Friday, October 24, 2014

Zombie how the concept evolved?

Zombies featured widely in Haitian rural folklore, as dead persons physically revived by the act of necromancy of a bokor sorcerer (the bokor is a witch-like figure to be distinguished from the houngan priests and mambo priestesses of the formal Vodou religion). Zombies remain under the control of the bokor as their personal slaves, since they have no will of their own.

 

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There also exists within the Haitian tradition, an incorporeal type of zombie, the "zombie astral", which is a part of the human soul that is captured by a bokor and used to enhance the bokor's spiritual power. Bokors produce and sell specially-decorated bottles to clients with a zombie astral inside, for the purposes of luck, healing or business success. It is believed that after a time God will take the soul back and so the zombie is a temporary spiritual entity.It has been suggested that the two types of zombie reflect soul dualism, a belief of Haitian Vodou. Each type of legendary zombie is therefore missing one half of its soul (the flesh or the spirit).

In Modern culture

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Zombies are fictional creatures, typically depicted as mindless, reanimated human corpses (sometimes animals) with a hunger for human flesh, regularly encountered in horror and fantasy themed works. Some depictions are inspired by Haitian folklore, while others, like the ones in George A. Romero's film Night of the Living Dead, do not have that same direct connection. Zombies have a complex literary heritage, with antecedents ranging from Richard Matheson and H. P. Lovecraft to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein drawing on European folklore of the undead. The popularity of zombies in movies has led to them sometimes having been taken out of their usual element of horror and thrown into other genres, for example the comedy film Shaun of the Dead. The "zombie apocalypse" concept, in which the civilized world is brought low by a global zombie infestation, has become a staple of modern popular art.

Animals which has Extinct in Our Lifetime

Golden toad

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The golden toad, which is sometimes referred to as the Monteverde toad or the orange toad, was a species that lived only in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve in Costa Rica. It was once a common species, but no specimen has been seen since 1989. The toad’s breeding sites were well-known and closely watched — in 1988, only eight males and two females could be found, and in 1989, only a single male could be located. Extensive searches for the golden toad since then have failed to locate another specimen, and the species was declared extinct in August 2007. The amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, airborne pollution and global warming probably contributed to the species' demise.

 

Zanzibar Leopard

One of several subspecies of leopard, the Zanzibar leopard made its home on the Zanzibar archipelago of Tanzania. It's still unclear whether this large cat is technically extinct — there are occasional unconfirmed sightings.

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Cause of extinction: Locals believed the leopards were kept by witches, and aggressively hunted them. The animals were seen as evil predators that must be exterminated — and even the government was in on the campaign. In the mid-'90s there was a short-lived conservation effort but it was deemed too little, too late

 

Baiji dolphin

The last documented sighting of China's baiji dolphin, or Yantze River dolphin, was in 2002, and while the species is listed as critically endangered, scientists say it may already be extinct. In 2006, scientists from the Baiji Foundation traveled up the Yangtze River for more than 2,000 miles equipped with optical instruments and underwater microphones, but were unable to detect any surviving dolphins. The foundation published a report on the expedition and declared the animal functionally extinct, meaning too few potential breeding pairs remained to ensure the species' survival.

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The decline in the baiji dolphin population is attributed to a variety of factors including overfishing, boat traffic, habitat loss, pollution and poaching. Deemed "the goddess of the river," the dolphin's skin was highly valuable and used to make gloves and handbags.

 

Po'ouli

A native of Maui, Hawaii, the Po'ouli, or Black-faced Honeycreeper, was only discovered in the 1970s. The birds inhabited the southwestern slope of Haleakala volcano. But the population declined rapidly, and by 1997 there were only three known Po'ouli left. Efforts to mate the remaining birds failed and the species was formally declared extinct seven years later.

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Cause of extinction: Habitat loss, along with disease, predators and a decline in its food source — native tree snails — are all seen as reasons for the bird's demise


 

Madeiran Large White

The stunning Madeiran Large White butterfly was found in the valleys of the Laurisilva forests on Portugal’s Madeira Islands. The butterfly's closest relative, the Large White, is common across Europe, Africa and Asia.

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Cause of extinction: Loss of habitat due to construction as well as pollution from agricultural fertilizers are two major causes of the species' decline.

 

Tecopa Pupfish

The Tecopa pupfish, a native of the hot springs of the Mojave Desert, has the distinction of being the first animal declared extinct under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The pupfish's decline was precipitated when its natural habitat was encroached upon by developers.

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Cause of extinction: Destruction of natural habitat.

 

Thylacine

 

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Commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger, the Thylacine was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. Virtually wiped out in the wild due to constant hunting (they were thought to be a threat to sheep and other small farm animals) and the encroachment of humans on their already limited habitat the Thylacine was finally recognized as being in danger of becoming extinct in 1936, too little, too late as that same year the last Thylacine, named Benjamin, died on 7 September as the result of neglect — locked out of its sheltered sleeping quarters and exposed to freezing temperatures at night in Hobart Zoo, Tasmania. 60 years on there are still claims of sightings but all are yet to be confirmed.

Real Dracula: Vlad the Impaler

Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia , was a member of the House of Dracule?ti, a branch of the House of Basarab, also known, using his patronymic, as (Vlad) Draculea or (Vlad) Dracula. He was posthumously dubbed Vlad the Impaler , and was a three-time Voivode of Wallachia, ruling mainly from 1456 to 1462, the period of the incipient Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. His father, Vlad II Dracul, was a member of the Order of the Dragon, which was founded to protect Christianity in Eastern Europe. Vlad III is revered as a folk hero in Romania as well as other parts of Europe for his protection of the Romanian population both south and north of the Danube. A significant number of Romanian and Bulgarian common folk and remaining boyars (nobles) moved north of the Danube to Wallachia, recognized his leadership and settled there following his raids on the Ottomans.

