Kumar Gandharva, known as Shivaputra Siddharamayya Komkalimath was an Indian classical singer, well known for his unique vocal style and his refusal to be bound by the tradition of any gharana. The name Kumar Gandharva is a title given to him. Gandharva was born in Sulebhavi near Belgaum, India in a Kannada speaking Lingayat family. By the age of five he showed signs of musical genius, appearing on stage at the age of 10; when he was 11, his father sent him to study music under the well-known Classical teacher, B. R. Deodhar, his mastery of technique and musical knowledge was so rapid that Gandharva himself was teaching at the school before he had turned 20. By his early 20s, Gandharva was praised by critics, he married Bhanumati Kans, another vocal teacher at Deodhar's school, in April 1947. Soon after, he was stricken with tuberculosis, was told by doctors that he would never sing again, he was advised to move to the drier climate of Madhya Pradesh for his health. For the next six years, Gandharva endured a period of silence.
Doctors told him that trying to sing could be fatal, that there was little hope of recovery. Stories of Gandharva in this period depict a man lying in bed and listening to the sounds of nature around him: birds, the wind, passing street-singers, they detail how he would hum to himself inaudibly. Hess speculates that this was the beginning of Gandharva's radical new conception of the nirguni bhajan, which celebrates a formless divinity. In 1952, streptomycin emerged as a treatment for tuberculosis, Gandharva began to take it. Helped by excellent medical support and care from wife Bhanumati, he recovered and began singing again. However, his voice and singing style would always bear the scars of his illness: one of his lungs had been rendered useless, so he had to adapt to singing with a single lung, his first concert after recovery from his illness took place in 1953. The illness affected Kumar's singing in years – he was to be known for powerful short phrases and his high voice. Kumar experimented with other forms of singing such as Nirguni bhajans, folk songs, with both ragas and presentation going from fast to slow compositions in the same raga.
He is remembered for his great legacy of innovation, questioning tradition without rejecting it wholesale, resulting in music in touch with the roots of Indian culture the folk music of Madhya Pradesh. His innovative approach towards music led to the creation of new ragas from combinations of older ragas, his style of singing attracted considerable controversy. Veteran singer Mogubai Kurdikar did not consider his vilambit singing interesting and his own teacher Deodhar criticised some aspects of Kumar's singing but their relationship was strained from the 1940s when Kumar Gandharva married Bhanumati. According to Pandharinath Kolhapure's book on Kumar Gandharva, Deodhar was against the match, but the criticism centred on his vilambit gayaki. His singing in faster tempos his mastery over madhya-laya, was revered. Kumar Gandharva's first son, Mukul Shivputra, was born in 1956. After Bhanumati's death in 1961 during second child's birth, Kumar married Vasundhara Shrikhande, another of his fellow-students at Deodhar School.
Vasundhara Komkali formed a memorable duo with him in bhajan singing. She sometimes provided vocal support to his classical renditions, their daughter Kalapini Komkalimath would accompany both her parents on tanpura. Some of Kumar Gandharva's ideology is carried forward by his son and daughter, as well as students such as Madhup Mudgal, Vijay Sardeshmukh, Satyasheel Deshpande. Kumar Gandharva Foundation Mumbai has been formed by his student Paramanand Yadav which works in development of Hindustani and Carnatic Music. Kumar Gandharva's grandson Bhuvanesh has made a name for himself as classical singer. For a long spell, Kumar Gandharva's activities as a musician were managed by his friend and tabla accompanist Vasant Acharekar. Acharekar was Vasant Desai's assistant in the 1950s but devoted himself to his role as an accompanist to classical singing until his death in the late 1970s. Kumar Gandharva had friendly relations with noted Marathi literary couple Pu La Deshpande and Sunita Deshpande. Kumar Gandharva was a musicologist as well.
