Monday, May 28, 2012

History of Indian Cinema - World's Largest Film Producer

India is the largest producer of films in the world. Indian film industry is multi-lingual and the largest in the world in terms of ticket sales and number of films produced. The industry is supported mainly by a vast film-going Indian public, and Indian films have been gaining increasing popularity in the rest of the world—notably in countries with large numbers of expatriate Indians.
Largest film industry in India is the Hindi film industry mostly concentrated in Mumbai(Bombay), and is commonly referred to as "Bollywood", an amalgamation of Bombay and Hollywood. The other largest film industries are Telugu cinema and Tamil cinema which are located in Hyderabad and Chennai are commonly referred to as "Tollywood" and "Kollywood" . The remaining majority portion is spread across northern, western, and southern India (with PunjabiBengali,MarathiOriyaMalayalamKannada). However, there are several smaller centers of Indian film industries in regional languages centered in the states those languages are spoken. Indian films are made filled with musicals, action, romance, comedy, and an increasing number of special effects.

History of Indian Cinema :
Motion pictures came to India in 1896, when the Lumière Brothers' Chinematographe unveiled six soundless short films in Bombay (now Mumbai). This was just one year after the Lumière brothers (inventors of cinematography) had set up their company in Paris.

The first Indian on record to make a movie was Harishchandra Sakharam Bhatvadekar (nickname: Save Dada). He made one short film on a wrestling match at the Hanging Gardens in Bombay, and another on the playfulness of monkeys. Both these shorts were made in 1897 and were publicly exhibited for the first time in 1899 using Edison's projecting kinetoscope inside a tent which the film maker had himself erected.
India's first feature film – named "King Harishchandra" – was released in 1913. It was made by Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (nickname: Dadasaheb Phalke, 1817-1944). This was a silent movie. The rapid growth of Indian cinema led to the end of Silent era and ushered in the era of the talkies. The latter introduced the Indian cinema in a completely new way to the audiences. Now one could hear the actors & actress talk, laugh, sing and cry. The first talkie made in India was "Alam Ara" (produced by Imperial Film Company) released in 1931.
1930s & 1940s witnessed the rise of film personalities, such as Debika Bose, Chetan Anand, S. S. Vasan, Nitin Bose and others. By this time apart from Bombay(Mumbai), the Indian film industry  shaped up well in down south too. The Tamil, Telugu, Kannada film industries were making indigenous films as well. 

The golden period in history if Indian cinema is attributed to the 1950s. Guru Dutt, Mehaboob Khan, Raj Kapoor, Balraj Sahani, Nargis, Bimal Roy, Meena Kumari, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala graced the screens. Besides them numerous singers, composers, scriptwriters, cameraman and other technician lend a helping hand in making some of the most outstanding films that carved their own niche in the history of Indian Cinema. 
In 1960s Indian cinema moved one step further with the release of K. Asif's Mughal-e-Azam. A trail of romantic movies followed all over India. 
By 1970s Indian cinema enjoyed the histrionics of superstars like Rajesh Khanna, Sanjeev Kumar, Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh and others. This was truly the red letter year for Hindi cinema as Ramesh Sippy's Sholay proved to be an iconoclast and gave to Indian cinema its new superstar - Amitabh Bachchan. 

1980s saw the rise of several women directors, such as Aparna Sen, Prema Karnath, Meera Nair & other. It was also the year when Rekha wooed the audience with her stunning performance in Umrao Jaan. The regional films like Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Bengali & others produced a number of romantic films. 
With romantic films at the helm the Indian cinema ushered into 1990s. A mixed genre was witnessed during this time. Romantic, thriller, action and comic movies were made. Gradually the face of Indian cinema was undergoing changes one again. The contemporary Indian cinema, keeping pace with time & technology, witnessed dolby digital sound effects, advanced special effects, choreography, international appeal, further investment from corporate sectors along with script & performances. 
Now a days, the technology of film-making in India is perhaps the best among all developing countries. Stars like Sharukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Hritik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra  & Others  explored all possible techniques to enrich Indian cinema with their performances.

