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Entries about landscapes

AMAR MAHAL MUSEUM & LIBRARY JAMMU, JAMMU AND KASHMIR

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Hari Singh (September 1895 – 26 April 1961) was the last ruling Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. He was married four times. With his fourth wife, Maharani Tara Devi (1910–1967), he had one son, Yuvraj (Crown Prince) Karan Singh. Following the death of his uncle Pratap Singh in 1925, Hari Singh ascended the throne of Jammu and Kashmir.
Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession on 26 October 1947, joining the whole of his princely state (including Jammu, Kashmir, Northern Areas, Ladakh, Trans-Karakoram Tract and Aksai Chin) to the Dominion of India. These events triggered the first Indo-Pakistan War.
Pressure from Nehru and Sardar Patel eventually compelled Hari Singh to appoint his son and heir, Yuvraj (Crown Prince) Karan Singh, as Regent of Jammu and Kashmir in 1949, although he remained titular Maharaja of the state until 1952, when the monarchy was abolished. He was also forced to appoint Sheikh Abdullah as prime minister of Kashmir. He had a contentious relationship with both the Congress Leaders and, at the time, their most favored and popular politician in the area, Sheikh Abdullah. Karan Singh was appointed 'Sadr-e-Riyasat' ('President of the Province') in 1952 and Governor of the State in 1964.

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Amar Mahal is situated on the right bank of the Tawi River in Jammu. Jammu, once a princely city, is also famous for forts, palaces and temples. The Sivalik Hills or ranges to the north of the Mahal, on the left bank of the river, provide a grand view, with the Tawi River flowing in between, draining the valley. It is well located adjoining the heritage hotel known as the Hari Niwas Palace Hotel, in the heart of the city, on the road to Kashmir.

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History

Amar Mahal Palace in Jammu is a 19th century extravagance. This structure was built for Raja Amar Singh who was a Dogra king. The palatial structure differentiates itself from other palaces constructed at Jammu by Dogra kings. It stands amidst lush green patches and meadow lands where a large area has been utilised for external beautification of the palace.
Amar Mahal was the last residence of the Dogra Kings, Suryavanshi Rajputs and later was residence to Maharani Tara Devi, wife of late Raja Hari Singh. You’ll see rows of royal family portraits displayed and distributed here in hierarchy.

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This palace lies on banks of Tawi River. On the other side is a magnificent Shivalik range, which completes a panoramic view in front. Tawi River flows through the valley and sounds of this river keep soothing your ears.

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Eventually, this place was handed over to Hari Tara Charitable Trust. They turned it into a museum that houses Dogra-Pahari paintings.

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Amar Mahal was sketched by a French architect in the year 1862 but it was not executed till 1890’s. After the death of Maharani Tara Devi in 1967, her son Dr. Karan Singh and his wife Mrs. Yasho Rajya Lakshmi converted this palace for use as a museum. The museum was inaugurated on April 13, 1975 by then prime minister of India Mrs Indira Gandhi. The objective of establishing this museum was to preserve some of the rarest forms of art and literature and they collaborated with other fine arts institutions for the promotion of Indian art and culture. They transferred this regal property to a trust and named it as Hari Tara charitable trust in honour of his parents.

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Architecture

The palace built in red sandstone with red bricks is in a picturesque environment on a hillock overlooking the Tawi river valley. Built in the European castle style, the palace has sloping roofs with turrets and tall towers.When built during the reign of Raja Amar Singh, it was the tallest building in Jammu. The imposing building has long passages on three sides, which are covered by sloping corrugated tin roofs. The passages are supported on columns with wooden framework. The first floor of the palace building has French windows with connected balcony. The top floor has a bay window. The windows also depict triangular projections in classical Greek architectural style, which are fitted over ornate false columns.

Museum
In 1975 this building was converted into a museum and library housing the golden throne, the royal portraits of the Dogra rulers, a collection of narrative paintings in the Kangra miniature style of the late 18th century and a substantial number of books and contemporary art from the personal collection of Dr. Karan Singh.
Amar Mahal Museum has art galleries displaying Indian art and work of Indian artists in different fields. One of the grandest attractions is Dogra Kings Gold Sofa weighing 120 kg.

