For the Preservation of Heritage in Anegudi, Near Hampi

  I was in Anegudi, a tiny village on a remote river bed in Karnataka. It was a sleepy hamlet in the shadow of the ruins of Hampi, the erstwhile glorious capital of the grand medieval empire of Vijayanagara. Before I flew down to India for my third visit, I had heard from a friend, of a local non-profit organization called the Kishkinda Trust that worked with the villagers for the preservation of heritage in the form…

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The Fortnight of the Ancestors in Allahabad, a Time of Remembrance and Solemnity

It is a common perception that Indians only need a pretext for a celebration and it is not entirely untrue. Their festivities and revelries are not just religious fervour, but a cultural phenomenon that is known the world over. The Hindu calendar is replete with auspicious days dedicated to the gods and goddesses of its large pantheon. Not surprisingly, each of these days is backed by a legend from the scriptures.   The festivals and celebrations peak…

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Kamalan Workshop At SwaSwara – The Voice Of The Self

Chakra Art – Dance – Meditation From the 21st to the 28th March 2015     A retreat and a workshop of expressive dance, art and meditation in the blessed surroundings of SwaSwara, to complement and enhance the benefits of the Ayurvedic treatments and yoga classes offered on site.  Rosenda Arcioni Meer is a designer whose intimate relationship with India has widely enriched her vision of the artistic endeavor. After exploring for more than a decade the…

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Chasing Storms and Lighthouses in Pondicherry

  Pondicherry has always felt like home, ever since the first time, many years ago. Travel is but the act (and the art) of finding home and when we do, on an island in the Cyclades or in a narrow street in Paris, a part of ourselves stays there forever. In that simple worldview of ours, with ourselves strewn across various homes all over the world, our hearts are here, in Pondicherry.   This visit, in July,…

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Of Fragrances and Crafts from the Plains

“Have you ever tried Ittar?”asked a friend of mine during a Sunday lunch at my house in the suburbs of Sydney. “I beg your pardon?” “Ittar!”she says and pulls out a little vial that says ShahiGulab in big letters with Rosa damascena written under it, which I understood was a botanical name. “Go on, open it,”she said. The moment I opened the vial, a strong, unmistakable gush of rose-filled air escaped from it. I almost had a…

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