The so called “Sandalwood gates of the Somnath temple”

1842 (c): The painting by James Atkinson showing the door which was removed from the mausoleum of Sultan Mahmood of Ghazni by the British invaders. The latter believed it to be “sandalwood gates of Somnath temple”. British invaders desecrated the tomb and removed the door in 1842 to restore their injured pride and ego, to … Read more

The role of Hazaras during the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-42)

In 1842 Hazaras in the vicinity of Ghazni approached British and expressed their wish and desire that British invaders should exterminate the Pashtun race and repopulate the country (eastern Afghanistan) with Indians and Hazaras. Henry Rawlinson in his diary (unpublished) writes:   “The Huzareh all visited us and did their best to supply us. They have … Read more

Return of a King – A critique of Dalrymple’s book

By Farrukh Husain Dalrymple commissions translations of Persian sources: Eight Persian sources have been translated and utilized by Dalrymple to varying degrees. Chief amongst these translated sources are the memoirs or Waqayat of Shah Shuja Ul Mulk. The Shuja memoirs were quoted by Kaye in his 1851 History of the war in Afghanistan. The Shuja … Read more

A Pashtun heroine of the First Anglo-Afghan War

During the first Anglo-Afghan war, a Pashtun woman of Zamindawar (a widow of a chieftain)) assembled and led a lashkar to combat the British invaders. Mullahs, Ghazis and others followed her. She went to battle on horseback with standard of her husband in her hand. After a fierce battle, her lashkar was repulsed by the British. … Read more

The account of two 19th century paintings

In October 1879 Major-General Frederick Roberts found an Afghan painting in Amir Sher Ali’s palace in Kabul showing a mounted Afghan sardar riding alongside a running British solider and a dog. This painting was made by an Afghan artist and was painted around the time of the First Afghan War (1838-1842) for an unknown Afghan … Read more

Jan Fishan Khan (ancestor of Nasiruddin Shah, the Bollywood actor)

Sayyid Muhammad Shah, the ancestor of Nasiruddin Shah (actor), was from Afghanistan. He collaborated with British invaders during First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-42). He accompanied the defeated British army to India.  Mrs.Colin Mackenzie (whose husband fought in the First Anglo-Afghan War), describes Sayyid Muhammad Shah (titled Jan Fishan Khan) as the staunch friend of the British … Read more

Captain Robert Warburton married Shah Jahan Begum through deception and force

“The First Afghan War also gave rise to the marriage between Captain Robert Warburton and the Afghan Durrani princess Shah Jehan Begum. However, this was a forced marriage engineered by Warburton. “Captain Robert Warburton married Shah Jehan Begum and she was reputed to be one of the most beautiful women in Kabul. Authors have praised … Read more