Ganesh Loses his Tusk

Edited by: Ms. Sharmila Nasarpuri Ganesh is a much-loved Deity of India. He has an elephant head with a long trunk, a round belly, two big ears and the body of a human.  He is always depicted sitting with a mouse or travelling on a mouse, his ‘Vahan’ or vehicle. There are many interesting stories…

Ganesh with a Fist-full of Rice and a Spoon-full of Milk

The birth of Lord Ganesh falls every year in the monsoon months of August or September. He is a very lovable God and worshipped before beginning any work or project. It is believed that Ganesh is the remover of all obstacles and so, one of his names is Vighaneshwar. A long time ago, in a…

Celebrating Govardhan – a day after Diwali

 Krishna lifting the Govardhan mountain on his little finger. Govardhan is a mountain in Vrindavan near Mathura in India where Lord Krishna was born. The day after Diwali is celebrated as Govardhan. The story/myth behind the celebration is very interesting. A long time ago Vrindavan was a village kingdom. The inhabitants were mostly farmers and…

Why Rangoli is made – myths and legends.

Rangoli (ran-goal-i) or Floor designs are a popular art form practiced all over India. These designs are made on mud floors and walls. Before any auspicious occasion, they are a must as they are believed to ward off evil.  In earlier times when the floors were mud-splattered with cow dung, rangolis were made every day…

Snake and the Saint – Live and Let Live

Edited by: Ms. Sharmila Nasarpuri Download, print, and color in the above drawing by clicking here. Snakes in Indian Mythology and folklore have a very important place. They are a reason to fear, venerate, worship, and propitiate. Seen as a sign of fertility and long life there are innumerable stories and myths related to them….

Legend of Jagannath- Conquest of Kanchi.

A long time ago the King of Kanchipuram in South India solemnized the marriage of his daughter, Princess Padmavati, with the King of Puri in Kalinga. The King of Puri belonged to the Gajapati dynasty and was Purushottam Deva.  Puri’s reigning Deity is Lord Krishna, worshipped as Lord Jagannath.  In Puri, Jagannath Yatra is a…

The day river Ganga came to Earth

The River Ganga is the most revered river of the Hindus and all of us are aware of its journey from Gangotri in the Himalayas through all the major cities of the plains till it finally flows into the Bay of Bengal in Calcutta.  On its journey, it flows through the holy and ancient cities…

A Weaver and the Seven Ghosts

This is yet another amusing and heartwarming folk tale from Bengal. Once upon a time, there lived a weaver in a small cottage in a village on the edge of a forest. The forest was deep and green filled with big leafy trees. Birds and animals abounded. It was a peaceful little village. The weaver…

The story of Ram’s birth and the celebration!

Festivals and holidays are a part of our lives.  Almost every week we have a major or minor festival. Festivals are so woven in the fabric of our lives that their celebration and ritual are what contribute to our vivid culture.  On the 28th of March this year we celebrate Ram Naumi or Ram’s birthday….

Story of Holika-

Holi Celebrations have a number of legends related to it.  The most popular is the story of Holika and her nephew Prahlad. Once upon a time, there was a King called Hiranyakashap. This is a story from the Puranas.  Hiranyakashyap’s brother was killed by Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashyap was very angry at this. He wanted to…

Maha Shivratri- The night of Shiva

We all celebrate the festival of Mahashivratri with fasting and cooking food which I feel is related to the crops harvested at this time. Don’t forget these festivals have been celebrated for centuries and the rituals and cultural practices vary from region to region. The variation may be slight but it is there as one…

Seven Champa Brothers and one Parul Sister

This is one of the most popular folk tales of Bengal narrated generation after generation. Once upon a time, there lived a good and kind king in a vast kingdom where peace and happiness reigned, food was bountiful, lush green trees with beautiful flowering plants abounded and because of the king’s virtues, the Gods smiled…