Let us Start
This delightful museum is situated in the Siddhagiri Math in Kaneri, Dist. Kolhapur, 4 kms off the Pune-Bangalore National Highway (AH 17). The Math has a history that dates back to 1200 years and is dedicated to Lord Mahadeva. The Math is in sylvan surroundings that have an abundance of flora and some fauna.
The Museum is a unique project that showcases the self-sufficiency of village life as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi. Various aspects of a village life are recreated here. The project has come to life through the vision and efforts of the present Mathadhipati H.H. Kadsiddheshwar Swamiji.
Great care and deep research has been gone into making this unusual museum. The museum currently spans over 7 acres of land where 80 scenes of village life and around 300 life-size statues of humans and domestic animals are on display in open natural surroundings. They depict various inter-dependent 12 caste-based professions and 18 related occupations that were then in existence in a largely agrarian society.
The artistic and aesthetic rendition make the scenes come alive whereas the realistic dimensions and minute attention to detailing of how homes and places of work must have looked then are a visual delight for both children and adults. A visit to this unusual museum makes one long for the back-to-nature, simple, healthy, uncomplicated village life that was prevalent in India for several centuries.
www.exoticindia.comShiva is ‘shakti’ or power. Shiva is the destroyer, the most powerful God of the Hindu pantheon and one of the God heads in the Hindu Trinity. Shiva, known by many names – Mahadeva, Mahayogi, Pashupati, Nataraja, Bhairava, Vishwanath, Bhava, Bhole Nath. Lord Shiva is perhaps the most complex of Hindu deities. Hindus recognize this by putting his shrine in the temple separate from those of other deities.Shiva As Phallic SymbolShiva, in temples is usually found as a phallic symbol of the ‘linga’, which represents the energies necessary for life on both the microcosmic and the macrocosmic levels, that is, the world in which we live and the world which constitutes the whole of the universe. In a Shaivite temple, the ‘linga’ is placed in the center underneath the spire, where it symbolizes the naval of the earth.Story of the Shiva LingamA Different DeityThe actual image of Shiva is also distinct from other deities: his hair piled high on the top of his head, with a crescent tucked into it and the river Ganges tumbling from his hairs. Around his neck is a coiled serpent representing Kundalini or the spiritual energy within life. He holds a trident in his left hand in which is bound the ‘damroo’ (small leather drum). He sits on a tiger skin and on his right is a water pot. He wears the ‘Rudraksha’ beads and his whole body is smeared with ash.The Destructive ForceShiva is believed to be at the core of the centrifugal force of the universe, because of his responsibility for death and destruction. Unlike the Godhead Brahma, the Creator, or Vishnu, the Preserver, Shiva is the dissolving force in life. But Shiva dissolves in order to create, since death is the medium for rebirth into a new life. So the opposites of life anddeath and creation and destruction both reside in his character.The Most Fascinating of GodsShiva is also often portrayed as the supreme ascetic with a passive and composed disposition. Sometimes he is depicted riding a bull called Nandi decked in garlands. Although a very complicated deity, Shiva is one of the most fascinating of Hindu gods.The God Who’s Always HighSince Shiva is regarded as a mighty destructive power, to numb his negative potentials he is fed with opium and is also termed as ‘Bhole Shankar’, one who is oblivious of the world. Therefore, on Maha Shivratri, the night of Shiva worship, devotees, especially the menfolk, prepare an intoxicating drink called ‘Thandai’ (made from cannabis, almonds, and milk) sing songs in praise of the Lord and dance to the rhythm of the drums.(source: http://hinduism.about.com/od/lordshiva/p/shiva.htm)
Varanasi (Sanskrit: वाराणसी Vārāṇasī, Hindustani pronunciation: [ʋaːˈraːɳəsi]), also commonly known as Benares or Banaras (Hindi: बनारस, Urdu: بنارس, Banāras [bəˈnaːrəs] ) and Kashi (Hindi: काशी, Urdu: کاشی, Kāśī [ˈkaːʃi]), is a city situated on the banks of the River Ganges in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, 320 kilometres (199 mi) southeast of state capital Lucknow. It is regarded as a holy city by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and probably the oldest in India.
