Interesting facts and information about Hinduism



Hinduism is one of the most ancient religions and considered to be one of the four major religions in the world. Originating from India (Asia) and the Vedic culture, Hinduism is now spread in most parts of the world. There are over 1.08 billion of Hindus living around the globe today. Hinduism, also referred to as Sanatan Dharma by certain scholars, is polytheistic by nature.
Swastika

  • A majority of Hindus are found currently living in India, Nepal, Mauritius, the Caribbean, and Bali in Indonesia. India is dominated by an 80% majority of Hindus.
  • The name'Hindu' is taken from the Sanskrit name "Sindhu" of the Indus river given to it by the Aryans in the second millennium BCE.
  • A red dot that is placed on the forehead is a symbol of being a Hindu. It is placed on the forehead before any worshipping or prayers begin. Hindu women use this a beauty symbol and in their context, it is called a Bindi. The red dot implies the divine sight and the spiritual evolution.
  • The religion was founded by no single founder. It is understood from the ancient texts, The Vedas, Puranas, and the Upanishads. Also, epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata are considered of high importance. A portion of Mahabharata evolved as a separate book of teachings by Lord Sri Krishna, "The BhagvadGita".
  • The religion is polytheistic by nature, i.e. it involves worshipping many gods and goddesses. However, the basic premise is the existence of one supreme power (Brahma) that is channelized in the many gods and goddesses.
  • Buddism, Jainism and Sikhism have all evolved from Hinduism at different times due to different callings from society and times.
  • Karma Theory is an important theory of Hinduism. Reincarnation is believed to be based on karma. They say the cycle of birth, that includes birth, death, and rebirth is based on the Karma (actions) of a human
  • Important symbols of Hinduism are Swastika, Om, lotus, trisula.
  • Hindus respect the cow animal. It is regarded as a mother. Hindus do not eat cow or buffalo flesh and eating such a thing is considered a sin. On the contrary, whatever is naturally created/secreted by cow, such as, cow milk, ghee, even cow urine and dung is considered pure and sacred.
  • The knowledge of Hinduism is preserved in the ancient texts called the Vedas - Rig Veda, Sam Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda.
  • Yoga is one of the biggest contributions of Hinduism to the whole world. It is a set of techniques of training the mind, body, and soul for the attainment of superior well-being and longevity, spirituality and as well mental balance.
  • Casteism was a form of a division of the society on the basis of the occupation and would be applicable on generations to follow. This practice led to discrimination and exploitation of the lowest class. It has been done away with in modern India post Independence. Presently it is against law to discriminate against or look down up insultingly or abuse on the basis of caste, gender or even region.

Shah Jahan: facts, history, biography

Shah Jahan was the fifth Mughal Emperor. His full name was Mirza Shahabuddin Baig Muhammad Khan Shah Jahan. He is famous for building the Taj Mahal. He ruled form 1628 to 1658.

Shahjahan
  • He was the son of the Mughal emperor Jahangir. His mother was Bilquis Makani. His grandfather Akbar gave him the name "Khurram". He was trained under the sight of Akbar and his grandmother Ruqaiya.
  • He had a strained relationship with his step mother Nur Jahan. Nur Jahan was planning and supporting his son in law Shahryar for the throne. His father Jahangir was very much depended on Nur Jahan. Despite that, after the death of Jahangir, Shah Jahan succeeded the Throne. And imprisoned his stepmother Nur Jahan, executed his rivals.
  • Under his patronage, Mughal empire was extended very much. He conquered the Kandahar, defeated the Rajputs of Baglana, Mewar and Bundelkhand.
  • During his reign, the state was overall peaceful and the revenue was increased. The justice was followed without any discrimination.
  • He had many marriages. But he was in love with his wife Mumtaz Mahal. The stories of their love affairs are still discussed. After the death of Mumtaz Mahal, he builds the tomb Taj Mahal.
  • Shah Jahan’s reign is regarded as Golden Period for art and architecture. He built several monuments and forts. Some of architecture built during his reign were- Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque, Takht-e-Taus, Shalimar Gardens.
  • His end of life was not that good. When he fell seek, his son Aurangzeb took over the throne and house poisoned him in the fort of Agra. He died in the imprisonment in 1666.