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These galleries have paintings made from renowned artists as well as dwelling amateur artists. The attraction in paintings include fascinating paintings made by M.F hussain, J. Swaminathan, G.R Santosh, Bikash Battacharyagee, Laxmi Pani and may more. Paintings here include Dogra and Pahari, paintings from 18th century in Jammu and miniature paintings of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh. There are different galleries named Nala Damayanti, Dasha Avatar Gallery and Contemporary Art Gallery.

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Nala Damyanti Gallery has a collection of almost 47 paintings from 18th century made Kangra ki Kalam, which narrates the love story of Nala and Damayanti and ends with their wedding Damayanti Swaymavar.
Dashvatar Gallery has illustrations made in oil paintings depicting stories of Lord Vishnu. A pictogram here is the reincarnation of lord Vishnu or Vishnu Puran.
Contemporary Art Gallery has a modern collection of paintings made by prominent contemporary Indian artists.

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There is also an extensive library at Amar Mahal with books on subjects such as literature, science, politics, philosophy and more. Another attraction is the suite of Maharani Tara Devi where her clothes, bedspreads and Victorian style bathroom can be viewed.
This museum now fulfills its objectives by arranging tours, reading sessions, lectures and hobby classes. There are student exchange programs, workshops, and other hobby activities in the museum gallery.

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Posted by anuj1975 09:32 Archived in India Tagged landscapes buildings skylines people sky places india fort palace city summer beautiful tourism royal pradesh kashmir romance vaishno katra trikuta jammu chenab Comments (0)

Fauna and Flora of Rajasthan....

Rajasthan has been blessed with varied flora and fauna even when majority of its area is desert. The forest cover is also quite limited, despite these adversities, some unique flora and fauna can be witnessed.

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The flora and fauna of Rajasthan supports all kinds of animal species and forests.The flora and fauna of Rajasthan will completely spellbound the tourists.

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Nilgai - Blue Bull of India:

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Sometimes referred to as the "blue bull" (or horse), it is the largest of all Asian antelopes and is one of the most commonly seen wild animals in Rajasthan. The nilgai are very robust animals with bodies similar to horses, but have much smaller heads and small horns (only on the males), leading many to compare them to a cross between a horse and a goat. Females are a lighter brown color and slightly less robustly built. Both males and females have a short bristly mane.

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Demoiselle crane:

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The demoiselle crane is a species found in central Eurasia, ranging from the Black Sea to Mongolia and North Eastern China.These cranes are migratory birds. Birds from western Eurasia will spend the winter in Africa whilst the birds from Asia, Mongolia and China will spend the winter in the Indian subcontinent. The bird is symbolically significant in the culture of North India, where it is known as the koonj.

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These cranes make one of the toughest migrations in the world by crossing the Himalayas and have literally changed the landscape of Khichan near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. The once obscure village has now become one of the most favoured bird-watching vacation hotspots in India.

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The Chinkara:

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The chinkara, also known as the Indian gazelle, is a gazelle species native to Iran, Pakistan and India. It has a reddish-buff summer coat with smooth, glossy fur. In winter, the white belly and throat fur is in greater contrast. The sides of the face have dark chestnut stripes from the corner of the eye to the muzzle, bordered by white stripes.

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Posted by anuj1975 09:12 Archived in India Tagged landscapes people animals birds sky places fauna india beautiful bhavan flora jodhpur rajasthan crane migration chinkara neelgai demosille khichan Comments (0)

Shri Guru Jambheshwar Bhagwan Mandir ,Jajiwal Dhora , Banar

Shree Guru Jambheshwar Bhagwan also known as Jambho ji, was the founder of the Bishnoi sect. He preached the worship of Hari (a name for Lord Vishnu). He taught that God is a divine power that is everywhere. He also taught to protect plants and animals as they are important in order to peacefully coexist with nature.

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Jambho ji was a great visionary, who had foreseen the consequences of man’s actions destroying nature for economic development. He saw the need for environmental protection and weaved his principles into religious commandments so that people can internalise those principals easily.

