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20 Exotic Facts about Khajuraho

Here are 20 Interesting Facts about Khajuraho and its Temples:-

Fact 1- The City

Khajuraho was an ancient city in the Madhya Pradesh region of northern India. From the 10th to 12th century CE it was the capital of the Chandella kings who ruled Bundelkhand.

Fact 2- The Name

The town’s name, anciently “Kharjuravahaka”, is derived from the Sanskrit word kharjur meaning “date palm”. Some people believe that Kharjuravāhaka means scorpion bearer, which is another symbolic name for deity Shiva (who wears snakes and scorpion garlands in his fierce form).

Facts 3- The Temples

The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a group of Hindu temples and Jain temples in Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh, India, about 175 kilometres (109 mi) southeast of Jhansi.

Fact 4- The Survivors

Historical records note that the Khajuraho temple site had 85 temples by the 12th century, spread over 20 square kilometers. Of these, only about 25 temples have survived, spread over six square kilometers.

Fact 5- The UNESCO Heritage

The Khajuraho group of monuments (Medieval Hindu and Jain temples) has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered to be one of the “seven wonders” of India.

Fact 6- The Time Period

These temples were constructed by the Chandela rulers in deference to the flourishing practice of Jainism in central India during their rule. Most Khajuraho temples were built between 950 and 1050 by the Chandela dynasty.

Fact 7- The Direction

The Khajuraho Temples are made of sandstone blocks fitted together, the temples are aligned east-west.

Fact 8- The Largest Temple

Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is the largest, tallest and most beautiful Hindu Temple of the Khajuraho Group of Temples. This medieval marvel dates back to 1050 BC and was built by Raja Dhandadeva, a strong Chandela ruler. This temple is dedicated to Hindu Lord Shiva, and has a Shiva Linga made of marbel, as its sanctum and a shikhara (spire) that rises 116 feet.

Fact 9-The Design

Almost all Hindu temple designs, follow a grid geometrical design called vastu-purusha-mandala. This design plan has three important components – Mandala means circle, Purusha is universal essence at the core of Hindu tradition, while Vastu means the dwelling structure.

Fact 10- The Circle and The Square

The circle of mandala circumscribe the square. The square is considered divine for its perfection and as a symbolic product of knowledge and human thought, while circle is considered earthly, human and observed in everyday life (moon, sun, horizon, water drop, rainbow). Each supports the other.

Fact 11- The Tolerance for Diversity

The Khajuraho group of temples belong to Vaishnavism school of Hinduism, Saivism school of Hinduism and Jainism – nearly a third each.  this aspect of Khajuraho temples illustrates the tolerance and respect for different religious viewpoints in the Hindu and Jain traditions.

Fact 12- The Celebration

The temples are believed to celebrate the marriage of Shiva and Parvati. Maha Shivaratri is celebrated in all the temples during which verses of Rudram are chanted, while the priests enact the divine marriage of Shiva and Parvati.

Fact 13- The Art

The sculptures have intricate details, symbolism and expressiveness of ancient Indian art. The artwork symbolically highlight the four goals of life considered necessary and proper in Hinduism – dharma, kama, artha and moksha.

Fact 14- The Groups

Cunningham grouped the temples into the Western group around Lakshmana, Eastern group around Javeri, and Southern group around Duladeva.

Fact 15- The Location

The Khajuraho temples were built about 35 miles from the medieval city of Mahoba, the capital of the Chandela dynasty. The isolation of Khajuraho protected the temples from continued destruction by invaders. The temple site is within Vindhya mountain range in central India. An ancient local legend held that Hindu deity Shiva and other gods enjoyed visiting the dramatic hill formation.

Fact 16- The Rediscovery

Over the period, vegetation and forests overgrew the temples. In the 1830s, local Hindus guided a British surveyor, T.S. Burt, to the temples and they were thus rediscovered by the global audience.

Fact 17- The Diversity

 

Of the surviving temples, six are dedicated to Shiva, eight to Vishnu and his affinities, one to Ganesha, one to Sun god, three to Jain Tirthankars.

Fact 18-The Architecture

The temples are famous for their nagara-style architectural symbolism.

Fact 19-The Legend

As per the legends, Hemvati was a beautiful woman, after whom the Khajuraho temples were built. One day, when she was bathing in a pool in Benaras, the Moon God was swooned by her beauty, and could not wait any longer to see her. They conceived a child and named him Chandravarman. However, she feared that her child might have to face harassment as he was born out of wedlock. She was so distressed that she cursed the Moon God, who later prophesied that the child will grow up to become a great king.

Just like the prophecy, the child indeed grew to become a great king, who founded the Chandela dynasty. One day, after Hemvati passed away, her son saw her in his dreams, where she asked him to construct temples that would depict human passions.

Fact 20- The Lesser Known Truth

The Khajuraho temples feature a variety of artwork, of which 10% is sexual or erotic art.

