Monday, March 6, 2017



By Vinnakota Venkata Sankar Rao (V V Sankar Rao) 


Prayer to Lord Shiva by self-torturing is evident from Treta Yuga and is also mentioned in Bhaghavata Purana and other Puranas. Some people believe that these are superstitions of people and imposed by the upper caste on others over the generations. However, it is not so. The reality was different. Even Mahavira Jina, Jaina Digambaras, Buddhist Monks and Tantric Sadhakas in the Hindu pantheon always believe in Penance. The followers of Islam also practice self-torturing to please their almighty. 
Lord Brahma sat penancing to redeem himself from the curse of Lord Shiva for his arrogance in creating the universe. Lord Shiva appeared in front of him from the ears of a cow. So that place is known as Gokarna which is about 480 KMs from Bangalore and 240 KMs from Mangalore on sea shores of Arabian Sea. As per religious believes, Lord Parusurama, the 6th Avatara of Lord Vishnu, created Kerala from Gokarna to Kanyakumari.
During Treta Yuga, Ravana’s mother, a devotee of Lord Shiva, used to make a Shiva Linga with sea sand daily in the early morning in Lanka for the long life and welfare of her son Ravana. Lord Vishnu with the help of Sea God used to wash away the shivalinga and disturb her Pooja. As such Ravana decided to pray to Lord Shiva to obtain his Atma Lingo and wanted to bring it to Lanka permanently. He approaches Kailash and prays to Lord Shiva, but failed to please him. Then Ravana decided to tear off the intestine of his body and use it as “Veena” and start praying to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was very pleased with the way Ravana made self-inflicted injury to his body. Lord Shiva offers him his “Atma linga” with a condition that it should not be placed on the earth until he reaches his destination. 
Ravana begins his return journey to Lanka. On knowing this, Lord Vishnu wanted to prevent him from taking “Atma linga” to Lanka, since once it reaches and his mother starts worshiping no one can stop Ravana. Lord Vishnu approaches Lord Ganersha for help. Lord Ganesha appears as a cowherd and Lord Vishnu by using his “Sudarsan Chakra” stops the view of Sun God so that Ravana felt it is evening and that the sun is about to set. Ravana had the habit of offering “Jalanjali” to the Sun God at its rise and set without fail. At that point he has reached “Gokarna” sea shore. As he could not place the “Atma linga” on earth, he approaches the cow-herd (Lord Ganesha ) to hold it until such time he completes the rituals. Lord Ganesha makes a condition that he cannot wait for a long period and before he puts it down will call him thrice and he should come before that to take the “Atma linga” from him. While Ravana was still performing his rituals, Lord Ganesha calls him thrice and places the “Atma linga” on the earth. Despite best efforts Ravana fails to move the “Atma linga” from the place where it is kept. Ravana seeks help of Vali to shift “Atma Linga” since Vali has the capability of drawing the strength from his opponent to him, but Vali also fails to shift. While making his efforts Ravana could succeed to remove some pieces of linga and throws them and they fall at different places. These places are known as Dhareshwara, Gunavanteswara, Murudeseara and Shejeshwara. As Ravana could not even tilt the linga, he called it is “Mhabala” and as such Lord Shiva is also known as “Mahabaleswara” and these places is also known as “Pancha Keshtras”
Some of them also torture themselves during this period by beating themselves with hunter and normally they apply haldi all over their body. I have also seen people piercing their tongue by a needle. First time I have seen some Bhaktas at “Sarankul” Ladubaba Mandir in Nayagada District of Odisha piercing their tongues during my child hood and that was my first memory and I was almost frightened and hid my faces in the anchal of my mother. At that time I was about four years or so. During this period the Bhaktas also perform walking on fire. Some of them will also make “Angapradakshana” (they will move around the temple in Srastanga Namaskara pose for about 13 or 21 or 108 times). These self-inflecting injuries they make to pay homage to Lord Shiva for saving the lives of their dear ones. 
Similarly “Chhau Nrutya” a form of dance cum martial arts to worship Lord Shiva is also being performed in Mayurbhanj and Chattishgarh. The difference between the two is that in Chhattisgarh they wear masks and also pour kirosine on the mask and lit fire and dance in front of Shiva Lingo in darkness of course guided by some of other participants. In case of Mayurbhanj the dance form is also mixed with that of Odishi and they won’t wear masks. Once Maharaja of Mayurbhanj Srirama Chandra Bhanj Deo and Pratap Chandra Bhanj Deo presented the famous “War Dance” in 1912 at Calcutta (now known as Kolkata) in honor of George V, the British Emperor and the appreciations were showered by King, press and elite for their performance of “Chhau Dance”.
I have given all these examples to show as a tradition of self inflicting injuries to one’s own body to please Lord Shiva is from the days of Treta Yuga. I have illustrated this story to show the existence of such form of worship to Lord Shiva in all most all religions. 
Danda Nata is also a penance and one of the major theatrical form of devotion of Ganjam District associated with the Shiva cult. It has its roots in the religious and cultural history of Odisha. It is essentially ritualistic folk theatrical in nature and associated with Shiva, Kali myth. The Danda (penance) elucidates the Rudrakali myth associated with the activities of Lord Shiva and Kali. Its origin is traced to 8th or 9th centuries after the decadence of Buddhism. After this the Shaivism became predominant in Odisha. The downtrodden, untouchable and low cast people took to the worship of Lord Shiva outside the temples. They started for their salvation to Lord Shiva once in a year during “Chaitra” by performing dance called “Danda Nata”. Abhinava Chandrika a literary work of 1568 has also mentioned about “Danda Nata”.
To be continued ---------------------------------------------------------------------
- About the Author-
(The writer was born in 1946 at Berhampur, studied at KC High School near Khallikote College abd later that school migrated to Gusainuagaon as KC Higher Secendary School., later studied at Khallikote college and obtained degree in 1968 from Berhampur University.
I joined State Bank of India as Clerk-Typist in 1970 at Berhampur. and left Berhampur in 1979 on transfer. Again I came to Berhampur and worked as Field Officer and also Branch Manager at SBI, Aska Road Branch, Berhampur during 1988 to 2001.
There after my visits to town as a guest for a day or two. I served in places like Surada , Koraput, Sunabeda. Sundargarh, Barpali and Bubanesweaw. Finally retired in 2006. Since 2011 I am staying in Bangalore.)


