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Scholarships for the Needy: 2010 – 2011

That gift which is given to a worthy person, in the right circumstance, from whom we expect nothing in return, is held to be most pure. ~ Bhagavad Gita, 17:20 Here is the list of students awarded the 2010 Shanbhag Scholarships in Kumta, India. I thank the many donors who made valuable contributions, so needy […]

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Video: Approaching Kumta on the Konkan Railway

Move your mouse out of the video frame to lose the black border. Music: Mere Desh Ka Salaam, Shobha Gurtu. Those who have ridden the Konkan Railway can attest, the rural countryside with emerald green fields is mesmerizing. I think of an early retirement in a village, a small house and running a school. To […]

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Scholarships for the Needy: 2009 – 2010

That gift which is given, knowing it to be a duty, in a fit time and place, to a worthy person, from whom we expect nothing in return, is held to be most pure. ~ Bhagavad Gita, 17:20 Several years ago we started these scholarships to support needy girls at the Shanbhag School in Kumta. […]

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Charlie Chaplin in Rural India

Movie directors will go to any ‘height’ to seek publicity. One Hemnath Hegde wants to install a 62-foot statue of Charlie Chaplin as the backdrop for two Kannada movie song sequences. He wants to offer that as a permanent contribution to rural Karnataka and hopefully get into the Guiness Book of World Records. When locals […]

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Scholarships for the Needy 2008-2009

Hope you all had a wonderful “Makar Sankranti.” Now the Sun rises earlier each day and sets later, bringing light and warmth to all aspects of our lives. This year, I celebrated Sankranti in Mumbai with close family and overate “til-gul” and “til ladoo.” Too lazy to ask why this focus on sesame, I simply […]

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Scholarships for the Needy

I have previously written about the Shanbhag School, an academic beacon in Kumta and surrounding villages. The Shanbhag High School, managed by the Konkan Education Trust does not receive any governmental aid. But it follows the state determined academic syllabus and guidelines. While we attract many students who can afford fees, our family wanted to […]

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Fresh-ground Raagi Flour

Raagi Bhakri is a favorite in our home. It’s easy to prepare and very filling. During this past visit to Kumta I replenished our stock of Raagi flour. A few blocks from our place in Kumta is a little “girNi” (or mill) which grinds various types of flour. It is run by a distant relative […]

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Uma: Quencher of Thirst

It was a blazing hot summer afternoon in Hampi. As I walked out of the magnificent Vithala Temple, my throat was parched. Even my sweat had dried in this arid North Karnataka summer. The sight of this woman under a bright red umbrella, tending a cooler with drinks was an oasis of bliss to a […]

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Meeting Aayi of Aayis Recipes

Looking for new recipes, you have likely browsed Aayi’s Recipes the uber popular food blog hosted by Shilpa. This is M’s favorite “go-to” site anytime she needs inspiration for her cooking. During my travels to India, I look forward to visiting our ancestral town of Kumta – Jewel of the Konkan in coastal Karnataka. And […]

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Raagi Bhakri

During summers in Bhatkal (Karnataka), every morning we were treated to Raagi-neru. A watery concoction of raagi ground with a bit of coconut and jaggery. My grandmother advised that this would keep our insides cool from the summer heat. We’d hurriedly gulp a few glasses and dash into the orchards, chasing dragon flies! I recently […]

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Karnataka Cuisine: What a feast it is!

Food blogs are fascinating ways to learn about different cuisines, new dishes, new ways to prepare old dishes, and importantly, gives ides of what to cook up for the simple daily dinner, or even the special feast coming up. Have to confess, M looks through a few food blogs every day to figure out what […]

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Cave Temples of Badami – Cave 4 of 4

See my previous posts on the 6th century Cave Temples of Badami, in Northern Karnataka: Cave One is dedicated to Shiva as the impressive Nataraja; and Devi as Mahisasuramardini. Cave Two honors Vishnu and his avataars Varaha and Vamana. Cave Three is also dedicated to Vishnu, and holds some of the most impressive works of […]

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Cave Temples of Badami – Cave 3

I previously shared pictures of two cave temples of Badami. These represented the zenith of the Chalukyan cave temple architecture from the 6th century. Cave one was dedicated to Shiva as the impressive Nataraja; and Devi as Mahisasuramardini. Cave two honors Vishnu and his avataars Varaha and Trivikrama (Vamana). Cave Three is also dedicated to […]

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Cave Temples of Badami – 2

Badami in Northern Karnataka, was the capital of the Chalukyan empire. During the 5th to the 8th century, skilled artisans cut caves in the mountainside and decorated the insides with stunning craftsmanship. The four caves are dated to 578 CE. The first cave is dedicated to Shiva and you saw some impressive high relief figures […]

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Cave Temples of Badami

The Cave Temples of Badami in Northern Karnataka are part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. They are well maintained, and the sculptures are mind blowingly exquisite. Highly recommended. The above is an image of Shiva as Nataraja, Lord of the Dance. Apparently, his 9 arms on each side create the 81 combinations of Bharatnatyam poses.

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Virupaksha Temple, Hampi: Faith

Faith From our visit a few years ago, to the Virupaksha Temple in Hampi, Karnataka. click image for a larger version;

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Cashew Nuts: To Your Health

Factories play an important role in India's rural economy. They provide jobs for local men and women, which translates into money to buy food, send kids to school, buy medicines if needed, repair and maintain a house and save some money. Villages and towns in India (as elsewhere in the world) don't need an handout, […]

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Dhanya in Honavar

My cousin brother is a bhat-maam (priest) in the small konkan town of Honavar, 15 miles south of Kumta. His parents had insisted he get a college degree – so after his BA in Economics he still decided to follow their priestly traditions. They live in spartan accommodations beside the temple. I have fond memories […]

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Precious Kids we met in Karnataka

A nice part of visiting temples in India is, I get to meet the locals. The hard working laborers with a few days off to visit temples. These you wouldn’t meet in hotel lobbies or in coffee shops. Their kids care less for the soulful art, and are playing around with each other. Them, I […]

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Bengaluru City Tour

After an early breakfast, my cousin had arranged for his car and driver to take us around the city. The driver (Linga Raj) was given a detailed list of places to bring us. We started by visiting a few of the nearby temples: the Ganapati Devasthan, the impressive Nandi (Bull) Devasthan and the Shiva Devasthan. […]