Luckily, England has a fascination of India and this extends into our television programmes, including documentaries about cities/wildlife/travel/religion/gardens and children's educational programmes.
So armed with a Windows Media Center that will record any programme containing (in it's title or description) the words 'India', 'Rajasthan', 'Tiger' and 'Maha'*, we've ended up with loads to watch over the last nine months or so. Some of this is very good stuff for the kids, others not.
- Firstly, there's a wealth of regular programmes that have 10 minutes on India. Usually not very informative, they're still worth watching. This include holiday programmes like Holiday Showdown and other holiday shows, one-off wildlife documentaries.
- Primary Geography is a series of 10-15 minute children's educational programmes all about kids in India. There's an overview programme, one about Kerala, one about Rajasthan and many more. The Rajasthan one included footage of a boy who lived in the area near Sam/Khuri desert and another part featuring the niece of the current Maharaja of Jodphur.
- Paul Merton In India was quite a good series where Paul saw some of the more unusual/eccentric elements of the country. I thought it was done quite well as at he always promoted the activities with an open eye, daunted at first, respectful at the end.
- Tiger, Spy In The Jungle was a series following tigers within Pench Tiger Reserve in Maharastra. As with all BBC and Sir David Attenborough the quality and content are superb.
- India with Sanjeev Bhaskar. For me the jury is out on this one and it's interesting that the first site I found (linked in on the left) felt the same way. I like Sanjeev as a comedian but as a documentary lead I just found him a bit too up himself. Unlike, Merton, he didn't seem to want to get too close to the locals, apart from when he was retracing his ancestry to Pakistan. Still, there's great footage includingn interesting time spotting tigers, in Pench, where it took him two weeks to find a tiger. Funnily enough this series was shown on TV at the same time as Tiger Spy In The Jungle, so perhaps Sanjeev should have followed Sir David around, he may have had better luck.
- Michael Wood The Story Of India. A bit too old for the kids but we showed them the more interesting parts.
The BBC has a list of India & Pakistan related shows, most of which are finished but are bound to be repeated.
I thoroughly enjoyed most of the TV shows listed above too, but I was on a roll with the title 'Preparing The Kids' so I couldn't rename it halfyway through!!!
* keyword of Maha was included just in case Mahabharata ever turned up again on telly. Having read the book in 1996 it's never been back on TV.