I don’t claim the information to be my own. The information is compiled from different sources

Asha Bhosle - World's Most Recorded Singer

The living legend Asha Bhonsle, one of the Mangeshkar sisters was born on 8th September, 1933 in a small hamlet called ‘Goar’ in Maharastra. Bhosle is the sister of playback singer Lata Mangeshkar. She is best-known as a playback singer in Hindi cinema, having recorded over 12000 songs in more than 20 Indian and foreign languages.

The World Records Academy, an international organization which certifies world records, recognised her as the "Most Recorded Artist" in the world, in September 2009. In 2011 she was officially acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recorded artist in music history

Bhosle's career started in 1943 and has spanned over six decades. She has done playback singing for over a thousand Bollywood movies. In addition, she has recorded several private albums and participated in numerous solo concerts in India and abroad. She sang her first film song '"Chala Chala Nav Bala" for the Marathi film Majha Bal (1943), though officially her first song “Saawan aaya” was for the movie Chunaria (1948). Her first solo was for the film Raat Ki Raani (1949). Renowned for her voice range and often credited for her versatility, Bhosle's work includes film music, pop, ghazals, bhajans, traditional Indian classical music, folk songs, qawwalis, and Rabindra Sangeets.

She first achieved success in B. R. Chopra's Naya Daur (1957), composed by him. Her duets with Rafi like "Maang Ke Saath Tumhara", "Saathi Haath Badhana" and "Uden Jab Jab Zulfein Teri", penned by Sahir Ludhianvi, earned her recognition. It was the first time she sang all the songs for a film's leading actress. The ghazals of “Umrao Jaan” won her the first National Film Award of her career. A few years later, she won another National Award for the song "Mera Kuchh Saamaan" from Ijaazat (1987).

Asha Bhosle has won seven Filmfare Best Female Playback Awards of 18 nominations. Asha has won the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer twice. In 1997, Asha became the first Indian singer to be nominated for the Grammy Award, for Legacy, an album with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. She was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India. In 2011 the Guinness Book of World Records officially acknowledged Bhosle as the most recorded artist in the history of music. She was awarded a certificate for "the most studio recordings (singles) for recording up to 11,000 solo, duet and chorus-backed songs and in over 20 Indian languages since 1947".

History of Indian film music would never be complete without Lata, Rafi, Kishore & off course ‘Asha Bhonsle’.

                                                                                                                              I don’t claim the information to be my own. The information is compiled from different sources

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Buland Darwaza - World's Highest Gateway

Buland Darwaza, meaning 'high' or 'great' gate in Persian, is the largest of arch gateways in the world. It is located in Fatehpur Sikri which is located 43 km away from Agra, India. It is also known as the "Gate of Magnificence." Buland Darwaza or the loft gateway was built by the great Mughal emperor, Akbar in 1601 A.D. at Fatehpur Sikri. Akbar built the Buland Darwaza to commemorate his victory over Gujarat, according to the Persian inscriptions on the archway.

Known as Buland Darwaza, it stands to this day eloquently expressing the grandeur of Akbar's empire. It is a 15-storied high gateway that guards the southern entrance of the city of Fatehpur Sikri. This victory arch rises to a height of 40 meters or 175 feet and 50 metres from the ground. The total height of the Structure is about 54 metres from the ground level.

Buland Darwaza is the highest gateway in the world and an astounding example of the Mughal architecture. This magnificent structure built in red sandstone with decorations in white marble, with calligraphic inscriptions from the Quran on its front and pillars and chattris on its height.

On the main gateway an Islamic inscription written in Persian reads "Isa (Jesus), son of Mary said: 'The world is a Bridge, pass over it, but build no houses upon it. He, who hopes for a day, may hope for eternity; but the World endures but an hour. Spend it in prayer for the rest is unseen.'"

