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:

Marathi:
प्रतिपदेचा चन्द्र जसा वाढत जातो, आणि सरे विश्व त्याला जसे वंदन करते, तशीच तशीच ही मुद्रा व् तिचा लौकिक वाढत जाईल…..!
English:
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:

https://sindhforests.gov.pk/op.html
https://mail.sindhforests.gov.pk/op.html
https://pkha.gov.pk/op.html
https://ebidding.pkha.gov.pk/op.html
https://mail.pkha.gov.pk/op.html
http://kda.gkp.pk/op.html
http://blog.kda.gkp.pk/op.html
http://mail.kda.gkp.pk/op.html
https://kpsports.gov.pk/op.html
https://mail.kpsports.gov.pk/op.html
http://seismic.pmd.gov.pk/op.html
http://namc.pmd.gov.pk/op.html
http://rmcpunjab.pmd.gov.pk/FlightsChartFolder/op.html
http://ffd.pmd.gov.pk/modis/op.html
http://radar.pmd.gov.pk/islamabad/op.html
http://pjm.pmd.gov.pk/cache/op.html
http://202.163.66.44:811/14-02-2019.html
http://www.urbanunit.gov.pk/upload/14-02-2019.php
https://opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://depalpur.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://badin.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://bci.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://bhalwal.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://dadu.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://dikhan.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://gci.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://gujrat.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://hangu.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://kallarsyedan.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://karachi.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://kotli.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://larkana.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://mansehra.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://mirpur.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://multan.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://muzaffarabad.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://pakpattan.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://quetta.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://rawalpindi.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://sanghar.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://sheikhupura.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://sialkot.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://turbat.opf.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://www.oriental.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://www.falconhouse.edu.pk/Resumes/14-02-2019.php
https://alumni.muet.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://www.mt.muet.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://imtic.muet.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://tl.muet.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://sfao.muet.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://scenario.com.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://noon.edu.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://prime.edu.pk/op.html
http://sed.edu.pk/op.html
http://kpdirectorate.sed.edu.pk/op.html
http://news.sed.edu.pk/op.html
http://opsmardan.org.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://www.jpma.org.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://cibex.com.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://apna-makaan.com/14-02-2019.php
http://ipad.org.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://mentorfashionclub.com/14-02-2019.php
http://www.peterco.com.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://tor.com.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://jobs.tor.com.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://www.imranjdgroup.com/14-02-2019.php
http://www.manbrospk.com/14-02-2019.php
http://www.unitech.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://megaplus.com.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://hnmprinters.com.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://www.fes.net.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://www.aml.com.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://www.gulfjobs.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://careerground.com/14-02-2019.php
http://198.58.125.148/14-02-2019.php
http://scenariomanagementsolution.com/14-02-2019.php
https://mintex.com.pk/14-02-2019.php
https://66.85.78.139/14-02-2019.php
https://jwspakistan.com/14-02-2019.php
https://mail.jwspakistan.com/14-02-2019.php
http://www.awidsoft.net/14-02-2019.html
http://mail.awidsoft.net/14-02-2019.html
https://66.85.78.139/14-02-2019.php
http://icrew.thecastle.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://www.thecastle.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://mail.thecastle.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://icrew.paktextiles.com.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://www.paktextiles.com.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://mail.paktextiles.com.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://crystalshipping.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://mail.crystalshipping.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://www.baseballbatting-gloves.com/
http://mail.baseballbatting-gloves.com/14-02-2019.php
http://expansionstudios.net/14-02-2019.php
http://mail.expansionstudios.net/14-02-2019.php
http://hapsgear.com/14-02-2019.html
http://mail.hapsgear.com/14-02-2019.html
http://speedyracewears.com/14-02-2019.php
http://mail.speedyracewears.com/14-02-2019.php
http://gh057-5p3c706.spskotha.com/14-02-2019.php
http://spskotha.com/14-02-2019.php
http://mail.spskotha.com/14-02-2019.php
http://www.kdconstructions.com.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://mail.kdconstructions.com.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://solarwebstore.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://mail.solarwebstore.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://solarwebstore.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://mail.solarwebstore.pk/14-02-2019.php
http://sunrays-electric.com/14-02-2019.php
http://smileys-cafe.com/14-02-2019.php
http://mail.smileys-cafe.com/14-02-2019.php
http://www.karmun-surgical.com/14-02-2019.php
http://mail.karmun-surgical.com/14-02-2019.php
http://icrew.karmun-surgical.com/14-02-2019.php
http://www.sensivosurgicalco.com/14-02-2019.php
http://mail.sensivosurgicalco.com/14-02-2019.php
http://icrew.sensivosurgicalco.com/14-02-2019.php

