Culture & People : Temple of Rats, Rajasthan, India

Near the India – Pakistan border and around 30 kms from Bikaner in Rajasthan, India, lies a small town called Deshnoke. The town is famous for its ancient temple, known as Karni Mata temple, which goes back 600 years. Goddess Karni is worshipped here, but that is not the only reason for the temple’s fame.The Karni Mata temple shelters more than 20,000 rodents! Built by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the early 1900’s the temple has a remarkable entrance, decorated with silver and gold. With thousands of tiny, brown blurs of motion bustling across its marble floor. It looks as though you may have entered a kingdom of rats and they are all busy going about their daily routine. These rats eat, run, sleep and do almost everything like other rats, and surprisingly the disturbance by the hoards of visitors does not seem to bother them.

 

These rats not just reside within the temple in complete harmony with the visitors but are also worshipped and loved by them. They are so cherished that if one of them dies, it has to be replaced with a rat made of solid gold.Not just Indians but also fascinated tourists from across the world come to the temple to pay their respects and experience the miracle. Hindu newly-weds consider it auspicious to seek blessings from the Goddess when starting a new chapter in their life. Karni Mata,a mystic matriarch from the 14th century, was believed to be a reincarnation of Goddess Durga. She lived as an ascetic most her life and was also the deity of the royals of Bikaner. The reason why thousands of rats, locally known as ‘Kabba’ are worshiped at the temple is linked to a legend. The legend goes back in time when Goddess Karni was alive. One day, the son of one of her clansmen from the Charan community died. In an attempt to get the child back to life, Karni Mata went to Yama Devta, the Hindu God of Death. Yama told her that the child has already been reincarnated as a rat and sent back to earth. This led to a deal between Karni Mata and Yama, that from that point onwards all of her clansmen would be reborn as rats until they could be born again into the clan.

White Rat KArni Mata TempleThere are also some other uncanny facts related to the temple. Unexplainable but true that these 20,000 rats live inside the temple boundaries and never leave. Yet more surprising is that no one knows how they reproduce as no one has ever seen any baby rats here. Almost all the rats are of a standard size and their number has remained constant. This is contrary to the popular rat behavior, which is to multiply rapidly. Yet another wonder is that unlike common rats, these rats do not fear or run away from humans. Instead they climb on the visitors’ shoulders and even eat from their hands, which is considered a blessing. The holy rats are offered milk, sweets, grains and fruits in to receive Karni Mata’s blessings. Eating food or drinking water from the rats’ bowls of offerings is considered a great blessing. There are a couple of white rats in the temple, which are considered holy. Sighting them is considered hugely auspicious. 

The temple gates are sprung open for the visitors at 4:00 a.m. each morning and people queue up for the blessings of Karni Mata. The day turns into night with thousands of rats dining with the people and scampering over their feet. It is an unbelievable sight, which cannot be expressed in simple words. One has to experience this wonder personally to believe it.The thought of visiting such a place might feel disgusting to a person but despite being home to a large number of rats the temple is reasonably clean!Amazingly there have never been reports of any rat-related disease in or around the temple.It may seem strange that a rodent, which is commonly associated with plague and other diseases, is worshiped like a deity. But the miraculous temple is running on the immense faith and belief that the people have in the deity — Karni Mata and the large army of her tiny supporters! 


Courtesy : WildFilmsIndia and National Geographic

 

Earth Our Home Too : Demoiselle Cranes

The Demoiselle Crane (Anthropoides virgo) is a species of crane found in central Eurasia, ranging from the Black Sea to Mongolia and North Eastern China. There is also a small breeding population in Turkey. These cranes are migratory birds. Birds from western Eurasia will spend the winter in Africa whilst the birds from Asia, Mongolia and China will spend the winter in the Indian subcontinent. The bird is symbolically significant in the culture of North India, where it is known as the koonj.

A_group_of_Demoisille_cranes

Khichan is a village in the Jodhpur district of the Indian state of Rajasthan that in recent years has established a tradition of feeding wild birds, including Demoiselle Cranes that winter here every year. Up to 3,000 kilograms (6,600 lb) of bird seed are consumed every day by the feeding birds. Khichan village now hosts over 20,000 Demoiselle Cranes from as early as August each year to as late as March of the following year. The village, which has become popular among bird watchers, achieved international recognition when it was featured in Birding World magazine in an article titled, “Khichan – the Demoiselle Crane village.”

A director of the International Crane Foundation has visited Khichan. This foundation is also supporting the efforts of Marwar Crane Foundation in feeding the cranes.

Characteristics

The Demoiselle is 85–100 cm (34–39 in) long, 76 cm (30 in) tall and has a 155–180 cm (61–71 in) wingspan. It weighs 2–3 kg (4.4–6.6 lbs). It is the smallest species of crane. The Demoiselle Crane is slightly smaller than the Common Crane but has similar plumage. It has a long white neck stripe and the black on the foreneck extends down over the chest in a plume.

