India is a large country and each region has its own culture, mostly manifesting in the form of stories, songs, dance, food and art. As Indians, it is impossible for us to know about the culture of each state or even every district in the country. Cultural festivals that happen at different places in the country give us a glimpse into the culture, either from different regions in the country (e.g. Kala Ghoda, Mumbai) or just what is local to the region (Margazhi Utsavam, Chennai). Thousands of festivals happen in India. But we managed to catch some interesting festivals around the country, some of them in places we’d never heard of before. Here are the ones we attended along with the time of the year, so that you too can plan to attend them someday. Continue reading
While there are some really huge rivers in north India, such as Indus, Jhelum, Chenab and Beas, south India does not have perennial rivers or those with high volume of water all year long. Cauvery river is one such important river to both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Let’s take a tour of the river starting from its source at Tala Kaveri upto the point where it joins the sea — at two different places!
The Cauvery river flows to the north of Mysuru. Across the river on the northern bank is Mandya district. Between Mysuru and Mandya, inside the river itself, is the island town of Srirangapattana. The town itself is named after Sri Ranganatha Swamy, the chief deity of the town and a revered place for south India’s Vishnu-worshipping Iyengar sect among Brahmins. The name of the town can be broken into Sri Ranga Pattana, which in Sanskrit and Kannada means, ‘the city of Lord Ranga’. However, the rest of the town has relics and stories from another topic belonging to another religion. The majority of tourists visit Srirangapattana to relive the story of one of India’s fiercest warriors against British colonisation: The Muslim ruler Tipu Sultan. While there are equally impressive stories about the valour of Sultan Hyder Ali, it’s his son Tipu who takes centre stage in the island town.
Which city has the following things named after itself? A bathing soap, a type of south Indian fast food with stuffing, a variety of silk, a soft and porous sweet dish with a lot of ghee and an erstwhile State Bank subsidiary. The names are: Mysore sandal soap, Mysore masala dosa, Mysore silk, Mysore Pak and State Bank of Mysore. Nestled at the foot of Chamundi hills and watched over by Chamundi Devi or the Mahishasuramardhini, the city of Mysuru is one of the most beautiful, ecologically most balanced and tourism-wise most abundant locations in India. During India 360, Mysuru was one of our most enjoyed cities in India. This was enhanced by the fact that we were at Mysuru right during Navratri and Dassera, when the city is a potpourri of funfairs, performances, flower and food fests. Continue reading