Kinnaur – Himachali Chulli Oil

Even though 'chulli' or wild apricot grows abundantly in the districts of Shimla, Kullu, Chamba, Sirmour, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti of Himachal Pradesh, it is primarily identified with Kinnaur. Chuli oil or otherwise locally known as 'Gutti ka tel' is extracted from the kernels of wild apricots in almost all the households for domestic consumption.  ... Continue Reading →

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Palakkadan Matta Rice of Kerala

One of the most famous produce of Kerala is its indigenous Palakkadan Matta rice that has been grown in the lush green belt of Palakkad for centuries. According to historians, Matta rice was partaken only by the members of the royal family of the Cholas and Cheras. This rice was exclusively cultivated for the royals... Continue Reading →

Navara Rice of Kerala

Navara rice is one of the rarest indigenous rice varieties grown exclusively in Kerala with immense curative and medicinal properties. Navara or Njvara has been mentioned extensively in the ancient texts of Ayurveda like Sushruta Samhita, Ashtanga Hridaya, Kṣemakutūhala of Kṣemaśarman, Bhojanakutūhala of Raghunātha Sūrin and Pākadarpaṇa of King Naḷa and other treatises. Navara rice... Continue Reading →

On the history trail: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj tricks Aurangzeb to bring back Sambhaji

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's dramatic return to Raigad on 20 November 1666 was followed by widespread rejoicings among his family, citizens and the Maratha army. Each fort fired its feu de joie unceasingly and though the celebrations were appreciated by Maharaj, he decided to issue standing orders on the exact number of gunfire for specified occasions... Continue Reading →

Kandhar Fort, Kandhar, Nanded District, Maharashtra

A stunning find of a fragmentary stone inscription in an old well near Kandhar in 1959 with a detailed description of the buildings in the ancient capital and the philanthropic activities of Raja Krishna III of the mighty Rashtrakuta dynasty threw light on one of the unknown capitals of the dynasty. The inscription mentions the... Continue Reading →

Joha Rice of Assam

Assam is widely considered to be one of the origins for rice and has one of the most interesting rice cultivars in India. Rice is grown in about 25.3 million hectares of land in Assam with an average production and productivity of about 3.8 million tonnes and 1540 kg/ha respectively. There are four divisions of... Continue Reading →

Gobindabhog Rice of West Bengal

Archaeological excavations conducted in 1962 at Pandu Rajar Dhibi in Ausgram II block in the Sadar North subdivision of Purba Bardhaman district in West Bengal unearthed earthen pots using a mix of rice husk in the main mound. Based on scientific tests, archaeologists concluded that the ancient civilization that dates back to 2000 BCE was... Continue Reading →

Ambernath Shiv Temple, Ambernath, Maharashtra

One of the oldest temples of the Konkan coastal stretch is the Ambernath Shiv Temple located at Ambernath about 50 km from Mumbai. Ambernath literally means Lord of the Sky or Space and interestingly, this temple does not have a roof over the sanctum sanctorum! Locals believe that the presiding deity may have been named... Continue Reading →

Ambemohar Rice of Maharashtra

The diversity of indigenous aromatic rice types found in India is staggering to say the least. Scented varieties are broadly classified as basmati and non-basmati. Some of the traditional rice varieties categorized as non-basmati are in fact far superior in both taste and fragrance to basmati rice.   Ambemohar that literally means mango blossom in Marathi is one of... Continue Reading →

On the history trail: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s miraculous escape from Agra

It was imperative for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to maintain the pretence of submissiveness towards Mirza Raja, Jai Singh I to effect the famous Treaty of Purandar on 11 June 1665. It was quite clear that Mirza Raja was favourably disposed towards Maharaj and sanguine about a permanent understanding between Aurangzeb and Maharaj.   As time passed, Mirza Raja... Continue Reading →

Raja Karna ka Kila (Raja Karna’s Fort), Mirzapur Village, Thanesar Tehsil, Kurukshetra District, Haryana

Our quest to draw a map of ancient India specifically the Mahabharat era leads us to Mirzapur village in the municipality of Thanesar in Kurukshetra district. The ancient town of Thanesar also known as Sthaneshwar, deriving its name from the presiding deity, Lord Shiva who is seated at Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple is considered to be... Continue Reading →

Ghazipur Wall Hanging

One of the most exquisite handicrafts of Uttar Pradesh are the wall hangings of Ghazipur that are renowned for its innovative designs, weaving and craftsmanship. This craft is practised in villages of Ghazipur, Mirzapur, Varanasi and Chandauli, with more than 3000 families engaged in this centuries-old art.   The artisans use an ancient Banaras weaving... Continue Reading →

Katarni Rice of Bihar

Some of the rarest and finest aromatic rice varieties of India are found in the Bhagalpur and Magadh divisions of Bihar. Bhagalpur has been a traditional aromatic rice growing area, where varieties such as Katarni, Tulsi Manjari and Badshah Bhog are widely grown. Over the years, variations of Katarni like Bhauri Katarni, Deshla Katarni, Sabour... Continue Reading →

Achalgarh Fort, Achalgarh Village, Mount Abu, Rajasthan

One of the most interesting forts of Rajasthan is the lesser-known Achalgarh Fort nestled high in the Aravalli Range. This magnificent fort sits atop a hill in the picturesque village of Achalgarh, a few kilometres away from the famous Dilwara Temples. The Achalgarh Fort complex situated in an eco-sensitive zone is steeped in history, religion... Continue Reading →

Vengurla Cashew

India is one of the largest producers of cashew nut in the world accounting for more than 30 percent of the world production. The coastal states of India have been cultivating cashew trees for centuries. Cashew was first introduced in Goa by the Portuguese and then slowly found its way down the Konkan coast to... Continue Reading →

