Modi Script: The oldest surviving Cursive Script

Modi and Balbodh (Devanagari) are the two scripts used to write the Marathi language. Among these two Modi scripts is the oldest and was prevalent until 20th century. It is a cursive script and designed for minimizing the lifting of pen from paper while writing.

There are many theories about the origin of Modi script and one of them is 13th century administration of Yadva Dynasty. From the 13th century to until 20th century Modi script was widely used.

Hemadri Pandit was the prime minister (1259 to 1274 C.E) in the empire of Seuna Yadav Dynasty of Devagiri. He is credited with inventing the Modi script for use in administrative work. Another theory suggests that Hemadri Pandit brought the Modi script from Sri Lanka to India and started its use in administration. The use of Modi has decreased since the independence of India, now the Balbodh style of Devanagari is the primary script used to write Marathi.

The shapes of some consonants, vowels, and vowel signs are similar to Balbodh script (ex. भ, घ, त,क्ष) Modi script differs considerably from Balbodh in terms of letterforms, rendering behaviors, and orthography. One characteristic feature of Modi script is its cursive nature. There are few fonts available for typing in Modi Script. Most documents in Modi script are handwritten and oldest of them are preserved at Bharat Itihas Sanshodhan Mandal (BISM) Pune.

In recent days local government bodies in Maharashtra had some difficulty in interpretation of old land records in Modi language. In British India, the printing machines were developed in large scale. The typesetting for Modi script was difficult so the printing in Devnagri script was done on a large scale which was easy for typesetting. Because of this printing revolution, the use of Modi script was discouraged and gradually it became out of use. During the rule of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the Modi script was used mainly for commercial documents.

The largest numbers of old documents in Modi script are at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. Maharashtra government has assigned the task of developing the Modi script to C-DAC. The monthly Pune-based newspaper Vasundhara Vrutta is the only newspaper published in Modi script.

These 7 Common Superstitions in India that will make you Believe them with logical scientific explanation

Since ages Indians are known for their wisdom and knowledge. The ancient Indians had knowledge of astrology, weather, Ayurveda. Many Indians, especially in village areas, believe different things which might look like superstition but have a scientific reason behind it. Below is list of such common beliefs,

  1. Hanging lemon and green chilies in Shops:

Superstition: The lemon and green chilies oven in the cotton thread is hung on the shop door to cast away evil eye of people or to keep away the evil spirits.

Scientific Explanation: The cotton thread in which lemon and green chilies are oven absorbs the fresh juice of the lemon and chilies. This juice acts as a natural pesticide and keeps away the flies and insects protecting the shop owner and customers from viral diseases.

  1. Braking Mirror:

Superstition: Using a broke mirror brings a bad luck.

  1. Scientific Explanation: The mirror is a delicate object and was used to be costly in olden days. So to protect it from breaking and encourage people to handle it carefully the use of broken mirror was not advised. Besides, there might be a psychological reason that using a broken object would give you the poor feeling.
  2. Cutting Nails and Shaving after Sunset:

Superstition: Cutting nails and shaving after sunset is believed to have attracted the evil spirits.

Scientific Explanation: Cutting nails or shaving requires sharp blades to be used with precision and it also requires light. To avoid getting hurt in absence of light the people were discouraged to cut nails after sunset.

  1. Do not sleep with your head facing North:

Superstition: if one sleeps with keeping the head in the north it is believed that it will invite death to that person or a misfortune in the person’s life.

Scientific Explanation: the ancient Indians were very much advanced in the field of astrology and magnetism. The Earth’s magnetic field would cause the increased blood flow towards head if one keeps the head in north direction while sleeping. This might cause the person to get agitated or if the person keeps the same habit for long period, it might cause brain stroke also. To avoid these health complications in India people are advised to not to sleep with their head facing North.

  1. Do not sleep under peepal tree at night

Superstition: It is believed that after sunset evil spirits roam around peepal tree and they might possess the person sleeping under it.

Scientific Explanation: The peepal tree releases co2 after sunset. If the person is sleeping under peepal tree after sunset then he might get breathing problem. To avoid this person was advertised to not to sleep under a peepal tree in the night.

