Mishings of Majuli – An Anthropological Journey

Year 2017! Bipin Sivaji Dhane, a young alumnus of IIT Kharagpur visits Majuli and it was love at first sight. Bipin left his lucrative job in cosmopolitan Singapore to start a school in a remote village for the children of Mishing Tribe. A new journey was embarked upon through partnering with local Mishing community leaders…

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle in Bhubaneswar’s Walls – A Visual Treat

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle are the smallest and most abundant among all sea turtles found in the tropical world. They are found mostly in warm and tropical water, primarily in the Pacific and Indian Ocean. Growing to about 2 feet in length and weighing around 35 kilos, Olive Ridley Turtle are best known for their…

Charu Maa – The Face of Durga Maa

Our story starts in 7th century CE Bhubaneswar! It was the time in Indian history when personification of ideas came to be institutionalized.  One such idea was Natraraj, the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva, which you find profusely in temple walls of Bhubaneswar. Why Nataraj – for me the answer could be the metaphoric representation…

Terracotta Artist Manbodh Rana – An Inspiring Story

Long time ago! The art of cooking had not been invented. Everyone was surviving on raw food. There used to be problem of digestion. Many fell sick. Once everyone assembled at a central place and decided to have an audience with Lord Vishnu, the protector of the universe.   At Vaikuntha Puri, the abode of…

Osakothi Rituals in Ganjam – An Anthropological Journey

A story goes – On the way to heaven, the five Pandava brothers had rested on the veranda of a Brahmin’s house, where no woman was ever blessed with the birth of a child. Arjuna came forward to intervene. He erected a kothi and a chammundia (a temporary shelter) with the help of arrows. Through…

Gifts of Mother Earth– The Story of a Kosali Potter

Clay, Māti or Mitti – while rolling on its rustic surface, when you widen your ears, what you hear are stories of your ancestors of generations that you can’t count. In fact clay has been the greatest gift of nature. It is mother earth. It gives you food, provide shelter and what not. Clay is…

Travel through Digapahandi – Ganjifa’s Last Bastion

In some corner of my heart, I have developed 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 used…

The Heritage of Mahula Drink in Ganjam – An Anthropological Journey

Imagine 8th Century Odisha and in particular Bhubaneswar! A major Peeth of Tantra Sadhana practiced by a group of esoteric Shaivites, called Kapalikas, who worshiped Bhairava/Shiva and his consort Chamunda!! The central ritual of their tantric communion was to get indulged in alcohol and sexual intercourse.  Kapalaikas were masters in converting both ascetics and lay…