Ancient Temples of Kalachuri Period
Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh (MP)
Amarkantak, often refereed to as Tirtharaj or King of Pilgrimage is situated at an altitude of 1000 m in Anuppur district of Madhya Pradesh (MP). Amarkantak is located at the junction of the three central Indian ranges of Vindhyas, Satpuras and Maikal.
The mighty rivers of Sone and Narmada originate from Amarkantak. According to legend Sone and Narmada were to marry each other but Sone refused and flowed eastwards to join the Ganges near Patna.
Giyas-ud-din Balban’s Tomb
Mehrauli Archaeological Park, Delhi
Also see: Monuments of Mehrauli
Ghiyas-ud-din Balban was the ninth and the last major ruler of the famed slave dynasty. A Turk by origin Balban had a humble beginning as a water carrier boy, who was captured by the Mongols and sold as a slave in the bazars of Ghazni, Afghanistan.
The word “slave” is actually a misnomer, as the slave traders provided education and imparted military training to these slaves, because an educated slave with military training would fetch a higher price.
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
An amazing set of 16 interconnected lakes
See also: FAM (Familiarization) tour of Croatia
Plitvice Lakes in Croatia is a set of 16 amazing lakes interconnected by a series of waterfalls, rivulets and subterranean channels. They are separated by natural dams or travertine, which is deposited by the action of moss, algae, and bacteria.
The travertine grows at the rate of 1 cm per year creating a dynamic environment. With the travertine development numerous magnificent waterfalls are created. Over time, the water changes its course, leaving some travertine dry, but simulating travertine growth in other places. This phenomena makes the Plitvice Lakes are ever changing and creates the feeling that the Plitvice Lakes are never the same from one day to the next.
The Lost Generation: Chronicling India’s Dying Professions
Nidhi Dugar Kundalia
It was about four years ago, I received a phone call from an unknown lady. She introduced herself as Nidhi Dugar Kundalia, the assistant editor of Kindle Magazine and wanted some information about the traditional water carriers of Kolkata, the Bhistis. I provide her with what ever information I had.
I met Nidhi, a few months later, during the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Fest (AKLF) at the Lascar Memorial, after that we were completely out of touch apart from a few isolated messages in FB.
Early in 2016 I received a message from Nidhi, inviting me for her book launch in Quest Mall. The book titled The Lost Generation, is a chronicle of India’s dying profession and the bhistis also featured in the list of the vanishing professions of the country.
Apart from the bhistis the books covered ten other vanishing professions covering the length and breadth of the country. Apart from doing extensive field work the author also went through series of books, journals and papers on related topics. The long list of bibliography and notes are first hand proof of Nidhi’s extensive paper works.
Also my name appears in the acknowledgement section of the book, along with a host of other men and women, who have helped Nidhi in the compilation of the stories of the vanishing professions of India.
Tea Tasting with Goodricke
Gurusaday Road, Kolkata
I must drink a lot of tea or I can not work. Tea unleashes the potential, which slumbers in the depth of my soul.
The most common legend related to the discovery of tea dates back to 2737 BC in Yunnan provience in China. It happened during the reign of the Emperor Shen Nong. The story narrates that while the emperor was drinking from a bowl, a few leaves from the nearby tea plant fell in it. He liked the resulting beverage, which lead to the world wide phenomenon of tea drinking.
The taste of Africa in the heart of Incredible India
Baobab (genus Adansonia), popularly known as the upside down tree, is a native of Africa but grows abundantly in the Mandu region of Madhya Pradesh (MP).
An African native, it is an inhabitant of the dry region. The Baobab grows in abundance in western, eastern and southern Africa, including Madagascar. It is also found in the Arabian Peninsula and even Australia.
A Muslim Marwari Dyeing Community of Kolkata
Cloth, as well as yearns, of bright shades hanging from terraces to dry, is a common sight around the area of Nakhoda Masjid, in Chitpur area of Central Kolkata. This is the world of Rangrez!!!
Rangrez, a Muslim Marwari speaking community, dyes for a living. Today the rangrez community in Kolkata numbers around 3000 and few of families still practice the traditional method of dyeing.