Superb story

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Father was sitting on the sofa in his house along with his highly
educated son. Suddenly a crow perched on their window.

The Father asked his Son, "What is this?"

The Son replied "It is a crow".

After a few minutes, the Father asked his Son the 2nd time, "What is this?"

The Son said "Father, I have just now told you "It's a crow".

After a little while, the old Father again asked his Son the 3rd time,
what is this?"

At this time some 'expression' of irritation was felt in the Son's tone
when he said to his Father with a rebuff. "It's a crow, a crow".

A little after, the Father again asked his Son the 4th time, "What is
this?"

This time the Son shouted at his Father, "Why do you keep asking me the
same question again and again, although I have told you so many times 'IT
IS A CROW'. Are you not able to understand this?"

A little later the Father went to his room and came back with an old
tattered diary, which he had maintained since his Son was born. On opening
a page, he asked his Son to read that page. When the son read it, the
following words were written in the diary :-

"Today my little son aged three was sitting with me on the sofa, when a
crow was sitting on the window. My Son asked me 23 times what it was, and I
replied to him all 23 times that it was a Crow. I hugged him lovingly
each time he asked me the same question again and again for 23 times. I
did not at all feel irritated I rather felt affection for my innocent
child".

While the little child asked him 23 times "What is this", the Father had
felt no irritation in replying to the same question all 23 times and when
today the Father asked his Son the same question just 4 times, the Son
felt irritated and annoyed.

So...

If your parents attain old age, do not repulse them or look at them as a
burden, but speak to them a gracious word; be cool, obedient, humble and
kind to them. Be considerate to your parents. From today say this aloud, "I
want to see my parents happy forever. They have cared for me ever since I
was a little child. They have always showered their selfless love on me.

They crossed all mountains and valleys without seeing the storm and heat to
make me a person presentable in the society today".

Say a prayer to God, "I will serve my old parents in the BEST way. I will
say all good and kind words to my dear parents, no matter how they behave.

West Bengal

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Area :88,752 square kilometers.

Capital :Kolkata

Population :8,02,21,171

Language :Bengali. Other languages include Hindi,Santhali (dialect) and Nepali.

Economy :Agriculture is the main occupation of the people. Major crops that are cultivated include Rice and Jute. West Bengal has the largest eastern India oil refinery.

Other important industries are shipbuilding,automobile manufacture,and chemical and fertilizer production.

Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri are known for their production of high-quality tea. Darjeeling also produces oranges,apples,pineapple,ginger and cardamom.

Climate :West Bengal has a tropical climate. The plains are hot except during the short winter season. The mountanious region in the north is cold. Humidity is high because of the altitude. There are vaguely six seasons - Spring,Summer,the rainy,Autumn,mild Winter and severe Winter. The hot season lasts from mid-March to mid-June,with the day temperature ranging from 38o C to 45 C in different parts of the state. Winter lasts about three months,is mild over the plains,the average minimum temperature not falling 15 C.

History :The first great dynasty to rule over West Bengal were Palas who ruled till the 9th century AD. In the 7th century AD,Adimalla founded the Malla dynasty,and ruled for over a thousand years in areas of western Bengal. The Mallas built some spectacular temples in Vishnupur,their capital.

In the 16th century,European traders established their trading factories in India and were attracted to Bengal but themost successful were English East India Company. In 1690,they established a factory at Sutanati,which later became modern Calcutta.

In the 18th century the last independent Nawab of Bengal called Siraj ud Daulah lost to the British in the year 1757. In 1765,the British obtained the right to collect revenue from Bengal,Orissa and Bihar. In the late 19th century,Calcutta now called Kolkata became a major centre for the Indian nationalist movement. In 1905,Bengal was partitioned,to control the growing nationalist movement. But this led to huge protests,boycott of British goods and terrorist activities and in 1911,King George V revoked the partition. In 1947 after independence,Bengal was partitioned and its western half became the present state of West Bengal.

Uttarakhand

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Area :2,38,566 square kilometers.
Capital :Lucknow
Population :16,60,52,859
Language :Hindi and Urdu

History :Many of the great states of ancient India flourished in the region now known as Uttar Pradesh. Gautama Buddha travelled and preached extensively in this region. He gave his first sermon in Sarnath near Varanasi.

Uttar Pradesh was ruled by various dynasties down the centuries,including the Mauryas,the Kushanas and the Guptas. Mathura emerged as the centre of power when the Kushanas under Kanishka made it their capital.

Agra became the centre of power under the Mughals. Akbar the Great built his new capital city,Fatephur Sikri,near Agra. His grandson,Shahjahan,built the famous Taj Mahal in Agra on the banks of the Yamuna.

After the disintegration of the Mughal empire,Awadh emerged as the centre of power in this region. Following the annexation of Awadh,the British created the administrative unit called the United Provinces of Agra and Awadh.

Uttar Pradesh

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Area :2,38,566 square kilometers.

Capital :Lucknow

Population :16,60,52,859

Language :Hindi and Urdu

Minerals :Limestone,Dolomite,Copper,Gypsum,Glass,Sand,Marble,Fireclay,Coal,Phosphorite.

Economy :Major crops that are cultivated include food grains,Sugarcane and oilseeds. Major Industries are Sugar Production,Handloom,Cotton & woolen textiles,leather & footwear,Distilleries & Breweries.

Climate :The climate of the state is tropical monsoon,but variations exist because of difference in altitudes. The Himalayan region is cold. The average temperature varies in the plains from 3-4 Celcius in January to 43-45 Celcius in May and June. The winter season exists from October to February,Summer from March to Mid June and the rainy season from March to September.

History :Many of the great states of ancient India flourished in the region now known as Uttar Pradesh. Gautama Buddha travelled and preached extensively in this region. He gave his first sermon in Sarnath near Varanasi.

Uttar Pradesh was ruled by various dynasties down the centuries,including the Mauryas,the Kushanas and the Guptas. Mathura emerged as the centre of power when the Kushanas under Kanishka made it their capital.

Agra became the centre of power under the Mughals. Akbar the Great built his new capital city,Fatephur Sikri,near Agra. His grandson,Shahjahan,built the famous Taj Mahal in Agra on the banks of the Yamuna.

After the disintegration of the Mughal empire,Awadh emerged as the centre of power in this region. Following the annexation of Awadh,the British created the administrative unit called the United Provinces of Agra and Awadh.

Tripura

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Area :10,491,69 square kilometers.

Capital :Agartala

Population :31,91,168

Language :Bengali and Kokborak

People :Majority of the people are tribals in Tripura and they live in houses built on a raised platform,3 to 4 metres above the ground,and reached by a ladder. Immigrants from West Bengal and Bangladesh have settled in the state and reduced the tribals to a minority in some areas.

Economy :Agriculture is the main occupation. While rice is the main food crop,wheat,potatoes and sugarcane are also grown. Tea is the main cash crop. Industry is generally small in scale and includes saw mill,manufacture of aluminium utensils and handloom weaving.

Minerals :The state has abundant reserves of natural gas.

Culture :Music and dance are an integral part of Tripura's tribal communities. The famous dances include Hozagiri dance with a lighted lamp on their heads,the Bizu dance of the Chakmas,the Hai Hak dance of the Halams,the Wangala dance of the Garos,the Cherow dance of the Darlong tribe and the traditional lamp dances of the Mog community reflect the cultural diversity of the state.

History :In the 1300s,Tripura came under the control of the Manikya dynasty,a family of Indo-Mongolian origin. Tripura came under the domination of the Mughals in the 17th century. The local rulers called Manikyas retained some of their power. Even during the British rule the Manikya maharajas had adequate independence.

One of the greatest of the Manikya rulers was Bir Chandra Manikya Bahadur who ruled Tripura in the 19th century. The last ruling maharaja of Tripura was Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya. Tripura officially became part of India on Oct. 15,1949,and was made a union territory on Sept. 1,1956. It became a constituent state of the Indian Union on Jan. 21,1972

Tamil Nadu

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Area :130,058 square kilometers.

Capital :Chennai ( Madras )

Population :6,21,10,839

Language :Tamil

Economy :Cotton spinning and weaving are the major industries,followed by the production of automobiles,transformers,agricultural implements,fertilizers,cement,paper,chemicals,and electric motors. Tamil Nadu ranks second only to Kerala in the production of fish.

