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Showing posts from April 5, 2007

Bengali New Year 2007

Poila Baisakh is the Bengali New Year and it falls on April 15, 2007. Also known as Naba Varsha or Naba Barsha, it is the first day of the month of Baisakh, the first month of the Bengali Calendar. Like in all other New Year celebrations around India, the houses are thoroughly cleaned and decorated with seasonal flowers. Entrance to the houses are decorated with elaborate rangolis using a paste made out of rice flour. An earthen pot or ‘kalash’ decorated with rice flour paste is placed in the center of the rangolis. The swastika symbol is drawn on the pot. The pot is filled to the brim with water and mango leaves are arranged at its neck. The ‘kalash’ symbolizes a prosperous year. Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh are worshipped and women wear white sari with red border and men wear dhoti and kurta. In some areas, people take part in Prabhat Pheries or early morning processions. Then it is time to meet friends and relatives and exchange gifts and greet each other - Shubo Nabo Barsho. Wo…

Buguda Sun Temple in Orissa

Talk about SunTemple in Orissa, the first thing that comes to our mind is the SunTemple in Konark. But there are two other (even more) sun temples in Orissa. One is in Buguda in Ganjam District and another is at Palia in Bhadrak District. The SunTemple at Buguda is made out of wood and is sometimes referred as the Wooden Konark.
But poor maintenance and other natural causes have pushed the temple on to the verge of collapse. Lack of funds and lack of people with knowledge to repair the 18th century temple are two main impediments in protecting the structure.
The temple is dedicated to the Sun God and is popularly known as the Biranchi Narayan temple. A historical report states that the idol in the temple was found by a cattle herder, who accidentally struck his foot against the idol which was buried underground. People of the area unearthed the life-size image and installed it at the Buguda temple. There is a belief that the idol is the lost idol of Konark’s SunTemple.
Apart from the…

Prisoners make rope for Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple Flag

During the annual Painkuni festival at the famous SriPadmanabhaswamyTemple in Trivandrum, Kerala, fresh cords (rope) for the temple flags are ordered from the Central Prison. It might sound strange, but this is a tradition that has been followed without a break for 120 years. The two set of cords needed for the festival is ordered in three months advance. And the cord will be ready two weeks before the commencement of the festival. The entire process of making the cord is done by the Prisoners at the Central Prison in Trivandrum.Earlier, the prisoners used to make several other items needed for the temple. But now they only provide cords for temple flags and tassels for ‘onnavillu.’

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