Kaman Pandigai

Lovely blossoming mango flowers are his lovely arrows,                                Kinsuka is the bow and black bees its string.                                Bright moon is his imperial canopy,                                And the spring breeze is mighty elephant.                                Cuckoos sing like minstrels,                                Behold !…

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…

Shigmotsav of Goa – Celebrating Life and Land

As the winter gets ready to make an exit from the land of Govapuri, when the fields are ready with the season’s harvest, the hard working peasant community gears up for the indigenous Shigmo festival. The festival that can be called as an exclusive legacy of Goa and its neighboring areas is the festival that…

Dola Jatra – The other Rath Yatra

When world was water, you became a tireless vessel of the Vedas. You, in Pisces form, Keshava: conqueror of the world, Hari!   When this heavy earth you carried on your callused tortoise back, how venerable you were, Keshava: conqueror of the world, Hari!   A blemish on the hare-marked moon, the earth became as…

Theyyam – God’s Own Dance

2 am is not exactly a time when people are expected to stay awake let alone dance or perform a divine ritual. But then Theyyam is unlike any dance or worship ritual ever experienced. It is the dance of the Gods themselves when they come calling on the people. A disambiguation of the Sanskrit word…

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…

Bikaner – Town Of A Thousand Splendid Mansions

 Way back in 1990s, when I first heard about the magnificence of Havelis or traditional Indian mansions of Bikaner  I  nourished a subtle desire to visit in person and appreciate the impressive architecture of the Havelis. The newspaper feature articles that used to appear in the intervening period until my first visit to Bikaner circa 2000…

Dundlod in Shekawati – A Timeless Heritage

A short distance from Nawalgarh, one of the largest painted towns of Shekawati in Rajasthan takes you to Dundlod, a picture postcard Rajasthani village famous for its Goenka havelis and chhatris. In the 18th Century, East India Company had a strong establishment in Calcutta. The backbone of their trade was produce that came from hinterland….

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…

Finding Shravasti (Sāvatthī)

While growing up I often heard recitations of the poem Bonolota Sen, written by Jibonananda Das in 1942. In this poem, the poet beautifully describes his muse, painting her with various attributes from ancient India. One of the most enigmatic poems that I have read, the words cut deep into the reader’s soul as he…