Chennai: The last rites of former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam would most probably be held in his native town Rameswaram as per the wishes of the family members, said a senior official at Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram district.
“A large number of relatives, friends, well wishers and common people have gathered at Kalam’s house at Rameswaram,” A.P.J.M.K. Sheik Saleem, the former president’s grandson told said..
Saleem is the son of Kalam’s brother A.P.J.M. Maraikayar.
“The central government normally would consider positively the wishes of the family members on matters like this. The government is yet to confirm the date on which the former president’s body would arrive at Rameswaram,” the official said
Temple town Rameswaram is around 600 km from here and falls under the Ramanathapuram district.
Kalam was born in Rameswaram and spent his poverty stricken childhood days.
According to the official, the central government normally would consider the family members wishes for conduct of last rites.
The central government is to inform the state government on the date on which Kalam’s body would be sent to Rameswaram.
He said the family members are also discussing on the site where Kalam’s last rites could be conducted.
According to the official, the administration is gearing up to make necessary arrangements as thousands of people would assemble at Rameswaram to pay homage to Kalam.
Kalam died on Monday evening in Shillong in Meghalaya.
He collapsed at the Indian Institute of Management-Shillong while giving a lecture to the students on “Livable Planet”.
“Whether a person is related or not, Kalam is a good teacher to all. He taught human and family values. I have worked with in some of his projects for five years,” Saleem said.
According to him, a large number of people have assembled at Kalam’s house at Rameswaram.
International Cherry Blossom Festival to be held in India and would be the first to take place in autumn.
Shillong is going to host the India Cherry Blossom Festival for the second time from November 8 to 11.
Tourists from India and all over the world to attend the Cherry Blossom Festival in Shillong.
Shillong had made history last year by hosting India Cherry Blossom Festival for the very first time in India. Almost 30,000 tourists had come to commemorate the festival in India but CM Sangma is optimistic of a better turnout this year.
Like in all Cherry Blossom Festivals, there will be various community events which include live musical events, stalls showcasing arts, wine, cuisine and crafts of the region, and needless to say, guided night walks under illuminated cherry blossoms. Apart from that, you can expect traditional music, dance forms of North East India, storytelling sessions, a rock concert, choir, a women’s football match, etc.
Shillong is situated at an altitude of 5,003 feet and is also known as ‘the abode of clouds.’ Nearly 5,000 cherry blossom trees have been planted on the road leading up to Shillong. The flowering will last for two weeks, said Dinabandhu Sahoo.
Rameswaram, September 15, 2017 : Off the eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, some 500 km south of Chennai, lies Pamban Island. Seemingly a stone’s throw from neighboring Sri Lanka, this is an island steeped in historical significance, and with some of the most resilient people alive.
One of the longest sea bridges in the country, the iconic Pamban Bridge connects the mainland with the island, also known as Rameswaram Island. With breathtaking views of the Bay of Bengal, the journey to the island over this bridge rewinds one to colonial times, when it was built by the British to improve trade relations with Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
Built in 1914 as India’s first-ever sea bridge, the 6,700-foot structure is in itself an engineering and historical marvel that has withstood several of nature’s furies — from storms to cyclones.
The bridge initially ran up to the southeastern tip of the island, Dhanushkodi, now a ghost town. After a cyclone hit it in 1964, Dhanushkodi was washed away by the sea and is now a mere skeleton of the town it once was.
Remnants of its railway lines, church and the devastated dwellings of people can still be seen, though in very poor shape.
From the tip of the region, cell phone networks welcome one to Sri Lanka.
Visible from here is the Adam’s Bridge — a former land link between India and Sri Lanka, now undersea — that is also known as Rama Setu, the bridge believed to have been built by Lord Rama’s army to rescue Sita from Lanka.
Nambavel, a 50-year-old, says there can be no other home for him than Dhanushkodi, of pristine waters and picturesque views of the Bay of Bengal. Three generations of his family have lived here. Although the deadly cyclone forced many to migrate to villages around, some 50 families, including Nambavel’s, refused to leave.
“This has been our home for as long as we’ve known. We grew up playing in the sea water, then learnt to make our living through fishing or running petty shops,” Nambavel told this visiting IANS correspondent.