  1. Lizard Falling On Human Is Bad Luck:

Superstition: In Indian society, people believe that if a lizard falls on a human then it might bring bad luck to him and the person is advised to drink cow urine to cast away the effect.

Scientific Explanation: The scientific reason behind the belief is that the lizard releases poisonous chemicals from its body to protect itself from predators. The cow urine has many medical properties and can act as an antibiotic.

  1. Do Not sweep the house after Sunset:

Superstition:  If you sweep your house after sunset it will be disrespect to Goddess Lakshmi and hence inviting poverty.

  • Scientific Explanation: In olden days there was no electricity and people were dependent on dim light of oil lamp. If a person sweeps the house after sunset then it might be possible that small gold ornaments might get swept out of the house while sweeping. To avoid these people were advised not to sweep the house after Sunset.

What we understand from above scientific explanations is that our ancestors were highly learned and wise people who cared for the people. They set up some rules to protect the general public who were not that much educated to understand the scientific reasons.

Top 8 Archaeological wonders of Ancient India

Indian culture is one of the oldest surviving cultures in the world with its rich archaeological heritage. There are numerous religious archeological sites which constructed in past two thousand years and some are even older than that. Below is the list of top 8 archaeological wonders of Ancient India.

  1. Ajanta Caves

            © Archaeological Survey of India

 These caves are situated at a distance of 107 Km from Aurangabad (Maharashtra, India). In the modern era, these caves have been first spotted by an army officer in the Madras Regiment of the British Army in 1819 during one of his hunting expeditions. The caves were excavated in a horseshoe shape in different periods (from 2nd century B.C. to 6th century A.D.). The caves were used for Buddhist monk’s religious purpose. These caves are known all over the world for its religious paintings and murals which are in good condition even today.

 2.     Mahabalipuram

© Archaeological Survey of India

Mahabalipuram is the group of Hindu religious monuments situated in coastal areas of Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu, India). The name Mahabalipuram has its origin with demon king Mahabali killed by one of the Avatars of Lord Vishnu. It is also known by another name Mamallapuram, the title used by the king of Pallava Narashima Varman (AD 630-68)who has got the title of Mamalla; the great wrestler. There are nine monolithic temples, cave temples and famous among them are known after the five Pandavas of Mahabharata.

 3.     Konarak – Sun Temple

© Archaeological Survey of India

Built in the 13th century, it consists of the gigantic Solar chariot, Mayadevi Temple, Vaishnava Temple and numerous small shrines. It is situated in Puri district (Odisha, India). The temple was desecrated by Mughal king Jahangir in the 17th century.

4. Hampi

© Archaeological Survey of India

It is situated on the southern bank of river Tungabhadra (Karnataka, India). This monument of Vijayanagara Empire was built between AD 1336-1570, from the times of Harihara-I to Sadasiva Raya. Many foreign travelers have written glorious descriptions of Vijayanagara Empire in their travel accounts.

Temples of this city are known for their large dimensions, bold and delicate carvings, traditional depictions which include subjects from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The monolithic statues of Lakshmi, Narasimha and Ganesa are noted for their massiveness and grace.

 5.     Rani ki Vav (The Queen’s Stepwell)

© UNESCO

 Rani ki Vav is an intricately constructed stepwell, built as a memorial to an 11th century AD king Bhimdev I by his widowed queen Udayamati.  It was added to the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites on 22 June 2014. It is situated in Patan (Gujrat, India). There are many Hindu religious sculptures. The steps begin at ground level and reach deep well below. There is also a 30 Km tunnel below the last step of the well which leads to the town of Sidhpur near Patan.

6.     Sanchi

© Archaeological Survey of India

The construction of Stupa at Sanchi was started by emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE. There are numerous Stupas within few miles of Sanchi. Emperor Ashoka ordered the construction of many stupas around the country where mortal remains of Lord Buddha were to be kept. Since the fourteenth century, Sanchi remained deserted and uncared for till 1818 when General Taylor rediscovered the site.

7.     Dholavira

© Archaeological Survey of India

 Dholavira is an archaeological site at Khadirbet in Kutch District (Gujarat, India). The name Dholavira was given in the name of a modern day village 1 kilometer from the location of the site. It is one among the five largest Harappan cities in the Indian subcontinent. There are identified seven major cultural stages at this site numbered Stage 1 to stage 7. The excavations at the site have helped to understand the Indus Valley Civilization.

