Walking Fish! Meet The Mudskipper!

Ever heard of walking fish or fish that can walk on land or even fly? Nature can leave you spellbound with its extraordinarily miraculous creatures. Meet the mudskippers, a strange breed of fish that can swim in water, walk on land and fly in the air!

fish that can fly - mudskipper
Photo Credits:0095.info

 

Fish that walks on land – Mudskipper

gambian_mudskippers
By Bjørn Christian Tørrissen [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Mudskippers are amphibious fish meaning they live on land as well as in water. They have modified pectoral fins (in the upper part of their bodies) which they use as legs, to walk in shallow water and on land. They spend most of their time on land, returning to the water only to store water periodically in their gills. You can find these little creatures perched on mangrove roots. They can grow as long as 4 inches to 12 inches long.

Where are Mudskippers found?

They usually inhabit swampy land like mangroves and river estuaries. In India you can see these walking fish in the mangroves of Sunder bans. Mudskippers can also be seen in other places around the globe as in West Africa, Polynesian islands, Japanese coasts, Philippines and Australia.

Fish that can fly

Flying_fish_mudskipper
By Charles Lam from Hong Kong, China (I Can Fly) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Can you imagine fish flying? Well, Mudskippers can fly too! They can actually flip in the air up to a height of 2 feet using their muscular bodies.

These remarkable creatures even fight to defend their territories! A mudskipper calls its opponent for a duel by raising the fin on its back.

So how do they breathe?

Mudskippers breathe with their gills as normal fish do when in water. Before going on land, they have this marvelous ability to store water in their gill chambers. They can also breathe thru their moist skin as amphibians do.

Check out this exclusive documentary by Planet Doc on mudskippers. Kids will find it very interesting.

curry leaves for hair growth

5 Super Ways To Use Curry Leaves For Hair Growth!

Did you know that the humble curry leaves or kadi patta are power packed with nutrients that can give you thick, lustrous hair? It’s a pity that natural herbs as these are often underestimated. Luscious, dark green curry leaves are rich in essential nutrients that nurture your scalp and hair from the root to the tip.

Over the years, your hair loses its shine and healthy texture on account of various reasons ranging from heating tools, chemical hair treatments, prolonged exposure to the sun and lack of proper nutrition.

curry leaves for hair growth

photo credits: sue mah via cc by 2.0

Curry leaves can be applied externally to improve hair texture and cure dry scalp conditions. To encourage hair growth, you have to consume it daily besides using it for external application. These miraculous leaves encourage fresh hair growth besides reversing damage caused by heating tools, chemical hair treatments and exposure to sun.

How to use curry leaves for hair growth

Curry Leaves For your Scalp – External Application

Curry Leaves Hair Mask

For this hair mask, make a paste of 2 cups dark green, fresh curry leaves. Add 2 tablespoons of curd. Massage it into your hair and scalp. Leave this mask on your hair for 30 minutes. Cover your head with a shower cap. This mask will cure dry scalp conditions including dandruff. After 30 minutes, wash your hair with a mild shampoo and rinse with warm water. Rinsing with warm water ensures that no oily residues of curd remain in your hair.

Curry Leaves Hair Oil

Instead of preparing a hair mask every time, you can make some curry leaf oil every week, for regular use.

Take ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds and 2 cups of chopped fresh green curry leaves. Heat 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan. Before the oil reaches boiling point, turn the heat off. Add the fenugreek seeds and chopped curry leaves into the oil. Allow this to sit overnight. Strain and store this curry leaf hair oil in a bottle for everyday use.
Check out this herbal hair oil recipe that you can make at home using curry leaves, hibiscus and henna for maximum hair growth.

Curry Leaves For Hair Growth – Consume Internally

Don’t cringe at the thought of having to eat curry leaves! There are tastier ways of eating these leaves instead of simply chewing them raw. You can consume curry leaves using these tasty recipes!

Curry Leaves Chutney

You can make this simple curry leaf chutney to go with your afternoon meal of rice. It tastes just as good with chapattis.

For curry leaves chutney, you need:

Curry Leaves – 1 cup
Onion – 1
Garlic – 10 cloves
Tamarind – size of a small ball.
Red chillies – 2
Mustard seeds – ¼ teaspoon
Urad dal – ½ teaspoon
Salt to taste.

