Roshan has frequently collaborated with his father, Rakesh Roshan. He made brief appearances as a child actor in several films in the 1980s and later worked as an assistant director on four of his father's films. His first leading role was in the box-office success Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai (2000), for which he received several awards. Performances in the 2000 terrorism drama Fiza and the 2001 ensemble melodrama Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... consolidated his reputation but were followed by several poorly received films. (Full article...)
The Western Chalukya Empire ruled most of the western Deccan, South India, between the 10th and 12th centuries. This Kannadiga dynasty is sometimes called the Kalyani Chalukya after its regal capital at Kalyani, today's Basavakalyan in the modern Bidar District of Karnataka state, and alternatively the Later Chalukya from its theoretical relationship to the 6th-century Chalukya dynasty of Badami. The dynasty is called Western Chalukyas to differentiate from the contemporaneous Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi, a separate dynasty. Prior to the rise of these Chalukyas, the Rashtrakuta empire of Manyakheta controlled most of Deccan and Central India for over two centuries. In 973, seeing confusion in the Rashtrakuta empire after a successful invasion of their capital by the ruler of the Paramara dynasty of Malwa, Tailapa II, a feudatory of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty ruling from Bijapur region defeated his overlords and made Manyakheta his capital. The dynasty quickly rose to power and grew into an empire under Someshvara I who moved the capital to Kalyani.
For over a century, the two empires of Southern India, the Western Chalukyas and the Chola dynasty of Tanjore fought many fierce wars to control the fertile region of Vengi. During these conflicts, the Eastern Chalukyas of Vengi, distant cousins of the Western Chalukyas but related to the Cholas by marriage took sides with the Cholas further complicating the situation. During the rule of Vikramaditya VI, in the late 11th and early 12th centuries, the Western Chalukyas convincingly contended with the Cholas and reached a peak ruling territories that spread over most of the Deccan, between the Narmada River in the north and Kaveri River in the south. His exploits were not limited to the south for even as a prince, during the rule of Someshvara I, he had led successful military campaigns as far east as modern Bihar and Bengal. During this period the other major ruling families of the Deccan, the Hoysalas, the Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri, the Kakatiya dynasty and the Southern Kalachuris of Kalyani, were subordinates of the Western Chalukyas and gained their independence only when the power of the Chalukya waned during the later half of the 12th century. (Full article...)
The political history of medieval Karnataka spans the 4th to the 16th centuries, when the empires that evolved in the Karnataka region of India made a lasting impact on the subcontinent. Before this, alien empires held sway over the region, and the nucleus of power was outside modern Karnataka. The medieval era can be broadly divided into several periods: The earliest native kingdoms and imperialism; the successful domination of the Gangetic plains in northern India and rivalry with the empires of Tamilakam over the Vengi region; and the domination of the southern Deccan and consolidation against Muslim invasion. The origins of the rise of the Karnataka region as an independent power date back to the fourth-century birth of the Kadamba Dynasty of Banavasi, the earliest of the native rulers to conduct administration in the native language of Kannada in addition to the official Sanskrit. This is the historical starting point in studying the development of the region as an enduring geopolitical entity and of Kannada as an important regional language.
In the southern regions of Karnataka, the Western Gangas of Talakad were contemporaries of the Kadambas. The Kadambas and Gangas were followed by the imperial dynasties of the Badami Chalukya Empire, the Rashtrakuta Empire, the Western Chalukya Empire, the Hoysala Empire and the Vijayanagara Empire, all patronising the ancient Indic religions while showing tolerance to the new cultures arriving from the west of the subcontinent. The Muslim invasion of the Deccan resulted in the breaking away of the feudatory Sultanates in the 14th century. The rule of the Bahamani Sultanate of Bidar and the Bijapur Sultanate from the northern Deccan region caused a mingling of the ancient Hindu traditions with the nascent Islamic culture in the region. The hereditary ruling families and clans ably served the large empires and upheld the local culture and traditions. The fall of the Vijayanagara Empire in 1565 brought about a slow disintegration of Kannada-speaking regions into minor kingdoms that struggled to maintain autonomy in an age dominated by foreigners until unification and independence in 1947. (Full article...)
Created by the god Brahma as the most beautiful woman, Ahalya was married to the much older Gautama. In the earliest full narrative, when Indra comes disguised as her husband, Ahalya sees through his disguise but nevertheless accepts his advances. Later sources often absolve her of all guilt, describing how she falls prey to Indra's trickery, or is raped. In all narratives, Ahalya and Indra are cursed by Gautama. The curse varies from text to text, but almost all versions describe Rama as the eventual agent of her liberation and redemption. Although early texts describe how Ahalya must atone by undergoing severe penance while remaining invisible to the world and how she is purified by offering Rama hospitality, in the popular retelling developed over time, Ahalya is cursed to become a stone and regains her human form after she is brushed by Rama's foot. (Full article...)
Although Ganesha has many attributes, he is readily identified by his elephant head. He is widely revered, more specifically, as the remover of obstacles and thought to bring good luck; the patron of arts and sciences; and the deva of intellect and wisdom. As the god of beginnings, he is honored at the start of rites and ceremonies. Ganesha is also invoked as a patron of letters and learning during writing sessions. Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits. (Full article...)
Born to a wealthy middle-class English family in Calcutta, British India, Murray divided her youth between India, Britain, and Germany, training as both a nurse and a social worker. Moving to London, in 1894 she began studying Egyptology at UCL, developing a friendship with department head Flinders Petrie, who encouraged her early academic publications and appointed her Junior Professor in 1898. In 1902–03 she took part in Petrie's excavations at Abydos, Egypt, there discovering the Osireion temple and the following season investigated the Saqqara cemetery, both of which established her reputation in Egyptology. Supplementing her UCL wage by giving public classes and lectures at the British Museum and Manchester Museum, it was at the latter in 1908 that she led the unwrapping of Khnum-nakht, one of the mummies recovered from the Tomb of the Two Brothers – the first time that a woman had publicly unwrapped a mummy. Recognising that British Egyptomania reflected the existence of a widespread public interest in Ancient Egypt, Murray wrote several books on Egyptology targeted at a general audience. (Full article...)
