Monday, January 18, 2010

Bhut Jolokia - World's Hottest Chilli

The Naga Jolokia Chili Pepper is also known as Bhut Jolokia, Ghost Chili, Ghost Pepper or Naga Morich - this is a chili pepper recognized as the hottest in the world. In 2007, the Guinness World Records held it to be the hottest chili, replacing the Red Savina strain of habanero chili. It is a naturally occurring interspecific hybrid originating from the northeast of India, particularly Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.

The name Naga Jolokia means in English (King Cobra Chili) due to the extreme heat of the Chili being compared to the deadly poison in the venomous snake, Bhut translated into English is ghost and is probably used as a name to its ghostly bite.

In 2000, India's Defence Research Laboratory (DRL) reported a rating of 855,000 units on the Scoville scale, and in 2004 a rating of 1,041,427 units was made using HPLC analysis.

One seed from a Bhut Jolokia (Hottest Chilli in the World) can sustain intense pain sensations in the mouth for up to 30 minutes before subsiding. Ripe Bhuts measure 60 mm (2.4 in) to 85 mm (3.3 in) long and 25 mm (1.0 in) to 30 mm (1.2 in) wide with an orange or red color.

The pepper is used as a cure for stomach ailments. It is also used as a spice as well as a remedy to summer heat, presumably by inducing perspiration in the consumer. In northeastern India, the peppers are smeared on fences or incorporated in smoke bombs as a safety precaution to keep wild elephants at a distance.

In 2009, scientists at India's Defence Research and Development Organisation announced plans to use the chillies in hand grenades, as a less lethal way to control rioters.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tansen - The Legendary Musician

Miyan Tansen or Ramtanu Pandey (1493 or 1506 – 1586 or 1589) was the greatest musician of his age. He is considered among the greatest composer-musicians in Hindustani/Pakistani classical music. Everybody who heard him singing was spellbound.

Tansen, the legendary musician, was born in Gwalior in 1506. He was born in a Brahmin family, but it is said that later he was converted to Islam. Upto the age of 5, he did not show any musical talent but when he

became a disciple of the great music teacher Guru Hari Dasa, who trained him in different aspects of music, the hidden talent of Tansen came to surface.

Tansen, was one of the 'Navratna' (nine gems) at the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. He was c

onferred the title of Miyan, by emperor Akbar and since came to be knonw as Miyan Tansen. Legend has it that in his first performance, he was gifted one lakh (100,000) gold coins.

He is said to have no equals in music and it is believed that he had performed miracles through his music. He was supposed to have the ability of creating rain by singing rag Megh Malhar and creating fire by singing rag Deepak. Other legends tell of his ability to bring wild animals to listen with attention (or to talk their language). Once, a wild white elephant was captured, but it was fierce and could not be tamed. Finally, Tansen sang to the elephant who calmed down and the emperor was able to ride him. Several of his raga compositions have become mainstays of the Hindustani/Ancient Pakistani tradition, and these are often prefaced with Miyan ki ("of the Miyan"), e.g. Miyan ki Todi, Miyan ki Malhar, Miyan ki Mand, Miyan ka Sarang; in addition he is the creator of major ragas like Darbari Kanada, Darbari Todi, and Rageshwari.

Besides being a great musician, Tansen was also a poet who composed many couplets.

He died in 1589, and was buried according to his wishes near the grave of his mentor, Sufi guru Shaikh Muhammad Ghaus in Gwalior. A national music festival known as 'Tansen Sangeet Sammelon' is held every year in December, near the tomb of Tansen in Gwalior as a mark of respect to his memory.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ganges Delta - World's Largest Delta

A delta is a large deposit of sand and soil at the mouth of a river formed from sediment carried downstream by the river water.

The Ganges Delta (also Sunderban Delta or the Bengal Delta) is a river delta in the South Asia region of Bengal, consisting of Bangladesh and the state of West Bengal, India. It is the world's largest delta, and empties into the Bay of Bengal. It is also called The Green Delta

They are vast tract of forest and saltwater swamp forming the lower part of the Ganges Delta, extending about 260 km along the Bay of Bengal from the Hooghly River Estuary in India to the Meghna River Estuary in Bangladesh.

It arises from the confluence of the following major rivers:

  • Ganges (Same river named in India) or Padma (Same river named in Bangladesh) - The long river running horizontally in the picture stretching from West (India) to East (Bangladesh). This river ends at the point, where it's direction is vertical in the map. While, the vertical extension of this river that met the ocean is called Meghna.
  • Brahmaputra (Same river named in India) or Jamuna (Same river named in Bangladesh) - The wide river in the picture stretching from North (India) to South (Bangladesh) in North-Western part of the map. This river has ended where it has met The Sacred Ganges or Padma.
  • Meghna (In Bangladesh) - The wide river flowing vertically in the Southern part of the map, starting from the adjacent area near the confluence of River Padma and ending into the Bay of Bengal with new alluvial land (Chars) each year.

The Ganges delta has the shape of a triangle, and is considered to be an "arcuate" delta (arc-shaped). It covers more than 105,000 km2 (41,000 sq mi). Most of the delta is composed of alluvial soils, with red and red-yellow laterite soils found as one heads farther east. The soil has large amounts of minerals and nutrients, which is good for agriculture. The enormous delta of the Ganges-Brahmaputra River is the lifeblood for one of the largest populations on Earth.

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