.

The day and the week are easily recognized and recorded - though an accurate calendar for the year is hard to achieve. The forenoon is easily distinguishable from the afternoon, provided the sun is shining, and the position of the sun in the landscape can reveal roughly how much of the day has passed. By contrast the smaller parcels of time - hours, minutes and seconds - have until recent centuries been both unmeasurable and unneeded.
        Sundial and water clock: from the 2nd millennium BC

The movement of the sun through the sky makes possible a simple estimate of time, from the length and position of a shadow cast by a vertical stick. (It also makes possible more elaborate calculations, as in the attempt of Erathosthenes to measure the world - see Erathosthenes and the camels). If marks are made where the sun's shadow falls, the time of day can be recorded in a consistent manner.

The result is the sundial. An Egyptian example survives from about 800 BC, but the principle is certainly familiar to astronomers very much earlier. However it is difficult to measure time precisely on a sundial, because the sun's path throug the sky changes with the seasons. Early attempts at precision in time-keeping rely on a different principle.
         The water clock, known from a Greek word as the clepsydra, attempts to measure time by the amount of water which drips from a tank. This would be a reliable form of clock if the flow of water could be perfectly controlled. In practice it cannot. The clepsydra has an honourable history from perhaps 1400 BC in Egypt, through Greece and Rome and the Arab civlizations and China, and even up to the 16th century in Europe. But it is more of a toy than a timepiece.

The hourglass, using sand on the same principle, has an even longer career. It is a standard feature on 18th-century pulpits in Britain, ensuring a sermon of sufficient length. In a reduced form it can still be found timing an egg.

         A tower clock in China: AD 1094

After six years' work, a Buddhist monk by the name of Su Song completes a great tower, some thirty feet high, which is designed to reveal the movement of the stars and the hours of the day. Figures pop out of doors and strike bells to signify the hours.

The power comes from a water wheel occupying the lower part of the tower. Su Song has designed a device which stops the water wheel except for a brief spell, once every quarter of an hour, when the weight of the water (accumulated in vessels on the rim) is sufficient to trip a mechanism. The wheel, lurching forward, drives the machinery of the tower to the next stationary point in a continuing cycle.
         This device (which in Su Sung's tower must feel like a minor earthquake every time it slams the machinery into action) is an early example of an escapement - a concept essential to mechanical clockwork. In any form of clock based on machinery, power must be delivered to the mechanism in intermittent bursts which can be precisely regulated. The rationing of power is the function of the escapement. The real birth of mechanical clockwork awaits a reliable version, developed in Europe in the 13th century.

Meanwhile Su Sung's tower clock, ready for inspection by the emperor in 1094, is destroyed shortly afterwards by marauding barbarians from the north.
         Clockwork in Europe: 13th - 14th century AD

Europe at the end of the Middle Ages is busy trying to capture time. The underlying aim is as much astronomical (to reflect the movement of the heavenly bodies) as it is to do with the more mundane task of measuring everybody's day. But the attraction of that achievement is recognized too. A textbook on astronomy, written by 'Robert the Englishman' in 1271, says that 'clockmakers are trying to make a wheel which will make one complete revolution' in each day, but that 'they cannot quite perfect their work'.

What prevents them even beginning to perfect their work is the lack of an escapement. But a practical version of this dates from only a few years later.
        A working escapement is invented in about 1275. The process allows a toothed wheel to turn, one tooth at a time, by successive teeth catching against knobs projecting from an upright rod which oscillates back and forth. The speed of its oscillation is regulated by a horizontal bar (known as a foliot) attached to the top of the rod. The time taken in the foliot's swing can be regulated by moving weights in or out on each arm.

The function of the foliot is the same as that of the pendulum in modern clocks, but it is less efficient in that gravity is not helping it to oscillate. A very heavy weight is needed to power the clock, involving massive machinery and much friction.
         Nevertheless the foliot works to a degree acceptable at the time (a clock in the Middle Ages is counted a good timekeeper if it loses or gains only a quarter of an hour a day), and in the 14th century there are increasingly frequent references to clocks in European cities. A particularly elaborate one is built between 1348 and 1364 in Padua by Giovanni de' Dondi, a professor of astronomy at the university who writes a detailed description of his clock. A 14th-century manuscript of his text has the earliest illustration of a clock mechanism with its escapement.

The world's three oldest surviving examples of clockwork date from the last years of the 14th century.
         The famous clock in Salisbury cathedral, installed by 1386 and still working today with its original mechanism, is a very plain piece of machinery. It has no face, being designed only to strike the hours. Striking is the main function of all early clocks (the word has links with the French cloche, meaning 'bell').

In 1389 a great clock is installed above a bridge spanning a street in Rouen. It remains one of the famous sights of the city, though its glorious gilded dial is a later addition and its foliot has been replaced by a pendulum (in 1713). The historical distinction of the Rouen clock is that it is the first machine designed to strike the quarter-hours.
         In 1392 the bishop of Wells instals a clock in his cathedral. The bishop has previously been in Salisbury, and the same engineer seems to have made the new clock. It not only strikes the quarters. It steals a march on Rouen by having a dial, showing the movement of astronomical bodies.

With escapements, chiming mechanisms and dials, clocks are now set to evolve into their more familiar selves. And the telling of time soon alters people's perceptions of time itself. Hours, minutes and seconds are units which only come into existence as the ability to measure them develops.
         Domestic clocks: 15th century AD

After the success of the clocks in Europe's cathedrals in the late 14th century, and the introduction of the clock face in places such as Wells, kings and nobles naturally want this impressive technology at home.

The first domestic clocks, in the early 15th century, are miniature versions of the cathedral clocks - powered by hanging weights, regulated by escapements with a foliot, and showing the time to the great man's family and household by means of a single hand working its way round a 12-hour circuit on the clock's face. But before the middle of the 15th century a development of great significance occurs, in the form of a spring-driven mechanism.
         The earliest surviving spring-driven clock, now in the Science Museum in London, dates from about 1450. By that time clockmakers have not only discovered how to transmit power to the mechanism from a coiled spring. They have also devised a simple but effective solution to the problem inherent in a coiled spring which steadily loses power as it uncoils.

The solution to this is the fusee.
         The fusee is a cone, bearing a spiral of grooves on its surface, which forms part of the axle driving the wheels of the clock mechanism. The length of gut linking the drum of the spring to the axle is wound round the fusee. It lies on the thinnest part of the cone when the spring is fully wound and reaches its broadest circumference by the time the spring is weak. Increased leverage exactly counteracts decreasing strength.

These two devices, eliminating the need for weights, make possible clocks which stand on tables, clocks which can be taken from room to room, even clocks to accompany a traveller in a carriage. Eventually, most significant of all, they make possible the pocket watch.

Watches: 16th - 17th century AD

The first watches, made in Nuremberg from about 1500, are spherical metal objects, about three inches in diameter, designed to hang on a ribbon round the neck. They derive from similar metal spheres used as pomanders, to hold aromatic herbs which will protect the wearer against disease or vile odours.

The first watchmakers place their somewhat primitive mechanism inside cases of this sort. A single hand set into a flat section at the base makes its way round a dial marked with the division of twelve hours.
         For their first century and more, watches are worn outside the clothes and are regarded more as jewels than as useful instruments (a comment also on their timekeeping abilities). The best of them are exquisitely decorated in enamel.