During his period of illness, when he was advised complete rest, he used to spend time contemplating on different aspects of music. He had his own thoughts about many different ragas, styles of rendition and different types of composition. Kumar Gandharva was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1977 and India's second highest civilian honour the Padma Vibhushan in 1990; the 4th movie in the series of 4 movies in the Kabir Project by Shabnam Virmani features the life of Gandharva and his disciples, his career and his journey into "Nirgun" singing. His song'Sunta Hai' forms the title of the movie'Koi Sunta Hai'.'Hans Akela' is a 78 minutes documentary on Pandit Kumar Gandharva made by Films Division Govt. of India with interviews with various people – wife, students.'Mukkam Vashi' is a book made on notes collected during a two-day workshop of the same name. It collected together the thoughts of Kumar Gandharva on the nature of music at a fundamental level. Raghava R. Menon; the Musical Journey of Kumar Gandharva.
Vision Books. ISBN 978-81-7094-475-1. Hess, Linda. Singing Emptiness: Kumar Gandharva performs the poetry of Kabir. Seagull Books. Vamana Hari Deshapande. Between Two Tanpuras. Popular P
Helsinki is the capital and most populous city of Finland. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it is the seat of the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland, has a population of 650,058; the city's urban area has a population of 1,268,296, making it by far the most populous urban area in Finland as well as the country's most important center for politics, finance and research. Helsinki is located 80 kilometres north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 km east of Stockholm, 390 km west of Saint Petersburg, Russia, it has close historical ties with these three cities. Together with the cities of Espoo and Kauniainen, surrounding commuter towns, Helsinki forms the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which has a population of nearly 1.5 million. Considered to be Finland's only metropolis, it is the world's northernmost metro area with over one million people as well as the northernmost capital of an EU member state. After Stockholm and Oslo, Helsinki is the third largest municipality in the Nordic countries.
The city is served by the international Helsinki Airport, located in the neighboring city of Vantaa, with frequent service to many destinations in Europe and Asia. Helsinki was the World Design Capital for 2012, the venue for the 1952 Summer Olympics, the host of the 52nd Eurovision Song Contest. Helsinki has one of the highest urban standards of living in the world. In 2011, the British magazine Monocle ranked Helsinki the world's most liveable city in its liveable cities index. In the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2016 liveability survey, Helsinki was ranked ninth among 140 cities. According to a theory presented in the 1630s, settlers from Hälsingland in central Sweden had arrived to what is now known as the Vantaa River and called it Helsingå, which gave rise to the names of Helsinge village and church in the 1300s; this theory is questionable, because dialect research suggests that the settlers arrived from Uppland and nearby areas. Others have proposed the name as having been derived from the Swedish word helsing, an archaic form of the word hals, referring to the narrowest part of a river, the rapids.
Other Scandinavian cities at similar geographic locations were given similar names at the time, e.g. Helsingør in Denmark and Helsingborg in Sweden; when a town was founded in Forsby village in 1548, it was named Helsinge fors, "Helsinge rapids". The name refers to the Vanhankaupunginkoski rapids at the mouth of the river; the town was known as Helsinge or Helsing, from which the contemporary Finnish name arose. Official Finnish Government documents and Finnish language newspapers have used the name Helsinki since 1819, when the Senate of Finland moved itself into the city from Turku; the decrees issued in Helsinki were dated with Helsinki as the place of issue. This is; as part of the Grand Duchy of Finland in the Russian Empire, Helsinki was known as Gelsingfors in Russian. In Helsinki slang, the city is called Stadi. Hesa, is not used by natives of the city. Helsset is the Northern Sami name of Helsinki. In the Iron Age the area occupied by present day Helsinki was inhabited by Tavastians, they used the area for fishing and hunting, but due to a lack of archeological finds it is difficult to say how extensive their settlements were.
Pollen analysis has shown that there were cultivating settlements in the area in the 10th century and surviving historical records from the 14th century describe Tavastian settlements in the area. Swedes colonized the coastline of the Helsinki region in the late 13th century after the successful Second Crusade to Finland, which led to the defeat of the Tavastians. Helsinki was established as a trading town by King Gustav I of Sweden in 1550 as the town of Helsingfors, which he intended to be a rival to the Hanseatic city of Reval. In order to populate his newly founded town, the King issued an order to resettle the bourgeoisie of Porvoo, Ekenäs, Rauma and Ulvila into the town. Little came of the plans as Helsinki remained a tiny town plagued by poverty and diseases; the plague of 1710 killed the greater part of the inhabitants of Helsinki. The construction of the naval fortress Sveaborg in the 18th century helped improve Helsinki's status, but it was not until Russia defeated Sweden in the Finnish War and annexed Finland as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland in 1809 that the town began to develop into a substantial city.
