Hath-tala Gauranga Mahaprabhu Temple, Illambazar, West Bengal

An exquisite 19th century terracotta temple commonly known as the ‘temple in the bazaar’ holds its own in the busy marketplace of Hath-tala (Hathtala) in Illambazaar. This temple draws the interest of visitors from across states for its unusual octagonal shape and stunning terracotta carvings.   Hath-tala Gauranga Mahaprabhu Temple is one of the many temples... 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 of the most interesting... 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 two reasons... Continue Reading →

Santipore Saree of West Bengal

One of the most exquisite weaves in cotton and silk is found in the Bengal heartland of Shantipur - Phulia. Called as Shantipuri, this centuries-old tant (traditional Bengali saree) derives its name from Shantipur in Nadia district. The ancient handloom industry in Shantipur has been mentioned in manuscripts glorifying the life of Advaita Acharya as... Continue Reading →

Eathamozhy Tall Coconut of Tamil Nadu

A rare type of tall coconut variety with immense historical, religious and commercial importance known locally as Eathamozhy or Eathamozhi tall coconut thrives in Kanyakumari district. The unique morphological traits found in this variety are of a superior genetic constitution and it is unsurprising that there is great demand for the seedlings of Eathamozhy tall... Continue Reading →

On the history trail: Chandashoka and The Kalinga War

Along with the wily Chanakya, Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Maurya dynasty built one of the largest empires in Akanda Bharat. He abdicated the throne in favour of his son Bindusara who was equal to the task. Bindusara not only consolidated the control over the empire but also extended it further south. Travellers' documentation and... Continue Reading →

Dhaniakhali Saree of West Bengal

One of the most beloved traditional handloom sarees of West Bengal is Dhaniakhali saree deriving its name from the place Dhaniakhali in Chinsurah subdivision in Hooghly district. Hooghly district is home to some of the oldest cottage industries like silk and cotton handloom weaving, brass and bell metal manufacturing, oil pressing, village tanning and others.... Continue Reading →

Erode Manjal (Erode Turmeric)

Erode, popularly called as the 'Turmeric City' is the third largest turmeric market in India after Nizamabad in Telangana and Sangli in Maharashtra. There are approximately 30,000 farmers in Erode alone and around 55,000 farmers in Tamil Nadu engaged in the cultivation of turmeric.   According to historical records, turmeric was grown by peasants in... Continue Reading →

Puneri Pagadi, Maharashtra

Pagadi or turban has historically been a sign of culture, wisdom, virility and often used identify the different sections of community. Puneri pagadi is an inseparable part of Pune which is the cultural capital of Maharashtra.   Puneri pagadi is conceptualized from the Peshwe turban worn by the Peshwas which itself was inspired by the traditional Chakribandh... Continue Reading →

Waghya Ghevada, Maharashtra

One of the most famous cash crops of Western Maharashtra is Waghya ghevada. Grown extensively in North Koregaon taluka of Satara district, this rajma was first cultivated in 1950 by the late Kashinath Mahajan who bought seeds of this variety from a trader in Pune. This variety soon became popular with the locals and was... Continue Reading →

Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri Kokum, Maharashtra

Kokum (Garcinia indica) called as the ‘The Kool King’ of Indian fruits flourishes in the dense forests of the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. Konkan kokum is a perennial fruit of commercial value that thrives in the scenic Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts.   According to the locals, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts have about 43,000 centuries-old kokum... Continue Reading →

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