Indian State Kerala: facts, information

Kerala is an Indian state which is in the southern part of India. Indian states Tamilnadu and Karnataka surrounds it. It is also known as God's Own Country, Spice Garden of India, Land of Coconuts.

Kerala
Kerala
  • Area wise it is the 22nd largest state of India and 13th largest state per the population. Malayalam is the main language spoken by the people of Kerala. It was formed on 1 November 1956.
  • Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of Kerala. It has 14 districts- Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Idukki, Malappuram Kottayam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta.
  • Kerala has the highest literacy rate in India. It was the first state which became fully literate state in 1991. Besides having highest literacy rate, it also has highest HDI (Human Development Index) and lowest population growth rate.
  • Kerala is the highest rubber and black pepper producer of India. Other agricultural products are – Different Spices, Coconut, Cashew, Tea, Coffee.
  • Anamudi is the highest mountain peak of Kerala. Vembanad is the largest lake of Kerala and Periyar is the longest river.
  • Kerala Backwaters is very famous among the tourists. It is a network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes, and brackish lagoons. It is a home of many unique sea animals. Different trees and plants surrounding the waterbody creates wonderful atmosphere for the tourists. Different type of houseboats float around this backwaters.
  • It is the first Indian state which receives rains during the Monsoon. About 120-150 days per year is rainy in Kerala.
  • Kerala is most biodiverse state of India. Around 25% of India's 15,000 plant species are in Kerala. Kerala is famous for Indian elephants. Beside Indian Elephants, Indian leopard, Nilgiri tahr, Bengal Tiger are also found.
  • Technopark of Thiruvananthapuram is the first technology park of India. It is one of the largest IT park of India.
  • Most of the Keralite are emigrants working in foreign countries, mainly in Arab.
  • Kerala is one of the most attractive tourist destination. It has beaches like Kovalam, Varkala, Vizhinjam, Hill stations like Munnar, Nelliyampathy, Wildlife Sancturies like Parambikulam national park, Silent valley, Backwaters like Alapuzha, Kollam. That’s why it is also called “God’s own Country”.

Interesting facts and information about Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is a beautiful monument made of white Marble which is situated at Agra, India. It is one of the Wonders of World.

Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
  • Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built it. After the death of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, he built this tomb.
  • The construction was started in 1632 and the work completed around 1653.
  • This massive project took a huge man power (around 20,000) to build. People from different countries were employed to build this beautiful piece of art. Ustad-Ahmad Lahori was the chief architect.
  • It was declared as the World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1983.
  • Taj Mahal attracts huge number of tourists. About 8 million tourists visits it every year.
  • Due to rise in pollution, the white marble has started to turn into yellow. Which has generated a lot of tension among the people. Indian Government has setup a special zone (Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ)) around the Taj Mahal to cope with it.
  • The literal meaning of Taj Mahal is “The Crown of Palaces”.
  • The Taj Mahal was built using the white marbles. Besides that, different type of stones and materials were used from different part of the world for the construction. About 28 different precious stones were used. Taj Mahal is only one of the few monuments which has a symmetrical structure.

Interesting facts and information about Ramayana

Ramayana is an epic poem of ancient India. There are mainly two epic poems of ancient India. One is Ramayana and another is Mahabharata. Both have a very high importance in Hinduism.