The Kashi Naresh (Maharaja of Kashi) is the chief cultural patron of Varanasi and an essential part of all religious celebrations. The culture of Varanasi is closely associated with the River Ganges and the river’s religious importance. The city has been a cultural and religious centre in North India for several thousand years. The Benares Gharana form of the Indian classical music developed in Varanasi, and many prominent Indian philosophers, poets, writers, and musicians resided or reside in Varanasi, including Kabir, Satguru Ravidass, Trailanga Swami, Munshi Premchand, Devkinandan Khatri, Bhartendu Harishchandra, Jaishankar Prasad, Acharya Shukla, Ravi Shankar, Girija Devi, Sitara Devi, Gudai Maharaj, Hariprasad Chaurasia, and Bismillah Khan. Tulsidas wrote Ramacharitamanas here, and Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath located near Varanasi (Kashi).
Varanasi is home to four universities: Banaras Hindu University, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies and Sampurnanand Sanskrit University. Residents mainly speak the Hindi and Kashika Bhojpuri, which is closely related to the Hindi language. People often refer to Varanasi as “the city of temples”, “the holy city of India”, “the religious capital of India”, “the city of lights”, and “the city of learning.”
Painting of Benares in 1890.
The name Varanasi has its origin possibly from the names of the two rivers Varuna and Assi, for the old city lies in the north shores of the Ganga bounded by its two tributaries, the Varuna and the Asi, with the Ganges being to its south. Another speculation about the origin of the name is that the river Varuna itself was called Varanasi in olden times, from which the city got its name. This is generally disregarded by historians, though there may be some earlier texts suggesting it to be so.
Through the ages, Varanasi was variously known as Avimuktaka, Anandakanana, Mahasmasana, Surandhana, Brahma Vardha, Sudarsana, Ramya, and Kasi.
In the Rigveda, the city was referred to as Kasi or Kashi, “the luminous one” as an allusion to the city’s historical status as a centre of learning, literature, and culture. Kasikhanda described the glory of the city in 15, 000 verses in the Skanda Purana. In one verse, God Shiva says,
The three worlds form one city of mine, and Kasi is my royal palace therein.
According to legend, the city was founded by the Hindu deity Lord Shiva, several thousand years ago, thus making it one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the country. It is also a general belief that it stands on the weapon “The Trishool” of Lord Shiva. It is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hindus. Many Hindu scriptures, including the Rigveda, Skanda Purana, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata, mention the city.
Varanasi is generally believed to be about several thousand years old. Varanasi was an industry centre famous for its muslin and silk fabrics, perfumes, ivory works, and sculpture. During the time of Gautama Buddha (born circa 567 BCE), Varanasi was the capital of the Kingdom of Kashi. The celebrated Chinese traveller Xuanzang attested that the city was a center of religious and artistic activities, and that it extended for about 5 km along the western bank of the Ganges.
Kashi Naresh and Ramnagar
Varanasi became an independent Kingdom of Kashi in the eighteenth century, and under subsequent British rule, it remained a commercial and religious centre. Varanasi suffered during the raids into India by Muhammad of Ghori, as described by Kamil-ut-Tawarikh of Ibn Asir: “The slaughter of Hindus (at Varanasi) was immense; none were spared except women and children, (who were taken into slavery) and the carnage of men went on until the earth was weary.” In 1910, the British made Varanasi a new Indian state, with Ramanagar as its headquarters but with no jurisdiction over the city of Varanasi itself. Kashi Naresh still resides in the fort of Ramanagar. The Ramnagar Fort of the Kashi Naresh is situated to the east of Varanasi, across the Ganges. The Ramnagar Fort was built by Kashi Naresh Raja Balwant Singh with creamy chunar sandstone in the eighteenth century. It is a typically Mughal style of architecture with carved balconies, open courtyards, and picturesque pavilions. The other fort of the Kashi Naresh is the Chet Singh Palace, near Shivala Ghat, Varanasi built by Maharaja Chet Singh.
Ramnagar Fort and its museum are the repository of the history of the kings of Benares and since the 18th century has been the home of Kashi Naresh. Even today the Kashi Naresh is deeply revered by the people of Benares. He is the religious head and the people of Benares consider him the incarnation of Lord Shiva. He is also the chief cultural patron and an essential part of all religious celebrations.
