Pattadakal and Aihole – Cradle of Indian temple architecture

By Somali K Chakrabarti

Pattadakal, a small village in Bagalkot district of Karnataka, is a name that I had not heard of till recently, but after seeing the place enroute to Hampi from Badami caves, I was so enthralled by its beauty and richness of art that if I have to describe the place in one word it would be ‘mesmerizing’.

This small village, situated on the bank of Malaprabha river, is a UNESCO World heritage site with a cultural legacy dating back to the 6th century BC.

Starting out from Badami, in the morning at around 8 AM, we reached Pattadakal in less than an hour. On entering the heritage complex, I found a picturesque site of ancient stone temples in sprawling green lawns with palm trees lined on the sides, and with light red sandstone hills in the backdrop.



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Badami Caves – Splendor in Rocks

By Somali K Chakrabarti

Diwali, is the festive time that brings in happiness and cheer. It is also the time, for long weekends. To make good use of this long Diwali weekend, we started out on a road trip from Mumbai towards Karnataka. My endless fascination for rocks, caves and historical monuments drove us to the heritage sites of Badami and Hampi.

Starting out in the morning at 7.45 AM, we drove to Pune via Mumbai Pune Expressway and then took the National Highway NH4. By the time we reached Belgaum, it was 5.30 PM in the evening. We had decided to stop over at a hotel in Belgaum for the night.

Next day morning we took the Bachi – Raipur state highway upto Lokapur, and then hit the road to Badami. This stretch of the road passes through the countryside. It is best covered during the daylight as it can get confusing for travelers who are not familiar with the route. Relying heavily on the Google Maps we drove by. A few marigold and sunflower fields on the way presented a pretty sight.

Sunflower fields, Karnataka

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Tripura: A land of many Splendors

Bhudeb Chakrabarti

Unakoti – One less than a crore

Unakoti, the word means ‘one less than a crore’. This is the name of a place located deep inside a coolly shaded forest, about 180 kilometres northeast of Agartala. An archaeological wonder known for the largest Bas-relief sculpture in India, Unakoti is supposed to have the carvings and statues of Gods and Goddesses numbering one less than 1 crore. Gigantic carvings of Shiva, Ganesha and other gods and goddesses of Hindu mythology, some of them about 30 feet high, dating back from the 7th to 9th, can be seen on its hill slopes.

This is one of the places that I often had to pass by during my stay in Tripura, a picturesque State of North East India, bounded by Bangladesh on all sides with corridors to the North Eastern States of Asom and Mizoram.


Image source: Shared by Atadu (CC By SA 4.0)

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Meeting The Great Bong Arnab Ray at BNLF

By Somali K Chakrabarti


An eventful day for a blogger is one in which he/ she gets to be a part of the blogging community in person and receives some delightful insights into the world of blogging.

Yesterday was such a day, when bloggers from all over India came together at Mumbai for the Blog Now Live Forever (#BNLF) event, organized by Indiblogger at LaLit hotel in Andheri.  The event boasted of an impressive line-up of speakers including the famous digital marketer Jeff Bullas and rock musician cum commercial pilot cum broadcaster Bruce Dickinson!

Jeff Bullas. BNLF

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Spread cheer – Donate a selfie

Selfie – a word that was sparsely used even till 2010, has gained widespread usage over the last 3-4 years. The fact that ‘Selfie’ was nominated as ‘word of the year 2013’ by the Oxford Dictionary proves how the selfie has infiltrated into our daily lives.

The concept of a selfie is not exactly a new one. Self- portraits or clicking one’s own picture with a camera have been around for quite some time. The early incarnations of the selfie were taken by people experimenting with their new cameras to see how their images would turn out. When the use of cameras became widespread, selfies were generally taken by those who would be travelling alone.

The advent of smartphones, however, has made it much easier and quicker to take selfies. Unlike the first generation selfies, selfies today can be instantly shared with friends and family or even publicly.

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Hair to There – From Frizz to Fantastic!

Hair to There – From Frizz to Fantastic!


Úde jab jab zulfein teri’,

Ýeh Reshmi Zulfon ka..’

Yeh reshmi zulfe yeh sharbati ankhe’

The common attribute for the three songs mentioned above is the word ‘Zulf’ (meaning hair). Yes, hair has featured prominently in a number of romantic Hindi songs and poetry. Not so in case of English songs or poetry…maybe the reference to hair as a romantic expression is more specific to Indian culture.

Hair also finds reference to Indian mythology. River Ganges was released from Lord Shiva’s hair to meet the needs of the country according to Hindu mythology.

But why all this fuss about hair? The simple reason is that by the end of the week hair turns frizzy and we had gathered to find a solution for dealing with the frizz of hair.


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