A Journey through Mehmedabad’s Water Heritage structures

If you are a heritage lover and a resident of Ahmedabad and looking for a half a day out of the bustle of the city, then 35 km away the little town of Mehmedabad would not disappoint you. Situated on the bank of River Vatrak in neighbouring Kheda District, Mehmedabad with its half Hindu and…

Sunheri Mahal in Akbar’s Tomb – A Stucco Polychrome Wonder

‘These are the gardens of paradise. Enter them and live forever’. With these words created in beautifully sculpted calligraphy by Amanat Khan, the man who was also responsible for the best of world calligraphy at Taj Mahal you enter the sprawling charbagh of Akbar’s Tomb in Sikandara. On both sides of the pathway you are…

Sex for Liberation – Bhubaneswar’s Vaital Deula

On a busy road in the heritage district of Bhubaneswar is located Vaital Deula to what the Bhubaneswarias call Tinimundia Mandira because of its three amalaka crowns placed in a straight line over a boat shaped mastaka. The temple breaks the convention of Odiya style. Built in the style of a Buddhist chaitya, the temple…

Sawai Jai Singh’s Nahargarh – A Pride of Jaipur

A popular story goes: The young Jai Singh when first attended the Mughal court as Raja of Amer, his daring courage and quick-witted bantering appeased the anger of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and earned him that appellation. Aurangzeb was annoyed with Amer family because of the action of Jai Singh’s immediate predecessors, the Kachchwahas who…

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…

Raj Mahal of Orchha – A Jewel of Bundelkhand

While closely looking through murals at Orchha’s Laxmi Narayan Temple, my attention was dragged to a particular mural, the depiction of Raj Mahal with musical performance being celebrated at the front courtyard. You see the organization of space, women observing the show from first floor, few in the front pavilion and the rest in side…

Aragarh Hill – a Lost Buddhist World

In mid 1990s, as a PhD student when I was exploring the Daya River Valley I had spent quite a few days at Aragarh Hill and its surrounding villages to map early settlements and Buddhist sites. It was part of my intuition that Daya River was one important corridor for Odisha’s sea trade with Java,…

Jait Sagar of Bundi – A Timeless Journey

In the annals of Indian history, the name of Jaita Meena may not be known much. In 13th century on the edge of the Aravali Mountains Jaita ruled parts of Southeastern Rajasthan, which later came to be known as Hadoti. He was a Bhil, the Adivasis of Aravali and Satpura Mountains in West-Central India. Experts…