Langudi – Odisha’s Miraculous Buddhist Hill

Year 1995! I had just registered my PhD programme on Buddhist Archaeology at Pune’s Deccan College. I had come to Odisha for my initial fieldwork. On a fine late afternoon, I had stumbled upon Langudi Hill with my other companions Dr Pradip Mohanty and Dr Harish Prusty, both experts in Buddhist Archaeology. Remains of Rock-Cut … Continue reading Langudi – Odisha’s Miraculous Buddhist Hill

Barbara Forest – A Blend of Nature, Indigenous Culture and Archaeology

It was 6 PM on an October Day. I was at Salia Dam enjoying the pristine beauty of nature, sun going down against the western sky turning it into a pallet of golden and turmeric hues; and a fisherman sailing through the placid water after the day’s catch in his bamboo raft, a watercraft that … Continue reading Barbara Forest – A Blend of Nature, Indigenous Culture and Archaeology

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)’. Brahma replied: ‘Bharata, the Indian Subcontinent...in particular, however, Utkala and its four great religious centres, Puri, Konarka, Ekamra and Viraja’.  In describing Ekamra (Bhubaneswar), the holy city of Shiva … Continue reading Bhubaneswar – Romance in Stones

From ‘Muthi Anukula’ to ‘Kheta Badia’ – A Photo Journey through Odia Rice Culture

Akshaya Trutiya – when a large part of India celebrates this summer festival buying fresh gold, the farmers of Odisha begin their agriculture cycle of the year. On this auspicious day, the farmers of Coastal Odisha celebrate ‘Muthi Anukula’ starting the sowing work of fresh paddy crops at their village farms. Odisha is an agrarian … Continue reading From ‘Muthi Anukula’ to ‘Kheta Badia’ – A Photo Journey through Odia Rice Culture

Charu Maa – The Face of Durga Maa

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

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

From time immemorial living on seacoast 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 the lives of both people and animals that have a deep attachment to it in no time.  But when it is calm … Continue reading Sahana Beach and Devi Mouth – Odisha’s Best Kept Secret

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 … Continue reading Osakothi Rituals in Ganjam – An Anthropological Journey

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 lead the life of an ascetic … Continue reading Illustrating Ramayana Katha – Biranchi Narayan Temple at Buguda

Papier Mache – The Story of Odia Mukha and its Master Artisan

Imagine Odisha or in that matter, rural India before the economy was made open in the 1990s and penetration of cheap Chinese goods in the rural market. Imagine rural Odisha before the flooding of television channels’ cheap entertainment shows such as Sas Bahu and the spread of much-hyped social media and free mobile phone entertainment. … Continue reading Papier Mache – The Story of Odia Mukha and its Master Artisan

Celebrating Seasons in Patachitra – a Tribute to an Artist’s Dream and Passion

‘Once upon a time...an exiled Yakha in a distant land Pinning for his beloved...urges to carry a message to her’ A yaksha could change its form at will, take to the sky and fly where his fancy takes him, become invisible and indulge in a variety of supernatural capers. But the yaksha of Kalidasa’s Meghadootam … Continue reading Celebrating Seasons in Patachitra – a Tribute to an Artist’s Dream and Passion