It has a loud trumpeting call, higher-pitched than the Common Crane. Like other cranes it has a dancing display, more balletic than the Common Crane, with less leaping.

Life

The Demoiselle Crane lives in a variety of different environments, including desert areas and numerous types of grasslands (flooded, mountain, temperate and tropical grassland) which are often within a few hundred metres of streams or lakes. However, when nesting, they prefer patchy areas of vegetation which is tall enough to conceal them and their nests, yet short enough to allow them look out for predators whilst incubating their eggs.

Demoiselle Cranes have to take one of the toughest migrations in the world. In late August through September, they gather in flocks of up to 400 individuals and prepare for their flight to their winter range. During their migratory flight south, Demoiselles fly like all cranes, with their head and neck straight forward and their feet and legs straight behind, reaching altitudes of 16,000-26,000 feet (4,875-7,925 m). Along their arduous journey they have to cross the Himalayan mountains to get to their over-wintering grounds in India. Many die from fatigue, hunger and predation from Golden Eagles. Simpler, lower routes are possible, such as crossing the range via the Khyber Pass. However, their presently preferred route has been hard-wired by countless cycles of migration. At their wintering grounds, Demoiselles have been observed flocking with Common Cranes, their combined totals reaching up to 20,000 individuals. Demoiselles maintain separate social groups within the larger flock. In March and April, they begin their long spring journey back to their northern nesting grounds.


Courtesy : Wikipedia

Know : Max Retail Price (MRP) Violations & Complaints : Numbers

YOU CAN COMPLAINT IF YOU NEED TO PAY MORE THAN MRP, Here are Contact Numbers…

MRPAll packaged goods in India, ranging from beverages to mobile phones to cosmetics, are stamped with a price dictated by the manufacturer as being the maximum allowable cost to the consumer.
Today’s version of MRP was adapted in December 1990. Previous to this date, manufacturer’s had the option of printing the price of their commodities in two ways:

  • ->Retail price Rs, local taxes extra
  • ->Maximum retail price Rs, inclusive of all taxes

Allegations from consumers and organizations that merchants were over-charging by adding additional local taxes on products brought about the change to MRP in 1990. Merchants were tacking on charges under the guise of local taxes when the actual rates were much lower. Consumers could pay one price for a product and a much higher or lower price in a neighboring town. Thus the change was made by the Ministry of Civil Supplies and its executive wing, the Department of Legal Metrology to the Standards of Weights & Measures Act (Packaged Commodities’ Rules). The change was meant to end complaints and confusion of over-charging to consumers for products. There have since been numerous complaints regarding this system of pricing with regards to under-charging of goods relative to MRP.

What does this mean for you?
In theory you should check the MRP on products before purchasing. Some merchants will charge less than the printed price at their discretion. If this happens to me, I make a mental note to return to that store in the future. On the opposite side, some merchants will try to charge more. If questioned, you may get a response that a newer stock has since come into their store with a revised MRP under which they are selling the old stock. While this is not allowable, there isn’t much you can do unless the merchant feels you aren’t willing to ease on the lower price. Another tactic to watch for is a merchant quoting you a price which he/she will then offer a discount on. Being giddy about the prospect of receiving a discount, you may not check the MRP until you’ve reached your destination. Unwrap your item to discover the MRP is actually less than the discounted price you paid.

What can you do to protect yourself?

  • Obtain full information regarding quality and price before making any purchases.
  • Be careful, about false and /or misleading advertisement.
  • Purchase only when you need and do not purchase in a hurry.
  • Do not buy blindly. Demand full information before you buy.
  • Do not compromise on the quality of goods and services and its quality. Purchase only quality products.
  • Ask for Bills always, bills that have enough proof that you can legally claim that you have made the purchase from that particular retailer.

You can file a complaint with the District Forum if you feel you have been over-charged. However, the opposing party has 30 days to file their version of events and can even extend this for an additional 15 day period. As a tourist you have very little recourse legally unless you are a long term traveler in one location.

Do keep one thing in mind. As of 2003, hotels are not subject to the MRP act. Packed goods purchased within a hotel can be sold at the property’s discretion.
Keep your eyes open and always check prices cause your travel budget only goes so far.