During Chaitra Yatra Lakhs of devotees expected to throng Tara Tarini Hill shrine

Hill shrine to be made polythene free this year

Devotees to the shrine will be asked to refrain from bringing bags to the temple

Like previous years, Lakhs of devotees are expected to throng the Tara Tarini hill shrine on famous Tuesdays During Chaitra Yatra festival. During that time the hill shrine would be made completely polythene free. The  Chaitra Yatra on this Month is celebrated on all Tuesdays of the Hindu month of Chaitra and these days are very famous among the devotees of Adi Shakti. This year the festival would be celebrated at the famous hill shrine on five Tuesdays that fall on March 14, 21, 28 as well as April 4 and 11.
Tarini ShipNoteworthy, Tara Tarini is the second highest visited Religious destination in Odisha after Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri. It also caught national attention when Government of India named a Ship of Indian Navy on the name of this famous Shakti peetha recently and for the first time Modi government recognized it’s ancient presence as the famous goddesses of Sea Traders on the Kalinga coast.
Tara Tarini Shakti Peetha on the Purnagiri (Also known as Ratnagiri, Kumari hills, Parvata, Tarakashya Mahagiri in different periods of time in different Texts and Jatakas) at the bank of the holy River Rushikulya near Brahmapur city in Ganjam District, OdishaIndia is worshiped as the Breast Shrine (Sthana Peetha) and manifestations of Adi Shakti. The Tara Tarini Shakti Peetha is one of the oldest pilgrimage centers of the Mother Goddess and is one of four major ancient Tantra Peetha and Shakti Peethas in India...........................Read More

Tata Steel’s First Greenfield Ferro-Chrome Plant in India at Gopalpur (Berhampur, Odisha) Starts Production

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The recently commissioned ferro-chrome plant of Tata Steel at Gopalpur Industrial Park (Berhampur) in Ganjam district of Odisha, has achieved a major milestone .................................... Read More…/

Myra Muni from Hinjilli in Ganjam district won Little Miss Galaxy India-2017 award

{Myra you are a shining star of Ganjam. Many Congratulations from #FutureBerhampur for making us jump with joy again}

