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Since Telangana holds unique position in spreading Buddhism, Government wants to develop these places of Heritage Importance

Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation has initiated a tourism project called Sriparvatarama (Buddhavanam) at Nagarjuna Sagar, Telangana.

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Statues of Budhha, Wikimedia

Delhi, Dec 14, 2016: The Telangana Government has initiated a project to revive the Buddhist Culture in the state. The project is called the Buddhavanam Project. Buddhism, a contemporary religion, started from a village called Badankurti in Adilabad district in between two Godavari rivulets in the fifth century B.C. Gradually, as Lord Buddha propagated its teachings, it has seeped down in the South regions too. It spread to Kotilingala, Dhulikatta (Karimnagar), Phanigiri, Nelakondapally, Karukonda, Nagarjunakonda (Khammam & Nalgonda in TS) and then on to Andhra and Maharashtra.

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Buddhism also spread to parts of South Asia and South East Asia to countries such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Vietnam, and so on. Tourism Development Corporation chairman P. Ramulu said, “Since Telangana holds a unique position in the spread of Buddhism, the Government wants to develop these places of heritage importance not only for the sake of protection and preservation but also to attract tourists from within the country and outside so that they can explore the roots of Buddhism.”

Special Officer for Buddhavanam Project M. Lakshmaiah said to The Hindu, “Lot of excavations and studies need to be taken up at these historic sites as these have been neglected for ages. Although a lot of priceless material in the form of coins of the bygone era, terracotta figures, remnants of Stupas, figurines of Buddha, etc., there was no proper infrastructure in place for visitors to stay or study.”

The Buddhavanam Project is in process in Nagarjunakonda, the most popular Buddhist site and prominent seat of the Mahayana school of learning at Nagarjunasagar. Under the project, a Buddhist heritage theme park is being built and the 274 acres have been divided into eight segments like Buddha Charitavanam, Jataka Park, Dhyanavanam, Krishna Valley Park, Acharya Nagarjuna International Higher Buddhist Learning Centre, Buddhism in Telugu States, etc. The ‘Maha Stupa’ similar to the one at Amaravati is also being constructed with dome portions etc undergoing work, mentioned The Hindu.

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Dhayanavam work too is pending though it already has a huge 27-foot tall Buddha statue donated by the Sri Lankan Government. The Government has spent close to Rs.35 crore and another Rs.25 crore is required to give the place, the finishing touches to make it the first in the country to have many thematic segments depicting significant events in the life of Buddha and other stories. “Many tourists from the South East Asian countries are very much interested in visiting these sites if they are made aware of,” said TSTDC MD Christina Z. Chongthu.

– prepared by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks

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Five Students from Telangana Selected for the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge

The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge began as the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race and was first held in in 1994

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NASA

Hyderabad, October 12, 2017 : A team of five students from an engineering college in Telangana has been selected for the prestigious NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge.

The team from SR Engineering College, Warangal, will participate in the fifth annual challenge to be held on April 12-14, 2018, in Huntsville, Alabama, US.

It is one of the four teams from India short-listed to compete in the challenge. Students from 23 countries are participating in the challenge to create a buggey designed to traverse the simulated surface of moon.

The team, which will prepare a moon buggy design, report and submit their idea, will be led by faculty Manoj Chaudhary. It includes P. Paul Vineeth, Prakash Raineni, P.Sravan Rao, Rondla Dilipreddy Aand Venishetty Sneha, said a statement.

Congratulating the students, SR Engineering College Secretary A.Madhukar Reddy said it was a great opportunity to design, build, and test technologies that enable rovers to perform in a wide variety of environments.

The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge began as the NASA Great Moonbuggy Race and was first held in in 1994, 25 years after the first manned Apollo landing on the moon.

The challenge now focuses on National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s current plans to explore planets, moons, asteroids and comets.

During its 20-year run, the Great Moonbuggy Race engaged more than 10,000 students and demonstrated that these budding scientists and engineers were capable of complex work. (IANS)

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‘Religion’ in India- Types and its Connection to Country’s Civilization

The Ancient religions of India are Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.

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Religion
Ancient Religions of India.

India’s economic and political strata in today’s world have reached a great level, but that is still not what the country is known for. The country is known for its diversity and religions because the term ‘religion’ in India is not just a system of belief and worship, but a way of life too. Since ancient times, it has been an integral part of its culture. For the citizens of this country, religion pervades through all the activities of life- from cooking chores to working and politics. The religion we follow plays an important role in our upbringing as well. Our conditioning is done based on the principles of our religion. India is a home to many religions- Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam and others.