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As the cognomen 'The Impaler' suggests, his practice of impaling his enemies is part of his historical reputation. During his lifetime, his reputation for excessive cruelty spread abroad, to Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

 

His the sucks Blood out of the Host?

Nope but he still drank it in a different way: by dipping chunks of bread into buckets of blood drained from the people he killed.The 15th century manuscript The Story of a Bloodthirsty Madman Called Dracula of Wallachia, by Michel Beheim, describes how Vlad III would invite a few guests to his mansion, provide them with a feast, and then have them immediately impaled right there at the dinner table. With the bodies still draped over the stakes, he would leisurely finish his own dinner and then dip his bread into the blood collecting below the bodies

 

Why was he called the Impaler?

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It’s easy to think of Dracula as a solitary madman, just running around killing people, but that’s not how it was. The man just so happened to be the Prince of Wallachia, and many of his “murders” were his own twisted form of law and order. The thing is, impalement was pretty much the only punishment—whether you stole a loaf of bread or committed murder.Of course, there were exceptions. One account describes a gypsy who stole something while travelling through Dracula’s lands. The Prince had the man boiled, and then forced the other gypsies to eat him. 

 

How many people this Dracula Kill in his life time?

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Historians put the deaths at the hands of Dracula at somewhere between 40,000 and 100,000. The man breathed death and then (literally) ate it for dinner. When the Turkish army got to Targoviste, they found the infamous “Forest of the Impaled”—20,000 Turkish bodies displayed on stakes. 

 

How did he die?

Dracula died on the battlefield fighting against an invasion of Turks.Dracula was buried at the isolated Snagov Monastery near Bucharest, which was also likely used as a prison and torture chamber. When prisoners prayed before an icon of the Blessed Virgin, a trap door opened dropping them onto sharp stakes below.

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In 1931 archaeologists searching Snagov found a casket partially covered in a purple shroud embroidered with gold. The skeleton inside was covered with pieces of faded silk brocade, similar to a shirt depicted in an old painting of Dracula.The casket also contained a cloisonné crown, with turquoise stones. A ring, similar to those worn by the Order of the Dragon, was sewn into a shirtsleeve.The contents were taken to the History Museum in Bucharest but have since disappeared without a trace, leaving the mysteries of the real Prince Dracula unanswered

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Village Of Twins: Kodinhi, Kerala

Kodinhi is a village in Malappuram district in Kerala, India. The village is situated close to the town of Tirurangadi and, as of 2008, is home to around 2,000 families.

Whats is so special about this small village in Kerala


Administered by the Nannambra panchayat, the village came to international attention for the unusually large number of multiple births in the region. The village is noted for having a high twinning rate although India has one of the lowest twinning rates in the world.The first association of twins in the country, The Twins and Kins Association, was also founded in the village



The village entered the international spotlight when a survey done by locals found an unusually large number of twin births in the region. Though initial estimates put the instance of multiple births at 100 pairs, follow-up surveys found the figure to be closer to 204 pairs (408 individuals) of twins, and two sets of triplets. Despite several studies being conducted, the exact cause of this phenomenon is yet to be ascertained. Women from Kodinhi married off to far away places are also known to give birth to twins. According to doctors, they said, this phenomenon is due to chemicals present in water in the Kodinhi area. According to locals, the oldest known twin pair in the village was born in 1949. The number of twin births in Kodinhi has been increasing over the years, with surveys showing over 79 pairs of twins within the age group of 0–10 years.




This phenomenon of a large number of twin births is not unique to Kodinhi, and has also been observed in the town of Igbo-Ora in Nigeria. In Igbo-Ora, research has suggested that the multiple births could be related to the eating habits of the women in the region. Though no direct correlation between dietary intake and twin births has been observed, a research study carried out at the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital has suggested that a chemical found in the Igbo-Ora women and the peelings of a widely consumed tuber could account for the high level of multiple births. In the case of Kodinhi, however, no such relationship has been observed, as the residents' dietary patterns are not known to be significantly different from the rest of Kerala.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Haunted Sites in India

What is haunted site means?

A haunted sites is a house or other building often perceived as being inhabited by disembodied spirits of the deceased who may have been former residents or were familiar with the property. Parapsychologists attribute haunting to the spirits of the dead and the effect of violent or tragic events in the building's past such as murder, accidental death, or suicide.More scientific explanations for the perception that a house is haunted include misinterpreting noises naturally present in structures, waking dreams, suggestibility, and the effect of toxic substances in environments that can cause hallucinations.

1. Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan

 

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Who’s place was it?

The Bhangarh Fort is a 17th century fort built by order of King Sawai Madho Singh in Rajasthan.

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There are two legends narrated to the history of the fort city which is reported to be haunted and no one is allowed to remain the precincts of the fort at night as per a notice board put up by the Archaeological Survey of India at the entrance.

Reasons for haunting

One version of the legend is that a sadhu named Baba Balanath lived within the fort area. It was his injunction that any houses built in the precincts of the fort should not be taller than his house and in case the shadow of any such house falling on his house would result in destruction of the fort town.

In another version, Singhiya, the wizard who was adept in black magic fell in love with the Ratnavati, the princess of Bhangarh who was very beautiful and had suitors to marry her from many royal families of the country. One day while the princess, 18 years of age, went shopping with her friends and was buying Ittar (perfume). The wizard saw this and replaced the scent with some potion in order to ensnare the princess. He offered the potion to her so that she took a liking for him and marry him. However, the princess saw through the wizard's trickery and when he offered her the bowl of potion, she threw it on a big boulder nearby and as a result the boulder started rolling down towards the wizard and crushed him. Before he died he cursed that Bhangarh would be destroyed soon and no one will be able to live within its precincts. Subsequent to the curse Bhangarh Fort was invaded by the Mughals from the north and the city was surrounded and sacked; 10,000 people lived in the fort city at that time. All the people in the fort including the princess were killed. The present state of the fort is attributed to the curse of the wizard and people believe the ghosts in the fort are that of the princess and the wizard.  Since from that day at the night time there are some paranormal activities are said to take place, some people have reportedly died by these paranormal activities.