Five year old Myra Muni from Hinjilli in Ganjam district has won the Little Miss Galaxy India-2017, bringing glory to the State.
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It was a national level contest for children on beauty and talent that was held in Bangalore. Upon winning the award, Myra has qualified to represent the country at Bansko in Bulgaria for the grand finale that will be held in March.
According to sources, Myra’s father Malaya Myra is the chief instructor in Air India and Nandini, her mother, is a house wife. The family resides in Bangalore.
Myra is studying in UKG and in this age, she brought pride to the village and as from India no one from the country has won the beauty contest in the last 8 years. The little girl walked the ramp like an adult model and also completed for various categories. The event was organised by an agency for children in the age group of 4-13 years. Myra’s parents and people of her village in Hinjilli are proud and also hopeful that she will also perform well in the grand finale at Bulgaria.
-26 February 2017 | PNS | BRAHMAPUR

‘Tejas’ fighter plane developer Dr. Kota Harinarayana honoured

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Scientist Dr Kota Harinarayana, who is credited with developing India’s first home-grown light combat aircraft ‘Tajas’, was today conferred honorary Doctor of Science degree by Ravenshaw University here. Governor and University Chancellor Dr SC Jamir honoured Dr Harinarayana, born at Berhampur in Ganjam district, at the eighth Convocation of the University. Dr Kota Harinarayana has worked with HAL and DRDO and has been the driving force behind developing ‘Tejas’. He was awarded Padmashri in 2002.
‘Tejas’ is the smallest and lightest Multi-Role Supersonic Fighter Aircraft of its class. It is a single engine, Compound-Delta-Wing, Tailless Aircraft. Along with Harinarayana, two other distinguished scholars of the state, Prof Jitendra Nath Mohanty and Prof Gour Kishore Das, were also honoured on the occasion by the University with honoris causa.
At least 90 students of the University were awarded with PhD degrees on the day, while 30 postgraduate students and 32 undergraduate students were given gold medals.
The University Chancellor in his address called upon the graduates to be the flag-bearer of the emerging knowledge society. “Be ethical and transparent in whatever career you choose and contribute to the development of the State and the nation,” Dr Jamir said.
-PTI | Cuttack | February 26, 2017


On the occasion of the Clean Beach Festival at Gopalpur which commenced on February 25, the Brahmapur Development Authority (BeDA) has invited bid for developing an Eco-Retreat Hub.

The hub includes components like a wellness center, several star hotels, an arts and crafts village and a public beach promenade in Gopalpur.
District Collector Prem Chandra Chaudhary kick started the clean beach campaign along with other distinguished dignitaries. Government officials, BeDA staff, volunteers and general public in thousands from all walks of life joined the clean beach drive which began at 6 am. Students from various schools and colleges took part in events like skating, painting, singing, dance and star gazing.
International sand artist Padmasree Sudarsan Patnaik, Tele star Kuna Tripathy and the BeDA secretary along with other guests graced the occasion.
The cultural evening included a laser show performed by famous bands of Odisha.
The festival would also witness Cyclothon on February 26 from Brahmapur to Gopalpur at 6 am. Sand artist Patnaik would craft a sand sculpture exclusively for the fest.

In Odisha, women offer Sarees at Tara Tarini shrine to shut out evil eye

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Huge rush on every Tuesdays at the shrine; around 50,000 to one Lakh people visits

Now a days Thousands of mothers, whose firstborn is a boy, are rushing to Tara Tarini hill shrine in Ganjam district of Odisha on Tuesdays.
These women are offering new sarees among other things to the deity, praying for the well-being of their eldest sons. The reason behind this superstition is a rumour that in the coming months some great harm, maybe death, is going to happen to eldest male child of any family and through this special puja at Tara Tarini temple with new saree on Tuesday this ill fate can be averted.
16 weeks and counting
It’s been 16 weeks since the rumour started in the rural areas of Ganjam, and now it has spread to the slums of Berhampur city and other urban centres of the district. As a result, thousands of mothers are thronging the temple ofTuesdays with a new saree and food material to be offered as ‘chhancha’ (offering) to the temple.
Interestingly, the cost of the saree and the offerings has to be borne by the parents of the women, according to the rumour which has now become a belief among the people. After offering the saree to the deity, the mothers have to wear it at the shrine and then return home.
Crowd management
On last Tuesday (February 21) around 25,000 visitors reached this famous hill shrine of south Odisha and most of them were married women with children, said the secretary of Tara Tarini Development Board (TTDB), Pramod Panda.
On the Tuesday before that (February 14), the number of visitors had gone above 50,000, he added. According to Mr. Panda, February 21 was the 16th Tuesday and the number of visitors on all Tuesdays have been as high as the crowd seen at the temple on the four Tuesdays of the Hindu month of Chaitra (between March and April), when the major festivals of the shrine are held.
The majority of the women who have fallen prey to this rumour are from the economically backward families. As most of them are uneducated or semi-literate, they do not use their logic and easily believe these stories, said J. Suresh, an activist with Humanist and Rationalist Organisation (HRO). Such superstition spreads through word of mouth among the downtrodden, who fail to use their analytical skill to know the truth behind it, he added.
-The Hindu, BERHAMPUR, FEBRUARY 25, 2017

