Post No. 9455

Date uploaded in London – –4 APRIL  2021     

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Kumbh Mela begins formally in Haridwar

The Kumbh Mela formally began in Haridwar on Thursday with several restrictions imposed on devotees coming to attend the event amid rising cases of Covid-19 in various states including Uttarakhand.

Officials associated with organising the event, including Mela Officer Deepak Rawat, worshipped in temples along the banks of the Ganga to pray for a safe and unhindered Kumbh fair.

A negative RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours before arrival has been made mandatory for devotees gathering for the Kumbh by the Uttarakhand High Court.

The high court has also asked the health authorities in Haridwar to ramp up testing from 5,000 per day to 50,000.

It is for the first time in the history of the grand religious congregation held on the banks of the Ganga in Haridwar once in 12 years that its duration has been curtailed to just one month due to the pandemic.

In normal circumstances, Kumbh is held for nearly four months.

A total of 38 temporary hospitals with the deployment of 200 doctors and 1,500 paramedical staff have also been operationalised for devotees in the Mela area.

Officials say over 2 crore devotees may visit Haridwar between April 11 and April 14. Earlier estimates said only 50-60 lakh people will congregate for the Haridwar event. 

More than 100 drones will be monitoring the congregation round the clock along with 1500 CCTVs.


Unhappy with Kumbh arrangements, seers ‘assault’ official

Unhappy with the arrangements at their camp in Kumbh area, the Bairagi seers of Nirmohi Akhada on Thursday evening allegedly assaulted a mela official.

Additional Mela Officer Harveer Singh, who suffered an injury in eye, had visited the camp of Nirmohi Akhada seers to find out if they were satisfied with the arrangements in the camp.

The seers apparently had some complaints and somebody pushed the official from behind as he was talking to them, Mela IG Sanjay Gunjyal said.

Singh had his glasses on when he was pushed which broke causing an injury to his eye, he said.

The entire episode is being probed, Gunjyal said.


PM Modi visits Madurai’s Meenakshi Amman temple in traditional attire

Wearing traditional attire, Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered prayers at Madurai’s famous Meenakshi Amman temple on Thursday.

After landing at the Madurai International Airport, Modi reached the temple around 8.30 pm wearing a dhoti and shirt.

He was seen entering the shrine through Amman Sannidhi Entrance of East Chithirai Street and welcomed by temple authorities, priests with Parivattam, and ‘Poorna Kumba Mariyathai’.

During his 45 minute-long stay inside the premises, Modi  visited all the important shrines inside the temple .

He was briefed about the sculptures and historical significance of the temple. Later, vibhuti and kumkum were given as prasad to the Prime Minister.

After his visit, Modi wrote about the importance of Tamil Nadu and Madurai in the visitors’ book and lauded the significance of the temple.

Security had been tightened and many policemen were deployed before his arrival at the temple.


Water is sacred’: Karnataka schoolgirl’s documentary wins UN storytelling competition  

Manavattira Yashmi Dechamma, a ninth grade student, has been selected for the UN Ocean Decade Summit to be hosted in Hawaii soon

The earth is already in a bad state and it will be inherited by us tomorrow. We want to breathe the same pristine air that our grandparents breathed,” said Manavattira Yashmi Dechamma, a ninth grade student who has been selected for the UN Ocean Decade Summit to be hosted in Hawaii soon. Yashmi earned this opportunity after her documentary on the theme ‘Water is sacred’ won the H2021 Water Summit storytelling contest in the 13-17 age group category.

A native of Nelaji village in Kodagu, Yashmi is currently pursuing her studies in Acharya Vidya Kula in Mysuru. During the lockdown, when the world took the virtual path, Yashmi was introduced to the UN Ocean Decade Summit and she took part in the programmes conducted by the initiative

She was then introduced to the H2021 Water Summit where she attended virtual sessions for four consecutive weekends and it is here she learnt about the story telling competition. “Each session was based on a particular theme. The theme ‘Water is sacred’ was close to me as I am from the Kodava community and we worship the River Cauvery,” she said.

