An unparalleled monument to the ageless art of story-telling, the tales of the One Thousand and One Nights have, for many centuries, titillated the imaginations of generations the world over. With her hair flowing down her back, her mouth curved into just the hint of a smile, her bronze hands gesturing gracefully, she spins tales of thieves and sailors and magic lamps for King Shahryar, who reclines in front of her.
The Teesta River originates in the Himalayas and flows through the Indian States of Sikkim and West Bengal before entering Bangladesh, where it flows into the Brahmaputra. Flowing through the length of Sikkim, the Teesta River is considered to be the lifeline of the state. The Teesta valley in Sikkim is rich in biodiversity, and the river provides livelihoods for the residents along its entire length of 393 km.
There is a statue of a beautiful young girl carrying a jar and pouring water down and surrounded by another forty jars around her on the crossroads between the famous Karrada Dakhil (the inner district) and Karrada Kharij (the outer district) in the capital city of Baghdad. Her name is Kahramana.
In the morning, we decided to go to Phuentsholing from Lataguri with our stay at Jaldapara. We had nice breakfast in Lataguri and then drove to Jaldapara. The best part of this trip was that we didn’t have any prior plan and reservations. We just decided and moved ahead. The drive to Jaldapara from Lataguri was very smooth and nice through forests, tea gardens with huge mountain range bordering the horizon.
Malana is an ancient Indian village in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Much before going to Malana village, I had read quite a lot about it. This solitary village in the Malana Nala, a side valley of the Parvati Valley to the north-east of Kullu Valley, is isolated from the rest of the world. The peaks of Chanderkhani and Deo Tibba shadow the village. It is situated on a remote plateau by the side of the torrential Malana river, at a height of around 10,000 feet above sea level. Malana has its own lifestyle and social structure and people are strict in following their customs.
Nowruz is a Farsi word, with “Now-” meaning new, and “-ruz” meaning “morning light” signifying the coming of a new day. Nowruz originates from ancient Zoroastrian religious traditions and is marked as the beginning of the new year. No one knows exactly how far back Nowruz dates. The best estimates sit somewhere in the range of 2,500 to 3,000 years. There are various stories regarding Nowruz’ origins, but based on Kurdish mythology, Kawa Asinger, a blacksmith bravely ended the tyrannical reign of King Zahak aka Dehak on this day.
Established by the Rajputs in the 18th century and a princely state of the British Rule in the 19th century, Maihar is a city in Madhya Pradesh. It is best known for the famous temple of Maa Sharda Devi (ca. 502 CE), situated on the top of the Trikoota Hills, which can be reached after climbing 1,063 steps. The name of city means ‘mother’s necklace’, and it got this name because, as per Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva was carrying his mother’s body when her necklace fell off. The place where it fell was in this city, which is why it is called Maihar. The city is a prominent place for the Indian classical music. It was originally the birthplace of the Maihar Gharana, a type of Hindustan music.
Ram Navami or Rama Navami is celebrated every year by the Hindus to commemorate the birth of Lord Rama, who is believed to be one of the Dashavatara (ten incarnations) of Lord Vishnu. Unlike other regions in India where Rama Navami festival is celebrated for a day, it is observed in Jharkhand for a full month.
The Kolarian tribes are believed to be one of the earliest settlers in the Indian subcontinent. Kolarians are Austroasiatic speakers. Genetic studies of Austroasiatic speakers suggest that the Austroasiatic language family may have arisen in India and spread east. Santhals, Mundas are two major Kolarian tribes. A myth may be defined as a story that serves to connect individuals to their cultures and to explain natural and supernatural phenomena, including the creation of the world and the origin of humans.
Ghosts are an important part of the folklore, and form an integral part of the socio-cultural beliefs of the people living in the geographical and ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. Popularly known as the Indian Halloween, Bhoot Chaturdashi is observed on the night before Kali Puja. Observed primarily in the eastern parts of India, it is said that on this night the dead walk among the living. The evil spiritual powers are seemingly heightened on this night. In order to keep the evil spirits at bay, people ritualistically observe Bhoot Chaturdashi every year.