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Coronavirus Facts and Fears to Human Life

The virus presumably thought to spread mainly from one person to person within about 6 feet. Through the respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, they may land on the nose or mouth of people who are standing closer to that person or possibly be inhaled to the lungs. The older people with underlying medical conditions such as cardiac problems, high blood pressure and diabetes are vulnerable to the risk. Up till now, two percent of the population with the above mentioned diseases have died.

No permanent solution has been found by any of the organization which made everyone turn their eyes towards the World Health Organization for the prospect of Coronavirus Vaccine which may prevent people from the rapid spread and its sickening effects. Until the final production of coronavirus vaccine, at this moment the good thing is a good hygiene. If you are infected by coronavirus, then for most people it would be mild and can be treated at home with bed-rest, paracetamol and plenty of fluids. Some patients may develop more severe disease and need hospital treatment.

Unless the pandemic comes under control, we can adopt certain preventive measures like restricting the international travel for some days or weeks, this will ultimately lower the chances of its rapid catching. In this hour, avoiding any travel to the effected countries like China, America, Italy and Spain may also bring the effects to minimum. If an urgent travel appears, cars or personal transport might prove good than using trains or flights as more the number of people more a person is vulnerable towards the attack. The key purpose seen here is to avoid going to the crowd areas, wearing masks and sitting away from the already effected person may help prevent the transmission.

Another sensible step suggested by the people is to get flu vaccine which will reduce the burden on health services if the outbreak turns into a wider epidemic. The survival time of virus is unknown but it is assumed that it may behave like other virus families which have the ability to survive for hours or several days, depending on the type, temperature and environment. If the object or its surface seems infected, clean it with a simple disinfectant or alcohol based wash. It is far better to avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.

In the time of having a high fever, cough or difficulty on breathing, seeking any medical care immediately for reducing the risk of developing a more serious infection in the respiratory track, more importantly, being aware of the surroundings is equivalent to not catching the virus.

Knowing all the above information, it is understandable that people may become stressed and anxious about the situation as this little anxiety is acceptable but it is always good to bet proper facts to help yourself accurately determine the risk and take precautions ultimately. In this age of information, it is everybody’s right for the correct amount of data for taking appropriate measures for protecting ourselves.

The biggest reason for people anxiety observed in the last few weeks is the death rate in some countries like Spain, Italy and America etc. Condition is becoming worse in these countries and is causing fear of death of loved ones in people. Globally about 27,371 people are dead and 598,032 people are infected with this virus since the virus outbreak in Wuhan. Although the vast majority of population has recovered through their will power but still the people who are exposed to weakened immune system due to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, smoking become prey to the disease. As the news broke out in china it creates panic in the people regarding claims and attitude that in turn reinforce our fear and amp up the cycle.

Then the threats given all around to wear masks and gloves, to keep meetings limited, and prefer to stay inside results in the unusual behavior of people.

 Another and most important factor is our media. Every single person has the information regarding everything happening in the world. Videos and pictures posted on internet creates fear and anxiety in lay man creating psychological problems. Some people brag the news just for rating and people become prey to obsessive-compulsive disorders. Bragging the news by the TV anchors is common practice in  programs these days and many people who are addicted to watching those programs all the time get all the frustrations in their minds and give fear a space.

In addition the lockdowns and curfew imposed in a country are also some reasons for fear in people. I recommend people should spend most of their time with the ones

who can help them calm down and who can turn to for support. Health experts says it is necessary not to let panic take over your mind so it should not harm decision

making and thought processing.

Most of the people who passes through the trauma of fear are those who are prey of this dreadful disease. As this disease spread through person to person, the people are send under isolation as to keep other people save from disease. Those people are kept away from their families and loved ones. This hard time of social distancing is sometimes difficult for people to bear and they eventually die. In these situations fear and anxiety have become pandemics too.

A rapid spreading pandemic can be a particularly tough time for people. For preventing the spread of disease countries have sealed their borders due to which countries worldwide are facing economic crisis. Countries are absorbing the most potent economic shocks of the corona virus outbreak. It seems unavoidable that the corona virus will lead to a global economic recession. World will be hit hard even if some countries themselves are not a part of pandemic. In these conditions a financial injection is needed for developing as well as under developing countries to overcome the situation. Various countries has imposed various restrictions to prevent the spread of virus including closing the boarders with the neighboring countries, stopping the entry of all foreign visitors, Closing all the educational institutions like school, colleges and universities, imposing a ban on all cultural programs holding on national and international levels like sports, marriage customs, intellectuals, artistic etc. so the pandemic has  impacts on countries economy through several channels including health transportation agricultural and tourism sectors.

Trade with other countries is also effected and import export is totally blocked. Countries face a big economic crisis which in turn effect the whole country as a pandemic has far more effects after it ends. People suffer a lot and this present as well as future problems poses fear in public.  A surgeon in hospital admissions results in sudden peaks in administrative and operational expenditure. This creates a need for long term treatment and as a result countries face shortage of hospital equipment. In is a main reason of fear in public because no vaccine has yet made for corona virus and people fear if they get the disease their well be no cure for it. Due to closure of educational institutions students and parents fear their wasted study hours. Some other concerning issues are depression in people due to overthinking in their spare time.

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25 surprising travel facts that’ll make you see the world in a whole new light :: Lonely Planet India


Railways connect India very well.Image courtesy: ©Yuliya Ozeran/Shutterstock.com

Travel: we sort of know all about it, right? Wrong. Scratch beneath the surface and it turns out we know nothing of this world. Do you know how long the world’s shortest commercial flight lasts, for example? (clue: shorter than the time it takes to boil an egg.) How about which country has no rivers? Or what unconventional pizza topping is popular in Sweden?

With international travel currently off the table, why not use this time to swat up on surprising travel trivia, offering a few precious minutes of sweet relief from the constant news cycle and providing some fun facts to fill awkward pauses during video calls with friends and family; trust us, nothing plugs a silence better than a stat about how many steps from the nearest trash bin you are in Disneyland at all times.

Without further ado, here’s 25 travel facts that are certain to shock and surprise.

Trains, planes and automobiles…

1. The world’s longest commercial flight took around 30 hours.

The so-called ‘Double Sunrise’ service by Qantas, which ran from Australia to Sri Lanka from 1943-45, often lasted over 30 hours, with passengers seeing the sunrise twice. Today the longest commercial flight is the Singapore Airlines Singapore to New York route, with an average journey time of 17 hours and 50 minutes.

2. The shortest commercial flight takes less than two minutes.

Incredibly, the shortest commercial flight, operating between the neighbouring islands of Westray and Papa Westray in Scotland’s Orkney islands, takes around one and a half minutes. With the fastest recorded flight taking less than 50 seconds.

3. Japanese railways hand out ‘certificates’ for delays of more than five minutes.

Japanese trains, reputedly the most punctual in the world, issue passengers with a ‘delay certificate’ if a train is running more than five minutes behind schedule. The documents can be shown to bosses or teachers to explain a passenger’s lateness. Delay certificates are also issued on some trains in Germany and in Paris.