Yashmi visited Kodagu and took some beautiful shots of the river. With a Kodava song playing in the background of the video, she highlighted the sorry state of the river today – which has become a victim of pollution. The video then moves to highlighting the efforts of youngsters in reviving the river and ends with a strong message — ‘Let us heal her (River Cauvery) and not fix her’.

“I have heard my mother explain the beauty of Kodagu that existed during her childhood. The district witnessed heavy rainfall then too. However, it is only now that the incessant rainfall is causing destruction and damage said Yashmi Dechamma.



TTD reinstates retired priests

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has issued orders reinstating all the Pradhana Archakas / Archakas (Chief Priests/Priests) belonging to the Mirasi families, who were forcibly retired in May 2018 under the previous TDP regime by the then TTD Trust Board which fixed a retirement age for them. As per the orders issued Friday, all the priests, who are similarly situated and retired under the controversial decision in May 2018, will be restored to their earlier respective positions. The orders were issued as per the High Court judgement delivered in December, 2018.

With this, Dr AV Ramana Deekshitulu will return as the chief priest of the famous hill shrine. Members of the Gollapalli, Peddinti, Tirupathamma and Paidipalli families have been serving at the Tirumala temple for generations on hereditary basis. What the controversial decision of the board under the TDP regime did was to do away with the hereditary system in a way by fixing retirement age for them. 

The same was challenged in the high court the same year by two priests, Seshadri and Murali, who were forcibly retired. In its verdict, the high court had held the TTD decision fixing retirement age for hereditary priests unconstitutional and ruled that hereditary priests belong to a special category intended as custodians of a temple’s customs and traditions, and cannot be treated as normal employees.

However, the court order was not implemented at the Tirumala temple. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who was at the time in the opposition, had promised to restore the hereditary priests if he was voted to power. In line with his promise, the State government had last year issued orders restoring hereditary archakas at all the temples but the same could not be implemented in Tirumala as it is governed by TTD rules. Dr AV Ramana Deekshitulu, however, was appointed as Agama advisor and honorary chief priest.A few days prior to the TTD’s latest order, several priests from Tirumala had met Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Restrictions back in Tirumala as Covid-19 cases rise in Andhra Pradesh

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Andhra Pradesh, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) board, which manages affairs of the Sri Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala has announced new norms for pilgrims, as a precautionary measure.

Pilgrims having a darshan slot on a particular day will be allowed to enter Tirumala by road through Alipiri only after 1 pm on the day before the darshan slot. Through the Alipiri and Srivari Mettu footpaths, pilgrims will be allowed only after 9 am on the day before the darshan slot. 

The Tirumala temple, governed by the TTD, is one of the most popular Hindu shrines in the world.

The number of devotees visiting the temple on a daily basis was initially capped at 6,000, and later increased to a maximum of 12,000. With restrictions eventually relaxed, Tirumala now has around 50,000 pilgrims on an average visiting the temple on a daily basis.


At 47%, Hinduism biggest gainer in religious conversion in Kerala


Of the total 506 people who registered their ‘change of religion’ with the government, 241 were those who converted from Christianity or Islam to Hinduism.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: While the BJP, in its election manifesto, has promised an Uttar Pradesh model law against forceful religious conversion and ‘love jihad’ in Kerala to woo Hindu and Christian voters, the data sourced by NEW INDIAN EXPRESS from the government gazettes paint an altogether different picture.

According to official figures for the year 2020, the biggest gainer – in terms of new converts – was Hinduism. People who embraced Hinduism constituted 47 per cent of religious conversions in Kerala during the one-year period under reference. 

Of the total 506 people who registered their change of religion with the government, 241 were those who converted from Christianity or Islam to Hinduism. A total of 144 persons adopted Islam whereas Christianity received 119 new believers in the year, shows the data.