The film won widespread critical acclaim from critics and had a number of prominent screenings. It was a box-office success and received a "blockbuster" rating by the website Box Office India after grossing over ₹1.270 billion (equivalent to ₹3.5 billion or US$46 million in 2020) worldwide. It was the recipient of a number of awards, including 4 National Film Awards. Lage Raho Munna Bhai was the first Hindi film to be shown at the United Nations, and was screened at the Tous Les Cinema du Monde section of the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. The film popularised the term Gandhigiri. Vidhu Vinod Chopra submitted the film as an independent entry for the 2007 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. It was later remade in Telugu as Shankar Dada Zindabad (2007). (Full article...)
The Rathores, traditional rulers of the Marwar region of western India, were the first to breed the Marwari. Beginning in the 12th century, they espoused strict breeding that promoted purity and hardiness. Used throughout history as a cavalry horse by the people of the Marwar region, the Marwari was noted for its loyalty and bravery in battle. The breed deteriorated in the 1930s, when poor management practices resulted in a reduction of the breeding stock, but today has regained some of its popularity. The Marwari is used for light draught and agricultural work, as well as riding and packing. In 1995, a breed society was formed for the Marwari horse in India. The exportation of Marwari horses was banned for decades, but between 2000 and 2006, a small number of exports were allowed. Since 2008, visas allowing temporary travel of Marwari horses outside India have been available in small numbers. Though they are rare they are becoming more popular outside of India due to their unique looks. (Full article...)
Freida Selena Pinto (born 18 October 1984) is an Indian actress who has appeared mainly in American and British films. Born and raised in Bombay (Mumbai), she resolved at a young age to become an actress. As a student at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, she took part in amateur plays. After graduation, she briefly worked as a model and then as a television presenter.
In early 2001, rival gangsters "Vellai" Ravi and Chera reformed themselves with the patronage of a police officer. Saran was inspired by this incident and scripted a story based on it. Production began shortly afterwards in December the same year and was completed by March 2002. The film was shot mainly at the AVM Studios in Chennai, while two song sequences were filmed in Switzerland. The film had cinematography by A. Venkatesh and editing by Suresh Urs while the soundtrack was scored by Bharathwaj. (Full article...)
British India and the princely states in 1909
At the time of Indian independence in 1947, India was divided into two sets of territories, one under direct British rule, and the other under the suzerainty of the British Crown, with control over their internal affairs remaining in the hands of their hereditary rulers. The latter included 562 princely states, having different types of revenue sharing arrangements with the British, often depending on their size, population and local conditions. In addition, there were several colonial enclaves controlled by France and Portugal. The political integration of these territories into India was a declared objective of the Indian National Congress, and the Government of India pursued this over the next decade. Through a combination of factors, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and V. P. Menon convinced the rulers of the various princely states to accede to India. Having secured their accession, they then proceeded, in a step-by-step process, to secure and extend the union government's authority over these states and transform their administrations until, by 1956, there was little difference between the territories that had been part of British India and those that had been princely states. Simultaneously, the Government of India, through a combination of military and diplomatic means, acquired de facto and de jure control over the remaining colonial enclaves, which too were integrated into India.
Although this process successfully integrated the vast majority of princely states into India, it was not as successful for a few, notably the former princely states of Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur, where active secessionist separatist insurgencies continued to exist due to various reasons. Insurgencies continue in Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur. (Full article...)
Extent of Vijayanagara Empire, 1446, 1520 CE
The Vijayanagara Empire, also called Karnata Kingdom, was based in the Deccan Plateau region in South India. It was established in 1336 by the brothers Harihara I and Bukka Raya I of the Sangama dynasty, members of a pastoralist cowherd community that claimed Yadava lineage. The empire rose to prominence as a culmination of attempts by the southern powers to ward off Islamic invasions by the end of the 13th century. At its peak, it subjugated almost all of South India's ruling families and pushed the sultans of the Deccan beyond the Tungabhadra-Krishna river doab region, in addition to annexing modern day Odisha (ancient Kalinga) from the Gajapati Kingdom thus becoming a notable power. It lasted until 1646, although its power declined after a major military defeat in the Battle of Talikota in 1565 by the combined armies of the Deccan sultanates. The empire is named after its capital city of Vijayanagara, whose ruins surround present day Hampi, now a World Heritage Site in Karnataka, India. The wealth and fame of the empire inspired visits by and writings of medieval European travelers such as Domingo Paes, Fernão Nunes, and Niccolò de' Conti. These travelogues, contemporary literature and epigraphy in the local languages and modern archeological excavations at Vijayanagara has provided ample information about the history and power of the empire.
The empire's legacy includes monuments spread over South India, the best known of which is the group at Hampi. Different temple building traditions in South and Central India were merged into the Vijayanagara architecture style. This synthesis inspired architectural innovations in the construction of Hindu temples. Efficient administration and vigorous overseas trade brought new technologies to the region such as water management systems for irrigation. The empire's patronage enabled fine arts and literature to reach new heights in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Sanskrit with topics such as astronomy, mathematics, medicine, fiction, musicology, historiography and theater gaining popularity. The classical music of Southern India, Carnatic music, evolved into its current form. The Vijayanagara Empire created an epoch in the history of Southern India that transcended regionalism by promoting Hinduism as a unifying factor. (Full article...)
Territory of the Western Chalukyas (c. 1100 CE) in India (modern boundaries shown) and the empire's capital, Kalyani, in the modern Bidar district, Karnataka state, India
A large body of Western Chalukya literature in the Kannada language was produced during the reign of the Western Chalukya Empire (973–1200 CE) in what is now southern India. This dynasty, which ruled most of the western Deccan in South India, is sometimes called the Kalyani Chalukya Dynasty after its royal capital at Kalyani (now Basavakalyan), and sometimes called the Later Chalukya Dynasty for its theoretical relationship to the 6th-century Chalukya dynasty of Badami. For a brief period (1162–1183), the Kalachuris of Kalyani, a dynasty of kings who had earlier migrated to the Karnataka region from central India and served as vassals for several generations, exploited the growing weakness of their overlords and annexed the Kalyani. Around 1183, the last Chalukya scion, Someshvara IV, overthrew the Kalachuris to regain control of the royal city. But his efforts were in vain, as other prominent Chalukya vassals in the Deccan, the Hoysalas, the Kakatiyas and the Seunas destroyed the remnants of the Chalukya power.
