Miscellaneous

The Kshaatram of a Devdasi

– Nediyedath Divya Bipin

Source: Google

Standing 144 feet tall and bereft of anycolor, the stark white Vellayi gopuram of Srirangam in Tamil Nadu has a poignant tale to tell. Vellai means ‘white’ in Tamizh. It is thus, easy to believe that the gopuram derives its name from its color. The name and this story, however, belongs to Vellayiamma – a ‘devadasi’ who had dedicated her life to the lord and protected the temple and all that it stood for, with her life. 

Like most temples in Bharat, Srirangam too was the victim of multiple attacks. In 1323, a decade after Malik Kafur and his army raided and plundered the city, troops of Ulugh Khan attacked with a resolve to destroy and demolish. Though they aimed at destroying everything precious and divine, their eyes were set on the ‘Abaranji’ gold vigraham (idol) of Namperumal – Sree Ranganathar. The temple authorities and the city people were quick to react. Under the leadership of Pillai Lokacharya, they decided to relocate and hide the vigraham. It is said that around 12000 people lost their lives trying to protect the temple. As the looters closed in, people realised that Pillai Lokacharya was really short on time. The invaders were hunting for him and unless the army was distracted and held back, their beloved namperumal would be lost. 

Vellayiamma, who was trained to put the lord above herself and everything else came to the rescue. She and her team danced for the troops for hours together, and were able to distract them. Promising to take him to the idol, Vellayiamma took the army chief to the top of the gopuram and pushed him down – killing him instantly and buying Pillai Lokacharyamore time. She then jumped off the gopuram herself, to end her life. Maybe she could not go back into a temple that now did not house her lord. Or perhaps after having surrendered her life to her lord and the temple, and then having had to dance for a mere plunderer, life didn’t make sense anymore. 

Whatever her reasons, the tower stands witness to her KshatraVeeryam and her story is proof that Dharma survives not only because of those well-known heroes, but also because of each ordinary person who knows when to ignite that extraordinary spark of Kshatram in them. 

Note:
Devadasis are a group that is extremely misunderstood and misrepresented (specially in Indian cinema and contemporary art). There is sufficient proof for the fact that they were a group of talented and strong people. They dedicated their life to the temple, its arts and education. They helped in the running and administration of the temple, acted like event managers when needed, and extended support to the healthcare system during war times. They interacted with the learned, the scholars, the bhaktas, the art connoisseurs, the traders and the ruling folk alike. They were highly respectedand many powerful devadasis had a say in the decision-making process of a city/town. Many devadasis have risen to power and fame, though we rarely realize today that they belonged to this truly empowered clan. Their only reason to peril was the foreigner’s inability to digest such a free and accepting society.

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Medieval History Miscellaneous

The legacy of loyalty by the great Mughals 

Courtesy: https://twitter.com/mumukshusavitri/status/1532261065207074817?s=24&t=rsnv1Gu82ULo9uO982zZig

1 The Mughal emperor Humayun blinded his own brother Kamran & murdered his brothers Askari and Hindal.

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3 Jahangir cruelly blinded his own son Khusrau as his father Akbar wanted his grandson as heir, because Jahangir was an alcoholic & drug addict. Khusrau was captured, put on an elephant & paraded down Chandni Chowk, while his kinsmen were held at knife-point on raised platforms.

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The Indian army veteran and author of Watershed 1967: India’s forgotten victory over China, Probal DasGupta talks of the Indo-China relations, particularly the lesser known incidents of 1967. The present standoff in Ladakh has raised questions of war and has brought up the historic narrative between the two countries. today. For fifty years, the event that dominated our memories was the 1962 India-China war, which India lost. However, the present crisis has focused on India’s victory over China in 1967. Probal’s book Watershed 1967 has played a significant role in reshaping the India-China narrative. In this talk he discusses China’s motives and India’s options today, and how 1967 is relevant in the current India-China skirmishes.

About the Speaker:

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While the Hanuman Chalisa and Azaan issue is simmering in Maharashtra huge batches of Swords and other weapons transported from states like Rajasthan and Punjab are being seized in Maharashtra. In last few days three such cases have been registered by Maharashtra police. Isn’t it a clear message that violence is knocking on the door? The rioters being celebrated and awarded in Karnataka and the long list of benefiters from Karauli riots convey the same! Wake up Hindus!

Source: https://www.naidunia.com

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One more territory lost to the changing Demography! The Uttarakhand!

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Courtesy: https://twitter.com/anshul_aliganj/status/1517047053821825025?s=21&t=m0uR2PDEkJsDWLonYOQqAg

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Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

The Jama Masjid of Ahmedabad on the glorious Bhadra Kali Mandir

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Source:
https://www.booksfact.com/archeology/jama-masjid-ahmedabad-bhadrakali-temple.html

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Courtesy: Eztainutlacatl

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Courtesy: Sheshapatangi1

https://twitter.com/sheshapatangi1/status/1513352430250995715?s=21&t=i81i06F0q8_Wv8EeFTvdjg

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Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

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Courtesy: Shri Tathagata Roy

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