Bhubaneswar – Romance in Stones

Once sages asked Brahma, the creator God: ‘Which is the most excellent place on earth that bestows virtue (dharma), love (kama), wealth (artha) and salvation (mokshya)’. Brahama replied: ‘Bharata, the Indian Subcontinent…in particular, however, Utkala and its four great religious centers, Puri, Konarka, Ekamra and Viraja’.  In describing Ekamra (Bhubaneswar), the holy city of Shiva…

A Journey through Kondh Territory, a Tribe that Once Sacrificed Humans

‘Life is because of the Gods; with their sacrifice they gave us life, which nourishes life’ An Ancient Mesoamerican Belief In 1521 CE, when the Spanish explorer Hemán Cortťs conquered the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan what amazed him was the high intensity of human sacrifices performed in the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in honour of their…

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…

Sahana Beach and Devi Mouth – Odisha’s Best Kept Secret

From time immemorial living on sea coast has been a major attraction for humans across cultures. It is true that sea with its pristine beauty can often turn ugly (tsunami and cyclone) and take lives of both people and animals that have deep attachment to it in no time.  But when it is calm it…

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…

Splendours of Sonepur – In the land of Ramayana’s Lanka

Sirpur in Chhattisgarh (also known as Mahakosala) was the seat of power for Panduvamsa at a time when political turmoil was at its peak in East-Central India. During the reign of Mahasivagupta Balarjuna in the beginning of the 9th century CE, Mahakosala had been invaded by Rastrakutas from Deccan. With little hope for revival, a…