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About India
Snippets of information

In this section, I am providing general information - combination of a glossary, listing of great personalities, locations & geographical landmarks, history - in general any subject related to India. I have gathered the information from various sources - books, magazines, internet, word of mouth.

General information about India - A

Abhijnana Shakuntalam (Of Shakuntala recognised by a token)
(Info added on 13 Feb 2013)
abhijnana means an identifying token; a keep sake ; an identity card ; a letter of introduction.

The story of Shakuntala and King Dushyanta appears in the Aadi Parva of The Indian Great epic Mahabharata. Kalidas adapted the story for his play Abhigyana Shakuntalam. Mahakavi Kalidasa, India's greatest Sanskrit poet and dramatist, has authored severalmaster pieces including Raghuvamsham, Meghasandesham (Meghdhootam), Kumarasambhavam, Ritu Samaharam, Malavikaagnimitram and others.

Agarbathis are incense sticks or cones which emit a soothing fragrance when lit/burnt. It is used commonly in all Hindu households as part of the daily puja ritual and in temples. Incense sticks are also used by the Buddhists.
Dipped Agarbatties:
Powders of Charcoal, Gigatu, White chips, etc. are mixed with water to semi solid paste. This composition is taken on a wooden
plank and applied to sticks by rolling with hands. Then raw sticks are dipped in suitable perfumery compound diluted with white oil or other solvents like diethyl phthalate (D.E.P.) and dried and packed.

Masala Agarbatties:
The powder of charcoal, gigatu, white chips, indigenous herbs, resin, etc. are mixed along with perfumery compound consisting of essential oils, aromatic chemicals, purified resins and natural fixative like Civet, musk, etc. to a semi solid paste with the required quantity of water. This compound is applied to bamboo sticks by hand rolling and dried.

International airports in India (Updated Aug 2016)

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport - Nagpur, Maharashtra

Biju Patnaik International Airport - Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport - Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport - Mumbai, Maharashtra

Chennai International Airport - Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Cochin International Airport - Nedumbassery, Kerala

Coimbatore International Airport - Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

Indira Gandhi International Airport - New Delhi

Jaipur International Airport - Jaipur, Rajasthan

Karipur Airport, Calicut International Airport - Kozhikode, Kerala

Kempegowda International Airport - Bengaluru, Karnataka

Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport - Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport - Guwahati, Assam

Mangalore International Airport (formerly known as Bajpe Airport) - Mangalore, Karnataka

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport - Kolkata, West Bengal

Rajiv Gandhi International Airport - Hyderabad, Telangana

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport - Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport - Amritsar, Punjab

Tiruchirapalli International Airport - Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu

Trivandrum International Airport - Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Tulihal Airport - Imphal, Manipur

Vasco-da-Gama International Airport - Dabolim, Goa

Veer Savarkar International Airport - Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Visakhapatnam Airport - Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

Ambedkar (14 April 1891 - 6 December 1956)
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, popularly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar

Bhimrao Ambedkar was born on 14 April 1891 in Madhya Pradesh. He was the fourteenth child of his parents. Ambedkar's father Ramji was a Subedar in the Indian Army and posted at Mhow cantonment, MP.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was one of the architects of the Indian Constitution. He was a political leader, eminent jurist, Buddhist activist, philosopher, anthropologist, historian, orator, writer, economist, scholar and editor. Dr. Ambedkar fought to eradicate the social evils like untouchability and for the rights of the dalits and other socially backward classes throughout his life. Dr. Ambedkar was appointed as India's first Law Minister in the Cabinet of Jawaharlal Nehru. He was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour in 1990.

Ambedkar, in wake of reaching to the people and making them understand the drawbacks of the prevailing social evils, launched a newspaper called "Mooknayaka" (leader of the silent)

Well known director Jabbar Patel directed a movie on Ambedkar's life and teachings in English which was later dubbed in Hindi and other Indian languages.

In 1955, he founded the Bharatiya Bauddha Mahasabha, or the Buddhist Society of India. He completed his final work, The Buddha and His Dhamma, in 1956 which was published posthumously.

Chaitya Bhoomi is a memorial to Dr. B R Ambedkar, Chief architect of Indian Constitution. Earlier known as Dadar Chowpatty it began to be known as Chaitya Bhoomi after Babasaheb Ambedkar was cremated here after his death on 6 December 1956.

His birthdate is celebrated as a public holiday known as Ambedkar Jayanti or Bhim Jayanti.


