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  • Tanjore (Thanjavur)

    Thanjavur (Tamil: தஞ்சாவூர் (tañcāvūr))’, formerly Tanjore, is a municipality and the headquarters of the Thanjavur district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The name Thanjavur is derived from “Tanjan”, a legendary asura in Hindu mythology. Thanjavur is one of the ancient cities in India and has a long and varied history dating back to the Sangam period. The town was founded by Mutharayar king Swaran Maran and rose to prominence during the rule of the Later Cholas when it served as the capital of the Chola empire. After the fall of the Cholas, the city was ruled by various dynasties like Pandyas, Vijayanagar Empire, Madurai Nayaks, Thanjavur Nayaks, Thanjavur Marathas and British. It has been a part of independent India since 1947.

    Thanjavur is an important center of South Indian art and architecture. Most of the Great Living Chola Temples which are UNESCO World Heritage Monuments are located in and around Thanjavur. The foremost among the Great Living Chola temples, the Brihadeeswara Temple, is located in the center of the city. Thanjavur is also the home of the Tanjore painting, a painting style unique to the region. The city is an important agricultural center located at the heart of the region, known as the Rice bowl of Tamil Nadu. South Zone Culture Centre in Thanjavur is one of many regional cultural centres established by Indian Government to preserve and promote traditional cultural heritage of India. It had a population of a 2,21,190 in 2001.

    Thanjavur is well-connected by roads and railways with other parts of India and with cities and towns in Tamil Nadu. The nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli International Airport located at a distance of 56 kilometres. The nearest seaport is Nagapattinam which is 84 kilometres (52 mi) from Thanjavur.

    History

    There are no references to Thanjavur in any of the Sangam period records though some scholars believe that the city has been existing since then. Kovil Venni, situated at a distance of 15 miles to the east of Thanjavur, was the site of the Battle of Venni between Karikala and a confederacy of the Cheras and the Pandyas. The Cholas seemed to have faced an invasion of the Kalabhras in the 3rd century AD after which the kingdom faded into obscurity. The region around the present-day Thanjavur was conquered by the Mutharayars in the 6th century CE and ruled up to 849 AD.

    Geography and climate

    It is situated in the Cauvery delta, at a distance of 314 kilometres (195 mi) south-west of Chennai and 56 kilometres (35 mi) east of Tiruchirappalli. Though most of Thanjavur district is a level plain watered by the Kaveri and tributaries, the taluk of Thanjavur is made up mostly of barren uplands sloping towards the east. To the south of Thanjavur town, is the Vallam tableland, a small plateau insterspersed at regular intervals by ridges of sandstone.[15] The nearest seaport in Nagapattinam which is 84 kilometres (52 mi) east of Thanjavur. The nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli International Airport located at a distance of 56 kilometres. The town has an elevation of 57 metres above mean sea level. The total area of the city is 36 km2.

    The urban agglomeration encompasses Vallam to Mariamman Koil (west – east) and Vayalur to the Air Force Station (north-south) for an area of about 100 km2.

     

     

    (source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanjavur)

  • Sleeping beauty.

     

    Sleeping Beauty

     

    In the fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty is a princess sent into a 100-year slumber by an evil witch. A kiss from a handsome prince breaks the spell, and they live happily ever after.The present-day “Sleeping Beauty,” as the media calls her, is a 17-year-old woman in Worthing, England, named Louisa Ball. Instead of the fairy tale’s poisoned splinter, her curse began with flu-like symptoms two years ago.

    “Bad cold, temperature … and from then on that’s when I started to sleep,” she said. She wouldn’t stop for 10 to 14 days. Her parents would rouse her for bathroom breaks and ravenous feedings.

    “She’d go through a whole packet of biscuits, or … five or six packets of crisps — anything that she could get her hands on,” said her father, Rick Ball. “It was a case of almost like a hamster hibernating, and the food would get stuffed in. And you’d have to step in and say, ‘Whoa, that’s enough.'”