Russians besieged the Sveaborg fortress during the war, about one quarter of the town was destroyed in an 1808 fire. Russian Emperor Alexander I of Russia moved the Finnish capital from Turku to Helsinki in 1812 to reduce Swedish influence in Finland, to bring the capital closer to Saint Petersburg. Following the Great Fire of Turku in 1827, the Royal Academy of Turku, which at the time was the country's only university, was relocated to Helsinki and became the modern University of Helsinki; the move helped set it on a path of continuous growth. This transformation is apparent in the downtown core, rebuilt in the neoclassical style to resemble Saint Petersburg to a plan by the German-born architect C. L. Engel; as elsewhere, technological advancements such as railroads and industrialization were key factors behind the city's growth. Despite the tumultuous nature of Finnish history during the first half of the 20th century, Helsinki continued its steady development. A landmark e
University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering
University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering was established in 1917, under the name Government Engineering College, by Bharat Ratna Sir M. Visvesvaraya, was affiliated to Bangalore University, it is the fifth engineering college to be established in the country. UVCE is a constituent college of Bangalore University which gives it a special status of a university. UVCE is one of the few technical institutions in the country, vested with the status of a university, it is one of the oldest technical institutions in the country, imparting technical education leading to B. E, B. Arch, M. E, M. Arch and PhD degrees in the various disciplines of Engineering and Architecture; the college is approved by the Government of Karnataka. The departments are accredited with five A+ for three years by the National Board of Accreditation, New Delhi. UVCE has a NAAC rating of five stars for the past four consecutive years; the college receives financial aid under the TEQIP program from the World Bank. In 1917, the Diwan of Mysore, Sir M. Visvesvaraya, felt a need to have an engineering college in the state as the Civil Engineering College Madras and College of Engineering Poona were unable to accommodate enough students from Mysore State.
He started the college in 1917 in Bangalore as a School of Engineering with 20 students in civil and mechanical engineering branches in the PWD building. S. V. Setty was a founder professor, it was the fifth engineering college to be started in the first one in Mysore State. In 1965, the name of the college was changed to University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering after its founder. Situated at K R Circle and in the neighbourhood of Vidhana Soudha, Government of Karnataka, the city campus houses the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering. Department of Electronics Engineering and Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Amidst the Jnana Bharathi campus, the hub of Bangalore University, Post graduate Academic activities, the Engineering campus has departments of Civil Engineering and Architecture. UVCE is a constituent college of Bangalore University which gives it a special university status, a privilege granted to only a few institutions in the country.
The campus has an academic sector equipped with modern facilities. The residential area has hostels for the girls. There are spaces where events and functions happen from time to time. UVCE is situated at KR Circle and in the neighborhood of Vidhana Soudha, Government of Karnataka, with a campus area spreading over 15 acres, housing in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Engineering; the institute runs Civil and Architecture courses at Jnana Bharathi Campus, Bangalore occupying land area of 50 acres. The college provides hostel facilities for boys and girls separately both in the Jnana Bharathi and city campus; the college updates the curriculum and syllabus regularly. The college has conducted over 50 workshops, 6 International Conferences in the last four years and has published more than 500 Research/technical papers in various International journals. Repute publishers have brought out 35 books authored by the staff of UVCE; the institute admits students based on the following entrance exams.
