Friday, December 18, 2015

Satyr Tragopan (Tragopan Satyra)


The Satyr Tragopan is a rare resident pheasant which occurs at high elevations in the Himalaya. Male Satyr's are 68cm and are a bright crimson red with white spots. Females are smaller and less conspicuous.
Tragopans are often called “horned pheasants” because they display horn-like projections during courtship. They have an Asian distribution and belong to the Pheasant family, Phasianidae. 4 out of the 5 known species occur in India.
Image: Satyr Tragopan male
Photographer: James Ownby
‪#‎india‬ ‪#‎bharat‬ ‪#‎himalayas‬ ‪#‎indianbirds‬ ‪#‎birds‬ ‪#‎hindustan‬ ‪#‎satyrtragopan‬

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Iron Ore in India


India produced 144mt of iron ore in 2012 contributing about five percent of global iron ore production. The country's iron ore reserves are estimated at 8.1bt containing 5.2bt iron.
Six Indian states including Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Goa account for over 95% of the country's total iron ore reserves. India's biggest iron ore producing state is Orissa, followed by Karnataka and Chhattisgarh. State-controlled National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) is the biggest iron ore producing company in India.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Mica in India

India is a major producer of Mica in the world. It is the largest producer of sheet mica. According to British Geological Survey, the world’s largest deposit of mica is at Koderma district in the state of Jharkhand (India). About 95% of India’s mica is distributed in just three states of Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
1. Jharkhand: Jharkhand has richest mica belt and accounts for 60% of India’s production in terms of value. Here, mica is found in a belt extending for about 150 km in length and 32 km in width from Gaya district of Bihar to Hazaribagh and Koderma districts of Jharkhand. Koderma is a well-known place for mica production in Jharkhand which produces more than 50% of the total mica production in India.
2. Andhra Pradesh: This is the second largest producer and accounts for nearly 25% of India’s mica. The main belt lies in Nellore district and is 97 kms long and 24-30 km wide.
3. Rajasthan: The main mica-bearing belt of Rajasthan extends from Jaipur to Udaipur. This is 322 km long with an average width of 96 km. This is quite wide in its middle part near Bhilwara. The main mica-producing districts are Bhilwara, Jaipur, Tonk, Sikar, Dungarpur and Ajmer.
4. Other Producers: Some mica is produced in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. These areas account for just 1% mica production of India.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Textile Weaving

Textile weaving is one of the main crafts of Madhya Pradesh. Sarees in subtle shades are woven in ppilaces like Chanderi, a village near Gwalior and Maheshwar. These sarees include a wide variety of checks with traditional gold borders. Madhya Pradesh’s craftsmen are equally adept at producing tassar silk handloom fabrics.
Thousands of craftsmen practice hand printing, generally with vegetable dyes. Tarapur and Umedpura, two villages on the opposite banks of the river Gujari, use indigo for their prints. The printers specialise in printing fabrics with a blue background and yellow and red prints, known as nandra. Garments, bedspreads, tablecloths and curtain material are produced here. Jawad also has a similar style of printing. Mandsaur produces excellent bandhanis as well as resist prints imitating the bandhani patterns. Sarees with batik work based on the local mandana traditions of floor and wall decorations have been developed here. Tie and dye chunaries are the speciality of Tarapur and Mandsaur. Skilled craftsmanship is also on display in a variety of zari-embroidered articles.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Bastar Art


Bastar artifacts grace homes the world over, attracting the attention of art enthusiast's and the connoisseur alike. The bastar artifacts usually depict the rural lifestyle of the tribal community, incorporating pastoral scenes with the farmer as the main focus. Beautiful and elegant, the bastar brass artifacts can be incorporated into pen stands, stationary holders and wall hangings.
‪#‎India‬ ‪#‎Bharat‬ ‪#‎art‬ ‪#‎Bastar‬ ‪#‎Hindustan‬ ‪#‎painting‬ ‪#‎chhattisgarh‬

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Rock art


The rock art of India includes carvings, engravings and paintings. It is estimated there are about 1300 rock art sites with over a quarter of a million figures and figurines. The earliest rock carvings in India were discovered by Archibald Carlleyle, twelve years before the Cave of Altamira in Spain, although his work only came to light much later via J Cockburn (1899).

Dr. V. S. Wakankar discovered several painted rock shelters in Central India, situated around the Vindhya mountain range. Of these, the Bhimbetka rock shelters have been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The paintings in these sites commonly depicted scenes of the human life alongside animals, and hunts with stone implements. Their style varied with region and age, but the most common characteristic was a red wash made using a powdered mineral called geru, which is a form of Iron Oxide (Hematite).

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Types of clay crafts in India


Jhuker pottery a famous clay art in India has its roots deeply associated with Harappan civilization. The clay art which developed in the Harappa civilization gained quite a chic form during the Vedic era. According to the archaeological discovery in western Uttar Pradesh, the most acclaimed clay art in the late Vedic period was the "Red Ware". Another notable form of clay art of the Vedic period was "Painted Grey Ware" which comprises dishes, bowls which were used during the rituals and ceremonies for meal. Another form of clay art came into existence was Northern Black Polished Ware. Northern Black Polished Ware was a kind of pottery where a very glossy and lustrous kind of fabric was used. 