The spherical watch of this kind evolves in the late 17th century into the slimmer pocket watch, thanks largely to Christiaan Huygens. This distinguished Dutch physicist makes two important contributions to time-keeping - the pendulum clock and the spiral balance spring.
         The pendulum clock: AD 1656-1657

Christiaan Huygens spends Christmas day, in the Hague in 1656, constructing a model of a clock on a new principle. The principle itself has been observed by Galileo, traditionally as a result of watching a lamp swing to and fro in the cathedral when he is a student in Pisa. Galileo later proves experimentally that a swinging suspended object takes the same time to complete each swing regardless of how far it travels.

This consistency prompts Galileo to suggest that a pendulum might be useful in clocks. But no one has been able to apply that insight, until Huygens finds that his model works.
         A craftsman in the Hague makes the first full-scale clock on this principle for Huygens in 1657. But it is in England that the idea is taken up with the greatest enthusiasm.

By 1600 London clockmakers have already developed the characteristic shape which makes best use of the new mechanism - that of the longcase clock, more affectionately known as the grandfather clock.
The pocket watch: AD 1675

Nineteen years after making his model of the pendulum clock, Huygens invents a device of equal significance in the development of the watch. It is the spiral balance, also known as the hairspring (an invention also claimed, less convincingly, by Robert Hooke). This very fine spring, coiled flat, controls the speed of oscillation of the balance wheel. For the first time it is possible to make a watch which is reasonably accurate - and slim.

Both elements are important, for the sober gentlemen of the late 17th century are less inclined than their ancestors to wear jewels round the neck. A watch which will keep the time and slip into a waistcoat pocket is what they require.
         Thomas Tompion, the greatest of English clock and watchmakers, is one of the first to apply the hairspring successfully in pocket watches (of which his workshop produces more than 6000 in his lifetime). The new accuracy of these instruments prompts an addition to the face of a watch - that of the minute hand.

The familiar watch face, with two concentric hands moving round a single dial, is at first considered confusing. There are experiments with several other arrangements of the hour and minute hand, before the design which has since been taken for granted is widely accepted.
Chronometer: AD 1714-1766

Two centuries of ocean travel, since the first European voyages of discovery, have made it increasingly important for ships' captains - whether on naval or merchant business - to be able to calculate their position accurately in any of the world's seas. With the help of the simple and ancient astrolabe, the stars will reveal latitude. But on a revolving planet, longitude is harder. You need to know what time it is, before you can discover what place it is.

The importance of this is made evident when the British government, in 1714, sets up a Board of Longitude and offers a massive £20,000 prize to any inventor who can produce a clock capable of keeping accurate time at sea.
         The terms are demanding. To win the prize a chronometer (a solemnly scientific term for a clock, first used in a document of this year) must be sufficiently accurate to calculate longitude within thirty nautical miles at the end of a journey to the West Indies. This means that in rough seas, damp salty conditions and sudden changes of temperature the instrument must lose or gain not more than three seconds a day - a level of accuracy unmatched at this time by the best clocks in the calmest London drawing rooms.

The challenge appeals to John Harrison, at the time of the announcement a 21-year-old Lincolnshire carpenter with an interest in clocks. It is nearly sixty years before he wins the money. Luckily he lives long enough to collect it.
By 1735 Harrison has built the first chronometer which he believes approaches the necessary standard. Over the next quarter-century he replaces it with three improved models before formally undergoing the government's test. His innovations include bearings which reduce friction, weighted balances interconnected by coiled springs to minimize the effects of movement, and the use of two metals in the balance spring to cope with expansion and contraction caused by changes of temperature.

Harrison's first 'sea clock', in 1735, weighs 72 pounds and is 3 feet in all dimensions. His fourth, in 1759, is more like a watch - circular and 5 inches in diameter. It is this machine which undergoes the sea trials.
Harrison is now sixty-seven, so his son takes the chronometer on its test journey to Jamaica in 1761. It is five seconds slow at the end of the voyage. The government argues that this may be a fluke and offers Harrison only £2500. After further trials, and the successful building of a Harrison chronometer by another craftsman (at the huge cost of £450), the inventor is finally paid the full prize money in 1773.

He has proved in 1761 what is possible, but his chronometer is an elaborate and expensive way of achieving the purpose. It is in France, where a large prize is also on offer from the Académie des Sciences, that the practical chronometer of the future is developed.
The French trial, open to all comers, takes place in 1766 on a voyage from Le Havre in a specially commissioned yacht, the Aurore. The only chronometer ready for the test is designed by Pierre Le Roy. At the end of forty-six days, his machine is accurate to within eight seconds.

Le Roy's timepiece is larger than Harrison's final model, but it is very much easier to construct. It provides the pattern of the future. With further modifications from various sources over the next two decades, the marine chronometer in its lasting form emerges before the end of the 18th century. Using it in combination with the sextant, explorers travelling the world's oceans can now bring back accurate information of immense value to the makers of maps and charts.
         A millennium clock: AD 1746

In 1746 a French clockmaker, Monsieur Passemont (his first name is not known), completes a clock which is almost certainly the first in the world to be able to take account of a new millennium. Its dials can reveal the date of the month in any year up to AD 9999.

It is a longcase clock, in an ornate baroque casing which conceals a mechanism consisting of more than 1000 interconnecting wheels and cogs. Their related movements, as they turn at their different speeds with each swing of the pendulum, are designed to cope with the complexities of the Julian calendar. Thus, for example, one large brass wheel has the responsibility of inserting February 29 in each leap year.
This particular wheel takes four years to complete a single revolution. When it has come full circle, it pops in the extra day. (M. Passemont decides, however, not to grapple with Gregorian refinements; the absence of February 29 in 1700, 1800 and 1900 has had to be manually achieved.)

Louis XV buys the clock in 1749, three years after its completion. It is still ticking away two and a half centuries later in the palace of Versailles. The minutiae of daily time-keeping are also adjusted by hand (the clock loses a minute a month), but Monsieur Passemont's masterpiece requires no assistance in making a significant change in the first digit of its year display - from 1 to 2, at midnight on 31 December 1999.

Tuesday 20 December 2011

history of India

The history of India is one of the grand epics of world history and can be best described in the words of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as "a bundle of contradictions held together by strong but invisible threads". Indian history can be characterized as a work in progress, a continuous process of reinvention that can eventually prove elusive for those seeking to grasp its essential character.

The history of this astonishing sub continent dates back to almost 75000 years ago when the evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens. The Indus Valley Civilization which thrived in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent from 3300- 1300 BCE was the first major civilization in India.

Following is the history of India through the Ages:

The Pre Historic Era

   1. The Stone Age:
      The Stone Age began 500,000 to 200,000 years ago and recent finds in Tamil Nadu (at C. 75000 years ago, before and after the explosion of the Toba Volcano) indicate the presence of the first anatomically humans in the area. Tools crafted by proto-humans that have been dated back to two million years have been discovered in the Northwestern part of the country.

   2. The Bronze Age:
      The Bronze Age in the Indian subcontinent dates back to around 3300 BCE with the early Indus Valley Civilization. Historically part of ancient India, it is one of the world's earliest, urban civilizations, along with Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. Inhabitants of this era developed new techniques in metallurgy and handicraft and produced copper, bronze, lead and tin.

Early Historic Period

   1. Vedic Period:
      The Vedic Period is distinguished by the Indo-Aryan culture which was associated with the texts of Vedas, sacred to Hindus, and that were orally composed in Vedic Sanskrit. The Vedas are some of the oldest extant texts, next to those in Egypt and Mesopotamia. The Vedic era in the subcontinent lasted from about 1500-500 BCE, laying down the foundation of Hinduism and other cultural dimensions of early Indian society. The Aryans laid down Vedic civilization all over North India, particularly in the Gangetic Plain.