Undergraduate programmesCommon Entrance Test, conducted by the Karnataka Examinations Authority. Postgraduate programmesGraduate Aptitude Test in Engineering conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology, IITs. Post Graduate CET The institution offers seven undergraduate and twenty-four postgraduate programmes; the institute has awarded 153 Ph. D degrees. At present there are 135 candidates pursuing their Ph. D; the Department of Civil Engineering being a recognized QIP center from MHRD, has completed more than 50 consultancy projects. The teaching faculty has completed / engaged in number of R & D projects sponsored by UGC, AICTE, MHRD, AR&DB, ADA, Naval Research Board, National Highways, etc. including an Indo-European project. Forty three Books have been published by the faculty members of UVCE. Electronics and Communication Engineering Computer Science and Engineering Information Science and Engineering Mechanical Engineering Electrical and Electronics Engineering Civil Engineering Architecture Civil Engineering Electronics and Communication Engineering Mechanical Engineering Computer Science and Engineering Computer Science Information Technology Computer Networks Web Technologies Software Engineering BioinformaticsElectronics and Communication Electronics and Communication EngineeringElectrical Engineering Power & Energy Systems Power Electronics Control & InstrumentationCivil Engineering Construction Technology Geo-Technical Engineering Structural Engineering Highway Engineering Pre-stressed Concrete Water Resource Engineering Environmental Engineering Earthquake EngineeringMechanical Engineering Machine Design Manufacturing Science Engineering Thermal Science Engineering Advanced Material TechnologyArchitecture Construction and Project Management Landscape Architecture The PhD degree is awarded by the Bangalore University UVCE, a constituent college of Bangalore University serves as a research centre for the award of PhD degree in several research areas of the following branches: Civil Engineering Mechanical Engineering Computer Science and Engineering Electrical and Electronics Engineer
Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna was an Indian Carnatic vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, playback singer and character actor. He was awarded the Madras Music Academy's Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1978, he has garnered two National Film Awards, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1975, the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian honor in 1991, for his contribution towards arts, the Mahatma Gandhi Silver Medal from UNESCO in 1995, the Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 2005, the Sangeetha Kalanidhi by Madras Music Academy, the Sangeetha Kalasikhamani in 1991, by the Fine Arts Society, Chennai to name a few. Balamuralikrishna started his career at the age of six. Up to the present time, he has given over 25,000 concerts worldwide, he accompanied Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, gave jugalbandi concerts with Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty and Kishori Amonkar, among others. He is known for popularizing the compositions of Sri Bhadrachala Ramadasu and Sri Annamacharya.
Balamuralikrishna's concerts combine sophisticated vocal skills and rhythmic patterns of classical music with the popular demand for entertainment value. Balamuralikrishna has been invited to give concerts in many countries, including the US, Canada, UK, France, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Middle East and many more. Apart from his native tongue, his works include ones in other languages like Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and Punjabi, he appeared as featured soloist with an award-winning British choir, performing the "Gitanjali Suite" with words from Rabindranath Tagore's Nobel Prize-winning poetry and music by "Dr. Joel", the noted UK-based Goan composer, his clear diction in several languages prompted an invitation to record Tagore's entire Rabindra Sangeet compositions in Bengali, preserving them for posterity. He has sung in French, ventured into jazz fusion, collaborating with the top Carnatic percussion teacher, Sri T. H. Subash Chandran, in a concert for Malaysian royalty. In February 2010, he did a three-day concert in Visakhapatnam.
Balamuralikrishna was born in Madras Presidency. His father was a well known musician and his mother was a veena player. Balamuralikrishna's mother died when he was raised by his father. Observing his interest in music, his father put him under the tutelage of Parupalli Ramakrishnayya Pantulu, a direct descendant of the shishya parampara of Tyagaraja. Under his guidance, the young Balamuralikrishna learned Carnatic music. At the age of eight, he gave his first full-fledged concert at a Thyagaraja Aradhana in Vijayawada. Musunuri Suryanarayana Murty Bhagavatar, a Harikatha performer, saw the musical talent in him and gave the prefix "Bala" to the young Balamuralikrishna. Balamuralikrishna thus began his musical career at a young age. By the age of fifteen he had mastered all the 72 melakartha ragas and had composed krithis in the same; the Janaka Raga Manjari was published in 1952 and recorded as Raagaanga Ravali in a nine-volume series by the Sangeeta Recording Company. Not content with his fame as a Carnatic vocalist soon started playing the kanjira, mridangam and violin.
