General relativity predicts that space-time comes to an end and physics comes to a halt at the big-bang. Recent developments in loop quantum cosmology have shown that these predictions cannot be trusted. Quantum geometry effects can resolve singularities, thereby opening new vistas. Examples are: The big bang is replaced by a quantum bounce; the 'horizon problem' disappears; immediately after the big bounce, there is a super-inflationary phase with its own phenomenological ramifications; and, in presence of a standard inflation potential, initial conditions are naturally set for a long, slow roll inflation independently of what happens in the pre-big bang branch. As in my talk at the conference, I will first discuss the foundational issues and then the implications of the new Planck scale physics near the Big Bang.