PHDCCI, Indian Yoga Assn sign MoU to Promote Tourism

The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) and the Indian Yoga Association (IYA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) today to facilitate interaction and cooperation between the two organisations to promote wellness, spiritual and cultural tourism in the Krishna Circuit.

The two organisations have joined hands to provide a holistic tourism experience to domestic and international travellers looking for some spiritually invigorating and cultural experiences.

This niche sector is sought to be promoted effectively by industry partner PHDCCI, which is committed to bringing about effective changes in the management, innovation and proactive development of strategies and strengthening the linkages for advancement through partnerships with like-minded organisations, the statement said.

Places associated with Lord Krishna constitute the Krishna Circuit in Uttar Pradesh. The Centre has been trying to promote it as a major tourist attraction.

Krishna Circuit:

Krishna Circuit is among the thirteen thematic circuits identified for development under Swadesh Darshan Scheme.

Twelve destinations have been identified for development under Krishna circuit namely Dwarka (Gujarat), Nathdwara, Jaipur & Sikar (Rajasthan), Kurukshetra (Haryana), Mathura, Vrindavan, Nandgaon, Gokul, Barsana, & Govardhan (Uttar Pradesh) and Puri (Odisha).

About Swadesh Darshan Scheme:

The Tourism Ministry had launched ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme with an objective to develop theme-based tourist circuits in the country. These tourist circuits will be developed on the principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner.

Features of Swadesh Darshan Scheme:

The scheme is 100% centrally funded for the project components undertaken for public funding.

To leverage the voluntary funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and corporate sector.

Funding of individual project will vary from state to state and will be finalised on the basis of detailed project reports prepared by PMC (Programme Management Consultant).

A National Steering Committee (NSC) will be constituted with Minister in charge of M/O Tourism as Chairman, to steer the mission objectives and vision of the scheme.

A Mission Directorate headed by the Member Secretary, NSC as a nodal officer will help in identification of projects in consultation with the States/ UTs governments and other stake holders.

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Rare Dance Panel At Tiruchi

A rare dance panel of Nayak period and an inscribed pillar of Chola period have been found on an abandoned brick mound at Pathalapettai near Kiliyur in Tiruchi.

The dance panel:

The dance panel is depicted on a stone slab that measures 1.21 metres in length and 33 centimetres in height.

Four pairs of well dressed male and female dancers, holding some object in one of their hands, are seen engaged in a ritualistic dance in the panel. Three pairs are shown hugging each other while the last pair is dancing keeping a distance between.

All of them are decked with ornaments and different headgears. The female deity with a flower in the right hand seen between the first two pairs and the pot depicted between the last two pairs denote the ritualistic nature of the dance.

The pillar found at the spot has an inscribed base. The base has a Tamil inscription of Chola palaeography with a few Grantha letters used in between. Though seven lines are visible, the last two are not readable. The inscription records that a certain Rejaladeviyar Sativinjey, queen of Iladevayan, had gifted that pillar. A sketchy figure of a Mugalinga is seen sculpted on the first half of the pillar, suggesting its conversion into a Linga.

Silappatikaram:

It is one of the Five Great Epics of Tamil Literature according to later Tamil literary tradition. A poet-prince from Kodungallur near Kochi referred to by the pseudonym Ilango Adigal, is credited with this work.

The epic revolves around Kannagi, who had lost her husband to a miscarriage of justice at the court of the Pandyan Dynasty, wreaks her revenge on his kingdom.

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Chennai gets Unesco recognition for music

Chennai often called the cultural capital of South India, joined the elite club of world cities on Tuesday when it was included in Creative Cities Network of Unesco for its contributions to music.

The city joins two other cities in India – Jaipur and Varanasi – to have figured in the prestigious list for their contributions to music and folk arts. The dossier to nominate Chennai for the CCN was submitted a few months back to the Unesco by the Union Culture Ministry.

Once a city is included on the list, it holds cultural events for four years to highlight its USP and this is monitored by the Unesco. CCN currently has 116 member cities from 54 countries, covering various fields.