He accompanied various musicians in violin and is noted to give solo viola concerts. Characteristic of Balamuralikrishna's musical journey has been his non-conformism, spirit of experimentation and boundless creativity. Balamuralikrishna has experimented with Carnatic music system by keeping its rich tradition untouched. Ragas like Ganapathi, Mahati, Lavangi etc. are credited to him. The ragas which he invented represent his quest for new frontiers. Ragas like Lavangi are set to four notes in ascending and descending scale. Ragas created by him, like Mahathi, Sidhdhi, Sumukham have only four notes, he innovated the tala system. He has incorporated "gati bhEdam" in the "sashabda kriya" part of the existing Tala chain, thus throwing open a new chain of Tala system. Saint Arunagirinaadhar used to inject such systems in his famous Thirupugazh, but only as Sandham, while Balamuralikrishna is known to be the pioneer in bringing such Sandhams into a logical rhythm, with Angam and definition. Thri Mukhi, Saptha Mukhi and Nava Mukhi are the basic classifications he has for his New Tala System.
He gave his authorisation to S. Ram Bharati to found "Academy of Performing Arts and Research" in Switzerland and is working on music therapy, he established the'MBK Trust' with the objective of developing art and culture and for carrying out extensive research into music therapy. A dance and music school,'Vipanchee' is a part of this Trust. Balamuralikrishna has over 400 compositions to his credit and is one of the few people to have composed in all the 72 Melakarta Ragas and has created several ragas, with 4 notes and 3 notes and has invented a new Tala system, his compositions encompass every facet in Carnatic Music that includes Varnas, Thillanas, Bhavageethas. Balamuralikrishna has sung in several films in Telugu, Sanskrit and Tamil, he made his acting debut with the Telugu film Bhakta Prahlada as Narada, has acted in few films in Telugu and Tamil. Balamuralikrishna died at his residence in Chennai on 22 November 2016, his end came in deep sleep at around five in the evening, due to a cardiac arrest.
He was cremated with full state honours at Besant Nagar Crematoriu
Nuclear physics is the field of physics that studies atomic nuclei and their constituents and interactions. Other forms of nuclear matter are studied. Nuclear physics should not be confused with atomic physics, which studies the atom as a whole, including its electrons. Discoveries in nuclear physics have led to applications in many fields; this includes nuclear power, nuclear weapons, nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance imaging and agricultural isotopes, ion implantation in materials engineering, radiocarbon dating in geology and archaeology. Such applications are studied in the field of nuclear engineering. Particle physics evolved out of nuclear physics and the two fields are taught in close association. Nuclear astrophysics, the application of nuclear physics to astrophysics, is crucial in explaining the inner workings of stars and the origin of the chemical elements; the history of nuclear physics as a discipline distinct from atomic physics starts with the discovery of radioactivity by Henri Becquerel in 1896, while investigating phosphorescence in uranium salts.
The discovery of the electron by J. J. Thomson a year was an indication that the atom had internal structure. At the beginning of the 20th century the accepted model of the atom was J. J. Thomson's "plum pudding" model in which the atom was a positively charged ball with smaller negatively charged electrons embedded inside it. In the years that followed, radioactivity was extensively investigated, notably by Marie and Pierre Curie as well as by Ernest Rutherford and his collaborators. By the turn of the century physicists had discovered three types of radiation emanating from atoms, which they named alpha and gamma radiation. Experiments by Otto Hahn in 1911 and by James Chadwick in 1914 discovered that the beta decay spectrum was continuous rather than discrete; that is, electrons were ejected from the atom with a continuous range of energies, rather than the discrete amounts of energy that were observed in gamma and alpha decays. This was a problem for nuclear physics at the time, because it seemed to indicate that energy was not conserved in these decays.
The 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded jointly to Becquerel for his discovery and to Marie and Pierre Curie for their subsequent research into radioactivity. Rutherford was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908 for his "investigations into the disintegration of the elements and the chemistry of radioactive substances". In 1905 Albert Einstein formulated the idea of mass–energy equivalence. While the work on radioactivity by Becquerel and Marie Curie predates this, an explanation of the source of the energy of radioactivity would have to wait for the discovery that the nucleus itself was composed of smaller constituents, the nucleons. In 1906 Ernest Rutherford published "Retardation of the α Particle from Radium in passing through matter." Hans Geiger expanded on this work in a communication to the Royal Society with experiments he and Rutherford had done, passing alpha particles through air, aluminum foil and gold leaf. More work was published in 1909 by Geiger and Ernest Marsden, further expanded work was published in 1910 by Geiger.
