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River Rafting Banned in Rishikesh Area
Posted on 2015/8/2 20:19:30 ( 190 reads )

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DEHRADUN/NEW DELHI, August 2, 2015 (Times of India): A day after the National Green Tribunal accepted the Uttarakhand government's submission that no new licenses will be issued to rafting camps and that renewal of licenses will also not be considered for the time being, both the rafting industry in the hill state and the hordes of tourists from Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh who troop in for the popular river rafting activity are an unsure lot. NGT has also directed the Centre to submit its views on the impact of river rafting in the area. Though there is no blanket ban on rafting as yet - the next hearing in the case is on August 7 - plans for the time being have gone awry.

River rafting, a US$11 million-industry in Rishikesh that began in the 1980s with just five people, attracts a large number of domestic as well as foreign tourists. Campsites near the Ganga are weekend getaways for many in north India, with tourists in the thousands favoring a quick trip there for some much needed respite from city life. Rafting also offers one of the few options for adventure sports enthusiasts in north India.

At the heart of the NGT order is a petition by Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE), an NGO, which has raised a clutch of concerns about the large number of rafting camps, which include disturbance to wildlife, pollution caused due to waste junked by rafters, open defecation on the river bed, trees cut to make way for construction of camps, levelling of the river bed and much more.

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Texas Hindu Temple Opens with World Record
Posted on 2015/8/2 20:19:20 ( 210 reads )

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FRISCO, TEXAS, August 1, 2015 (WFAA): When you look inside the new Hanuman Temple in Frisco, North Texas on Saturday, you'll realize why it was built. Thousands of Hindus, most of them living in or around the city, crowded into the 34,000-square-foot temple to celebrate its official opening. The Indian population in the region is growing. In Collin County alone, it has more than tripled since the turn of the century. "Look at the 10-mile radius around the temple," said Temple Chairman Prakasa Rao Velagapudiand. "Seventy, 80, maybe even 90 percent of them have Indian background."

They celebrated the opening in spectacular fashion by setting a new Guinness World Record. After 24 hours of continuous chanting, the group set the world record for the longest chanting marathon.

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Colorful Video of Adkshardham Delhi On-Line
Posted on 2015/8/2 20:19:10 ( 219 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 30, 2015 (msn): While the sun is setting at the Swaminarayan Akshardam, take your seat on the ancient stepwell to experience the age old truth as the stepwell transforms into the courtyard of the heavens. The courtyard watershow features melodious music, colors, dancing fountains, lasers and more. See the nice short video at 'source' above.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2015/8/2 20:18:59 ( 148 reads )

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O Lord of power, if I were the Lord of herds of cattle, then I would have given to those intelligent worshippers plenty, as much as I could.

-- Rig Veda 8.14.2

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Adopt Students, Village Temples: Kanchi Seer
Posted on 2015/7/26 19:40:48 ( 1494 reads )

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INDIA, July 25, 2015 (The Hindu): Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam on Thursday exhorted Non-Resident Indians to adopt at least one dilapidated village temple and also fund the education of at least one poor student from their motherland. Quoting a sloka from the Ramayana, the Sankaracharya said one should realise that "mother and motherland are superior to heaven."

They should chip in with their contributions either individually or collectively through organisations like Telugu Association of North America (TANA) or American Telugu Association (ATA) to reconstruct grama devalayams and sponsor the educational expenses of at least one poor student, the pontiff said after performing an elaborate Trikala pooja here. "It is imperative to protect the existing temples than constructing new ones," he added. The seer wanted the TTD to appoint at least 1,000 gram purohits to revive the past glory of village temples, which, he said, had been the nerve-centre of all socio-economic and cultural activities in the past.

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