4. The most expensive airport to city taxi ride costs around £190.

Any budget traveller worth their salt attempts to avoid airport taxis at all costs, but anyone keeping an eye on their finances should certainly avoid jumping in a cab from Tokyo’s Narita Airport. According to a study by Moneycorp (a currency exchange company), the ride is the most expensive airport-to-city transfer in the world, costing an average of £191/$235 one way.

5. India’s trains transport roughly 23 million passengers each day.

That’s the entire population of Australia. Additionally, if laid out in a single line, the tracks from India’s railway network could circle the world one and a half times.

Things you didn’t know about countries…

Image courtesy: ©MS555/Shutterstock.com

6. Saudi Arabia has no rivers.

The country in the Arabian peninsula has no permanent rivers. It is one of the 17 countries in the world without a single river flowing through it.

7. In Ethiopia the current year is 2013.

Ethiopia maintains its own calendar, which, due to a difference in the perceived date of the Annunciation (the proclamation of the birth of Christ), is seven to eight years behind the Gregorian calendar (which is used as standard across most of the world). In Ethiopia the new year also begins on either August 29 or August 30.

8. It is the same time at both ends of China.

Despite spanning five geographical time zones, China only has one set time, which is observed throughout the country. China Standard Time is UTC+8.

9. The UK has the world’s longest country name.

The UK’s official title of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland makes it the longest recognised country name in the world.

10. Alaska is both the westernmost and easternmost state in the USA.

Alaska’s Aleutian Islands are actually located west of the 180th Meridian (the line that divides the eastern and western hemisphere), making it the only US state to be partly located in the eastern hemisphere.

Foodie facts…

Image courtesy: ©Hans Geel/Shutterstock.com

11. The most ordered meal on Deliveroo, a leading takeout app, in 2019 was a Hawaiian dish of raw fish.

Of all the restaurants served by the app, which operates in over 200 cities around the world, the most ordered meal was the Poké Signature Super Protéiné – a Hawaiian dish with raw fish as the core ingredient – from restaurant Pokawa in the city of Paris. Less exotic, a humble cheeseburger from the London branch of chain restaurant Five Guys was the second most ordered dish on the app.

12. Russia only classified beer as an alcoholic drink in 2011

Remarkably before then any drink with less than 10% alcohol was considered a ‘foodstuff’.

13. Pilots and co-pilots do not eat the same meal before a flight.

As part of standard convention, pilots and co-pilots do not eat the same food before a flight in case of food poisoning (or worse). If one of the pilots is incapacitated (unable to leave the bathroom) then the other pilot can take over.

14. Banana is a popular pizza topping in Sweden.

Often paired with curry powder, believe it or not!

15. Instant noodles topped a Japanese poll of the country’s greatest inventions of the 20th century.

In the poll, conducted in the year 2000 by Fuji Research Institute, respondents placed instant noodles at the top of the list, followed by karaoke in second place. Incidentally karaoke translates from Japanese into English as ‘empty orchestra’.

Lesser-known aspects of famous landmarks…

Image courtesy: ©beboy/Shutterstock.com

16. Despite what people say, the Great Wall of China is not visible from space.

Even from low Earth orbit the structure requires magnification to be seen by the human eye.

17. The Eiffel Tower was initially greatly disliked by the Parisian art community upon opening.

The iconic tower was labelled as ‘monstrous’ and ‘ridiculous’ after it was unveiled to the world. It’s even claimed that contemporary writer Guy de Maupassant disliked the structure so much that he ate lunch in the tower every day because it was the only place in Paris where the landmark was not visible.

18. The scenic Great Ocean Road, that sweeps along the coast of Victoria, Australia, is actually a war memorial.

Built by soldiers and dedicated to those who lost their lives in WWI, the road serves as the largest war memorial in the world.

19. Sudan has more ancient pyramids than Egypt.

Sources vary, but Sudan is claimed to be home to around 250 pyramid structures, that were built by the rulers of the ancient Kushite kingdoms between 2500BC to 300AD. Egypt is thought to have just over 100 pyramids.

20. The minarets of the Taj Mahal lean outwards slightly.

This was done deliberately to ensure that if the structure collapsed the minarets would fall away from the central tomb, and not destroy it. It’s also true that a team of 20,000 artisans and craftsmen built the iconic structure, but the popular story about them all being amputated by Shah Jahan, the ruler who commissioned it, upon completion (so they’d never build anything as beautiful), is most likely a myth.

Everything else…

21. There are currently 320,000 people learning ‘Klingon’ (the fictional language featured in television show Star Trek) on language app Duolingo.

English is the most popular language on the app, with 34 million people undertaking lessons since the beginning of 2020.

22. On the island of Yap, a state of Micronesia, rocks are used as currency.

Each rock’s worth is based on its size and its history (where it came from). Though US dollars have now started to be used for everyday purchases on the island, rocks are still used for ceremonial transactions (during weddings, for example). Yap also uses turmeric, shells and cloth as official currency.

23. If it was as densely populated as New York City, the entire world’s population could fit into the US state of Texas.

We wouldn’t have all that much room, but, with the rest of the planet uninhabited, there’d be plenty of places to go to escape the crowds.

24. You’re never more than 30 steps away from a trash can in Disneyland.

The story goes that Walt Disney used to observe visitors in the park and see how many steps they took before littering, as a result a litter bin is never more than 30 steps away in any Disney park. Another of Walt’s lesser-known Disneyland additions was the creation of a secret bar hidden inside the – then otherwise ‘dry’ – park, which he used to entertain personal guests and sponsors. The speakeasy-style venue, located behind a large door in the New Orleans Square section of the park, now runs as a private members club with an annual membership fee of $10,000.

25. You don’t need to wait an hour after eating before you can swim safely.

Despite what your mother always told you, there is no medical data that suggests you can’t swim on a full stomach. It can, however, feel uncomfortable, and potentially lead to a feeling of nausea, so it’s best to take a short pause after polishing off your sandwich before you go crashing into the surf.

This article was first published on www.lonelyplanet.com.

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2019 novel coronavirus: Get the facts

In December 2019, health officials found that people in Wuhan, China, were getting sick from a respiratory illness. Scientists determined it was caused by a new — or “novel” — coronavirus that had not been found before. The disease, which is named COVID-19, has since been reported in many other countries, including the U.S.

U.S. and global health officials are keeping a close watch on the disease. People should not travel to places where COVID-19 is being transmitted unless it is necessary.

What are the symptoms? How does it spread?

The symptoms of infection with COVID-19 are usually a respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. The disease can be fatal.

COVID-19 can spread from person-to-person.

Coronaviruses in general can be spread through the air by coughing and sneezing and through close personal contact, such as shaking hands, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Coronaviruses can also be spread by touching an object or surface with the virus on it and then your eyes, mouth or nose.

How is the COVID-19 treated?

There is no vaccine for COVID-19. There is also no antiviral treatment.

