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 led the life of an ascetic…

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…

In the Land of Mahabharath – Temples of Uttarakhand

Those sparkling snow peaks swirling diamond dust in the bluest of skies, those majestic and divine deodar trees preserving age old silence and those green blue ribbons of water, flowing down the mountain slopes with noise and gust, full of inner joy !     Himalayas, from ancient times have been revered as a sacred…

Himalayan Temples – A Himachali Sojourn

Growing up in Darjeeling and Kolkata, and being a regular visitor to the neighbouring state of Sikkim, as a child I invariably associated the Himalayas with gaily painted Buddhist monasteries or gompas, fluttering colourful flags that kept away evil spirits, and maroon robed monks. It was much later when I travelled to Uttarakhand and Himachal…

Kalpavriksha and Its Depiction in Art and Architecture – An Overview

Moolatho Brahma roopaya, madhyatho Vishnu roopine, Agratha shiva roopaya Vruksha rajaya they Nama. My salutations to the king of trees. Whose root is the form of Brahma, Middle is the form of Lord Vishnu, And top is the form of Lord Shiva. Aswatha sarva papani satha janma arjithanicha, Nudhaswa mama vrakshendra, sarva aiswarya pradho bhava….

Rejoinder – Katarmal Sun Temple

In one of our earlier posts on Katarmal Sun Temple, author Shubham Mansingka, after a visit to the Sun Temple in Katarmal village in Uttarakhand, wondered if ASI did anything more than put a few boards here and there. In response to his query, Mr Niraj Kumar Verma from ASI spoke to us thus : What you…

Pashupata Cult and the Ancient Temples of Bhubaneshwar

During 1980s, I visited Bhubaneswar regularly and as a child one thing that always fascinated me were its numerous Shiva temples. Richly adorned with sculptures of Hindu divinities, mythical beasts, foliage and ordinary men and women, the child in me wondered why there were so many temples dedicated to a single deity? As I grew…

Katarmal Sun Temple – Interesting, Intriguing, Invisible

A passerby mentioned the name ‘Surya Mandir of Katarmal’ when I was whiling away my time in Kasar Devi near Almora in Uttarakhand. I had earlier thought that Konark was the only Sun Temple in India but over a period of time it was known that there are Sun Temples in Modhera, Gujarat, Martand, Kashmir and also in…

Betwa – Flowing in the Heart of India

In the annals of Indian history, rivers occupy a special place. Revered as deities by Hindus, rivers mobilized resources, ideas and agricultural wealth. If there is something that strongly characterizes the idea of India, it is her endless river system. The very name ‘India’ or ‘Hind’ has been derived from the river Indus, first cited…