Minerals :Limestone,bauxite,lignite,magnesite and iron ore.

Climate :Typical tropical atmosphere prevails in Tamil Nadu. The temperature in summer seldom exceeds 43º C and in winter,it never falls below 18º C. Rainfall occurs during the months of October to December.

Culture :Tamil Nadu's famous music festival is held in the month of January every year at the place called Thiruvaiyaru ( Thyagaraja's birthplace on the banks of the Kaveri ).

January is rice harvest-time in Tamil Nadu and the best season to visit the state. Pongal is the major festival of Tamil Nadu when you can enjoy the sweet and savoury pongal,a rice dish,and wash it down with fragrant filter coffee.

Tamil Nadu has immense temples rich in sculpture at Mahabalipuram,Tanjore,Madurai,Chidambaram and Rameswaram. These temples have towering gates known as gopurams. Madurai was developed around the famous Meenakshi temple.

Tamil Nadu's famous dance form is called Bharata Natyam has a timeless appeal.

History :Tamil Nadu was ruled by three dynasties in the history - the Cholas,the Pandyas and the Cheras. In the 5th century A.D.,another dynasty called the Pallavas,rose to power and ruled over the Tamil Nadu region till the 9th century when Aditya Chola defeated the last Pallava king and took possession of his kingdom. The Cholas ruled the region for about four centuries.

The Chola presence in Southeast Asia lasted for about 50 years but in this short period Hinduism spread and took firm root and left its impress on local cultures for all time. The Chola Empire prevailed in South India till the end of the 13th century when the Pandyas pulled it down.

In 1639 the British were allowed to establish a settlement at a place presently called Chennai leading to the foundation of Fort St. George. Slowly the whole region of Tamil Nadu came under British sway. In 1947,when India became independent Tamil Nadu was part of an administrative unit called the Madras Presidency. In 1956 Tamil-speaking areas of Madras Presidency united to form a separate state called Madras,which was later renamed as Tamil Nadu.

Sikkim

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Area :7,096 square kilometers

Capital :Gangtok

Population :5,40,493

Language :Nepali,English ( Official language )

People :The Lepchas,Bhutias and the Sherpas are the people inhabiting the state.

Economy :Based on agriculture and animal husbandry. Crops include maize,rice,wheat and barley. Beans,ginger,potatoes,vegetables,fruits and tea are the other also grown. Sikkim is one of the world's main producers of cardamom.

Wild Life :About one-third of Sikkim is forested. Wild life found are Black bear,panda,numerous species of deer,and the Tibetan antelope.

Minerals :Copper,lead,zinc,coal,graphite,and limestone

History :Established in 1642,Sikkim was ruled by Phuntsog Namgyal who was recognized by Dalai Lama as the first chogyal (temporal and spiritual king). The Namgyal dynasty ruled Sikkim till 1975.

In the mid-18th century,there were a series of territorial wars with Bhutan,as its king opposed the accession of a minor king in Sikkim. Nepal too,wanted to occupy parts of western Sikkim and part of the Terai region. There was also the largest migration of Nepalese to Sikkim during this period.

In the early 19th century British wanted to gain an access to Tibet. Sikkim supported them and in return regained the Nepalese-occupied territories. By 1817,Sikkim became a de facto protectorate of Britain. In the year 1835 the British East India Company obtained Darjeeling from Sikkim . Incidents between the British and Sikkimese led to the final annexation in 1849 of the Terai region. Subsequently the military defeat of Sikkim resulted in the Anglo-Sikkimese Treaty of 1861,which established Sikkim as a princely state under British paramountcy. The British were given rights of free trade and to build roads through Sikkim to Tibet.

After India's independence,in the year 1950 a treaty was signed between Sikkim and India making Sikkim an Indian protectorate,with the centre assuming responsibility for Sikkim's external relations,defence,and strategic communications. However after a few years in a special referendum,more than 97 % of the electorate voted for the merger of Sikkim with India and Sikkim became the 22nd state of the Indian Union on May 15,1975.

Rajasthan

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Area :342.239 square kilometres

Capital :Jaipur

Language :Rajasthani,Hindi

Economy :Mainly an agricultural state. Crops grown include
Rice,Barley,Gram,Wheat,Oilseeds,Pulses,Cotton,Tobacco, Red chillies,Mustard,Cumin seeds,Fenugreek seeds and Asafoetida. Largest wool-producing state.

Minerals :Zinc and Copper

Population :5,64,73,122

People :The people include the Minas,the Meos,the Banjara,who are travelling tradesmen and artisans; the Bhils,one of the oldest peoples in India,and the Rabans of Marwar who are cattle breeders. The Rajputs,famed in legend,represent only a small percentage of the population.

Climate :In Summer Rajasthan is very hot characterized by hot winds and dust storms especially in the desert. In the winter temperatures vary from 20 C to 24.50 C.

Culture :Rajasthan has a well-known folk dance called "ghoomar",that is performed by women on festive occasions. The folk dance called "geer" is performed by men and women,the "panihari" is a graceful dance for women,and the popular "kacchi ghori" dance involves male dancers riding dummy horses.

History :Rajasthan was a part of Ashoka's empire in the 3rd century BC. Later in the 7th century AD the Bactrians,the Scythians,the Guptas,and Harshavardhana ruled this region.

In the 7th to 11th century Rajasthan was ruled by several Rajput dynasties. Under Bhoja I (836-885),their territory stretched from the Himalayan foothills to the Narmada and from the middle Ganges Valley to Sindh.

Later the Mughal invader,Babur,defeated Rana Sangram of Mewarand capitalised his region. In the 16th century the Mughal emperor Akbar tried to subdue the Rajputs through diplomacy and military action. While the strongholds of Ranthambore and Chittor were besieged and destroyed,other Rajput ruling houses were won over when Akbar married their princesses and appointed their nobles to important positions in the Mughal army. This practice of contracting matrimonial alliances with the Rajputs continued after Akbar,and both the emperors,Jahangir and Shah Jahan had Rajput mothers.

After the death of the emperor Aurangzeb the last believed emperor of Mughal dynasty Maratha came into influence in the region. In the 18th century Maratha power began to decline and the British stepped in.

During the freedom struggle Ajmer became the centre of political activity. After independence,the Rajput princes gradually surrendered their powers to the central government and the state of Rajasthan came into being.

Punjab

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Area :50,362 square kilometers.

Capital :Chandigarh is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana.

Population :2,02,81,969

Language :Punjabi

People :More than 60 per cent of the people follow Sikhism,and they are called Punjabi.

Economy :Highly commercial agriculture and a diversity of small and medium-scale industries. With less than 2% of India's total area,Punjab produces more than 10% of India's food grain and more wheat than all other states combined.

Climate :The three well defined seasons in the Punjab are Summer (mid-April to June-end),Rainy Season ( early-July to September-end) and winter (early-December to February-end). The highest day time temperature is recorded during the months of May and June. It is 40.4 C at Patiala,40.4 C at Amristar and 41.2 C at Ludhiana. The fall in temperature is minimum in January,when the mean temperature falls to 12oC during day time and to 5oC during the night.

History :In the 6th century BC,during the reign of Cyrus the Great,Punjab was a part of the Persian empire. In the 4th century BC,Punjab became a part of Chandragupta Maurya's empire. Followed were Indo-Greeks,the Kushans,Sakas and the Parthians.

In the 11th century a ruler of Central Asia called Mahmud of Ghazni invaded Punjab . However,his successors were overcome by Prithviraj who regained Punjab. In 1192,Muhammad Ghori's won the battle and ruled this region. Thereafter Punjab was ruled by whoever was ruling in Delhi.

In the 15th Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak that became was widely accepted by the people living around there. Later Guru Arjan Dev,and Guru Gobind Singh played important roles in the evolution of Sikhism.

Banda Singh Bahadur,a hermit turned military leader temporarily liberated the eastern part of the province from Mughal rule in 1709-10. By the late 18th century,Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) had built up the Punjab into a powerful kingdom. But in 1849 Punjab came under British empire. By the late 19th century,the Indian nationalist movement took hold in this province. The country saw the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amitsar in the year 1919. In 1947 after the independence,during the partition Punjab was split between India and Pakistan,and the smaller,eastern portion became part of India.

Modern Punjab was established on 1st November 1966 when most of the Hindi speaking areas were separated from it and constituted into the state of Haryana. Punjab's capital,Chandigarh,became a separate union territory but still remains the capital of Haryana and Punjab.

