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  • Why Gudi Padwa is celebrated

    Gudi Padwa or ‘Samvatsara Padvo’ is the first day of the Marathi New Year. This day gets its name from two words: "Gudi," which means a Hindu Lord Brahma flag or emblem, and "Padwa," which means the first day of the moon's phase. The festival is also the beginning of harvest season. This is celebrated with great excitement and enthusiasm in different regions of Maharashtra. The Konkani and Marathi Hindu communities celebrate Gudi Padwa. The year 2023 Gudi Padwa is special because, The first day of the nine-day Chaitra Navratri festival also lies on the Gudi Padwa. and according to the lunisolar Calendar, spring also marks the beginning of the New Year. History & Importance On the day of Gudi Padwa, it is believed that in Hindu mythology, the Lord Brahma established days, weeks, months, and years and created the universe. Some reckon it a day when Ruler Shalivahana celebrated his triumph and individuals lifted the flag on his return to Paithan. Gudi is generally regarded as a sign of good triumphing over evil. Kalash, a symbol of Lord Rama's victory over Ravana, completes the Gudi Padwa's celebration arrangement. Celebration On the day of the Gudi Padwa, Marathas decorate a bamboo stick (around 5 feet long) by wrapping a piece of fresh cloth and covering it with sugar candy, neem leaves and garland. The stick is then positioned in a bronze or silver pot. On this day, people wake up early and put beautiful Gudi and rangoli designs on their homes. Marathis celebrate their new year by worshiping Gudi and having Shrikhand for Puran Poli as grace with loved ones.

  • Gargi: Story and Review

    Gargi a Tamil industry legal drama film starrer Sai Pallavi and Kaali Venkat in the lead roles is directed by Gautham Ramachandran, produced by Blacky, Genie & My Left Foot Productions. It was released on 15 July 2022. --------------------------------------------------Spoiler Warning-------------------------------------------------- Plot Gargi is a school teacher from a struggling family. In her family, her Dad Brahmanandam works as a security guard in an apartment building, her mom who sells Dosa and her younger sister Akshara is in middle school. One night Gargi little sister comes home late and Gargi scold her as now a day's their city is not safe. Akshara told her that while coming to home she was stuck in crowd in the Shanti Apartment. That was the same apartment where her father works as a security guard. Gargi went to that apartment with a friend whose father is also a security guard there. There was police and lot of crowd. After she inquired, she came to know that a 9 year old girl got raped by five men and the fifth man accused was her dad. Gargi is steadfast in her resolve to prove her dad's innocence, as he's her hero, having protected her as a child from a perverted teacher, encouraging her to stand up to such evil. Gargi approches her family friend who is a successful lawyer but he denies to take her case due to the nature of case he can be boycott in legal world. But his assistant, a no-note lawyer, Indrans Kaliaperumal, agrees to represent them as he has no reputation to lose. At the hearing, while questioning the investigating officer, Indrans uncovers that the victim was wrongly medicated with a high dose of barbiturates, thus rendering her testimony (identifying Brahmanandam as the culprit) inadmissible. Further, he meets the victim's dad, who reveals that it was he who made her identify Brahmanandam (certain of his guilt), as she was catatonic with trauma, unable to function at all. All this puts into question the evidence, this enabling him to obtain conditional bail for Brahmanandam. When her dad's colleague, who had earlier claimed to have been at home all day on the fateful day, inadvertently reveals that he, in a drunken stupor, had actually been the first to discover the child lying there, and had alerted Brahmanandam, Gargi starts doubting her dad's claims that he'd been drinking at that time. She confirms her suspicions by visiting the child again and showing her a picture of the 5th culprit. It's revealed, when the child identifies him, that Brahmanandam was indeed the culprit, leading to his arrest and conviction. Gargi takes a moment outside, to quietly come to terms with this horror. As the credits roll, we discover that she and her family have moved on, having reconciled with the victim and her dad. Review Gargi was a controversial movie because of its nature. I personally believe these types of movies are very important for social awareness. It is a must watch movie and mind blowing acting by Sai Pallavi.