32 people left Islam for Hinduism

As per the rule, people who officially change their religion, including minors, have to advertise it in the gazette. 72% of the new converts to Hinduism were Dalit Christians, mostly Christian Cheramars, Christian Sambavas and Christian Pulayas. It was evident that lack of reservation benefits forced many Dalit Christians to re-embrace Hinduism. Also, 32 people left Islam to join Hinduism.

Christianity lost 242 believers to the other two religions and attracted only 119 persons. Islam gained 144 new believers and lost 40 during the period. Buddhism received two new believers who switched from Hinduism.

77% of the new converts to Islam were Hindus and 63% women. It attracted the highest number of persons from Ezhava, Thiyya and Nair communities. 25 persons, including 13 females, switched from Hindu Ezhava to Islam.

17 Thiyya community members including 11 females converted to Islam. 17 persons including 12 females were from the Nair community. Of the 33 persons who crossed over to Islam from Christianity, 9 were Syrian Catholics, who included two women. 


Mathura’s Krishna temple deity lies buried under a mosque in Agra Fort, claims advocate

An advocate has filed the application as part of his lawsuit seeking the shifting away of the 17th century Shahi Masjid from near the birthplace of Lord Krishna.

A Mathura-based advocate has moved a court here claiming that the ‘principal deity’ of the Thakur Katra Keshav Dev temple in the city lies buried beneath the staircase of a mosque built in Diwan-e-Khas of the Agra’s Red Fort.

In his plea filed in the court of Senior Civil Judge Neha Banaudia, advocate Mahendra Pratap Singh has requested the court to direct the Archaeological Survey of India or any other competent authority to locate the principal deity, allegedly buried under the mosque’s staircase along with other idols, and retrieve them.

The advocate has filed the application as part of his lawsuit seeking the shifting away of the 17th century Shahi Masjid from near the birthplace of Lord Krishna in the Katra Keshav Dev temple here, Sanjay Gaur said.

He said the court has fixed April 19 for hearing Singh’s plea.



Mathura: Devotees gather in huge number to play ‘Kapda Fad’ Holi

Hundreds of devotees gathered and played ‘kapda Fad’ or ‘Huranga’ in in the premises of Dauji Temple in Baldeo area of Mathura district on Tuesday (March 30).

This is a different type of Holi played by people in Dauji Temple known as Holi Khasam Huranga. The sister-in-law tears the clothes of her brother-in-law and beats them fiercely. People from all over the country reach here to see and play this form of Holi.

This type of Holi was played by Lord Krishna with his sister-in-laws. The expenses of this festival are covered by the Dauji Temple authorities. This Huranga festival does not end until the flag at the top of the temple is not covered with different colours.


Sheetala Ashtami 2021 to be observed TODAY:

On the day of the Sheetala Ashtami, fresh food is not cooked and devotees consume stale food prepared a day prior

Sheetala Ashtami is a festival in Hinduism that is celebrated after Holi on the Krishna Paksha Ashtami. Also known as Basoda, Sheetala Ashtami is celebrated worshipping Goddess Sheetala.

This year, Hindu devotees are celebrating the festival on TODAY, 4 April.

It is believed that Goddess Sheetala blesses her devotees and defends them against any heat-borne disease. Legend says that a demon called Jwarasura was the carrier of diseases when he was born. Goddess Sheetala cured the illnesses, causing him to lose powers. This is why Goddess Sheetala is worshipped as the goddess who can cure diseases.

On the day of the Sheetala Ashtami, fresh food is not cooked. Devotees consume stale food that is cooked a day prior to the Ashtami. A day before Sheetala Ashtami which is Sheetala Saptami, devotees prepare a dish of jaggery and rice to offer Goddess Sheetala on Sheetala Ashtami.