Orissa

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Area :1,55,707 square kilometers.

Capital :Bhubaneswar

Population :3,67,06,920

Language :Oriya

People :Orissa has been inhabited by various people. Orissa has 62 distinct tribal groups,making it the largest collection of tribal people in a single state in the country. Each of these tribal groups has its own indigenous customs and continues to practice them even today.

Most of the tribal people have been influenced by Hindus and have adopted Hindu manners,customs and rituals. Bonda Parajas of Koraput district are the best example of these tribes.

Climate :Orissa enjoys a tropical monsoon type of climate like most other parts of the country. Its annual average rainfall is about 200cm. The three main seasons are summer ( mid-Feb to mid-June ),rainy season ( mid-June to mid-October ) and winter ( mid-October to mid-Feb ).

Culture :One of the most colourful festivals of Orissa is Dola that is more popularly known as Holi. But the grandest of all festivals is the Rath Yatra or the Car Festival,celebrated around the months of June or July. Ardent devotees carry the idols of Lord Jagannath and his siblings to the Gundicha Mandir.

In the month of November a big fair called Bali Yatra is held on the banks of the Mahanadi at Cuttack in order to commemorate the glorious past,when people of Orissa sailed on commercial voyages to the Indonesian islands.

History :Orissa was originally inhabited the tribes,the Buiyas and Gonds. They had confined themselves to the forest and hills. Orissa was known as Kalinga in the early period during the kingdom of great Mauryan king Ashoka. Ashoka on seeing the horrors of war in his battle with the Kalingan army abandoned warfare and,embraced Buddhism.

The Guptas dominated over this region in about the 4th century AD. Till the 10th century Orissa witnessed the rule of the Bhaumakara dynasty,followed by the Soma dynasty. From the 11th to 12th century. The 9th century saw the eastern Gangas emerging as the power in the region. The last Ganga king,Bhanudeva III was overthrown by his minister,Kapilendra,founder of the Suryavamsa Dynasty.

Orissa came under Mughal jurisdiction in 1568. In 1765,the British were given the right to collect revenue from Bengal,Bihar and Orissa by the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II. Eventually the British occupied Orissa.

After a prolonged struggle of the leaders of Orissa,the province of Orissa was created on 1 April,1936. On 19 August 1949,after the independence the princely states were also merged with Orissa,and the present state of Orissa came into being.

Nagaland

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Area :16579 square kilometers.

Capital :Kohima

Population :19,88,636

Language :Naga languages is divided into three groups : the western sub-group includes languages like Angami,Sema,Rengma and Chakhesang,the central sub-group includes Ao,Lotha and Phom while the eastern sub-group includes Chang and Konyak languages.

People :Nagaland has many tribes each with its distinctive language and cultural features. Some of the prominent tribes are the Kukis,Angamis,Aos,Konyaks,Lothas,Semas and Wanchus. The people live mainly in the villages.

Economy :Agriculture is the main occupation of the economy with 90% of the population involved in it. Other popular occupations include sericulture and bee keeping. Much of the exquisite artefacts are made by home made colours and bamboo. Weaving is a traditional art handed down through generations in Nagaland.

Climate :The climate is pleasant in Nagaland. Nagaland sees heavy rains. The average rainfall is between 175cm and 250 cm. Most of the heavy rainfall occurs in the period of June to September. The rains during April to May is low. Strong winds blow from the north west in February and March.

History :In the period between 1819 to 1832,the Burmese tried to extend their rule in the northeast. Simultaneously th British were increasing their empire in India. British occupation brought many deep-rooted changes in Naga life. This spread of education led to increased political awareness. Also the introduction of English enabled the different tribes to develop a coherent identity,around a common language.

In the 1920s,the Nagas united under Haipou Jadonang,who stressed the importance of education,and the need to discard superstition. In 1931,he began the Zeliangrong Movement in the Naga Hills and stepped against the British rule proclaiming Naga Raj. He was arrested and was hanged by the British. After the India's independence in 1947,Nagaland became a full-fledged state in the year 1963.

Mizoram

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Area :21,087 square kilometers.

Capital :Aizwal

Population :8,91,058

Language :Mizo,English is also widely spoken.

People :The Mizo tribes include the Lushais,Pawis,Paithes,Raltes,Pang,Himars,Kukis,Lakhers and others. Originally they are believed to have come from northwestern China and moved towards their present homeland,about 300 years ago. Today the Mizo community is greatly influenced by Christianity.

Economy :Agriculture is the main occupation in Mizoram. Ginger,Paddy,maize,mustard,sugarcane,sesame and potatoes are the famous crops grown. The major industries in the state are that of handloom and handicrafts. Sericulture is also practised widely.

Climate :The climate in Mizoram is cool and pleasant the whole year but during the months of April and May,there are heavy storms from the northwest. In the period from May to September rainfall occurs.

History :The Mizo tribes originally lived in the hills of Burma. The Lushai tribe moved into India and become the dominant tribe in the region that came to be known as the Lushai Hills. Early in the 19th century the Lushai came into conflict with the British. In the year 1895 the territory was annexed to British India. The British encouraged missionary activity among the tribes. As a result the Lushai and some other tribes converted to Christianity.

When India became independent in 1947,the Mizo Hills were a part of Assam. In 1972 it was made a Union Territory and renamed Mizoram. In February 1987 Mizoram became the 23rd state of the India.

Meghalaya

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Area :22,429 square kilometers.

Capital :Shillong

Population :23,06,069

Language :Khasi and Garo are the main languages. Jaintia and English,are the official languages.

People :Most of the people are from the Khasi,Jaintia and Garo tribes. A common cultural tradition of all these tribes is the matriarchal law of inheritance which means property and succession of family position passes from the mother to the youngest daughter.

Economy :Agriculture is the main occupation of the people and the main crops are rice and maize. Oranges,pineapples,and potatoes are also grown,as are arecanut,ginger,turmeric,betel leaf and black pepper.

Climate :The climate in Mizoram is cool and pleasant the whole year but during the months of April and May,there are heavy storms from the northwest. In the period from May to September rainfall occurs.

History :The Mizo tribes originally lived in the hills of Burma. The Lushai tribe moved into India and become the dominant tribe in the region that came to be known as the Lushai Hills.

Early in the 19th century the Lushai came into conflict with the British. In the year 1895 the territory was annexed to British India. The British encouraged missionary activity among the tribes. As a result the Lushai and some other tribes converted to Christianity.

When India became independent in 1947,the Mizo Hills were a part of Assam. In 1972 it was made a Union Territory and renamed Mizoram. In February 1987 Mizoram became the 23rd state of the India.

Manipur

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Area :22,327 square kilometers.

Capital :Imphal

Population :23,88,068

Language :Manipuri

People :The characteristics of the Manipuri people vary depending upon the geographical divisions. The Meitees people inhabit the plains. The Kuki and Naga people of the hills,speak different Tibeto-Burmese dialects. Manipur people are enthusiastic polo players,and the game of polo is said to have originated here. Some of the traditional Manipuri games are 'Mukna-Kangjei',Manipuri free style hockey-cum-wrestling and 'Yubi-Lakpi'that is a game involving coconut-snatching.

Economy :Agriculture and allied activities is the single largest source of livelihood of rural folk. Among the largely grown crops include paddy,wheat,pulses and maize.

Culture :Handloom material and artistic handicrafts made of bamboo,papier mache and ivory,are the famous articrafts of Manipur.

The traditional Manipuri classical dance is a dance form in which the body moves with slow sinuous grace.

Some of the main festivals of Manipur are Dol Yatra in March,Rath Yatra in June-July and Durga Puja in September-October. Their New Year in the second week of April.

Climate :Manipur has a sub-tropical monsoon climate. The coldest month is January and July is the hottest. Rainfall on the whole is abundant in the state.

History :Manipur has population of two ethnic groups the Nagas and the Meiteis. The hills are also inhabited by another tribal group called the Kukis. Burmese tried to invade north-eastern India including Manipur leading to numerous clashes with the Nagas. In the year 1826,Manipur became a part of India according to the treaty between Raja Jai Singh and the British near the end of the Indo-Burmese war.

During World War II Japanese occupied Imphal. And after the Indian independence Manipur became a Union Territory and subsequently achieved statehood in January 21,1972.

