Today is Kartika Purnima and the day of Boita Bandaana Divasa(Ship Worshiping day) for the whole Odisha.
This beautiful painting by Prasanta bhai depicts the proud Odishan merchant ship voyages to Java, Sumatra, Bali, Indonesia, Jakarta, China, Sri Lanka etc.
Every year in today's day Kalingan Merchants used to start their 6 month long voyages to these countries. Today their wives used to worship maa mangalaa(durga) on the Ships requesting to keep their husbands and their boats safe in high seas and for prosperity of trades.
Then the mighty Kalingan Ships used take lots of crafts, ivory works, grains, mighty then world famous Kalingan Elephants, ornaments, finest Utkali cloths and lots of other stuffs and some 1000-4000 odd traders. There merchants will do business there for next 4 months before returning with lots of golds, silvers from China, fine yarns, sea based valuable stones and some grains etc from there before returning again to the shores of several Kalingan Ports, from where they will move upstream in rivers with their small small boats (of the six times large as today's launch boats) to their villages and then will move to trade those with local markets and in markets throughout India, to Persia, Turk pathway traders etc.
The Kalingan ships in 2nd century BC to late 3rd century AD had grown in size and were the fastest, mightiest, safest and the most advanced ones in the whole world. These ships could handle as much as 10-20000 people in it with all the salable stuffs, foods, elephants etc. These also could handle the heavy sea storms in Indian Ocean (often then referred as Kalingan Sea) and Bay of Bengal without slowing much. Most ships had 8-24 water compartments (used in modern ships, this trick is learned from Roman and Greek ships and then modified by Kaligan ship makers at Golabaai), 4-7 floors, many machine operated (often partly steam powered), safety and speed enhancing air flatters for high storm and wave conditions.
We observe this day by sailing tiny handmade boats in rivers and seas to remember those fellows and their great ships.
The only line I can say is all Indian and Odia should be proud of these Kalingan Merchants and their ships.
I shouldn't go without mentioning the world class shipmakers of the village of Golabaai, who were the great architects and engineers of those ships.
------------- This article is sent to us by Mr. Debasish Mishra (http://www.facebook.com/debasishm1) -----------------------
Visit any tribal village in Koraput district and you will find one
thing in common. Young girls forming chains by clutching each other at
the shoulders and waist and dancing to the tune of traditional musical
instruments. This is Dhemsa for you, a special form of tribal dance.
According to tribal researchers, Dhemsa is an age-old dance form of
the tribals in Koraput district and quite popular among the Parajas,
Gadabas, Bhumias, Bhotras and Kandhs.
"Dhemsa is a unique folk dance form. It has a certain composition,
style, rhythm, body language, traditional costumes, hairstyle, foot
steps, etc. Its music is also exceptional. Like the life of tribals,
there is nothing artificial about this dance and this is the main
reason for its wide acceptance,"It is not only performed on festive
occasions in tribal villages, but also is a method of relaxation for
tribals after a hard day's work. For them, it is the prime mode of
entertainment which also helps in restoring harmony and brotherhood in
their communities. It is performed while welcoming a new guest into
one's family as well as to get over the sorrow caused by the death of
a family member. It fosters bonds between two lovers, which culminates
Though there is no evidence regarding the origin of the dance, tribals
say it has been passed on from one generation to another for ages and
it is an integral part of their lives. The importance of the dance in
the life of the tribals can be easily understood by the fact that
almost every tribal village has a Dhemsa troupe and every individual
takes part in it.
But researchers feel that this unique dance form has not got its due
like its contemporary folk dances of other regions. "Dhemsa has
neither been properly highlighted by the media nor has got recognition
like other forms of dances in the country.
— in Koraput, Orissa.
Originally Posted in Visit Odisha FB page: https://www.facebook.com/visitodisha
Odissi is the oldest classical dance form of India and its roots are traced to 1st century BC. Traditional Odissi repertoire consists of 6 performances accompanied by live music. The music is set to Odissi style of Indian classical music.
Odissi is the only dance form to have another basic body position besides the centered ‘Plie’ stance. The second stance Tribhangi, literally meaning three bends. Tribhang divides the body into three parts, head, bust and torso. The postures dealing with these three elements are called Tribhangi. As this is inspired by the temple sculptures, Odissi creates an illusion of sculpture coming to life. Isolated torso movements, typical to the Odissi style only, help create these curves and therefore an ‘S’ pattern is seen in the form of the dancer. Mudra is also an important component of Odissi dance. The term Mudra means "stamp" and is a hand position which suggests things.
Odissi has its own traditional costumes and jewellery. The saree is draped in a particular fashion which creates a fan-shaped structure in the front. The saree used by dancers is the Sambalpuri sarees (local saree of Odisha) in most cases. Only white metal jewellery is worn in Odissi, including earrings that coves the whole ear and resemble the shape of a peacock’s feather. The waist belt is a must for a Odissi dancer. Other ornaments are bangles, necklace, and armlets. The headpiece (Mukut) worn by Odissi dancer is the typical symbol of Odissi dance which is made only in Orissa with special dried leaves. The costume and jewellery are considered sacred and should never be worn while performing other light dance forms.
The innagural function of International Odissi Dance Festival 2011 which is to be happened at Kalinga Stadium on 23rd of December 2011 from 4pm to 5pm IST will be a spectator of The 1st Guinness Book of World Record in Odissi Dance. The full details can be found at Odisha Tourism website here
Let me share some videos I do fill worth watching. These depicts the rathyatra (car festival) and its rituals and forms.
No wards can express the joy of today. An video that tells you some glimpse might be the best.
Holi the celebration of colors is reaching the whole world. I love that people from around the globe like this. I f you want to feel the thrill of Holi come once to holi, you can see our gods and goddesses play holi with us. I remembered we used to throw colors to foreigners when they visit beach near my home in Puri, they love to play with us and became a part of the colorful world.
Today I read a blog post by Boston based magazine The Boston Globe: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/03/holi_2010.html about holi. And I like the way they took each real expression of happiness with a true close up. And also I liked the follwing comments. Please pay attention to these comments on the blog post.
Ratnagiri was a part of the Puspagiri University, together with Lalitgiri andUdayagiri. Puspagiri ranks along with Nalanda ,Vikramshila and Takshila universities as one of the primary institutions of higher learning in ancient India. The three universities were mentioned in the travelogues of the famous Chinese traveler Xuanzang (Huien Tsang), who visited it in 639 CE, asPuspagiri Mahavihara, as well as in medieval Tibetan texts.
According to Amit Jha, a lecturer in the Department of History at Sri Aurobindo College, Delhi University, "Ratnagiri comprises two magnificent monasteries, also rebuilt more than once. One of them was double-storyed and had an extensive courtyard with two-sides of it having a number of cells for habitation of monks. Besides, we have archaeological remains of six temples, thousands of small stupas, 1386 seals, myriad sculptural relics and architectural pieces of daily use. The largest stupa was 47 feet (14 m) square and 17 feet (5.2 m) high surrounded by four minor stupas. There are hundreds of miniature votive stupas decorated with lotus, petal and beaded tassels."
Below is a video from a tourist who is in search of Buddha!