If you travel to an area with an outbreak of COVID-19 — or if you have been in close contact with someone who has the disease — and you develop symptoms, you should talk to your doctor. But be sure to call ahead before going to their office. Your health team will tell you what steps to take next.

How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

The best way to prevent infection from COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to it. That means staying away from outbreak areas and people who have been infected.

You can also take everyday actions that help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses:

•  Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.

•  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

•  Do not come in close contact with people who are sick.

•  Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

•  Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterward.

•  Stay home when you are sick.

Where can I get more information?

CDC and the World Health Organization offer information on the disease, including travel information and updated case details.

Visit www.cdc.gov and www.who.int.

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Him Darshan Express Train | Interesting Facts, Ticket Price & Online Booking Info

Shimla has never failed to charm the tourists, especially during the winter season. To this, the Indian Railways on 18 December 2019 has added cherry on top by introducing the ‘Him Darshan Express’ tourist special train on the UNESCO Heritage Kalka-Shimla route. The train comprises 7 coaches including six first-class AC vista dome coaches and one first-class sitting cum luggage room coach. Earlier this year, the Railways has put only one see-through vistadome coach, but in view of the huge response from the travellers coming to explore Himachal Pradesh, the entire tourist train has vistadome coaches to offer travellers a panoramic view of the hills and surrounding villages.

Everything You Need to Know about Him Darshan Express

Him Darshan Express is the first train introduced by Indian Railways comprising all vistadome coaches to run on a regular basis and holds a capacity of over 100 passengers. The interiors of the coaches are tastefully decorated and offer the travellers an opportunity to be close to nature.

In regard to this, the Divisional Railway Manager, Gurinder Mohan Singh said that the initiative was taken keeping in mind the tourists. Each vistadome coach has 15 seats with five-window seats at both sides and the rest five will be aisle seats. Each coach has two air conditioners and is aesthetically designed with a glass roof, wider see-through windows. Not just this, but window roller blinds and honeycomb blinds for roof glass is also provided to avoid heavy light during the summer months. Adding to this, the interesting fact of the train is, the vistadome coaches are tastefully decorated with plush interiors and offer the travellers a chance to be close to nature.

What are the Amenities Provided in the Train?

According to sources, the seats in all the coaches are adjustable to enhance the overall travel experience of sightseeing from inside the train. The coaches are modernized and sufficiently equipped with things like modular type switches and sockets for LED lightings and charging, provision of lavatory and more.

The Fare and Train Departure Timings

The ticket price of Him Darshan Express is INR 630 per passenger (one way) irrespective of age. Tourists visiting Shimla can board the train from Kalka station at 7:00 am in the morning that will reach Shimla by 12:55 pm. In return, the train from Shimla departs at 3:50 pm and reaches Kalka by 9:15 pm. En-route the train stops at Barog station in both directions.

How to Make a Reservation?

You can book the tickets for Him Darshan Express via Passenger Reservation System (PRS). Besides, other online booking modes are also available.

History of Kalka-Shimla Railway

Him Darshan Train Kalka Shimla

Right after the first Anglo-Gurkha war, Shimla, (earlier called as Simla) was established by the British. And it was in the year 1864, Shimla became the summer capital of the British Empire. Not just this, but the hill station even served as the British army’s headquarters. The only snag during that time was the connectivity to reach Shimla from Calcutta (now called Kolkata). The mode of transportation was horses and ox-drawn carts that traversed the mountain terrains that unsteady, dangerous and took a long-long amount of time.

So, it was in the year 1903 when Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge was started for easy and quick access to Shimla which was referred to as the ‘British Jewel of the Orient’ for easy and quick access to Shimla. The maiden toy train journey on the Kalka-Shimla was taken by the then Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon and since then, the train has been operating regularly and has become an iconic symbol of Shimla and one of the attractions of Himachal tourism cherished by both locals as well as tourists.

Later on, 11 September 2007, a UNESCO team visited the Kalka-Shimla railway for a week to inspect it for possible selection as a World Heritage Site. And then on 8 July 2008, it became part of the Mountain Railways of India World Heritage Site with the Nilgiri Mountain Railways and Darjeeling Himalayan.

Other Trains and Their Timings

Him Darshan Train Timings

There are other trains available for those looking for travelling on the Kalka-Shimla Railway route. The train booking can either be done at a railway station counter or via PRS.

From Kalka to Shimla

Train Name Train No. Departure from Kalka Arrival at Shimla
The Rail Motor 72451 5:25 am 9:25 am
The Shivalik Deluxe Express 52451 5:45 am 10:35 am
The Himalayan Queen 52455 12:10 pm 5:20 pm

From Shimla to Kalka

Train Name Train No. Departure from Shimla Arrival at Kalka
The Rail Motor 72452 5:25 pm 9:35 pm
The Shivalik Deluxe Express 52452 5:55 pm 10:50 pm
The Himalayan Queen 52456 10:40 am 4:10 pm

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66 Interesting Facts about Jammu Kashmir & Ladakh You Didn’t Know

The diverse landscape of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh attracts millions of people into the lap of the northernmost part of India. All three of these regions are blessed by nature’s bounty. While Jammu is famous for its temples, the beauty of Kashmir valley hardly needs any introduction. Here, the lush meadows marry dramatic mountains, shikaras sail on tranquil lakes, and the sleepy hill stations house a series of attractions. In Ladakh, you come across a landscape quite different from Jammu and Kashmir. There is a different experience waiting for you in each of these places. In this blog, we bring you 66 interesting facts about Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh you probably didn’t know.

