Prahlada nataka is a century old traditional theatre play popular in the Ganjam district of Orissa. The play is written in Sanskrit and colloquial Oriya. It was first performed during the reign of Raja Ramakrishna Chhotaraya, an Oriya ruler. The play is written by Gopinath Parichha, a poet-dramatist, patronized by the ruler.
The play is performed in an open arena amongst the crowd. There is usually a four to five tiered wooden platform on the stage .The top of the platform has the throne of Hiranyakasipu. Hiranyakasipu is the villain of the play and is killed by Narasimha at the end of the play. The role of Hiranyakasipu is quite demanding in terms of the acting and is thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. Narasimha is the protagonist and appears at the end of the play wearing a lion mask. There is usually a band of Musicians who accompany the acting troupe. The instruments used by the musicians include the Harmonium and the Mardal. Now days even Violin and trumpet is used. The music is used to add dramatic touch to the play and set the mood of the audience. Traditional Odissi music influences the music of the play to a great extent. The lead vocalist of the music band balances between the role of the singer and a commentator / interpreter for the people.
Prahlada nataka is now an endangered art form. During its glorious days there were about 172 troupes performing this folk art but now it is reduced to around 100 troupes. Even though there is a dip in popularity of the play, a evening watching the Prahalada nataka with a power packed performance by the actors is surely a enthralling experience. Such is the impact of the performances of the actors that crowds can be seen cheering at the top of their voices during the climax scene.
Are you planning to gift your elders a surprise? Here is an idea to pamper them with shawls of purpose, the Kinnauri shawls. They are manufactured in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. They are very famous for their intricate geometric designs.
Also, it is said that objects of religious importance are weaved on these shawls with colours of mythological origins. The colours used on these shawls are related to the five elements and there is a slight change in the belief here. The green colour signifies air element, blue signifies ether, white signifies water, yellow stands for earth and red stands for fire. People can find the central Asian influence in the geometric designs of these shawls.
The manufacturing and designs of these shawls are so unique and famous that the government has issued registration for this shawl under the provisions of the geographical indication of the goods act in 1999 which in turn issued prohibition of unauthorised production of this shawl, if found violated a 2lakh punishment or 3 years of imprisonment shall be the action taken. These shawls are woven for the local usage for commercial purposes and they are woven with frame loom, pit looms etc.
It nearly takes around 45 days to complete one single shawl. The masterpieces with the beautiful Kinnauri pattern woven all over the shawl are a big feast for the eyes. And they range from 40000 to 50000 INR per piece. Also, it takes from nearly six to eight months to weave such marvellous rare masterpiece of work.
There are various types of patterns woven in these shawls such as Kinnauri teen Patti, Kinnauri pattern along the both ends of the shawl, all over Kinnauri work and Kinnauri pattern running across the four edges. These shawls serve the dual purpose of function as well as ornamentation.
Mussoorie, known as the “The Queen Of Hills” is one of the most picturesque locations in the world. Surrounded by hills and cloud with waterfalls give it a unique look that is second to none.
This splendid location also houses one of the best residential schools in India: Oak Grove School. The “Best” rank is not just a title for mongering war but is truly recognized by Government. This historic school was started under British rule in 1888 and holds thousands of glorious memories of colonized and independent India. It has produced great scholars over its course of more than a century. The school stretches over 256 acres for all-around development and their residence.
The buildings are impressive and add charm to the already gorgeous location that it is located on. The classical design that includes the stone walls, large verandahs and pillar take it a step further.The ministry of railways of the Government of India and also the Northern Railway administration place great emphasis on the preservation of Oak Grove School.
All these great achievements mean more people planning to take admissions in this school due to which the admission process is a bit challenging and starts from class 3 onwards. Most of the students are from Railways, understandably as it is being run by Railways.
The school, with its great heritage value, is a symbol of several things-of elegances, stability, history, welfare initiatives and a value-based education. It holds a sense of deep history and glories it has seen since inception.
This might be the only school in India which stood tall and still growing after a century with a beautiful backdrop of hills and run by a government organization. All this ensures that there is good schooling and also a wonderful tour for the visitors.