Heritage & Culture

Tusu Festival at Purulia

As our quest for all things traditional that are losing themselves to the chores of time continues, we decided to head towards Purulia this year to witness the Tusu festival. Tusu Festival or Tusu Parob is a harvesting festival celebrated in the Chhota Nagpur region of Eastern India that includes Purulia, Bankura, Medinipur in West Bengal and parts of Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha. The last days of the Bengali “Poush” month always call in for a great feast of “pithe” and “patisapta”. The month-end also called the “Makar Sankranti” also calls for a number of celebrations across rural Bengal....

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Chittorgarh – tales written in devotion and courage

While the country burned over the issue of “Padmavati” or “Padmaavat”, I quietly decided to pay a visit to the place where the legend lies so deeply rooted in the hearts of her people. So there was I at Chittorgarh, the kingdom of the legendary queen Padmini who was so beautiful that paeans were made about her grace, beauty and valour. As I entered this town of Rajasthan, I remembered all the stories that I had heard as a child from my uncle about Rani Padmini, Maharana Pratap and Panna Bai. I was entering into the territory of these...

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Armenian Christmas Celebration in Kolkata

With Christmas around the corner, Kolkata too is getting decked up in the mood of festivities. December 25th has now become a festival for all. Bow Barracks near Bowbazar celebrates the spirit of Christmas all through the week. But do you know, that another community that had made Calcutta its home way back in the seventeenth century celebrates Christmas on January 6th?  Yes, the Armenians celebrate Christmas on the 6th day of January and you can actually experience the Armenian Christmas celebration in the Holy Church of Nazareth at Armenian Street. During the Armenian Christmas season, the major events...

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Konark Sun Temple – the Poetry on stone

1200 master craftsmen and 12 long years of dedication built a masterpiece that is has gone down in the annals of time. The Konark Sun Temple is one of the most magnificent architectural wonders built during the middle of the 13th century under the patronage of King Narasimha Deva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. Situated at Odisha, Konark is a quaint town on the east coast of Bay of Bengal. This time, while we did the Diamond Triangle of Odisha, we visited Konark and Puri as well. Architecture of the Konark Sun Temple: This UNESCO World Heritage Site has...

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Rhythm of Hundred Drums – Wangala Festival

I was a bit disappointed when the cherry blossoms turned out to be no show at Shillong during the Cherry Blossoms Festival. But amidst all these, another festival caught my eyes. Rather, its name caught my fancy. It was the 100 Drums Wangala Festival celebrated in the Garo Hills. There was a two-line description saying that it was a local festival where 100 drums are played together. And I decided that I would visit Tura to find out about the 100 Drums Wangala Festival. Converting my thoughts to action, I started researching about the Wangala Festival. I found very...

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India International Cherry Blossom Festival, Shillong

I actually do not need a reason to visit Shillong. The lovely hill city is etched in my heart since I read “Sesher Kabita” (The Last Poem) by Rabindranath Tagore. There is something so affable about the city that makes it a wonderful destination. And when I heard about the Cherry Blossom Festival at Shillong, I simply realized that time has come to make a visit to this lovely place once again. What is Cherry Blossom Festival, Shillong? Well, whenever we talk about cherry blossoms, we are reminded of Japan and USA. The cherry trees bloom into gorgeous blossoms...

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Pushkar Fair – An extravaganza

A kaleidoscope of colours and a chaotic cacophony greeted me when I visited the Pushkar Fair this year. I have heard and read so much about this fair that in my mind I had already visited the place, traversed its alleys, took a dip in the holy lake while marvelling at the esoteric Brahma Temple and stared at the millions of camels displayed for trade. But when I actually visited the Pushkar Fair, I clearly realized that my imagination fell short of the actual magnanimity of the event! It was an overwhelming experience of the senses, especially that of...

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Historical Hampi – a complete travel guide

Hampi was in our bucket list for long. The place has everything that could possibly pull us towards itself – the story of a lost kingdom, architectural marvels from our past that we could boast of and a rugged yet alluring landscape. Hampi being a UNESCO World Heritage site was an added attraction (my love for these old, dull, decaying structures is now well known to my readers). So Hampi had to be in our trip when we visited Karnataka this year. Table of contents: Where is the historical city Hampi? What is the History of Hampi? Story about...

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Navratri Golu – a different form of Puja

Being a typical Bengali, Durga Puja has a special place. I dive headlong into all the fun and craziness during those four days. But, I also like to experience the culture of other communities and countries. So here I am, writing down about my experiences at Navratri Golu in Chennai. The idea of writing this post came to me when I saw the so many viral posts doing round the internet about how Durga Puja is so different from Navratri celebration in rest of the country. There was a post that was countered by another, and then another that...

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The Brihadeeswar Temple of Tanjore – an architectural delight

It was only a sheer chance that took me to Tanjore. I was in Chennai and was scheduled to visit Mahabalipuram and had 2 days to spare. It was when I saw the pictures of the Brihadeeswar Temple at Thanjavur (also known as Tanjore). The photographs were enough for me to make a decision to utilize my 2 spare days at Thanjavur. After our visit to Hampi the month before, I am fascinated towards the architectural wonders. Well, meeting a friend at Trichy was also an added incentive! So there I was with my backpack all ready to board...

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Tinvong, Dzongu – a village lost in time

It was almost at the end of our North Sikkim tour when we realized that we have a couple of days in hand and we do not want to visit Gangtok and Pelling. It was then when our car driver suggested that we should visit Dzongu. The place is a Lepcha Reserve Area. Well, a reserve area for a community! If that was not intriguing enough, an unexplored mountain hamlet of Sikkim was definitely inviting. So, Dzongu it is, we decided. “But, you need a permit to go there”, our driver said quite thoughtfully. And then looking at our...

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Kudremukh Trek – Western Ghats

Kudremukh is so beautiful! It was the first thought that came to my mind when I got a first glimpse of the peak. In the Kannada dialect “Kudre” means horse and “mukha” means face. And it happens so that the Kudremukh or Kudremukha peak appears like the face of a horse. Rolling green hills with the descending fog and mist, the place was simply beatific; and we were quite glad that we came for the trek. And more so, because we came just after the monsoons. Everything around us was green and fresh as if nature has painted a...

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