In 1998 I went for the Kailash Mansrovar Yatra. After doing the parikrama round the Holy Kailash I went quiet. My fellow travelers wondered why a talkative Sanjeev went silent. Actually I was going through some sort of churning within. When I returned to Mumbai there was a certain peace and serenity about me. I began reflecting on what I had achieved in life so far, the way forward. There was an infinite quest for knowledge about Indian culture, history and philosophy. I had so many questions but nowhere to find answers. I started reading as if there were no tomorrow.
The first books I bought were 11 volumes of History & Culture of Indian People published by the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan. Thereafter I was always looking for books to read. Amongst others picked up books on Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and from the Chinmaya Mission. As I evolved, asked myself a simple question? Do I want to carry this gyan with me or create a vehicle for sharing it with the world? I started sharing by doing précis of my readings and converted them into essays. They were emailed to friends across the world. As the number of essays increased there was a need to have a site and so esamskriti was born in 2001.
I started off with some 25 essays and 40pictures. The more I read the more content I generated. The intent was to create a web based encyclopedia on India. With time visitors wrote, articles for esamskriti and in with their questions. As I became more aware about what is happening around me I had my own questions. This made me read, think, analyze and then share findings through the site.
I did not start the site with a plan but went with the flow. With time it grew. The more I travelled, the more I read, the more I realized how site content could be enhanced. It is a continuous unending journey to discover India.
Our Mission is “A platform to share knowledge and insights which will help Indians globally, to reconnect with our heritage so that together we can build a truly glorious future".
The site seeks to provide you with a deeper understanding of India, Indians and all things Indic. For the curious it gives you answers to questions that trouble you. For others it tells you why we are the way we are. For travelers it seeks to capture India for eternity. This way we hope to reconnect Indians with their country’s heritage.
But why must we connect with our past? Swami Vivekananda said "Now days everybody blames those who constantly look back to their past. It is said that so much of looking back to the past is the cause of all of India’s foes. So long as they forgot the past, the Hindu nation remained in a state of stupor and as soon as they have begun to look into their past, there is on every side a fresh manifestation of life. It is out of this past that the future has to be molded".
Unfortunately there was a period when creativity was stifled. This continued after Independence although things improved after the liberalization post 1991. The purpose of this site is to empower you to think independently, go into the heart of things, unaffected by bias or pre conceived notions.
By doing so I hope that Indians across the world will excel in whatever they do and more importantly work for India’s resurgence in all spheres so that Bharat finds its rightful place under the sun. That is why the range of content is broad and has sections on Life, Government Policy and Management as well.
Aim of Essay section - As Indians we have so many questions but are unable to find answers. I too had many questions. I find answers by reading various books and magazines after which I either write an article or compile an essay. Intent is to provide logical, rational and comprehensive answers. Some mothers wrote in that essays were useful for children’s school projects. With the time others have contributed content to the site. It is our sincere desire to share diverse points of view.
Aim of Photo Gallery and Travelogue sections - The aim of the esamskriti photo gallery is to ‘Take a virtual tour across the wondrous beauty, cultural richness and historical splendor of India’. Pictures cover temples, forts, palaces, festivals, the Himalayas and pilgrimages. By showcasing the pictures in a Virtual tour format the viewer feels he has visited the place without physically going there. I hope that those seeing the pictures get motivated to travel to those places. Tourism promotes economic activity and generates employment.
The deeper purpose behind uploading our experiences is for each one of us to realize that there is greater happiness in sharing. For e.g. when we uploaded pictures of Vikram Oberoi’s motor cycle drive from Leh to Manali the response he got was overwhelming. He was touched to have impacted viewer’s lives in a very positive way. It also helped him connect with some long lost friends who were on the esamskriti mailing list.
Exporting Soft Power – I have admired the U.S. for exporting the American way of life through its movies, companies, awards and restaurants. I believe these to be subtle instruments of foreign policy. The Indian equivalents are Ayurveda, Yoga, books on Indian philosophy/music/rudrakshas/paintings/herbal products, Astrology, spiritual tours and so on. The Related Links section takes you to sites associated with esamskriti that work towards this objective.
The site has three sections essays, photographs and travelogues. Essays are divided into over twenty sections. Each section has a title for e.g. Great Men of India. Within each section there are individual essays. If you are looking for answers to every day questions on Culture & Tradition visit section Indian Culture and click on FAQ Indian Culture and In Indian Culture Why Do We. The former provides answers to 75 plus questions and the latter to ten.
The photo gallery section is arranged State wise and by Category. Click on any state say Rajasthan and you will see names of individual places within that state say Jaipur city. When you click on Jaipur you go to pictures of that city. There are about fifteen categories currently for e.g. temples, forts, and palaces of India, Shiv Temples, Holy Cities and the Himalayas. When you click on the category it gives you links of all pictures within that category across all States. Every picture has a narration below it.
The Travelogue section consists of travel experiences. They have a link to the photos of that place. But it is not necessary that every picture has a travelogue and vice versa. Like the photo album the travelogues are arranged state wise. Sometimes I have done one trip across states. In such cases the travelogue starts with details of places travelled in the full trip and then talks about the place in question. This section has History of the place or monument.