2,000-year-old shipyard discovered in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula

An ancient Roman-Ptolemaic maintenance workshop which was used to repair ships during this era was discovered in Til Abu Sefi, North Sinai, the Ministry of Antiquities announced on Tuesday this week.

This undated photo released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities shows an ancient workshop to build and repair ships, dating back to the Ptolemaic era in the country’s Sinai) Peninsula.(Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities via AP

The workshop was found to be built of bricks. The archaeological site used to be a well-known Roman city called Abu-Sila.

This undated photo released by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, shows the ancient workshop discovered in the Sinai Peninsula. (Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities via AP)

Moustafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, stated that the workshop included several shipyards to build and maintain vessels. The biggest shipyard was located eastern the workshop. The biggest shipyard’s two walls were unearthed with a six-metre width shipyard. The aisle where the ships were used to be dragged inside to be repaired was found 25 metres long.

The shipyard dates back to the Ptolemaic era between 332 B.C. and 30 B.C. (Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

Nadia Khedr, head of the Central Department of Sea Antiquities, added that most of the gear bricks the workshop was built of, were ripped off their original place to be used else wise. Khedr explained that this happened ages after the Roman era, when the residents found that the marina was no longer used due to the drying of the River Nile at that era.

She added that remains of decayed wood sticks were also found, and the mission did not detect whether they belong to an ancient vessel or they were used in the maintenance process.

Bronze and steel nails were also unearthed in different sizes and shapes, which are believed to be used in repairing giant ships.

The discoveries come in the second season of the excavation mission. Among the discoveries, there were also remains of some types of fish known to live only in the Nile as it used to pass by the site at the time. Moreover, pottery pots were also found at the archaeological site, some of them were detected to be made in Egypt and others were found to be exported.

Ancient nails discovered at the site in Northern Sinai. (Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

In the Closet of the Vatican book claims, Four in five Vatican priests are gay

A gay French writer has lifted the lid on what he calls one of the world’s largest gay communities, the Vatican, estimating that most of its prelates are homosexually inclined and attributing much of the current crisis in the Catholic Church to an internal struggle.

In the explosive book, “In the Closet of the Vatican,” author Frederic Martel describes a gay subculture at the Vatican and calls out the hypocrisy of Catholic bishops and cardinals who in public denounce homosexuality but in private lead double lives.

Eighty per cent of priests working at the Vatican are gay, although not necessarily sexually active, it is claimed in the book, In the Closet of the Vatican.

The 570-page book, which the French journalist and author Frédéric Martel spent four years researching, is a “startling account of corruption and hypocrisy at the heart of the Vatican”, according to its British publisher Bloomsbury.

It is being published in eight languages across 20 countries next Wednesday, coinciding with the opening day of a conference at the Vatican on sexual abuse, to which bishops from all over the world have been summoned.

Martel, a former adviser to the French government, conducted 1,500 interviews while researching the book, including with 41 cardinals, 52 bishops and monsignors, 45 papal ambassadors or diplomatic officials, 11 Swiss guards and more than 200 priests and seminarians, according to a report on the Catholic website the Tablet.

French writer Frederic Martel gestures during an interview with Associated Press, in Paris, Friday.THIBAULT CAMUS / AP

Many spoke of an unspoken code of the “closet”, with one rule of thumb being that the more homophobic a cleric was, the more likely he was to be gay.

Martel alleges that one Colombian cardinal, the late Alfonso López Trujillo, who held a senior Vatican position, was an arch-defender of church teaching on homosexuality and contraception while using male prostitutes, the Tablet said.

The author found that some gay priests accepted their sexuality and a few maintained discreet relationships, but others sought high-risk casual encounters. Some were in denial about their sexuality.

Although the book does not conflate homosexuality with the sexual abuse of children, Martel describes a secretive culture among priests that creates conditions in which abuse is not confronted, say people familiar with the book’s contents.

According to Bloomsbury’s promotional material, Inside the Closet “reveals secrets” about celibacy, misogyny and plots against Pope Francis. It uncovers “a clerical culture of secrecy which starts in junior seminaries and continues right up to the Vatican itself”.

Aside from the subject matter, the book is astonishing for the access Martel had to the inner sanctum of the Holy See. Martel writes that he spent four years researching it in 30 countries, including weeks at a time living inside the Vatican walls. He says the doors were opened by a key Vatican gatekeeper and friend of Pope Francis who was the subject of the pontiff’s famous remark about gay priests, “Who am I to judge?”

Francis has riled his conservative critics in the Vatican over his apparently softer tone towards gay people. A few months into his papacy, he told reporters who asked about a “gay lobby” at the Vatican: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Last year Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean survivor of sexual abuse, said Francis told him in a private meeting: “Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care. The pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.”

