Oct 7, 2012

Barfi! in the Oscars, but does Oscars deserve that?


Ever since India has announced that its official Oscars nomination for this year would be Barfi!, controversies have began and people are questioning the Oscar worthiness of this movie since some of the scenes of the movie appear to have been copied from hollywood movies like The Notebook, City Lights, The Rain, The Adventurer etc. Some people are even feeling ashamed to know that we have nominated Barfi! into the Oscars. 

Is it the case that Indians are the only ones who copy from others? Now, there are some people living in India or born in India who feel that they are so unfortunate having born in India. They feel that whatever India does, it can't be good. If it is good, then it is always copied from the western world. They easily forget that India has a history of thousands of years and we were more civilised and knowledgeable as compared to rest of the world. That is the reason why the people from other parts of the world came to India. What did the western world had before the industrial revolution began some 200-300 years ago? We were the ones who provided the basic knowledge of all the advanced sciences to the world, Astronomy, Mathematics, Physics, Medical Sciences like Ayurved, Yog (Yoga as proudly called now due to westernisation), to name a few. Didn't others copied from India? Why the western world is now moving towards herbal products and why to they need to file patents for turmeric? Why do they need non genetically modified food to be imported from India?


Just look at what Samartha Ramdas Swami has written in Dasbodh, somewhere in 17th Century in Marathi:

रेणूहून सूक्ष्म किडे । त्यांचें आयुष्य निपटचि थोडें । युक्ति बुद्धि तेणेंचि पाडें । तयामधें ॥ १ ॥ ऐसे नाना जीव असती । पाहों जातां न दिसती । अंतःकर्णपंचकाची स्थिती । तेथेंचि आहे ॥ २ ॥ त्यांपुरतें त्यांचें ज्ञान । विषये इंद्रियें समान । सूक्ष्म शरीरें विवरोन । पाहातो कोण ॥

Isn't this what we nowadays call "Microbiology"? Where did this knowledge came from?

Anyways, coming back to Barfi!, I found the movie truly refreshing and it has done what the primary job of any movie is, i.e. to entertain the audience. Ranbir and Priyanka have acted beautifully and they have truly lived their rolls. Even though, both the main characters are differently abled, the movie isn't completely sad or emotional. 

As far as the question of Oscars nomination is concerned, I am of the opinion that India should boycott the Oscars for ever. This is because I feel that the Academy Awards appear to be biased and anti-indian if we compare the films like Slumdog Millionaire and Lagaan. 

Indians had celebrated when "Slumdog Millionaire" got eight out of ten academy award categories in which the film was nominated. Was it the Indian film? It was directed by Danny Boyle and produced by Christian Colson, who were not Indians. The movie had depicted only the ugly side of India. It was projected as if India is a country full of slums and poverty and people take a dip in the shit. Was the movie technically sound and oscar worthy. Well, it was not! If we compare it with the movie "Lagaan" which was nominated in Best Foreign Film category some years ago, I think Lagaan was far better on all fronts than Slumdog Millionaire. A.R.Rahman's music in Lagaan was far far better than his music in Slumdog Millionaire.  I am sure that if somebody asks this to the musical maestro himself, he would also agree privately. Lagaan was a period film and if you read the book The Spirit of Lagaan, you would come of know how difficult it was to make this movie. This movie was shot without a day break in schedule, sync sound technique was used for the first time in this movie, so many foreign actors were involved to manage their dates and it was technically better than Slumdog. Then why it was not awarded with the Academy Awards? Just because it was an Indian film. Apart from Slumdog, the other so called Indian film to have won the oscars is "Gandhi" which was also not an Indian film, since it was directed by Sir Richard Attenborough.  

This is the reason why I feel that India should boycott the Oscars for ever. We do not need Oscars and at the same time, Oscars also doesn't deserve that. Amitabh Bachchan had publicly said that "They are great in their place and we are so in our place. It is not that Oscar awards are the ultimate recognition" 

What do we get if our films win the Oscars? Nowadays, with Indians spread all over the world, our good movies are already doing excellent business abroad. My friends who are abroad are watching Indian movies on the same day when they are released in India. The market in India is such a big market that we do not need to go outside for business. In fact, rest of the world is now eyeing on this 1.2 billion plus market and it is the time for India to capitalise on this.

