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Temple of Dakshin Rai, Dhapdhapi

October 16, 2019 Leave a comment

Temple of Dakshin Rai

Dhapdhapi, 24 Parganas (South)

Dakshin Rai or Dakshin Ray, literally meaning the King of the South, is the local deity of Sundarban and rules over beast and daemons. He is worshiped by all those who enter the Sunderban forest, for subsistence, irrespective of their caste, creed or religion.

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Idol of Dakshin Rai, Dakshineswar Temple, Dhapdhapi

There are lot of controversies regarding Dakshin Rai, although considered and worshiped as god by many but many other considered him as a demon with a uncanny curving for human flesh.

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Durga Idol Immersion and flight of Nilkantha Bird

October 9, 2019 2 comments

Durga Idol Immersion and Flight of Nilkantha Bird

A new twist to an age old custom

Also see: My compilation on Fanush

যাও উড়ে নীলকণ্ঠ পাখি, যাও সেই কৈলাসে,
দাও গো সংবাদ তুমি, উমা বুঝি ঐ আসে।

Sovabazar Nilkantha 19 7

The symbolic Neelkantha Bird, in the form of Fanush. heads for the heavens

Doshomi, marks the end of of the Durga Puja and on this day Maa Durga along with her children makes her journey back home to her heavenly abode in Kailash.

According to legend the arrival of the goddess back to her home is informed, to her  husband Lord Shiva, by a Neelkantha Bird. The Bengali poem at the beginning of the blog post mentions the journey of the Neelkantha Bird.

For centuries the traditional households (bonedi bari) of Kolkata have been following the tradition of releasing the Neelkantha Bird on the afternoon of Doshomi.

Two birds were released. The first one was released in front of  the house when the goddess made her way out of the house. The second was released when the goddess was immersed in water.

Neelkantha, literally meaning the blue throat, represents Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is also known by the same name due to his blue coloured throat.

According to legend a huge amount of poison was ejected during the charming of the ocean. In order to save the mankind from the poison Lord Shiva drank it. It resulted into his blue throat and hence the name Neelkantha.

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Theatre Museum, Salt Lake, Kolkata

September 12, 2019 3 comments

Theatre Museum

Salt Lake, Kolkata

Recently Kolkata witnessed an opening of a large number of theme based museums. Included among them is Ami Kolkata, a museum dedicated to the city itself and Reserve bank of India (RBI) Museum.

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Portion of the modern theatre gallery, Theatre Museum, Kolkata

But the city has never been new to theme based museums. Birla Industrial & Technology Museum, Nehru Children Museum, Kolkata Police Museum, Postal Museum, Boat Museum, etc are integral part of Kolkata’s heritage.

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Reserve Bank of India Museum, Kolkata

August 14, 2019 Leave a comment

Reserve Bank of India Museum

Kolkata

Do you know, long before the introduction of money food grains, salt, replicas of tools, cowries and even giant donut shaped stones served as a medium of exchange? The newly opened Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Museum provides an extensive insight into the history of money and banking.

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An installation showing the evolution of money, RBI Museum, Kolkata

Opened on 11 March 2019 this is the second RBI museum in the country. It came 21 years after the inaugural one opened its gates at the Mumbai headquarters.

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Jadu Ghosh er Rath (Chariot of Jadu Ghosh), Chandannagar

July 17, 2019 5 comments

Jadu Ghosh er Rath (Chariot of Jadu Ghosh)

Chandannagar

See also: Rath Yatras of West Bengal

When it comes to Rath (or Ratha) Yatra (Chariot Festival) the first thing that comes into mind is Puri, Orissa (Odissa). The towering raths (chariots) of Puri have almost become synonymous with Ratha Yatra.

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Jadu Ghosh er Rath (Chariot of Jadu Ghosh), Chandannagar

But West Bengal, the neighbouring state of Orissa, also houses several Rath Yatra festivals, complete with towering raths. Some of this rath yatras dates back a couple of centuries and attracts devotees from far and wide.

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Yuksam, The first Capital of Sikkim

July 11, 2019 1 comment

Yuksam

The first Capital of Sikkim

Also see: Chalamthang and Yuksam, a family tour of South and West Sikkim

In the middle of the 17th century, Lama Lutsum Chembo travelled southwards from Tibet with the mission of establishing a Buddhist monarchy in the hidden country of Denjong (modern-day Sikkim), meaning the valley of rice.

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Throne of Norbugang, Yuksam, West Sikkim

After a long journey, he reached a place called Norbugang in 1641. There, he met Sempa Chembo and Rinzing Chembo. The three holy men started searching for a monarch to rule the land. They found the right candidate, named Phunstok, near Gangtok. He was the great grandson of legendary Sikkimese hero Guru Tashi.

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Walking Tour of Pelling, West Sikkim

Walking Tour of Pelling, West Sikkim

Chenrezig Statue, Skywalk, Sangachoeling Monastery, Rabdantse Ruins, Sidkeong Tulku Bird Park and Pemayangtse Monastery

Also see: Chalamthang and Yuksam, a family tour of South and West Sikkim

Pelling in West Sikkim offers breathtaking views of Mt Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak of the world, no wonder it is one of the most visited tourist spots in the whole of Sikkim.

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Giant statue of Chenrezig (Avalokitesvara), Pelling

Apart from Kanchenjunga Pelling also has a host of other tourist attraction, which includes Rimbi & Kanchenjunga Waterfall, Khecheopalri Lake, Rabdentse Ruins, Pemayangtse Monastery and Singshore Bridge.

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