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Bishnoi translates as Twenty-niners and revolves around 29 commandments. Out of these 29 commandments, 8 prescribe to preserve biodiversity and encourage good animal husbandry. Seven commandments provide directions for healthy social behaviour. Ten commandments are directed towards personal hygiene and maintaining basic good health. The other four commandments provide guidelines for worshipping God daily.

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29 Rules or commandments of Bishnoi community:

1. To observe segregation of the mother and newborn for 30 days after delivery . To prevent infection to the mother and the baby during a stage when both are highly susceptible to outside infections. Also to provide forced rest to the woman when she is very weak
2. To keep woman away from all activities for 5 days during her menstrual periods .To provide compulsory rest to the woman.
3. To take early morning bath for daily personal hygiene.
4. To maintain both external and internal cleanliness and remaining content .Internal cleanliness means good intentions, humble behavior, character without envious feelings, etc.
5. To meditate twice a day i.e. morning and evening .

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6. To sing the Lord Vishnu’s glory and reciting His virtues every evening.
7. To offer daily oblation to the holy fire with a heart filled with feelings of welfare, love and devotion .Daily (preferably morning) oblations with:
Feelings of welfare of all living being
Love for nature and whole world
Devotion to the Lord
8. Use filtered water, milk and carefully cleaned fuel/ firewood .To make the water and milk bacteria free! In case of firewood to see that some insects etc. do not get burned with the fuel and pollute the environment.
9. Filter your speech! Think before you speak.
10. To be forgiving in nature. Forgiveness is a parameter of greatness. This one virtue could uplift a normal person to the standards of great souls of the world. Guru said further, if somebody come to you shouting, become cool like water!

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11. To be compassionate. Compassion helps in purifying the heart..
12. Not to steal trying to own someone else’s things through cheating, or stealing is theft. Theft is the dirt of the character. It pinches the soul.
13. Not to revile/ condemn someone .Reviling means insulting stealthily or disparaging behind the back.
14. Not to tell lies. A liar can never attain respect of others. It is insult to the gift of speech..
15. Not to indulge in opprobrium .One should not indulge in any unnecessary/ wasteful debates. All such discussions/ deliberations, which are anti-social, anti-human fall under this category.
16. To observe fast and meditate on no-moon night (and the same day i.e. Amavsya) To provide rest to the body and its internal systems.
17. To recite the holy name of Lord Vishnu.
18. To be compassionate towards all living beings.
19. Not to fell green trees.
20. To kill the non-perishables! To overcome the non-perishable enemies of human beings – lust, anger, envy, greed and attachment.

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21. To partake food cooked by self or other religious person or one who is pure by heart and work.
22. To provide a common shelter (Thhat) for goat/sheep to avoid them being slaughtered in abattoirs .
23. Not to have bulls castrated .In rural India, bulls are castrated before they are used as bullocks for agricultural purposes.
24. Not to partake of opium, or any product made out of opium.
25. Not to use tobacco and its products.

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26. Not to partake of cannabis.
27. Not to drink liquor.
28. Not to eat meat or non-vegetarian dishes .The underlying rationale of this commandment are two pronged .To protect the animals/birds from being slaughtered by creating a market barrier! To protect the man, the best creation of the nature, from stooping to such low standards as eating meat of dead animals/birds. Scientifically also the structure of man’s teeth, jaws etc. is of not a carnivorous animal but is that of a herbivorous creature.
29. Not to use blue-coloured clothes In ancient India, the blue colour used to be obtained from indigo. Thus it is possible that the Guru wanted to stop destruction of this wild shrub or promote its cultivation in lieu of other life supporting crops.

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Posted by anuj1975 08:49 Archived in India Tagged landscapes people animals birds sky places india city dunes jodhpur rajasthan Comments (0)

Hemis Monastery..the last post !!

Situated around 45 km south of Leh, the Hemis Monastery is the most important monastery belonging to the Drupka order. The history of the monastery states that it was founded by Stagsang Raspa Nawang Gyatso in 1630.