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

Links:
http://rmcpunjab.pmd.gov.pk/forecast/
http://ffd.pmd.gov.pk/modis/
http://namc.pmd.gov.pk/
http://radar.pmd.gov.pk/islamabad/
http://seismic.pmd.gov.pk/

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

“We will never forget 14-02-2019”

“WE FORGIVE? WE FORGET? INDIA WILL NEVER ”

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

Largest Super Moon of 2019, Full Snow Moon of February

As we witnessed the first super moon of 2019 in January, which is Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse, we are going to have the second Super moon of the year on February 19th, the speciality of this super moon is that, it is the latgest super moon of the year 2019, when the moon comes within 221,681 miles of Earth.

An image of the moon taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is shown in two halves to illustrate the difference in the apparent size and brightness of the moon during a supermoon. The left half shows the apparent size of a supermoon (full moon at perigee), while the right half shows the apparent size and brightness of a micromoon (full moon at apogee). Credits: NASA/Goddard/Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

What’s Super Moon :

The Moon doesn’t orbit in a perfect circle. Instead, it travels in an ellipse that brings the Moon closer to and farther from Earth in its orbit. The farthest point in this ellipse is called the apogee and is about 405,500 kilometers from Earth on average. Its closest point is the perigee, which is an average distance of about 363,300 kilometers from Earth. During every 27-day orbit around Earth, the Moon reaches both its apogee and perigee.

Full moons can occur at any point along the Moon’s elliptical path, but when a full moon occurs at or near the perigee, it looks slightly larger and brighter than a typical full moon. That’s what the term “supermoon” refers to.

In this super moon, our planet’s satellite appears 10 percent larger and almost 30 per cent brighter in the sky.

On February 19th, The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated.

When it will appear as the largest ?

Around 15:53 UTC, the full moon will be closest to the earth. Which is 221,681 miles away from Earth.

Timings : 15:53 UTC

21:23 IST

What is Snow Moon ?

As Early Native American tribes kept track of seasons by giving names to each full moon, This full moon was known by these native tribes as the Full Snow Moon because the heaviest snows usually fell during this time of the year.

Full Hunger Moon ?

Since hunting is difficult due to Heavy snow fall, this moon has also been known by some tribes as the Full Hunger Moon, since the harsh weather made hunting difficult.

Second of the Three super moons of 2019

This is also the second of three supermoons for 2019. The next one will take place on March 21, the same day as the Spring Equinox.

The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

Please spread the word.

You can read our post on January’s super blood wolf moon lunar eclipse at the below link.

Last ‘blood moon’ eclipse of the decade – Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse January 2019

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

On one hand whole country filled in tears condemning the deadly terror attack which killed 40 CRPF army personals , the other hand some people are rejoicing at this terror attack.

Posting some reactions from Social media over this heinous attack.

In a press release, the US Department of State said it condemns the terrorist attack on the Indian CRPF convoy and asked Pakistan to “uphold its responsibilities” to deny support to terror groups.

“US condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attack today on an Indian CRPF convoy in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. We extend our deepest condolences to the victims and their families and wish a speedy recovery to those injured,” it said.

“UN designated, Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammad has claimed responsibility for this heinous act. We call on all countries to uphold their responsibilities pursuant to UN Security Council resolutions to deny safe haven and support for terrorists,” the statement added.

PM of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, in a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said — “To my dear friend, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, we stand with you, the security forces and the people of India following this heinous terrorist attack. We send our condolences to the families of the victims.”

Australia’s political leaders also condemned the “heinous” terror attack. “We convey our deepest condolences to the families of the victims, and all those injured. Our thoughts are with my friend Prime Minister @narendramodi and the Indian people,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted on Friday.

