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Sandhya aarti at Vishram Ghat, Mathura

Evening aarti, as soon as we hear these words, visuals of oil lamps circled about by the priests in praise of River Ganges in Rishikesh, Haridwar or Benares come to our minds. The extravagance, the opulence and the sheer serenity of the daily ceremony appeal deeply to the pilgrims as well as the travellers. But on my last visit to Mathura, the land of Lord Krishna, I witnessed a calming experience while attending the Sandhya (evening) aarti of River Yamuna. The longest

Jewels Galore At Jaipur Jewellery Design Festival

Jaipur Jewellery Design Festival

Did you know that major international luxury jewellery brands such as Bvlgari, Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels and several others not only look up to the royal magnificence of Jaipur and its Maharajas for jewellery inspiration but also seek the finesse and expertise of craftspersons here to execute their high-end designs? This was a major reason why The Humming Notes travelled to Jaipur to attend the Jaipur Jewellery Design Festival (JJDF) to see the synergies between craft, design and business.

Photo Journey: Baha’i Lotus Temple, New Delhi

Since its inauguration to public worship and visits in December 1986, the Bahá’í House of Worship, known as Lotus Temple, in New Delhi, India has drawn to its portals more than 70 million visitors, making it one of the most visited edifices in the world. On an average, 8,000 to 10,000 people visit the Bahá’í House of Worship each day. These visitors have admired its universal design in the form of a lotus and have been fascinated by the Teachings

Panjab Digital Library, one of its kind

Punjab has a long and an illustrious history. Under the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, its borders extended to the west of the Indus river and kissed the foothills of the Himalayas. Most of the events of that era were recorded in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and Farsi text. Apart from the sacred texts, the archives were stored; but in a deplorable state. In the year 2003, Panjab Digital Library undertook the task of finding and saving these manuscripts and archives

On A Treasure Hunt, And Finding a Jewel

Situated on the outskirts of Delhi, a village called Mangar would hardly seem like a location for a jewellery museum. But then, that is what hidden and buried treasures are all about - secret locations. I was introduced to the Village Jewel Museum and Eco-lodge, a gem of a place courtesy Lalit Mangar, where I spend a wonderful mid-week staycation. About a 20-minute drive from the Gurgaon-Faridabad highway, the Lalit Mangar is already becoming a beacon for this sleepy village. A

The saga of the great Indian flag

Before the independence movement began, India as a country did not have a common flag. Independent states had their own flags. But it was after the Revolt of 1857; the British suggested the idea of a common one for Indians. The first flag known as the Star of India was based on British symbols. It was a group of flags, which the Britishers used for different purposes during their rule in India. In 1905, the first partition of Bengal gave a

The downfall of Mughal empire with Aurangzeb

Aurangzeb was appointed as the Viceroy of Deccan by Shah Jehan on July 14, 1636. Aurangzeb in Indian history is a highly controversial figure. Loved by some and hated by some, he was the last of the powerful Mughal ruler during whose reign the Mughal dynasty flourished and expanded. Sixth in line as the Mughal emperor, his forty-eight-year rule is often called the golden period of the Mughal Empire. Since an early age, Aurangzeb was courageous and ambitious. He started his

Scottish Church College, the first English medium institution of India

One of the oldest college for liberal arts and sciences in India, the Scottish Church College, was established by Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Alexander Duff on July 13 in the year 1830. Located in Kolkata, the college began with only five students. During the early part of the nineteenth century, the East India Company supported setting up institutions but only in the native language. They helped in establishing the Calcutta Madrasah College and the Sanskrit College. They were not in

Bidri Beckons with Lai Designs

Lai Designs, an online jewellery store, helmed by California-based Puja Bhargava Kamath launches Bidri X MCM - where the Bidri (a fine art of inlaying silver wire and sheet on an oxidized zinc and copper alloy) jewellery designs are inspired by the aesthetics of Mid Century Modern and skillfully handcrafted using the ancient craft of Bidri. What makes this art so topical is the special variety of soil used in the oxidisation process which is available only in the unlit portions

Why June 21 became International Day of Yoga?

Last year, on June 21, 2015, the first International Day of Yoga was celebrated with various programmes organised the world over. June 21 was declared as the International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 2014. This was in response to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for adopting June 21st as the International Day of Yoga. This India led resolution had 175 out of 193 countries joining in as co-sponsors, the highest number for