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Five Indian places with European names

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There might be cities and towns with strange names in India, but some of the names do remind us of the near-200 years of colonial rule.

McLeod GanjAnnexed by the British after the second Angle-Sikh war, it is a typical British designed hill station located in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It’s a suburb of the city -66214_8762of Dharamsala, the abode of the Dalai Lama.

As a result, of the large Tibetan population, it is also referred to as ‘Little Lhasa’ or ‘Dhasa’ (an allusion to Dharmasala).

It’s also has a political significance attached to it as the Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered there.

Like other hill stations, its major industry is tourism. Snowcapped peaks, blue skies, fresh air are available in generous amounts, all that are absent in modern day Indian cities which are engulfed in smog and other pollutants.

Other tourist attractions include, inter alia, Tibetan handicrafts, carpets and apparels.

It also has a fusion of ancient Hindu and Buddhist traditions that make attaches a spiritual significance to it. Tsuglagkhang, the Dalai Lama’s temple, is its most important Buddhist holy site.

It also hosted the inaugural Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) in Nov 2012, where filmmakers and actors from India and abroad participated.

coastalenergy

Fraserganj: It’s located in the south of WestBengal, near the borders with Bangladesh. It derives its name from Sir Andrews Fraser, Lieutenant Governor of Bengal (1903-1908).

According to legend, the Lieutenant accidentally landed on the shores of this small town after a shipwreck. He was saved by a local woman, Narayani, with whom he subsequently fell in love.

Today, it is a tourist destination with its share of mangrove forests and its pristine beach.

The primary occupation of the residents of Frasergunj, by virtue of its geographic location, is fishermen as the salinity of the groundwater inhibits agricultural activities.

5-day-andaman-and-nicobar-islands-tour-from-port-blair-in-port-blair-212817Port Blair: Located in the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Island it is, this tiny city is also the capital of the Union territory.

It derives its name from Lieutenant Archibald Blair of the British East India Company, previously known as Chatham Island. In 1789, the Lieutenant it was established as the penal colony under the government of Bengal.

It is accessible from major cities – Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai and Vishakhapatnam. It is also a major tourism destination with colonial era ‘Cellular Jail’, white-sand beaches, towering coconut trees and glittering sky-blue waters.

It also has strategic importance for India as it is home to a major naval base – INS Jarawa – along with the Indian coast Guard and Indian Air force.

734852_521254107908051_1200680815_nHavelock Island: Located in Andaman and Nicobar Island it is famous for its many beaches and its abundance of flora and fauna.

It is named after British General Henry Havelock, who served in British India.

Today, it is home mostly Bengali communities, many of whom settled there during the 1971 Indo-Pak war which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh.

The Indian government gave settlement to many fleeing Bangladeshi’s in this island.

The occupants’ major sources of livelihood are fishing and tourism. Its Elephant beach is a major attraction for tourists because of the elephants that reside there.

2909065163_e3af837250_bVasco Da Gama: It is a city in the west coast of Goa, named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama.

It was founded in 1543 by the Portuguese and remained in their hands until 1961 when the Indian army retook the state.

Like other parts of Goa it has many beaches but unlike other beaches in Goa it sees very little tourist attraction.

But its 400-year-old Igreja de Santo André (St. Andrew’s Church), located at the entrance of the city experiences many footfalls.

The city has strategic importance as the Indian Navy has a base in the city. The Naval Aviation Museum near the airport, a tourist attraction, chronicles the history of the Indian Naval aviation. (image courtesy: mystudycorner.net)

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Story Behind the Landscape on the Reverse side of the Indian 20 rupee Note

In the official document, no geographical location has been specified

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A twenty rupee note. Pixabay

November 22, 2016: The Indian 20 rupee was first introduced in 1972 to hold the banknotes’ production costs. The 20 rupee note, in the Mahatma Gandhi series, was introduced by the Reserve Bank in August 2001.

