Posts Tagged ‘India’

Dumas Beach, Gujurat in India is a popular tourist spot with black sand and wonderful sea views. Most tourists shop and visit unaware that the locals say it is one of the most haunted beaches in India.

The Hindu belief is that the soul is normally in two states the first being the waiting for rebirth (reincarnation) and the second is when the soul reaches Nirvana. There is one exception to these two which is when someone has a horrible or sudden death.

Dumas Beech’s ghostly story may well stem from the fact it is a cremation ground. Cremations are to allow the soul to leave its earthly trapping. Many of the dead could be counted as tormented souls and locals state they often hear noises or whispers when they walk along the beach.

They say that dogs they walk try to stop them going to certain spots and perhaps they are sensing those spirits and try to stop their human companions coming into contact with them or feeling distress. There are also stories that tourists who have walked down the black sand at night have disappeared and not been found.

But is any of it true? LINK

By MarwadaOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

A Dakhma in Persian, a Cheel Ghar in Hindi and in English it is known as Tower of Silence. They are circular raised structures that are used to expose the dead, for the scavenging birds it makes the dead easy pickings. It sounds strange to many but in Zoroastrian tradition a dead body is considered to be unclean.

The corpse demon, Avestan, are thought to rush in to the body and contaminate everything it comes into contact with. There are therefore strict rules for the disposal of the dead to ensure the safety of the living.

In Greater Iran the structures were used until 1970’s when they were shut down by law. Located at Diu, India one of them as been listed as a ‘monument of national importance’. It is one of the 17 in Daman and Diu, the Parsi cemetery may well be one of those persevered for a tradition that is dying out.



BombayTempleOfSilenceEngraving” by Cornelius Brown – Engraving from 1886 book “True Stories of the Reign of Queen Victoria” by Cornelius Brown. Scanned from original copy by Infrogmation (talk).. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Ahmedabad, India is a bustling café that serves milky tea and buttery rolls in a rather unique location. It’s a Lucky Restaurant, and the business has another reason for attention, it’s set in the middle of an old Muslim cemetery.

In the 1950’s K H Mohammed opened a tea stall outside the cemetery, Nair helped to expand it and they went into partnership. It’s slowly expanded and the cemetery was used in an attempt to make more space.

Workers are used to navigating around the businesses unique furniture, and move around as they serve tea to the visitors. The graves are not identified per say, local historians however believe that they are the resting place of relatives of a 16th Century Sufi Saint whose tomb lays nearby.

Each morning the graves are cleaned and fresh flowers placed on them, they are, as Nair says, his Lucky Charms.

In India this is a deserted town with some 10000 properties, established in 1613 by Madho Singh, it was abandoned soon after it was built as it was supposedly cursed by a magician. The fort is a very intact view of the medieval part and whilst the town was desolate following and old Mighal invasion it is looking like it may become inhabited again. For now however it seems that it is still busy with people.

The board tells people that there is no entering the borders before sunrise and after sunset, and those that have visited have often come back with reports to say that it is a very eerie place.

Madho Singh built it with approval of Baba Balanath who meditated near there, he predicted however that the moment a shadow of the place should touch him he would be undone. The city would be no more should he be touched by the presence of Bangarh. 

The grandson of Madho, Ajab, was ignorant of this however and raised the palace to a height that the shadow went to the forbidden place. This led to the devastation of the town.

These are also known as Tibetan Singing Bowls, rin gongs, Himalayan bowls or suzug gongs. They are a type of bell that are classified as a standing bell, they sit on their surface to produce their sound, over the hanging variety. They are traditional to Asia and appear to have roots as far back as the bronze age. They are used for meditation, music and relaxation as well has personal well being. They are used by various professionals and have been known to assist with cancer patients and those under care for post traumatic stress disorder. They are also popular in classrooms as they help to keep the attention of the students.

They are historically made in Asia, especially in Nepal, China and Japan. They seem closely related to the decorative bells made along the silk road from the Near East to Western Asia. The best known of more recent times seem to be from the Himalayan region. They are often referred to as Tibetan Singing bowlws but there do not appear to be any found in the region today.

In Tibetan Buddhist practise uses the bowls to signal the beginning and end of the periods of silent meditation. Chinese Buddhists will use the singing bowl to accompany the wooden fish during chanting, striking it when a particular phrase is chanted. In Japan and Vietnam a similar practise is sused, also in Japan they are used in traditional funeral rites and ancestor worship. Every Japanese temple will hold a singing bowl and they are found on altars and in meditation rooms around the world.

The only texts about the singing bowls are modern but a few pieces of art from several centuries do depict them. Singing bowls from around the 15th Century have been found in private collections and bronze bells for music have also been located as far back as the 8-10th Century BC. They are played by striking the rim of the bowl with a padded mallet, they can also be played by the friction of rubbing a wood, plastic or leather wrapped mallet. They produce a unique sound and alongside this a physical vibration can be felt.

The singing bowls have a traditional way to be made, they are still one of the most traditionally crafted object made today. The antique bowls are highly collectable and prized because their sounds are so unique. There are a flood of modern ones that are old looking and sold as such but there are not many dedicated experts to the field and so there are a lot of them circulating with wrong information however they are still a wonderful addition to the home regardless of this I am sure. Many of the copper bowls are assured to be the modern ones but there appears to be other bowls that are made from high tin bronze. There is so far no evidence about the claims the singing bowls contain 7 metals.

New bowls come from Nepal, India and China and the best hand made ones still appear to come from Nepal. New ones do not have the same mellow and peaceful sound, they are often louder and will ring for longer. They are made in two processes, the best ones are made by hammering, the modern method is by sand casting before machine lathing. Machine lathing can only be done by brass so many of them are made with brass alloy which do not produce the sound of those made by hand.