Presidential Palace - Rashtrapati Bhavan

In New Delhi, this is the official home of the President of India. The Presidential Estate is 320 acres and it was built from 1912 - 1929 on four floors with 340 rooms. In front is the Jaipur Column with the Mughal Gardens at the back.

photo © 2009 rita parada

Dabba Walla

Each day in Mumbai 4000 men in white outfits and matching hats transport 175,000 lunches across the big city. They retrieve the tiffens of food from mothers and wives and bring them - by fot, train, bicycle, carried on top of their heads - to the office buildings of waiting husbands and sons. The Dabba Wallas have been doing this since the late 1800s. Despite the unsophisticated mode of transport, the lunches always arrive on time. The error rate is 1 in every 16 million transactions.

Video by theperennialplate.com

Maha Kumbh; The Holy Dip

Maha Kumbh is said to be the world’s largest congregation of devotees takes place in Allahabad, one of the holiest pilgrimage centers, situated at the confluence of the the holiest rivers of India; the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the Saraswati.

Bibhu Mohapatra, an Indian- American fashion and custom designer was born in Orissa, on the East Coast of India. His inspiration comes from his childhood exposure to textile and garment constructions using Indian fabrics with vibrant colours.

Chand Baori

One of the deepest and largest of the step wells in India. Built in Abhaneri, near the city of Jaipur in the 9th century. It has 3500 narrow steps in 13 stories and is 100 feet deep. Legends say that ghosts built it in one night and that it has so many steps to make it impossible for someone to retrieve a coin once it’s been dropped in the well.

Black Balloons

"Formed by two young Indian artists Nikhil & Santosh in Mumbai, with an endeavour to enrich and create a difference to the lives of people lost in their busy routines. Their plan is to use their creativity and expertise of various art forms to enhance the value of the regular use products and give it a very creative and artistic touch.
They have chosen an interesting alternative to street art to present their creations to as many: umbrellas, hand-painted in a riot of color, mixing pop culture and traditional Indian art. This new form of street art transforms white umbrellas into mobile canvases for traditional Indian art and modern pop culture icons. They paid tribute to the poster artist of the yester years and has revived the memories of the golden era of the Bollywood.”

Check out their stylish hand-painted umbrellas and be stylish in this year’s monsoon.

Sikhtoons are cartoons by Vishavjit Singh

His cartoons focus on the latest political, social, economic and religious developments within the Sikh community around the world. “Art sprinkled with humor is the best way to pierce the invisible walls of fear and anxiety.” A digital book was created to introduce denizens of this planet to the some of the mysterious turbaned characters cohabitating their space.

India’s Aadhaar identity program
India is undertaking a massive, nationwide project, the government is attempting to collect the demographic information, fingerprints, and iris scans of all 1.2 billion residents. With this information, the government hopes to issue a unique 12-digit “Aadhaar” (which means “foundation”) identity number to every man, woman, and child. If successful, India will build a major new piece of technological infrastructure for a modern economy, while fundamentally transforming the way residents interact with their government.
There are enormous logistical difficulties associated with the Aadhaar plan, as well as serious privacy and security risks. Read more…

India’s Aadhaar identity program

India is undertaking a massive, nationwide project, the government is attempting to collect the demographic information, fingerprints, and iris scans of all 1.2 billion residents. With this information, the government hopes to issue a unique 12-digit “Aadhaar” (which means “foundation”) identity number to every man, woman, and child. If successful, India will build a major new piece of technological infrastructure for a modern economy, while fundamentally transforming the way residents interact with their government.

There are enormous logistical difficulties associated with the Aadhaar plan, as well as serious privacy and security risks. Read more…

Horoscope in Urdu
Read your free daily horoscope in Urdu. Urdu is the national language of Pakistan.It is also widely spoken in India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an official language of five Indian states. (Wikipedia)

Horoscope in Urdu

Read your free daily horoscope in Urdu. Urdu is the national language of Pakistan.It is also widely spoken in India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an official language of five Indian states. (Wikipedia)

Surfing in Bangladesh
The Cox’s Bazar went from being a mere seaside holiday destination to burgeoning surf town in the space of a few years and it is all thanks to one man: Jafar Alam. Cox’s Bazar now has about 70 local surfers and its own surf club and school. 
The club and school are primarily aimed at teaching Bangladeshis how to surf. They will also happily loan gear and give lessons to any traveler passing through. 
Interesting fact, almost half the surfers in Bangladesh are female. The teenage girls taking to the waves of Bangladesh are often going against the norms of their society and the wishes of their family. In some cases they even have to surf in secret. 
This is an utterly unique surf scene with enough waves here between April and November. Try it!

Photography and writing: © Lonely Planet Author Stuart Butler

Surfing in Bangladesh

The Cox’s Bazar went from being a mere seaside holiday destination to burgeoning surf town in the space of a few years and it is all thanks to one man: Jafar Alam. Cox’s Bazar now has about 70 local surfers and its own surf club and school.

