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History Of Indian Places
Atyoga, Rajesh,

Thanks for your responses.

This book throws some more light:
The Imperial Gazetteer of India 1887, By Sir William Wilson Hunter

Looks like (at least) two possibilities:

<b>a) </b>Since Saraswati had such an impact in Vedic times, after the river disappeared, people may have kept the names of many other rivers as Saraswati. For example the river Arghand-Ab is mentioned as Arakhotus by Herodotus, and was called 'Harakhaiti' by Pakhtuns of his times, which is apbhransha of 'Saraswati'. http://books.google.com/books?vid=0ZAchP3u...-PA109&as_brr=1

Like wise, another river in Assam, is also having same name, so is a river in Gujarat.

<b>b) </b>Yamuna captured the flow from Saraswati and brought it to Ganga in Prayag as mentioned by Atyoga. Indeed, as described in Bhagvatam, Yamuna was probably not a very mighty river (Vasudev was able to cross it by walking through it's bed). It may have become mighty as it is today by capturing the sources of Sarswati... this has some details : http://www.sulekha.com/blogs/blogdisplay...cid=100956
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The reasons for this drying up are: river capture and aandhi (sandstorms).

Yamuna (erstwhile Chambal) which is a tributary of the Ganga, captured the Saraswati source at Paontasaheb (where there is a famous Sikh shrine in Punjab); thus the popular belief of Sangam at Prayag is based on groundtruth: the Yamuna captured Saraswati and took her to join Ganga at Prayag, near Allahabad. Thus, due to river capture, Saraswati was deprived of the perennial source of molten glaciers from the Himalayas. The aandhi phenomenon also accounted for the submergence of the river bed by sandstorms. As the river started drying-up, people starting migrating eastwards towards the Ganga-Yamuna doab (e.g. Alamgirpur and Kunal) and southwards towards the Godavari river, traversing the Arabian sea-coast. (Daimabad is a cognate archaeological site located on the banks of Pravara river which is a tributary of the Godavari river, near Nasik).

Late Vedic Period: Tectonic movements pushed up the Aravali hills, in northern Rajasthan. This changed the drainage pattern of the Northwest drastically. Saraswati lost her major tributaries, Yamuna and Sutlej. Sutlej turned west and joined Beas-Sindhu system, and Yamuna started migrating east to join Ganga.

During Mahabharat times: The volume of water flowing down the Saraswati had reduced. The waters of Saraswati did not make it upto the sea. Yamuna at this time, partly flowed westwards to meet Saraswati and partly flowed eastwards to meet Ganga.

At the time of Krishna's birth Yamuna was not as mighty as it is today. Hence it must have been possible for Vasudev to cross the river, with the new born Krishna in his arms.

It is described in Mahabharat, that Balaram travelled along the almost dry banks of Saraswati, and then along the banks of Yamuna, from Prabhas (Somnath) to Mathura.

After Mahabharat times: Yamuna now pirated Saraswati's sources and flowed into Ganga. Because Yamuna brought the waters of Saraswati to Ganga, the Sagam is called as the Triveni Sangam of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Ganga now took the importance of Saraswati and the title of goddess.

Today, Ghaggar; a puny seasonal river, occupies some parts of Saraswati's dry beds. The dry vast bed called the Hakra-Nara channels lie in the western Rajasthan.
From Deccan Chronicle, 26 Oct., 2006
Tikkanna pen stand proves Telugu age

Nellore, Oct. 25: An exquisitely carved sandal sheath which held writing implements used by great poet Tikkanna Somayaji in the 12th century is still carefully preserved by his descendant Paturu Harihara Sarma. This is not just a precious artefact but also living proof of the classical status of Telugu, which the Andhra Pradesh government is lobbying hard for.