 

2. Dumas Beach, Surat – Gujarat

Dumas Beach is an urban beach along the Arabian Sea located 21 km southwest of Surat City in Indian state of Gujarat. This beach is famous for its black sand. It is a popular tourist destination in south Gujarat. Apart from the beach, places of interest at Dumas including the Dariya Ganesh Temple located adjacent to the main beach.

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Many people lost their lives here as per the belief of local people. As per the belief of the local people, if you don’t believe in this story then spend a night at the beach. Dumas Beach was also reported as one of the most haunted places in the Gujarat state.

Reason for haunting

If one goes by the story, Hindus burn their dead bodies on the beach, and this area has been reported numerous of times for its paranormal activities. People have reported experiences like hearing strange whispers on Dumas beach. It`s like the wind around this area is full of spirits of dead people. Some tourists have been even known to have disappeared while taking walks on the beach at night.

 

3.Dow Hill Kurseong, Darjeeling – West Bengal

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Dow Hill in Kurseong is often reported to be a centre of paranormal activities as reported by the locals. The Victoria Boys High School is believed to be the place where spirits reside. People opine that sound of footsteps emanating from the school can be heard even when the school is closed for the three long months from December to March. Countless people have been found murdered in the forests near the school. Locals believe that the spirits will not spare them and thus their days are spend in worry and anxiety. While some locals have started enjoying the myths and take pleasure in frightening other people, the rest prefer to remain ignorant. Persistent enquiries by the tourists and researchers only add to the list of unanswered questions

 

4.Lambidhar Mines

 

The Lambi Dehar mines are located at the outskirts of Mussoorie. A few years ago there were mines and lime quarries in this area but they were shut down following innumerable truck accidents and irregularities in safety precautions. It is estimated that more than 50,000 workers lived in this area but a lot of them died a painful death due to lung diseases caused by improper mining. People no longer live here and during night time, some tourists have reported hearing strange noises. Many travellers met with fatal road accidents while driving and the most recent one being the shocking crash of a helicopter near the Lambi Dehar mines site

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What are the other legends /folkore about this site??

Ghost that is believed to be haunting these mines is that of an Army officer who used to live in Mussorie with his beautiful wife. Whether this officer belonged to Indian or the old British Army, no one knows. His wife was cheating on him with another man and wanted to get rid of her husband. So they planned his murder and one day the wife took the officer out for a walk at the mines. Her lover was waiting for them on top of a cliff and as the couple passed down below, he hurled a huge boulder towards them. Wife knew what was coming so she jumped to safety however the poor husband got crushed under the boulder. What happened to the unfaithful wife and her lover is unknown but it is believed that ghost of that Army officer is still trapped at the mines, forced to repeat the scene of his death every night, over and over again for eternity. People talk about how he has been heard still by several people, crying out in pain, every night. They say that he still doesn’t know what happened, that the woman he so dearly loved broke his trust and murdered him. Per the local belief, he is stuck in a death loop unless he finds out the reality

The next legend is of a witch who has taken shelter in the mines and has been responsible for several deaths that occurred here. Interestingly enough, this woman was also an unfaithful wife in her life. She was the wife of a local miner and mother of two. One day her husband found about her extra-marital affair and the wife, out of fear and guilt, unable to face her husband ran to the mines and hid there for days. Her husband and other villagers looked and looked for her but she couldn’t be found. What she didn’t know was that her lover had also taken off and it created an impression of both of them leaving the village together. This further infuriated the husband and out of anger he killed both their children, not able to decide if they were his own or other man’s. Days later, the wife stepped out of the mines only to learn about the death of both her children. Ashamed of what she has done and how her acts destroyed her family, she ran to a nearby cliff and jumped off it. Ever since, it is believed that her soul is still trapped in the mines and is getting violent day by day. People say that right after the death of the wife, strange happenings started to occur in the mines. People started to die in strange and freak accidents every other day. Then there came a time that everyone feared for their lives and not even a single person was ready to step in this mines which by them had earned the fame of being called a death pit.

Then there is also the tale of a woman, wife of a miner, who one fine day heard an explosion at the mines. She immediately ran to the place where her husband was working to enquire of his safety. It turned out that there was no explosion and it was just her hallucination that she explained to her husband who was working his shift in one piece. After listening to what his wife had to say, the miner went down to enquire and ensure that everything was safe and sound and this is when the blast happened that killed him. Since then, people say that the ghost of this woman runs to the mines every evening trying to save her husband from the blast that she had a premonition of.

 

5.Shaniwarwada Fort, Pune

Shaniwarwada is a royal palace in the city of Pune in Maharashtra, India. Built in 1746,it was the seat of the Peshwa rulers of the Maratha Empire until 1818 when the Peshwas surrendered to the British. The fort itself was largely destroyed in 1828 by an unexplained fire, but the surviving structures are now maintained as a tourist site.Following the rise of the Maratha Empire, the palace became the center of Indian politics in the 18th century

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Legends

Haunted by young Prince who was killed by his own relatives in the fort. As per the tales of the local people, supernatural activity increased in every full moon. Most of tourists visit this place during the sunlight i.e. day time. It is not advisable to enter in the fort during the night.