How to prepare

Sauté mustard seeds, urad dal, chopped onions, crushed garlic and curry leaves in two teaspoons of cooking oil, till the onions turn translucent. Add tamarind and salt. Allow this mix to cool. Grind to a fine paste and your healthy curry leaves chutney is ready.

Curry Leaves Dosa

This one is a super simple recipe. Make a paste of one cup fresh green curry leaves. Add this paste to ½ litre dosa/idli batter. Add salt to taste. You can make regular dosas as you normally do.

Curry Leaves Rice

For this nutritious rice recipe you will need:

Cooked Rice – 1 cup
Curry leaves – 2 cups
Garlic – 5 cloves
Hing (asafoetida) – a small pinch
Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
Red Chillies – 2
Urad dal – 1 teaspoon
Black pepper(whole) – ½ teaspoon
Fried chana dal – 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds – ¼ teaspoon
Cooking oil
Salt to taste.

How to prepare

Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a frying pan. Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and let them splutter. Add hang, crushed garlic cloves, urad dal, chana dal, black pepper, red chillies, coriander powder and sauté for a minute. Add curry leaves and tamarind. Grind this to a very fine paste.

Now heat 1 teaspoon of cooking oil or ghee in a pan. Add ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add a few more curry leaves. Add the paste that you made. Add cooked rice and mix well. This is a nutritious rice recipe for kids and grownups alike and works wonders for your hair.

Using curry leaves for hair growth is an age old tradition followed in South India. And I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t like these methods of using curry leaves. In fact, you can grow a curry leaf plant at home to have a continuous supply of fresh curry leaves. Do try this natural fertilizer for curry leaf plants.

Do let me know if you tried any of these methods, in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you!

Amazing Hanging Pillar Of Lepakshi Temple, India

The Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi, or the hanging pillar temple in India, is an exemplary work of ancient Indian architecture, Vijayanagara architectural style to be precise. Located approximately 120 km i.e. a 2 hour drive from Bangalore, Lepakshi is a small village in the Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh.

lepakshi hanging pillar
Photo Credits

Lepakshi Hanging Pillar

lepakshi-temple-hanging-pillar

Photo credits

This beautifully carved stone pillar hangs from the ceiling and reaches a few millimetres above the temple floor. Nobody has been able to find out how exactly the kings architects managed to suspend such an immensely heavy stone pillar from the ceiling. In fact, you can easily pass a cloth under this pillar, an act often shown by the local guides. During the British regime, a British engineer got his men to shift the pillar to find out the secret. Unfortunately, this caused the pillar to touch the floor at one corner besides altering the structure of the roof to some extent.

Lepakshi Temple Attractions

Monolithic Nandi

Lepakshi_nandi

Photo credits

Lepakshi is also home to the famed temple complex built by Vijayanagra kings way back in 1583. This temple is built on a rocky hillock called Kurma Sailam or tortoise hill. The first marvel you encounter is a colossal Nandi located almost a mile before the temple. It is 27 feet in width and 15 feet in height and rumoured to be the largest monolithic Nandi in India.

Ganesha and Naga

lepakshi_ganesha

lepakshi_naga
Photo credits

The temple also features a huge structure of Lord Ganesha carved in stone, leaning against a rock. Near this is a huge Naga with seven hoods and three coils, towering over a black Shivalingam, protecting it.

Fresco Paintings

fresco at lepakshi temple

Lepakshi Temple Ceiling” by Pp391Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

You get to see some intricate and beautiful specimens of fresco paintings on the ceiling just before the main sanctum sanctorum. The 24 feet by 14 feet fresco of Veerabhadra, the main deity of this temple, is spectacular. The famed Shiva Parvati Kalyanam (wedding) is also depicted here. These frescoes have been painted using natural shades of green, brown, white, black and ochre on a lime treated surface.

Natya Mandapam and Kalyana Mandapam

shiva parvati kalyanamandapam at lepakshi temple
Photo credits

Other eye catching attractions are the Natya Mandapam with 100 pillars and an unfinished
Kalyana Mandapam with intricately carved stone pillars. The ancient artisans who sculpted these pillars have given attention to detail resulting in a spectacular display of ancient mythology and architectural designs in this structure.

Lepakshi temple is a must visit site on your itinerary if you happen to be near Bangalore or Anantpur. Ancient Indian Architecture has given birth to many such marvellous structures in India. Visit this site on ancient Indian monuments for more fresco paintings and inscriptions at Lepakshi .

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