Showing posts with label be insipred. Show all posts
Showing posts with label be insipred. Show all posts

Monday, 28 April 2014

Innovations - the largest Varpu in the world, Crafters, Jew Town, Kochi

Varpu is a large cauldron made of cast bronze traditionally used in Kerala for preparing sweet dishes like 'Payasam' (Kheer in Hindi). This large cooking vessel will be put into use during feasts, festivals and special occasions when food has to be prepared for a large number of people in Kerala. A smaller version of this vessel is called Uruli, and it is golden colored. Nowadays you will see such vessels filled with water and beautiful flowers floating, in many resorts and hotels and households. But 'varpu' is still being used by large catering business firms that involve cooking for a very large number of people.

I remember seeing such huge cauldrons at the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. While visiting the historic Jew town area of Mattancherry in Kochi, I happened to visit this awesome antique shop called 'Crafters', where the world's largest varpu is being exhibited.

Stunning! It is huge!

They have entered into the Limca book of records; their's being the largest varpu ever made in the world. This measures twelve feet in diameter and weighs 3184 kg! It has taken about 30 skilled craftsmen and 160 artisans to work tirelessly for 13 months at Mannar in Kerala, to bring this dream of the owners of this beautiful shop to possess the largest varpu in the world, into reality!

What an amazing achievement!

The artworks on this vessel are beautiful. You can see beautiful floral patterns cast below the handles. All along the perimeter beautiful lacework is also seen!

HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have paid a Royal visit here recently; the photos are on the wall as well as on their website.

This is a very famous antique shop at Jew Town having unique and priceless items. They sell some spices too; we bought a packet of tea mixed with Cardamom. Awesome tea! More about it in the next post😊

Nothing is impossible; things are possible! Fearing obstacles, not taking the baby steps is the number one mistake we always make. This doesn't mean that we must go against reality or do some foolish act. Just pointing out the negative aspects only forgetting to look at the larger picture is the mistake. 
  • Ideas are precious. Determination, hard work, and sharply focused mind are essential to convert such creative ideas into beautiful reality.
Liked this post? Well..., I have one more interesting blog, click here to check the latest updates there too😊

Monday, 8 April 2013

Teak museum, Nilambur, Kerala, India - a success story!

The world famous Teak Museum is situated in Nilambur, Malappuram district of Kerala state in India. This was established in 1995 at the Campus of the sub-center of the Kerala Forest Research Institute in Nilambur. Here you will find comprehensive information about the teak tree (Tectona Grandis). Botanists and nature lovers will find here everything they need to know about this wonderful tree. 

This is a very attractive statue depicting artistically the mighty tree! 

An exhibit of the root system of a huge tree at the entrance!

Inside you will find portraits of the famous persons who pioneered teak plantation in Kerala like Mr. H. V. Conolly, Mr. Chathu Menon, and Mr. Thomas Falton Bourdillon. Mr. H V Conolly, who was the District Collector of Malabar during the British rule in India, initiated teak plantation in this region to ensure regular supply of high-quality timber to them for shipbuilding and architecture. He entrusted Mr. Chathu Menon, a Keralite Sub-conservator of Forests to experiment growing teak trees on a large scale. Mr. Chathu Menon almost single-handedly developed techniques to germinate teak seeds and looked after the teak plantation in Nilambur which eventually became the first teak plantation in the world paving initial steps to proper forest management in the Country way back in 1844. This famous teak plantation is about 4 km from this museum. I have already blogged about this plantation, see the previous post.

The research details carried out by the Institute on teak cultivation are also depicted here. Numerous displays picture interesting facts about the habitat and the botanical and ecological details of this rock solid tree. There is a good library too. The tallest teak tree in the world was discovered recently in the Malayattoor forest range in Kerala, which grew naturally and a life-sized replica of this giant is kept here. Beautiful boxes and furniture carved artistically with teak wood are also on display. 

Adjacent to this museum is a Bioresources Nature Park. It is a beautiful place where you will find plenty of butterflies, flowers, bamboo and a variety of plants and trees. A beautiful orchid garden is also there.

Such nature conservation projects will make people aware of the importance of preserving natural habitat. Good effort! 

Hats off to everyone right from the pioneers to all the members of the team who proudly carry the baton now and also to the people who are waiting to carry it forward!

For more details:
  • A dedicated effort by people with integrity and earnestness yielded valuable results. A simple idea got germinated and has grown leaps and bounds that helped mother nature to provide us with more and more resources! 
Liked this post? Well..., I have one more interesting blog, click here to check the latest updates there too 😊

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Conolly's plot - the story of hard work, optimism and success!

Kerala in South India is known as the "God's own country". Nilambur is situated in the Malappuram district of Kerala. One of the attractions here is the world famous 'Conolly's plot', the oldest teak plantation in the world. Teak (Tectona Grandis) wood, as you all know, is widely used in household architecture and for making a variety of furniture. There was great demand for teak during the time of British administration in India to build ships for the British troops and also for architectural purposes in India as well as abroad. Mr. H. V. Conolly, the then District Collector of Malabar, decided to plant teak plants to meet the ever-growing demand and to discourage felling of immature trees. After crossing many hurdles he and Mr. Chathu Menon, a Keralite Sub-forest conservator, were able to grow trees successfully here. 

The felled trees were transported as rafts through the Chaliyar river to Kallai, which was known as the hub of the timber industry in Kerala. From here the huge ships carried the cut timber to England.

There is a very big teak tree here and its girth is about 420 cm. It was raining profusely when I visited here. The views from the hanging bridge were awesome. This hanging bridge connects the main entrance to the teak plantation across the river. This bridge is said to be the longest of its kind in Kerala.

I wonder how many Keralites are aware that such a beautiful place exists here, let alone foreign tourists. We all can be proud that this pioneering effort by Mr. Chathu Menon and Mr. Conolly paved the initial foundations of proper forest management in Kerala. It was not easy to germinate the teak seeds and grow the trees at that time, but by trial and error, they were able to achieve success. Mr. Chathu Menon perfected the 'Silviculture technique' which involves pre-burning of the seeds. These seedlings were planted in 1844. The entire plantation was looked after by this eminent Officer efficiently and the result was evident to the future generations as well. In 1858 Lord Harvis, the president of the East India Company visited the plantation and honored Mr. Chathu Menon by presenting him a memento. 

Just imagine, they planted the trees in about 1500 acres land! Trees in about 500 acres were cut during the world war to build ships for the troops. Mr. Chathu Menon has buried here itself. Some portion of the original plantation is still kept as such by the Department of Forests, Kerala. There is a teak museum also in Nilambur, about that I will blog later. 
  • A classic example of the saying - "if there is a will, there is a way".      
They attained success solely depending on their own intuition and not by the complex technologies which during the 18th century were simply non-existent! Let us salute them! 

Liked this post? Well..., I have one more interesting blog, click here to check the latest updates there too 😊