 

6.Agrasen ki Baoli

 

Agrasen ki Baoli , designated a protected monument by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) under the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958, is a 60-meter long and 15-meter wide historical step well on Hailey Road near Connaught Place, a short walk from Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, India. Although there are no known historical records to prove who built Agrasen ki Baoli, it is believed that it was originally built by the legendary king Agrasen during the Mahabharat epic era and rebuilt in the 14th century by the Agrawal community which traces its origin to Maharaja Agrasen.

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As per the tales of local people, the step well was filled with black water. As per the beliefs of the local people, the water hypnotizes people to commit suicide in the step well.

 

Other Haunted places in India

 

Brijraj Bhawan Palace, Kota – Rajasthan

It is one of the haunted royal palaces of Rajasthan since. As per the news reports and beliefs, British major Mr. Burton was killed in the palace before the India’s independence. His son was also killed along with him. That’s why both of them have made this place as their home.

 

D’Souza Chawl Mahim, Mumbai – Maharashtra

D’Souza Chawl is the most haunted place in Mumbai as well as in Maharashtra state. As per the tales of the residents of this chawl, a woman has lost her life in the well when she was trying to get water from the same well.The residents of D’Souza Chawl have also reported, that she is not harming anyone. They have also added that, she just walks from the area during midnight. The ghost of this lady also disappears when the sun rises and again appears at midnight.

 

Vrindavan Society, Thane (Maharashtra)

It is believed that a man had committed suicide in the building no. 66 B of the society. Vrindavan Society is also considered as one of the most haunted place in Thane.A bad incident was happened in the society which proves it. The security guard was doing his duty i.e. patrolling in the society, someone has slapped him so much hard while he was sitting on the chair. He was thinking that other guard who was sitting near to him slapped him, he immediately slapped the other guard.

 

Gujarat Technological University (GTU) Campus, Ahmedabad

GTU is the most popular university in the state of Gujarat in India. GTU administrative staff and security personnel recently faced an unusual ghost experience in the building. As per the claim of security guard, he has heard voices of women. Even the doors were automatically opened and closed, furniture being thrown over and there. This news was reported by the Ahmedabad Mirror, a prominent newspaper of the city.

 

Three Kings Church, Goa

The 3 Kings Church is situated on the hill of the Cansulim village in the South Goa. This church is famous for the feast of the three kings. The celebration is also held on 6th January of each year. Three Kings Church is mostly visited by the local people and a few tourists.According to the local people, this church is haunted. Long time ago, 3 Portuguese kings were living in the state of Goa. They want to gain power at any cost. King Holger Alvunger, one of the kings has invited two other kings in the palace. He poisoned both of them and both died there. After some time, he also committed suicide by consuming poison. This place becomes one of the most haunted places in Goa.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai

Sanjay Gandhi National Park is the only national park with a large protected area in the city. It is located in the Borivali East in Mumbai. People often visit this place as their weekend getaway in Mumbai.Leopards and other dangerous animals have eaten people staying in the forest. If believed to be true, a phantom hitchhiker spirit is haunted in the national park. Forest Guards are also insisting that it is true. It is also considered as one of the most haunted places in Mumbai city in Maharashtra.

 

Writer’s Building, Kolkata

Kolkata was the major center of power during British rule in India. To accommodate junior writers and clerks, British Government built writer’s building as the official residence. It is located on the center of the city i.e. BBD Square, Kolkata. It is currently used by the Government of West Bengal as the secretariat of the state.

As per the tales of the local people, Indian revolutionaries Binay, Dinesh and Badal has killed Captain Simpson who was working in the British East India Company in this building. Due to sudden death, his spirit is still roams in the building. None of the officials stay here after the office hours or after dusk. It is one of the most haunted places in Kolkata, West Bengal.

South Park Street Cemetery, Kolkata

South Park Street Cemetery is another haunted place in the city of Kolkata. This cemetery is the oldest in the city, which was constructed in 1767. As per the reports, a group of friends visited this place and they have clicked group photo in the cemetery. Soon the weird things started happening with each of them. The one who clicked the group picture had an asthma attack. As a shocking, he wasn’t asthma patient at all!

GP Block, Meerut

GP Block is one of the haunted places in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located in the city of Meerut. As per the tales of local people, four boys were sitting inside the house with a single candle light. They were drinking beers.

Vijayanagar :One of the Forgotten Empire (1336–1646)

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The Vijayanagara Empire  referred to as the Kingdom of Bisnegar by the Portuguese, was an empire based in South India, in the Deccan Plateau region. It was established in 1336 by Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I of Sangama Dynasty. The empire rose to prominence as a culmination of attempts by the southern powers to ward off Islamic invasions by the end of the 13th century. It lasted until 1646 although its power declined after a major military defeat in 1565 by the Deccan sultanates. The empire is named after its capital city of Vijayanagara, whose ruins surround present day Hampi, now a World Heritage Site in Karnataka, India.The writings of medieval European travelers such as Domingo Paes, Fernão Nunes and Niccolò Da Conti, and the literature in local languages provide crucial information about its history. Archaeological excavations at Vijayanagara have revealed the empire's power and wealth.

 

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The empire's legacy includes many monuments spread over South India, the best known of which is the group at Hampi. The previous temple building traditions in South India came together in the Vijayanagara Architecture style. The mingling of all faiths and vernaculars inspired architectural innovation of Hindu temple construction, first in the Deccan and later in the Dravidian idioms using the local granite. Efficient administration and vigorous overseas trade brought new technologies such as water management systems for irrigation. The empire's patronage enabled fine arts and literature to reach new heights in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Sanskrit, while Carnatic music evolved into its current form. The Vijayanagara Empire created an epoch in South Indian history that transcended regionalism by promoting Hinduism as a unifying factor.

