“Sometimes it’s not about the destination, but about the journey itself.” ~ Anonymous
This is my last and final post on my 5-day road trip to Kutch taken in December 2014; a road trip full of personal 1sts that I would be happy to turn into 2nds. Uncut, here are some images which did not make it to my eight blog posts on the region but summarize my journey just as eloquently. Continue reading →
Every day as I set off to explore one corner or another of Kutch I would pass a dazzling white edifice in Bhuj, my base during my travels in north-west Gujarat. And my eyes would hold on to it, till it disappeared from sight. It was the Swaminarayan Temple of Bhuj. I knew I could not leave without visiting it. Call it faith. Call it the traveller’s call. But I found myself waking up at the crack of dawn this morning and finding my way towards it. Continue reading →
Once upon a time there was a flourishing port town by the name of Lakhpat. Situated at the mouth of the Kori creek, overlooking the Great Rann of Kutch, it is believed to have been so named because of its daily revenue of one lakh (million) koris (the then currency of Kutch). As I approach the now deserted town, a hushed breeze redolent with countless stories—some fact, some legend—sweeps over the crumbling ruins … Continue reading →
With this post I digress to another side of Kutch—the ornamental wall paintings which decorate the walls of homes, temples and work places in the vast salt pans’ midst. An art form sadly extinct, and least known of Kutch art and crafts.
Dating back to the 18th Century, the Kamangari School of Painting, painted on scrolls and walls, and unique to Kutch, is now a vanished tradition—its remnants found in a couple of Bhuj’s museums, a few random surviving homes, and a portico in the decaying monastery of the Kanphatayogis that I visited in Than. Continue reading →
“The Rann is a great teacher. A sea of salt, it is harsh. Very harsh. It makes you resilient. But it softens your eyes with tears and teaches your heart to be kind,” my Kutchi co-passenger on the sleeper train to Bhuj philosophically explains as the train rumbles its way through the barren expanses of northern Gujarat. I must confess I am not too sure what he means. Doesn’t harshness make us harsh too? I guess I look nonplussed. He smiles at me, “You will feel it. You will see it.” Continue reading →
From behind the everyday commuter traffic swarming through the business district of Fort in South Bombay, peeps out an earlier historical Fort, albeit shyly. I have often been part of that sea of humanity, stealing a hungry glance around me every now and then, to revert back to the trudge forward. And then one day, today, I delved deeper and met the old Fort. 🙂 Continue reading →
Baobab, the upside-down tree indigenous to Madagascar is often considered as a marker for Portuguese sites in India
From Vasai to Baxay to Baçaim to Bajipura to Bassein to Vasai, the Vasai Fort is romantic, inspiring and shrouded in history, some factual, others – legendary.
When I moved to Mumbai earlier this year, I was told there is nothing to see there. You will miss the art, history and culture of Delhi. Wrong. I don’t believe, you can be anywhere in India, and be far from “art, history and culture”. India is steeped in it, and Mumbai is no less. Continue reading →
The Virgin Mother with Infant Jesus, Khotachi Wadi Chapel wall painting
Just behind the buzz and lights of Chaupati aka Chowpatty beach in Mumbai’s third southern most island Girgaum, is a historical precinct – the village of Khotachi Wadi.
When a friend’s facebook update showed up saying that she was taking a guided walk through the precinct, I, a rather self-acclaimed art and history buff, nearly jumped with joy and excitement, determined not to let this opportunity go by. 🙂 An itinerary which consisted of endless strolls and complimentary high tea in a 155 year old bungalow, over lazy conversations with its fifth generation owners, was both the carrot and the cherry. Continue reading →