                                                                                                                                          I don’t claim the information to be my own. The information is compiled from different sources

Friday, May 18, 2012

Jal Mahal, Jaipur

An architecturally beauty, situated amidst the picturesque surroundings of Mansagar Lake and Nahargarh hills

Jal Mahal “Water Palace “is a palace located in the middle of mansagar Lake, Jaipur. Its located 6 KM before to Amber Fort at Amber Fort Road outside Jaipur.The palace and the lake around it were renovated and enlarged in the 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Amber.
It’s a historical place, built by Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799 AD. As we know it’s located in the middle of the mansagar Lake. This mansagar lake was formed by constructing a dam between the 2 hills by Sawai man Singh. This is a best example of Rajputs architecture, Jal Mahal is deployed with vast architectural.
The palace, built in red sandstone, is a five storied building out of which four floors remain under water when the lake is full and the top floor is exposed. The rectangular Chhatri on the roof is of the Bengal type. The Chhatris on the four corners are octagonal.On the terrace of the palace, a garden was built with arched passages. At each corner of this palace semi-octagonal towers were built with an elegant cupola. It's a romantic place with its peace full red sandstone intricate architecture.
The Jal Mahal palace has got an eye-popping makeover. Traditional boat-makers from Vrindavan have crafted the Rajput style wooden boats. A gentle splashing of oars on the clear lake waters takes you to Jal Mahal. You move past decorated hallways and chambers on the first floor to climb all the way up to the fragrant Chameli Bagh. Across the lake, you can view the Aravalli hills, dotted with temples and ancient forts, and on the other side, bustling Jaipur. The most remarkable change is in the lake itself. The drains were diverted, two million tonnes of toxic silt were dredged from the bottom, increasing its depth by over a metre, a water treatment system was developed, local vegetation and fish reintroduced, the surrounding wetlands regenerated and five nesting islands created to attract migratory birds

I don’t claim the information to be my own. The information is compiled from different sources

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hirakud Dam - World's Longest Man-made Dam

Hirakud Dam is built across the Mahanadi River, about 15 km from Sambalpur in the state of Orissa in India. Built in 1957, the dam is one of the world's longest earthen dam. Hirakud Dam is the longest man-made dam in the world, about 16 mi (26 km) in length. It is one of the first major multipurpose river valley project started after India's independence. The name of the dam is mostly mis-pronounced in North India as Hirakund which is actually Hirakud.

Hirakud Dam Project is a multipurpose scheme intended for flood control, irrigation and power generation. The foundation stone of Hirakud Dam was laid by Sir Howthrone Lewis, the then Governor of Odisha on 15th March 1946. The project report was submitted to Government in June 1947. The first batch of concrete was laid by Pandit Jawaharalal Neheru on 12th April 1948. The project was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru on 13th, January 1957. Power generation along with supply for irrigation started progressively from 1956 and full potential was achieved by 1966. The total cost of the project was Rs. 100.02 crores in 1957.

Hirakud dam is a composite structure of  Earth, Concrete and Masonry.  The main dam having an overall length of 4.8 K.m. spans between hills Lamdungri on left hand Chandili Dunguri on the right. The Dam is flanked by 21 K.Ms. long earthen dykes both on left and right sites to close the low suddles beyond the abutment hills.  It has the distinction of being the longest dam in the world, being 25.8 K.Ms. long with dam and dykes taken together.  It has also the rare distinct of forming the biggest artificial lake in Asia with reservoir spread of 743 sq Kms at full reservoir level. 

The dam helps control floods in the Mahanadi delta and irrigates 75,000 square kilometres of land. Hydroelectricity is also generated.  

                                                       I don’t claim the information to be my own. The information is compiled from different sources

Sunday, May 13, 2012

India’s first floating Post office is on Dal Lake, Srinagar

India’s first floating Post office is on Dal Lake in Srinagar, the first of its kind in the country. It was inaugurated by  Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot and Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah on August 22'2011.
This innovation by India Post is the star attraction for the tourists visiting the lakeBesides offering normal services, the place will also have a philately museum and a shop that will sell postage stamps and other products. It functions from 10 am to 6 pm on all days including Sundays during the tourist season.
 This Post office provide a unique and tourist-friendly service to the people of Kashmir and to tourists from across the world.  The special feature of this post office is that letters posted from here carry a special design which have the picturesque sceneries of Dal Lake and Srinagar city. These pictures reaches wherever these letters posted and promotes Kashmir as a tourist destination across the world. 