    Her mother, Lottie Ball, added, “I asked to see a dietician … because I was concerned when Louisa was in an episode that, you know, she is missing out on all the goodness.” The advice she got was to give Louisa smoothies, which gave her food and fluid at the same time.

    Even so, Louisa would lose as much as 10 pounds during a sleep episode. Even odder than her eating habits was her behavior, which featured offensive, almost primal, mood swings.

    “They’re horrible. They’re scary, it’s like a different child,” said Lottie Ball.

    The parents knew a sleep episode was coming when their otherwise sweet-natured daughter would snap at others inappropriately. “When she’s up and she’s confrontational, those were the scarier moments,” Rick Ball said.

    amazing-facts

    The year before college, Louisa slept for a solid week every month. She missed weeks of school and fell behind in her beloved dance classes.”I missed my end-of-school exams, obviously, because I was in an episode,” she said. “I’ve missed, like, family holidays, birthdays and parties.”

    The doctors were as baffled as Louisa’s parents.

    “To see all the various medical professionals and not get any answers … it was pretty frustrating,” said Rick Ball. “Everything goes through your mind, and you wonder whether or not she has taken a drug.”

    Then came a breakthrough, courtesy of a consultant in London to whom the family was referred.
    “I always refer to it as the ‘Champagne and hangover’ moment,” said Rick Ball, “because we went in there and the good news was, ‘I think I know what’s wrong with your daughter.’ And the bad news was, ‘There’s no cure.'”

    Louisa was diagnosed with Kleine-Levi n Syndrome, an incurable autoimmune disorder that some researchers say disrupts the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates appetite, sleep and libido.

    KLS more often afflicts males, usually beginning with a virus during adolescence that seems to trigger the sleep and aggressiveness, along with hyper sexuality.

    Mood stabilizers like lithium and hormone therapies help those with KLS around the edges, but they don’t ward off the extreme sleep.

    “[When I wake up] I’m always confused as to what day it is, because I don’t know how long I’ve slept for,” Louisa said. “And then when I realize, I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s a long time!'”

    How does she feel when she wakes up?

    “Refreshed,” she said.

    Her sleep episodes have become less frequent. She recently went five months without one. According to experts, KLS sufferers can grow out of it after 10 to 12 years.

    As Louisa’s story grew in the media, headlines called her “Sleeping Beauty,” and KLS is known as Sleeping Beauty syndrome.

    If someone cast a spell on Louisa, there must be a handsome prince coming in some form. Romantically speaking, she said there was no prince in her life, at the moment.

    The prince could take the form of a cure, and Louisa’s family contributes to the KSL Foundation in California to help speed his arrival.

    In either case, Lottie Ball said, “We’re waiting for the handsome prince.”

    (source : http://interesting-amazing-facts.blogspot.in/search/label/strange%20facts?updated-max=2012-06-14T00:01:00-07:00&max-results=20&start=20&by-date=false)
  • Beauty of Maths.

     


    Beauty of Mathematics

    1 x 8 + 1= 9

    12 x 8 + 2= 98

    123 x 8 + 3= 987

    1234 x 8 + 4= 9876

    12345 x 8 + 5= 98765

    123456 x 8 + 6= 987654

    1234567 x 8 + 7= 9876543

    12345678 x 8 + 8= 98765432

    123456789 x 8 + 9= 987654321


    1 x 9 + 2 = 11
    12 x 9 + 3 = 111
    123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
    1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
    12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
    123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
    1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
    12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
    123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111


    9 x 9 + 7 = 88
    98 x 9 + 6 = 888
    987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
    9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
    98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
    987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
    9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
    98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

    look at this symmetry:

    1 x 1 = 1
    11 x 11 = 121
    111 x 111 = 12321
    1111 x 1111 = 1234321
    11111 x 11111 = 123454321
    111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
    1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
    11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
    111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321

    ( contributed by Raja Jain on 15.01.2011)

     

  • Meri dastan – e – hasrat

    Meri Dastan

     

    meri dastan-e-hasrat wo suna suna k roye.
    mare azmane wale mujhe azma k roye.
    koi asa ahl-e-dil ho k fasan-a-muhabat.
    main use suna k royon wo mujhe suna k roye.
    meri arzoo ki dunya,dil-e-natwan ki hasrat.
    jase kho k aaj shadman thy,use aaj pa k roye.
    teri bewafaon per,teri kaj adaon per.
    kabhi ser jhuka k roye,kabhi moun chupa k roye.
    jo sunyi anjman main shub ghum ki aap beeti.
    kayi roo k muskare,kayi muskara k roye.