Maharashtra

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Area :3,07,713 square kilometers.

Capital :Mumbai,which was earlier known as Bombay.

Population :9,97,52,247

Language :Marathi

People :The diversity of physical features and geography is reflected in the people and culture of Maharashtra. The Deccan Plateau of Maharashtra is largely populated by tribal groups. The main tribal groups include the Bhils,Mahadeo Kolis,Gonds and Warlis.

Economy :The principal food crops are rice,wheat,jowar,bajra and pulses. The important cash crops are sugarcane,cotton and tobacco.

Culture :There are various festivals and traditions popular in the state Maharashtra. "Gokulashtami" is celebrated as the birthday of Krishna,and is marked by the formation of human pyramids in every locality. The very famous Ganapati festival is celebrated by the formation huge idols of the deity. These idols are later immersed in the sea aftertaking out a procession. Another popular festival called Gudi Padwa is celebrated by Maharashtrians as their New Year. The delicacy made during this festival is 'puranpoli' that is made of flour and jaggery.

Climate :Maharashtra's climate is typically monsoonal in character. There are three seasons prevailing in Maharashtra hot,rainy,and winter. The months of March-April and May have maximum heat. During this season,especially in April and May thunderstorms are a common feature all over the state.

Rain pours down in the months of July and August. By September the monsoonal current weakens. October is the transition period of change from the rainy season to winter. November to February there is a pleasant weather,though the eastern margins of Maharashtra receive some rainfall.

History :Mauryan was the earliest empire that ruled Maharashtra. Among the other dynasties that ruled over this area,were the Satavahanas,the Vakatakas,the Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas.

In the year 1674,Shivaji who carved out the Maratha empire during the reign of Aurangzeb,the Mughal. The Marathas became strong under the Peshwas. During the 1800s,a vast region comprising several parts of northern and eastern India came under Maratha control. In the 3rd battle of Panipat in 1761 the Afghans shattered their power. In the later wars with the British,the power of the Marathas was further reduced.

Later the British invaded India. The British played a role in making Maharashtra one of the most industrialized of the Indian states. In 1947,Bombay Presidency became Bombay state. The present state of Maharashtra came into being in 1960 Marathi-speaking areas,were separated from Gujarati-speaking areas form the two states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Madhya Pradesh

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Area :3,08,000 square kilometers.

Capital :Bhopal

Population :6,03,85,118

Language :Hindi

People :Madhya Pradesh has the largest tribal population in India. The population of Scheduled Tribes alone accounts for about 23.27% of the total population of the state .

The main tribes of Madhya Pradesh are : Gond,Bhil,Kanwar,Baiga,Bharia,Habla or habli,Kol,Korku,Oraon,Dhanka,Dhangad,Panika,Sahariya,Saur,Sawar or Sawara,Sonr.

Economy :The main occupation of the people of Madhya Pradesh is agriculture. The crops cultivated are jowar (sorghum),rice,wheat and some varieties of coarse millets. Soya bean is also produced on a large scale. Other commercial crops are cotton,sugarcane and some oil seeds like sesame.

Mineral Resources :Madhya Pradesh is rich in natural resources like iron ore,manganese ore,coal,limestone and tin.

Climate :The summer season prevails in the period of March to June and the climate all over the state is hot. From August to September there exists the rainy season. The winter is quite pleasant from Nevember to February.

History :Madhya Pradesh was ruled by the Imperial Guptas in the period 300 - 400 A.D. followed by the Huns. In the 7th century the Huns were defeated by emperor Harsha. After Harsha,the different parts of the state were ruled by different dynasties including the Chandellas who constructed the well-known series of temples at Khajuraho between the 10th and the 11th centuries.

In the mid-1500's Akbar ruled the Malwa region of the state. The notable women rulers of Madhya Pradesh were Rani Durgavati,Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore and the Gond queen,Rani Kamala Devi. The present state of Madhya Pradesh came into being on 1st November,1956.

Kerala

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Area :38,863 square kilometers.

Capital :Thiruvananthapuram

Population :3,18,38,619

Language :Malayalam

People :Hundreds of years ago there was a broad division of the population based upon the occupation. The Kuravar were hunters of Kurinchi (mountain land ),the maravar were fighting men of Palai (arid land ),the idayas were cowherds and shepherds of Mullai (pastures),the Uzhavas were agriculturists of Marutam (west land) and the Paravas were fisher men of the Neytal (coastal land).

The kadars,Ullatans,paniyans and malayans always kept themselves in hills and forests away from the later Aryan invaders. They live in groups and depended mostly on nature for all their needs. The religion of the Kadars was rude animism.

Economy :Agriculture is the main occupation of the people. Rice and tapioca are important food crops. Coconut and pepper are the most important cash crops.
Culture :The agricultural year in Kerala begins in April with the Vishu festival. It is celebrated as New Year's Day. Ona is the ten-day harvest festival of welcoming Mahabali,the beloved ruler of Kerala. The women of the household clean up a patch on the eastern side of their homes and spread cowdung evenly to make the 'attapu' or the circular flower decoration. On Thiruvonam day of this festival the most important day of the festival,women and children dance the 'kummi' and 'kaikottikali' around the 'attapu' while singing songs in praise of Mahabali.

The most famous traditional dance of Kerala is Kathakali.

Climate :The weather of Kerala is pleasant. It is neither too cold in winter,nor too hot in summer. It is monsoon time between June and October,June and July being the rainiest months. Kerala also receives the mild northeast monsoons from October.

History :Chera dynasty had ruled a considerable part of Kerala till 400 A.D. In 825 A.D. Kerala was ruled by the Kulasekhara dynasty till 1019. During this period art,literature and trade flourished and Malayalam began to develop as a language. For about a century there was a long conflict of the rulers of Kerala with the Cholas of Tamil Nadu.

When India became independent in 1947,Kerala was actually divided into states Travancore and Cochin. These two states were brought together to form the Travancore-Cochin State in 1949. On 1st November 1956 Malabar district was added to Travancore-Cochin and the new state of Kerala came into being.

Karnataka

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Area :1,91,791 square kilometers.

Capital :Bangalore

Population :5,27,33,958

Language :Kannada

People :The people of Karnataka have been living in intimate beneficial contact with all their neighbours the Marathas,the Andhras,the Tamilians and the Malayalis.

A group known as Sanketis,speaking a Tamil dialect migrated into Karnataka from Tamil Nadu. A large number of Malayali families have also migrated into the Mysore district. The tradesmen (Byaris),priests and plantation labourers from Kerala have always found lucrative jobs in Coorg and South Kanara. Also the gardeners called Tigalas migrated from Tamil Nadu to Bangalore and thus,helped in the laying out of Lal Bagh.

Economy :The major crops that are cultivated include rice,Jowar,ragi,millet and pulses. Sugarcane,arecanut and coffee are the cash crops. About 59 per cent of the coffee grown in India comes from Karnataka. Karnataka also produces most of the world's sandalwood oil.

Climate :Karnataka enjoys the Tropical Monsoon climate . The state has an equable climate particularly in those areas which are hilly or a high plateau. Karnataka's capital Bangalore is the chief attraction because of its climate. Bangalore receives its quota of rainfall from both the winter and summer monsoons.

The winter season from January to February is followed by summer season from March to May. The period from October to March,covering the post-monsoon and winter seasons,is generally pleasant over the entire State. The months April and May are hot,very dry and generally uncomfortable. The next three months (July,August and September) are somewhat comfortable due to reduced day temperature although the degree of humidity.

History :Karnataka were ruled by different dynasties in its history. One of them being the great ing Asoka. In the 4th century A.D. the Kadambas came to power who ruled for over 200 years. The Kannada script took shape during Kadamba rule.

In between 4th century to the 10th century A.D. the southern parts of the state were ruled by the Gangas. They contributed greatly to the art and culture of Karnataka. Other dynasties that ruled over parts of Karnataka were the Satavahanas,the Chalukyas,the Rashtrakutas and the Hoysalas.

The last great empire of Karnataka was the Vijayanagar empire. WHen the British ruled India the people of this state were scattered among the princely states of Mysore,Hyderabad and the British provinces of Bombay and Madras. After the independence they reunited in a single state called Mysore. Later on November 1,1973 the Mysore state was renamed as Karnataka.

Jharkhand

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Area :79,714 square kilometers.