How old is the Indian civilization?

The Indian civilization is around 4000 years old, with the existing Indian religions growing in that period. The antiquity of the religions in India begins from the Harappan culture. It’s a secular country which respects all kinds of religion and culture, but during the ancient times, when the Human civilization was developing, there were three main religions native to India- Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The predominant religion during this period was Hinduism, which is said have originated in the Northern India.

Religion wise Indian Population:

  • HINDUISM – about 82%
  • ISLAM – about 12%
  • CHRISTIANITY – about 2.5%
  • SIKHISM – about 2%
  • BUDDHISM – about 0.7%
  • JAINISM – about 0.5%
  • ZOROASTRIANISM – about 0.01%
  • JUDAISM – about 0.0005%   (stated by adaniel.tripod)

Hinduism

Religion
Brahma                                                                                                                                                          Pixabay

Hinduism is a polytheistic religion. Its followers worship several deities. Unlike the other religions, this religion does not have one teacher. Its followers, the ‘Hindus’ believe in a supreme divine spirit called ‘Parama Brahma’. The concept of Parama Brahma states that Brahma is omnipresent.

Hindus believe in vasudhaiva kutumbakam, which means the whole world is a single family. They also believe in Sarva dharma Sama Bhava, which means all religions are equal. The practice follows the ideas of mercy, charity, compassion, benevolence, non-violence and mercy. It believes the concept of ‘Bhakti’ or devotion.

The sacred writings of Hinduism include the Vedas, Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Upanishads.

Also Read: The history and development of Indian Handicrafts

Jainism

Religion
Lord Mahavira                                                                                                                                                   Pixabay
According to tradition, the founder of Jainism was first Tirthankara Adinatha. However, the religion was widely propagated by the 24th Tirthankara, Mahavira. He was born in Vaishali, Bihar, who belonged to the clan ‘Licchavi’. Mahavira was moved by the sufferings of people, and therefore, left his home at the age of 30 to seek the truth. He supported the teachings of the previous Tirthankaras, and added his own beliefs to the teachings.
He believed in the ideology of leading a good life and not doing any wrong. He did not encourage the practice of needing the help of God for everything.
Doctrines of Jainism:
  1. Ahimsa (Non-violence)
  2. Satya (Truth)
  3. Asteya (Non-stealing)
  4. Brahmacharya (Chastity)
  5. Aparigraha (Non-possession)

Buddhism

Religion
Lord Buddha                                                                                                                                                    Pixabay
Buddhism is a religion which consists of different kinds of beliefs and practices based on the teachings of Lord Buddha. Buddha’s name was Siddhartha. He was the son of the Shakya clan’s leader. It is believed that Siddhartha made three observations, which changed his life:  a feeble old man; a person suffering from disease; and a dead body being taken for cremation. This propelled him in finding the true meaning of life. He left his home at an early age and attained ‘enlightenment’ in Bodhgaya.
He also prescribed the four noble truths and eight fold path.
Four noble truths are:
  • Dukkha (truth of suffering)
  • Samudāya (truth of the suffering’s origin)
  • Nirodha (the truth of suffering’s cessation.)
  • Magga (Direction to eight-fold path)

The eight fold path are- Right aims, Right beliefs, Right conduct, Right speech, Right effort, Right occupation, Right meditation and Right thinking.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at twitter @ImMeghaacharya.

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IAF trainer aircraft crashes in Telangana

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HAL Intermediate jet trainer
IAF kiran. wikimedia

New Delhi, Sep 28: IAF’s intermediate trainer aircraft- Kiran, crashed in Telangana on Thursday morning, but the pilot and another person on board ejected out safely.

The aircraft got airborne from Hakimpet Air Force base on Thursday morning for a routine training sortie and crashed around 11.45 a.m.

The aircraft was being flown by a trainee pilot.

IAF sources added that a Court of Inquiry has been ordered to look into the cause of the accident.

According to police, the aircraft caught fire and was gutted after the crash near Ankireddypalli village in Keesara ‘mandal’ (block) of Medchal district.

Minutes after taking off from Hakimpet Air Force Station, the aircraft developed some technical snag and crashed in the fields.

Eye-witnesses said they heard a huge thud and soon flames engulfed the aircraft.

The pilot and another person accompanying him ejected out with parachutes before the crash, police said.(IANS)