Posts Tagged 'culture'

bedsa caves

Posted by on 10 Jan 2011 | Category: india, photography

We were enchanted by the ancient rock-cut caves at Karla, that we decided to visit the Bedsa (bedse) caves which are also within 50kms from Pune, towards Karla.

on the way to ancient bedse rock-cut caves

This time we had much more to hike up, but Pratya was game, and the cool breeze kind of lifted us up.
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kozhikode and kuttichira mishkal mosque

Posted by on 14 Jan 2009 | Category: india, kerala, life, photography

A few days at kozhikode opened up a myriad of reasons in our heart to say that it is one of the best places we have been, so far. The varied cultural/historical/architectural diversities which it still preserves, the astounding friendliness rendered by the people, the geographical beauty along with the beaches, all made kozhikode a place close to our heart.

Kozhikode was supposed to be only a ‘stop by’ during our kerala trip. It ended up as one of our  major destinations. One reason could be the contrast in the regions within kerala. Though we belong to the pala (specifically bharananganam) nazrani achayan clan, boasting a  rich cultural and traditional backup, much of it is on the fading route. This could be one of the reasons that kozhikode, less influenced by westernization and still preserving a lot of its unique culture, came up as a heaven on earth for us.

Kuttichira community
The city centre itself is filled with a lot of smaller localities surrounding mosques and temples. One of our first venture was the Kuttichira community, specifically the Mishkal Mosque, Kuttichira Tank and the Juma Masjid. Though we started off as enthusiastic tourists, we ended up researching the history, culture, architecture and the community of the area. The local community were a lot enthusiastic to provide information, which showed their friendliness.

Mishkal Mosque at Kuttichira, Kozhikode, was built by Nakhuda Mishkal in the 14th century. Nakhuda Mishkal was a renowned trader and ship owner from Yemen. The title Nakhuda is of persian origin, meaning Captain of the ship; from nāv = boat + khudā = master. As you can see, the mosque was designed in the traditional kerala architecture of that period.

Mishkal Mosque at Kuttichira, Kozhikode

The Mishkal Mosque at Kuttichira stands as a symbol of communal harmony. In 1510 AD, the Portuguese had attacked the mosque and partially destroyed it. Supposedly, their mission was to divide and rule, breaking the harmony between hindus and muslims. The Samoothiri (Zamorin), the local ruler at that time, didn’t fall for this and helped in defending and repairing the mosque. 

The mosque was 5 storeyed, but after the destruction, it remained as a 4 storeyed structure. The walls of the mosque, except the ground floor are made of wood. Remnants of the portuguese destruction can still be seen on the upmost floor.

Do you know that the burka/purdah came to Kerala as part of the fashion and modernity, which was Arab influenced?

Mishkal Mosque at Kuttichira, Kozhikode

The kids in the locality actively involved in performing before our video/still cameras too.

Diving at Kuttichira Tank, Kozhikode

As per the local residents: the area surronding this vast pool is a place akin to the Piazzas (Squares) of Italy, where the locals meet and the day/nightlife activities are carried out.

Diving Acrobatics at Kuttichira Tank, Kozhikode

Shoal of fishes at the Kuttichira Tank…

Shoal of fishes at the Kuttichira Tank

Thanks to all Kuttichira residents for opening up a new world for us! We will surely visit you again.

Smiling faces.Around the Kuttichira Mishkal Mosque, Kozhikode

More photographs on the Kuttichira Mishkal area are available at

Geographical Location of the Kuttichira Mishkal Mosque is given below. Zoom In, and you can see a temple like mosque in front of the large rectangular tank! Easily accessible by road from the Beach Road.

Get Directions

journey through life

Posted by on 16 Dec 2005 | Category: Uncategorized

Life. We live through this phenomenon but seldom do we understand it.

