Kumbh Mela | Shahi Snan on Mauni Amavasya

The Kumbh Mela — the largest congregation in the world — sees world gathering of saints, pilgrims, devotees to take holy dips in the sacred confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mystical Saraswati. Bathing in these rivers is thought to cleanse and purify ones’ soul of all sins. Recognized by UNESCO as India’s ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’, Kumbh Mela never ceases to amaze and its amazement is always felt in the grandeur of it being the largest religious-cultural festival in the world. 

Significance of Rituals

Ritual formed structure and hierarchy and helped define their place in the world. Ritual gives shape to emotions and helps humans come to terms with the major events of life. As modern religions emerged, ancient rituals were absorbed into new forms. A religious ritual is a standardised, repetitive sequence of activities. It involves the manipulation of religious symbols such as prayers, offerings, and readings of sacred literature.

Shahbandar Café | A traditional cultural café

Shahbandar café is one of Bagh­dad’s few remaining traditional cultural cafés. Since opening its doors, Shahbandar café had become a hub of Baghdad’s intellectual life, drawing poets and politicians to its wooden benches and photo-lined walls.  The café still stands, a testament to the resilience of the country and the capital, Baghdad, even if so much has happened here. From British rule to modern-day Iraq, Shahbandar has lived through the birth of a nation, the toppling of its monarchy, decades of domination by Saddam Hussein, the drama of the US-led invasion and the bloody chaos that followed.

Sorshe Ilish | Hilsa in Mustard Gravy

Sorshe Ilish (Hilsa with mustard gravy) is an authentic Bengali dish made with mustard seed paste. It’s a traditional Bengali dish. The dish is popular among the people in West Bengal and Bangladesh. Nothing is more blissful than a plate of steamed rice with ilish fish with mustard gravy. The flavour of mustard and the taste of ilish is just made for each other. Anyone fond of fish, will truly obsess over the Ilish for the rest of their lives.

Iraqi Museum | Refuge for relics of the past

The Iraq Museum is one of the best archaeological museums in the world, containing the material evidence for the development of civilised human society from the very beginning of its history. The museum enshrines Iraq as the cradle of civilisation, the source of writing and statehood. Their collection covers over 5,000 years of Mesopotamian history.