Interesting Facts about Jammu and Kashmir

1. According to the history of Jammu & Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh was the last ruling Maharaja of the princely state.
2. Srinagar was founded by Emperor Ashoka and not the Mughal emperor Jahangir.
3. Kashmir’s cultural heritage flourished with the contribution of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam.
4. The syncretic culture of Kashmir is best encapsulated by the word Kashmiriyat, which described the cultural values of the Kashmiri people.
5. Shikara stays are a unique experience highly recommended and usually included in good Kashmir packages.
6. The Pir Panjal railway tunnel, or the Banihal railway tunnel, is India’s Longest Railway Tunnel. It is 11,215 km long, 8.4m wide and 7.39m tall. Banihal railway tunnel is India’s longest and Asia’s fourth longest railway tunnel.
7. The traditional Kashmiri dress, Pheran, the unique copper kettles called Samovar, the earthen fire pots wrapped in woven wicker called Kangiri, handcrafted walnut furniture and souvenirs, etc. are some uncommon things to check out.
8. The seasons in Jammu and Kashmir are spring, summer, autumn and winter.
9. Srinagar, in Kashmir Valley, has served as the summer capital, while Jammu has served as the winter capital.
10. The best destinations for Kashmir tourism is Srinagar, Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Pahalgam.
11. Kalhana, the first Indian history writer, gave a vivid account of the history of Kashmir before the 10th century AD.
12. Because of Jammu and Kashmir’s wide range of elevations, its biogeography is diverse.
13. The Jhelum River is the only major Himalayan river which flows through the Kashmir valley.
14. In Jammu and Kashmir, the principal spoken languages are Kashmiri, Urdu, Dogri, Pahari, Balti, Ladakhi, Gojri, Shina and Pashto.
15. Kawa, traditional green tea with spices and almond, is consumed all through the day in Kashmir. Apart from Kawa or Kehwa, Sheer Chai or Gulabi Chai is the traditional beverage of Kashmir. It is pink in colour and salty in taste.
16. Amarnath Cave in Jammu and Kashmir has natural Shiv Lingam made of ice which is over 5000 years old and is a prominent Hindu pilgrimage destination. According to a popular legend, Amarnath cave was discovered by a Muslim shepherd, Buta Malik.
17. Dras is the coldest inhabited place in India with temperatures reaching as low as -45°C. Dras is the second coldest inhabited place on earth.
18. The ruins of Martand Sun Temple is located in Kashmir. It was built around the 8th century CE.
19. India’s first floating post office was built on a houseboat at the western edge of Dal Lake in Srinagar.
20. Houseboats first appeared in the 1800’s in Dal Lake by Pandit Naraindas to house English visitors.
21. Kashmir is said to have been a favorite vacation spot of the Mughals.
22. Gulmarg is the most popular ski destination in India. It was originally called Gaurimarg by the shepherds to honour Goddess Parvati.
23. The ancient Mughal garden, Chashme Shahi, was built in 1632 AD. The garden is home to a spring, whose waters are believed to possess medicinal properties.
24. Vaishno Devi Temple in Katra, Jammu, which is visited by over 81 lakh pilgrims every year, has been awarded the Cleanest Religious Place Award.
25. The famous pashmina shawl is derived from under the belly of domestic himalayan goat called changthangi.
26. Betaab Valley, located about 15 km from Pahalgam, is named after a Bollywood film of the same name which was shot here.
27. Zoji la is an important pass between Ladakh and Kashmir.
28. The 9 km long Chenani-Nashri Tunnel is located in Chenani, Jammu and Kashmir. It is India’s longest road tunnel.
29. The official ‘State Animal’ and ‘State Bird’ of Jammu & Kashmir are the Hangul and Black-necked Crane respectively.
30. Wular Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia
31. Chenab Bridge is a unique bridge made up of steel, and will resist temperatures upto -20°C.
32. Gulmarg Gondola is one of the largest and highest ropeways in India, having a total aerial distance of almost 5 kms.
33. Wazwan is one of the traditional dishes in Kashmir. A 36 course meal, it is an integral part of Kashmir.
34. Hazratbal Shrine, one of Kashmir’s holiest shrines, is located in Srinagar and houses a strand of hair believed to be that of Prophet Muhammad.
35. The Floating Market in Srinagar, is a major tourist attraction and its only kind in India and the third in Asia.
36. Kashmir is the largest producer of saffron in India and the third largest producer in the world.
37. Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is the largest tulip garden in Asia.
38. The library in Raghunath Temple in Jammu houses over 6000 manuscripts in several Indian languages.

Interesting Facts about Ladakh

Ladakh Monastery Trek

1. Ladakh is the highest settlement in India. The cultivated fields at Korzok, at 4,600 meters, are considered to be the highest fields in the world.
2. The Bailey bridge in Ladakh, located at an altitude of 5,602 meters, is the highest in the world.
3. The Nubra Valley in Ladakh is the only place in India where the twin humped/Bactrian camels can be found.
4. The Magnetic Hill is one of the famous tourist attractions located near Leh in Ladakh. Also known as Gravity Hill, it gives the illusion of a car drifting upwards.
5. The Indian Astronomical Observatory, situated in the historic village of Hanle in Ladakh, boasts the second highest optical telescope in the world.
6. Rangdum is the highest inhabited region in the Suru Valley.
7. Pangong Tso, situated at an altitude of 4350 meters, is the highest saltwater lake in the world. Almost 134 km long, 30% of it lies in India and 70% in China.
8. Dras, located in Kargil, is the coldest place in India, and the second coldest place in the world. During winters, temperatures can drop as low as -45°C.
9. There’s no distinctive rainy season due to limited rainfall in Ladakh. The seasons in Ladakh are broadly summer and winter.
10. Ladakh is home to several Himalayan glaciers. Siachen Glacier is the longest himalayan glacier, stretching up to 76 km.
11. Chadar Trek, which provides an opportunity of walking on the frozen Zanskar River, is one of its kind in India.
12. The highest white water rafting in India can be enjoyed on the Zanskar River.
13. Hemis National Park has the highest density of snow leopards in the world.
14. From Hunderman Village in Kargil, tourists can spot a border village which was deserted by the villagers in Pakistan.
15. ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police) organizes the National Ice Hockey Tournament In Ladakh during the winter months.
16. Nubra Valley is famously known as Broken Moonland, because its landscape resembles that of the moon. Nubra is itself a cold desert.
17. Alchi and Lamayuru monastery are two of the oldest and largest monasteries in Ladakh.
18. Marsimik La is the highest pass in Ladakh. Although accessible to tourists, they need to obtain an Inner Line Permit prior to traversing it.
19. Matho Nagrang, celebrated at Matho Monastery, is unique as it features two oracles, who predict the future for the locals.
20. One of the biggest attractions of Diskit Monastery in Nubra Valley is the 32 meters tall statue of Maitreya Buddha Jampa.
21. The Indus and Zanskar rivers meet at Sangam near the Nimmu village, about 35 km from Leh.
22. Turtuk village is the last village in India where tourism is permitted.
23. Stok Kangri is the most popular trekking peak in the Ladakh.
24. Yak is not just a valuable animal in Ladakh but is also consumed with great delicacy.
25. The famous Bollywood movie, 3 Idiots, was shot at Pangong Tso. Others parts of Ladakh have also been the site of shooting of several Bollywood movies.
26. Mokthuk is a combination of soup and momos, and is greatly relished by the people of Ladakh.
27. Chhang is one of the most popular alcohol in Ladakh.
28. While travelling in Ladakh, you will come across a lot of quirky road signs like, “Don’t be a Gama in the land of Lama”, “Darling I like you but not so fast”, “Love the neighbour but not while driving”, “After whisky driving risky”.

There you go! 66 interesting facts about Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh that you were unaware of, and even if you were, surely made for an exciting reading.

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100 Interesting Facts about Himachal Pradesh Which You Should Know

Published: 25 Nov, 2019 /

The state of Himachal Pradesh, which lies in the Lower Himalayas Range, is a cultural cocktail, and a haven for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. There are many interesting facts about this state which most people are not aware of. Read on to find out 100 interesting facts about Himachal Pradesh.

1. The word Himachal is a combination of the Sanskrit words, “Hima” and “Anchal”, which means “snow” and “lap” respectively. It is no coincidence that the state is located in the lap of the Himalayas.

2. The integration of four districts, Mandi, Chamba, Mahasu, and Sirmour, with 30 princely states, led to the formation of Himachal Pradesh as a Union Territory in 1948. Eventually, in 1971, the province attained statehood and become the 18th state in India.

