Totapuri Mango

One of the best midseason mangoes is Totapuri that is found largely in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Interestingly Totapuri also known as Ginimoothi Mavinakayi in Kannada literally translates to parrot's beak (face)!   Totapuri is cultivated in the Rayalaseema region (Chittoor, Kadapa, Anantapur and Kurnool districts) of Andhra Pradesh, Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu and... Continue Reading →

Banaganapalle Mango

One of the finest mangoes of South India is the hugely popular Banaganapalle mango grown extensively in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Also known as Banaganapalli by the locals, this mango is unique to the Banaganapalli village in Kurnool district.   According to historians, as Banaganapalli was the capital of a princely state of the same... Continue Reading →

On the history trail: The Grand Meeting of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj with Ekoji I (Vyankoji Bhonsle)

After the decisive rout of Sher Khan Lodhi, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj headed towards Tanjore to meet his half-brother Ekoji to effect a reasonable division of their father’s holdings. He encamped at Tirumalavadi (Thirumalvadi) that lies on the north bank of the Coleroon River, a few miles from Tanjore.   As Maharaj was awaiting the arrival... Continue Reading →

Sahastradhara, Mandla, Madhya Pradesh

One of the most revered places in Mandla is Sahastradhara, located at a little distance from the heart of the town. Sahastradhara derives its name from the Sanskrit words sahastra which means thousand and dhārā which means streams or watercourses.   According to the Puranas, Ravana, Lord of Lanka chanced upon the serene waters of the... Continue Reading →

Coorg Pepper

Popularly known as 'The King of Spices' or 'Black Gold', black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) is one of the most important spices of India, valued highly for its medicinal properties. India is the largest producer and consumer of this ancient spice that is used in a variety of cuisines, in the preparation of Ayurvedic medicines... Continue Reading →

Langi or Chuwak (Rice Beer of Tripura)

The North Eastern state of Tripura is home to about nineteen different tribes with each tribe and sub-tribe having their own sociocultural identity which has been conserved generation after generation.   The Tripuris prepare a unique rice beverage known as Gora bwtwk which is the undistilled form of the beverage while Langi or Chuwak or Chuwarak is the finished product.... Continue Reading →

Coorg Orange

Kodagu district is known for its exceptional biodiversity and though it is a major coffee growing region located in the Western Ghats with more than 50 percent of the agricultural land essentially coffee estates, native crops like pepper, cardamom, orange and rice are equally famous. The dense forest cover that spreads across more than half... Continue Reading →

Annapurna Devi Mandir, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Mata Annapurneshwari Temple, located near Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Vishwanath Gali area is one of the oldest temples of Kashi. This sacred temple is dedicated to Annapurna Devi also known as Bhavani Devi by the locals and is revered as the Goddess who bestows annam (food) or alms which in reality represents knowledge and dispassion.... Continue Reading →

Mizoram Oil Palm

There has been a sizeable increase in the cultivation of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) in the North Eastern state of Mizoram in the districts of Aizawl, Mamit, Kolasib, Serchhip, Saiha, Lunglei and Lawngtlai since 2005. The extracted oil palm has various uses as food, household products, biodiesel, cosmetics and others.   Mizoram is largely an... Continue Reading →

Bhaati Jaanr (Sikkim’s Rice Beer)

A traditional alcoholic beverage known as Bhaati Jaanr is prepared by the Nepali community who reside in Sikkim. This delicious drink is prepared from the locally available glutinous rice and medicinal herbs found in the Himalayan foothills.   The starter cake known as marcha is prepared by soaking glutinous rice and mixing it with the roots of... Continue Reading →

Baneshwar Temple, Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh

The picturesque city of Maheshwar, located on the banks of the sacrosanct Rewa River is synonymous with history, culture, art, architecture, faith, spirituality, courage, patriotism and romanticism. Every square inch of this ancient city has a story that will be leave you spellbound.     Maheshwar is one of the most important kshetras on the Narmada Parikrama... Continue Reading →

On the history trail: Hindu Genocide by the Moplahs of Malabar in August 1921 (The Moplah Genocide of Hindus)

One of the biggest fallouts of the ill-fated Khilafat movement which would be a precursor of more heinous acts was the horrific atrocities committed by the Moplahs (Mapillas) of the Malabar in August 1921. The Moplahs (Muslims) were tenants at will of Hindu landlords (jenmi) and were extremely animus towards their masters who charged high... Continue Reading →

Myndoli Banana (Moira Banana)

One of the most exotic fruit crops of Goa is the famous Myndoli banana or Moira banana. Known as Myndoli kellin or Myndoli keli in Konkani, this banana is one of the most popular and tastiest found in this region.   This native banana is cultivated in Pernem, Bardez and Bicholim talukas in North Goa district. Myndoli banana plantations are... Continue Reading →

