Why is Diwali a non-festival for some Hindu communities?
ADMIN , December 9, 2020 , LEAVE A COMMENT
Step out on an Indian street and ask random passers-by to name two festivals. The names you will hear most are Diwali and Dussehra. Both these festivals are widely celebrated in India. But some communities do not celebrate this day at all, and some even observe this as a day of mourning. This article explores some of these contrarian stories. But first, why is Diwali celebrated? This short video explores the many different stories behind Diwali.
The last great queen of Travancore
ADMIN , November 7, 2020 , LEAVE A COMMENT
You might have heard of a kingdom named Travancore. Today, it is a part of Kerala. But did you know that right till 1925, some queens of Travancore were quite a big political powercenter by themselves? We are going to talk about one particular queen – Rani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi. She became the regent of the Travancore kingdom, and effectively ruled it from 1924 to 1931. She was one of Travancore’s most dynamic rulers. Interestingly, she was not born into the ruling dynasty but adopted into it. She became Queen because of a unique social custom called Matrilineal Succession. Ironically, […]
Brahmi and the evolution of scripts
ADMIN , October 15, 2020 , 3 Comments
The Pallavas were a powerful dynasty who ruled huge parts of South India between the 3rd and 9th centuries CE. They commissioned monumental works of art during the 7th and 8th centuries CE. It was then that the much celebrated Mamallapuram monuments came up along the coast, about 60 kms from Chennai. Mamallapuram attracts huge tourist crowds every day. Atiranachanda Cave Temple, 5 kms to the north of Mamallapuram, attracts far less. But it is this cave temple that excites Epigraphists, archaeologists who study ancient scripts. There are 2 stone inscriptions on either side of its entrance. They contain verses […]
Mariamman – the Village Goddess who travelled
ADMIN , September 30, 2020 , 3 Comments
Deep in southern India, in the villages of Tamilnadu and Karnataka, there is this very ancient tradition of Mariamman worship. According to scholars, the cult of Mariamman pre-dates the Vedic Gods, which means that it is probably over 4000 years old. In the pre-Vedic times, when Hinduism was not yet the expansive religion it is today, villagers in south India worshipped very localized Gods. These were the Village Gods. Each village had its own non-transferable, “our-very-own” God that understood local concerns and provided them specific relief. Perhaps, this is how Mariamman worship evolved. What would have worried an agrarian village […]
- Alai Darwaza – Qutub Minar Complex, Delhi NOVEMBER 21, 2020
- Marking History through British buildings NOVEMBER 17, 2020
- The last great queen of Travancore NOVEMBER 7, 2020
- Brahmi and the evolution of scripts OCTOBER 15, 2020
- The Cambodian King of Kanchipuram OCTOBER 14, 2020
- James Prinsep – the man who read the writing on the wall OCTOBER 10, 2020
- Mariamman – the Village Goddess who travelled SEPTEMBER 30, 2020
- Misnamed Monuments of Mamallapuram SEPTEMBER 28, 2020
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