Category: Heritage

The King of Fruits

Varieties of Indian Mangoes
Varieties of Indian Mangoes, and other fruits

I am talking about the Mango, the undoubted King of Fruits, in my humble opinion. This is a fruit native to India (as highlighted by its scientific name, Mangifera indica). The best part of an Indian summer is the pleasure of consuming the different varieties of juicy and tasty Indian mangoes.

The start of this year’s season was severely impacted by the Covid pandemic crisis. For a while, there was huge uncertainty on whether we would even get to consume any mangoes this year. But then, the logistics slowly started opening up. Many farmers started supplying directly to apartment complexes. And because of the collapse of exports, the prices have been reasonable.

The first mangoes we consumer this season were Raspuris and Sindooris. This was followed by one of the varieties most commonly available in Bangalore – Banganapalli or Bemisal. We then started receiving regular supplies of the prized Alphonso varieties, but at very good rates. Next in line was the glorious Imampasand, possibly the best variety we have had this year. This was followed by Badami and Mallika.

Each of the varieties has unique flavour characteristics. While Alphonsos are usually considered the King of Mangoes, this year we were exposed to other varieties that are equally, if not more, delicious.

It’s a shame that most of the outside world do not know about the varieties of Indian mangoes. I came across this interesting article that explains more about this King of Fruits. Happy reading, and happy mango eating!

Mangoes
Photo by Gowri Subramanya on Unsplash

My Saharan Africa Bucket List

Mauritania
Photo by Daniel Born on Unsplash

The Sudan region, along with the countries to the West and South of The Sudan, is possibly the one part of the World that I would most like to visit, at some point. Here are a few places in this region that intrigue me:

Mali – Who’s not heard of Timbuktu? For a long time, I wasn’t sure that such a place actually existed. And ever since I discovered that this is a real place, I have always wanted to visit it. Djenne, for its Grand Mosque and the capital city of Bamako are the other places that I would like to visit.

Mauritania – Definitely off the beaten track is this large West African nation with an Atlantic coastline. It has a few UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Ouadana, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata that would be great to visit, in addition to the Banc d’Arguin National Park and the capital city of Nouakchott.

NigerAgadez for its Grand Mosque and the intriguingly named W National Park would be the places I would like to visit in this country.

Burkina Faso – I have a friend whose family was associated with this country for a while, and that’s possibly one of the reasons that I would like to visit it. Bobo-Dioulasso and the ruins of Loropeni seem like interesting places to visit.

My North Africa Bucket List

Man and Donkey, Fes, Morocco
Photo by Vince Gx on Unsplash

It’s a continent that I have never visited. And eagerly looking forward to doing so someday…

Egypt: I would start my North Africa visit with the country with one of the oldest civilisations in the World. Of course, it will be great to visit the Pyramids of Giza. But I would be just as excited to visit the ancient monuments along the banks of the Nile at places such as Luxor, Edfu and Aswan. I am also curious to see Alexandria – pictures reveal a city with similarities to my home town – Mumbai.

Tunisia: Another country with links to ancient Rome. Tunis, Carthage, El Jem and Dougga would be the places on my itinerary here.

Algeria: I must confess that this country, the largest in Africa, was not originally on my list of countries to visit. But a casual online read has piqued my curiosity sufficiently enough to add it to my list. Algiers, Oran and Constantine look like interesting places to visit. I would also like to experience Tamanrasset in the far south.

Morocco: Marrakesh, Fes, Casablanca, Tangier – the places in Morocco roll of the tongue conjuring images of the exotic. A country that I would love to visit!

 

Google Arts & Culture

red art relaxation girl
Photo by Una Laurencic on Pexels.com

I came across this site yesterday and spent an enjoyable time on it.

What is Google Arts & Culture?

This is what the ‘About’ section of the website states:

“Google Arts & Culture is a non-profit initiative. We work with cultural institutions and artists around the world. Together, our mission is to preserve and bring the world’s art and culture online so it’s accessible to anyone, anywhere.”

The initiative’s pitch to museums and cultural institutions is “We can help digitize, manage, and publish your collection online, for free. With our easy-to-use tools, your stories can be told beautifully to a global audience.”

In classic Google style, they present the results of these to the end user in a simple, elegant and beautiful manner. It definitely helps that they are presently leading with an article on the “Sphinx of Delft” – the Dutch master, Vermeer.

Scroll further down and you can explore architecture, food, music as well as indulge in virtual travel. There are also articles exploring concepts in science.

I have only just started scratching the surface of this and look forward to spending more time exploring it further!

 

 

My West Asia Bucket List – Part II

Georgia
Photo by Rudolf Kirchner on Pexels.com

I realised after posting my West Asia Bucket List that I had not covered a few countries that straddle Asia and Europe.

Georgia – This is another country that I am very keen to visit. It is becoming an increasingly popular destination. Places such as the capital Tbilisi, Mtskheta, Kutaisi, Akhaltsikhe have a wealth of historical monuments worth exploring.

Azerbaijan – Another country in the region that is becoming increasingly popular with tourists. Baku has an interesting mix of old and modern architecture. Other places that I would like to visit include Nakhchivan and Sheki. While reading about the place, I also came across this fascinating place – the Parigala “Fairy Castle”. It is almost inaccessible and it is claimed that it was last accessed by a human in the 1970s!

Armenia – A small country in the region, this country was supposedly the first to make Christianity the State religion. It has four UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Haghpat Monastery, Sanahin Monastery, the Etchmiadzin Cathedral (considered as the oldest cathedral in the world) and Geghard Monastery.