A beautiful Ganapati statue which I came across at the Ravalnath Temple in Chandgadh, Maharashtra
If you ever visit Kolhapur in Maharashtra, do not forget to visit this only one of its kind, the beautiful wax museum, the Siddhagiri Gramjivan Museum at Kaneri. I happened to be fortunate enough to visit this place earlier this week. It beautifully depicts the history of self-sufficient village life before the invasion of Mughals in India. The life size wax statues are so natural and look so real, and provide you loads of information about the beauty of village life in India. The amazing information provided about the ancient Indian scientists, philosophers, writers, artists etc at the cave like entrance of this wax museum is another great wonder not to be missed at all.
The ancient Indian system of meditation, called Dhyana in Sanskrit, was introduced by Bodhidharma to China and became popular as Chán (as in Jackie Chan) and from there it reached Japan and became Zen.
The Japanese Scholar Hajime Nakamura has said that “India is culturally, Mother of Japan. For centuries it has, in her own characteristic way, been exercising her influence on the thought and culture of Japan.”
Another Japanese Scholar Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki has said that “The study of Japanese thought is the study of Indian thought”.
PIC: The huge statue of meditating Buddha at Bodhgaya, India
Alexander ended his Indian adventure on the banks of this beautiful river Beas. This marked the easternmost border of Alexander’s conquest. His troops mutinied here refusing to go any further inside India and Alexander had to return without being able to cross this river.
Alexander’s troops had real difficult time in winning against Porus when they entered India, and the main reason was they had never fought against an army of elephants. The army of Porus which they fought had 200 elephants. The real military strength of the ancient Indian kingdoms was their war elephants. No kingdoms in rest of the world had these fierce war winners.
The reason for Alexander’s troops refusing to go any further inside India was because of the news they got that on the other side of the river bank, was waiting a huge army of the mighty Nanda empire consisting of 200000 infantry, 80000 cavalry, 8000 war chariots, and MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL 6000 war elephants :)
Alexander’s army very well realized that, crossing the river Beas would mean just one thing - never making it back again.
PIC: Beas flowing near Manali in northern India.
Vivekananda Rock Memorial near the confluence of Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean at the southernmost tip of mainland India at Kanya Kumari in Tamilnadu.
This rock is called Sripada Parai, meaning the one being blessed by the touch of the sacred feet of the goddess Kanya Kumari.
Did you know about Bengaluru?
In 1687 Aurangazeb’s army captured Bangalore from Bijapur Sultan and sold it to Wodeyar’s family of Mysore Kingdom for 3 lakh pagodas.
History of Mumbai you probably didn’t know:
1) Mumbai was captured by the Portuguese in 1534.
2) Mumbai was gifted as DOWRY in 1661 by Portugal King to Charles II of England for marrying his sister Princess Catherine de Braganza.
3) Charles II gave Mumbai to the East Indian Company on lease in 1668.
Makar - The first “Made in India” state-of-the-art twin-hull survey vessels built by the Gujarat state govt company “Alcock Ashdown Limited” was recently handed over to the Indian Navy. This is the first in the series of six catamaran vessels being built in Gujarat for the Indian Navy.
Note: The word catamaran meaning two hulled boat is derived from the Tamil word Kattumaram meaning ‘tied wood’.
Wootz steel - a form of highly durable carbon steel was a specialty of ancient India, and much sought-after in the West. In Roman literature there are references to the import of this steel from the Chera country of southern India.
Another sign that Ancient India was celebrated for its steel is seen in a Persian phrase - “giving an Indian answer” which means “a cut with an Indian sword”. Wootz steel was widely exported and traded throughout ancient Europe and the Arab world.
The word wootz is an anglicised version of urukke, the word for melting in Tamil and Malayalam, OR urukku or ukku the word for steel in Kannada and Telugu.
Image: An antique wootz steel bladed Khanda sword from India - Source:http://www.swordsantiqueweapons.com/