Friday, March 25, 2016

Orana Wildlife Park

Orana Wildlife Park is New Zealand's only open-range zoo, located on the outskirts of Christchurch. It opened in 1976, and is owned and operated by the Orana Wildlife Trust, a registered charity.It has more than 400 animals across 70 species. It is New Zealand's only open-range zoo, sitting on 80 hectares of land.

The park offers close encounters with some of it's animals, including hand-feeding the giraffes, and a lion encounter where you can ride through the lion reserve in a truck-mounted cage during feeding time. The keeper feeds the cats from within the vehicle, and they often jump on top of the cage, giving you a unique view of these magnificent animals. A minimum height of 1.4 meters is required.

The Park is fun filled activities like we will be put into cage and in safari where lions and tigers will be trying to enter the cage and u can hand feed them.Feeding the giraffe is also a major attraction for this zoo.

Orana Wildlife Park is open daily from 10.00am until 5.00pm

Last entrance is 4.00pm. The Park is only CLOSED on Christmas Day and is otherwise open every day (including statutory holidays)

Aldabra Seychelles

Aldabra is the world's second-largest coral atoll. It is situated in the Aldabra Group of islands in the Indian Ocean that are part of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles.

Uninhabited and extremely isolated, Aldabra is virtually untouched by humans. It has distinctive island fauna including the Aldabra giant tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea). It consists of four islands around a large shallow lagoon, encircled by fringing coral reef. The atoll reflects both fossil and geomorphological features, the former is the source of the biodiversity seen today.

The atoll has the largest population of giant tortoises in the world (about 100,000 animals). Sir David Attenborough called Aldabra "One of the wonders of the world", and it is also known as one of "crown jewels" of the Indian Ocean. Aside from its vast population of tortoises, it is also the largest raised coral reef in the world with an elevation of 26 feet (7.9 m); and the second largest atoll in the world after Kiritimati Atoll. Aldabra has a large population of the world's largest terrestrial arthropod, the coconut crab; and hosts the white-throated rail, the only surviving flightless rail species in the Indian Ocean.

Designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1982, it is one of the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Seychelles ; both are administered by the Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF). BirdLife International declared Aldabra as an Important Endemic Bird Area in 2001 on account of its large seabird colonies. Aldabra became a Ramsar Wetland Site of International Importance in 2010.In 2014 Aldabra was designated as a site under the Indian Ocean South East Asia (IOSEA) turtle network.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Dutch Sadras Fort

Sadras is a fortress town located on India's Coromandel Coast in Kanchipuram District, 70 km south of Chennai in Tamil Nadu state. Sadras is the anglicized form of the ancient town of Saduranga pattinam.

An inscription found in Sadras dated to 1359 mention this place as Rajanarayanan Pattinam after a Sambuvaraya chieftain. There is a temple to Vishnu here, and because of it later the city was known as Sadiravasagan Pattinam. This later changed into Sadurangapattinam, shortly known as Sadirai. Later the British anglicized it to Sadras.

Modern Sadras was established as part of Dutch Coromandel in the seventeenth century, which was even before center for weaving superfine muslin cloth for export besides Pearl and edible oil. The magnificent Sadras Fort, built for commercial purposes by the Dutch, is a vast compound enclosing a huge granary, stable and structures used to mount elephants; unfortunately only one of these structures survives. The fortress was raided by the British in 1818 and came under the control of the British East India Company. It is now maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India in efforts to contain further dilapidation of this great monument. From 2003 major restoration of the damaged fort was carried out leading to may archeological findings.

The first battle between British East India Company and the Dutch started here as Battle of Sadras. The fort includes a cemetery with many beautifully decorated graves that date to between 1620 and 1769.

Thanjavur Maratha Palace

The Thanjavur Maratha Palace Complex, known locally as Aranmanai, is the official residence of the Bhonsle family who ruled over the Tanjore region from 1674 to 1855.The Thanjavur Maratha palace was originally constructed by the rulers of Thanjavur Nayak kingdom. After the fall of the Thanjavur Nayak kingdom, it served as the official residence of the Thanjavur Maratha. When most of the Thanjavur Maratha kingdom was annexed to the British Empire in 1799, the Thanjavur Marathas continued to hold sway over the palace and the surrounding fort. The Bhonsle family continued to hold on to the palace even after the last king Shivaji II was deposed as per the Doctrine of Lapse.

The palace complex consists of the Sadar Mahal Palace, the queen's courtyard and the Durbar Hall. The Raja Serfoji Memorial Hall and the Royal Palace Museum are situated in the Sadar Mahal Palace. There is also a small bell tower. The Saraswathi Mahal Library is situated with the Thanjavur palace complex.

