Friday December 15, 2017

Odisha CM launches online portal for Nabakalebara festival

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Jindal, has put the festival of Nabakalebara on digital world by launching a website (www.nabakalebara.gov.inon Thursday. The rituals of Nabakalebara will be showcased through the website, mobile application in Android, iOS and Windows platform, and also through extensive social media campaign via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google Plus.

The move was initiated by the Information Technology department. The Times of India reported state IT minister, Pranab Prakash Das, as saying, “The objective of the digital campaign is to make Nabakalebara a ‘world event’. We are targeting to reach out to over 2 crore people through the website.”

The interactive home page of the website displays four head- titles: Nabakalebara, Plan Visit, In News, Utilities and Shree Khetra.

The ‘Nabakalebara’ option has information about the Nabakalebara festival with a detailed account of the history of its celebration, the rituals performed, the roles of sevayats or sevakas (servitors), role of Gajapati (the king of Puri) and the story of Daru Brahma (world substance symbolized in wood).

‘Plan Visit’ improves tourist engagement and gives directions to reach the temple with a detailed map, and also provides a list of accommodation as well as the places to visit in the State.

‘Utilities’ provides relevant information about the hospitals, clinic, travel agents as well as parking facilities.

The website also displays the latest news related to the Nabakalebara festival under ‘In News.’ The section also features a picture gallery and videos on Nabakalebara.

‘Shree Khetra’ has detailed history of Puri, information about the ‘Jagannath Temple’ and the ‘Chaturdha Murti,’ and tourism and culture of the State.

Naveen Patnaik, while launching the website, stated that the website aims at increasing not only awareness but also enables devotees, visitors and tourists to find relevant information about the Nabakalebara event.

(Information courtesy- www.nabakalebara.gov.in)

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Odisha schools to soon implement School Safety Policy, impart lessons on disaster preparedness

Under the School Safety Policy 2016, lessons on disaster preparedness will be included in school textbooks

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School Safety Policy
Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik. Wikimedia

Bhubaneshwar, October 29, 2017 : The Odisha government on Sunday said it will implement School Safety Policy designed by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to include lessons on disaster preparedness in school textbooks.

“School Safety Policy of 2016 as designed by the NDMA will be implemented by School and Mass Education department soon,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the occasion of Odisha Disaster Preparedness Day and National Day for Disaster Reduction here.

The day is observed on October 29 every year to recall the devastation in the aftermath of the Super Cyclone of 1999 and strengthen the state’s resolve to prepare for any disaster that may take place in future.

ALSO READ India third among the countries that have faced most natural disasters in the last half century, says UN Secretary General

Patnaik said the government had also planned to integrate youth power for disaster management.

He said Odisha, which faces the fury of cyclones often, had become a role model to the world in disaster preparedness and risk management.

“My government has ensured adequate planning, preparedness and continuous capacity building to minimise human casualty during any disaster. I really appreciate that we have chosen ‘Early warning to save lives’ as this year’s theme,” said the Chief Minister.

Odisha State Disaster Management Authority Managing Director Pradipta Mohapatra said under the School Safety Policy 2016, lessons on disaster preparedness will be included in school textbooks.

In order to generate public awareness and to expedite preparedness for protecting human beings and animals, provision for last mile connectivity, with the facility of early warning towers, has been taken up at 122 locations along the coast to disseminate cyclone and tsunami warnings.

A total of 243 shelter connectivity covering 390 km, 12 saline embankments covering 58 km and five godowns are also under construction, Patnaik added. (IANS)

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Do You Know there are only two Leaning Temples in The World? Visit the Leaning Temple of Huma in Sambalpur

Huma is about 23 kms towards the southern direction of Sambalpur, Odisha. and is connected with Sambalpur and other cities of Orissa by road. The temple is situated inside the village of Huma.

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Leaning Temple
The Leaning Temple of Huma. Wikimedia.

The famous Leaning Temple of Huma built in 1670 AD is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple is one of the only two leaning temples in the world. It was constructed by the ruler, Baliar Singh, the 5th ruler of the kingdom of Chauhan of Sambalpur, Odisha, India. The speciality of this temple is it’s structure skewed to one direction.

Reason Behind its Tilted Structure:

It is regarded that the reason for its tilted structure could be some interior dismounting of rocky bed at which this temple is positioned, either because of flood current inside the Mahanadi River or earthquake, thereby affecting the position of this original temple.  An interesting fact to be noted is that the other little temples inside the Hamlet are also tilted to various other directions.

The finest time to visit this leaning temple is October to March. Enshrine your spirituality during these months and celebrate the festive season in the town of Sambalpur, Odisha. Shivratri is believed to be the chief festival of this temple. Hence, it advances a huge gathering specially during Shivratri festival during March. You may also find ‘Kudo’ fishes on the bank of river Mahanadi near the temple who are given food by devotees as a part of the worship.

Leaning Temple
The Leaning Temple of Huma. Wikimedia.

How to Reach the Leaning Temple of Huma:

By Road – Huma is about 23 kms towards the southern direction of Sambalpur, Odisha. and is connected with Sambalpur and other cities of Orissa by road. The temple is situated inside the village of Huma.

By Rail – Sambalpur railway station is the closest station from Huma. You may find taxis and cabs to drop you 23 kms towards the temple of Huma.

By Air – Bhubaneshwar is the closest airport to Huma which is approximately 290 ms away from Huma. Catch a taxi or cab to drop you at the exact destination.

Leaning Temple
Huma Leaning Temple is one of the two leaning temples of the world. Wikimedia.

Where to stay:

There are various hotels nearby the temple at affordable prices presenting the pleasant view of the outside village.

-Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana 

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Diwali Puja 2017: Everything You Need To Know About Timings, Muhurat

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Ganesh-Lakshmi are worshipped
Ganesh-Lakshmi are worshipped by devotees on the day of Diwali. Pixabay

New Delhi, October 18, 2017: Diwali is around the corner and everyone is busy with the preparations. On the eve of Diwali, the most important ritual is to perform Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja during the right muhurat (time) and with the right rituals(vidhi).

Here are some of the things you must take care of:

Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja Rituals

It is important that on the day of Diwali, you wake up early in the morning and pay homage to your ancestors and worship gods of your family. It is advised to observe a day-long-fast until the Ganesh-Lakshmi puja is performed in the evening.

Kalash pujan
Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja kalash. Wikimedia

Preparations For Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja

Families can embellish their home and office with Asoka and Marigold flowers, banana and mango leave on the day of the puja. Mangal Kalash covered with unpeeled coconut should be placed at both side of the main entrance of your house.

For puja preparation, place at the right hand side a red cloth on a hoisted platform and put in idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh on it after gracing them with jewellery and clothes. Once this is done, Navgraha gods must be placed on the left hand side on a hoisted platform under white cloth. Prepare carefully nine slots of Akshata (unbroken rice) for placing Navgraha on white cloth and sixteen slots of wheat must prepared for the red cloth. You should perform puja with all the important rituals.

Idols of Ganesh-lakshmi are being worshipped on the eve of Diwali. Wikimedia

Timings (Muhurat) for Lakshmi Puja

Pradosh Kaal muhurat is the time during which puja needs to be performed. It starts after sunset and lasts for about 2 hours and 24 minutes. Goddess Lakshmi will stay in your home if you perform Lakshmi puja in the Pradosh Kaal when it is Sthir Lagna time. Sthir refers to ‘immovable.’  Before you do the puja, make sure you find out Pradosh Kaal (time) for your city or area. It is important that you know the right time to perform the puja.

– prepared by Siddheshwar Sharma. Twitter: @MancSiddheshwar