Brief History of the Vijayanagar empire

Differing theories have been proposed regarding the Vijayanagara empire's origins. Many historians propose Harihara I and Bukka, the founders of the empire, were Kannadigas and commanders in the army of the Hoysala Empire stationed in the Tungabhadra region to ward off Muslim invasions from the Northern India. Others claim that they were Telugu people first associated with the Kakatiya Kingdom who took control of the northern parts of the Hoysala Empire during its decline. Irrespective of their origin, historians agree the founders were supported and inspired by Vidyaranya, a saint at the Sringeri monastery to fight the Muslim invasion of South India. Writings by foreign travelers during the late medieval era combined with recent excavations in the Vijayanagara principality have uncovered much-needed information about the empire's history, fortifications, scientific developments and architectural innovations.

Before the early 14th-century rise of the Vijayanagara Empire, the Hindu states of the Deccan, the Yadava Empire of Devagiri, the Kakatiya dynasty of Warangal, the Pandyan Empire of Madurai, and the tiny kingdom of Kampili had been repeatedly invaded by Muslims from the north, and by 1336 they had all been defeated by Alla-ud-din Khilji and Muhammad bin Tughluq, the Sultans of Delhi. The Hoysala Empire was the sole remaining Hindu state in the path of the Muslim invasion. After the death of Hoysala king Veera Ballala III during a battle against the Sultan of Madurai in 1343, the Hoysala Empire merged with the growing Vijayanagara empire.

In the first two decades after the founding of the empire, Harihara I gained control over most of the area south of the Tungabhadra river and earned the title of Purvapaschima Samudradhishavara ("master of the eastern and western seas"). By 1374 Bukka Raya I, successor to Harihara I, had defeated the chiefdom of Arcot, the Reddys of Kondavidu, the Sultan of Madurai and gained control over Goa in the west and the Tungabhadra-Krishna River doab in the north. The original capital was in the principality of Anegondi on the northern banks of the Tungabhadra River in today's Karnataka. It was later moved to nearby Vijayanagara on the river's southern banks during the reign of Bukka Raya I.

With the Vijayanagara Kingdom now imperial in stature, Harihara II, the second son of Bukka Raya I, further consolidated the kingdom beyond the Krishna River and brought the whole of South India under the Vijayanagara umbrella.The next ruler, Deva Raya I, emerged successful against the Gajapatis of Odisha and undertook important works of fortification and irrigation. Italian traveler Niccolo de Conti wrote of him as the most powerful ruler of India. Deva Raya II (called Gajabetekara) succeeded to the throne in 1424 and was possibly the most capable of the Sangama dynasty rulers. He quelled rebelling feudal lords as well as the Zamorin of Calicut and Quilon in the south. He invaded the island of Lanka and became overlord of the kings of Burma at Pegu and Tanasserim. The empire declined in the late 15th century until the serious attempts by commander Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya in 1485 and by general Tuluva Narasa Nayaka in 1491 to reconsolidate the empire.

 

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After nearly two decades of conflict with rebellious chieftains, the empire eventually came under the rule of Krishna Deva Raya, the son of Tuluva Narasa Nayaka. In the following decades the Vijayanagara empire dominated all of Southern India and fought off invasions from the five established Deccan Sultanates. The empire reached its peak during the rule of Krishna Deva Raya when Vijayanagara armies were consistently victorious. The empire annexed areas formerly under the Sultanates in the northern Deccan and the territories in the eastern Deccan, including Kalinga, while simultaneously maintaining control over all its subordinates in the south. Many important monuments were either completed or commissioned during the time of Krishna Deva Raya.

Krishna Deva Raya was followed by his younger half-brother Achyuta Deva Raya in 1529. When Achyuta Deva Raya died in 1542, Sadashiva Raya, the teenage nephew of Achyuta Raya was appointed king though real power was wielded by Rama Raya, Krishna Deva Raya's son-in-law. When Sadashiva was old enough to claim absolute power, Aliya Rama Raya had him imprisoned and became the de facto ruler. Eager to take advantage of the disunity among the Sultanates of Bijapur, Ahamednagar, Berar, Golkonda, and Bidar, Rama Raya involved himself in the political affairs of the powers across the Krishna river to the north. His ploy of supporting militarily one Sultanate against another, often changing alliances, brought rich rewards for a while. However, by 1563, exhausted with his intrigues, the bitter rivals from the north formed an alliance. They marched against Rama Raya and clashed with the Vijayanagara's forces in January 1565.The capture and killing of Aliya Rama Raya in the famous Battle of Talikota, after a seemingly easy victory for the Vijayanagara armies, created havoc and confusion in the Vijayanagara ranks, which were then completely routed. The Sultanates' army later plundered Hampi and reduced it to the ruinous state in which it remains; it was never re-occupied. Tirumala Deva Raya, Rama Raya's younger brother who was the sole surviving commander, left Vijayanagara for Penukonda with vast amounts of treasure on the back of 1500 elephants.

The empire went into a slow decline regionally, although trade with the Portuguese continued, and the British were given a land grant for the establishment of Madras.Tirumala Deva Raya was succeeded by his son Sriranga I later followed by Venkata II who was the last king of Vijayanagara empire, made his capital Chandragiri and Vellore, repulsed the invasion of the Deccan Sultanates and saved Penukonda from being captured.
His successor Rama Deva Raya took power and ruled until 1632, after whose death Venkata III became king and ruled for about ten years. The empire was finally conquered by the Sultanates of Bijapur and Golkonda. The largest feudatories of the Vijayanagar empire – the Mysore Kingdom, Keladi Nayaka, Nayaks of Madurai, Nayaks of Tanjore, Nayakas of Chitradurga and Nayak Kingdom of Gingee declared independence and went on to have a significant impact on the history of South India in the coming centuries. These Nayaka kingdoms lasted into the 18th century while the Mysore Kingdom remained a princely state until Indian Independence in 1947 although they came under the British Raj in 1799 after the death of Tipu Sultan.

