The vedas mention the mighty Saraswati river flowing down the Himalayas and then westwards towards Rajasthan. But Rajasthan is a desert. So where did this huge river, which the vedas say was bigger than the Ganga, disappear?
October 21: The Yellow River has been called the cradle of the Chinese civilisation, just as the Indus River made it possible for the ancient Indian civilisation of Harappa and Mohenjodaro to flourish, the Tigris and Euphrates gave birth to the Mesopotamian civilisation (now in Iraq), and the Nile gave birth to the Egyptian civilisation more than 4000 years ago.
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.
Bunty rabbit hopped home angrily.
“What happened?” asked Mama Rabbit. “No school today?”
“Why did great-great-great-great-great grandfather lose the race against the tortoise?” shouted Bunty tearfully. “Everyone laughed at me when Ma’am Owl told us the story.
Before every Ganesh Chaturthi, people from across India, especially Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Orissa, get busy with preparations for celebrations. But, as the momentum of activity increases, officials of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) start feeling queasy in their stomachs.
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.
A folktale from Myanmar
Once upon a time there was an old fisherman Ye Myint and his wife Aye Aye Se who
lived by the river Irrawady. Every day they cast their net and caught fish, which they sold at the local market.
The rivers were a disgruntled lot. They had started out as tiny clear streams high up in the mountains and meandered through valleys and plateaus and plains. Their waters had swollen up during monsoons and had then reduced to a trickle during summer.
It happened more than 400 years ago. Mughal emperor Akbar was very fond of taming elephants and riding them. Hawai was the most magnificent elephant in the royal stable. Despite his huge size, the male elephant was a swift runner.
“Bajai,” as we called grandmother, was the best storyteller in the whole world, says Madhu Gurung. She lived in the foothills of Mussoorie in a tiny village called Johri Gaun. And she always started her stories with a saying, “To the listener a garland of gold, to the storyteller a garland of all forest flowers and this tale that I tell you today will be heard in heaven.
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