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Friday, 22 September 2017

Colorful Navratri Festival in Trivandrum


Annual Navratri festival got off to a colorful start with the arrival of the deity of Devi Saraswati near the Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple on September 21, 2017. The subsequent day, Thursday,
September 22, 2017, marked the beginning of the said festival in Thiruvananthapuram. During the 9-day festival, the worshippers can offer their prayers to Goddess Saraswati installed at the specially set up Navratri Mandapam in the mornings and evenings. In this period, there will be musical offerings to the presiding deity by reputed artists from across the country. The deity traveled all the way from Padmanabhapuram Palace in neighboring Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. In this blog post, we will be talking about this annual ritual for the benefit of people from other parts of the world, including those from outside Kerala.

navratri festival


The main deity Goddess Saraswati was brought to Thiruvananthapuram city from Padmanabhapuram Palace in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu in the form of a procession. The other deities that accompanied the main deity were Kundani Manka and Kumara Swamy. The procession carrying the deities traveled to the city in two days with two halts. One halt was at famous Neyyattinkara temple for one night. That was on Tuesday, September 20, 2017. On September 21, 2017, the procession reached the Navratri Mandapam near Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple receiving huge public reception.

navratri procession

En route, the procession was received at Nemom by Thiruvananthapuram Mayor V.K. Prasanth and Deputy Mayor Rakhi Kumar. There was a guard of honor function organized for the incoming deity at Kacheri junction, near Nemom junction. The procession had halted for a while at Nemom village office following the age-old tradition. Furthermore, the procession was given welcome by Suresh Gopi MP and O. Rajagopal MLA at famous Karamana Satyavageeswara temple at Karamana and V.S. Sivakumar MLA and Travancore Devaswom Board Commissioner Ramaraja Prema Prasad at Chalai in different functions.

navratri reception

Poojas and Rituals

During the 9-day festival, the people can offer their prayers to Goddess Saraswati in the morning and evenings. As part of the festival, there will be “Pooja Vaipu” ritual on September 29, 2017, and “Pooja Edipu” ritual on September 30, 2017.On the ultimate day, the children are initiated into the world of letters and music by well-known and accomplished persons from various fields of life. This ritual is called “Ezhuthinu Iruthu”. The parents who wish to initiate their children into the world of letters before the presiding deity can books their slots in advance for a fee of Rs. 50. The booking has started from September 21, 2017.

navraatri mandapam

Darshan Timings

The worshippers need to follow the dress code to visit the Navratri Mandapam. Women devotees should come for darshan with saree and blouse. On the other hand, men need to come wearing white dothi and towel or mundu. The timings are as given below.

navratri darshan time


5:15 AM to 7:30 AM and 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM


3:00 PM to 5:00 PM and 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Musical Offerings

During the 9-day festival, reputed and performing artists from across the country, especially from Southern India, come to the city to give their musical offerings to the presiding deity at Navratri Mandapam. As before, there is a long list of reputed artists who have come forward to perform before the Goddess Saraswati, seeking her blessings.  The list is given below.

navratri music

  1.           Vocal by Amrutha Venkatesh on September 22, 2017

  2.           Vocal by Aswathi Thirunal Rama Varma and Party on September 23, 2017

  3.           Vocal by Sanjay Subrahmanyan on September 24, 2017

  4.           Violin Solo by S. Varadarajan and Mridangam by T.V. Gopalakrishnan on September 25, 2017

  5.           Vocal by Professor Venkataramanan on September 26, 2017

  6.            Vocal by Professor B. Parassala Ponnammal and party on September 27, 2017

  7.            Vocal by Professor Thamarakkad T. N. Govindan Namboothiri on September 28, 2017

  8.             Vocal by Vishnudev Namboothiri on September 29, 2017

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Chronicles of Poomalli Mana in Ayurveda


