Wednesday November 22, 2017

13 Beautiful Ancient Temples in India showcase Architectural Brilliance

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Brihadeeswarar Temple, Wikimedia

Here is the list of 13 Ancient Temples In India

New Delhi, March 29, 2017: In ancient times, the temples were social hubs where people used to assemble. They served as the centres of imparting skills and arts of dance, music and combat to subsequent generations. Today, the following temples are reminiscent of our past and craftsmen’s architectural brilliance in those days.

1. Brihadeshwara Temple, Tanjore, Tamil Nadu

This temple was dedicated to Shiva and is the magnum opus of Dravidian art. It was built by King Rajaraja Chola in 1002 AD.In ancient days, Thanjavur known as “The rice bowl of Tamil Nadu,” was an important city to the ancient Cholas. The Brihadeshwara temple amalgamates the best in the tradition of temple building – architecture, sculpture, painting and other allied arts. It is composed of many interconnected structures such as the Nandi pavilion, a pillared portico and a large hall. Its vimana (the roof like structure that towers above the sanctum sanctorum or main shrine) is 66 metres high.

2. Kailashnath Temple, Ellora

This was built as a dedication to Lord Shiva, the destroyer. It is symbolised as the Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva. It is a tribute to man’s greatness, even though academia have not given it its due place in our school history syllabus. It was carved in immaculate proportion and alignment to its adjacent structures, which include columns, flying bridges, stone arches, and statues and buildings – all made out of a single piece of rock.

3. Chennakeshava Temple, Karnataka

Situated on the banks of the Yagachi river, this temple was an early masterpiece of the Hoysala Period. It was built in Belur, the capital of Hoysala kingdom. It was built by the Vijayanagara ruler to commemorate their victory over the Cholas and is solely dedicated to Vishnu as most of the figural carvings depict aspects of Vishnu, particularly the incarnations and the God seated with Lakshmi. Currently, Belur has been proposed as UNESCO world heritage site for its beautiful 10th century temples.

4. Tungnath Temple, Uttarakhand

At an elevation of 3680 metres above sea level, the Tugnath Temple is the highest elevated of the Panch Kedar, the others are Madhyamaheshwar, Kedarnath, Rudranath and Kalpeshwar. The temple is connected to the Ramayana where Lord Ram meditated to release the curse of Brahmahatya for having exterminated Ravana. The temple is quite small, and hence only 10 people are allowed in at a time. March to October, excluding the summer months of June to September, Tungnath temple best serves the tourists with natural beauty along with religious favor.

5. Adi Kumbeswarar, Tamil Nadu

Located in the temple town of India, Kumbhakonam, this temple dates back to the Vijaynagara period. Adi Kumbeswarar is the presiding deity of the temple and the shrine is located in the centre. Kumbeswarar is in the form a lingam believed to have been made by Shiva himself when he mixed the nectar of immortality and sand. The popular Hindu festival of Mahamaham is associated with this temple.

6. Jagatpita Brahma Mandir, Rajasthan

Although the structure of this temple dates back to the 14th century, this temple is said to be 2000 years old. The temple is mainly built of marble and stone slabs. It has a distinct red pinnacle and a bird motif. The temple sanctum sanctorum holds the central images of Brahma and his second consort Gayatri. It witnesses a festival dedicated to Brahma during the Kartik Purnima.

6. Jagatpita Brahma Mandir or Brahma Temple, Rajasthan

Although the edifice of this temple dates back to the 14th century, this temple is said to be 2000 years old. The temple is mainly built of marble and stone slabs. It possesses a distinct red pinnacle and a bird motif. The temple sanctum sanctorum holds the central images of Brahma and his second consort Gayatri. It witnesses a festival dedicated to Brahma during the Kartik Purnima.

8. Konark Sun Temple, Odisha

This temple was built by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty around AD 1250. This colossal temple is dedicated to Sun God. The name Konark is derived form the words Kona – Corner and Arka – Sun. The temple is in the shape of a gigantic chariot with elaborately carved stone wheels, pillars and walls. A major part of the structure is now in ruins. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

9. Dilwara Temples near Mount Abu, Rajasthan

Located about 2.5 km from Mount Abu, each of these five temples are unique in their own way and were built between the 11th and 13th century AD and are remarkable for their niches and carvings on marble. These five temples (Vimal Vasahi, Luna Vasahi, Pittalhar Temple, Parshvanatha Temple and Mahavir Swami Temple) are considered the most beautiful Jain pilgrimage sites in the world.

10. Pancha Ratna Temple, Bankura, West Bengal

Built in 1643 by King Raghunath Singha, this temple stands on a low square plinth and consists of an ambulatory pathway with a porch opened by three arches on the four sides of the temple. The central shikhara is octagonal, and the rest four are square. The walls are richly decorated with terracotta carvings featuring aspects of Lord Krishna’s life.

11. Badami Cave Temples, Karnataka

The Badami cave temples are a complex of temples located at Badami, a town in the Bagalkot District in the northern part of Karnataka, India.  Badami was established by Pulakesin I in 6th century; however the architectural expansion was observed by the Chalukyas. They are considered an example of Indian rock-cut architecture.

