Old Magic In A Young Desert

People of the Thar desert who live with the cycle of seasons find ways of feeding thousands of people without irrigation. Late summers in the desert are marked with sandstorms. These vicious, stinging, blinding phenomena block out the sun, cooling the atmosphere and prepping the conditions for rain. The last khadeen, called “chhe,” before the […]


Theyyam: When Men Become Gods

The term Theyyam is derived from the Malayalam “daivam”, or deity. It is a religious event practiced only in India’s North Kerala, observed by its rural inhabitants, and follows a cult consisting of several thousand-year-old traditions, rituals, and customs. Virtually all castes and classes of Hindus in the region are involved in the cult, and […]


India’s Amazing Living Root Bridges

In order to cross swollen rivers in the country’s Meghalaya region, villagers devised a clever solution – weaving tree roots into sturdy, living structures. – By Neelima Vallangi In India’s northeast, near the border with Bangladesh, the state of Meghalaya is full of lush green mountains and thick tropical forests that receive copious amounts of […]


Living Architecture

Andreas Volwahsen’s photographs of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain architecture are a result of the balance and order that allows the decoration and embellishments of the temples to resonate, without being overwhelming. The structured compositions emphasize the methodical design within many of the buildings. Archway Detail in Itmad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb, Agra Dome Interior at the Taj Mahal, […]


Flying Warriors

Kalaripayattu is considered the oldest known martial art. According to legend, its first master was Parasurama, the sixth Avatar of Vishnu and re-claimer of the Kerala kingdom in Southern India. Historians agree that in the beginning of this era, many temples had special training rooms called Kalari, where aristocratic youth trained in martial arts, either […]


Dance Of The Weave

Since independence, Indian classical dance has been instrumental in regenerating an interest in India’s cultural heritage. Based on classical traditions of Indian arts, various mythological, cultural and historical legends are performed through bodily gestures, facial expressions and dance movements. In Abhinaya or dramatic performance, costumes, jewellery, make-up and adornments along with dance movements play a […]