Thanjavur’s royal palace is a mixed bag of ruin and renovation, superb art and random royal paraphernalia. The maze-like complex was constructed partly by the Nayaks who took over Thanjavur in 1535, and partly by a local Maratha dynasty that ruled from 1676 to 1855. The two don't-miss sections are the Saraswati Mahal Library Museum and the Art Gallery.

Seven different sections of the palace can be visited – and you'll need three different tickets to see them all! The Art Gallery and Saraswati Mahal Library Museum are included in the ‘full’ ticket, along with the Mahratta Dharbar Hall, the bell tower, and the Saarjah Madi. The main entrance is from the north, via a lane off East Main Street. On the way in you’ll come to the main ticket office, followed by the Maratha Palace complex.

Past the ticket office, a passage to the left leads to, first, the Royal Palace Museum , a small miscellany of sculptures, weaponry, elephant bells and rajas’ headgears; second, the Maharaja Serfoji Memorial Hall , commemorating the enlightened Maratha scholar-king Serfoji II (1798–1832), with a better collection overlooking a once-splendid, now crumbling courtyard; and third, the Mahratta Dharbar Hall , where Maratha rulers gave audience in a grand but faded pavilion adorned with colourful murals, including their own portraits behind the dais.

Leaving the library, turn left for the Art Gallery , set around the Nayak Palace courtyard. This contains a collection of superb, mainly Chola, bronzes and stone carvings, and one of its rooms, the 1600 Nayak Durbar Hall, has a statue of Serfoji II. From the courtyard, steps lead part of the way up a large gopuram -like tower to a whale skeleton said to have been washed up in Tranquebar.

Ticket Price:Indian/foreigner ₹30/150, camera ₹50/100
Opening hours:9am-6pm

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Gingee Fort

Gingee Fort or Senji Fort in Tamil Nadu, India is one of the surviving forts in Tamil Nadu, India. It lies in Villupuram District, 160 kilometres (99 mi) from the state capital, Chennai, and is close to the Union Territory of Puducherry. The fort is so fortified, that Shivaji, the Maratha king, ranked it as the "most impregnable fortress in India" and it was called the "Troy of the East" by the British. The nearest town with a railway station is Tindivanam and the nearest airport is Chennai (Madras), located 150 kilometres (93 mi) away.

Originally the site of a small fort built by the Chola dynasty during the 9th century AD, Gingee Fort was modified by Kurumbar during the 13th century. As per one account, the fort was built during the 15–16th century by the Nayaks, the lieutenants of the Vijayanagara Empire and who later became independent kings (Nayaks of Gingee ). The fort passed to the Marathas under the leadership of Shivaji in 1677 AD, Bijapur sultans, the Moghuls, Carnatic Nawabs, French and the British in 1761. The fort is closely associated with Raja Tej Singh, who unsuccessfully revolted against the Nawab of Arcot and eventually lost his life in a battle.

The Gingee Fort complex is on three hillocks: Krishnagiri to the north, Rajagiri to the west and Chandrayandurg to the southeast. The three hills together constitute a fort complex, each having a separate and self-contained citadel. The fort walls are 13 km (8.1 mi) and the three hills are connected by walls enclosing an area of 11 square kilometres (4.2 sq mi).It was built at a height of 800 feet (240 m) and protected by a 80 feet (24 m) wide moat. The complex has a seven-storeyed Kalyana Mahal (marriage hall), granaries, prison cells, and a temple dedicated to its presiding Hindu goddess called Chenjiamman. The fortifications contain a sacred pond known as Aanaikula
m. On the top of the hillock, there are minor fortifications. The fort, in modern times, is maintained and administered by the Archaeological Survey of India. The fort is one of the prominent tourist destinations in Villupuram district.

Gingee- How to get there?
Gingee is a panchayat town in Viluppuram district (South Arcot district) in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. which is located on the Thindivanam to Thiruvannamalai road about 25 km from Thindivanam.

150km from Chennai.
65 km from Puducherry (Pondycherry)

The nearest town with a railway station is Tindivanam and villupuram
The nearest airport Chennai 150km (Madras)

Living Place of Jains :- B.C. to 6 A.D

In comparison with evidences available from other sources like the evidence of rock-cut inscription of Jain monk Chandranandhi, from the figures of twenty four Jaina Thirthankaras in Sinukadambur, from the figures of Jains ascetics in Thirunathar hill and from the evidences of rock-cut beds of Jains in the upper part of Krishnagiri hill and foot print on the hill top, Chakkildurgam (or) Sangilidurgam, historians strongly believe that Jains lived in Gingee from 200 B.C. in 500 A.D.