Thursday 15 December 2011

Bicycle History

Today, the bicycle is the primary transportation of the human race. About 1.6 billion bicycles are in use throughout the world - in cosmopolitan cities, along remote country lanes, and in the smallest villages - and hundreds of millions of bikes are manufactured every year to meet the continuing demand for cheap wheeled transport.
Yet the bicycle is hardly a new vision of how humans can move. Historians speculate about Leonardo da Vinci's 1490s drawings and a 1580s stained glass window in England that appear to depict a two-wheeler. The first widely recognized two-wheeler in actual use, however, was the pedal-less Celerifere, a toy of the French nobility in the 1790s. The more famous Draisienne followed that toy in 1816, still without pedals. The front wheel could be steered, and this two-wheeler was eventually mass-produced in Europe, particularly in England. Ernest Michaux added cranks to the two-wheeler in 1855. At the age of 14, Michaux copied the crank from a hand-grinding wheel in his father's locksmithy and started a revolution in human transportation - the Velocipede.

By 1870, sophisticated metal Velocipedes were in production in Europe and the United States. Over time, they gave way to the Ordinary or high-wheeler. The Ordinary was the beginning of the heyday of bicycling. It was speedy and capable of long trips on poor roads, so its use spread fast and far. In a day when a skilled person might earn 25 cents per hour in wages, a good Ordinary sold for $75 to $125, making it more expensive than building a house. Nevertheless, they sold at a furious pace.
Ordinaries had a big problem, however. When the front wheel came up against any obstacle that it could not roll over, the bike simply pitched the rider headfirst onto the ground. Called a "header," this characteristic problem spawned the "safety bicycle" in the 1890s. With two wheels of equal size, plus a roller chain geared transmission, the safety bicycle was the direct ancestor of today's machines. Not only were these practical machines, but also, with a slight adaptation, they attracted thousands of women to cycling.
 Now having transportation that did not need assistance from anyone, women gained a larger measure of freedom than they had enjoyed. The bicycle revolutionized female attire, making it a subject of controversy. Schools sprang up to teach women to ride. Many historians point to the safety bicycle as the beginnings of suffrage, women's rights, and feminism.
Brakes, lights, innovative tires and inventions of every sort were created to accompany the safety bicycle. In fact, patents filed in the 1890s laid the groundwork for a startling number of "state of the art" inventions a century later, in the 1990s. In England, in 1909, the Raleigh bicycle, equipped with a Sturmey Archer 3-Speed hub, started production. The classic 3-speed bicycles based on the Sturmey Archer 3-Speed hub design spread worldwide along with the British Empire. These designs are still in production in British-built plants in India, Africa, and China.
In the 1930s, British-built "lightweight" bicycles, suitable for the packed earth of country roads, were being imported into the United States. Used on the gravel roads of the day, lightweights were unfortunately not as sturdy as the riders in the U.S. required. The American balloon-tired cruiser bicycle, equipped with a coaster brake, emerged out of a need for unbreakable rough-road bicycles. Evolving rapidly into the "gas tank" cruisers of the 195Os, these bicycles are still in production. Now, some even are made with titanium frames and sophisticated internal hub transmissions. Yet, they would blend into any street scene of the 1950s.

In the 1960s, the high-rise bicycle - a 20-inch wheel bicycle for children - was the success story of the decade. The Schwinn Sting-Ray was the most desired bicycle of the day, selling in tremendous volume. By the late 1960s, European lightweight derailleur-equipped bicycles began to appear in the United States. Common in Europe since the 1940s, with the Italians and the French dominating both racing and the production of high performance bicycles, the 10-speed changed the look of American cycling. The new look featured the dropped handlebar position, which also reduced drag and increased speed.
The 10-speed bicycle fueled the astonishing "Bike Boom" of the 1970s, during which Baby Boomers just reaching their physical peak pedaled throughout the United States and Canada, as well as many countries in Europe. The Japanese introduced their first 10-speeds into the United States in the early 1970s. The quality and value of their exports quickly gained them a dominant position in the marketplace - even as it drove most European makers and virtually all domestic manufacturers out of the adult bicycle market in the United States.
At the same time in the United States, BMX racing was being born in and started to hit its stride late in the decade. BMX bicycles were descendants of the high-rise bicycles of the 1960s. This exciting sport involved youthful riders racing on a short, closed dirt track. In the early 1980s, a few California riders started putting derailleur gears on old balloon-tire cruisers and riding them down steep mountain roads. The bicycles they created were the first mountain bikes. Those California riders, such as Gary Fisher, Tom Ritchey, and Mike Sinyard (Specialized), are now as famous as the labels on a number of popular brands of mountain bikes.
During the same period, a few American bicycle manufacturers started domestic produc­tion of aluminum and carbon fiber bicycles. Superior products resulted in rapid growth and helped unseat Japanese bicycle companies, who till then had held a dominant position. This new U.S. production, combined with the emergence of Taiwan and China as quality lower price bicycle builders, emphasized the worldwide nature of the bicycle business in the 1980s and 90s.
The early 1980s saw the creation of the "Freestyle" or trick bicycle. Originally a street sport, riding it grew into a jaw-dropping spectacle of flying, leaping bicycles and dancing riders. ESPN, ESPN2, and other television networks often feature this "X-treme" new sport. Now in the late 1990s, the hybrid bicycle, the road bike, and the mountain bike have proved to be the dominant machines of the decade. In the near future, electrically assisted bicycles, recumbent bicycles, and aerodynamic chassis for bicycles promise new levels of comfort, speed, and efficiency for bike lovers. 
From their beginning, bicycles have been high technology. The steel two-wheelers of the 1860s were the most sophisticated machines of their day. The ball bearing, the tensioned spoked wheel, seamed and seamless tubing, pneumatic tires, roller chains, planetary gears, and many more key mechanical inventions were first created for the bicycle, and some even percolated out to improve other devices that people find useful. Today, the bicycle continues to be the most energy and cost efficient transportation device in the world. Bikes are still high technology. They are made from the most advanced materials, with bicycle builders using the same materials and techniques that the most advanced military aircraft use.

Sunday 4 December 2011

Lothal city - Ahmedabad

Lothal city - Ahmedabad

Location:     80 kms from Ahmedabad
    Highlight:     One of the most important archaeological
     Situated at a distance of 80 kms from Ahmedabad, Lothal city is one of the well known cities of the ancient Indus valley civilization. The origin and history of Lothal can be dated back to 2400 BC. Lothal in Gujarat is one of the primary sites of archaeology. Thoughntinued till May 19, 1960. It was done by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Read on to know more a, it was discovered in the year 1954, but its excavation work began on the February 13, 1955, which cobout Lothal in India.

     Lothal has enjoyed the status of being the leading center of trade in the bygone times. It was actively involved in the trade of beads, gems and expensive ornaments that were exported to West Asia and Africa. The techniques that were used by the people of this city brought a lot of name and fame to them. People are of the say that, the scientists of Lothal were the ones to initiate the study stars and advanced navigation.

     Lothal is very well connected to the Ahmedabad city via road and railways. The archaeological excavations that were carried out led to the finding of a township, dock, mound and a marketplace. Areas lying nearby the excavated sites consist of an archaeological museum, where you can take a look at the various Indus-era antiquities. So, if you have spare time, Lothal is a great destination that can be included in your sightseeing trip of Ahmedabad.