It is believed that Tikkanna used this iron stylus (Gamtamu) to translate the great epic Mahabharata on a mandap in the banks of the Pennar river. <b>Tikkanna, one of the trinity of poets who translated the Mahabharata, was born in Nellore in a Saivaite Brahmin family. He was known as Vikrama Simhapuri and lived in Paturu, a small village about 10 km from Nellore.</b>

<b>It was at the Siddeswara Swamy temple in this village that the poet composed parts of his great epic. </b>Though a Saivaite, Tikkanna’s poems give the clear message that Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu are the same. Unfortunately, no serious effort has been made by either the archeology department or the State government to preserve the memory of this great poet.

His favourite Siddeswara Swamy temple, for instance, is in a dilapidated condition now. The park in Nellore named after him and the mandap where he is believed to have composed his poems are also in disrepair. Nellore is known as the city of statues, but it doesn’t have a single statue of Tikkanna. The only symbol of his great services to Telugu is the sheath treasured by Mr Sarma, a retired manager of LIC.

Pictures of Lord Ganesh and  Goddess Saraswati are carved on either side of the sheath. The exquisite carvings are instances of the skill of artisans eight centuries ago. “This precious piece has been with our family for generations,” said Mr Sarma. “My grandfather gave it to my father and he gave it to me and asked me to guard it throughout my life.” <b>Tikkanna lived during the period of the Kakatiya Empire, when Saivism and Vaishnavaism emerged as two powerful streams of Hinduism.

However, Tikkana’s vision transcended such divisions and he saw God as one. He was probably the first poet to use Telugu with a local flavour while writing his epics. He used lot of proverbs and colloquial usages in his verses which endeared him to the common folk. The responsibility of translating Mahabharata in Telugu was shared by three poets, Tikkanna, Nannayya Bhattaraka and Erranna.</b>

Tikkanna translated 15 chapters of the work during his lifetime. It was only a century later that the remaining part was translated by Erranna. Apart from this, Tikkanna also penned the Niryachanottara Ramanyanamanu which traces the life of Lord Ram and Sita after they return to Ayodhya. The poem speaks about Sita’s banishment to the forest and the birth of the twins, Lava and Kusa.

<b>Tikkanna was not just a poet. He was also the prime minister of King Manumasidhi and was known for his diplomatic and administrative skills.</b> “He also played a major role in constructing the Lord Hariharanatha Temple near the Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple,” said Mopuru Venugopalaiah, a scholar who has done extensive research on the poet’s works.

However, apart from the sheath treasured by his descendants, no trace of his memory remains in his native village or in Nellore. The only token remembrance is the birth anniversary celebrations of the great poet organised every year by the Tikkanna Vignana Kendra in the city.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Shani Shignapur </b>
The village is famed for its temple dedicated to Shani - the planet Saturn. More remarkable however is that t<b>here are no locks on any of the doors in the village be it residential or commercial, including the bank. Local legends claim that the village is 'protected' and no thief can cross its borders without dying. Sceptics please note that the village has remained theft - free in recorded history</b>.

Shani-Shingnapur is a famous pilgrim centre near Nashik in Maharashtra, which is also known for its doorless mystery. The unique feature of Shani-Shingnapur is that there is neither any image of specific deity nor any particular idol, but there is a stone pillar, which is supposed to embody the image, which is worshipped with deep respect and reverence.

The speciality of this temple is that there is no image or Pandit who performs the puja. Male devotees before entering into the temple take a head bath in the holy waters close to the temple and wear saffron cloth. The puja is carried out in the form of Pradakshanas, where in the devotee go around the idol a couple of times, chanting prayers.

Devotees also perform 'Abhishekas' (rites involving pouring of certain liquids over the idol) with water and 'Til' (mustard) oil. Thousands of people including a few famous personalities gather on Shani Amvasaya to perform Puja.

