Although coffee usage dates back to the 9th century, it was not grown outside of the Middle East & N.Africa till the 17th century. Baba Budan, an Indian Sufi, travelled to the Middle East on a pilgrimage in the 17th century. When he returned home he strapped 7 fertile coffee seeds to his stomach - risking severe punishment for the chance to cultivate his own coffee. The seeds he brought were planted in Chandra Giri, Chikmagalur, Karnataka which became the first coffee plantation in India.
Dating back to the 11th century, Rani Ki Vav or Queen's Stepwell, located in Patan, Gujarat, was designed as an inverted temple to highlight the sanctity of water. Divided into 7 levels of staircases, which showcase more than 500 sculpted panels and over a thousand minor ones, Rani Ki Vav depicts religious, mythology and literary imagery. It is truly a marvellous sight to behold! To download and read more India Unveiled stories, visit www.indiaunveiled.org
Located in Himachal Pradesh, the Great Himalayan National Park is a part of the Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, which includes 25 forest types that house the endangered snow leopard along with several other endangered fauna species. It is estimated that there are just above 4000 adult snow leopards alive, of which fewer than 2500 are located in the wild. The great Himalayan National park was recently added to the list of UNESCO's World Heritage sites.
Chinnathambi, Tea Vendor, Sports Club Organizer and Librarian
Chail, 44 km from Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, is home to the world's highest cricket ground. Built in 1893 on a hilltop, this cricket pitch is at an altitude of 2,444 meters. Surrounded by forests of chir pine and gigantic deodars, Chail is also a hiker's paradise. To download and read more India Unveiled stories, visit www.indiaunveiled.org
Shingnapur, a village in Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra, is famous for the fact that houses don’t have doors. This is because villagers of Shingnapur believe that they are protected by the presence of the Shani Temple in the village and that Lord Shani punishes anyone attempting theft. To download and read more India Unveiled stories, visit www.indiaunveiled.org
Located about 100 kilometres from Andaman’s capital of Port Blair are the Baratang islands known for its sandy beaches, tidal swamp forests, and lime stone caves. However, the most stunning view of these islands is that of thousands of parrots returning home at sunset to the Islands. According to scientists, these birds have thrived in these islands because of the special climatic conditions and lack of predators.
Attuvela Mahotsavam – The Floating Festival of Kerala. Kerala's temple festivals are known for the use of elephants & loud percussion music. However, the Attuvela Mahotsavam, celebrated in Vaikom in Central Kerala, is a serene & delightful water carnival. Illuminated canoes carry huge temple replicas through the water towards the temple. They're accompanied by colorfully decorated small canoes. Depending on the Malayalam calendar, the festival falls near the end of March or beginning of…
The Fairy Queen, which runs as a luxury train between Delhi and Alwar, Rajasthan, is the oldest functioning steam engine in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Built in 1855 in England, this classic locomotive is powered by coal and has a top speed of 40 kilometers per hour. To download and read more India Unveiled stories visit: www.indiaunveiled.org
The Caracella Club, an upside down building, near New Delhi was inspired by the WonderWorks ‘inverted amusement park’ in the United States. It has also been added to the list of the world’s upside down buildings. Named after the first club built by ancient Romans, the building is located in a newly developed area near New Delhi. To download and read more India Unveiled stories, visit www.indiaunveiled.org
Located near the bank of the river Ganga in Patna, the Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Library has a unique collection of about 21,000 oriental manuscripts and 2.5 lakh printed books. Though founded much earlier, it was opened for the public in 1891 by Bahadur Khuda Bakhsh with 4,000 manuscripts. It houses a rare collection of Persian and Arabic manuscripts and paintings during the Rajput and Mughal rule in India. It is also a designated 'Manuscript Conservation Centre.'
Situated 15 km to the west of Jaisalmer is the village of Kuldhara. According to local historians, it was home to a thriving community from 13th century CE till the beginning of 19th century CE. Around 1825 the village was abandoned overnight by its inhabitants. It’s believed that they ran away from the village fearing the displeasure of a local ruler. However, where these villagers moved & what happened to them still remains a mystery.