Yaksha

The demi gods/ accessory deities or the Vyantara devatas With the rise of the element of bhakti during the early stages of religious worship (Varuna is the first to have been portrayed as the Vedic moral god, associated with the concept of sin, faith, and divine forgiveness; thus sowing the seeds of bhakti in Indic…

Worship of the Naga or Serpent Worship

The Naga worship or Serpent worship ( also known as Ophiolatry ) is among the oldest and most widespread forms of religious practices in that the world. In the minds of the early men there were a fear of the nature and powerful animals, with a feeling that they were stronger and wiser than him,…

Exploring the lanes of ancient Indian city architecture

After reading some of the heated debates on different Facebook forums centering on the term ‘Vedic architecture,’ I thought of exploring this subject a bit. This entailed I pull out books written by well known historians who had read and translated the original texts that dealt with topics related to ancient Indian architecture. Thanks to…

The Dolls and Masks of Bengal: a depiction through pictures

The history of Bengal goes long back archaeologically, wherein tools from the Stone Age era dating back to almost 20,000 years have been found from various excavated sites. In historical texts, we find that the epic Mahabharata talks of this area as divided into different kingdoms: Magadha, Banga, Pundra, Anga, and Suhma. Each part was…

Tibetan Culture and Traditions

In the land of lama, don’t be a gamma. A sage advice given by those that build and maintain roads in these cold, barren lands. Whoever has travelled to the distant high mountains of Ladakh and Spiti have seen these cautionary yellow boards with advice written in black by the BRO, asking drivers to be…

Gwalior Fort in the heartland of India, Madhya Pradesh

The old State of Gwalior in India’s madhyadesa Standing amidst the forest clad ridges, low topped hills and plateaus, valleys, plains, and many rivers (Chambal and its tributaries), the old State of Gwalior in Central India has been a silent witness to many historical proceedings from times immemorial. Geographically the territory could be divided into two…

From the Fort That Once Held the Hills~ Kangra fort

It was a long weekend in the searing heat of May 2014, and the three days looked perfect for a quick escape to the cooler hills. The idea of exploring the Kangra fort and Norbulingka Institute (close to Mcleodgunj) had been egging me for quite some time, and at that particular moment looked especially inviting…

Kalpavriksha or the Tree of Life – Origins and Historical Relevance

Moolatho Brahma roopaya, madhyatho Vishnu roopine, Agratha shiva roopaya Vruksha rajaya they Nama. (My salutations to the king of trees. Whose root is the form of Brahma, Middle is the form of Lord Vishnu, And top is the form of Lord Shiva.) Aswatha sarva papani satha janma arjithanicha, Nudhaswa mama vrakshendra, sarva aiswarya pradho bhava….