In Search of Guru Nanak’s Shrine in Baghdad

Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, spent three months in Baghdad with his associates Bhai Mardana and Bhai Bala on his return to India from Mecca. The holy site is in the backyard of Baghdad railway station surrounded by graveyards. War, insurgents or looters have wiped any trace of a historical footnote that had preserved the memory of the Sikh Guru’s 16th-century journey through Arabia and his stay in Baghdad. There is no trace of anything Sikh on the site now. Continue reading In Search of Guru Nanak’s Shrine in Baghdad

Decorating Goddess Durga

The prominence of the worship of Durga dates back to a time in history that can best be described as the hoary past often considered to be similar in nature to the gradual development of mother and nature worship across the globe. The ornamentation is evolving through the ages. There were mainly two kinds of embellishments or saaj that used to be made then – sholar saaj and daker saaj. But nothing remains forever. Now, Durga idols are decorated with colourful sarees and ornaments. Continue reading Decorating Goddess Durga

Golden Lyre of Ur | Mesopotamia

It is unknown which culture was the first to create music, but a set of beautiful Sumerian instruments from the city of Ur provide us with some insight into the world of ancient music. The famous Lyres of Ur, which are somewhat similar to modern harps, are the oldest stringed instruments unearthed to date. The Golden Lyre, found in the Great Death Pit at the Royal Cemetery of Ur (in southern Iraq), got its name because the whole head of the bull is made of gold. The eyes are made of inlaid mother-of-pearl and lapis lazuli. Research has shown that the bull played a key role in the religious imagination of the Sumerians: it could serve as the deity’s divine animal or the god himself could take on the form of a bull. Continue reading Golden Lyre of Ur | Mesopotamia

Agatha Christie Lived in Baghdad

Agatha Christie doesn’t need any introduction. We grew up reading the detective novels of the British writer, who authored 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, particularly those revolving around fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. According to UNESCO’s Index Translationum, she remains the most-translated individual author. After a devastating divorce, she took a trip to Baghdad in 1928 and lost her heart — to the ancient sites of Iraq and archaeologist Max Mallowan. Continue reading Agatha Christie Lived in Baghdad

Gold Helmet of Meskalamdug | Mesopotamia

Elaborate hairstyles became important for both men and women in Mesopotamia. The kings began to wear a full beard and long braided hair tied in a large bun at the nape of his neck. Women continued to wear their hair long, twisting it into large buns that covered the top of the head to the base of the neck and adorning it with ribbons and pins. The wealthiest people decorated their elaborate hairstyles with beautifully made jewelry of gold and silver. The gold of the helmet of Meskalamdug was expertly formed to resemble the hairstyle popular for men of the time: waves around the face with a bun tied in the back. Continue reading Gold Helmet of Meskalamdug | Mesopotamia

Chowringhee is older than the city of Kolkata

Nobody is quite sure how Chowringhee, one of Kolkata’s most iconic roads, got its name. Chowringhee, not quite an arterial road but one of the city’s longest thoroughfares today, connects two parts of the city — Kalighat and Dharmatolla — to each other. Chowringhee is one of the best addresses in Kolkata. It still oozes of the imperial heritage. The building nearby are majestic and imposing and reminds of the British raj. Continue reading Chowringhee is older than the city of Kolkata

Taki | Epar Bangla, Opar Bangla

On December 16, 1971, the Pakistani Army surrendered to the Indian Army and Mukti Vahini at around 5 p.m. at the Race Course ground in Dhaka, resulting into creation of Bangladesh. India and Bangladesh are celebrating the 50th victory day this year. It’s a proud day for both the nations. I was recollecting my closest sight of Bangladesh from India. Continue reading Taki | Epar Bangla, Opar Bangla

Guru Nanak’s Footprints in Baghdad’s Soil

Guru Nanak came to Baghdad with his Muslim associate Bhai Mardana on his return from Mecca and Medina. A hymn, written by the poet and philosopher Bhai Gurdas, part of the holy scriptures of the Sikhs, recounts Guru Nanak’s travels with Mardana, their arrival in Baghdad and lodging outside the city. Baba Nanak Shrine or Sikh Gurdwara in Baghdad, which was rediscovered by Sikh soldiers during World War I and was repaired and rebuilt during World War II by Sikh soldiers again; existed till 2003 in good shape. Continue reading Guru Nanak’s Footprints in Baghdad’s Soil

Mundeshwari Mandir | Oldest Hindu Temple in India

The Mundeshwari Temple is located at Ramgarh village of Bhagwanpur block in Kaimur district in the Indian state of Bihar on the Mundeshwari Hills. It is an ancient temple dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and Shakti. It is believed that rituals and worship have been performed here without a break, hence the Mundeshwari temple is considered as the oldest functional Hindu temple of India. The temple is an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected monument since 1915. Continue reading Mundeshwari Mandir | Oldest Hindu Temple in India