Ramayana
  • Rishi Valmiki was the author of Ramayana.
  • Ramayana is one of the largest literature. It has 24,000 verses, divided into seven Kandas (books) and about 500 sargas (chapters). The Seven Kandas are – Bala kanda, Ayodhya kanda, Aranya kanda, Kishkindha kanda, Sundara kanda, Yuddha kanda, Uttara kanda.
  • There is no clarity on when it was written. Though it is believed that it was written around 4th Century BCE. Sometimes it is reffered as Adi Kavya (adi =first; kavya = poem). It is considered that Ramayana was existed before the Mahabharata.
  • The literal meaning of Ramayana is “Rama’s Journey”. Rama is the central character of Ramayana. Rama is portrayed as an ideal person in the epic.
  • Many authors had written different versions of Ramayana in different languages. Some of them are - Kamban's Ramavataram in Tamil, Krittibas Ojha's Krittivasi Ramayan (also known as Shri Rama Panchali) in Bengali, Tulsidas' Ramcharitamanas in Awadhi, Sant Eknath's Bhavarth Ramayan in Marathi, Gona Budda Reddy's Ramayanam in Telugu.
  • Ramayana has a great impact on Indian art and culture. Many characters and incidents depicted in Ramayana can be found on different Indian Temples and Art. Rama is worshiped as incarnation of God Vishnu. Different literatures still use characters of Ramayana. Many movies and TV series are made on Ramayana.
  • Different characters described in the Ramayana are believed as incarnation of different gods. Like- Rama as incarnation of Vishnu, Sita as incarnation of Laxmi, Laxman as incarnation of Shesha Naga, Hanuman as incarnation of Shiva.

Raj Kapoor: facts, biography, information

Raj Kapoor was a famous Indian film actor, director and producer. He is famous for his films like Mera naam Joker, Awara, Sangam. He is also called as “Showman of indian Cinema”.

Nargis, Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar
  • He was born on 14 December 1924 in Peshawar, India (Currently in Pakistan).
  • His father was Prithviraj Kapoor and his mother was Ramsarni Devi Kapoor. Prithviraj Kapoor and Ramsarni Devi Kapoor had six children. Raj Kapoor was the eldest. His brother Shashi Kapoor and the late Shammi Kapoor are also actor. His father was also an actor. He married to Krishna Malhotra and had five children.
  • He completed his education from Colonel Brown Cambridge School, Dehradun and St Xavier's Collegiate School.
  • He appeared for the first time in the film Inquilab. He was only 10 years old at that time. His first successful film as a lead actor was Neel Kamal opposite Madhubala.
  • In the year 1924, he established the R K films and directed the film Aag. He was only 24 at that time. That made him the youngest film director at that time.
  • His some of the famous films as director and actor were - Awaara, Shri 420,Sangam, Jagte Raho and Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai.
  • In 1970 he made the fim Mera Naam Joker. It was his ambitious project and took lot of effort and time. But the film was a disaster and he suffered from financial crisis. Later the film turned into a classic and critics mentioned it as one of the best film directed by Raj Kapoor.
  • He also launched his sons Randhir Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor in his films Kal Aaj Aur Kal and Bobby.
  • He is also called as "Charlie Chaplin of Indian cinema” for portraying tramp like character in his films.
  • He was honoured with many awards. He won Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1987. He was also bestowed with Padma Bhushan. He won three National Awards in his life.
  • He died on 2 June 1988 due to asthma. At that time, he was working on the film Henna. Which was later completed by his sons and released in 1991.

Interesting facts and information about Mahabharata

Mahabharata is one of the epic of ancient literature. This Sanskrit epic describes the war of Kurukshetra between the Kaurava and the Pandava princes. Mahabharata is the source of inspiration for many movies and serials.

mahabharata
Mahabharata
  • The Sage Vyasa authored the Mahabharata. He is also known as Krishna Dvaipāyana, Veda Vyāsa. Many people suggest that Vyasa was not a person but a group of sages having great knowledge of Vedas.
  • Mahabharata is the longest text of the world. It consists about 100,000 shlokas and 1.8 million words. The other Indian epic Ramayana, is 4 times smaller than Mahabharata.
  • “Mahabharata” literally means the Great story of Bharata. It is believed that the Mahabharata was written in the early Vedic Period.
  • Mahabharata was first recited by sage Vaisampayana, a disciple of Vyasa. He recited it to the king Janamejaya, the great grandson of Arjuna.
  • Among the different stories and different subsections of Mahabharata, one of the main event was the conversation of Arjuna and Krishna at the battlefield. This conversation created one of the most sacred Hindu religious scripture – “Bhagavad Gita”.
  • It is said that when Vyasa conceived the idea of Mahabharata. He thought that it will not be possible for him to complete it in his lifetime. So, he asked the help of Brahma and finally God Ganesha helped vyasa to write it.
  • It has 18 parvas- Adi, Sabha, Van, Udyog, Virat, Bhisma, Dhron, Kama, Shalya, Stri, Shasti, Anushashan, Ashwamedhie, Ashramvasik, and Shanti. Mahaprasthanic and Swargarohan.
  • Sometimes it is also called as fifth Veda due to vast inner context that it carries.
  • The Kurukshetra war was fought for 18 days. Kurukshetra is in Haryana where this war was fought.
  • Mahabharata has thousands of characters. Each character has a special role in the tale. Among them some of the interesting characters are- Shakuni, Krishna, Ekalavya, Karna, Bhisma, Arjun, Kunti, Draupadi, Ashwatthama, Yuyutsu, Bhima, Duryodhana, Gandhari…..any many more…

