Located at the susceptible juncture of the Eurasian and the Indian tectonic plate, the two giant plates that push up Everest by a few millimetres every year, Nepal has seen its fair share of earthquakes over the years.
Not many as powerful as the earthquake that ripped it apart on Saturday though.
According to an expert the earthquake that wreaked havoc in the Himalayan nation had the power of 20 thermonuclear atomic bombs, the Independent reported.
The impact was amplified due to the shallowness of the epicenter of earthquake. Striking at 10-15 kms from the ground, the tremors were felt more strongly because there was virtually no earth to absorb the shock.
The aftershocks that followed were no less in impact. The tremor that occurred just half an hour after the main earthquake, struck with a whopping magnitude of 6.6. More than 20 others have followed since.
The only solace is provided by the fact that the disaster could have been even worse. Had the earthquake struck the sand and silt areas of Nepal, instead of the solid bedrock of the most impacted regions, the damage would have been compounded manifold.
Officials say more than 3500 people have lost their lives in the disaster till now. The death toll is expected to rise as the devastation becomes clearer.
Also, an additional 6500 people have been seriously injured according to the National Emergency Operation Centre.
Meanwhile, almost 90 per cent of the army is out on search and rescue operations.
Army spokesman Jagdish Pokhrel said, “Just about every member of Nepal’s 100,000-soldier army is currently involved in rescue operations.”
The majestic Himalayan Mountains are home to the highest and most magnificent peaks on Earth. These mountains are not just majestic and beautiful but also extremely holy. From ancient times, the mighty Himalayas have been the abode of divinity. Hundreds of Hindu shrines are nestled in the majestic Himalayan foothills and the lofty ice-clad peaks. Many of these shrines are closely associated with the epics which form the backbone of Hindu culture and ethos. Here are 10 sacred Hindu temples situated in the lofty Himalayas, that you should definitely visit at least once:
1. Badrinarayan Temple
Badrinath Temple located in the state of Uttarakhand in India, between the Twin Mountains of “Nar” and “Narayan”, is a holy pilgrimage visited by lacs of devotees each year. It is mentioned in many Hindu Scriptures, “There may be many sacred pilgrimages in the heaven, earth and the nether world, but there has been none equal to Badrinath, nor shall there be“.This sacred temple is located at a height of around 10,250 feet above sea level and surrounded by landscapes on all sides. The temple is open only six months every year (between the end of April and the beginning of November), due to extreme weather conditions in the Himalayan region.
The temple is mentioned in ancient religious texts like Vishnu Purana and Skanda Purana. It is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, an early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD. It is believed that once the Shraddha Karma is performed here, the descendants need not perform the yearly ritual. Badrinath temple has world-famous legends that surround it and it is one of the most esteemed Hindu Temple around the world.
Situated amidst the mighty Himalayas of Nepal is the small yet very powerfully revered temple of Sri Muktinath. According to ancient Hindu beliefs, Sri Muktinath Temple stands for masculine as well as feminine divinity. On one hand, it is considered the most ancient temples of the God Vishnu and the Vaishnava tradition in Nepal as well as one of the 108 Divya Desam, or holy places of worship of Lord Vishnu and, it is also one of the 51 Shakti Peetha goddess sites. Muktinath is a pilgrimage shrine located 140 miles from Kathmandu in the snow-clad Himalayas. It is located near the Gandaki River famous for the Salagrama stones. River Gandaki is also known as Narayani or Salagrami.
3. Pathibhara Devi Temple
Pathibhara Devi is also known by the name Mukkumlung, as mentioned in Mundhum of Limbu people is one of the holiest places for Limbu and for Hindus in Nepal. It is located on the hill of Taplejung. Worshippers from different parts of Nepal and India flock to the temple during special occasions, as it is believed that a pilgrimage to the temple ensures fulfillment of the pilgrims’ desires.
After the Gorkha attack of Limbuwan, the sacred temple of Limbu people (Mangham in Limbu language) was additionally included in the standard Hinduism and is likewise loved as one of the Hindu Shaktipeeths without changing the previous conviction or the acts of the Limbu individuals.
The Goddess at Pathibhara temple is accepted to have otherworldly powers and tirelessly answer enthusiasts’ supplications. She is considered by her devotees as a sign of the celestial female additionally called with different names as AdiKali, Maha Maya, Maha Rudri among numerous other of her perfect structures.
The explorers offer creature penances, gold, and silver to satisfy the goddess. It is accepted that neighborhood shepherds lost several their sheep while touching at a similar spot where the place stands today. The bothered shepherds had a dream in which the Goddess requested them to do the formal penance of sheep and assemble a place of worship in her respect. At the point when the sacrifice was offered the lost group apparently returned. The custom of offering penances inside the temple is accepted to have begun after this occurrence.