I don’t claim the information to be my own. The information is compiled from different sources

World's Highest ATM in Sikkim

On December 12, 2003, UTI Bank inaugurated its ATM at Thegu, near the Nathu-la Pass in Sikkim, which is at 13,200 feet above sea level. That makes it an ATM at the highest location in India. NCR Corporation provided the technology to build this heat-generating ATM, which is capable of handling rough weather and sub-zero temperatures. The ATM caters to Indian army personnel -- especially of the 63rd Mountain Brigade, which has its headquarters there and tourists.

                                                                          I don’t claim the information to be my own. The information is compiled from different sources

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rashtrapati Bhavan

The splendour of the Rashtrapati Bhavan is multi-dimensional. It is a vast mansion and its architecture is breathtaking.
The present day Rashtrapati Bhavan was the erstwhile residence of the British Viceroy. Its architect was Edwin Landseer Lutyens. The decision to build a residence in New Delhi for the British Viceroy was taken after it was decided in the Delhi Durbar of 1911 that the capital of India would be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi in the same year.
That 'empire in stone' and the perpetual Durbar was transformed to be the permanent institution of democracy on 26th January 1950 when Dr. Rajendra Prasad became the first President of India and occupied this building to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of India. It was from that day that this building was renamed as Rashtrapati Bhavan - the President's House.
It is interesting to note that the building which was scheduled to be completed in four years took seventeen years and on the eighteenth year of its completion India became independent. 
This vast mansion has got four floors and 340 rooms. With a floor area of 200, 000 square feet it is built by using 700 million bricks and three million cubic feet of stone. Hardly any steel has gone into the construction of the building. 
One of the most notable parts of the house is massive dome in the middle of the building. This is where the Durbar Hall is located. This is where all of the main functions that the President handles take place. The dome is built with copper and features some accents that involves both British and Hindu ideas.

Durbar Hall         Durbar Hall         Marble Hall (Right Gallery)       Marble Hall (Center)
      Durbar Hall                      Durbar Hall               Marble Hall (Right Gallery)     Marble Hall (Centre)

Marble Hall (Left Gallery)         Museum         North Drawing Room       
Marble Hall (Left Gallery)            Museum                        North Drawing Room             Ashoka Hall

                 Banquet Hall           Jaipur Column           Yellow Drawing Room
                       Banquet Hall                      Jaipur Column                Yellow Drawing Room

President house is most appealing attraction to visit when in Delhi. This mansion features many beautiful rooms and massive gardens. 

There are many things that can happen throughout the year. People can see the changing of presidential bodyguards on Saturday morning here.    

The Mughal Gardens are open to the public in the month of February-March and specific dates, times are announces every year. This is the royal garden area that people can enjoy viewing. It is home to many decorative fountains and walls. A tropical theme is used for most of the plants in the area. 

I don’t claim the information to be my own. The information is compiled from and other web sources.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Evolution of India's National Flag

It is really amazing to see the various changes that our National Flag went through since its first inception. It was discovered or recognised during our national struggle for freedom. The evolution of the Indian National Flag sailed through many vicissitudes to arrive at what it is today. Some of the historical milestones in the evolution of our National Flag involve the following: 

1906 - First Flag

  • Also called Calcutta Flag or Lotus Flag
  • The flag was first hoisted on 7 August 1906 at Parsee Bagan Square in Calcutta.
  • This flag was composed of three colors - Green, Yellow and Red with the word - Vande Matram ( वन्दे मातरम् ) inscribed in centre.
  • The red strip at the top had eight white lotuses embossed on it in a row. On the yellow strip the words Vande Mataram were inscribed in deep blue in Devanagari characters. The green strip had a white sun on the left and a white crescent and star on the right.

