The Making of a Modern Temple and a Hindu City:Kalighat and Kolkata Deonnie Moodie
Hinduism is one of the world’s great religions, dominating the Indian subcontinent for most of the last millennium, and its largest temple is an unbelievably magnificent structure located in Angkor, Cambodia. Known in English as Angkor Wat (´´City Temple´´), the gigantic complex was built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century to serve as the king’s state temple and capital city. Since it has remained so finely preserved, it has maintained religious significance for nearly 900 years, first dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, and then Buddhist. Understandably, it has become one of Cambodia’s most potent symbols and tourist attractions, and it even appears on the Cambodian national flag. Angkor Wat continues to fascinate the world, both due to its sheer grandeur and size, as well as its ornamental decorations both inside and out. With political strife in Cambodia having cooled, Angkor Wat is now a major tourist attraction, bringing upwards of over half a million foreigners per year, which accounts for over half of the nation’s tourists. Angkor Wat: The History and Legacy of the World’s Largest Hindu Temple chronicles the remarkable history of the site and the religious influence it has had over the centuries. You will learn about Angkor Wat like never before. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Dan Gallagher. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/104646/bk_acx0_104646_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
When Aatish Taseer first came to Benares, the spiritual capital of Hinduism, he was 18, the Westernized child of an Indian journalist and a Pakistani politician, raised among the intellectual and cultural elite of New Delhi. Nearly two decades later, Taseer leaves his life in Manhattan to go in search of the Brahmins, wanting to understand his own estrangement from India through their ties to tradition. Known as the twice-born - first into the flesh and again when initiated into their vocation - the Brahmins are a caste devoted to sacred learning. But what Taseer finds in Benares, the holy city of death also known as Varanasi, is a window on an India as internally fractured as his own continent-bridging identity. At every turn, the seductive, homogenizing force of modernity collides with the insistent presence of the past. In a globalized world, to be modern is to renounce India - and yet the tide of nationalism is rising, heralded by cries of ´´Victory to Mother India!´´ and an outbreak of anti-Muslim violence. From the narrow streets of the temple town to a Modi rally in Delhi, Taseer struggles to reconcile magic with reason, faith in tradition with hope for the future, and the brutalities of the caste system, all the while challenging his own myths about himself, his past, and his countries old and new. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Neil Shah. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/high/002420/bk_high_002420_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
A dazzling, multilayered novel that not only encompasses a searing love story but, with its epic reach from quarks to mythology to geopolitics, also encapsulates the fate of the entire world. As Mumbai empties under the threat of imminent nuclear annihilation, Sarita, a 33-year-old statistician, can only think of one thing: being reunited with Karun, her physicist husband. Why has he vanished? Who is he running from? How will they form the family of three he’s always wanted? To find him, Sarita must journey across the surreal landscape of a near-abandoned city, braving gangs of competing Hindu and Muslim hoodlums. Joining her is Jaz - nominally a Muslim but whose true religion has always been sex with other men. Danger lurks around every corner, but so does the incongruous and the absurd: the patron goddess Devi Ma has even materialized on a beach to save her city from harm. Sarita’s search leads her to this beach, thrusting her into a trinity so mercurial, so consuming, that it will alter her life more fundamentally than any apocalypse to come. Fearlessly provocative, wickedly comedic, and propelled with rocket-fuel energy, The City of Devi exuberantly upends assumptions of politics, religion, sex, and India´s global emergence. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Vikas Adam, Priya Ayyar. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/blak/005427/bk_blak_005427_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Banaras Reconstructed:Architecture and Sacred Space in a Hindu Holy City Madhuri Desai
The shocking and brutal murder of a young American woman rips apart the peace of the ancient city of Benares. Hawa Singh, a senior inspector from the Delhi crime branch on a visit to Benares, gets embroiled in the case. He finds that the murdered woman had been researching the Bhrigu-Samhita, an astrological classic dating back to pre-Vedic times, its original manuscript believed to be lost. The FBI sends in Ruby Malik, a Pakistani American to investigate the murder. Soon more bodies are found, with bizarre connections to both the Bhrigu-Samhita and Christian orthodoxy.... The Vatican seems to be carrying out a clandestine operation, seeking the secrets of Hindu astrology in the city most sacred to it.... 1. Language: English. Narrator: Nakesha Patel. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/026423/bk_adbl_026423_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Isabel, born into the British Raj, and Asha, a young Hindu girl, both consider India their home. Through mischance and accident their stories intersect, and circumstances will bring them from the bustling city of Delhi to the shores of the Andaman Islands, from glittering colonial parties to the squalor and desperation of a notorious prison, and into the lives of men on opposing sides of the fight for self-rule. As the shadow of the Second World War falls across India, Isabel, caught up in growing political violence, has to make impossible choices - fighting for her love for India, for the man she yearns for, and for her childhood Indian friend - in the face of loyalty to her own country. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Lucy Scott. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/isis/003674/bk_isis_003674_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Called ´´the first and greatest of English detective novels´´ by T. S. Eliot, Wilkie Collins´s The Moonstone is a masterpiece of suspense. A fabulous yellow diamond becomes the dangerous inheritance of Rachel Verinder. Outside her Yorkshire country house watch the Hindu priests who have waited for many years to reclaim their ancient talisman, looted from the holy city of Somnauth. When the Moonstone disappears, the case looks simple, but in mid-Victorian England, no one is what they seem, and nothing can be taken for granted. Witnesses, suspects, and detectives each narrate the story in turn. The bemused butler, the love-stricken housemaid, the enigmatic detective Sergeant Cuff, the drug-addicted scientist - each speculate on the mystery as Collins weaves their narratives together. 1. Language: English. Narrator: James Langton. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/001689/bk_tant_001689_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Two-time Giller Prize winner M.G. Vassanji returns with a powerful new novel about grief and second chances, tradition and rebellion, set in vibrant present-day Delhi. Munir Khan, a recent widower from Toronto, on a whim decides to visit Delhi, the city of his forbears. Born in Kenya, he has lost all family connections, and has never visited India before. While sitting in the bar of the Delhi Recreational Club where he´s staying, an attractive woman joins his table to await her husband. A sparring match ensues. The two are from different worlds: Munir is a westernized agnostic of Muslim origin; Mohini, a modern Hindu woman. Utterly witty and charming, she´s religiously traditional, but also a liberal and provocative newspaper columnist. Against her better judgment, Mohini agrees to show Munir around the city. As they explore the thriving markets and historical buildings of Old Delhi, an inexplicable attraction begins. What follows is a passionate love affair--uncontrollable yet impossible. This is a period of rising Indian nationalism in modern India that at times finds outlet in senseless violence. Constantly lurking at Munir´s Club is the menacing and foreboding presence of a fanatical nationalist group. To them Munir Khan is simply a Muslim ´´love-jihadi´´ who has led the pride of Hindu womanhood, Mohini Singh, astray. At what cost, their passion?