Gingee Under the Pallavas :- (600 A.D. to 900 A.D)

During the reign of the Pallavas a cave temple was excavated in the natural hill in Singapuram. They built a temple in Panamalai which is to the south of Gingee. In Mandagapattu, which is 17 kms, away from Gingee, a cave temple was excavated in a rock. A rock inscription portrays Pallava Mahendravarman (580 A.D. to 630 A.D.) as Vichitrachitha. We can conclude from these evidences that Gingee was once under the rule of Pallava kings and also the cave temples and rock inscriptions at Singavaram and Melacheri situated near Gingee tell about the Pallava regime in Gingee.

Gingee under the rule of Cholas :- (900 A.D. - 1103 A.D)

From the rock-cut inscriptions in Aanangur, East of Gingee, it is known that after the decline of the Pallava kings, Gingee was under the contrl of Adita Chola (871 A.D. - 907 A.D.) Then during the reign of Adita Cola II and his broter Rajaraja Cola I (985 A.D- 1014 A.D.) it was called "Singapuranadu". From these evidences we come to know that Gingee was under the rule of the Cholas.

Gingee under the rule of Later Pandya, Pallava and Hoysalas :- (1014 A.D. - 1190 A.D)

From the Book ""Karnataka Rajakkal Savistara Charitham" British Historian Mecans says that after the rule of the Cholas, Gingee came under the supermacy of Pandya, Pallava and Hoysalas.

Gingee under Konar Heritage : -(1190 A.D. - 1330 A.D)

Gingee was under the sway of chieftains, Anandha Koan, Krishna Koan and Pullia Koan even though there was no epigraphical evidences from Koan rule but it is specified in some books. By foreign sources we come to know that Anandha Koan built "Anandha Giri" and afterwards it became "Raja Giri" His son Krishna Koan built "Krishna Giri"

Gingee under the rule of Vijayanagar Kings :- (1400 A.D)

From the survey of books that were present during Vijayanagar period, we come to know that Gingee was under the authority of Kopnnarayer during the 14th Century A.D.

Historians hold the opinion that Kopannarayr, one of the Generals of Vijayanagar empire helped Kampannarayan, with a large army. In return, Kampannarayan handed Gingee over to Kopannarayer.

Gingee under the Nayakka rulers : - (From the end of 14th century A.D. for 150 years)

During the peak of Krishna Deva Raya's power (1509 A.D. - 1529 A.D.) he ordered, Krisnappa Nayyaka to rule a region with Gingee as its capital. He and his successors ruled for about 150 years having capital at Gingee.

The Nayyaka rulers, build tall and strong fort walls with granite, tall towers with sculptural workmanship granite temples on the plains and brick shrines on the peak. This architecture is similar to that architecture in "Hampi"

Under the rule of Muhammaadans:-(1649 A.D. - 1677 A.D)

There was no unity among the Nayakas of Gingee, Tanjore and Madurai. There where frequent skirmishes among them.

Taking advantage of this situation, the Bijapur Sultans, who belong to the Muhammadans dynasty, invaded Gingee at the beginning of the 16th Century A.D. and captured it. After this the army general of "Golgonda" , "Mirjeeva" defeated Krishnappa Nayyaka and handed Gingee over the king of Bijapur.

Gingee under the Marathas:- (1677 A.D. - 1697 A.D)

After the fall of the Muhammadans rule at the end of the 17th century, Chattrapathi Shivaji, a scion in the annuls of History wrested Gingee from the Muhammadans. Then he asked his brother " Sambaji" to rule Gingee in 1690 A.D. afterwards it was handed over to Rajaram in 1697 A.D.

Gingee, under the rule of the Mughals:- (1700 A.D-1750 A.D)

The Mughal General Zulfigar Khan (1697 A.D. - 1698 A.D.) captured Gingee fort after a tough fight against the Marathas.

Zulfigar Khan, then handed over the rule to Swaroop singh who was the army head at Bundalakand in 1700 A.D. on conditions that he had to collect tax under the supervision of Sad-ad-ullah khan of Carnatic.

After the death of Swaroop, his son Desingh Raja came to the throne. He hated to be a slave to the Mugal rulers and refused to pay the tax to the Nawab. So a war took place between Sad-ad-ullah khan and Desingh Raja. At the end of the war, Desingh Raja by killing himself made a supreme sacrifice to avoid being a prisioner in the hands of Mogul rulers. Historians say that though Desingh Raja ruled for short period, he deeply engraved his marks in the history of Gingee. His wife also throwing herself into fire committed suicide to safeguard her chastity which is considered as highly holy.

