Sunday October 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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Influence of Indians Upon Western Intellectuals

Book called ‘Great Minds on India’ by SalilGewali, which answered my question and took my knowledge of the ancient Indians much further than I could have imagined. Indian sages asserted the Earth as spherical many centuries before the Greek’s speculation over this idea.

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Einstein_and_Tagore Great Minds on India
Einstein and Tagore Berlin 14 July 1930. Wikimedia

-by Bernie David Holt

  • This fabulous book by Salil Gewali demonstrates to us how old Indians impacted present-day science, mathematics, philosophy, linguistics, and others.
  • The book initially alludes to a standout amongst the most eminent individuals ever – Albert Einstein. It lets us know inside the book that Einstein said ‘without Indians, no advantageous logical revelation would have been made’.

Sitting on the beach, staring at the pale blue sea, wondering, is the world really spherical? I could clearly see the flat, never-ending sea of water and thought to myself, how did we find out the world was actually a spherical shape? Thanks to my Yoga teacher and my association with this ancient discipline that brought me to lay my hand on the amazing book called ‘Great Minds on India’ by Salil Gewali, which answered my question and took my knowledge of the ancient Indians much further than I could have imagined. Indian sages asserted the Earth as spherical many centuries before the Greek’s speculation over this idea. I quickly realized the science and the literature of the Modern times far behind when compared to the ideas expounded by the ancient Indians. This book truly demonstrates that India affected the cutting edge world; these are cases of extraordinary individuals that helped society in different ways, who credited India’s disclosures and speculations.

The book initially alludes to a standout amongst the most eminent individuals ever – Albert Einstein. It lets us know inside the book that Einstein said ‘without Indians no advantageous logical revelation would have been made’ on the grounds that without the “numeric framework”, that Indians made, it would not have been conceivable.

ALSO READ: A Look Back In History: Contribution of Indian Mathematicians in the field of Mathematics

Dick Teresi recognized that Indians discovered that the earth circles the sun and realized that a planet’s path is elliptical, a great many centuries previously the thought was acknowledged inside Europe and the created areas. Dick Teresi is an exceptionally famous author and columnist, who was best known for authoring ‘Lost Discoveries’.

Archibald Wheeler trusts that the Indians knew “everything” and in the event that it was conceivable to decipher their old dialect, we would have every one of the responses to every one of our inquiries. He was the co-creator of ‘The component of atomic splitting’ by Niels Bohr.  Wheeler is the researcher and coined Black Hole, who is also instrumental in the development of Hydrogen Bomb.

Erwin Schrodinger, a splendid physicist, trusted that blood transmutation from India is an unquestionable requirement as it spared otherworldly pallor. Schrodinger was the designer of Wave Mechanics, which is one of the best logical creations of the twenty-first century.

Great Minds of India Salil Gewali
Great Minds on India is a book written by Salil Gewali. Facebook

One of the best hypotheses, the ‘Hypothesis of relativity’ is a hypothesis made by the old Indians, and is “light years”. Light years are there utilized as a part of room terms right up till today and is educated in science ponders within school foundations. This was said by Alan Watts, who was a logician and a standout amongst the most productive scholars of the previous century.

Indians also investigated the importance of natural laws, (many yet to be discovered by the modern scientists and philosophers) the nature of the soul, the birth of the universe, and what is past the cycle of life, birth, and demise, the connection between body, mind, knowledge, and soul. Their vision addressed the idea of holiness, the preeminent planning power that may underlie normal laws. To put it plainly, they tried to know everything that the psyche can appreciate — from the particle to unendingness, the making of the universe, and its significance. The source of different branches of science, craftsmanship, and theory ascribed to this human advancement are genuinely exceptional results of India’s “Jijnyasa”, or urge to want to know with clear vision.

But, I’ve found shockingly disturbing contrary fact in India and among Indians. Over 90% of Indian origin do not subscribe to their own rich civilization and spiritual culture. Just going over the news media and acclaimed literary works published from India astonish us that how there certain powerful people openly hate their own cultural values.

Even the half-literate love to quote Milton, Eliot; and shake themselves in a musical beat of rock-n-roll. This country’s government has found itself in the tangle of controversies while convincing its people about the practical benefits of Yoga and meditation.

I believe, the excellent publication of Gewali’s book will serve the purpose since Indians will get to know about Indian wisdom and spiritual knowledge from their Western masters. The research-based book of over twenty-five years, which has been translated into eleven languages, has recently been prefaced by a world-famous NASA scientists – Dr.KamleshLulla of Houston. Finally, I choose to invoke a very profound quote from the book by a pioneering philosopher of German romanticism August Schlegel – ‘Even the loftiest philosophy of the European appears like a feeble spark before the Vedanta’.

(Bernie David Holt 36a Slade Gardens, Erith, England)

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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

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5 Events Of November Which Are Ideal For Family Vacations

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Events in November which will give you a vacation mood.
Events in November which will give you a vacation mood. Wikimedia.

As we approach the year’s end, Indians not just bid adieu to their summer outfits but also welcome the festival seasons. October and November are two months in India which are full of cultural events and festivals, which make these months, the ideal time for going on family vacations.

Below are the events of November 2017 which you will regret missing. They are worth the try for family vacations:

1.  Dev Deepavali, Varanasi

family vacations
Representational Image. The ghat of holy city Varanasi. 

Varanasi, the holiest city of India, celebrated Dev Deepavali on Kartik Poornima every year. The festival is celebrated with joy. The ghats of Varanasi are lit with beautiful diyas (earthen lamps). God is believed to have descended to the banks of Ganges, to take a holy dip. The festival will take place on November 3, 2017.

 2. Dharamsala International Film Festival

Filmmaker, cinema buffs or all those people interested in the art of films come together of Dharamsala International Film Festival (DIFF). This film festival will witness filmmakers coming from different regions to show films on various issues- socially relevant, contemporary etc. DIFF will take place from November 2 to November 5. If you are a movie buff, then you should immediately pack your bags and seal a date for attending the festival.

3. Pushkar Camel Fair, Rajasthan

Family vacations
Representational Image. Camel Fair is celebrated in Pushkar. Pixabay

Pushkar Camel fair, a cattle fair, in Pushkar which truly defines the real meaning of culture. The Pushkar Camel Fair has been in tradition for a very long time. The fair attracts a huge crowd every year. One of the most ideal and happy places for family vacations. It will take place between 23rd October to 4th November.

Also Read: 7 Beautiful Places To Visit In North East India

4. NH7 Weekender

The five seasons old Indian multi-city music festival has indeed garnered a lot of attention and love from the musically inclined youngsters across the country. It is a combination of national and international studies coming together. In Meghalaya, the event will take place from October 27 to October 28.

5. Guru Purab

family vacations
Sikhs celebrating Guru Purab. Wikimedia.

Guru Purab, one of the most important festivals for Sikhs. The golden temple celebrates it with a lot of joy. The celebration which Amritsar witnesses at this time are unbelievable. It will take place on November 2017. Golden temple is indeed one of the best places for family vacations.

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