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Jeff Koehler's Darjeeling: The Colorful History and Precarious Fate of the PDF

By Jeff Koehler

Darjeeling's tea trees run throughout a legendary panorama steeped with the non secular, the sacred, and the picturesque. Planted at excessive elevation within the center of the japanese Himalayas, in a space of northern India sure by means of Nepal to the west, Bhutan to the east, and Sikkim to the north, the linear rows of magnificent eco-friendly, waist-high shrubs that coat the steep slopes and valleys round this Victorian "hill town?? produce just a fraction of the world's tea, and not more than one percentage of India's overall. but the tea from that constrained crop, with its attribute brilliant, amber-colored brew and muscatel flavors - soft and flowery, hinting of apricots and peaches - is mostly thought of the easiest within the world.

This is the tale of the way Darjeeling tea all started, was once key to the biggest tea at the globe below Imperial British rule, and got here to supply the highest-quality tea leaves anyplace on this planet. it's a tale wealthy in background, intrigue and empire, jam-packed with adventurers and not going successes in tradition, mythology and religions, ecology and terroir, ready with a backdrop of the looming Himalayas and drenching monsoons. the tale is ripe with the imprint of the Raj in addition to the modern clout of "voodoo farmers?? getting international checklist costs for his or her positive teas - and it all starting with probably the most audacious acts of company smuggling in heritage.

But it's also the tale of ways the spiraled into decline by way of the tip of the 20 th century, and the way this edenic spot within the excessive Himalayas seethes with union unrest and a violent independence fight. it's also a front-line struggle opposed to the devastating results of weather switch and many years of harming farming practices, a struggle that's being fought in a few tea gardens - and, astonishingly, received - utilizing radical methods.

Jeff Koehler has written a desirable chronicle of India and its such a lot sought-after tea. mixing historical past, politics, and reportage jointly, besides a suite of recipes that tea-drinkers will love, Darjeeling is an crucial quantity for fanatics of micro-history and tea enthusiasts.

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Jahangir was at first infuriated by this suggestion and in his anger decided to marry her to a local scavenger. Mihrunnisa persisted, however, vowing to die if Jahangir did not give in to her demands, and in the Death of Sher Afgan and Marriage to Jahangir 35 end the emperor was won over by her determination—aided, said Delia Valle, by the sorcery she practiced on him. "144 The Dutch chronicles also preserved stories about this period, one of which became stock in trade for Mughal raconteurs: an incident involving Nur Jahan's child and the subsequent nocturnal meetings of the lovers by boat.

FIGURE 2-1. " Indian painting; Mughal, ca. 1605; fr. the Wantage Album; inscr. to Manohar. I 11-1921). Note the fur-lined coat of Jahangir and the shawl on the retainer. 22 Death ofSher Afgan and Marriage to Jahangir 23 Although one of their leading members, Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi, had written letters regularly to a number of Akbarian courtiers (including the pro-Khusrau Mirza Aziz Koka) to request support, it seems that they finally decided to throw their lot behind Salim in exchange for what the Jesuits at court clearly described as a promise to promote traditional Islam.

Certainly by the time Manucci arrived in India the connection had already been made and was in the creative hands of mythmakers. That the elaboration happened under the reign of Shah Jahan is no surprise. His animosity toward Nur Jahan and what he saw as her power-mongering ways was legendary, and scholars have ascribed apocryphal narratives such as these to an established anti-Nur Jahan campaign109 that was designed to prevent her return to power during her exile Death of Sher Afgan and Marriage to Jahangir 31 years before her death in 1645 and to tarnish her potentially well-worshipped image thereafter.

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Darjeeling: The Colorful History and Precarious Fate of the World's Greatest Tea by Jeff Koehler

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