<b>In this village one can find the houses having gaping, rectangular spaces at the facade of every home. No doorframes, no latches, no padlocks or any other safety measures to guard the house are found. It is believed that nobody dares to steal anything because then it is believed that if they do so Shani Deva, the local deity, punishes them. It has been proved that even if something is stolen, the owner has always got the stolen things back. There is also a belief that if a snake in Shinganapur bites a person, he is brought to the temple and a ritual is performed in front of the idol, which neutralises the poison.</b>

Devgad is a village located to the east of Shaneshwar, which is famous for Shri Datta temple. The temple is open for the visitors for 24 hours. There is another belief attached to this place that the Neem tree standing to the North of the Shani idol sheds its branches if one happens to cast a shadow over the idol. Shiridi is another major pilgrim centre of Maharashtra and India, which is very close to Shani-Shingnapur.

BY AIR: Nearest Airport is Pune 160 Kms.

BY RAIL: Nearest Railway station is srirampur.


Route: Mumbai-Pune-Ahmednagar-Shani Shignapur , Distance: 330 Kms approx.
I'm brand new. Noticed that the Moris of Chitor (and perhaps Elephanta) were mentioned
in a discussion about Rajputs. Does anyone know if the Moris were Mauryas? They are the
earliest group cited in several important western Indian sites.
Is that possible?
Thank you
<!--QuoteBegin-mitradena+Nov 10 2005, 04:26 PM-->QUOTE(mitradena @ Nov 10 2005, 04:26 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->This thread is a great idea.

We should list all the ancient kingdoms and cities mentioned in the Itihasas and Puranas on the modern map. So we get better idea of ancient Indian geography.

<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Nothing spectacular to offer but was talking to a friend recently. His family comes from the village of Bawla near Ahmedabad. Legend has it that the village was the place where Bakasur was killed by Bhima.

So Bawla is the town called Ekachakra mentioned in the Mahabharata?
May I recommend, for lists of Purana tirthas, Bhardwaj, Hindu Places of Pilgrimage in India.
It begins with the tirthas listed in the MBh., then goes on to Purana lists.
It's fascinating!

<!--QuoteBegin-sivadasi+Nov 6 2006, 06:04 PM-->QUOTE(sivadasi @ Nov 6 2006, 06:04 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Does anyone know if the Moris were Mauryas?

That is the general belief as per their own internal tradition. The Mores of Maharashtra also believed that they were Mauryas. Given that the Maurya dynasty was otherwise forgotten and generally believed to be at best a half-kshatriya or shUdra dynasty, I would believe that mauryan claimants were truely connected in some way to the original maurya clan that established the first pan-Indian empire of classical history. Shivaji destroyed the dynasty in Maharashtra, but remnants continue to this day.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Dinosaur eggs reportedly found in India</b>
New Delhi: <b>Three Indian explorers have recovered more than 100 fossilised eggs of dinosaurs in a remote area in a central Indian state</b>, a news report said Monday.
The amateurs also found footprints of the dinosaurs through which they could also trace the 'track way' of the now extinct heavy animals, The Hindustan Times Web site quoted Vishal Verma, one of them, as saying.

All the eggs were discovered from a single nesting site in Kukshi-Bagh area, some 95 miles southwest of Indore, a key city of Madhya Pradesh state.

<b>"These animals used to come from far away areas to lay eggs on the sandy banks of the rivers in this area, identified scientifically as Lameta bed,"</b> Verma said.

<b>The dinosaurs were 40-90 feet in length</b>, Verma said. T<b>he richest dinosaur field in India is in the "Deccan Traps" near Jabalpur, a town also in Madhya Pradesh state</b>.
<img src='http://im.sify.com/sifycmsimg/feb2007/News/14383451_dinosaur_eggs_350.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
The place where Lord Rama found the dying Jatayu was named as JatayuMangalam, now known as ChadayaMangalam,is in the <b>Kollam district of Kerala</b>.
A huge rock in this place is named after Jatayu as JatayuPara and is a place of attraction for tourists.
source: Wiki

Mangaluru: it has come a long way

M. Raghuram

The countdown for the Government to implement its decision has begun

MANGALORE: With the countdown beginning for the State Government to implement its decision to shed the anglicised names of cities in Karnataka, people have different views though the name, Mangaluru, has no opposition.

