Onam is an annual harvest festival celebrated in the Indian state of Kerala.
A major annual event for Keralites, it is the official festival of the state and includes a spectrum of cultural events.
Drawing from Hindu mythology, Onam commemorates King Mahabali.
The festival probably has ancient origins and it became intricately linked with Hindu legends at some later date.
The earliest known reference is found in Maturaikkāñci – a Sangam poem – which mentions Onam being celebrated in Madurai temples.
2. SOMNATH TEMPLE
News: At a time when the world is anxiously concerned about the Taliban’s seizure of power in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the occasion of launching new projects at the historic Somnath temple on Friday, reminded the world that the reign of terror is always temporary and cannot be permanent.
About Somnath Temple:
The Somnath temple (also known as the Deo Patan) located in Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat, India is believed to be the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva.
It is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot of Gujarat. Reconstructed several times in the past after repeated destruction by several Muslim invaders and rulers, the present mandir was reconstructed in the Chaulukya style of Hindu temple architecture and completed in May 1951.
The reconstruction was started under the orders of the Home Minister of India Vallabhbhai Patel and completed after his death.
Presently the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi is the chairman of Somnath Mandir trust.
According to tradition, the Shivalinga in Somnath is one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India, where Shiva is believed to have appeared as a fiery column of light. The jyotirlingas are taken as the supreme, undivided reality out of which Shiva partly appears.
3. PALM OIL
News: The National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP), a ₹11,040 crore project by the Union government to maximise cultivation and production, is expected to bring in remarkable growth prospects for the palm oil industry in Kerala.
Details of the scheme:
While both farmers and refiners find the scheme extremely encouraging, it can also revitalise the estates run by the Oil Palm India Limited and the Plantation Corporation of Kerala.
Since India is heavily dependent on imports when it comes to crude and refined palm oils, the industry stakeholders believe that the current development will be highly beneficial for the sector.
The NMEO-OP proposes to extend cultivation of oil palm, considered a top oil crop, to an additional 6.5 lakh hectares so that the crude palm oil (CPO) production touches 11.20 lakh tonnes by the 2025-26 financial year.
Reportedly, the State government was considering some projects to expand cultivation even before the scheme was announced.
About Palm Oil:
Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the mesocarp (reddish pulp) of the fruit of the oil palms.
The oil is used in food manufacturing, in beauty products, and as biofuel. Palm oil accounted for about 33% of global oils produced from oil crops in 2014.
The use of palm oil has attracted the concern of environmental groups due to deforestation in the tropics where palms are grown, and has been cited as a factor in social problems due to allegations of human rights violations among growers.
An industry group formed in 2004 to create more sustainable and ethical palm oil, through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
However, very little palm oil is certified through the organization, and some groups have criticized it as greenwashing.
Palm oil is naturally reddish in color because of a high beta-carotene content. It is not to be confused with palm kernel oil derived from the kernel of the same fruit or coconut oil derived from the kernel of the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera).
4. GEO – TOURISM TAG BY GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA
News: The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has identified certain geological sites across the Northeast for promotion of geo-tourism as some States in the region prepare to ‘unlock’ from September.
Sikkim has already opened for tourists while Assam and Nagaland are planning to withdraw COVID-19 restrictions from September in view of the dip in the positivity rate and an increase in the number of vaccinated people.
Of the 12 sites, three are in Meghalaya, two each in Assam and Tripura, and one each in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.
About Geo – Tourism:
Geo tourism is tourism associated with geological attractions and destinations.
Geo tourism deals with the abiotic natural and built environments.