Tuesday, April 25, 2017


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Map of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Puducherry and the South Indian states of KeralaKarnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. It is bounded by the Eastern Ghats on the north, by the Nilgiri, the Anamalai Hills, and Kerala on the west, by the Bay of Bengal in the east, by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait on the southeast, and by the Indian Ocean on the south. The state shares a maritime border with the nation of Sri Lanka.

There are lot of facts less known to common people about Tamil Nadu. Since the article is very lengthy I am posting it in two parts and this is the second part of the article:

1.The world's largest solar power plant is in Kamuthi, Tamilnadu. It can generate a maximum of 648 MW.The largest solar power plant in the world is now in our backyard.
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The facility has a capacity of 648 MW and covers an area of 2,500 acres, making it the world’s largest solar power plant at a single location. In contrast, California’s Topaz Solar Farm, which was previously the largest solar plant has a capacity of 550 MW.
The plant built in an impressive eight months and funded by the Adani Group is estimated to produce enough electricity to power about 1.5 lakh homes.
2.The state of Tamil Nadu has erected statues for the foreigners as a recognition for their contributions to Tamil language and literature.

Constanzo Beschi, an Italian missionary known to us as VIRAMAMUNIVAR
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Bishop Robert Caldwell - Irish linguist, missionary and Tamil language scholar

G. U Pope, who was best known for his translations of Thirukkural and Thiruvasagam

3. Fort St George was the first English fortress in India. It currently houses the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly and other official buildings.
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4. Tamilnadu has given India the most number of Presidents. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan-Ramaswamy Venkataraman-A. P. J Abdul kalam

5. Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is the oldest water bird sanctuary of India. 

6. TAMIL NADU ranks first in the country in diversity of Flowering plants (Angiosperms). The state has 32% of total species of India.

7. The largest rose garden of India is Government Rose Garden, Ooty, India. The Garden has 22000 varieties of Rose.

8. All of the first 3 BharatRatna recipients were from Tamil Nadu (erstwhile MadrasPresidency) .

CV RAMAN was the first Asian and first non-white to receive any Nobel Prize in the sciences.

C. RAJAGOPALCHARI - Last Governor General of India

SARVEPALLI RADHAKRISHNAN-Second president of India.Credits: Chandrasekar Gokulanathan

9. The world's renowned mathematician, SRINIVASA RAMANUJAM was from Tamilnadu. Indian government has declared his birthday (December 22) as National Mathematics day. Credits: Srivathsan Iyengar

10. Madras(Now Chennai) was the only city in India which was attacked by the central powers of Germany, Austria and Hungary during the First world War (1914–18). The German warship SMS EMDEN targeted the Oil tankers in the Madras Harbour.Credits- Shyam Natraj

11. THIRUKKURAL:Thirukkural is one of the most translated non-religious works in the world. It has earned the title “ULAGA PODHU MARAI” (The Universal scripture).

12. Personalities who made Tamil Nadu and also whole of India proud at national and International Stage.

M.S. SUBBULAKSHMI - first musician ever to be awarded the Bharat Ratna. She is the first Indian musician to receive the Ramon Magsaysay award.

A R RAHMAN - “THE MOZART OF MADRAS”, the Oscar award winning Musician from Chennai.
KAMAL HASSAN - The four time National award winning actor and Producer. Seven of his films represented India under Best Foreign film category at the Oscars.

VISWANATHAN ANAND: Five time world chess champion and India’s First Grandmaster

SUNDAR PICHAI - Eventhough he is a U.S CITIZEN, Tamil People are very proud of him being born in a humble family of Madurai, Tamil Nadu.

NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN - India’s first formula one driver

SHIV NADAR - Founder of HCL which operates in 34 countries and employs around 1,11,000 people (approx.)

RAJNIKANTH - He was not born in Tamil Nadu, But he made Tamil people proud

13. BODHIDHARMAR was the transmitter of Chan Buddhism to China. He was the third son of a pallava king, who renounced his royalty and practiced Buddhism. According to Chinese legend, he trained the monks of Shaolin Temple that led to the creation of Shaolin Kung-fu.
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14. Nobel laureates who had their origins from Tamil Nadu / Madras state

Nobel Prize for physics-Sir C V Raman-Subramanyan Chandrasekhar-

Nobel Prize for chemistry-Venkatraman Ramakrishnan.

