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FEROZ KHAN

CO-OWNER

My name is Feroz Khan and with my partner, Faisal Qureshi, I am the co-owner of ZariZar. 

Since I was a young boy I have had the privilege of working with its minerals and geodes. I invite you to scroll down and learn more about the places, people, and events of this Luminous Land.

My name is Feroz Khan and with my business partner, Faisal Quraishi, I am the co-owner of ZariZar. 

Since I was a young boy in Khuldabad, I have had the privilege of working with Deccan Plateau minerals and geodes. I invite you to scroll down and learn more about the places, people, and events of this Luminous Land — the place we call home.

THIS LUMINOUS LAND

The Deccan Plateau of Maharashtra, the home of ZariZar‘s artisans and source of its minerals and geodes, has radiated the energy for empires, and nurtured spiritual communities, economic and scientific development, political reformers, and some of humanity’s greatest artists.

THE EXPLOSION AT ITS BIRTH

About 65 million years ago, massive lava flows formed a raised plateau within the south-pointing triangle of the Indian subcontinent.  Now known as the Deccan Plateau, it is one of the largest volcanic provinces in the world — 6,600 feet deep, covering an area of nearly 190,000 square miles. 

This landmass has functioned as a magnet, pulling to itself a wide cross-section of humanity, some with deep spiritual aspirations and others stirred by political and material ambitions.  

Prehistory to 13th century AD
HUMAN SOCIETIES TAKE ROOT

Each terrain on planet Earth holds distinctive energies —energies that manifest in crystalline forms and later in distinctive species of plant life, reptiles, birds, and animals. These same energies give birth to the consciousness of human societies.

65 Million Years Ago

Minerals begin to crystallize throughout the Deccan

Buddhists begin carving 30 caves into the mountainside at Ajanta, filling them with sculptures and paintings that are masterpieces of religious art. Hindus participated with Buddhists in building these caves as homes for Buddhist devotions. These are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2nd Century BC

Buddhists begin carving caves and statues at Ajanta

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Jesus Christ’s apostle Bartholomew brings Christianity to the Maharashtra coast near Mumbai (Bombay) in the first century, perhaps as early as 52 AD. With 28 million adherents, 

Christianity is the third largest religion in India.

1st century AD 

St. Bartholomew brings Christianity to the Deccan

The Ellora caves incorporate Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain monuments and artwork, illustrating the spirit of religious harmony that is characteristic of ancient India. As one of the largest rock-cut cave complexes in the world, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

7th century AD 

Hindu artists begin carving caves and temples at Ellora

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Artists of the Jain religion expand the Ellora caves, adding highly detailed carvings of “Jinas”, the spiritual heroes of their tradition.

9th century AD 

Jains work side by side with Hindus building caves at Ellora

In the 14th century, a  sultan  from Delhi transports thousands of intelligentsia, craftsmen, and sufi mystics to this valley in the heart of India. Royal weavers bring handcrafts from which Himroo fabrics emerge. Over time, more than 1400 sufi saints are buried here.

14th century AD 

Islamic sufis migrate to an area near Ellora, now known as “Valley of the Saints” 

"Verily, Islam and Hinduism are terms of contrast. They are diverse pigments used by the true Divine Painter for blending the colors and filling in the outlines of His picture of the entire human species. If it be a mosque, the call to prayers is chanted in remembrance of Him. If it be a temple, the bell is rung in yearning for Him only."

— Shivaji

17th to 20th centuries
POLITICAL STRUCTURES COMPETE
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A perplexing figure, Aurangzeb is alternately merciless and generous, consulting Hindus as well as Muslims, yet fierce in battle with both. Nevertheless, he tries to lead his subjects according to the maxim of the sufi poet Sa’di,"Sheep do not exist for the shepherd. It is the shepherd who exists for serving his sheep." 

17th century 

Aurangzeb, the last Mughal king, migrates from the north and makes Aurangabad his capital

Aurangzeb’s nemesis, Shivaji, is a contrast to many Asian rulers of the time. A leader with sterling qualities, he treats followers of other religions with utmost respect. He establishes  a competent and progressive civil rule employing both Muslims and Hindus in military and administrative posts.