The people in the district are so broad-minded and resourceful that they appear to have no inhibitions on what their city is called, legally or fondly.

It is a multi-linguistic city where people speak different languages such as Konkani, Tulu, Beary and Kannada but live in harmony and call the city by their own names. The Konkanis call it Kodial, Tuluvas Kudla, Kannadigas Mangaluru and those from Kerala settled in Mangalore call it Mangalapuram. The new generation would prefer it to be Mangalore.

The city gets its name from the Mangaladevi Temple, stated to be one of the oldest in the country, and Mangaluru has been there since long. Some say the name was derived from this temple which the Place Names Organisation, which held a seminar at the Regional Resource Centre in Udupi in 1991 under the leadership of late K.S. Haridas Bhat, endorsed it.

President of the Place Names Society of India K.V. Ramesh from Mysore told The Hindu that Mangaluru was first heard in 1345 A.D. during the Vijayanagar rule. Many “shilashasanas” of Vijayanagar period refer the city as M angalapura. Even before that, during the Alupas period, it was referred to as Mangalapura. Dr. Ramesh, who is the chief resource person for a book “History of Bunt community in Dakshina Kannada” being put together, traces the history and lineage of the Bunt community and says Bunts had trade relations with Kerala and Alupas originally migrated from there to various trade centres in Dakshina Kananda, including Udupi.

When did Mangaluru get anglicised to become Mangalore? It should have started in 1799 after the defeat of Tipu Sultan when the British took control of the city, says head of the department of History, University of Mangalore, Surendra Rao.

It was not a deliberate change of names as it is happening now but it was a cultural divide between Kannada-speaking people and the British administrators. It happened not just in India but all places where there was colonial or foreign rule, Dr. Rao said. <b>It occurred when Sir Thomas Monroe became the first Collector of Kanara district which included Mangalore, Kasargod, Udupi and Karwar, and Mangalore was the district headquarters. When it was bifurcated into North Kanara and South Kanara in 1863, Kundapur taluk was with North Kanara for two years and the British later brought it under South Kanara in 1865. Kasargod was separated during the re-organisation of States in 1956, Dr. Rao said.</b>

Chairman of the Central Administrative Reforms Commission M. Veerappa Moily said that he remembered that South Kanara district had its last Board High School in Trikaripura in Kerala State and in 1952 the then headmaster of Udupi Board High School Shukrath Acharya was transferred to Trikaripura Board High School.

The name of Udupi was changed in 1969, according to the Medical Education Minister V.S. Acharya. He recalls that when he was the municipal president of Udupi, people used to write the name as “Udipi’. Government buses from Udupi to Bangalore and Mysore also wrote it as Udipi in Kannada and English on their destination plates. Some North Karnataka organisations spelt it as “Udupy,” he said.

Mr. Moily says changing a name administratively takes a long time as it had to be changed in the World atlas and at least 50 Government departments, including Geological Survey, Archaeological Survey, banks and the Department of Posts. Changing Mangalore to Mangaluru has to be profound and pronounced. There is one “Mangalur” in Yelaburga taluk of Raichur district, a “Mangoor” in Hukkeri and “Mangnur” in Chikkodi taluks of Belgaum district, he said.

People from Kerala here fondly call it as Mangalapuram by which they mean the entire undivided district. It is believed that “Mangala” denotes “a blessed land”. The undivided Dakshina Kannada has many temples which are popular among people from Kerala too.

It is not just Mangalore. Kaup should become Kapu, Moodbidri to be Moodubidiru and Padubidri as Padubidiru after shedding their anglicised names.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Thus wrote Camoens in 1572, while to the famed astronomer Ptolemy this 'rich, vast and grand' land was known as Mylarphon. This thriving port of the mighty Pallava dynasty remains the essence of Chennai and the city’s values to the Chennaivasis as they close out one millennium and begin another.