     

    [Contributed by: User – Smile2u Q on 15/06/2013]

  • Wisdom from Grandpa

    Whether a man winds up with a nest egg, or a goose egg, depends a lot on the kind of chick he marries.

     

    Trouble in marriage often starts when a man gets so busy earning his salt, that he forgets his sugar.

    Too many couples marry for better, or for worse, but not for good.

    When a man marries a woman, they become one, but the trouble starts when they try to decide which one.

    On anniversaries, the wise husband always forgets the past – but never the present.

    Continue reading →

  • Kerala Temples

    pandavas_the_kerala_temples_image

    Pandavas Temple

    Pandavas are described in the Indian epic ‘Mahabharatha’. Pandavas includes five brothers Yudhishtira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. They are the sons of ‘Pandu’, by his two wives, ’Kunthi’ and ‘Madhri’. The word ‘Pandavas’ means the sons of ‘Pandu’. Yudhishtira, Bhima and Arjuna are the sons of Kunthi. Remaining are the sons of Madhri. It is described in Mahabharatha, that five brothers were married to ‘Draupathi’, a true Krishna devotee. Lord Krishna was closely related to Pandavas during Kurukshethra war by giving advices and help at right times. Friendship of Lord Krishna and Lord Arjuna is well known in that epic. Pandu has a brother named Dridhrashtra, who was blind by birth. The main enemies of Pandavas were Kauravas. Kauravas were 100 in numbers, the sons of Dridhrashtra . After the death of Pandu, Pandavas and Kauravas started quarrel for the kingdom. The kingdom was supposed to handover to Yudhishtira, the eldest son of Pandu. But Duryodhana, the eldest son of Kauravas did not like it and often trouble the Pandavas. Kauravas played dirty game against Pandavas and succeeded of pushing them away from the country. The battle of Kurukshethra was happened dispute of the kingdom.

    Yudhishtira is the begotten son of ‘Yamadharma’ and known as Dharma puthra. Arjuna is the son of Indra. Bhima is the son of Pavanan. And Nakul and Sahadev are the sons of Aswini Kumars.

    shiva_the_kerala_temples_image

    Shiva Temple

    Lord Siva is an important God in Hinduism, including in the Trimurthis. In the ‘Trimurthis’, Siva has the duty of destroying or ‘Samhara’. Siva is believed as the supreme God. Siva is referred as consciousness as per Sakthisam. Siva has many more other names as Rudhra, Mahadeva, Parameswara, Neelakanda. Siva is worshipped mostly in the form of ‘Siva Linga’. Siva is usually portrayed as immersed in deep meditation or the famous Natraja form. His famous dance is known as ‘Thandava’. In Sanskrit, the word ‘Siva’ means kind or ‘The pure one’. The main feature of Lord Siva is his third eye, which situates in the middle of his forehead. He uses his third eye to burn desires to ashes. His appearance is also different from other devas. He is often shown garlanded with a snake around his throat. ‘Tri soola’ or trident is his main weapon. A small drum named as ‘Damaru’ is always attatched to his trident. Lord Siva and all attendants live in Mount Kailasa in Himalaya Hills.