Khajuraho is not just erotic. It is an EXOTIC display of Indian culture and symbolises the rich cultural legacy and history. 

 

(compiled from various sources by Dr Amit Nagpal)

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5 Megatrends for the Techade

Technology Sector in India 2020- The New Decade Strategic Review (Techade 2020 -2030)

Research Report, Nasscom Research

Robots in every upper class colony, smart devices in every home and office, clothes connected to the internet, self driving cars on every road and wearable devices in every third hand. The next decade looks somewhat like this and India will occupy the centrestage in the new Tech world. Exciting. Isn’t it?

Nasscom Research, the thought leadership arm of NASSCOM focuses on understanding and predicting future opportunities for Indian tech industry, highlights Indian tech innovation stories and closely tracks Indian tech industry performance.

It releases 30-40 reports every year on a range of topics from future of work to deep tech, from tech startups ecosystem to digital transformation, from enterprise tech to industry tracking & forecasting and from technology trends to performance metrics.

NASSCOM Research, released its report on the strategic review of the techade at the 28th NASSCOM Technology and Leadership Forum.

The most interesting part of the report is the 5 Mega Trends.

Read full report here

The 5 Megatrends

  • Asian Economic Eminence– China and India will join USA and become members of Elite Club (world’s top 3 economies)

Challenge-Asia will yield 50 % of global GDP and will become the largest consumption base for digital native, mobile first and decisive individualistic consumers.

Solution-Extreme agility will become the new norm.

  • Mass Urbanization and Hyper-Personalization-

Challenge-Two thirds of the world will live in urban areas and hyper local clusters will demand hyper personalization. Mass customization will be the new norm.

Solution- Edge IoT and Edge Analytics shall play a major role in saving data transmission, storage, and post-fact analysis costs.

  • Environmental Sustainability Stress

Challenge- Climate change and urbanization will create new ecological challenges including water and food scarcity.

Solution- Technology can be used to lower the sustainability stress, and the cost of doing so, through low-cost, low-compute, decentralized, and real-time processing capabilities

  • Data-Led Economy

Challenge- Those who tell stories rule the hearts. And those who store the data will rule the world. We have actually entered the data led economy where data has become the new oil.

Solution- As consumers gain control over their data with stricter data privacy laws, this will give rise to data barter economy.

  • Disrupted Future of Work

Challenge- Well Digital and Disruption have become synonyms in our times. Workplace will get disrupted in many ways from the rise of the gig economy to the era of human machine collaboration.

Solution- Creating win-win with humans will be no more sufficient, creating win win with machines will become the new norm.

The report states, “Further, nine interconnected, rapidly evolving, high impact digital technologies- Big Data Analytics, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, 3D Printing, Robotics, Blockchain, and Immersive Media can create opportunities upto USD 33 trillion”.

The time for Alvin Toffler’s Future shock has arrived. Not only the rate of technological change will become really fast and conspicuous, the world will drastically change over the next 10 years.

While NASSCOM announced that the new decade (2020-2030) deserves to be called “techade” as technology will dominate, NASSCOM President Debjani Ghsoh went one step further and announced, “It’s imperative to ensure its India’s decade or Techade”. While US and Europe may lead in technology research, India will become the playground for implementation of technologies like AI.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has laid the foundation of the Techade in Budget 2020 and got the ball rolling by recognizing the importance of deep-tech (such as AI, IoT, 3D-printing, quantum computing, drones) in bringing about the new world order.

Achyuta Ghosh, Head, Nasscom Research says, “The next leap in technology will come from quantum computing. Govt of India has created a sub group on quantum computing in Tech group and we are working on shaping the policies and using a proactive approach to plan how government can support Indian IT industry”

Are you ready for the quantum leap?

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Brief Profile

Dr Amit Nagpal is President & Co-Founder of Bloggers Alliance, a national association of bloggers and storytellers. He has written 4 books including an Amazon bestseller. He has addressed C level executives & entrepreneurs at various international events organised by International Coach Federation, Story The Future, USA. etc

He has also conducted corporate training and consulting assignments in business storytelling for Accenture, Go Medii, Tata Communications and so on.

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References

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/budget-lays-the-foundation-for-indias-techade/article30715151.ece

https://www.businessinsider.in/tech/news/techade-what-the-world-will-look-like-in-2030-according-to-experts/articleshow/74103572.cms

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7 Reasons from Neuroscience which make Storytelling Powerful

Storytelling is an art which has the backing of science, neuroscience to be precise. All that we remember from our childhood are stories (incidents /anecdotes). As soon as the word ‘story’ comes, even our tired brain gets alert ready to listen and retains it in memory. Even at the end of a working day, when we are too tired to scan data, we are still willing to read a story. What makes stories so powerful? Here are the 7 reasons from neuroscience:-

1) The Shared Experience and Neural Coupling

The listeners connect to the story through their own ideas and experiences because of neural coupling process. Hence a story connects most with the reader when a story or its parts makes the reader feel that it is his / her story. We relate and relive the sensations described in the story, be it fear, pleasure, guilt and so on, creating a shared experience between the story narrator and audience.