Jul 24, 2012

A Two Legged Dog in Nagpur

Yesterday morning while going to office, I had to slow down my car since a two legged dog was crossing the road. I am seeing this dog since last 2-3 months in my area, but yesterday its efforts to cross the road in the morning traffic touched my heart. I clicked some pictures from my mobile camera. Have a look at this dog. 



Right now I am not aware how this happened to him, whether it was an accident or due to some disease or by birth. I will try to find out from the nearby residents soon. 

Now, the basic laws of nature are "Survival of the Fittest" and "Struggle for Existence". This dog is certainly not the fittest, but his struggle for existence was amazing. A naturally four legged animal doesn't have to learn balancing on two legs like humans. His rear legs seems to have come to front from one side of his body and as a result, the body posture isn't perfect to balance the body on two legs. But this doggy has learnt to balance on two legs.

Looking at other dogs in the surrounding area, this dog also must have been feeling that he is not like others who can run. He can't chase the running cars. He can't even lift one of his rear legs to pee. So he has to curb all his natural instincts.

So the thought came to my mind that even if he is a dog, there is a lot to learn from him. We humans always complain about our health problems. Some have headaches, acidity, painful neck, back, knees, so on and so forth. But when we look at other people in this world and even at animals like these, we tend to feel that we are in a far better position than others. Similarly we always compare ourselves with others and that is the major reason of unhappiness. This dog is physically not even 10% in strength than other dogs, but his will power is wonderful.

I will try to help this poor animal and will have to look for the NGOs and doctors in Nagpur for this. People may feel that when there are so many humans in this world that need help, why to help these animals. But being a part of nature, I am of the opinion that every element of nature is vital for the balance and we need to extend our humanity to other species as well.

Jul 14, 2012

Infrastructural bottleneck of MIHAN - Butibori Corridor in Nagpur


A lot has been discussed during the past 5-7 years about the 5 star industrial area at MIDC Butibori and Multi- Modal International Hub Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) popularly called as “Cargo Hub” which is also a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Both these projects haven’t yet taken off well, though they are supposed to be the largest of their kind in Asia, when complete.

Developments in Mihan – Butibori Corridor:

Off late, some development has started though. There are some big industrial units in Butibori like Indorama, KEC International, Dinshaws, Gammon India, Morarjee Mills, Neco, Johnson Lifts, Hyundai Unitech, ACC Nihon etc. There are also newspaper printing presses and power plants in Butibori. It is heard that Maruti is planning to set up its stock yard as well.  

Mihan is still in its nascent stage with a very few operational units. Major ones amongst them are Future Supply Chains (warehouse of a Future Group Company), TAL Manufacturing (Tata Group Company), Informatics Solutions, Caliber Point, Ebix, KloudData, Lupin, Abhijeet Power etc. Construction work of Boeing MRO plant is in full swing and the plant should get operational in 2013. TCS has commenced the construction work for its 54 acre campus in Mihan SEZ. Infosys has signed the lease agreement for 142 acres of land in Mihan SEZ. Shapoorji Pallonji Infocity is also ready. Companies like Sical Logistics, DLF and HCL also have acquired the land in Mihan.

This Mihan – Butibori corridor also has some of the big townships (existing and proposed) like Sahara City, First City, Mahindra Lifespaces Bloomdale, Moraj Waterfall Gateway. The area between Mihan to Butibori has places like VCA Cricket Stadium in Jamtha, Sun-n-Sand hotel, schools and colleges like Montfort School, Pallotti College, Wainganga College, Narayana Vidyalayam, Ira International School etc.

The Bottleneck:

All these developments mentioned above have resulted in huge increase in road traffic and the problem is that there is only one approach road for this entire area, which is National Highway 7 also known as Wardha Road. This national highway is Delhi – Chennai national highway which already was having heavy vehicle traffic prior to all these developments. Now the traffic has increased multifold. I am personally experiencing that since last 1-2 years, I have to stop more than once on the same traffic signals on this road at peak hours, near Rajiv Nagar and Somalwada, which Nagpurians are not used to.  

