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Obamas get a crash course on Indian culture

January 26, 2015 18:06 IST
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The Obamas got a glimpse of Indian culture and ethos at Rajpath on Monday through colourful tableaux from 16 states and some government departments that rolled down Rajpath during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. 

Karnataka's was the first float to roll out on the majestic Rajpath displaying the colourful Channapatna wooden toys. Photograph: Shirish Shete/PTI photo

Andhra Pradesh's tableau showcased Makara Sankranti that begins with Bhogi which people celebrate with bonfires in front of their homes. Farmers offer new clothes, gifts and a share of harvest to their workers, traditional artists. Streets are decorated with colourful ‘Rangolis’ using rice flour and in the middle ‘Gobbemmas’ (cow dung balls) with flowers are placed and the young girls sing and dance around it. Photograph: Shirish Shete/PTI photo

Assam's tableau depicted Majuli, the world’s largest inhabited reverine island and the seat of vaishnavite culture. It is embraced within the two arms of the mighty Brahmaputra and flaunts unparalleled scenic beauty. Photograph: Shirish Shete/PTI photo

CPWD Floral tableau depicted Gaumukh, a beautiful landscape of North India. Gaumukh is where the waters of Ganga trickles down from the glaciers. Gaumukh is known for its panoramic views and lovely clean air. The holy glacier has much to offer than just its religious significance. The source of Ganga is one of the most spectacular sights in the Himalayan region. The Gangotri glacier is the source of the Bhagirathi river. Photograph: Press Information Bureau

The ‘Bonaalu’ tableau of the newly-born state of Telangana depicted Mahankali, the divine mother goddess of the region. Bonaalu is an illustrious festival of the state, particularly Hyderabad. It is celebrated to worship Mahankali Goddess in the month of Ashada, which normally falls in July / August. Photograph: Press Information Bureau

Uttar Pradesh came up with a tableau on Wajid Ali Shah, who was the tenth and last Nawab of Awadh province that is Uttar Pradesh of present time. In 1847, Wajid Ali Shah was crowned as Nawab of Awadh and he ruled over Awadh for nine years. He was also a poet, playwright and dancer of extraordinary calibre. He is also renowned for patronizing fine arts. Being a God-gifted musician, he allowed the music, dance, theatre and poetry flourish in his court. He was trained in vocal music by several renowned Ustads of the time. It is believed that it was Wajid Ali Shah who composed Raags like 'Jogi' and 'Shah Pasand'. Photograph: Atul Yadav/PTI photo

The Department of Industrial Production and Promotion' Make in India tableau depicted a mechanised Lion, set against the backdrop of a smart city. The message is clear: India has the strength of purpose, resources, partnerships and the momentum required to transform into a global manufacturing hub. The front part of the tableau is showcasing the lion logo depicting the various sectors identified for investment. Photograph: Atul Yadav/PTI photo

The Goa tableau depicted the state's fishing industry. Photograph: Shirish Shete/PTI photo

The Maharashtra tableau depicted the pilgrimage to Pandharpur wherein lakhs of devotees walk for around 200 kms from Aalandi to Pandharpur. It is a social and cultural event in Maharashtra with hundreds years of illustrious tradition. While Aalandi was the core sphere for the spiritual activities of Saint Dyaneshvar, Pandharpur is the holy site where stands the shrine of God Vithoba revered by millions of devotees from the state of Maharashtra, Karnatak and Andhra Pradesh devotees not only from Aalandi but from different areas of the State walk joyously with devotion along with talanquins of different saints chant religious songs (Abhang). Photograph: Shirish Shete/PTI photo

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