Kannada literature from this period is usually categorised into the linguistic phase called Old-Kannada. It constituted the bulk of the Chalukya court's textual production and pertained mostly to writings relating to the socio-religious development of the Jain faith. The earliest well-known writers belonging to the Shaiva faith are also from this period. Under the patronage of Kalachuri King Bijjala II, whose prime minister was the well-known Kannada poet and social reformerBasavanna, a native form of poetic literature called Vachana literature (lit "utterance", "saying" or "sentence") proliferated. The beginnings of the Vachana poetic tradition in the Kannada-speaking region trace back to the early 11th century. Kannada literature written in the champumetre, composed of prose and verse, was popularised by the Chalukyan court poets. However, with the advent of the Veerashaiva (lit, "brave devotees of the god Shiva") religious movement in the mid-12th century, poets favoured the native tripadi (three-line verse composed of eleven ganas or prosodic units), hadugabba (song-poem) and free verse metres for their poems. (Full article...)
Nathu La is one of the three open trading border posts between China and India; the others are Shipkila in Himachal Pradesh and Lipulekh (or Lipulech) at the trisection point of Uttarakhand–India, Nepal and China. Sealed by India after the 1962 Sino-Indian War, Nathu La was re-opened in 2006 following numerous bilateral trade agreements. The opening of the pass shortens the travel distance to important Hindu and Buddhistpilgrimage sites in the region and was expected to bolster the economy of the region by playing a key role in the growing Sino-Indian trade. However, trade is limited to specific types of goods and to specific days of the week. (Full article...)
The frontispiece of the 1920 edition of Tod's Annals and Antiquities of Rajast'han
Lieutenant-Colonel James Tod (20 March 1782 – 18 November 1835) was an officer of the British East India Company and an Oriental scholar. He combined his official role and his amateur interests to create a series of works about the history and geography of India, and in particular the area then known as Rajputana that corresponds to the present day state of Rajasthan, and which Tod referred to as Rajast'han.
Tod was born in London and educated in Scotland. He joined the East India Company as a military officer and travelled to India in 1799 as a cadet in the Bengal Army. He rose quickly in rank, eventually becoming captain of an escort for an envoy in a Sindian royal court. After the Third Anglo-Maratha War, during which Tod was involved in the intelligence department, he was appointed Political Agent for some areas of Rajputana. His task was to help unify the region under the control of the East India Company. During this period Tod conducted most of the research that he would later publish. Tod was initially successful in his official role, but his methods were questioned by other members of the East India Company. Over time, his work was restricted and his areas of oversight were significantly curtailed. In 1823, owing to declining health and reputation, Tod resigned his post as Political Agent and returned to England. (Full article...)
The 2000 Sri Lanka cyclone (IMD designation: BOB 06 JTWC designation: 04B) was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike Sri Lanka since 1978. The fourth tropical storm and the second severe cyclonic storm of the 2000 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, it developed from an area of disturbed weather on December 25, 2000. It moved westward, and quickly strengthened under favorable conditions to reach top wind speeds of 75 mph (120 km/h). The cyclone hit eastern Sri Lanka at peak strength, then weakened slightly while crossing the island before making landfall over southern India on December 28. The storm degenerated into a remnant low later that day, before merging with another trough on the next day.
The storm was the first cyclone over Sri Lanka with winds of at least hurricane strength since a cyclone of 1978 hit the island in the 1978 season, as well as the first tropical storm to hit the island since 1992. The storm was also the first December tropical cyclone of hurricane intensity in the Bay of Bengal since 1996. It produced heavy rainfall and strong winds, damaging or destroying tens of thousands of houses and leaving up to 500,000 homeless. At least nine people died as a result of the cyclone. (Full article...)
Released in India on 22 April 2016, Nil Battey Sannata was distributed by Eros International and garnered critical and audience acclaim. Reviewers praised most aspects of the production, especially its narrative and realism, and the performances of the cast, Bhaskar's in particular. At the 62nd Filmfare Awards, Iyer won the Filmfare Award for Best Debut Director, while Bhaskar and Shukla won the Screen Awards for Best Actress (Critics) and Best Child Artist respectively. The film did well at the box-office, collecting a total of around ₹69 million (US$920,000) during its entire theatrical run. The same year, the film was remade in Tamil as Amma Kanakku, with Iyer returning to direct. The following year, it was remade in Malayalam as Udaharanam Sujatha. (Full article...)
Saria wrote Loev's script while he was working on the draft of the unreleased film I Am Here and drew heavily from his personal experiences. It was eventually picked up for production by Arfi Lamba and Katherine Suckale despite Saria's own doubts on its viability. Principal photography took place at Mahabaleshwar, in the Western Ghats in peninsular India, and at Mumbai. The film was shot in the summer of 2014, over the course of 16 days by the cinematographer Sherri Kauk in 2K resolution. It relied on crowdfunding and cost-cutting measures; its budget was relatively low at $1 million. (Full article...)
Narayan was born near Udaipur and learned to play the sarangi at an early age. He studied under sarangi players and singers and, as a teenager, worked as a music teacher and travelling musician. All India Radio, Lahore, hired Narayan as an accompanist for vocalists in 1944. He moved to Delhi following the partition of India in 1947, but wishing to go beyond accompaniment and frustrated with his supporting role, Narayan moved to Mumbai in 1949 to work in Indian cinema. (Full article...)
Vithoba, also known as Vi(t)thal(a) and Panduranga, is a Hindu deity predominantly worshipped in the Indian state of Maharashtra and Karnataka. He is generally considered as a manifestation of the god Vishnu or his avatar, Krishna. Vithoba is often depicted as a dark young boy, standing arms akimbo on a brick, sometimes accompanied by his consorts Rakhumai or Rahi.
Vithoba is the focus of an essentially monotheistic, non-ritualistic bhakti-driven Varkari faith of Maharashtra and the Haridasa faith of Karnataka. Vithoba Temple, Pandharpur is his main temple. Vithoba legends revolve around his devotee Pundalik who is credited for bringing the deity to Pandharpur, and around Vithoba's role as a saviour to the poet-saints of the Varkari faith. The Varkari poet-saints are known for their unique genre of devotional lyric, the abhang, dedicated to Vithoba and composed in Marathi. Other devotional literature dedicated to Vithoba includes the Kannada hymns of the Haridasa and the Marathi versions of the generic aarti songs associated with rituals of offering light to the deity. The most important festivals of Vithoba are held on Devshayani Ekadashi in the month of Ashadha, and Prabodhini Ekadashi in the month of Kartik. (Full article...)
