City of many names, Banaras as it is most commonly called, was officially renamed in 1956 as Varanasi, a name from antiquity. It was first known as Kashi, the city of light, when it was the capital of the kingdom of the same name about 500 BC.
For over 2000 years, Banaras the eternal city has been the religious capital of India. Built on the banks of sacred Ganga it is said to combine the virtues of all other places of pilgrimage and anyone who ends their earthly cycle here is said to be transported straight to heaven....
What comes to mind at the mention of Varanasi? The peals of temple bells in this ancient pilgrim town; people performing puja at the ghats and elsewhere; bodies being cremated at the banks of the river Ganga. Do dolphins come to mind?
Dolphins?! That happy looking performing artist which looks more like a shiny inflated balloon toy? Yes, and this freshwater dolphin is a rare specie, found in Indian and Pakistan – in the Ganga and in the Indus....
Where: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Hussain Sagar in Hyderabad is a lake famous for the thousands of migratory birds it attracts from other parts of India and abroad, in the winter months. But the seagulls, ducks and other migratory birds no longer find it hospitable. They only use it as a stopover and prefer to fly away elsewhere.
Too many idols spoil the lake
The lake has seen more clay idols of deities such as Ganesh and Durga being immersed in its waters than any other lake in the vicinity....
The Final Glacier  A Journey to Gaumukh
Written by Sheila Sharma
Translated by Shama Chowdhury
Illustrations by Reenie Kaur
Published by National Book Trust, New Delhi
Excerpts from the book:
Devyani and Aditya were so tired that they could hardly keep their eyes open and at Harsil they couldn’t wait to fall into bed. But Grandpa insisted that they eat some nuts and a little food first. He said, “You must never go to sleep on an empty stomach in a cold climate....
Where: New Delhi, India
Every day, Indian newspapers carry reports that large parts of Bihar, Bengal and north-east India are flooded, causing loss to human and animal lives, and property. This happens year after year. What is the reason for these floods? An indepth report from ‘Gobar Times’, a children’s magazine on the environment brought out by the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment.
The Flood May 12, 2000: The mighty Himalayas get knocked out by the monsoon system every year....
September 30: If you educate a man, you educate one individual. But if you educate a woman, you educate a family, so goes a popular saying. But Ganga Waghmare of Pune has done more than educate a family. She has educated all the women of her neighbourhood. That would make it many families!
Ganga is 16 years old. She’s been teaching for three years now. Because of her efforts, 30 women have become confident about being able to read and write....
Pitara literally means ‘a chest full of surprises’. For over 20 years (this website was started in 1998) we have been publishing original multi-cultural, multi-lingual and inclusive content to help kids explore, discover, learn, play, enjoy... All our content is copyright protected. If you wish to use our content ask us — some of the world's leading publishers regularly license our content.