Few countries in the...
Few countries in the world have such an ancient and diverse culture as India's. Stretching back in an unbroken sweep over 5000 years, India's culture has been enriched by successive waves of migration which were absorbed into the Indian way of life.
It is this variety which is a special hallmark of India. Its physical, religious and racial variety is as immense as its linguistic diversity. Underneath this diversity lies the continuity of Indian civilization and social structure from the very earliest times until the present day.
Modern India presents a picture of unity in diversity to which history provides no parallel. Here is a catalogue of everything Indian. Indian religions, festivals, rituals, artifacts, monuments, costumes, music and dance, language and literature. Come and discover a little more of India's culture by selecting any of these topics
In praise of kesari pera
Most visitors to Chennai end up, at some point or other, in Spencer Plaza for a shopping spree. There are several restaurants on the 2nd floor (I had good hariyali chicken at the punjabi joint) but the real deal for me is the sweet shops: Sri Krishna and Sri Mithai. One Madrassi I spoke to preferred Sri Mithai, but Sri Krishna makes fabulous saffron (kesar) peras, of which I consumed far too many....and everything else was great too.
Bear in mind that in India sweet shops also sell savouries, so if you're more into the crunchy stuff (nuts, chips, veggies or combinations thereof) you'll be happy there too. Kesari Pera: Saffron-flecked milk fudge
Also check out Mysore Pauk (the specialty), cashew (kaju) barfi and anything else that strikes your fancy.
Doveton House -...
Doveton House - the building that houses the Principal, Registrar and Bursar's office is celebrating its 200th year this year. The Doveton House was constructed in the year 1798 - the period when Wordsworth and Coleridge published their 'Lyrical Ballads'. A renowned architect Benjamin Roebeck, who built the house in the fashion of the day, built Doveton House. The colonial pillars in the front and the half moon steps at the back of the house resemble another famous building of the same period - the White House. It mainly served as a residential place for the English officers. The building was called after Lt. General John Doveton acquired it in the year 1837 (he arrived in Madras in 1783 and died in 1847). Lt. General Doveton was the soldier-in-charge for looking after Tippu Sultan's sons when Cornwallis held them as hostages in Madras.
St Mary's Church
St Mary's Church located at Fort St George, is the oldest Anglican church East of Suez and also the oldest British building in India. From 1639, when Madras was founded, until 1678, when Streynsham Master was appointed the English East India Company's Agent at Madras, religious services were conducted in the dining-room of the Factory House. It was at Master's initiative, and without the sanction of the Directors of the Company, that a subscription was started for the construction of the church. The sum collected amounted to 805 pagodas, the Governor and all officers contributing. Construction was started on 25th March 1678 and completed in the course of two years when the church was consecrated on the 28th of October, 1680 by the chaplain Rev. Richard Portman.
The walls of the church are 5 ft thick and are considered to be bomb-proof. The church has a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, a 1660 bible, a pure silver plaque and some silver plates plus its original font dating back to when the church was consecrated in 1680.
Government Museum - Bronze Gallery
The Bronze Gallery is housed in a separate building to the left of the Main Building. Most of the bronze sculptures date back to the late Pallava and Chola periods - between the 9th and 12th centuries.