A statue of the Hindu god Shiva as Nataraja, the Lord of Dance. In this form, Shiva performs his divine dance to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for the god Brahma to start the process of creation. A Telugu and Tamil concept, Shiva was first depicted as Nataraja in the famous Chola bronzes and sculptures of Chidambaram. The form is present in most Shiva temples in South India, and is the main deity in Chidambaram Temple, the foremost Shaivist temple.
The Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis) is a member of the bird family Coraciidae, the rollers. It occurs widely from the Arabian Peninsula to the Indian subcontinent and is designated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. The bird is best known for the aerobatic displays of males during the breeding season. It is commonly found in open grassland and scrub forest habitats, and is often seen perched on roadside bare trees and wires, which give it a good view of the ground below where it finds its prey. Its diet consists mainly of insects such as beetles and grasshoppers, but also includes spiders, scorpions, amphibians and small reptiles. The largest population occurs in India, and several states in India have chosen it as their state bird.
Murugan, also known as Kartikeya, is the Hinduwar god, worshiped particularly by Tamil Hindus. Murugan has a peacock as a mount and is often depicted with six heads and twelve arms holding a variety of weapons. His consorts, pictured here, are Valli and Deivayanai.
The Lotus-Namam is the symbol of Ayyavazhi, a Dharmic belief system that originated in South India in the 19th century. The lotus represents the 1,008-petalled Sahasrara and the flame-shaped white Namam represents the Aanma Jyothi or ātman, sometimes translated as 'soul' or 'self'. The number of practitioners is estimated to be between 700,000 and 8,000,000, although the exact number is unknown, since Ayyavazhis are reported as Hindus during censuses.
Bangles on display in Bangalore, India. These rigid bracelets are usually made from metal, wood, or plastic and are traditionally worn by women in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. In India, it is a common tradition to see a new bride wearing glass bangles at her wedding and the honeymoon will end when the last bangle breaks.
Leptosia nina, known as the psyche, is a species of butterfly in the family Pieridae (the sulphurs, yellows and whites), found in the Indian subcontinent, southeastern Asia, and Australia. It has a small wingspan of 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 in). The upper side of the otherwise white forewing has a large, somewhat pear-shaped, black spot; this spot is also present on the underside which is scattered with greenish dots and speckles, sometimes arranged in bands. This L. nina butterfly was photographed in Kerala, India.
Bangalore Town Hall is a neoclassical municipal building in Bangalore, India. It is sometimes known, after a former president of Bangalore, as the Sir K. P. Puttanna Chetty Town Hall. Built by Mirza Ismail in 1935, it underwent renovations in 1990 at a cost of ₹6.5 million (US$371,400 at the time).
Arundhati Roy (b. 1961) is an Indian author and political activist who won the 1997 Man Booker Prize with her debut novel The God of Small Things. Born in Shillong, Meghalaya, Roy wrote several screenplays in the late 1980s after meeting (and later marrying) director Pradip Krishen. She wrote The God of Small Things over a four-year period ending in 1996; it was published the following year and received positive international reviews, although in India the work was controversial. She has continued to write essays and articles, but has yet to publish another novel.
Macrotyloma uniflorum, commonly known as horse gram, is a legume native to tropical southern Asia. The plant grows from a rhizome, sending up annual shoots to a height of 60 cm (24 in). The flowers are cream, yellow or pale green and are followed by short pods. The seeds, pictured here, have been consumed in India for at least 4,000 years and are used both for animal feed and human consumption, including Ayurvedic cuisine. In other tropical countries in southeastern Asia, and in northern Australia, the plant is grown mainly as a fodder crop and for use as green manure. It is a drought-tolerant plant, largely cultivated in areas with low rainfall.
The Karaga festival starts from the temple each year; the festival is dedicated to Draupadi, the most important female character in the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. Starting at midnight, a priest dressed as a woman carries an earthen pot filled with water and adorned with decorations several feet high on his head in procession through the town, preceded by hundreds of bare-chested, dhoti-clad, turbaned Veerakumaras bearing unsheathed swords.
Papilio polymnestor, the blue Mormon, is a species of swallowtail butterfly found in southern India and Sri Lanka. It is a woodland species, often seen on forest paths and near streams. The larvae feed on trees in the family Rutaceae, such as citrus. Young larvae are green with white markings and position themselves on the upper surface of leaves, relying on their cryptic colouring, which resembles bird droppings, for protection. Older larvae seek less conspicuous locations, and have a unique habit of securing their balance by weaving silk on the substratum. This adult male P. polymnestor butterfly was photographed in the Indian state of Kerala.
When instituted in 1954, the Padma Bhushan was classified as "Dusra Varg" (Class II) under the three-tier Padma Vibhushan awards, which were preceded by the Bharat Ratna in hierarchy. On 15January 1955, the Padma Vibhushan was reclassified into three different awards as the Padma Vibhushan, the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Shri. The criteria included "distinguished service of a high order in any field including service rendered by Government servants", but excluded those working with the public sector undertakings with the exception of doctors and scientists. The 1954 statutes did not allow posthumous awards; this was subsequently modified in the January 1955 statute. The design was also changed to the form that is currently in use; it portrays a circular-shaped toned bronze medallion 1+3⁄4 inches (44 mm) in diameter and 1⁄8 inch (3.2 mm) thick. The centrally placed pattern made of outer lines of a square of 1+3⁄16 inches (30 mm) side is embossed with a knob carved within each of the outer angles of the pattern. A raised circular space of diameter 1+1⁄16 inches (27 mm) is placed at the centre of the decoration. A centrally located lotus flower is embossed on the obverse side of the medal and the text "Padma" is placed above and the text "Bhushan" is placed below the lotus written in Devanagari script. The State Emblem of India is displayed in the centre of the reverse side, together with the national motto of India, "Satyameva Jayate" (Truth alone triumphs) in Devanagari script, which is inscribed on the lower edge. The rim, the edges and all embossing on either side is of standard gold with the text "Padma Bhushan" of gold gilt. The medal is suspended by a pink riband 1+1⁄4 inches (32 mm) in width with a broad white stripe in the middle. It is ranked fifth in the order of precedence of wearing of medals and decorations of the Indian civilian and military awards. (Full article...)
Chandrasekhar's six wickets for 38 runs at the Kennington Oval was influential in setting up India's first ever series victory in England.