Mylapore, it seems, has always been – and may continue to be - the religious and cultural epicentre of the Tamil people. Actually pre-dating the city of Chennai by several thousand years, Mylai or Mylapore was first built on the Coromandel shore. The arrival of the Portuguese in the mid-sixteenth century drastically changed the course of Mylapore's history. Having envisaged the idea of a colony at the shore, the Portuguese created Fort San Thome by pushing Mylapore inward, where it has stood since.

The Kapaleeshwarar temple that stands at Mylapore today is about 300-400 years old, though the temple is said to contain fragments of inscriptions dating back to 1250 AD. These inscriptions may be traces of the earlier shore temple that once dominated Mylapore. A great shore temple dedicated to Shiva stood for many centuries in the ancient coastal township of Mylapore, until the Portuguese arrived. In pushing Mylapore away from the shores, the Portuguese, it is believed, badly damaged this magnificent Shiva temple.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Burhanpur, MP

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Neglected grandeur
Burhanpur, the original resting place of Mumtaz Begum, is in a state of utter neglect today. Surely, we can treat our heritage better. 

Lying to rot, in sheer dilapidation, the monuments in Burhanpur beg for attention, visibility, acknowledgement and facelift.


Photos: Parthiv Shah
Wonders that were: The Hamam.

The inscription at the Ahu Khana — or royal pavilion — in a sleepy town in Madhya Pradesh reads: “Constructed during the reign of Shahjahan, Mumtaz Begum was buried here before her remains were transported to Agra”.

Historical significance

It was only later that the Taj Mahal was built in her loving memory. In fact, it was here the Prince Khurram was given the title of a Shah by Jehangir and came to be known as Shahjahan. Ironic, then, that this town is quite oblivious to the worldwide campaign to have the Taj Mahal recognised as one of the world’s “seven modern wonders’. The place is Burhanpur. Four hours away from Bhopal and one hour from Khandwa.

Connected by the South Central Railway, the Karnataka Express hisses to a halt at this railway station for exactly two minutes. As you get off the train, you see a green coloured, diamond shaped board which says, “Alight here for the Dargah-E-Hakimi”, the important pilgrim site for Bohra Muslims. And this is only the beginning of many things to see, admire and feel sad about.

Burhanpur could easily pass off for a place like the one where Bunty or Babli came from. Unfortunately, most people treat it like that as well. Few know its history, let alone take pride in it. And even fewer know that this was the “Badshaon Ka Shahar” (the City of Emperors). Humayun, Akbar, Shahjahan were amongst the great emperors who ruled from here. It was at its helm both architecturally and in its strategic positioning as the door to the Deccan and an important trade route during the Mughal rule.

The Mughals gave the town a stunning Quilla which spans the entire border of the town along the banks of the beautiful Tapti River, protecting the town from floods. Even now, as it lies in ruins, we can see traces of a long tunnel which was the beautifully conceived escape route, we see remains of beautiful tile work and the stunning Hamam (which is restored from the outside to look like an MCD building) In fact even before the Mughals arrived on the scene, the Farouqui rulers also made their rich contributions to the place including the Jama Masjid.

A story in every nook

Stories abound in the place — stories of love, hatred and passion and greed. The Mehal-Gule-Ara is testimony to this. It still holds its idyllic beauty with gardens and a Mahal on either side of a lake, a place where Mumtaz Begum would rest peacefully in her times of illness or pregnancy. It is believed that Aurangzeb, when he visited Burhanpur, fell in love with a courtesan, Hirabai, alias Jeina Begum, while taking a stroll in these very gardens, but alas love did not triumph as she died very young, and legend has it that this left the Emperor a very bitter man for the rest of his life.

