Tag Archives: K.J.S.Chatrath

‘Subarnapur (Sonepur) in Odisha & the burning of Lanka (Lankapodi) by Lord Hanuman’ – K.J.S.Chatrath

As every year, Dussehra festival with the burning of the statues of Ravana etc was celebrated recently in various parts of the country. It signifies the victory of good over evil, though one knows that it does not always happen like that in real life. In some areas of the country Ravana is not considered a manifestation of evil. But here one is going to present a slightly different aspect.

Generally Sri Lanka (earlier Ceylon) is considered as the Lanka mentioned in the Ramayana. I came across an interestingly different viewpoint on this in a part of Odisha. Subarnapur is a district in Odisha which was, till sometime back called Sonepur. The headquarter of this district is a small town called Subarnapur (Sonepur). This town is situated on the banks of the mighty river ‘Mahanadi’. The river is so wide here that it gives the impression of a sea.

07sonepur 180 100 I had the occasion of visiting it and staying there many times during my service tenure in Odisha, including a few times when the legendry IAS officer Saroj Jha, (presently Regional Director of World Bank in Central Asia) was the District Magistrate & Collector.


This small statue has solid legs and body, face with moustaches and a necklace with a pendant around the neck and matching ear studs.

camp hanuman gujarat 480 40The conventional depiction of Lord Hanuman. The above is photo of a statue from Gujarat.

I came to know that the view here is that this town is the real Lanka mentioned in the Ramayana. Dr H.D. Sankalia, professor emeritus at Pune University, Dr N.K. Sahu, Vice-Chancellor of Sambalpur University, Orissa and Dr S.C. Behera, head of the department of history, Sambalpur University, are convinced that the mythic Lanka and India’s southern neighbour are two different places. The team is working on the theory that Ravana’s ancient kingdom could be located somewhere in central India, most probably in western Orissa. “There is prima facie evidence to prove this,” Dr. Behera has asserted. (‘Sonepur: Digging up a new Lanka: Not Sri Lanka, but Sonepur in Orissa is the Lanka of Ramayana: Archaeologists’, by Farzand Ahmed) http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/not-sri-lanka-but-sonepur-in-orissa-is-the-lanka-of-ramayana-archaeologists/1/401734.html

Residents of Sonepur town celebrate, what is locally called ‘Lankapodi’ or burning of Lanka every year. It is celeberated on the new moon day of the lunar month of Bhadraba to mark the event of Lord Hanuman’s raid on the kingdom of Ravana. This day falls somewhere in the month of August.

032 580 40This statue has hollow legs and body, face with moustaches and a necklace around the neck

People buy clay monkey idols either from the markets or Kumbharpada, the potters’ locality. During one of my visits I too went to Kumbharpada and bought some of these clay statues.

079 580 40Terracotta artisan Ananta Rana explained in an interview to The Telegraph, ” Earlier we used to make the idols in traditional style, but now we have adapted to the demands of time. We dust them with powdered mica to give them a sparkling look. Some are smaller, with legs of solid clay rather than hollow tubes.”


Children would pull a rope attached to the idols and bring them on the streets.
At nightfall, the tails of the idols are wrapped with old clothes and a container attached to the tip is filled with oil and set on fire.


“With so many burning Hanuman idols across the town, one would get an illusion of Lanka burning. As the night wears on, acrobats and gymnasts perform on the streets. The sense of adventure and festivity is contagious,” said historian Sudam Naik, who has authored several books on Sonepur’s history. This ritual traces its roots to 8th century.


The monkey images are finally taken to the courtyard of the temple of Goddess Somalai and broken early the next morning. “This follows a pan-Indian practice of invoking supernatural presence to inhabit a clay image and then, after the dramatic ritual, destroying the inert body,” Naik said. Clay images of Hanuman, whose burning of Lanka is annually celebrated in Sonepur is a queintessential example of folk art , some experts have opined. (South Asian Folklore: An Encyclopedia : Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India by Peter J. Claus, Sarah Diamond, Margaret Ann Mills. …page 199.)


Witnessing the annual ‘Lankapodi’ festival in Subarnapur is yet another reason for tourists to visit  Odisha.



(Text with inputs from the internet, especially 3 news reports from The Telegraph, Kolkata-http://www.telegraphindia.com/1100907/jsp/orissa/story_12905689.jsp; http://www.telegraphindia.com/1110829/jsp/orissa/story_14436811.jsp; http://www.telegraphindia.com/1140826/jsp/odisha/story_18758825.jsp#.VjG9PG4oIdU .)


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‘Introducing “RedCooker” of Bengaluru’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

What does a brilliant IIT Mumbai & IIM Lucknow alumni Rohan Patnaik, who loves pure mathematics, squash and is a food connoisseur, do when he wants a change? Convinces his equally brilliant friends Raghunandan B. & Amol Patil and the three get into the business of food (https://www.redcooker.com/redcooker-story/)

Thus was born RedCooker: logoIt is an ap that lists out dishes from domestic kitchens and makes them reach its customers.

