Thursday, August 13, 2015

Some great quotes about India that will make us proud !



We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made!"
Albert Einstein


"If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India!"
French scholar Romaine Rolland


"India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most astrictive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only!"
Mark Twain


"So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked."
Mark Twain


"She (India) has left indelible imprints on one fourth of the human race in the course of a long succession of centuries. She has the right to reclaim ... her place amongst the great nations summarizing and symbolizing the spirit of humanity. From Persia to the Chinese sea, from the icy regions of Siberia to Islands of Java and Borneo, India has propagated her beliefs, her tales, and her civilization!"
Sylvia Levi


"Civilizations have arisen in other parts of the world. In ancient and modern times, wonderful ideas have been carried forward from one race to another...But mark you, my friends, it has been always with the blast of war trumpets and the march of embattled cohorts. Each idea had to be soaked in a deluge of blood..... Each word of power had to be followed by the groans of millions, by the wails of orphans, by the tears of widows. This, many other nations have taught; but India for thousands of years peacefully existed. Here activity prevailed when even Greece did not exist... Even earlier, when history has no record, and tradition dares not peer into the gloom of that intense past, even from until now, ideas after ideas have marched out from her, but every word has been spoken with a blessing behind it and peace before it. We, of all nations of the world, have never been a conquering race, and that blessing is on our head, and therefore we live....!"
Swami Vivekananda, Great Indian Philosopher


"If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India"
Max Mueller


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Traveler's Guide to "Shopping in Chandni Chowk", Old Delhi


Chandni Chowk's speciality is the variety of its markets and their Indian-ness in everything starting from authentic Indian food, delicacies and sweets of more than 1,000 kinds, to sarees with chikan and zari work. The narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk area has many wholesale markets lined with shops selling sarees sourced from all over the country. However, this part of Delhi is much more congested than the rest of the city, although it is a must visit place to experience the real incredible India. You should well consider the pros and cons of shopping in Chandni Chowk before you indulge in this retail experience that the oldest market of Delhi offers.


Pros (advantages) of Shopping in Chandni Chowk
  • Chandni Chowk is one of the oldest bazaar existing in India today. The attraction here is that you can find almost anything in a small confine. If at one corner you find painting materials at the next turn you'll find kurtas and sarees. Some shops have continued for almost a century, continuously passing down from one generation to another. And people here have tried to maintain the originality.
  • It is quite an experience to shop here. It's worth coming for the spectacle as much as the retail therapy.
  • Chandni Chowk as a matter of fact is a vast area divided into several markets, each specializing in different items. The Kinari Bazaar of Chandni Chowk is where beautiful Indian traditional dresses are found.
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Cons of Shopping in Chandni Chowk
  •   Visit this market only if you have lots of time. If you like something, do not buy it at one go. Make sure to compare and bargain with the shopkeepers. Only bargaining can fetch you a very good deal or else they will try to trick you. It is best to be accompanied by a local in this case, since they can communicate better with the shopkeepers in the local language i.e in hindi and that fetch you a good stuff.
  •   Being one of the oldest and busiest markets of Delhi, this part of the city is very congested with traffic and the narrow lanes are all crammed with shops. Though the alleys are too narrow for comfort, there are hardly any blind ends. The whole place is interconnected by interesting webs of small alleys. There are many chances that one might get lost inside the alleys.It is always better if you manage to get yourself accompanied by any of your local friend staying in Delhi, so that you don’t get lost.
  •   Beware of pickpockets, touts and duplicate products.
  •   Be prepared for a bit of cultural shock or surprise once you are in Old Delhi. The whole area there looks like a live show which is incredibly Indian.



Saturday, July 18, 2015

Insider Tips !!

Kota Sarees of Bundi, Rajasthan -  Kota saris are well known all over India for their typical designs and most importantly their weightlessness! Light and ephemeral, you can see them being made in Khaithoon, a village of weavers, 22 km from Kota.  They normally cost a few hundred rupees, perhaps a little more if the gold border has used real zari.


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 Karni Mata Temple - It is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Karni Mata at Deshnoke, 30km from Bikaner, in Rajasthan. It is also known as the Temple of Rats.
The temple is famous for the approximately 20,000 black rats that live, and are revered in, the temple. These holy rats are called kabbas, and many people travel great distances to pay their respects. The temple draws visitors from across the country for blessings, as well as curious tourists from around the world.

