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Indian Balm

Travels Amongst Fakirs and Fire Warriors

Hyland Paul

Editeur - Casa editrice

Tauris Parke Paperbacks

India del Sud

Anno - Date de Parution


Pagine - Pages


Lingua - language - langue


Edizione - Collana

Tauris Parke Paperbacks

Indian Balm Indian Balm  

Indian Balm is the captivating account of a journey Paul Hyland made along the little-known course of the sacred Godavari river in Southern India: a pilgrimage through both his past and India’s present. It is the story of the search for his ancestors-missionaries and traders-who first landed on the Coromandel coast generations ago, and of their Bam, a wonder cure for all sorts of ailments and afflictions.

Travelling to the home of his cousin, the last of his family to remain in the country, Hyland encounters snake charmers and sadhus, bogi men and horn dancers, and experiences both ancient rituals and the most simple aspects of daily life. An extraordinary and above all unique journey, Indian Balm illuminates the best, and the worst, of this magical country.


Indian Balm sheds vivid and dramatic light on this unsung Indian province. A richly rewarding read.
-John Keay

Paul Hyland went off the tourist track and up the river his forebears adopted, His experiences-good, bad and never less than colourful-are revealed in Indian Balm which captures the spirit of this south eastern area of the subcontinent and makes a thoroughly engrossing read.
-Choice Book of the Month.


Recensione in altra lingua (English):

Table of Contents




1. Holy Fools: Devon
2. Coromandel Landfall: Madras
3. Murder Metropoils: Vijayawada
4. Heavenly City: Amaravati
5. Auspicious Days: Machilipatnam
6. A Night’s March: via Kaikalur
7. Dandy Fever: Narsapur
8. Carols and Fire-Crackers: Narsapur
9. Fabled Madapollam: Madhavayapalem
10. Ancestor Worship: Bowdenpeta
11. Luminous force: Dowlaishweram
12. Looking for the Dead: Rajahmundry
13. Waiting for Trains: Nidadavole
14. Fire Warriors: Narsapur
15. Bogi Men: Narsapur
16. Bogi Men: Narsapur
17. Sign of the Crocodile: Narsapur
18. Helping the Police: Narsapur
19. The Birth of Time: Tanuku
20. A Greedy Goddess: Hyderabad
21. The Old Kingdom: Golconda
22. Politics and Honey: Narsapur
23. Bits of Business: Madras Presidency
24. Shadow of the Pagoda: Palakol
25. Tiger Prawns: Kakinada
26. Teeth and Trousers: Kakinada
27. French Bread: Yanam
28. The Ligh House: Antarvedi
29. Holy Dip: antarvedi
30. Juggernaut: Antarvedi
31. The Solitary Reaper: Mogaltur
32. Eastern Ghats: Sakhinetepalli
33. No Brakes: To Polavaram
34. The Current:via Porsammagandhi
35. Shiva’s Hill: Sivagiri
36. Jungle Juice: Takuru
37. The Hungry Sisters: Perantapalli
38. The Horn Dance: Pedagudem
39. Keeping My Head: Geddapalli
40. Thriller: Sivagiri




PAUL HYLAND was born in Dorset a month after India gained independence. An award-winning poet and travel writer, his books Purbeck and Wight are modern classics. His African journey, The Balck Heart, follows Joseph conrad, Roger Casement and Dan Crawford up the River Congo. Backwards Out of the Big World takes him deep into the Portuguese psyche and his highly-praised Ralegh's Last Journey explores the last, bizarre weeks of Sir Walter Ralegh's life. Paul Hyland now lives in Dorset, but used to live in North Devon where W Bowden's original Indian Balm was made and marketed for eighty years.