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Teen Murti Chowk renamed after Israeli city Haifa

The iconic Teen Murti Chowk in central New Delhi was renamed as Teen Murti-Haifa after Israeli City Haifa in solemn ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.

The idea of renaming Teen Murti road and chowk after Haifa was proposed in New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) council meeting during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July 2017. This year marks the centenary year of Battle for Haifa. The renaming of the iconic war memorial is aimed at being symbolic gesture of India’s friendship with Israel.

Teen Murti Chowk

Teen Murti Chowk was named to mark role of the three cavalry regiments. The three bronze statues at Teen Murti represent Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers who were part of 15 Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade in British Indian Army. The brigade had carried out victorious assault on fortified city of Haifa also known as Battle for Haifa on September 23, 1918, during World War I.

There are various accounts of this heroic battle – all narrate valour with which lancers undertook assault on garrisoned city protected by joint force of Ottomans, Germany and Austria-Hungary. The liberation of Haifa cleared supply route for Allies (Britain, France and Italy) to city through sea. 44 Indian soldiers made ultimate sacrifice during liberation of the city in WW I.

Till date, 61 Cavalry celebrates September 23 as its Raising Day or “Haifa Day” to respect soldiers who lost their lives in battle and to mark end of 400 years of Turkish control over the city.


Ichthyosaur fossil discovered for first time in India

Geologists for the first time have discovered 152 million-year-old fossil of Ichthyosaur, an extinct marine reptile in in Kutch desert region of Gujarat. The specimen belongs to Ophthalmosauridae family of ichthyosaurs that lived in oceans between 165 and 90 million years ago.

The 5.5 m long fossil was found inside rocks from esozoic Era, which ran between 252 and 66 million years ago along with fossils of ammonites and squid-like belemnites. The detail examination fossil’s teeth suggested that it was top-tier predator in its ecosystem and ate animals.


Ichthyosaur (or fish- lizards in Greek) was large reptile that lived at same time as dinosaurs. They were often misidentified as swimming dinosaurs and they first appeared in early Triassic period. It was noted for its sharp, robust teeth. It became extinct before dinosaurs, dying out in early part of late Cretaceous period.

Significance of discovery

Until now many ichthyosaur fossils were found in North America and Europe and fossil record in Southern Hemisphere was mostly limited to South America and Australia. The discovery throws light on evolution and diversity of ichthyosaurs in Indo-Madagascan region of former Gondwanaland. It also shows India’s biological connectivity with other continents in Jurassic. It may also give information in marine connection between India and South America about 150 million years ago.

Earlier too, researchers had discovered evidence of ichthyosaurs from Ariyalur, Tamil Nadu in 2016 which belonged to prehistoric India, but these remnants were only fossils of teeth and part of vertebra. However, in Kutch, researchers reported finding of vertebral column, neural spines, ribs and part of snout.