Most of my precious moments, most of my energy have been spent to quench that inner thirst, but the fire still glows vigorously, more than ever. From my early days itself I had an aspiration, to search for the truth. I also had a dream of traveling along the foothills of the Himalayas, to the abode of Indian philosophy. I never thought it would happen; but it happened. The following is a sort of travelogue; some from the sporadic notes I made, some from my memory, but you can ‘t express it in the real form, you have to experience it yourself. The information given may contain errors, am not intending to give any wonderful geographical info or any philosophic adventures or any literature. I just wrote it down so that it may be inspiring and useful for people of similar dreams; it may good knowing how another person took such a road. This story is not a closed one, and don ‘t expect anything particular.

[If you are looking for geographical info on India, better read Lonely Planet: India; if you are keen on Indian philosophy and the mysticism around it, the best book I would recommend is ‘Search in secret India ‘ by Paul Brunton; you are just interested in some adventures in life or philosophy, read Richard Bach; for simple but revolutionary and stimulating thoughts, read Osho; for tibetan philosphic adventures mixed with logic and some science, acceptable to even those i_dont_understand_so_i_dont_believe people, read T. Lobsang Rampa. If you really wanna know life, read yourself].

am not adorning the costumes of a philosopher or a sannyasin (or a writer 😉 ). me give myself to the passions of this world, give myself to my hormones; me don ‘t differentiate what good or bad is (everything is co-existent. your definitions are relative (you say ‘apekshikam ‘ for that in Malayalam)); I live to my heart ‘s truth. but I believe that the life you live ought to have some meaning, something other than the routine style of eating, studying, sleeping, having a job, a family, children, dying… something off the usual cycle of events.

My passion for a journey got engraved in my heart and by the time I was doing my masters, I wanted to work it out somehow, I didn ‘t care whether the outcome would be fruitful or not. So our summer holidays were arriving, after our second semester exams and I thought this was the best chance. I went to the cusat library every day to collect some info on the roads I ‘ve to take, went through the maps on those dusty books, searched on google, wrote down some plans…

One day I bluntly told daddy that am going north, that I ‘ve booked the train ticket up to Delhi for 09.06.2001. He was like his mouth going O. He never gave me the consent.

I didn ‘t plan a lavish trip, as it would annihilate the fundamental cause of my journey. I had some sort of money saved from my pocket money; it was a meager amount, less than 3000 Indian rupees which is a small amount for a journey. Priya send me a money order of around 1600/- or something. 2 days before, daddy called from home and gave me 1000/- more. So after taking the to and fro tickets to Delhi (train to delhi and baaki travel by other means) and buying some essentials for the journey, I was left with something like 5000/-

I took the return ticket also so that I don ‘t have to find money for that later, whatever expenses I encounter; also I could plan my days wisely by setting a particular date for departure.

My friends were too much worried, they don ‘t know what to say, whether to encourage me or discourage me. Priya always tried to show a good face (in spite of all the worries she carried, she knew I have to go), she tried to be happy and helping before me in all the possible ways. And there were my seniors, bijoy, manoj, rajesh, sabu and all standing with me.

And you know what, few days before when I left from home to hostel; I wrote a letter saying I loved them (people at home) a lot and bla blah and abt mickey and put it in my cupboard so that they could read if I don ‘t come back.

So on 09.06.2001 at around 6 pm I was at the central railway station, ernakulam. Prem and rajesh was with me, they stood there till my train left. The train whistled at 6.25 pm and I was out to where_the_hell_am_going,_I_donno. As I sat by my window, I felt emotionless then; I think that was better than sitting worried. I don ‘t know where I was going; I don ‘t know what will happen to me. I had a vague idea of where I had to go. I just wanted to go. I knew my legs would lead me where I ought to go.

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ainu museum hokkaido

Posted by on 15 Dec 2005 | Category: Uncategorized

Ainu means human. Ainu people were the original inhabitants of hokkaido and the ainu culture extended from 1400 to early 1700s. Later under control of Japanese from mainland. Ainus are still here, a few, trying to preserve some of their culture. Most of the others have got mixed with the japanese community.

ainu museum and toya lake; autumn trip from hokkaido university