Vyas Chhatri, cenotaph, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India

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Just north of the fort lies the cenotaph of Sage Vyas, the man who compiled the Hindu epic Mahabharata, the longest scripture in the world with almost 300,000 verses. He dictated the Mahabharata to Ganesh, the god with an elephant-head and son of Shiva the Destroyer.

Vyas Chhatri is also referred to in the city as Sunset Point as it gives you a wonderful view of picturesque Jaisalmer at sundown. The Sunset point over Sooli Dongri is a big hit with tourists and is definitely worth making a trip to if you want a bird’s eye view of Jaisalmer and its adjoining areas.

Iam Anna

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IMG_6196, originally uploaded by ramesh_lalwani.

Anna Hazare started three day fast at Mumbai on Tuesday morning to press his demand for strong Lokpal bill. At Delhi key members of Team Anna including Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan simultaneously sat on fast at Ramlila ground in Capital to express solidarity with Anna Hazare. The crowd was only few thousand which was much less than expected by the organizers.The reason for low turn out was perhaps cold weather Delhi is experiencing these days.Many people could be seen with white caps stating “ I am Anna”

Paddy fields, Orissa countryside

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A rural scene during harvest season near Dumuriput village in the Koraput district, Orissa, India.

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Holy Rats

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Holy Rats, originally uploaded by Atul Tater.
This isn’t Disney World and Mickey Mouse. In India, there is a temple filled with rats on purpose! It’s called Karni Mata Temple or the Rat Temple in Deshnoke, near Bikaner in Rajasthan. At this temple, the rats are considered sacred and are protected. If you kill one by accident, you must replace it with a rat made out of solid gold.

It is said that it is good luck to see a white rat at Karni Mata. It is also good luck when a rat runs over your foot. This is easy to accomplish; there are some heavy rat-traffic areas along walls between rooms, and if a foot is placed in the path, it will get some rat prints on it.

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Say Cheese!

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Say Cheese!, originally uploaded by Chot Touch.
Location: Bangalore, India

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Hindu priest

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Hindu priest, originally uploaded by rob of rochdale.

Bhuvaneswari Temple in Udaipur, Tripura.
Tripura is not a popular place with Western tourists so I was one hell of a novelty for the locals.

Bhuvaneswari temple is located on the bank of river Gomati at Udaipur in Tripura. Udaipur is known as the “Temple town of Tripura”. It is situated 55 km from the capital city Agartala. The temple was constructed in the 17th century by Maharaja Govinda Manikya. The Royal palace of the Maharaja can also be visited when you pay a visit to this temple as it is located near the temple.

The Bhuvaneswari temple finds mention in two of the plays of Rabindranath Tagore( won the first noble prize in literature in India) – titled Rajarshi and Bisharjan.

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Rhythm of Kerala

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Rhythm of Kerala, originally uploaded by Ranjith Shenoy.
Panchari Melam is a percussion ensemble, canonically lasting more than four hours, performed during temple festivals in Kerala, India. Panchari Melam (or, simply, panchari), is one of the major forms of chenda melam (ethnic drum ensemble), and is the best-known and most popular kshetram vadyam (temple percussion) genre. Panchari melam, comprising instruments like chenda, ilathalam, kombu and kuzhal, is performed during virtually every temple festival in central Kerala, where it is arguably presented in the most classical manner. Panchari, however, is also traditionally performed, with a touch of subtle regional difference, in north (Malabar) and south-central Kerala (Kochi). Of late, its charm has led to its performance even in deep-south Kerala temples. Panchari is a six-beat thaalam (taal) with equivalents like Roopakam in south Indian Carnatic music and Ek taal in the northern Hindustani classical. Another chenda melam which comes close to panchari in prominence and grammatical soundness, is Pandi Melam, performed outside temple precincts in general. Other chenda melams, though less popular, are chempata, adanta, anchatanta, dhruvam, chempha, dhruvam, navam, kalpam and ekadasam. Though there are expressional differences between the panchari and the above-mentioned melams

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