Capital :Ranchi

Population :2,69,09,428

Language :Hindi (bihari dialect),tribal languages.

People :Majority of the people of Jharkhand belong to the tribal groups.

Climate :Jharkhand climate in general is tropical with hot summers and cold winters. There are regional variations. Some parts of the state like Ranchi,Netarhat,and Parasnath have pleasant climate even during the summers. Maximum rainfall takes place during the months from July to September accounting for more than 90% of total rainfall in the state.

Economy :Agriculture is the major occupation of people of Jharkhand. The principal foodgrains crops are paddy,wheat,maize and pulzes.

Jharkand has the biggest steel plant in the country at Bokaro. Other important industries are Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company,Sriram Bearing,Usha Martin,Indian Tube Company,etc.

Minerals :The state is a rich storehouse of minerals like coal,iron,mica and bauxite.

History :Jharkhand came into being on 15 November 2000 as the 28th State of India. In the 13th century Singh Deo of Orissa had declared himself the ruler of Jharkhand. After Independence in 1947 the state was a part of Bihar. But then the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha impelled the government to establish the Jharkhand Area Autonomous Council in 1995 and finally a full-fledged State.

Jammu and Kashmir

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Area :2,22,236 square kilometers.

Capital :Srinagar is the state's summer capital and Jammu is its winter capital.

Population :1,00,69,917

Language :Urdu,Kashmiri,Dogri,Pahari,Gujri,Dardi and Ladakhi. The official language is Urdu.

People :Jammu province is inhabited by diverse castes and sectors.Muslims make up 95% of the people in the Kashmir area,48% in Ladakh,and almost 40% in Jammu.The froup of people called Dogras inhabitate the hilly tract bounding the mountains of the southern Kashmir valley extending to the plains of the Punjab. They speak the Dogri language that is a mixture of Sanskrit,Punjabi and Persian.

The group of people called Brahmins of the Jammu province are mainly engaged in agriculture. A minority among them comprise the priest class. Other people like Chibbalis and the Sudans are the chief sectors among the Muslim Rajputs.

Khatris and Mahajans are characterized by the occupation like trade and commerce. Harijans constitute another large segment of population who are agriculturists and pursue semi-skilled professions,including those of cobblers and scavengers.

The Paharis are yet another set of inhabitants of the hilly tracts of the 'middle mountains'.They rear sheep and cultivate the sparse available tracts of land on hilly,sloppy terraces for barley,wheat and maize.

Culture traditional Kashmiri dance is the rouf that is a dance with slow movements and haunting music that reflect the slow pace of life in the Valley.

Economy :Jammu and Kashmir is predominantly a mono-cropped and rainfed economy with about 40 percent of the area in Jammu division and 60 percent in Kashmir division having assured means of irrigation. In the Kashmir region wheat,oil seeds and fodder cultivation is being introduced as a second crop and in Jammu,farmers are raising paddy as an additional crop.

Agriculture is one of the key factors and the mainstay of the state's economy. The productivity level of paddy at about 40 quintals per hectare in Kashmir valley is the highest in the country. Rice,maize,and wheat are the major crops.

Still another innovation is the introduction of mushrooms . Of the produce,90 percent is canned and exported from the state,under the guidance and supervision of the agriculture department.

Climate :Jammu and Kashmir enjoys an enchanting climate for the major part of the year. There are four distinct seasons - spring,summer,autumn,and winter. Till the end of May,the climate of Kashmir is comparable with that of Switzerland.

In spring,Jammu and Kashmir the valley wears a blanket of emerald green grass and is decked with flowers of various hues and fresh leaves. Summer sees the sleepy blue mountains with snow-capped peaks,clear streams,cool bubbling springs,noisy torrents,beautiful lakes,shady chinar groves,drooping willows,and pine forests . In autumn,the trees and forests turn into bronze and copper colours,and the foliage becomes a riot of golden yellow and green. In winter,the giant size trees wear a bare look when the landscape dons a mantle of snow.

History : Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin ( 1420-1470 ) was one of the most enlightened rulers of Kashmir. He introduced the arts of shawl embroidery,carpet making and papier mache in the state. When India became independence,Kashmir was ruled by Maharaja Hari Singh.

He dithered and the raiders led by the Pakistan army crossed into Kashmir. This was when Maharaja Hari Singh formally appealed to the Indian government for help and signed the instrument of accession on 26th October 1947. Thus Kashmir became a part of India.

Himachal Pradesh

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Area :55,673 square kilometers.

Capital :Shimla

Population :60,70,305

Language :Hindi and Pahari (of various dialects).

Climate :There is great diversification in the climatic conditions of Himachal due to variation in elevation (450-6500mtrs). The year is divided into three seasons. Cold (October to February),hot (March to June) and rainy (July to September).

People :The Rajputs are in a majority in Himachal Pradesh. They are the descendants of immigrant Rajputs who came here to establish small princely states or who were driven to the hills by the Muslim invaders. The Brahmins,who were the priests of Rajputs are the second largest group. They have more influence in the lower hills than in the higher regions. The Ghirats are next in number. They are the descendants of Kirats according to some sources. They are farmers.

Mahajans and Soods,the business communities are sprinkled all over. Chahang and Saini are other castes where people are professional farmers. The Ahirs own windmills and catch fish. The Darai have settled along the river Beas. Their forefathers were boatmen. Lohar (ironsmiths),Tarkhan (carpenter),Nai (barbers),Dusali,Doomna,Chamar (cobblers) and Julahas (weavers) follow their paternal professions.

Economy :Himachal Pradesh is a state where agriculture contributes to about 45% to the net state domestic product. Agriculture is the main source of income and employment in Himachal. About 93% of the population in Himachal depend directly upon agriculture which provides direct employment to 71% of its people. The main cereals grown are wheat,maize,rice and barley.

Fruit cultivation is another field which has proved to be an economic boon to the farmers. Apples yield the maximum income.

Sericulture,handloom and tea are other industries that have lately been given particular attention. Silk industry is providing employment to a lot of people.

Culture :Dussehra is a festival that is celebrated in Himachal Pradesh with great fanfare at the temple of Raghunathji in the Kulu valley. During the 10 days celebration the traditional rituals,traditional Natti dances and folksongs are performed by the people of this region. Traders set up stalls at the fair held during this period,to sell woollen shawls and blankets and the traditional footwear,pullan,made from plant fibres and goats' hair.

Also a grand ice-skating carnival is held in Shimla around Christmas.
History : The early inhabitants of the Himachal region were nomadic tribes who eventually settled down to form tribal kingdoms ruled by chiefs or 'rajas' as they styled themselves. Later,more kingdoms were set up.

All these tiny states were constantly at war with each other never uniting even in the face of external aggression. As a result the various Himachal states were captured by other stronger Indian dynasties the Mauryas,the Kushans,the Guptas and the Mughals .

In the 19th century the British established their supremacy there. But when the British left in 1947,on 15 April 1948,31 princely states merged to form Himachal Pradesh.

Haryana

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Area :44,212 square kilometers

Capital :The Union territory of Chandigarh that is a combined capital of Punjab.

Population :2,10,82,989

Language :Hindi and Haryanvi,a dialect of Hindi.

Climate :The climate of Haryana is of a pronounced continental character. The temperature in Haryana is very hot in summers when temperature goes up to even 46 C. But in the winter the region is quite cold. The rainfall in the region is low and erratic except in parts of the Karmal and Ambala districts. The rainfall is unevenly distributed during the year except for two well marked seasons from June to the end of September and from December to February.

People :The people of Haryana are divided into a number of castes including the Brahmins,the Rajputs,the Jats,the Ahirs and the allied agricultural communities. From the ancient past to the present,religion provides the main basis of the structure of the Haryana society.
Economy : Haryana has an agriculture based economy. About 80% of its people depend on agriculture for their livelihood.

Haryana also has a very sound industrial base. Thus state produces the largest number of tractors in the country. It is well-known for its handloom products. Panipat has earned the reputation of being the "weaver's city" of India for its exquisite hand-tufted woollen carpets and colourful handloom products.

History :Haryana is one of the oldest known areas of settlement in India. There were urban settlements in the Ghaggar valley dating from 3000 B.C. The region was the home of the legendary Bharata dynasty

Because I'm a Man

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Because I'm a man, when I lock my keys in the car I will fiddle with a wire clothes hanger and ignore your suggestions that we call a road service until long after hypothermia has set in.

