Rani Roopba’s last gift

Step into my well Gujarat borders the desert State of Rajasthan. Like Rajasthan, water is often scarce in Gujarat; and like Rajasthan it has a nearly 2000 year-old tradition of   step-wells.  Many old step-wells have been lost due to silting, or closure by later rulers on the pretext of health or security risks.  Luckily, some…

The Sun Temple of Modhera

Celebrating the Sun God The Sun God featured prominently in the pantheon of most cultures: Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Aztec, Celtic , Nordic et cetera.  In some cultures, Sun was even a Goddess.  Little wonder, that ancient Indians built many temples for the Sun all over the sub-continent. Some are over 1000 years old and survive…

The Master-Weavers of Patan

The bull-in-a-china-shop When I proposed that we visit Patan, my wife was thrilled.  I had just heard of Patan then, but she had known of it for long. Impressive! “Yes, and we must see Patola too!”, she added. Patola? Huh, where was that? I asked my travel agent and she said “But of course !…

Patan, and prophetic politics

The Chaulukya Kingdom We reached Patan♠ at around 10:30 am, after a 125 Km drive from Ahmedabad. Patan was the capital of the Chaulukyas♠ or the Solanki clan. During 940-1244 CE, they ruled a volatile territory comprising Gujarat, Rajasthan and Western Madhya Pradesh. A thousand years ago, Patan was a bustling city with thriving commerce…

Ahmedabad by Night

What, no Night-life? No, this post is not about sizzlingly sleazy joints. In abstinent Ahmedabad, don’t even think of it. The only things that sizzle, are the daytime temperatures which soar above 450 C in summer! But there are cool things to do at night— like go take a walk, man! That’s exactly what I did.…