Have you heard of Poomully Mana? If not, it is one of the well-known Namboodiri families in the state of Kerala. In Malayalam language, Mana means the family house of a Namboodiri or Kerala Brahmin. The house is located in a place called Urakam in the Peruvanam village in Thrissur district of central Kerala. According to the information available on Kerala history, this family has a lineage of over 900 years. This family has found mention in the Aithihyamala, a collection of centuries-old stories from Kerala.

poomully ayurveda center

Family Tree

The Poomully family had built the original Ammathiruvadi Temple in Thrissur district. As the years past, the family handed over the ancestral wealth of the temple to the presiding Goddess and its reign to the Cochin royalty. Later, the family moved to a place called Peringode in the present-day Palakkad to concentrate on the work it is famous for even today. The members of this illustrious family are famous exponents of Ayurveda, music, kalaripayattu and other cultural and art forms prevalent in Kerala. Some of the better-known members of the Poomully Mana are listed below.

poomully mana
  1. Late Sri Poomully Narayanan Namboodirippad: He is often referred to as the father of Aaramthampuran. He himself was a famous Rig Veda practitioner.

  2. poomully narayanan

  3. Late Sri Poomully Raman Namboodirippad: He was an exceptionally talented Carnatic musician who practiced under the tutelage of famous Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar.

  4. Late Sri Poomully Neelakandan Namboothirippad: He was the most famous and inimitable Ayurveda practitioner. In fact, the illustrious family is eternally indebted to this man for its name in the field of Ayurveda treatment. Apart from this, this talent had developed the expertise in Veda, Kavyam, Tarkam, Meemamsa, Vedanta, Kalaripayattu, Visha Chikilsa, Yoga Shastra, Hasthy Ayurveda, toxicology, Natyashastra and many performing arts. Hence, he is referred to as the “Arivinte Thampuran”.  In Malayalam, it means the legend of knowledge. In fact, he had received the acknowledgment for his expertise in Meemamsa from none other than Jagad Guru Sree Sankaracharya of Sringeri Mutt.

  5. poomully aaramthamburan
Family Expertise in Ayurveda

No doubt, Poomully Neelakantan Namboodirippad is regarded as the "Aaramthampuran" and "Arivinte Thampuran". Due to his untiring efforts, the Ayurveda treatment way became more popular across the country and globe. He successfully developed a novel treatment method based on principles of Ayurveda. He coined it as 'Kutipraveshika treatment'. This is a rare Rasayana treatment procedure to be recorded in the last century. The first of these attempts took place at Poomully Mana some years back. In 1953, Poomully Vasudevan Namboodirippad had undergone this novel treatment under the supervision of Poomully Aramthampuran and Vaidyamadham Valiya Narayanan Namboodiri. Even today, the descendants of his lineage practice the Ayurveda way of treatment successfully.

poomully ayurveda treatment

Treatment Facilities

In Malayalam, the Kuti is nothing but a padippura or a building. The facility that was used for developing Kutipraveshika treatment is still retained as the treatment center by the younger generations of this illustrious family. Currently, it is used for preserving ancient manuscripts and accommodating the consultation blocks of practicing doctors. Other parts of the Poomully Mana are used for both outpatient and inpatient consultations and treatments. The senior physicians accommodate the junior doctors to work under them. This enables the junior doctors (BAMS) to enhance their practical knowledge in the Ayurvedic way of treatments, medicine preparations, dietetics, and hospitality.Today, Poomully Mana has grown into an Ayurveda hospital where common men as well as several renowned personalities from within and outside the country visit seeking Ayurveda treatments from renowned physicians.

poomully facilities

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Kowdiar Palace – Royal Heritage


This is one of the most significant heritage structures to be seen in Thiruvananthapuram. It is seen in a serene and beautiful campus within the city center. This palace was built by the ruler of erstwhile Travancore Kingdom on the occasion of his only sister. Currently, the royal heritage structure is with descendants of Sethu Parvathi Bayi. This was the official residence of the Travancore ruling family till 1947. The Maharajah used to rule the erstwhile princely state from this royal palace.