The story behind rats at the temple is different from that of the legend according to some local folklore. According to this version, a 20,000 strong army deserted a nearby battle and came running to Deshnoke. Upon learning of the sin of desertion, punishable by death, Karni Mata spared their lives but turned them into rats, and offered the temple as a future place to stay. The army of soldiers expressed their gratitude and promised to serve Karni Mata evermore.
Eating food that has been nibbled on by the rats is considered to be a "high honor". If one of them is killed, it must be replaced with one made of solid gold.


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Badami, Karnataka - Badami was the regal capital of the Badami Chalukyas from 540 to 757 AD. It is famous for rock cut and other structural temples. It is located in a ravine at the foot of a rugged, red sandstone outcrop that surrounds Agastya lake. The lake is named after one of the Saptarishis, Agasthya. Legend says that the name Badami has origin in the Vatapi legend of Ramayana relating to Sage Agastya.
There were two demon siblings Vatapi and Ilvala. They used to kill all mendicants by tricking them in a peculiar way. The elder Ilvala would turn Vatapi into a ram and would offer its meat to the guest. As soon as the person ate the meat, Ilvala would call out the name of Vatapi. As he had a boon that whomsoever Ilvala calls would return from even the netherland,[citation needed] Vatapi would emerge ripping through the body of the person, thus killing him. Their trick worked until Sage Agastya countered them by digesting Vatapi before Ilvala could call for him, thus ending the life of Vatapi at the hands of Ilvala. Two of the hills in Badami represent the demons Vatapi and Ilvala.
It is believed that the water of the Agastya Lake has healing powers and has the power to cure leprosy.


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 Agra: One of the most interesting things to see in Agra is local artisans doing marble inlay work. Make sure your tour manager sets aside some time for this activity!

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Aurangabad: Himroo is a fabric made of silk and cotton, which is grown locally in Aurangabad. Himroo was brought to Aurangabad in the reign of Mohammad Tughlaq, when he had shifted his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, Aurangabad. The word himroo originated from Persian word Hum-ruh which means ‘similar’. Himroo is a replication of Kum-khwab, which was woven with pure golden and silver threads in olden days, and was meant for the royal families. Himroo uses Persian designs, and is very characteristic and distinctive in appearance. Himroo from Aurangabad is in demand for its unique style and design. Some historians believe that Himroo was the innovation was local craftsmen with very little Persian influence.
The Himroo shawls and saris can be found in many showrooms around the market area of Aurangabad. Be sure to get one.


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Friday, July 17, 2015

An Introduction to Indian History


"India is the cradle of human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most astrictive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only! "
The Indus valley civilization saw its genesis in the holy land now known as India around 2500 BC. The people inhabiting the Indus River valley were thought to be Dravidians, whose descendants later migrated to the south of India. The deterioration of this civilization that developed a culture based on commerce and sustained by agricultural trade can be attributed to ecological changes. The second millennium BC was witness to the migration of the bucolic Aryan tribes from the North West frontier into the sub continent. These tribes gradually merged with their antecedent cultures to give birth to a new milieu.

The Aryan tribes soon started penetrating the east, flourishing along the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers. By 500 BC, the whole of northern India was a civilized land where people had knowledge of iron implements and worked as labor, voluntarily or otherwise. The early political map of India comprised of copious independent states with fluid boundaries, with increasing population and abundance of wealth fueling disputes over these boundaries.
Unified under the famous Gupta Dynasty, the north of India touched the skies as far as administration and the Hindu religion were concerned. Little wonder then, that it is considered to be India’s golden age. By 600 BC, approximately sixteen dynasties ruled the north Indian plains spanning the modern day Afghanistan to Bangladesh. Some of the most powerful of them were the dynasties ruling the kingdoms of Magadha, Kosla, Kuru and Gandhara.
Known to be the land of epics and legends, two of the world’s greatest epics find their birth in Indian settings - the Ramayana, depicting the exploits of lord Ram, and the Mahabharta detailing the war between Kauravas and Pandavas, both descendants of King Bharat. Ramayana traces lord Ram’s journey from exile to the rescue of his wife Sita from the demonic clutches of Ravana with the help of his simian companions. Singing the virtues of Dharma(duty), the Gita, one of the most priced scriptures in Indian Mythology, is the advice given by Shri Krishna to the grief laden Arjun, who is terrified at the thought of killing his kin, on the battle ground.
Mahatma Gandhi revived these virtues again, breathing new life in them, during India’s freedom struggle against British Colonialism. An ardent believer in communal harmony, he dreamt of a land where all religions would be the threads to form a rich social fabric.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Kerala Backwaters