15.For the First time in INDIA, Transgenders are now applicable for the post of Sub Inspector of POLICE at Tamil Nadu.K Prithika Yashini is the first transgender person to become a police official in India

16. Tamil Nadu is the only state covered with three seas of India (Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea, Indian ocean) 

17. Tamilnadu is the pioneer and the first state in India to introduce Mid-Day meal scheme in India. It was introduced first in Chennai and extended later to all other districts by the late chief minister Thiru K. Kamarajar.

18. Mathoor Aqueduct or hanging bridge is one of the highest and longest in South Asia. It was constructed in 1966 as a drought relief measure across river Pahrali in Nagercoil, Kanyakumari.
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19. Siddha medicine originated from ancient Tamilakam. Agasthiyar was considered the first Siddha and guru of all Siddhars. National Institute of Siddha was established in chennai to promote reasearch, higher studies and global recognition for Siddha Medicine.

20. Chennai is the health capital of India and attracts about 45% of Health Tourism in the country. Chennai Hospitals treats about 150 international patients every day.

21. Chennai is the first city in India to have municipal Corporation and it has completed more than 365 years and second oldest in the world after London city.

22. Bharathanatyam is possibly the oldest classical dance tradition of India.

23. AVM Productions in chennai is the oldest surviving film studio in India.

24.College of Engineering, Guindy is one of the oldest Technical and Engineering institution of India. It was established as a school of survey in 1794 and established as a college in 1859.

25. Siruvani River water is one of the tastiest River water in the world. Siruvani is the tributary of Bhavani in coimbatore, which is inturn a tributary of river cauvery.The Siruvani story 

26. PAMBAN Bridge connecting Rameshwaram Island with mainland is India’s first sea bridge (1914) and second longest sea bridge in India. 
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Saturday, April 22, 2017


Picture courtesy:www.kumbakonam.com

Tamil Nadu  literally 'The Land of Tamils' or 'Tamil Country') is one of the 29 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai (formerly known as Madras). 

Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Puducherry and the South Indian states of KeralaKarnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. It is bounded by the Eastern Ghats on the north, by the Nilgiri, the Anamalai Hills, and Kerala on the west, by the Bay of Bengal in the east, by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait on the southeast, and by the Indian Ocean on the south. The state shares a maritime border with the nation of Sri Lanka.

There are lot of facts less known to common people about Tamil Nadu. Since the article is very lengthy I am posting it in two parts and this is the first part of the article:

1. Tamil Nadu is the second largest economy in India after Maharashtra.

2. Tamil Nadu is the only state which has Indian flag in its seal.
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3. Tamil language spoken by Tamil Nadu people is one of the oldest classical languages in the world.

4. 60% of the Total epigraphical inscriptions of India found by ASI (ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA) are from Tamil Nadu.
5. Tamil Nadu has the following UNESCO World heritage sites.

A -  Mahabalipuram  

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Seashore Temple,Mahabalipuram      
B-Three Chola temples: the Brihadeeswarar Temple at Thanjavur, the Temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram build by chola empire. 

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Brihadeeswarar Temple,Thanjavur
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Gangaikonda Cholapuram
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Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram

C  Nilgiri Mountain railway
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                                                                 Nilgiri Mountain railway

6. Rani Velu Nachiyar (1730-1796), was a queen of Sivaganga estate in 1760-1790. She was the first queen to fight against the British colonial power in India, even long before the famous Rani of Jhansi. She is celebrated by Tamils as Veeramangai (brave girl). A postal stamp was issued to honour this brave queen.

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                                                            Rani Velu Nachiyar
7. Vellore mutiny of 1806 was the first instance of large scale uprising of Indian sepoys against British East India company.

8. Tamil Nadu has the highest proportion of women working in police force in India (12.5%)

9. TAMIL Written literature is the oldest in the world surviving for more than 2000 years.

10. TAMIL NADU is the largest producer of banana, turmeric, flowers and Tapioca in India.

11. The Traces of migration from Africa about 70000 years ago have been found in a village near Madurai, Tamilnadu. People living in Tamil Nadu may be one of the oldest thriving migrants from Africa.Every drop of human blood contains a history book written in the language of genes-- SPENCER Wells, population geneticist who surveyed the village-The rare genes of “NRYM130“ which is found among all the primitive aboriginals was proved to be present in Jyothimanickam Village people.

12. Bhakti movement started in Tamil Nadu and spread to North India.

13. The game kabaddi originated in Tamil Nadu.India is by far the successful international kabaddi team in the world, know why?We have been playing it for centuries as our native sport.
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14. TAMIL NADU is the top tourist state of India for three consecutive years from 2014

15. People of Tamil Nadu has great love for their language “TAMIL” that they have named their kids as follows:-

Tamil selvi/selvan,Tamil Anbu, Senthamil selvi/ selvan,Tamilanban, Tamil Arasan / Tamil Arasi,Tamil Mithran,Tamil Vanan,Thamizhini,Shemmozhi (classical language), Muthamilselvi, Tamil priya Tamil Alagan,Thenthamizhosai ,Tamizhnidhi Tamizhiniyal .

