Pancharatra Agama

Temples like Srirangam and the Varadaraja temple in Kanchi are governed by the Pancharatra agama. Ratra denotes ajnana, and pancha denotes that which destroys ajnana. Lord Narayana has five forms — Para, vyuha, vibhava, antaryami and archa — and hence the name Pancharatra. Ratra also means jnana (knowledge). Jnana is Read More …

National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India

Context Union  Minister for Culture (I/C) launched the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India in New DelhI. More details: India houses a repository of unique Intangible Cultural Heritage(ICH) traditions, 13 of which have also been recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The National ICH Read More …

Nanak Naam Lewa

Nanak Naam Lewa Any person who believes in Guru Nanak and follows his teachings in life, irrespective of belonging to any religion is a Nanak Naam Lewa. Prof Paramvir Singh from Department of Encyclopedia of Sikhism, Punjabi University, Patiala, says, “Any person who follows Guru Nanak and believes in his Read More …

Thiruvalluvar

Who was Thiruvalluvar? Thiruvalluvar is fondly referred to as Valluvar by Tamils. His ‘Tirukkural’, a collection of 1,330 couplets (‘kurals’ in Tamil), are an essential part of every Tamil household — in the same way as, say, the Bhagavad Gita or the Ramayana are in traditional North Indian Hindu households. Read More …

Rangdum Monastery

Context : Recently Archaeological Survey of India is planning to declare the Rangdum Monastery as a monument of national importance. About Rangdum Monastery Rangdum Monastery is a Buddhist monastery in Ladakh in Kargil district What is Monuments of National Importance A monument or a site is declared to be of National Importance by the Archaeological Survey Read More …

Mahabalipuram’s China connection

Context : Mahabalipuram, or Mamallapuram, 56 km south of Chennai on the Tamil Nadu coast, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet China’s President Xi Jinping on October 11 & 12 in an informal Wuhan-style summit, had ancient links with Buddhism and China through the maritime outreach of the Pallava dynasty. Mamallapuram & Pallava Dynasty Read More …

Explained: What does bunad mean?

When Norwegian Ambassador Hans Jacob Frydenlund went to Rashtrapati Bhavan to present his credentials to President Ram Nath Kovind recently, he was wearing his country’s traditional folk costume. Called a “bunad”, it is not a single kind of costume but an umbrella term with several regional variations. A bunad often Read More …

What does ancient DNA show about history?

Context The journal Cell published a paper, An Ancient Harappan Genome Lacks Ancestry from Steppe Pastoralists and Iranian Farmers, which claimed that the inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilisation lacked the steppe-pastoralist ancestry which had brought Indo-European languages into South Asia. The findings of the paper, whose key authors are the archaeologist Read More …

Conservation of Muga Silk

Context For Conservation of Muga Silk in natural habitat the Government of India has approved a project on conservation of Muga in natural habitat in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and Meghalaya. About Muga Silk Muga silk is a variety of wild silk geographically tagged to the state Read More …

Iconic Tourist Sites initiative

Context During her Budget speech earlier this month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that 17 “Iconic Tourist Sites” in the country would be developed by the government “into world class tourist destinations, to serve as a model for other tourism sites”. The initiative was aimed at enhancing India’s soft power. The Sites Read More …