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Taj Mahal is Overated, we also have these beautiful Hindu temples. Wikimedia Commons

By Alisha Upadhyay

The lyricist Naushad penned down words in awe of the Taj Mahal that are roughly translated into “An emperor made Taj Mahal and gave the world a symbol of love”. There is no doubt the Taj Mahal is one of the wonders of the world, something India is proud of. But while we appreciate Taj Mahal’s beauty let’s not unsee the architectural masterpieces that are the Hindu Temples.

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Chidambaram Nataraja, Tamil Nadu

Chidambaram Nataraja, Tamil Nadu. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Chit meaning consciousness and Ambalam meaning a “stage” for performing arts. This Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is at the heart of the temple town of Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu. Legend has it Lord Shiva took his Natrajan form and displayed his dance of bliss (the Aananda Thaandavam).

Tungnath temple, Uttrakhand

Tungnath temple, Uttrakhand. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Usually taken as a part of the Panch Kedar pilgrimage, Tungnath temple is the highest situated shiv temple (3,680 meters above sea level). It is a trek filled with scenic beauty to keep you a company of the lush greenery and snow-clad peaks to awe your eyes. The Legend has it, it was built by the Pandavas after the Kurukshetra war. The temple is no less than 1000 years old. It is also widely believed that Lord Rama had meditated here after slaying the demon king Ravana.

Birla Mandir, Hyderabad

Birla Mandir, Hyderabad. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Built with 2000 tons of white marbles brought from Rajasthan, Birla Mandir of Hyderabad is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara of Tirumala Tirupati. The architectural style of the Birla temple is a blend of North Indian and South Indian styles of temple architecture. The Birla family undertook the task of building temples all across the world but the one in Hyderabad receives the most attention due to its mammoth structure.

Siddhivinayak Mandir, Mumbai

Siddhivinayak Mandir, Mumbai. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Built two centuries ago, Siddhivinayak temple is in the hearts of all Mumbaikars. It is not only the wonderful architecture that invites you but also the joyous Mumbaikar spirit. Flanking the deity on both sides is Riddhi & Siddhi, goddesses signifying sanctity, fulfillment, prosperity, and riches. Etched on the forehead of the deity is an eye, which resembles the third eye of Lord Shiva.

Also Read: American Hindus Launch “Hindu Votes Count” Campaign to Promote Voter Awareness During the 2020 US election

Prem Mandir, Vrindavan

Prem Mandir, Vrindavan. Source: Wikimedia Commons

This Hindu temple is one of the new architectural buildings built-in 2001, however, it took 12 years for its completion. Prem Mandir is constructed entirely of Italian marble. It contains numerous portraits of Krishna Leela and the miracles he performed. Nighttime is the best time to visit the temple as the lightings make it a sight to see.

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Killer Smog in Delhi.

Developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, a Decision Support System (DSS) that extends the ability of the existing air quality early warning system (AQEWS) to have decision-making capability for air quality management in Delhi-NCR was launched on Tuesday.

The website for the DSS ( is designed to help the Commission for Air Quality Management for NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) by delivering quantitative information about the contribution of emissions from Delhi and its 19 surrounding districts; the contribution of emissions from eight different sectors in Delhi; and the contribution from biomass-burning activities in the neighbouring states.

These information would assist in managing the air quality in a timely manner, a release from the Ministry of Earth Sciences said.

The need was stated by the CAQM, which was formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, during a meeting held in January 2021.

Recently, the Commission reviewed the progress made by IITM and had in principle approved the current version of DSS for air quality management in the Delhi-NCR. The IITM has also developed a new website for DSS with the entire system made operational, the release said.

Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, while launching the website for AQEWS on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' week organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said, "DSS is a significant contribution to 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' on behalf of MoES and IITM and suggestions are invited on this issue."

The website also has a feature whereby the users can create their own emission reduction scenarios (from 20 different districts, including Delhi) so as to examine the possible projected improvement in air quality in Delhi for the next five days.

"This information would explicitly highlight the most important emission sources responsible for the degradation of air quality in Delhi and suggest possible solutions to ameliorate the same. With a plethora of quantitative data, the AQEWS integrated with DSS could become a user-friendly tool for air-quality management in and around Delhi," the release said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, India, Pollution, IITM, Ministry of Earth Sciences