3. The capital of Himachal Pradesh is Shimla. The city sits atop seven hills, and is popularly referred to as the Queen of Hills.

4. Dharamshala is the winter capital of the state.

5. The area of Himachal Pradesh is 55,673 square kilometres.

6. As per the 2011 census, the population of the state is 68,56,509.

7. There are 68 assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh.

8. There are 4 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

9. The number of Rajya Sabha seats from Himachal Pradesh is 3.

10. The state has 5 national parks.

11. The principal languages spoken in Himachal Pradesh are Hindi and Pahari.

12. The animal symbol of Himachal Pradesh is snow leopard.

13. The bird symbol of Himachal Pradesh is Western Tragopan.

14. The flower symbol of Himachal Pradesh is Pink Rhododendron.

15. The Indian Cedar or Himalayan cedar is the tree symbol of Himachal Pradesh.

16. Majority of the local populace is employed in the agricultural sector. Agriculture provides direct employment to over 65% of the state’s working population.

17. Roughly 22% of the total state domestic product is attributed to income from agriculture and allied sectors.

18. The Kalka-Shimla Railway fondly known as the Toy train is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

19. The Kalka-Shimla Railway traverses the steepest slope (over 5800 ft) in least distance (roughly 95 kms). The train crosses over 800 bridges and 100 tunnels.

20. Followed by the southern state of Kerala, Himachal Pradesh is the least corrupt state in the nation. Tourists can enjoy a leisurely holiday without worrying about being overcharged. The beauty of Himachal Pradesh attracts many but the sincerity and goodness of locals adds to the visitor experience.

21. As per government records, Himachal Pradesh is the third best state in terms of performance and overall development.

22. Himachal Pradesh is home to nearly 17,000 educational institutes, including two medical colleges, three universities and one engineering college.

23. Literacy refers to the ability of people to read and write in any language. As per the census of 2011, with a literacy rate of 83.78%, Himachal Pradesh has the 11th highest literacy rate in India.

24. Among India’s greenest states, Himachal Pradesh has a staggering 37,033 square kilometres of forest area, which makes 66.52% of the total land area.

25. Himachal Pradesh is home to 33 Wildlife Sanctuaries and 2 National Parks.

26. Himachal Pradesh is home to the largest glacier in Asia. The Shigri Glacier is located in the Lahaul-Spiti area and feeds the Chenab River.

27. The Manali-Leh National Highway is famed for being the highest motor able road in the world. Motorcycle enthusiasts flood the National Highway during summers for its picturesque landscape.

28. Located in Kullu, the Great Himalayan National Park is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is spread across nearly 1200 square kilometres, and is home to a vast variety of flora and fauna.

29. At 22,360 feet above sea level, Reo Purgyil is the highest mountain peak in Himachal Pradesh.

30. Built in 1891, the Chail Cricket Ground (located 8,018 ft above sea level), located in Chail, Himachal Pradesh, is famed to be the highest cricket ground in the world.

31. The people of Malana believe that they have one of the oldest democracies in the world, and interestingly, it has its own set of Greek-resembling beliefs and ways. They even consider themselves the descendants of Alexander the Great.

32. Himachal is known as the Land of Gods. The state is mentioned in many ancient Hindu texts, and is home to several religious points of interests. Locals from each village have their own distinct customs and deities in this culturally rich state.

33. There are 9 hydro-electric power plants in the state.

34. Himachal Pradesh has immense potential of hydro-electric power generation. It is estimated that roughly 27,000 MW (1/4th of the national potential) can be harnessed by building power plants.

35. In 2013, Himachal Pradesh was declared to be the first smoke free state of India. The state passed laws to prohibit smoking in public places.

36. As of 2nd October 2009, the state government has imposed a complete ban on all types of non-biodegradable polythene bags. Production, usage, sale and distribution of polythene bags are all banned under law.

37. Himachal’s Solan is popularly known as the ‘Mushroom City’ because of the widespread mushroom production in the city.

38. The town of Khajjiar is widely known as the ‘Mini Switzerland’ owing to its alluring natural beauty.

39. Followed by Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal is the second largest producer of apples in India. Aptly called the Fruit Bowl of India, over 450 cultivars of apple are produced in the state. On an average, Himachal produces over 4 lakh tons of apples each year.

40. The state of Himachal Pradesh is connected via 9 national highways (1,208 km), 19 state highways (1,625 km), and 45 major district roads (1753.05 km).

41. Himachal Pradesh is home to three airports, Jubbar Hatti Airport (near Shimla), Bhuntar Airport (near Kullu), and Gaggal Airport (near Kangra). These airports run seasonal flights owing to extreme weather conditions. Shorter runways receive smaller aircraft, such as the 42-seater ATR and 18-seater Dornier.

42. Several prominent Indian celebrities belong to Himachal Pradesh, like Preity Zinta, Kangna Ranaut, Anupam Kher, Mohit Chauhan, and Yami Gautam. Sportsperson hailing from Himachal who have represented India are Vijay Kumar (Shooting), Anuja Jung (Shooting), Deepak Thakur (Hockey), Samresh Jung (Shooting), Suman Rawat (Athletics), and Ajay Thakur (Kabaddi).

43. Kullu Dussehra is a 7 day festival which was started by the 17th century king, Jagat Singh.

44. Located in Kullu, Kasol is a quaint hilly town popularly known as Mini Israel. Frequented by Israeli tourists, the town’s many establishments bear signages in Hebrew.

45. It is believed that the Chamba Kailash peak in Himachal Pradesh is the abode of Hindu God Shiva. Overlooking the Manimahesh Lake, the area is considered holy and auspicious by Hindus.

46. A majority of the state lies in the foothills of Dhauladhar range.

47. Owing to its fast development, the poverty levels in Himachal Pradesh witnessed a steep fall from 36.8% (1993) to 8.5% (2011).

48. Himachal’s capital, Shimla, has Asia’s only natural ice-skating rink.

49. It is said that the acclaimed Sanskrit scholar, Acharya Diwakar Datt Sharma, christened the state in 1948.

50. It is believed that civilization flourished in the present-day area of Himachal 4,000 years ago, during the period of Indus Valley Civilization.

51. Yashwant Singh Parmar was the first Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh.

52. With its extensive green spaces, it is no surprise that Himachal Pradesh is home to over 350 animal species and 450 bird species.

53. As per government reports, Himachal Pradesh has achieved 100% sanitation. Each house in the state has a toilet.

54. In 2015, the first Paragliding World Cup was hosted in Himachal.

55. India’s oldest voter, Shyam Saran Negi, hails from Kalpa in Himachal Pradesh. He is a retired schoolteacher who cast the first vote in the 1951 general elections, and has voted in every general election since then.

56. The Himachali traditional cap is worn across the state, especially during festivals and special events. The headgear is known as ‘Thepang’.

57. Spiti Valley’s highest settlement, Tashigang village, is situated in the Sutlej river valley at 15,256 feet. The village’s polling station is considered to be the highest in the world.

