Jaugada – Beyond Ashokan Edicts

Who does not like listening a good story? Otherwise what is there in a desolate archaeological site, such as Jaugada in Rusikuliya Valley of southern Odisha. In the 3rd Century BCE, it was a flourishing civilisation. Known as Samapa, its prosperity had dragged Ashoka to address its provincial head, Mahamatta and its people on dhamma…

Mallinath Ji Temple at Bankli – Where Shiva is a Folk God

In India, if you are a foreign tourist seeking knowledge about Hinduism, there are scores of books, both affordable and expensive, yet most of all concentrate on formal Hindu gods and goddesses, such as Shiva, Vishnu and Durga. Yet there is another side of Hinduism that revolves around folk beliefs and folk heroes, who once…

Bengaluru’s St Mary Church – A Place of Intense Devotion

Today is Christmas, a day celebrated world over for the birth of Christ, the man who showed humanity the path of love. In India, Christianity is as old as the religion itself. Two thousand years before, Christianity arrived here from its holy land to Malabar Coast at Muziris. In the Middle Age Roman Catholics had…

Wells of Shekawati – A World beyond the Painted Havelis

When you decide to travel into the heartland of Shekawati, what draws to your popular imagination is its painted havelis filled with themes of 18th-19th centuries India commissioned by erstwhile Marwari merchants of the region who made their fortunes at Calcutta and elsewhere. Almost all travel websites and bloggers allure you to its splendid havelis….

Kumatagi – Once a Dazzling Spa Now a Shepherd’s Grazing Ground

In the might of the battlefield at Kurukshetra, when Arjuna is deeply moved anticipating the devastation and severe loss of life of all his cousins, Lord Krishna, his sarathi comes to counsel with words ‘Change is the law of universe. You can be a millionaire, or a pauper in an instant’. Yes, I felt exactly…