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Srirangam temple wins UNESCO award

The massive renovation and restoration effort at the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam has won the UNESCO Asia Pacific Award of Merit 2017 for cultural heritage conservation.

It has become the first temple in Tamil Nadu to be given the prestigious award from the UN body. The Times of India reported that the use of traditional methods in renovating temple structures and re-establishment of rainwater harvesting and historic drainage system, to augment water and prevent flooding, were the main reasons for the temple to achieve the award.

The temple is situated on an islet between Cauvery and Kollidam rivers. It has seven prakaras and 21 towers, including the 236-feet-high rajagopuram.
According to reports, the renovation of the temple started in June 2014 and the project was carried out in several phases. The renovation costed about Rs. 25 crore, and was done with the help of government and donors.

60,000 tonnes of construction waste/debris were removed during the renovation. The hundred-pillar and thousand-pillar mandapams and various other mandapams, have been restored. Moreover, many sculptures in the numerous sub-shrines were also restored.

The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) had applied for the award in May. There were about 42 applications from 43 countries for the 2017 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. The other monuments which received the award in India are Mumbai’s Christ Church and Royal Bombay Opera House under Award of Merit category.

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International Conference on Dialogue of Civilizations – IV

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Ministry of Culture, Government of India, in collaboration with National Geographic Society is hosting an international conference on “Dialogue of Civilizations – IV” from 8th – 15th October 2017 at Delhi, Gandhinagar and Dholavira.

This conference is fourth in this series of ‘dialogues’ initiated by National Geographic Society in 2013 with an objective to encourage scholarly and public discourse about the five ancient, literate civilizations of the world, i.e. Egypt, Mesopotamia, South Asia, China and Mesoamerica and how the study of the past can shape our present and future towards the right direction.

The first conference of this series was inaugurated in Guatemala in 2013 followed by Turkey in 2014 and China in 2015. The present conference is the fourth in this series, with the final dialogue planned in Egypt.

The inaugural function was followed by a lecture by Prof. B.B. Lal, Padma Bhushan awardee on ‘Harappan Civilization’, which introduced the earliest civilization of South Asia to the scholars working on other ancient civilizations and others.  The lecture of Prof. B.B. Lal traced the Harappan Civilization and its history of discovery and highlighting on town planning, agriculture and animal husbandry, art objects, crafts, trade, both internal and external, script, disposal of dead, religion, political set up.  He gave a brief account of all these aspects.

Besides, Prof. Lal also briefed on some of the new breaking news, and some unique features which are not found from other parts of the world. For example, he highlighted on the earliest ploughed field from Kalibangan in Rajasthan; evidence of earliest datable earthquake from Kalibangan (Rajasthan); earliest dockyard of the world which was found at Lothal (Gujarat); unique water management system that has been found at Dholavira (Gujarat).

Prof. Lal also talked about the evolution of Harappan Civilization and traced its history to the indigenous cultures only and not from any external influences. Prof. Lal tried to emphasize on the authorship of the Harappan civilization and he presented evidence related to, and while stating this he concludes that it is high time that the Aryan Invasion Theory has to be written off.

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India-Myanmar MOU for conservation of pagodas at Bagan

The Union cabinet approved a project to conserve the earthquake-damaged pagodas in Bagan city of Myanmar.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalise the pact will be signed between the two countries during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the nation on 6-7 September.

The decision will strengthen the country’s ties with Myanmar in the realms of “culture and religion” and will advertise India’s prowess in conservation and restoration arts.

This will further strengthen India’s enduring ties with Myanmar, in culture and religion.

Ancient Pagodas of Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

A funerary monument and then acquired cosmic symbolism of Buddha-hood containing Buddha associated relics. Also, some monuments were built to honour a notable person, or even bring lasting remembrance to an important family. It is a bell-shaped brick structure set on a square or octagonal base and usually rises to a gently tapering peak gilded metal and jewelled finial topped with a sacred parasol-shaped decoration called “hti”.

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