Hoysala Temples of Karnataka enter UNESCO Heritage list

UNESCO inscribed Karnataka’s Sacred Ensembles of Hoysalas in Belur, Halebid and Somnathapura in the World Heritage list. The ancient site was part of UNESCO’s Tentative list since 2014.

KnowALLedge Plus

> These temples were developed under the rule of the Hoysala Empire between the 11th and 14th centuries, mostly concentrated in southern Karnataka.

> Hoysala temples are sometimes called hybrid or vesara as their unique style seems neither completely Dravida nor Nagara, but somewhere in between – a completely novel ‘Hoysala Temple’ form.

> The Hoysala temples, instead of consisting of a simple inner chamber with its pillared hall, contain multiple shrines grouped around a central pillared hall and laid out in the shape of an intricately-designed star (stellate-plan).

> Since they are made out of soapstone which is a relatively soft stone, the artists were able to carve their sculptures intricately. This can be seen particularly in the jewellery of the gods that adorn their temple walls.

Rabindranath Tagore’s Santiniketan becomes UNESCO World Heritage Site

After years of being on the tentative list, UNESCO finally approved Santiniketan in the list of its World Heritage Sites.

It was in 2010 that the Government of India had first tried to get the World Heritage tag for Santiniketan. It mounted its campaign again in 2021, exactly a hundred years after a ‘world university’ was established by Rabindranath Tagore.

The large tract of uninhabited land was bought by his father Maharshi Debendranath Tagore when it was known as Bhubandanga, named after a local dacoit Bhuban. Its name was changed to Santiniketan, literally meaning the ‘abode of peace’.

KnowALLedge Plus:

Visva-Bharati becomes the first living university (which is functioning), to get the heritage tag from UNESCO.

It is the only central university in Bengal. PM Narendra Modi is the current Chancellor of this Institute of National Importance.

In 1940, when Mahatma Gandhi came to Shantiniketan to visit Rabindranath Tagore, the latter, then critically ill, urged him to take charge of Visva-Bharati after he was gone. Tagore passed away in 1941. Until Gandhiji was assassinated in 1948, he acted as a guardian of the institution.

Jawaharlal Nehru was urged by Gandhi to look after Visva-Bharati. It was under him in 1951, Visva-Bharati became a Centrally funded university. Nehru once said how attending the convocation ceremony of the institution was like an annual pilgrimage to him.

Shantiniketan has an illustrious list of people as its alumni/alumnae. Some of the most prominent names include Indira Gandhi, Amartya Sen, Satyajit Ray, Maharani Gayatri Devi.

Ariana Huffington, the co-founder of the famous media outlet The Huffington Post, was a student of comparative religion at Visva-Bharati.

Mumbai to bid adieu its famed double decker buses

The iconic red double-decker buses, that had become an inseparable part of Mumbai’s cityscape since 1937, will be removed from the streets by October 2023. Mumbai has been the only city in India with so many double decker buses active in public service. The last service of these non-AC double-decker buses left Marol Depot on the morning of September 15.

KnowALLedge Plus:

The first double-decker bus in India open to public was launched in Kolkata in 1926 by Walford & Company, imitating London’s Routemasters.

In the western part of India, apart from Mumbai, the cities of Ahmedabad and Vadodara too ran red double decker buses till about three decades ago.

On August 18, 2022, India’s first electric double-decker bus was launched in Mumbai by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST).

La Liga to sponsor Welsh team that boasts the longest name in world football

On September 13, 2023, LALIGA announced that they would join forces as the official front-of-shirt partner of fifth-tier Welsh side Clwb Pêl Droed Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch Football Club starting from the current 2023/24 season. Their full name is displayed on the club badge, although they more commonly go by the shortened version, Llanfairpwll.

LALIGA is among the most followed leagues in the world, while CPD Llanfairpwll FC will be celebrating their 125th anniversary in 2024.

KnowALLedge Plus:

This name was deliberately created in the 19th century as a publicity stunt to attract tourists to the village.

Here’s a breakdown of the name:

“Llanfair” – This is a common element in Welsh place names and usually refers to a church or parish.

“pwll” – Means “pool” in Welsh.

“gwyn” – Means “white” or “fair.”

“chyll” – The exact meaning is unclear, but it may refer to a hazel grove.

“goger” – This element possibly refers to a “spur” or “promontory.”

“ychwyrn” – This part is believed to mean “rapid” or “swift.”

“drobwll” – Likely means “whirlpool.”

“llantysilio” – Refers to the church of St. Tysilio.

“gogogoch” – This is a poetic addition that means “red cave.”

So, while the name may seem long and complex, it’s essentially a descriptive and somewhat whimsical way of referring to the village and its surroundings.

Hogwarts Express is back in service

After a safety inspection raised alarm about passengers being put at risk, the Jacobite has received the necessary green light to resume operations yet again, following a temporary halt. Running every summer since 1984 and currently operated by the West Coast Railways, it covers part of the West Highland line, effortlessly combining legendary Scottish folklore, luxury travel and picturesque scenery.

KnowALLedge Plus:

The Jacobite Train is often referred to as the Hogwarts Express after it featured in the Harry Potter film series. Potterheads from around the world have been travelling to the Scottish Highlands to ride the Jacobite over the Glenfinnan viaduct.