16. Tamil Nadu leads the country in organ donation- Times of India

17. Tamil Nadu tops the nation in solar power and wind power generation.

18. Chennai amounts to 60% of the country's automotive exports to the world. Chennai is known as the Detroit of India. It is one of the top ten automobile hubs of the world.Chennai emerging as global export hub for small cars: TN Govt - ET Auto

19. Spencer Plaza located in Chennai is the oldest shopping mall of India.

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                                           Spencer Plaza
20. Koyambedu bus terminus in Chennai is the largest in Asia.
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                                                       Koyambedu bus terminus
21. Vandalur zoological Park in Chennai  is the largest in India in terms of area. It is also the first public zoo of India.

22. World health organization (WHO) has rated ADYAR CANCER INSTITUTE as top ranking center in the country.

23. Kathipara Junction in Chennai is the largest cloverleaf flyover bridge in Asia.

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                                                Kathipara Junction

24. Archaeological evidences indicates the crucible steel process started in Tamil Nadu before the common era (0AD). This wootz steel was exported to Damascus, Syria from India to make Damascus steel which are used in making sharp resilient blades . India exported steel ingots to Middle East from 3 A.D. to 17 A.D.

25.Everyone knows that Marina Beach in Chennai is the second longest beach of the world. But it must also  be noted that it is the longest natural urban beach in the world.
Chennai is the cultural capital of India.
Source of the article: Email received from a friend
Photos: Google images

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Significant Science and Tech Discoveries Ancient India Gave the World

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“We owe a lot to the ancient Indians, teaching us how to count. Without which most modern scientific discoveries would have been impossible.” – Albert Einstein
One of the oldest civilizations in the world, the Indian civilization has a strong tradition of science and technology. Ancient India was a land of sages and seers as well as a land of scholars and scientists.
Research has shown that from making the best steel in the world to teaching the world to count, India was actively contributing to the field of science and technology centuries long before modern laboratories were set up. Many theories and techniques discovered by the ancient Indians have created and strengthened the fundamentals of modern science and technology. While some of these groundbreaking contributions have been acknowledged, some are still unknown to most.

Here is a list of 16 contributions, made by ancient Indians to the world of science and technology, that will make you feel proud to be an Indian.

1. The Idea of Zero

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Little needs to be written about the mathematical digit ‘zero’, one of the most important inventions of all time. Mathematician Aryabhata was the first person to create a symbol for zero and it was through his efforts that mathematical operations like addition and subtraction started using the digit, zero. The concept of zero and its integration into the place-value system also enabled one to write numbers, no matter how large, by using only ten symbols.

2. The Decimal System

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India gave the ingenious method of expressing all numbers by means of ten symbols – the decimal system. In this system, each symbol received a value of position as well as an absolute value. Due to the simplicity of the decimal notation, which facilitated calculation, this system made the uses of arithmetic in practical inventions much faster and easier.

3. Numeral Notations

Indians, as early as 500 BCE, had devised a system of different symbols for every number from one to nine. This notation system was adopted by the Arabs who called it the hind numerals. Centuries later, this notation system was adopted by the western world who called them the Arabic numerals as it reached them through the Arab traders.

4. Fibbonacci Numbers

The Fibonacci numbers and their sequence first appear in Indian mathematics as mātrāmeru, mentioned by Pingala in connection with the Sanskrit tradition of prosody. Later on, the methods for the formation of these numbers were given by mathematicians Virahanka, Gopala and Hemacandra , much before the Italian mathematician Fibonacci introduced the fascinating sequence to Western European mathematics.

5. Binary Numbers

Binary numbers is the basic language in which computer programs are written. Binary basically refers to a set of two numbers, 1 and 0, the combinations of which are called bits and bytes. The binary number system was first described by the Vedic scholar Pingala, in his book Chandahśāstra, which is the earliest known Sanskrit treatise on prosody ( the study of poetic metres and verse).

6. Chakravala method of Algorithms

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The chakravala method is a cyclic algorithm to solve indeterminate quadratic equations, including the Pell’s equation. This method for obtaining integer solutions was developed by Brahmagupta, one of the well known mathematicians of the 7th century CE. Another mathematician, Jayadeva later generalized this method for a wider range of equations, which was further refined by Bhāskara II in his Bijaganita treatise.