  • Earth Day

    Nature can fulfill all needs of humans but can never fulfil their desires As we are no stranger to the fact that Global Warming has became major environmental issue, On Earth day the Nature lovers, organizations, societies helps to spread awareness among all. Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. It occurs on April 22nd every year, It is organized all across the globe to spread awareness for environmental protection. ORIGIN This moment was started by Gaylord Nelson on 22nd April, 1970 in form of environmental education. He got the idea to save the planet after the event of Santa Barbara oil spill, California in 1969. On the very first Earth day, over 20 million Americans gathered and it became biggest modern environmental event. In the decades leading up to the first Earth Day, Americans were consuming vast amounts of leaded gas through massive and inefficient automobiles. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of the consequences from either the law or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. Until this point, mainstream America remained largely oblivious to environmental concerns and how a polluted environment threatens human health. However, the stage was set for change with the publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. The book represented a watershed moment, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries as it raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and the inextricable links between pollution and public health. The name "Earth day" was given by Julian Koenig in 1969, this day was his birthday. The idea was Earth day as in Birth day. Ron cobb an American artist created a logo for this day. The logo contains a figure with an E and O where E stands for environment and O stands for Organism. This logo was released in Los Angeles free press on Nov 7, 1969 and later kept in public domain. Following this event Nature lovers, organizations, groups especially American students started to event marches to prevent oil spills in oceans and sea, throwing garbage in rivers and sea, companies who throw harmful water from factories, cutting trees and destroying forest. Some major themes of previous Earth day are: 2019- Protect our species 2020- Climate action 2021- Restore Our Earth This year 2022 theme is "Invest In Our Planet" Factors which are destroying our nature- Polyethene are most harmful for our nature then also it is widely used everywhere. Cutting trees, making rivers and ponds dirty by throwing garbage has became part of our day to day routine. Low awareness towards topics like human resources taking earth for granted week rules of forest and environment security At last, the real earth day will be when we start preserving earth and its resources for future human civilization.

  • April Fool's Day: origin

    Here are so many stories about how 1st April came to be celebrated as April Fool's Day but the most wide spread origin is about the calendar . In the year 1582, Pope Gregory XIII introduced a new calendar. This calendar started the new year on 1st January but back then info took time to spread as there was no internet or phone back then so many people didn't know about the change in calendar and many who knew about the calendar refused to accept the calendar. These people continue to celebrate new year day on 1st April. The people who had accepted the calendar start making fun of these non believer, they would lead them to believe in things that did not exist or even send them on fool's errands, errands that didn't exist. This harassment evolved to a tradition of playing pranks on 1 April, this then spread to other countries. However April fools has already established in England which didn't switch calendars till 1752 also people were started engaging pranks and lightheartedness around this time of year long before French switched their calendar system such as in case of ancient roman festival o hilarya. Modern celebrations of April fools have slightly different traditions depending in which country you are in but they all has a similar theme of pranking or humiliating individuals. in France they try to tape an image of fish to your back without your noticing, in Portugal they throw flour at you. and in England you're are only suppose to pull jokes until noon if you pull jokes after noon then you were called April fools . In US in Britain popular media outlets and companies have also been involved in the fun. In 1996 Taco bell announced that it has purchased the liberty bell from the city of Philadelphia and was going to rename at Otago liberty bell in 1992 NPR claimed that Richard Nixon will be running again for president, British publication the guardian famously pranked the public in 1977 that when they said there were simi column shaped island in Indian ocean has been discovered this hoax is credited for launching the trend of April fools day pranks by British tabloids. Eventually the new calendar was accepted worldwide but the pranks stayed on. parents, friends, relatives, siblings often play tricks on their loved ones on 1 April all the pranks are harmless fun and not to hurt anyone. they usually end with pranksters shouting April fool and peels of laughter from everywhere. So pranking is a prank of celebration.