The Mahatma Gandhi series’ ₹20 banknote is a red-orange colored with a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi in the obverse side. The note has a signature of the governor of Reserve Bank of India. To assist the visually challenged in recognizing the currency, Braille feature was put up.

But, what is on the reverse side of the note?

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If you look carefully, you will observe that there is a picture of an island in the center of the note. Ever wondered which place that is?

According to National Geographic Traveler, it is a fascinating photo of one of the 300 Andaman Islands. Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a small group of islands situated at the juncture of Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal.

The island that you can see is the North Bay Island. There is a small opening that gives the exact view. North Bay Island is a famous tourist place of Andaman Island.

 

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The official document enlisting all the design elements of every Indian currency notes does not mention anything about the place. The detail on the ₹20 note reads, “The central theme depicts the Indian coastal line with coconut groves.” No geographic location has been specified.

Curator of the Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Museum in Mumbai, Mr. Radhakrishnan, said that the illustration could be an effort of the Indian government to emphasize India’s natural landscapes and reserves on the Indian currency.

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The island can viewed from the mountain top and the view is same as pictured on the back side of the ₹20 Currency note.

The Island is famous for all the water adventures it offers including jet ski, speed water boat ride, snorkeling, etc.

Prepared by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53

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With no signs of debris, search continues for AN-32 aircraft

The last contact with the aircraft was established roughly around 15-20 minutes after the take-off, sources said.

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IAF AN-32 went missing on Friday. Image Source: sputniknews.com
  • A Coast Guard official told IANS that there was sightings of any aircraft debris in the Bay of Bengal by the search team
  • The aircraft, an upgraded AN-32 belonging to 33 Squadron, took off from Tambaram Air Force Station in Chennai at 8.30 a.m., and was expected to land at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands at 11.30 a.m., officials said, describing it as a “routine sortie”
  • The incident comes a year after a Coast Guard Dornier aircraft with three crew members on board for a routine surveillance flight went missing

With no sightings of any debris in the Bay of Bengal, search for the AN-32 aircraft with 29 people on board that went missing on Friday morning, continued on Saturday said an official of Indian Air Force (IAF).

“The search is going on. If there is any substantial development it will be made known,” Wing Commander Anupam Banerjee, Public Relations Officer for IAF told IANS over phone from New Delhi on Saturday, July 23.

IAF AN-32. Image Source: defence.pk
IAF AN-32. Image Source: defence.pk

A Coast Guard official told IANS that there was sightings of any aircraft debris in the Bay of Bengal by the search team.

Only a catastrophic accident in a “no talk/radio zone” or “dead zone” could destroy an aircraft suddenly, an experienced pilot with the Indian defence forces told IANS late Friday.

Those on board comprised six crew members, 15 personnel from the IAF, army, navy and Coast Guard, and eight civilians who were family members of the personnel.

The aircraft, an upgraded AN-32 belonging to 33 Squadron, took off from Tambaram Air Force Station in Chennai at 8.30 a.m., and was expected to land at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands at 11.30 a.m., officials said, describing it as a “routine sortie”.

IAF AN-32 take off at 8:30am for Port Blair. Image Source: www.thequint.com
IAF AN-32 take off at 8:30am for Port Blair. Image Source: www.thequint.com

According to a report submitted to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar by Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, according to the recorded transcript of Chennai air traffic radar, last pickup was 151 nautical miles east of Chennai, when the aircraft was observed to have carried out a left turn with rapid loss of height from 23,000 feet.

A massive search and rescue operation involving aircraft, helicopters, ships and a submarine was launched immediately to find the plane that went missing around 300 km off Chennai, and will continue through the night.

The last contact with the aircraft was established roughly around 15-20 minutes after the take-off, sources said.

According to IAF, the AN-32 is a twin engine turboprop, medium tactical transport aircraft of Russian origin. It can carry a maximum load of around 6.7 tonne or a 39 paratroopers.