But a Polish priest who was sacked from his Vatican job and defrocked after announcing he was gay has accused the church of making the lives of millions of gay Catholics “a hell”.

In a letter to Francis in 2015, Krzysztof Charamsa criticised what he called the Vatican’s hypocrisy in banning gay priests and said the clergy was “full of homosexuals”.

In December, Francis was quoted in a book about vocations as saying homosexuality was a “fashion” to which the clergy was susceptible.

“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates [for the priesthood]. In our societies it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the church,” he said.

The timing of Inside the Closet’s publication, at the start of a milestone summit on sexual abuse, will raise concerns that some people may seek to conflate the two issues.

But the book’s allegations are likely to be pored over by senior bishops flying into Rome from more than 100 countries for the four-day summit.

Martel appears to want to bolster Francis’ efforts at reforming the Vatican by discrediting his biggest critics and removing the secrecy and scandal that surrounds homosexuality in the church. Church doctrine holds that gays are to be treated with respect and dignity, but that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.”

“Francis knows that he has to move on the church’s stance, and that he will only be able to do this at the cost of a ruthless battle against all those who use sexual morality and homophobia to conceal their own hypocrisies and double lives,” Martel writes.

Biggest ever April Fool’s joke reached more than 20 million people worldwide

A viral photograph shared more than a hundred thousand times recently resurfaced on social media. It shows an elephant carrying a lion cub in its trunk as a lioness walks alongside. The image was created as an April fool by a Twitter account dedicated to animal sightings in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.

As per the article published by AFP, when they contacted the account’s manager, told he had photoshopped the picture. A reverse image search found the separate photos that had been edited together to make the fake image.

This Facebook post is one of the many social media posts which sent the image around the internet again. The September 16, 2018 post has been shared more than 35,000 times with over 40,000 reactions.

The caption reads: “It was considered the best photo of this century. A lioness and her cub were crossing the savannah but the heat was excessive and the puppy was in great difficulty walking. An elephant realized that his cub would die and carried him in his trunk to a pool of water walking beside his mother. And we call them wild animals.”

A Google reverse image search showed that the photo originated in an April 1, 2018 tweet by Kruger Sightings, a service that crowdsources sightings and images of wildlife in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.

“We were following a lioness carrying her cub & she was getting really tired. An elephant showed up wanting to help the lioness. The elephant put its trunk down, the cub jumped up & the elephant carried the lion cub!!S28, 3km from S entrance Tinged by Sloof Lirpa,” Kruger Sightings said in the tweet.

“Sloof Lirpa”, is an anagram of “April Fools”, a clue that the image was one of the many spoof images and news articles put out on April 1, the day traditionally reserved in Western countries for playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes.

The original tweet was liked more than 300,000 times and retweeted more than 116,000 times, spawning further posts even months later such as the one cited above.

Nadav Ossendryver, who runs the Kruger Sightings account, said in a tweet the next day that the image had been a hoax.

“Yesterday I shared an April Fool’s joke that went super viral. It reached a total of 6million people with an engagement coming in every 0.5 seconds!”

Ossendryver told AFP that he had photoshopped the image.

“I was the photoshopper 🙂 At the time it reached around 40m people with in a few days. Now probably hundreds of millions because it’s gone viral in so many places, even made news papers.”

Additional reverse image searches found two of the photographs which were spliced together to help create the image: the lioness and the elephant.

Source : AFP

Fact Check – 1000 year old Ancient Varuna Dev Temple In Pakistan As a Toilet for Tourists

It is probably the only temple and certainly the oldest and largest dedicated to the Hindu god Varuna in the entire Indian sub-continent.

The world became a village after internet revolution. At the same time most of the websites publishing fake news with their own hidden agendas. Here comes TheOctoberSky.com, as everyday we present only the “Truth”.

This story is all about an ancient Varuna Dev Temple which is located at Karachi, Pakistan.

It is from social media, propagating that it is being used as a “Toilet for tourists”… Here we are presenting the facts with ground level reality.

1000 year old Varuna Dev Temple at Karachi, Pakistan

Varuna/ Baruna is the Hindu god of the water and of the celestial ocean, as well as a god of law of the underwater world, Makara is his mount. The origin of Varuna is in ancient Vedic religion. Originally the chief god of the Vedic pantheon, Varuna was replaced by Indra and later faded away with the ascendancy of Shiva and Vishnu. Lord Varuna was mentioned in the (Vedas, Ramayana, Zoroastrianism).

Photo Taken in 1917, Varuna Dev Temple, Karachi

Historical Background :

Though we don’t have exact details about the date built, As per the history it was built before 10 th century.
Few believe that around 16th century, a wealthy sailor, Bhojomal Nancy Bhattia bought Manora Island from the Khan of Kalat, who owned most of the land along the coastline at that time and then his family took over this temple.