Because I'm a man, when the car isn't running very well, I will pop the hood and stare at the engine as if I know what I'm looking at. If another man shows up, one of us will say to the other, "I used to be able to fix these things, but now with all these computers and everything, I wouldn't know where to start." We will then drink beer.

Because I'm a man, when I catch a cold I need someone to bring me soup and take care of me while I lie in bed and moan. You never get as sick as I do, so for you this isn't an issue.

Because I'm a man, I can be relied upon to purchase basic groceries at the store, like milk or bread. I cannot be expected to find exotic items like "Cumin" or "Tofu". For all I know these are the same thing. And never, under any circumstances, expect me to pick up anything for which "feminine hygiene product" is a euphemism.

Because I'm a man, when one of our appliances stops working I will insist on taking it apart, despite evidence that this will just cost me twice as much once the repair person gets here and has to put it back together.

Because I'm a man, I must hold the television remote control in my hand while I watch TV. If the thing has been misplaced, I may miss a whole show looking for it (though one time I was able to survive by holding a calculator).

Because I'm a man, I don't think we're all that lost, and no, I don't think we should stop and ask someone. Why would you listen to a complete stranger -- I mean, how the hell could he know where we're going?

Because I'm a man, there is no need to ask me what I'm thinking about. The answer is always either sex or baseball, though I have to make up something else when you ask, so don't.

Because I'm a man, I am capable of announcing, "One more beer and I really have to go", and mean it every single time I say it, even when it gets to the point that the one bar closes and my buddies and I have to go hunt down another. I will find it increasingly hilarious to have my pals call you to tell you I'll be home soon, and no, I don't understand why you threw all my clothes into the front yard. Like, what's the connection?

Because I'm a man, you don't have to ask me if I liked the movie. Chances are, if you're crying at the end of it, I didn't.

Because I'm a man, yes, I have to turn up the radio when Bruce Springsteen or The Doors comes on, and then, yes, I have to tell you every single time about how Bruce had his picture on the cover of Time and Newsweek the same day, or how Jim Morrison is buried in Paris and everyone visits his grave. Please do not behave as if you do not find this fascinating.

Because I'm a man, I think what you're wearing is fine. I thought what you were wearing five minutes ago was fine, too. Either pair of shoes is fine. With the belt or without it looks fine. Your hair is fine. You look fine. Can we just go now?

Because I'm a man, and this is, after all, the 90's, I will share equally in the housework. You just do the laundry, the cooking, the gardening, the cleaning, and the dishes. I'll do the rest.

THIS HAS BEEN A PUBLIC SERVICE MESSAGE FOR WOMEN, TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE MALE ANIMAL.

A Woman's Prayer

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Dear Lord...

So far today, I am doing all right.
I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self indulgent.
I have not whined, bitched, cursed, or eaten any chocolate.
I have not charged on my credit card.

However, I am going to get out of bed in a few minutes, and I will need a lot more help after that.

Gujarat

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Area :196,024 square kilometers.
Capital :Gandhinagar
Population :5,05,96,992
Language :Gujarati

Climate :The climate of Gujarat is moist in the southern districts and dry in the northern region. Due to the Arabian sea and the Gulf of Cambay Gujarat's climate is pleasant and healthy.

The seasons can be divided into: the winter season from November to February,the hot season from March to May,the south-west monsoon season from June to September and the intervening month of October

People :The people of Gujarat also known as Gujarat trace their lineage from the people originally known as Gurjars. They are believed to have come to India with the Huns and while passing through Punjab,settled in Gujarat.

The Kutchis are those who were the natives of the peninsula of Kutch. They have their own dialects. The Kutchis are both Hindus and Muslims and a large number of them have migrated from Sindh.

The Jadeja Rajputs,the Lohanas and even the Muslims many of whom are 'Maldharis',the cattle-breeders,have all come from Sindh consequent upon their defeat at the hands of some kings or as a result of some religious persecution.

Rabaris' are a community of cattle-breeders who have migrated from Sindh and Marwar and claim a Rajput ancestry. The Rabaris stand out prominently by their features and dress. They lead a nomadic life.

Economy :Gujarat stands the first in the production of cotton,groundnut,salt and milk in India. It stands second in the production of tobacco and third in pharmaceuticals. Gujarat also boasts the country's largest petro-chemical complex in the country.

Culture :Gujarat is steeped in tradition,where festivals abound. On 14 January,every year Ahmedabad hosts an international kite festival on Makar Sankranti. A three-day extravaganza takes place towards the end of August every year at Tarnetar,176 km from Ahmedabad. According to myth,the brave Arjuna won the hand of the fair Draupadi here.

And the most-eagerly awaited festival is Navaratri consisting of nine nights of festivity when the entire state resounds with the beat of the dhol,cymbals,flute and the thrilling wail of the shehnai. Every street and village square comes alive with men and women,young and old,dancing the raas garba from late night to the wee hours of the morning.

History :Gujarat gets its name from the people called Gurjars who rose to prominence in the sixth century A.D. But nobody is sure about where the Gurjars came from. According to some historians they were foreigners who came with the Central Asian invaders called Huns. Others say they were a hill tribe of Rajasthan that grew in power after the destruction of Huns had destroyed or dispersed the ruling class.

Downfall of the once mighty Gupta empire led them to take control of the regions of Punjab,Marwar and Broach. At the end of the 9th century they were succeeded by the Solankis or Chalukyas.

Gujarat power on the western coast facilitated trade with the Arabs and others contributing to its prosperity down the ages. But invaders like Mahmud of Ghazni sacked Somnath in 1025 A.D. Later in 1297 Gujarat passed into the hands of Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi. After that a long period of Muslim rule followed. Ahmad Shah became the first independent ruler of Gujarat founded Ahmedabad in 1411. In the 1570's the Mughal emperor Akbar captured Gujarat. In the mid-1700's it was overrun by the Marathas.

In 1612 the British made Surat as their base and later went on to establish an empire in the country. However after the India's independence the present-day boundaries of Gujarat were drawn in 1960 when the former princely states of Saurashtra were constituted into a new state.

Goa

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Area :3,702 square kilometers.
Capital :Panaji
Population :13,43,998
Language :Konkani and Marathi.

Climate :The climate of Goa is generally moderate inspite of high humidity. There are cool months in winter and around October and weather turns good. There is heavy rainfall during the monsoon months.

People :The three major religions followed in Goa are Hinduism,Christianity and Islam. Other people include Sikhs,Buddhists and Jains. The people of Goa are among the friendliest. They have a great passion for music and musical instruments.

Economy :Agriculture is one of the important economic activities in Goa. The important crops grown are paddy,ragi,maize,jowar,bajra and pulses. Cash crops like coconut,cashew-nut,arecanut,mango,jackfruit,banana,pineapple etc. are also grown in abundance.

Goa is rich in mineral resources and iron ore is a leading commodity in Goa. Other minerals include manganese ore and ferro-manganese ore which are produced and exported.

There are some other units for the manufacture of items like pesticides,fertilizers,tyres and tubes,iron ore pellets,foot wear,chemicals,pharmaceuticals,sugar,wheat products,steel rolling,fruits and fish canning,cashew nuts,textiles,brewery products and handicrafts units.

Culture :Important cultural events of the state are Feast of the Three Kings (January),Procession of All Saints (February/March),Feast of St. Lawrence (August),Food And Cultural Festival (November/December),Beach Bonanza (April),etc.

Among other important festivals of Goa include Ganesh Chaturthi known as 'Chovoth',Dussera or Dosro,Diwali or Narak Chaturdasi and Shigmo that is the Goan counterpart of the Holi in the rest of India.

History :Goa has been ruled by the great dynasties like the Mauryas,Satavahanas,Rashtrakutas,Chalukyas and the Kadambas from the 3rd century B.C. and the 12th century A.D. And until the 15th century,Goa was ruled by the Yadava,Bahamani and the Vijayanagara kings.

The Portuguese were the first Europians to invade into any part of India. In 1510 they conquered Goa. Under their rule Goa became an critical centre for Catholic Christian missionaries. Goa was made an archbishopric with authority all over India,Mozambique and Japan. The first major attempt to drive the Portuguese out of Goa is said to have been made by Mateus de Castro,the first Goan bishop of the Roman Church.