58. Shimla Mirch is native to Himachal Pradesh. Capsicum plantations were first introduced by the British.

59. Shimla is home to the second oldest church in north India. Constructed in 1857, Christ Church is known for its stained-glass windows and its neo-gothic architecture.

60. As per the 2011 census, the sex ratio in Himachal Pradesh is 972 females for 1000 males, against the national average of 940 females for 1000 males.

61. Malana village is referred to as the ‘Village of Taboos’. Local ritual dictates that no outsider can touch anything without prior permission.

62. Himachal Pradesh, known as the ‘Fruit Bowl of India’, produces a wide range of fruits including pear, apricot, peach, plum, apple, and more.

63. Over 85 million years old fossils have been discovered in the Shivalik Fossil Park in Sirmaur district.

64. Famous temples in Himachal Pradesh are Tara Devi, Jakhoo, Hadimba, Naina Devi, Baba Balak Nath, Jawala Devi, Chintpurni, and Chamunda Devi.

65. Famous monarchs of Himachal Pradesh are Guru Ghantal Monastery, Tabo Monastery, Dhankar, and Lhalung

66. Famous churches in Himachal Pradesh St. Michael’s Cathedral, Christ Church, and St. John’s Church.

67. The famous Gurudwaras in Himachal Pradesh are, Gurudwara Bhangani Sahib, Paonta Sahib and Rewal Sahib Gurudwara.

68. Himachal Pradesh has several important minerals like gypsum, mica, clays, barytes, limestone, iron, lead, and pyrite.

69. Famous fairs held in the state are Baisakhi, Lavi, Holi Fair, and Kullu Dussehra.

70. Famous dance forms native to Himachal Pradesh are the Gugga Dance, Losar Shona Chuksam, Ghurehi, and Kullu Naati.

71. Malana village in Himachal has won the title of ‘Best Hashish’ twice: in 1994 and 1996.

72. The state of Himachal Pradesh came into existence post-independence, so it has no pre-constitution history.

73. There are 169 tehsils/sub tehsils in the state.

74. The state has 59 towns.

75. Himachal Pradesh has 3226 gram panchayats.

76. There are 20690 villages in the state.

77. The state ranks second-best after Kerala, in the list of best performing states on human development indicators.

78. It has some of the oldest monasteries in Asia.

79. Bir Billing is the center for aero sports in the state.

80. Himachal Pradesh is known for its narrow-gauge railways.

81. Hinduism is the major religion in the state.

82. The state has remained mostly untouched by external customs, mainly due to the difficult terrain.

83. Himachal Pradesh is famous for its handicrafts including carpets, paintings, leather works, stoles, and more.

84. Lentils, rice, vegetables, and chapati form the staple food of the state.

85. Himachal Pradesh also has its own IIT in Mandi.

86. The approximate food grain production in the state is 1579,000 tonnes.

87. The approximate vegetable production in the state is 900,000 tonnes.

88. The approximate fruit production in the state is 1,027,000 tonnes.

89. To buy an agricultural land, a non agriculturalist needs to state the purpose behind buying the land. Government takes a decision within a set timeframe.

90. Some of the major industrial areas in the state are Baddi, Parwanoo, Mehatpur, Shamsi, Gagret, and Bilaspur.

91. The 14th Dalai Lama took refuge in Himachal Pradesh, and his current abode is in Dharamshala.

92. The state was reorganized into 12 districts in 1972-73.

93. Bilaspur was merged in the state in 1954.

94. Virbhadra Singh was the Chief Minister with the longest term in the state. He was in the office for 21 years and 11 days.

95. Sh. S. Chakravarti was the first governor of Himachal Pradesh.

96. Kangra, and most of the other hilly areas of Punjab, were merged with the state in 1966.

97. With the implementation of the Constitution of India, Himachal Pradesh became a Part C state.

98. Himachal Pradesh has a plethora of trekking trails in Himalayas, making this state an excellent destination for adventure enthusiasts.

99. Being bordered by Punjab, its culture and cuisine is profoundly impacted by it.

100. Himachal Pradesh is the first Indian state to launch paperless e-governance solution, known as eVidhan.

Here are the 100 interesting facts about Himachal Pradesh, some of which you may be aware of, others you may not. But they are all interesting nonetheless. Let us know how many of these did you know and which facts you found to be the most interesting.

Rahul Srivastava is an ardent travel writer who is born and brought up in the City of Nawabs- Lucknow. Being from to the culturally thriving land, he has a deep interest in discovering different hues of the country. He has travelled scores of places in India, and holds an affluent experience and knowledge about them. He loves to pen down his travel experiences and his quest for travelling new places is marked evidently in his blogs. His write-ups are the perfect reflection of his fervor for exploring the unexplored!

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81 Interesting Facts About the Kumbh Mela and the Naga Sadhus

Published: 26 Nov, 2019 /

The next Mahakumbh Mela will be held in Haridwar in 2021, from 14th January to 27th April. As usual, it will be a grand affair, and will be attended by a large number of devotees across the world. It is an extravaganza that draws millions of devotees from India and around the world, and is the world’s largest pilgrimage and religious gathering for Hindus. Before you attend the 2021 Mahakumbh Mela in Haridwar, here are the 81 interesting and hidden facts about the Kumbh Mela and the Naga Sadhus that will introduce you to this magnificent event.

1. The Normal Kumbh Mela is held every 3 years, switching between 4 different locations- Prayag (at the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati Rivers), Ujjain (River Shipra), Haridwar (River Ganga) and Nasik (River Godavari). The Ardh Kumbh Mela, also known as the ‘Youngest of Kumbh Melas, is held at Allahabad and Haridwar every 6 years between the two Purna Kumbh Melas.

2. A Maha Kumbh Mela is held after every 144 years, that is, after the completion of 12 Purna Kumbh Melas. So, you will only get one chance in your entire life to witness the mega visual spectacle of the Maha Kumbh Mela, and experience its unbridled volume of faith and spirituality.

3. Another type of Kumbh is the Purna Kumbh Mela, which is held in Allahabad every 12 years.

4. Each of these locations become host to this Mela of spectacular grandeur once every 3 years.

5. The Kumbh Mela is over 2000 years old!

6. The word ‘Kumbh’ literally translates to the pitcher that held the Nectar of Immortality.

7. The earliest mention of any type of Mela to be held at the current sites of the Kumbh Mela can be found in the works of Hiuen Tsang, the Chinese Buddhist monk, traveler, scholar and translator, who traveled to india during the 7th century. He mentioned in his works that a grand Kumbh-like fair was organized by Emperor Harshavardhana at Prayag which was attended by half a million people.

8. During the reign of the Emperor Harshavardhana, the site where the Kumbh Mela used to be held was known as Po-lo-ye-kia. It was later renamed to Allahabad, before being renamed Prayagraj in 2018.

9. According to numerous ancient Indian sources, the Magh Fair at Allahabad (now known as Prayagraj) might be the oldest Kumbh Mela, although it was not called by this name at that time.