B. S. Chandrasekhar is a former international cricketer who represented the Indian cricket team between 1964 and 1979. In cricket, a five-wicket haul refers to a bowler taking five or more wickets in a single innings. This is regarded as a notable achievement, and 40 bowlers have taken at least 15 five-wicket hauls at the international level as of October 2021. Chandrasekhar played as a leg spin bowler who formed a part of the Indian spin quartet. Described by West Indies cricketer Viv Richards as the "most difficult" bowler, Chandrasekhar took 16 five-wicket hauls during his international career. He developed an interest in the game when he was a child, watching the playing styles of Australian leg spinner Richie Benaud. Chandrasekhar was affected by polio at the age of five which weakened his right arm. He started as a left-arm bowler but gradually shifted to his withered right arm as it could offer more spin.
Chandrasekhar made his Test debut in 1964 against England at the Brabourne Stadium, claiming four wickets for 67 runs in the first innings. His first five-wicket haul came against West Indies two years later at the same venue. Chandrasekhar's bowling figures of six wickets for 38 runs in 1971 were instrumental in setting up India's first victory in England. It was noted as the Indian "Bowling Performance of the Century" by Wisden in 2002. His bowling performances in the previous English season led to him being named one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1972. His career-best figures for an innings were eight wickets for 79 runs against England at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground in December 1972. Chandrasekhar took a pair of five-wicket hauls for the only time in his career when he took 12 wickets for 104 runs against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground; the performance was effective in ensuring India's first victory in Australia. In Tests, he was most successful against England taking eight fifers. (Full article...)
Ajith Kumar is an Indian film actor who works mainly in Tamil cinema. Apart from a small role in the 1990 Tamil film En Veedu En Kanavar, his professional career began three years later with his debut as a lead actor in Tamil cinema with Amaravathi (1993). Despite being a moderate success, the film helped him obtain more modelling assignments. He followed it up the same year with Prema Pusthakam, his only Telugu film till date. After Amaravathi's release, Ajith opted against acting, and instead tried pursuing a career in auto racing. While training for an amateur race, he injured his back and underwent three major surgeries, leaving him bed-ridden for a year-and-a-half. After recovering from the injury, he played supporting roles in Paasamalargal (1994) and Pavithra (1994). The following year, he had his breakthrough with the romantic thriller Aasai. His performance earned him critical acclaim and established him as an up-and-coming actor in Tamil cinema. He was next seen as the main lead in Agathiyan's epistolaryKadhal Kottai (1996), a critical and commercial success. In 1997 he had five releases, all of which were commercial failures.
Until the 18th century, Bombay consisted of seven islands separated by shallow sea. These seven islands were part of a larger archipelago in the Arabian sea, off the western coast of India. The date of city's founding is unclear—historians trace back urban settlement to the late 17th century after the British secured the seven islands from the Portuguese to establish a secure base in the region. The islands provided the British with a sheltered harbour for trade, in addition to a relatively sequestered location that reduced the chances of land-based attacks. Over the next two centuries, the British dominated the region, first securing the archipelago from the Portuguese, and later defeating the Marathas to secure the hinterland.
In cricket, a captain is a player who leads the team and has additional roles and responsibilities. The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a professional league for Twenty20 cricket in India, which has been held annually since its first edition in 2008. In the 14 seasons played, 50 players have captained their team in at least one match.
Presented first in 1969, the award was introduced by the Government of India to commemorate Dadasaheb Phalke's contribution to Indian cinema. Phalke (1870–1944), who is popularly known as and often regarded as "the father of Indian cinema", was an Indian filmmaker who directed India's first full-length feature film, Raja Harishchandra (1913). (Full article...)
Several Indian individuals and films have received or been nominated for the Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars) in different categories. , 13 Indians have been nominated and eight have won Oscars including in the scientific and technical category.
Produced on an estimated budget of ₹1.32 billion, Enthiran was released on 1 October 2010 and yielded a revenue of ₹1.79 billion according to a report by the Sun TV Network. The film garnered awards and nominations in several categories, with particular praise for its cinematography, visual effects, art direction, costume design, and Rajinikanth's performance. The film has won 25 awards from 38 nominations. (Full article...)
Rohit Sharma has scored 41 centuries in international cricket.
Sharma made his ODI debut against Ireland in June 2007. His first century came during the 2010 Tri-nation tournament in Zimbabwe when he made 114 against the hosts. In the 2013 bilateral series against Australia at home, he made two centuries, including a double-century. The next year, he scored 264 against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. The score remains the highest individual total by a batsman in the format . In January 2016, he made 171 not out against Australia; it remained the highest score by a visiting batsman against Australia until England's Jason Roy made 180 in 2018. Sharma set the record for most centuries scored in a World Cup when he scored five centuries in the 2019 World Cup. He has scored centuries against nine different opponents and has the joint second-highest number of centuries (eight) against Australia in the format. , Sharma has eight scores in excess of 150, and three double-centuries, both of which are records in ODIs. He has the second highest number of centuries for an active player in the format. (Full article...)
In 2005, Bachchan starred in the crime comedy Bunty Aur Babli opposite Rani Mukerji, and the Ram Gopal Varma-directed thriller Sarkar. The former was the second highest-grossing film of the year, and his performance in the latter earned him a second Best Supporting Actor award at Filmfare. In both films he co-starred with his father, Amitabh Bachchan. That same year, he also appeared in the Bengali film Antarmahal (2005). The following year, Bachchan appeared in the Karan Johar-directed romantic drama Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), for which he received his third consecutive Best Supporting Actor award at Filmfare. Also that year, he reunited with Dutta on the historical romantic drama Umrao Jaan (2006), and reprised his role as a police officer in the second installment of the Dhoom series, entitled Dhoom 2 (2006). The latter was the highest grossing Bollywood film to that point. Bachchan next starred alongside Aishwarya Rai in Guru (2007), a biopic inspired by the life of the businessman Dhirubhai Ambani. His titular role in the film was positively received. (Full article...)
The 1st Kerala State Film Awards ceremony was held in 1970 with Sheela receiving the Best Actress award for her role in Kallichellamma (1969). The following year, Sharada was recognised for her performances in two films—Thriveni and Thara. Since then, several actresses have been awarded for more than one film during a year. (Full article...)