Intersting facts and information about Delhi

Delhi is the national capital territory of India. Haryana and Uttar Pradesh surrounds it. Delhi is also center of Indian politics and famously called as City of Rallies.

India Gate
  • Delhi is the most expansive city of India and second most populous city (First is Mumbai) of India.
  • In 1991, it was declared as the National Capital Territory of India by The Constitution (Sixty-Ninth Amendment) Act, 1991. Under this act, the Central Government and Delhi Government both govern it.
  • Delhi has a very rich history. It was governed by Pandavas to Mughals. It served as the capital of many empires specially during Medieval period.
  • Delhi is one of the most polluted city of World. The air pollution is very high in the core city. It was declared most polluted city of world in 2014 by WHO.
  • Delhi is the home of many heritage sites and monuments which attracts a lot of tourists. Red Fort, Qutab Minar and Humayun's Tomb are the World Heritage sites of Delhi. Other monuments and places are India Gate, Lotus Temple, Purana Qila, Rajghat,
  • Delhi is famous for different foods. It is the place from where Mughlai cuisine originated. It is famous for Kebab, biryani, tandoori, samosa, chole bhature, chole kulche, jalebi. Delhi is also famous for its street foods. Gali Paranthe Wali of Chadni Chowk is famous among the foodies.
  • Azadpur market of Delhi is the largest fruit market of Asia. Khari Baoli Market is the largest Spice market of India.
  • Delhi used to be a walled city which had 14 gates. Among the gates five are still there- Ajmeri Gate, Kashmiri Gate, Lahori Gate, Delhi Gate and Turkman Gate.
  • The major bus services of Delhi are operated by DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation). It is the largest CNG-powered bus service operator in the world.
  • The Ridge of Delhi is famous for bird lovers. It makes Delhi the second most bird-rich capital city.

Indian City Chennai : facts, information

Chennai is the capital of Indian state Tamilnadu. It is one of the best cities to live in India. It is one of the best educational, economic center of India.

Chennai
Chennai
  • Chennai is the fourth largest city of India (Area wise) and sixth largest city (Population wise).
  • Chennai was formally known as Madras. In 1996, the name was changed from Madras to Chennai.
  • It is famously called as “Detroit of India”. As most of the automobile industry is located here. About one third automobile industry of the country is here.
  • The city lies on the thermal equator which makes it one of the hottest city of world. In May and June, the temperature rises to 40-degree C. It is generally referred as Agni Nakshatram ("fire star") or Kathiri Veyyil.
  • World’s second oldest Municipal Corporation -Greater Chennai Corporation governs Chennai. It was established in 1688.
  • It has the largest number of Heritage buildings in India after Kolkata. Some of them are - Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Madras High Court, Ripon Building, Chepauk Palace, College of Engineering, National Art Gallery.
  • It is also known for its art, dance, and culture. It is one of the important center of oldest dance form Bharata Natyam.
  • World’s second largest beach - Marina Beach is in Chennai.
  • It is one of the most attractive tourist destination. It is one of the most favored spot for the foreign tourists in India. That’s why it is sometimes referred as Gateway of South India. Some of the famous places are – Mahabalipuram (UNESCO World Heritage site), Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, Mariana Beach, Elliots Beach, Arignar Anna Zoological Park (One of the largest zoological park of Asia).
  • Chennai is the center of major Hospitals and Medical Facilities. It is sometimes referred as India’s health capital.

