Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Temple of the Tooth ,Kandy, Srilanka

Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a UNESCO world heritage site partly due to the temple.

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Monks of the two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily worship in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performed three times daily: at dawn, at noon and in the evenings. On Wednesdays there is a symbolic bathing of the relic with an herbal preparation made from scented water and fragrant flowers, called Nanumura Mangallaya. This holy water is believed to contain healing powers and is distributed among those present.

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Relic of the tooth of the Buddha

The relic in India


According to Sri Lankan legends, when the Buddha died BC 543, his body was cremated in a sandalwood pyre at Kusinagara in India and his left canine tooth was retrieved from the funeral pyre by Arahat Khema. Khema then gave it to King Brahmadatte for veneration.It became a royal possession in Brahmadatte's country and was kept in the city of Dantapuri (present day Puri in Odisha).

A belief grew that whoever possessed the Sacred Tooth Relic had a divine right to rule that land.Wars were fought to take possession of the relic. 800 years after the Buddha's Parinibbhäna, in the 4th century CE, the tooth came into the possession of King Guhaseeva of Kalinga, which roughly corresponds to the present day state of Odisha.

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Kalinga had become Buddhist and begun to worship the Sacred Tooth relic. This caused discontent among some of the citizens, who went to King Paandu and said that King Guhaseeva had stopped believing in god and that he had started to worship a tooth. King Paandu decided to destroy the relic, and ordered it to be brought to the city. It is said that, as the tooth arrived at the city, a miracle occurred, and King Paandu converted to Buddhism.

When King Ksheeradara heard of this, he went with his army to attack Paandu in the city of Palalus. The invaders were defeated before reaching the city, and King Ksheeradara died. A prince from the city of Udeni who had become a Buddhist came to worship the sacred tooth. King Guhaseeva was pleased with him, and let him marry his daughter. The prince was known as Dantha and the princess as Hemamala. When his sons heard that King Ksheeradara had died in the war, they raised a large army to attack King Guhaseeva and destroy the relic. They entered the city, but King Guhaseeva secretly sent away Dantha and Hemamala with the relic.

 

The relic in Sri Lanka


According to legend, Hemamala hid the relic in her hair ornament and the royal couple disguised themselves as Brahmins in order to avoid discovery. They set sail from Tamralipti, a port at the mouth of the river Ganges, and landed in Sri Lanka at the port of Lankapattana (now Ilankeiturei). It is said that Sri Lanka was chosen as the new home for the tooth relic because the Buddha had declared that his religion would be safe in Sri Lanka for 5000 years.

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At the time of Dantha's and Hemamala's arrival on the island, King Kirthi Sri Meghavarna or Kithsirimevan ruled Sri Lanka. The king was overjoyed when he heard the news and warmly welcomed the royal couple and received the Sacred Tooth Relic with great veneration. He built a beautiful palace within the royal palace complex itself and enshrined the relic in it. Thereafter, he ordered that an annual perahera be held in honour of the sacred relic and granted the Abhayagiri Vihāra the custodianship of the relic.

As time went on, the land was threatened with foreign invasions (at one of which the king of Pegu offered the Portuguese £50 000 as a ransom of the tooth) and the seat of the kingdom was moved from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa, then to Dambadeniya and other cities. Upon each change of capital, a new palace was built to enshrine the relic. Finally, it was brought to Kandy where it is at present, in the Temple of the Tooth.

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The Sacred Tooth Relic came to be regarded as a symbolic representation of the living Buddha and it is on this basis that there grew up a series of offerings, rituals, and ceremonies. These are conducted under the supervision of the two Mahanayake Theros of Malwatte, Asgiriya Chapters, and Diyawadana Nilame of the Maligawa. These have a hierarchy of officials and temple functionaries to perform the services and rituals.

 

Prices
adult/child Rs 1000/free, video camera Rs 300, World Buddhism Museum admission Rs 500.


Opening hours
temple 5.30am-8pm, puja 5.30-6.45am, 9.30-11am & 6.30-8pm, World Buddhism Museum 8am-7pm, Sri Dalada Museum 7.30am-6pm.

Happy New Year 2015

To my all readers ,

Wish you Happy & Prosperous New Year

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Navagraha temples, Tamil Nadu

Navagraha temples are temples devoted to Navagraha - the nine (nava) major celestial bodies (Grahas) of Hindu astronomy. These celestial bodies are named Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Mangala (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Brihaspati (Jupiter), Shukra (Venus), Shani (Saturn), Rahu (North Lunar Node) and Ketu (South Lunar Node). Many temples in South India contain a shrine dedicated to the Navagrahas. However, the term Navagraha temples refers to a cluster of nine separate temples, each an abode of one of the Navagrahas.

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There is a cluster of Navagraha Temples dating from the Chola dynasty near Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. Each temple is located in a different village, and is considered an abode of one of the Navagrahas. However, the majority of these temples are dedicated to Shiva. The Surya temple is the only one dedicated to the Graham. In fact, it is dedicated entirely to the worship of the Sun-God and the other navagrahas, the former being the object of worship as the principal deity and the latter as attendant deities. It was built around the 11th or 12th century C.E. The other temples were built earlier, ranging back to 7th-9th century.

Temple open Morning 6am to 12:30pm and Evening 3:30pm to 8:30pm

Surya Navagrahastalam -- Sooriyanar Kovil

The Suryanar Temple is a Hindu temple in Tamil Nadu, South India.It is located in the village of Suryanarkoil in the Thanjavur district. It is dedicated to the worship of the Hindu Sun-God and the other Navagrahas, and is considered one of the Navagraha temples.

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Location and Place

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Sooriyanar Temple is in East of Kumbakonam, Kumbakonam - Mayiladuthurai road. It is exactly 2 km to the north of Aduthurai and the temple is well connected from lower Anicut and Thiruppanandal. All the passengers have to alight at Thirumangalagudi Kaliamman Koil bus stop and walk for two furlongs north east to reach the temple. This temple is in the banks of Cauvery in Thiruvidaimarudur Talulk, which falls under Tanjore district known as headquarters of King Chola.

History

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It is stated in one of the inscriptions found in the temple that it was built in the reign of Kulottunga Choladeva (AD 1060-1118) and was called Kulottungachola-Marttandalaya.Lord Siva, pleased with their devotion absolved them of their sins and decried that there will be nine sannadhis for the navagrahas in the Suryanar temple (this is the only temple where all the navagrahas are present with separate sannadhis) and those who pray here will get relief from their problems.


Chandra Navagrahastalam – Kailasanthar Temple,Thingalur

The Kailasanathar Temple is a Hindu temple in the village of Thingalur, 18 kilometres from Kumbakonam. The presiding deity is Soma(moon). However, the main idol in the temple is that of "Kailasanathar" or Shiva.The temple has a 5-tier rajagopuram surrounded by two prakaram(closed precincts of a temple). The place is revered by the verses of Appar, but since there is no mention about the deity, it is not classified as Padal petra stalam.

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Legend
Legend has it that there lived a merchant Appoodi Adikal, a nayanar in the village of Thingalur who was a devotee of lord Shiva. Appoodi Adikal held Appar in high regards and wanted to host him. The day arrived, but his son was killed by a venomous snake bite while the saint was being hosted. Appar, moved by Appoodi Adikal's devotion is said to have miraculously restored the lad to life.Kailasanthar Swamy temple is one of the nine Navagraha sthalas located in the Cauvery Delta region dedicated to planet Moon, called Thingal in Tamil language. There is a separate shrine for Lord Moon.

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Angaarakan Navagrahastalam -- Vaitheeswaran Kovil

Vaitheeswaran Temple or Pullirukkuvelur  is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva located in Tamil Nadu, India. Shiva is worshipped as Vaitheeswaran or the "God of healing" and it is believed that prayers to Vaitheeswaran can cure diseases. It is one of the nine Navagraha (nine planets) temples associated with the planet Mars (Angaraka). The village is also known for palm leaf astrology called Naadi astrology in Tamil. It is located 7 kilometers from Sirkazhi, 235 kilometers from Chennai, 27 km from Chidambaram, 110 km from Thanjavur and 16 km from Mayiladuthurai.The holy waters of the Siddhamirtham tank within the temple complex contains nectar, and a holy dip is believed to cure all diseases. The temple is revered by the Tevaram hymns of 7th-century Saiva nayanars - Tamil saint poets and is also classified as a Paadal Petra Sthalam (temple revered by the nayanars).

