Mangrove in India

Mangrove in India

Mangrove in India is world famous for its rich variety of flora and fauna and also for its huge area. The Mangroves are actually salt-tolerant plants of tropical and subtropical inter-tidal regions and they are mainly found in the GodavariKrishna and Sunderban regions in India. In the regions where these plants grows are termed as “Mangrove Ecosystem”. These plants are extremely sensitive and fragile. The Sunderban comprise the principal portion of Mangrove in India. The ‘Sunderban Mangroves’ occupy a huge area followed by the Andaman-Nicobar Islands and Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat. Compared to the Sunderban, the rest of the mangrove ecosystems are comparatively smaller.

Etymology of Mangrove
The word ‘Mangrove’ is considered to be a combination of the Portuguese word ‘Mangue’ and the English word ‘Grove’. The word is broadly used to refer to the habitat and entire plant assemblage or mangal, for which the terms mangrove swamp and mangrove forest are also used. Apart from that, Mangrove is also used to refer to all trees and large shrubs in the mangal. It is narrowly used to refer to the mangrove family of plants, the Rhizophoraceae, or even more specifically just to mangrove trees of the genus Rhizophora, as well.

Flora and Fauna of Mangrove Ecosystem
The Mangrove in India is home to numerous species of flora and fauna and the presence of Mangrove ecosystems on coastline can save lives and property during natural hazards like cyclones, storm surges and erosion, as well. The Mangrove in India is home to a large number of over 1600 plant and 3700 animal species. The most notable species of Mangrove in India include the major components like “Acanthaceae“, “Avicenniaceae” or “Verbenaceae” (Black mangrove), “Combretaceae” (Buttonwood, White Mangrove), “Arecaceae” (Mangrove Palm), “Rhizophoraceae” (Red Mangrove), “Lythraceae” (Mangrove Apple) etc. families.

Mangrove in India

Mangrove in India includes numerous species that helps maintaining the balance of ecosystem in India. The Mangrove in India is breeding, feeding and providing nursery grounds for many estuarine and marine organisms. The ecosystem has quite a large potential for natural products that can be used for medicinal purposes and also for salt production, apiculture, fuel and fodder, etc.

Significance of Mangrove in India
Mangrove in India protects the coast from erosion, surge storms especially during hurricanes and tsunamis and their massive root system is efficient in breaking up the wave energy. Similarly, the mangroves also slow down tidal water enough so that its sediment is deposited as the tide comes in and is not re-suspended when the tide leaves, except for fine particles. By doing so, the mangroves build their own environment. This uniqueness of the mangrove ecosystems and their protection against erosion often makes Mangrove the object of conservation programs including national ‘Biodiversity Action Plans’. It has been found several times that the wave energy is typically low in the areas where mangroves grow. The Mangrove in India also supports ecosystems, adapt low oxygen, limits salt intake and water loss, and also increase survival of offspring.

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Indian Athletes

Indian Athletes

In India, athletics is counted among the most popular form of sports and is played extensively throughout the country. India has so far produced several eminent athletes, who have excelled in the international arena. Indian athletes started playing in the international athletic meets for the first time in 1948, when they took part in the London Olympic Games. The Indian team comprised 8 athletes in the 1948 Olympics, out of which 6 were men and 2 women. It was also the first time that the Indian women athletes participated in the Olympic Games.

Dalip Singh
Dalip Singh is a well known athlete who was the first sportsperson to represent India at the Olympics. He was also a good hockey player. He also owns the pride of being the first person from India who became the torchbearer at the inaugural Asian Games held at Delhi in the year 1951.

P.T. Usha
P. T. Usha is another prominent athlete of India who is also popularly known as “Golden Girl”, “Running Machine”, “Sprint Queen”, “Payyoli Express” and by many other titles. Through her admirable career she had inspired a number of young woman athletes. She is the owner of seven national awards and had won a number of gold and silver medals in different tournaments.

Indian Athletes

Jyotirmoyee Sikdar
Jyotirmoyee Sikdar carved a distinct niche for herself in Indian athletics by bagging one silver medal and two gold medals at Bangkok Asian Games in 1998. She also won Arjuna Award in the year 1995. In 1998 she also became the first athlete to receive the honour of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1998.

Devendra Jhajharia
Devendra Jhajharia was the winner of first gold medal in Paralympics from India. He is a one armed javelin thrower who lost one of his arms in childhood in an accident. He was also honoured with the most prestigious sports award, the Arjuna Awards. He also won gold medals at Athens in 2004 and the 8th FESPIC Games of Korea in 2002.

Shiny Abraham
Shiny Abraham was another famous athlete of India who, for fourteen long years, remained the National Champion in 800 metres. She had also won a number of gold medals. In the year 1995 at the SAF games in Chennai, she was also declared as the best woman athlete. She was awarded with the Arjuna Award and the Chinese Journalist Award.

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Ramayana, Indian Epic

Ramayana, Indian Epic

Ramayana is one of the greatest Indian epics ever written and it forms an important part of Indian religious and literary history. Ramayana, even in the form in which it is read today, is still a fairly unified heroic poem. It is believed to have been written by a poet named Valmiki, and there is no doubt to believe that a poet of this name really lived and first shaped the ballads, which were scattered in the mouths of the bards, into the form of a unified poem. In fact, Valmiki is often said to be the first ‘Kavi’ or author of ornate poetry, Adikavi, and Ramayana is said to be the first ornate poem.

