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Hemant Shesh IAS (Retd.) is a renowned Poet, Art-Critic, Editor, Painter and a keen Photographer. (Dr. M. Sharma)

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The genesis of the Odisha State Museum goes back to the year 1932, when two notable historians Prof. N. C Banerjee & Prof. Ghanshyam Dash of Ravenshaw College, Cuttack started collection of archaeological treasures from various places. The small museum was then housed within the premises of the College. In 1938, by a suitable order, the Government of Odisha transformed this nucleus into the Provincial museum of Odisha.

Maintaining close contact with the general public and the Archaeological Department of the Government of India and other States, the Museum continued to grow. In order to popularize the cultural exhibits of the Museum, leaflets printed both in Odia and English were published in the Samaj and the New Odisha and copies of the same were sent to officials and the public to create a sense of awareness about the significance of the Museum. As a result of this publicity, students and the general public started visiting the Museum in large numbers. The teachers of the History Department made sustained efforts to explain to them the cultural value of the Museum and its exhibits.

The Peace Pagoda built by the Japanese Buddhist Sangha stands tall on a hill and overlooks the entire Dhauli plain. This peace pagoda houses various statues of Lord Buddha and visually depicts stories of the Kalinga War and King Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism. Situated on the banks of the Daya river and at about eight kilometres from Bhubaneshwar, Dhauli is the place where the gory Kalinga war was fought in 261 B.C. Today, Dhauli doesn’t look gory at all. Instead, it is a picture of greenery, peace and serenity.

OM SHARMA JI I am happy that my photograph inspired you to see the magnificent temple.

OM SHARMA JI ....YOU ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.

The Kos Minars are the milestones made by the Mughal emperors between 1556 to 1707 AD. "Kos" literally means a medieval measurement of distance denoting approximately 3 km and "Minar" is a Persian word for tower. The Kos Minars measure over 30 feet in height and were once erected by the Mughals marking their royal route from Agra to Ajmer via Jaipur in the west, from Agra to Lahore via Delhi in the north and from Agra to Mandu via Shivpuri in the south. Modern highways have come up much along the same route as the one delineated by the Kos Minars. Abul Fazl recorded in Akbar Nama that in the year 1575 AD, Akbar issued an order that at every Kos on the way from Agra to Ajmer, a pillar or a minar should be erected for the comfort of the travellers. So that the travellers who had lost their way might have a mark and a place to rest. It is believed that Akbar derived inspiration to build Kos Minars from his predecessor, Sher Shah, who built many roads and repaired and revived the ancient route of the Mauryas henceforth termed the Sher Shah Suri Marg or the Grad trunk Road. The Kos Minar is a solid round pillar that stands on a masonry platform built with bricks and plastered over with lime. Kos Minars became an institution during the rule of the Mughals that after Akbar, emperor Jahangir and Shah Jahan, both added to the existing network of Kos Minars. In the north they were extended as far as Peshawar and in the east to Bengal via Kanauj. The geographic span makes for nearly three thousand kilometers of Mughal highways, accounting for nearly 1000 Kos Minars, i.e., 1 every Kos or 3 km. there is no record as to how many of them have survived. The Kos Minars are never looked at as architecturally impressive structures. It is only when we view them in the totality of a much larger design that their real significance emerges. The Kos Minars proved critical in the governance, as there was a horse, a rider, and a drummer posted at every Kos Minar and royal messages were relayed back and forth with great speed. Some historians believe that the Kos Minars were principally made to facilitate transportation and not communications. Those were the days when the Mughal emperors traveled on elephant back, in a royal entourage that included more than a thousand people consisting of bodyguards, personal retainers, tent erectors, cooks, foot soldiers and cavalry.

Present acharya of Kankroli Peeth, Shri Sharad Kumar Goswamy and his able son Paresh Kumar Goswamy, an enthusiast art-collector, have given this old temple property a new look by getting added multiple innovations- installation of statues and sculptures and developing a terrace garden.

