About me

Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie..

Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... Love reading books- sometimes i read 3books simultaneously, crazy about music- need it all around me, all the time and ofcourse, i totally am ga ga goo goo over my 7yr old naughty brat- Floppy!! errr, Prince Floppy!! :)

Friday, March 16, 2018

Museum of Tribal Arts & Artefacts, Bhubaneshwar

Bhubhaneshwar, my trip in a nutshell - a jist of all that I did while in Odisha

When I planned my trip to Bhubaneshwar, I knew there were a whole bunch of places I wanted to visit. And then there was one more that caught my eye- The Museum of Tribal Arts & Artefacts [which had been established way back in 1953] I spoke to a couple of people who have been to this town, but none knew of this nor had they been there. Anyways, the day before I left town, I had a few hours in the evening and that morning I had spent a few hours at the State Museum. The evening I decided to check this Museum of Tribal Arts & Artefacts, but then by the time I left the hotel and found an auto it was nearly 5pm, and I had read that this place shuts at 6pm. Hoping an hour was enough, I rushed into the gates, and on towards the main building. 

There were two buildings near the gate, but they looked like they had shut for the day. I later came to know one was a shop and the other a cafe.. Oh well!! 

The main museum was beautiful, the art and craft pieces were organised across the various rooms, and the entry/exit points was well thought of. We were not allowed to take photographs and so  I walked around, enjoying the display. Some of the words were similar to what we have in tamil, like Katri was a sharp tool here, while in tamil it means scissors.. There was also a section where a small painting session was going on. Traditional costumes such as the ringa of the Bonda tribe, phute sari of the Santhals and gatungkap of Lanjia Saora can be seen at the museum. 

Through the museum, I came to know that there are over 60 different Tribes in Odisha, and each had distinct art, craft, clothing style, traditions and food. The museum also exhibits the huts of the Orissa tribes namely Santal, Juang, Gadaba, Saora and Kondh. Each hut is built along with their arts and artifacts, and household appliances... 

The area leading to/around the museum and around is beautifully landscaped and the flowers were in full bloom. It was quite a sight.. Here are a few photographs from the campus.. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Parashurameshwar Temple, Bhubaneshwar

Bhubhaneshwar, my trip in a nutshell - a jist of all that I did while in Odisha

It was one of those trips that did not involve too much planning or thinking. There was a weekend, and I knew I had a few days where work was easy.. Checked ticket rates, room availability, made sure there were no festivals around and voila, I was on a plane to Bhubaneswar..

On my 1st afternoon in Bhubaneswar, I decided to do some exploring. I had read about the numerous temples around here, some of which were known to get real crowded and others much smaller in comparison. Even though I am not into temples, I love them for the history and stories they hide within the walls. I decided to check out three temples, that were in the same locality, literally next to each other.

Hailed an Ola auto [now there is an interesting story, but that shall be another post] and headed to the Parashurameshwar Temple first. It was situated near a school and so there was a crowd of parents waiting anxiously. As with many other places, here too I was subjected to stares and glares, it is almost like people in our country haven't seen a girl alone, or one wearing jeans and a shirt with a camera in hand. Don't know, don't care!

I walked into the swirling gates, figured out where to take off footwear and made my way towards the temple. It is a fairly small one, the signboard outside says 7th Century, known to be one of the oldest temples around here! I was fascinated by the architecture, which I later found was the same across all temples here. The architecture is typical of Oriyan style, with a wide range of sculptures ranging from animals, women, couples and flowers. 

It is the first temple to have an additional structure called vimana. Though the temple is dedicated to Shiva, it contains sculpted images of Shakta deities, which are otherwise normally part of Shakta temples.

The Jagamohana is almost rectangular with a terraced roof, sloping in two stages.  The denotes the stage of Saiva Pasupata Sect, illustrated by the frequent representation of Lakulisa. He is sculpted in Buddha-like form, with four disciples at his feet as shown on the last side of the tower, while on the West, above the relief of Nataraja, he looks like the meditating Buddha. The varandah has projecting moulding topped by a recessed frieze, demarcating bada from the gandi, a feature not found in later temples. The frieze has mostly amorous couples, separated by paneled jalis vidalas (a rampant lion, with head swung backwards, springing over a crouching elephant) at corners, a very typical symbol the beleaguered Buddhist faith.

The inner sanctum is fairly dark and houses Lord Shiva. Apparently only two of the three original deities have survived the test of time. When you come around the temple, there is a Sahasralingam [one large Linga with 1 thousand miniature versions of itself surrounding it]

I spent a few minutes wandering about the place, and tried to learn some of the history from the priest there. He was patient and took me around.. I noticed another temple on the other side, with just a park in the middle that seemed to be filled with people walking/lazing. As I made my way out of the temple, I could see the school crowd had vanished and all that was left was a bunch of guys on bike chewing paan and lounging under the tree.