17th century

Shivaji, the Maratha rebel, overthrows Mughal rule, establishing the Maharahstrian dynasty on the Deccan Plateau

The East India Trading Company gains entry into India in the early 1600s and begins a two-century long process of assuming economic, military, and political control over the Indian subcontinent.

17th century

British traders arrive in India seeking spices and tea

Though the Deccan Plateau remains relatively calm, the unrest in other portions of India disrupts trade and threatens the authority of the East India Trading Company.

19th century

Indian members of East India Trading Company's military forces rebel against their second-class status.

In response to the unrest in India, Queen Victoria withdraws East India Trading Company’s charter, asserts the British government’s authority over India, and issues a proclamation promising Indians rights similar to those of other British subjects.

19th century 

Queen Victoria designates herself "Empress of India" as the British Raj (rule) begins

Gandhi’s philosophy of unity and non-violence succeeds in unifying sectarian elements in India's opposition to British rule. He is imprisoned twice in Maharashtra, first in 1932 and then from 1942 to 1944 for his role in the Quit India movement.

20th century

Mahatma Gandhi returns to India and joins the nascent “Self-Rule” movement

Educated at Deccan College, Tilak has been called the “George Washington of India” and “The Maker of Modern India”. He becomes the first leader of the Indian Independence Movement.

19th century 

Bal Gangadhar Tilak proclaims “Self-Rule” for India

Born in a small village in Maharashtra, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkhar is the first highly educated, politically prominent member of the Hindu "untouchable" caste. After receiving a PhD in Economics from Columbia University, he returns to India and beomes the architect of the Indian Constitution. 

20th century 

B. R. Ambedkar authors Indian Constitution 

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

— Mahatma Gandhi

In 1891, Habib Ahmed Quraishi and his son Bashir Quraishi organize the network of village weavers that persists to this day creating ZariZar’s luxurious shawls.

19th and 20th centuries
SPIRITUAL FIGURES BEHIND THE SCENES 

 

Hazrat Babajan

?? — 1931

"Wonderful is Your creation, O God!

Wonderful is Your game!

You poured jasmine oil

on the head of a shrew!"

Hazrat Babajan of Pune

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Sai Baba

1838-1918

"Life is a song — sing it.

 Life is a game — play it.

 Life is a challenge — meet it.

 Life is a dream — realize it.

 Life is a sacrifice — offer it.

 Life is love — enjoy it." 

Sai Baba of Shirdi

 

Upasni Maharaj

1870 — 1941

 

"Knowledge, Existence and Bliss are synonymous terms. Knowledge consists in knowing that you are not the body,

but

the transcendental Reality."

Upasni Maharaj

Sri Aurobindo Ghose

1872 — 1950

 

“The whole world yearns

after freedom,

yet each creature

is in love with his chains. 

This is the first paradox

and inextricable knot

of our nature.”

Sri Aurobindo Ghose

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Avatar Meher Baba

1894 — 1969

"You and I are not We,

but One."

Avatar Meher Baba

Nisargadatta Maharaj

1897 — 1981

"You are not 

 what you take yourself to be.

Don't pretend to be 

 what you are not.

Don't refuse to be 

what you are."

Nisargadatta Maharaj of Mumbai

In 1998, Nisar Khan begins to collect and sell minerals and geodes of the Deccan Plateau. 

His brother, Feroz joins him several years later.

21st century
THE DECCAN'S NEW FACE 

Maharashtra is the wealthiest and most industrialized state in India.

Like California, which produces 14.5% of the gross domestic product of the U.S., 

Maharashtra produces 15% of India’s GDP.

 

Its per-capita income is 40% higher than the all-India average.

Economic Capital of India

Nashik, in Maharashtra State, is home to more than half of the wineries in India.

One of the region's wineries founded in 1999 by a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur, has gained 65% of the premium wine market. 

Wine Capital of India

The University of Mumbai is the largest university in the world in terms of the number of graduates. The city of Pune in Maharashtra is one of India’s IT centers and is known as the 'Oxford of the East' for its excellent educational institutions. 

Educational Capital of India

Bollywood produces more than 1000  films every year  — 3 times more than Hollywood — and has a worldwide audience of three billion.

Film Capital of the World

It’s as though the strong energies of the Deccan Plateau radiate currents to nurture life’s most compelling aspirations — material and spiritual.