     Located around 80 kilometers from Ahmedabad, Lothal is the place where the archaeologists discovered the remnants of the Harappan civilization. In the year 1955, archeologists discovered the remnants of an ancient city in Lothal, Gujarat. offers online information on Lothal Tour, Gujarat and other tourist attractions of Gujarat and other parts of India.

     On your tour to Gujarat you can plan excursions from Ahmedabad and arrange a Lothal Tour Gujarat. The town of Lothal derives its name from the word "Loth" which means death. Related to the Indus Valley sites of Harappa and Mohenjodaro, the local people call it the mound of the dead n your Lothal Tour, Gujarat you can get a glimpse of this site which once used to be a flourishing town engaged in maritime trading activities. During the prehistoric times Lothal was an important port on the subcontinent during the 2nd millennium B.C. Archaeologists excavated a dockyard in the site which shows that the ancient city carried maritime trade during that time as it was close to the Arabian Sea. This was one of the unique lock gated dockyard which is one of the greatest maritime architecture to be discovered from the ancient world.

       The citadel is separated by an acropolis and the city has its own paved baths, residential quarters, coppersmith workshops and bead factories as well. A Lothal Tour, Gujarat will also reveal jewellery, pots and other items. One of the uncanny discoveries was that of two bodies found in a single grave. This also proves that burial was a common ritual amongst the people who lived in Lothal in Gujarat.

      Animal sacrifice, worshipping the fire and sacrifice at the altars was a common practice. During your Lothal Tour, Gujarat you will get an idea on the lifestyle and social scenario of the Harappan Civilization.

      If you are planning a Lothal Tour, Gujarat then you can reach Lothal by rail. The nearest railhead is Bhurkhi on the Ahmedabad to Bhavnagar railway line. You can also opt for a bus journey on your Lothal Tour, Gujarat.

      Besides Lothal, Gujarat there are a number of important tourist places near Ahmedabad. From Modhera, Adalaj Wav to the other step wells and temples, there are a number of interesting places nearby. Tourists on their tour to Ahmedabad often plan excursions from Ahmedabad in Gujarat in India.

      So during your excursions from Ahmedabad you can plan a trip to these destinations close by whereby you can enjoy your tour to Ahmedabad.Indianholiday provides detailed online information on Lothal Tour, Gujarat as well as other excursions from Ahmedabad and other parts of India. For more information on Lothal Tour, Gujarat please fill up the online query form.

Saturday 15 October 2011

Taj Hotel In Mumbai

Once Upon a Time

Jamsetji Tata built The Taj Mahal Palace just in time. In the late 19th century, the hotels in Mumbai left much to be desired. They were run down, overcrowded and the one decent hotel in Mumbai Watson’s Esplanade Hotel – was years past its prime. In the late 1890s, Mr. Tata suddenly announced his plans to build a grand hotel that would help restore the image of Mumbai and attract visitors from around the world.

His partners were surprised and his sisters, critical. One of them is said to have replied in Gujarati, “You are building an institute of science in Bangalore, a great iron and steel factory and a hydro-electric project – and now you tell us you are going to put up a bhatarkhana (boarding house)!”

Luckily, Mr. Tata stayed true to his vision and in 1898 the foundation for the Taj Mahal Palace was started. Construction would be completed in 1903. From the day it opened, the hotel was a leader in the city scene. The Maharajas considered it a second home because it was a welcome break from their formal routines, yet maintained the palatial standards of living to which they were accustomed.

This playground of Princes was also a home to the Indian Freedom movement. Jinnah, the future first leader of Pakistan and Naidu, the President of the Indian National Congress, both held court here. In 1947, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai played host to the legends and architects of Independence and one of first major speeches representing Independent India was given at the hotel.

Eventually the Palace needed some extra room to grow and so the Tower wing was added in 1973. Architecturally different, but in synch with the spirit of the Palace, the Tower added 20 storeys of arches and balconies and began a new chapter in the hotel’s rich history. Now there was even more room to accommodate the endless parade of global who’s who.

A few of our extraordinary guests include: various Kings, Presidents, legends, performers, religious figures and entertainers such as George Bernard Shaw, Irving Stone, Barbara Cartland, Douglas Fairbanks, Sir Richard Attenborough, Baz Luhrmann, Yehudi Menuhin, Andrew Lloyd Weber, Mick Jagger, Margaret Thatcher, Prince Charles, Jacqueline Onassis, William Jefferson Clinton, David Rockefeller, Robert McNamara and Lord Wedgwood, just to name a few.

The only thing that can rival the hotel’s collection of events and memories is perhaps its artifacts. Over the past century, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai has amassed a diverse collection of paintings and works of art. From massive Belgian chandeliers to the finest in Bastar tribal art, from Anglo-Indian inlaid chairs and tables to Goan Christian artifacts, from Mughal-inspired Jali designs to contemporary sculpture, the hotel manages to incorporate a myriad of artistic styles and tastes.

In the late 1990’s, in preparation for its 100th birthday, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai put in place a complete renovation and refurbishment programme. International architects worked hand in hand with the hotel staff and local artisans to begin a loving restoration.

At the completion of its Centenary year, The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai sported a rejuvenated look, with new restaurants, beautifully restored guest rooms and a charming new lobby lounge, and was ready to begin a graceful journey toward its next hundred years.

 The Company was incorporated in 1902 and it opened its first hotel,  The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai, in 1903. The Company then undertook major expansion of  The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai by constructing an adjacent tower block and increasing the number of rooms from 225 to 565 rooms. With the completion of its initial public offering in the early 1970s, the Company began a long term programme of geographic expansion and development of new tourist destinations in India which led to its emergence as a leading hotel chain in India. From the 1970s to the present day, the Taj Group has played an important role in launching several of India's key tourist destinations, working in close association with the Indian Government. The Taj Group has a philosophy of service excellence which entails providing consistently high levels of personalized service and innovative means of improving service quality.
The Taj Group has been active in converting former royal palaces in India into world class luxury hotels such as the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur and Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur. In 1974, the Taj Group opened India's first international five star deluxe beach resort, the Fort Aguada Beach Resort in Goa. The Taj Group also began its business in metropolitan hotels in the 1970s, opening the five-star deluxe hotel Taj Coromandel in Chennai in 1974, acquiring an equity interest and operating contract for the Taj President, a business hotel in Mumbai, in 1977, and opening the Taj Mahal Hotel in Delhi in 1978.
In 1980, the Taj Group took its first step internationally by opening its first hotel outside India, the Taj Sheba Hotel in Sana'a, Yemen and in the late 1980s, acquired interests in the Crown Plaza - James Court, London and 51 Buckingham Gate Luxury Suites and Apartments in London.