8.     Nalanda

©wikipedia

Nalanda was an acclaimed Mahavihara, a large Buddhist monastery in the ancient kingdom of Magadha. It is situated. It is situated at 95 Km southeast of Patna (Bihar, India).Nalanda got its importance in 5th century A.D. as a great monastic cum educational institution for oriental art and learning. Students from all over the world came here to gain knowledge.

It was founded by Kumaragupta I (413-455 A.D.) of the great Gupta dynasty. Excavations at the site by Archaeological Survey of India during 1915-37 and 1974-82 have exposed six major brick temples and eleven monasteries.

From above examples, we know that ancient Indians were highly advanced in the art of building massive stone structures, Astrology, and irrigation system. The conservation of these sites will be great heritage for us and the attraction for the foreigners.

Three Panipat Battles which changed the history of India

In Medieval India, Delhi was the most important political centre and Panipat was an ideal Battleground near Delhi. The invaders who entered from North West part of India and attacked Delhi have often encountered strong Indian resistance. The Three Big Battles at Panipat which changed the course of Indian history are explained below.

 First Battle of Panipat:

The first battle of Panipat was fought between Invading forces of Babur and the ruler of Delhi sultanate Ibrahim Lodi. Back home Babur was struggling to establish a strong kingdom. He focused his attention towards the east and conquered Kabul in 1504. Daulat Khan Lodi the political opponent of Ibrahim Lodi and the governor of Lahore invited Babur to overthrow Ibrahim Lodi. In the battle, Babur set up a trap and disintegrated the Ibrahim Lodi’s Army. Babur was the first king who ended the outdated ways of war and used canons in the battle. Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi at the First Battle of Panipat in 1526 and founded the Mughal Empire. Ibrahim Lodi was killed on the Battleground.

Second Battle of Panipat:

The second battle of Panipat was fought between the ruler of Rajputana king Hemu and the Army of Mughal Emperor Akbar in1556. Humayun lost is an empire to Sher Shah Suri who established the Sur Empire in 1540. After the death of Sher Shah Suri in 1553 the war of succession broke out. In this situation Humayun made quick advances and recaptured the territory lost by him. When Humayun died on 26 January 1556, Hemu conquered the Mughal territory. Upon hearing the defeat of Mughal army Akbar and his guardian Bairam Khan prepared to recapture Delhi. They looted the poorly guarded Hemu’s artillery which was being transported. In the second Battle of Panipat, Mughal army had only 10,000 cavalries with them but the looted artillery was very advantageous. The king Hemu had 30,000-strong cavalry and 500 war elephants. In the war when king Hemu was about to win the war he was wounded by an arrow and fell unconscious. King Hemu was captured and beheaded by Bairam Khan.

Third Battle of Panipat:

The third battle of Panipat was the biggest of the three battles involving over 125,000 troops fought at Panipat on 14 January 1761. The war was fought between Maratha army led by Sadashivrao Bhau and invader Ahmad Shah Abdali. The political unawareness of Sadashivrao Bhau, divided Maratha forces were the main reasons for defeat of Maratha Army.  After the battle was over Hindus were massacred in large scale by Abdali’s Army. The women chose to jump into the well to avoid the tortures of Abdali’s Army.   The bodies of Vishwasrao and Bhau were recovered by the Marathas and were cremated according to their custom.

Halloween: Another Christian Digestion of Pagan Festival

The time of the year when Christians around the world are waiting to experience the spirits of the dead in the living world is called Halloween, celebrated annually on 31 October.

The origin of Halloween dates back to the pre-Christian period of Pagan religion.

It is believed that Halloween (contraction of All Hallows‘ Evening) also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve is originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival “Samhain” . The ancient festival of Samhain marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter. It was seen as a darker period of the year when the spirits of the dead could visit the living world. The edible offerings such as food, drinks or portion of crops are used to be kept outside the home for the spirits.

The ‘Cultural Digestion’ as mentioned by Rajiv Malhotra (Infinity Foundation) is digestion of a less dominant culture by a more dominant culture is motivated by the desire to assimilate and reduce differences by asserting sameness. As a consequence, the less dominant culture is stripped of its distinctive, traditional cultural practices and values. These are now a component of the dominant culture and become associated with it. Memories of origins are erased and, eventually, the less dominant culture disappears.