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) is a franchise cricket team based in Mohali, Punjab in India, and is one of the teams participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL). KXIP was founded in 2008. The franchise is owned by actress Preity Zinta, Ness Wadia of Bombay Dyeing, Karan Paul of the Apeejay Surendera Group and Mohit Burman of Dabur. The group paid US$76 million to acquire the franchise. It is owned by a consortium, along with the Rajasthan Royals. Along with the Rajasthan Royals, KXIP's franchise agreement was terminated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in October 2010, because the teams had been signed by people who were not members of the consortium which owned the team. A petition of arbitration (appeal) was filed to the Bombay High Court in November 2010, challenging the decision, which was accepted a month later.
KXIP played their first Twenty20 match in 2008 during the first season of the IPL, where they reached the semi-final. They lost the 2008 semi-final to Chennai Super Kings on 31 May 2008, after playing fourteen matches in the league, winning ten matches and losing four. With ten international cricketers in 2009, they finished fifth in the second season of the IPL, winning and losing seven matches. KXIP finished in eighth place in the third IPL season, losing eleven of their fourteen matches. KXIP improved in the fourth season of the IPL, finishing in fifth place with seven losses and victories. In the IPL's fifth season in 2012, the team played sixteen matches, winning eight and losing nine to finish in sixth position. In the 2013 season, they won eight matches out of sixteen, and lost the other eight. In the 2014 season, they won 11 of 14 matches. In the 2015 season, KXIP won three of fourteen matches and finished in last position. In the IPL's ninth season, KXIP won four of fourteen matches and finished in last position. In the 2017 season, KXIP won seven of fourteen matches to finish in fifth position. (Full article...)
Made on an estimated budget of ₹420 million (US$5.6 million), Piku was released on 8 May 2015, and grossed approximately ₹1.41 billion (US$19 million) worldwide. The film garnered awards and nominations in several categories, with particular praise for its writing, music, and the performances of Padukone and Bachchan. As of June 2016, the film has won a minimum of 35 awards. (Full article...)
From 2011 to 2013, Kapoor starred in top-grossing Hindi films of each individual year. In Imtiaz Ali's musical Rockstar (2011), he played an aspiring singer, and in Anurag Basu's comedy-drama Barfi! (2012), he starred as a joyful deaf and mute man. His performance in both films was critically acclaimed and he earned two consecutive Best Actor awards at Filmfare and the former also earned him a Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor. The romantic comedy Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) grossed over ₹2.95 billion (equivalent to ₹4.3 billion or US$57 million in 2020) to emerge as one of Indian cinema's highest grossers. (Full article...)
Sachin Tendulkar is a retired Indian cricketer. Widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman of his generation, he is the most prolific run-scorer in international cricket. Tendulkar has scored the highest number of centuries (100 or more runs) in Test matches and One Day International (ODI) matches organised by the International Cricket Council. His total of 51 centuries in Test matches and 49 in ODIs are world records for highest number of centuries by a batsman. He became the first and only cricketer to score 100 international centuries when he made 114 against Bangladesh in March 2012.
After making his Test debut in 1989, Tendulkar achieved his first century against England at Old Trafford, Manchester in 1990; he made 119 not out. In Test matches, Tendulkar has scored centuries against all the Test cricket playing nations, and is the second batsman to score 150 against each of them. He has scored a century in at least one cricket ground of all Test cricket playing nations, except Zimbabwe. In October 2010, Tendulkar went past Brian Lara's record of 19 scores of 150 or more by hitting his 20th against Australia in Bangalore. He made his highest score in 2004, when he made 248 not out against Bangladesh at the Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka. Tendulkar has scored six double centuries and remained unbeaten on 15 occasions. His centuries have come in 30 different cricket grounds, with 27 of them being scored in venues outside India. Tendulkar has been dismissed nine times between scores of 90 and 99. (Full article...)
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Padma Vibhushan medal suspended by a ribbon
The Padma Vibhushan ("Lotus Decoration") is the second-highest civilian award of the Republic of India, after the Bharat Ratna. Instituted on 2 January 1954, the award is given for "exceptional and distinguished service", without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex. The award criteria include "service in any field including service rendered by Government servants" including doctors and scientists, but excluding those working with the public sector undertakings. , the award has been bestowed on 314 individuals, including seventeen posthumous and twenty-one non-citizen recipients.
The Knesset Eliyahoo, also Knesset Eliyahu, is an Orthodox Jewish synagogue located in downtown Mumbai, India. It is the city's second oldest Sephardic synagogue. It was established in 1884 by Jacob Elias Sassoon, son of Eliyahoo David Sassoon and grandson of David Sassoon; the latter had immigrated from Baghdad to India in 1832 due to persecution and had settled in Mumbai, then known as Bombay. It is maintained by the Jacob Sassoon Trust. The building's significance is attributed to its Jewish traditions as well as Indian and English colonial influences.
It was designed by the British architectural firm Gostling & Morris of Bombay. The basement part of the edifice is built in stone masonry and the superstructure is built in brick masonry. The exterior facade of the synagogue is painted turquoise. The sanctuary within the interior of the building is in western direction, towards Jerusalem. (Full article...)
Apoorva Raagangal's theme was based on a riddle featured in the Indian folktale collection Baital Pachisi about a king marrying a woman and his son marrying her mother, and Vetala, the riddler asking Vikramaditya what would be their kinship relations if these couples were to beget children. The film was produced by V. Govindarajan and J. Duraisamy under the Kalakendra Films banner, photographed by B. S. Lokanath and edited by N. R. Kittu; the music is composed by M. S. Viswanathan. Unlike many contemporaneous Tamil films, it was shot entirely in actual houses for their interiors without building sets, as Balachander wanted to convey a more authentic narration. (Full article...)
Made on a budget of approximately ₹30 crore (US$4.0 million), Barfi! opened worldwide on 14 September 2012. The film received widespread critical acclaim, with critics praising the performances, the direction, the screenplay, the cinematography, the music and the positive portrayal of physically disabled people. The film was a box office success, becoming one of the highest-grossing Bollywood films of 2012 in India and overseas. The film went on to gross over 1.75 billion rupees(US$25 Million) worldwide. (Full article...)
Mandodari was the daughter of Mayasura, the King of the Asuras (demons), and the apsara (celestial nymphs) Hema. Mandodari bears three sons: Meghanada (Indrajit), Atikaya, and Akshayakumara. According to some Ramayana adaptations, Mandodari is also the mother of Rama's wife Sita, who is infamously kidnapped by Ravana. Despite her husband's faults, Mandodari loves him and advises him to follow the path of righteousness. Mandodari repeatedly advises Ravana to return Sita to Rama, but her advice falls on deaf ears. Her love and loyalty to Ravana are praised in the Ramayana. (Full article...)