But apart from the fact that there is only one approach road, there is also one major infrastructural bottleneck for this Mihan – Butibori corridor. Alongside this NH- 7, there is a parallel railway track which is a part of both Howrah – Mumbai and Delhi – Chennai routes. This is also one of the busiest railway routes. So this NH-7 has a railway over bridge near Khapri. But even though NH-7 is a four lane highway, this Khapri railway over bridge is only a double lane road, unlike the recently inaugurated Butibori flyover which is a four lane over bridge. Apart from being double lane only, this bridge is not straight and it makes all the more difficult for the loaded containers to climb up the slope on a curved road. The road on this over bridge is also not good and there are a lot of potholes. Road divider is also not present on this bridge. With all these hurdles, whenever any vehicle jumps the lane and both the lanes become blocked, or whenever some accident occurs on this bridge, it results in huge traffic jams. 
It’s not uncommon that there are long queues running for 1 -2 kms on either side of this bridge. Whenever such incidents happen, traffic police have to take the control and allow the traffic from either side for 10-10 minutes alternatively. The pictures below are self explanatory.












 













Keeping the future developments in mind, the authorities need to consider the possibilities for road expansion, flyovers etc. along this NH-7. The possibility of laying some new roads from different corners of the city should also be evaluated. Considering the fact that any major road expansion or bridge construction work takes 2-3 years after commencement in our country, it’s indeed a cause of concern for daily commuters since there is no such proposal announced till now.      


May 10, 2012

Merging Excel Date and Time into one Cell

Helping your colleagues in office to sort out their problems always presents an opportunity for you to learn something new and a sense of satisfaction as well. Recently I experienced that in my office. After finding the solution to the problem, I felt that there might be many such people who would be facing this problem. That is the precise reason for this post.

My colleague had his data in Excel sheet in which he had captured date and time of a particular event in two separate cells. Just like cells B5 and C5 in the example below. He wanted the difference in two dates in terms of number of days and number of hours. 

In this example, calculating the difference in time between the two events is not possible until and unless Date and Time are combined in one cell. This was achieved in the following manner:

1) Firstly data in column B was formatted into date format as DD/MM/YYYY format, which is commonly followed format in India. Date 1 was 25th April 2012 and Date 2 was 27th April 2012.


2) Data in column C was formatted in Time format as hh:mm format.   


3) Now with date in cell B5 and time in cell C5, both were combined into one cell in cell D5 using the formula 


=INT(B5)+MOD(C5,1)


4) After that data in cell D5 was formatted into "Custom" format as "dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm:ss" format.


5) Same thing was done for date 2 as well.


6) To calculate the number of days between the two dates, formula was entered in cell D10 as =D8-D5 and D10 cell was formatted in number format without decimal and 1000 separator.


7)  To calculate the time difference between the two dates, formula was entered in cell D11 as =D8-D5 and cell D11 was formatted in "Custom" format as "[h]:mm"


If you click on any cell with formula above, formula can be viewed in bottom right corner. Please keep in mind that Excel date and time formats are governed by regional settings of your machine and as a result, formats may appear different. However, logic remains the same. 


Also on some machines, you may not be able to view the above embedded excel sheet directly. On such machines, you can click on that window to open it directly in Google Drive/Google docs.

Jan 11, 2012

New Features, issues and improvements needed in Chrome 17

I have updated my Google Chrome to the latest Chrome 17 beta channel version 17.0.963.26.

New Features and Changes:

  • New Extensions APIs
  • Updated Omnibox Pre-rendering
  • Download Scanning Protection
  • Print window now opens in the same tab
  • + sign is now missing from the button you need to click to open new tabs
  • Many other small changes

With Omnibox pre-rendering, webpages now load faster than before. This is because as you type the URL in the Omnibox, Chrome auto completes the URL to the site you are most likely to visit and starts loading the page in the background. So when you complete the URL and hit the ENTER button, most of the webpage is already loaded. 