For Complaining in India…

S.No. Contact Details of the Concerned Department
1. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Andhra Pradesh,

No. 209, PWD Building,

Gandhi Nagar, Hyderabad,

Andhra Pradesh – 500 380

Ph: 040-27612170

Fax: 040-27613667

HYDERABAD – 500 030

2. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Andaman & Nicobar Island,

Port Blair – 744 101

Ph: 03192-232321

PORT BLAIR – 744 101

3. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Arunachal Pradesh,

Old Secretaraiat  Complex,

Nagarlagun –791110

Ph: 0360-2350837, 2248620, 2351150

Fax:0360-2350837

4. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Assam,

Ulubari,

Guwahati-781007

Ph: 0361-2470992

5. Office of Dept., of Agriculture

Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Bihar, Raja Bajar,

Beli Road,

Patna – 800 014

Ph: 0612-2286258

Fax 0612 -2224365:

6. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Chandigarh Administration,

Old Architect Building, West Wing,

Sector 19-B,

Chandigarh

Ph: 0172-2741341

Fax: 0172-741341,2741503

7. The Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Govt of Chattisgarh,

Raipur-492001 

Ph.0771-2524294/2343274/2343275

8. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Dadra &  Nagar Haveli Administration,

Silvasa – 396 230

Ph: 02639-242721

9. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Daman & Diu Administration,

Daman – 396 220

Ph: 02638-254685

10. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of India Delhi, NCT of Delhi,

117-118, C-Block, Vikas Bhavan,

N.Delhi – 110 002

Ph: 011-23379266, 23379262

Fax: 011- 23379267:

11. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Goa,

Panaji – 403 001

Ph: 0832-2426432

Fax:0832-2220218

12. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Gujarat,

Tolmap Bhavan, Opp. Sarang Pur Water Tank,

Ahmedabad, Gujarat – 380 002

Ph: 079-22114177

Fax: 079-22114234

AHMEDABAD – 380 002 

13. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Haryana,

Footwall chowk, Dist., industries center building ,

Ambala Cantt.

Ph: 0172-708581, 701366

14. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Himachal Pradesh,

Apurti Bhavan, 1st Floor,

Block No. 42, SDA Commercial Complex,

Kasumpti Shimla – 171 009

Ph: 0177-2625345

15 Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Jammu & Kashmir,

Revenue Complex Building,

Takkipora, Srinagar

Ph: 0194-473828

16. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Jammu & Kashmir,

Civil Sectt.

Block-I/16, Jammu

Ph: 0191-2549682

Fax:0191-2566188,2458693

17. Joint Agriculture Director cum

Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Govt of Jharkhand ,Lakshmi Nivas,

Krishi Bahvan, Kanke Road, Ranchi – 834006

0651 230923 (fax)

18. Sri Ramachandra

Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Karnataka,

No.1, Ali Askar Road,

P.B. No. 175, Bangalore, Karnataka – 560 052

Ph: 080-22253500  26682715 (Res)

Fax 080-22259024

BANGALORE-560052

19. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Kerala,

Vikas Bhavan,

Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala – 695 033

Ph: 0471-2303821    2310321  (Res)

Fax:0471-2305996

20. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Lakshdweep,

Kavaratti – 682 555

Ph: 04896-262112

Fax:04896- 263298

KAVARATTI – 682 555

21. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Madhya Pradesh,

Near Dak Bhavan,

Bhopal-Hoshangabad Road,

Bhopal – 462 011

Ph: 0755-2551017;

. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Maharashtra,

Government Barrack No. 7,

Free Press Journal Marg,

Mumbai – 400 021

Ph: 022-22023354

Fax: 022-22024950

23 Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Manipur,

2nd MR Gate, North ADC Lane,

Imphal – 795 001

Ph: 0385-311687,

24. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Meghalaya,

Shillong Temple Road,

Lower Lachuier,

Shillong – 793 001

Ph: 0364-222576

25. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Mizoram,

Aizawal

Ph: 0389-2322872, 2322572

Fax:0389-2321035

26. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Nagaland,

Kohima – 797 001

Ph: 0370-2221609

0370-2222862;    2221764(Res)

27. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Orissa,

Khandagiri,

Bhubneshwar – 751 003

Ph: 0674-4129967

Fax:0674-2402854

28. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Dy. Commissioner (Excise) and Ex-officio Under Secy.(Revenue)

Thattanchavady,

Pondicherry – 605 009

Ph: 0413-252493 (personal), 253462 (Off: with extension), 372523®

255196 (Res) Fax: 0413-253462

29. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Punjab,

17, Bays Building, Sector 17,

Chandigarh

0172-2701131

30. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Rajasthan,

Udyog Bhavan, Tilak Marg,

Jaipur – 300 001

Ph: 0141-380796, 380727

Telefax:380796

31

.

Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Sikkim,

Paljor Stadium, Paljor Stadium Road,

Gangatok – 737 101

Ph: 03592-202893;

32. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Tamil Nadu,

DMS Compound,

Teynampet, Chennai – 600 006

Ph: 044-24321 438

33 Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Tripura,

Tripura, Agartala

Ph: 0381-2325997;

34. The Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Govt of Uttaranchal, 15, Gandhi Road,

Dehradun –248001.

35. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of Uttar Pradesh,

7, Walaquad Road, Lucknow – 1 (Uttar Pradesh)

Ph: 0522-2628063;

36. Controller of Legal Metrology (Weights & Measures)

Government of West Bengal,

45, Ganesh Chandra Avenue,

Calcutta – 700 013

Ph: 033-22364258,22256647,22520052

Courtesy : http://consumeraffairs.nic.inhttp://www.fullstopindia.com