Life is synonymous to sailing on the labyrinth of backwaters! Not just the ripples of emerald green and mud grey hues, the backwaters in Kerala are life to the locals who earn their living on the water. The unusual ecosystem of nature where the confluence of freshwaters from rivers with sea waters of Arabian Sea creates a stretch of 900 km of backwaters is only seen in coastal regions Kerala — the god’s own country. Kerala’s this coastal region constitutes a natural network of more than forty rivers, estuaries, lake and canals, which also link the quay-side towns by the means of backwaters. Pleasances to the eyes, the backwaters are embedded into the lifestyle of the local dwellers whose sole occupation thrives on the backwater produces of paddy, toddy, coconut, kettuvollam (the local houseboats of Kerala). The Kerala backwaters are naturally interpenetrated with oodles of freshness and a muckle of tiny aquatic species like mudskippers, crabs, frogs, water birds, terns, kingfishers, cormorants, otters and turtles.

Renowned for its palm-fringed shorelines and green charm, the Kerala backwaters have often caught the fancy of poets and writers and have been captured on the celluloid screens countless times. Tall coconut trees silhouetting the banks of waterways against the setting sun is less than described beauty of the backwaters, the same inland waterway that garbs up in mesmerising green hues only to be etched in the minds of travellers. During the past few years, backwaters have seen a raise with honeymooners flocking to these destinations and so has successfully seeped into wayfarer’s travelogues.

Backwater Destinations

>>Kottayam Backwaters

The land of lakes, latex and letters, Kottayam greedily annexes those exotic backwater destinations. Amaranthine memories await you here while you sail along the cruise of lifetime. Take a trip to legendary Punnamada Lake that leaves you enchanted with the most beautiful moments of your life. There are much more opportunities that allow you to indulge in sporting activities like angling or fishing or exchange smiles with the toddy tapers at work.

>>Alleppey backwaters

A coastal township near Arabian Sea is a poetic introduction to Alleppey Backwaters. Spend one night at on the house boat and carry home handful of memories. You can visit the 400 year old Champakkulam church, one of the 7 churches established by St. Thomas. The Chavara Bhavan, located 6 km from Alleppey, is another interesting place to visit.

>>Thottappallu Backwaters

As long as you haven`t visited the Thottappally Backwater you have skipped major beauty piece meal in God`s Own Country. As you sail along you can see the typical wooden houses lined near the bank and visit the "Chavara Bhavan" the ancestral home of the blessed "Kuriakose Elias Chavara". Located 6 km from Alleppey, this house has preserved intact a historically important 250 year old beacon of light, in its original and primitive form.

>>Kumarakom Backwaters

Try creating schism in the clusters of island held together at Kumarakom backwaters. It appears as if Kumarakom is a cluster of islands, but in truth is just one Island formed due to the Backwaters. Embark on the houseboat cruise from Alleppey to Kumarakom and collect many amazing sight of women fishing with their toes for the Karimeen fish and collecting them in the terracotta pots. As you sail through the Astamudi Lake you are distracted by the screech sound of the both resident and migratory birds. And that is the most beautiful experience that you will ever have.

>>Alumkadavu Backwaters

There is no time to breathe in Kerala because if you do that you would be missing some panoramic views. The experience of going on a two nights cruise from Alleppey to Alumkadavu is awaiting you at Alumkadavu Backwaters. The famous Chinese Fishing nets can be seen at Kayamkulam Pozhy as you sail along the Alumkadavu Lake. Enjoy a quiet time trying your hand in Angling, where you will be provided with rods on request.

>>Kindangra Backwaters

As soon as you begin your journey on the house boat to Alleppey, the Kidangara happens to be your first stoppage on the flowing water. Spend the night on the house boats just to wake up in paradise by the sound of sweet twittering of the birds. It`s beautiful in the real sense.

>>Kasargod

Kasargod, North Kerala, is a beautiful destination of the backwaters. The place offers ample of opportunities for backwater cruises. At Kasargod two important backwater cruises destinations are Chandragiri and Valiyaparamba. Chandragiri, 4 km from Kasargod, sprawls around Chandragiri Fort and the cruise for here begins at Chandragiri Bridge. Valiyaparamba is another scenic stretch of backwater with slice of green ambiance and avian guests.

>>Kozhikode

Settled magnanimously by the side of Kerala’s backwater, Kozhikode is blessed with endless attractions, all which can be toured on the houseboats Kozhikode Beach, Pazhassirajah Museum, Art Gallery, Beypore, Kappad Beach and Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary are some of the Kozhikode’s attractions.

