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,…

Documenting the worship of Rama in Bengal history

The curious case of Rama in West Bengal (written by me) Mahakavi Krritibas Ojha (1381–1461), a well known poet from Bengal, was the author of “Sri Rampanchali,” the Bengali version of the Sanskrit Ramayan. While he had largely changed the narrative of Valmiki’s Ramayan and made many additions of his own (making Ram quite different…

Kesa-vinyas or Hairstyles in Indian art- a photo exhibition by the ASI (2015)

My two bits as Introduction Hair is an important aspect of a person as well as that of an image or a murti. It gives it an individuality and adds to the personality or character of that person or image. The Chitrasutra of Vishnudharmottara purana names six different types of hairstyles: Kuntala (loose flowing hair), Dakshinavarta (hair curled…

Few Artefacts from the National Museum, Delhi

The National Museum in Delhi is a treasure trove, and anyone who loves history need just take a look around to vouch for this sentiment. The Museum houses almost 2,00,000 artifacts of various kinds, that cover a time span of more than five thousand years in the context of Indian heritage, both archaeological and cultural. The…

Kailasanathar in Kanchipuram/ Kanchi- A Pallava marvel in stucco and sandstone

Looking back at Kanchipuram   Kanchipuram, the city of thousand temples, was a part of Tondaimandalam division during the ancient and early medieval times. The city which lies between the two rivers Palar and Vegavati, is situated in the north-eastern part of Tamil Nadu. Kanchi is broadly divided into two main parts: the Vishnu Kanchi and Shiva…

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…

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…

Temple of Dance- the Ramappa temple complex in Palampet, Telengana

“The temple is a place of beauty, it is a place of revelation, it is a place of peace. It is the house of the Lord.” ― Howard W. Hunter The Palampet temples In a serene valley of the long forgotten village of Palampet, amidst vast crop fields, surrounded by wooded hills and a large lake, stands…

In the Land of Pilgrimage ~ Haridwar

Escaping the cycle of life and death In India, the tradition of pilgrimage is deeply rooted within the realms of its religious consciousness. Owing to large number of pilgrim spots spread all across this sub continent, the entire region can be labelled as one vast sacred space. There are early mentions of pilgrim spots or…