Origin of Ramayana
The great epic of Ramayana is traditionally attributed to Valmiki, who is considered to be the first poet of India. The Indian tradition believes that the great epic has been written by a single poet, the great sage Valmiki, who was also a contemporary of Lord Rama and also a marginal actor in the great epic. The original version of the story in Sanskrit language is called the Valmiki Ramayana, which dates back to the 4th century B.C. As per the Hindu tradition, the Ramayana was considered to have taken place during the period known as Treta Yuga. The beginnings of ornate epic poetry do indeed lead back to the Ramayana, and Valmiki has always remained the pattern to which all later Indian poets admiringly aspired.

Composition of Ramayana
In the composition of the Ramayana, as in all Kavyas, greater importance is attached to the form than to the matter and contents of the poem, and that so-called ‘alankaras’, i.e. embellishments such as similes, poetic figures, puns, and so on, are used largely, even to excess. Similes are heaped on similes, and descriptions, especially of nature, are spun out interminably with ever new metaphors and comparisons. Ramayana appears as a work that is a popular epic and ornate poetry at the same time.

Ramayana, Indian Epic

Story of Ramayana
Ramayana presents the story of Lord Rama, who is also the main character in this epic. This great epic comprises of 24000 couplets in seven books which give an account of the royal birth of Rama and his other three brothers, the loss of his throne and his victory over evil. Dasaratha was Rama’s father and was the king of Ayodhya. He had three queens named KaikeyiKaushalya and SumitraBharata was the second son of Dasaratha and Queen Kaikeyi. As a result of the jealously of Kaikeyi, Rama went into exile for fourteen years. Rama was accompanied voluntarily into the forest by his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana. Lakshmana protected and served Rama and Sita in the forest. However, during their exile, Ravana abducted Sita with the help of an evil plot. Lord Hanuman also plays an important role in this epic by finding Sita and helping Rama to fight the battle against Ravana. The great monkey Sugriva and his alliance with Rama were also fruitful as he regained his wife and his kingdom and he in turn helped Rama in finding out Sita and employed his army of monkeys to fight for Rama against Ravana. After defeating Ravana, the victorious Rama returned to Ayodhya with his wife and was coronated as the new monarch. However owing to the long captivity of Sita the people of the kingdom could not accept her and she was forced to undergo an ordeal of fire, Agnipariksha, to prove her chastity. Even after Sita succeeds in proving her chastity through Agnipariksha, she remains as the subject of suspicion due to which Rama reluctantly abandons her while she was pregnant. Sita takes refuge in Valmiki’s Ashram where she gives birth to twins Lava and Kusha. After the twin grows up and reunites with their father, Sita seeks refuge in the arms of her mother, the Earth, and frees herself from the unjust world.

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Odisha Cuisine

Odisha Cuisine, East Indian Cuisine

Odisha cuisine is an amalgamation of affluent usage of spices and local ingredients. Odisha besides having rich architectural and cultural heritage also possesses a rich culinary background. The kitchen of famous Jagannath Temple in Puri is considered to be the largest in the world, engaging a thousand chefs working around 752 Chulah (wood burning clay hearths) to feed more than 10,000 people.

Odisha has a culinary tradition spanning over centuries. Majority of people from Odisha are non-vegetarians and fish forms an integral part of their traditional cuisine. Oriya dishes are rich and varied and rely on local ingredients. Oriya food is spicy and cooked in little or no oil. Odisha is a place where sea foods like prawns, lobsters, fish and crab are found in abundance. Not only the locales, but the tourists also relish the preparation of sea food.

History of Odisha Cuisine
History says, during the Bengal Renaissance, in the 17th and 18th Century, the Oriya cooks used to be employed in the kitchen of the Zamindars of West Bengal. So that some dishes which are now popular as Bengali dishes, are basically from the kitchen of Odisha and were later introduced and included in the food list of West Bengal.

Odisha Cuisine, East Indian Cuisine

Dishes of Odisha Cuisine
Odisha cuisine encompasses ricevegetables, ‘Chadchadi’, ‘Ghanta’, ‘Badichoora’, ‘Khichdi’, ‘Besara’, ‘Jeera Pakhal’ and ‘Alu Palak Saag’ are some of the vegetarian dishes. A typical Odisha cuisine incorporates the intake of ‘Saaga’, ‘Bhaji’, ‘Bhaat’, ‘Dal’, ‘Besara’ or ‘Mahura’ (spiced curry), fish and chutney or ‘Khatta’. People of Odisha relish ‘Channa Dali’ which is cooked with coconuts, raisins, dry fruits and spices.

Dalma’ (mixed lentils with various vegetables) is considered as an energy booster and popular due to its ample nutritional value. ‘Pakhal’ (rice fermented in water with yoghurt and seasonings), ‘Mitha Bhaat’ (sweetened rice, mixed with various spices) and ‘Pulao’ (salty rice with butter, raisins, nuts, vegetables and spices) are some of the well coveted rice preparations. ‘Khichari’, prepared with rice and lentils with vegetables, flavoured with dry red chillies, bay leaves and jeera, especially served at religious festivals. Among people of Odisha, another famous food is ‘Besara’ which is cooked with assorted vegetables and stirred and fried in ‘Panch Phutana’, spices and oil. Among other delicious dishes ‘Chhencheda’, ‘Chingri Malai’, ‘Crab Kalia’, ‘Dahi Baingan’, ‘Dahi Machha’, ‘Ghugni’ and ‘Soriso Macha’ are notable.

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