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Legends

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During the Ramayana period, Rama, Lakshmana and Saptarishi have worshipped the deity in this place.[3] It is believed that Rama and his brother Lakshmana cremated the vulture king Jatayu who was killed by Ravana when he tried to prevent the abduction of Sita) at this place. There is a pond at this temple called Jatayu kundam (pot of Jatayu having holy ash of Vibhuti). One of the nine planets, Angaraka (Mars), suffered from leprosy and was cured by Vaidhyanathaswamy and from then on it is treated as one of the Navagraha Temples for planet Angaraka. Parvati, the consort of Shiva, asked her son, Subramanya to appear with one face from his regular appearance of six faces. When he did so, she was pleased and presented him with vel (a weapon) to slay the demons. Subramanya overcame the asura Surapadman (a demon) and in the war, his army was severely injured. Shiva came out as the healer Vaitheeswaran and cured the wounds. Like Panneer ilai Vibhuthi of Tiruchendur Temple, The "Tiruchaandu Urundai" (called in Tamil) which is covered with Vibhuti of deity heals various incurable diseases. It can be procured at the temple.


Budha Navagrahastalam – Thiruvenkadu

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Swetharanyeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple located in the town of Thiruvengadu near Sirkazhi. The main deity is Shiva - Swetharanyeswarar ("lord of white forest") and the goddess is Brahma Vidya ambal. There is a separate Sannidhi for Bhudhan (mercury). The temple is quite large and all four important Saivite saints have sung in praise of this lord. This temple is especially known for its unique incarnate of Lord Shiva called "Agora Murthi". He is one of the main god who is being prayed in this village.Thiruvengadu village is also famous for its unique structure of pools in temples. This temple has 3 pools, 3 Gods. It is a belief that who takes bath in all these pools, the one will be free from their problems like diseases, delay in marriage, etc.,.

 

Legends

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Thiruvenkadu temple is surrounded by five prakarams known as pancha prakarams. Here the Lord is consecrated in His forms as Aghoramurthi (manifestation of His wild and angry form) and Nataraja (a manifestation of Shiva, assumed as the Lord of Dance).

Agora Murthi is the main God in this temple. It is said that Agora Murthi was one of the furious incarnations of Lord Shiva. There was an Evil named "Padmasuran" in Thiruvenkadu. He had a deep meditation on Lord Brahma for power. Being satisfied on his meditation, Lord Brahma offered him many powers. But he used those powers in a wrong ways. He started to torture the saints and innocent peoples. All the saints and peoples requested Lord Shiva to put an end to his evil. Lord Shiva took incarnated as 'Agora Murthi' and killed Padmasuran under a tree (now located in Thiruvenkadu temple, back to the entrance of Agora Murthi).

The Nataraja image holds seven instruments and weapons, namely, Vetalam, Khadgam, Udukku, Mani, Kedayam, Kapalam and Trisulam. Lord Shiva performs seven forms of dance or Tandavas, viz Ananda tandavam, Sandhya tandavam, Samhara tandavam, Tripuranta tandavam, Urdhva tandavam, Bhujanga tandavam and Lalita tandavam here. Lord Shiva is present here with five faces viz Easanam, Tatpurusham, Aghoram, Vamadevam and Sadyojatam, representing five directions and aspects of Lord Shiva. Easanam is facing the sky and represents purity, Vamdevam faces north and represents sustenance, Tatpurisha faces east and represents spirituality that has destroyed the ego, Aghoram faces south and represents the destructive and regenerative aspect of Shiva, Sadyojatam faces west and represents creation.

Devi in Her divine form of Bhadrakali has a separate shrine. Besides, there are separate shrines for Ashta Lakhsmis and the Navagrahas. Swetharanyeswarar temple has three theerthams (holy tanks) called as Agni Theertham, Surya Theertham and Chandra Theertham which are said to have been created out of the three drops which fell from Lord Shiva's eyes when he was dancing. The sthala vrikshams are also three in number - Vilvam, Vadaval and Konrai. The stone inscriptions on the walls of the temples depict important historical information on the Chola Dynasty and about several kings of Vijayanagar.

The posture of Nandi at the entrance is another unique feature here. It bears nine scars on its body and is seated at the entrance of Devi's shrine. Marutwasura, an asura, was troubling the Rishis and the people of Thiruvenkadu. The people prayed to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva sent Nandi to fight the demon. Marutwasura was defeated by Nandi and thrown into the sea. Marutwasura through his penance obtained sula from Lord Shiva. The demon then returned with greater intensity to attack the innocent people. Once again, at the request of the devotees, Shiva sent Nandi. However, on this occasion, Nandi could not fight the demon as the demon had the Sula of Shiva. The demon caused wounds on Nandi's back with the Sula.

 


Guru Navagrahastalam – Alangudi

Apatsahayesvarar Temple, Alangudi or Guru Sthalam or Tiru Irum Poolai is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the village of Alangudi in the Valangaiman taluk of Tiruvarur district, Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the Navagraha(nine planets) temples situated in the Cauvery delta. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where Campantar, one of the four most revered Nayanars (Saivite Saints) have sung the glories of this temple.

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History of the Temple:
Legend has it that Alangudi is the place where Lord Shiva consumed the deadly poison as emitted during the churning of the 'paarkadal' (Sea of milk). Hence the place is known as Alangudi, which literally mean ‘the place where Lord Shiva consumed the deadly poison’. The Devas, when churning the paarkadal for nectar, were hindered by the poisonous fumes from the snake Vasuki and prayed to Lord Siva for deliverance. Lord Siva consumed the deadly poison (Ala Visham) , thus giving rise to the name Alangudi to this sthalam and the Lord was known as "Aabathsagayeshwarar" (One who defends from the danger). Devas also had a horrid time by Gajamuha suran and Lord Ganesha subdued Gajamuhasuran, and hence Lord Ganesha is worshipped in this sthalam as 'Kalangaamal kaatha Vinayagar'.

Abathsahayeswarar Temple, Alangudi, Guru Stalam
Goddess Parvati undertook severe penance to marry Lord Siva and then married Lord Siva and hence this place is also hailed as Thirumana Mangalam. Lord Siva as a ferryman (boatman) helped Sundaramurthy Swamigal to cross the river Vettaru, a branch of river cauvery, 3 km away from Alangudi, which was in spate, to reach this place.
The boat capsized hitting a rock, on the way. Lord Siva seated on his Rishaba Vahana helped him reach the sthala safely. Sundarar received his Gnana upadesam after his darshanam of Dakshinamurthy at this sthalam. This sthalam is the Parivara sthalam for Madhyarjuna Mahalinga Peruman. This is the fourth amongst the Panchavarunya Sthalas. Vishwamithrar, Thirumal, Brahma, Lakshmi, Garuda, Ashta Thikku Balagas, Ayyanar, Veera Badrar, Mukunda Chakravarthy, Suvasanan, Sundarar have worshipped at this sthala.
Thiru Gnanasambandar has sung in praise of the Lord here and is the 98th temple among the 127 temples located on the southern bank of Cauvery. It is one among the 274 "Padal Petra Sthalams" in Chola Dynasty.

 


Sukra Navagrahastalam – Kanjanur

The Agniswarar Temple is a Hindu temple in the village of Kanjanur, 18 kilometres north-east of Kumbakonam. The presiding deity is Sukra (Venus). However, the main idol in the temple is that of "Agniswarar" or Shiva. In concordance with the Saivite belief that Shiva is all-pervading, Sukra is believed to be located within the stomach of the idol of Shiva.