Race over the Frequency

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Indian Radio History

In British India, broadcasting began in July 1923 with programmes by the Radio Club of Bombay and other radio clubs. According to an agreement of 23 July 1927, the private Indian Broadcasting Company LTD (IBC) was authorized to operate two radio stations; the Bombay station began on 23 July 1927, and the Calcutta station followed on 26 August 1927. On 1 March 1930, however, the company went into liquidation. The government took over the broadcasting facilities, beginning the Indian State Broadcasting Service (ISBS) on 1 April 1930 (on an experimental basis for two years, and permanently in May 1932). On 8 June 1936; the ISBS was renamed All India Radio.

On 1 October 1939 the External Service began with a broadcast in Pushtu; it was intended to counter radio propaganda from Germany directed to Afghanistan, Iran and the Arab nations. When India became independent in 1947, the AIR network had only six stations (in Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Chennai, Lucknow, and Tiruchirappalli); the total number of radio sets at that time was about 275,000. On 3 October 1957 the Vividh Bharati Service was launched, to compete with Radio Ceylon. Television broadcasting began in Delhi in 1959 as part of AIR, but was split off from the radio network as Doordarshan on 1 April 1976.FM broadcasting began on 23 July 1977 in Chennai, and was expanded during the 1990s.

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The word "Akashvani" was coined by M. V. Gopalaswamy after setting up the nation’s first private radio station in his residence, "Vittal Vihar" (about 200 yards from AIR’s current location in Mysore) in 1936. Akashvani means "celestial announcement"; the word, of Sanskrit origin, is often found in Hindu mythology. When the gods wished to say something, an akashvani occurred. Literally, akash means "sky" and vani means "sound" or "message". Thus, Akashvani seemed to be fit for use by a radio broadcaster and was later adopted as All India Radio's on-air name after independence.

 

Focus on Tamil-Nadu

Radio stations that broadcast in the Tamil language are found primarily in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, Canada as well as other parts of the world containing a significant Tamil diaspora population.But race for frequency has recently started about a decades putting down the old AIR down and attracting listeners with new ideas and information 

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Key Players in Tamil radio Industry

1.Suryan FM (93.5 FM) (Chennai, Trichy, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Pondicherry).

Sun TV Network owns two Radio brands: Suryan FM in Tamil Nadu and for other territories Red FM. Sun is one of the largest Radio broadcasters in India and Tamil's first private FM stations

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2.Radio Mirchi (98.3 FM) (Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai)

Radio Mirchi is a nationwide network of private FM radio stations in India. It is owned by the Entertainment Network India Ltd (ENIL), which is one of the subsidiaries of The Times Group. The tagline of Radio Mirchi is "Idhu semmma hot machchi ,It's hot!".

 

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3.Hello FM (106.4 FM) (Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchirapalli, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin)

Hello FM (106.4 MHz) is one of the private radio stations operating from different locations in Tamil Nadu. It is owned by Malar publications, Chennai. It is licensed to use the FM band frequency 106.4 MHz. It started in 2006 broadcasting from Chennai and Coimbatore. Later, in 2007 it expanded its broadcast to other cities in Tamil Nadu such as Madurai, Trichy, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and to the union territory of Puducherry.


4.Radio City (91.1 FM) (Chennai, Coimbatore)
5.Aahaa FM (91.9 FM) (Chennai)
6.Big FM (92.7 FM) (Chennai)
7.Radio One (94.3 FM) (English) (Chennai)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Kamakhya Temple

The Kamakhya Temple  is a Hindu temple dedicated to the mother goddess Kamakhya, one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pitha.s, Situated on the Nilachal Hill in western part of Guwahati city in Assam, India it is the main temple in a complex of individual temples dedicated to the ten Mahavidyas: Bhuvaneshvari, Bagalamukhi, Chinnamasta, Tripura Sundari, Tara, Kali, Bhairavi, Dhumavati, Matangi and Kamala. Among these, Tripurasundari, Matangi and Kamala reside inside the main temple whereas the other seven reside in individual temples. It is an important pilgrimage destination for general Hindu and especially for Tantric worshipers.



History

Ancient

The earliest historical dynasty of Kamarupa, the Varmans (350-650), as well as Xuanzang, a 7th-century Chinese traveler ignore the Kamakhya, when it is assumed that the worship was Kirata-based beyond the brahminical ambit. The first epigraphic notice of Kamakhya is found in the 9th-century Tezpur plates of Vanamalavarmadeva of the Mlechchha dynasty. There is enough archaeological evidence of a massive 8th-9th century temple.


The Kamarupa kings from Indra Pala to Dharma Pala were followers of the Tantrik tenet and about that period Kamakhya had become an important seat of Tantrikism. The Kamarupa kings, after Brahma Pala, adopted Tantrikism as their tenet and, as a result of this royal patronage, Kamakhya soon became a renowned centre of Tantrik sacrifices, mysticism and sorcery. That system of mystic Buddhism, known as Vajrayana and popularly called the "Sahajia cult", found its way into Kamarupa as early as the tenth century, is corroborated from an unexpected source. It is found from Tibetan records that some of the eminent Buddhist professors in Tibet, of the tenth and the eleventh centuries, hailed from Kamarupa. The Kalika Purana, a well-known work, gives the Sanskritized names of most of the rivers and hills of Brahmaputra valley. It gives a full account of the Naraka legend and the old city of Pragjyotishpura. It dwells upon the special merit and sanctity of the shrine of Kamakhya.