Shashthi or Shashti (Sanskrit: षष्ठी, Bengali: ষষ্ঠী, Ṣaṣṭhī, literally "sixth") is a Hindu goddess, venerated as the benefactor and protector of children. She is also the deity of vegetation and reproduction and is believed to bestow children and assist during childbirth. She is often pictured as a motherly figure, riding a cat and nursing one or more infants. She is symbolically represented in a variety of forms, including an earthenware pitcher, a banyan tree or part of it or a red stone beneath such a tree; outdoor spaces termed shashthitala are also consecrated for her worship. The worship of Shashthi is prescribed to occur on the sixth day of each lunar month of the Hindu calendar as well as on the sixth day after a child's birth. Barren women desiring to conceive and mothers seeking to ensure the protection of their children will worship Shashthi and request her blessings and aid. She is especially venerated in eastern India.
Most scholars believe that Shashthi's roots can be traced to Hindu folk traditions. References to this goddess appear in Hindu scriptures as early as 8th and 9th century BCE, in which she is associated with children as well as the Hindu war-god Skanda. Early references consider her a foster-mother of Skanda, but in later texts she is identified with Skanda's consort, Devasena. In some early texts where Shashthi appears as an attendant of Skanda, she is said to cause diseases in the mother and child, and thus needed to be propitiated on the sixth day after childbirth. However, over time, this malignant goddess became seen as the benevolent saviour and bestower of children. (Full article...)
Soni is a 2018 Indian Hindi-language crimedrama film directed by Ivan Ayr. Produced by Kimsi Singh and Kartikeya Narayan Singh, the film stars Geetika Vidya Ohlyan and Saloni Batra in the lead roles. It was written by Ayr and Kislay and chronicles the life of police officer Soni (Ohlyan) and her superintendent in Delhi Police Kalpana (Batra), who deal with crimes against women in the city.
The idea for Soni occurred to Ayr in 2014 when he was reading that Delhi was being put under scrutiny for not being safe for women, especially after the 2012 gang rape case. Ayr read several articles and interviews about the Delhi police and was interested in woman officers' reactions to cases of sexual violence. He spent time with several Delhi police personnel and observed their daily routine. Pre-production started in November 2016 and Ayr finished the script in January 2017 and the film was shot for 24 days in Delhi in February. David Bolen served as the director of photography while Ayr and Gurvinder Singh edited the film. (Full article...)
, there have been two Formula One drivers from India. Indian Formula One drivers have had a race entry to 59 Grands Prix. Across these Grands Prix, Indian Formula One drivers have accumulated 5 points between them. No Indian driver has taken a race win, podium, fastest lap or pole position.
The Immortals of Meluha is the first book of Amish Tripathi, first book of Amishverse, and also the first book of Shiva Trilogy. The story is set in the land of Meluha and starts with the arrival of the Shiva. The Meluhans believe that Shiva is their fabled saviour Neelkanth. Shiva decides to help the Meluhans in their war against the Chandravanshis, who had joined forces with a cursed Nagas; however, during his journey and the fight that ensues, Shiva learns how his choices actually reflect who he aspires to be and how they lead to dire consequences.
Tripathi had initially decided to write a book on the philosophy of evil, but was dissuaded by his family members, so he decided to write a book on Shiva, one of the Hindu Gods. He decided to base his story on a radical idea that all Gods were once human beings; it was their deeds in the human life that made them famous as Gods. After finishing writing The Immortals of Meluha, Tripathi faced rejection from many publication houses. Ultimately when his agent decided to publish the book himself, Tripathi embarked on a promotional campaign. It included posting a live-action video on YouTube, and making the first chapter of the book available as a free digital download, to entice readers. (Full article...)
Durga Shakti Nagpal (born 25 June 1985) is an Indian bureaucrat, civil servant and officer in the Uttar Pradesh cadre of the Indian Administrative Service. She came into public view after launching a massive drive against corruption and illegal sand mining within her jurisdiction of Gautam Budh Nagar. She was later suspended by the Uttar Pradesh government for allegedly demolishing an illegal mosque wall in a village in Greater Noida, which resulted in severe opposition as it was perceived to be based on flimsy grounds. There was a growing demand from various political parties, associations of Indian bureaucrats, and by the general public on online social media for her suspension to be revoked. Her suspension was revoked by the Uttar Pradesh government on 22 September 2013.
Maharaj Kumar Hitendra Singh Narayan (1 July 1890 – 7 November 1920), commonly anglicised as Prince Hitendra Narayan, played first-classcricket for Somerset in 1909 and 1910. He later played in first-class matches for teams brought together by his brother, the Maharaja of Cooch Behar.
Known variously in his cricket career as "Kumar Narayan" or "Hitendra Narayan", he was educated at Eton College and Cambridge University and was a forceful right-handed batsman. His four first-class matches for Somerset in 1909 and 1910 were not successful, with a top score of just 16 in his first game, against the 1909 Australians. In 1918, he played three matches for his brother's scratch side against teams composed largely of expatriate Englishmen. The matches have first-class status although all three were of only two-days' duration; Narayan was not successful in any of them as a batsman. (Full article...)
His best-known work is the Visuddhimagga ("Path of Purification"), a comprehensive summary of older Sinhala commentaries on Theravada teachings and practices. According to Sarah Shaw, in Theravada this systematic work is "the principal text on the subject of meditation." The interpretations provided by Buddhaghosa have generally constituted the orthodox understanding of Theravada scriptures since at least the 12th century CE. (Full article...)
In the earliest version, Uttanka is described as the disciple of the sage Veda. In the second version, his guru is Gautama. In both legends, he is a learned sage who goes through many hurdles in procuring the earrings demanded by his guru's wife as the fee for the teacher (gurudakshina). (Full article...)
It was built by the Mughal EmperorShah Jahan between 1650 and 1656, and inaugurated by its first Imam, Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah Bukhari. Situated in the Mughal capital of Shahjahanabad (today Old Delhi), it served as the imperial mosque of the Mughal emperors until the demise of the empire in 1857. The Jama Masjid was regarded as a symbolic node of Islamic power across India, well into the colonial era. It was also a site of political significance during several key periods of British rule. It remains in active use, and is one of Delhi's most iconic sites, closely identified with the ethos of Old Delhi. (Full article...)
