Sunday, 30 July 2017

Tiger Dance of India

 By Felix Francis [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
 A pulikkali procession during Onam in Thrissur City

India is a land of varied cultures and traditions. It is said that, there is no better way to explore the vast cultural landscape of India than through its folk dance and song. Folk dances are performed to express joy and happiness. Some are performed for festivals and some to celebrate the arrival of seasons. On most occasions, the dancers sing themselves, while being accompanied by artists on the instruments. Many of such traditional folk dances have emerged centuries ago and gradually evolved in form. One such majestic folk dance is ‘Tiger Dance of India’. It is performed in Indian state of Odisha and southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. But it is known by different names and is performed at different occasions. Let’s dance through this folk dance of India.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Dhyan Chand : The Hockey Wizard

Dhyan Chand with the ball vs. France in the 1936 Olympic semi-finals

Dhyan Chand (29 August 1905 – 3 December 1979) was an Indian hockey player, widely regarded as one of the greatest field hockey players of all time. He is remembered for his goal scoring feats and for his three Olympic gold medals (1928, 1932, and 1936), during an era where India was the most dominant team in Hockey.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Raja Ravi Varma : A prince among painters and a painter among princes

Raja Ravi Varma is considered as one of the greatest painters in the history of Indian art. He achieved recognition for his depiction of scenes from the epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. His paintings are considered to be among the best examples of the fusion of Indian traditions with the techniques of European academic art. He was probably the first Indian artist to master perspective and the use of the oil medium; the first to use human models to illustrate hindu gods and goddesses; the first Indian artist to become famous, before him painters and craftsmen were largely unidentified; and the first to make his work available not just to rich elite but also to common people by way of his oleographs. 

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Gates of Vadodara

An old photograph of old Baroda around Mandvi

Vadodara (Baroda), a cultural capital of Indian state of Gujarat, was once a walled city. The old walled city has four gates on four sides for entering the city and the old city is settled inside those gates. Each gates has its own story to tell. Let me take you through the brief history of 'Gates of Vadodara'.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Kathakali : Traditional Dance-drama of Kerala

Bhoomi at Malayalam Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Enactment of Kauravas inviting Pandavas for a game of dice (from epic - Mahabharata)

Kathakali is a stylised classical Indian dance-drama that originated in the Indian state of Kerala. The story is enacted purely by the movements of the hands (called mudras or hand gestures), by facial expressions (rasas) and bodily movements. The expressions are derived from Natyashastra. Unlike other classical dances of Inida, which developed in courts and theatres, Kathakali devloped in Hindu temples and monastic schools.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Amazing Sport : Yubi Lakpi (Indian traditional Rugby)

Yubi Lakpi

Looking back into history, we can see that sports were always a part of the traditional Manipuri culture. Indigenous games have played a major role in strengthening the physical structure of the Manipuris and making them active people. One such game is Yubi Lakpi.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Chaitram Pawar - The saviour of Baripada

If the people of this nation vow to bring development, then nothing can withstand the power of the human will. Baripada village in Maharashtra’s Dhule district, India is a brilliant example of person - Chaitram Pawar’s dedicated efforts. At the time when people wait for Government to change or transform their lives, villagers of Baripada, under the leadership of Chaitram Pawar reshaped their own destiny. Rather they have made the government agencies to come to them to learn how they reshaped their destiny.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Shankar’s International Doll Museum

Shankar’s International Doll Museum
Shankar’s International Doll Museum, is one of the most popular museum in New Delhi. There are both Indian dolls, as well as international dolls, in this museum.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Sulabh International Museum of Toilets

Want to trace evolution of toilets throughout human history? Then visit India's Sulabh International Museum of Toilets. It has been ranked third among the world’s 10 weirdest museums by Time magazine.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Kulfi - Indian frozen dessert

KULFI - Indian frozen dessert
Kulfi is considered as one of the greatest Indian desserts. It is a frozen, milk based dessert, colloquially known as the Indian ice cream. It is made of milk and is available in many flavours. It is India’s traditional ice cream and is popular throughout India. Kulfi is also popular throughout Indian sub-continent and in Middle East.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Bird Men of Khichan

By ANKITNARANG297 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Demoiselle Cranes in Khichan
In India, especially Jainism and Hinduism treats all living beings from animals down to insects and tiny creatures with great respect as aspects of God, having souls of their own, going through the same process of  birth and death as human beings. Here is a story of two great people whose empathy and compassion towards birds need to be applauded.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Amazing Sport : Insuknawr (Rod-pushing)

By [H. Thangchungnunga] (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
Insuknawr (Rod Pushing) Sport
Insuknawr or rod-pushing is an indigenous game of Mizoram, a state in North-East India. It is played only by men. Insuknawr has been declared a 'Mizo National Game' by the Mizoram State Sports Council. It is a test of sheer strength and stamina. The game is played within a circle with a diameter of 16 to 18 ft, and the only instrument used is a rounded wooden rod or pole, 8 ft long and 3 to 4 inches in diameter. The objective of the game is simple - to push the opponent outside the circle in 3 to 5 rounds.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Rats rule this Indian temple

By Jean-Pierre Dalbéra from Paris, France (Le temple de Karni Mata (Deshnoke)) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Karni Mata Temple, Bikaneer, Rajasthan

If you see a rat in your house, you shall become restless and try to get rid of them as soon as possible. Rats are considered as deadly pests. They are known to spread various diseases like leptospirosis, Salmonellosis, plague etc.  Though many consider them dirty and dangerous, on contrary, they can also be cute and cuddly. 

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Legend of Indian Rice Pudding : Paal Payasam

    By Ross thres (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Paal Payasam 

Whenever we reason the cultural practice, especially Indian culture on 'Why we do what we do?', we always come across some fascinating stories. Here I would like to share with you a mythological story blended with mathematics, culture, sweetness all in one.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Indian Musical Instrument : Ghatam

Ghatam is an ancient percussion instrument, still used in Carnatic music of South India. Ghatam is a clay pot with narrow mouth, but differs from ordinary mud pots. It is made of clay baked with copper, iron and brass fillings. It is gaining prominent status in Jazz, Fusion, Rock music and Juggal Bandhis.