7. Ruler Measurements

Excavations at Harappans sites have yielded rulers or linear measures made from ivory and shell. Marked out in minute subdivisions with amazing accuracy, the calibrations correspond closely with the hasta increments of 1 3/8 inches, traditionally used in the ancient architecture of South India. Ancient bricks found at the excavation sites have dimensions that correspond to the units on these rulers.

8. A Theory of Atom

One of the notable scientists of the ancient India was Kanad who is said to have devised the atomic theory centuries before John Dalton was born. He speculated the existence of anu or a small indestructible particles, much like an atom. He also stated that anu can have two states — absolute rest and a state of motion. He further held that atoms of same substance combined with each other in a specific and synchronized manner to produce dvyanuka (diatomic molecules) and tryanuka (triatomic molecules).

9. The Heliocentric Theory

Mathematicians of ancient India often applied their mathematical knowledge to make accurate astronomical predictions. The most significant among them was Aryabhatta whose book, Aryabhatiya, represented the pinnacle of astronomical knowledge at the time. He correctly propounded that the Earth is round, rotates on its own axis and revolves around the Sun i.e the heliocentric theory. He also made predictions about the solar and lunar eclipses, duration of the day as well as the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

10. Wootz Steel

A pioneering steel alloy matrix developed in India, Wootz steel is a crucible steel characterized by a pattern of bands that was known in the ancient world by many different names such as Ukku, Hindwani and Seric Iron. This steel was used to make the famed Damascus swords of yore that could cleave a free-falling silk scarf or a block of wood with the same ease. Produced by the Tamils of the Chera Dynasty, the finest steel of the ancient world was made by heating black magnetite ore in the presence of carbon in a sealed clay crucible kept inside a charcoal furnace.

11. Smelting of Zinc

India was the first to smelt zinc by the distillation process, an advanced technique derived from a long experience of ancient alchemy. The ancient Persians had also attempted to reduce zinc oxide in an open furnace but had failed. Zawar in the Tiri valley of Rajasthan is the world’s first known ancient zinc smelting site. The distillation technique of zinc production goes back to the 12th Century AD and is an important contribution of India to the world of science.

12. Seamless Metal Globe

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Considered one of the most remarkable feats in metallurgy, the first seamless celestial globe was made in Kashmir by Ali Kashmiri ibn Luqman in the reign of the Emperor Akbar. In a major feat in metallurgy, Mughal metallurgists pioneered the method of lost-wax casting to make twenty other globe masterpieces in the reign of the Mughal Empire. Before these globes were rediscovered in the 1980s, modern metallurgists believed that it was technically impossible to produce metal globes without any seams, even with modern technology.

13. Plastic Surgery

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Written by Sushruta in 6th Century BC, Sushruta Samhita is considered to be one of the most comprehensive textbooks on ancient surgery. The text mentions various illnesses, plants, preparations and cures along with complex techniques of plastic surgery. The Sushruta Samhita ’s most well-known contribution to plastic surgery is the reconstruction of the nose, known also as rhinoplasty.

14. Cataract Surgery

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The first cataract surgery is said to have been performed by the ancient Indian physician Sushruta, way back in 6th century BCE. To remove the cataract from the eyes, he used a curved needle, Jabamukhi Salaka, to loosen the lens and push the cataract out of the field of vision. The eye would then be bandaged for a few days till it healed completely. Sushruta’s surgical works were later translated to Arabic language and  through the Arabs, his works were introduced to the West.

15. Ayurveda

Long before the birth of Hippocrates, Charaka authored a foundational text, Charakasamhita, on the ancient science of AyurvedaReferred to as the Father of Indian Medicine, Charaka was was the first physician to present the concept of digestion, metabolism and immunity in his book. Charaka’s ancient manual on preventive medicine remained a standard work on the subject for two millennia and was translated into many foreign languages, including Arabic and Latin.

16. Iron-Cased Rockets

The first iron-cased rockets were developed in the 1780s by 
Tipu Sultan of Mysore who successfully used these rockets against the larger forces of the British East India Company 
during the Anglo-Mysore Wars. He crafted long iron tubes, 
filled them with gunpowder and fastened them to bamboo 
poles to create the predecessor of the modern rocket. With a range of about 2 km, these rockets were the best in the world
at that time and caused as much fear and confusion as damage. Due to them, the British suffered one of their worst ever defeats in India at the hands of Tipu.

Source: http://www.thebetterindia.com/63119/ancient-india-science-technology/