Khallikote Cluster University, Berhampur

Endangered Olive Ridley turtles lay record 3.55 lakh eggs in Rushikulya River mouth near Berhampur

Endangered Olive Ridley, microstat

The endangered Olive Ridley turtles have laid a record 3.55 lakh eggs in the Ganjam coast of Odisha within a span of one week, an official said Monday, adding the figure could touch four lakh mark this year.


Indian Navy honours Tara-Tarini hill shrine by naming Naval Ship

Indian Navy honours Tara-Tarini hill shrine 
@ It will be the first all Women Indian Navy ship 
@ Indian Navy ship Tarini will Circumnavigate the Globe.
@ Tara-Tarini was the traditional patron deity for ancient Odisha (Kalinga) sailors.
@ The boat draws her origin from the famous Tara-Tarini temple of Odisha’s Ganjam district.
@ Tara-Tarini is the patron deity for sailors and merchants and is worshiped for safety and success at sea from ancient period it self. 

@ Only for that mega ports like Manikpatna, PALUR, DANTAPURA, SONAPUR, KALINGA NAGAR and PITHUNDA flourished in Ganjam region very near to the Tara Tarini Shakti peetha.
@ The earliest reference to Palur port near Rambha in Ganjam appears in the work of the Greek sailor Ptolemy during the 2nd century BC who has named it as Paloura.
@ Tara-Tarini of Odisha is known to have historical linkages with the river Goddess Mhadei — the exclusive boat deity of Goa’s Mhadei civilization

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Rushikulya rookery near Berhampur city beckoning Olive Ridley turtles

Nature has made the Rushikulya rookery coast in Ganjam district of Odisha conducive to mass nesting of Olive Ridleys, which is expected to occur by last week of February.
The Rushikulya rookery coast is a major mass nesting site of the endangered marine turtles. No mass nesting occurred here last year, although lakhs of Olive Ridleys had gathered in the sea near the coast. At present mating has started. Hopes are high that in the coming nesting season, the turtles will arrive to lay eggs at the Rushikulya rookery coast.

Some positive changes at the coastline have made the beach more favourable for mass nesting in comparison to past years. These are shifting of the Rushikulya river mouth, erosion and vanishing of a large sandbar and widening of sandy beach through deposition, said Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ashis Behera.
During the past few months, the river mouth has shifted around three kilometres towards Purunabandha from near Gokharkuda village. Due to this, a stretch of over three kms, about 300 to 500 metres wide, has emerged. Sand is loose in this region, which is favourable for nesting as the mother turtles dig it up to lay their eggs. Earlier this stretch of beach was eroded by the sea and was too narrow for mass nesting.
Sea erosion and its deposition had formed a large sandbar of over 1.5 km long and 10 to 20 metre wide near Gokharkuda. This was preventing the turtles from reaching the coast and they were nesting on this sand bar. Several nests were washed away by the waves from here. The erosion had started in 2016 beginning. “Now this sand bar has completely vanished and its sand is deposited on the coast, widening it. Now the turtles would be able to reach the beach directly and easily,” said Mr Behera.
To protect the mating turtles, a special squad of officials from the Forest and Marine Fishery Departments has started patrolling the sea near the coast. The squad has two speed boats from the Forest Department, one trawler each from the Fisheries Department and Gopalpur port. Nine on-shore camps have been established by the Forest Ddepartment on the coast where the turtles usually come to nest near the rookery. Beach cleaning process has also started.
Some positive changes here have made the beach more favourable for mass nesting
By Sib Kumar Das 
- The Hindu, BERHAMPUR,DECEMBER 24, 2016