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Temple History:   
Sage Mruganda Maharshi organized a great Yagna for the Lord of Nalladai.  He also announced that the materials required for the Yagna may be contributed by the public.  They wove three silk clothes with gold and offered one to the Lord, one to the Rishi and the third to their king.  At the end of the yagna, the rishi put two clothes given to him and the Lord in the Yaga Gunda-the fire pit.  The public raised the question “would the clothes placed in the Yaga Gunda reach the Lord.”  The sage asked them to go and see it for themselves in the sanctum sanctorum.  It was a pleasant surprise for the devotees to see their product covering the Lord in all freshness.
The sage explained that of the various types of Agni, Bharanai Rudragni was one and that power took things they gave to the Lord.  Hence, the Nalladai temple is attributed to Bharani star.
Vilwa, the sacred tree of the temple has a story.  One day, the Chola King of the day and Sivanesa Nayanar came here to worship the Lord.  A tiger chased Nayanar who climbed on the tree nearby.  After a while, when he came to the Kundangulam tank, the animal still followed but was killed by the Nayanar.  Lord appeared before Nayanar and blessed him.


Shani Navagrahastalam – Thirunallar

Tirunallar Saniswaran Temple or Dharbaranyeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Sani(saturn) located in Tirunallar in Karaikal district of Pondicherry, India. The presiding deity is Lord Siva, Dharbaranyeswar and the place Tirunallar was historically called Dharbaranyam. The temple is revered by the hymns of 7th century Tamil saivite poets, Appar, Cuntarar and Campantar and is classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam.

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The presiding deity is Dharbaranyeswarar(Lord Siva) and is believed to have been made of dharba grass. The worship is also centered around the icon of planet saturn, called Saniswarar, originally treated as the door keeper of the shrine. According to Hindu mythology, saturn resides in each rasi(zodiac) for two and half years. The belief is the malevolent planet is worshipped before entering the inner sanctum of Lord Siva.

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Legend
Sambandar, the 7th century nayanar and Tamil saivite poet has revered the deity with four hymns, in one of which he refers to a contest with Jains, and his victory. Appar and Sundarar, the other Nayanars have glorified the temple with their hymns. Arunagirinathar, a 15th-century poet and staunch devoteet of Lord Muruga has composed hymns on the deity and this temple is attributed to Murugan worship as well.

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Raahu Navagrahastalam – Thirunageswaram

Rahu Stalam is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located in Tirunageswaram, a village in the outskirts of Kumbakonam, a town in Tamil Nadu, India. It is significant to the Hindu sect of Saivism as one of the temples associated with the nine planet elements, the Navagraha Stalas, and specifically Rahu. Shiva is worshiped as Naganathar, and is represented by the lingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Piraisoodi Amman. The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. It houses four gateway towers known as gopurams. The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Naganathar, Rahu and Piraisoodi Amman being the most prominent. The temple complex houses many halls; the most notable is the ornamental entrance hall built during the Nayak period.

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Legend

Many serpents, including Adishesha, Takshaka and Karkotaka, worshipped Shiva at this place, leading to the name "Tirunageswaram". As per Hindu legend, the king of snakes, Adisesha did penace at this place, called Senbaranya Kshetram on account of the presence of large number of Senbaga trees. Shiva was pleased by the penance and appeared to him. Since Shiva gave a boon to the king of Serpents, he is called Naganathar. A Goddess Girigujambal is believed to be worshipping Shiva here with goddesses Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Ganesha, Muruga, and Shasta. Maha Bhairava is still believed to be guarding and assisting the divine mother during her prayers. The Goddess is said to be Swayambu as she is present in the form of Meru. Hence, no abhishekam (ablution) is performed for the image. As per a Hindu legend, Indra was cursed by sage Gautama as he misbehaved with the latter's wife Ahalya. To obtain deliverance from the sage's curse, it is said that Indra worshipped Giri-Gujambigai with a scented material termed Punugu for 45 days. Sages like Gautama and Parashara and kings like Bhagiratha and Nala are said to have worshipped Naganathar at this place.

Thirunageswaram Rahu Picture

The name "Kumbakonam", roughly translated in English as the "Jug's Corner", is believed to be an allusion to the mythical pot (kumbha) of the Hindu god Brahma that contained the seed of all living beings on earth. The kumbha is believed to have been displaced by a pralaya (dissolution of the universe) and ultimately came to rest at the spot where the town of Kumbakonam now stands.The drops of nectar are believed to have fallen onto five shrines around Kumbakonam, namely Mahlingeswarar temple at Tiruvidaimarudur, Tirudharasuram, Naganathar Temple at Tirunageswaram, Tiruvorgam and Tirupadalavanam.

History
The temple is another masterpiece which exhibits the Chola style of architecture. It is believed to have been built by Aditya Chola I in the 10th century A.D. Later rulers have modified the temple with their own additions. The temple has a separate shrine for Rahu.The temple has six daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and twelve yearly festivals on its calendar.

 


Ketu Navagrahastalam – Keezhperumpallam

The Naganatha Swamy Temple or Kethu Sthalam is a Hindu temple in the village of Keezhaperumpallam, 2 kilometres from Poompuhar. The presiding deity is Ketu, a shadow planet. However, the main idol in the temple is that of "Naganatha Swamy" or Shiva.

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The temple has a 2-tier rajagopuram surrounded by two prakaram(closed precincts of a temple).Keezhaperumpallam is one of the nine Navagraha sthalas located in the Cauvery Delta region dedicated to shadow planet Ketu.

Temple occupies an area of 630 feet South-North and 800ft East-West with adjacent sub lanes and four major streets around. There are four gateways with Gopuram in the big and high compound walls of the temple. Near to the compound walls there is the broad pathway (Praharam) with a flower garden on Northern side. On entering the Eastern gate way, one can find the Vinayaga temple, Balibeedam, Nandeeswarar Mandabam and Thwaja Sthambam (Flag post ). On the southern side there is the water head with four Mandaps on around with a 100 pillar Mandap in a temple -car style. There are artistic features on its eastern wall. On remaining Area there is a big Car Parking available for the devotees. The temple structure begins at the Central Gopuram with a long Praharam (pathway) immediately thereafter. There is continuous Mandap structure and in its South-West Corner there is Sri Raaghu Bagavan Sannathi.

Next to this long prakaram , we see front Mandabam where decoration of the Lord and other functions are held. This mandab was constructed by Govinda Dikshidar who was the Chief Minister to King Achuthappa naikar of Thanjavur in 16thCentury. In the front mandab on the eastern side, beautiful artistic pillar with "older and nine horses" design and similar pillars are found on the southern side (at the place of the raised plat form). There is a beautiful Mandab on the northern side with 'Yalli face' pillars where decoration of the idols taken on procession is made. In its western walls, during the renovation works done in 1929, artistic features have been engraved in a magnificent fashion, with the description of the five Moorthi's adorning the place. In the path way to Sannathi, the art work depicting Veda nayakas ,King Sambumali and penance pose of Ambal attract One's attention. The Dwarapalaga Sudhai work (made of Chunam clay) on each side at the entrance to the Swami Sannathi is charmingly big and so well styled that one loses himself at first sight

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Flamethrower

 

A flamethrower is a mechanical incendiary device designed to project a long, controllable stream of fire. They were first used during World War I, and widely used in World War II.

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Some flamethrowers project a stream of ignited flammable liquid; some project a long gas flame. Most military flamethrowers use liquids, but commercial flamethrowers tend to use high-pressure propane and natural gas, which is considered safer. They are used by the military and by people needing controlled burning capacity, such as in agriculture  or other such land management tasks. They can be designed to be either carried by the operator or mounted on a vehicle.

 

Origins

Ancient Times

The concept of throwing fire as a weapon has existed since ancient times. Early flame weapons date from the Byzantine era, whose inhabitants used rudimentary hand-pumped flamethrowers on board their naval ships in the early 1st century AD (see Greek fire). Greek fire, extensively used by the Byzantine Empire, is said to have been invented by Kallinikos (Callinicus) of Heliopolis, probably about 673. The flamethrower found its origins also in the Byzantine Empire, employing Greek fire in a device of a hand-held pump that shot bursts of Greek fire via a siphon-hose and piston, igniting it with a match, similar to modern versions, as it was ejected. Greek fire, used primarily at sea, gave the Byzantines a substantial military advantage against enemies such as members of the Arab Empire (who later adopted the use of Greek fire). An 11th-century illustration of its use survives in the John Skylitzes manuscript.