    His dress is the skin of cheetah. He usually applies bhasmam on his forehead and also wears half moon in his head. River Ganga devi is also resides in Siva’s hair, which has a shell like structure. Thus he got the name ‘Gangadhara’. Its believed that the blue color of Siva’s throat is because of the poison which he drank during the ‘Palazhimadhanam’. Thus he got the name ‘Neelakanda’. Devi Parvathi is the wife of Lord Siva. Their combination is usually known as ‘Ardhanareeswara’,half man and half woman. Lord Siva is easy to be pleased and easy to be angered. It is told that his anger is like a fire. Lord Siva’s vehicle is Nandhikeswara.

    The main offering to Lors siva is Dhara. The main feature of siva temples is, one should not circumambulate in full inside the temple. It is because of “Somarekha” placed in the position.

    sreerama_the_kerala_temples_image

    Sreerama Temple

    Rama or Sreerama Chandra is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Lord Rama is one of the popular deities in Hindhuism. He is considered as the perfect man in the world. He is called ‘Maryadha Purushothaman’ in this sense. Our famous epic ‘Ramayana’ describes the story of Sreerama from his birth. Devi Sita, the avathar of Mahalakshmi, is the wife of Sreerama. Sita is here represented as a concrete example of perfect woman. Dasaradha, the king of Ayodhya is the father of Rama. Dasaradha has three wives, Kausalya, kaikeyee and Sumithra. Kausalya’s son is Rama, Bharatha, Lakshmana, Sathrughna are the brothers of Rama.For keeping the word of his father, Rama even decided to avoid his kingdom and live in forest for 14 years. His wife Sita and brother Lakshmana accompanied him through the way. On the way devi Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, the king of Lanka. Then Rama made an army with the help of Hanuman and the monkey king Sugriva. Then they killed Ravana and demolished his kingdom. Lanka then handed over to Vibhishana, brother of Ravana. After 14 years Rama came back to Ayodhya and became the king. This full story is written in our epic ‘Ramayana’. Even though he is incarnation of Lord Vishnu, he lived as a human, with all qualities of an ideal man. He thus showed others, how to live like an ideal man.

     

    vinayaka_the_kerala_temples_image

    Ganapathy Photo

    Vinayaka is one of the famous and greatly worshipped deities in Hinduism. Vinayakar is also known as Ganesh, Vinayaka Vigneswara, Ganapathy, Pillaiyar . The main identity of Vinayaka is his elephant like head. Its known that Vinayaka is the eldest son of Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathy. We believe that if we pray to Ganapathy, then all the obstacles in front of us will remove quickly. Because of that Vinayaka is known as the Lord of obstacles and the God of new beginnings. Thus got the name ‘Vighneswara’, the one who removes ‘Vighna’ from our path. For all new beginnings, Hindus do ‘Ganapathy Homam’ properly in temples and even at homes. Vehicle of Vinayaka is a mouse.

    Many stories are there about the birth of Vinayaka. Once Devi Parvathy created a very powerful boy for preventing anybody from entering into her room, without her permission. Then Lord Siva came there for visiting Devi and asked that boy to allow him to enter. Devi was then having bath. But that boy didn’t allow Lord Siva to enter. Then the uncontrolled Lord Siva cut off that boy’s head. Hearing this news, Goddess Parvathy became furious and asked Siva to get back her son. Siva was helpless in returning his head. Then he cut the head of an elephant and placed it over his neck. Thus Lord Siva gave him a new birth and named him as Vinayaka. He is the God of art, music and prosperity. Devotees of Vinayaka offers him ‘Modhaka’ and laddus for getting his blessings.

    vishnu_the_kerala_temples_image

    Vishnu /  Krishna Photo

    Lord Mahavishnu is one of the deities in ‘Trimurthis’. The three functions of the world namely “Creation” , “Maintenance” and “Destruction” are being done by ‘Trimurthis’. Vishnu is known as the preserver in them. Mahavishnu is honored as the highest God in Hindhuism. The term ‘Dasavathara’ is related to Mahavishnu’s ten incarnations. Dasavatharas are Matsya, Koorma, Varaha, Narasimha, Parasurama, Vamana, Rama, Balrama, Krishna and Kalki. All these incarnations take place in all yugas in cosmic scales. In “Bhagavad Gita” and Vishnu SSahasranama, Vishnu is described as the master of the past, present and future, the creator and the destroyer of the world and all living and nonliving beings.