The Shikhara of the Varuna Dev Temple

Exact date and year of first construction is not known as much history and inscriptions of Hindu temples in Pakistan have been destroyed.
It is widely believed that the current structure was renovated in around 1917–18.

Just on the see shore, Varuna Dev Temple

Inscriptions at Temple :

There are few inscriptions, that are currently available at this temple in two language scripts one is the Devanagari and the other is Sindhi.
Inscription in devnagri script says : Om, Varun Dev Mandir.

Inscription in Sindhi on front gate says, “dedication from sons in the sacred memory of Seth Harchand Mal Dayal Das of Bhriya.”

Currently, Bhriya is a town in Khairpur in Sindh Province, Pakistan.

Past Condition of Temple (till 2008):

At present, this temple belongs to the Pakistan Hindu Council. Evacuee Trust Property Board has done nothing to protect or preserve this ancient heritage.
The temple’s decayed appearance reflects a lack of care, and its walls and rooms once served as a toilet for visitors to Manoras sandy beach.

Humid winds are eating into the structure and the rich carvings on the walls of the mandir are slowly eroding.

In 2008, Temple caretaker Jivraj said that he had written to the Manora Cantonment Board (MCB) for the records of ownership, but was told no such document existed. An MCB official said that since the temple area was in the jurisdiction of the Pakistan Navy, the MCB could not do much.

The steps and front door letting one inside the temple courtyard is missing. In its place the person guarding the place has piled up some construction material. The temple shikhara has also tilted to one side. There used to be a well in the courtyard that’s caved in. The stone work has corroded, the stucco work destroyed. The plinths also are in bad condition. A new structure, not a part of the original one, is blocking the temple view from one side.

This temple was sealed in the 1992, after few people broke into it and destroyed the structure, following the Babri Masjid incident in Ayodhya, India.
The last Pooja ritual held at this place was in 1950s.

The temple, which also houses two smaller temples, the Jhoolay Laal and Shiv temples, has seen plenty of repairs since the 1970s but these have contributed more towards damaging the building than preserving it. Unskilled people had fixed tiles using concrete, which resulted in damaging the surface of the structure.

As per Daily Times posted in 2008, “When the temple was open for worshippers, a festival of ‘Lal Saien Varun Dev’ was celebrated by the Hindu community in the 1950s. Now the mandir’s rooms and premises are used as a toilet. This is a big insult to the Hindu community. Nobody respects the rights of the minorities,” Jivraj, the then caretaker of the temple.

Cutrent Scenario and Funding :

Kaleemullah Lashari is the conservation director and team members are working under the authority of Pakistan Navy , Sindh Exploration and Adventure Society. This project is funded by U.S. Fund for Cultural Preservation , AFCP will provide $250,000 in funding to rehabilitate Varun Dev Temple on Manora Island.

US Consul General Grace Shelton at the Varun Dev temple. Twitter

Besides the temple, there are also two gurdwaras of the Sikh community. Manora Island is an example of Pakistan’s religious diversity, interfaith harmony, and rich cultural heritage.

The number of temples, churches, mosques and shrines on Manora Island represents a culture of tolerance among people belonging to different religious faiths and ethnic groups.

Temple’s reinnovation is in progress and this is the current status of the temple.

Feb 2019 Varun Dev Temple, Karachi, Pakistan

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Striking photos of Super Snow Moon February 2019

Stargazers will be treated to a trio of successive celestial events in 2019. The biggest and brightest full moon of 2019 lit up the skies last night. This Super Snow Moon was just one of three Supermoons to lift the late-night gloom this year.

Hope you all enjoyed the yesterday’s Super Moon (Feb 19, 2019) which is the largest super moon of the year 2019.

We’ve collected some best shots of this fantastic supermoon all around the world, and sharing those photos (With sources) in this post.

Let’s start with India… The first photo is from City of Bhopal, India (Photo by Sanjeev Gupta)

HONDURAS-ASTRONOMY-MOON A church’s cross is silhouetted against the “Supermoon” as seen from Tegucigalpa on February 19, 2019. Orlando SIERRA / AFP