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The Pen Huo Qi (fire spraying machine; lit. spray fire device) was a Chinese piston flamethrower that used a substance similar to gasoline or naphtha, invented around 919 AD during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Advances in military technology aided the Song Dynasty in its defense against hostile neighbors to the north, including the Mongols. The earliest reference to Greek Fire in China was made in 917 AD, written by Wu Renchen in his Spring and Autumn Annals of the Ten Kingdoms.In 919 AD, the siphon projector-pump was used to spread the 'fierce fire oil' that could not be doused with water, as recorded by Lin Yu in his Wu Yue Bei Shi, hence the first credible Chinese reference to the flamethrower employing the chemical solution of Greek fire. Lin Yu mentioned also that the 'fierce fire oil' derived ultimately from China's contact in the 'southern seas', with Arabia (Dashiguo). In the Battle of Langshan Jiang (Wolf Mountain River) in 919, the naval fleet of the Wenmu King of Wuyue defeated the fleet of the Kingdom of Wu because he had used 'fire oil'  to burn his fleet; this signified the first Chinese use of gunpowder in warfare, since a slow-burning match fuse was required to ignite the flames. The Chinese applied the use of double-piston bellows to pump petrol out of a single cylinder (with an upstroke and a downstroke), lit at the end by a slow-burning gunpowder match to fire a continuous stream of flame (as referred to in the Wujing Zongyao manuscript of 1044 AD). In the suppression of the Southern Tang state by 976 AD, early Song naval forces confronted them on the Yangtze River in 975 AD. Southern Tang forces attempted to use flamethrowers against the Song navy, but were accidentally consumed by their own fire when violent winds swept in their direction. Documented also in later Chinese publications, illustrations and descriptions of mobile flamethrowers on four-wheel push carts appear in the Wujing Zongyao, written in 1044 AD (its illustration redrawn in 1601 as well).

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Early 20th century

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The English word 'flamethrower' is a loan-translation of the German word Flammenwerfer, since the modern flamethrower was first invented in Germany. The first flamethrower, in the modern sense, is usually credited to Richard Fiedler. He submitted evaluation models of his Flammenwerfer to the German Army in 1901. The most significant model submitted was a man-portable device, consisting of a vertical single cylinder 4 feet (1.2 m) long, horizontally divided in two, with pressurized gas in the lower section and flammable oil in the upper section. On depressing a lever the propellant gas forced the flammable oil into and through a rubber tube and over a simple igniting wick device in a steel nozzle. The weapon projected a jet of fire and enormous clouds of smoke some 20 yards (18 m). It was a single-shot weapon—for burst firing, a new igniter section was attached each time.

Man who hasn’t eaten for 7 Decades :Prahlad Jani

Yeah you heard me this guy Prahlad jani an Indian sadhu has not taken anything for past 75 years popularly know a mataji.He claims to have lived without food and water since 1940, and says that the goddess Amba sustains him.

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Investigations
Two observational studies of Jani have been conducted, one in 2003 and one in 2010, both involving Sudhir Shah, a neurologist at the Sterling Hospitals in Ahmedabad, India, who had studied people claiming to have exceptional spiritual abilities, including other fasters such as Hira Ratan Manek. In both cases the investigators confirmed Jani's ability to survive healthily without food and water during the testing periods, although neither study was submitted to a scientific journal. When questioned six days into the 2010 experiment, the DRDO spokesperson announced that the study's findings would be "confidential" until results were established, and a further official press release by the team stated that any inside analysis information may be disclosed only at the discretion of the principal investigator, DIPAS. Uninvolved doctors and other critics have questioned the validity of the studies and stated their belief that, although people can survive for days without food or water, it is not possible to survive for years. Especially, since glucose, a substrate critical to brain function, isn't provided. The veracity of Mataji's claims have also never been independently confirmed with all tests being indigenously conducted.

2003 tests
In 2003, Sudhir Shah and other physicians at Sterling Hospitals, Ahmedabad, India observed Jani for 10 days. He stayed in a sealed room and was given only 100 millilitres of water to use as mouthwash each day. Doctors say that he passed no urine or stool during the observation, but that urine appeared to form in the bladder. A hospital spokesperson said that Jani was physically normal, but noted that a hole in the palate was an abnormal condition.The fact that Jani's weight dropped slightly during the 10 days has cast some doubt on his claim to go indefinitely without food

2010 tests
From 22 April until 6 May 2010, Prahlad Jani was again observed and tested by Sudhir Shah and a team of 35 researchers from the Indian Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), as well as other organizations.The director of DIPAS said that the results of the observations could "tremendously benefit mankind", as well as "soldiers, victims of calamities and astronauts", all of whom may have to survive without food or water for long spells. The tests were again conducted at Sterling Hospitals. Professor Anil Gupta of SRISTI, involved in monitoring the tests, described the team as being "intrigued" by Jani's kriyas apparently allowing him to control his body's physiological functions.

The team studied Jani with daily clinical examinations, blood tests, and scans. Round-the-clock surveillance was reportedly followed using multiple CCTV cameras and personal observation. The researchers say that Jani was taken out of the sealed room for tests and exposure to sun under continuous video recording. According to the researchers, Jani's only contact with any form of fluid was said to be during gargling and occasional bathing starting from the 5th day of observation, and the toilet in Jani's room was sealed to test his claim that he did not need to urinate or defecate.

After fifteen days of observation during which he reportedly did not eat, drink or go to the toilet, all medical tests on Jani were reported as normal and researchers described him as being in better health than someone half his age. The doctors reported that although the amount of liquid in Jani's bladder fluctuated and that Jani appeared "able to generate urine in his bladder", he did not pass urine. Based on Jani's reported levels of leptin and ghrelin, two appetite-related hormones, DRDO researchers posited that Jani may be demonstrating an extreme form of adaptation to starvation and water restriction. DIPAS stated in 2010 that further studies were planned, including investigations into how metabolic waste material is eliminated from Jani's body, from where he gets his energy for sustenance, and how he maintains his hydration status

Weird uniqueness of mythology creatures

Lamassu

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A lamassu  is an Assyrian protective deity, often depicted with a bull or lion's body, eagle's wings, and human's head. In some writings, it is portrayed to represent a female deity. A less frequently used name is shedu which refers to the male counterpart of a lamassu. See the terminology section for a full explanation of the relationship of the names.

Pixiu

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Pixiu or Pi Yao , originally known as Bixie, is a Chinese mythical hybrid creature considered to be a very powerful protector to practitioners of Feng Shui.It resembles a winged lion. Pixiu is an earth and sea variation, particularly an influential and auspicious creature for wealth. It is said to have a voracious appetite towards only gold and silver. Therefore traditionally to the Chinese, Pixiu has always been regarded as an auspicious creature that possessed mystical power capable of drawing Cai Qi  from all directions. Thus, it is helpful for those who are going through a bad year according to Chinese zodiac.

 

Sphinx

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A sphinx is a mythical creature with, as a minimum, the body of a lion and a human head. In Greek tradition, it has the haunches of a lion, sometimes with the wings of a great bird, and the face of a human. It is mythicised as treacherous and merciless. Those who cannot answer its riddle suffer a fate typical in such mythological stories, as they are killed and eaten by this ravenous monster. This deadly version of a sphinx appears in the myth and drama of Oedipus. Unlike the Greek sphinx which was a woman, the Egyptian sphinx is typically shown as a man (an androsphinx). In addition, the Egyptian sphinx was viewed as benevolent, but having a ferocious strength similar to the malevolent Greek version and both were thought of as guardians often flanking the entrances to temples.

