Saturday, 30 June 2012

Naga Panchami.

Naga Panchami is a unique festival of India. It is the festival of Snakes. This festival of Snakes is celebrated on the fifth day (hence the name Naga Panchami, Naga = Snakes, Panchami = Fifth) after the Amavasya (new moon) in the Hindu calendar month of Shravan; which falls in the months of July / August.
The festival has its origins most probably in the increased human/snake conflict that happens during the Indian monsoon, which starts in June. The monsoon rains flood the Snake nests, forcing them to seek dry ground and hence into human habitation.
Myth and Folklore have added their own color to the festival. According to lore, Naga Panchami is the day that Lord Krishna had conquered Naga Kālia and put an end to his evil deeds.
Though not as popular as the major Indian festivals of Diwali or Dassehra, It is celebrated across country by offerings of milk and oblation to the Snake deities. The most popular places to visit for this festival are:
 * Adiesha Temple - Andhra Pradesh
 * Nagaraja Temple - Kerala
 * Nagathamman Temple - Chennai
 * Hardevja Temple - Jaipur
 * Nagvasuki Temple - Daragunj
 * Nagasthala, Subramanya temple, Kukke about 120 kilometers from Mangalore
 However *the* place to be during the festival of Naga Panchami is the village of Baltis Shirale, which is situated approximately 400 kilometers (approximately 250 miles) from Mumbai, the most outstanding of all the celebrations happens here. Reportedly, the largest collection of snakes in the world can be found in Baltis Shirale.
 By the way, Did I say Naga Panchami is unique to India? Well, not exactly. Check out the "Processione dei Serpari" in Italy. Also, did you know, Thiruananthapuram, the capital of Kerala is derived from the legendary snake ‘Anantha’ - one of the eight great Nagas of Puranic literature!
Pix courtesy: 4to40.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Barehipani Falls

One who visits Simlipal National Park can never miss the breathtaking sight of Barehpani Falls, which falls from the height of 399m and is one of the tallest waterfalls of India. Barehpani falls got its name from its appearance, as the fall looks like a single rope hanging from a great height, which suddenly unfurls to drop into a deep gorge of River Budhabalanga.  

Located in the midst of Simlipal National Park in Mayurbhanj district of Orissa, this waterfall is surrounded by dense deep forest, which enhances its wild beauty. This two tiered waterfall with tallest single drop of 259 m is one of most popular attractions of Orissa. Situated very close to this fall there is Joranda Falls, which is also a major point of attraction for all the tourists. There is a watch tower built into a cliff for the tourists, just opposite the waterfall, for enchanting view of the waterfall in the calm and serene atmosphere around. If you have gone in a group, you can even use this tower as a picnic spot. There is another view point with similar scenic beauty is from the wooden bungalow, situated on the slits.