Monday, July 17, 2006
The only reason behind spreading up of Buddhism in East and South East Asia via Srilanka is the Kalinga War.The greatest Historical War, where Kalinga was defeated by Ashoka and the river Daya had turned in to red by the Kalingan martyrs .That blood shed war made Ashoka to change his devil mind and he laid down the weapons of violence and accepted a life of Ahimsa in the form of Buddhism .
It is near the city of Bhubaneswar in Orissa,where in later period,Nipponzan Myohoji of Japan beard the whole cost to build a beautiful white pagoda at the top of the hill Dhauli Giri.At the base, one can see the Asokan rock-edicts, under a large rock outcropping with a rock-cut elephant head. The elephant head over the edicts is a sacred Buddhist motif testifying to the emperor's change of heart. The edicts are public injunctions, instructions from the emperor to the local administrators to imbibe and adopt the spirit of justice and compassion towards the people in all matters pertaining to the civil administration.
Viewers can browse the blog: http://runawaysun.blogspot.com/2005/08/spiritual-tourist-3.html to share the experience of a traveler runawaysun, at Dhauli Giri, where he writes: I have no idea how long I stayed there, but on no other time in my life have I been so much at peace with myself… as I was on that day at Dhauli Giri.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
India observes the greatest Carnival Ratha Yatra or Car Festival of Lord jagannath on 27th of June 2006.Jagannath, commonly spelled as Juggernaut by the Britishers(see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juggernaut ) with his brother and sister coming out from the 'Ratna Sinhasan' to the streets of Puri ( a coastal town of Orissa) joins His devotees while visiting His birth place The Gundicha Ghar. After a stay of nine days the return journey starts for the temple, with his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra coming out from the 'Ratna Sinhasan' to the streets of Puri joins His devotees while visiting His birth place The Gundicha Ghar. After a stay of nine days the return journey starts for the temple.
There are three chariots used for the carnival.the chariot of Jagannath is named as Nandighosh,with 45 foot height and 16 wheels.
This year about 10,000,00 people witnessed the Car Festival in Puri . Besides the original Rath Yatra of Puri, the carnival also celebrated all over India on that day.
Saturday, May 06, 2006
On 2 nd May of 2006, Budhia Singh, a four years old wonder marathon runner of Orissa, India, has marked his name eligible for Limca Book Of Record, a local version of the Guinness publication, by succeeding to cross 65 KM in 7 hours and 2 minutes at a stretch, which also a world record. An editor with the Limca Book of Records, said Budhia's record will figure in the 2007 edition.
Budhia,once sold for 15€ by his mother , was subsequently bought back by his Judo Coach , Biranchi Das .Once Mr.Das had punished Budhia for some of his mischievous activities to keep running till he returned. To his astonishment, when he returned after around four hours, Budhia was still running, and showed little signs of exhaustion. Das took him under his tutelage.After learning that the boy possessed the ability to run uncanny distances for a boy his age. Mr.Das wants Budhia to run from Puri to Cuttack and thereby cover a distance of 90 km. This will enable him to break the Guinness record of an eight-year-old boy who has ran for 52 km at a stretch.
The viewers can find more details on Budhia at:
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Chilka, is the largest inland salt water logoon of Asia, situated in Orissa, India. The area of the lake varies from 1165 sq km in the monsoon season to 906 sq km in the dry season, and is studded with numerous small islands. It is separated from the Bay of Bengal by a narrow sandy spit.150 migratory birds from Siberia, Iran , Afghanistan and the Himalaya come for shelter between October to March every year.There are 225 species of fish and the Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris). The rare limbless lizard Barkudia insularis is endemic to one of the lake's small islands. The Lake is dotted with a host of islands. Kalijai island, Breakfast island, Nalabana (island of reeds), Honeymoon island, Parikud island, Birds island, etc. are some of the interesting spots around the lake.
Friday, April 07, 2006
The subject matter of Patta paintings is limited to mythological themes. In some parts of Orissa, during marriage ceremonies, Patta chitras of Durga and Shiva are used. The present generation of patta painters paint in the style of the oleography on the walls of big temple.
Raghurajpur, a small village set amidst coconut groves and a meandering river is situated 12 kms from the pilgrimage town of Puri. Home to a community of traditional artisans called chitrakaras, , who produce different varieties of handicrafts items such as Patachitras, Talapatachitra or palm leaf engravings, stone carvings, papier mache toys and masks, wood carvings, wooden toys, cow-dung toys and tusser paintings. This village is known as an artist's village - every house is a studio and every resident an artist.Rarely does one get to see such an assemblage of artworks all in one single place. There are 103 households having 311 artisans in the village. Some of them are winners of National Awards. One experiences the best of Orissa’s traditional art and crafts, and also some of the finest artworks in this palm shaded village of Raghurajpur
Viewers can watch several photos of Raghurajpur from David Haberlah's photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/haberlah/tags/raghurajpur/
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
This picture contains the inner side image of the oldest Indian Synagouge at Cochin
India has, historically, been a refuge and sheltered people of all religions, creeds and beliefs – Zoroastrians, Jews, Sufis, and more recently Bahais - all were granted protection and security when they sought it. They were accepted into the fold of the mainstream society, given land and equal opportunity to excel in their profession of choice – and remain Indians. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism are religions of the land – all were born in India. The central Asian invaders brought Islam. The colonial powers brought Christianity. India remained a large-hearted host to all, enriched its cultural heritage – and became a truly secular nation. People from all communities rose to become eminent citizens of the land.
