Page 436. " the great Kingdom of Oudh "

Map showing Oudh
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMap showing Oudh
Oudh, also known as Awadh, is a historical region of North India, located in what is now the state of Uttar Pradesh.  The map shows the position of Oudh within India. 

Page 443. " palms of their slender hands tinted with henna "
Henna applied to the hand
GNU Free Documentation LicenseHenna applied to the hand - Credit: Divyashree

The application of henna to the hands as a form of decoration is known as Mehndi and is commonly applied during weddings or festivals in South Asia.  It is thought to have originated in India as a ceremonial art form, with Mehndi being applied to a bride's hands and feet prior to the marriage ceremony.  


Page 447. " to recite Vedic hymns and invoke the blessing of the gods "

The Vedas are the oldest Hindu scriptures.  Each veda contains thousands of hymns, some of which are thought to be 6000-8000 years old.  In the video below you can hear a mantra from the Yajurveda being chanted.