AirAsia India is an airline in India headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The airline is a joint venture with Tata Sons holding 83.67% stake in the airline and AirAsia Investment Limited (Malaysia) holding 16.33% stake. AirAsia India commenced operations on 12 June 2014 with Bengaluru as its primary hub.
AirAsia is the first foreign airline to set up a subsidiary in India and the company marked the Tata Group's return to the aviation industry after 60 years, having ceded Air India in 1946. As of June 2020, AirAsia India was the 4th largest carrier in India, after IndiGo, SpiceJet and Air India, with a market share of 7.2%. (Full article...)
The son of actors Pankaj Kapur and Neelima Azeem, Kapoor was born in New Delhi. His parents separated when he was three, and he continued living with his mother. They moved to Mumbai when he was 10, where he joined Shiamak Davar's dance academy. Kapoor appeared as a background dancer in a few films of the 1990s, and was later featured in music videos and television commercials. He made his film debut in 2003 with a leading role in the romantic comedy Ishq Vishk, a sleeper hit for which he won a Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut. He followed it with roles in several commercial failures before starring in Sooraj Barjatya's top-grossing family drama Vivah (2006). (Full article...)
Jharokha Darshan (Persian: جهروکه درشن) (Hindi: झरोखा दर्शन) was a daily practice of addressing the public audience (darshan) at the balcony (jharokha) at the forts and palaces of medieval kings in India. It was an essential and direct way of communicating face-to-face with the public, and was a practice which was adopted by the Mughal emperors. The balcony appearance in the name of Jharokha Darshan also spelled jharokha-i darshan was adopted by the 16th-century Mughal Emperor Akbar, even though it was contrary to Islamic injunctions. Earlier, Akbar's father Emperor Humayun had also adopted this Hindu practice of appearing before his subjects at the jharokha to hear their public grievances.
Darshan is a Sanskrit word which means "sight" and "beholding" (also means: "the viewing of an idol or a saint") which was adopted by Mughals for their daily appearance before their subjects. This also showed a Hindu influence, It was first practiced by Humayun before Akbar adopted it as a practice at sunrise. Jharokha is an easterly facing "ornate bay-window", canopied, throne-balcony, the "balcony for viewing" (an oriel window projecting out of the wall) provided in every palace or fort where the kings or emperors resided during their reign. Its architecture served not only the basic need for lighting and ventilation but also attained a divine concept during the reign of Mughals. The jharokha appearances by the Mughals have been depicted by many paintings. (Full article...)
Junagarh Fort is a fort in the city of Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. The fort was originally called Chintamani and was renamed Junagarh or "Old Fort" in the early 20th century when the ruling family moved to Lalgarh Palace outside the fort limits. It is one of the few major forts in Rajasthan which is not built on a hilltop. The modern city of Bikaner has developed around the fort.
The fort complex was built under the supervision of Karan Chand, the Prime Minister of Raja Rai Singh, the sixth ruler of Bikaner, who ruled from 1571 to 1611 AD. Construction of the walls and associated moat commenced in 1589 and was completed in 1594. It was built outside the original fort of the city (the first fort built by Rao Bikaji), about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) from the city centre. Some remnants of the old fort are preserved near the Lakshmi Narayan temple. (Full article...)
Bommarillu (transl. House of Dolls) (pronunciation) is a 2006 Indian Telugu-language romantic comedy film directed and co-written by Bhaskar in his directorial debut, and produced by Dil Raju. The film stars Siddharth, Genelia, Prakash Raj and Jayasudha. The film primarily revolves around the relationship between a father and son, in which the father's excessive concern for his son, and interference in his life, leads to the latter harbouring bitterness towards his overbearing father. The cinematography was handled by Vijay C. Kumar and editing done by Marthand K. Venkatesh. The music for the film was composed by Devi Sri Prasad, whose soundtrack of the film received positive reviews from critics.
The team of Madgulkar and Phadke presented a new song every week for a year with every song being aired first on a Friday morning and then again on Saturday and Sunday morning, between 8:45 AM and 9:00 AM IST. The program's first song "Kuśa Lava Rāmāyaṇ Gātī" was aired on 1 April 1955. Though Geet Ramayan is based on sage Valmiki's epic Ramayana, Madgulkar chose a different narrative format and was praised for the lyrics, and was called Ādhunik Valmiki (the modern Valmiki). The Geet Ramayan is considered as "the crescendo of Madgulkar's literary vigour". Phadke mainly used ragas of Hindustani classical music to compose the songs. He also selected the raga and the Tāla of a song to suit the time of the incident and the narrative mood. The poet and composer were praised for their contribution to the series. (Full article...)
Blyth's kingfisher (Alcedo hercules) is the largest kingfisher in the genus Alcedo. Named for Edward Blyth, the species has also been known as Alcedo grandis and as the great blue kingfisher. Between 22 and 23 centimetres (8+5⁄8 and 9 in) long, the kingfisher has deep rufous underparts with a blackish blue breast patch, and brilliant cobalt blue or azure upperparts, tinged with purple. The wings are a dark blackish green, with blue speckles and tips to some of the feathers. The bill of the male is entirely black, while the female has a dark red lower mandible. The species is distinguished from the similar blue-eared kingfisher (Alcedo meninting) and common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) by its greater size, heavy black bill, and dark lores.
The species breeds between the months of March and June. It builds nests at the end of tunnels dug in the banks of streams or ravines. Four to six eggs are laid, with both sexes incubating. A shy bird, it frequents small waterways, feeding on fish and insects caught by diving from a shrub close to the water. It is found along streams in evergreen forest and adjacent open country between 200 and 1,200 metres (660 and 3,900 ft), mainly between 400 and 1,000 metres (1,300 and 3,300 ft). The species ranges from Nepal through India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. Even within its preferred habitat the density of the species is low, and the population, though not thoroughly surveyed, is believed to be small, and declining further. The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies it as "near threatened". (Full article...)
Indian Armed Forces kill three suspected terrorists during a gunfight in Shopian. Another security operation is carried out several hours later at an apple orchard, resulting in the deaths of two more terrorists. The raids came a day after five Indian soldiers were killed by suspected terrorists. (Al Jazeera)