Brahmanical Rock-cut Temple (Dharamarajeshwara Temple), Chandwasa Village, Garoth Tehsil, Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh

Dharmarajeshwara Temple (Dharmarajeshwar Temple) is considered to be one of the most structurally and architecturally ingenious temples carved entirely out of natural rock. This 8th to 9th century monolithic rock-cut temple was probably built by the Gurjara-Pratiharas or perhaps the Rashtrakutas, as at first glance, this temple looks a lot like the marvellous Kailasanatha Temple... Continue Reading →

Large Siva Temple, Mahua Village, Khaniadhana Tehsil, Shivpuri District, Madhya Pradesh

A little-known architectural gem built towards the end of the 7th century is the ancient Shiva Temple located in the historically important Mahua village in Shivpuri district. Mahua, formerly known as Madhumati as per a Ranod inscription has many temples (though now in ruins) of great antiquity.   There is very little information available about... Continue Reading →

Kapildhara Temple (Kapileshwar Mahadev Mandir), Kapildhara, Varanasi District, Uttar Pradesh

The fifth and final paṛāva (halt) of the divine Kashi Panchkroshi Yatra is the Kapildhara Temple also known as Kapileshwar Mahadev Mandir. After offering prayers at Kardameshwar Mahadev Mandir, Bhimchandi Mandir, Rameshwar Mandir and Shivpur Mandir, devotees take a dip in the three ancient ponds of Sona Talab, Saranga Talab and Kapildhara Talab that are at the final... Continue Reading →

Sonitpur Jackfruit

The North Bank Plain Zone (NBPZ) of Assam comprising of Darrang, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Sonitpur districts is renowned for its high-quality tea, native rice varieties, pulses, maize, oilseeds and rich and diverse horticultural crops. The indigenous pineapple, jackfruit, banana, papaya, cabbage, Assam lemon, black pepper and others grown here are much sought-after in domestic and... Continue Reading →

Koppal Guava

It is perhaps not known to many that India is the largest producer of guava in the world with an average annual production of around 21 MT. Though a fair portion of the annual produce is consumed as a table fruit, Indian guava varieties are ideally suited for manufacturing fruit pulp, puree, juice, syrup, flavoured... Continue Reading →

Shivpur Temple, Shivpur Village, Varanasi District, Uttar Pradesh

The fourth paṛāva (halt) of the sacrosanct Kashi Panchkroshi Yatra is the Pancho Pandava Mandir (Pancha Pandeshwar Mandir) located in the bustling Shivpur village. After having darshan at Kardameshwar Mahadev Mandir, Bhimchandi Mandir and Rameshwar Mandir, pilgrims head to Draupadi Kund that is located near a huge tank known as Manasarovar tirth.   According to the... Continue Reading →

Madhubani Makhana (Foxnut)

Lotus seeds, commonly known as makhana is mainly cultivated in Bihar, Assam and West Bengal with Bihar accounting for more than 85 percent of the total production in India. Also known as gorgon nut or foxnut, this superfood thrives in the agro-climatic conditions prevailing in the districts of Madhubani, Darbhanga, Sitamarhi, Saharsa, Katihar, Purnia, Supaul,... Continue Reading →

Soraba Pineapple (Shivamogga Pineapple)

Shimoga (Shivamogga), popularly called the 'Rice Bowl of Karnataka' is a picture-perfect lush green landscape dotted with waterfalls, paddy fields and palm groves. The waters of the Tungabhadra, Sharavati, Varada and Kumudavathi rivers and fertile alluvial soil contribute largely to the excellent agricultural produce of this district.   Shimoga district is famous for its paddy,... Continue Reading →

Rameshwar Mandir, Rameshwar Village, Varanasi District, Uttar Pradesh

The next stop on the sacrosanct Kashi Panchkroshi Yatra after Kardameshwar Mahadev Mandir and Bhimchandi Mandir is the ancient Rameshwar Mandir situated on the bank of the Varuna River in Rameshwar village. This temple of great antiquity is considered by many to be the most important kshetra or tirthstala in the Panchkroshi Yatra.   According to the Kashi Khanda... Continue Reading →

Tawang Walnut

The North Eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh has earned well deserved accolades in the last five years for its excellent agri-horticultural produce, thriving food processing sector and strides in organic farming and certification that has changed the fortunes of small and marginal farmers in the state.   As Arunachal is largely an agrarian economy, age-old... Continue Reading →

Chintamani Tomato (Chikkaballapur Tomato)

It is perhaps not known to many that Chintamani in the newly created Chikkaballapur district in Karnataka has some of the best agricultural produce of South India. Mangoes, bananas, peanuts, dairy products, bitter gourd, avarekai, sarsaparilla juice (nannari sharbat) and tomatoes are transported to the markets of nearby Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu as... Continue Reading →

Maladevi Temple (Maladevi Jain Temple), Gyaraspur Tehsil, Vidisha District, Madhya Pradesh

One of the lesser-known architectural masterpieces of the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty is the Maladevi Temple located on the eastern edge of a steep slope overlooking the Manosarovar Talab in Gyaraspur. As this late 9th century temple is hardly a kilometre away from Hindola Torana, one can question if these two temples though built at different times... Continue Reading →

Mizo Passion Fruit

The geo-climatic condition of Mizoram has contributed largely to the wide variety of rich and assorted flora and fauna seen here. With agriculture being the mainstay of the people of Mizoram, exotic fruits, vegetables, spices, rice and others are grown here using the age-old method of jhum cultivation. Orange, banana, tomato, beans, brinjal, peas, squash,... Continue Reading →

Byadagi Garlic

Not many people are aware that Byadagi, a small town in Haveri district has one of the oldest markets selling some of the best agricultural produce of India. Though Byadagi is better-known for its world-famous vibrant red chillies, its garlic, jaggery, rice, turmeric and areca nut are par excellence!   According to the locals, the... Continue Reading →

Raisen Fort, Raisen, Madhya Pradesh

Raisen Fort located in Raisen in Madhya Pradesh is considered to be years ahead of its time in terms of structural and architectural innovation. This fort is widely believed to be one of the most difficult forts to breach and has been at the centre of many battles led by Muslim invaders from the 13th... Continue Reading →

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 and... 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 →

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