 

Kamadhenu

Kamadhenu , also known as Surabhi , is a divine bovine-goddess described in Hindu Religion as the mother of all cows. She is a miraculous "cow of plenty" who provides her owner whatever he desires and is often portrayed as the mother of other cattle as well as the eleven Rudras. In iconography, she is generally depicted as a white cow with a female head and breasts or as a white cow containing various deities within her body. All cows are venerated in Hinduism as the earthly embodiment of the Kamadhenu. As such, Kamadhenu is not worshipped independently as a goddess, and temples are not dedicated to her honor alone; rather, she is honored by the veneration of cows in general throughout the observant Hindu population.

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Hindu scriptures provide diverse accounts of the birth of Kamadhenu. While some narrate that she emerged from the churning of the cosmic ocean, others describe her as the daughter of the creator god Daksha, and as the wife of the sage Kashyapa. Still other scriptures narrate that Kamadhenu was in the possession of either Jamadagni or Vashista (both ancient sages), and that kings who tried to steal her from the sage ultimately faced dire consequences for their actions. Kamadhenu plays the important role of providing milk and milk products to be used in her sage-master's oblations; she is also capable of producing fierce warriors to protect him. In addition to dwelling in the sage's hermitage, she is also described as dwelling in Goloka - the realm of the cows - and Patala, the netherworld.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Apollodorus of damascus:Creator of Malls Concept

A shopping mall, shopping center/centre, shopping arcade, shopping precinct, or simply just a mall is one or more buildings forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to walk from unit to unit. Other establishments including movie theaters and restaurants are also often included.

As traders moved into more spacious shops in the early 19th century high streets developed, but wealthier people (who could afford to travel to city centres for pleasure) started wanting shelter from rain, so shopping arcades were developed. With new innovations like escalators these evolved into shopping centres and with the rise of the automobile these evolved into shopping malls.

Who was the first to make such forum for trader

One of the earliest examples of public shopping malls come from Ancient Rome in forums where shopping markets were located. One of the earliest public shopping centers is Trajan's Market in Rome located in Trajan's Forum. Trajan's Market was probably built around 100-110 AD by Apollodorus of Damascus

Apollodorus of Damascus was a Greek engineer, architect, designer and sculptor from Damascus, Roman Syria, who flourished during the 2nd century AD.

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Apollodorus was a favourite of Trajan, for whom he constructed Trajan's Bridge over the Danube for the 105-106 campaign in Dacia. He also designed the Forum Trajanum and Trajan's Column within the city of Rome, beside several smaller projects. Apollodorus also designed the triumphal arches of Trajan at Beneventum and Ancona. He is also widely credited as the architect of the Pantheon, and cited as the builder of the Alconétar Bridge in Spain. In 106 he also completed or restored the odeon begun in the Campus Martius under Domitian. Trajan's Column, in the centre of the Forum, is celebrated as being the first triumphal monument of its kind. On the accession of Hadrian, whom he had offended by ridiculing his performances as architect and artist.

 

Trajan's Market

Trajansmarket

Trajan's Market is a large complex of ruins in the city of Rome, Italy, located on the Via dei Fori Imperiali, at the opposite end to the Colosseum. The surviving buildings and structures, built as an integral part of Trajan's Forum and nestled against the excavated flank of the Quirinal Hill, present a living model of life in the Roman capital and a glimpse at the continuing restoration in the city, which reveals new treasures and insights about Ancient Roman architecture.

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Thought to be the world's oldest shopping mall, the arcades in Trajan's Market are now believed by many to be administrative offices for Emperor Trajan. The shops and apartments were built in a multi-level structure, and it is still possible to visit several of the levels. Highlights include delicate marble floors and the remains of a library.

World’s First Video games & Evolution

Ralph Henry Baer was a German-born American video game developer, inventor, and engineer, and was known as "The Father of Video Games" due to his many contributions to games and the video game industry in the latter half of the 20th century .

Ralph-Baer

Born in Germany, he and his family fled to the United States before the outbreak of World War II, where he changed his name and later served the American war effort. Afterwards, he pursued work in electronics, and in the 1960s, came up with the idea of playing games on television screens. He would go on to develop and patent several hardware prototypes, including what would become the first home video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, and other consoles and consumer game units. In 2004, he was awarded the National Medal of Technology for "his groundbreaking and pioneering creation, development and commercialization of interactive video games, which spawned related uses, applications, and mega-industries in both the entertainment and education realms".Ralph Henry Baer was a German-born American video game developer, inventor, and engineer, and was known as "The Father of Video Games" due to his many contributions to games and the video game industry in the latter half of the 20th century

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Born in Germany, he and his family fled to the United States before the outbreak of World War II, where he changed his name and later served the American war effort. Afterwards, he pursued work in electronics, and in the 1960s, came up with the idea of playing games on television screens. He would go on to develop and patent several hardware prototypes, including what would become the first home video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, and other consoles and consumer game units. In 2004, he was awarded the National Medal of Technology for "his groundbreaking and pioneering creation, development and commercialization of interactive video games, which spawned related uses, applications, and mega-industries in both the entertainment and education realms"

Second generation of gaming

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The Atari 2600 became the most popular game console of the second generation.
Fairchild released the Fairchild Video Entertainment System (VES) in 1976. While there had been previous game consoles that used cartridges, either the cartridges had no information and served the same function as flipping switches (the Odyssey) or the console itself was empty (Coleco Telstar) and the cartridge contained all of the game components. The VES, however, contained a programmable microprocessor so its cartridges only needed a single ROM chip to store microprocessor instructions.

RCA and Atari soon released their own cartridge-based consoles, the RCA Studio II and the Atari 2600 (originally branded as the Atari Video Computer System), respectively.

Handheld game consoles
The first handheld game console with interchangeable cartridges was the Microvision designed by Smith Engineering, and distributed and sold by Milton-Bradley in 1979. Crippled by a small, fragile LCD display and a very narrow selection of games, it was discontinued two years later.

The Epoch Game Pocket Computer was released in Japan in 1984. The Game Pocket Computer featured an LCD screen with 75 X 64 resolution, and could produce graphics at about the same level as early Atari 2600 games. The system sold poorly, and as a result only 5 games were made for it.

Nintendo's Game & Watch series of dedicated game systems proved more successful. It helped to establish handheld gaming as popular and lasted until 1991. Many Game & Watch games would later be re-released on Nintendo's subsequent handheld systems.

Third generation


 

NES-Console-Set

The NES made video games popular again after the 1983 crash.In 1983, Nintendo released the Family Computer (or Famicom) in Japan. The Famicom supported high-resolution sprites, larger color palettes, and tiled backgrounds. This allowed Famicom games to be longer and have more detailed graphics. Nintendo began attempts to bring their Famicom to the U.S. after the video game market had crashed. In the U.S., video games were seen as a fad that had already passed. To distinguish its product from older game consoles, Nintendo released their Famicom as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) which used a front-loading cartridge port similar to a VCR, included a plastic "robot" (R.O.B.), and was initially advertised as a toy.

The NES was the highest selling console in the history of North America and revitalized the video game market. Mario of Super Mario Bros became a global icon starting with his NES games. Nintendo took an unusual stance with third-party developers for its console. Nintendo contractually restricted third-party developers to three NES titles per year and forbade them from developing for other video game consoles. The practice ensured Nintendo's market dominance and prevented the flood of trash titles that had helped kill the Atari, but was ruled illegal late in the console's life cycle.

Sega's Master System was intended to compete with the NES, but never gained any significant market share in the US or Japan and was barely profitable. It fared notably better in PAL territories. In Europe and South America, the Master System competed with the NES and saw new game releases even after Sega's next-generation Mega Drive was released. In Brazil where strict importation laws and rampant piracy kept out competitors, the Master System outsold the NES by a massive margin and remained popular into the '90s.

Jack Tramiel, after buying Atari, downsizing its staff, and settling its legal disputes, attempted to bring Atari back into the home console market. Atari released a smaller, sleeker, cheaper version of their popular Atari 2600. They also released the Atari 7800, a console technologically comparable with the NES and backwards compatible with the 2600. Finally Atari repackaged its 8-bit XE home computer as the XEGS game console. The new consoles helped Atari claw its way out of debt, but failed to gain much market share from Nintendo. Atari's lack of funds meant that its consoles saw fewer releases, lower production values (both the manuals and the game labels were frequently black and white), and limited distribution.