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tags — Hindu News, Roundup4421

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Post No. 9210-A

Date uploaded in London – –31 January 2021      

Contact –

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge.

this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.,


Namaste , Namaskaram to Everyone

This is a weekly ‘HINDU NEWS ROUND UP’ from around the world.



This is a broadcast coming through ZOOM and FACEBOOK.COM / GNANA MAYAM live at

ONE pm London Time and 6-30 PM Indian Time Every SUNDAY.

Even if you miss our live broadcast on SUNDAYS

, you can always visit us on FACE BOOK.COM – slash- Gnana Mayam 24 hours a day. 

Here is the WEEKLY HINDU NEWS BULLETIN from ‘Aakaasa Dhwani’



‘Freedom of speech not absolute’: Supreme Court  tells makers of web series ‘Tandav’

The web series TANDAV  is facing criminal cases for hurting HINDU religious sentiments and insulting religion punishable under Sections 153A and 295 of Indian Penal Code.

The directors and actors of web series ‘Tandav’, and head of Amazon Prime India Aparna Purohit failed to get protection from arrest from Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The case was heard by a bench of justices Ashok Bhushan, RS Reddy and MR Shah.

“Your right to freedom of speech is not absolute. You cannot play the role of character that hurts the sentiments of a community,” the bench said.

The top court was hearing a bunch of petitions seeking quashing of criminal complaints lodged in various states against Ali Abbas Zafar, the Director of the web series, and others for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments.

Besides Zafar and Purohit, producer Himanshu Mehra, the show’s writer Gaurav Solanki and actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub had filed three separate petitions against the registration of FIRs in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.



Khalistani backed rioting farmers vandalises Ram Mandir and Kedarnath tableaux from Republic Day parade

Khalistani backed Rioting farmers on Tuesday last not  desecrated the Red Fort and vandalised the tableau from the Republic Day parade.

As can be seen in the video, the dome of the Ram Mandir tableau by Uttar Pradesh and Kedarnath temple of Uttarakhand were specifically targetted. The dome atop the Ram Mandir tableau was broken by the rioting mob. “This is the Ram Mandir tableau. It had come in proper condition. The protestors who had come yesterday specifically targetted the Kedarnath temple and dome at Ram Mandir,” a Delhi Police personnel told Aaj Tak reporter.

RSS condemns violence in Delhi on Republic Day

Hindu Organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh  on Tuesday condemned the violence during the farmers’ tractor parade in Delhi and said the ‘unfortunate act’ at the Red Fort was an insult to those who sacrificed their lives for India’s freedom and National integrity.

The RSS appealed to all countrymen to rise above political and ideological differences and strive for peace as a priority.

“The violence that took place in Delhi on Republic Day is sad and condemnable,” RSS Sarkaryavah Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi said in a statement. “Especially what happened in Red Fort is an insult to the freedom fighters and those who laid down their lives for the integrity of the nation. There is no place for such anarchy in a democracy,” he added.


The sacred chants of ‘Swamiye Sharanam Ayyappa’  reverberated on Raj Path during Republic Day parade

The sacred chants of ‘Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa’ reverberated on Raj Path in New Delhi on the occasion of Republic Day parade.

The 861 Brahmos regiment, one of India’s most lethal forces, took part in the celebrations in the national capital.

The 861 Missile Regiment, a part of the Regiment of Artillery of the Indian Army, displayed the Brahmos missile during the Republic Day celebrations this year at Raj Path. The war cry of the regiment is ‘Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa’.

Recently, the 861 Missile Regiment and its Brahmos missile systems had participated in the 73rd Indian Army Day, that was observed on January 15, where the sacred chants to Lord Ayyappa were first heard.

Incidentally, the war cry is raised along with Durga Mata ki Jai and Bharat Mata Ki Jai by the regiment. The Brahmos regiment’s war cry is seen as a fitting tribute to Lord Ayyappa as the deity is symbolized to have defeated the evil forces by riding atop a tiger holding a bow and arrow.