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Inside
The courtyard is entered from the northeast side. The stone steps in the right of the main courtyard leads upto two huge temples - the Tshogs-khang and the Dukhang The walls are adorned with paintings of Sakyamuni or the Historical Buddha. Paintings of other Buddha figures and Tantric deities like Hevajra and Samvara are also seen on the walls of the Du-khang.

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Festivals
An annual festival to celebrate the victory of Guru Padmasmbhava over the evil forces marks the highlight of the monastery. The festival, known as the Hemis festival, is celebrated on the tenth and eleventh day of fifth Tibetan month as the birthday of Padmasambhava, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. During the festival, masked dances are performed with themes that invariably show a fight against evil and infidel and consequent win of good and Buddhism.

Once every twelve year, a special attractions draws Buddhist pilgrims to the monastery - the unfurling of the giant thanka which is decorated with pearls and other precious stones.

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Posted by anuj1975 09:05 Archived in India Tagged landscapes lakes art buildings india fort city la buddha monastery hemis ladakh stupa leh budhhism khardungla Comments (0)

The Beautiful Leh..Part X...Thiksey Monastery or Gompa

Thiksay Gompa or Thiksay Monastery is a gompa (monastery) affiliated with the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism. It is located on top of a hill in Thiksey village, approximately 19 kilometres east of Leh in Ladakh, India. It is noted for its resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet and is the largest gompa in central Ladakh, notably containing a separate set of buildings for female renunciates that has been the source of significant recent building and reorganisation.

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The monastery is located at an altitude of 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) in the Indus Valley. It is a twelve-story complex and houses many items of Buddhist art such as stupas, statues, thangkas, wall paintings and swords. One of the main points of interest is the MaitreyaTemple installed to commemorate the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to this monastery in 1970; it contains a 15 metres (49 ft) high statue of Maitreya, the largest such statue in Ladakh, covering two stories of the building.

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Inside
Steps on the right side in the main courtyard leads to the new temple that houses a huge statue of Buddha. The statue was built at the behest of His Highness, the Holy Dalai Lama, when he visited the monastery in 1980. The staue, 15 m tall, is the largest Buddha figure in the Ladakh and took around four years to build. Local craftsmen used clay and gold paint to make this image of Maitreya Buddha or the Future Buddha. Directly above this temple, there is a small room where lamas impart education to local boys. Some of these boys are later chosen to become lama

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Coming back to the main courtyard, the steps directly across the new temple will lead upto a wall with murals of two Tibetan calander with Wheel of Life. To the right of this wall is the main prayer room consisting of many handwritten and painted books. A small room right behind the main prayer room houses a huge image of Shakyamuni (the historical Buddha). Two smaller image of Bodhisattava are placed on its side. To the left side is the eleven headed Avalokitesvara. The Lamokhang temple on the rooftop is the place where only males are allowed to enter. The Thiksey library, a repository of numerous volumes, including Kangyur and Stangyur, is also on the top. Currently, the monastery, home to around 80 monks, is the main monastery for atleast ten other significant monasteries of Ladakh. Prominent amongst these are Diskit, Spituk, Likir, and Stok.

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Festival
The annual festival of Thiksey is celebrated in the 9th month of the Tibetan Buddhist calendar. The festival is marked by the famous as well as sacred mask dance or Chham.

VIEW FROM THE AIR !!

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Posted by anuj1975 07:32 Archived in India Tagged landscapes mountains churches buildings temples places india beautiful hill buddha monastery tourism ladakh leh gompa budhhism thiksey thikshay Comments (0)

The Beautiful Leh..Part XI....CITY !!

Leh city , Leh Palace , Shanti Stupa

Leh , was the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh, now the Leh district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Leh district. The town is dominated by the ruined Leh Palace, the former mansion of the royal family of Ladakh, built in the same style and about the same time as the Potala Palace-the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India, during the 1959 Tibetan uprising. Leh is at an altitude of 3524 metres (11,562 ft), and connects via National Highway 1D to Srinagar in the southwest and to Manali in the south via the Leh-Manali Highway.