Handheld game consoles
In the later part of the third generation, Nintendo also introduced the Game Boy, which almost single-handedly solidified and then proceeded to dominate the previously scattered handheld market for 15 years. While the Game Boy product line was incrementally updated every few years, until the Game Boy Micro and Nintendo DS, and partially the Game Boy Color, all Game Boy products were backwards compatible with the original released in 1989. Since the Game Boy's release, Nintendo had dominated the handheld market. Additionally two popular 8-bit computers, the Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC, were repackaged as the Commodore 64 Games System and Amstrad GX4000 respectively, for entry into the console market.

Fourth generation

Home consoles
NEC brought the first fourth-generation console to market with their PC Engine (or Turbografx16) when Hudson Soft approached them with an advanced graphics chip. Hudson had previously approached Nintendo, only to be rebuffed by a company still raking in the profits of the NES. The TurboGrafx used the unusual HuCard format to store games. The small size of these proprietary cards allowed NEC to re-release the console as a handheld game console. The PC Engine enjoyed brisk sales in Japan, but its North American counterpart, the TurboGrafx, lagged behind the competition. The console never saw an official release in Europe, but clones and North American imports were available in some markets starting in 1990.

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NEC advertised their console as "16-bit" to highlight its advances over the NES. This started the trend of all subsequent fourth generations consoles being advertised as 16 bit. Many people still refer to this generation as the 16-bit generation, and often refer to the third generation as "8-bit".

Sega scaled down and adapted their Sega System 16 (used to power arcade hits like Altered Beast and Shinobi) into the Mega Drive (or Genesis) and released it with a near arcade-perfect port of Altered Beast. Sega's console met lukewarm sales in Japan, but skyrocketed to first place in PAL markets, and made major inroads in North America. Propelled by its effective "Genesis does what Nintendon't" marketing campaign, Sega capitalized on the Genesis's technological superiority over the NES, faithful ports of popular arcade games, and competitive pricing.

Arcade gaming company, SNK developed the high end Neo Geo MVS arcade system which used interchangeable cartridges similar to home consoles. Building on the success of the MVS, SNK repackaged the NeoGeo as the Neo Geo AES home console. Though technologically superior to the other fourth-generation consoles, the AES and its games were prohibitively expensive, which kept sales low and prevented it from expanding outside its niche market and into serious competition with Nintendo and Sega. The AES did, however, amass a dedicated cult following, allowing it to see new releases into the 2000s.

The fourth generation graphics chips allowed these consoles to reproduce the art styles that were becoming popular in arcades and on home computers. These games often featured lavish background scenery, huge characters, broader color pallettes, and increased emphasis on dithering and texture. Games written specifically for the NES, like Megaman, Shatterhand, and Super Mario Bros 3 were able to work cleverly within its limitations. Ports of the increasingly detailed arcade and home computer games came up with various solutions. For example when Capcom released Strider in the arcade they created an entirely separate Strider game for the NES that only incorporated themes and characters from the arcade.

In 1990 Nintendo finally brought their Super Famicom to market and brought it to the US as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) a year later. Its release marginalized the TurboGrafx and the Neo Geo, but came late enough for Sega to sell several million consoles in North America and gain a strong foothold. The same year the SNES was released Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog, which spiked Genesis sales, similar to Space Invaders on the Atari. Also, by 1992 the first fully licensed NFL Football game was released: NFL Sports Talk Football '93, which was available only on the Genesis. This impact on Genesis sales, and the overall interest of realistic sports games, would start the trend of licensed sports games being viewed as necessary for the success of a console in the US.

While Nintendo enjoyed dominance in Japan, and Sega in Europe, the competition between the two was particularly fierce and close in North America. Ultimately, the SNES outsold the Genesis, but only after Sega discontinued the Genesis to focus on the next generation of consoles.

One trait that remains peculiar to the fourth generation is the huge number of exclusive games. Both Sega and Nintendo were very successful and their consoles developed massive libraries of games. Both consoles had to be programmed in assembly to get the most out of them. A game optimized for the Genesis could take advantage of its faster CPU and sound chip. A game optimized for the SNES could take advantage of its graphics and its flexible, clean sound chip. Some game series, like Castlevania, saw separate system exclusive releases rather than an attempt to port one game to disparate platforms.

When compact disc (CD) technology became available midway through the fourth generation, each company attempted to integrate it into their existing consoles in different ways. NEC and Sega released CD add-ons to their consoles in the form of the PC Engine CD and Sega CD, but both were only moderately successful. NEC also released the TurboDuo which combined the PC Engine and its CD add-on into one machine, which could read Hucards and compact discs. SNK released a third version of the NeoGeo, the Neo Geo CD, allowing the company to release its games on a cheaper medium than the AES's expensive cartridges, but it reached the market after Nintendo and Sega had already sold tens of millions of consoles each. Nintendo partnered with Sony to work on a CD addon for the SNES, but the deal fell apart when they realized how much control Sony wanted. Sony would use their work with Nintendo as the basis for their Playstation game console. While CDs became an increasingly visible part of the market, CD-reading technology was still expensive in the 90s, limiting NEC's and Sega's add-ons' sales.

Handheld game consoles
The first handheld game console released in the fourth generation was the Game Boy, on April 21, 1989. It went on to dominate handheld sales by an extremely large margin, despite featuring a low-contrast, unlit monochrome screen while all three of its leading competitors had color. Three major franchises made their debut on the Game Boy: Tetris, the Game Boy's killer application; Pokémon; and Kirby. With some design (Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Light) and hardware (Game Boy Color) changes, it continued in production in some form until 2008, enjoying a better than 18-year run.

The Atari Lynx included hardware-accelerated color graphics, a backlight, and the ability to link up to sixteen units together in an early example of network play when its competitors could only link 2 or 4 consoles (or none at all), but its comparatively short battery life (approximately 4.5 hours on a set of alkaline cells, versus 35 hours for the Game Boy), high price, and weak games library made it one of the worst-selling handheld game systems of all time, with less than 500,000 units sold.

The third major handheld of the fourth generation was the Sega Game Gear. It featured graphics capabilities roughly comparable to the Master System (better colours, but lower resolution), a ready made games library by using the "Master-Gear" adaptor to play cartridges from the older console, and the opportunity to be converted into a portable TV using a cheap tuner adaptor, but it also suffered some of the same shortcomings as the Lynx. While it sold more than twenty times as many units as the Lynx, its bulky design - slightly larger than even the original Game Boy; relatively poor battery life - only a little better than the Lynx; and later arrival in the marketplace - competing for sales amongst the remaining buyers who didn't already have a Game Boy - hampered its overall popularity despite being more closely competitive to the Nintendo in terms of price and breadth of software library. Sega eventually retired the Game Gear in 1997, a year before Nintendo released the first examples of the Game Boy Color, to focus on the Nomad and non-portable console products.

Other handheld consoles released during the fourth generation included the TurboExpress, a handheld version of the TurboGrafx-16 released by NEC in 1990, and the Game Boy Pocket, an improved model of the Game Boy released about two years before the debut of the Game Boy Color. While the TurboExpress was another early pioneer of color handheld gaming technology and had the added benefit of using the same game cartridges or 'HuCards' as the TurboGrafx16, it had even worse battery life than the Lynx and Game Gear - about three hours on six contemporary AA batteries - selling only 1.5 million units

Fifth generation

Home consoles

The Sony PlayStation became the most popular system of the fifth generation consoles, eventually selling over 100 million systems.
The first fifth-generation consoles were the 3DO and the Atari Jaguar. Although both consoles were more powerful than the fourth generation systems, neither would become serious threats to Sega or Nintendo. The 3DO initially generated a great deal of hype in part because of a licensing scheme where 3DO licensed the manufacturing of its console out to third parties, similar to VCR or DVD players. Unfortunately, that very structure meant that unlike its competitors who could sell the console at a loss, all 3DO manufacturers had to sell for profit. The cheapest 3DO was more expensive than the SNES and Genesis combined.

