Next Episode of Great Indian Railway Journeys is
Michael Portillo travels across India guided by his Bradshaw's 1913 Handbook of Indian, Foreign and Colonial Travel.
In this episode he embarks on a classic rail journey from Amritsar to Shimla. Published when the British Raj was at its height, Michael's guide leads him to some of the key locations in India's 20th century story, from the massacre in Amritsar in 1919 to the bloody events of Partition. Beginning in the Sikh holy city, Michael is dazzled by the beauty of the Golden Temple and awed by the scale of its langar - the world's largest free kitchen. His route then takes him through the Punjab, India's breadbasket. Along the way he gives his trademark colourful wardrobe an Indian twist, and reaches the foothills of the Himalayas, where the epic Kalka to Shimla hill railway carries him to the former summer seat of the British rulers of the Raj.
Bradshaw's 1913 Handbook of Indian, Foreign and Colonial Travel in hand, Michael Portillo embarks on a stunning rail journey from the Thar Desert in Rajasthan to the Indian capital, taking in desert landscapes and dazzling historic palaces. From Jodhpur, Michael strikes out into the desert, taking a camel ride to a village where life has changed little in centuries, before embarking on the Jaipur-Agra-Delhi 'Golden Triangle' tour - India's must-do itinerary in 1913 as today. In Jaipur, Michael enjoys a gin and tonic in a lavish former palace before learning about the close ties between the rajahs of Jaipur and British royalty. He takes a polo masterclass from a maharaja, and enjoys a shower with a difference, courtesy of an elephant.
Michael Portillo's Bradshaw's 1913 Handbook of Indian, Foreign and Colonial Travel leads him on railway journey through the modern south Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, from the former princely state of Mysore to the first stronghold of the East India Company in Chennai, formerly Madras. In Mysuru, Michael pitches in at a game of street cricket then smartens up to meet the Maharaja at the magnificent Mysore Palace.
On an epic railway journey from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh to Kolkata in West Bengal, Michael Portillo uses his Bradshaw's 1913 Handbook of Indian, Foreign and Colonial Travel, published when the British Raj was 55 years old, to chart a course through India's history from the days of The East India Company to the dawn of independence.
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