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Situated on the western bank of the sacrosanct Ganga River in Varanasi, is the grand temple of Kashi Vishwanath. As the name suggests, this ancient temple is dedicated to Vishwanatha or Vishweshwara meaning 'Ruler of the Universe' and is the first and only Jyotirlinga located on the banks of the Ganges.   Varanasi also known... Continue Reading →

Atingba (Rice Brew of the Meitei People of Manipur)

The next in our series of rice brews of the ethnic groups of India is Atingba made by the Meiteis living in Imphal Valley of Manipur. This alcoholic beverage is prepared from the locally available glutinous rice. Like other native rice beverages, Atingba is prepared from starter cakes called hamei and medicinal herbs. This traditional drink has... Continue Reading →

Tamenglong Orange

The incredible citrus genetic diversity that is found in the wild, semi-wild and backyards of Manipur is not found anywhere else in the world. Different strains of rough lemon, mandarin and semi-wild heiribob (Citrus macroptera) are grown across Manipur. Orange is one of the most important horticultural crops of Manipur with Tamenglong district producing more... Continue Reading →

Karna Matha Temples (Amarkantak Group of Ancient Temples), Amarkantak, Anuppur District, Madhya Pradesh

The Narmada Parikrama, a 3500-km journey that starts near the Arabian Sea in Gujarat takes one to the origin of the Narmada River at Amarkantak. Known as Amarkuta in Kalidasa's Meghaduta, Amarkantak has been mentioned in the Hindu scriptures as a mountain of incalculable sanctity. Amarkantak is one of the most frequented places of pilgrimage in... Continue Reading →

Coorg Green Cardamom

An exotic variety of green cardamom, often known as the 'Queen of Spices' has been cultivated in Coorg, on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats on the Karnataka - Kerala state border for centuries. This native variety known locally as malay yalakki is a variety of the Malabar category and is grown by a... Continue Reading →

Kiad (Rice Beer of the Pnar people of Meghalaya)

Sadhier or Kiad is a traditional rice brew prepared by the Pnar people also known as the Jaiñtia or Synteng living in the West Jaintia and East Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya. This ancient beverage (since the 1800s) is a necessity for all religious ceremonies and important events. It is a common custom for the head priest... Continue Reading →

Malda Laxman Bhog Mango

The crown jewel of Malda is undoubtedly the deliciously sweet Laxman Bhog mango. Often considered to be a rival of the famed Alphonso, the smooth and juicy Laxman Bhog simply melts in your mouth!   Malda is already known for its native mangoes like Gopal Bhog, Brindaban, Langra, Khirsapati (Himsagar), Kishan Bhog, Kalapahar, Bombai, Fazli and Aswini. Mango orchards are found along the bank... Continue Reading →

Zutho (Rice Beer made by the Angami Naga Tribe)

Zutho is a traditional rice beverage prepared by the Angami tribe that is largely based in Kohima and Dimapur districts in Nagaland. This indigenous rice brew that forms an important part of the culture and heritage of the ethnic tribes of Nagaland like the Ao, Lotha, Angami, Khiamniungan and Sümi Naga is called by different names... Continue Reading →

Malda Khirsapati (Himsagar) Mango

One of the most sinfully sweet and flavoursome mangoes of Malda is the famous Himsagar. Locally known as Khirsapati, this native mango thrives in the district of Malda especially along the banks of the Mahanadi and Kalindi rivers where, the entire stretch is dotted with old and new orchards appearing as an unbroken expanse of... Continue Reading →

Chubitchi or Chubok (Garo Rice Beverage)

Chubitchi or chubok is a traditional rice based alcoholic beverage of the Garo tribe. The Garos living in the Khasi Hills, Garo Hills and Ri Bhoi district in Meghalaya have a unique food culture indicative of their ethnicity. Chubitchi is paramount to the Garo diet that normally is made up of rice, vegetables and meat. This... Continue Reading →

Marathwada Kesar Mango

Kesar is one of the finest varieties of Indian mangoes and much sought-after in domestic and international markets. Marathwada Kesar mango finds its origin in the Valsad district of Gujarat though the famed Kesar mango was first cultivated in Junagadh district. Kesar mango has been cultivated in the Marathwada district for centuries. It has often... Continue Reading →

Judima (Dimasa Rice Wine)

It is a common practice among the indigenous tribal communities of North East India to prepare and consume traditionally prepared rice beer (rice wine) from different varieties of rice with plants, medicinal herbs, fruits and flowers. The art of preparing household liquor varies slightly from tribe to tribe though the fundamental steps are almost the... Continue Reading →

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