In 1928,Tristao Braganza Cunha,who is also known as the father of the nationalist movement in Goa,along with other leaders like Purushottam Kakodkar,Laxmi Kant Bhembre,Divakar Kakodkar and Dayanand Bandodkar,formed the Goa Congress Committee that worked for Goa's freedom and integration with India.

The liberation movement to drive the Portugese out of Goa became stronger after Indian independence in 1947. But the Portuguese refused to liberate Goa. In 1961,Indian troops moved into Goa and succeeded in Goa's liberation. At the same time Daman and Diu was also liberated. Ultimately Goa was incorporated into the Indian Union as a Union Territory. Later on it became the 25th state of the Indian Union in the year 1987.

Chhattisgarh

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Area :1,35,100 square kilometers.
Capital :Raipur
Population :176.15 Lakhs.
Language :Chattisgarhi,tribal dialects and Hindi.
Climate :Chattisgarh state is situated in Tropic of Cancer. Hence the overall climate is warm in the state. The monsoons are heavy between July and September in this region.

People :The people of Chattisgarh constitute a mixed urban population with people from the neighbouring states who migrated into the state in search of work. Still the majority of the people of Chattisgarh belong to tribal communities. The major tribal groups of Chattisgarh are the Gonds with the other smaller tribes like the Kanwar,Brinjhwar,Bhaina,Bhatra,Oraon,Munda,Kamar,Halba,Baiga,Sanwra,Korwa,Bharia,Nageshia,Manghwar,Kharia and Dhanwar tribes.

Though Hinduism is the main religion of Chattisgarh,the state also has a sizeable populations of Muslims and Buddhists. Many of the tribes converted to Christianity under the influence of early missionaries who worked in the area.

Economy :Chattisgarh is also known as the country's rice bowl because of its strong status in agricultural production. Chattisgarh is very rich in the mineral deposits of limestone,iron,copper,manganese,coal and bauxite. Diamonds have been found recently in Raipur district.

Chattisgarh produces 70 per cent of India's total output of tendu leaves used for making bidis. Its thick forest contributes valuable timber.
Food : Rice is the staple diet in Chattisgarh. Pulses,cereals,vegetables,fruits and meat products supplement the basic rice-based diet. Tribals also enjoy an interesting diet consisting of delicacies as red ants,flying ants,squirrels,field rats and wild mushrooms and plants. Fish and pork are hot favourites with the tribals. The small,creamy white fruit of a local tree,the 'mahuwa' is fermented into a potent brew that is extremely popular across Chattisgarh.

Culture :Tribals of Chattisgarh love to adorn themselves with plenty of ornaments comprising of items like cowries,beads,shells,bones,feathers,mixed metals,copper and bronze. The local tribes use bamboo as utensils,water pipes,agricultural implements,fishing traps,hunting tools,bows and arrows,mats,baskets and decorative items.

Chattisgarh is a storehouse of literature,arts and crafts. Religion,mythology,social and political events,nature and folklore are favourite motifs. Traditional crafts include painting,woodcarving,bell metal craft,bamboo ware and tribal jewellery.

Traditional music and dance play an important part in the passing down from generation to generation of traditions and customs - apart from being a source of entertainment and amusement.

Local dances and dramas such as Pandavani,Panthi Dance,Nacha,Gond and Muria reflect the tribal culture and heritage. Amongst the finest performers of Pandavani meaning the oral narrative style of story telling,is the folk singer/entertainer Teejan Bai.

History :In ancient times the region of Chattisgarh was known as Dakshin-Kausal. Between the 6th and 12th centuries the dynasties of Sarabhpurias,Panduvanshi,Somvanshi,Kalchuri,and Nagvanshi ruled this region. After the Britishers arrived in 1854 Raipur gained prominence as compared to the then capital Ratnapur. In 1904 Sambalpur was transferred to Orissa and estates of Sarguja were transferred from Bengal to Chhattisgarh.

After the India's independence Chattisgarh became a part of state Madhya Pradesh. But on 1st November 2000,Chattisgarh came into being,as the 26th State of the Union.

Bihar

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Area :94,163 square kilometers.
Capital :Patna
Population :8,28,78,796
Language :Hindi,Other dialects like Bihari

Climate :The cold weather commences early in November and comes to an end in the middle of March. The climate in the cold weather is pleasant. The hot weather then sets in and lasts till the middle of June. Like other parts of the northern India,Bihar also experiences dust-storms,thunder-storms and dust raising winds during the hot season. The highest temperature is often registered in May which is the hottest month in the state. The rainy season commences after summer and continues till the end of September.

People :The majority of the people in Bihar are Hindus while there are sizeable minorities of Muslims and Christians.

Bihar is mixture of the various castes. Their exist a distinction among the people strongly due to the caste-system. Brahman,Bhumihar,Rajput,Banias and Kayastha are the dominant castes while the lower castes include the Koiri,Kurmi,Kahar and Ahir. Caste rivalries and prejudices are numerous in Bihar.

The tribal population of Bihar include the Asurs,the Mundas considered to be the most ancient of the about 30 tribes in the region and the Santhals,the predominant and the most prosperous of the tribes of Bihar.

Economy :Bihar is known to be the richest mineral output (40%) in the country. The state is the world's chief supplier of mica and the country's largest producer of coal.

Food : The food in Bihar mainly consists of rice as the staple diet along with lentils and fresh vegetables. Along the banks of the states many rivers,fresh fish is a highly prized delicacy. In the tribal belt,wild boar,game birds and sometimes venison is eaten by the locals. While in the cities,food has become more cosmopolitan with a variety of cuisines served in the cafes and restaurants.

Festivals :Apart from the festivals like Diwali,Holi,Dussehra,Navaratri etc. the people of Chattisgarh have their own tribal festivals. There exist a succession of festivals throughout the year which are connected with agricultural operations. Most important festivals among them are Sarhul,Karma and Soharai.

Sarhul is the most popular of all tribal festivals. Sarhul resembles the Vasant-mahotsava of the Hindus and may therefore be described as the spring festival of tribals. Another festival Soharai or Banda parab may be called the harvest festival of tribals. On this occasion domestic animals are worshipped after being washed,anointed with oil and smeared with vermilion. The Karma festival is one which observed by the tribals as well as the non-tribals. On this occasion the tribal youths spend the whole night in singing and dancing. The song sung on this occasion narrate the legends of Karma and Dharma.

History :Buddhism evolved in the region of Bihar. Bihar was inhabited by the people of different races in the history. Great rulers of Bihar in earlier times before the Christian era were Bimbisara,Udayin who founded the city of Pataliputra. Other great dynasties that ruled this region include the famous Mauryan emperors along with the Guptas who under Ashoka had Patiliputra as their capital.

Smaller dynasties like that of the Sungas,Kanva and the Kushanas influenced the regions of Bihar. During the Medieval period Bihar witnessed the Muslim invasion which was followed by the rule of local Rajput clans. The first Muslim conqueror was Mohammad Bin Bakhtiar Khalji. The Tughluqs and then the Mughals followed the Khalijis.

With the downfall of the Mughals,the Nawabs from Bengal exercised their rule. In 1764 after the Battle of Buxar The East India Company came to power over Bihar. In 1911 the two states of Orissa and Bihar were separated from Bengal. In 1936,they became separate provinces.

After the India's independence Bihar became a part of the Indian Union. And on November 15th,2000,a separate state Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar comprising mainly forest tracks of Chhotanagpur plateau and Santhal paragana.

Assam

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Area :78,438 square kilometers.
Capital :Dispur
Population :2,66,38,407
Language :Assamese,though Bengali is spoken in the Barak Valley.

Climate :The climate of Assam is characterised by its extreme humidity. The most distinguishing feature of the climate of Assam is the copious rainfall between March and May at a time . The neighbourhood of Cherapunji and Mawsynram are known to receive the highest rainfall in the whole world.

The seasons may be divided into the cold season and the rainy. The cold weather lasts from October to February and the rest of the year is rainy. The southwest monsoon begins from middle of June.

People :The Assamese have Mongolian -Tibetan,Aryan and Burmese ethnic origins who penetrated into Assam through different routes and contributed in their own way towards the unique fusion of a new community which came to be known as Assamese.

