Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Ban on Jasmine"

Hi Readers,

Are you aware that our neighbouring country CHINA has removed the word Jasmine from all its dictionary? What was the guilt of this beautiful scented Jasmine? Why did China government has ban on it?

If you search in the Internet with the word Jasmine in China it will reply that there is no such word. The farmers who used to produce Jasmine before 2011, have lost there source of income because the government has a ban on Jasmine. There was a beautiful song in China dedicated to its President which used Jasmine as a word. Now, broadcasting that is also banned. After all why did this all happen, what was the guilt of Jasmine that China has a ban on it. Why did China ban its flower festival named Jasmine festival after all. All this started in February 2011, when there was people's revolution against its diplomatic ruler at Tunisia (North Africa). Tunisia has Jasmine as its national flower. And this common mass revolution against its government was named JASMINE REVOLUTION by international media. This revolution not only had the people of Tunisia overcome its Diplomat ruler Ben Ali, but also led to other revolutions in Egypt and Libya. The result of all this revolutions is known.

During this agitation, the Internet flooded with news and blogs and tweeter started raising people to have peace march holding Jasmine in their hand. Though the people of Tunisia called this revolution Dignity Revolution, it gained fame as Jasmine Revolution world wide.

The China government fearing that people of China will follow the path that Tunisia has shown, led ban on this scented Jasmine. Now, SM S's Internet, even talking and growing Jasmine in China has been banned. However, the farmers who depended on Jasmine cultivation are in loss. And its hard to understand why there was ban on this flower, just because its name was used in the revolution.Nobody, has any answer to the strict ban on use of word Jasmine in China.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vellore Fort - Jalakantheswar Temple

Hi Readers,

Today, again I am going to describe my trip to Vellore. Its more of about the fort and the magnificent temple inside it.

View of the fort from boat in the moat.

The fortification consist of a main rampart broken at irregular intervals by round towers and rectangular projections. The main wall is made up of granite stone taken from nearby Arcot and Chittor. The main wall is surrounded by moat fed with water to make it even more defensive. This is one of the most perfect specimen of military architecture in India. Same as any other fort be it in south or north of India. The architecture depicts the same massive and huge walls surrounded by moat to make it more defensive.

The most interesting fact about this fort is there is a Hindu temple(Jalakantheswar temple), a mosque and a church inside its barricade. The fort also houses the famous "TIPU MAHAL", where Tipu Sultan is believed to have stayed along with his family during the war with Britishers.

There is a garden outside this fort and boating facility is there in the moat. Paintings of Demon faces, horses, elephants, gooses and human figure can be seen in the main wall of this fort. The cannon pointing outside with the cannon balls can still be seen.

Main entrance Jalakantheswar.

The Jalakantheswar temple is of same age as this fort. This temple is noted for its magnificent sculpture, and speaks about the highly skilled and efficient artisans of that age. The temple has a large wedding hall adorned with elegant reliefs of monolithic sculpture. The temple has double Gopurams and has many deities beside the Jalakantheswar Shiva to whom it is dedicated. The temple premises has Ganapati temple, Akhilanteswari temple and Navagrahas. There is a well, where they say to drop a coin and make a wish. It also displays the Gold chariot that is used to take the lord for Parikrama(trip to town) once a year.

Gold Chariot


So, readers if you happen to go on a trip to Vellore, don't miss out this wonderful destination.

Sripuram - Golden Temple

Hi Readers,
This weekend I went to yet another golden temple i.e. The golden temple of Sripuram, Vellore. Frankly, speaking I never heard about this temple in my 5 yrs stay in south India. This temple was inaugurated in 2007, may be that is the reason it has not got the fame of Tirupathi. I just heard about it few days back and packed my bags to visit this splendid temple.
The temple is situated just 10kms away from Vellore city, the place is named Tirumalaikodi. Reaching Vellore from Chennai takes just 2 and ½ hr. The temple is built over 100 acres of land. Below is the picture of its entrance.

Main gate
Though, photography is strictly not allowed inside the temple premises, I got a few picture if this magnificent temple by GOOGLING. The temple has a calm and serene atmosphere. The premises are well kept and the garden is well maintained. The garden has a manmade waterfall, has beautiful flower plants from roses to orchids. The plants are cut into different shapes resembling human figures and animals. It reminded me of the gardens at Ramoji Film city Hyderabad. Once, you make an entry to the temple, the first thing is to keep your mobiles, cameras and other electronic items in safe lockers. Use of any sort of electronics is strictly prohibited. That’s, the reason I could not take a single picture of this magnificent temple.

View from outside the temple

Once, you are done with footwear and electronics, the path leads you to a path with wooden pillars, roofed with tiles and floors decorated with granites and red tiles. You can mark the star shape engraved with granites in the path. This path has wonderful lamp posts and when you take your step through the path, you will be greeted with the Narayani mantra at a very slow pitch. The place is very quiet and calm. The cool breeze, the scenic beauty of this temple will grab all your attention. In both side of this path you can see visible boards displaying life, righteousness and truth messages. They encourage you to read these messages and imbibe its meaning as you slowly progress towards your destination i.e. the main temple. The aerial view of this path is wonderfully designed in the shape of star. You can see the picture below with the STAR like structure.

Star path and its aerial view

Inside this Star path there is another inner circle encircling the main temple. The distance between the inner circle and the main temple has a water pond. This golden temple reflects in this water, and that dazzling light fills your heart and soul with purity in thoughts and makes you more inclined towards the mantra that is being played. Chanting Mantra is encouraged like the Iscon temple Bangalore, where you Chant the Mantra at each step that you put forward to reach the main temple.

View of main temple from the Main gate
The green water reflects the temple architecture much more beautifully. Temple architecture is much similar to the golden temple at Tirupathi. The gold foils that are used to cover of the pillars are engraved with elephants, gooses and lotus. The temple dome is beautifully decorated with a large lotus and has a big hanging ceiling light. All the engraving on the gold is done minutely and is flawless. Inside the temple you can see a large idol of Lakhmi Narayani.  The statue is black in color and is decorated with gold and gem ornaments. It is decorated with flower garlands and Basil leaves. You can sit there for about 15 to 20mins and watch the Aarati at evening hours. The priest keep on chanting the mantras and the atmosphere fills your heart and soul with peace, and purity in thoughts. While leaving you will be given the Prasadam/Prasad along with a holy book about the goddess Lakhmi Narayani  and about the temple history and Sree Shakthi Amma the founder of this temple.

The Main temple

Sree Lakshmi Narayani with the founder
Altogether, I felt this as one place where peace restores in mind, somehow the much needed FEEL GOOD FACTOR is there that recharged my thoughts.  I would love to come back again and again to this beautiful temple.

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