The slope goddess Pathibhara after which the spot is named is accepted by the aficionados as a savage goddess who can be effectively satisfied with a basic and magnanimous demonstration of sympathy, supplication and conciliatory contributions (penance in Hinduism indicates penance of sense of self and insatiability), while is unmerciful and extreme to one who has malignant goals underneath.
4. Kalinchowk Bhagwati Temple
Kalinchowk Bhagwati Temple is situated in the Dolkha district of Nepal. The temple is situated in Kalinchowk VDC in Dolkha at an altitude of 3842m from sea level. Kalinchowk Bhagwati can be promoted as a destination for both religious as well as tourism purposes. It is believed that the temple is at a place where all the wishes of the devotees’ are fulfilled in Kunda (Pond) of Bhagwati mai that lies at the hilltop.
Sundhara and Tama, two natural springs that originate from this area are the main sources of the very big two rivers the Sunkoshi and Tama Koshi rivers. One can witness an excellent view of Annapurna, Lamjung, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Shisha Panga, Langtang, Dorjee Lakpa, Jugal Himal, Amabamori, Gauri Shanker, and Namburi Himal from this place.
5. Amarnath Cave Temple
According to the legend, Shiva has given Gods immortality by blessing them with the celestial nectar. Hidden (and lost and forgotten during Middle Ages) in the tough region of Himalayas Amarnath cave is the place where Shiva explained the secret of immortal life to Parvati. Every yogi and Shaiva desiring to conquer Maya, get freed of illusion and become immortal dreams of worshipping the Lingam of Amarnath. Until recently, this yatra was considered the most dangerous in the Himalayas – few people had been able to perform it and for many sadhus, this had been the last desired one-way life’s trip.
Inside the cave of Amarnath there are ice stalagmites: increate Shivalingam, to the left there is a block representing Ganesha and to the right – Parvati and Bhairava. They often change in size, reach the largest size during the full moon, and begin to wane during the new moon.
6. Kedarnath Mandir
This temple is situated in the snow-secured territory of Himalayas. One can just visit this temple during a half year of a year, the remainder of the month, the day off, outrageous virus don’t allow fans to enter. In that capacity, the Kedarnath temple stays shut for pioneers. Because of the extraordinary snowfall of Kartik, the Sri Kedarshwar symbol is brought out of the temple in the wake of lighting a ghee light, “Nanda Deepa” and the temple is shut for the winter. This symbol is moved to the Urvi Math, in the valley. The temple just opens later in Baisakh. Individuals visit here to see the Nanda Deepa, and when they see this, they believe themselves to be honored.
It is another significant site of consecrated Chota Char Dham way is named after King Kedar, whose little girl Vrinda was a manifestation of Lakshmi, Goddess of magnificence, love, and flourishing. The place of worship was worked in the eighth century and it is one of the twelve temples, lodging a Jyotirlingam, which is accepted to discharge from wretchedness each and every individual who genuinely loves Shiva.
This temple is extremely old, it’s even referenced in Mahabharata, in the scene where the Pandavas were attempting to please Shiva with their austerity to make amends for their wrongdoings. There is a spring close to the temple called Udar Kund, its water is accepted to be a blend of 5 seas and to remain new for a long time. This sacred water is frequently utilized in exoneration customs.
8. Gangotri Temple
Gangotri Temple remains on the starting point of the Ganges River. Most Hindus trust it to be the home of Ganga, Goddess of Wisdom, and the hallowed soul of waterway Ganga. It is on the Greater Himalayan Range, at a range of 3,100 meters (10,200 ft). As per the famous Hindu legend, it was here that Goddess Ganga slid when Lord Shiva discharged the forceful stream from the locks of his hair. Its other significance is for the purpose of the Chota Char Dham yatra course. The temple was initially worked by the Nepalese general Amar Singh Thapa in the XVIII century.
As indicated by Hindu sacrosanct history, King Bhagiratha contemplated at this spot so as to gain the favors of Goddess Ganga to have the option to clear the transgressions of his forerunners. After severe atonements, Ganga took a type of a waterway to free their spirits and award them salvation. Each April Goddess Ganga comes back to Gangotri from her winter cover. This day has been celebrated for right around 700 years with carrying on the cart the Goddess’ Idol in red and green garments.
9. Yamunotri Temple
The temple in Yamunotri is located on the left bank of the river Yamuna named after river Goddess Yamuna. The temple usually opens at the end of April and can be visited until Diwali. There are two hot springs near the place, the famous Surya Kund which has boiling water, where the pilgrims poach the rice for the Goddess, and the Gauri Kund with warm water for ablution. According to an ancient Hindu legend, sage Asit Muni bathed all his life in Ganges and Yamuna. When he was too old to go to Gangotri, a stream of Ganges appeared before him in Yamunotri.