Full Moon February 2019 Kazakhstan
The Çamlıca Mosque in Istanbul in front of the Snow Moon – named for the time of year at which it appears. Photograph: Erdem Şahin/EPA
Construction labourers work as the moon rises over a building site in Kolkata. This will be its brightest occurrence for seven years Photograph: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images
Atmosphere thai temple in dark time with full moon. Photo: AdobeStock
Spectacular Super Moon #Credits : Saravanan Manian #Location : Chennai, India
Supermoon from Perth. Taken by travel photographer, Shelly, from Where’s Shelly. Image credit: Twitter/@wheresshellyii
Super snoo moon, Poole Dorset, United Kingdom. Taken by Simon Treasure on Canon. Image credit: Twitter/@Simon_Treasure
Emirates Air Line cable cars are silhouetted against the backdrop of a ‘Super Snow Moon’ in Greenwich, London. Image credit: PA Wire/PA Images RTI
ARGENTINA-ASTRONOMY-MOON An Embraer 190-100IGW plane (registration LV-CKZ) of Aerolineas Argentinas, on a regular flight from Buenos Aires to the Argentine city of Bahia Blanca, passes in front of the “Supermoon” as seen from Buenos Aires on February 19, 2019. ALEJANDRO PAGNI / AFP
The supermoon between the statues of Alexander the Great (R) and Diogenes of Sinope. VALERIE GACHE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
VENEZUELA-SUPERMOON The super moon is photographed while rising behind El Avila hill on the sky of Caracas, Venezuela on February 19, 2019. YURI CORTEZ / AFP
A man walking along the Huntington Beach Pier is silhouetted against the setting Super Snow Moon. MARK RIGHTMIRE/MEDIANEWS GROUP/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER VIA GETTY IMAGES
Captured with a Canon 200D and a 75-300mm lens at full zoom, by Tyrone from Noble Media Solutions. Image credit: Facebook/Noble Media Solutions PTY
The Super Snow Moon rises behind the Empire State building in New York City. ATILGAN OZDIL/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES

Super moon at Singapore

Trish Minogue Collins wrote on February 19, 2019: “Moonrise behind the Stargazer sculpture in a field in Manorville, New York.” Credits EarthSky.org
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Greg Diesel Walck of Alexandria, Virginia, took this photo on February 19, 2019. He said: “As I was taking photos of the supermoon I got lucky and caught this plane speeding in front!”
Setting #SnowMoon over the Great South Bay, Long Island, New York, February 19, 2019, by Michael Busch.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Steve Pond in East Grinstead, West Sussex, took this photo on February 19, 2019. He wrote: “Moonset with just over 2 hours to closest perigee for 2019.”
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Roy Bradfield in Sunderland, England, captured the moon as it was setting behind low clouds on February 19, 2019.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Tom Marsala in Menifee, California, captured this image on February 19, 2019. He told us: “I was collimating my new telescope and tested it on the full moon tonight. A beautiful sight indeed!”
Lynton Brown took this photo of the supermoon on February 18, 2019. He wrote: “On top of Radio tower 3WV Dooen Australia.”
Barbara Alsworth Fabian captured the super Snow Moon at Santa Barbara, California’s Shoreline Park at 5:38 p.m. on February 18, 2019.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | “The biggest full moon supermoon of 2019 over Meteora monastery at Greece,” wrote Aimilianos Gkekas. He captured this image on February 18, 2019.
Dr Ski in Valencia, Philippines wrote: “It’s probably just me, but I can’t tell the difference between tonight’s “super” full moon and any of the over 700 full moons I’ve seen over the short span of my existence on this planet. But with a reference, the difference becomes very obvious. February’s full moon at perigee of course means that apogee occurred during new moon. So I had to use January’s apogee moon for comparison. Both images are at 40X.” It’s true most people can’t discern the size difference between a supermoon and ordinary full moon, using the eye alone. Here’s one observer who thinks it’s possible.
Super Moon February 2019 Greenwich, London. Source AP
Super Moon February 2019 Frankfurt, Germany, Source: AP
Super Moon February 2019 Lisbon
Super Moon February 2019 Athens, Greece
Super Moon February 2019 Northeast England
Full Moon February 2019 Nicosia, Cyprus
Super Moon February 2019 Nicosia, Cyprus
The moon over Ajaccio on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
A man walking along the Huntington Beach Pier is silhouetted against the setting Super Snow Moon. MARK RIGHTMIRE/MEDIANEWS GROUP/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER VIA GETTY IMAGES
The Super Snow Moon rises behind lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center in New York City, as seen from Green Brook Township, New Jersey. GARY HERSHORN/GETTY IMAGES
The Super Snow Moon sets behind the Statue of Liberty as the sun rises in New York City. GARY HERSHORN/GETTY IMAGES

Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the Evolution of ‘Indian Navy’ (Since 3rd Century BCE )

Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was the founder of the Maratha Empire in western India. He is considered to be one of the greatest warriors of his time and even today, stories of his exploits are narrated as a part of the folklore. With his valor and great administrative skills, Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur. It eventually became the genesis of the Maratha Empire.

After establishing his rule, Shivaji implemented a competent and progressive administration with the help of a disciplined military and well-established administrative set-up. Shivaji is well-known for his innovative military tactics that centered around non-conventional methods leveraging strategic factors like geography, speed, and surprise to defeat his more powerful enemies.

A Painting of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is being considered as the Father of Indian Navy. We are going to discuss more about this on this article.