In 1911–1912 Rutherford went before the Royal Society to explain the experiments and propound the new theory of the atomic nucleus as we now understand it. The key experiment behind this announcement was performed in 1910 at the University of Manchester: Ernest Rutherford's team performed a remarkable experiment in which Geiger and Marsden under Rutherford's supervision fired alpha particles at a thin film of gold foil; the plum pudding model had predicted that the alpha particles should come out of the foil with their trajectories being at most bent. But Rutherford instructed his team to look for something that shocked him to observe: a few particles were scattered through large angles completely backwards in some cases, he likened it to firing a bullet at tissue paper and having it bounce off. The discovery, with Rutherford's analysis of the data in 1911, led to the Rutherford model of the atom, in which the atom had a small dense nucleus containing most of its mass, consisting of heavy positively charged particles with embedded electrons in order to balance out the charge.
As an example, in this model nitrogen-14 consisted of a nucleus with 14 protons and 7 electrons and the nucleus was surrounded by 7 more orbiting electrons. Around 1920, Arthur Eddington anticipated the discovery and mechanism of nuclear fusion processes in stars, in his paper The Internal Constitution of the Stars. At that time, the source of stellar energy was a complete mystery; this was a remarkable development since at that time fusion and thermonuclear energy, that stars are composed of hydrogen, had not yet been discovered. The Rutherford model worked quite well until studies of nuclear spin were carried out by Franco Rasetti at the California Institute of Technology in 1929. By 1925 it was known that protons and electrons each had a spin of +/-1⁄2. In the Rutherford model of nitrogen-14, 20 of the total 21 nuclear particles should have paired up to cancel each other's spin, the final odd particle should have left the nucleus with a net spin of 1⁄2. Rasetti discovered, that nitrogen-14 had a spin of 1.
In 1932 Chadwick realized that radiation, observed by Walther Bothe, Herbert Becker, Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie was due to a neutral particle of about the same mass as the proton, that he called the neutron (following a su
Girija Devi was an Indian classical singer of the Seniya and Banaras gharanas. She helped elevate the profile of thumri, she died on 24 October 2017. Girija Devi was born in Varanasi, on 8 May 1929, to a zamindar, her father played the harmonium and taught music, had Girija Devi take lessons in singing khyal and tappa from vocalist and sarangi player Sarju Prasad Misra starting at the age of five. She starred in the movie Yaad rahe aged nine and continued her studies under Sri Chand Misra in a variety of styles. Girija Devi made her public debut in 1949 on All India Radio Allahabad, after marrying a businessman circa 1946, but faced opposition from her mother and grandmother because it was traditionally believed that no upper class woman should perform publicly. Girija Devi agreed to not perform for others, but gave her first public concert in Bihar in 1951, she studied with Sri Chand Misra until he died in the early 1960s, worked as a faculty member of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata in the 1980s and of the Banaras Hindu University during the early 1990s, taught several students to preserve her musical heritage.
Girija Devi toured and continued to perform in 2009. Girija Devi sang in the Banaras gharana and performed the purabi ang thumri style typical of the tradition, whose status she helped elevate, her repertoire included the semi-classical genres kajri and holi and she sang khyal, Indian folk music, tappa. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians once stated that her semi-classical singing combined her classical training with the regional characteristics of the songs of Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh. Padma Shri Padma Bhushan Padma Vibhushan Sangeet Natak Akademi Award Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship Maha Sangeet Samman Award Sangeet Samman Award GiMA Awards 2012 TanaRiri Puraskar Mishra, Yatindra. Girija: A Journey Through Thumri. Rupa. ISBN 978-81-291-0857-9. Girija Devi at AllMusic
An apsara spelled as apsaras by the Oxford Dictionary, is a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist culture. They figure prominently in the sculpture, dance and painting of many South Asian and Southeast Asian cultures. There are two types of apsaras. Urvasi, Rambha and Ghritachi are the most famous among them. Apsarās are known as vidhya dhari or tep apsar in Khmer, accharā or a bố sa la tư, biraddali, hapsari/apsari or widadari/widyadari and aapson. English translations of the word "apsara" include "nymph", "fairy", "celestial nymph", "celestial maiden". In Indian mythology, apsaras are beautiful, supernatural female beings, they are youthful and elegant, superb in the art of dancing. They are wives of the Gandharvas, the court musicians of Indra, they dance to the music made by the Gandharvas in the palaces of the gods and sometimes seduce gods and men. As ethereal beings who inhabit the skies, are depicted taking flight, or at service of a god, they may be compared to angels.