Interesting facts and information about Bollywood

Bollywood generally refers to Indian Film Industry. But in more accurate form it is the Hindi film industry based in Mumbai. Bollywood is the combination of two words “Bombay” (Mumbai was formally known as Bombay) and “Hollywood”.

Bollywood
  • Bollywood is one of the largest film producers in the world. Around 200-300 films are produced each year. Which earns around 3000-4000 crores each year.
  • The first film made in India was the Raja Harishchandra (1913). It was a silent movie. The film was made by Dadasaheb Phalke. He is also called the Father of Indian Cinema. The first talkie of Indian Cinema was Alam Ara (1931).
  • The era 1940-1960 is regarded as the Golden era of Bollywood. In this period several critically hit films were made. Some them are- Awaara (1951), Aan (1952), Pyaasa (1957), Mother India (1957), Madhumati (1958), Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959).
  • The first color film of India was Kisan Kanya. It was made in 1937. But the trend of color cinema started during the 1950.
  • Bollywood movies are famous for its songs and dances. They are part of Indian films from the beginning of Talkies. The first Talkie Alam Ara had seven songs.
  • Dadasaheb Phalke award is the highest award of Indian Film Industry. Other prestigious awards are National Awards, Film fare awards. Dadasaheb phalke award was first awarded to Devika Rani in 1969.
  • Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge is the longest running film of the world. It ran for about 1000 weeks.
  • The longest movie of Bollywood is “Gangs of Wasseypur”. It was realased as single film in cannes film festival. It is about 319 minutes long.
  • Lagaan was the first film which was released in China.
  • First Indian cinema to get Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival was Neecha Nagar. It was released in 1946. Mother India was the first Indian movie which got Oscar Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

Interesting facts and information about Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita is one of the most sacred Hindu religious scripture. Many famous personalities have highly praised the Gita- Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Herman Hesse, Abdul Kalam, Albert Einstein and many other people.

"The Bhagavad-Gita is a true scripture of the human race a living creation rather than a book, with a new message for every age and a new meaning for every civilization." ~ Rishi Aurobindo
Arjuna and Krishna at Kurukshetra
  • Gita is a part of Mahabharata. It is part of Bhishma Parva of Mahabharata (Chapters 25 to 42). Mahabharata is a epic scripture of Hinduism.
  • Bhagavad Gita consists 18 Chapters and it has 700 verses. It is written in Sanskrit.
  • It is a conversation between Arjuna and Krishna at the battlefield of Kurukshetra. In the battlefield when Arjuna was unable to decide what is right and what is wrong, he asked several questions to Krishna, Gita captures this questions of Arjuna and Krishna’s answers to those questions.
  • The literal meaning of Gita is “Song of God”.
  • The main theme of Gita is Dharma (Holy Duty). It descripes the different Yoga- Bhakti, Karma, Jnana; and Moksha or liberation.
  • Several commentaries have been written on Gita. Such as Śaṅkara, Rāmānuja, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Bhāskara, Madhva. These commentaries vary from each other in views and meaning.
  • Charles Wilkins translated the Gita in English for the first time in 1785. Later it was also translated into different European languages.
  • It is believed that three other person besides Arjuna listened the Gita directly from Krishna. They were Sanjay, Hanuman, Barbarik son of Ghatotkach.