As the clay art developed, black pottery as another form of clay art became popular in India. The blackening involves the firing in a closed hearth and the smoke arises from the hearth colours the terracotta. The process of Black Pottery is more luxurious in Nizamabad (Uttar Pradesh). The process indulges the carving of the designs on the dry surface then they are fired and after firing the carvings are filled with paint made from a mixture of mercury and zinc. Some pots, when they are hot are painted with raw lacquer and a black, glossy, non- porous surface is produced. 

Clay art also involves the making of clay beads, "jbanvan" for cleaning the feet, "hookahs" and "chillums" for smoking tobacco. Even clay art in India associates the making of some of the architectural elements such as "Jali" (trellised screens) and tiles. Miniature toys, utensils, animals and human figures of various casts and occupation are available in bright colours and fabulous designs and are often used as an element of decoration. Varanasi and Krishnanagar in West Bengal are famous for producing umpteen amount and variety of miniature idols. Even the religious festivals demand the clay images of the deity which are hugely manufactured in Kumartully and Patuapara of Kolkata. 

Terracotta is an important form of pottery. In fact terracotta is the most common form of pottery in India. Various figures are made in terracotta. Terracotta figures serve as show pieces in many of the Indian households. In India clay images made as votive offerings for tribal shrines are sold at fairs organised by government departments, and end up as decorative pieces in city homes, shorn of their basic ritual association. 

Centres of Clay Crafts in India 
There are a wide variety of clay crafts in India. For instance the Bengali Surai or the common jug, the Kagzi or paper pottery of Alwar, the painted pottery of Bikaner, the colourful Khurja pottery of Uttar Pradesh, the variety of clay ware in Himachal Pradeshlike gidya, patri and narale, the beautiful pottery of Saurashtra, the earthen ware of Srinagar. The unique Karigari pottery of south Arcot also enriches the clay craft of India. Some other popular potteries of India are the Blue Pottery of Jaipur, Pokran Pottery and a lot more. In the present age Pottery has diversified into a number of branches. Clay figures of Lucknow represent characters of different races and tribes of Oudh. Wall brackets, vases, clock-cases, and other articles are manufactured out of clay. They are in a decadent style that is modelled after the Italian work which is found all over Lucknow. Clay figures painted and dressed up in muslins, silks and sequins are modelled at Kolkata, Lucknow and Pune. 

Modernization of clay art in India happened with the introduction of the Chinese and Persian porcelain art which was brought in India by the Mughals. The porcelain tableware came into demand. During the Sultanate period in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, India proceeded with its own manufactory of blue pottery. Ram Singh, an innovative ruler was the person who fetched the craft from Delhi to Jaipur and then onwards the craft preceded its growth and now proved to be the principle manufacturer. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Clay Crafts of India


Clay Crafts of India is an ancient art form dating back to more than 1000 years. The remnants of clay pottery that is found in the sites of Indus Valley Civilisation points to the highly skilled potters who were present even in ancient India. Red Ware was the most popular clay craft in the late Vedic Age. According to myths and traditions clay art was originated by the Potter. Potter the synonym of Prajapati is also revered as Lord Brahma, the creator, created human beings from clay. According to mythology, when Lord Shiva came to marry Sati, the need of an earthen pot was required. So Lord Shiva took two beads from his necklace and gave birth to a male and female forms who are the first moulder of "Kumbha". So the potter is also known as kumhaar. Clay as a material is difficult to control at all stages and the potter has to be constantly diligent from beginning to end, in order to avoid damage or breakage. The culminating fire which will turn plastic clay into permanent terracotta is the most hazardous operation of all. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sandakphu


Located at an altitude of 3,636 metres, Sandakphu is the highest peak located in Darjeeling district in the eastern part of India.The name Sandakphu means ‘Height of the Poison Plant’ because of the poisonous aconite plants that grow near the peak. The patronizing peak of the Singalila Range, Sandakphu is the most audacious point of many trekking routes in the Darjeeling-Sikkim region.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

India (Exports)


A publication on India's trade and investment by Exim bank highlights the trend in exports moving towards southern countries, particularly in the Asia and Africa regions. Asia is a key destination of India's exports - in 2001-02 Asia's share stood at 40.2% but in 2011-12 it grew to to 51.6%. Europe, however has seen a decline in its share, down to 19% in 2011-12 from 24.8% in 2001-02.

India's key exports in 2012 were petroleum products which generated $56bn, followed by gems and jewellery with $47bn. Pharma products, transport equipment, machinery and readymade garments are also big exports for India.

