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 →

Gir Kesar Mango

The vibrant saffron hue and sinfully sweet taste of the Gir Kesar mango puts it on the list of much loved and sought-after mangoes of India. Titled by the locals as the 'Queen of Mangoes', this delightfully bright and delicious mango finds its place among the country's five best indigenous varieties.   Gir Kesar mango... Continue Reading →

Mizo Turmeric (Reiek Turmeric)

It is perhaps not known to many that Mizoram has a rich diversity of exotic flora and fauna, rare aromatic and medicinal plants and bamboo and an assorted variety of fruit crops like grapes (higher productivity than the national average as well as that of Maharashtra), papaya, mandarin, orange, pineapple, passion fruit and banana and... Continue Reading →

Mizo Ginger

The North Eastern state of Mizoram is a treasure trove of ginger diversity with as many as eight native varieties cultivated here since the ancient times. Ginger along with turmeric and chillies are important cash crops and widely used to prepare local delicacies as well as medicines.   Mizo ginger is grown in Aizawl, Serchhip,... Continue Reading →

Navaratna Gopal Lakshmi Janardan Temple, Ghurisha Village, Illambazar Block, Birbhum District, West Bengal

The charming village of Ghurisha, once an important seat of Sanskrit and literature is dotted with many fine examples of terracotta temples built in the traditional Bengali style of chala and ratna. The temples of Ghurisha and surrounding villages have been documented at length by Mukul Dey of Shantiniketan and David McCutchion.     One... Continue Reading →

Khola Chilli (Canacona Chilli)

The most famous chilli of Goa is the bright red Khola chilli that grows exclusively on the hill slopes of Canacona taluka in the district of South Goa. Also known as Canacona chilli, this variety derives its name from the mountain village Khola where it is grown.   According to historians, chillies were introduced in... Continue Reading →

On the history trail: The Battle of Salher

While Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the Marathas raided Berar and Khandesh, Moropant Peshwa made his way through North Konkan into Baglana wresting the forts of Trimbak, Aundha, Patta and Ramnagar from the Mughals and passed through Mulher into West Khandesh levying contributions wherever he went. He reached Salher Fort on the border of Khandesh and... Continue Reading →

Jora Bangla Durga Temple, Bali Dewanganj, Hooghly District, West Bengal

The Durga Temple in the quaint village of Bali Deewanganj (widely believed to be two villages - Bali and Deewanganj) is one of a kind temple harmoniously incorporating two distinctive styles of Bengali temple architecture namely the chala (hut type roof) and the ratna (pinnacle). This temple has captured the interest of architects, historians and heritage enthusiasts for... Continue Reading →

Appemidi Mango

The state of Karnataka is known for its rich mango diversity and one of the most unique type of mango grown exclusively in Sagar, Ripponpet and Hosanagara taluka of Shimoga district, river valleys of Aghanashini, Kali, Bedthi, Sharavati and Varada of Uttara Kannada district, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts, Malenadu region of Chikmagalur district and... Continue Reading →

Udupi Mattu Gulla Brinjal

The history of the famed Udupi Mattu Gulla brinjal can be traced back to the time of the great saint and philosopher, Sri Vadirajatirtharu of Sode Matha. It is said that in the early 1500s, Sri Vadirajatirtharu had the practice of making the daily offering of a sweet dish called hoorana or hoorana kadabu to... Continue Reading →

Kalpa Devi Temple and Astika Baba Temple, Nasirabad Village, Sidhauli Tehsil, Sitapur District, Uttar Pradesh

Two groups of brick temples, Kalpa Devi and Astika Baba located close to each other in Nasirabad village in the historical district of Sitapur bearing striking similarities to the brick temples built during the Gupta period have captured the interest of architects, archaeologists and historians for decades. There are remains of as many as six... Continue Reading →

Bhiwapur Chilli

The quaint town of Bhiwapur in Nagpur district is famous for its bright red chillies. This crop has been cultivated for decades in Bhiwapur, Kuhi and Umred. Locals say that Bhiwapur has been the largest chilli market in the district since the 1960s.   Bhiwapur derives its name from the presiding deity Goddess Bhima and... Continue Reading →

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 →

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