Thang Ta and Sarit Sarak

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  • These two are the martial art forms from the Indian state of Manipur.
  • In Manipuri language thang means sword and ta means spear.
  • Thang Ta is name for the ancient martial practice known as Huyen Lallong .
  • The unarmed aspect of Thang Ta is named as sarit sarak.

Sabarimala Temple

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  • The temple is situated atop a hill in the deep forests of the Periyar Tiger Reserve in the Western Ghats in Pathanamthitta district.
  • This ancient forest shrine, situated 210 km from Kochi, draws pilgrims from different parts of the country.
  • Recently, with the development of road transport and communication facilities, Sabarimala has been witnessing a phenomenal increase in the number of pilgrims. 
  • The Travancore Devaswom Board, administers the temple.
  • The Travancore Devaswom Board estimates that around 5 crore devotees had visited the temple during the last pilgrim season.
  • The season normally begins in mid-November and ends in January.

Konark Sun Temple

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  • Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century sun temple at Konark on the coastline of Odisha.
  • The name Konark derives from the combination of the Sanskrit words Kona (corner or angle) and Arka (the sun).
  • The temple is attributed to king Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty
  • Dedicated to the Hindu god Surya, what remains of the temple complex has the appearance of a 100-foot (30 m) high chariot with immense wheels and horses, all carved from stone.
  • Also called the Surya Devalaya, it is a classic illustration of the Odisha style of Hindu temple architecture.
  • This temple was called the “Black Pagoda” in European sailor accounts as early as 1676 because its great tower appeared black.
  • Similarly, the Jagannath Temple in Puri was called the “White Pagoda”. Both temples served as important landmarks for sailors in the Bay of Bengal.
  • Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984, it remains a major pilgrimage site for Hindus, who gather here every year for the Chandrabhaga Mela around the month of February.

Brihadisvara Temple

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  • Rajarajesvaram or Peruvudaiyar Koyil, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
  • It follows Dravidian architecture.
  • It is called as Dhakshina Meru (Meru of south).
  • Built by Raja Raja Chola I between 1003 and 1010 AD, the temple is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Great Living Chola Temples”, along with the Chola dynasty era Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple and Airavatesvara temple that are about 70 kilometres.
  • Built out of granite, the vimana tower above the sanctum is one of the tallest in South India.

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Gatka

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  • It is a traditional martial art associated with Sikhism
  • The Punjabi name gatka properly refers to the wooden stick used.
  • It is a traditional South Asian form of combat-training in which wooden sticks are used to simulate swords
  • Gatka can be practiced either as a sport (khela) or ritual (rasmi). The sport form is played by two opponents wielding wooden staves called gatka. These sticks may be paired with a shield
  • It is believed to have originated when sixth Sikh guru Hargobind adopted ‘Kirpan’ for self defense during Mughal era and tenth Guru Gobind Singh made it compulsory for everyone to use the weapons for self defense

 

Students performing Gatka during the opening of 61st National School Games 2015 – 16 (Cricket under 19 girls) organised by the Department of Education UT at Government Model School in Sector 26 of Chandigarh on Thursday, October 08 2015. Express Photo by Sahil Walia

Traditional Combats in other states:

  • Huyen langlon – Manipur
  • Kalaripayatu – Kerala
  • Khomlainai (Bodo wrestling) – Assam
  • Mukna – Manipur
  • Silambam – Tamil Nadu

Lohagarh Fort

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  • Lohagarh Fort (Iron fort) is situated at Bharatpur in Rajasthan, India.
  • It was constructed by Bharatpur Jat rulers.
  • Maharaja Suraj Mal used all his power and wealth to a good cause, and built numerous forts and palaces across his kingdom, one of them being the Lohagarh Fort (Iron fort), which was one of the strongest ever built in Indian history.
  • The inaccessible Lohagarh fort could withstand repeated attacks of British forces led by Lord Lake in 1805 when they laid siege for over six weeks.
  • Of the two gates in the fort, one in the north is known as Ashtdhaatu (eight metalled) gate while the one facing the south is called Chowburja (four-pillared) gate.
  • The Gateway has paintings of huge elephants.