The population of Assam comprises of the migrants from Burma and China who came into Assam after the mongoloid migration. Thus Assam presents a fusion of Mongol-Aryan culture. Numerous Mongoloid races inhabit the hills and plains of Assam including Nagas,Mikirs,Bodos or Boros,the Mizos or Lushais of Mizoram and the Lalungs.

Minerals :Coal,oil and gas,limestone and sillimanite

Economy :Agriculture is the main occupation of the people. Rice is the staple diet of the people and cultivation of rice is the main occupation of those engaged in agriculture. Different pulses,jute,tea and fruit cultivation are the other agricultural crops. Sugarcane,potatoes,cotton,oil seeds,coconut and arecanut cultivation is also practiced on a substantial scale apart from the horticulture.

Assam is an important producer of silk of different kinds and known for weaving of silk products into saris and fabrics.

Food : People of Assam eat non-spicy foods and even bland at times. Rice is the staple diet and other supplimentary food includes lentils,fish curry,meat curry along with herbs and vegetables. The curry is generally seasoned with ginger,garlic,cardamom,cinnamon,onions and sometimes lemon.

Sweets made during the festivals are usually made of rice paste. 'Pitha' is a paper-thin pancake stuffed with sweet coconut paste or sweet black sesame seed paste.

Culture :Talking about the culture of Assam,its literature and music are interwoven in the social fabric and transcend barriers of class and caste. A wedding,birth,death,festival,sowing of crops,departure for foreign lands or return of the prodigal is incomplete without the folk songs.

Festivals :Assamese Hindus observe the Durga puja,the Daul Utsava called Fakuwa,the Janmashtami,the Saraswati,Lakshmi and the Kali pujas. The Muslims observe the Id and the Muharram.

The national festivals of the Assamese,irrespective of caste,creed or religion are the Bihus. It is intimately connected with agriculture. Deul of Barpeta,is another festival celebrated by Assamese. Deul is Doul Yatra which synchronizes with Holi. Devaddhvani is another noteworthy festival held once a year at Kamakhya. It is connected with Manasa the serpent goddess or Maroi puja.

History :Assam was called 'Kamarupa' or 'Pragjyotish' in the period of the Epics. The early history of Assam is believed to be of the Varman dynasty from 400 AD to 13th century. The Ahoms ventured into Assam in about 1228 A.D. By 15th century the kingdoms of Ahom and Koch were established. This period witnessed a change in all walks of life in Assam.

At the end of 18th century the Ahom Kingdom collapsed and the Burmese got the control over Assam thus invoking British intervention to subdue the Burmese. After a conflict between the Burmese and the English,peace was restored by the treaty of Yandaboo in 1826. But the British continued to remain in power until 1947.

After the Independence of India,in 1947,Assam witnessed several separation of territories. In 1948,Arunachal Pradesh were separated. In 1963 Nagaland was separated followed by Meghalaya in 1972 and Mizoram in 1987.

Arunachal Pradesh

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Area :83,743 square kilometers.
Capital :Itanagar
Population :10,96,702
Language :Tribal dialects-Hill Miri,Monpa,Nishi,Sherdukpen,Mishmi,Apatani,Wancho,Dafla,Khamti.

Climate :The climate of Arunachal Pradesh varies according to altitude. In the upper regions the winters are cold and humid while the summers are short.

Minerals :Dolomite,limestone,graphite,quartzite,kainite,mica,iron and copper

People :Arunachal Pradesh has majorly Mongoloid and Tibeto-Burmese tribes and sub-tribes,with their own languages,clothes,headgear,customs and traditions. Tribals constitute seventy nine per cent of the total population. The major tribes are Daflas,Monpas,Adis,Akas,Apatanis,Mishmis,Nishis,Noktey,Wangchu and Sherdukpens.
Food : The food in Arunachal Pradesh is non-spicy and generally bland. Dishes are seasoned with bamboo shoots and local herbs. While they eat plenty of leafy vegetables and maize,they are basically meat eaters who also have lots of fish and eggs. "Apong" is the local drink made from rice and millet.

Economy :Arunachal Pradesh is predominantly an agricultural state. The forest-products are the next source of economy. Among the crops grown here are rice,maize,millet,wheat,pulses,sugarcane and oilseeds. Arunachal is also ideal for horticulture and fruits like pineapple,orange,lemon,plum,pear,cherries,and peaches are grown in orchards.

Its major industries are sawmills,plywood,rice mills,fruit preservation units,and handloom handicrafts.

History :In 1826 the British annexed Assam when they extended their influence into the northeast region of India. Till the year 1912,the region now called Arunachal Pradesh was administered from Assam by the Britishers.

Even after India's independence till 1962 Arunachal Pradesh was constitutionally a part of Assam and was administered by the Ministry of External Affairs until 1965 and subsequently by the Ministry of Home Affairs through the Governor of Assam. Arunachal Pradesh became a Union Territory in 1972 and then,a full-fledged state in February 1987.

Andhra Pradesh

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Area :2,75,068 square kilometers.
Capital :Hyderabad
Population :7,61,11,243
Language :Telugu and Urdu.
Climate :The climate of Andhra Pradesh is hot and humid.
People :The people of Andhra Pradesh speak Telugu and are tall,with thick and protruding noses,with straight hair and yellow skin. The other inhabitants of the Andhra Pradesh include the tribal communities. The tribal people worship their own pantheon of nature gods and goddesses and continue to revel in their ancient customs and manners. Their languages do not have scripts and are essentially verbal.

There are certain nomadic tribes that include Piccukaguntlu,Balasanta,Saradakandru,Viramushtivaru,Bavanilu,Birannalavaru,Gollasuddulu,Dasarulu,Jangamulu,Kommuvaru etc are Telugu nomads whose main occupation is ballad singing.

Among non-Telugu nomads,Lambadis also called Sugalis are very prominent. Originally they were Rajasthani's who took to a nomadic way of life and moved in batches towards the south of the sub-continent.
Economy : The major Crops that are cultivated are cotton,Millets,Oil seeds,Pulses,Rice,Sugarcane,Tobacco.

The major industries are textile manufacture,sugar-milling,machine tools,pharmaceuticals,cement,chemicals,glass,fertilizers,eletronic equpt,heavy electrical machinery,aircraft parts and paper making.

Minerals : Andhra Pradesh is an important producer of asbestos and barytes. Other important minerals are copper ore,coal,iron and limestone,steatite,mica and manganese.
Culture : The classical dance form of Andhra Pradesh is Kuchipudi that originated in Kuchelapuram.
History : Andhra Pradesh has been the home of the Pre- Dravidian dark coloured inhabitants. Andhra region witnessed the rule of Chandragupta Maurya during which it established itself as an independent kingdom. However after Ashoka,the Mauryan empire declined.

From 230 B.C. to 200 A.D. the Satavahanas one of the oldest of the dynasties ruled over this region. They held sway over the whole of the Deccan and far into Northern India. By the 3rd century A.D. Ikshvakus overpowered Satavahanas. Andra region was ruled by various other dynasties from 3rd to 6th century like the Pallavas of Kanchi,the Anandas and the Chalukyas exercised their power for many centuries.

The Kakatiyas who were the feudatories of the Eastern Chalukyas came into power by the 12th century. In 1332 A.D. Ulugh Khan established the Reddi Kingdom of Kondavidu called the Velama kingdom. The Vijayanagar Kingdom also ruled independently. The region was dominated by Muslim power at the time of emperor Muhammad Tughlag.

Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah ruled the region from 1518 to 1687 and it was during his rule that the city of Hyderabad came into existence. In 1687 the Mughals overpowered QUtub Shah. Followed were the empires of Nizams who influenced Andhra region before it was ceded to the East India Company. Gradually the whole of Andhra Pradesh except Hyderabad was under the British till 1947. In 1956 Andhra Pradesh was declared as a state.

When India became independent,Telugu-speaking people were distributed in about 21 districts in South India. Twelve of these districts formed part of the Madras Presidency and the other nine constituted the princely state of Hyderabad which was ruled by the Nizam.

The Nizam sought to become an independent ruler even after the British left India but after a brief action from the Indian Union government in 1949,Hyderabad became a part of the India. In the year 1953 the Telugu-speaking areas that were separated from Madras Presidency and thus Andhra Pradesh came into being whose capital was Kurnool. Later,the nine districts that had been ruled by the Nizam were added to the state and the present-day Andhra Pradesh was established on November 1,1956.