Lying to rot, in sheer dilapidation, the monuments in Burhanpur beg for attention, visibility, acknowledgement and facelift. And talking of facelifts, what is going on in the name of restoration is actually ghastly. The beautiful Quilla is being restored with concrete! Buying tickets to see this monument is quite a contrast I must say from my experience of seeing the Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland a few years ago. What I remember the most of that experience was the large amounts of money that I had to spend to get in and see it! Not to berate the beauty of what one saw, but really to claim that what we have in India is as much and I am actually willing to bet for better.

Sad state

I barely managed to see Adil Shah and Nadir Shah’s Tombs because of some encroachment by the landless poor in the area. The amazing Ahu Khana is nothing short of an unpleasant arduous trek in the absence of a road. The Teen Darwaza at the Satiyaara Ghat is almost reduced to a rubble — you only recognise it because of the leftover, yet beautiful, arches. The Khooni Bhandara, the water management system of the Mughals, looks like the Municipal Corporation property with each of the tanks being numbered in yellow and black squares.

My point is that if we are trying to put India on the map of the world, why can’t we map these beautiful historical pieces of architecture, history, and to use the "hippest" phrase coined in the 21st century, innovately package it for the world within and outside? Surely our historical heritage contributes to a large degree to make India the place that it is. Burhanpur is but a case in point, for, there are thousands of such beautiful places all over the country.

Ahu Khana.

I discovered this town in Madhya Pradesh in every sense of the word and believe that it definitely contributes to make India an incredible place of many wonders, not just the one.

Vidya Shah is a musician and rights activist.
Any clues about the earliest mentions of Andaman & Nicobar chain of isles?

What were their older and traditional names?

Are these names pre-european-cartography or post?

(someone said Andaman comes from the apa-bhramsha of 'gandhamadan')
<!--QuoteBegin-Bodhi+Aug 5 2007, 10:54 AM-->QUOTE(Bodhi @ Aug 5 2007, 10:54 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Any clues about the earliest mentions of Andaman & Nicobar chain of isles?

What were their older and traditional names?

Are these names pre-european-cartography or post?

(someone said Andaman comes from the apa-bhramsha of 'gandhamadan')

Here is what Wikipedia says
The name Andaman presumably comes from Handuman, which is Malay for the Hindu god Hanuman. The name Nicobar is Malay for land of the naked (people).

Another useful link - A Hindu article


The islands of good fortune

The popular impression is that the history of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands begins with the arrival of the British. But the history of the islands dates back to much earlier.

Legend has it that the name Andaman is derived from Hanuman, an important character in the `Ramayana.' Hanuman was called as `Handuman' by the Malayas.

Ptolemy, the Roman geographer, included the islands in his first map of the world in the 2nd century and described them as "the islands of good fortunes."

I Tsing, 7th century Buddhist scholar, referred to them as `Andabans.'

Marco Polo too appears to have known them. Nicolo Contri, 15th century Italian traveller, called the Andamans "the Island of God."

There are also references in the Chola inscriptions of 1050 A.D. in Thanjavur.

As for the Nicobar group of islands, the Arab travellers used the term Lakhabalus or Najabulus, which, historians say, was a corrupted form of `Nicobar.'

In the Thanjavur inscriptions, the islands are mentioned as Nakkavaram, which means "the land of the naked."