1907 - Second Flag
  • In 1907, the second form of Indian flag was hoisted in Paris by Madam Cama and her group of revolutionaries. 
  • Except for a few changes, the flag was similar to the first one.  
  • This flag was also exhibited at a socialist conference in Berlin.
1917 - Third Flag
  • The third flag went up in 1917 when our political struggle had taken a definite turn. Dr. Annie Besant and Lokmanya Tilak hoisted it during the Home rule movement.
  • This was the most colorful version of the Indian flag.
  • This flag had five red and four green horizontal strips arranged alternately, with seven stars in the saptarishi configuration super-imposed on them. In the left-hand top corner (the pole end) was the Union Jack. There was also a white crescent and star in one corner. 
  • The presence of the Union Jack, however made the flag generally unacceptable.
1921 - Fourth Flag
  • During the session of the All India Congress Committee which met at Bezwada in 1921 (now Vijayawada) an Andhra youth prepared a flag and took it to Gandhiji.
  • The red and green color in the flag represents two communities – Hindus and Muslims. As per Gandhiji’s suggestion, a white strip was included which indicated other religions and communities and a spinning wheel which portrays the progress of India.
  • This was the flag approved by Gandhi in 1921. 
  • This flag was not formally adopted by the Indian National Congress, but nevertheless widely used.
1931 - Fifth Flag
  • The year 1931 was a landmark in the history of the flag. A resolution was passed adopting a tricolor flag as our national flag. 
  • The three colors include saffron, white and green with Mahatma Gandhi’s spinning wheel or charkha in the center.
Flag of August 15 1947 - The present flag of India
  • Our National Flag, which was born on July 22, 1947 with Nehruji's words, "Now I present to you not only the Resolution, but the Flag itself". 
  • This flag was first hoisted at the Council House on August 15, 1947
  •  In the national flag of India the top band is of Saffron color, indicating the strength and courage of the country. The white middle band indicates peace and truth with Dharma Chakra. The last band is green in color shows the fertility, growth and auspiciousness of the land. 
  • This Dharma Chakra depicted the “wheel of the law” in the Sarnath Lion Capital made by the 3rd-century BC Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. The chakra intends to show that there is life in movement and death in stagnation.
I don’t claim the information to be my own. The information is compiled from the various website.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Kotilingeshawara - World's Largest Shiva Lingam

Kotilingeshwara is the principal deity of the Kotilingeshwara temple. This temple lies in the Kammasandra village in the district of Kolar in Karnataka state. It is about five kilometers from Kolar Gold Fields and about 6 Kilometers from Aalamaram. This place has the distinction of having one of the largest Shivalinga in the world. Over 2 Lakh divotees visit the temple on Maha Shivratri every year.

The main attraction of this peaceful retreat, which is surrounded by plush greenery, is a huge Shivalinga. Measuring 108 ft (33 m), this shivalinga is tallest of its kind in the world and accompanying it is a 35 ft (11 m) tall Basava, surrounded by lakhs of small shivalingas spread over an area of 15 acres (61,000 m2). So far, around 90 lakh shivalingas have been installed. The entire project involves the installation of one crore shivalingas of various sizes, hence the name ‘Kotilingeshwara’.

The credit for constructing the Kotilingeshwara temple rests with Swamy Sambha Shivamurthy. The temple can be visited from early morning till about 9 PM at night.

It is said that Lord Rama after defeating Ravana travelled from Dhanuskodi to Rameshwaram and installed the Linga. This was a noble way to providing moksha to those who perished. Lord Rama offered his prayers to this Linga and prayed for people who laid their lives down in the battle. It is said that in the Kali Yuga, the Kotilingeshwara temple has been built for instilling the same culture of peace, divinity and prosperity.

The Devotees can offer their prayers to Lord Kotilingeshwara by installing Lingas. The price for the Lingas depends on the size of the Linga to be installed. These informations will be available with the Executive Officer of the temple. The Lingas will be installed in the name of the devotee. One can find the names of the devotees carved on the Lingas installed and prayers will be offered every day for the well being of the donors.
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