kowdiar palace

History of Kowdiar Palace

This building represents the past splendor of the erstwhile Travancore dynasty. This beautiful building was built by Maharajah Sree Chithira Thirunal Rama Varma at the time of his only sister Maharani Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi’s marriage with Lt. Col. G.V. Raja in 1934. This was gifted to Sethu Parvathi Bayi. Subsequent to Kingdom’s accession to the Indian Union, the building became the personal property of the dynasty.  After the Indian Constitutional Amendment in 1971, the properties and estates of the royal family were distributed equally to two lineages – Queen Sethu Lakshmi Bayi and Queen Sethu Parvathi Bayi. At present, the property is with latter due to the fact that it was built by her son former Maharajah Sree Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma.

kowdiar palace history

Palace Architecture and Facilities

The palace is known for its splendid architecture. The building has over 150 rooms. It displays hybrid architecture which is a fusion of Kerala and Dravidian styles. Being a private property, the entry into this structure is restricted. Currently, it is occupied by the members of Travancore royal family settled in Thiruvananthapuram. It has an in-house museum and a dispensary.  The entry to this palace premises would take the people back to its history. This is what people who know about the royal family say at least. The palace also runs a dispensary for the benefit of common man. The ordinary people even today visit this primary healthcare to avail the treatment facilities free of cost. Some portion of the palace is open to the public from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM on all days of the week. The museum is part of the section open to the public.

kowdiar palace architecture

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Goods and Services Tax Network – Genesis and Role


With the introduction of GST for simplifying the tax payment in various fields, things are expected to become smooth, hassle-free and simple. In order to implement and control the new tax regime, the government has introduced a nodal agency with the mandate of simplifying the tax payments by various stakeholders. In this blog post, we will see what this agency is and what it is mandated with.

gst network

GST Network

It is a Section-8, non-Government, private limited company mandated to provide IT infrastructure and services to the Central and State Governments, taxpayers, and other stakeholders for implementing the Goods and Services Tax framework. It is a not-for-profit company with an authorized capital of Rs. 10 crores. The stakeholders of the company are Indian Government, all the States of the Indian Union; including the centrally administered regions of New Delhi and Puducherry; the Empowered Committee of Ministers and non-Government financial institutions. The government has the share of 49% and the private finance agencies the remaining shares in this network. This special vehicle project has adequate safeguards in the form of a government control over its working.

gst network uses

GST Network Features

This network is a complex initiative that aims to establish a uniform interface for the taxpayer and a common and shared IT infrastructure between the Center and the States. This bold step will do away the previously followed the Centre and State indirect tax administrations under a variety of laws, regulations, procedures, and formats that totally confuse the people who were under their purview. Hence, the GST Network is designed to integrate this complex indirect tax ecosystem to bring all the tax administrations to the level playing field using this IT platform. Consequently, there will be uniform formats and interfaces for the taxpayers and other external stakeholders. Moreover, it strives to bring in robust settlement mechanism amongst the States and Centre
gst network features
Common GST Portal

This portal will function as the front-end of the overall GST ecosystem of the country. This all important backbone of GST is designed by this special vehicle project. At the back end of this portal are the robust IT systems of CBEC and State Tax Departments. This would enable the smooth handling of tax administration functions, such as registration approval, assessment, adjudication, audit, etc. In connection with this, CBEC and 9 Indian states are developing their own backend systems. This new portal is currently capable of doing the backend functions for 20 States and 5 Union Territories. Prior to the migration of the GST regime, GST Portal was interacting with CBEC and State Tax Departments as a front-end tool on a pilot basis. The issues and shortcomings that were encountered in the trial run have been incorporated and made fool-proof.

gst portal

Role of GST Portal in Tax Payments

Under GST, the taxpayers have to prepare their own challans for the tax payments through the GST portal only. This mandatory step is expected to weed out the presence of wrong TIN number from the records. Previously, the handwritten entries used to bring in these wrong TINs to the database. Once the registration is complete through the GST portal, the users have two options.

tax payments

  1. Online: Through the GST portal, the users have the option of payment through the agency banks that collect the GST. Once the payment is done, the portal generates a paid challan that can be downloaded for the safe custody.

