An art gallery in stone

The Sankhaji ki chhatri in a tiny village of Rajgarh, Madhya Pradesh. What makes it special is that is covered by carved panels depicting Hindu mythological stories.


When I first visited the Morena region nearly fifteen years ago, with a focus on the sites of Mitaoli, Padhawali, Bateshwar and Kakanmath, those sites were little-known. Today, while those four see plenty of visitors, not just from nearby Gwalior but also from the national capital, it is time to talk of the larger heritage […]


The first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Morena is a picture of heavily armed dacoits galloping through the Chambal badlands. Given the area’s past history of dacoit infestation, that picture is natural. But as seen in Mitaoli, there another face to the district – a face that comprised priceless historical monuments […]

the temples of morena – I: mitaoli

It was in the monsoon of 2006 that I first made the journey to Mitaoli. Back then, the drive from Gwalior took longer, parts of the road’s last stretch resembled Balakot after an IAF visit, the destination could not be found on GPS and few locals had even heard of the place. 2006: The first […]

Heritage off the map

The first time I saw Sreedhar, he made a peculiar gesture – of sniffing at me. When I asked him the reason, he said he was making sure that I was not wearing any ‘scent’, in his parlance. It was ‘khatarnak’ (dangerous) was his view. As a city-dweller, I couldn’t quite fathom why a scent […]

The Bundela Baolis of Datia

Medieval baolis – or stepwells – are so much a part of daily life in Datia that most people don’t think of them as heritage sites. For people like Bhanu, who lives on the outskirts of the town, the day begins each morning with him pumping water from his 17th century well to nurture his […]