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Maa Phire Elo, Durga Museum, Rabindra Sarobar

April 14, 2021 Leave a comment

Maa Phire Elo

Durga Museum, Rabindra Sarobar

Durga Puja in Kolkata is often considered as the Greatest Carnival of Earth. The festivities of the four day long Durga Puja often extend over a week and turns the entire city into a temporary art gallery.

Panoramic view of the interior of the Ma Phire Elo, Durga Museum, Rabindra Sarobar

Panoramic view of the interior of the Maa Phire Elo, Durga Museum, Rabindra Sarobar

Hundreds of pujas are held all over the city and each is a virtual art gallery with elaborate design often following a theme. The theme can range anything from environmental conservation to women empowerment.

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Dariyapur, Dokra Village

Dariyapur

Dokra Village

Also see: Weekend family trip to Bhalki Machan

The Covid 19 outbreak have changed the way we live and after spending over 10 months confined at home we finally decided to hit the road. The visit to the Dariyapur, Dokra Village was part of a weekend trip to Bhalki Machan.

Gate of the Dokra Crafts Centre, Dariyapur

Gate of the Dokra Crafts Centre, Dariyapur

It was a two-day trip and included several side trips covering a variety of places. Our first stop for the second day was the Dokra Village of Dariyapur.

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David Sassoon Library, Mumbai

David Sassoon Library

Kala Ghoda, Mumbai

Bang opposite the Kala Ghoda (Black Horse) stands an elegant building, complete with pointed arches and crowned with a clock. It is the David Sassoon Library. The library building along with several Victorian Gothic and Art Deco buildings of the region is part of a UNESCO Heritage Site known as The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai.

David Sassoon Library, Mumbai

David Sassoon Library, Mumbai

The origin of the library dates back to 1847 when a group of young mechanics and foremen of the Royal Mint and Government Dockyard established a museum for mechanical models and architectural design. The museum also housed a small library. The institute and the library came to be known as the Bombay Mechanics Institue.

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Bannabagram, Baul Ashram

March 10, 2021 Leave a comment

Bannabagram

Baul Ashram

Also see: Weekend family trip to Bhalki Machan

Bauls are a group of mystic nomads of mixed elements Bhaktism and Sufisim from Bengal. Bauls are a very heterogeneous group, with many sects, but they can easily be identified by their distinctive clothes and musical instruments.

Baul performance at Bannabagram

Baul performance at Bannabagram

Although Bauls comprise only a small fraction of the Bengali population, their influence on the culture of Bengal is considerable. In 2005, the Baul tradition of Bangladesh was included in the list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

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Rabindra Sarobar, Lungs of South Kolkata

Rabindra Sarobar

Lungs of South Kolkata and Birder’s Paradise

The artificial lake of Rabindra Sarobar and the green zone surrounding the lake is one of the most beautiful areas of Kolkata. The entire area provides oxygen and is often refereed to as the lung of south Kolkata.

Rowing at Rabindra Sarobar

Rowing at Rabindra Sarobar

But it is hard to believe that even a hundred years ago this beautiful area was a marshy stretch of land. It was a breeding ground of mosquitoes and source of malaria and other diseases.

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Ichai Ghosher Deul, a towering temple on the banks of River Ajay

February 10, 2021 Leave a comment

Ichai Ghosher Deul

A towering temple on the banks of River Ajay

Also see: Weekend family trip to Bhalki Machan

The Covid 19 outbreak have changed the way we live and after spending over 10 months confined at home we finally decided to hit the road. The visit to the Ichai Ghosher Deul was part of a weekend trip to Bhalki Machan, which was known for its crumbling tower like structure.

Ichai Ghosher Deul

Ichai Ghosher Deul

According to local folklore the tower like structure in Bhalki Machan served as hunting platform, which was used by the local landlords to hunt bear. But historians have a different story and historical records confirm the tower was actually a Great Trigonometrical Survey (GTS) Tower, used for surveying and mapping the country almost 200 years ago.

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A weekend trip to Bhalki Machan, first family outing since Covid 19

February 3, 2021 6 comments

A weekend trip to Bhalki Machan

First family outing since Covid 19 outbreak

The Covid 19 outbreak have changed the way we live and after spending over 10 months confined at home we finally decided to hit the road. We are lucky to travel just before the lockdown started in March 2020.

On the way to Bhalki Machan, breakfast stop at Azad Hind Dhaba

On the way to Bhalki Machan, breakfast stop at Azad Hind Dhaba

Our last family weekend tour involved the visit consisted a visit to a fortified temple complex, an excavated Buddhist Vihar, a canyon not as grand as the Grand Canyon and finally a village of brick built temples (Also see: Weekend Family tour of West Midnapore)

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Bardhaman 108 Shiva Temple, Nababhat

January 27, 2021 4 comments

108 Shiva Temple of Bardhaman

An unique temple complex at Bardhaman Town

Also see: Weekend family trip to Bhalki Machan

Aat Chala (four sloped roofs) Shiva Temples are an integral part of Bengal landscape. They often appear in clusters 2 to 108. West Bengal houses two such clusters of 108 Shiva Temples.

108 Siva Temple Complex of Nababhat, Bardhaman

108 Siva Temple Complex of Nababhat, Bardhaman

The temple town of Ambika Kalna, in Purba Bardhman houses a spectacular complex of 108 Shiva Temple Complex. The only other 108 Shiva Temple complex is also located in Purba Bardhaman district and is housed in Bardhaman Town.

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Great Trigonometrical Survey (GTS) Towers

January 20, 2021 9 comments

Great Trigonometrical Survey (GTS) Towers

A compilation of GTS Towers of West Bengal

The Great Trigonometrical Survey (GTS), started in 1800 and continued over half a century. It is often hailed as one of the most stupendous work in the history of science. The Great Arc (780 E Longitude) was the backbone of the survey and the 1600 miles of inch perfect survey was the longest measurement of earth surface ever to have been attempted.

Collage of GTS Towers

Collage of GTS Towers
Left – right: Paikpara, Akanpur, Bhalki, Bhola and Sukchar

Willam Lambton, an endearing genius, conceived the idea; George Everest, an impossible martinet, took it forward. The half a century long project involved equations more complex than any in the pre – computer age. It was also the most perilous project of its time, killing more men than any contemporary wars. Malaria wiped out whole survey parties, tiger and scorpions took their toll.

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Shwetambar Jain Temple, Gouribari, Kolkata

January 13, 2021 1 comment

Shwetambar Jain Temple

Gouribari, Kolkata

With the Battle of Plassey Calcutta transformed from a trading outpost of East India Company to the capital of British India. Soon the city transformed into the second city of the mighty British empire and become the hub of business activities in Asia.

Temple of Sitalnath, Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

Temple of Sitalnath, Shwetambar Jain Temple Complex, Gouribari

As the city and its economy grew it started attracting prople from not only different parts of India but from the entire world. The Britishers were already there they were joined by the Jews, Armenians, Portuguese and Greeks.

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