Kerala
The Reality Of Legends: The Sabarimala Pilgrimage And The Dance Of Faiths
The Reality Of Legends: The Sabarimala Pilgrimage And The Dance Of Faiths

I would not have believed had I not seen it with my own eyes, heard it with my own ears, and felt its power and passion within my own body and soul. But on a cold winter’s morning in the city of Erumeli while standing on a hill overlooking the Vavar mosque I saw it […]

William Dalrymple Attends The Sabarimala Or How I Began To Worry That My Sabarimala Essay Will Not Be Good Enough
William Dalrymple Attends The Sabarimala Or How I Began To Worry That My Sabarimala Essay Will Not Be Good Enough

William Dalrymple has published a piece in The Guardian newspaper on the Sabarimala pilgrimage. This was the very pilgrimage I recently traveled to witness and wrote about in a Project Update post called Where Muslims Warriors Defend & Protest Hindu Gods. His essay arrives a few days ahead of my own. I am however posting […]

On The Graves Of History, 28th January 2010
On The Graves Of History, 28th January 2010

I buy a postcard. It shows a black and white picture of a large group of local Keralan villagers standing around two tall, confident looking men who clearly do not belong to the local community. The two men, in shirts and pants, look back at the camera with confidence. The villagers however look at the […]

On The Milky Way To A Mosque, January 22nd 2010
On The Milky Way To A Mosque, January 22nd 2010

The words are beginning to dance in my head, and I can’t stop them from doing so. I am standing at the site of what is purported to be the first mosque built on Indian soil – the Cheraman mosque in the city of Kodungallur, but all that is running through my head is this […]

The Omnipresent Baba, January 22nd 2010
The Omnipresent Baba, January 22nd 2010

Baba Farid’s reputation and influence spreads from the regions of Punjab all the way down to the Southern tips of Tamil Nadu. I visited his main shrine in Pakpattan in what is now Pakistan while pursuing the story of one of the Mumbai attackers Ajmal Kasab Kasab ironically comes from the land of the people […]

The Trinity Of The Gods, January 14th 2010
The Trinity Of The Gods, January 14th 2010

The Chandanakudam festival will not begin until December of this year, but I am heading to the small town of Changanacherry because it is site of this unique event. The festival is the only known event where Hindus, Muslims and Christians celebrate and perform the festival rituals together, and explicitly take offerings to and receiving […]

Where Muslim Warriors Defend & Protect Hindu Gods, January 10th 2010
Where Muslim Warriors Defend & Protect Hindu Gods, January 10th 2010

It is perhaps one of the more unique Hindu pilgrimages in India. Its circuit takes the pilgrims through the domains of two Muslim men – a saint and a warrior, who are considered companions and protectors of the deity Ayyappa. The shrine to Ayyappa lies at the top of a mountain in Sabarimala, but the […]

The Search For The Bent Cross, January 7th 2010
The Search For The Bent Cross, January 7th 2010

I am searching for the Chapel of the Bent Cross in Cochin’s Matancherry district. The story goes that in 1635 the Syrian Christians who had forcibly been converted to Roman Catholicism declared their return to their original faith. The Kunan Kurisu Revolt as this is known marked the final divide between the Jacobites and the […]