Sunday, February 18, 2018

Havelis (Mansions) of Churu, Rajasthan, India

Hotel Majli Ka Kamra
Churu in North-eastern (Shekhawati  historical region) Rajasthan, is perhaps not one of the most popular destinations in Rajasthan, I wonder why....when you see these beautiful & mesmerizing havelis (Mansions) of Churu, you will most likely have Churu in your wish list.

Churu, houses some really grand Mansions (havelis). These havelis were built by the merchants of Churu during the 17th to early 20th century. Located around 200 km from Jaipur (4 hours by road), you will need 3-4 hours to see the havelis.

The names of all the havelis could not be found given the time constraint (spending more time talking to locals may have helped in getting the names perhaps..). All of these havelis are located around the mama-bhanja haveli, except Majli ka Kamra which is a hotel now.

The interesting thing in all these havelis is the murals. While there are typical Indian themes like elephants, soldiers, etc, the havelis in Churu have some very different themes as well, not found typically in India. You will notice murals of white men and women, cars, trains, ships, portraits of ancestors, of everyday life...

I will share some more havelis from the Shekhawati region in my next post. In the meantime, enjoy these awesome mansions :)

These pictures are courtesy Soma Jha.

Entrance to Majli Ka Kamra haveli (which is now a hotel)
Majli ka Kamra Haveli, Churu

Majli ka Kamra mansion, Churu
Paintings of cars

Mama-bhanja havelis-two havelis facing each other
Mama-bhanja Haveli in Churu, Rajasthan

Mama bhanja haveli, Churu
Painted murals

Haveli in Churu
Lovely windows

Indian and british figures on the wall panels
Painted mural

Another beautiful Haveli in Churu
Grand door

murals depicting white women on the deck of a ship
Painting of a ship, depicting their travel to England

Haveli of Surana family
Surana Haveli entrance

Painted murals of ancestors
Surana Haveli, Churu

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Baul Fakir Utsav 2018, Jadavpur Kolkata,India

A Baul song in progress at the Baul Fakir Utsav 2018, Jadavpur
In continuation with my earlier post on Baul Music Festival 2018here is another powerful and spiritual video from the Baul music festival held in Shaktigarh, Jadavpur, Kolkata in January 2018.

The Baul are a group of mystic minstrels from Bengal which includes Indian State of West Bengal and the country of Bangladesh. Bauls constitute both a syncretic religious sect and a musical tradition. Bauls are a very heterogeneous group, with many sects, but their membership mainly consists of Vaishnava Hindus and Sufi Muslims. (From Wikipedia)

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Baul music festival 2018, Jadavpur, Kolkata, India

Baul perfomance at Jadavpur baul fakir utsav

January is a month that I keenly wait for, not just because it is new year, but because of my favourite music festival, Baul fakir Utsav (baul mela) which happens every year mostly in the 1st or 2nd weekend of January in the Shaktigarh area of Jadvapur, Kolkata.

This year was as amazing as every year. Heard some amazing baul performers, each one bringing amazingly beautiful and soulful songs.

I am sharing a couple of Baul music videos in this post and in my next post.

Like this? You may want to check out the Baul music festival 2017 as well.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Endemic birds of India; Happy new year 2018!

White-bellied blue flycatcher
A very happy new year 2018!

May this new year bring you love, joy, good health,  more wisdom, peace, magic, the courage to speak your truth, to hold your head high, and see your dreams fulfilled.

Just like our feathered friends, wouldn't it be nice to free ourselves of worry and fear and soar higher and higher....

I am sharing pictures of these beautiful birds that are endemic to India.

Out of 1266 species of birds in India, 61 are endemic to India (from wikipedia).These pictures are courtesy Soma Jha.

Grey Junglefowl-female
Grey Junglefowl-male

Kerala Laughing Thrush
Malabar Whistling Thrush

Malabar Grey Hornbill
Malabar Parakeet

Nilgiri Flycatcher
Nilgiri Wood Pigeon

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Photographs of places relevant to Jesus's birth; Merry Christmas:)

Merry Christmas! Wish you a very-very happy Christmas, and a wonderful  year ahead; a year filled with love and joy.
On the occasion of Christmas, I thought of sharing some pictures that are very relevant for this day. These pictures are courtesy Soma Jha.

The Church of Annunciation in the city of Nazareth (in northern Israel) is where Mother Mary lived. This is where the angel Gabriel appeared before Mother Mary to give her the message that she would conceive a child who would grow up to change the world. This church is built over a house from before Jesus was born. It is believed that this is the house where Gabriel appeared before Mother Mary.

The Church of Annunciation in the city of Nazareth
Mother Mary's house

Church of Nativity, Bethlehem (Palestine) is where Jesus was born.Mother Mary(who had already conceived Jesus) and Joseph travelled from Nazareth to Jerusalem (a census had been declared and Joseph had to register his name at Jerusalem). They stopped over at Bethlehem, a short distance away from Jerusalem, since night had fallen. They could not find any accommodation since all the inns were completely full. Jesus was born that night in a stable.
Church of Nativity
Inside Church of Nativity
In the picture below, the Silver Star shown is believed to be the birth place of Jesus. This is one very-very holy place for all Christians

Jesus's birth place
Shepherds told of Jesus's birth

The Church of Shepherd's Field
, Bethlehem, is the place where the angels first announced the birth of Jesus to the three shepherds (who were asked to follow the star over Bethlehem, and go to this place)

Chapel of Shepherd's Field

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Where is the world going?

When I picked up today’s newspaper, it did not say anything unusual, it was pretty much in line with what I read almost every day…killings, rapes, starvation, poverty, global warming,….

From TOI Kolkata, Dec 10, 2017

Some of the news that we come across may cause us a momentary disturbance, unhappiness, and may even cause some of us to squirm… but we forget about the news as soon as put down the paper, and move on with our lives...

By now we seem to have grown a thick skin, and nothing seems to matter as long as we think it does not impact us.

Does it truly not impact us? Can we progress without considering the needs of everyone around us?

And where are we moving? Are we moving forward, or backward? Should we call ourselves a civilised society or a primitive one?

Should we call ourselves advanced just because we have made some technological advancements? What about advancement of humanity?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Endemic monkeys of Sri Lanka

Tufted Gray Langurs Sri Lanka
In continuation to my earlier post on the Birds of Sri Lanka, this post has pictures of Monkeys of Sri Lanka.

There are some species of monkeys that are endemic to Sri Lanka. The Purple-faced Langur (also known as the purple-faced leaf monkey), and the Toque Macaque are endemic to Sri Lanka, and was spotted by Soma.

She also spotted the Tufted Gray Langur, also known as Madras Gray Langur. They are not endemic to Sri Lanka, and are found in South-East India and Sri Lanka.
Purple-faced leaf monkey Sri Lanka
Purple-faced leaf monkey

Toque Macaque Sri Lanka
Toque Macaques

Tufted Gray Langur