10. The most modern origin of the Kumbh Mela can be found in the British Report of 1868, which mentions a ‘Coomb Fair to be held in Allahabad in January, 1870’.

11. According to a widely held belief, the Brahmin priests of Allahabad incorporated the Kumbh Legend into the annually held Magh Mela in order to increase the allure and significance of their revered city.

12. The original Kumbh Mela was held at Haridwar. This fair was held according to the astrological sign Kumbha (Aquarius).

13. The Maha Kumbh Mela is held at Prayagraj.

14. The 2019 Kumbh Mela held in Prayagraj was an Ardh Kumbh Mela.

15. In 2001, almost 70 million people attended the Purna Kumbh Mela, held on the shores of the River Ganga.

16. The Magh (Kumbh) Mela is held every year at Allahabad in the month of Magh according to the Hindu calendar (14 January-end of February). It is also known as the ‘Mini Kumbh Mela’.

17. One of the most interesting and fascinating features of the Kumbh Mela is its Akharas, the place of congregation of armed saints. These Akharas were developed by Adi Shankara in the 8th century to arm the saints so that they can protect themselves against invading forces.

18. Initially, there were 4 Akharas. But, due to many ideological differences, these 4 Akharas were further divided into 13 categories, mainly of Shaiv, Vaishnav and Udasin sects.

19. The Akhara culture has given rise to the Akhara vs Akhara duels, which are one of the most unique highlights of the Kumbh Mela. The armed saints of the various Akharas fight with each other to establish supremacy, and several contests are held to showcase their skill and bravery.

20. Although initially started to celebrate the fighting skills and bravery of the saints, the Akharas have over the years become centers of learning where the devotees are given lessons on Hinduism, along with its many sects and teachings.

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21. The most educated Akhara out of the 13 Akharas is the Niranjani Akhara, and it has more than 50 Mahamandaleshwars.

22. In the 2019 Kumbh Mela held at Prayagraj, a separate Akhara for ‘transgenders’ was introduced for the first time.

23. Known as the ‘Kinner Akhara’, this Akhara was established by the Indian Transgender Community under the leadership of the famous transgender rights activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi from Mumbai.

24. The Kinner Akhara joined the first day of bathing at the Kumbh Mela.

25. Despite being the world’s largest pilgrimage for Hindus, one can also find people from other faiths and religions at the Kumbh Mela.

26. The multi-religious feature of the Kumbh Mela is mentioned in the book of the erstwhile British civil servant, Robert Montgomery Martin, where he talks about the Haridwar Kumbh Mela of 1858, which was attended by the devotees from numerous religions and faiths.

27. One of the most iconic features of the Kumbh Mela is the presence of holy men, tantriks and sadhus belonging to different Hindu sects who come here to perform sacred rituals in order to achieve salvation.

28. The most popular such Hindu sects are the Nagas (who refrain from wearing any clothes), the Kalpwasis (who bathe thrice a day) and the Urdhawavahurs (they believe in putting their bodies through extreme austerities).

29. According to many Government reports, the Kumbh Mela creates around 6,50,000 jobs.

30. According to the Government data of 2013, the total earnings from the Kumbh Mela of that year amounted to around Rs. 12,000 Crore.

31. The Kumbh Mela of 2013 witnessed a total attendance of more than 120 million people. It was considered to be the largest gathering of people to ever take place on Earth.

32. The Kumbh Mela of 2013 lasted for 58 days.

33. The Kumbh Mela of Prayagraj is considered to be the holiest Kumbh Mela among all Kumbh Melas due to it being the site of the confluence of three sacred rivers (Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati).

34. Many devotees spend the entire month of Magh (between January and February) during the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj to seek their spiritual enlightenment and salvation.

35. This ritual of staying at Prayagraj for the entire Magh Month is called ‘Kalpvas’.

36. The arrival of the members of an Akhara or a sect of Sadhus at the Maha Kumbh Mela, also known as the Peshwai Procession, marks a memorable occasion, and offers you a surreal experience of unmatched mysticism.

37. This grand arrival of the Sadhus to the venue of the Kumbh Mela sitting on gold and silver thrones atop elephants or horse driven chariots, or in some cases, on foot and followed by the majestic displays of swinging swords, silver staffs and fiery trishuls by the ash-smearing Naga Sadhus, are one of the landmark events of the Kumbh Mela.

38. One of the most popular attractions of the Kumbh Mela is the ritual of Aarti. During this holy ceremony, the whole river bank comes alive with glittering lamps and diyas, and soothing prayers and hymns chanted by the priests. Attended by huge crowds, this divine aarti ritual is believed to bring the 5 elements of nature (fire, water, air, earth and space) together at one place.

39. The visit to the Kumbh Mela remains incomplete without experiencing the spellbinding aura of the mysterious Naga Sadhus.

40. The Naga Sadhus have relinquished all the material pleasures and desires of the world in order to lead an astute ascetic life. They don’t believe in clothing themselves and can be seen walking naked in the Kumbh Mela. They have also taken vows of celibacy.

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41. The sight of their ash-covered bodies and matted dreadlocks can be both terrifying and fascinating for many visitors and offer a glimpse into a life without any lust or desire.

42. The Naga Sadhus are Shaivites (the followers of the Lord Shiva) and they live in the Himalayas.

43. The Kumbh Mela is the only time of the year during which they come down to the plains and it is therefore, an occasion of great significance to them.

44. It is also the only time of the year when one can become a Naga Sadhu. This initiation ritual takes place during the Kumbh Mela and is attended by different people of various age groups.

45. In order to become a Naga Sadhu, one has to renounce the desires of material comfort, both in body and mind, and gain complete mastery over one’s emotions, particularly lust. Only after that, are they granted Diksha, or the permission to become a Naga Sadhu.

46. A Naga Sadhu can only eat once a day, and must only eat whatever he has been given. He can beg for sattvic food in maximum 7 houses after which, if he has not been given any food, he has to starve for the day.

47. Due to having attained the state of enlightenment, the Naga Sadhus are bestowed with the honor of taking the first holy dip in the sacred waters of the Ganga, Yamuna, Shipra and Godavari during the Kumbh Mela.

48. They are famous for carrying weapons and are widely considered to be ‘the saviors of the Hindu Sanatan Dharm’.

49. One of the most amusing and interesting features of the Kumbh Mela is the presence of different types of Naga Sadhus with unique qualities, such as the long-haired Naga Sadhu, long-nailed Naga Sadhu, the money-maker Sadhus (who offer their blessings in return for some money) and the Google Naga Sadhu (he wears sunglasses).

50. One can also witness the numerous female Naga Sadhus taking holy dips during the Kumbh Mela.

51. The female Naga Sadhus lead the same life of abstinence from the pleasures of body, mind and material like their male counterparts.

52. The female Naga Sadhus are made to shave their heads during their initiation ceremony and bath in the river.

53. They must prove their complete devotion to the Almighty during this ritual.

54. The respect given to the female Naga Sadhus is equal to the one given to the male Naga Sadhus.

55. The only difference between the male and the female Naga Sadhus is that unlike the male Naga Sadhus, the female Naga Sadhus are made to cover themselves with a yellow cloth, even when taking dips in the river.

