Khichan – A model of ‘Vasudeva Kutumbakam’

‘Unless we live with non-violence and reverence for all living beings in our hearts, all our humaneness and acts of goodness, all our vows, virtues, and knowledge, all our practices to give up greed and acquisitiveness are meaningless and useless. He who harms animals has not understood or renounced deeds of sin… Those whose minds…

Jawai – Where Leopards are Locals

‘We went to India not only to observe the changes that had occurred since my former visit, 23 years ago, at the conclusion of our Philippine war, but also to visit places of interest, see something of the military air and ground forms, visit some old friends and acquaintances and then have a good tiger…

Mawphlang Sacred Forest – A Photo Story

Its no secret that India’s northeast is treasure-trove of many fascinating places. Ranging from varied natural wonders, age old archeological remains, living cultural sites of various tribes to religious places of mythological importance, India’s incredible north-east has it all! While on my trip to Meghalaya, I got an opportunity to visit one such interesting place – the…

Mangalajodi– Where Ashoka is Born and Dies Every Other Day

Emperor Ashoka, 268 – 223 BCE, popularly known as Ashoka the Great became a Buddhist after witnessing firsthand the large number of casualties during Kalinga War. It was a turning point in human history. One among the many measures the emperor took was  promulgating and execution of world’s first animal right laws. Through his edicts…

Megaliths of Mallachandram

 “Megaliths were not built for commoners. They signify the emergence of a ruling class or elite who presided over a surplus economy,” Ravi Korisettar, Retired Professor of Archaeology, Karnatak University. The mega mausoleums and charming  Chattris (cenotaphs) did have a predecessor in megalithic sites strewn all over the world. Megalithic culture whose remnants in the form of neatly…

Ziro Valley – An Apatani Enclave

They say that behind everything beautiful there is some kind of pain and I couldn’t agree more especially when it came to visiting the remote Ziro Valley of Arunachal Pradesh in India’s Northeast. After 3 flights i.e. Mumbai- Delhi- Bagdogra- Guwahati, a 10 hour bus journey in the dark of the night to Itanagar, the state…

Traversing the Ganges, from Old Times to New – Part II

Once upon a time, when man did not bind waters for his own selfish needs, rivers moved freely. They traversed borders, crossed countries, beginning from one and ending in another; sometimes merging with rushing brooks, and sometimes branching away into runnels. They formed a network of  waterways, which seamlessly interwove varying cultural, religious, and social patterns…

Godavari … Gautami … Dakshin Ganga

The Queen of Deccan Plateau, spanning Maharashtra, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, in length, second only to the celestial Ganga and in spirit ,the Ganga herself reincarnated at the Brahmagiri is the celebrated river goddess of peninsular India, the mighty Godavari. Literally meaning ‘the one who nourishes cows’, Godavari is a giver in all respects. Flowing…

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…

Traversing the Ganges, from Old Times to New – Part I

A lifeline that has defined human civilisation. A river that holds a cosmos in itself,  a fascinating  world of flora and fauna, unseen from above, yet pulsating below, under tranquil waters. (Pic – Yamuna in Agra. Yamuna is the largest tributary of the river Ganges) In a land where infrequent monsoons are held as the main season,…

Nirankaranchi Rai – The Mysterious Myristica Swamp

It was a short flight of stairs that descended into a runnel. Minutes before I took the stairs, I was delighted to see three beautiful Blue Mormons playfully chasing each other. Its iridescent blue dots on velvety black wings are hard to miss though one could easily mistake it for a small blue bird due…

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…