“Even as many people we know migrated to nearby villages, there’s no home like Dhanushkodi for us — the sea is everything,” he said.
With sea levels rising around the world due to global warming, the region is constantly threatened by nature. But that does not deter Nambavel: “Even if another cyclone is close, most of us would like to be here, a land we’ve grown up in.”
Surrounded by sea and sand, the town cannot grow any crops and has no provision for electricity due to the wind velocity in the area. It is only the solar panels, an initiative of late President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam who hailed from Rameswaram, that light up the shacks of the few residents.
With Rameswaram considered one of the holiest places for Hindus, a majority of visitors make temples the focus of their travels.
Aiming to showcase the rich cultural and historical heritage of the island, apart from the much-visited temples, Utsa Majumder, the General Manager of the newly-launched Hyatt Place, Rameswaram, is working extensively on various itineraries that uncover the untrodden places in and around the region.
“There’s a lot more that the Rameswaram Island can offer than just the temples it is mostly known for. We want people to know that Rameswaram can be an experiential destination and not just a pilgrimage spot,” Majumder told IANS.
“From historic places that have stood the test of time to some incredible architecture and engineering like the Pamban Bridge, there’s a lot a tourist can see here,” she added.
The hotel offers these itineraries to travelers according to their interests, allowing them to explore different facets of the region, along with menus that present the cuisines of the land — from kuzhi paniyaram (rice batter dumplings) to kara kozhumbu (a spicy tamarind gravy).
The region also celebrates its much-beloved son Abdul Kalam. His two-storeyed house on Mosque Street is filled with thousands of his books and is always bustling with people.
A Rs 15-crore memorial to India’s “Missile Man”, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 27, has also grown rather quickly as a tourist attraction. The memorial houses a copy of the last speech Kalam delivered at IIM-Shillong on July 27, 2015, a number of pictures of his meetings with world leaders, and a host of other objects.
As an island that is yearning to receive a boost to its tourism, even a bottle of water bought from a shack in Dhanushkodi goes towards supporting a family.
Reaching there: Flights to Madurai, the nearest airport, from all major cities. From Madurai, Rameswaram can be reached in 3 hrs 30 min (160 kms) by road.
For the picturesque views from a train, pick one that is available almost every hour to Rameswaram from Madurai Railway Station.
Stay: There are four-star, three-star hotels and smaller lodges in the town.
Best time to visit: October to March as the temperatures drop and stay between 20 to 30 degrees C, making travel easier. (IANS)
Sep 02, 2017: Street foods in India is the new trend amongst foodies these days and are indeed delectable to savor. Previously, it was known that street food confined to a particular region. However, nowadays, a south Indian food can be found even in the north of the country and here is why you don’t need to go all the way to Assam to eat momos.
Many street food items have become quite popular throughout. Let’s have a look at these street food items.
Here is a list of delicious street food items, now available everywhere:
Vada Pao is the Indian style burger, quite famous in Maharastra. Fried potato dumplings are stuffed inside pao and are coupled with green chili and spicy chutney that add flavor to this Maharashtrian dish.
The sweet, tangy, and spicy taste of Aloo tikki, Gol Gappa, bhelpuri, Sevpuri, will tempt you. This is a mouth-watering street food from Uttar Pradesh. It adds extra taste to your buds when garnished with curd and chutney.
The white colored steamed snack of North East is getting popular amongst Indians these days. It makes an awesome combo when served with spicy red chutney and hot momos.
Sweet jalebis served with salty poha is a trademark street food of Madhya Pradesh. Now the combination is a hit amongst people of the country.
Idli Sambhar is the most popular street food of Tamil Nadu in India. It is a delicious combo of idli, sambhar and coconut chutney.
Chole Bhature, a favorite dish of every Indian is chiefly a treat of Punjab. It is served with green chilies, onions, and chutney.
The sweet-sour Dhoklas are a specialty of Gujarat state. It is a famous street food baked from the fermented batter of gram flour. This treat is also served with chutney and green chilies.
Pyaz ki Kachori
Pyaz ki Kachori was originated in Jodhpur city of Rajasthan. The dish is now relished all over India. These crispy and flaky kachoris with onion masala, garnished with sweet tamarind chutney will throb your heart.
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