When we hear a story, we try to relate it to one of our existing life experiences. During this search for a similar experience in our brains, we activate a part called insula, which makes the emotion or experience relatable. The listeners as well as speaker experience a similar brain activity as they go through a similar emotional experience together be it joy, sadness, regret, guilt and so on. Uri Hasson from Princeton points out, “The brains of the person telling a story and listening to it can synchronize.”

2) The Memory and PIF or Prolactin-Inhibiting Factor The brain releases dopamine (also called Prolactin-Inhibiting Factor) during an emotionally charged moment of the story making it not only easier to remember but with greater accuracy also. According to Jerome Bruner, cognitive psychologist, a figure or fact woven into a narrative is twenty times more likely to stay back in the memory.

When an organisation is trying to build a brand, it wants to be memorable, when an advertisement is shown to audience; the advertiser wishes it to stay back in memory till the time of purchase decision. And stories serve the purpose powerfully.

3) The Whole Brain and Active cortex

During data processing, only two areas of the brain are activated, while at the time of listening to a story, three more areas can be activated viz. motor cortex, sensory cortex and frontal cortex. In fact a story can even put our whole brain to work.

Temporal lobe houses the brain functions which get excited by a story.  Since Emotion, nostalgia, memory and many of human senses are located here; the lobe becomes a powerhouse of excitement.

4) The Genetics and The brain wiring

Some neuroscientists believe there is a gene in human beings which supports storytelling and have named it FOXP2. APS Fellow and Charter Member Steven Pinker, Harvard University, says, “One lakh years of evolutionary reliance on story has built into the human genetic code instructions to wire the brain to think in terms of stories from birth.”

In fact, FOXP2 gene, discovered in 2001, gives us the physical and neurological skills needed to speak words rapidly and precisely at the same time. Storytelling requires forming of complex sentences in narrative form which is facilitated by this gene.

5) The Bypass and Letting the guard down

Usually when someone tries to sell us something, our brain unconsciously sets up a guard making us skeptical, and we often start judging the product, the company, the salesperson, whether we need the product at all and so on. On the other hand, when we hear a story, it bypasses the “neocortex” section of the brain and enters into the feeling-emotion area of the brain straight away.

This makes stories extremely powerfully in terms of power to persuade.

6) The Empathy and Oxytocin

According to Paul J. Zak, the founding director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University, (on the HBR Blog Network), “Oxytocin is produced when we are trusted or shown kindness, and it motivates cooperation with others. It does this by enhancing the sense of empathy,” Storytelling can be very effective tool for improving team spirit and motivate voluntary cooperation by evoking empathy.

7) The Sub-Conscious Mind and Power of Metaphors

“Stories, especially metaphors, work on the subconscious mind,” says Erik Luhrs, author of “Be Do Sale” “In sales situations; stories allow the subconscious mind of the prospect to truly ‘get’ and see the valuable application of the solution. NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming shows that “all humans run 99 percent subconsciously and only 1 percent consciously.”

Stories stay back in our subconscious and can be powerful tools for bringing positive change in human behavior and attitudes.

Storytelling is powerful for persuading, selling, branding and marketing and even training because it gets more than your mind share, it also gets a share of your heart.

And as they say, “It is the heart that counts”.

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Co-Authored by Dr Vipul Gupta and Dr Amit Nagpal
Brief Profiles
Dr Vipul Gupta is currently Head–NeuroInterventional Surgery in Medanta-The Medicity. He has an admirable precision, which is so critical in his profession. He has received several awards including IMA Award – 2006, I.M.A. Academy of Medical Specialities Award- 2007. He lives in Gurgaon with his wife and two kids. Follow him on Twitter @DrVipulGupta25
Dr Amit Nagpal, PhD is a Business Storyteller, Keynote Speaker and Digital Storytelling Coach. He is also a Social Media Influencer and a renowned Inspirational Storyteller. He has two decades of work experience in training/coaching and corporates and has featured in several TV, newspaper and online interviews. He tweets at @DrAmitInspires. 

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References

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2008/may-08/talk-to-the-hand-new-insights-into-the-evolution-of-language-and-gesture.html

https://hbr.org/2014/10/why-your-brain-loves-good-storytelling/

http://www.chipscholz.com/2013/01/17/leadership-whoever-tells-the-best-story-wins/

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Your Story is Your Brand

Your product story is your product brand. Your personal story is your personal brand. Your organization story is your organization brand. The story is the brand.

Now the question arises; which brand do you build and which story do you tell –product or organisation or people? Organisations are more keen to build product and organisation brands, yet people prefer to read people stories.

Read More

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