Category History

Barabar : Earliest Rockcut Architecture in India

  ‘‘Mystery is the message—just the effort to interpret is hope, just the trial and error.’’—Christopher Woodman Barabar Caves are believed to be the oldest surviving rock-cut caves in India. Historians are sanguine that Barabar caves represent the beginnings of the tradition of rock-cut architecture in India. These caves mostly date from the Maurya Empire… Read More

The Gateway of India, Mumbai

  Written on the top panel is ‘‘Erected to commemorate the landing India of their Imperial Majesties King George V and Queen Mary on the Second of December MCMXI.’’ But the fact is when their majesties arrived at the Wellington Pier (Apollo Bunder); there was no Gateway of India. Its underpinnings hadn’t even been laid… Read More

The Mausoleum of Sher Shah Suri

‘‘Monuments are the grappling-irons that bind one generation to another.’’—Joseph Joubert, French moralist and essayist Sasaram (सासाराम)—a bustling city 160km south-west of state capital Patna—is famous for production of stone chips, and for quarrying industry. The town is situated on the Grand Trunk Road (National Highway 2). It is the headquarter of Rohtas district. The… Read More

CSMT, Mumbai : From Queen To Maharaj

Think of an UNESCO World Heritage site, which was the target of one of the bloodiest terrorist attacks in India, which had four name changes since its inception and is one of the busiest buildings on planet. The place has also featured in a song that won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and… Read More

Kawa-Dol : The Abandoned Heritage

‘‘A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.’’—Marcus Garvey Imagine a fifteen centuries old place of historical and religious importance with potential to be a popular tourist attraction willfully neglected. I am sure quite a few such destinations exist in different corners of the country,… Read More

Buddha’s Holy Relics at Patna Museum

“The Heart-mantra of Dependent Origination (rten-‘brel snying-po [རྟེན་འབྲེལ་སྙིང་པོ]), which liberates the enduring continuum of phenomena and induces the appearance of multiplying relics (‘phel-gdung [འཕེལ་གདུང་] and rainbow lights’’, is: [OṂ] YE DHARMĀ HETUPRABHAVĀ HETUN TEṢĀṂ TATHĀGATO HY AVADAT TEṢĀṂ CA YO NIRODHO EVAṂ VĀDI MAHĀŚRAMAṆAḤ [YE SVĀHĀ] (‘Whatever events arise from a cause, the Tathagāta [Buddha,… Read More

Maluti : A Truly World Heritage Village

Some FB posts were my first introduction to Maluti. A friend had posted some pictures with a brief introduction. A Google search fetched further information. Jharkhand showcased the Maluti temples in its official tableau during the Republic Day parade of 2015. This was another impetus for me to visit Maluti. Maluti (also Malooti, मालुटी, মলূঢি)… Read More

Pancharatna Ratneswar Shiva Temple, Murshidabad : Demolition by Neglect

‘Demolition by neglect’ is the term we can safely use to describe our attitude toward nation’s historical and cultural heritage. Barring a few historical sites, many lie neglected in different corners of our beautiful country. We willfully allowed many of our heritage buildings to crumble. We forget that historic buildings are physical links to our… Read More