Kangla Fort

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  • Kangla Fort is one of the most important historic and archaeological site of Manipur located in the heart of the capital city Imphal.
  • It had served as tradition seat of past Meetei rulers of Manipur till 1891.
  • The old Govindajee Temple is the largest Hindu, Vaishnav temple in Imphal city in Manipur.
  • It is located next to Kangla Fort, palace of the former rulers of the then Manipur Kingdom.
  • Its outer and inner moat and other relics are perfect reflections of the rich art and architectural heritage of Manipur.

Kailasa temple

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  • The construction of the temple began during the rule of the Rashtrakuta king, Dantidurga (735-757 AD).
  • Major work on the temple was done by King Dantidurga’s successor, Krishna I (757-773 AD), although work continued under many successive kings for more than a century.
  • It is located in Ellora, Maharashtra.

 

Facts

  • There are 34 caves in Ellora, numbered according to their age.
  • Temples 1 to 12 in the Southern side are the 12 Buddhist caves.
  • Temples 13 to 29 are the 17 Hindu caves.
  • Temples 30 – 34 are the 5 Jain caves.
  • The Kailasanatha temple (Cave 16) is one of the 34 cave temples and monasteries known collectively as the Ellora Caves.

 

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Features

  • The carving of the temple started from the top of the mountain but a pit was later dug around the temple on the sloping side of the hill
  • Apart from the gopura , the main temple has a sabha griha ( hall), vestibules and a Nandi mandap which leads to the garba griha (sanctum) with the Shiv linga, all of which are profusely carved and with Dravidian shikharas (towers). A bridge connects the Nandi mandap to the gopuram .

 

Cultural Link

  • The temple houses several intricately carved panels, depicting scenes from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the adventures of Krishna.
  • There are five detached shrines in the temple premises; three of these are dedicated to the river goddesses: Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati.

National Culture Fund (NCF)

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  • NCF was established as Trust under Charitable Endowment Act, 1890 as funding mechanism distinct from existing sources and patterns of funding for arts and culture in India.
  • It aims at inviting individuals as well as private institutions in the task of promoting, protecting and preserving India’s cultural heritage.
  • It is managed and administered by council headed by Union Culture Minister and decides the policies.
  • Its Executive Committee is headed by Secretary, Ministry of Culture which actualizes those policies.
  • All projects undertaken by NCF are completed within specified period in accordance with MoU signed by it with concerned donor organization.
  • Union Government had granted one-time corpus fund to NCF, apart from this, there is no fund allocated to it from government.
  • It receives contributions and voluntary donations as endowments from many other sources.
  • Donations and contributions to NCF are eligible for 100% tax deduction under Income Tax Act, 1961 subject to limits and conditions prescribed.

 

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Kumbh Mela

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  • KumbhMela is held every four times every 12 years at four different locations across central and northern India.
  • It  is the largest religious congregation and largest peaceful gathering on planet.
  • This vast celebration attracts tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims, including mendicant nagas.
  • The first written evidence of the Kumbha Mela is mentioned in Bhagvat Purana.
  • Another written evidence of Kumbha Mela is in works of Huen Tsang, who visited India in 629–645 AD, during reign of Harsha.
  • The Samudra manthan episode also has mentioned in Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana, Mahabharata, and Ramayana.
  • Kumbh Mela is held every third year at one of four places by rotation: Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain.
  • Thus, it is held at each of these four places every twelfth year.
  • Ardha Kumbha Mela, which is next in sanctity, is held only at Haridwar and Allahabad.
  • The rivers at these four places are Ganga at Haridwar, Prayag Sangam at Allahabad, Godawari at Nashik, and Shipra at Ujjain.
  • The largest crowd is held on Mauni Amavasya.
  • India, known for its heritage and cultural diversity has 13 cultural heritages in the UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list.
  • “Kumbh Mela” was the latest addition to the list.