Sri Surya Pahar: Riddles of an Unwritten Past

The very mention of Sri Surya Pahar generally evokes a sense of doubt and confusion. Most people are unaware of it and even those who know the name find it hard to locate it on a map. The fact that it is one of the oldest and largest archaeological sites providing a vital clue to…

Melancholia in Majuli

“O Kai” (Hey brother!)… shouted Mr. Payeng as he noticed a stranger pedalling a pink bicycle. I was busy clicking photographs of the emerald green plot of freshly planted paddy.  The shout startled me at first and I looked up. He was sitting on the verandah by the side of the small plot of land…

Kaziranga – Hydra of Conservation

‘Kaziranga excites the senses, arrests the soul. It beckons a visit’. The inviting tag line of Assam Tourism captures the essence of a National Park that is the pride of Assam and a celebrated success story of wildlife conservation in India in a lilting tone. And why not. After all, Kaziranga, is where the heavyweights…

Vrindavani Vastra – Travel Across Time, Space and Cultures

Aesthetic sensibility, is nothing but a capacity of wonder more elevated than the ordinary one. An opaque heart does not wonder: non obstupescit. Raniero Gnoli, paraphrasing Abhinavgupta Vrindavani Vastra on display at the British Museum will move the opaquest of the hearts to ecstasy. You stand before it eyes wide open, gaping, trying to identify…

Madan Kamdev Temple – Obscure, Mysterious, Forgotten

During my school days in Guwahati, the topic of Madan Kamdev used to regularly come up once in a while. The few lucky ones who had managed to visit it would provide vivid descriptions of various artefacts and kindle the collective imagination of the rest. In a small, provincial town still coming to terms with…