Category Worship

SET IN STONE-The Viragallu’s of Bengaluru

Right opposite the Kantheerava Stadium is a painted temple arch tucked between the busy Mallaya Hospital and the swank five star ITC Gardenia hotel. It leads into a secluded square plot where old tamarind trees cast shadows over a modest temple.  “Long ago, this area was just forested land near the Sampige kere (lake)” says the […]

All Saint’s Church- A state of grace

There’s a little corner of colonial England preserved at the busy intersection of Victoria Road and Hosur Road. It is accessed through a gate. Inside are a cluster of trees resembling an English copse, beyond which is a charming little Gothic style country church set amidst a flower garden. It has dressed stone walls and gable fronted dormer […]

A French Connection-Abbe Jean Antoine Dubois

I popped into Blossoms Book House on Church Street one morning before heading to Indian Coffee House right opposite for a cuppa. It’s a familiar Sunday routine for most book-loving Bangaloreans. As I was browsing through a used books section stacked higher than my head, I bumped into Abbé Jean-Antoine Dubois. The bearded Roman Catholic Missionary […]

Spring cycles in Vasantapura

High up on a hillock off Uttarahalli Main Road, an old stone shrine huddles in the shadow of the more well known Vasantha Vallabharaya Temple. Once upon a time, its priests would have looked out at a horizon dotted with five sacred lakes or tirthas- Devatirtha, Shankatirtha, Chakratirtha, Plavatirtha and Vasanthatirtha where, according to Suryaprakash, […]

Avani – On a clear day you can see forever

The sky is a clear cobalt blue over Avani. The air is as still as the water in the village ponds. Cattle laze under trees and dry fields wait for the rains. The town and its inhabitants take shelter in the afternoon shadows but the stillness is deceptive. Unfazed by the heat, the past is very […]

Moharrum – They cried ” Al Atash”.

The lone warrior rides swiftly across the scorching sands of the Arabian desert from the Shat-al-Furat, the mighty Euphrates.  Faint cries of “Al Atash ! Al Atash ( thirst)  carry on the still desert air.“ He looks back at the men who follow him. His hand pauses over his scabbard as he remembers his instructions […]

Devarayanadurga – The hill in our backyard

 As darkness falls upon the earth, a few feeble little sun rays struggle to stay alive. But they too slowly fade away, following the sun to the other side of the world. It is dusk,  a no -man’s land between  day and night when anything can happen. Somewhere in time and space, a pillar splits into […]

Churches of the Cantonment – Come all Ye Faithful

A month ago, I walked into Fatima Bakery on Hosur Road and found it filled with eggs in baskets, eggs in chocolate, marzipan stuffed eggs, eggs with silver icing. There were more than enough eggs on display to confuse the hens across the road in Johnson Market who could not lay claim to even one of them. […]