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New Zealand. Pixabay

Want to stand amongst rugby legends, walk alongside New Zealand’s first discoverer, or get lost in the fantastical world of cinematic magic? While we await borders to reopen, here are three more reasons why travelers should put New Zealand on their travel bucket list.

Weta Workshop Unleashed: Explore film-making and celebrate creativity

Weta Workshop Unleashed is a visual feast that invites guests of all ages to step into a fantastical film effects facility, inspired by Wellington’s Academy Award-winning Weta Workshop.

Located at Federal Street in Auckland, this attraction is not for the faint-hearted – visitors should be ready to be blown away by resident creatures, one hyper-realistic giant, and a galactic robot.

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A 90-minute guided tour led by the Unleashed crew promises to take visitors out of this world, and into the worlds of three original movie projects of the horror, sci-fi, and fantasy genres. One blink and they might miss surprise encounters and jaw-dropping environments.

This newest attraction is a celebration of creativity and making – from conceptual design to creature sculpting, weapons-making to world-building, and everything else in between.

Manea Footprints of Kupe: Explore the history of Aotearoa

Explore the history of Aotearoa. IANS

Twenty years in the making, Manea Footprints of Kupe, an interactive Cultural, Heritage, Tourism and Education Centre has opened its doors to welcome visitors on its grounds.

Visitors to the attraction, housed in Opononi, Hokianga, also known as the cradle of Maori nationhood, can immerse themselves in the history of New Zealand or Aotearoa. Hokianga is also the place Kupe, the country’s first discoverer, called home for four decades. Manea aims to preserve, communicate, and celebrate Kupe’s journeys across New Zealand, his departure, and capture the Maori story.

Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: अमेरिका तक बिखरा भारत की हल्दी का रंग, वैश्विक उत्पादन में 80 फीसदी योगदान.

Through a 75-minute interactive guided tour led by Kupe’s descendants, history-lovers will be exposed to an authentic cultural engagement that includes protocols, powhiri (welcome ceremony), storytelling, waiata (song), and karakia (prayers).

A 20-minute 4D movie and live theatre performance that bring to life Kupe’s epic journeys serve as the icing on the cake, wrapping up a journey of culture and history, leaving travelers with a deeper connection and understanding of a large part of New Zealand history.

All Blacks Experience: Pay homage to the world’s rugby legends

What’s a trip to New Zealand without diving deep into the world of rugby – the sport that locals live and breathe? The All Blacks Experience, located at Auckland’s SkyCity, is now open to visitors who have always wondered what it takes to be the greatest rugby players in the world.

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Featuring four interactive hands-on zones, visitors can test their rugby skills and discover if they are born to kick, pass and train like the legends of the All Blacks, Blacks Ferns, and others who wore the reputable black jersey.

For rugby fans who’ve always wondered how it feels to be on the receiving end of the iconic Haka, watching the All Blacks perform right before your eyes is the ultimate way to feel the passion of these rugby greats and appreciate the role that this traditional war dance plays in mentally and physically preparing the team as they go into battle on the rugby field. (IANS)



For the first time in independent India, now a postgraduate course in Hindu Dharma is included at the Benares Hindu University.

By Maria Wirth

Things are finally changing for the better for Hindu Dharma. For too long, many educated Indians, including the first Prime Minister Jawahar Nehru, had accepted the biased view of the British that Hinduism is inferior to the Abrahamic religions, without realizing, that this was a clever strategy to hide the fact that Christianity and Islam are based on a ‘must-belief’ story and Hinduism in contrast, is based on verifiable insights of the Vedas and a genuine enquiry into the truth.

For the first time in independent India, now a postgraduate course in Hindu Dharma is included at the Benares Hindu University. It reminded me that already almost one year ago, a centre to study the practice and philosophy of Nath Panth was established at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gorakhpur University by Yogi Adityanath, who himself is a Nath Yogi and the Mahant of Gorakhpur Mutt, apart from being the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. A conference was held in March 2021, to which I contributed the following thoughts:

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According to the family, the boy went missing in 2012.

He was 18 years old when he went missing from his home in the Mahmadpur village in Farrukhabad district. Brajpal returned to his house on Friday after more than ten years and his overjoyed parents could not believe their eyes. But a rival family informed the police as Brajpal's family had filed a kidnapping case against them. The police soon came and took away Brajpal for questioning.

According to the family, the boy went missing in 2012. His parents looked for him for nearly two years, and later approached the local police. It was when the local police allegedly refused to register their FIR, they went to the court and got an FIR registered at the Merapur police station against their neighbours, accusing them of kidnapping their son, following a land dispute.

missing signage Brajpal returned to his house on Friday after more than ten years | Unsplash

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The weird passion for the rejects came out of a dire need, to secure admission to the prestigious NID, Ahmedabad.

By Quaid Najmi

Junking an empty chips packet, a water bottle or a juice can make Haribaabu Naatesan scowl and perhaps even pick it up carefully -- for, it could be a future piece of 'artwork' in his creative mind. The Mumbai-based artist specialises in recycling all kinds of 'kabaad' (junk) -- organic, inorganic, metal, wood, plastic, e-wastes and even bird feathers -- to create some eye-popping masterpieces of artworks, stupefying the beholder.

Naatesan, 46, collects a staggering 6 tonnes -- or 500 kgs per month -- of all types of oddments as his cheap or virtually free raw material and then deploys his creative juices to convert them to treasured and coveted showpieces. The weird passion for the rejects came out of a dire need -- to secure admission to the prestigious NID, Ahmedabad, for a postgraduate course (2000 batch).

"I had no money for purchasing expensive raw materials to make an attractive art project, a prerequisite for the NID seat... So I just picked up some trash lying around, created a daddy long-legs (spider) and other creatures as my 'offering' for admission," chuckled Naatesan. Needless to say, the selectors were zapped - and 'wasted' no time in awarding a prized seat to the new-found genius on the campus - who promised to be a valuable future asset for 'Save the Planet' efforts.

Naatesan, 46, collects a staggering 6 tonnes -- or 500 kgs per month. | IANS

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