The 2012 data shows that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was India's biggest export market, closely followed by the USA. The latest data available from the Indian Government's Ministry of Commerce and Industry covering April-September 2012, shows the US to have slightly overtaken the UAE. Explore the graphic above to see India's imports and exports by value and year. The UK is the eighth biggest export market for India and held 2.9% of the market share in April-September 2012.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Diveagar, Maharashtra


Gentle wind, sun kissed sands, calm and clean waters make the place appealing. The beach is a pleasant and clear water beach with the option of multiple water sports. The coconut cultivation that runs across the beach line makes it a lovely place to spent time around sunset with your partner. Bagmandala Beach is a clean and secluded beach near Srivardhan and one shall enjoy playing in the white sands of this beach. One can also visit the adjacent Bankot Fort via a boat ride.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Vanxim


Vanxim or Vanusim is an island of Goa situated in the Ilhas region. One can reach here by taking a ferry from Divar. The colonial name for Vanxim was Capão. One may see a lot of houses with few villagers many of whom are fisher-folk in the area.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Parumala Island


Parumala is a small village and island on the Pampa River in Pathanamthitta district in Kerala, India.

Parumala is renowned for the presence of the Tomb of St. Gregorios (Parumala Thirumeni), belonging to the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and Syriac Orthodox Church, so it is a pilgrimage site.The annual feast Ormapperunnal is held at the Parumala Church annually on the first and second of November.

Quibble Island


Quibble Island is a river island in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. It is formed by the Adyar River and one of its tributaries. It is situated between the Chennai neighbourhoods of Mylapore and Adyar. During British rule, a European cemetery was located here.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Majuli River Island


Majuli is the largest island in the world and is located in the banks of Brahmaputra River. Its wide blue sky, Holy River floating across the banks, and beautiful landscape is the best example of God’s creation. Once you visit this place you will feel like getting touched with heaven and you consider visiting again and again.
Apart from the natural beauty, Majuli is also known for cultural celebration which is the great way to enjoy during your tour. Assam is known for its rich culture which attracts millions of people around the world. While having a tour, you can also witness the exhibition taking place in the town. This cultural exhibitions also will offer you with Assamese and tribal dishes and other tradition of the state.
Majuli has got all the charm that can attract is visitors towards it. The cultural tradition, wildlife sanctuary and the exotic island is the best view to go for. The striking feature of Majuli is the population free environment, which will give a memorable experience. This place is blended with beautiful art and craftsmanship.
The hospitality of this place is just remarkable and you would love to visit this place again and again. Places like Vaishnava Satra, Dakhinpat Satra, Garamurh Satra and many others places that should be visited.
To reach Majuli is very easy because it has got a good connectivity with other cities of India. Do a good planning before you get ready for the trip. ‪#‎india‬ ‪#‎bharat‬ ‪#‎travel‬ ‪#‎assam‬ ‪#‎hindustan‬ ‪#‎island‬ ‪#‎riverisland‬

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Sericulture Centre


The centre is located at a distance of 8 kilometers from Premnagar. It’s a research centre, which conducts researches on silk, clothes, fishes and other marine creatures.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Dhole


The most endangered Indian top predator of 2010, the dhole is on edge of extinction. Less than 2500 members of the species remain in the world.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Nicobar pigeon


The Nicobar pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica) is a pigeon found on small islands and in coastal regions from the Nicobar Islands, east through the Malay Archipelago, to the Solomons and Palau. It is the only living member of the genus Caloenas and the closest living relative of the extinct dodo.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Kumbhalgarh National Park

Kumbhalgarh, one of the well know wildlife sanctuaries of Rajasthan, has got a green signal from the government to be converted into a National Park.


The park will cover the areas of Pali, Udaipur and Rajsamand districts. The conversion aims to protect the wildlife and environment in the area covered by the park and it will also help in increasing tourism.

The decision was taken in a meeting of the cabinet held in Jaipur on November 28, presided by the Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot. He said, “Kumbhalgarh sanctuary is also a famous tourist destination of the adjacent districts due to Kumbhalgarh Fort and the Ranakpur Jain Temple.”

Bina Kak, the Tourism, Art and Culture Minister remarked, “The Kumbhalgarh sanctuary is a habitat of many wildlife and endangered species of fauna. The sanctuary is famous for Wolf, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Hyena, Jackal, Jungle Cat, Sambhar, Nilgai,Chausingha (the four horned antelope),Chinkara and hare.”

Forest of Kumbhalgarh is also a home to a variety of flora including many trees with herbal quality and it is an important Bird Site too.

The sanctuary encircles the fort of Kumbhalgarh and was named it. It is known for its high hills and narrow valleys that add to the scenic beauty of the area. The sanctuary also marks the division of two socio-cultural regions of Rajasthan, Mewar and Marwar, located either side of the Aravali Hills. Mewar is located to the east of the Aravali mountain range and Marwar to the west.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Albert Hall Museum Jaipur


This museum is supposed to be the oldest museum of the state. Colonel Sir Swinton Jacob designed it in 1876 to greet King Edward VII as Prince of Wales on his visit to India. It was opened to public ten years later. Positioned amidst the gardens of Ram Niwas Bagh in Jaipur, this museum has an assortment of rare articles on its display including textiles, carpets, paintings, metal and wood crafts, pottery, arms and weapons, flora and fauna of the state, toys, dolls and even an Egyptian mummy that belongs to the Ptolemaic Epoch. It is also known for housing the famous carpet, which portrays the scene of a Persian garden carpet with running water streams that was bought at a dear price from Shah Abbas of Persia, by Mirza Raja Jai Singh I. It also puts on show the miniature paintings of a number of sub-schools of Rajasthan.