Guru Gobind Singh ji (22 December 1666 – 7 October 1708) was the tenth Guru of Sikhism. He was born in Patna, Bihar in India and became a Guru on 11 November 1675 AD, at the age of nine years, succeeding his father Guru Tegh Bahadur. He was the leader of the Sikh faith, a warrior, a poet, and a philosopher. In the Sikh society, Guru Gobind Singh is considered as a perfect example of manhood; highly educated, skilled in horsemanship, armed combat, chivalrous, and a generous saint.

Guru Gobind Singh ji's life and teachings have had a lasting impression on Sikh ideology as well as in their daily life. His establishment of the Khalsa is considered as one of the most important events in the history of Sikhism. He fought twenty defensive battles with the Mughals and their alliances, such as Rajas of Shivalik Hills. Guru Gobind Singh ji was the last human Sikh Guru; and in Nanded he declared the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikhism, as the next permanent Sikh Guru on October 7, 1708 Takht Shri Harmandir Ji, patna sahib gurudwara is the birth place of tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh Ji . Gurudwara is situated at the north-eastern part of patna at the bank of holy river Ganga.

It is another landmark in the tourism chapters of Visakhapatnam. The first of its kind in the whole south Asia. INS Kurusura Submarine is a Soviet built-I-641 class Submarine was inducted into the Indian Navy on 18, December 1969 and the same was decommissioned on 28, February 2001 after 31 years of glorious service to the nation. The complete Submarine including the weapon package was hauled-up from Sea to land and positioned on a concrete foundation at Gajapathi Raju Marg, Ramakrishna Beach Road, Visakhapatnam. For setting-up the Submarine Museum, a sum around Rs.6.00 Crores was spent in technical association with Naval-ship Design and Research Center. The length of Submarine is 91.3 m. while the breadth is 8.00 m.

The Government in G.o.Ms.No.88 Youth Advancement, Tourism and Culture (Tourism) Department, dated: 30-4-2002 have ordered to transfer the entire Submarine Museum with the surrounding areas developed for the Museum including the food courts and open areas etc. to VUDA for the up-keep and maintenance of the Submarine Museum and throw open to the public for display and entertainment and the Vice-chairman, VUDA was permitted to enter into a MOU with Naval authorities for the up-keep and the maintenance of the Submarine Museum.

The Kurusura Submarine Museum was dedicated to the Nation on 9th August 2002 by Sri N.Chandrababu Naidu, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and opened to public on 14-8-2002 by VUDA.

The services of six guides and one curator have been hired from the retired employees of Navy to educate about history and activates of the Submarine to visitors. The Submarine museum is opened to visitors on all the days from 4.00 PM to 8.00 PM except on Monday being the maintenance holiday is closed to public. On all Sundays and public holidays the museum open in Morning hrs from 11.00 AM to 1.30 PM.

There is an over whelming response from the visitors. Pilgrims, tourists, students from different parts of the country and globe coming to Visakhapatnam like to make their moments memorable at this underwater unit on the land. The State VIPs and guests of various public and private organizations and institutions coming to the Port City prefer to see this amazing spot on seashore.

INS KURSURA, The underwater behemoth of Indian Navy, is located on the goldern sands of RK Beach from which the now prestigious,’Submarine Museum’ emahated.This project, was taken up by the Eastern Naval Command as a joint venture with the National Ship Design and Research Center.This museum was recognized by the Navy as a War Memorial with a project cost of Rs.5.5 Crores.This is the first of its kind in Asia and topped the second position in the world.The submarine is acknowledged as the most successful design of the world.It is made of steel,in the Russian model which is 91 meter long and during her operational period,it was not hindered by the enemies’ assaults.INS Kursura,was commissioned on the 18th December.1969 subjecting it to the national duty of patrolling the Indian waters by blocking threats from the enemy’s stand.

If it's so famous, how come I never heard of it?

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