  • Significance of Mahashivratri vrat

    Why do we celebrate mahashivratri? Why do we treat this day as an important festival? According to some legends, Mahashivratri was the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and lord Shiva did the heavenly dance also it is believed that on this day Lord Shiva drank kalakuta or halahal vish which appeared from samudramanthan event. As from the name itself we can understand, Mahashivratri-the great night of Shiva. This day comes once a year in late winter (February/March, or Phalguna) and before the arrival of Summer. What happens when a unmarried girl or woman do fast on this day? Lord Shiva is considered as a perfect husband. He is a family man, a perfect father and a perfect husband. If an unmarried girl or woman do mahashivratri vrat it is believed that she may get a idol and strong husband like lord Shiva . People who want to do fast for Mahashivratri can only consume fruits, milk and recipes with fast-compliant ingredients. One have to say no to meat and consumption of tobacco or alcohol on this day. To know, Why do we keep vrat on this day? What we will get when we keep mahashivratri vrat? How it all begins? let us go a long time back: Once there was a man who never did any good sin. He kills animals especially deer for his food. He steals, he kills and did all kinds of bad sins. On one day his family ask him to bring food as they all were very hungry. So he decided to go to jungle and kill deer for their food. He searches for deer's but couldn't find a single deer who he could and fulfil his and his family hunger. He went tired and went to a lake and there was Aegle marmelos tree(Bael patra tree-Leaf's used for Hindu rituals especially for lord Shiva pooja). He sat on a branch of that tree with his arrow and bow ready hoping that if any deer arrives to drink water from that lake then he could kill that deer. Note:- Pahar(or Prahar commonly pronounced peher, is a traditional unit of time used in Vedic India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. One pahar nominally equals three hours, and there are eight pahars in a day) After one Pahar a female deer came to drink water from the lake. The man saw that deer and while preparing his bow and arrow, accidently some bael patra and water from his kalash fell on a shivling located down the tree and his first prahar pooja done and some of his sins gets cleaned. The deer hears the water noise and looked towards the tree and saw a man sitting on the tree. She asked him, Hey! What are you trying to do with that arrow? I was preparing to kill you and make you my food, he replied. She told him that I am very glad that my body will be useful for someone needy and I will get heaven after my death because of this sacrifice but for sometime please let me go and give my kids to my sister and secure their future, she added. The man refuses to let her go to her children as he don't believe her. She tries to convince the man that she never told any lie in her life and she promises the man that she will come to him soon. But man refuses. She give him a proposition that if she will not come back then she will lose result of all good deeds she had in her life. After listening to her promises he allowed her to go to her shelter for a while. She then went to her shelter. After sometimes another female deer went to that lake to drink water. Actually she was the sister of the previous deer. She came searching for her sister as its been very long since her sister went out to drink water. As the man saw that second deer he prepares his bow and arrow to kill that deer and suddenly again some water from his kalash and beal patra falls from the tree on the shivling by mistake and second prahar pooja also done. Hearing the noises of water the deer saw the man on the tree. She asked him, What are you trying to do with that arrow? I was preparing to kill you and make you my food, he replied. She told him that I am very glad that my body will be useful for someone needy but please let me go to my shelter for sometime so that I will leave my children to my sister's husband, she added. The man refuses to let her go to her children as he don't believe her. She tries to convince the man that she never told any lie in her life and she promises the man that she will come to him soon. But man refuses. She promised him that if she will not come back to him then she will lose result of all good deeds she had in her life. After listening to her promises he allowed her to go to her shelter for a while. She then went to her shelter. After some time a healthy and strong male deer came to the lake to drink water and man saw that deer. While aiming the arrow on the deer again some water from his kalash and some bael patra falls from the tree and third prahar pooja also done but accidently. The male deer saw the man sitting on the tree and asks him that what he is trying to do? The man replied, I am attempting to kill you from my arrow and I will feed my family. The deer said, it will be my great pleasure that my healthy body will be useful for someone needy and my soul will be blessed by god but let me go to my children and I will give them to my neibours and they will take care of them. The frustrated mam said him that great! you also go and you will never come like other promised and didn't appeared yet. You are also a big lier, he added. The deer told him that he had never told any single lie in his entire life but if you are not able to trust me yet then I promise you infront of lord Vishnu that if I didn't came soon then I will lose all good results which got collected through my good deeds. After doing many big promises the man allowed him to go to his children for sometime. So he also went to his shelter. All three deer's went to their shelter and meet each other. Actually they all were related to each other and they found that they all were bounded by promises they did to that man. The female deer told others that she have to keep her promise as children needs their father and sister will take care of them. The sister told others that children needs mother and father not aunt so she should keep her promise. Then the male deer told them that the children needs their mother importantly as compared to father so he will sacrifice his life. But no one is ready to take other's life so they all went to that person. While hearing all their conversation the children went with their parents and aunt thinking that whatsoever will happen to their parents same should happen to them also because they cannot live alone without their parents. All the deer's went to that man and after seeing all deer's the man aims his bow and awwor to kill all the deer's then again accidently the water and leaves fall from the tree on the Shivling and fourth prahar pooja was also done successfully. Now with this final prahar pooja all his sins gets cleared and he is now fully cleaned. The deer's told the man that as per our promises we now came to you to sacrifice our life's for you and your family and now you can kill us all and feed your family. Listening to their words the man realizes that being the animal they are so cultured and they have so good promise keeping nature but I am a human and I kills animals for my own profit and on the other hand those animals are sacrificing their valuable life's for me. He told all the deer's that they can go and live a good and long life I will not kill you now. After this event lord Shiva came to the man and blesses him and gave him a name. The name given to the man was 'Guha'. Guha was the person who assists Rama (from the epic 'Ramayana') to cross the river during Rama's banishment from Ayodhya by his stepmother. Hence we can conclude from the above story that If someone does the mahashivratri vrat properly then his all sins will be cleared and he will be blessed by lord shiva. At last, Happy mahashivratri to all my readers, stay happy and blessed always. Thanks for reading.