The aircraft’s maximum cruise speed is 530 kmph.

“Planes are designed to fly even during an emergency. There will be reaction time to the pilots facing an emergency to send out messages for help or turn towards safety,” an Indian defence forces pilot told IANS.

According to the pilot, an AN-32 aircraft will not drop down like a stone or vanish into thin air in the case of normal emergency, as there will be reaction time.

IAF AN-32 maximum speed is 530Kmph. Image Source: Indian Express
IAF AN-32 maximum speed is 530Kmph. Image Source: Indian Express

“But in the case of a catastrophic threat, the pilots will not have the necessary reaction time,” he said.

An aircraft will not always be on the radar, he noted.

“If the distance to be travelled is around 1,500 km for instance and travel path involves flying over sea then there are chances that the aircraft could not be in the radar from the city of departure after say around 300 km. And it would come into the radar on the other side only when it is around 300 km from its destination,” he said.

“So effectively sometimes there will be a dead zone of 700 km. In smaller aircraft, the pilots switch on to the high frequency for being in touch,” the pilot added.

Coming to the probable cause of its vanishing suddenly, he said: “The possibilities of different catastrophic events happening in the sky cannot be ruled out.”

“For example if an aircraft is caught in a strong thunderstorm, then a plane is as good as a paper caught in the storm.

“The storm will throw the plane like a stone,” he said.

According to him, there have been instances when an airplane that was flying at around 35,000 feet altitude dropped down to 5,000 feet but regained control after that.

Ships deployed in Bay of Bengal to search AN-32. Image Source: Twitter
Ships deployed in Bay of Bengal to search AN-32. Image Source: Twitter

The other catastrophic events that can happen to a plane were sudden failure of all the engines; devastasting fire; fuel leakage, jamming of flight controls, loss of flight controls due to fire; power and electrical failure and others.

He said in the best case scenario if the AN-32 had come down gradually then it would have been picked up by some radar or the pilots would have the time to react.

Normally a plane is fuelled taking into account the emergency deviations that may arise – the need to go back to the airport from where it took off or to some other nearby airport in case of an emergency, he added.

Indian Navy Dornier Aircraft. Image Source: Indian Express
Indian Navy Dornier Aircraft. Image Source: Indian Express

The incident comes a year after a Coast Guard Dornier aircraft with three crew members on board for a routine surveillance flight went missing.

The search team found its black box nearly a month later. The skeletal remains and personal belongings of the crew members were recovered from the seabed off the Tamil Nadu coast. (IANS)

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Indian Air Force plane along with 29 people on board goes missing

A major search and rescue operation has been launched by the Indian Navy in the Bay of Bengal

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IAF AN-32 maximum speed is 530Kmph. Image Source: Indian Express
  • A transport plane of the Indian Air Force with 29 people on board went missing today, July 22, while flying from Chennai to Port Blair
  • The AN-32 aircraft took off at 0830 hours from Tambaram in Chennai and the last contact with it was made 16 minutes later
  • A massive search operation has been launched by the IAF, Navy and the Coast Guard

A transport plane of the Indian Air Force with 29 people on board went missing today, July 22, while flying from Chennai to Port Blair.

The AN-32 aircraft took off at 0830 hours from Tambaram in Chennai and the last contact with it was made 16 minutes later, Defence Ministry officials said.

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The aircraft was flying from Chennai to Port Blair. Those on board included six crew members.

 

IAF AN-32 goes missing. Image Source: www.india.com
IAF AN-32 goes missing. Image Source: www.india.com

Officials said it was “courier flight” with service personnel on board. A major search and rescue operation has been launched by the Indian Navy in the Bay of Bengal.

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The aircraft can fly for up to four hours without refuelling.

Navy officials said that one P-8I surveillance aircraft, one Dornier and four ships have been deployed in the search and rescue operation and more assets are being dispatched. (IANS)

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