12183778_1665670407041608_2088598011822487685_o 580 50Aloo Paratha served with Curd and Pickle.

12186847_1665670007041648_8902195167041339972_o 580 50Andhra style Tomato Pappu with Green Chutney, Rice and Payasam

12183846_1665670083708307_7126955912452118476_o 580 50Ajwain Parathas served with dry Aloo Jeera Sabzi and Lahsoon ki Chatni on the side

12186290_1665670177041631_5411150181968841284_o 580 50Traditional Rajasthani style Gatte ki Sabzi served with Phulkas (3nos).

These people at RedCooker share with us what a wise guy once said “There is no love more sincere than love for food”. And RedCooker agrees to this. Not only does RedCooker love food, it also likes to share that love too. It was this love that prompted this troika to start cookin’ with RedCooker.

69059d6681264730afd8f7c209e4d5d0-1080x720 580 50Chicken sauteed in Black pepper, served with Cocktail Dip and Kimchi

fb494506d0364d4fbc540cc1aee25771-720x480 - Copy 580 50Italian Chicken Pasta Salad: Penne, Chicken, fresh vegetables combined with a light Italian Dressing.

07b1f990a3114656ba83f0689dd55cf5-720x480 580 50Coq Au Vin : Chicken braised with Mushrooms and Onions in Port Sauce.

Their website (https://www.redcooker.com/) explains: “We bring gourmet & home food to your doorstep through our android app and website. Our gourmet meals are prepared by experienced Chefs in FSSAI licensed kitchens. Our home food, though prepared in our HomeChef’s kitchen carries an authentic taste and a commitment to quality. All our food is prepared under strict quality control with the right balance of taste and nutrition.”

I have not yet had the chance of trying out the dishes of RedCooker, but if the photos above are any indication, I am going to love the RedCooker. Alas presently this privilege is limited to residents of some areas of Bengaluru only! Check up the website to see if your area falls within the lucky zone.

Give it a try.

Bon apetit!

(Text based on inputs from the website of RedCooker. Source of photos: RedCooker’s website)

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“Monsoon Magic Trail to Meghalaya” being organised by Compassadventurtrails.com

Here is some information about a forthcoming trip to Meghalaya.

Looks great. I would have joined if I was not going to Lahul-Spiti during this period.

Take a look….Regards….KJS Chatrath



“Monsoon Magic Trail to Meghalaya

18 July 2015 at 23:43

You are invited to be part of Monsoon Magic trail to Meghalaya. If the raindrops elevate your mood, clouds stir your senses and rainbow brings out child like pleasure in you then don’t hold yourself back.
I am Nupur, your host on this trail. I will take you to the abode of clouds- Meghalaya, where rain weaves magical spell, spellbinding beauty haunts your senses and you witness nature at its best. Come witness the monsoon magic, majestic waterfalls, live root bridges & more….
Meghalaya is nestled in cool pine fresh mountains of Himalayas overlooking plains of Bangladesh. It sits upon dramatic horseshoes of rocky cliffs studded with gushing waterfalls, lush green panorama, natural live root bridges and Asia’s longest caves.
Its time to put on your trekking boots and prepare yourself to walk amidst nature, tuning your ears to the gurgling sound of waterfalls, witness Asia’s longest caves.
Enjoy an exhilarating feel at skywalk in Asia’s cleanest village with live root bridges
This is not all soak yourself in rains soothing your senses and pampering your skin with bounty of nature.
I will receive you at Guwahati, we will travel through Meghalaya by road in terrain friendly vehicles, 4 people per vehicle.
Trail begins on 16th August’15 at Guwahati (overnight stay booked & included)Ends on 21st August’15 late evening at Guwahati (overnight stay booked & included for 21st August’15 night)
Participation by contribution of Rs.26800/-
Early bird contribution will be Rs.25800/- (valid till 30th July’15)
Duration: 6nights 7 days (excluding travel to & back from Guwahati)
16th Aug ’15
Reach Guwahati and enjoy relaxing day, early dinner & rest.
17th Aug ’15
Travel Guwahati to Shillong by road, enjoy Dwar Ksuid, Umiam Lake (Barapani). Overnight at lake facing Luxury Resort.
18th Aug’15
Local Sightseeing at Shilong. Cathedral of Mary, Don Bosco Museum CWS state museum Ward’s lake & Botanical garden Overnight at Resort.
19th Aug’15
Travel from Shillong to Cherrapunjee witness Shillong Peak, Elephant Falls & Mawphlang Sacrad Forest.
20th Aug’15
Peaceful day at Resort with nature walks, visit Mawjymbuin Caves (entry subject to weather condition), overnight at luxury Resort at Cherrapunjee.
Travel from Cherrapunjee to Mawlynnong Village, drive back to Guwahati Overnight at Hotel in Guwahati.
22nd Aug’15
Departure from Guwahati
Pickup from Airport / Railway station
Transport from Guwahati to Shillong to Cherrapunjee & back to Guwahati.
Forest Permits and other charges. Mountaineering Course qualified Guide from Compass Adventure trails.
Local Guide who has extensive knowledge of the route
All meals(Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) from the day of receiving in Guwahati to dropping back at Guwahati included.
Stay at luxury resorts and activities as detailed in travel plan are included.
Stay at hotel in Guwahati on arrival day and departure day are included for a day only.
Still & video camera fee at parks, museums & any other place where charged.
Cost of travel from your location to Guwahati & back, it can be provided on request on actual cost basis.
Travel insurance & emergency evacuation.
Purchase of personal nature, cost of porters to carry additional personal equipment.
In case of any query feel free to call at +919810801800
Compass Adventure trails empowering you to have all the fun while traveling with likeminded travel enthusiasts. Join us to discover and experience places you always wanted to explore. Pursue your passion of travel with safety.
Looking forward to your confirmation to be part of this trail !
with warm Regards,
Nupur Singh
Co Founder CATs
Mobile +91 981 080 1800