With download scanning protection, Chrome now analyses every executable file like exe and msi file, that you download. If a file being downloaded is known to be bad, or is hosted on a website that hosts a relatively high percentage of malicious downloads, Chrome will warn you that the file appears to be malicious and that you should discard it.


Issues in this version:

One feature that was earlier available in Chrome, like in all other popular browsers, is now missing. Earlier, you could directly go the address bar and select the complete URL just by hitting the F6 key as a keyboard shortcut. Now hitting the F6 no longer highlights the URL. It just takes you to the address bar and then you need to press  CTRL+A to select the URL. I am not too sure whether it is a bug or what, but I have filed a report with Chrome. 

Improvements Needed:

Another important feature that Chrome never provided is the Master Password feature, just like what is there in Firefox. So there is no way to encrypt your saved passwords and anybody having access to your machine can steal all your passwords. In Firefox, if Master Password feature is enabled, all saved passwords are encrypted and you need to enter master password before saving any new password, or before checking the saved passwords. 

I hope the issue to be fixed in the next release and expecting master password feature as well, sometime in the near future. 

Jan 8, 2012

Problems in Apple iOS user interface

After error 8288 was resolved and iOS 3.1 was successfully installed in my iPod touch 1st Generation device, I noticed some shortcomings in iOS 3.1 user interface (UI). I had mailed those to Apple as well.

Please note that the maximum possible upgrade for my iPod is upto iOS version 3.1 only. So some of the shortcomings listed here might have been taken care of in the next iOS versions. 

Still I am sharing those here.

1) Calculator: In the calculator, = button is far bigger than + button. Same is the case with normal calculator and in scientific calculator which opens up after tilting the iPod.

Now in my opinion, + button should be the biggest one amongst all other buttons. Most users use calculator for additions and hit = sign only at the end. On an average, for every 8 to 10 + button clicks, there would only be one = button click. So user friendliness demands that + button should be bigger than = button.

Not only while doing additions, but in any calculations, = button is normally pressed very rarely as compared to other functions. 

Even in the case of normal calculators like Casio or Citizen calculators, + button is the biggest one. 


Just check your normal desktop keyboard's numeric keypad and you will see that the + button is the largest one.

I don't know what may have prompted Apple to design the calculator in such a way.

2) Photo Slideshow: 
Photo slideshow is possible only from the first photo in an album and that too before selecting any specific photo. Even if the first photo is selected, it is not possible to start the slideshow. 

So if I am browsing through the album and midway through I feel that I should put the remaining album on slideshow mode, it is not possible. 

3) Restrictions Feature: Have you tried using "Restrictions" feature which is available from the menu Settings > General and then clicking on Restrictions?

Logically speaking, any type of restrictions are either for parental control or for protecting the sensitive data. To view the protected data or to use the protected application, you must know the password. When the protected data is viewed after entering the password and the application is closed after that, the application should remain protected and ask for the password again when the next time it is opened. 

Surprisingly it is not the case here. Restricting any feature here completely blocks that application and the icon of that application completely disappears from the home screen. To use that application again, you need to remove the restriction again by going to the same menu Settings > General > Restrictions 

Doing this completely removes the restriction and you need to follow the same process to restrict that again. 

See the screenshots below where I tried to put the password lock for opening Safari to restrict the internet access. 




In the screenshots above, I selected OFF for Safari and Safari icon disappeared from the home screen. 

Then to browse the internet again, I needed to turn the Safari ON from the same menu and then Safari icon reappeared on the home screen as per the screenshots below. 



I am neither a software programmer nor the design expert. This is just a feedback from the normal end user point of view. 



P.S.: Wondering how these screenshots were captured and/or transferred to the computer? Please get in touch with me or wait for the next post.