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Atari cancelled their line of home computers, their Atari Portfolio, the Stacy laptop, and their handheld Atari Lynx when they released the Jaguar. It was an all or nothing gamble that ran the company into the ground. The Jaguar had three processors and no C libraries to help developers cope with it. Atari was ineffective at courting third parties and many of their first party games were poorly received. While games like Tempest 2000, Rayman, and Alien vs Predator showed what the console was capable of, the vast majority of releases underwhelmed. Many of the Jaguar's games used mainly the slowest (but most familiar) of the console's processors, resulting in titles that could easily have been released on the SNES or Genesis.

To compete with emerging next gen consoles, Nintendo released Donkey Kong Country which could display a wide range of tones (something common in fifth-generation games) by limiting the number of hues onscreen, and Star Fox which used an extra chip inside of the cartridge to display polygon graphics. Sega followed suit, releasing Vectorman and Virtua Racing (the latter of which used the Sega Virtua Processor). Sega also released the Sega 32x, an add-on for the Genesis, while their Sega Saturn was still in development, and announced that they would replace the Genesis with the Neptune, a combination 32x and Genesis, and sell it as a budget console alongside their upcoming Saturn. Despite public statements from Sega claiming that they would continue to support the Genesis/32x throughout the next generation, Sega of Japan quietly killed the Neptune project and forced Sega of America to abandon the 32x. The 32x's brief and confusing existence damaged public perception of the coming Saturn and Sega as a whole.

While the fourth generation had seen a handful of acclaimed titles on NEC's PC Engine CD and Sega's Mega-CD add-ons, it wasn't until the fifth generation that a CD-based consoles and games began to seriously compete with cartridges. CDs were significantly cheaper to manufacture and distribute than cartridges were, and gave developers room to add cinematic cut-scenes, pre-recorded soundtracks, and voice acting that made more serious storytelling possible.

NEC had been developing a successor to the PC Engine as early as 1990, and presented a prototype, dubbed the "Iron Man," to developers in 1992, but shelved the project as the PC Engine CD managed to extend the console's market viability in Japan into the mid-90s. When sales started to dry up, NEC rushed its old project to the market. The PC-FX, a CD-based, 32-bit console, had highly advanced, detailed 2D graphics capabilities, and better full-motion video than any other system on the market. It was, however, incapable of handling 3D graphics, forfeiting its chances at seriously competing with Sony and Sega. The console was limited to a niche market of dating sims and visual novels in Japan, and never saw release in Western markets.

After the abortive 32X, Sega entered the fifth generation with the Saturn. Sega released several highly regarded titles for the Saturn, but a series of bad decisions alienated many developers and retailers. While the Saturn was technologically advanced, it was also complex, difficult, and unintuitive to write games for. In particular, programming 3D graphics that could compete with those on Nintendo and Sony's consoles proved exceptionally difficult for third-party developers. Because the Saturn used quadrilaterals, rather than standard triangles, as its basic polygon, cross platform games had to be completely rewritten to see a Saturn port. The Saturn was also a victim of internal politics at Sega. While the Saturn sold comparably well in Japan, Sega's branches in North America and Europe refused to license localizations of many popular Japanese titles, holding they were ill-suited to Western markets. First-party hits like Sakura Taisen never saw Western releases, while several third-party titles released on both PlayStation and Saturn in Japan, like Grandia and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, were released in North America and Europe as PlayStation exclusives.

Born from a failed attempt to create a console with Nintendo, Sony's Playstation would not only dominate its generation, but become the first console to sell over 100 million units by expanding the video game market. Sony actively courted third parties and provided them with convenient c libraries to write their games. Sony had built the console from the start as a 3D, disc-based system, and emphasized its 3d graphics that would come to be viewed as the future of gaming. The PlayStation's CD technology won over several developers who had been releasing titles for Nintendo and Sega's fourth generation consoles, such as Konami, Namco, Capcom, and Square. CDs were far cheaper to manufacture and distribute than cartridges were, meaning developers could release larger batches of games at higher profit margins; Nintendo's console, on the other hand, used cartridges, unwittingly keeping third-party developers away. The PlayStation's internal architecture was simpler and more intuitive to program for, giving the console an edge over Sega's Saturn.

Nintendo was the last to release a fifth generation console with their Nintendo 64, and when they finally released their console it came with only two launch titles. Partly to curb piracy and partly as a result of Nintendo's failed disc projects with Sony and Phillips, Nintendo used cartridges for their console. The higher cost of cartridges drove many third party developers to the PlayStation. The Nintendo 64 could handle 3D polygons better than any console released before it, but its games often lacked the cut-scenes, soundtracks, and voice-overs that became standard on PlayStation discs. Nintendo released several highly acclaimed titles, such as Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and the Nintendo 64 was able to sell tens of millions of units on the strength of first-party titles alone, but its constant struggles against Sony would make the Nintendo 64 the last home console to use cartridges as a medium for game distribution.

 

Sixth generation

The sixth generation saw a move towards PC-like architectures in gaming consoles, as well as a shift towards using DVDs for game media. This brought games that were both longer and more visually appealing. Furthermore, this generation also saw experimentation with online console gaming and implementing both flash and hard drive storage for game data.

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Sega's Dreamcast was released in Japan on November 27, 1998, in North America on September 9, 1999, in Europe on October 14, 1999 and in Australia on November 30, 1999. It was the company's last video game console, and was the first of the generation's consoles to be discontinued. Sega implemented a special type of optical media called the GD-ROM. These discs were created in order to prevent software piracy, which had been more easily done with consoles of the previous generation; however, this format was soon cracked as well. It also sported a 33.6Kb or 56k modem which could be used to access the internet or play some of the games, like Phantasy Star Online, online, making it the first console with built-in internet connectivity. The Dreamcast was discontinued in March 2001, and Sega transitioned to software developing/publishing only.
Sony's PlayStation 2 was released in Japan on March 4, 2000, in North America on October 26, 2000, in Europe on November 24, 2000 and in Australia on November 30, 2000. It was the follow-up to its highly successful PlayStation, and was also the first home game console to be able to play DVDs. As was done with the original PlayStation in 2000, Sony redesigned the console in 2004 into a smaller version. As of November 21, 2011 over 140 million PlayStation 2 units have been sold.This makes it the best selling home console of all time to date, and now the best-selling video game console to date.

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Nintendo's GameCube was released in Japan on September 15, 2001, in North America on November 18, 2001, in Europe on May 3, 2002 and in Australia on May 17, 2002. It was Nintendo's fourth home video game console and the first console by the company to use optical media instead of cartridges. The Nintendo GameCube did not play standard 12 cm DVDs, instead it employed smaller 8 cm optical discs. With the release of the Gamecube Game Boy Player, all Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance cartridges could be played on the platform. The Nintendo Gamecube was discontinued in 2007 with the release of Wii.
Microsoft released their first games console, the Xbox in North America on November 15, 2001, in Japan on February 22, 2002, and in Europe and Australia on March 14, 2002. It was the first console to employ a hard drive right out of the box to save games, the first to include an Ethernet port for broadband internet, and the beginning of Microsoft's online Xbox LIVE service. Microsoft was able to attract many PC developers by using the NT kernel and DirectX from their Windows operating system. Though criticized for its bulky size and the awkwardness of its original controller, the Xbox eventually gained popularity, especially in the US, where it outsold the GameCube to secure second place, due in part to the success of the Halo franchise.