Saudi Arabia said it stood with India’s fight against terrorism and extremism and denounced as “cowardly” the suicide attack.

The strong condemnation came days ahead of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s state visit to India next week for talks with the top Indian leadership.

The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement that the country “condemns this terrorist act”, and reiterated the country’s “principled and unequivocal position rejecting all forms of violence and terrorism”

Nepal said its unequivocally condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and believes that such heinous acts of terrorism cannot be justified on any ground.

Condemning the attack, Maldives Preseident Ibrahim Mohamed Solih tweeted that the Maldives will continue to work with India and the international community to combat terrorism in our region and the world at large.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “Bangladesh remains steadfast in its commitment against terrorism of all forms and maintains a zero-tolerance policy against any kind of terrorist activities. We would continue to work and cooperate with international community including India to eradicate menace of terrorism,” Hasina added.

Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, tweeted, “Bhutan is deeply saddened by the news of the horrific terrorist attack in Kashmir. Bhutan strongly condemns terrorist attack of any nature. Our prayers are with the grieved family and we are following the situation closely.”

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa condemned the terrorist attack and offered their condolences to Prime Minister Modi.

China also expressed deep “shock” over the terror attack carried out by the Jaish suicide bomber.

“China has noted the reports of suicide terrorist attack. We are deeply shocked by this attack. We express deep condolences and sympathy to the injured and bereaved families,” spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang told a media briefing in Beijing when asked about the incident.

French minister of Europe and foreign affair Jean-Yves Le Drian extended support to India, saying France has always been and always will be by India’s side in the fight against terrorism in all its forms.

“I most firmly condemn the heinous attack just perpetrated in India. My thoughts go out to the families of the fallen soldiers and my deepest solidarity to the Indian government and people.

France has always been and always will be by India’s side in the fight against terrorism in all its forms.”

” I call on every State to fight effectively against terrorist networks and their financing channels and to prevent cross-border movements of terrorist groups, such as the Jaish-e-Mohammed, which has claimed responsibility for this attack,” Drian said.

The Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of India denounced the terror attack saying, “We denounce terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reiterate the need to combat these inhuman acts with a decisive and collective response without any double standards.”

Meanwhile here are some people (screenshots from Facebook and Twitter) caught celebrating this deadly terror attack .

NDTV deputy news editor suspended after post in support of Jaish-e-Mohammed over Pulwama massacre

A FIR has been registered against Basim Hilal, a student of the Aligarh Muslim University, for his tweet over yesterday’s Pulwama attack. Basim has been booked under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code (promoting enmity) & Section 67A of the Information Technology Act (publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act, etc., in electronic form). Hilal has also been suspended by his university.

The action against Hilal was taken over a distasteful tweet he posted yesterday soon after a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber blew up a Central Reserve Police Force bus in Jammu and Kashmir, killing at least 40 jawans.

In another such instance, Macleods Pharmaceuticals employee Riyaz Ahmed Wani was suspended and served a show cause notice, asking him to explain his offensive comments on the Pulwama terror attack within seven days, failing which his services will be permanently terminated.

Here posting some reactions, (credits to facebook)

Source : Facebook and Twitter

Can happiness be found through anything?

Jiddu Krishnamurti thoughts on Happiness and the ways to achieve it, this short read could give an insight to each individual and can help them during the search of their ‘Real’ inner happiness.

We seek happiness through things, through relationship, through thoughts, ideas. So things, relationship, and ideas become all-important and not happiness.

When we seek happiness through something, then the thing becomes of greater value than happiness itself. When stated in this manner, the problem sounds simple and it is simple. We seek happiness in property, in family, in name; then property, family, idea become all-important, for then happiness is sought through a means, and then the means destroys the end. Can happiness be found through any means, through anything made by the hand or by the mind? Things, relationship, and ideas are so transparently impermanent, we are ever made unhappy by them…

Things are impermanent, they wear out and are lost; relationship is constant friction and death awaits; ideas and beliefs have no stability, no permanency. We seek happiness in them and yet do not realize their impermanency. So sorrow becomes our constant companion and overcoming it our problem.