  2. Offline: In the other option, the user has to take print out of the payment challan and present it to the relevant bank for the Over-the-Counter (OTC) payment. After receiving the money, the bank transfers it to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and sends the payment confirmation receipt to GST Portal for accounting purpose.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

20 Things that Say You have a Good Husband

Always men expect the women to do many things for them. This is especially true in the third world or Muslim world. The demarcation is now slowly ebbing with the passage of time with members from each gender making contribution for the well being of the society. With the family becoming more nuclear, the expectations from the couple are getting more over the board. In this backdrop, it is quite natural for the women folks to expect something from their spouses. In this blog, we will be listing 20 things women expect from their spouses before adjudging them as good husbands.

good husband

1.      Accepts spiritual responsibility for his family and does whatever needed to teach the children about the findings he had about the better living.
2.      He is willing to say "I'm sorry" and "Forgive me" to his family if he is at fault.
3.      He prefers to discuss household responsibilities with his wife and makes sure they are fairly distributed so that family does not suffer.
4.      He brings in loop his wife on all major financial decisions to get her inputs so that couple does not suffer.
5.      He always keeps track of the commitments he has made to his wife and makes amendments when he is not able to meet one or two such promises.

good husband characteristics
6.      He anticipates different stages his children will pass through and tells them what they need to do to keep them on track.
7.      Anticipates different stages his marriage will pass through and makes preparations for that with the wife’s consent in advance.
8.      He often keeps his wife in good humor by telling her what he likes about her.
9.      Under all conditions, he provides funds for the family’s up-keeping.
10.  Through years of dealing with the family, he knows how to deal with distractions so that he can talk with his wife and other members of the family openly.
11.  He visits with his family to the church or a temple or a mosque on a regular basis and prays with them. He prays for all the members of the family, including him.

12.  He initiates meaningful family traditions so that siblings in the family come and mingle with the family to generate more happiness.
13.  He proactively takes the family to outings regularly to keep the members rejuvenated.
14.  He takes some time from his busy schedules to give his children practical instructions about life to groom them well for the life beyond home.

husband wife relation
15.  In between, he manages the schedule at home and anticipates pressure points when the homemaker is not well.
16.  He manages his finances well and provides serious inputs to the family members to keep his family financially sound.
17.  He makes sure that he and his wife have drawn up a will so that there is a smooth transition after their death.
18.  Lets his wife and children into the interior of his life and discusses with them some funny instances that happened in his life. He also talks about the lean patches in his early life and the way those bad times were overcome
19.  He honors his wife in public.
20.  The husband includes his wife in envisioning the future. Always has a fruitful discussion with his wife to plan for the family.
happy family

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

6 Situations in Which Mobiles Come to Our Rescue


We live in a diverse society in which good and bad things happen simultaneously. At one place, good things happen while bad things happen at another place in the same time. We do not have control over the behavior of people with whom we meet regularly during the course of the day. Some people take it in sportsman spirit while some others give back in the same coin after some time.  The most vulnerable members of the society are children and women. They have to move around independently at different points in time. Always the eagle-eyed predators are on look out for the vulnerable people in the society. Moreover, the untoward incidents happen at any point in time. That is why the companies have brought certain applications that help the users to convey the latitude and longitudes of their location when such an event strikes in their lives. Many of the applications have customizable features that anybody can use to his or her advantage without much effort. In this blog, we will see when users can make use of these installed applications in mobile to seek help from the authorities and local people whenever a distress comes in their lives.

mobile help

  1. Pool: While swimming in a water body near your house, sometimes you get entangled in an undercurrent. You can use the application to make distress calls to the people who are trained in rescuing life nearby.

  2. mobile pool

  3. Toddlers: When your child gets trapped in a room in your house not knowing how to open the door room from outside and crying for help. The mothers can make the distress call for help from nearby.