In 1984, the Taj Group acquired under a license agreement each of The Taj West End, Bangalore, Taj Connemara, Chennai and Savoy Hotel, Ooty, with which the Taj Group made its foray into Bangalore.
With the opening of the five star deluxe hotel Taj Bengal in Kolkata in 1989; the Taj Group became the only hotel chain with a presence in the five major metropolitan cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkatta, Bangalore and Chennai. Concurrently with the expansion of its luxury hotel chain in the major metropolitan cities, the Taj Group also expanded its business hotels division in the major metropolitan and large secondary cities in India.
During the 1990s, the Taj Group continued to expand its geographic and market coverage in India. It developed specialized operations (such as wildlife lodges) and consolidated its position in established markets through the upgrading of existing properties and development of new properties. Taj Kerala Hotels & Resorts Limited was set up in the early 1990s along with the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. In 1998 the Taj Group opened the Taj
Exotica Bentota which strengthened the Taj Group's market position in Sri Lanka. In 2000, the launch of the 56 acre Taj Exotica, Goa and the Taj Hari Mahal in Jodhpur were completed.
In 2000, the Taj Group entered into a partnership with the GVK Reddy Group to set up Taj GVK Hotels and Resorts Limited and thereby obtained a prominent position in the market in the southern business city of Hyderabad, holding three hotels and a major share of the market. In 2001, the Taj Group took on the management contract of Taj Palace Hotel, Dubai, and has established itself as an up-market hotel in the Middle East region. The Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives launched the Taj Group into the premium luxury hotel market and since its opening in July 2002, has won several international awards. The Taj Group also obtained licenses to manage and operate two leisure hotels; the Rawal-Kot, Jaisalmer and Usha Kiran Palace, Gwalior in October 2002.
In September 2002, the Taj Group acquired an equity interest in the former Regent Hotel in Bandra which gave the Taj Group access to the midtown and North Mumbai market. The hotel has since been renamed as the Taj Lands End, Mumbai.

In 2003, the Company celebrated the centenary of the opening of its Flagship hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai.
In 2004 the Taj Group opened Wellington Mews, its first luxury serviced apartment in Mumbai. In the same year, the Taj Group also launched the first of its "value-for-money" hotels in Bangalore branded 'Ginger', which division has 11 hotels in various locations in India and is owned through its wholly owned subsidiary.
In 2005 the Company acquired on lease The Pierre, a renowned hotel in New York City, to enter the luxury end of the developed hotel markets internationally. The Company entered into a management contract for Taj Exotica in Palm Island Jumeirah in Dubai to expand its existing presence in the United Arab Emirates.

The Company enhanced its position as an operator of converted palaces by entering into a management contract for Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur in the princely state of Rajasthan in India. The Company, through a subsidiary, acquired the erstwhile 'W' hotel in Sydney, Australia in February 2006 and renamed it as 'Blue, Woolloomooloo Bay'. To expand its presence in the US market, the Company acquired in early 2007 Ritz Carlton in Boston and Taj Campton Place in San Francisco.
Hotels operated by the Taj Group internationally are located in US, Australia, Dubai, Maldives, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, Yemen and Zambia.
Scheme of Amalgamation ("Scheme")
On October 12, 2006, the Board of Directors of the Company approved the Scheme, under Sections 391 to 394 of the Companies Act for the for the amalgamation of Indian Resorts Hotel Limited, Gateway Hotels and Getaway Resorts Limited, Kuteeram Resorts Private Limited, Asia Pacific Hotels Limited, Taj Lands End Limited (Transferor Companies) with the Company. The Scheme was approved by the respective High Courts.

Rationale for the Scheme of Amalgamation
The Transferor Companies and the Company were engaged in the leisure and business hotels as part of the Taj group of hotels. A consolidation of the Transferor Companies and the Company was therefore expected to lead to greater synergy in operations, a more efficient utilisation of capital and create a stronger base for future growth of business in general and the Company in particular. The amalgamation was expected to result in administrative rationalization, organizational efficiencies, and optimal utilization of various resources.
Milestones achieved by the Company since incorporation are listed below:

