Thursday, 18 October 2012

Orissa (PART-IV)




Entrance of Nandankanan

Nandankanan Zoological Park is a 400-hectare (990-acre) zoo and botanical garden in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India. Established in 1960, it was opened to the public in 1979 and became the first zoo in India to join World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in 2009. It also contains a botanical garden and part of it has been declared a sanctuary. Nandankanan, literally meaning 'The Garden of Heavens', is located near the capital city, Bhubaneswar, in the environs of the Chandaka forest, and includes the 134-acre (54 ha) Kanjia Lake.
The zoo is home to about 1660 individuals representing 120 species, including 42 species of mammals, 54 species of birds, and 24 species of reptiles. Endangered species such as the Asiatic lion, three Indian crocodilians, Sangal lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur, Indian pangolin, mouse deer and countless birds, reptiles and fish have been breeding successfully at Nandankanan. The zoo enjoys a good reputation internationally for successfully breeding black panthers, gharials, and white tigers in captivity.

White Tiger

Nandankanan is famous for its white tiger population, the species it claims to have produced. Three white tigers were born in the Nandankanan Zoo in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India in 1980. Their parents were an orange father–daughter pair called Deepak and Ganga, who were not related to Mohan or any other captive white tiger. One of their wild-caught ancestors would have carried the recessive white gene, and it showed up when Deepak was mated to his daughter. Deepak's sister also turned out to be a white gene carrier. These white tigers are therefore referred to as the Orissa strain, as opposed to the Rewa strain, of white tigers founded by Mohan. When the surprise birth of three white cubs occurred there was a white tigress already living at the zoo, named Diana, from the Delhi Zoo. One of the three was later bred to her creating another blend of two unrelated strains of white tigers. This lineage resulted in several white tigers in Nandankanan Zoo. Today the Nandankanan Zoo has the largest collection of white tigers in India. The Cincinnati Zoo acquired two female white tigers from the Nandankanan Zoo, in the hopes of establishing a line of pure-Bengal white tigers in America, but they never got a male, and didn't receive authorization from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)'s Species Survival Plan (SSP) to breed them. Nandankanan is now home to over 34 white tigers.

Crocodile at the Nandankanan

Captive breeding units of all the three crocodilian species have been established at Nandankanan Zoo. In the year of 1980, the gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) was bred in captivity for the first time at the Nandankanan Biological Park in Orissa. This successful effort involved the collaboration and co-ordination between international and national zoological parks. The male came from the Frankfurt zoo and the females were from the Nandankanan and Trivandrum zoos.

The zoo was the first in India to successfully breed pangolin. In a programme started before the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) pangolin breeding programme, the zoo authorities started the programme in the nocturnal centre of the animal park. There are 10 pangolins in Nandankanan Zoo, including six females

Peacock at the Nandankanan

The zoo includes 34 aquarias which are home to a large variety of fresh water fishes.
The Reptile Park's cave-like entrance is guarded by a life size Tyrannosaurus Rex. This houses numerous species of crocodiles, lizards, turtles, and snakes.

Birds at Nandankanan

The zoo will have the largest Orchid House of Orissa soon spreading over 5,000 square feet (460 m2). In Orissa alone, 130 species of orchids have been documented to date.

Brahmeswara Temple

Brahmeswara Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Siva located in Bhubaneswar, erected at the end of the 9th century AD, is richly carved inside and out. This Hindu temple can be dated with fair accuracy by the use of inscriptions that were originally on the temple. They are now unfortunately lost, but records of them preserve the information of around 1058 AD.The temple is built in the 18th regnal year of the Somavamsi king Udyotakesari by his mother Kolavati Devi. This corresponds to 1058 AD.
The temple is built with traditional architectural methods of wood carving, but applied on stone building. The buildings were built in a shape of full volume pyramid, and then the would be carved inside and outside.
The basic structure of the Orissan temple has two connecting buildings. The smaller is the Jagmohana, or assembly hall. Behind it is the Sikhara, the towering sanctuary. Later temples have two additional halls in front—one for dancing, the other for banquets.

On sandstone walls there are symbolic decorations and the notion of godlike figures that helps the believer in his meditation. The carvings over the doorframe contain beautiful flower designs as well as flying figures. Like the Rajarani, there are images of the eight directional Guardian Deities. There are also quite a number of tantric-related images, and even 'Chamunda' appears on the western facade, holding a trident and a human head, standing on a corpse. Shiva and other deities are also depicted in their horrific aspects.
One of the lost inscriptions stated that a Queen Kolavati presented 'many beautiful women' to the temple, and it has been suggested that this is an evidence of the *'Devadasi' tradition, which assumed such importance in later Orissan temple architecture and temple life.

* In Hinduism, the ‘Devadasi’ tradition ( “servant of god”) is a religious tradition in which girls are “married” and dedicated to a deity (deva or devi) or to a temple and includes performance aspects such as those that take place in the temple as well as in the courtly and mujuvani [Telegu] or home context. Dance and music were essential part of temple worship. Originally, in addition to this and taking care of the temple and performing rituals, these women learned and practiced ‘Sadir’ (**‘Bharatanatyam’), ‘Odissi’ and other classical Indian artistic traditions and enjoyed a high social status.

** Bharatanatyam is a classical Indian dance form originating in the South Indian state of  Tamil Nadu. This dance form denotes various 19th and 20th century reconstructions of Sadir, the art of temple dancers. Sadir in turn, is derived from ancient dance forms. Bharatnatyam is usually accompanied by the classical music. It has its inspirations from the sculptures of the ancient temple of Chidambaram. Bharatanatyam, as the name depicts is the combination of:
'Bha' - Bhavam (means expression), 'Ra' - Ragam (means music), 'Ta - Talam (means beat or rhythm) and Natyam (means dance) in Tamil.


Bharatanatyam is a reworked dance-form from the traditional "sadir" known for its grace, purity, tenderness, and sculpturesque poses. Today, it is one of the most popular and widely performed dance styles and is practiced by male and female dancers all over the world.

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