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Leh Palace is a former royal palace overlooking the Ladakhi Himalayan town of Leh. Modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, the palace was built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 17th century. The palace is open to the public and the roof provides panoramic views of Leh and the surrounding areas. The mountain of Stok Kangri in the Zanskar mountain range is visible across the Indus valley to the south, with the Ladakh mountain range rising behind the palace to the north.The Palace Museum holds a rich collection of jewellery, ornaments, ceremonial dresses and crowns. Chinese thangka or sooth paintings which are more than 450 years old, with intricate designs, retain bright and pleasing colours derived from crushed and powdered gems and stones.

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Shanti Stupa is a Buddhist white-domed stupa on a hilltop in Chanspa, Leh district, Ladakh, in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was built in 1991 by Japanese Buddhist Bhikshu, Gyomyo Nakamura and part of the Peace Pagoda mission. The Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama. The stupa has become a tourist attraction not only due to its religious significance but also due to its location which provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

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Posted by anuj1975 07:28 Archived in India Tagged landscapes sunsets_and_sunrises mountains buildings people children sky night places india fort city summer beautiful hill buddha tourism ladakh stupa leh shanti budhhism Comments (0)

The Beautiful Leh..Part X....Summers....

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Posted by anuj1975 06:49 Archived in India Tagged landscapes mountains buildings skylines people birds sky night places india world summer beautiful hill buddha ladakh leh budhhism Comments (0)

The Beautiful Leh..Part IX....Khardung La "Pass"

Khardung La

Khardung Pass, la means pass in Tibetan is a high mountain pass located in the Ladakh region of the India. The elevation of Khardung La is 5,359 m (17,582 ft) and it is the world's highest motorable pass.

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The pass on the Ladakh Range lies north of Leh and is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys. The Siachen Glacier lies part way up the latter valley. Built in 1976, it was opened to public motor vehicles in 1988 and has since seen many automobile, motorbike and mountain biking expeditions. Maintained by the Border Roads Organisation, the pass is strategically important to India as it is used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier.

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Posted by anuj1975 06:45 Archived in India Tagged me landscapes mountains skylines sky snow places india world beautiful hill la buddha road tourism pass ladakh leh budhhism khardungla highec Comments (1)

The Beautiful Leh..Part VIII..Confluence of Indus & Zanskar

And Magnetic Hill....

The confluence of the Zanskar River and the Indus is 3 km southeast of Nimmu village in Ladakh.This place is the meeting point of two rivers Indus & Zanskar. This place is famous for water activities....

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Magnet Hill is a so-called "gravity hill" located near Leh in Ladakh, India.The “magnet Hill” is located on the Leh-Kargil-Srinagar national highway, about 30 km from Leh, at a height of 11,000 feet above sea level. The magnetic hill has become a popular stop for domestic tourists on car journeys..

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Posted by anuj1975 05:43 Archived in India Tagged me landscapes mountains lakes sky snow night places india hill buddha road tourism ladakh leh magnetic zanskar kargil budhhism indus Comments (0)

The Beautiful Leh..Part VII..Pangong Tso Lake....

Pangong Tso , Tibetan for "long, narrow, enchanted lake", also referred to as Pangong Lake, is a lake in the Himalayas situated at a height of about 4,350 m (14,270 ft). It is 134 km (83 mi) long and extends from India to Tibet. Approximately 60% of the length of the lake lies in Tibet. The lake is 5 km (3.1 mi) wide at its broadest point. All together it covers 604 km. During winter the lake freezes completely, despite being saline water. It is not part of Indus river basin area and geographically a separate land locked river basin.
The brackish water of the lake has very low micro-vegetation. Guides report that there are no fish or other aquatic life in the lake, except for some small crustaceans. On the other hand, visitors see numerous ducks and gulls over and on the lake surface. There are some species of scrub and perennial herbs that grow in the marshes around the lake.

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Posted by anuj1975 07:26 Archived in India Tagged me landscapes sunsets_and_sunrises mountains lakes skylines animals sky snow places india beautiful la buddha road tourism ladakh leh kargil budhhism pangong tso Comments (0)

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