The club and school are primarily aimed at teaching Bangladeshis how to surf. They will also happily loan gear and give lessons to any traveler passing through.

Interesting fact, almost half the surfers in Bangladesh are female. The teenage girls taking to the waves of Bangladesh are often going against the norms of their society and the wishes of their family. In some cases they even have to surf in secret.

This is an utterly unique surf scene with enough waves here between April and November. Try it!

Photography and writing: © Lonely Planet Author Stuart Butler
Mobile Phone technology helps children map the change they need
In Eastern Kolkata’s shantytown of Rishi Aurobindo Colony the children came up with the idea of a neighbourhood map from a program called Awaz, or “Voice,” that helps youth understand their rights and entitlements, and ensures their involvement in achieving the Millenium Development Goals. The project encouraged the children to initiate change in their community—a community that not long ago was mostly notorious for crime.
With remarkable determination, Salim and his friends set about documenting their neighbourhood—gathering data about the people, small brick huts, crowded alleys, scattered temples, trees and water pumps. They organized themselves into teams of four—a photographer, a tabulator,a map-maker and a note-taker—and used traditional mapping techniques to generate a colourful, hand-drawn version for their first draft.
Next, the children were taught how to collect more and better data using an innovative mobile phone technology that turns mobile phones into data collection machines…
Photo and article: ©UNICEF India/2011/Crouch

Mobile Phone technology helps children map the change they need

In Eastern Kolkata’s shantytown of Rishi Aurobindo Colony the children came up with the idea of a neighbourhood map from a program called Awaz, or “Voice,” that helps youth understand their rights and entitlements, and ensures their involvement in achieving the Millenium Development Goals. The project encouraged the children to initiate change in their community—a community that not long ago was mostly notorious for crime.

With remarkable determination, Salim and his friends set about documenting their neighbourhood—gathering data about the people, small brick huts, crowded alleys, scattered temples, trees and water pumps. They organized themselves into teams of four—a photographer, a tabulator,a map-maker and a note-taker—and used traditional mapping techniques to generate a colourful, hand-drawn version for their first draft.

Next, the children were taught how to collect more and better data using an innovative mobile phone technology that turns mobile phones into data collection machines

Photo and article: ©UNICEF India/2011/Crouch

In his sci-fi “documentary” New Mumbai, artist and designer Tobias Revell has imagined a future in which the massive city is powered by energy-generating mushrooms. An underground market for the magic mushrooms begins to grow, commerce increases, and living conditions begin to improve in a dramatic and environmentally friendly way. The mushrooms grow quickly and begin to harvest the sun, creating energy that provides heat and lighting, like an organic solar panel. They can even be engineered to power a whole building. Some grow strong enough to be used as shelter, parts of building structures, and surfaces to grow local crops. Their porous surfaces also absorb water from the seasonal downpours, which can be collected and used for drinking and bathing. Via Inhabitat

Small plots of land can help lift an entire Indian village out of poverty

Land ownership is an important factor in getting people on an upwardly mobile path. But how much land do is needed? Less than you would think. In India Landesa, an organization that helps families around the world secure land rights, is stepping in with a more practical solution: microplots of land.

via FastCompany

India’s food map

Foodistan
The Indian cooking show Foodistan on NDTV pits Indian chefs against Pakistani chefs in a race to prepare three dishes in 90 minutes. In doing so, it exploits the long rivalry between the two countries. Foodistan’s hook may be the simmering nationalism of the two rivals the show is a source of comic relief for many viewers given the countries’ history of strained relations. India and Pakistan have fought four wars and there are still tensions over the disputed region of Kashmir ever since the countries were split by partition in 1947. That forced millions of Muslims living India and Hindus living in Pakistan to flee to the other side. The contestant chefs also have to conform to the culinary norms of their rivals. Since beef is a no-no in the predominantly Hindu India and pork is forbidden in Muslim Pakistan, both are outlawed on the show.
Read more on NPR.

Foodistan

The Indian cooking show Foodistan on NDTV pits Indian chefs against Pakistani chefs in a race to prepare three dishes in 90 minutes. In doing so, it exploits the long rivalry between the two countries. Foodistan’s hook may be the simmering nationalism of the two rivals the show is a source of comic relief for many viewers given the countries’ history of strained relations. India and Pakistan have fought four wars and there are still tensions over the disputed region of Kashmir ever since the countries were split by partition in 1947. That forced millions of Muslims living India and Hindus living in Pakistan to flee to the other side. The contestant chefs also have to conform to the culinary norms of their rivals. Since beef is a no-no in the predominantly Hindu India and pork is forbidden in Muslim Pakistan, both are outlawed on the show.

Read more on NPR.