The Company opens its first hotel, the "Taj Mahal Palace" in Mumbai, India.
The Company opens its first five star deluxe beach resort, the "Fort Aguada Beach Resort" in Goa.
The Company begins business in metropolitan hotels by opening the five star deluxe hotel, the "Taj Coramandel" in Chennai.
The Company opens its first hotel outside India, the "Taj Sheba Hotel" in Sana'a, Yemen.
The Company entered into a licence agreement to operate the "Taj West End" in Bangalore, "Taj Connemara" in Chennai and the "Savoy" in Ooty.
The Company opens a five star deluxe hotel in Calcutta, the "Taj Bengal".
The Company establishes the Taj Kerala Hotels and Resorts Limited with the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation.
The Company opens the "Taj Exotica" in Bentota, Sri Lanka.
The Company establishes Taj GVK Hotels and Resorts Limited with the GVK group to operate three hotels in Hyderabad.
The Company is awarded the management contract for the "Taj Palace", Dubai.
The Company launches the "Taj Exotica Spa and Resort" in Maldives.
The Company obtains licences to manage and operate two leisure hotels: the "Rawal-Kot" in Jaisalmer and the "Usha Kiran Palace", Gwalior.
The Company acquires an equity interest in "Regent Hotel" in Bandra, Mumbai which is later renamed as the "Taj Lands End".
The Company relaunches its flag ship property as the "Taj Mahal Palace and Tower".
The company opens its first Jiva Spa at the Usha Kiran Palace in Gwalior.
The Company launches its first luxury serviced apartments, "Wellington Mews" in Mumbai.
The Company opens its first economy hotel under the brand "Ginger" in Bangalore.
The Company obtains a management contract to operate "The Pierre" in New York, USA.
The Company entered into a management contract to operate the "Taj Exotica" in Palm Island, Jumeirah, Dubai.
The Company obtained the operating agreement for the "Umaid Bhawan Palace" in Jodhpur.
The Company acquires the "W" hotel in Sydney, Australia which is later renamed as the "Blue Sydney".
The Company commences operation of its first wildlife lodge at Mahua Kothi, Bandhavgarh.
The Company acquires the "Ritz-Carlton" in Boston, USA which is later renamed as the "Taj Boston".
The Company commences operation of its second wildlife lodge at Baghvan, Pench.
Taj's flagship property in the United Kingdom, 51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites and Residence's South Indian restaurant, Quilon has received the ultimate culinary accolade - a Michelin star.
Taj Hotels Partner with Saraya Islands to Operate Taj Exotica Hotel in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.
Taj Hotels and the Tashi Group join hands to create the new benchmark for premium hotels in Bhutan - Taj Tashi Bhutan.
ALDAR Hotels and Hospitality and Taj Hotels enter into an exclusive agreement involving a number of hotel projects. The first hotel to be developed by ALDAR Hotels and Hospitality under the agreement is a five-star, 500 room luxury resort hotel which will be in a spectacular waterfront location on ALDAR's mega entertainment destination, YAS Island.
The Taj Safaris circuit will be complete in Madhya Pradesh with the addition of two more luxury lodges in Panna, Pashan Garh and Kanha, Banjaar Tola.
The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi unveils Delhi's first contemporary Japanese restaurant 'WASABI by Morimoto'.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces won 2 prestigious awards at The 2008 World Travel Awards: 1) Rajput Suite at The The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai won India's Leading Suite. 2) Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur awarded India's Leading Castle & Palace.
Taj Boston celebrates the 120th season of summer polo matches at the Myopia Polo Club in Hamilton, MA sponsoring the 2nd annual Taj Boston Cup.
Taj International Hong Kong Ltd, signed a management contract with Cuiting Hotspring Hotel Management Company Ltd. Taj will operate the latter's Temple of Heaven Park property in Beijing and the Hainan Hotel project.
Taj Safaris unveiled two new luxury lodges: Pashan Garh and Banjaar Tola which will be the third and fourth lodges added to the Taj Safari circuit.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces Introduces Telepresence Services in Collaboration with Tata Communications.
Graze, the Modern European dining restaurant at Taj Residency, the only restaurant in Bangalore to be honoured the coveted Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2008 from America's leading wine appreciation magazine Wine Spectator.
The Taj Mahal Hotel launches VARQ.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces have won the Condé Nast Traveller UK in 10th Readers' Travel Awards. Taj's luxury properties have been recognised within the following categories: Overseas Business Hotel, the World's Top 100 and Overseas Leisure Hotel in Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces unveiled a premium business hotel - Taj Residency Trivandrum. Enters into a Management contract with Dodla Intenational Limited.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, launched a new brand "The Gateway Hotel".
Taj Hotels Resorts and Places has ranked No. 1 in the Best Hotel Chain in India category at the Business Traveller Awards 2008. The spas at the Usha Kiran Palace, Gwalior and the Rambagh Palace, Jaipur have been included among The 101 Best Spas in The World - Tatler Spa Guide 2008.
Taj Boston is the First United States Hotel and 51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites and Residences is the First UK Hotel introducing Cisco TelePresence Rooms for Public Use Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces in collaboration with Tata Communications and Cisco.
Taj Boston in cooperation with Susan Cole of Boston Assemblies launches Social Style for Children. These etiquette programs for children provide easy access to the social skills essential in daily life.
The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai was under siegh during the 26/11 Mumbai Terror attacks.
The Taj Boston was named the best hotel in Boston and for the second year in a row ranked #22 among the world's top 100 hotels in the latest survey of hotels worldwide by Institutional Investor magazine.
The Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces 'No room for the Ordinary' advertising campaign for the print media bagged the 2008 PATA Gold Award in the Marketing - Hospitality category and also won a second award - the 2008 Gold Magellan Award.
The Gateway Hotel Athwa Lines Surat has added a new block of rooms to take up its inventory to 208 making it the largest hotel in Gujarat. It also launches three brand new restaurants - "Flow" the all day dining restaurant, "Spice" an Indian specialty restaurant and "T3" a Tea lounge and Deli.
Taj launches The Jiva Spa Boat at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur.
On December 21st, The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower reopens the rooms in the The Taj Mahal Tower.
Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces announced the opening of their 'Upper Upscale' brand in Bangalore. The hotel bears a new name and identity: "Vivanta by Taj - Whitefield, Bangalore".
With the announcement of its forthcoming reopening, The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower provides further details on the reopening of the Tower Wing. 268 rooms will be available, which include 9 Suites and 26 Taj Club Rooms. Exclusive services to commemorate the special occasion of the hotel's reopening have been introduced with the opening of the Tower Wing.
The Taj Group set up a public service welfare Trust fund named - "Taj Public Service Welfare Trust" (TPS Welfare Trust), In response to the unprecedented attack on Mumbai between November 26 to 29, 2008, where many people from the security forces, the Police, Fire service, hotel employees, guests of the Taj and general public were killed or wounded.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces unveiled a new world-class premium hotel in Chennai - Taj Mount Road.
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur voted as the winner of the Editor's Choice Award 2008 for Gallivanter's Guide.
Taj Boston awarded 2009 Mobil Four-Star honors in recognition of its gracious and efficient service and luxurious accommodations and public spaces.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces introduces Kefi - the Mediterranean restaurant at Taj Mount Road.
Taj Safaris open doors of its new luxury lodge, Banjaar Tola at Kanha National Park from February 18, 2009.
The Pierre, re-opens on June 1 following a meticulous $100 million renovation to create new guestroom and bath interiors and to reconfigure first floor public areas to accommodate a new restaurant, Le Caprice at The Pierre, as well as 2 East, a new lobby lounge, and a graciously welcoming reception area.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces announce their new premium hotel, "Vivanta by Taj - Panaji, Goa", slotted in the "upper upscale" segment.
Indian Hotels Company Limited announced that it is going to acquire a controlling stake in ELEL, the company which holds a long term sub-lease for the land on which the Sea Rock Hotel is located in Bandra, Mumbai, for Rs. 680 crores.
The Taj Residency Ummed in Ahmedabad migrated to The Gateway Hotels portfolio, making this its third property in Gujarat and the 31st Gateway hotel in India.
Taj launches Vivanta by Taj in Maldives.
Karambir Singh Kang, General Manager, The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai has been awarded the prestigious Virtuoso Hotelier of the Year Award, 2009 at the Virtuoso "Best of the Best" Hotel Awards held in Las Vegas recently during the Virtuoso's 21st Annual Travel Mart Conference.
Taj Lands End introduces 125 new rooms comprising 107 Taj Club rooms and 18 Suites, increasing the inventory to 493 rooms.
The Gateway Hotels has signed a management contract to set up a 125 room hotel on a 16-acre prime location in Shirdi.
Rambagh Palace, Jaipur has been voted the Best Hotel in the World by Condé Nast Traveller in the Readers Travel Awards for 2009 across travel and industry categories, in the World Top 100. It also tops the list of 'Overseas Leisure Hotels for Asia and the Indian sub-continent'. Scoring an overall 95.62, Rambagh Palace has the 'best ambience/décor' (98.12) and 'location' (96.5) of all hotels in the category.
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives has been ranked 18th best Overseas Leisure Hotel in Middle East, Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands in the Condé Nast Readers' Awards 2009.
Taj Coromandel relaunches Golden Dragon - The signature Specialty Schezwan restaurant in the city.
The Taj Palace launches Blue Ginger thus introducing Vietnamese cuisine to the Delhi.
Taj Palace introduces 'The Blue Bar'.
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives has challenged to protect the natural tropical flora and fauna and surrounding blue waters of Emboodhu Finolhu island.
On 26th of November 2009, The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai saw the coming together of employees and families of staff members, for a remembrance meeting that paid respects to those who lost their lives last year. There were multi faith prayers held for peace and harmony.
The standalone hotel, previously known as the Ummeid Jodhpur, was migrated to the brand The Gateway Hotel Jodhpur. This is the third Gateway property in Rajasthan after Jaisalmer and Jaipur and the 33rd property in the country overall.
The Taj celebrates the opening of Taj Khazana at Taj Lands End, its first signature boutique store in Mumbai.
The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai announced the reopening of the iconic restaurant Golden Dragon on the 25th of November 2009.
The legendary Wasabi and the historical Harbour Bar at The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai reopened their doors on Dec 3, 2009.
The Indian Hotels Company Ltd announces its foray into Srinagar, in Jammu and Kashmir. A management contract for a hotel under the upper upscale brand Vivanta by Taj was signed on, December, 10, 2009 at Srinagar with SAIFCO Hill Crest Hotels Pvt. Ltd, part of a well-known business house in the state.
Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces has been recognised for its excellence and service for its properties - Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives and Taj West End, Bangalore - at the Leading Hotels of the World Annual Convention held in Venice, Italy in November 2009.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur has been voted the Hotel Of The Year by the Gallivanter's Guide Editor's Choice Awards.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, one of Asia's largest and finest group of hotels, and VICTORIA-JUNGFRAU COLLECTION, an exclusive hotel group comprising four of Switzerland's leading luxury hotels have entered into a strategic joint marketing alliance to develop cross-promotional opportunities for both companies to harness each other's strengths in their respective markets.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces announced the opening of Taj Cape Town. This new luxury hotel in the historic city of Cape Town is a joint venture between Indian Hotels Company Ltd and city centre developers Euro cape, with the investment in the project topping R500 million.
Taj Hari Mahal, Jodhpur won the award in 'Hotel Providing Best Facilities for Differently Abled guest' category. Chef Ananda Solomon, Executive Chef, Taj President Mumbai and Corporate Chef Taj Group of Hotels along with Chef V.K. Chandrassekaran, Executive Chef Taj West End, Bangalore has been awarded as 'Best Chef in India' in the National Tourism Awards 2008-2009 by The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
The Indian Hotels Company Ltd announced a new hotel in North-East India, with the unveiling the foundation stone for Vivanta by Taj - Guwahati, Assam.
The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai announced the reopening of the elegant and legendary Ballroom, in the iconic Heritage Wing of the property on the March 30th , 2010.
Indian Hotels Company Limited has been recognised for its employment engagement at the workplace and is one of the 25 organisations to win the 'Gallup Great Workplace 2010' awards announced by The Gallup Organization.
The Indian Hotel Company Limitied was chosen by the Credit Suisse Research Institute as one of the 27 'Great Brands of Tomorrow'.
The Gateway Hotel Beach Road Calicut has been voted India's Best Five Star Hotel in the National Tourism Awards 2008-2009 by The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces launches a new brand "Vivanta by Taj" in the Upper Upscale segment.
Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces opens a new hotel - Vivanta by Taj - Dal View, Srinagar.