An 83-year-old seer has donated ₹1 crore to the Visva Hindu Parishad  for the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The seer has been living in a cave for over half a century. “I’ve been living in the cave for over half a century. As a seer, I live on donations from the devotees visiting the cave. When I came to know about the Parishad campaign, I decided to donate the amount for Ram Mandir for which we all have been dreaming for long,” said Swami Shankar Das while speaking to the media.

The bank officials were surprised when the seer offered the cheque for ₹1 crore. Upon checking, they found that his account had the requisite balance. The officials then contacted the local RSS functionaries who reached the bank and helped Das donate the amount in the Ram Mandir Trust.

According to Das, it was at the cave of his guru Taat wale Baba that he received donations from devotees that added up to the amount that he donated to Wednesday.

A 10-year-old girl in Nainital donated ₹2,500 for the temple from savings in her piggy bank.



 Landing  the finances of the Travancore Devaswom Board  in the doldrums, the annual income generated by the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple has dropped by a whopping 92.2 per cent in the wake of the Covid pandemic. The hill shrine’s revenue — which stood at Rs 269 crore in 2019-20 — has nosedived to a meagre Rs 21 crore this year.

The Board, which relies on the temple’s two-month annual pilgrimage to meet administrative expenses of the 1,248 temples under its ambit, has resorted to knocking on the doors of devotees and neighbouring states to salvage the situation. Including the staff’s salary, the Board needs at least `40 crore a month to run all 1,248 temples.

“The Board is planning to approach the rich devotees and governments of these states for support. There are also plans to retrench around 200 temporary employees as a cost-cutting measure,” Vasu said. 

Pilgrims’ offerings to be mortgaged

Another plan is to mortgage the gold offered by devotees with the Reserve Bank of India to avail a loan. Bronze utensils and lamps will be auctioned to raise funds.


Muslim woman performs age-old ritual at temple in Vemulawada

New Indian Express news paper has published an interesting news item

From Telangana. It was about a Muslim woman performing Hindu ritual in a temple.

 Setting an example of communal harmony, Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy temple in Vemulawada  in Telangana permitted a Muslim woman named Apsar, who hails from Manthani, enter the temple premises and perform Kode Mokkulu (an age-old ox-tying ritual) for Lord Shiva on Tuesday.

Temple authorities said that this was the first time in the history of the temple that a Muslim woman was allowed to perform Kode Mokkulu. It may be mentioned that unlike other Hindu temples, the Vemulawada temple houses a dargah on its premises.

Devotees usually visit the dargah after having a darshan of Lord Shiva and Goddess Raja Rajeshwari. 


Attukal Pongal Festival to be restricted within temple premises

With the Covid-19 threat continuing to loom large, the Kerala state government has decided to hold the Attukal Pongal festival in a low-key manner this year strictly adhering to Covid-19 protocols.

A high-level meeting chaired by Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran in THIRUVANANTHAPURAM  decided to declare only the ward surrounding the Attukal Temple as festival zone. 

The plan is to confine the pongal to the temple premises and admissions to the temple compound will be given through online registration like on the lines of Sabarimala model. The meeting has also decided NOT to allow people to offer pongal on public roads or other public places

The minister also directed the officials to complete the preparations on a war-footing ahead of the festival which would be held on February 27.



The National Security Council IN MALAYSIA allowed the chariot carrying the statue of Lord Murugan to travel to Batu Caves without a procession in conjunction with this year’s Thaipusam celebrations.

The Federal Territories Minister said this was done as a mark of respect for Hindus celebrating Thaipusam.

“The NSC has discussed in detailed and agreed to allow the chariot to travel to Batu Caves at a stipulated time, which is either at midnight or early morning, with no procession and for the return journey to be carried out in a similar manner.

“Only 10 temple personnel were allowed to accompany the chariot, with no music or procession, and with no stops anywhere

The function was streamed live on the official Facebook page of the Federal Territories Ministry.




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