21 October 2008

Chandrappa Circle

You might have heard of this name of late pretty much : ByaalaLu.

If you have not, here is a brief of what is wrong/right with the place:

ByaalaLu is a rustic sleepy village amidst breath taking calmness just about 30KMs away from Bengalooru, the happening IT city. It is occupied with the characteristic villagers who are busy ploughing their fields, planting food grains and growing them. As well they have cattle rearing as a hobby too!

The whole area is amidst an amazingly serene atmosphere. If you venture there, you wont believe that you are just out of the bustling city! Such is the addictive calmness of the place. The village has another wonderful natural feature to it, and that…. Is making the village proud and as well as putting its name on the world map for ever!

The village is protected on all sides by scenic and highland mountains. Mountains of Savanadurga and others hide this village from the outer world. Such a beautiful naturally created structure has been identified by our scientists to suit to erect something that can talk to a thing 4 lakh kilometers away from it!!

Yes, you read it right… 400,000! And the structures we have erected here are two huge antennas, one of 32ft diameter, another of 18ft.
Why are they used? To talk to a satellite that is going to revolve around moon. You read it right…moon. India’s first ever endeavour in the outer space has brought this sleepy vilalge into the universal frontier. The Chandrayaan is all hyped up as a great leap of India into the outer space, and also this is an exploration that is eagerly awaited and watched about by the scientific fraternity across the globe.

The mission Chandrayaan I is starting tomorrow. This is an exclusively made in India mission that is projected to find out truth over the myths about moon, our own satellite.

Though Moon is our closest celestial element, he is reachable only after crawling 384,400 kms in a no-air condition. He has in him, visibly, all answers from the formation of our solar systems to why no life is possible outside earth etc. He can also be a help to us, if we plan to use him as a base to venture outside earth’s gravitational pull.

Baring only four other nations, no one has ever attempted a trip to moon. And India, with this historic trip, will become a scientifically complete nation that has gone away from earth too.

Well…. To enable us to reach to moon, we should be equipped enough to receive his call from 4 lakh kms. Any “artificial” signal would weaken itself if it travels such a far in distance. The receiver must be strong enough, and the place we receive them, must be entirely free from any other radiation. In that view, ByaalaLu is tailormade location for this historical entagle of moon’s voices with our own.

I made a trip to Manchanabele recently, and was surprised to find two huge antennae en route, at an abandoned location. On returning home, and browsing a bit, I found the real intensions of those antennae. They were ready to speak with moon, and so are Indians. We are all waiting with bated breath, for that moment of talking to our erstwhile, ageless, best friend, Chandamaama.

Well…. All the very best.... wishes to my country men who are on the verge of this historic fete.

You believe in coincidences? Then it must be a celestial coincidence…. There is a junction near ByaalaLu, which joins roads from Magadi, Bangalore and Manchanabele. That junction is known as Chandrappa circle, named after some kind person who lived in that area. And now ……. what happens tomorrow is…we’ll speak with the real Chandrappa from the Chandrappa circle…?? That’s an eerie coincidence?!! Hahhahaaha!!

09 October 2008

Navaratri Namaskara

Hi all, Sorry for being away for so long.... and let me not delay any more....

Here are the wishes for a wonderful Vijayadashami to each and everyone.
Let the divine Mother bless everyone of her sons and daughters with Prosperity and Happiness.

Lets celebrate the Vijaya Dashami here, at this Backbencher's corner with a visit to a stunning temple dedicated to the Holy Mother Saraswati.

To be straight, it is not common to worship Mother Saraswati in her original form. She is being worshipped across the nation in many forms like Sharada, Brahmi, Vagdevi and Maha Mayi. But as Saraswati.... there is no one temple that is dedicated to the Saraswati element of Mother.

In every home, every village Saraswati pooja is celebrated during the Navaratris. It was common for us to conduct Saraswati pooja just before our final exams during our school days. Yet, there is no one 'ancient' temple that is purely a dedicated to her! I had just known about one destroyed Saraswati temple at Hampi.

Wait... that was what I knew until I stumbled upon the name Koothanur while planning a trip to the Navagraha temples. Koothanur has an ancient, wonderful, huge temple dedicated to Mother Saraswati. Goddess here attracts thousands of devotees since this is the only known ancient temple of Saraswati. This temple is none less than a discovery for me!

The Idol has an effervescent smiling face asif the kindness has embodied before us. Amrita Kalasha, Chakra in the upper hands, with lower left hand holding a book and the right showing the Abhaya Chinmudra. The right upper hand holds an Akshamala as well, as a mark of alphabets(from A to KSHA). She has compassion filled eyes, with a Jnana Chakshu situated at Ajnachakra. She sits majestically on a lotus in Padmasana adorned with a white silk saree.

Koothanur or Poonthottam is a small, serene, beautiful village on the banks of Arasalar river. The Goddess here is magnetic in nature and is attributed to many a miracles like dumb people gaining their speech, illustriously ordinary person gaining higher levels of knowledge to become a great poet in Tamil, etc... all by the grace of this divine Mother.

Saraswati idol also holds a veena between her lower hands. This denotes the supremacy she behodls over all the arts. Veena is a divine instrument that represents a human body. One who masters the Veena gets nearer to divinity. Saraswati's veena vadana is supposed to be of the highest order, and the resonance to which causes one to attain divine powers. Many musicians have emerged from this village is an illustration that the whole area is filled with Saraswati's magical powers.

Since Saraswati is the Mother of all knowledge, all arts, in this temple people offer the Mother with sevas in different arts. Every evening there would be musical concerts, every day there would be Vedic chants filling the air with a spiritual vibration. The Dramas, bharata natyam etc are performed occasionally too. Navaratri is the time of annual fest here, Vijayadashami being a grand celebration.

The shops outside the temple sells pes, slates, books etc which can be bought to offer at the feet of Mother Saraswati and take back for personal use after the worship here. It is said that on Vijayadashami day alone 100s of children get initiated with their Aksharabhyasa here. Students offer pens, and books here, and worship the Goddess. Later they carry back the pens to be used in their examinations. It enhances their chances in the exams, it is said.

So, friends, let me make it more clear... This is the only known Saraswati temple that has about more than 1000 years of history. Koothanur is a sleepy village that lies on the banks of Arasalar river on the highway connecting Mayilaudurai and Thiruvarur. It lies in Thiruvarur district of Tamilnadu, at about 20 Kms distance from the district headquarters, Thiruvarur. It is at about 25 KMs distance from the famous Shani Sthala, Thirunallar in Pondicherry.

Though not known to many, this temple stands out with its particular set of visitors and devotees. Hats off to the teple management who have preserved the sanctity of this place to this day so that devotees feel the Love of divine Mother and feel blessed.

Come Lets visit such a divine world, and be blessed by Mother Saraswati.