IndiaPhotogallery

Paint and glitter in Himalayas at Roerich Art Gallery

First time I passed through Naggar was way back in summer of 1990, while returning from Manali during my first ever trip to Kullu-Manali region. Barely I had any idea at that time that it was just the start of my fascination and association with this magical place. Since then, there have been number of trips for trekking, camping, biking, leisure, et al. Each of them have been unique in its experience. While pursuing a career as a full-time journalist, I had started trekking as a serious passion in 1992. It was in January 1993 when I came across the news of death of Svetoslav Roerich. News of his death was associated with follow-up news of his wife legendary Devika Rani, grandniece of Rabindranath Tagore, and their Tataguni estate on the outskirts of Bangalore. The view from Ro...

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IndiaPhotogallery

How all the fountains at Taj got their water from Yamuna!

So like me, many of you would have visited Agra and Taj Mahal a number of times, may be. And, each time you would have been so engrossed in admiring the beauty of the marble marvel that you might have easily ignored all the other details of this huge Taj complex, such as its beautiful fountains. Quite unjustified, isn’t it!  Gardens, fountains and the channels add to the glory of Taj Mahal Although nothing can undermine the beauty of the white mausoleum built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal, but you can’t deny that surrounding gardens and the fountains add to the glory of whole structure. That is the reason, why Taj Mahal is also a ‘rauza’ as per Persian principles- a tomb with a ‘charbagh’ (four cornered squared gardens), fountains and channels. So were the many other tombs of the M...

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IndiaPhotogallery

Lockdown reads: Walking down the Agra’s necropolis, in the shadow of the Taj

Walking around Taj Mahal is like roaming within different layers of Mughal history. Once you start peeling off these layers, you get to know—one after the other—many lesser known facts and events of the period which was largely overshadowed by a single story of love. As one of the curators of our walk, Shradha Arora would say it as the ‘shadow of the Taj’, a ‘necropolis’ where all dead lay buried, including the other queens of Shahjahan, all of whom have largely been forgotten. We all know about Mumtaz Mahal and the story of Taj Mahal. In an earlier post we also talked about the first wife of Emperor Shahjahan. Kandahari Begum, as she was know, has her tomb at Sandali Masjid complex on the other side of the Taj Mahal complex, but not the part of it. We are now going to talk about other...

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India

Where a Shah Jahan’s queen lies in solitude on the other side of Taj

At a very remote corner just outside the boundary of Taj Mahal complex towards its Eastern gate, when you climb the narrow stairs of Sandali Masjid you get an eerie feeling. With monkeys and dogs around, what attracts you more is the presence of a big number of cats, many of them black. Sandali Masjid is also called as Kali Masjid. Mosque is at the one side of the complex, with its back towards the Taj complex across the road. While right in front of the mosque, in the middle of a garden is an octagonal tomb. Its onion shaped dome in white marble signifies that it belongs to someone from the royal family. We are told that it belongs to the first queen of the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan- Kandahari Begum. Platform of Kandahari Begum's tomb You will hardly find any tourists here. F...

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IndiaNews

When story transcends literature and becomes an art and drama

We all have listened to stories in our childhood. And, I am certainly not talking here about text book stories but about bedtime stories listening to grandmas in particular. It never used to be a simple narration. Grandmas will be sourcing all elements of theatrics to make it as dramatic as possible. That used to be its most fascinating part even if content in the story was good for nothing. That is perhaps the strength of story telling. A very good content can be very boring to listen, while an ordinary story can be made captivating by a story teller. And, it has nothing to do with being a kid. A good story mesmerises adults equally. Fortunately, art of storytelling has seen a great revival recently. From audio stories to story telling festivals, people are enjoying it. Udaipur Ta...

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IndiaPhotogallery

Lodurva, a temple to see and a love story for delight

The vast barren dunes of Thar are strewed with many mysteries of history… many of them untold, a few unexplained. A lot of it might be because of absence of more written account of those times. Erstwhile capital of the Jaisalmer Rawals- Lodurva stands one among those. Nothing remains of the capital city, but for a beautiful Jain temple. The deserted ruins of Lodurva, the Bhati Rajput capital before Jaisalmer, are 17 km northwest of Jaisalmer and 10 km beyond Amar Sagar. Lodurva itself is on the banks of river Kak. Shikhars of temples as seen from outside There would have been a perfect logic for any strongman to rule this place. This place was on ancient silk route and entry point to India, hence rich traders would have been passing through here on regular basis. This would have als...

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InternationalNews

Diwali in Brussels! Almost, with the illuminated city

When it comes to Brussels, things keep getting bigger and brighter, literally! Its time for capital city to get illuminated again as we are nearing the Bright Brussels, a festival of magnificent lights. This time a new route of around 20 works and animated illuminations will light up the capital. From 13 to 16 February 2020, Festival of Light will enchant several of Brussels’ neighbourhoods. A new route of monumental luminous installations created by Belgian and international artists will take over several of the capital's emblematic sites. This year, for the first time, a luminous bicycle parade will kick off the festival on Thursday 13 February. Bright Brussels Festival © visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Remy For 4 days, the Halle Gate, Marolles, Sablon/Zavel and Mont des Arts/Kunstberg...

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IndiaNews

Madhya Pradesh welcomes you to Orchha with a brand new festival

Adding to its ongoing initiatives to promote Madhya Pradesh as a leading tourism destination in the country, the State Tourism Board will be organising “Namaste Orchha”, a new festival scheduled to be held from 6-8 March 2020, celebrating the cultural landscape of the state in the historic town of Orchha. This will be an annual event now onwards in the MP tourism calendar. Festival was announced in a curtain raiser in Delhi on Friday. View of Orchha from the other side of Betwa river The three day extravaganza in this ancient and quaint town will feature diverse activities of music, art, wellness, travel, nature, adventure, history and culture. These activities would be led by experts in their respective fields with participants comprising invited delegates. An immers...

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International

10 things not to be missed while in Bruges

Bruges is said to be a city that will capture your heart. Being a major trading port, it has been an international metropolis for centuries. Despite this, it has retained its medieval charm as well as its natural beauty. Something that has helped its historic city centre to attain the tag of World Heritage Site of UNESCO. In Europe it is also referred as Venice of the North, because of its canals. It is indeed one of my favourite European cities. Although a city like Bruges is worth spending a plentiful of time, but I am shortlisting ten things that you shouldn't miss when you visit this marvellous city. Lets, have a look at them. Boating in Bruges A trip in its canals Bruges looks more charming when you take a boat trip on its canals. Half hour trips on boats are most popular a...

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InternationalNews

Art, food, wine & comics – September fun in Brussels

September is so interesting in Brussels, my favourite international city. Although Brussels remains occupied with various activities almost round the year, but September is when it hosts some of its most famous events. Events which truly reflect the essence of Brussels, enjoying things Brussels is truly famous for- its art, its comics, and classic wines as well as food. Its one of the best times to be here. eat! Brussels Photo © visit.brussels - Eric Danhier Contemporary art makes a comeback From September, contemporary art will take centre stage on Brussels’ cultural scene. From the unmissable Brussels Gallery Weekend to the Chiharu Shiota exhibition at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and the Accessible Art fair, the shows and exhibitions honour artists from all walks of life. Bru...

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