Wednesday, 19 July 2017

What has Changed in Pilani

Change as they say is the only constant in life. For a college or a university and the campus itself, changes do occur. Some things change in a campus, some don't.
BITS Pilani is Ghumakkad's alma mater. Every year on 1st friday of August, BITSians Day is celebrated world over. On the eve of BITSians Day 2017, Ghumakkad goes back 49 years when he entered BITS. 
What has changed in Pilani and what has not? Through the pictures spanning 50 years, we try and discern. If you are a BITSian, please do shoot a response.

 BITS came into being in 1964. The students conceived a campus newspaper titled 'BITS BEAT' which continued to run till 1982 or so. In between 'Sandy Times' also emerged in 1968-69. The titles thereafter changed to 'Sand Piper' and finally 'Cactus Flower' which has sustained till now. Similarly the Hindi publication 'Rachna' रचना of 1960s now has two parts-- 'Pravaah' प्रवाह (a monthly) and 'Vaani' वाणी (annual). Credit for this research goes to 'Nattu' Natrajan, 'Nagi' Nagarajan, V Ramanan, Prateek Om, Somji Shukla, Mohit Vyas, Ben Bendre, Pratik Maheshwari and Priyank Chauhan. Titles may have changed over the years, but the underlying spirit of creativity and innovation has remained same.

If the present generation of BITSians think that ANC-- all night canteen is a recent phenomenon, please read the fine print of the inaugural issue of BITS Beat above. 'Night Canteen' after 9 pm goes back to 1964 buddies! BITSians were always ahead of their times!

Next question we ask 'What is so great about BITS?'
Answer: Nothing. It is like any other college!
Really? Let us ask it's alumni.
That's precisely what we did some time back. A short video below summarises the reactions of some 500 alumni.

We invite those readers-- BITSians and others alike-- who haven't been to the other three campuses-- to browse the following stories:
BITS Dubai- Another Oasis in the desert
BITS Goa- The Campus that rocks
BITS Hyderabad- Created out of rocks

As alumni, we all love our college or school. With time, institutions change, people change. But somehow the character and the spirit of an insitution thrive and survive through changing times. Do you feel the same ?

Hail the spirit of your alma-mater!

Thanks for browsing

   -  Harsh-the-Ghumakkad with Neeta Bhargava/ 19th July 2017

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Confusion at Hampi- Ugra or Lakshmi Narasimha

Hampi famous for Royal Chariot and Lotus Mahal, also has some huge monolithic statues of Gods. These temples one of which is Narasimha temple, are part of another half day tour. Visitors to the temple generally go away with a misconception that Lord Narasimha is showing his 'Ugra' उग्र meaning angry mood. But based on Archeological Survey of India (ASI) signage, our guide clarified that it is not ugra but Lakshmi Narasimha. Hence this title of our present short story. You can see the face of the Lord and ASI signage. 

Ghumakkad will take you to Virupaksha Temple, which is a 'live' temple, in our next story. On the way we will also visit sone more monuments like the Pushkarni or the step well. Preview picture below:
Hampi also offers the hikers enough trails. Those who wish to go hiking in Hampi, can browse our earlier story 'Hiking in Hampi'.

Thanks for browsing

   -Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 16th July 2017

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Buddha Vanam- An upcoming tourist attraction

Buddha Vanam, Buddha Charita Vanam or "Life of Buddha Park" is being built on left bank of Nagarjunasagar. Ghumakkad visited the Park in June 2017. It depicts the life of Buddha through free-standing bronzes. Well laid out with plenty of trees in a 275-acre site, it will surely emerge as a key tourist attraction in that area.
Picture story for you including two short video clips.

Below is a video link taken inside the Maha Stupa. You can hear the echo inside the dome.

As we exit the Stupa, we can see numerous stone panels carved beautifully. Some panels are yet to be completed.

The Stupa also depicts the famous Jataka tales carved in stone.
Apart from Jataka tales carved in stone, the Maha Stupa also has stone carvings of modern day personalities like Mahatma Gandhi and Dalai Lama. See the short video linked below:

We end this story on Buddha's life with his famous  quote "Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." Enjoy the picturesque quote with a picture of Buddha Statue in Husainsagar lake in Hyderabad taken by me sometime back.

Thanks for browsing our journey to Nagarjunasagar and its surroundings. Our previous stories, just in case you missed, can be browsed by clicking the links below:

  1. Nagarjunasagar- A Getaway from Hyderabad
  2. Flying with a River Tern
  3. Nagarjunakonda- Island and Museum
  4. Anupu- Buddhist Excavations Reconstructed

You are welcome to share your pictures or memories.

    -Harsh-the-Ghumakkad with Neeta Bhargava/ 12th July 2017.