Amla is Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis)(Nellikai, nellikani in Tamil), a fruit found mainly in India. It is a greeenish yellow fibrous fruit about an inch or two in diameter, round shaped with vertical stripes. It simultaneously tastes sweet & sour. It is rich in natural vitamin C. It is used in making ayurvedic medicines, tonics for it has several positive qualities - has cooling, diuretic and laxative properties, strengthens teeth and bones, has antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It aids in maintaining clear skin & healthy growthof hair. It is eaten raw with salt and is also used to make pickles.

Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI)
is a statutory body under Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 with its headquarters at Chennai. Its basic mandate is to advise the Government on animal welfare issues, and create awareness regarding animal welfare. AWBI gives financial assistance to the eligible Animal Welfare Organisations for Shelter Houses, Model Gaushalas, for setting up Bio-Gas Plants, Famine/Drought Relief, Earthquake Relief, etc., in the various states.

Avatarams / Avatars
Avataram refers to "an embodiment, a bodily manifestation of the Divine." The literal Sanskrit meaning is "the descent of God" or "incarnation." Lord Vishnu is said to descend to earth in order to restore balance on earth. These births of Lord Vishnu are called avatarams. The Dasavatarams of Lord Vishnu follow the theory of evolution as understood by us today. There is a gradual development in the complexity of form taken by the Lord - fish in Matsyavataram ; tortoise in Kurmavataram ; boar in Varahavataram ; half man half lion in Narasimhavataram ; a dwarf in Vaamanavataram ; an angry man unable to control his anger in Parasuramavataram ; the ideal human being in Ramavataram ; a man with occupational skills in Balaramavataram (sometimes Buddha is considered one among the 10 avatarams) ; friend, philosopher and guide (Geethobadesam) in Krishnavataram. In Kalki avataram he is slated to destroy the world when evil becomes uncontrollable and thus establish the rule of dharma.

Ayurveda, a traditional system of medicine of India is a Sanskrit term, made up of the words "ayus" and "veda." "Ayus" means life and "Veda" means knowledge or science. The term "ayurveda" thus means 'the knowledge of life' or 'the science of life'. It is a qualitative, holistic science - a system of healing the whole person, body and mind.

The fundamentals of Ayurveda can be found in Hindu scriptures called the Vedas - the ancient Indian books of wisdom. The Rig Veda, which was written over 6,000 years ago, contains a series of prescriptions that can help humans overcome various ailments. Adharva Veda, the fourth book of ancient knowledge is known to have the largest number of references to Ayurveda. In fact, Ayurveda is considered to be the sub-branch or Upaveda of Adharva Veda. Ranging from medicinal values of herbs to treatment of diseases, Adharva Veda covers the essential and practical aspects of Ayurveda.

Ayurveda soon emerged into two- the school of medicine and the school of surgery. The school of medicine was propounded by the physician Charaka and of surgery by Susrutha. Susrutha who lived in the 6th century BC is considered to be the father of modern surgery.

The aim of this system is to prevent illness, heal the sick and preserve life.
Ayurveda is based on the premise that the universe is made up of five elements: air, fire, water, earth and ether. These elements are represented in humans by three "doshas", or energies: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. When any of the doshas accumulate in the body beyond the desirable limit, the body loses its balance. Every individual has a distinct balance, and our health and well-being depend on getting a right balance of the three doshas ("tridoshas"). Ayurveda suggests specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to help individuals reduce the excess dosha.

Samhithas or compilations: Three main Samhithas are known to have survived:
Charaka Samhitha
(Treatise on Medicine),
Susrutha Samhitha (Treatise on Surgery) and
Ashtanga Samgraha
(Treatise on the basic principles) by Vaghbata, who is supposed to have lived in the 7th century AD.
Called collectively as ‘Brihattrayi’, they are also considered to be the oldest surviving documents on Ayurveda.

Some of the famous texts written between 9th and 16th century AD include
Bhavaprakasha (History and classifications) by Bhavamishra,
Madhava Nidana
(Treatise on Diagnosis) by Madhavacharya in the 12th century,
Sharangadhara Samhita (Treatise on Ayurvedic Recipes) by Sharangadhara in the 14th century,
These three books are regarded as the Laghu Traya or Junior Triad of Ayurveda classics.
(Information was also gathered form these 2 sites - od/ayurveda/p/ ayurveda.htm php/showContent.php? linkid=4&partid=2)