Bijapur Water Heritage – An Oasis in Parched Deccan

A little west of Navrashpur, the third city of Bijapur, now in ruins…I chanced upon a freshly painted mural, quite uncommon, depicting a Muslim King as a yogi meditating to invoke Goddess Ganga to descend down to his capital from the Himalayas to quench the thrust of million plus people in the mid 16th century….

Dholavira – India’s First Water Tech Park

From Kashi to Maheshwar and Ekamra to Adalaj, one sight that is common to all, is ghats on rivers, tanks or step-wells – all pointing to one idea, India’s spiritual journey through life giving force, water. Ghat refers to a series of steps leading to a water body, either a holy river or a small…

Unfinished Monoliths of Mahabalipuam – An Architectural Journey

An obsolete touristy village today, on the shore of Bay of Bengal, 60 km south of Chennai, Mahabalipuram in 7th century CE, however was a flourishing city bustling with activities of sailors who came from far and near to load and unload their cargoes. Today all that is lost except the drifting sands and the…

Kuldhara in Jaiselmer – A Travel Shot

Today, a deserted land haunted by stories of akal, conflicts and migrations, Jaiselmer, India’s golden city and a major tourism hub was not always like what you hear. The region was located in the middle of flourishing trade routes connecting India with Persia and Arabian Desert cities via land route as well as ports of…

Five forgotten forts of Telangana – A Travel Shot

Many travelers from the far-flung lands visit Telangana mostly for Hyderabad, a city full of historic sites like Golkonda Fort, Charminar, Qutb Sahi tombs etc. But if you are a history buff then Telangana has more to offer you and some places get hardly any mention in the guidebooks or history books. For a Qutb…

Hire Benekal – India’s Megalithic Metropolis

1975…a small village of Lanjia Saoras in highlands of South Odisha! Ononti, a young woman Shaman starts to sing in parallel couplet in archaic Saora language, repeating each line but changing one word at a time to enrich the meaning!! Argalgalsi yuyunji                      bolongsi goden Argalgalsi yuyunji                      banardub goden…. She is calling the female shamans who…

Kulpak Ji – An Ancient Derasar in Telangana

The ramparts sketching a thick line in the distance told us that we were somewhere in the vicinity of Bhongir Fort on the outskirts of Hyderabad in Telangana. Sheer steps hewn out of basalt on one among the innumerable boulders scattered along the timeless landscape of Deccan Plateau seemed both difficult yet alluring. But our…

Kakatiya Dynasty – An Architectural Sojourn

“Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritages are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.” ~ UNESCO As I sat down to read the books and various journals that I had bookmarked in order to write on…

Bikaner – Town Of A Thousand Splendid Mansions

 Way back in 1990s, when I first heard about the magnificence of Havelis or traditional Indian mansions of Bikaner  I  nourished a subtle desire to visit in person and appreciate the impressive architecture of the Havelis. The newspaper feature articles that used to appear in the intervening period until my first visit to Bikaner circa 2000…

Dundlod in Shekawati – A Timeless Heritage

A short distance from Nawalgarh, one of the largest painted towns of Shekawati in Rajasthan takes you to Dundlod, a picture postcard Rajasthani village famous for its Goenka Havelis and Chhatris. In the 18th Century, East India Company had a strong establishment in Calcutta. The backbone of their trade was produce that came from hinterland….