‘The website of AXA Schengen’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

I am sharing below an email received by me for the information of the readers of traveltalk.co.in.

Hope you find it of some interest. Please satisfy yourself fully before taking any decision. This website is not responsible for the correctness of the information given in the following email of AXA Schengen



“Be the first to discover the new design of Schengen website

  • AXA Schengen
  • Today at 4:09 PM

Lal Mahal – Shaniwar Wada a guided walk on 18 April 2015, World Heritage Day

Lal Mahal – Shaniwar Wada

a guided walk on 18 April 2015, World Heritage Day


From  young Shivaji’s Pune, Shaiste Khan’s famous combat to around 87 years of Peshwa rule & victories of Marathas
Fires, Murder, Suicide, Death, Treachery,
Growing British dominance, Union Jack hoisting,
Mental asylum & Prison, hospital,
Shaniwar Wada and Lal Mahal are witness to
incredible history of India!

Join us to hear some fascinating facts & stories. Open to All!

Saturday 18 April 2015
4 – 5.30 pm
50 INR/-
(Entrance fee to Shaniwar Wada not included)Booking: On the spot from 3.30pm
Meet our volunteer at Delhi Darwaja
Walk available in Marathi, Hindi and English

More info at www.virasatpune.com / 020-25709013

Read more on Shaniwar Wada

Senapati Bapat Road

Pune, Mh 411001

‘Interesting Air France ticket offers to Latin America’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

We are sharing below an email received from Air France.


traveltalk.co.in is in NO way connected with this offer. This is being shared only for the convenience of our readers who are requested verify all facts before taking any decision.

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“Air France: LATINO FESTIVAL:air franceUp to 50% Off !

Home to the famous Andes Mountains & Bay Islands and a host to two of the wonders of the world, South & Central America is definitely the answer to your perfect getaway this year.

What’s more, when you book on www.airfrance.in you get an additional flat discount of INR 4000 in Economy class. All you need to do is enter your advantage code AFCSAY644 on the personal information page.

See Terms and Conditions

From Mumbai
Sao Paolo- INR 63,000
Brasilia – INR 80,000
Rio de Janeiro -INR 80,000
Buenes Aires -INR 93,000
Caracas -INR 93,000
Montevideo -INR 92,000
Santiago -INR 91,000
Bogota -INR 103,000
Havana -INR 107,000
Cali -INR 110,000

Source: http://www.airfrance.com/IN/en/local/resainfovol/meilleuresoffres/latino_festival.htm  “

‘Memorial to Indian soldiers of WWI at Neuve Chapelle, France’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

New Chapelle Memorial France Oct 15, 2009 004 640 80

New Chapelle Memorial France Oct 15, 2009 049-580 75I visited the Memorial to Indian soldiers who attained martyrdom during the First World War  at Neuve Chapelle, near Lille in France on 15th October, 2009.

Coming soon more details in my book ‘Indian martyrs of World War-I in Neuve Chapelle Memorial and Mazargues Cemetery, France’

Celebrate Gudhi Padwa with Pune Heritage Walk March 21, 2015



Celebrate Gudhi Padwa with Pune Heritage Walk

ard Winning, Pune Heritage Walk is set to give you a fascinating experience of the Maharashtrian culture in its special walk organized this Saturday….. on the occasion of “Gudhi Padwa” !!

“Gudhi Padwa” which marks the beginning of a new Hindu year is celebrated on the first day of the “Chaitra” month of Marathi calendar! In the heart of Pune city, households are decorated with rangolis, marigold garlands and a “Gudhi” is hoisted outside the windows symbolizing the celebration. Join the Heritage Walk with your family and celebrate the Padwa knowing about the rich heritage of Pune city.

Starting point: Pune Municipal Corporation
Language: English
Fees: Rs 350/- (includes guide, comprehensive brochure, refreshment and cultural performance)

For more info call Suchitra on 020 2570 9013





traveltalk.co.in is in no way connected wih his walk. The above information is being shared only for the information of its readers.