The annual Pidakala battle of Kairuppala

Every April, the people of Kairuppala, a village in Andhra Pradesh state, Southern India, engage in an epic cow dung cake (or Pidakala) battle that often leaves dozens injured. The reason? They believe the tradition brings them good health and prosperit, and, in addition, locals believe the battle brings rains to the village. According to the legend, Lord Veerabhadra Swamy, a fearsome form of the Hindu god Shiva, and the Goddess Bhadrakhali fell in love and decided to marry. In order to tease his beloved, Veerabhadra Swamy declared that he…

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Gummatapura: the Indian village that ends Diwali with massive cow dung battle

The small Indian village of Gummatapura is famous all over the world for its unique way of ending the annual Diwali celebrations: a massive cow dung battle called “Gorehabba”. If Spain has La Tomatina, a famous battle with tomatoes, and Italy has the traditional Battle of Oranges during popular Ivrea’s Carnival, India has Gorehabba, a cow dung battle to end the important Diwali festivities. Diwali is literally the Festival of Lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. Diwali, which for some also coincides with harvest…

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12 Ways Halloween is celebrated around the globe

In America, people associate Halloween with pumpkins, costumes, candy, and spooky stories or ghosts but, around the world, it could be a little different. The holiday might look slightly different this year since we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, but we can reminisce on years past. If most places in the U.S. celebrate Halloween in much the same way, one city that stands apart is New Orleans. This town loves both to party and voodoo, so one can find things here they couldn’t anywhere else, from…

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In India, people are praying to “Goddess Corona” in attempt to stop pandemic

While the world is still struggling with the coronavirus pandemic and researchers are busy finding an effective vaccine, in India people have found yet another way to help the world. India is one of the most affected countries by the Covid-19 pandemic, and people are turning to spiritual and divine powers in an attempt to protect themselves from the new coronavirus. Recently, Indian media reported on a group of women from a village in West Bengal who had decided to fight the coronavirus in their own way, by worshiping Corona…

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Ravi Hongal, the Indian photograher that has built his house in the shape of a camera

Can a passion become almost an obsession? Yes, apparently it is possible, and this Indian man confirms it: he is so fond of photography that he named his three sons after iconic camera brands, Canon, Nikon and Epson, and, if this wasn’t enough, he live on a three-story villa shaped like a giant camera! Probably you hear the phrase “passionate about photography” a lot among photography enthusiasts and among all those who consider themselves (unjustly) photographers only because they hold a camera in their hand, but Ravi Hongal, a 49-year-old…

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Sinhagad: the lion’s fort in Pune – India

We are in Thoptewadi, India. Here stands a fort that for centuries was called Kondhana, named after the monk Kaundinya. The nearby temple and cave carvings indicate that the building is around 2,000 years old, despite it changed hands several times over the years as different factions controlled the region during the middle ages. The fort was important because of its strategic location, perched on an isolated cliff in the Bhuleswar range of the Sahyadri Mountains, 1,312 meters above sea level, and it is ‘naturally’ protected due to its very…

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Some surprising things you (probably) didn’t know about Good Friday

Have you heard of the theory that it storms on Good Friday in the afternoon between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.? The Christian belief is Christ’s crucifixion occurred on this day and, while this was happening, skies became stormy while the earth began to shake. Historians have documented this in Roman literature from that time period, and there is a belief that it has continued to storm on every Good Friday afternoon. A legend that has been carried on for generations. Some say that if it rains on Good Friday,…

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Bheja Fry, the spicy brain dish speciality of Hyderabad – India.

We are in India. “Bheja (brain) Fry” is a common slang used in parts of Mumbai and Andhra Pradesh, often to describe a situation (or a person) who is so irritating that it almost fries your brains. In Hyderabad, brain fry isn’t just the resulting sensation from surrounding confusion and summer heat. The phrase is derived from a popular street food and in fact there hole-in-the-wall eateries and street vendors fry goat, sheep, or cow brain, and then smother it in spicy sauce and onions. Thus, eaters scoop up the…

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Dhanushkodi, the ghost town returned by the sea.

Dhanushkodi was an Indian city located exactly opposite Sri Lanka, the last human outpost before the narrow channel between the two nations. The meaning of its name means “End of the Arch”, and symbolizes the particular geographical position of the city. India is a country full of surprises, both natural and man-made. Dhanushkodi, located is probably the place where the wonders of nature and man become one. This is a place shrouded in mystery, that’s easy to miss by the regular tourist. In fact, it’s not really a part of…

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India: Skeleton Lake of Roopkund~

Roopkund, locally known as Mystery Lake or Human Skeletons Lake, is a high altitude glacial lake at Uttarakhand state of India. The area is uninhabited, in the Himalayas at an altitude of 5,029 metres, and surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers and snow-clad mountains, the lake is a popular trekking destination. It is a shallow lake, having a depth of about two metres, which has attracted attention because of the human skeletal remains that are visible at its bottom when the snow melts. The remains lay in the lake for 1,200 years…

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