Manik Bandopadhyay: facts, biography, information

Manik Bandopadhyay was a bengali novel writer. He is famous for his novels and short stories that he wrote in his short life of 48 years.
  • He was born on 19 May 1908 in Dumka of Bihar. His original name was Prabodh Kumar Bandhopaddhay.
  • His parents were Harihar Bandopadhyay and Niroda Devi. They had fourteen children. Harihar Bandopadhyay was a government officer and had to visit a lot of place. This gave Manik a chance to connect with many people from his early life. He married to Kamala Devi and had 4 children.
  • He was a brilliant student. He passed the entrance examination in 1926 from Midnapore Zilla School. He secured first division in this examination. He joined the Welleslyvan Mission College at Bankura. In 1928 he passed his I.Sc. with first division. Later he joined the Presidency College, Calcutta. But he was not able to complete it due to financial problem.
  • Manik Bandopadhyay suffered from poverty almost throughout of his life. He started as Headmaster of Mymensingh Teachers Training School. But he switched many jobs in his career. Throughout of his life, his main source of income was writing.
  • His writing career started with the short story Atashimami. This was published in the magazine Bichitra. This story earned him a great respect in literary society. Throughout his life, he had published about 177 short stories. Some of them are- Atashi Mami (1935), Pragoitihashik (English: Pre-historic, 1937), Mihi O Mota Kahini (1938), Sarisrip (Amphibian, 1939), Bou (The Bride, 1940), Shamudrer Swad (The Taste of the Seas, 1943).
  • His some of novels are- Janani (Mother, 1935), Diba-Ratrir Kabya (Poetry of Days and Nights, 1935), Padma Nadir Majhi (The Boatman of River Padma, 1936), Putul Nacher Itikatha (The Puppet's Tale, 1936), Jiboner Jotilota (Complexities of Life, 1936), Ahimsa (Non-violence, 1941), Dhorabandha Jiban (Quotidian Life, 1941), Chatushkone (The Quadrilateral, 1942), Protibimbo (The Reflection, 1943), Darpan (The Mirror, 1945). He also wrote some poems but he is mostly known for his short stories and novels.
  •  The main theme of his stories and novels was the life of village people. His portrayal of characters in his novels and short stories were brilliant. 
  • He joined the Communist Party of India in 1944 and became an active Marxist.
  • From his early life he suffered from epilepsy. In 1956 he went to coma and died on 3rd December.

Buddhist Councils: general knowlede, facts, history, gk

In the history of Buddhism six Buddhist councils were convened. These councils were held under the patronage of different rulers and presided by different monks. The agenda of these councils were to preserve and spread Buddhism.

List of Different Buddhist Councils

Buddhist Councils Description
First Buddhist Council Time: 400 BC
Location: Sattapanni caves Rajgriha
Patronage: King Ajatashatru
Presided by: Monk Mahakasyapa
Agenda: To preserve the sayings of Buddha and the monastic discipline or rules.
Facts: It was held right after the death of Buddha. In this council Suttas were recited by Ananda, and the Vinaya was recited by Upali. Abhidhamma Pitaka was also recited.
Second Buddhist Council Time: 383 BC
Location: Vaishali
Patronage: Kalasoka
Presided by: Sabakami
Agenda: To settle the disputes of different subgroups. Some subgroup (Mahasangikas) were in favor of relaxed monastic rules.
Facts: Many people regard this council as historical. The council rejected the Mahasangikas.
Third Buddhist Council Time: 250 BC
Location: Patliputra
Patronage: Ashoka
Presided by: Moggaliputta Tissa
Agenda: To analyze the different schools of Buddhism and to purify them.
Facts: Ashoka sent many groups to different parts of countries to spread the Buddhism.
Fourth Buddhist Council Time: 78 AD
Location: Kashmir
Patronage: Kanishka
Presided by: Vasumitra & Asvaghosha
Agenda: To preserve and remedy of different conflict
Facts: From this council division of Buddhism occurred into Hinayana & Mahayana. Many people has doubt on authenticity of this council.
Fifth Buddhist Council Time: 1871
Location: Myanmar
Patronage: King Mindon
Presided by: Jagarabhivamsa, Narindabhidhaja, and Sumangalasami
Agenda: To recite all the Buddhist teaching and examine them in minute details
Facts: This council is generally not recognized outside of Myanmar
Sixth Buddhist Council Time: 1954
Location: Kaba Aye in Yangon, Burma
Patronage: prime Minister U. Nu
Presided by: Mahasi Sayadaw and Bhadanta Vicittasarabhivamsa. Beside them, many monks and scholars joined this council.
Agenda: To affirm and preserve the genuine Dhamma and Vinaya
Facts: For this council, a special Maha Passana Guha was constructed which was similar to the guha where the first Buddhist council was constructed.

Chola Dynasty: history, facts, information

Chola Dynasty was one of the most powerful dynasties of south India. They ruled south India for a long time and united the whole south India.

