Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wild Life In Maharashtra (MPSC)

 Maharashtra is home to a large number of animals and bird species, including the tiger, Crocodile, Bison, Gawa, Neelgai, Wild Deer, Sambar and rare migratory birds. The state has taken adequate steps towards setting up many wildlife parks and sanctuaries to protect these regions and promote them as tourist attractions. The parks offer splendid opportunities to see a variety of wildlife in a spectacularly natural setting. Modern amenities such as jeep rides, night safaris, comfortable accommodation and efficient transport are also available at a nominal charge
Melghat Tiger Reserve
This Reserve is in the enchanting sylvan beauty of the woodlands and greenery of Melghat, in the Amravati district, roams the tiger, and it is here that a greater part of Project Tiger is being implemented. In the heart of the luxuriant teak forests of Dhakna-Kolkaz is the Melghat Tiger Reserve, where Panthers, Bison, Sambar, Chital and the Flying Squirrel are familiar sights.

Nagzira Wild Life Sanctuary
Another wildlife sanctuary which is known for its verdant hills and dales, where the fauna offers a mesmerising blaze of colours, is the Nagzira
Wild Life Sanctuary. Ambling around in these idyllic environs is the sloth bear, tiger four horned antelope, the Bluebull, Chital, Barking Deer, Bison and the Panther. Besides these sanctuaries are alive with the Chirruping of the colourful and varied birds.
The Navegaon Forest Resort
Navegaon, a popular forest resort in the Vidarbha region, was built in the 18th century. The picturesque lake set amidst lush green hills at Navegaon has a watch-tower beside it, from which visitors may find a bird's eye view of the surrounding forest and its abundant wildlife. Best known for the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Navegaon is home to almost 60 per cent of the bird species found in the entire state. Every winter, flocks of migratory birds visit the region. Visitors can join the Jungle Safari and have a stroll to see the Sambar, Chital and Langurs. Staying in a unique tree-top house and riding a power or sail boat on the lake, are thrilling pastimes.
The Dajipur Bison Sanctuary
 The jungle resort of Dajipur is situated on the border of Kolhapur and Sindhudurg districts, near the backwaters of the Radhanagari dam. Surrounded by rugged mountains and dense forests, this secluded area is completely cut-off from human habitation. A home to bison, wild Deers, Chital, Gawa and many more spectacular wild animals and birds, Dajipur is an exciting and beautiful holiday getaway. An excursion to the nearby Gagangiri Maharaj's Math makes for a pleasant outing.
The Tadoba National Park
This is a large park spread over many acres of lush green forested land. Situated 45 kms from Chandrapur, Tadoba is an extremely beautiful jungle of mixed teak forests around a tranquil lake. The Tadoba National Park has migratory ducks visiting its lake, and also swarms with crocodiles. The rest houses are ideal for nature lovers as it commands a lovely view of the lake and the distant green hills beyond. Late nights are ideal times to see tigers, leopards, gaur, nilgai, sambar and chital. The park has facilities for tourists to stay overnight.
Bird Sanctuaries

 There are many more types of birds than animals in Maharashtra, like the bulbul, shama, cuckoo, parakeet, drongoes, Wagtails Flycatchers, Purple Sunbirds, Grey Jungle Fowl, the great Indian bustard and above all the beautiful peacock. The great Indian bustard which is an endangered species, is an ostrich-like bird, found in the Ahmednagar and Sholapur districts. It is known for its royal gait and is a fast runner. The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is a must for ornithologists and so is the Karnala Bird Sanctuary which is the home of winged birds like the golden oriole


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Geography Concept (Coral Reefs)

The Topic:
Coral Reefs

Easier - Coral is a substance that is formed by the skeletons of sea animals. Live, healthy coral is often brightly colored. Large coral groups form rounded or branching masses. A strip or ridge of solidified coral at or near an ocean surface is called a coral reef.
Harder - Coral is a limestone formation formed in the sea by millions of tiny animals called polyps. Most coral polyps live together in colonies. They attach themselves to each other with a flat sheet of tissue that connects to the middle of another polyp body; half of the coral polyp extends above and the remaining half is below the connective sheet. Coral polyps remove calcium out of the sea water to build their limestone skeletons. They then deposit calcium carbonate (limestone) around their lower body halves. When the animals die, they leave limestone "skeletons" that become the foundations of barriers and ridges called coral reefs. As new polyps grow, their mass makes the limestone formation larger and larger.
Diverse coral formations may resemble branching trees, large domes, small irregular crusts, or tiny organ pipes. The living coral-forming animals color the formations in beautiful hues of tan, orange, yellow, purple, and green. Coral animals cannot live in water cooler than 65 °F (18 °C), therefore coral reefs are found mostly in warm, shallow, and tropical seas.


[Image Map]

Gulf of Kutch

The reefs here are also of fringing type around a chain of islands from Jodhiya in the north to Port Okha in the south. These are the most northern reefs in the Indian subcontinent. Because of the environmental conditions which are extreme, with a large range in temperature and salinity, at this site, the reefs are relatively less developed and harbor a low biodiversity compared to other Indian reefs. The Gulf of Kutch is also a region of high industrial development - this has been responsible for a large scale of mortality of reef corals in the recent past. The entire Gulf of Kutch reefs have now been declared as a Marine National Park.
Details of Gulf of Kutch and Coral Reef Species

Lakshadweep Islands

The coral formation consists of 10 atolls with 36 islands of which 10 are inhabited. The atolls, with the lagoon at islands cover areas ranging from 30 to 300 sq. km. The islands, however, range from less than a km to about 9 km in length. The maximum width does not exceed two km across. The health of the reefs is generally excellent, especially in the uninhabited atolls whereas in the habitant islands, human impacts, as elsewhere, are significant.
Details of Lakshadweep Islands and Coral Reef Species

