14 Feb 2020

The River Krishna is the fourth-biggest river in terms of water inflows and river basin area in India. After the Ganga, Godavari, and Brahmaputra, it's the 4th one. The river is almost 1,400 kilometers which is approximately 870 miles long.

This river is also called Krishnaveni. And this river is one of the major sources of irrigation for Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The Krishna river originates in the Western Ghats near Mahabaleshwar at an elevation of about 1,300 meters, in the state of Maharashtra in Western India.

The river Krishan empties into the Bay of Bengal at Hamasaladeevi in Andhra Pradesh. This river flows from the west to the east.

Near Guntur, the Prakasam Barrage connects Krishna with the Guntur district. The barrage serves also as a road bridge and spans over a lake.

The idea of constructing the dam across the river Krishna dates back to 1798. The dam was started in 1852 and completed in 1855.

Later, the State Government constructed a bridge that was named after Tanguturi Prakasam, the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. The work of today's barrage completed in 1957.

Here we have some beautiful photos of River Krishna and the Prakasam Bridge-Barrage clicked by one of our friend Limon.

* All these photos are taken by Liman and published here with his permission.
* Follow Liman on Twitter at @ChandrakarLiman
* All these sources of information are taken from Wikipedia.

Further Reading...

  1. A Beautiful View of Indavati Dam
  2. Joranda Mela, Odisha
  3. Dhanu Jatra, Baragarh

6 Feb 2020

Indrabati Dam (In Odia: ଇନ୍ଦ୍ରାବତୀ ଡ୍ୟାମ୍/ବନ୍ଧ) is a gravity dam on the Indravati River a tributary of Godavari. It's about 90 kilometers from Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi in the state of Odisha in India.

It is connected to the main Indravati reservoir via 4.32 km long and 7 m dia headrace tunnel designed for a discharge capacity of 210 cumecs and terminating in a surge shaft. The height of the Dam is 45 meters which is 148 ft and the length is 539 meters and 1,768 in ft.

Prior to 1947 Late HH Maharaja PK Deo had already envisioned the project and played a pivotal role afterward. The main purpose of the dam was Hydroelectricity and irrigation. The project was operating and maintaining by the Government of Odisha and Water Resources Department. The dam was completed in the year of 1996.

* All these photographs are taken by Liman and shared with his pemission.
* Follow his on Twitter: @ChandrakarLiman
* And all the information are taken from Wikipedia.

28 Jan 2020

Joranda Mela (Odia: ଯୋରନ୍ଦା ମେଳା) is a three days fair celebrated at Joranda Mahima Gadi by the monks of Mahima Dharma. The mela started from the Magha Purnima which is also known as Aghira Purnima in Odisha.

Magha is the 10th month of the year according to Odia calendar which starts from Makara Sankranti in the mid of January. So, this festival is celebrated in January or February according to the Georgian Calendar.

Joranda Gadhi is a temple in the Dhenkanal district in Odisha. It's built on a location where three villages Joranda, Natima, and Patna met. The temple is dedicated to the supreme lord. The followers of Mahima dharma worship him as Sunya Brahma or the shapeless lord.

This festival is the biggest festival of Mahima Dharma, where lots of people use to come to this place from different parts of India. This festival is also known as the Mahima Mela.

Mahima Swami or Mahima Gosein (Odia: ମହିମା ଗୋସେଇଁ) is the founder of this Mahima religion. After his death in 1283, this festival is being celebrated at Mahima Gadi, the cremation place of Mahima Gosain.

The Mahima Sanyasis use to arrange a big Yagnya or Havan for World Peace (ବିଶ୍ୱ ଶାନ୍ତି) and offers ghee to the Haven Kund by reciting "Mahima Alekha".

* All these photographs are taken by Tarani Trotter and placed here with his permission.

26 Jan 2020

The winter has it's own charm. We love the winter for various reasons. We love the chilled weather, we love every drops on grass, flowers, leaves. We love the walk on a foggy morning, we love to catch the hands of our loved ones while walking in a winter evening.

Apart from all these things, we love the winter flowers. And here we are with some beautiful flowers from our friend Smruti Subhra.

* Follow her on Twitter at @SmrutiSubhra

The Biraja Temple (Odia: ଓଡ୍ଡ୍ୟାଣ ପୀଠ or ବିରଜା ମନ୍ଦିର) is a historic Hindu Shakti temple located in Jajpur. It's about 125 kilometers or 78 miles on the north side of Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. According to our history, the present temple was built during the 13th century.

The main idol of this Temple is Devi Durga, who is worshiped as Viraja or Girija. It's considered as one of the oldest Shakti Pitha in Odisha. As per the name Biraja, the place is called as Biraja Kshetra or Biraja Pitha.

The idol has two hands which people say Dwibhuja. With one hand, spearing the chest of Mahishasura and pulling his tail with the other. One of her feet is on a lion, and the other is on Mahishasura's chest. Mahishasura is depicted as a water buffalo.

The idol's crown features Ganesha, a crescent moon and a lingam. The temple covers a large area and has several shrines to Shiva and other deities. According to the Skanda Purana, it cleanses pilgrims, and it is called the Viraja or the Biraja kshetra.

On Triveni Amavasya or on the Magha Amabasya, the birth anniversary of Maa Biraja is celebrated at the Place. A number of devotees use to visit maa Biraja on this day.

* All the photos are taken by Parsuram Sahoo and his friends.
* All these data are taken from English Wikipedia.

14 Jan 2020

Makara Sankranti (Odia: ମକର ସଂକ୍ରାନ୍ତି) is a Hindu festival dedicated to the deity Surya or Sun. On this day, Sun goes towards the Southern hemisphere. This festival is more dedicated to farmers. This festival is also known as Maghi.

It is observed each year in the lunar month of Magha which corresponds with the month of January as per the Gregorian calendar and is a day the people of India celebrate their harvest. It marks the first day of the sun's transit into Makara (Capricorn), marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days.

The festivities associated with Makar Sankranti are known by various names, such as Magh Bihu in Assam, Maghi (preceded by Lohri) in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, popular amongst both the Hindus and Sikhs, Sukarat in central India, Thai Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Ghughuti in Uttarakhand or simply as 'Makara Sankranti' in Odisha, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh (also called Pedda Pandaga), Telangana, West Bengal (also called Poush Sankranti) and Uttar Pradesh (also called Kichddi Sankranti).

Makara Sankranti is observed with social festivities such as colorful decorations, rural children going house to house, singing and asking for treats in some areas, melas (fairs), dances, kite flying, bonfires, and feasts. The Magha Mela, according to Diana L. Eck (professor at Harvard University specializing in Indology), is mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharat. Many observers go to sacred rivers or lakes and bathe in a ceremony of thanks to the sun. Every twelve years (marking one complete revolution of Jupiter around the Sun) the Hindus observe Makar Sankranti with one of the world's largest mass pilgrimages, with an estimated 40 to 100 million people attending the event. At this event, then they say a prayer to the sun and bathe at the Prayaga confluence of the River Ganga and River Yamuna at the Kumbha Mela, a tradition attributed to Adi Shankaracharya.

Since Makara Sankranti is the festival of cultivation, we Odias worship our Lord by offering them the newly harvested Paddy from our farms. We couldn't offer the normal rice grains like that, so we prepare this delicious mix prasad for Lord by adding some fruits, milk, coconut, banana, etc to it.

Source: Wikipedia

10 Jan 2020

Puspuni is written as ପୁସପୁନି or ପୁଷପୁନୀ in Odia script, an annual festival of the western and southern part of Odisha celebrated to offer the newly harvested paddy near the God. The word Puspuni is a combination of two words Pus which means Pausha (Odia: ପୌଷ), the 9th month of Odia calendar and Puni means Purnima, the full moon day.

So, the festival is celebrated on the Pausha Purnima that is, on the full moon day of Pusha month. According to the Georgian calendar, this festival is celebrated in the month of December or January every year.

Photo: Sandeep Nayak

People of Western Odisha, irrespective of their economic occupation feast, song, and dance, and rejoice in giving away on this day.

How it is celebrated?

On the full moon day of the month of Pausha, they cook rice, tasty dishes (Chha 'Tun Na' Bhajaa), especially goat meat, along with rice pudding and cakes. The family dines together and makes marry. They share their dishes and cakes with other families and friends.

More Facts

In Bargarh town, this festival is celebrated by a day delay due to the Dhunujatra. Pausha Purnima is the last day of Dhanu Jatra, the mythological drama held in Bargarh town which is the biggest open-air theater of the world. At the end of this drama, the Mythological king Kansa dies and after that people celebrate this festival.

Pausha Khechudi

At this festival, in some places, people also make one type of prasad named Pausha Khechudi to offer God. People use to prepare this from newly harvested things like Rice and different types of dals.

Photo: Manaswini

4 Jan 2020

Dhanu Jatra is the biggest open-air theatrical performance in the world celebrated in Bargarh, Odisha in India. It's celebrated for 11 days long around the Bargarh town.

The main theme of this theatrical performance is based on the story of Lord Krishna and his uncle Kansa. But the difference is, here Krushna is not the lead character, Kansa is in the lead role.

The theatre is an 8-kilometer radius area around the Bargarh municipality where the visitors and guests also played a character in the drama. During the celebration, the Kansa rules the city and he usually calls the officers from various departments and also punishes them for their faults. He uses to visit the whole city by sitting on an elephant.

The person who plays the Kansa Character always takes care of his appearance. While he plays his devil character on the pandal, he appears like a real Devil and while interacting with people, he appears like a loveable character for the children and the dignity on the face like a real king.

To relate the character with that real character he uses to appear like him with big mustaches, in the way it's described by our forefathers in our ancient books. He puts some different makeup on his face to appear like a real devil.

Apart from these real things, he also plays the old ancient drama of Dhanu Jatra which includes the Gopa Leela of Krishna and his plans to kill Lord Krishna. During the celebration, the whole city turns into Mathura Puri and Gopa Pura. The river Jeera turns into the Yamuna river.

The whole story shows how Kansa rules over the Mathura Nagari and how he fears his nephew Krishna. On one side he rules like a good King and on the other side, he plans to kill Krishna.

The main story of the play starts with the marriage of Devaki and Basudev. After the marriage, Kansa hears about his death by the 8th child of Devaki. So, he put both of them in a prison and started killing one by one baby from Devaki. But Basudev replaces the 8th child with the child of Nanda Raja and Yasoda.

But unfortunately, Kansa comes to know about the originality of the 8th Child from the daughter of light, the baby from Nanda and Yasoda. So, he plans to kill Krishna in Gopapura.

Kansa sends Demons like Putana and others to kill Kanha. But unfortunately, everyone fell to kill him. Krushna and Balaram kill all the demons sent by Kansa.

Krishna plays with his friends, makes love with Radha near the Yamuna River. The whole place becomes like Gopapuri and the Gopies come to sell Dahi in the market. People who use to go there as visitors also buy Dahi from them.

During the drama, the whole place becomes like the exact Mathura and Gopapura. You could imagine about a time machine which may leave you in that ear of Kanha. The visitors also play with Kanha, they worship Kanha in this avatar.

The child, who plays the role of Kanha appears like real Kanha with blue in color wearing yellow dresses or Khandua Pata, the favorite dress of Lord Jagannath plays the flute seeks everybody's attention towards him.

According to our ancient story, Dhanu Yatra was organized by Kansa to kill Kanha at Mathura. So with the help of Akrura, he invited Krushna and Balaram to Mathura, but Krishna had killed Kansa there. 

It's said that the people of Bargarh reformed a new crew for this play in 1948 to celebrate the independence of India. By killing Kansa, it shows the defeat of the end of colonial rules.

- All these photographs are taken by Ansuman Rath and Tarani Trotter.
- You could follow Tarani Sir @TaraniTrotter and Ansuman sir @_AnsumanRath on Twitter.
- Most of the information are taken from Wikipedia as sources.
- And all the photographs are published here with the permission of the original photographer. If you are willing to reuse them, then please take the permission of the Photographers directly.

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