Sangli Raisins

Tasgaon - Sangli belt in Maharashtra is famous for its delectable raisins accounting for 90 percent of total production in the country. The state of Maharashtra ranks first in terms of production of grapes and exports more than 1.22 lakh tonnes annually.   According to historians, grape cultivation originated in Armenia and was brought to... Continue Reading →

Agra Durrie

Every Hindu scripture has riveting descriptions of magnificent cities, grand palaces and alluring inner chambers that are richly embellished in gold, diamonds, precious stones and expensive cloths. The bright floor coverings that were spread out to receive Lord Krishna at Shauripur near Agra has been mentioned in the Mahabharat at length and the origin of... Continue Reading →

Navapur Tur Dal

The taluka of Navapur in Nandurbar district in Maharashtra is famous for its delicious fruits, vegetables and food grains. Navapur is traditionally known to be a stronghold of the tribals who arrived here centuries ago when their homeland was invaded by the Mughals. Some of the best agricultural crops of India like groundnuts, soya bean, rice... Continue Reading →

Thanjavur Art Plate

The ancient city of Thanjavur is famous for its culture, literature, music, magnificent temples, stunning sculptures and breath-taking artforms. Every dynasty that ruled over this territory has contributed to its rich history and the pre-eminence of this city has steadily grown over the centuries. The Maratha king, Raja Serfoji II was a distinguished litterateur and... Continue Reading →

Malda Fazli Mango

The historically important Malda district is famous for its jute, mulberry plantations and wide range of mangoes. Some of the most exotic and delicious mangoes of India like Laxman Bhog, Khirsapati (Himsagar), Aswini and of course Fazli thrive in this stretch of land that runs along the banks of the Mahananda and Kalindi rivers.  ... Continue Reading →

उत्तराखण्ड तेजपत्ता (Tejpat of Uttarakhand)

उत्तराखंड राज्य के नैनीताल, चमोली, टेहरी, बागेश्वर, अल्मोरा, पिथौरागढ़ और चंपावत जिलों में करीब १००० से २००० मीटर की ऊंचाई पर नम और छायादार स्थानों पर उगाए जाने वाले सुगंधित तेजपत्ता सन २०१६ में भौगोलिक सांकेतिक टैग (जी आई) प्राप्त करने का अधिकारी हुआ।     राष्ट्रीय और अन्तर्राष्ट्रीय बाजारों में उत्तराखंड का सुप्रसिद्ध तेजपत्ता... Continue Reading →

Arumbavur Wood Carvings

The quaint town of Arumbavur located in Veppanthattai taluk of Perambalur district is renowned for the five-hundred-year-old craft of wood carving. In the earlier days, the sthapathis used to travel from temple to temple creating masterpieces like the ratha (chariot), utensils, statues and other iconography as per the tenets of Shilpa Shastra. Many of these original pieces... Continue Reading →

Boka Chaul of Assam

Boka Chaul is derived from the Assamese words boka which means mud and chaul which means rice and as mud is soft in texture, literally means soft rice. The ethnic tribes of Kamrup and Goalpara spell it as Bakachaul and pronounce it as Banka Chaol or Buka Chal or Boga Jhul while those dwelling in the Lower Brahmaputra Valley call... Continue Reading →

Konark Stone Carving

The finest examples of the ancient craft of stone carving adorn the temples of Puri, Bhubaneswar and Konark and is a tribute to the architectural ingenuity that Odisha is renowned for. The sculptures with its exquisite detailing and craftsmanship were an expression of love, devotion and faith and went beyond religion into the realm of... Continue Reading →

Virupakshi Hill Banana of Tamil Nadu

The deliciously sweet Virupakshi Hill Banana commonly referred to as the 'fruit meant for the Gods' is an indigenous crop of commercial importance grown in the eastern parts of the Western Ghats and parts of the Eastern Ghats like Lower Palani Hills, Sirumalai and Kolli Hills.   Virupakshi Hill Banana belongs to the pome group... Continue Reading →

On the history trail: Siege of Panhala

The resounding victory of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in The Battle of Pratapgad and death of Afzal Khan left the Bijapur kingdom weak and open to attack. Maharaj understood that this was only the beginning of a long-drawn battle as Badi Saheba and Adil Shah would retaliate soon.   He took advantage of the chaos that had... Continue Reading →

Temple Jewellery of Nagercoil

The temple town of Nagercoil (derives its name from the Tamil words Nagaraja Koyil meaning Temple of the Serpent King) has been a prominent trade centre for spices (Nagercoil cloves) and rice for centuries. Nagercoil located in Kanyakumari district was a part of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom for more than 700 years and the architecture... Continue Reading →

Jigarthanda of Madurai

The ancient city of Madurai is famous for its temples (Madurai Meenakshi and two Arupadaiveedu of Lord Murugan namely Thiruparankundram and Pazhamudircholai), art, culture, literature, different kinds of biryani and of course, the legendary jil jil jigarthanda! Jigarthanda is derived from the words jigar meaning heart and thanda meaning cold and so roughly means heart... Continue Reading →

ओडिशा का रशोगुल्ला (Rasagola of Odisha)

जिसे देखते ही मुंह में पानी आ जाए, वो है, "ओडिशा का रशोगुल्ला" इसकी उत्पत्ति का इतिहास आठ सौ साल पुराना है। भगवान जगन्नाथ को रशोगुल्ला भोग के रूप में अर्पण करने की परंपरा सदियों से चली आ रही है। ऐसी मान्यता है की १२वी शताब्दी से यह अद्भुत मिष्ठान्न, जगन्नाथ मंदिर में नीलाद्री बिजे... Continue Reading →

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