In fact the Bible does not mention Halloween. The festival Samhain was Christianized by early Church and celebrated as Halloween. Today’s Halloween customs are largely influenced by Christian religious practices. The next day after Halloweens eve, Christians celebrate All Hallows’ Day (also known as All Saints’ or Hallowmas) on 1 November and All Souls’ Day on 2 November. This is the time of the year for honouring the saints and praying for the recently departed souls who have yet to reach the Heaven.

Over the years there were many changes in the way Halloween is being celebrated. People celebrate Halloween by making different food dishes, they buy Halloween costumes, play Halloween themed games and eat candy. We see people in Halloween costumes taking candy from door to door in the evening. At many places, Halloween parade with people dressed in different costumes is taken out. The festival Samhain marked the preparations for saving the crops and food for winter but today in Halloween we see wastage of food and resources. Earlier Halloween was about the spirits of dead ancestors, today it is all about Halloween costumes, candy and scary pranks. Billions of dollars are spent on Halloween costumes and candy. The National Retail Federation survey forecasted that spending on Halloween celebrations will be $9.1 billion in USA.

The obsession with ‘accumulating the things’ encouraged by various ad campaigns especially during festivals like Halloween is harmful not only to environment but also to mental health and happiness of the people.

A reasonable spending on spending on Halloween celebrations, less wastage of food and control over our eating habits will not only save environment but also increase our happiness in Halloween.

 

10 Cruel Invaders in Indian History

For past 1000 years, India has been invaded by many foreign rulers for India’s wealth and hatred towards Hindus. The historians throughout the world have ignored the mass killings of Hindus and loot of India’s wealth by invaders.

 

Below is the list of 10 cruellest invaders in Indian History,

  1. Muhammad Ghaznavi (November 971 – 30 April 1030):

Mahmud of Ghazni was the Persian invader from the Ghaznavid Empire. He invaded and looted North East part of India 17 times. His first invasion of India came in the year 1001. In the year Ghazni looted and plundered the Somnath temple. He broke the sacred Shivlinga there and took away booty of 2million dinars. Somnath is one of the 12 jyotirlingas.

2  Muhammad Ghori (1149 – March 15, 1206):

Also known as Muhammad of Ghor, was Sultan of the Ghurid Empire. Prithviraj Chauhan defeated Ghori in the first battle of Tarain in 1191. Ghori begged for his life and Prithviraj Chauhan allowed him to go back. In 1192 Ghori came back again and in second battle of Tarain, he tried to win the battle by unlawful means. Knowing that the Rajputs don’t fight after sunset, he attacked Rajput camp in the night. Prithviraj Chauhan was captured and taken to Ghor. There he was tortured to death. His braveness is described in the Prithviraj Raso.

3 Alauddin Khilji (1296 – 1316):

He was the ruler of the Khalji dynasty of Delhi Sultanate. Kazi Mughisuddin of Bayánah advised Allauddin to convert Hindus, enslave or kill them as part of the religious war ‘ghazwa I Hind’ mentioned in religious books. He was brought up by his uncle Sultan Jalaluddin, the founder of  Khalji dynasty. He successfully suppressed the revolt by the governor of Kara Malik Chajju.

But afterwards, he himself conspired to dethrone Jalaluddin. To fund this he looted the wealth of Yadava Kingdom and attacked Devgiri. Unaware of the alaluddins plans Sultan Jalaluddin hoped that the loot will be presented to him. Alauddin apologized for not presenting the wealth to sultan and sent an invitation to meet him at Kara. There Alauddin killed Jalaluddin after pretending to greet the Sultan.

4 Feroz Shah Tughlaq (1309 – 20 September 1388):

Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq was from Tughlaq Dynasty and  ruled over the Delhi Sultanate. He doesn’t have any respect for other religions and destroyed many Hindu temples. Tughlaq’s administration has been described as the one of the of most corrupt in medieval India.

5 Sikandar Butshikan (1389–1413 CE)

Sikandar Shah Miri known as Sikandar Butshikan (“Sikandar the Iconoclast”), was the sixth sultan of the Shah Miri dynasty of Kashmir.  Sikandar was called but-shikan or idol-breaker because He destroyed many Hindu Temples. He is known as “Butcher Of Kashmir”. He ruthlessly converted the Hindus of Kashmir to Islam.