The galleries on the ground floor of the museum have been completely remodeled and restructured since 1959 in an attempt to depict the uniqueness of the dresses and jewellery of all the classes and tribes of Rajasthani people including the privileged class that mainly consists of Rajputs and the merchant class. It includes the lifestyle of the tribals such as Meenas, Bhopas, Bhils, Gadoliya Lohars and many more. One gallery has also been committed to the henna body art of Rajasthan, popularly called as 'Mehndi Mandana', which makes an exhibition of the typical Rajasthani motifs and designs that are so well recognized as ethnic all over the world. Puppets and Phad paintings (the painted scrolls depicting the life of Pabuji Rathore, who was a great folk-hero from Marwar) occupies yet another gallery of the museum. The highlights of the museum, however, are displayed in its central gallery, which is completely devoted to the Rajasthani music and dance forms.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Amarkantak


Amarkantak is the highest elevation of Vindhya Ranges with an height of 1,048 m (3,438 ft), situated in the dense forest region of Madhya Pradesh. Amarkantak is also the meeting point of two major mountain ranges the Vindhyas and the Satpuras along with Maikal Hills range of f Chhattisgarh. Its is also emerging point of great and holy river the Narmada River, the Sone River and Johila River.

Mountain Peak:     Amarkantak
Mountain Range:  Vindhya Range
Elevation:                1,048 m (3,438 ft)
Location:                  Madhya Pradesh

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, Chandigarh


Zakir Hussain Rose Garden Asia's largest Rose Garden and is spreaded over 30 acres of land having over 1600 different species or roses. These have been planted beautifully carved out lawns and flowers beds. Like the cultural zone which is just across the road in sector 10,this was also planned by Dr. M.S. Randhawa as his interest in horticulture and fondness for flowers was profuse. Every year, either at the end of February or beginning of March, a big festival known as Rose Festival, is celebrated at this garden. Over 20,000 people visit this festival. It’s one of the great celebrations in the city. There are lots of competitions, cultural celebrations and many other events.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Leh Palace


Leh Palace was built during the 17th century by the ruler King Sengge Namgyal. Its construction is on the same lines as the construction of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. This palace had to be deserted by the royal family in the middle of the 19th century, because of the taking over of Ladakh by Dogra forces. After this the royal family is living in-exile in the popular Stok Palace. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is restoring some of the ruined portions of this nine-storey palace. While the store rooms were on the lower floors, the royalty resided on the upper floors. The roof of this palace offers an excellent view of the valley. ‪#‎leh‬ ‪#‎ladakh‬‪#‎india‬ ‪#‎bharat‬ ‪#‎travel‬ ‪#‎tradition‬ ‪#‎tourism‬ ‪#‎archive‬

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Patna Museum


Patna Museum, also known as 'Jadu Ghar' in Hindi, is one of well preserved museum in the country which connect the glorious past with the modern age. Set up in the center of the city, the museum building houses splendid and large collection of artifacts of the periods belonging to Mauryan, Gupta, Sunga, Kushan, Mughals and British era. The museum boasts of few collection which are unmatched elsewhere.

The museum came into present form in 1917 AD in a architecturally beautiful building, built specially for it. Sir Edward Gait, Lieutenant Governor of Bihar and Odisha (1915-1920) was the founder of this museum. His bust stands inside the museum, near the entrance gate.  The museum is surrounded by a beautiful scenery park. A number of statues, such as of Lord Hardinge, Viceroy of India dots the campus. The museum has a collection of over 45,000 exhibits, out of which only a small percentage of it are on display due to space constraint. The Relic casket, containing the mortal remains of Lord Buddha is one of its rare possessions. However the most famous collection of the museum is 'Didarganj Yakshi', the statue from 3rd Century BC. A brick sculpture of lord Buddha and stupas, named as Satabdi Smarak is situated in one of the corner of the museum. A cafeteria (Sangrahalaya Vihar) managed by Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation and a souvenir shop managed by HHEC (Ministry of Textile, GoI) is present in one corner of the museum. The museum building also houses few government offices like office of the National Mission for Manuscripts, Govt. of India and Bihar Research Society. The museum also houses an auditorium, named as Jan Nayak Karpuri Thakur Auditorium at the back side. It was inaugurated in 2000.

