Deomali – Offbeat Wonderland

If you are touring Puri or Gopalpur-on-Sea, perhaps you are not told about the other side of Odisha, which is higher in elevation than Panchamarhi in Madhya Pradesh or Mt Abu in Rajasthan. Deomali or the God of the Mali tribe on Odisha-Andhra border is Odisha’s highest point at 1672 m. A solid rock mass, … Continue reading Deomali – Offbeat Wonderland

Langudi – Odisha’s Miraculous Buddhist Hill

Year 1995! I had just registered my PhD programme on Buddhist Archaeology at Pune’s Deccan College. I had come to Odisha for my initial fieldwork. On a fine late afternoon, I had stumbled upon Langudi Hill with my other companions Dr Pradip Mohanty and Dr Harish Prusty, both experts in Buddhist Archaeology. Remains of Rock-Cut … Continue reading Langudi – Odisha’s Miraculous Buddhist Hill

Erotica Konark – Frozen in Stone

At Konark Majestic Sun Temple at Konark You are a curious onlooker to countless sensuous carvings in close embrace and interlocked in lovemaking. You are puzzled, keen to unravel their stories shrouded in mysteries. Then you seek the help of a trained guide, who narrates you – “the erotic sculptures were made after the brutal … Continue reading Erotica Konark – Frozen in Stone

Barbara Forest – A Blend of Nature, Indigenous Culture and Archaeology

It was 6 PM on an October Day. I was at Salia Dam enjoying the pristine beauty of nature, sun going down against the western sky turning it into a pallet of golden and turmeric hues; and a fisherman sailing through the placid water after the day’s catch in his bamboo raft, a watercraft that … Continue reading Barbara Forest – A Blend of Nature, Indigenous Culture and Archaeology

Bhubaneswar – Romance in Stones

Once sages asked Brahma, the creator God: ‘Which is the most excellent place on earth that bestows virtue (dharma), love (kama), wealth (artha) and salvation (mokshya)’. Brahma replied: ‘Bharata, the Indian Subcontinent...in particular, however, Utkala and its four great religious centres, Puri, Konarka, Ekamra and Viraja’.  In describing Ekamra (Bhubaneswar), the holy city of Shiva … Continue reading Bhubaneswar – Romance in Stones

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 … Continue reading Unfinished Monoliths of Mahabalipuam – An Architectural Journey

Kanchipuram Murals – An Artistic Sojourn

Every year millions of tourists, art connoisseurs and heritage enthusiasts visit Ajanta, the mural capital of India located in Sahyadri Hills of Maharashtra. The mural heritage of Ajanta was however short-lived, thanks to the fall of Vakatakas and their patronage. The features that were laid in Ajanta was however found in full bloom in the … Continue reading Kanchipuram Murals – An Artistic Sojourn

Kumbhars of Kumartuli (Kolkata) and the story of the creation of idols for Durga Puja

With the last spell of the monsoon rains having drained down the narrow lanes of Kumartuli, the season bids adieu to an important festival - Durgatsav. It has been a busy time for the kumbhars of the region, especially of Eastern India, who have been busy with the making of the clay idols of the … Continue reading Kumbhars of Kumartuli (Kolkata) and the story of the creation of idols for Durga Puja

Travel through Digapahandi – Ganjifa’s Last Bastion

In some corner of my heart, I have developed a special weakness for Khemundi, an erstwhile historic territory in South Odisha’s Ganjam and Gajapati Districts with Paralakhemundi as the capital. Here I was born close to 5 decades before in Chitrakara (Artisan) Street. Though I did not live here for longer stretch of times, I … Continue reading Travel through Digapahandi – Ganjifa’s Last Bastion

Illustrating Ramayana Katha – Biranchi Narayan Temple at Buguda

Raja Srikar Bhanja of Ghumsar! History might have forgotten him, but his contribution to art and culture even today stuns visitors and art scholars alike. A distant relative of Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja, Srikar came to rule in 1790. However, after ruling 9 years in 1799 he renounced to lead the life of an ascetic … Continue reading Illustrating Ramayana Katha – Biranchi Narayan Temple at Buguda