Tang Dynasty, China

By the end of the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589), China had witnessed disunity and chaos for about 270 years.

In 577, the Northern Zhou conquered the Northern Qi and reunified the North China. The Northern Zhou, known as the reign of Yuwen family of the Xianbei ethnic group, continued for 24 years with five emperors over three generations.In 581, Yangjian, a relative of the royal family, usurped the throne and renamed the empire the Sui Dynasty with Chang'an (present Xian City in Shaanxi Province) as his capital city. Yangjian was historically called Emperor Wen.

After the founding of the empire, Emperor Wen quickly carried out a series of military plans to unify the country. Finally in 589, Emperor Wen wiped out the Chen Dynasty and reunified the south and the north.

Sui Dynasty lasted for only 38 years with two generations. History shows it was one of the short-lived Chinese dynasties. The Sui Dynasty's early demise was attributed to the government's tyranny and ceaseless wars.

Emperor Wen died unexpectedly in 604 and his second son Yangguang, historically known as Emperor Yang, succeeded to the throne.

In the early part of his reign Emperor Yang benefited from the reforms introduced by his father and the Sui Dynasty achieved full economic prosperity.

However, lulled by his easy success, Emperor Yang soon began to abuse his power. On the one hand, he continued to carry out lavish construction projects, such as the Great Wall, the Great Canal and the relocation of his capital in Luoyang.

On the other, he repeatedly went on pleasure trips and all too frequently launched wars on his neighbors. Some of Emperor Yang's policy did contributed a lot to the social development and the stability of the country, however, they made the ordinary people 'all out at the elbows'.

Friday 14 October 2011

The Rise of Uyghurs in Mongolia

A rebellion in 742 against the ruling Göktürk Khaganate by the Uyghur, Karluk, and Basmyl tribes left an immense power vacuum in Mongolia and Central Asia. The Basmyls captured the Göktürk capital Ötügen and their king Özmish Khan in 744, effectively taking charge of the region. However a Uyghur-Karluk alliance against the Basmyls was formed later the same year. The coalition defeated the Basmyls and beheaded their king. The Basmyl tribes were effectively destroyed; their people sold to the Chinese or distributed amongst the victors. The Uyghurs took control of Mongolia, with the Karluk tribes given lands further West. The Uyghur chief Qutlugh Bilge Köl (Glorious, wise, mighty) had himself crowned as the supreme ruler (khagan) of all Altaic tribes and built his capital at Ordu Baliq.

In 747, Qutlugh Bilge Köl died, leaving his youngest son, Bayanchur Khan to reign as Khagan El etmish bilge ("State settled, wise"). After building a number of trading outposts with the Chinese, Bayanchur Khan used the profits to build the capital, Ordu Baliq ("City of Court"), and another city, Bai Baliq ("Rich City"), further up the Selenga River. The new khagan then embarked on a series of campaigns to bring all the steppe peoples under his banner. During this time the Empire vastly expanded, with Sekiz Oghuz, Qïrghïz, Qarluqs, Türgish, Toquz Tatars, Chiks and the remnants of the Basmïls coming under Uyghur rule.

The rebellion of An Lushan in the Tang empire in 755 forced the Chinese emperor to turn to Bayanchur Khan for assistance. Seeing this as an ideal opportunity to meddle in Chinese affairs, the khagan agreed, quelling several rebellions and defeating an invading Tibetan army from the south. As a result, the Uyghurs received tribute from the Chinese in 757 and Bayanchur Khan was given the daughter of the Chinese Emperor to marry (princess Ningo).

In 756, the Uyghurs turned their attentions to a rival steppe tribe, the Kyrgyz to the north. Bayanchur Khan destroyed several of their trading outposts before slaughtering a Kyrgyz army and executing their Khan.

Finally, in 759, after drinking heavily at a celebration, Bayanchur Khan died. His son Tengri Bögü succeeded him as Khagan Qutlugh Tarkhan sengün.

Thursday 6 October 2011

history of Khanate of the Golden

        The Golden Horde is best known as that part of the Mongol Empire established in Russia. Originally, however, it consisted of the lands Genghis Khan (1165-1227) bequeathed to his son Jochi (1184-1225): the territories west of the Irtysh River (modern Kazakhstan) and Khwarazm (consisting of parts of modern Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan). Jochi, however, did not have the opportunity to expand his realm as he died in 1225, two years prior to his father's death.

     During the reign of the successor of Genghis Khan, Ogodei Khan (d.1240/41), the Jochid Ulus or realm greatly expanded in size. In 1237, Jochi's son Batu (1227-1255), assisted by the famous Mongol general Subedei, led a large army westward. In route they destroyed the Bulgar khanate on the Volga River, pacified the numerous Turkic tribes of the steppes, and conquered the Russian cities. Then in 1240, Mongol armies invaded Hungary and Poland, winning victories over the knights of Europe at Mohi in Hungary and Liegnitz in Poland. As news spread of the ferocity of the Mongols, Europe trembled in anticipation of an attack that never came. In 1241 Ogodei Khan died, which forced the Mongol armies to withdraw to Russia in order to elect a new khan.

    Despite an intense rivalry with Güyük Khan, Ogodei's son, Batu established the Golden Horde as a semi-independent part of the Mongol Empire. The origins of the name Golden Horde are uncertain. Some scholars believe that it refers to the camp of Batu and the later rulers of the Horde. In Mongolian, Altan Orda refers to the golden camp or palace. Altan (golden) was also the color connoting imperial status. Other sources mention that Batu had a golden tent, and it is from this that the Golden Horde received its name. While this legend is persistent, no one is positive of the origin of the term. In most contemporary sources, the Golden Horde was referred to as the Khanate of the Qipchaq as the Qipchaq Turks comprised the majority of the nomadic population in the region (the Ulus Jochid).

    Batu died in 1255, and the next significant ruler was his brother Berke (1255-1267) who had converted to Islam and focused most of his energies against the Il-Khans of Persia. His conversion marked the first time an important leader among the Mongols abandoned the traditional shamanistic religion. Hulegu, the founder of the Mongol Il-Khanate, had sacked Baghdad in 1258 and killed the Caliph of Islam. Berke forged an alliance with the Mamluks of Egypt who were also enemies of the Il-Khans. The war with the Il-Khans lasted until the final collapse of the Il-Khanate in 1334.