  • The main area they ruled was the valley of the Kaveri River. In the peak of their time, the empire was extedded to the whole south india, sri lanka, maldives, Malaysia, Indonesia and to ganges in the east.
  • The source of information of chola dynasty are few. The main source of the information are the tamil literatures and different inscriptions- Sangam literature; Mahavamsa - a Buddhist text; Pillars of Ashoka; 
  • Chola dynasty is generally divided into four periods - Early Cholas, The interregnum, Medieval Cholas, Later Cholas. 
  • The rivers Kaveri  and Ponni had  very important place in their dynasty. Adiperukku festival was celebrated each year during the floods of rivers. Kaveripoompattinam and Nagappattinam were two famous ports. They were the center of trade and commerce.
  • For better ruling, the empire was divided into several provinces called Mandalams. They were also subdivided into Valanadus. Valanadus were further divided into Kottams. Kottams consists number of villages. Different authorities - ur, nadu, sabha, nagaram were there to collect tax and to maintain the accounts.
  •  They had a strong military. The army included war elephants, cavalry, navy. Elephants were used heavily in the land battles. They also had a very strong navy. It was one of the strongest navy of Asia at that time. Navy helped in the conquest of the Ceylon, Srivijaya.
  • Agriculture was the main profession of the people of Chola Dynasty. Silk Weaving was also a respectable job. Kanchipuram became a center of silk Weaving. Silk was exported in large quantity. Beside silk, Wootz steel, spices were also exported. They had a very high reputation in foreign trade. China and south-east Asia were the main foreign trade location. 
  • There were different guilds, community and caste in the chola period. Some of them are- Vellalar community (Courtiers, army officials), Ulavar community (associated with agriculture), Kaikolar community (Merchants, Weavers ).
  • For agriculture, many canals and large water tanks were created - Uyyakondan canal, Rajendran vaykkal, Sembian Mahadegvi vaykkal. Solagangam tank was recognized as liquid pillar of victory.
  • Chola Dynasty had enriched the Tamil literature, art and architecture like no other dynasties. The temples build during this dynasty are one of the finest art. The temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram were declared World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO. The sculptures and bronzes were also remarkable- Nataraja the Divine Dancer is one of the finest art.
  • Tamil literature flourished greatly during this dynasty. Some of the masterpieces were- Ottakuttan's Kulothunga Cholan Ula, Kamban's Kambaramayanam, Jayamkondar's Kalingattuparani etc. Nannul a work on Tamil grammer during the Chola dynasty is still relevant.
  •  With the rise of Pandyan Dynasty the Chola dynasty started to decline and later it became the reason of its downfall.

Indian Dances: facts, information, general knowledge

India has a very rich culture of dance and music. From the ancient times, different dance forms are practiced in India. Indian dances were originated to praise the gods and has a significant influence of mythology, legends, and literature.

  • Indian dances are generally categorized as classical dances and folk dances. Besides that semi classical and tribal dance forms are also recognized. Indian contemporary dances are the fusion and experimentation of different dance forms including Western forms.
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi recognizes 8 dance forms as classical - Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Kathakali, Sattriya, Manipuri and Mohiniyattam. Culture Ministry of India recognizes Chhau as also classical dance besides those eight.
  • The dance forms which are traceable to the ancient classical texts, specially Natya Shastra are called classical dances. While Folk dances are the ones which are passed through word of mouth from generation to generation. 
  • Natya Shastra is one of the most ancient text on dance. It is attributed to the sage Bharata. It consists 36 chapters and 6000 verses. It is dated back to 200 BCE and 200CE.

Origin of Classical Dances of India

Dances States
Bharatanatyam Tamilnadu
Kathakali Kerala
Kathak North India
Kuchipudi Andhra Pradesh
Odissi Odisha
Sattriya Assam
Manipuri Manipur
Mohiniyattam  Kerala

Some other dance Forms

Dances States
Bidesha Bihar
Bhangra Punjab
Chau West Bengal
Bihu Assam
Garba Gujarat
Ghumar Rajasthan
Gidda Punjab
Lavni Maharashtra
Lota Madhya Pradesh
Rouf Jammu and Kashmir
Nautanki Uttar Pradesh
Swang Haryana
Tamasha Maharashtra
Yakshangana Karnataka
Chholiya Uttarakhand