Travel Shot – Cheriyal Art of Telangana

It was that time of the evening when all had gathered to listen to stories. The stories of ancestors beyond what granny knew or could remember, stories of heroes that made them proud, stories that they would sleep with and dream about. Today, the Kunapulis were coming to perform Markandeya Puranam for the Padmasalis and…

Rogan Art – A journey from the Sindh to White House

Roughly 400 years back an art was introduced to Kutch from Sindh, thanks to the Raos of Kutch who deeply appreciated art. Called ‘Rogan’, the art however declined due to the lack of patronage with the passage of time. Only a few local Ahir and Rabari women would buy bridal skirts filled with Rogan art…

Ajrakh – A Journey with Dr. Ismail Mohammad Khatri

For an archaeologist from South Asia such as me, what could be a more precious discovery than the Priest King of Mohenjo-Daro! Archaeologists have been debating on his role and position in Indus Valley society, but for those who are inclined towards aesthetics and art they are fascinated with his shawl depicting trefoil patterns interspersed…

Reza – Journey from the Indus Valley to a Fashion House

The history of weaving in Haryana is as old as the Indus valley civilization. Archaeological evidence suggests that the people of Haryana have been growing cotton for several millennia and spinning yarn for making cloth. The skills for preparing many types of cloth by weaving and dyeing the cotton yarn continued to be refined for…

Pochampally Ikat – A Journey

What is common to the Patolas, the coveted sarees from Patan, Gujarat, and the Pochampallys that come from the eponymous village of what is Telangana today. Obviously it is the tie-and-dye technique one would say but it is also a story of migrations. If the Salvis from South India moved to Patan to make fresh silk Patolas…

Tarakasi Art – On The Brink of Survival

If Bhubaneswar is known as the City of Temples then its twin Cuttack, renowned for its varied cultural practices, historical aspects and craftsmanship is celebrated as the Silver City. Cuttack is the anglicized form of Katak that translates to ‘Fort’ which here is the Barabati Fort, the erstwhile capital of Odisha. Cuttack city which is…

Chhau: A Folk Performance of Eastern India

Indian theatrical tradition goes back to antiquity and is deeply rooted within local culture and consciousness. Therefore, it has its own uniqueness and structure that is truly eastern in its orientation.  The theatrical traditions of India are divided into  Loka dharmi (the popular), the folk, which includes Nautanki of Punjab and Swang of Himachal Pradesh…

Bengali Sarees – A Brief History

Modernity and urbanization has led to the decline of traditional form of clothing, however the saree continues to remain an eternal favourite. While means of production, style of draping, and designs, may have changed markedly over times, one factor remains unchanged: the love for sarees among Indian women. From a fragment of cotton found on a…

Raghurajpur – An Open Air Museum

Can anyone ever think of ‘Odisha’ without thinking of Lord Jagannath. No way!! Rhythms of Odiya life deeply revolve around scores of rituals related to Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subadhra throughout the year. The trinity that resides in Puri celebrates festivals as any of us do. In the month of June, when the…

Sanskriti Kendra – Delhi’s Hidden Gem

Growing up in a family where visiting a museum was akin to visiting a religious shrine, it was but natural that when I shifted to Delhi, the first places on my to-visit list were the museums here. The national capital offers many museums, the most well known of which is the National Museum, a great favourite place…

Munsiyari Tribal Heritage Museum – A Bhotiya Love Affair

While strolling through the remote villages of Tehsil Munsiyari, shaded by the mighty Panchachuli and nestled in the Johar Valley of Kumaon region of the state of Uttarakhand, the remoteness of the region hardly escapes your notice. The sublime valley was once a bustling trade route to Tibet inhabited by the Himalayan trading and herding community, the Bhotiyas. Also known…

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…