By Christopher Wilkinson-Latham

At the 24 April, 1855, Colonel Carmichael Smyth held a parade of the 90 skirmishers of the third gentle Cavalry of the Bengal military at Meerut, a few 30 miles from Delhi. The disastrous occasions which supplied a spark which ignited a virtually wholesale mutiny of the Honourable East India Company's Bengal local military. Had the consequent rebellion succeeded, it should have threatened the validity of the complete British Empire. because it was once the Mutiny witnessed numerous tragic and bloody occasions, from the unique incident in Meerut to the frightening siege of Cawnpore. Christopher Wilikinson-Latham information the historical past of the clash, from its beginnings to final answer.

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Alcoholic Drinks There’s a plethora of local and national brands of beer, but little to tell them apart as most are straightforward pilsners containing around 5% alcohol. Most travellers champion Kingfisher; Royal Challenge, Dansberg, Golden Eagle, London Pilsner and Sandpiper, imbibed ice-cold, are all equally refreshing. Local whiskies Peter Scott, Antiquity and Solan No 1 are all palatable if drunk with sufficient mixers. Though the Indian wine industry is still in its infancy, there are signs that Indian wines are slowly being accepted into local and international markets.

Consider shopping at cooperatives, which have been set up to protect the income of day labourers and promote handicraft producers at a grass-roots level. Don’t buy the assorted pieces of antique house fixtures you’ll see up for sale, which may be slowly stripping the land of its traditional architecture. Ask to visit the place where a shop’s items are manufactured. It’s at least one way of seeing for yourself the conditions under which workers are producing goods. Check out the listings in Smart Shopping (p57), which includes shops and organisations dedicated to promoting Rajasthan’s artisans.

The ancient art of phad (scroll) painting also survives in Rajasthan, whereby a long rectangular cloth is meticulously painted to depict the exploits of folk legend. Modern art, too, has its place in larger cities: try the splendid Juneja Art Gallery (p173) for a glimpse of contemporary Rajasthani art. Finally, mural painting, especially in the Shekhawati region, has always played an important part in Rajasthan’s artistic life. The region’s painted havelis (traditional ornately decorated residences) form a sort of open-air art gallery, with work in a kaleidoscope of colour and styles (see p283).

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