Jan 5, 2012

A visit to Shegaon, Anand Sagar and Anand Vihar


Please Note: I am not associated with Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan in any manner and this should have been clear after reading the first paragraph itself. Still I am getting daily 1-2 mails for enquiries about Anand Vihar rooms availability. I have tried to reply individually to all the enquiries and provided the contact details as well. But going forward, it won't be possible. Please note that there is no system of advance booking in Shegaon and you need to reach the respective booking office. At the most, you can contact on their telephone numbers for enquiries (not for booking) when you reach near Shegaon. Contact details are mentioned in the main article below and are also available on http://www.gajananmaharaj.org/sgmsenglish/newas.htm

Update (August 2015): When this article was published in January 2012, there was no system of online accommodation booking. Now it is available through E-Accommodation link on the official website http://www.gajananmaharaj.org/  

It has been more than 12 years since I last visited Shegaon. And that is a fairly long period considering the fact that there are lakhs of devotees of Shri Gajanan Maharaj, who visit Shegaon every year.

This time my elder brother and my sister-in-law planned the tour and insisted that all the members of the family should accompany them to Shegaon.

We had heard that Shegaon has changed a lot during last decade or so, especially after Anand Sagar is developed.  Finally we planned our visit for the weekend on 10th and 11th  of December 2011. Normally it is advised that weekends  and Thursdays should be avoided to visit Shegaon since there is heavy rush, but we decided to take a chance and we did not have any other suitable dates as well. Also my birthday was on Sunday, as per Hindu Panchang (tithi). So it was a great occasion to be able to take the Darshan on that day and receive the blessings. 

Now we had the options to go by own car, by taxi, by bus or by train. Since the plan was finalised at the last moment, train option was ruled out for the want of reservations. Options of going by own car or by taxi were also ruled out since normally we avoid night journeys, unless there is an urgency to travel. So if we would have started at 7 AM on Saturday morning from Nagpur, we would have reached Shegaon by 2 PM. And then we would have to leave Shegaon by 3 PM on Sunday so as to reach Nagpur before Sunday night. So we would have wasted so much of time on Saturday and Sunday in travelling, leaving us lesser time to spend at Shegaon.

So we decided to go by bus. Baba Travels from Nagpur operates a sleeper coach which leaves Nagpur at 10:30 PM and reaches Shegaon early next morning. Similarly their bus leaves Shegaon at 09:30 PM and reaches Nagpur early morning. We left Nagpur Friday night, reached Shegaon at 05:30 AM on Saturday fresh after a good night's sleep, utilised the maximum time on Saturday and Sunday and then left Shegaon on Sunday night to reach Nagpur Monday morning, ready to get back to work. And we could enjoy total lunar eclipse as well. See more detailed post here 

About Shegaon:

Shegaon is located around 550 km east of the city of Mumbai and 300 km west from the city of Nagpur. Operative airport nearby is Nagpur Airport. It is located on Mumbai-Nagpur route of the Indian Railways and many major trains stop here. 

The photograph of the railway time table as displayed in Anand Vihar Bhakta Niwas is shown here, although it is in Marathi language. This is attached here just to make readers aware that the management of this Sansthan is one of the few ones in India, or perhaps the only one who takes very good care of large number of devotees. Much more on that would follow later.





About Shri Gajanan Maharaj:

The origins of Sant Shri Gajanan Maharaj are untraceable in history. He first miraculously appeared in Shegaon on 23rd February 1878. He was first seen eating cooked rice grains from thrown away food in front of a house where some function was going on. He also drank water with the cattle and went away. His second appearance was when  Maharaj Govindbuwa Takalikar was elaborating on a few lines from Bhagwat and just when he had explained the meaning of the first part of those lines, Shri Gajanan Maharaj sitting near a lemon tree chanted fluently the lines in second part. Govindbuwa immediately understood that this divine man has the command over the subject. He was constantly chanting the lines "Gan Gan Ganat Bote". So he was given the name "Gajanan Maharaj". 

Thereafter, he became well known as a Saint in Shegaon and nearby areas. He was believed to be the incarnation of Samartha Ramdas Swami from Sajjangadh. Devotees used to offer him rich food, clothes, ornaments etc. But he used throw away all these. He used to lie anywhere, eat anything, wear any piece of cloth or nothing at all. 