  • Valentine's Day- History and Facts

    Valentine’s Day occurs every February 14. Across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and where did these traditions come from? Valentine day is the day of love and this flow is started in the memory of saint valentine. To know the story of that mysterious saint who empowers love in his era and by whose name we celebrate this day, let us go back in history... It was a time of about 269 A.D when King Claudius II was the emperor of Rome and everything's going good until one day Claudius II thought that single soldiers will make better army than those with wife and children and marriage makes a man weak and less intelligent. So he outlawed marriage of single soldiers. As Saint Valentine came to know about this injustice he opposes this law and then he started convincing soldiers to do marriage. Many soldiers broke the law and got married in secret. When the king came to know about this event then he imprisoned Saint Valentine. It is said that when he was in prison, the jailer came to him along with his daughter and told him about her blindness. Saint Valentine touched her hand and sudden a miracle happened and the daughter starts recovering from her blindness and soon her blindness is cured. The daughter then came to thank to that person who gave her new life and as she saw Valentine and they both fell in love. When the king came to know about this situation he give him two options that either he join him, forget his love and motivates the soldiers that marriage made the man weak and less intelligent and they should not do marriage ever or he will be hanged till death. As Saint valentine refuses to forget his love then king announced his hanging and during his last days he wrote a love letter to his love and at the end he wrote "from your valentine". Loved you yesterday, love your still, always have, always will.

  • Shivaji Jayanti- Facts, Significance and History

    No need to be learned from my own fault. We can learn a lot from others’ mistakes. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti or Shivaji Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Maratha king Shivaji. Shivaji Jayanti is celebrated on February 19 every year in honor of the founder of the Maratha Kingdom. Chhatrapati Shivaji was one of the bravest, progressive and sensible monarchs of India. Shivaji Jayanti is mainly a Maharashtrian holiday celebrated as a festival. A public holiday in the state is observed on this day. The day is usually celebrated with much enthusiasm and pride. 9 Forts That Prove Shivaji Maharaj Was The Greatest Ruler Maharashtra Ever Had History Shivaji Jayanti was started by Mahatma Jyoti Rao Phule in 1870. He discovered the tomb of Shivaji Maharaj on Raigad, which is around 100 km from Pune. The celebrations of Shivaji Jayanti were first inaugurated in Pune. Shivaji Jayanti was taken forward by an esteemed freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak who brought the contributions of Shivaji Maharaj into the light and influenced people by highlighting the image of Shivaji Maharaj. Shivaji Maharaj was named after the local Goddess Shivai, who blessed his mother by fulfilling her prayers for a son. Shivaji Maharaj, the creator of the Maratha kingdom is known for his administration, valour, and warfare tactics. He played a significant role in uniting the Maratha chiefs of the Mayal, Konkan, and Desh regions. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's role and contribution in Indian history make him a hero of the country. Significance Shivaji Jayanti is a statewide holiday in Maharashtra and celebrated with much pomp and fervor. The day also sees the celebration of the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the Marathas. People significantly remember the important contributions of great leader Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on his Jayanti and tribute honor and thanks to him in the form of cultural celebrations. Shivaji Maharaj’s bravery and intellect will always cease to amaze and inspire people. Shivaji promoted the use of the regional languages like Marathi and Sanskrit in court and administration and ditched the usual language of his time, Persian. The birthday of Shivaji Maharaj marks an opportunity to remember his significant role in forming the Maratha Empire. The coronation of Shivaji Maharaj as the Chhatrapati took place at the Raigad fort in 1674. Facts about Shivaji Maharaj Shivaji Maharaj or Shivaji Bhosale is known for creating an advanced and well-structured civil administration system. He carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that became the foundation stone of the Maratha Empire. He was named after a regional Goddess Shivai. According to popular legend, his mother prayed to the goddess for a son and was blessed with him. Shivaji Maharaj was formally crowned as the Chhatrapati, or emperor of the Maratha Empire, in 1674. The coronation took place at the Raigad fort. Do not think of the enemy as weak, then do not be too scared to feel too strong