Before going to the topic, it’s needed to know the History of Indian Navy.

History of Indian Navy is quite old. Lets go through some famous empires in India and their Navy.

Mauryan Empire’s Navy :

The Maurya Empire was a geographically-extensive Iron Age historical power based in Magadha and founded by Chandragupta Maurya which dominated ancient India between 322 and 187 BCE. Comprising the majority of South Asia, the Maurya Empire was centralized by conquering the Indo-Gangetic Plain in the eastern extent of the empire and had its capital city at Pataliputra(modern Patna). The empire was the largest to have ever existed in the Indian subcontinent, spanning over 5 million square kilometres (1.9 million square miles) at its zenith under Ashoka.

Sanchi-Stupa, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
Mauryan Empire, Credits : Maps of India.

The earliest known reference to an organisation devoted to ships in ancient India is to the Mauryan Empire from the fourth century BCE. Emperor Chandragupta Maurya’s Prime Minister Kautilya’s Arthashastra devotes a full chapter on the state department of waterways under navadhyaksha (Sanskrit for Superintendent of ships) . The term, nava dvipantaragamanam (Sanskrit for sailing to other lands by ships, i.e. Exploration) appears in this book in addition to appearing in the Sanskrit text, Baudhayana Dharmasastra as the interpretation of the term, Samudrasamyanam.

Not much is known about Maury’s Naval might but the information sure serve a beginning of Indian Naval Power.

Gupta’s Navy:

The Gupta Empire was an ancient Indianempire existing from the mid-to-late 3rd century CE to 590 CE. At its zenith, from approximately 319 to 550 CE, it covered much of the Indian subcontinent. This period is called the Golden Age of India by some historians. The ruling dynasty of the empire was founded by the king Sri Gupta; the most notable rulers of the dynasty were Chandragupta I, Samudragupta, and Chandragupta II alias Vikramaditya. The 5th-century CE Sanskrit poet Kalidasa credits the Guptas with having conquered about twenty-one kingdoms, both in and outside India, including the kingdoms of Parasikas, the Hunas, the Kambojas, tribes located in the west and east Oxus valleys, the Kinnaras, Kiratas, and others.

Gupta’s Empire, Credits : Lumen Learning

Military might of India grew during this age. The Imperial Guptas could have achieved their successes through force of arms with an efficient martial system. Historically, the best accounts of this come not from the Hindus themselves but from Chinese and Western observers. However, a contemporary Indian document, regarded as a military classic of the time, the Siva-Dhanur-veda, offers some insight into the military system of the Guptas.

Queen Kumaradevi and King Chandragupta I: A coin from the period of Indian Emperor Samudragupta, 335-380 CE, depicting his parents, King Chandragupta and Queen Kumaradevi, credits : Lumen Learning

The Guptas also had knowledge of siegecraft, catapults, and other sophisticated war machines.

Samudragupta and Chandragupta II understood the need for combined armed tactics and proper logistical organization. Gupta military success likely stemmed from the concerted use of elephants, armored cavalry, and foot archers in tandem against both Hindu kingdoms and foreign armies invading from the Northwest. The Guptas also maintained a navy, allowing them to control regional waters.

Iron Pillar of Delhi: The Iron Pillar of Delhi, India, erected by Chandragupta II to honor the Hindu god Vishnu, in the 4th century CE. Credits : Lumen Learning

During the reign of Chandragupta II, Gupta empire maintained a large army consisting of 500,000 infantry, 50,000 cavalry, 20,000 charioteers and 10,000 elephants along with a powerful navy with more than 1200 ships. Chandragupta II controlled the whole of the Indian subcontinent; the Gupta empire was the most powerful empire in the world during his reign, at a time when the Roman Empire in the west was in decline.

Chola’s Navy:

The Chola dynasty was one of the longest-ruling dynasties in history. The earliest datable references to this Tamil dynasty are in inscriptions from the 3rd century BCE left by Ashoka, of the Maurya Empire (Ashoka Major Rock Edict No.13). As one of the Three Crowned Kings of Tamilakam, the dynasty continued to govern over varying territory until the 13th century CE.

Chola Emperor, during Rajendra Chola period, Source wiki

The Chola Navy comprised the naval forces of the Chola Empire along with several other naval-arms of the country. The Chola navy played a vital role in the expansion of the Chola Empire, including the conquest of the Ceylon islands and naval raids on Sri Vijaya (present-day Indonesia). The navy grew both in size and status during the Medieval Cholas reign. The Chola Admirals commanded much respect and prestige in the society.

Depiction of the siege of Kedah, the battle between Beemasenan’s Chola naval infantry and the defenders of Kedah fort. source :Wiki

The navy commanders also acted as diplomats in some instances. From 900 to 1100, the navy had grown from a small backwater entity to that of a potent power projection and diplomatic symbol in all of Asia but was gradually reduced in significance when the Cholas fought land battles for subjugating the Chalukyas of Andhra-Kannada area in South India.

