Archaeologists dig up evidence of dynasties settlements in 45 villages

PUNE: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has stumbled upon thousands of archaeological specimens in around 45 villages falling within the 80-km stretch of the Girija valley in Aurangabad.

Archaeologists said that the antiquities indicate the existence of rural settlements of the Satvahana dynasty, Vakataka dynasty, Yadava dynasty, Bahmani and Mughal, Maratha dynasties. They said that this stretch and the 51 villages in it have hitherto remained unexplored and were earlier thought to contain no archaeological remains of historically important dynasties. The find is therefore the first of its kind in Marathwada, indicating the existence of the rural settlements of these dynasties here. Read more.


Homecoming- Radhika Agarwal

It is believed that once a year goddess Durga comes to her mother’s home on Earth with her four children, Ganesh, Laxmi, Karthik and Saraswati. Durga Puja is a celebration of her homecoming. The festivities last for three days, and on the fourth day she starts on her journey back to her husband Shiva’s abode in the mountain kingdom of Kailash, with the immersion of her idol in the holy waters.

This was a personal project to trace this journey. It began in a temple compound where a group of artists spent months making beautiful Durga idols, and ended with her farewell at the riverbank.

Ain’t no mountain high enough for Mother Nature

In the aftermath of the devastating Nepal earthquake, scientists from the German Aerospace Center observed that part of the Himalayas had dropped by up to 1.5 meters relative its elevation prior to the earthquake. This image is a composite of before-and-after images captured by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1A radar satellite; the blue areas mark regions that were uplifted by up to 2 m, while the Langtang range, located northwest of Kathmandu and represented by areas in yellow, experienced the most subsidence. Known for its scenic hiking and mountain-climbing trails, the Langtang range was heavily ravaged by avalanches and landslides triggered by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake and is still an active search-and-rehabilitation region.

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In what could spell relief for many activists and others being branded as “Maoists” in Kerala, the court has observed that being a Maoist is not a crime and security forces cannot imprison someone on the basis that they were Maoists. The High Court has said that the state should arrest only those who have committed a crime, believing in an ideology like Maoism is not a crime in itself.

The court’s observations came while it was hearing a case of alleged torture by the “Thurderbolt” commandos of the Kerala police. The petition had been submitted by a person named Shyam Balakrishnan, son of a former High Court judge who was detained by the anti-Naxal force alleging Maoist link. The High Court has also said that the state, in many cases, moved in to nab Maoists like a hunter catching its prey, which is why the state itself calls it “Maoist hunt”.

In addition to this, Justice Muhammed Mushtaq said that lately, circumstances in the state were such that anyone could be arrested and imprisoned for being a Maoist. The Judge has asked Kerala government to pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to Shyam Balakrishnan.

Lately, the Kerala government and police have come under severe criticism for arresting activists, journalists and others with alleged Maoist links.