After the death of Desingh Raja, Sad-ad-Ullah khan conquered Gingee in 1714 A.D. and ruled till 1750 A.D. for about 36 years.

Gingee under the rule of the Foreigners :- (1750 A.D)

French people who came to India, for the purpose of trade and commerce, attacked Gingee under the command of "Puli" and his troops, captured Gingee and kept Gingee under their control for about ten years. During this period French People annexed Vandavasi in 1760 A.D. and Pondicherry in 1761 A.D. Then the Britishers under the command of General "Coot" attacked the French Army on April, 1761 A.D. by winning the war, they brought Gingee under the control of the British Captain 'Stephen Smith'.

After this time. the General of Mysore, Hyder Ali became the king in 1761 A.D. A.D. As Hyder Ali did not like the British rule in India, he waged war against the British many times. So the Britishers made peace treaty with Hyder Ali. After few years, when Warren Hastings became the Governor General of India, Hyder Ali blamed Britishers for going against the treaty and waged war in 1780, by moving his troops via Polur and Vandavasi to caputure Gingee. But he was defeated by the Britsh army.

After 1780 A.D., the southern parts gradually fell into the hands of the British without any opposition. Due to the political changes in Carnatic area, the Britishers made Chennai fort for the transport facilities and the French made Pondicherry as their capital and started to rule Indian territory.

Leap year Paradox

What is a Leap Year ?
A year, occurring once every four years, which has 366 days including 29 February as an intercalary day

Recently one of friend is blessed with a baby gal and the most amazing fact is the baby was born on a "LEAP YEAR"well the parents of the kid are happy but I was wondering the series of things that might the kid face.what do you call the special kid born on LEAP YEAR drum rolls and they ar called as "Leapsters"

First and foremost you will tend to celebrate your birthdays once in 4 years.Wow that's really crazy thing I could get imagine your parents tell you that today isn't your birthday on 28th of Feb till its A LEAP YEAR,however some might celebrate it on 28th.

Just imagine if your going to get your driving license and last time u celebrated your birthday was on 16 and u got to get your license on 28th saying you would a adult to get a license It would be really frustration.Suppose if you are in foreign country and you couldn't get a beer also if aren't 18.

Leapsters keep two sets of ages, annual and quadrennial. We mark time between real birthdays in fourths and halves. Leap-year days serve a purpose, as we know: The extra day tacked onto the end of February every four years accounts for Earth’s spinning around the sun five hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds longer than 365 days.

I can’t help but think about my life more deeply every four years. Thinking in four-year periods isn’t uncommon—we have Olympics and elections on leap years, after all. But, each February 29, I pause to take a life inventory. 16 to 20 marked the time from school to college. From 28 to 32, you become a father/mother .

Blood groups and its Facts

A blood type (also called a blood group) is defined as the classification of blood based on the presence or absence of inherited antigenic substances on the surface of red blood cells (RBCs). A series of related blood types constitutes a blood group system, such as the Rh or ABO system. The frequencies of the ABO and Rh blood types vary from population to population.

When a person's blood is analyzed under a microscope distinct blood differences are visible. In the early 20th century, an Austrian scientist named Karl Landsteiner classified blood according to those differences. Landsteiner observed two distinct chemical molecules present on the surface of the red blood cells. He labeled one molecule "A" and the other molecule "B".

    Blood Type A - If the red blood cell has only "A" molecules on it.
    Blood Type B - If the red blood cell has only "B" molecules on it.
    Blood Type AB - If the red blood cell has a mixture of both "A" & "B" molecules.
    Blood Type O - If the red blood cell has neither "A" or "B" molecule.
What Does Blood Group RH Factor Mean

RH factor in blood types stands for "Rhesus Factor". Blood tests were performed on Rhesus monkeys and the Rh+ and Rh- factors were isolated. An antigen found in the red blood cells of most people: those who have Rh factor are said to be Rh positive (Rh+), while those who do not are Rh negative (Rh-). What about the meaning of RHD- Rh blood group, D antigen . The rhesus complex is not just one antigen, but several, when someone is told to be Rh+, it usually refers to the D antigen (one of the components of the Rh complex), because it's the most common, and the easiest to identify, however it's not the only one.

What is the Rarest Blood Type

According to the American Red Cross the rarest is AB(-), present in 1% of the Caucasians, in African Americans it is even rarer. B(-) and O(-) are also very rare, each accounting for less than 5% of the world's population. Some people with rare blood types bank their own blood in advance of surgical procedures to ensure that blood is available to them.

