Kanpur Makhan Malai

Locals from Kanpur, Lucknow and Varanasi eagerly wait for Diwali, when the famed makhan malai, the quintessential winter delicacy makes its appearance. Also known as malaiyo in Banaras, daulat ki chaat in Delhi, nimish or malai makhan, this fascinating sweet is truly a head scratcher.   The best makhan malai in Kanpur can be sampled at Shukla Makhan Bhandar on Birhana Road... Continue Reading →

Banarasi Kachori Sabzi

The narrow lanes in Old Banaras prides itself on having the best mouth-watering traditional dishes that are truly in a class of its own. A gastronomical quest for the best street food in Banaras is deemed complete only if one samples the delicious kachori sabzi, the quintessential breakfast of Banaras and pretty much the whole... Continue Reading →

Malaiyo

A visit to the narrow lanes of Old Banaras is complete only after sampling their irresistible street food, deemed to be the best in North India. The lip-smacking tamatar chaat, kachori sabzi, chooda matar, golgappe, malai toast, baati chokha, lassi, jalebi, rabdi and malaiyo will make you drool and send you to a heavenly place where no one can reach you!   Malaiyo... 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 →

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 →

Swamimalai Bronze Icons of Tamil Nadu

Shilpa Shastra, broadly classified as the ‘Science of Arts and Crafts’ is the supreme authority on the Chatushashti Kalas (Sixty-four arts) of the universe. The subject of Shilpa Shastra is dealt with at length in the Vedas, Puranas, Agamas and others scriptures and has been assiduously adopted by kings, craftsmen and patrons of art since time immemorial. This highly... Continue Reading →

Wooden Mask of Kushmandi, West Bengal

The quaint village of Mahisbathan in Kushmandi district in the heritage belt of Dakshin Dinajpur is famous for its unique wooden masks. The origin of this craft of mask making is unknown but the stylization, designs and motifs of the masks suggests a deep connection to their religious beliefs. These masks are an intrinsic part... Continue Reading →

Tulaipanji Rice of West Bengal

Dinajpur district in West Bengal is renowned for its indigenous rice diversity finding mention in many important scriptural texts dating back to 1100 CE One of the oldest native varieties found here is Tulaipanji or Tulai that has been cultivated for centuries with traditional methods. Folk songs glorifying this scented rice, its cultivation practices and... Continue Reading →

Joynagar Moa of West Bengal

The ancient city of Joynagar-Majilpur derives its name from the local goddess and presiding deity, Ma Joychandi and over time, came to be called Joychandinagar and then Joynagar. Joyangar is popularly known as 'the cradle of moa', a unique winter sweet that is placed in high esteem by Bengalis.   It is said that the... Continue Reading →

Baluchari Saree of West Bengal

The history of Baluchari that literally means sandy river bank can be traced back to 1704 CE when Murshid Quli Khan, the Nawab of Bengal who patronized the flourishing weaving tradition brought several weavers from Dhaka in Bangladesh and helped them establish a small weaving community in Baluchar village on the bank of the Bhagirathi... Continue Reading →

Pattamadai Pai (Pattamadai Mats) of Tamil Nadu

The quaint village of Pattamadai in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu is famous for its centuries-old handwoven mats made of korai grass. These exquisite mats found its place on the international market when it was gifted to Queen Elizabeth II on her coronation in 1953 and since then has been presented to dignitaries around the world.... Continue Reading →

Rasmancha, Bishnupur, Bankura District, West Bengal

The long-established tradition of rasa leela (Dance of Divine Love) has been prevalent in West Bengal for centuries. This auspicious occasion is either celebrated on Krishna Janmashtami or on Kartik Purnima where Lord Krishna is brought from different temples and placed on a viewing pavilion called rasmancha or dolmancha. One of the most famous rasmancha is the Rasmancha at... Continue Reading →

Bardhaman Sitabhog of West Bengal

The lip-smacking Sitabhog served with nikhuti (tiny gulab jamuns) will assuredly send you to a heavenly place! This century-old sweet of Bardhaman along with Mihidana is an invention of the late Khettranath Nag. The city of Bardhaman derives its name from Mahavira or Vardhaman Swami (around the 6th century B.C.E.) and is famous for its... Continue Reading →

Bardhaman Mihidana of West Bengal

The delectable Bardhaman Mihidana that literally means fine grains was first prepared along with Sitabhog in honour of Maharaja Mahtab Chand Bahadur by the late Khettranath Nag according to his grandson, the late Nagendranath Nag. Seventy-two years later, both these dishes were served to Lord Curzon in 1904 when he visited Bardhaman on the invitation... Continue Reading →

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