Shri Gajanan Maharaj was a Siddhayogi. He did so many unusual things which were miracles. He brought odd behaving animals on track. He ordered birds like crows to behave properly. He brought water to the dry well. He cured the sick, helped the helpless, showed right path to those who wanted. He gave advice to his devotees. He could read the mind of his devotee. Those who came to see him with some purpose in mind, always went home satisfied. It is said that there was always a sense of peace and satisfaction around him. His eyes could give proper direction to the erring. That's why he is worshipped nearly in every house in Vidarbha, Maharashtra and nearby states. Because of the immense good deeds, he has become a legendary phenomenon. There are hundreds & thousand of temples in all the parts of Maharashtra as well as outside Maharashtra in his name. He has become the Daivat of Vidarbha, and Shegaon has become the Pandharpur of Vidarbha.

After blessing so many devotees for years together, he himself decided to take a leave from this world and decided the date and place of his Samadhi as well. And that date was 8th September 1910. But his innumerable disciples and devotees believe that their Daivat Sadguru Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj is still alive and guides and helps them. They tell their own experiences of his blessings. That's why thousands of devotees come to Shegaon.

About Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan:
As per the advice from Shri Gajanan Maharaj to his disciples, a trust was established in his presence named as "Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan" in the year 1908. Official website of this Sansthan is http://www.gajananmaharaj.org
A temple was erected at a place where Shri Gajanan Maharaj took the Samadhi at a place of his choice. He had said that "YA JAGI RAHIL (I will stay here)". So it is believed that this temple is still blessed with his presence.
Sansthan undertakes various religious, social and charitable activities, apart from managing the activities of Mandir. 

About Day to Day Management:
Despite of the fact that thousands of devotees come to Shegaon daily, Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan wonderfully manages the day to day affairs. And the facilities provided for devotees are excellent. Here everybody is treated at par. There is no such system here like VIP entrance for those who provided large donations. Everybody has to pass through same queue.

For queueing, huge halls are built with proper ventilation and air cooling. Queues are formed in such a way that there are benches on one side. So you can sit and still be in a queue. Washrooms are there in these halls itself and people may use those after getting a pass. Drinking water is provided then and there itself. Tea is served in those halls for the devotees, free of cost. Even where you have to exit from one hall and enter another hall, and need to pass through an open roofed space,  foot mats and runners are spread to that you shouldn't feel the heat walking barefoot. All in all, you don't feel tired to wait in queue, even if the time required for darshan is 2-3 hours, depending on rush. Picture beside shows how the queues are formed and people sitting on bench on one side of the queue. 


Name of the old man seen in this picture is Laxman Tayde and he lives in Shegaon only. Still this man visits mandir twice daily in the morning and evening for darshan, irrespective of how long the queue is and how long it takes for him to have the Darshan. Incredible...isn't it? And where ever one queue ends and we need to pass freely through a passage before next queue starts, he runs so fast. Reminded the videos of Shri Anna Hazare running at Raj Ghat.

Entire area is continuously kept clean. They use machines for cleaning. So you don't have to walk barefoot on sticky floor with spilled kunkum, flowers, rice grains and prashaad, as is the case in most other temples. They even hold the queue from moving forward till the time, floor is getting cleaned. They spray some perfumed liquids to get rid of houseflies as well. 

Daily Mahaprasad is provided to thousands of devotees and excellent quality material is used to cook the food, while maintaining complete hygiene as well. We saw a huge machine to prepare rotis. Atta is mixed on one side of it to form a dough, round shaped rotis are cut by machine, remaining material after cutting the rounds is passed back and rotis are roasted on conveyor belts. 

About Sevaks:

Sevak is man you will find everywhere in Shegaon. In Mandir, in Bhakta Niwas and in Anand Sagar. They are the people from nearby villages who come to Shegaon for offering free services, one week at a time and in groups. Its amazing to see their dedication in work. Nobody seems to direct them on what is to be done. 
Still you will find a Sevak at every place where he is needed. They prevent the people from wearing shoes while walking on lawns, they clean the entire area, serve the food, maintain the discipline in Mandir and in queues. And they are always polite. 

And they don't accept any tips as well.  This board displayed in Anand Vihar says that you should let the service be served as a service only. And rather than making Sevaks fall in love for money, you should love them for their service. They are the first point of contact for you in case you need any assistance. 