10. Kartik Swami Temple
Situated in an all-around flawless setting at a tallness of 3050 m above ocean level, Kartik Swami temple is a worshipped Hindu sanctuary in the Indian Himalaya. The sanctuary is committed to Lord Shiva and Parvati’s senior child Kartikeya who is known as the president of the gods. The temple stands separated from the different temples as its stature is considered higher by devotees. It is close to Kanak Chauri Village of Rudraprayag a good way off of around 40 km from focal Rudraprayag. A stone cut symbol of Kartikeya Swami is adored here.
It is accepted that when Kartikeya got vanquished by his more youthful sibling Ganesha in a dubious scholarly showdown, he relinquished his issues that remain to be worked out Father Shiva severely. This is where the occurrence took.
These Hindu temples are an adobe of divinity. Each year they are visited by scores of tourists, devotees, and travelers. They offer not only peace of mind but being situated in the majestic Himalayas they offer some great visuals. These temples have a very surreal aura and should be a must-visit on everyone’s list.
Chinese government has not left anybody in doubt, about it’s ambitious target of dominating the world at any cost. Chinese government has been suppressing freedom of speech in China, taking away the rights of citizens of Hong Kong in authoritarian manner and aggressively occupying the territory of neighbours such as Tibet and part of Indian territory, which it occupied after 1962 Indo Chinese war. China is now claiming Indian province Arunachal Pradesh as it’s own and aggressively claiming territorial right in South China Sea and Senkaku island. Chinese government says that Taiwan is part of it’s territory and objects to any recognition given to Taiwan by any other country.
Further, China is trying to enforce it’s domination over small and weak nearby countries such as Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and others, by extending loans, which these countries cannot afford to repay in the foreseeable future.
Viewing China’s methods and targets, one does not find much of difference between today’s Chinese government and Hitler’s Germany. Several countries in the world are gradually realizing that checking China’s ambition is as necessary, as checking Hitler’s ambition that caused World War II.
However, the supporters of China claim that US government too should be accused of trying to dominate the world and it has sent troops to several countries such as Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and others to enforce it’s domination. There is an element of truth in this, as American government seem to think that it has the duty to police the world.
In any case, on careful analysis of the scenario and judiciously comparing the domination desire of China and USA, one cannot but see a subtle difference between both these countries.
While China believes in ruthless elimination of opponents both inside and outside China (just like the way Hitler did) and wants to occupy territories of other countries by coercion or force , US does not indulge in such acts of suppression of human rights or occupying territory of other countries.
US has not concealed it’s desire that freedom of speech and democratic procedures should prevail in all regions in the world. On many occasions , US has fought against totalitarian regimes, religious extremists and terrorist groups and has paid a high price by losing American lives.
USA may have the ambition to dominate the world and ensure it’s authority as super power, but it has no ambition of territorial expansions that China has.
All said and done, if the world were to choose between USA and China, it would inevitably come to the conclusion that world domination by USA is a lesser evil than the world domination by China.
Unlike China, the citizens of USA have the right to criticise the decisions of the government, launch protests against human rights violation, if any and exercise their franchise once in four years to change the party in power, if it would act against the wishes of the people. By such process, the conscience of USA largely remain in tact and US government is vulnerable to the pressure of public opinion, both in USA and other parts of the world.
On the other hand, China has totalitarian regime and no citizen can survive in China if he would criticise the Chinese President or question the decision of the Chinese government. To this extent, it is dictatorial regime in China, which can be termed as uncivilized form of governance.
The fact is that USA has been remaining as super power in the world for several decades now and the world has not become worse due to the dominating power of USA. Of course, there have been criticism against US government by some section of world opinion but most of such critics belong to religious extremist groups and motivated leftist (communist) forces , whose economic and administrative policies have totally failed to deliver the goods.
Achieving super power status by China and establishing it’s authority in large parts of the world with least consideration for value systems and sentiments of people, is the worst thing that can happen to the world civilization.
Central custom officials would kick off a special drive on India-Nepal border in Bihar to instantly clear pending IGST refunds of exporters.
The department’s Patna unit will organize a 5-day IGST Refund Mela at all land customs stations (LCS) starting September 3.
The special drive to clear refunds on the spot is aimed at disposing all refund cases which are pending due to various errors such as invoice details and bank particulars filed with the department.
The customs authorities have already sent more than 500 letters and emails to exporters explaining them the errors which led to withholding of their refunds and how they can get them back following a simple process.
Commissioner of Customs, Patna, Ranjit Kumar said that government is committed to ease of doing business and the IGST refund is automatically done if the data regarding details of invoices and banks are filed correctly in the system.
He, however, said that due to errors related to invoice and bank details, some of the IGST refund claims are not sanctioned.
Besides making exporters aware about errors and need to avoid them, the Customs Department would clear the pending refunds following submission of required details in prescribed format.
The Commissioner said that he will inaugurate an IGST Refund Mela in Raxaul on Tuesday.