Stay tuned for more from Orissa or Odisha as it is called now..

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Bhubhaneshwar, my trip in a nutshell

Jan 26th was a Friday, which meant it was a long weekend. For a freelancer like me, it does not make much of a difference, but what the hell, decided to make the most of it and started planning a trip. A friend wanted to go to Hampi, but that dint seem like it was happening [ again the long weekend came into play- everything was expensive, no rooms anywhere, etc]

Anyways, I had been toying with the idea of doing Odisha for a long time and this seemed to be the perfect time for it. Started doing my research, flights & hotels, also check if there were any festivals on now [ it meant crowded spaces and overpriced hotels].. Managed to find a few within my budget, so went ahead and blocked rooms on Booking.com and booked flight [ worked out to Rs6800 return]. 

I decided to travel on 25th Jan to avoid the 26th Jan chaos [ Republic day]... It was going to be a 5 day trip, where I planned on exploring as much as possible. Atleast skim the surface, and leave some for subsequent trips... 

The places I managed to covered were
1. Bhubaneshwar - 6 Temples, Udayagiri & kandagiri Caves,Ekamra Haat, Local market, Tribal Museum , State Museum, Dauli [Shanti Stupa].. Decided to skip the Zoo.. 
2. Puri - Temple & Beach
3. Konark - Temple & Beach
4. Pipli - applique work
5. Buddhist sites- Ratnagiri, Udayagiri and Lalitagiri 
6. Cuttack 

Shall be doing individual posts... stay tuned~ 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Land's end, Bandra...

During my last visit to Mumbai, friend took it upon herself to show me around certain parts of the city I haven't been to and certain pockets that she had covered during her heritage walk escapades... The destination for today was Land's end.. I only knew of Taj Land's end hotel, and the worli sea link around Bandra, did not know the story or about the fort there. Enroute she and P [her 9yr old] told me the story about the place and I was WOWed by how much the little one knew!! :) 

For me history was a subject I dreaded all through school, just about scraping by. But then as I began travelling, I realised it was more than dates, years, and names, and thus began my love for the subject. I got curious and wanted to know more about everything I saw, heard and ate [yes even food wasnt spared]. The richness of culture, location, region, religion, people comes through the history and what we see today! Hence, the fascination....  

Anyways, there we were at Land's end. Parked the car near Taj and began walking down the road. Dont remember what day of the week it was, but it was damn crowded. We walked past a gate and a garden of sorts on our left. Did not venture into it as it was packed with couples busy lost in each others' eyes/arms and everything else.. Sigh! Looks like all parks provide the right kind of atmosphere for romance to blossom.. Who knows!! We walked past towards what looked like the Fort walls. There was a flight of steps leading up to the fort wall, again packed with kids and couples strewn all over. We spent some time soaking in the ocean, while friend continued giving me insights into the place.

 The story goes that back in 1640, the Portuguese built a fort known as Castella de Aguada (which literally translated to Fort of the Waterpoint, today also known as the Bandra Fort. It was basically built to serve as a watchtower overlooking the Mahim Bay, the Arabian Sea and the entire southern island of Mahim

After a few decades, around the 1850, a Parsi businessman/philanthropist [yes Bombay still has quite a Parsi population even today], Sir Byramjee Jeejeebhoy bought the entire Land's End area and decided to develop it. He built a road connecting Lands End with the rest of Bandra [Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Road], a promenade and sea-facing wall on the western side of Lands End. Little after that, in 1865 Byramjee built his own residence on top of the hill right there at Land's end.   

Today the most famous landmark out here is the Taj property. I noticed they had bought the space across from the hotel, and as we walked back to the car, I wondered if access to the fort would be restricted if they take over the entire area.. 

Anybody add to this [there isn't much online about this place]? Shall update with credits...  

Friday, March 2, 2018

Hues of Yellow in Pondicherry

About a week or fortnight ago, I decided to do something I had been putting off forever. It was something that gave me nightmares, seemed daunting and well, scary at times.. But then it had to be done.. What am I talking about? Sorting out the various folders and files across my 3 Hard disks. 

Yes, you can stop rolling your eyes now... lolz

In one of them I found a folder unnamed, and inside it were these beautiful clicks from Pondicherry..  Have no recollection of when this trip was made or what camera I used, but these pictures caught my eye.  And the highlight of it was they were all yellow, most were Street names from Pondicherry.. Well, here they are... 

It also had me wondering- why are there so many yellow walls/buildings in Pondicherry? What is the deal with this? Any insights? Any stories?