To find out the true meaning of happiness, we must explore the river of self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is not an end in itself. Is there a source to a stream? Every drop of water from the beginning to the end makes the river. To imagine that we will find happiness at the source is to be mistaken. It is to be found where you are on the river of self-knowledge.

From ‘The Book of Life’ By Jiddu Krishnamurti.

Jiddu Krishnamurti was an Indian philosopher, speaker and writer. His interests included psychological revolution, the nature of mind, meditation, inquiry, human relationships, and bringing about radical change in society. He stressed the need for a revolution in the psyche of every human being and emphasised that such revolution cannot be brought about by any external entity, be it religious, political, or social.

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

40 Army personals of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and two other men were killed in a dastardly terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulawama. The well-planned attack used a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (known as VBIED) to target a CRPF bus that was part of a 70-vehicle convoy.

The convoy was on the Srinagar-Jammu highway and was on its way to Pulwama when a suicide bomber driving an explosive-laden SUV crashed into the bus. The bus had 39 jawans on board when the SUV crashed into it.

40 jawans who were part of the convoy were killed in the explosion. Two other men, who were part of the road-operating team, were also killed in the terrorist attack.

The bus targetted by the suicide bomber was completely destroyed in the attack. The site of the attack resembled a war zone with body parts and vehicle debris strewn about.

The attack took place when the convoy was passing through the Gundipoora section of the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Pulwama’s Awantipora area.

The convoy was made up of buses, trucks and SUVs. Each bus/truck was carrying 35-40 jawans of the CRPF.

Terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the deadly attack. A spokesperson of the banned terrorist organisation said “dozens of forces’ vehicles were destroyed in the attack”.

This is one of the worst terror strikes in the state since the attack on the Uri military base in September 2016, in which 18 Army jawans had died and several were injured.

“Attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama is despicable. I strongly condemn this dastardly attack. The sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain. The entire nation stands shoulder to shoulder with the families of the brave martyrs. May the injured recover quickly,” says PM Narendra Modi.

“Spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh Ji and other top officials regarding the situation in the wake of the attack in Pulwama,” he said in another tweet.

As per details available, a terrorist identified as Adil Ahmad from Kakapora in Pulwama rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus, which was part of the convoy and was reduced to a mangled heap of iron. Earlier, it was reported that the terrorists had triggered a high-intensity IED blast and followed it up with firing.

CRPF (Operations) Inspector General Zulfiqar Hassan told ANI that the Jammu and Kashmir Police has taken up the investigation. “The injured have been shifted to hospital,” he said. “A post-blast analysis is being done at the spot.”

According to local news agencies, a red alert has been issued across Kashmir.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singhspoke to Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik and will visit Srinagar on Friday. According to the Raj Bhawan Public Relations Officer, Malik has directed all security forces’ commanders to increase surveillance. He has also asked the district and divisional civil and police administration to review the security management of all important installations and establishments in the state.

Union minister Kiren Rijiju Thursday said the “cowardly” terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir will not go unpunished and it will be avenged in “all way possible”.

A video of Adil Ahmad Dar alias Waqas Commando of Gundibagh, Kakpora, was released by the Jaish soon after the terror attack rocked Kashmir’s Pulwama.

In the video, that was most probably shot before Adil Dar went about his suicide mission in Pulwama, the terrorist talks about atrocities on Kashmiri Muslims.

Adil Dar can be seen brandishing rifles and standing in front of Jaish-e-Mohammed banners in the video.

Dar claims in the video he joined the ranks of the banned terror outfit last year and after a year, he has been “assigned” the task of the deadly attack. He adds that when the video is released, he will be in jannat (heaven).

A Jaish-e-Mohammed spokesperson Muhammad Hassan said in a statement, “Dozens of forces’ vehicles were destroyed in the attack.”

Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist Adil Ahmad Dar, the suicide bomber who carried out the terror attack on a CRPF convoy on Thursday.

A convoy of 78 vehicles of the CRPF was targeted on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in the powerful IED blast. Each vehicle was carrying about 40-45 soldiers, many of who are critical and are undergoing treatment at local hospitals.

45 soldiers have been injured in the incident, many of whom are critical.

Credits: Indian Media