  • 8 Forts That Prove Shivaji Maharaj Was The Greatest Ruler of Maratha Ever Had

    Shivaji Maharaj, Maharashtra’s greatest warrior king known for his excellent military and guerilla warfare, is often cited as Maharashtra’s pride. His well-executed administration along with strategic planning, led him to a road of victories. He was the pioneer of building India’s first-ever navy to protect Maharashtra’s coast. Adulated for his tactical governance, disciplined military, kindness and high respect for women, Shivaji Maharaj was attributed to have had a control of almost 360 forts in his reign in Marathwada. As you meander through the Western Ghats and the Konkan Coast, you will see mountains crowned with fortifications and beautiful fortresses floating over the Arabian Sea. Shivaji Maharaj was attributed to have had a control of almost 360 forts in his reign. Most of them lay neglected and unattended. Torna Fort, Pune The first feather on his royal crown, Torna was Shivaji’s premiere conquest at the young age of 16. Having rechristened it to Prachandgad, Shivaji Maharaj constructed monuments on its massive spread. One of the must-visit forts in Pune, Torna Fort is also known as Prachandagad. It is situated at an elevation of 1,403 m above sea level, which makes it the highest hill fort in Pune. It is historically an important monument as it was the first fort captured by Shivaji Maharaj in 1643 when he was 16. With gorgeous towers and monuments built inside the fort, it certainly is a piece of architectural wonder. Sinhagad Fort, Thoptewadi After scaling a steep cliff and fighting a brutal battle against the Mughals, Tanaji Malusare lost his life. His brother took charge and won over the fort. Grieving this loss, Shivaji Maharaj remorsefully said, “Gad aala, pan Sinha gela” – We won the fort, but lost the lion. This explains the name and its importance in the pages of Maratha history. Shivneri Fort, Kusur A 17th century fort, Shivneri is the birthplace of Shivaji Maharaj. The fort carries small temple of Goddess Shivai Devi after whom he was named. Vijaydurg Fort, Vijaydurg A beautiful and an impregnable sea fort, Vijaydurg is considered one of Shivaji’s best victories. Used as an anchor for Maratha warships, Vijaydurg is encircled by the Waghotan creek. Sindhudurg Fort, Malvan Once a powerful naval base for the Maratha Kingdom, this sea fort now remains a beautiful history. It impregnates the only temple dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj and also preserves his footprints. It is a popular tourist destination and ferries are available to reach this place. Raigadh Fort, Raigadh Located at a height of 820 m, Raigadh Fort is perched on the lush green Sahyadri mountain range. Climbing 1737 steps will take you to the fort, which offers spectacular views of the valley down below. One of the most popular forts in Maharashtra, it was considered the most secure fort in the entire region. Great pride of the Marathas, the fort tells the story of their glorious past. The forts were called by 15 different names during different empires: Reddi, Shivlanka, Raigadh, Rashivata, Islamgarh, Nandadeep, Tanas, Badenur, Rairi, Jambudweep, Raigiri, Rajgiri, Bhivgad, Rahir, and Gibraltar of the east. During Nizamshahi rule, the fort was used to keep prisoners. An epoch-making fort in the history of Maharashtra, Raigad was the capital of the Maratha Empire. It was here that the royal coronation of Shivaji Maharaj as the official king of the Maratha Empire took place. Although the fort was purloined and wrecked by the Britishers in 1818, much of its glory still remains. Shivaji Maharaj breathed his last in this fort. The erstwhile capital of the Maratha Empire, Shivaji Maharaj made many commandments and led history-defining moments from here. He spent almost 26 years of his life here. The fort has seen many epoch-making events like the burial of Afzal Khan's head, the birth of Shivaji's son Rajaram, the death of Shivaji's Queen Saibai, and the return of Shivaji from Agra. Pratapgad Fort, Pune Pratapgad is famous for the encounter between Shivaji and the mighty Afzal Khan. It was here that Shivaji’s true reign began after he defeated Afzal Khan, making this fort one of the most important events in the Maratha history. Lohagadh Fort, Lonavala Among the many hill forts in Maharashtra, Lohagadh is a marvelous piece of architecture. Located 52 km northwest of Pune, the fort sits at an elevation of 1,033 m above sea level. In 1648 CE, the fort was captured by Shivaji, which was then captured by the Mughals in 1665 CE. In 1670 CE, Shivaji Maharaj captured the fort again and he used it to store his treasury looted from Surat. Having conquered this fort twice by Shivaji Maharaj, Lohagad held its prime importance due to its strategic location. The trade route to Khandala was guarded against here. Other Important Forts acquired by Shivaji Janjira Fort, Murud Janjira fort, which is popular as Murud Fort, is located in Murud village of Maharashtra. Among the most impressive forts near Pune, Janjira is surrounded by water on all sides. Built by Malik Ambar at the end of the 17th century, the fort reflects the marvel of ancient engineering. This brilliant fort stands at a height of 40 feet, enduring the lashes of sea waves for ages. The fort had 500 canons but only a few of them are left now, and its towers are now used to keep guns in them. This fort is among the most beautiful forts in Maharashtra and you must explore it. Daulatabad Fort, Daulatabad Daulatabad Fort, which is also known as Devagiri was built in the 14th century. Situated at a distance of 16 km northwest of Aurangabad, this fort is considered one of the seven wonders of Maharashtra. Among the most gorgeous forts in Maharashtra, Daulatabad was captured by various rulers, including the Mughals, the Marathas, and the Peshwas. In 1724 AD, it came under the Nizams of Hyderabad. In order to reach the fort, you have to climb about 750 steps Panhala Fort, Panhala 20 km away from the main city of Kolhapur, Panhala Fort is strategically situated looking over a pass, which was a major trade route from Bijapur in the interior of Maharashtra, in the majestic Sahyadri mountain range. Tarabai, the queen regent of Kolhapur spent her formative years in the fort. Shanivarwada Fort, Pune This 18th-century historical fort built-in 1732 is a popular sight that documents many events of the Maratha Empire and traces their time in this region. Shanivarwada fort was the seat of the Maratha empire between 1730 to 1818. Among the most stunning forts in Pune, this one holds a special and an important place in Indian history. Built by the Peshwas of Chhatrapati, this palace fort has nearly been destroyed by military attacks and was majorly by an unexplained fire in 1828. It is also believed that the fort palace is haunted by the ghost of Peshwa Narayanro. Yashwantgarh Fort, Redi Situated near Maharashtra-Goa border, Yashwantgadh