It is said that there is always a waiting list for the next few months for those who want to work as Sevaks. 

About Bhakta Niwas:

Sansthan has done an incredible work to provide well maintained accommodation for the devotees. There are a number of Bhakta Niwas for this purpose. There is no system of prior booking. So you have to look for the accommodation, once you reach Shegaon. Sansthan urges that devotees should make telephonic enquiries when they come near to Shegaon on the numbers provided in this advertisement published on http://www.gajananmaharaj.org/sgmsenglish/newas.htm

There are different types of rooms available, depending on everyone's budget and requirement. But in general it is very reasonable. Accommodation is provided for a maximum period of 72 hours only. 

About Anand Vihar Bhakta Niwas:

We were fortunate enough to get the accommodation in Anand Vihar Bhakta Niwas, which is the newest and the best amongst all. It is located at a distance of 1 KM from Anand Sagar. 

Even though it is a Bhakta Niwas built, owned and operated by Sansthan, it is no lesser than a luxurious holiday resort but at a reasonable rate. We got a room with 6 beds in just Rs.900 per day. Rooms are neat and clean with attached washrooms, hot water for bathing and fortunately no television. There are beautiful sculptures everywhere with picturesque landscaping and gardening.  You won't see a piece of paper lying on ground.

There are tea, coffee vending machines installed at every building's ground floor and Sevaks are there to assist you and collect the charges as well.

Free bus service is provided to commute to Mandir from Anand Vihar. 

Posting some pictures and to view more full size pictures of Anand Vihar, click here







About Anand Sagar:

Shegaon is a small town and even though devotees wished to extend their stay in this holy environment, there were no places of interest nearby for them to spare their time peacefully and relax in a spiritual environment. Recognising this need, Sansthan started the development work for AnandSagar in the year 1999. But this place had the acute shortage of water. So it was believed that this project won't be a success. But Sansthan took this as a challenge and they brought water from Man River which is 9 kms away. Rain water harvesting is also done here. It required 4 lakh trucks full of soil for landscaping as per the design and over 60,000 trees were planted.

Total area of this project is 350 acres, out of which first phase of 120 acres was opened for public service in the year 2003. Out of this 120 acres, 60 acres is for the lake, 30 acres is for lush green lawns and 30 acres is for parking and other utility areas. 

Most incredible thing is that there is no Executive Engineer for this project, nor it has a site office kind of a thing. Over 500 labourers worked at full efficiency without any monitory compensation, once a week. Over 200 expert sculptors from Rajasthan worked here to create Main Entrance, Marble Temples and other sculptures. Apart from that, 3 JCB machines and 10 tipper trucks, all owned by Sansthan were deployed for this project. 

This information is provided here so that the readers would get an idea about the size of this project. 

Now Anand Sagar has a beautiful lake, Dhyan Mandir (Meditation Centre) at the centre of the lake, 3.5 kms long train ride, fish aquarium, kids play area, amusement park with many rides, musical fountain, temples and Sant Darshan area. There are many amenities for the devotees, including free wheel chairs, baby prams and umbrellas (for rainy season). Here also, very reasonable food is served with good taste. Free bus service from Temple is available for commuting.  There are beautiful artefacts and carvings all around. 

Posting some pictures and to view more full size pictures of Anand Sagar, click here:




Concluding Remarks:

Shegaon is the place which is visited by lakhs of devotees every year. Sansthan receives huge donations from them, but they have done well to return it back to them in the form of services and amenities. It is a completely non-commercial place and Sansthan has undertaken many religious and charitable projects like Educational Institutes, hospitals etc. At such a place where it is certain that donations are utilised well, it gives a sense of satisfaction on donating.

Even though Anand Vihar is like a luxurious resort and Anand Sagar is like a tourist place, people are requested to visit Shegaon and stay there, not like a tourist, but like a devotee and maintain the sanctity of this place. 

Feels good to complete this article and taking this post live on Thursday, the day on which Shri Gajanan Maharaj is worshipped.


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