Another link says that the Hanuman origin of the word Andaman is bcos Hanuman used it as a launching pad to go to Lanka (this is the Malay version). Can't imagine why Hanuman would take all the trouble to jump from India and go to Andaman and then from thereon to Lanka. Or probably the Malaysians really thought that Hanuman was a Malaysian. Then it seems logical. Hanuman jumps from Malaysia to Andaman, refuels himself and then second jump to Lanka.
thanks. even the large latent-volcano isle, 150 km NE from the Northern Andaman island, is called in the maps as 'narcondum'. wondering if it was meant as nara-kundam or naraka-kundam (considering the heat?)
Does anybody know the etymology of Madurai? Does it have anything to do with north Indian city, Mathura?
<!--QuoteBegin-Pandyan+Aug 21 2007, 03:20 AM-->QUOTE(Pandyan @ Aug 21 2007, 03:20 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Does anybody know the etymology of Madurai? Does it have anything to do with north Indian city, Mathura?[right][snapback]72294[/snapback][/right]<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->This is what Subhash Kak wrote:
(and at http://www.hinduwisdom.info/articles_aryan...n_theory/19.htm )
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->But the cultures of the North and the South are the same as far back as we can go. (There is some minor difference in kinship rules.) <b>There was even a mirroring of the sacred geography. The North had Kashi and Mathura; the South had Kanchi and Madurai.</b> Who is to say what was the original?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->(The article's a good read in its complete form too.)
<b>Ram controversy reaches Kashmir</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Srinagar, Sept. 16: A controversy over the legend of Ram is simmering away from Adam’s Bridge at the opposite end of the country: Kashmir.

<b>The Jammu and Kashmir government is building up a village in Budgam as the place from where Ravan had abducted Sita. The name of the village, Sutti Haran, is a distortion of Sita haran (abduction of Sita) and the local population firmly believes in the Ramayan link</b>.

The village is quietly being developed as a tourist resort, leading to fears that it could fan communal passions. Critics of the tourism project believe that Sutti Haran will ultimately be turned into a pilgrimage centre, with Hinduism usurping what is now a revered Muslim site.

<b>“There is a shrine of the Kashmiri Muslim saint Sheikh Noor-ud-din Wali (popularly known as Sheikh-ul Alam) in the village. The project’s opponents argue that the village will now emerge as another Hindu symbol,’’ </b>a tourism official said.

Controversies in the name of Ram have raged for years in the heartland, and more recently in the country’s southern tip over the Sethusamudram ship canal project. In Muslim-dominated Kashmir, it would be a first.

<b>Hakeem Yaseen, a state minister who represents the Khan Sahib Assembly constituency in Budgam, said: “We are developing the village as a tourist resort because it is believed that Sita’s abduction happened there. We hope it will be a big attraction for the people and will have economic spin-offs.”</b>

The government has prepared a project report that mentions the construction of a guesthouse and a park in the village, the tourism official said.

“It may cost us around Rs 1 crore but in addition, the government is laying a road to the village and the adjoining meadow of Tosi Maidan, which will cost crores more,’’ he added.

<b>The official said the Amarnath shrine board was encouraging the project, but the board’s director of public relations, Madan Mantoo, insisted: “We have nothing to do with the project.”</b>

According to Valmiki’s Ramayan, Ram had travelled south from Ayodhya, settling for periods in forests of central and southern India.
<img src='http://www.telegraphindia.com//1070917/images/17maps.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Rameshwaram, according to legends, is the place from where Lord Rama, built a bridge across the sea to Lanka to rescue his consort Sita, from her abductor, Ravana. This is also the place where Rama worshipped Shiva to be absolved of the sin of killing Ravana.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->According to the Puranas, upon the advice of Rishis (sages), Rama along with Sita and Lakshmana, installed and worshipped the Sivalinga here to expiate the sin of Brahmahatya (killing of a Brahmin) (Ravana was a Brahmin the great grandson of Brahma). Rama fixed an auspicious time for the installation and sent Anjaneya to Mount Kailas to bring a lingam. As Anjaneya could not return in time, Sita herself made a linga of sand. When Anjaneya returned with a linga from Mount Kailas the rituals had been over. To comfort the disappointed Anjaneya, Rama had Anjaneya’s lingam (Visvalingam) also installed by the side of Ramalinga, and ordained that rituals be performed first to the Visvalingam.
I've read a theory, don't know whose it was, that the ancient Lanka, far from being
Serendip, was an island in what is now dry: the depression, Murwara Basin, in eastern
MP. I'd also heard that there are shrines to Ravan in that area.
Does anyone know more about this?

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