6 Akbar (15 October 1542 – 1605):

He was the third Mughal emperor and grandson of Babar. When Emperor Hemu lost the battle with Akbar, he was brutally killed by Akbar. He was lustful towards women and he built pyramids of heads of the soldiers killed in the battle.

7 Aurangzeb (3 November 1618 – 3 March 1707):

Muhi-ud-Din Muhammad known as Aurangzeb sixth and the last  Mughal emperor. he hated other religions, destroyed Hindu Temples. He responsible for the conversion of Hindus to Islam and mass killings of Hindus.  Aurangzeb killed his brother  Dara Shikoh because Dara Shikoh’ had respected other religions especially Hinduism. The Maratha Emperor Chatrapati Sambhaji was captured and tortured before killing by Aurangzeb. He executed Sikh leader Guru Tegh Bahadur on accounts of Blasphemy.

8 Ahmad Shah Abdali (c. 1722 – 16 October 1772):

Ahmad Shah Durrani also was known as Ahmad Khan Abdali was the founder of the Durrani Empire. He started his career as a soldier in the military of the Afsharid kingdom. He massacred Hindus and Shia Muslims. Ahmad Shah accompanied Nadir Shah in 1739 when he invaded India and was aware of the political situation in India. The Third Battle of Panipat was fought between Durrani’s Afghan forces and the Maratha army led by Sadashivrao Bhau and  Vishwasrao in January 1761. The device  Maratha army was the reason behind the defeat at Panipat. After the battle Abdali’s army killed many and taken women, children as slaves to Afganistan.

9 Nadir shah (August 1688 – 19 June 1747):

Nader Shah was Iranian ruler and Sha of Persia. Nadir Shah Invaded India in 1739 and in one day 20000 to 30000 Indians were killed by Nadir Shah’s forces. In this invasion, he looted vast treasure and  Koh-i-Noor and Darya-ye Noor diamonds. It is said that the amount of treasure seized from India was so much that Nader stopped taxation in Iran for a period of three years following his return.

10 Tipu Sultan (20 November 1750 – 4 May 1799):

Tipu Sultan also known as the Tiger of Mysore was a ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore. In second Anglo Mysore war in Tanjore, Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan are believed to have kidnapped 12000 children, destroyed the civilian properties. He was intolerant towards other religions.

 

Cinco De Mayo History Facts or 5 De Mayo History for Kids

We think all of you must be wanted to know more about Cinco De Mayo History. So here we have come up with all the information about the Pubela war. Let us know your feedback about Cinco De Mayo History.

Cinco De Mayo History Facts or 5 De Mayo History for Kids

Cinco de Mayo is a public holiday in Mexico and some southern part of United States. Cisco De Mayo is a Spanish word which meaning in English is “fifth of May”. It is celebrated on May 5 of every year. The day remember’s Mexican victory over French forces at the battle of Puebla. It is a public holiday in Mexico, but not in the United States. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, music performances and street festivals in cities across Mexico and southern part of United States.

Cinco De Mayo Battle of Puebla

In History, The Spain became an independent country on 16th September 1810 from the Spanish yoke. But after independence, in 1858 a civil war broke out in Mexico and lasted till 1860. The civil war left complete empty of a national treasure. After that Mexican president, Benito Juarez declared that the foreign debt or loan will be suspended for two-year due to lack of national income source.

In response, Britain, France and Spain send the forces to Mexico to return Their début. After some treaty, Spain and Britain withdraw from Spain. But France was not in the mood to retreat. It Was big chance for France to take control over Mexico country. Napoleon 3 of France launches the complete invasion of Mexico and occupied whole Mexico. The occupation lasted for only 2 years.

After that Mexicans people revolt out. they attacked the well prepared french force number of 8000 by 4000 Mexicans at the

battle of Puebla. The Mexican wins the battle with the loss of fewer than 80 men and other side french loss 500 men.This event is very important for both sides. French loss their faith to conquer whole Mexico and Mexicans continued Gurella fight and finally, they forced enemies to withdraw from Mexico.

De Mayo History