The museum building consist of two floor, with each floor having dedicated Galleries to display the artifacts in a proper way. The galleries are:

Natural History Gallery
Stone Sculpture Gallery
Orissan Stone Sculpture
Indian Stone Art Tradition
Terracota Gallery
Budda Relic Gallery
Bronze Galley
Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayana Gallery
Art Gallery & war-weapon Gallery
Painting Gallery
Patliputra Gallery
Rajendra Gallery
The Attractions :
Didarganj Yakshi : It is a life-size tall statue of a Chauri-Bearer, some 2300 years old. It is so called because it was found on the bank of river Ganga near a place called Didarganj in Patna in 1917. It is a masterpiece from that era, most probably from Ashoka's period. The upper part has been given finesse touch whereas the lower half is not as beautiful.The women is holding a Chauri (Fly whisk) in her right hand, where as her left hand is missing.

The statue is mesmerizing thing to look at. Built with great finesse , it has been acknowledged world wide during its exhibition & a superb example of the period that flourished on this land.

Buddha Relic casket: It is one of the most aspired thing for the Buddhist Tourists. The Holy Relic Casket, containing the ashes of lord Buddha was found in 1958-59 at a mud stupa site in Vaishali, which was built by the Lichchavis in the first half of the 5th Century BC.The casket is made up of soap-stone. the ashes were found just below the lowest layer & at the center of the casket. A leaf , a silver piece and a glass bead was also found in the casket.

The casket is situated in the Buddha Relic Gallery on the first floor of the building. It is closed for the normal visitors. However, if any one wishes to view the casket , then he need to buy a separate ticket for the same.

Silicified tree Trunk: It is a 53-feet tree fossil, the estimated age of which is 200 million years. It was found near Asansol (W.Bengal) by the Eastern Railways in 1927, during a track laying and later gifted to the museum. The tree is allied to the family of pines. It is formed as a result of Petrification, due to which the wooden tree got converted into solid rock. Its amazing to see such a long tree in fossil.

It is situated in a corridor of Natural History Gallery on the right side of the Ground floor.

The Galleries:
Natural History Gallery : It is situated on the right side of the ground floor. It contains the variety of preserved animals, which can amaze the children. The life size Bison stands in the middle of the hall.Beside it contains tiger, dear,crocodile,panthers,birds & butterflies and many more. The fossiled tree turn is also here.

Stone Sculpture Gallery: It is situated on the left side of the ground floor. It welcome visitors by the mesmerizing site of the Didarganj Yakshi, place in the from middle of the hall. The hall also contain some other beautiful artifacts, like Gargoyle (12th Cent AD , in black stone), Rectangular slab depicting birth of Buddha etc. The halls opens into other small hall which the statues of Lord Buddha in different posture belonging to the Pala Period(800-1200 AD). Finest specimens of Pala arts are housed in the museum. Orissan Stone Sculpture & Indian art tradition contains the artifacts from the Gupta period.

Terracotta Gallery: It is situated on the midway to first floor. It houses terracotta from the Mauryan period, Sunga period, Kushan period ,Gupta period and so on. The Dancing Girl, Laughing Boy and Smiling Girl terracotta from the Mauryan period are worth viewing. It also houses terracotta from Mohen-Jo-Daro and Taxila.

The other galleries on the first floor includes Bronze Gallery, Rahul Sanskritayayana's  Gallery, Weapon Gallery, Painting Gallery, Patliputra Gallery & Rajendra Gallery. All galleries are unique in there own way.

The Patna Museum is of national importance, because of its possession of some of the very rare artifacts. It is  a must visit place for any visitor visiting the city.

How to Reach: It is situated on Buddha Marg, opposite to the Indira Gandhi Planetarium. Autos are easily available. It is easily accessible from all areas. For people coming on shared autos from Danapur side, one needs to get down at Income Tax roundabout (Golamber), walk towards Dak Bunglow Chowk and turn left at Kotwali Police Station. It is roughly 500 meter from It Golamber.  For people coming from Gandhi Maidan or Kankarbagh side, needs to get down at Dak Bunglow and walk towards IT Golamber.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ghatshila (Jharkhand)


Ghatshila on the bank of Subarnarekha River in Jharkhand is known for its refreshing natural beauty. Regarded as one of the famed tourist spot of Jharkhand, Ghatshila attracts quite a large number of tourists for its scenic beauty. The beauty of the undulating forested slopes and the leisurely flowing waters of Subarnarekha River make Ghatshila tour a memorable experience. 