fort mainly ruins now. Also known as Redi fort, it was built by the Marathas in the 16th century. The fort was captured by the British in 1765, who later sold the land to locals in 1890 retaining the ownership of the fort walls. Sindhugarh Fort, Malvan Sindhugarh fort was erected by Shivaji Maharaj in 1664-67 AD on 48 acres of the island. It is believed that he personally selected this location, which is a rocky island. The most amazing feature of the fort is that its foundation stones were laid down firmly in molten lead. The solid walls and beautiful gateways of this fort make it look absolutely majestic. With a 4-km long, 9-km tall solid zigzag wall, this is among the best-preserved forts in Maharashtra. There’s a small temple dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj within the boundaries of the fort. The fort also makes a perfect place to take some great pictures with the Arabian Sea in the background. Sinhagadh Fort, Pune Sinhagadh fort is situated on a hill located about 25 km southwest of Pune. It is located at an elevation of 1,312 m above sea level. Some of the sources say that the fort could have been built over 2000 years ago. The fort was formerly known as Kondhana, which has witnessed many battles through the centuries, and the most important one was the Battle of Sinhagad in 1670. Pratapgad Fort, Satara A Shivaji Maharaj fort, Pratapgad is a huge fort located in Satara. As per the records, the fort was built in 1657, offering a mesmerizing view of coastal Konkan. At a distance of only 8 km from Mahabaleshwar, this is among the most popular forts in Maharashtra. In 1960, a guest house and a national park were established inside the fort. This grand fort is currently owned by Udyanraje Bhosale, who’s the 13th Chhatrapati of the former Satara state. Kandhar Fort, Nanded Located at a distance of 50 km from Ranthambhore National Park, Kandhar Fort was built nearly 1200 years ago by King Krishna III of Malkhed. Its architecture is quite similar to that of the Shivneri forts in Maharashtra. Known for its wonderful architecture, it is surrounded by a canal filled with water. Rajmachi Fort, Pune One of the most beautiful forts in Maharashtra, the Rajmachi Fort is formed when two forts namely Manaranjan Fort and Shrivardhan Fort come together. Located in a village known as Rajmachi in the mountains of Sahyadri, this fort is pretty famous and a must-visit place in Maharashtra. Tikona Fort, Lonavala Tikona when translated means ‘triangle. 3500 feet high and pyramidal in shape Tikona Fort is located near Lonavala and offers impeccable views. Probably the most instagrammable fort in Maharashtra this fort is also a famous trekking place and is popular for its large doors. Vasota Fort, Satara Offering awe-inspiring views of Shivsagar lake and Nageshwar peak, Vasota Fort is created by the backwaters of Koyna river and is gorgeous. What is more beautiful is the road leading to the fort. Passing through Kas pathar or as it is popularly known as the Valley of Flowers of Maharashtra, you will encounter spectacular views along the way. Visapur Fort, Malavali Also known as the Visapoor Fort, this fort in Maharashtra is a part of the Visapur-Lohagarh fortification which happened back in the day. Situated near the village Visapur this fort is extremely beautiful and is located at a height of 1084 meters. Suvarnadurg Fort, Dapoli Imagine visiting a sea fort. Now read about Suvarnadurg Fort and tell us if there is any reason as to why you shouldn’t visit this beautiful sea fort in Maharashtra. Situated on a small island within the Arabian Sea and close to Harnai this fort is as beautiful as it gets. Established by Marathas this fort is nothing less than magical. Korigad Fort, Aambi Valley City Also known as Koraigad, the Korigad Fort is hardly at a 20-kilometer distance from Lonavala and near a village called Peth Shahpur. Made during the reign of Chatrapati Shivaji the Tung Fort is an important historical site Akola Fort, Akola District Also known as the Asadgad fort, this classic structure is one of the most significant fortifications of the Akola district. If you are planning a cultural tour in Maharashtra, chances are that this place is going to be one of the top sightseeing attractions on your list. The initial construction of the fort was done using mud by Akol Singh and later was turned into a solid architectural marvel Vasai Fort, Vasai-Virar Popularly known among the locals as Corte de Baçaim meaning “Court of Bassein” or Fort Bassein, this popular ruins area is a major attraction among tourists for its association with the historical chapter of Palghar district of Konkan. Prabalgad Fort, Raigad District Located at the intersection of Matheran and Panvel, the Prabalgad Fort is a timeless piece of architecture that stands tall amidst barren lands of history. Nestled in front of the mountain ranges of Sahyadris Harishchandragad Fort, Ahmednagar District More than just a hill fort in Ahmednagar, this is not just another sightseeing attraction, but a landmark that literally controls the surrounding regions. Mandangad Fort, Ratnagiri District Located at a distance of 2 km from Mandangad town, this fort has majestic views, classic architecture, and a 400-year-old cannon that is the main attraction of this site. Vijaydurg Fort, Vijaydurg This epic gem of Maharashtra is a rare attraction that is surrounded by the sea on all four sides. The Vijaydurg Fort is the oldest fort and archeological structure that is located on the Sindhudurg coast. Constructed during the rule of Raja Bhoj Ghangad Fort, Tail Baila Located at a distance of 30 kilometers from Lonavla-Khandala and 100 kilometers from Pune, this 300-years-old fort is a prime part of most history tours in the district. Currently, this structure is being under restoration by the Shivaji Trail group in association with the local people. Purandar Fort, Gherapurandhar This historical mountaintop fort is one of the best viewpoints in Maharashtra that offers you a panoramic view of the surrounding regions. Situated at a height of 4472 ft above sea level, the fort is very much of significance in the locale for its symbolism of Shivaji against Adil Shahi Bijapur Sultanate. Malhargad Fort, Kalewadi Also known as Sonuricha Killa, this fort is one of the most popular 18th-century architectures. Tung Fort, Pune Tung Fort is one of Maharashtra’s classic hill forts popularly visited by tourists for trekking and sightseeing activities. It stays extraordinary compared to other fortifications in the state. Based on higher ground, it is the most panoramic view point with all-encompassing perspectives across Maharashtra. Shivneri Fort, Pune Nestled in the northern region of the Pune district, Shivneri Fort is one of the most classic attractions that hold cultural significance, largely due to the fact that the marvelous structure is the birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

