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Rasbari Garden House, Belur, A unique combination of Homestay and Pilgrimage

January 16, 2019 1 comment

Rasbari Garden House, Belur

A unique combination of Homestay and Pilgrimage

Heritage hotels and homestays are an integral part of Indian tourism industry. Although late, West Bengal has also joined the trend. In the last couple of years The Rajbari BawaliBaithakkhana Amadpur Balakhana, Calcutta Bungalow and Itachuna Rajbari have come up with some amazing heritage properties.

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The three Shiva Temples, Rasbari Garden House, Belur

The latest addition in the, fast growing, list is the Rasbari Garden House in Belur, Howrah. But it is different it is not just a heritagehomestay but a entire temple complex overlooking the might Hooghly River. It also doubles up as a picnic spot and a day out gateway for Kolkatans.

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Krosjhuri, Purulia District, an amalgamation of old and new

January 9, 2019 1 comment

Krosjhuri, Purulia District

An amalgamation of old and new

See also: Wiki Explores Purulia

Purulia District, located on the western edge of West Bengal, is known for its breath taking natural beauty. Places like Boronti, Murguma and Ayodha Hills have always been popular weekend gateways for tourist from Kolkata.

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Siddheshwar Shiva Temple, Krosjhuri, Purulia District

But unknown to many Purulia has a rich history and heritage dating back to the 10th – 13th century CE. A flourishing Jain settlement flourished in the western part of West Bengal covering the present districts of Purulia, Bankura and Jhargram. During this period they have built numerous brick and stone temples, following the Oriya Duel style architecture.

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Heritage walk of Rattanakosin Island, Exploring Bangkok’s Royal Legacy

January 2, 2019 Leave a comment

Heritage walk of Rattanakosin Island

Exploring Bangkok’s Royal Legacy

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

The island of Rattanakosin has the Chao Phraya River on the west an on the other three side is the ring canal of Khalong Maha Nak. The canal was dug by Rama I (Reign 1782 – 1809) the founder of the Rattanakosin Kingdom (Also see: Fortification of Bangkok).

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Bird’s eye view of Rattanakosin Island from Golden Mount, Bangkok

Today Rattanakosin is the hub of built heritage in Bankok and also house the Grand Palace, the royal residence of the Rattanakosin Kingdom. The canal measures 7.2 km and the island covers an area of 4.142 km2, so the best way to explore the Rattanakosin Island is on foot. 

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Benjarong Porcelain Crockery, first hand experience of porcelain painting

December 29, 2018 1 comment

Benjarong Porcelain Crockery

First hand experience of porcelain painting

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

Benjarong literally means five colours (Benja = five, rong = colour) and is a form of traditional Tahi ceramic painting. The five primary colours consists of black, green, yellow, red and white which are mixed in different proportions to produce shades of other different secondary colours.

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The creation and the creator. Benjarong Porcelain Crockery, Bangchang Village, Samut Songkhram, Thailand

Although a traditional Thai art the origin of Benjarong dates back to China. According to historical records it probably originated during the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) in China.

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Fortification of Bangkok, tracking Bangkok’s Forts, City Walls and Moats

December 20, 2018 2 comments

Fortification of Bangkok

Tracking Bangkok’s Forts, City Walls and Moats

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

Today Bangkok is a modern city with a few ancient temples, but on closer inspection one can find an unique series of defensive mechanism which one protected the ancient city. The defensive mechanism consisting of forts, defensive walls and moats, which were constructed over a period of several centuries.

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Phra Sumen Fort, Bangkok (Photo edit Deepanjan Ghosh)

The structures started coming up during the late Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351 – 1767) and continued till the present Rattanakosin Kingdom (started in 1782). Bangkok underwent rapid modernization beginning in the late 19th century, and by the 1920s most of the city’s original forts and walls had been demolished to make way for the construction of roads and buildings.

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Pakbirra, remains of a temple town in Purulia District

December 14, 2018 Leave a comment

Pakbirra

Remains of a temple town in Purulia District

See also: Wiki Explores Purulia

Historical records suggest that during the 10th – 13th century a flourishing Jain settlement flourished in the western part of West Bengal covering the present districts of Purulia, Bankura and Jhargram. During this period they have built numerous brick and stone temples, following the Oriya Duel style architecture.

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The giant Jain Tirthankara statue in Pakbirra, Purulia District

Purulia had the largest concentration of these Jain Temples although many of them have crumbled to dust but a hand full have survived the test of time and still towers above the rural landscape of Purulia district. These towering temples, built of both brick and stone, can still be seen in the villages of Para, Deulghata, Deuli and Banda.

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Gotipua, majestic folk dance of Odisha

December 5, 2018 Leave a comment

Gotipua

Majestic folk dance of Odisha

See also: Sterling Resort Puri FAM

Their graceful steps and flawless acrobatics held everybody in rapt attention. The surprise and charm of the movements was heightened when the audience realised that the performers were actually young boys dressed up as females.

Tejasvni Ramesh, Rediscovering Gotipua, The Hindu

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Gotipua dance performance at the Sterling Resort, Puri

For centuries Gotipua dance have been performed in Odisha by young boys who are dressed up as girls to praise Lors Jagannath and Lord Krishna. It is a traditional dance form of Odisha and is considered as a precursor of classical dance of Odissi.

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