Thanjavur – Sublime Chola Heritage

I am not a temple goer.  I find the energy and fervour and the attendant din of a crowded temple distracting. Rare visits on special occasions are more nostalgic concessions to tradition, rather than opportunities for communion with God. But the vibe at each of the three temples that constitute the UNESCO inscribed ‘Great Living Chola Temple‘ ensemble was different. And visiting…

Read More

Hampi – Experiencing The Spirit Of The Land

Located just four km from the edge of the famed UNESCO heritage site, the Orange County Hampi is the third in the Orange County stable, and surely its grandest. A gorgeous reinterpretation of the spirit of royal Vijayanagara.

Read More

Hampi – The Echoes of Glory

The empire is long gone. Its relics scattered across a breathtaking boulder strewn landscape once chosen for its impregnability. Desolate ruins, lacking the antiquity of Egypt, the precision of Inca stonework or the mathematical coding of Angkor Wat. But Hampi’s stones – those chiselled by man into intricate divine forms, as well as those worn smooth by the elements – whisper stories.…

Read More

Sacred Waters

Water – as life giver and as a symbol of purity – is an essential component of religious rituals like baptism and ceremonial cleansing. For a religion that derives its name from a river – Sindhu, from the Indus – water takes on a whole new meaning. No Hindu temple is complete without a Pushkarini or temple tank. Many tanks have natural sources beneath…

Read More

An Amble Through A Storied Park – Lodhi Gardens

If there is one thing I envy Delhi-ites, it is the green oasis of Lodhi Gardens. Over ninety acres of unexpected tranquility to escape the gridlocked delirium of their capital city. The landscaping would be easy enough to replicate elsewhere in India (who am I kidding!). But it is the historic ambience, those omnipresent vestiges of Delhi’s storied past, that make…

Read More

An Ensemble Of Puppets From Mandalay

  A Rapunzel with hair to spare?     I could be wrong, but she is most likely a Burmese Draupadi – that virtuous, wronged wife of the Pandavas (the five heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata) – who vows never to tie up her long tresses until she can anoint them with the blood of her molester, who incidentally, is her husbands’ step brother. I recently watched…

Read More

Thanjavur – Reimagining Tamil Traditions At Svatma,

Loss of diversity, especially in the urban milieu, is inevitable in a globalised world. Pizza will often replace paniyaram. Or cappuccino, filter kaapi. But what does one do when one’s native cultural symbols begin to feel inadequate? Unsophisticated? The Subrahmaniam’s – Chennai based dancer/architect Krithika, and her developer husband, Sumant’s – response to their young son’s disenchantment with things Indian, was to find a way to reintroduce him…

Read More