DOs and DON'Ts of blood donation

In order to ensure safe and health environment to both donors as well as recipients, we greatly recommend to follow the below rules:
DO donate blood, only if you satisfy all of the following conditions
-     You are between age group of 18-60 years.
-     Your weight is 45 kgs or more.
-     Your hemoglobin is 12.5 gm% minimum.
-     Your last blood donation was 3 or more months earlier.
-     You are healthy and have not suffered from malaria, typhoid or other transmissible disease in the recent past.
DO NOT donate blood, if you have any of the following conditions
-     Cold / fever in the past 1 week.
-     Under treatment with antibiotics or any other medication.
-     Cardiac problems, hypertension, epilepsy, diabetes (on insulin therapy), history of cancer, chronic kidney or liver disease, bleeding tendencies, venereal disease etc.
-     Major surgery in the last 6 months.
-     Vaccination in the last 24 hours.
-     Had a miscarriage in the last 6 months or have been pregnant / lactating in the last one year.
-     Had fainting attacks during last donation.
-     Have regularly received treatment with blood products.
-     Shared a needle to inject drugs/ have history of drug addiction.
-     Had sexual relations with different partners or with a high risk individual.
-     Been tested positive for antibodies to HIV.

Selfie Madness

What is a "Selfie"?
A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.Selfies are often shared on social networking services such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They are usually flattering and made to appear casual. Most selfies are taken with a camera held at arm's length or pointed at a mirror, rather than by using a self-timer. A selfie stick may be used to widen the angle of view.

Why is it madness?

In April 2014, a man diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder recounted spending ten hours a day attempting to take the "right" selfie, attempting suicide after failing to produce what he perceived to be the perfect selfie.The same month brought several scholarly publications linking excessive selfie posting with body dysmorphic disorder.

Psychological studies conducted in 2015 among social media users suggest that there is a relationship between selfie-posting behaviors and narcissism. The link between number of selfies posted online and narcissism was stronger among men than women.

Injuries while taking photos

In 2015 it was reported that more people had been killed taking selfies that year than by shark attacks.Takers of selfie photographs have fallen to their deaths while losing their balance in a precarious position, and others have been wounded or killed while posing with handguns which have accidentally fired.[

Concerned about the increasing number of incidents in Russia where attempts to set up a daring selfie had led to injuries and deaths, the Russian Ministry of the Interior released a "Selfie Safety Guide" in 2015 that warned selfie enthusiasts about some common dangerous behaviors.

A 2015 study showed that 20% of young Britons had taken selfies while driving a car.The Italian chief of state police expressed concern over the same phenomenon in Italy on the occasion of the launch of a short film with the title "Selfie".

In 2016 the behavior of an Argentinian crowd seeking a selfie with a La Plata dolphin was held responsible for its death.

List of selfie-related injuries and deaths

Zika Virus : A quick guide

Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-borne virus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys through a monitoring network of sylvatic yellow fever. It was subsequently identified in humans in 1952 in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. Outbreaks of Zika virus disease have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

The virus spread eastward across the Pacific Ocean between 2013 and 2014 to French Polynesia, New Caledonia, the Cook Islands, and Easter Island, and in 2015 to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, where the Zika outbreak has reached pandemic levels.[8] As of 2016, the illness cannot be prevented by drugs or vaccines.As of February 2016, there is evidence that Zika fever in pregnant women is associated with intrauterine growth restriction including abnormal brain development in their fetuses through mother-to-child transmission of the virus, which may result in miscarriage or microcephaly. There is however no proof yet that the Zika virus causes microcephaly.A link has been established with neurologic conditions in infected adults, including Guillain–Barré syndrome.

In January 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued travel guidance on affected countries, including the use of enhanced precautions, and guidelines for pregnant women including considering postponing travel. Other governments or health agencies soon issued similar travel warnings,while Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Jamaica advised women to postpone getting pregnant until more is known about the risks.

Signs and Symptoms

The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) of Zika virus disease is not clear, but is likely to be a few days. The symptoms are similar to other arbovirus infections such as dengue, and include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache. These symptoms are usually mild and last for 2-7 days.

Pain areas: in the back of the eyes, joints, or muscles
Whole body: fatigue, fever, chills, loss of appetite, or sweating
Also common: eye redness, headache, skin rash, or vomiting

WHO guidelines :Zika Fact Sheet

However CDC has issued guidelines for women who are pregnant or traveling to Zika affected countries

Pregnant and living in an area with Zika?
Pregnant? Read this before you travel