The earliest record of Chola naval activity by an external source dates to around the 1st century, the Roman report of Kaveripoompattinam (presently known as Poombuhar) as Haverpoum and a description of how the Trade vessels were escorted by the King’s fleet to the estuary as it was a natural harbor in the mouth of the river Kaveri.

Little archeological evidence exists of the maritime activities of this era, except some excavated wooden plaques depicting naval engagements in the vicinity of the old city (See Poompuhar for more details). However, much insight into the naval activities of the Cholas has been gathered from Periplus of the Erythrean Sea. In this work, the unknown merchant describes the activity of escort-ships assigned to the merchant vessels with valuable cargo. These early naval ships had some sort of a rudimentary flame-thrower and or a catapult type weapon.

Colandia, the great ships which was used by Early Cholas.[clarification needed] By this they sailed to pacific islands from Kaveripatnam(as center). At that time, Pattinathu Pillai is the chief of the Chola’s Navy.

Many other Indian Empires too had good Indian navy during their time.

Maratha’s Navy :

The Maratha Empire is credited with laying the foundation of the Indian Navy and bringing about considerable changes in naval warfare by introducing a blue-water navy.

Maratha Empire, Credits : Cultural India

The Maratha Empire is also credited for developing many important cities like Pune, Baroda, and Indore. From its inception in 1674, the Marathas established a Naval force, consisting of cannons mounted on ships.

Mahrathas attacking the sloop ‘Aurora’, of the Bombay Marine, 1812;Credits : Wiki

The dominance of the Maratha Navy started with the ascent of Kanhoji Angre as the Darya-Saranga by the Maratha chief of Satara. Under that authority, he was admiral of the Western coast of India from Bombay to Vingoria (now Vengurla) in the present day state of Maharashtra, except for Janjira which was affiliated with the Mughal Empire.

A portrait of Admiral Kanhoji Angre, Source : Wiki

The Marathas established watch posts on the Andaman Islands and are credited with attaching those islands to India. He attacked English, Dutch and Portuguese ships which were moving to and from East Indies. Until his death in 1729, he repeatedly attacked the colonial powers of Britain and Portugal, capturing numerous vessels of the British East India Company and extracting ransom for their return.

A diorama showing Maratha naval tactics, on display at the National Museum, New Delhi, Source : Wiki

On 29 November 1721, a joint attempt by the Portuguese Viceroy Francisco José de Sampaio e Castro and the British General Robert Cowan to humble Kanhoji failed miserably. Their combined fleet consisted of 6,000 soldiers in no less than four Man-of-war besides other ships led by Captain Thomas Mathews of the Bombay Marine failed miserably. Aided by Maratha naval commanders Mendhaji Bhatkar and Mainak Bhandari, Kanhoji continued to harass and plunder the European ships until his death in 1729.

The ‘Pal’ was a three masted Maratha man-of-war with guns peeping on the broadsides.

Most significantly,Battle of Colachel:

The Battle of Colachel (or Battle of Kulachal) was fought on 10 August 1741 [O.S. 31 July 1741) between forces of the Indian kingdom of Travancore and the Dutch East India Company, during the Travancore-Dutch War. The Dutch never recovered from the defeat and no longer posed a large colonial threat to India, assisting the British East India Company’s eventual rise to dominance on the Indian subcontinent.

Now, Why Shivaji is known as Father of Indian Navy…??

Shivaji built a strong naval presence across long coast of Konkan and Goa to protect sea trade, to protect the lands from sack of prosperity of subjects from coastal raids, plunder and destruction by Arabs, Portuguese, British, Abyssinians and pirates. Shivaji built ships in towns such as Kalyan, Bhivandi, and Goa for building fighting navy as well as trade. He also built a number of sea forts and bases for repair, storage and shelter. Shivaji fought many lengthy battles with Siddis of Janjira on coastline. The fleet grew to reportedly 160 to 700 merchant, support and fighting vessels. He started trading with foreigners on his own after possession of eight or nine ports in the Deccan. Shivaji’s admiral Kanhoji Angre is often said to be the “Father of Indian Navy”

The Sindhudurg Fort near the Maharashtra-Goa border, one of the several naval fortifications built by the Maratha Navy Credits : Wiki

Maratha Navy was strong and defended India against many foreign forces:

A depiction of a British naval attack in 1755 against the Maratha Navy at Suvarnadurg. Credits Wiki

Most important reason is that people can relate to the part of history when Maratha existed. Period of Mauryas and Guptas are long gone. Forget about dates even the years are not clear. When we talk about their glory we refer to history written by foreign sources. No doubt India saw its golden age at the time of Guptas and Muryas but that age is long gone. This is not the case with Maratha. We can relate to this part of the history.