Göktürk Khaganate

Empire    Göktürk Khaganate
Origin    Asia
Year of Peak Size    557
Duration    195 years
Start Date    552
End Date    747
Reason for End   
Civil War
Description    The Kök Türks, Göktürks were a nomadic confederation of medieval Inner Asia. Known in Chinese sources as 突厥 (Modern Chinese: Pinyin: Tūjué, Wade-Giles: T'u-chüeh, Middle Chinese (Guangyun): dʰuət-kĭwɐt), the Göktürks under the leadership of Bumin Qaghan (d. 552) and his sons succeeded the Rouran as the main power in the region and took hold of the lucrative Silk Road trade.

The Göktürk rulers originated from the Ashina clan, a tribe of obscure origins who lived in the northern corner of Inner Asia. Under their leadership, the Göktürk Empire rapidly expanded to rule huge territories in Central Asia. Prominent personalities of the state other than its founder Bumin were the princes Kul Tigin and Bilge Qaghan, as well as the chancellor Tonyukuk, whose life stories were recorded in the Orkhon inscriptions.
Capital    ítüken

Continents Spanned   
Size (Square Kilometers)    6,000,000
Size (Square Miles)    2,316,612
Founder    Bumin Qaghan
Government Type   

Tuesday 4 October 2011

History Of Nazi Germany

At the beginning of the 1930s, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party exploited widespread and deep-seated discontent in Germany to attract popular and political support. There was resentment at the crippling territorial, military and economic terms of the Versailles Treaty, which Hitler blamed on treacherous politicians and promised to overturn. The democratic post-World War I Weimar Republic was marked by a weak coalition government and political crisis, in answer to which the Nazi party offered strong leadership and national rebirth. From 1929 onwards, the worldwide economic depression provoked hyperinflation, social unrest and mass unemployment, to which Hitler offered scapegoats such as the Jews.

Hitler pledged civil peace, radical economic policies, and the restoration of national pride and unity. Nazi rhetoric was virulently nationalist and anti-Semitic. The ‘subversive’ Jews were portrayed as responsible for all of Germany’s ills.

In the federal elections of 1930 (which followed the Wall Street Crash), the Nazi Party won 107 seats in the Reichstag (the German Parliament), becoming the second-largest party. The following year, it more than doubled its seats. In January 1933, President von Hindenburg appointed Hitler chancellor, believing that the Nazis could be controlled from within the cabinet. Hitler set about consolidating his power, destroying Weimar democracy and establishing a dictatorship. On 27 February, the Reichstag burned; Dutch communist Marianus van der Lubbe was found inside, arrested and charged with arson. With the Communist Party discredited and banned, the Nazis passed the Reichstag Fire Decree, which dramatically curtailed civil liberties.

Hitory Of Han Dynasty

Han Dynaty played an important role in history of China. It contributed to the Chinese culture and civilization. After Qin was overthrew by the peasants rebellion, Liu Bang and Xiang Yu were two leaders that struggled to seize the regime position of a new dyansty. They have gone against each other and at last Liu Bang defeated Xiang Yu to be the first emperor of Han dynasty. Chang’an became capital during the Han Dynasty after a short national war.

Building upon the base of Qin dynasty, the new empire retained much of the Qin administrative structure but retreated a little from centralized rule by establishing vassal principalities in some areas for the sake of political convenience.

Instead of using the previous harsher and crule laws and regulation against the common people. The Han rulers modified some of the harsher aspects of the previous dynasty; Confucian ideals of government, out of favor during the Qin period, were adopted as the creed of the Han Empire, and Confucian scholars gained prominent status as the core of the civil service.

Monday 3 October 2011

Chinese History - Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

          The founder of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang 朱元璋 (reign motto Hongwu 洪武 "Inundating Martiality"), was a poor man when he joined the Red Turban (Hongjin 紅巾) rebellion in the lower Yangtse region. Similar to the founder of the Han Dynasty, he was very suspicious of the educated courtiers around him and exerted an extremely authoritarian regime ("the tyrant of Nanjing"). This harsh governmental style was partly due to the influence of governmental institutions of the previous Mongol period that were marked by a strong centralization. Zhu Yuanzhang, full of mistrust, took over the whole responsibility of the imperial administration by abolishing crucial ministries and secretaries. To control the highest officials at the court, he installed the so-called Brocade Guards (Jinyiwei 錦衣衛), a kind of secret service staffed with the only kind of people he trusted, namely the eunuchs.

           During the whole course of Ming Dynasty, there was always prevalent a deep mistrust between the scholarship elite, that occupied the governmental posts in the capital(s) and in the prefectures, and the central government, that was often deeply influenced by some high ranking eunuchs. The authoritarian and centralized politics of the Ming government lead to a status of immovability and orthodoxy.

        The second emperor of Ming was overthrown by his own uncle, who adopted the reign title Yongle 永樂 "Everlasting Joy", and shifted the capital from Nanjing (Yingtianfu 應天府) to Beijing (Jingshi 京師, Shuntianfu 順天府). The Yongle Emperor's reign was the most flourishing time of the Ming Dynasty.

        The Ming Dynasty is famous for the influence of the eunuchs on political affairs. Basically trusted with tasks of imperial household affairs, many eunuchs were able to climb up the social ladder and to occupy posts at the court that made them able to influence the ruler and his decisions. The great part of the eunuchs came from poor families of north China, while the scholar-officials that traditionally occupied governmental posts, came from gentry clans in southern China. The problem of the intermingling of the eunuchs into state affairs was not new: The last Han emperor had to get rid of the eunuchs with the help of a military dictator, and the Song Dynasty scholar Ouyang Xiu wrote an essay about the influence of eunuchs during the Five Dynasties.

Chinese Regain Power- Ming Dynasty

     The Yuan dynasty was collapsed in the rivalry among the Mongo imperial heirs, natural disasters, and numerous peasants uprising. The Ming dynasty (1368-1644) was established by Zhu Yuanzhang, who was a Han Chinese peasant and former Buddhist monk turned rebel army leader.

     With its capital first at Nanjing which means Southern Capital) and later at Beijing (or Northern Capital), the Ming reached the zenith of power during the first quarter of the fifteenth century.

   Annam, which was called northern Vietnam, was conquered by Chinese armies. The fleets of China also sailed to the Indian Ocean and cruised to the east coast of Africa.

The maritime Asian nations sent envoys with tribute for the Chinese emperor. Internally, the Grand Canal was expanded to its farthest limits and proved to be a stimulus to domestic trade.

Zhu Yuangzhang in Ming DynastyThe Ming maritime expeditions stopped rather suddenly after 1433, the date of the last voyage. Historians have given as one of the reasons the great expense of large-scale expeditions at a time of preoccupation with northern defenses against the Mongols.

Opposition at court also may have been a contributing factor, as conservative officials found the concept of expansion and commercial ventures alien to Chinese ideas of government.

Pressure from the powerful Neo-Confucian bureaucracy led to a revival of strict agrarian-centered society.

The stability of the Ming dynasty, which was without major disruptions of the population (then around 100 million), economy, arts, society, or politics, promoted a belief among the Chinese that they had achieved the most satisfactory civilization on earth and that nothing foreign was needed or welcome.

china in Ming DynastyLong wars with the Mongols, incursions by the Japanese into Korea, and harassment of Chinese coastal cities by the Japanese in the sixteenth century weakened Ming rule, which became, as earlier Chinese dynasties had, ripe for an alien takeover.

In 1644 the Manchus took Beijing from the north and became masters of north China, establishing the last imperial dynasty, the Qing (1644-1911).