Ghum (also known as Ghoom) is a small hilly region in Darjeeling, West Bengal – and is home to the highest railway station in India at an altitude of 7,407 feet. The place is also the home of the Ghum Monastery and the Batasia Loop, a bend of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Construction of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway started in 1879, and the railway track reached Ghum on April 4, 1881. Presently, after climbing from Siliguri to Ghum, the train starts descending about 1,000 feet to Darjeeling, whereby it first crosses the double loop at Batasia. […]
INS Vikrant (name drawn from ‘vikranta,’ which means ‘brave’ or ‘courageous’ in Sanskrit) was an aircraft carrier of the Indian navy. The ship was initially to be built as HMS Hercules for the British Royal Navy during World War II but the ship’s construction was put on hold when the war ended. India purchased the incomplete carrier in 1957, and finished building it in 1961. INS Vikrant was commissioned as the first aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy, and Captain Pritam Singh was the ship’s first commanding officer. On May 18, 1961, the first jet, piloted by Lieutenant Radhakrishna Hariram Tahiliani, landed on her deck. INS Vikrant formally joined the Indian Navy’s fleet in Mumbai (then Bombay) on November 3, 1961. […]
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (September 5, 1888 to April 17, 1975) was independent India’s first Vice President, and second President. He was the recipient of several distinguished awards, including the Bharat Ratna (India’s highest civilian award), honorary membership of the British Royal Order of Merit and knighthood. Dr. Radhakrishnan was one of the most influential thinkers of modern India, and he stressed on the need for the “best minds in the country” to become teachers, so as to groom the upcoming generations. He was himself regarded by many in politics as a wise mentor, who put the country’s above his own at all times. It is said that, after Dr. Radhakrishnan became the President of India, a group of students wanted to celebrate his birthday as Radhakrishnan Jayanti. He gently refused and instead suggested that they think of a way to honour their teachers. What followed was that his birthday was marked as ‘Teachers’ Day’ in India, and has been celebrated as such since 1962. […]
Mrs. Leela was a school Principal in a small village in Vellore. She was about 55 years of age and had been a teacher for the longest time, more than 30 years to be precise. Mrs. Leela was not just a teacher, but also a very good friend to all her students. There was not one student in school who didn’t like her. She was a favourite for almost everyone. Not just the students, even the teachers and all the other non-teaching staff always had high regards for her. They knew that in case of any need, she would always be there to support in whatever way she could. […]
Ask any child about his/her favourite board game and the answer is bound to be ‘Snakes and Ladders.’ This all-time favourite board game originated in our very own country. In fact, India is responsible for giving to the world many board games including Ludo. Of course they were originally called by different names. […]
Have you ever wondered how your life would be without any failures? The thought itself might bring a smile on our faces, but as a matter of fact, is that ever possible? Well, let’s face it. Never really. Success and failure are two sides of the same coin. What we achieve as an end result might not be in our hands, but dedicatedly working towards achieving a goal is definitely in our hands itself. […]
Hindu mythology speaks of a great churning of the Ocean of Milk to get Amritham or the nectar of immortality, a precious liquid which would give anyone who drank it everlasting life. There was a battle between the Devas or heavenly beings, and the Assuras or demons. The Devas had been weakened by a sage’s curse. Vishnu advised them to join hands with the Assuras, and churn the Ocean of Milk to find Amritham. The deal was that the nectar would be shared by the Devas and Assuras, but Vishnu promised that he would see that only the Devas got it, so that the demons wouldn’t gain control. […]
Dharamshala literally means a place dedicated to religious and charitable work. It is the name of a famous town in Himachal Pradesh, located in the foothills of the Himalayas. Apart from its scenic beauty, it is also a very popular tourist spot because it is the present home of the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama is the spiritual head of the Tibetans. When there was a political problem in Tibet, the Dalai Lama and his followers came to India, and settled in Dharamshala. […]
In a forested area in Kerala, there is famous temple dedicated to the Snake God Nagaraja.
The story goes that, originally, the soil in Kerala was very salty and nothing would grow there. Lord Parasuram was told by Lord Shiva that the land would be fertile only if the poison of snakes was spread into it. So Parasuram and his disciples worshipped Lord Nagaraja, who granted the wish. Thousands of snakes poured their poison into the ground. The saltiness disappeared and Kerala became green and prosperous. Parasuram built a temple to Lord Nagaraja at Mannarasala, where the Snake God appeared to him, and left it in the care of a Brahmin family. […]
The Indian Rhino is a big, huge animal. An adult male weighs about 2,200 kilos. That’s a LOT more than you do, isn’t it? There are several types of rhinos, but the Indian Rhino can be easily identified because it has only one horn. And that horn can grow up to 25 inches in length. Therefore, it is also sometimes called the Greater One-Horned Rhino. […]
Bandhini is the art of making a special type of design on cloth which started thousands of years ago. Even people of the Indus Valley Civilization are believed to have practiced it. A painting in the 6th Century Ajanta Caves shows women wearing clothes with bandhani designs. This is the oldest record we have now of this particular art form. […]
Aarathi is a ritual performed at Hindu religious ceremonies, in temples, and also in homes. In its most simple form, it involves waving a flame in front of a deity or person in a clockwise direction. The flame can be from a lighted oil lamp, or simply burning camphor. Items like flowers, sandalwood paste and incense sticks may also be placed on an Aarathi plate, made of copper, brass or even silver. It is often accompanied by chanting or singing of bhajans. […]