Sunday, 1 April 2018

How to Photograph the Taj Mahal: Tips, Tricks and Vantage Points

The Taj Mahal is India’s biggest tourist attraction, one of the seven wonders of the world, and one of the world’s most photographed monuments. For professional photographers and photography enthusiasts, getting that perfect photo of the Taj Mahal can be a daunting task. What gear should you use? What time of the year should you visit? Where can you get the best shots from? And are there any angles or vantage points from where you can get a Taj photo that no one else has? I visited Agra in October of 2017 and stayed in the city for 7 days. In this blog, I’ll share with you my experiences and tips about photographing the Taj Mahal.

View from across the river. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM, f/8, 70 seconds, ISO 100




Sunday, 18 March 2018

Forgotten History: The Gunpowder Magazine of Achipur

In Achipur, near Budge Budge, approximately 33 km to the southwest of Calcutta (Kolkata), stands an abandoned gunpowder magazine with an interesting story behind it. On google maps, the area is currently marked as “Birlapur Riverside Picnic Spot” and locals call it the Achipur “barood-ghar” (barood – gunpowder, ghar – house). Veteran blogger Rangan Datta was the first to bring these abandoned structures to my notice. Trying to find details about them led to the uncovering of a wealth of information, but as is the norm with Bengal, there more questions than there are answers.


 

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Serampore's Danish Tavern Re-opens

Serampore’s Denmark Tavern was formally inaugurated on the 28th of February, 232 years after it was first opened by British innkeeper James Parr. Part of the “Serampore Initiative” of the National Museum of Denmark, the restoration of the Denmark Tavern took 3 years and was led by the National Museum of Denmark, INTACH, MASCON and Continuity Architects. Manish Chakraborti was the restoration architect with inputs from Danish architect Flemming Aalund. Ambassadors from 5 Nordic countries, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland attended the inauguration ceremony. With the restoration project making news around the world, a little-known chapter of India’s history is also highlighted.

 

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Ladakh Travelogue Part 7: Palaces & Monasteries of Leh

We had spent just over a week in Jammu and Kashmir. Harsha, Prasenjit, Ananya, Sreyashi and I, had been to Srinagar, Kargil, Drass, Nubra Valley, Pangong Lake and were now at the end of our trip. We would spend our last day in Leh, the capital city of Ladakh, exploring the monasteries and palaces in the neighbourhood and shopping.





Sunday, 14 January 2018

Agra's Roman Catholic Cemetery and the Red Taj Mahal

Anyone unfamiliar with the early period of Christianity in India will likely be shocked upon first entering the Roman Catholic Cemetery of Agra, because it does not resemble any of the better-known colonial era cemeteries, such as the South Park Street Cemetery of Calcutta (Kolkata). Here in Agra, with its Mughal legacy, the tombs are built of sandstone more than marble, and their design makes them appear more Muslim than Christian. Added to this is the fact that inscriptions on many of the headstones are in Persian script. Furthermore, if it were not for the crosses atop these tombs, it would be difficult to identify them as actually Christian.

 

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

My Publications in 2017

2017 was the year where I ventured into writing for publications in a big way, concentrating mostly on online publications, as opposed to print. I must thank Devjyot Ghoshal of Quartz who got me started down this road. He emailed me expressing interest in republishing my article about the “invisible cemeteries of Kolkata”, which was re-run by Scroll. I then approached Scroll asking them if they would be interested in the kind of stuff I write for, and to my surprise, they said yes. I also must thank the wonderful people at Live History India, from whom I have done a couple of articles this year and hope to do more in the future.



Here’s a list of articles I did for publications this year –