The city of Varanasi is located in the middle Ganges valley of North India, in the Eastern part of the state of Uttar Pradesh, along the left crescent-shaped bank of the Ganges river. It has the headquarters of Varanasi district. The “Varanasi Urban Agglomeration” — an agglomeration of seven urban sub-units — covers an area of 112.26 km 2 (approximately 43 mi²). The urban agglomeration is stretched between 82° 56’E – 83° 03’E and 25° 14’N – 25° 23.5’N. Being located in the Indo-Gangetic Plains of North India, the land is very fertile because low level floods in the Ganges continually replenish the soil.
On a local level, Varanasi is located on a higher ground between rivers Ganges and Varuna, the mean elevation being 80.71 m. As a result of absence of tributaries and canals, the main land is continuous and relatively dry. In ancient times, this geographic situation must have been highly favourable for forming settlements. But it is difficult to ascertain the original geography of Varanasi because the city’s current location is not exactly the same as the one described in some old texts.
Varanasi is often said to be located between two confluences: one of the Ganges and Varuna, and other of the Ganges and Assi, (Assi having always been a rivulet rather than a river.) The distance between these two confluences is around 2.5 miles (4.0 km), and religious Hindus regard a round trip between these two places—a Pancha-kroshi Yatra (a five mile (8 km) journey) ending with a visit to a Sakshi Vinayak Temple as a holy ritual.
A view of the Ghat of Varanasi from the River Ganges
Varanasi experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cwa) with large variations between summer and winter temperatures. Summers are long, from early April to October, with intervening monsoon seasons and are also extremely hot, even by South Asian standards. The temperature ranges between 32°C – 46 °C (90°F – 115 °F) in the summers. Winters in Varanasi see very large diurnal variations, with warm days and downright cold nights. Cold waves from the Himalayan region cause temperatures to dip across the city in the winter from December to February and temperatures below 5 °C are not uncommon. The average annual rainfall is 1,110 mm (44 in). Fog is common in the winters, while hot dry winds, called loo, blow in the summers.
(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varanasi)Varanasi (Sanskrit: वाराणसी Vārāṇasī, Hindustani pronunciation: ), is a city situated on the banks of the River Ganges in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, 320 kilometres (199 mi) southeast of state capital Lucknow. It ...
Apni Biwi ko apni 100% kamai dene se 10% Sukh milta hai.Kisi doosri ko apni kamai ka 10% dene pe 100% sukh milta hai Paisa apka … Faisla apka …
“Funny but true fact !!
A woman worries about her future till she gets a husband,
A man never worries about his future until he gets a wife !! ..
What do u say?
A Man before marriage is – Superman.
After Marriage – Gentleman.
5 Years Later – Watchman.
10 Years later – Apne Hi Jaal Mein fasaa hua Spiderman.
Life may hamesha Haste raho, muskrate raho, gaate raho, gungunate raho
taki tumhe dekh kar hi log samaj jaye ki
Tum… “KUWARE” ho…..(Isliye humare ho…..)
Continue reading →Apni Biwi ko apni 100% kamai dene se 10% Sukh milta hai.Kisi doosri ko apni kamai ka 10% dene pe 100% sukh milta hai Paisa apka … Faisla apka … ****************** “Funny but true fact !! A woman worries about her future till she gets a husband, A man never worries about his future until ...
Articles of faith in Islam
- To believe in the Oneness of Allah.
- To believe in all His Angels.
- To believe in all His Books.
- To believe in all His Prophets.
- To believe in the Day of Resurrection.
- To believe in the Decree of Allah
The Five Pillars of Islam
- Bearing witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah
- Observance of Prayer
- Paying Zakat
- Fasting during Ramadhan
- Pilgrimage to the house of Allah.
(more at : http://www.alislam.org/islam/ )Articles of faith in Islam To believe in the Oneness of Allah. To believe in all His Angels. To believe in all His Books. To believe in all His Prophets. To believe in the Day of Resurrection. To believe in the Decree of Allah The Five Pillars of Islam Bearing witness that there is ...