Ghatshila was formerly the headquarters of the kingdom of Dhalbhum. They established themselves by conquering the western part of Bengal, the area commonly known as Jungle Mahals. The sweet water of Ghatshila with natural mineral content needs special mention. The water is said to have medicinal values. A glass of water is enough to fill-up your empty stomach. At several points in Ghatshila will you find a public tube well or Chaapaakal where you can taste fresh water. And probably because of this reason people of Bengal has been flocking at Ghatshila, even before independence.
However no description of Ghatshila would be complete without the mentioning of the famous Bengali writer Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay. This noted Bengali writer of Pather Panchali fame was a resident of the city.
Being placed between two mountain ranges with the Subarnarekha River separating them from kissing each other, Ghastshila has an irresistible beauty that can be felt on a walk around the town. Though smoking chimneys of factories suggests inroads of industrialization at Ghatshila, yet a walk down the Aam Bagan or the Raj Estate will take you close to lively village life with tribals engaged in their daily rituals. Apart from enjoying the awesome scenic beauty of the place you can also visit several places in and around Ghatshila that are unique in their very own way. (Hills, Lakes, Dams, Reserves etc). 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sinhagarh fort (Pune)


Sinhagarh fort, whose earlier name was Kondana or Kondhana, stands 20kms, south-west of Pune.  Perched on an isolated cliff of the Bhuleswar range of the Sahyadri Mountains, its height above sea-level is 1380 metres.  Given natural protection by its very steep slopes, the walls and bastions were constructed at only key places; it has two gates – the Kalyan Darwaza in the south-east and the Pun Darwaza in the north-east
Sinhagarh has a long history.  It was captured from theKoli tribal chieftain, Nag Naik, by Muhammad bin Tughlaq in 1328 AD.  Three centuries later, Chhatrapati shivaji Mahraj wrested it away by bribing the commander, by the Treaty of Purandar (1665 AD) had to cede the fort to the Mughals.  Sinhagarh was the scene of one of the most daring exploits in Maratha history when, in 1670 AD, it was recaptured by Shivjaji’s forces under Tanaji Malusare, who laid down his life in the battle.  On his death, a saddened Chhatrapati shivaji Mahraj said, “The fort is won, but the lion is gone!” Whereupon the fort got is new name:  Sinha (lion) gadha (fort).  Finally the British seized the fort from the Peshwas in 1818 AD, destroying its almost all ancient monuments.  Only the traditional gates and broken walls remain now.
The upper surface of the fort is undulating and retains few buildings, Ruins of temples, tombs and towers are scattered about.  Near the gorge is a monument (Samadhi) commemorating the bravery of Tanaji.  There is also a tiny tomb of Rajaram, Chhatrapati shivaji Mahraj’s son, who died here in 1700 AD. Also there are few bungalows, including that of Lokamanya Tilak.
In the Maratha period Sinhagarh played the crucial role of defending Pune.  The National Defence Academy (Kharakwalsa) trains its army cadet’s right under the shadows of Sinhagrah.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Himachal Pradesh Handicrafts



Wood Carving 
Painting
Thangkas
Rugs & Carpets
Garments & Accessories
Embroidery
Shawls
Leather Craft
Jewellery
Metalwork
Stonework

Being rich in forests, wood is abundant in Himachal Pradesh and so woodcarving is still a living tradition of the state. Earlier this craft was mostly used in building temples and palaces. However, at present artisans creates intricate designs used in building houses, and also for making other things like low benches, spinning wheels, smoking pipe, cradles, low settees, boxes, serving spoon, rolling pins, wooden utensils, and much more. Moreover, other interesting things like fruit bowls, beer mugs, wooden jewellery, decorative boxes and carved images can also be found carved out of wood.

Like most other states in India, Himachal Pradesh is also rich in traditional paintings. You can see the miniature paintings in art galleries and museums in Himachal, but the true picture of the traditional paintings can be seen in most village houses. The women of the house paint their floors and walls. Moreover, they draw illustrative designs called yantras on the doorstep on ceremonial occasions. The floors are decorated with a white paste made of rice, whereas the walls are painted with colors, which they collect from daily used things such as turmeric powder, red clay, kumkum (a liquid used for make up) and so on.

Thangkas are brightly coloured cloth paintings, which are mostly used as ritual paintings exhibited during some Buddhist festivals. International tourists love these paintings. They generally depict lord Buddha and other deities as well as the wheel of life.

Rugs, Carpets are significant part of furnishing in Himachal Pradesh. Available in brilliant colors and traditional motifs these items look amazingly beautiful in appearance. 
Moreover, Blankets made with wool weaved out of sheep and goats are also available in plenty.

Garments & Accessories used by People of Himachal are very colorful. Their traditional attire is bedecked with delicate embroidery with circular and linear patterns. They are also fond of all sorts of accessories like colorful scarves, bangles, rings, hand knit woollen socks, gloves, mufflers, caps and grass shoes.
Women in Himachal like to pass their time in the afternoon by working on embroidery work with needle and thread. They make beautiful pieces of clothing like scarves, coverlets, handfans, caps, cholis (bodices), gaumukhi (prayer gloves) and so on. The richly embroidered colorful silk rumals (scarves) of Chamba have traditionally been made since the last 1000 years. Himachali women use these small shawls as head coverings.

Like Kashmir, Himachal also produces fine and precious Shawls, which are in high demand by tourists from all over the world. These shawls are weaved in the cottage industries of Himachal and are available in plain and patterned.
Leather craft is another significant craft of the state. The traditional chappals (slippers) of Chamba are not only beautiful but very comfortable as well. They are embroidered with colorful threads and at times with Zari (golden thread). You will also find a range of shoes, sandals, socks and belts.

