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Mummy of Sangha Tenzin - Well Preserved Mummy of Buddhist Monk

A Buddhist monk, Sangha Tenzin,  was mummifying himself in Gue,  a remote village in Indian state Himachal Pradesh, to save his village from a plague of scorpions. The monk is probably the only mummy in India to have undergone natural mummification.

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Though the mummy is dated to be almost 500 years old, it has a certain air of freshness. The lama seems lost in contemplation as he looks over the valley. Chances are it’s the clean air and cold that contributed to the excellent state the mummy is in — with hair and teeth well preserved. The silk robes on him seem to conceal the tremendous power and will that he must have had to undergo the mummification process.

Natural mummification is an extremely difficult process in which the body is made to react in such a way that body fats and fluids reduce at a constant rate and the organs that can decay are reduced in size. A special diet is given towards the end to preserve the meat on the bone. The body is kept in a posture where the monk can continue to meditate, by using a restrainer around the neck. 

It is believed that when Sangha Tenzin's soul finally left his body, a rainbow appeared across the sky and the village was rid forever from scorpions. 


Kalavantin Durg - World's Most Dangerous Fortress

Kalavantin Durg (also known as Kelve Teen or Kalavantinicha Sulka) is located on the northern edge of the Prabal plateau between Matheran and Panvel in the Indian state of Maharashtra, at an elevation of 2,300 feet in the Western Ghats. It is also visible from the Mumbai-Pune Express Highway.

Image Credit: Rohit Gowaikar @ Flickr

According to legend, Kalavantin Durg is believed to have been built for a queen named Kalavantin during the time of Buddha or around or before 500 BCE.  

The fort is accessible through steps that were cut into the rock of the hill and looks quite impressive feat. Kalavantin Durg is also called the Climb to Heaven. No rail on the edge and no ropes on the wall, God forbid if you have vertigo. Worst of all, the hardest part is coming down. Kalavantin worthy Durg fort is considered the most dangerous in the world.

Since Kalavantin Durg is at such a height you can see the Peb, Chanderi, Matheran, Karnala, and Ershal forts and The City of Mumbai also visible.

On every Shimga Festival of Holi locals from Machi-Prabal Village dance on top of the fort and they consider it a part of their culture and heritage so a good time to visit this fort would be the Holi Season.


Mysterious Skeleton Lake of Roopkund, India

In 1942 a British forest guard in Roopkund, India found skeletons of about 200 people in a frozen lake, some 16,000 feet above sea level, at the bottom of a small valley.

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Initially, it was believed that these were the remains of Japanese soldiers who had died of exposure while sneaking through India. Upon examination team of investigators sent by British government later realized these bones were not from Japanese soldiers as they weren't fresh enough.

Many theories were put forth including an epidemic, landslide, and ritual suicide. For decades, no one was able to shed light on the mystery of Skeleton Lake.

However, a 2004 expedition to the site seems to have finally revealed the mystery that all the bodies date to around 850 AD. Evidences suggest that group was comprised of pilgrims and shorter group of locals heading through valley. They trapped in the valley with nowhere to hide or seek shelter, the "hard as iron” cricket ball-sized (about 23 centimeters) hailstones came by the thousands, resulting in the travelers' bizarre sudden death.



Barren Island Volcano - Only Active Volcano In India

Barren Island volcano, only active volcano in india, located 134 km northeast of Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar islands. The volcano is associated with the subduction of the Indian Plate beneath the Burmese Plate along the Andaman Trench.

The first recorded eruption of the volcano dates back to 1787. Since then, the volcano has erupted more than ten times, with the most recent one which started in September 2010 and continued through January 2011. Volcano remained dormant for nearly one and half century since 1852.

This island is about 3 kms in diameter, and has a big crater of the volcano, about half kilometer away from the shore. The island can be visited by chartered boats only with the permission of Forest Department.


Ayam Cemani - Rare Black Chicken Breed

Ayam Cemani is a rarely kept black chicken breed originated from the island of Java,Indonesia. The word 'Ayam Cemani' comes from Javanese that means "completely black chicken". Breed was first imported into Europe in 1998 by Dutch breeder Jan Steverink. 

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The birds are completely black inside out: black plumage with a greenish shine, black legs and toe nails, black beak and tongue, black comb and wattles, black meat and bones and even dark organs. 

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Ayam Cemani chickens are highly regarded in their country of origin, Indonesia. Their meat is thought to be higher in Iron, therefore beneficial to women before and after childbirth. Birds are sometimes sacrificed during childbirth believing fortune will come to the labouring mother. The chicken is also sacrificed on other special occasions, as it is thought to bring luck. There are many legends surrounding the breed. Some Asian people believe that eating this chicken will ease their conscience. An ayam cemani cockerel is thought to bring prosperity if he crows and being black he is linked to evil spirits.

Ayam Cemani are friendly birds, and the hens lay about 60 to 100 cream-colored eggs their first year. A typical laying cycle lasts for about 20 to 30 eggs, then the hen will stop laying for three to six months. The eggs are unusually large in proportion to the size of the hen’s body.


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