Kurmachal or Kumaun – The land of Vishnu

माटू हमरू, पाणी हमरू, हमरा ही छन यी बौण भी… पितरों न लगाई बौण, हमुनही त बचौण भी। (Soil ours, water ours, ours are these forests. Our forefathers raised them, it’s we who must protect them —Old Chipko Song ) The state of Uttarakhand, earlier referred to as Uttaranchal, is located in the northern part of India….

In the historical city of Alwar (Rajasthan): 5 things to see

Alwar (earlier known as Ulwar), a city in Rajasthan, is believed to have been a part of the ancient Matsya mahajanapada that had its capital at Viratnagar (now Bairat). It is said that the Meenas were the first to settle in Alwar and build a mud fort and town, remnants of which are still seen scattered…

Gaganendranath Tagore- A forgotten part of Bengal Art History

Few days back I came across a news link that spoke of the recent installation of paintings by Gaganendranath and Abanindranath Tagore in the Victoria Memorial museum gallery (Kolkata). The first feeling was of immense happiness seeing the two artists finally receiving their due places in the hall of fame. The second feeling was of…

Paintings by the colonial era Company artist: SitaRam

During the late 18th century as the East India Company expanded its control over Bengal and parts of  northern India, Indian painting technique and style underwent revolutionary changes. The Mughal style of painting using natural pigments and minerals were abandoned for the newly learned watercolour technique, and old painting themes that were based on historical…

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…

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…

Sanskriti Kendra- A hidden gem in Delhi

Growing up in a family where visiting a museum was akin to visiting a temple, it was but natural that when I shifted to Delhi, the first places on my to-visit list were the museums here. The national capital offers many museums, the most well known of which is the National Museum, a great favourite of mine,…