'AMRUT City' survey in January

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Odisha Govt announced merger of 26 villages with Berhampur at the time of formation of Municipal Corporation in 2008

Odisha Government announced the merger of 26 villages with Berhampur municipal body at the time of formation of the Municipal Corporation in 2008. 
Almost 8 years have passed and there is no movement on this promise to form Greater Berhampur that will add a population of 2.5 lakh to the city’s existing population making it the second biggest city in Odisha by 2021. 
It is unfortunate that this vast population who live in the city periphery still belong to the adjoining Panchyats as the municipal boundaries of Berhampur have not been redrawn in the last 3 decades. Adding salt to the injury, the government is preparing to hold panchayat elections in these villages Jan-Feb 2017 blocking their merger with Berhampur before the 2021 census. 
While there is growing demand for the merger of Chatrapur, Gopalpur and Hinjilicut along with 139 villages under BDA to form Greater Berhampur Municipal Corporation (GBMC) the Govt seems least bothered to ensure planned growth of the city. 
As an immediate measure, Panchayat elections proposed for Jan-Feb 2017 must be stopped in these Panchayats and the road for their early merger with Berhampur Municipal Corporation must be initiated.

Tejas chief designer Kota Harinarayana felicitated in his home city Berhampur

Kota Harinarayana, the programme director and chief designer of India’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, was accorded a civic reception in his hometown Berhampur in Odisha on Sunday.
It was the first visit of Mr. Harinarayana to his home in Berhampur after Tejas got inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF). His childhood, schooling and college life was in Berhampur. The civic reception in his honour had been jointly organised by former students’ association of City High School of Berhampur, where Mr. Harinarayana had studied, civic organisation Forum for Ganjam and Rotary Club of Behampur. Mr. Harinarayana along with his wife K. Nirmala attended the function. Some teachers of Mr. Harinarayana like M. Jagannath Rao were present on the occasion apart from local MLA Ramesh Chandra Chyaupatnaik, chairperson of Berhampur Development Authority Subash Moharana sub-collector and other dignitaries of the city.
Addressing the gathering Mr. Harinarayana said Indians living anywhere in the country including Berhampur should discard inferiority complex from their minds as they can achieve anything with proper perseverance. According to him Tejas was an example of this.
He reiterated that indigenous Tejas was at par or better than aircrafts of its category produced in any developed country. “It would be able to replace old fighter aircrafts of the country like the MIG”, he added. He hoped that in future light passenger aircrafts would enhance communication link in India.
Mr. Harinarayana is also linked with hopes, aspirations and demands of his home town Berhampur. He informed that he is approaching all relevant authorities to upgrade the Rangeilunda airstrip near Berhampur to a full fledged airport.
He felt if this 1850 m long air strip is extended to at least 2250 m length then cargo planes would be able to land on it. It would be a great adage to the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) coming up near Gopalpur port in Ganjam district. He called upon people of south Odisha to come together to form an integrated developmental plan, in which both public and private authorities would be given equal and proper importance.-The Hindu, BERHAMPUR, August 22, 2016

Property of Parala Maharaja updates

Can the NHAI office reopen at Berhampur city?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

In memory of Prof. Prahallad Panda

South Odisha loses its most powerful voice and a worthy Son of the Soil with the passing away of Prof. Prahallad Panda on 02nd August, 2016 in Berhampur. Prof. Panda was an extraordinary academic, writer, author, columnist and a communicator par-excellence who single-handedly fought for backward Southern Odisha region. 
After completing Ph.D in Economics from the Berhampur University, Prof. Panda was into teaching for many years till he retired in 1998. Besides producing a number of meritorious students, he has written many books on economics and about 300 essays on culture and nationalism in Odia. 
Berhampur city was very close to his heart. He was the editor of Kalinga Barta and was also associated with many organizations of Berhampur and South Odisha. His demise has created a vacuum in South Odisha. 
Now it’s the duty of his family members, organizations and other supporters to carry on his relentless struggle for development of South Odisha and to keep his memories alive for future generations.

Ram Prasad Tripathy
New Delhi

Can NHAI office return to Berhampur ?

Waste Management plant to come up in Berhampur