    The name ‘VISHNU’ means the one who can enter anywhere, as we usually says ‘Sarvavyapi’. Appearance of Vishnu is a little different from other Gods. His skin colour is in blue colour. It represents the infinite space color as the sky and the ocean having same blue colour. Vishnu’s appearance is picturised as a four armed male form, holding padhma (Lotus), gadha, Sankha (conch shell) or and Sudharsanachakra. There is a mark on his chest, named as ‘Srivalsam’. This mark indicates Lakshmi devi. Its believed that Devi resides on the chest of Vishnu. His famous jewel is named as ‘Kausthubham’. The main identity is his crown with peacock feather, which we can see in his ‘Krishna Avathar’. Anantha, the snake is always with him. He rests on Anantha and thus knows as ‘Ananthasaayee’. Vishnu’s consort is Mahalakshmi devi, the goddess of wealth. Vishnu is also honored as the deity of Santhi, the peaceful mood. Vishnu take five forms such as Para form, Vyuha form, Vybhava form, Antharyami form and Arcavathara form. In the Arcavathara form only the devotees can worship the Lord directly.

     

    vishnumaya_the_kerala_temples_image

    Bhagwan Vishnu Maya Photo

    Vishnu Maya is also referred as Chathan or Kuttichathan. His rides in buffalo and known for his Maya (illusions). Vishnu Maya (Kuttichathan) born in union of Lord Siva and a tribal girl called Koolivaka. Koolivaka was a tribal chandala (outcaste) girl and was forced by Lord siva to mate. Koolivaka, who was true devotee of goddess parvathy asked help from devi to escape from the embarrassment. Parvathy devi then advised her to stay away and took the form of her. The reason behind this was the pre-ordained fate of Koolivaka. She was one of the servants of Parvathy Devi in her previous birth. One day Devi happened to see her breast feeding vinayaka. Parvathy Devi could not control her anger and cursed that she would be born in earth as an out caste girl. In reply to her apology and request for getting out of this situation, goddess parvathy devi blessed her and told that she would be getting an opportunity to feed Lord Siva’s son in next birth.

    Another intention behind Vishnu Maya’s birth was to kill the asura called “Jalandhara“. Once Narada revealed to Chathan the secret behind his birth and intention, chathan went to see his parents in Kailasam. He took form of Vishnu and bluffed Nandikeshwara while entering to Kailasam. Lord siva thus named Chathan as Vishnu Mayam the one who took the form of Vishnu as Maya (illusion).

    (source  :   http://www.thekeralatemples.com/temple_index_vishnumaya.htm)

  • Map of Bharat Varsha

    Map of India in the Age of the Mahabharata

    This undated 20th-century map, published in Pune (formerly Poona), India, shows place names in India associated with the Mahābhārāta, one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India (the other being the Ramayana). The title of the map is in Marathi; the place names are in Sanskrit. Mahābhārata can be translated as “the great tale of the Bharata Dynasty.” Most likely composed between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D., this enormously long epic recounts the story of the dynastic struggle and civil war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas in the Kingdom of Kurukshetra that took place in about the ninth century B.C.

    Map of Bharat Varsha: Great India During the Mahabharata

    In my travels on the web, I found an excellent map of Greater Bharat(India) from the time of the Mahabharata. It shows, in detail, the name of the various cities/towns/settlements and mountain ranges and kingdoms from way, way back. The map itself claims that the period is around the 6th century BC, but the historical accuracy might be questionable. Suffice it to say that this map will help you understand where the different kingdoms and places mentioned in the Mahabharata were located.

    Map of Ancient India, Bharat - Mahabharata

    Map of India during Ramayana and Mahabharata

    Map of India in the age of Ramayana

    Map of India in the age of Ramayana

    Map of India in the age of MahabharataMap of India in the age of Mahabharata

     

    (contributed by: Chetan Bhatt  on 23.12.2012)




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