The earliest Jews came to India two thousand years ago. They were escaping persecution in Galilee. Some came after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70CE. The Sephardic Jews came to India from western European nations such as Holland and Spain. The 16th and 17th century migrations created important settlements of Jews from Persia, Afghanistan, and Khorasan (Central Asia) in northern India and Kashmir. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Jewish settlers came from the Middle East and North Africa. Jews settled in different areas – from Kashmir in the north, to Cochin in the south, Calcutta in the east and Bombay (renamed Mumbai) in the west. By the late 18th century, Bombay became the largest Jewish community in India. Today only a few thousand remain in India - most having migrated to Israel, England, USA, and Australia. They have left behind them a rich legacy of synagogues, public institutions, and nostalgia. Only two synagogues remain open in Calcutta (Kolkata) for its 60 odd Jewish population. The Pardesi synagogue in Cochin was built in1568 and was also partially destroyed by the Portuguese in 1661. Kerala is the oldest among the surviving synagogues in the country. It is a National Heritage.T he largest concentration of Jews in India still remains in Bombay (particularly in Thane, a suburb of Bombay) - but they are only about 4000 in number - a mere fraction of the vitality they once generated in the city.
The five main Jewish communities of India are: Bene Israel, Cochini, Baghdadi , Ashkenazi and Bene Menashe. The first three communities had some social religious connections with each other but most of the social religious connections of each community were within their own community and they regarded the other as ‘outsiders’. The Bene Israel claim to be descended from Jews who escaped persecution in Galilee in the 2nd century BCE. The Bene Israel resemble the non-Jewish Maratha people in appearance and customs, which indicates intermarriage between Jews and Indians. However, the Bene Israel maintained the practices of Jewish dietary laws, circumcision, and observation of Sabbath as a day of rest.
The Jews of Cochin say that they came to Cranganore (south-west coast of India) after the destruction of the Temple in 70ce. They had, in effect, their own principality for many centuries until a chieftainship dispute broke out between two brothers in the 15th century. The dispute led neighbouring princes to dispossess them. In 1524, the Moors, backed by the ruler of Calicut (today called Kozhikode) attacked the Jews of Cranganore on the pretext that they were "tampering" with the pepper trade. Most Jews fled to Cochin and went under the protection of the Hindu Raja there. He granted them a site for their own town which later acquired the name "Jew Town" (by which it is still known).
Near the end of the 18th century, a third group of Indian Jews appears. They are the middle-eastern Jews who came to India through trade. They established a trading network stretching from Aleppo to Baghdad to Basra to Surat/Bombay to Calcutta to Rangoon to Singapore to Hong Kong and eventually as fare as Kobe in Japan. There were strong family bonds amongst the traders in all these places.
Jews always played a great role in the art, literature and politics. Some of the eminent jews are: Nissim Ezeickel (poet) Abu Abraham (cartoonist),the film stars like Helen, David and Sulochana . Dr. Abraham Erulkar (the personal physician/friend of Mahatma Gandhi), Maj. Gen. Samson who was awarded the Padma Bhushan and Dr. Jerusha Jhirad was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India.
Friday, March 31, 2006
Some populations of Olive Ridley( one of the two species of the genus Lepidochelys , and a member of the family Cheloniidae) synchronize their nesting in mass emergences or ariibadas. The most dramatic aspect of the life history of the olive ridley is the habit of forming great nesting aggregations, generally known as "arribadas," Although not every adult olive ridley participates in these arribadas, the vast majority of them do. Individual olive ridleys may nest one, two or three times per season, typically producing 100-110 eggs on each occasion. The inter nesting interval is variable, but for most localities it is approximately 14 days for solitary nesters and 28 days for arribada nesters. The genus is also unique in that ridleys of both species commonly, and probably typically, nest each year, without intervening non-breeding seasons as shown by dermochelyids and other cheloniids. The ridleys nesting in an arribada could not be sustained by the productivity of immediately adjacent marine ecosystems, and the species is indeed migratory Millions of Olive Ridley ; emergent from South America and cross a long distance and nested in the Indian State of Orissa, the most important being Gahirmatha Beach and Bhitar Kanika.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
The Konark temple in India is widely known not only for its architectural grandeur but also for the intricacy and profusion of sculptural work. The entire temple has been conceived as a chariot of the sun god with 24 wheels, each about 10 feet in diameter, with a set of spokes and elaborate carvings. Seven horses drag the temple. Two lions guard the entrance, crushing elephants. A flight of steps lead to the main entrance.The whole complex stands within a vast quadrangle, surrounded by a fortress-like boundary wall.A narrow entrance in the east leads to the pillared hall of offering (bhoga mandap). Because of the numerous embellishments of dancers and musicians on the pillars, this structure is erroneously called the dance hall (nata mandira). Then comes the hall of worship (porch) (39-metre-high jagmohana ) where devotees gathered for the darshan. In 1903, sand had filled it up and had to be closed, to prevent it from collapsing. Next is the sanctum sanctorum, which is now without its 61-metre-high tower, like the bhoga mandap. The deity is not here either. This super structure of jagmohana and the sanctum sanctorum is erected on a four-metre-high platform.The nata mandir in front of the Jagamohana is also intricately carved. Around the base of the temple, and up the walls and roof, are carvings in the erotic style. There are images of animals, foliage, men, warriors on horses and other interesting patterns. There are three images of the Sun God, positioned to catch the rays of the sun at dawn, noon and sunset.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Odissi, a classical dance form of India, traditionally developed from the temples of Orissa. Before 17th century, this was performed by the Devdasis in the temple. After 17th Century, it was confined to the male dancer known as Gotipua. After the independence(1947), it was again developed and now it is one of the most prestigious popular classical dance form of India.