Apsaras are said to be able to change their shape at will, rule over the fortunes of gaming and gambling. Apsaras are sometimes compared to the muses of ancient Greece, with each of the 26 Apsaras at Indra's court representing a distinct aspect of the performing arts, they are associated with fertility rites. The Bhagavata Purana states that the apsaras were born from Kashyapa and Muni; the origin of'apsara' is the Sanskrit अप्सरस् apsaras. NB The stem form ends in's' as distinct from, e.g. the nominative singular Ramas/Ramaḥ, whose stem form is Rama. The nominative singular form is अप्सरास् apsarās, or अप्सरा: apsarāḥ when standing alone, which becomes अप्सरा apsarā in Hindi, from which in turn the English'apsara' is derived, the'apsaras' form being the Sanskrit dictionary form. Monier-Williams Dictionary gives the etymology as: अप् + √सृ, "going in the waters or between the waters of the clouds"; the Rigveda tells of an apsara, the wife of Gandharva. The only apsara named is Urvashi. An entire hymn deals with the colloquy between her mortal lover Pururavas.
Hindu scriptures allow for the existence of numerous apsaras, who act as the handmaidens of Indra or as dancers at his celestial court. In many of the stories related in the Mahabharata, apsaras appear in important supporting roles; the epic contains several lists of the principal Apsaras. Here is one such list, together with a description of how the celestial dancers appeared to the residents and guests at the court of the gods: Ghritachi and Menaka and Rambha and Purvachitti and Swayamprabha and Urvashi and Misrakeshi and Dandagauri and Varuthini and Gopali and Sahajanya and Kumbhayoni and Prajagara and Chitrasena and Chitralekha and Saha and Madhuraswana and others by thousands, possessed of eyes like lotus leaves, who were employed in enticing the hearts of persons practising rigid austerities, danced there, and possessing slim waists and fair large hips, they began to perform various evolutions, shaking their deep bosoms, casting their glances around, exhibiting other attractive attitudes capable of stealing the hearts and resolutions and minds of the spectators.
The Mahabharata documents the exploits of individual apsaras, such as Tilottama, who rescued the world from the rampaging asura brothers Sunda and Upasunda, Urvashi, who attempted to seduce the hero Arjuna. A story type or theme appearing over and over again in the Mahabharata is that of an Apsara sent to distract a sage or spiritual master from his ascetic practices. One story embodying this theme is that recounted by the epic heroine Shakuntala to explain her own parentage. Once upon a time, the sage Viswamitra generated such intense energy by means of his asceticism that Indra himself became fearful. Deciding that the sage would have to be distracted from his penances, he sent the apsara Menaka to work her charms. Menaka trembled at the thought of angering such a powerful ascetic; as she approached Viswamitra, the wind god Vayu tore away her garments. Seeing her thus disrobed, the sage abandoned himself to lust. Nymph and sage engaged in sex for some time; as a consequence, Menaka gave birth to a daughter.
That daughter was the narrator of the story. Natya Shastra, the principal work of dramatic theory for Sanskrit drama, lists the following apsaras: Manjukesi, Misrakesi, Saudamini, Devasena, Sudati, Vigagdha, Budha, Santati, Sumukhi, Arjuni, Kerala, Nanda, Supuskala and Kalabha. Apsaras represent an important motif in the stone bas-reliefs of the Angkorian temples in Cambodia, however all female images are not considered to be apsaras. In harmony with the Indian association of dance with apsaras, Khmer female figures that are dancing or are poised to dance are considered apsaras; the bas-reliefs of Angkorian temples has become an inspiration of Khmer classical dance. An indigenous ballet-like performance art of Cambodia, is frequent