Gulf of Mannar

Fringing reefs occur around a chain of 20 islands from Rameswaram in the north to Tuticorin in the south. The reefs at the northern and southern ends of the chain are partially degraded due to human activities (mining, fishing and industrial development) whereas those in the middle, because of their location away from human settlements, are in a relatively better condition. These reefs form part of the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere reserve.
Details of Gulf of Mannar and Coral Reef Species

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

These islands in the Bay of Bengal number around 500 and all of them have fringing reefs. Most of them, like those at Nicobar, have healthy reefs with a large biodiversity. However, near human settlements, such as Port Blair, impacts are readily visible. A serious natural threat to these reefs in the last two decades was infestation with the crown-of-thorns starfish.
Details of Andman & Nicobar Islands and Coral Reef Species


Coral patches occur at some intertidal locations and submerged banks on the continental shelf along the west coast. Coral diversity at these sites is generally restricted to few genera. The number of coral species known so far from Indian reefs is 206.

Gulf of Kutch Lakshadweep Islands Gulf of Mannar Andman & Nicobar Islands

Friday, January 15, 2010

Solar System and Roman Gods

Nine Planets
Planets are named after mostly Roman gods and goddesses as given below.
PositionPlanetGod / GoddessExplanation
1MercuryWinged Messenger of Roman Gods
(also God of Trade, Travel and Thievery)
Swiftest planet - completes one revolution in 88 days
2VenusRoman Goddess of Love & BeautyBrightest object in night sky after Moon
- appears beautiful in the heavens
3EarthNot named after any GodOnly planet not named after mythological character
4MarsRoman God of WarIts red color associated by ancient civilizations with blood of battles
5JupiterKing of Roman GodsLargest and most massive of the nine planets
6SaturnRoman God of Farming & Agriculture
(also, father of Jupiter in Roman mythology)
Saturn is adjacent to Jupiter
7UranusGod of the Sky & Heavens
(also, father of Saturn)
Uranus is adjacent to Saturn
8NeptuneRoman God of the SeaNeptune has a beautiful blue color
9PlutoRoman God of the UnderworldGod of the Underworld was capable of becoming invisible
- planet is farthest from Sun and in perpetual darknes


Mount Logan, Yukon, Can.
[Credits : Gerald Holdsworth/NOAA]mountain, highest point (19,524 feet [5,951 m]) in Canada and second in North America only to Mount McKinley. Located in the St. Elias Mountains of southwestern Yukon, the peak towers about 14,000 feet (4,300 m) above the Seward Glacier at the Alaska border to the south and is a focal point of Kluane National Park, an 8,500-square-mile (22,000-square-kilometre) rugged wilderness. The actual ridge crest of the mountainis about 10 miles (16 km) across, while the entire mass is more than 20 miles (32 km) long. An expedition under A.H. MacCarthy and H.F. Lambert on June 23, 1925, became the first to reach the summit. The peak was named after Sir William Logan (1798–1875), founder of the Geological Survey of Canada.

Indian Cities & Nicknames

Nick name
Golden City
Manchester of India
City of Seven islands
Queen of Arabian Sea
Space City
Garden City of India
Silicon Valley of India
Electronic city of India
Pink city
Gateway of India
Twin city
Hyderabad - Sikandarabad
City of festivals
Deccan Queen
City of Buildings
Dakshin Ganga
Old Ganga
Egg bowls of Asia
Andhra Pradesh
Soya region
Madhya Pradesh
Manchester of the South
City of Nawabs
Venice of the east
Sorrow of Bengal
Damodar river
Sorrow of Bihar
Kosi river
Blue Mountains
Queen of the Mountains
Mussoorie (Uttaranchal)
Sacred river
Hollywood of India
City of Castles
State of five rivers
City of weavers
City of lakes
Steel city of India
Jamshedpur (Called Tatanagar)
City of temples
Manchester of the north
City of Rallies
New Delhi
Heaven of India
Jammu & Kashmir
Boston of India
Garden of spices of India
Switzerland of India
Abode of the God
Prayag (Allahabad)
Pittsburg of India

Mudumalai Sanctuary - Tamil Nadu

This sanctuary is located where the Nilagiri Hills, the offshoot of the Western Ghats meet the eastern Ghats. The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary has varied mixture of flat land, undulating parkland, open grassland, swamp, valleys and nullas. The Mayyar river in this region forms a series of spectacular cascades on its way 65 kms away from Udhagamandalam - Mysore highway, this sanctuary could be reached from Mysore as well.
This 321 sq kms wide sanctuary encompasses a National Park measuring are of 103 sq kms. The vegetation is varied. The hilly terrain of the Western Ghats, clothed in dense mixed and moist deciduous forests, make Mudumalai (the ancient hills) a most attractive wildlife reserve. The Mysore-Ooty highway runs through the Park, following the course of the Moyar River, which separates Mudumalai from Bandipur.
The fauna includes Elephant, Gaur, Bonnet, Macaque, Common langur, Tigers and Leopards, Chital, Dhole Panther, Sloth Bear, Python, Barking deer, Four-Horned- Antelope, Otter, Crocodiles (mugger), giant flying squirrel, Sambhar, Hyena, Wild Dog, Wild Boar, Mouse Deer, Spotted Deer, Jackal, Hare, Porcupine and Mangoose.
The Birds listed in this sanctuary are peacock-our national bird, grey jungle fowl, Malabar whistling thrush, large racket-tailed dronge, the shama, the magpie-robin, spotted babbler, small green barbet, germen pigeons, little brown dove, Malabar grey hornbill, bulbuls, mynahs etc. Among birds of prey, eagles, hawks, buzzards, harriers, falcons and king vulture are predominant, birdies some migratory water birds.