  4. toddler home

  5. Girls: When young girls step out of their office premises, they can use the mobile applications to keep in touch with the people who are their well-wishers. This is true when they take cabs to reach their homes. They can use the applications to send their position to let know the people concerned about them whether they are being transported in the right direction.

  6. girls outside

  7. Accidents: Sometimes while traveling, you might face with an accident. In such a situation, you need to get a number of the nearest hospital to seek help from the people working there. This time also the mobile applications come handy.

  8. accident site

  9. Travelers: If you are a frequent traveler, your car may become non-functional. You need a guy from the nearest workshop or garage to look into the problems afflicting your car at the earliest. This is more relevant if you are traveling with your family. Now, you can do this with the help of a button on your mobile.

  10. travelers

  11. Aged: If you have old people at home, there is every possibility that they fall ill. If the illness strikes in the midnight, you are left to go nowhere. In such situation, you use the mobile applications to reach out to the health authorities to arrange an ambulance to take your near and dear one to the hospital at the earliest.
old people home

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Are New Codes for NEET Aspirants Justified in Light of Hardship Endured by Them?


After a protracted battle between states and center in the apex court, the stage is set for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medical and paramedical courses in the country. The honorable Supreme Court made it mandatory a pass in the NEET exam a mandatory condition to get admissions in medical and paramedical courses in the country. In order to offset the chances of cheating in mass-scale, the exam conducting authority Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) made sweeping changes in the schedules for the code of contact for the aspirants. The centers were given strict instructions to adhere to the code to avoid the controversies. In the light of the severe criticism from various quarters, let us see what these codes meant in the first place and how the authorities should execute them with discretion.

neet exam

NEET Codes of Contact Surprised the Aspirants

As per the new codes of contact issued by CBSE for conducting NEET exam, the candidates had to remove earrings, abandon closed shoes, cut shirt sleeves, and avoid taking a calculator, unwanted papers before entering the examination hall. Apart from the restrictions listed above, the aspirants were not allowed to wear full sleeve shirts, and not allowed to take pencils, pens, closed or high-heeled shoes, metal buttons and big brooches inside the examination hall. Though CBSE gave instructions on the codes of contact, many of them were not clearer enough. As a result, the aspirants had to run between pillar and post in the 24th hour, risking their chances for appearing in the exam. Keeping in mind the confusion, some authorities at the test centers kept a stock of two dozen T-shirts ready for the use by those students who came with full-sleeve shirts on.

neet conduct code

Candidate Hardships

Many candidates around the country were not prepared to meet the NEET codes of contact at the examination centers despite their listings in the leaflet accompanying the hall ticket.

neet hardships

  1. A girl student at Army Public School in Bengaluru faced an unexpected crisis when she was unable to remove earrings in a hurry.

  2. neet eararing removal

  3. In another incident, a girl in Kannur district of Kerala was asked to remove her underwear before entering the examination hall.

  4. Students wearing closed shoes were asked to remove them and asked to walk into the examination hall barefooted.

  5. Girls with the long flock of hair nicely combed and set were asked to untie their hair before their entry into the venue.

  6. neet hardships

  7. Authorities in some exam centers asked even asked the girls to remove the nose stud before entering the exam center.

  8. neet nose ring removal

  9. The candidates who came wearing the black dress were in for a shock. They were asked to remove them and change into new clothes with lighter colors.

  10. neet black dress

  11. Students coming with full sleeves were asked to make it half-sleeves before entering the hall by the authorities.

  12. neet half-sleeves

Response from Parents

Though many parents acknowledged the good intentions of the CBSE in removing the menace of mass copying, they were against the way these codes were executed across the country. They were of the view that the codes should have been enforced depending upon on the context and sensibility of the situation. They also added that blind enforcement of codes would deter the aspirants from undertaking similar examinations in the future if the authorities were not forthcoming in understanding the feeling of the student community. In certain cases, the children were made to do what that was not listed in the list of not-dos.