Maharashtra

Stars Looking Benevolently Down

This was first published on 2nd December 2008. In Mumbai, people rarely look heavenwards because they don’t have time for this leisurely activity. They always move like a sea of crowds and will be trodden if they look upwards. After the end of the day, they reach homes totally exhausted by effects of  pollution and interminable journeys. There is no space anymore in the city downtown and almost all the middle class has moved to suburbs. In a way, the bridges connecting the Mumbai islands to mainland of India are like the tongues of dragons licking away the land without… Read More »Stars Looking Benevolently Down

Janjira Island Fort

Murud is a beach 165 kilometers away from Mumbai. You go to Alibaugh which is also a beach town situated on the Arabian Sea and is halfway between Mumbai and Murud. The scenery of Konkan region is breathtaking after you leave the Alibaug for Murud. There are coconut palm and areca groves on the way. Sea is everywhere blue and green. Road runs parallel to sea coast. There are small hillocks on the way. On holidays lots of people visit the beaches here. There are boats available which takes you to the fort. One has to be very careful though… Read More »Janjira Island Fort

Khopoli: Nature’s Beauty Spot

Khopoli is located on old Mumbai Pune road. Konkan region which begins from Panvel in Maharashtra India along the Western Ghats of India is full of geographical features. It is studded with hills of peculiar shapes, rivulets, coconut palm trees and grasses and shrubs. Still unspoiled, the region bears different hues in different seasons. The land is not flat and not much area is arable. The region being adjoining to the Arabian sea receives copious quantities of rains in the Monsoon season. Everything turns vivid green and hills which were in summer parched are draped in the greenery. You can… Read More »Khopoli: Nature’s Beauty Spot

Alphonso Mangoes

Comes April and mangoes make their appearance in Mumbai. India boasts of maximum number of cultivars and varieties of this fruit which can easily claim the title of king of fruits. Its juice is full of sweetness and some varieties have the tinge of sour taste. In Maharasthra, Karnataka and Andhra states the mangoes have developed and green raw fruits are hanging from the branches. Mangoes are used in innumerable ways. Raw fruits are sour and are used to make drinks which soaks the heat  from the body nd cools you in the simmering heat. They are used to make… Read More »Alphonso Mangoes

Ganapati pule and Ratnagiri

Ratnagiri as everyone who loves mangoes knows is famous for fabled Alfonso mangoes. It is the coastal district of Maharashtra state in India. At the time of our visit in January, the mango trees were in full bloom and the fruits becomes ready by March end and April. The tree though does not give any impression that it yields such delicious fruits, it seems very modest. There are hundreds of varieties of the mango on India. This mango is not the original inhabitant of India. It was brought here by Goa’s Portuguese governor . The Alphonso Mango is named after… Read More »Ganapati pule and Ratnagiri

Chhatrapati Shivaji: Simply Extraordinary

Marathas are a very sturdy and brave people. Once they inhabited the region of India called “Deccan” which is modern day Maharashtra and Northern Karnataka and some parts of Madhya Pradesh and Andhra. But extent of their valor is reflected in the fact that once they ruled even Delhi and many parts of South India. The foundations were laid down by the Great Shivaji. It fills one with awe to know that Marathas under Shivaji occupied many areas in the Tamil Nadu which so far away from Deccan. What strength and grit these people must have possessed. Shivaji captured the… Read More »Chhatrapati Shivaji: Simply Extraordinary

Mango : The King of Fruits

Hiuen Tsang, Chinese scholar after being in India is going back. Time AD 627-643, on the fabled Silk Route. Apart from his knowledge of Buddhism, his rucksack contains an extraordinary fruit called Mango. The name in hindi AaM is derived from Sanskrit word AMRA which seems to be the loan word from Dravidian and is related to Tamil words for Mango like “mamaram”. Portuguese were responsible for transferring the name to the West. It is growing in India since 4000 years at least. Moguls were great connoisseurs of the fruit. Akbar got 100000 mango trees planted in Lakhi Bagh (Lakhi:… Read More »Mango : The King of Fruits

Warli:The Innocent and Natural Folk Art

With the intense activity to industrialize the country, the selfish entrepreneurs are venturing into the areas which have remained unaffected and immune to the fast pace of industrialization. Although for a country to become economically self sufficient, it is necessary to exploit the natural resources but given the present structure of economy, only a few are benefiting from all this at the cost of mindlessly destroying the nature and create problems for so many people who depend upon the nature for the lives. These people, whom we call tribal, live in complete harmony with the nature using only whatever is… Read More »Warli:The Innocent and Natural Folk Art

Ganjifa: Playing Cards

Original Ganjifa was brought to India by Moghuls. There is a district called Sawantwadi in Maharashtra. This touches the Goa state. When you travel by train to Goa from Mumbai, it is the last station in Maharashtra. Whole area which is adjacent to Arabian Sea is dotted with unending rows of Coconut palms. Ganjifa was popularized here by the ruler Khem Sawant Bhosle, who heard of it from scholars of the Telengana region. The Chitari community in Sawantwadi, known for their skill in shellac ware and wood craft, learned  to make these cards Ganjifa are circular playing cards made from… Read More »Ganjifa: Playing Cards

Flaunting the Assets

If you have lived in Mumbai for a long time and then come to visit Chandigarh and adjoining Panchkula, you would be shocked to see how people in the Northern cities flaunt their wealth. When they drive they think that they are the only ones who are on the road. They talk on their cellphones, honk incessantly without any patient even if they can see clearly why the traffic ahead is halted. It seems that they have utmost urgent jobs to attend to. At night, many drive with the high beam lights on making the vehicle drivers coming from opposite… Read More »Flaunting the Assets