Almost exactly in the centre of India is a town called Gwalior. In this town is the tomb of Tansen, one of the greatest musicians that ever lived.
Next to his beautifully carved stone tomb stands a little tamarind tree.
It happened more than 400 years ago. Mughal emperor Akbar was very fond of taming elephants and riding them. Hawai was the most magnificent elephant in the royal stable. Despite his huge size, the male elephant was a swift runner.
Children are always asking questions, like ‘Why is the sky blue’, or ‘Why do we have only one nose’. And sometimes they also open up things like clocks to understand how they work. Emperor Akbar was also like that — always wanting to know this or that.
Akbar was three years old in 1545. He was then staying with his uncle Kamran. On a special day, there was a feast. And Kamran had bought a kettle drum for his son, Ibrahim Mirza. Akbar took a fancy to it and decided he must have it.
Mughal emperor Akbar loved hunting. Four hundred and twenty eight years ago, when he was passing through Rajasthan, he decided to go for a hunt. He used to keep cheetahs in his hunting party. Being very fast they were quick to catch their prey.
At the age of 18, Akbar had been emperor of the Mughal empire for four years. This was 440 years ago, in the year 1560. But the king still had many desires that any ordinary young man would have at his age.
Can you imagine a summer without ice creams?
It seems the Chinese, too, couldn’t. For it was they who gave the world its first ice cream. In India, the Mughals are said to have introduced their kind of ice cream — the kulfi.
Emperors too were children once. Even Mughal emperor Akbar, who has been given the title of Akbar the Great. He was more interested in bunking lessons rather than learn from his tutor. Being his own master from a young age, one day he decided that he did not want to study.
Pitara literally means ‘a chest full of surprises’. For over 20 years (this website was started in 1998) we have been publishing original multi-cultural, multi-lingual and inclusive content to help kids explore, discover, learn, play, enjoy... All our content is copyright protected. If you wish to use our content ask us — some of the world's leading publishers regularly license our content.