Portrait of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at The British Museum. Credits : The British Museum

Raja Mudra/ Emblem of Shivaji Maharaj:

प्रतिपदेचा चन्द्र जसा वाढत जातो, आणि सरे विश्व त्याला जसे वंदन करते, तशीच तशीच ही मुद्रा व् तिचा लौकिक वाढत जाईल…..!
The glory of this Mudra of Shahaji’s son Shivaji (Maharaj ) will grow like the first day moon .It will be worshiped by the world & it will shine only for well being of people.

Its a different thing that some people treat the glory of Maratha as glory of Marathas only and not of whole India.

The modern Indian navy is indeed an extension of the navy created by Great Marathas and hence Shivaji is referred as Father of Indian Navy.

Demise and Legacy:

Shivaji died at the age of 52 on April 3, 1680, at the Raigad Fort, after suffering from a bout of dysentery. A conflict of succession arose after his death between his eldest son Sambhaji and his third wife Soyrabai on behalf of her 10-year old son Rajaram. Sambhaji dethroned the young Rajaram and ascended the throne himself on June 20, 1680.the Mughal-Maratha conflicts continued after Shivaji’s death and the Maratha glory declined greatly. However it was reclaimed by young Madhavrao Peshwa who reclaimed Maratha glory and established his authority over North India.

Remembering the great Emperor and a warrior of Maratha Kingdom on his birth anniversary.

{Today, (Feburary 19th) is the birth anniversary of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.}

Flower Carpet and flowers of Belgium (Photos)

The Flower Carpet is a biennial occasion in Brussels in which volunteers from around Belgium convene at the Grand Place, the notable focal point of the city, to weave a floor covering like woven artwork out of colorful begonias. The occasion happens each other August, organizing with Assumption Day. Nearly a million blooms are required to make the fleeting 1,800 square meters (19,000 square feet) cover.

Let’s look at the history of this event.

First Flower Carpet :

It was started in 1971 by the
Landscape architect E. Stautemans.

The year 1986 was the turning point in the holding of this event, which until then had not been regular. The Tapis de Fleurs de BruxellesAssociation was then created at the initiative of the City of Brussels in cooperation with the Province de Brabant and Les Franc-Bourgeois(a central Brussels traders’ association).

The new association laid down the regulations; the event was to be held every two years, for 3 to 4 days on the weekend of 15th August and could be enhanced by sound and lighting, fireworks, a jazz concert and other traditional folk entertainments. The tapestry always exhibits begonias, one of Belgium’s major exports since 1860.

With unique theme

Each year of the Flower Carpet, organisers select a theme for inspiration.

In 2018, the carpet featured cultural elements from the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. Including symbolism from the Chupícuaro, Otomí and Purépechacultures. In addition to the begonias, the carpet included dahlias, the national flower of Mexico.

In 2016, the carpet displayed a Japanese design to celebrate 150 years of friendship between Belgium and Japan.

In 2014, the city of Brussels paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of Turkish immigrants[3] by imitating the world-famous kilims. Turks came to Belgium in 1964 when both countries signed a bilateral treaty welcoming immigrants during the economic boom.

In 2012, the carpet exhibited the colours of Africa, inspired by traditional fabrics and tribal costumes.

In 2010, the designers of the tapestry honored Belgian Herman Van Rompuy, the first president of the European Union, with images of historic Belgian symbols alongside the European Union logo.

In 2008, the patterns were inspired by 18th-Century French designs and colours.

Flowers of Belgium :

The Common Red Poppy is the national flower of Belgium. Growing in fields and waste places, these beautiful flowers are mildly analgesic and sedative, and have long been used in European herbal medicine, particularly for ailments in children and the elderly. Used chiefly as a mild pain reliever and as a treatment for irritable coughs, Red Poppy also reduces nervous over activity.

Other Native and Famous Flowers of Belgium

Having mild and humid climate, horticulture is the highest value sector for Belgian Agriculture with the turn over of $1.6 billion whereas flower and potted plant industry valued $240 millionannually. Being the world’s largest producer of Azaleas and Bagonia, Belgium also grows the flowers like, Roses, Flowers Grown from Bulbs, Chrysanthemums, Freesias, Gerberas, Bluebells, Clivia and Delhaize.

Lilies, Colorful Roses, Sunflowers, Orchids, Gerberas, Chrysanthemums and Daisy are some of the flowers which are passionately liked by Belgians for the gift purposes on various occasions.

The list is not complete without Lettuce 😊

Thanks for reading and following our website and Facebook page, ” The October Sky”.

