Prag Mahal and Aina Mahal – Palaces of Bhuj and their stories 2

Walking through the old capital town of Kutch, we listen to a few stories as we explore some of the places to visit in Bhuj Kutch. It is hot and dusty. Everything looks hazy to me – from an ancient monument in front of me to a lake teeming with water birds. And then I look again closely and wonder if I am seeing a mirage. Standing tall in front of me is a huge bell tower, reaching out to 45 metres or 150 feet tall. And a palace , which makes me feel that I am in an European […]

Bhuj, Prag Mahal

Krishna Sudama friendship

A tale of friendship between Krishna and Sudama 7

The saga of Krishna and Sudama friendship Towns tell tales of friendships. Some of these are legendary like the friendship between Krishna and Sudama. A story which is almost a parable on friendship, it took me to my childhood when I used to pour over Amar Chitra Katha comics. A tale which says that friendship towers above all – power or wealth. I am in Dwarka  and I am reliving the story. Krishna was a king and yet to him, it was his friends who mattered. Sudama was going through a bad phase and he knew his friend was a king, […]

Spundana – a journey into the real Kutch 18

The heart of Kutch I believe lies in its villages, the people and the crafts.  Beautiful designs created by thin nimble fingers, the women of Kutch are a treasure house of talent. Shy, smiling, decked in bold jewellery and clad in colourful costumes, the women stand out in the bleary blank landscape. In almost every village that I visited, the women were very hospitable and would invite me home for a cup of coffee. They would smile sheepishly if I asked them to pose for a photograph and laugh away. I can’t tire of travelling to Kutch . And am […]

Modhera, Sun temple, Gujarat

Modhera the sun temple in Gujarat – a photofeature 9

Modhera Sun Temple Gujarat It was a bright sunny day as we drove towards Modhera Sun Temple Gujarat from Ahmedabad, located 100 kms away from the city.  And in this small village, which is about 33 kms from Patan, the ancient capital of the Solanki Dynasty is a grand edifice dedicated to the Surya or the Sun God. The Solankis were worshippers of the sun as they called themselves Suryavanishis or the descendants of the Sun God. King Bhimdev had built this temple in the 11th century dedicating it to Surya. It is believed that the worship of Surya would have dated […]

Rani Ki Vav, an ancient stepwell in Patan Gujarat 12

Rani Ki Vav – stepwell steeped in history A little girl is playing hop skip and jump on the steps while her parents stand enchanted by the sculptures on the wall. I feel like I am stepping back into time as we step into Rani Ki Vav stepwell in Patan Gujarat It reminds me of all the childhood games we used to play as kids on a flight of steps. It is early afternoon and the sun is harsh, burning almost everything in sight. But I stand there mesmerized, looking at the 11th century architecture marvel, Rani Ki Vav which […]

Rani Ki Vav stepwell Gujarat

LRK, birds, Gujarat

A birding and wildlife tour to Little Rann of Kutch 21

Little Rann of Kutch – LRK One look at the vast expanse of mudflats stretching towards the horizon, basking in monotones of beige, with its parched flat terrain filled with salt, cracking like biscuits under my feet and I realized that the Little Rann of Kutch or LRK is not really Little. At 5000 sq kms it may occupy less area than the Great Rann of Kutch which extends for over 7500  sq kms but the never ending fabric of earth was mesmerizing. The salt marshes here were not pristine white but there was a certain beauty in the barrenness. […]