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The Story of Dussehra

The Story of Dussehra

Dussehra, also called Vijayadashmi (or Bijoya in Bengal), is the culmination of the nine-day Navaratri celebrations. It is a festival that marks the killing of Ravana, his son Meghanatha and brother Kumbhakarna, by Rama. It is seen as the vistory of good over evil The Ramayana The epic Ramayana, describes the story of Rama. Rama was the exiled prince of the kingdom of Ayodhya. While in exile, he lived in the forest with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana....

My Trip to Nainital

My Trip to Nainital

Satyanshu Mohan is student St. Joseph’s Intermediate College at Allahabad and is studying in class four. Here he recounts his trip to Nainital with his family. Nainital is a beautiful hill station in Himalayas. My father is very fond of Nainital. This year we went just after Deepawali to Nainital on a short trip. There is no direct suitable connection by train to Nainital from Allahabad so we first went to Rampur and then from there we took a train to Kathgodam....

Ratha Yatra

Ratha Yatra

Excerpts from the book “Festivals of India” Published by National Book Trust, India. Festivals bring large numbers of people together in a spirit of joy or devotion, or both. But there is one festival that combines joy and devotion with physical rigour. This is the Car Festival of Lord Jagannath at Puri, in Orissa, popularly known as the Rath Yatra. On this occasion devotees join hands to pull the massive chariots of their deities over a three-kilometre distance....

The Honest Thief

The Honest Thief

There was once a cunning thief, Bhairav, who always planned his moves carefully. One day he decided to rob the holy men who came to the local temple from far off lands for the temple’s annual festival. He calculated that all these people came from distant towns, so they must be carrying lots of money. So Bhairav dressed up like a holy man and went to attend the festival. At the temple, he slowly made friends with one particular person who appeared to be wealthy....

Double it up!

Double it up!

Raju and Savitri lived in Tanjore in the state of Tamil Nadu. Raju worked in the rice fields of a local landlord or zamindar for six months a year. In turn, he received four sacks of rice as salary. He would then sell three of them in the local market and keep one sack for himself for food. At the local market he would exchange the rice for vegetables, flour, and groceries. Savitri would do the cooking and washing and look after the home....

Winter Festivals around the World

Winter Festivals around the World

In two weeks it will be the winter solstice (literally means sun standing still) when we have the shortest day and the longest night. Because of the earth’s rotation there are two solstices, one in June and one in December. To us in the Northern Hemisphere who live above the equator, the winter solstice occurs either on the 20th, 21st or 22nd of December. To those who live below the equator in the Southern Hemisphere, the sun is directly above the Tropic of Capricorn and it is summer time in Brazil and Australia....

The Wise Doves

The Wise Doves

Once upon a time, there lived many doves in the jungle. One day they went out in search of food. They flew long distances but did not get anything to eat. All of them were now completely exhausted. A young dove asked the King Dove, “Your majesty, please permit us to take some rest.” The king replied, “Have courage, my dear young fellow. We shall definitely get something to eat very soon.” The Wise Doves [Illustrations by Amarjeet Malik] The young dove started flapping his wings with force and soon left everyone behind....

Two Girls and a Lotus

On top of a three-hundred-foot hill was a quaint old temple. A hunched, old man performed puja here. Enshrined in the centre of the temple was a beautiful idol. Usha and Lalita, two good friends, enjoyed talking to the kindly temple priest and watching him adorn the beautiful idol with multicoloured flowers. Often in the morning, Usha and Lalita climbed the hill, dancing between the rhododendron bushes, jumping, singing and playing hide-and-seek. Woken from its slumber, a dovelet would coo sleepily, “Coo!...

Excerpts From 'The world of trees'

This is a remarkable book on trees – trees which are not just ‘described’ to you in words as having branches, leaves and sweet-smelling flowers, but trees which you can actually ‘see’ as you read. Big trees, tall trees, stately trees….all come alive with the cries and activities of the numerous birds and insects living on them, the age old myths associated with them and the author’s personal comments, witty and insightful. Indeed, in many places, especially in villages in India, trees are quite inseparable from the way of life of the people....

How to Bell a Thief

How to Bell a Thief

Sonapur was a small village. It was famous for its little temple. The temple had no deity. All it had was the imprint of a pair of feet. According to folklore, these were of a pious sage. A diya burned brightly, night and day. Seven beautiful bells hung in the little temple, gleaming brightly in the light cast by the diya. The villagers of Sonapur were content and happy. Their fields yielded abundant crops. Earnings were enough to meet the needs of each family....

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