Indian maharaja rolled in power as pelf is famed for their lavish lifestyle. Most of the Indian princely states were annexed to the Indian republic in 1947 but still many of such royals hold a strong position and maintain royal pageantry. The ancient royalties and the nobles had a high standard of living and commoners were much lagging behind in the use of resources. The present treatise “King and Subjects” is related to the maharaja lives, the way they were enjoying the riches, and the style they were leading. Besides it shows the standard of Maharaja Lifestyle & common man.
King and Subjects living difference
Most of the Indian maharajas, the Mughals, the Nawabs were living in grand palaces. They managed to make forts and palaces which had strategic locations, were eloquently designed, and were equipped with leisurely amenities. As you witness any medieval times forts or palaces in Rajasthan or in down south of India you will be mesmerized to see the artwork and the conveniences of such leisure palaces. These palaces had fine tapestries, rugs, window panels, chandeliers. Such grand palaces had the provision of hygienic kitchens with a wide variety of culinary experiences. The humans were modeled after the Turkish bath systems where separate arrangements were done of hot and cold water, modern jacuzzi, spa facilities were also available. The royalties used ubtan process with the help of turmeric and other herbal extracts from rosewater, allover, etc. They used it as a skin cleanser.
King and Subjects body care
As is widely known that in ancient times soap was absent, similarly shampoo was not invented. The royalties used neem leaves, bark as well as reetha and shikakai to prepare the material similar to modern time shampoo. The royal ladies took hair bathe with herbal waters and a secret paste made of exotic leaves extracts. The Mughal royalty used heena mixed with the other barks of trees. Heena has an antibiotic quality like neem. Noorjehan improvised the spa which was first of all discovered by Cleopatra who made the first spa off the dead sea, Noorjehan invented the Atar of rose for spa and for perfume as sprinkling purposes. The royalties used apple cider vinegar in their bathtub.
While the royalties had immense facilities to procure the herbal extracts from far and wide, the common folks were devoid of such privileges. The common men used Multani clay as a mud pack on their face, In those times the absence of detergent and castic soda made them wash dirty linen in hot water. The ubiquitous dhobi ghats in the old Indian cities are still visible where you get to see the big cauldron being heated with water and old washable clothes being submerged in to it.
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Story of Soap and detergent
Soap was invented nearly 300 BCE in Babylon. The name SOPA is derived from the Latin word “Sapindus” sap means soap and induces signify from India. This plant is found in tropical climates. The nuts of these plants were collected and dried in sunlight and stored for some time and later soaked into hot water before use. This made the water soapy which was used as soap. The common name for such a tree is soap based on reetha, Washnuts, etc. In ancient India, the people used reetha as soap and still ladies use Amla reetha and shikakai for hair growth. Reetha and Amla are packed with antioxidants and keep the scalp healthy. Shikakai whose botanical name is Acacia Concinna has a great amount of vitamin c and helps hair care, the use of Multani clay and its mudpack clean the dead cells of the skin and make it glossy. It soaks impurities.
Similarly in the olden times, people use reh soil to wash clothes. Reh is a saline efflorescence rising on the surface found in the Indo Gangetic plains. This makes soil worthless for cultivation. This is a mixture of sodium salts people used Ash to wash utensils and wash hands in the absence of soap. Hand cleaning ash was derived from the hearths and people rubbed it to inactivate bacteria and viruses.
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System of schooling of King and Subjects in India
If we try to study the chronology of schools, it goes long back to the epic period, beforehand the schooling was done in a different way. In those days the prince and the affluent children were sent to ashrams of Rishis. These learned scholars used to reside in forests away from society and relied upon the gratuities of the rich people and the kings. Imagine lord Rama, Krishna, and Pandavas all went to such ashrams and the education was imparted to them on merits, This education included morality, theology, weaponry, politics, administration etc. The disciples were discerned on the basis of their inborn skills and thus they were prepared as a better soldier, commander, ruler, and many other visages. The education was all based on interaction and chantings without the written facility.