  • Pongal 2022: Significance and History

    Pongal is celebrated with a lot of zeal in various parts of India, especially, Tamil Nadu and this year, it is being celebrated on January 14. Here's all you need to know about the history, significance and celebrations of Pongal in India. Pongal is celebrated in various parts of India, however, it is one of the main multi-day harvest festivals of Tamil Nadu and is observed with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm there. The people in Southern parts of India come together and have grand celebrations on Pongal which include lots of good food and family time. Pongal is celebrated for three days and those particular days are known as Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal and Maatu Pongal. This festival generally corresponds with another harvest festival, Makar Sakranti, which is celebrated throughout India. History, Significance and Celebrations: Pongal is mostly celebrated at the beginning of the Tai month according to the Tamil solar calendar, which generally falls on January 14. Pongal means 'to boil over or overflow' in reference to the dish that is traditionally prepared on this day. The dish involves a new harvest of rice, milk and jaggery. The dish is first offered to the Gods and Goddesses, then the cows and then it is served to the family members. During the celebrations, cows and their horns are decorated. The festivities also include decorating houses with kolam artworks made with rice-powder along with banana leaves. Prayers are offered in the temple and families come together to exchange gifts, have meals and a gala time together. The first mention of Pongal can be found in one of the inscriptions in the Viraraghava temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The inscription talks about king Kulottunga I from the Chola period and refers to a piece of land that was granted by him to the temple for celebrating Pongal every year. That is why even the first mention of the Pongal dish is dated back to the same era. The first day of Pongal or Bhogi Pongal marks the last day of Marghazi (Tamil month). It also marks the day when people get rid of their old possessions and celebrate new things. Houses are cleaned and painted. Prayers are offered to Lord Indira - thanking and hoping for rains in the year ahead. During the Covid-19 outbreak, the Pongal celebrations have taken an online turn and people are celebrating on video calls with their families.