Medieval

There is a tradition that the temple was destroyed by Kalapahar, a general of Sulaiman Karrani (1566–1572), though the latest historical findings favor instead an earlier destruction during Hussein Shah's invasion of the Kamata kingdom (1498) then under Nilambar. The ruins of the temple was said to have been discovered by Vishwasingha, the founder of the Koch dynasty, who revived worship at the site; but it was during the reign of his son, Naranarayan, that the temple reconstruction was completed in 1565. The reconstruction used material from the original temples that was lying scattered about. Banerji (1925) records that this structure was further built over by the rulers of the Ahom kingdom. Many other structures are yet later additions.

The current structure has been built during the Ahom times, with remnants of the earlier Koch temple carefully preserved.Temple was destroyed during the middle of second millennium and revised temple structure was constructed in 1565 by Chilarai of the Koch dynasty in the style of medieval temples.

According to a legend the Koch Bihar royal family was banned by Devi herself from offering puja at the temple. In fear of this curse, to this day no descendants of that family dares to even look upward towards the Kamakhya hill while passing by. Without the support of the Koch royal family the temple faced lot of hardship. By the end of 1658, the Ahoms under king Jayadhvaj Singha had conquered the Kamrup and their interests in the temple grew. In the decades that followed the Ahom kings, all who were either devout Shaivite or Shakta continued to support the temple by rebuilding and renovating it.

Rudra Singha (reign 1696 to 1714) was a devout Hindu and as he grew older he decided to formally embrace the religion and become an orthodox Hindu by being initiated or taking sharan of a Guru, who would teach him the mantras and become his spiritual guide. But, he could not bear the thought of humbling himself in front of a Brahmin who is his subject. He therefore sent envoys to Bengal and summoned Krishnaram Bhattacharyya, a famous mahant of Shakta sect who lived in Malipota, near Santipur in Nadia district. The mahant was unwilling to come, but consented on being promised to be given the care of the Kamakhya temple to him. Though the king did not take sharan, he satisfied the mahant by ordering his sons and the Brahmins in his entourage to accept him as their spiritual guru.

When Rudra Singha died, his eldest son Siba Singha (reign 1714 to 1744), who became the king, gave the management of the Kamakhya temple and along with it large areas of land (Debottar land) to Mahant Krishnaram Bhattacharyya. The Mahant and his successors came to be known as Parbatiya Gosains, as they resided on top of the Nilachal hill. Many Kamakhya priests and modern Saktas of Assam are either disciples or descendants of the Parbatiya Gosains, or of the Nati and Na Gosains.


Worship

It is likely that this is an ancient Khasi sacrificial site, and worshiping here still includes sacrifices. Devotees come every morning with goats to offer to Shakti.The Kalika Purana, an ancient work in Sanskrit describes Kamakhya as the yielder of all desires, the young bride of Shiva, and the giver of salvation.Shakti is known as Kamakhya.


The first tantric Kamakhya Temple was destroyed during the Mongol invasion in the Nilachal hills in the 12 BC, so was the fate of the second tantric temple destroyed in the Muslim attacks, probably by the Hindu convert Muslim warrior 'Kala Pahad'. The Brahaminical legend of the 'Shakti' in the later period led to the worship of the tantric goddess as Hindu 'Shakti' goddess. The worship of all female deity in Assam symbolizes the "fusion of faiths and practices" of Aryan and non-Aryan elements in Assam. The different names associated with the goddess are names of local Aryan and non-Aryan goddesses. The Yogini Tantra mentions that the religion of the Yogini Pitha is of Kirata origin.According to Banikanta Kakati, there existed a tradition among the priests established by Naranarayana that the Garos, a matrilineal people, offered worship at the earlier Kamakhya site by sacrificing pigs.


The goddess is worshiped according to both the Vamachara (Left-Hand Path) as well as the Dakshinachara (Right-Hand Path) modes of worship. Offerings to the goddess are usually flowers, but might include animal sacrifices. In general female animals are exempt from sacrifice, a rule that is relaxed during mass sacrifices.


River Styx :Gate way between underworld & earth

The river of which many know its name, without knowing its origin or what it really stood for. A river that separates the world of the living from the world of the dead. Styx it is said winds around Hades (hell or the underworld are other names) nine times. Its name comes from the Greek word stugein which means hate, Styx, the river of hate. This river was so respected by the gods of Greek mythology that they would take life binding oaths just by mentioning its name, as referenced in the story of Bacchus-Ariadne, where Jove "confirms it with the irrevocable oath, attesting the river Styx."
Charon ferried the souls of the dead across the Styx.


There are five rivers that separate Hades from the world of the living, they are:
1.Acheron - the river of woe;
2.Cocytus - the river of lamentation;
3.Phlegethon - the river of fire;
4.Lethe - the river of forgetfulness;
5.Styx - the river of hate.


It is thought that Charon, the old ferry man who ferries the dead onto the underworld, crosses the river Styx where the dragon tailed dog Cerberus guards, allowing all souls to enter but none to leave. This is a misconception, Charon crosses the river Acheron where also Cerebus stands his eternal guard. Also while on this subject, Charon only takes the souls across that are buried properly with a coin (called an obol) that was placed in their mouths upon burial.
If a god gave his oath upon the river Styx and failed to keep his word, Zeus forced that god to drink from the river itself. The water is said to be so foul that the god would lose his/her voice for years. The river is not the subject of any story itself but is mentioned in several. These little pieces give a wonderful view of not only the river but the ancient Greeks view of the underworld. From its Adamantine gates to its separate levels of Tartarus and Erebus onto the Elysian fields.


Legend or Facts??