Seventh generation

The features introduced in this generation include the support of new disc formats: Blu-ray Disc, utilized by the PlayStation 3, and HD DVD supported by the Xbox 360 via an optional $200 external accessory addition, that was later discontinued as the format war closed. Another new technology is the use of motion as input, and IR tracking (as implemented on the Wii). Also, all seventh generation consoles support wireless controllers. This generation also introduces the Nintendo DS, and the Nintendo DSi, which add touch screens and cameras to portable gaming. Microsoft kicked off the seventh generation with the release of the Xbox 360 on November 22, 2005 in the United States, December 2, 2005 in Europe, December 10, 2005 in Japan and March 23, 2006 in Australia. It featured market-leading processing power until the Sony PlayStation 3 was released one year later. While the original Xbox 360 "Core" did not include an internal HDD, most Xbox 360 models since have included at least the option to have one. The Xbox 360 optical drive is a DVD9 reader, allowing DVD movies to be played. No Blu-ray drive was included, making big games like Battlefield and Wolfenstein: The New Order require two or more DVDs to play. Up to four controllers can be connected to the console wirelessly on the standard 2.4 GHz spectrum. There are 4 discontinued versions of the Xbox 360: the "Arcade," the "Pro," and the "Elite," and the newer "S" or 'slim' model. The currently shipping "E" version of the Xbox 360 includes 3 configurations: a 4GB internal SSD version which acts like a USB hard drive, a 250 GB HDD version, and a branded 320 GB HDD version. The Xbox 360 is backward compatible with about half the games of the original Xbox library. In 2010, Microsoft released Kinect, allowing for motion-controlled games.

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Sony's PlayStation 3 was released in Japan on November 11, 2006, in North America on November 17, 2006 and in Europe and Australia on March 23, 2007. All PlayStation 3s come with a hard drive and are able to play Blu-ray Disc games and Blu-ray Disc movies out of the box. The PlayStation 3 was the first video game console to support HDMI output out of the box, using full 1080p resolution. Up to seven controllers can connect to the console using Bluetooth. There are 6 discontinued versions of the PS3: a 20 GB HDD version (discontinued in North America and Japan, and was never released in PAL territories), a 40 GB HDD version (discontinued), a 60 GB HDD version (discontinued in North America, Japan and PAL territories), 80 GB HDD version (only in some NTSC territories and PAL territories), a "slim" 120GB HDD version (discontinued), and a "slim" 250 GB version (discontinued). The two current shipping versions of the PlayStation 3 are: a "slim" 160 GB HDD version and a "slim" 320 GB HDD version. The hard drive can be replaced with any standard 2.5" Serial ATA drive and the system has support for removable media storage, such as Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, USB, SD, MiniSD, and CompactFlash (CF) digital media, but only the PlayStation versions up to 80 GB support this. The slim PlayStation 3 consoles (120 GB and up) had removable storage discontinued.All models are backward compatible with the original PlayStation's software library, and the launch models, since discontinued, are also backward compatible with PlayStation 2 games. As a cost-cutting measure, later models removed the Emotion Engine, making them incompatible with PS2 discs. In 2010, Sony released PlayStation Move, allowing for motion-controlled games. With recent software updates, the PlayStation 3 can play 3D Blu-ray movies and 3D games.
Nintendo's Wii was released in North America on November 19, 2006, in Japan on December 2, 2006, in Australia on December 7, 2006 and in Europe on December 8, 2006. It is bundled with Wii Sports in all regions except for Japan. Unlike the other systems of the seventh generation, the Wii does not support an internal hard drive, but instead uses 512 MB of internal Flash memory and includes support for removable SD card storage. It also has a maximum resolution output of 480p, making it the only seventh generation console not able to output high-definition graphics. Along with its lower price, the Wii is notable for its unique controller, the Wii Remote, which resembles a TV remote. The system uses a "sensor bar" that emits infrared light that is detected by an infrared camera in the Wii Remote to determine orientation relative to the source of the light. All models, other than the Wii Family Edition and the Wii Mini, are backwards compatible with Nintendo GameCube games and support up to four Nintendo GameCube controllers and two memory cards. It also includes the Virtual Console, which allows the purchase and downloading of games from older systems, including those of former competitors. In 2009, Nintendo introduced the 'Wii MotionPlus' expansion, which uses the same technology as the console previously used, but with enhanced motion tracking and sensing to improve gameplay quality. The Wii has four colors: white, blue, black, and red. Current models include Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, and Wii Motion Plus.

 

Eighth generation

Aside from the usual hardware enhancements, consoles of the eighth generation focus on further integration with other media and increased connectivity.The 3DS introduced autostereoscopic 3D on consoles. The Wii U introduced a controller/tablet hybrid whose features include the possibility of augmented reality in gaming. The PlayStation 4 is Sony's eighth generation console, featuring a "share" button to stream video game content between devices, released on November 15, 2013. Microsoft released their next generation console, the Xbox One, on November 22, 2013.

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Game systems in the eighth generation also faced increasing competition from mobile device platforms such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems. Smartphone ownership was estimated to reach roughly a quarter of the world's population by the end of 2014. The proliferation of low-cost games for these devices, such as Angry Birds with over 2 billion downloads worldwide, presents a new challenge to classic video game systems. Microconsoles, cheaper stand-alone devices designed to play games from previously established platforms, also increased options for consumers. Many of these projects were spurred on by the use of new crowdfunding techniques through sites such as Kickstarter. Notable competitors include the GamePop, OUYA, and GameStick Android-based systems, the PlayStation Vita TV, and the forthcoming Steam Machine.

PS4-Console-wDS4

Despite the increased competition, the sales for major console manufacturers featured strong starts. The PlayStation 4 sold 1 million consoles within 24 hours in 2 countries, whilst the Xbox One sold 1 million consoles within 24 hours in 13 countries. As of April 2014, 7 million Playstation 4 consoles have been sold worldwide,[30] and 5 million Xbox One units have shipped,both outpacing sales of their seventh generation systems. In May, Nintendo announced that it had sold only 2.8 million Wii U consoles, falling far short of their forecasts.

Things that are actually making us slaves

Jewellery

People in average get at leastatleast 10 grams of gold with them specially in Asia , in every marriage Jewellery in the form of Gold and sliver are bought in huge quantity which make go upto 1Kg .And 100s to 1000s of people are still obsessed with Jewellery .Take any occasion it maybe marriage ,child birth ,an marriage proposal or anniversary jewellery places a vital stand.Usually women are obsessed with it,and for men it has become mandate to show how sincere they are .But whereas in marriage its a sort of prestige and pride .

Jewelers In Faisalabad 9

 

Electronics Gadgets

I was in a local train where I was sitting simply , when I was looking to my co-passengers I found that were busy pinging somebody, playing games or watching movies or listening to music and what was one thing in common  in all was that they had a Smart phone/tab in their hand.All I was able to see was all heads down grazing at their screen .In  a second I felt as if were are stuck with Gadgets.

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Clothing

In our basic needs we are in need of 3 basic needs Food, Clothing & shelter this is something we all are aware of .But there are people who spend so much in the name of clothing for just to show off .The clothing industries are growing huge with the demands, not to mention the price tags why their price tags are High? The answer I got from my friend is “Dude its branded”.For some its like quality , other I work at MNC so I need to wear branded or else people will look me different.But whatever the reason maybe we are forced to get them.

Mens-Clothing

 

Credit Cards

Card transactions are made so simply, you want to get something online your only option is Card apart from Netbanking or if your outside say in a restaurants or Shopping or Gas pump we use our cards.Credit card works on idea that is the user can borrow money for payment to a merchant or as a cash advance and later the payments can be made if failed they had to may a money with interest which calculated for each lapse date.Most of use it , and  for so so reasons we fail , become liable to the bank we pay so indirectly we are in control to others.

Credit trap

 

Porn

Yeah, you heard me “PORN”.Right now, 30,000 people are watching porn. A new porn video is produced every 39 minutes.We have spent more money on porn and neglected to help 1.4 billion people who are suffering every day from poverty.Do you think it’s okay that kids start watching porn from as early as the age of 6 and begin flirting on the Internet from the age of 8?These statistics and facts might shock and disturb you as they do for me. We live in a broken society that is so engulfed in the pursuit of self-pleasure that we have twisted our morality. Perhaps you have different opinions about porn, but certainly my intention is not to judge but rather to point you to another subject.Like an addiction, you keep craving something which is harder and gives you a greater sense of excitement, until you reach the point where the pornography only goes so far.

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