56. The Naga Sadhus are notoriously famous for performing death-defying stunts and painful acts to prove their devotion to God, as well as the strength of their minds and souls.

57. Some of the most popular and goosebumps-inducing acts performed by the Naga Sadhus are standing straight for more than 12 hours while carrying heavy objects in the most sensitive parts of the body, and burying themselves underground for days among others.

58. You can click their pictures (most of them are happy to get photographed), talk to them and get an insight into their lives and experiences, or gain some precious knowledge, the choice is yours! However, always ask for their permission before doing any of these things.

59. Being the most sacred and the largest pilgrimage for Hindus, the Kumbh Mela was inscribed on the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ list in 2017.

60. Apart from being the largest religious gathering of people on Earth, the Kumbh Mela is also a haven for migratory birds. The Triveni Sangam in Prayag becomes home to thousands of migratory birds who come here from faraway places like Siberia via Afghanistan, Mongolia and Tibet, covering thousands of kilometers and crossing high Himalayan mountains on the way.

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61. The Kumbh Mela in 2001 in Allahabad saw an attendance of around 40 million people on one of its days, which made it the busiest day in the history of the Kumbh Mela.

62. The Kumbh Mela tests your devotion and the capabilities of your body and mind to overcome insurmountable obstacles in your pursuit of enlightenment.

63. As the Kumbh Mela is held in the winter months, one of the most difficult hurdles presented to you to test your faith and resolve is to take a holy dip in the cold waters of the rivers.

64. One of the biggest attractions of the Kumbh Mela is the submerged Hanuman Temple. A unique and mysterious feature of this temple is that it remains submerged under the waters of the River Ganges for most parts of the year, but reveals itself during the auspicious occasion of the Kumbh Mela.

65. According to Hindu mythology, the temple is submerged because River Ganga raises her water level to touch the feet of Lord Hanuman. A visit to this wondrous location will further push you into the warm embrace of spirituality, especially when you witness the exotic and huge idol of Lord Hanuman sitting in reclining position.

66. Due to its huge crowds, the Kumbh Mela is also popularly called ‘the world’s largest congregation of pilgrims’.

67. The first bath of the Kumbh is known as the ‘Shanti Snan’ and is taken by the saints. It is only after the royal bath of the sadhus that other people get the chance to take their holy baths.

68. Apart from taking holy dips in the river, the Kumbh Mela also holds other activities like Pravachan, Kirtan and Mahaprasad that would take you to the pristine and pure world of Gods and Goddesses.

69. According to the various BBC Reports, the Kumbh Mela sees the setting up of 14 temporary hospitals employing around 243 doctors round the clock, along with more than 40,000 toilets, 20,000 dustbins and 50,000 police officials.

70. In order to ensure the safety and security of the pilgrims, around 1150 CCTV Cameras are installed throughout the whole venue of the Kumbh Mela, along with the setting up of 135 watch towers.

71. In addition to this, 40 police stations, 62 police posts and 40 fire brigade stations were also set up to deal with any kind of emergency situations.

72. The Kumbh Mela became a subject of study in the world-renowned Harvard University in 2013. The study, along with the required research, was carried out to understand the logistics as well as the economics of the event.

73. The Uttar Pradesh Government spent more than Rs. 40 million in the Kumbh Mela held at Prayagraj in 2019 to ensure a clean, safe and enriching event.

74. The Kumbh of 2019 also became famous among the millennials for boasting eco-friendly toilets and five-star tents.

75. The venue for the 2019 Kumbh Mela was the largest venue in its history.

76. It was spread across 3,200 hectares, thus making its geographical land area bigger than that of four countries- Monaco, Nauru, Tuvalu and Vatican City.

77. Around 22 Floating Bridges were built across the River Yamuna in the Ardh Kumbh Mela of Prayagraj held in 2019 to ensure a smooth and hassle-free movement of pilgrims.

78. The number of people taking holy baths in the Kumbh Mela is, on an average, more than the population of many European countries.

79. Over the years, the Kumbh Mela has also seen a rapid growth in its advertising. The 2019 Ardh Kumbh Mela saw pictures of Naga Sadhus and the Kumbh Logo being displayed throughout the city of Prayagraj.

80. To ensure the fast travel of the devotees and pilgrims to the venue of the Kumbh Mela, the Indian Railways also launches special Kumbh Mela Trains during this occasion.

81. During the Kumbh Mela of Prayagraj in 2019, the Indian Railways launched around 800 Kumbh Mela Special trains to the holy city.

We hope you liked our blog, “81 Interesting Facts about Kumbh Mela and Naga Sadhus”.

Plan a trip to Upcoming Kumbh Festival and experience every aspect of it up close. Share the blog as much as you can, and keep returning to us for more such blogs in the future.

Nidhi Singh

From the Lake District, Nainital, Nidhi Singh is a travel writer whose love for mountains can be seen in her write ups. Talk about solo travelling, indulging in adventure activities, binging on good food, planning budget trips or the Aurora Borealis and you will get all her attention. It is the wanderlust that keeps her going and if at all she could get one wish granted she would love to live a life less ordinary.

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4 common myths and facts about stuttering

“There’s a great deal of misunderstanding about stuttering,” says Dennis Drayna, Ph.D., a scientist emeritus with NIH’s National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and an expert on the genetics of stuttering.

Here are some common misconceptions and facts:

Myth: It’s a psychological problem caused by anxiety, stress, or nervousness.

Truth: While anxiety or stress may worsen stuttering, it doesn’t cause it. Stuttering often starts in childhood. As children grow older, many become anxious and ashamed after they experience negative reactions from people around them. Treatment for stuttering often includes counseling to help deal with other people’s damaging reactions.

Myth: A person who stutters just needs to relax and calm down before they speak.

Truth: Telling a person who stutters to “just relax” or “calm down” makes it worse because it increases the pressure on them to speak normally. “It creates a vicious cycle,” says Dr. Drayna. Stuttering doesn’t happen because people are scared of speaking in public, he says. It is likely linked to subtle changes in the brain, and in at least some cases, to mutations in specific genes.

Myth: People who stutter are not smart.

Truth: Stuttering has nothing to do with intelligence. Just because a person has trouble speaking doesn’t mean they are confused about anything. They know what they want to say, but there’s a glitch in their ability to produce smooth speech. Stuttering has affected scientists, actors, writers, and politicians, many of whom have achieved great things.

Myth: It’s OK to finish a person’s sentence for them if they’re stuttering.

Truth: ““Finishing a sentence for a person who stutters is the worst thing you can do. It’s demeaning—worse than telling someone just to relax,” says Dr. Drayna. “Would you tell someone walking with a brace on their leg to just walk better?” The precise causes of stuttering are still poorly understood, but at least some cases are linked to genes that control functions within the brain’s cells. Until a cure is found, speech therapists can often provide techniques that control or reduce stuttering.

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