  • Makar Sankranti and why it is celebrated

    Makar Sankranti 2022: The day dedicated to Lord Surya; the Sun God is both religious as well as seasonal observance as it is a major harvest festival celebrated by Hindus across India. Makar Sankranti is the date from which the northward movement of the sun begins. The period from Karka Sankranti to Makar Sankranti is known as the Dakshinayan. Makar Sankranti is the first major festival to be celebrated in India and usually takes place in January 14. Makar Sankranti is a major harvest festival, however different states celebrated the festival under different names, traditions and festivities. Makar Sankranti marks the end of winter as well as the beginning of longer days on account of the sun's northward journey, this period is also known as Uttarayan on this account and is considered to be very auspicious. The harvest festival is both a religious as well as seasonal observance, and is dedicated to Lord Surya, the Sun God and marks the sun's transit into Makara (Capricorn) raashi (zodiac sign). The festival is majorly celebrated in the Indian Subcontinent and also by Indians and Hindus around the world. The festivities related to Makar Sankranti have many names depending on the region it is being celebrated. Why it is a religious festival? According to the scriptures, Dakshinayan symbolizes the night of God or the sign of negativity, and Uttarayan is considered as a symbol of the day of God or a sign of positivity. Since on this day, the sun starts its journey towards the north so, people take a holy dip in Ganga, Godavari, Krishna, Yamuna River at holy places, chant mantras, etc. Normally the sun affects all the zodiac signs, but it is said that the entry of the sun in the zodiac sign of Cancer and Capricorn religiously is very fruitful. Sankranti is deemed a Deity. As per the legend, Sankranti killed a devil named Sankarasur. The day next to Makar Sankrant is called Karidin or Kinkrant. On this day, Devi slew the devil Kinkarasur. The information of Makar Sankranti is available in Panchang. The Panchang is the Hindu Almanac that provides information on the age, form, clothing, direction, and movement of Sankranti. Hindus perform Haldi Kumkum ceremony in a way that invokes the waves of quiescent Adi - Shakti in the Universe to get triggered. This helps in generating an impression of Sagun devotion on the mind of a person & enhances the Spiritual emotion to God. For believers, taking a dip wash away their sins, it is also considered a time of peace and prosperity and many spiritual practices are conducted on this day. Sesame and jaggery ladoos or chikkis are distributed on this day. Popularly referred to as til-gud. The sweet signifies that people must stay together in peace and harmony despite their differences. In Gujarat, kite flying is organised as part of Makar Sankranti festivities. It is also believed that those who die on Makar Sankranti are not According to Hindu belief, if one dies on Makar Sankranti, they are not reborn, but go straight to paradise. While festivities may not be as per as previous years on account of the coronavirus pandemic, usually on this day devotees take a dip in rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery that are considered to be holy. According to Makar Sankranti is on Friday, January 14 - Magh Krishna Paksha Dwitiya tithi. Makar Sankranti Punya Kala or auspicious time starts at 8:30 AM and ends at 5:46 PM. While Makar Sankranti Maha Punya Kala starts at 8:30 AM and ends at 10:15 AM. Before Makar Sankranti, the sun is in the Southern Hemisphere. For this reason, in India, in winter nights are longer and days are smaller. But with the Makar Sankranti, the sun starts its journey towards Northern Hemisphere and so, days will be longer and nights smaller. On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, people express their gratitude towards the people of India throughout the year by worshiping the sun God in various forms. Any meritorious deeds or donations during this period establishes more fruitful.

  • International Human Solidarity Day

    International Human Solidarity Day is: a day to celebrate our unity in diversity a day to remind governments to respect their commitments to international agreements a day to raise public awareness of the importance of solidarity a day to encourage debate on the ways to promote solidarity for the achievement of the sustainable development Goals including poverty eradication a day of action to encourage new initiatives for poverty eradication. You can’t fight Racism with Racism, the best way to fight Racism is with solidarity

  • Attitude of Gratitude

    The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more you will have to express gratitude for. Having an attitude of gratitude will make all the difference to our happiness and success. Most people go through life focusing on what they don't want and don't have, thereby attracting more of the same into their lives. Developing an attitude of gratitude changes our focus to what we do want and do have, attracting more good into our lives. It's one of the most rewarding habits we can develop because we increase not only those things that we want, but also our appreciation of life in general. We become happier, healthier and wealthier. A starting place is to make a habit of counting your blessings everyday. Consider the following: Do you have two eyes that work? How about two hands, two feet, two ears, two kidneys? There are many who don't. We are all so blessed in so many ways. We live in countries where we are free to read what we want, say what we want, travel where we want, own property, and earn living. We have access to shelter(homes), water, electricity, medical care, retirement benefits, shops full of food and clothing, and much more. We have families who love us and friends who care about us. Best of all, we have ability to dream and to turn those dreams into reality. Today it is never been easier to turn a good idea into money. In fact there are many who have become incredibly wealthy doing just that. Think of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Mukesh Ambani, etc. With just one good idea, a positive attitude, and lots of dedication and hard work, each of these men has become fabulously wealthy. What's stopping you? We are surrounded by amazing people who will inspire us, whether in person, in books or on television. There is an abundance of information available to help us create happy, healthy and wealthy lives for ourselves. All we have to do is make the effort and time to put it to use. Make it habit to start and end every day by consciously thinking of all the things you can be grateful for. In this difficult times where we are surrounded by bad news in this year, we have to stay positive and make this attitude of gratitude.

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