Nabapatrika | Unique Ritual of Durga Puja

Nabapatrika was a popular ancient ritual performed by the peasants/farmers worshipping Mother Nature for rich and bountiful harvest. With the popularity of the Durga Puja, this ritual was assimilated in the festivities. This important ritual of Durga Puja is an example of inclusiveness — harmonious synthesis of Vedic and ancient non-Vedic rituals. As we cry for climate change and environment, here is the highest form of regard for the environment where goddess Durga is symbolized by the Banana Plant and the important plants and trees are worshiped for the preservation instead of devastation. Continue reading Nabapatrika | Unique Ritual of Durga Puja

Tarangambadi | The Land of Singing Waves

Tarangambadi is the land of singing waves in Tamil Nadu, India. The place dates back to the 14th century. From 1620 to 1845 it was a Danish settlement ruled by Governors, till the British took over its administration. Tarangambadi became Tranquebar for the Danes. It’s the place where the first printing press was established in India. The beach in Tarangambadi has been identified as the one of the most Ozone-rich beaches in the world by various studies conducted by the Danes in 1960’s and Indian researchers. This place has an ancient Shiva temple, churches, fort, museums, and a tranquil beach where sea waves sing. This is a nice place for a quick getaway in South India. Continue reading Tarangambadi | The Land of Singing Waves

Ancient City Shaduppum | Mesopotamia

Although Shaduppum was established as early as the late third millenium BCE, during the days of Sargon of Akkad, Shaduppum didn’t rise to prominence until the second millennium BCE, where it seems to have been a heavily fortified administrative station for the kingdom of Eshnunna, and its name means “the treasury.” Among the tablets from Shaduppum are two with parts of the Laws of Eshnunna as well as some important mathematical tablets, which are not only interesting, but surprising too. There remains much we don’t know about Shaduppum, that we may never know, but one thing is clear: Shaduppum was a city that had a little bit of everything that made it a Mesopotamian city worth a look. Continue reading Ancient City Shaduppum | Mesopotamia

Goddess Ninmakh and Her Temple in Babylon

Located in the fabled ancient city of Babylon, adjacent to the Processional Way and the iconic Ishtar Gate, the Ninmakh Temple was rebuilt several times during the reigns of Esarhaddon, Assurbanipal, and Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century BCE. Ninmakh is the Sumerian Mother Goddess and one of the oldest and most important in the Mesopotamian Pantheon. She is principally a fertility goddess. Ninmakh subsumed the characteristics of similar deities like Ki (earth) and others, and was later herself subsumed by the fertility goddess Inanna/Ishtar. Continue reading Goddess Ninmakh and Her Temple in Babylon

Encountered a Highway Dacoity in Jharkhand

It was in the month of January 2001. I was then posted at the bank’s zonal office in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state. Occasionally, I had to visit various branches in the state of Jharkhand for official purposes. Many areas in Jharkhand were infested with Maoist rebels then. From the security point of view, we used to travel during the daytime and reach the … Continue reading Encountered a Highway Dacoity in Jharkhand

Mukteshvara Temple (Bhubaneswar)

Mukteshvara means “Lord of Freedom”. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Located in the capital city Bhubaneswar, the Mukteshvara Temple is a regal monument that dates back to the 9th-10th century CE. Mukteswar temple is literally a dream realized in sandstone. The temple is said to be the structure, where sculpture and architecture are in synchronization with one another. The Mukteshvara Temple is the finest example of a perfect blend between sculpting and architecture. Continue reading Mukteshvara Temple (Bhubaneswar)

Celebration | Durga Puja, Varanasi

The festival season in India means bright colours, lights, giant floats, ceremonies and excitement. The major Indian celebration is Durga Puja (Puja meaning worship). The Hindu Goddess Durga is the goddess of Shakti (power). Magic may be the only word that best describes the pageantry and fanfare that revolves around Durga Puja. While going through some old pictures yesterday, I came across the photographs of … Continue reading Celebration | Durga Puja, Varanasi

Itkhori | A Place of Religious Tolerance

Itkhori in Chatra district of Jharkhand state of India is situated at around 150 km from Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand, at the confluence of two rivers named ‘Mahane’ and ‘Baksa’. Bhadrakali temple complex is a symbol of religious tolerance for centuries. It is a wonderful place with abundance of historic reminiscences and archaeological remnants demonstrating a breath-taking saga of religious tolerance and cultural unity. Continue reading Itkhori | A Place of Religious Tolerance

Durga Puja in Kolkata | Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Kolkata’s Durga Puja is India’s official nomination for the 2020 edition of the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Durga Puja is not only a religious festival, it is the most significant socio-cultural event in Bengal. Though predominantly originated in the Hindu ritual and legends, the Durga Puja celebration cross cuts the communal divide in many of its attributes. It is an epitome of harmony across caste, class, creed and religion. Continue reading Durga Puja in Kolkata | Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity