Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Just Keep Swimming

“Ready! Get, set, go!”
The moment Sita uttered these words, the little ones jumped into their respective tracks in the pool.
PHOTO PROMPT - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Having adopted these orphans, Sita provided them shelter and food.
They had to fulfil her long-cherished dream.
They had to earn medals for their country.
Sita put in a lot of effort to train them.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Unique Budhi Thakurani Jatra of Odisha

Budhi Thakurani Jatra (Old Goddess folk theater) marks a big celebration with the homecoming of the Goddess to her adopted father's place in the silk city, Berhampur (Brahmapur) of Ganjam District in southern Odisha.

Thakurani is the presiding deity of the Berhampur town. She is a form of Goddess Durga. 
Berhampur's Thakurani Mandir (Goddess Temple) is very auspicious. 
As the story goes, when Thakurani was a young girl, she was adopted by a local man named Deshibehera, belonging to the Dera community, a barber class. Once in two years, the presiding goddess, Thakurani visits her father's home.

Her father invites Her and an auspicious time of visit is decided. Thakurani's friends and neighbours are happy to see Her and visit Her. The kids are made to dress up in different attires- sort of fancy-dress viz. - Lord Krishna, Tiger, Hanuman, Radha, Monk etc. They do so to fulfill the maansika (wish) of their elders.
Devotees enthusiastically accompany Thakurani and take her around in a grand procession, moving around from house to house. There is a grand ceremonial procession. Many cultural activities are planned for kids.

Thakurani stays in Her father's home and makes everyone happy including herself. Then, She returns to Her temple.

Visitors throng from far and wide for Her darshan.
Anyone, irrespective of caste, creed, colour etc. can honour and worship Thakurani. 
Villages fix a wooden pillar/pole called the Shubha Khunti (auspicious pole) on an auspicious date.
After that, Thakurani comes to Her father's home on an auspicious time. After she stays for some days, it is time for her to leave till she comes again after two years.

I visited the Thakurani Jatra this year. Proud of our culture and unique celebration.

U for-Unique
I am blogging related to Odisha, India for the #AtoZChallenge this year.
Do check out my other #A2Z posts here. 

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Padma Shri Agricultural Scientist - Kamala Pujari

Kamala Pujari is a strong tribal woman from Koraput district. This activist and scientist has done a great service to society by preserving hundreds of local varieties of paddy and promoting organic farming. This year, she was awarded India's fourth highest civilian award "Padma Shri".

Rice And Odisha Connection

The name 'Orissa' is derived from 'Rice'.
Rice is a cereal grain that is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice). 
The previous name of Odisha was Orissa. It was named so owing to its rich rice varieties.
The term 'Orua' prevalent in Orissa since early times seems to be the same as the Greek 'Oruza' meaning rice, and the Oxford Dictionary states the 'Oroza' is a loan word in Greek from some oriental source. The 'Oretes' (Greek) or the 'Or'/'Odra' (Sanskrit) people may, therefore, mean either the Rice-eating; or the 'Rice growing' people.

Quiz - Odisha Geographical Indications #OdishaGI

Here are five quiz questions to test your knowledge about the Geographical Indications of Odisha.
How many answers do you know?

1. You can see colourful lampshades and bags in this image. Identify this applique work of Odisha.
Ans1- Click here for the Answer


2. The bark of which tree is used to prepare the natural dyes that are used for this handloom fabric?
Ans2- Click here for the Answer

Padma Shri Chaiwala - D Prakash Rao

Shri Devarapalli Prakash Rao has recently won the Padma Shri for Social Work. A social worker from Odisha, he has been working tirelessly in the field of affordable education and health.

D.Prakash Rao is a simple and humble man. He is a change agent of Odisha. I first met him at an award function and then at many events of an NGO named 'Yes We Can'. 

This tea-seller barely manages to make his ends meet.
He always says, "I am a poor chaiwala" (tea-seller).

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Wooden Sun Temple Of Odisha - Biranchi Narayan Temple, Buguda

The Sun Temple at Konark, Odisha, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Konark Sun Temple has been in the news for many reasons, including the recent #SaveKonark campaign to save this famous heritage site.

Though many know about this architectural wonder located in Konark in the Puri district of Odisha, many are not aware about the existence of the wooden Sun Temple of Odisha that is located in Buguda, a small town in the Ganjam district of Odisha. Sun God is worshipped in the form of Sri Biranchi Narayana.
Source: @Odisha_Tourism

Snow Queen

Sana could not believe her eyes seeing the snow.
PHOTO PROMPT - Roger Bultot
It hadn’t snowed in their town for the last five years...
Everyone knew it was the effect of climate change, but no one would do anything about it.

Akhaya Trutia and Chandan Jatra - Auspicious Festivals of Odisha

Akhaya Trutia is considered to be a very auspicious day in India.
Listening to Ved Vyas's dictation, Lord Ganesha started writing the Mahabharata on this day.

Akhaya Trutia is spelled in different ways- Akshay Trutiya, Akshaya Tritiya, Akhyaya Trutia etc.
In some Indian languages including Odia, the word "Akhyaya" means that which never gets diminished.

Akhaya Trutia day is chosen as an auspicious start for new beginnings like- house-construction, office/shop inauguration, performing marriages and thread-ceremonies etc.
Many people buy gold and jewellery on this auspicious day.

Adopt An Animal Of Nandankanan Zoo

If you visit Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha in India, you must visit the Nandankanan Zoological Park.
The name of this beautiful and rich zoological park is Nandankanan - meaning "The Garden of Heaven".

This zoo has amazing wildlife. I have many memories associated with this zoo, as I have visited it many times during my school vacations and on trips with my cousins.

Yogini Temples of Odisha

Odisha, a state located in eastern India, has many ancient temples. From the 7th and 8th centuries of the Christian era, tantricism had a strong presence and was practiced in different parts of India. 

The concept of Yogini cult was propounded by Matsyendranatha in Kamarupa in 8th century A.D.
The Kaula-Kapalika school and the Mattamayura school streams of religious thoughts contributed to the development of tantricism and the construction of shrines in the early medieval period in Odisha. Tantric arts and thoughts were very popular and well-developed in the ancient Odisha's regions- Kosala, Kalinga and Utkala. 

Odisha has two important shrines of the sixty-four Yoginis. One is located at Hirapur near the state capital, Bhubaneswar and the other is at Ranipur Jharial near Titlagarh in Bolangir district.
Goddess Parvati or Sati is called "Shakti". Shakti is divided into sixty-four parts; each part has a distinct identity/function and is termed 'Yogini'.
Sixty-four is called "Chausathi" in Odia language.
Thus, these temples are called Chausathi Yogini.
Both the Yogini temples are circular in shape and have no roof.

Hirapur village is located at a distance of about 15 kilometres to the east of Bhubaneswar. 

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