Jewellery of Himachal Pradesh consists of beads and metals, which are worn by the local people with their traditional attire. These include pendants, necklaces, rings and so on

The metals used in metalwork or metal carving are brass, copper, iron, tin and bell metal. These are used to make exquisite statuettes, lamps, incense burners, low settees of silver or brass, vessels and musical instruments mostly used in temples. Moreover, some objects are also made for daily use at home.

Stone carving is another such craft, which was mostly used for temples in the early days. You can see splendid samples of the stone carving in various temples in Himachal.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Punjabi Paranda


Paranda is one of the traditional handicrafts of Punjab. It is a colorful hanging worn by the Punjabi women in their hair. Most of the Punjabi women have long hair, which they plait and then tie a paranda at the end. Parandis are available with a great variety in designs and colors. They are made out of a bunch of silk threads, intricately woven with other skillful works. #india #punjab #handicrafts 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Toy Making (Jharkhand)

Jharkhand originally a tribal state is known for its wood work, bamboo works, pitkar paintings, tribal ornaments and stone carving. The beautifully carved wood products and bamboo products show the craftsmanship of the people. Lack of promotion and marketing for these products has mostly resulted in extinction of some crafts like paitkar paintings and stone carvings.


Toy Making
In the hilly regions of Jharkhand and around its capital city Ranchi, there dwell families who, for generations have reveled in toy making. Their wooden cut outs, glossed with an eye-catching canary paint depict the nature around. Of course the sizes are miniaturized for they are really playthings for children that have wheels for mobility or detachable limbs that allow free acrobatics manipulated by the pulling of string. These agile puppets are usually made from palm leaf slivers painted with pink dots and finger paintings, giving the right accents to a day of fun and frolic.


The love of the people of Jharkhand for the grand weddings and their accompanying fanfare is reflected in the toys also. The toy traders recreate the wedding of Lord Rama or the elephant god Ganesha in the toys. The lord as a groom is draped in a canary yellow lower garment or dhoti, the typical wedding finery for a bridegroom. The tinges of gold on the garment and the veiled face of the toy bride complete the ambience. Of the scenes of nature nothing pleases these craftsmen more than the sight of a flock of brilliant parakeets in paddy green feathers. The contrasting red of the beak is a bonus that few can overlook. But the bird is not a boring depiction of its realistic form. Only the colors of the bird are copied and then re-designed in folk art forms of well- defined lines and frozen posture forms.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Crafts of Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh is a state renowned for its rich metal crafts and other traditional craft products made out of bamboo, wood etc. The folk paintings of Chhatisgarh depict the living expressions of the people, intrinsically linked with the socio-cultural ambiance of the area. They are not mere decorations but also spontaneous outpourings of religious devotions. The main craft produce of the State include Bamboo work, Wood carving, folk painting and folk Jewelry.
Bamboo Work
Bamboo thickets are common sight in the State and tribals of Chhattisgarh have been putting their craftmanship to work. Craftsmanship of Chhattisgarh tribals can be seen from varying articles of craft produce they make out of bamboo. Articles for daily as well as decorative use are produced by these artisans. Some of the will known Bamboo produce include agricultural implements, fishing traps, hunting tools and baskets.

Wood Carving
The woodcarving art has been flourishing in Chhattisgarh from time immemorial and one can find beautifully carved wooden products designed by the craftsman of the State. The skillful craftsmen of the State carve beautiful wooden ceilings, doors, lintels etc using different kinds of wood like shisham, teak, dhudi, sal and kikar. The craftsmen also make pipes, masks, doors, window frames and sculptures.

Painting
Traditional wall paintings of the State is associated with rituals. Floors and walls are painted with colours and in almost every instance the depiction being associated with some ritual. Pithora paintings is a common traditional art form. These paintings originated in the tribal area of the Central India which is presently Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and depicts the offering to gods. These paintings are usually done on the occasion of marriages, childbirth and other occasions of fulfillment of wish etc.
Most of these paintings has a horse as it was considered auspicious to sacrifice a horse. In most of these tribal houses one can find pithora paintings. They are colorful and use natural colors.
Ornaments

Jewelry from Chhattisgarh is available in a variety of gold, silver, bronze and mixed metal. Ornament made out of beads, cowries and feathers are part of tribal costumes. Tribal men and women wear traditional ornaments.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Stonecraft


Stonecraft is a popular craft in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. This is the art in which craftsmen creates fine work on stone to give it various shapes of windows, garden furniture, decorative pieces and so on.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Bandhani


