News: Visitors posing for photographs during the week-long dance festival at the Khajuraho temples in M.P.
About Khajuraho temples:
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments are a group of Hindu and Jain temples in Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh, India, about 175 kilometres southeast of Jhansi. They are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The temples are famous for their nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures.
Most Khajuraho temples were built between 885 AD and 1050 AD by the Chandela dynasty.
Historical records note that the Khajuraho temple site had 85 temples by the 12th century, spread over 20 square kilometers. Of these, only about 25 temples have survived, spread over six square kilometers.
Of the surviving temples, the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is decorated with a profusion of sculptures with intricate details, symbolism and expressiveness of ancient Indian art.
When these monuments were built, the boys in the place lived in hermitages, by being brahmcharis (bachelor) until they attained manhood and these sculptures helped them to learn about the worldly role of ‘householder’.
The Khajuraho group of temples were built together but were dedicated to two religions, Hinduism and Jainism, suggesting a tradition of acceptance and respect for diverse religious views among Hindus and Jains in the region.
2. MILAN EXERCISE
News: Amid escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia, warships of Quad countries, France, Myanmar, South Korea and Vietnam and several others will come together at Visakhapatnam later this week for the largest multilateral exercise MILAN, hosted by the Indian Navy.
Russia, Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia among others are participating in the exercise without ships.
The U.S. will be joining the exercise for the first time.
They will see participation of around 42 countries with ships from over 15 countries.
The theme of the MILAN 2022 exercise is ‘Camaraderie – Cohesion – Collaboration’, which aims to project India as a responsible maritime power to the world at large.
The aim of the exercise is to hone operational skills, imbibe best practices and procedures, and enable doctrinal learning in the maritime domain through professional interaction between friendly navies.
MILAN is a biennial multilateral naval exercise incepted by Indian Navy in 1995 at Andaman and Nicobar Command. Since its inception, the event has been held biennially except for 2001, 2005, 2016 and 2020.
While the 2001 and 2016 editions were not held due to International Fleet Reviews, the 2005 editions was rescheduled to 2006 due to the 2004 Tsunami. 2020 edition of MILAN was postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19.
Starting with the participation of only four countries, viz Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand, in the 1995 edition, the exercise has since transitioned leaps and bounds in terms of number of participants and complexity of exercises.
Originally conceived in consonance with India’s ‘Look East Policy’, MILAN expanded in ensuing years with the GOI’s ‘Act East policy’ and Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) initiative, to include participation from island nations in the Western IOR as also IOR littorals. Participation increased from six regional countries to 18 countries in 2014 which included IOR littorals.
With Indian Navy’s engagement with Friendly Foreign Countries (FFCs) expanding over the decades, a need was felt to further consolidate the naval cooperation by enhancing the scale and complexity of the MILAN exercise and engaging both regional and extra regional navies of the world.
Considering the infrastructure requirements of a large naval gathering, it was decided to shift the event to mainland, and Visakhapatnam, being the Headquarters of Eastern Naval Command, was nominated to host the event.
3. COBRA WARRIOR
News: In a first, the Indian Air Force (IAF) will deploy the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas for multilateral air exercise ‘Cobra Warrior’ at Waddington, U.K., which will also see the participation of Air Forces of Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and the U.S.
The exercise is aimed at providing operational exposure and sharing best practices amongst the participating Air Forces, thereby enhancing combat capability and forging bonds of friendship.
This will be a platform for LCA Tejas to demonstrate its manoeuvrability and operational capability.
Exercise Cobra Warrior is one of the largest annual exercises by the Royal Air Force (RAF).
India will be participating in the exercise for the first time. Other countries participating are the United Kingdom, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Bulgaria.
The exercise will provide operational exposure and share best practices amongst the participating Air Forces, to further enhance their combat capability and forging bonds of friendship.