Worst ever Cyber Attack on Pakistan – Indian Hackers in response to Pulwama Terror Attack

Cyber warfare seems to be dominating headlines as of late. Be it a clandestine groups hacking computers for ‘fun’ or alleged government agencies attempting to steal classified information, the Internet landscape has been transformed into a binary battlefield.

Pakistan Army, foreign ministry websites hacked, attack originated from India. The development comes in the wake of the deadly terror attack in Pulwama, Kashmir that claimed the lives of 40 CRPF Indian army personnel.

Indian hackers attack Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry website

Indian hackers attacked the official website the of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said on Saturday.

According to reports, the website is currently inaccessible from the United States, United Kingdom, Holland, Norway, Australia, and other countries.

This could be the worst ever cyber attack that Pakistan has ever faced the in history.

More than 50 Pakistan Websites have been Hacked by Indian Hacker Group – ‘Team I Crew’.

Besides the “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs “, there are few more websites hacked today,
Here are the Links of Pakistan Hacked Websites:


There are few more sites hacked by Indian hackers, ‘MickeyHexx & Lulzec India’.
https://www.facebook.com/mickeyhexx and LulzSec India

1. Pakistan School Education Portal.
Link: http://schoolportal.punjab.gov.pk/

2. Lahore Court.
Link: http://jobs.lhc.gov.pk/

3. KDA Pakistan.
Link: https://kda.gkp.pk/index.html?fbclid=IwAR17AGtQQM255ELdJSDk2NQoo9JBN_plsn6gT6QwTncmEgy00QP-4lTq_aA

4. Irrigation Department, Pakistan’s Punjab

Link: http://irrigation.punjab.gov.pk/download/

5. Pakistan Meteorological Department PMD


“Our heart felt condolences to the family of CRPF jawans who sacrificed their lives in #PulwanaTerror Attack”

“We will never forget 14-02-2019”


flashing over the hacked websites.

Please follow below links to know more about Pulwama Terror Attack.

Deadliest Terror Attack In India, Over 40 Killed as Suicide Bomber Strikes CRPF Convoy in Kashmir

India mourns Pulwama terror attack martyrs – Exposing the Reality with Social Media Reactions

St. Valentine’s Skull At Santa Maria Basilica, Rome

The skull was discovered during an excavation of a catacomb that took place in Rome in the early 1800s; the dig yielded the skeletal remains and other relics that are now associated with St. Valentine.

Knowing just precisely whose skull it is, however, is muddled. For one thing, there was more than one Catholic holy person known as Saint Valentine. At that point there’s the around 1500 years between those saint’s demises and the eager circulation and naming of bodies in the Victorian time.

At long last, and most alarming, there is the way that no under ten spots guarantee to house the relics, all around the globe.

Skull of the St. Valentine

Little is truly known about the genuine man (or men) behind the legend. What is known (pretty much) is that something like two men by the name of Valentine (Valentinus) were known in Italy and passed on in the late third century, and a third Valentine was situated in North Africa around a similar time. The two Italians were covered along Via Flaminia.

Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome

As a holy person, Valentine previously increased genuine reputation in 496 when Pope Gelasius I made February 14, initially part of the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, a banquet day devoted to St. Valentine.

Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome


The accounts of the distinctive men appear to have converged into one after some time, with the greater part of the folklore about Valentine being a supporter of sweethearts, helping early Christian couples to wed covertly, just dating to the fourteenth century and the works of Geoffrey Chaucer.

The congregation itself is exceptionally old, remaining on the site of an antiquated Roman sanctuary dating to the second century BC. A large portion of what you see today dates to the eighth and twelfth hundreds of years, including the tomb situated underneath the special stepped area.

The skull can be found in the side special raised area on the left half of the congregation. While you are at the Basilica of Santa Maria, stop by the porch to visit with the acclaimed Bocca della Verità (mouth of truth).

The controversy surrounding Valentine’s skull continues to play out, with many scholars disputing the provenance.

The Mouth of Truth / Bocca della Verità is a marble mask in Rome, Italy, which stands against the left wall of the portico of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church, at the Piazza della Bocca della Verità, the site of the ancient Forum Boarium (the ancient cattle market). It attracts visitors who audaciously stick their hand in the mouth


The Mouth of Truth

The massive marble mask weighs about 1300 kg and probably depicts the face of the sea god Oceanus. The eyes, nostrils and mouth are open. Historians aren’t quite certain what the original purpose of the disc was. It was possibly used as a drain cover in the nearby Temple of Hercules Victor, which had an oculus—a round open space in the middle of the roof, similar to that of the Pantheon. Hence, it could rain inside. It is also thought that cattle merchants used it to drain the blood of cattle sacrificed to the god Hercules. In the thirteenth century the disc was probably removed from the temple and placed against the wall of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin. In the seventeenth century it eventually moved to its current location inside the portico of the church.

The Mouth of Truth by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Source: Wiki