In Kachchh, tie and dye craft is known as “Bandhani.” Bandhani dates back to the Bandhani 12th century, and came to Kachchh when members of the Khatri community migrated from Sindh. Bandhani tie and dye became a staple local source of income with the export of bandhani bandannas to Europe via the English East India Company in the 18th century. Much like the local block printers, bandhani artisans used local, natural resources like madder and pomegranate to dye their cloth in a brilliant range of hues. The technique of tightly winding a thread around a section of cloth, dyeing it, and then removing the thread to reveal a circular resist motif has remained the same since bandhani was first practiced.
Bandhani has long been culturally important to Kachchhi communities.The most revered type of bandhani is the gharcholu, which is the traditional wedding odhani of Gujarati Hindu and Jain brides. The chandrokhani is worn by Muslim brides.
Modern Artistry
Today, the Khatri community is the main producer of Bandhani in Gujarat, maintaining a mastery of the craft that has lasted for generations. Khatris in Kachchh are usually Hindu or Muslim. The demand for intricate designs featuring Bandhani is high, and the newest patterns can feature as many as one lakh ties (dots). Bandhani is used for daily attire and for auspicious occasions, like births, weddings, and goddess temple pilgrimage.
Khatris are making new versions of Bandhani to fit the demands of modern and more international clientele. They experiment with the size, shape, and placement of each dot on the cloth to offer a whole new range of products. Their patterns reflect an artistic sentiment to explore and play, creating new motifs with an innovative spirit.
Sustaining Tie and Dye
Seeing the need to control the use of chemical dyes in Kachchh so that lasting ecological damage was not done to the environment, water, and people of local communities, Khamir began initiatives to popularize and teach the value of natural dyes, making natural dyestuffs more accessible to modern artisans. Khamir has conducted workshops and trainings with Bandhani artisans in order to expose them to more sustainable practices.‪#‎bandhani‬ ‪#‎kachchh‬ ‪#‎india‬ ‪#‎bharat‬ ‪#‎art‬ ‪#‎craft‬

Gujarati Crafts


Gujarat is renowned for its textile production methods. Bordering Rajasthan, the two states share similarities in culture and identity. The ancient Indus Valley Civilization inhabited the entire region, including Rajasthan and Punjab during Medieval India. They embarked on this textile industry in Gujarat. Within textile production, each caste is assigned to an occupation of its own. These are, weaving, dyeing and printing. For example the Salvi caste is assigned to weaving. Garment producers bring these elements together to form the identity of Gujarati textiles. Direct application is a method also symbolic to Gujarati garments. Paint and other applicants are used to form patterns on fabric for dupattas, ghagras (long skirt) and turbans. Block printing is a widely used form of direct application. In Bandhani, a unique Gujarati craft, fabric is tied at different sections before dyeing to create patterns. This foundation of forming patterns through dyeing has emerged from the rural communities of this state. Along with the complete image of a Gujarati woman are large bangles made of ivory and plastic, these are symbols of a married woman. Conch shell and shellac bangles are the most common. Conch shell bangles are plain white with a light shade of a brighter colour where as shellac bangles are shaped as a shell, painted and decorated with glitter. These have in recent years become an accessory in both domestic and international markets.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Cherrapunji (Meghalaya)


Cherrapunji in Meghalaya has several reasons to claim. It is the second wettest place on the planet and the only place in India to receive rain throughout the year. The town of Cherrapunji is nestled in the East Khasi Hills about 50 km southwest of state capital Shillong. The town is also known as Sohra and Churra. Cherrapunji, which means ‘the land of oranges’, is at an elevation of 4290 ft. One can see the plains of Bangladesh from the cliffs of Cherrapunji. Cherrapunji held the record for the wettest place on earth. However, Mawsynram, also in Meghalaya, holds the distinction of being the wettest place. Cherrapunji receives a staggering 11,777 mm of rainfall annually.
Monsoon clouds which blow inland from the Bay of Bengal are stopped from moving further by the ridges of Cherrapunji. The town receives both south-west and north-east monsoon.
Despite receiving excess rain, the town faces acute water shortage and the locals have to travel great distances to get fresh water. Another fall out of the relentless rain is the soil erosion which has denuded land of Cherrapunji and the surrounding valleys.
Cherrapunji is also famous for its live bridges, a result of bio-engineering practised by the locals. The bridges can bear 50 people at a time and are spectacular to watch.
Besides, enjoying the rains, Cherrapunji is also a good place for trekking. The most popular trekking route is that leads to Double Decker Living Root bridge in Nongriat village. It is advisable to hire a guide on your treks. Other activities to do in Cherrapunji are river canyoning from Nongthymmai to Mynteng steel rope bridge. Rock climbing and camping can also be indulged in Cherrapunji.
WHERE TO STAY
Cherrapunji offers several options when it comes to accomodation. From guest houses with basic amenities, resorts that offer better facilities, cottages, to homestays, you will be spoilt for choice.



WHERE TO EAT
In Cherrapunji, you can enjoy Khasi cuisine like pork rice. Eateries that sell pork and other red meat abound in the town. Sohra Pulao which is rice cooked with oil and vegetables without spices should not be missed.

You can also get Indian Chinese, Punjabi and Bengali cuisines in Cherrapunji. However, what you get here is the Khasi version of the cuisines. ‪#‎meghalaya‬ ‪#‎india‬ ‪#‎bharat‬ ‪#‎cherrapunji‬ ‪#‎nature‬ ‪#‎travel‬