12. Vittala Temple, Hampi, Karnataka

Perhaps one of the most popular of all the temples in the Hampi complex, this houses the famous musical pillars that have amazing acoustics. The British wanted to find out the reason behind this, and so they cut two pillars to check if anything inside was sonorous. They found nothing but hollow pillars. The road leading to the temple was once a market where horses were traded. Even today we can see the ruins of the market on both the sides of the road. The temple contains images of foreigners like Persians selling horses.

13. Orchha Temples, Madhya Pradesh

Orchha is another famous tourist spot located near the famous Khajuraho Temple. The town has Chaturbhuj Temple, Lakshmi Temple and Ram Raja Temple.

The Chaturbhuj temple is imposing with tall spires built atop a high platform. Its exterior is richly ornamented with lotus symbols. The Raja Ram Temple resembles a palace as the Ram is worshiped as a king here.

The Lakshmi Temple is an odd amalgamation of temple and fort and an unique mixture of concentric forms. It consists of an octagonal central tower inside a triangular temple. In line with this eccentricity, the entrance gate is set in a corner rather than the wall.

– by Sabhyata Badhwar. Twitter: @SabbyDarkhorse

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Dalai Lama says that India and China have great potential

The spiritual leader feels that both the countries are doing compassionate works

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Dalai Lama talks about India and China
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai says that India and China can work together. VOA

New Delhi, Nov 19

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said India and China have “great potential” and they could work together at a “practical level”.

“I think, a great potential… India and China combined are doing more compassionate work… At a practical level also. Imagine two billion people working together,” he told reporters here after inaugurating Smile Foundation’s initiative, The World of Children.

The spiritual leader, who has lived in India in self-imposed exile since 1959, said neither country had the “ability to destroy the other”.

“Whether you like it or not, you have to live side by side,” he said.

Underlining the ancient spiritual connection between the two countries, he said Chinese Buddhist Hsuan Tsang visited Nalanda (now in Bihar) and brought Nalanda Buddhist traditions to China.

“All thinkers of Nalanda are Indian. So Nalanda’s tradition is India’s tradition,” he said.

The Nalanda traditions had turned Tibetans, who were warriors, into more compassionate, peaceful and non-violent nation, he said.

“So sometimes in Delhi, teasing my Indian friend, (I say) if Tibet still remained in the previous way of life, like Mongols, Chinese invasion may not have taken place,” the Dalai Lama said in a lighter vein.

He said nobody in the world wanted violence but it was happening “because our minds are dominated by destructive emotions due to short-sightedness”.

“Nobody wants problems. Yet, many problems are our own creation.”

The Dalai Lama said the existing modern education was oriented to material values. India can take lead in improving the education system by combining modern education with ancient knowledge, he said. (IANS)

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Manushi Chhillar from India Wins the Miss World 2017 Title

India's Manushi Chillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant here, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.

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Miss World
Manushi Chhillar has been crowned as Miss World 2017. Instagram #ManushiChhillar

China, November 19: India’s Manushi Chhillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.

Chhillar competed against 108 contestants from various countries at a glittering event held at Sanya City Arena here.

Miss World 2016 winner Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle gave away the coveted crown to the winner.

Chhillar, who is from Haryana, had earlier this year won the Femina Miss India 2017.

Miss world
Anti Ageing was the official skin care expert for Manushi Chhillar at the Miss World 2017 pageant. Instagram #ManushiChhillar

India, England, France, Kenya and Mexico grabbed the top five spots at the peagant.

Manushi, born to doctor parents, studied in St. Thomas School in New Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat.

Her entire family including brother and sister were present and they looked excited watching Manushi grabbing top five spot.

As many as 108 beauty queens from different parts of the world participated in the prestigious pageant. (IANS)

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The major Challenge is to make the Youth of the Country Entrepreneurial and not Job Seekers : Venkaiah Naidu

"The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers," Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government's various initiatives.

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Venkaiah Naidu
Venkaiah Naidu. Wikimedia Commons
  • At a time of tepid job growth and continuing income disparities, the major challenge is to make the youth of the country entrepreneurial and not job seekers, Vice President  Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.

“Disparities continue to remain in India and so there is a need for inclusive growth… there is the need to take care of the suppressed, oppressed and depressed,” Venkaiah Naidu said at the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust’s (BYST) silver jubilee celebrations here with Britain’s Prince Charles as the chief guest.

“The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers,” Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government’s various initiatives to encourage youth enterprises like Startup India, Standup India and the Mudra financing scheme for underprivileged sections.

Modelled on Prince Charles’ Trust for business startups, BYST, founded by Lakshmi Venkatesan, daughter of former President R. Venkatraman, is engaged in building rural entrepreneurship — “grampreneurs” — as also enterprise among under-privileged sections, which includes business mentoring. The current BYST chairman is Bajaj Group chief, Rahul Bajaj.

“Without mentoring, it would be very difficult to set up startups, with all the business, marketing and other vital issues involved in the first two-three years,” Prince Charles said in his address at the International Mentoring Summit organized by BYST to mark its 25 years.

“What amazes me are the sheer number of jobs these young entrepreneurs had created. The aim of such a project should be to create a virtual cycle of creating entrepreneurs who can then invest in the future of business,” Charles said referring to his trust.

BYST was officially launched in 1992 by Prince Charles and expanded its operations to six major regions of India.

Out of these six regions, four — Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad — run the urban programme while two regions — Haryana and Maharashtra — run the rural programme.(IANS)