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 pond … Continue reading Dholavira – India’s First Water Tech Park
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 … Continue reading Rogan Art – A journey from the Sindh to White House
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 … Continue reading Ajrakh – A Journey with Dr. Ismail Mohammad Khatri
Gulf of Khambhat previously known as the Gulf of Cambay had been India’s magnet to pull ideas and resources throughout the history. Situated between the Saurashstra Peninsula and the mainland of Gujarat, it receives drainage from a number of rivers, the prominent ones being Narmada, Tapi and Mahi Sagar and has the highest known tidal … Continue reading The Port of Ghogha – Where India met Arabs
There is an old Gujarati proverb on the Patola that goes something like this - "PADI PATOLE BHAT, FAATE PAN FITE NAHI". This roughly translates to ' The design laid down in patola shall never fade even when the cloth is torn.' With a guarantee of lasting close to 100 years and a design that … Continue reading Patan’s Patola – A Weaver’s Perspective
Remember your Class 8 History textbooks? One of the most interesting chapters is on the Age of Exploration or the Age of Discovery that dominated the world history between the 16th and the 18th centuries CE. During this era, seafaring traditions proliferated and so did the trading of goods. This led the Europeans to search … Continue reading The Dutch Connection – Katargam Cemetery and Hortus Malabaricus
In 1990s when I was a doctoral student in Pune’s Deccan College, I did not know much about step-wells or vavs (in Gujarati), Gujarat’s incredible subterranean structures that were created for rainwater harvesting. I only knew briefly about Rani ni Vav at Patan, a uniquely embellished and ornamental underground structure for water conservation in the … Continue reading Step – Wells of Gujarat – a Timeless Journey
On my recent trip to Vapi, I decided to take a day’s tour to the nearby Parsi coastal village called Udvada. The most important Zoroastrian religious center with lot of heritage value to it, Udvada is frequented by Parsis and Iranis from all over the world. However, not many non-Parsis visit Udvada as the village has stayed away from branding itself as a heritage destination. Also non-Parsis are not allowed in the supreme Parsi Fire Temple (Agiyari), called Atash Behram located in Udvada. But in my case, the photographer in me gets awakened whenever I hear about a heritage destination. And that’s followed by the definite visit to that place.
Atash Behram, the holiest fire temple of Parsis all over the world
After doing some internet research and gathering information from some Parsi friends, I pushed off to Udvada.
Along with it being a religious center, Udvada is also a…
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On 2nd August 1616, a Dutch merchant named Pieter Venden Broecke arrived on the shore of Surat looking for prospects of trade. He was well received by the local Mughal governor but failed to make any business agreement as the governor did not have the power to give license for a factory establishment. Broecke sailed … Continue reading Surat’s Dutch Legacy – Dotivala Bakery
Imagine Indian Subcontinent, what if there were no coasts! Geographically speaking, the oceans bring in moisture and that get converted into monsoon rains every year sustaining billions of human and wildlife and thus making India as world’s densest region. Likewise historically speaking, the oceans brought in revenue, resources and ideas. The Mughals might have chosen … Continue reading Mandvi’s Sea Trade – A Pilot’s Story