The education system strove with the arrival of paper. In the absence of paper, the writings were done on tree leaves, copper plates, tree backs, leather parchments, etc for writing purposes, the calligraphy was done with a pointed stick of reed on bamboos or the peacock plum. The vegetable colors and soot were used as ink. This system changed much in medieval times. In the Islamic era, the madrasas were built for the studies of the Quran and some other subjects. At the same time, the Gurukuls and Sanskrit schools were opened. During the Islamic rule and the tenure of Rajput rules, the royalties had great scholars and teachers to impart education to the royal kids. Bairam Khan was the notable tutor of Akabar. Similarly, Sati un Nisa Khanam was the tutor of Shahjahan’s daughter.
The history of toothbrush of King and Subjects
The history of chewing of teeth can be traced nearly 3000 years back we found mention of toothpicks and dental care first by the Greek doctor Hippocrates. Similarly, Chinese and Greek texts are replete with dental care.
In the early time, there was no toothbrush, so the royals and common men used chew sticks which were made by thin twigs with frayed ends. These twigs in India were called Datoon and were rubbed against teeth. The brush was first invented in china in 1948 and first, they used boar bristles in place of nylon. In India the twigs of neem and Miswak were used to make a toothbrush. Miswak or Salvadora persica tree twigs were used with salt.
Media in ancient India.
In the pre-historic age, the cave paintings were a sort of media and this accelerated with the invention of paper, Indian media has passed from mimetic stages to the electronic age now. In the olden era in India, newspapers, magazines and other media were not available. It was the Bengal gazette which was the first newspaper of India. In the early times of maharajas, the news was communicated through a public announcement and was called Munadi. The announcement was done by the proclaimers on the beats of drums. Besides this, the announcement was done during festive occasions or gatherings,
The earliest traces of media can be traced back to the Romans where they started the fastest courier services which spread the dispatches and the news everywhere with a wide network of roads and waterways. In India bards or the jagas were also used as harbingers who were roaming around and spreading the news. Like the Romans, King Ashoka used the media of inscriptions all around his empire.
Kitchenware of king & subjects
If you visit the private museums or the government museum of India have a chance to look at the grand Havelis of Mandawa or elsewhere, you encounter the kitchenware, crockeries, and utensils of the Maharajas and the rich men. In case you visit the museum of Scindia palace you get to see the dining sets valuable crockery and the silver toy train running on dining table. Thus the opulent people had the privileges of royal legacy.
The subjects of the kings on the other side had the traditional way of the kitchen. In early times under a thatch underneath a hearth made of much operated by wooden logs. The wood was procured from the plants and the evening heath was ready with cornflour. Imagine the better half blowing the air and trying to evade the flames of fire playing with the tongue. Sometimes the family had to be satisfied with the meagre onion and chapatti in lien of vegetables. The contented they went on sleep peacefully and dreaming of the next day. All they prepared served on a leaf or a bone plate made of clay or the Chinese proclaim.
In the Punjab religion of India the concept of tandoor became popular where the neighborhood had a common tandoor called sanjha choolah. This system in Sikhism was popularized by Guru Nanak Dev Ji to eliminate the caste system and this became very popular. This was easy and practical as well where one tandoor was hot and served to all the persons in the vicinity. Though the tandoors are native to Indus valley civilization but the modern tandoors that we see now is the contribution of the Mughals as they were very fond of Tandoori items.
Drinks of Kings & subjects
The maharajas and the royalties had discovering taste and various sorts of drinks were invented time to time during their region. These kings were great lovers of lemonades, best alcohol and wine. The great rulers had different drinks from south to north and east to west. So surprisingly the Mughals in 16th century used ice from Kashmir for the Kulfi Falooda and the other drinks. The palaces and drinks of the royal are good themes for the YOLO Tours in India.
The subjects of the royalties had the access to the countryside and local drinks like sharbat and Lassi only. In alcohol, they used hooch which is a sort of monshine.