These symptoms are eerily similar to those suffered by Alexander the Great before his premature death due to an unidentified sudden illness in 323 B.C. The Greek leader suffered stabbing pains in his internal organs and joints, high fever, and voice loss before he slipped into a coma.Those symptoms are also very similar to those experienced by a person who has ingested calicheamicin, a toxin produced by bacteria found in limestone, which is found in high concentrations in the Mavroneri River. Also known as Black Water, the river flows out of the Peloponnesian mountains and has long been thought to be the real-world entrance to the River Styx. Ancient tradition states that the water was so corrosive and so deadly, like its mythical counterpart, that the only things it couldn’t dissolve were a boat and raft made from horse hooves.If the theory about Alexander the Great is true, it suggests that he died not from malaria or typhoid, as previously suspected, but that he was poisoned by someone who had taken water from the mythical River Styx.

Punta Cruz Watch Tower

In Maribojoc, some 14 km west of Tagbilaran City, a curious triangular watch tower oversees the seas South of Bohol. From its windows at the top, you can see Cebu, Siquijor, and Mindanao. The Spanish had it build in 1796 as a look-out post against pirates and Muslim marauders, who at that time where a plague to the people of Bohol.




Remants of similar triangular towers can be found in a number of other places along the coast of Bohol, such as Panglao, Dauis, Loay, and on Pamilacan island, but this tower is the most intact. The tower of Loay, about 18 km east of Tagbilaran is much eroded by the waves of the sea. The tower on Pamilacan island was build to a slightly different plan.
Castillo Des Vicen 11 Ferrer Cuesta Punta dela Cruzanon Ulo y Arbeldela de los Espańoles Hasta Hoy y fe Venera ensu Pueblo de Maribohoc con Devocion del Santo Vi a Crucis Ańo 1796
Translations of the inscriptions of Punta Cruz Watchtower at the Entrance of the Tower
“Castillo De San Vicente Ferrer in this Punta Cruz, whose title and tree of the Holy Cross from the conquest of the Spaniards until now, is venerated in this town of Malabojoc, with the veneration of the Holy via crucis year 1796.
Today the Punta Cruz watch tower still provides an excellent view. The site now offers a small stall for buying drinks and snacks and makes a good spot for a picnic and a swim -- although you'll have to watch out when you climb on the very sharp rocks.



Getting there. Catch a bus at the Tagbilaran Integrated Bus Terminal in Dao. Most buses going in to Tubigon will pass along Punta Cruz. Ask the driver to drop you off at Punta Cruz, and walk down for about 500 meters to the watch tower. Located at the western tip of Maribojoc. The popular name of Barangay Punta Cruz is derived from the” Punta” which means  cape  and the word Punta Cruz was coined from the cross which was planted on the said place to scare the Moro marauders. The original and extinct name of the place is Guimnay where a spring is located serving the inhabitants as its water source. Built in 1796, the only perfect isosceles triangle tower-the only structure so formed in the country.
This was dedicated to San Vicente Ferrer, the Punta Cruz watchtower on the shores of the municipality of Maribojoc served as the lookout for incoming pirates. It was part of a wider defense net build along the Visayan coast to protect settlements from slave raiding moros that struck during the season of the southwestern monsoon. It commands an excellent view of Bohol Strait and the neighboring island of Cebu.





The upper floor of the tower offers a breathtaking view of the sea facing the provinces of Cebu, Siquijor and Mindanao. As one enters the tower, you will be welcomed by the image of St. Vincent Ferrer to whom this tower was dedicated. Beside the tower is a wooden cross that stands in a rock clip that sticks out into the sea. Townsfolk believe that the wooden cross is mysterious and believed to protect the island from the invasion from the cruel Moro pirates. Legend has it that whenever the pirates try to attack the province, a glaring light emanates from the wooden cross causing fear and difficulties for the pirates to sight the land.




Laguna del Mauleh

Laguna del Maule Volcanic Complex is a caldera measuring 15 km by 25 km over which sit several small stratovolcanoeslava domes, and pyroclastic cones. Within the caldera is Laguna del Maule, which gives origin to the Maule River.


The volcanic complex is located mainly in Chile with a small portion lying in Argentina.



Mauna Loa : One of the Largest Super Volcanoes ever!!

Mauna Loa is one of five volcanoes that form the Island of Hawaii in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi in the Pacific Ocean. Mauna Loa is the largest subaerial volcano in both mass and volume, and has historically been considered the largest volcano on Earth. It is an active shield volcano, with a volume estimated at approximately 18,000 cubic miles (75,000 km3), although its peak is about 120 feet (37 m) lower than that of its neighbor, Mauna Kea. The Hawaiian name "Mauna Loa" means "Long Mountain". Lava eruptions from Mauna Loa are silica-poor, and very fluid; eruptions tend to be non-explosive and the volcano has relatively shallow slopes.


Mauna Loa has probably been erupting for at least 700,000 years, and may have emerged above sea level about 400,000 years ago. The oldest-known dated rocks are not older than 200,000 years. The volcano's magma comes from the Hawaii hotspot, which has been responsible for the creation of the Hawaiian island chain over tens of millions of years. The slow drift of the Pacific Plate will eventually carry Mauna Loa away from the hotspot within 500,000 to one million years from now, at which point it will become extinct.

Mauna Loa's most recent eruption occurred from March 24 to April 15, 1984. No recent eruptions of the volcano have caused fatalities, but eruptions in 1926 and 1950 destroyed villages, and the city of Hilo is partly built on lava flows from the late 19th century. Because of the potential hazards it poses to population centers, Mauna Loa is part of the Decade Volcanoes program, which encourages studies of the world's most dangerous volcanoes. Mauna Loa has been monitored intensively by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory since 1912. Observations of the atmosphere are undertaken at the Mauna Loa Observatory, and of the Sun at the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory, both located near the mountain's summit. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park covers the summit and the southeastern flank of the volcano, and also incorporates Kīlauea, a separate volcano.















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