New Novel Provides Historical and Cultural Insight into 16th Century India – ‘Himalayan Passage’
“Himalayan Passage” is a richly descriptive, intricate novel that details many cultural aspects, both good and bad, of the ancient region that is now
Tara’s uncommonly fierce self-reliance is first exhibited to readers of “Himalayan Passage” while on the journey to her new home. In an act of defiance, she refuses to be carried to the mountain plateau where the Amber Fort sits. Instead, she insists on walking, far ahead of the soldiers escorting her. This self-determination at once captivates the heart and mind of Ibrahim, who immediately falls in love with her. Tara’s fire and self-determination endear her to her new husband as well as his eldest wife, Kiren. However, the Sultan’s fascination with his youngest wife alienates his other wives, including Sita, the Hindu niece of Bhaji, who governs the southern region of the Sultan’s Empire.
As “Himalayan Passage” follows the nuances of courtly life, Sita begins sowing dissent among the court of Ibrahim. Unknown to Tara, Ibrahim and Kiren, this dissent is a prelude to a long-planned rebellion by Bhaji. As a result of Bhaji’s treachery, Tara and Kiren are forced to flee the Empire in a series of harrowing escapes while Ibrahim stands to face an uncertain fate:
“Do you think you can hold Khadke?” asked Kiren.
“I will try. But if Bhaji has built up great enough strength to attack us from two directions then besiege the Black Fortress, it eventually will fall.”
Akkan spoke, “Your Highness, should we all go directly to Jodhpur from here? You should be out of danger too.”
“No. Not until we know how strong Bhaji’s forces are. We can fall back from Khadke if we have to, then mass the legions we need to move south again. The line we defend may be drawn from east to west at Khadke or
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