>>Kuttanad

Myriads of, big and small, waterway criss-cross the Kuttanad region, famous for fields of cassava, banana, yam et al, and inundate the low-lying regions near by. Kuttanad can be aptly described as ideal place for backwater freaks, a place where endless water bodies join to make it a haven among its tourers. Along the houseboats one is trailed by flocks of ducks, coir workers processing coir look up from their tasks and wave as you pass by, otters and water birds can be seen on the edges of the waterways, and the sound of rippling water is a soothing lullaby as you sail along on a houseboat through the backwaters of Kuttanad.

>>Kollam

Kerala’s ancient port and trade route, Kollam is the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala. This ancient trade city of Kerala spans splendiferousl on the Asthamudi Lake. Backwaters in Kollam extend from Ashthamudi Lake to Alleppey. . The boat ride from Kollam to Alappuzha takes 8 hours and is a delightful ride, with lotuses and water lilies growing in the water, water birds calling from the banks and otters splashing and playing in the water.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Gastronomy special - For your "gut" feeling !!

Ghevar is a Rajasthani sweet traditionally associated with the Teej Festival. It is disc-shaped sweet made with all purpose flour and soaked in sugar syrup. There are many varieties of Ghevar, including plain, mawa and malai ghevar. Ghevar traces it roots to Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan.
It is very famous in the adjoining states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh (among others). It is generally prepared in January for Makar Sankranti, in March-April for Gangaur and in July-August for the Teej festival.


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Litti is a snack food found in India's Bihar state; it consists of wheat and sattu (powdered gram or lentil) formed into balls with spices, and then filled with ghee (clarified butter) via a hole.Although very often confused with the closely related Baati, it is a completely different dish in terms of taste, texture and preparation. It may be eaten with yogurt, baigan bharta, alu bharta, and papad.The litti are traditionally baked over a cow-dung fire,but in the modern day a wok of boiling oil may be used.
Spices used to flavour the litti include jawain, mangrail, garlic, red pepper, mustard oil, salt, and ginger. Tasty pickles can also be used to add spice flavour. In western Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh litti is served with murgh korma (a creamy chicken curry) and chokha (a vegetable preparation of roasted and mashed eggplant, tomato, and potato).

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Dehrori is a delicious festive dessert from the state of Chhattisgarh, usually prepared on Diwali eve. It consists of fried rice dumplings dipped in sugar syrup and garnished with nuts.

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Bebinca, also known as bibik or bebinka, is a type of pudding and a traditional Goan, East Indian and Mangalorean dessert. Traditional Bebinca has 16 layers. The ingredients include plain flour, sugar, ghee (clarified butter), egg yolk, coconut milk and almond slivers to garnish.
It is also a common dessert in Goan restaurants, and a few outlets in Mumbai and Manglore. Bebinca is served warm with cold ice cream.It is also easily available to carry and preserve for a long time or eaten fresh.
Bebinca was also adopted as a typhoon name in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, contributed by Macau. It is prepared in Portugal and Mozambique.

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Khandvi is a savory snack in Gujarati cuisine. It consists of yellowish, tightly rolled bite-sized pieces, and is primarily made of gram flour and yoghurt.Khandvi is commonly eaten as an appetizer or snack. Khandvi is usually prepared from a batter of gram flour and yogurt seasoned with ginger paste, salt, water, turmeric, and sometimes green chillies. The batter is cooked down to a thick paste and then spread thinly on a flat surface. The khandvis are then rolled up tightly into 2–3 cm (1 inch) pieces.Khandvi is generally bite-size. It can also be seasoned with spices and condiments, such as grated cheese, chutney, or ketchup. It can be served hot or cold.

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Kalari or Maish Krej is a traditional ripened cheese product indigenous to Jammu and Kashmir state of India and Kashmir region of India.It is a very dense cheese that is usually fried in its own fat and salted prior to being eaten. Kalaris are usually made from cow's milk, though kalaris made from goat's milk are also available, and have a whitish color.
Kalaris, traditionally a local hill cheese product are an intrinsic part of Kashmiri and Dogra cuisine and often incorporated into other dishes, such as the "Kalari-Kulcha," which is a popular snack in the Jammu region. To prepare a Kalari, it's put on a hot pan and allowed to release the fat, then it is covered with a small bowl. After some time the bowl is lifted and Kalari is flipped over and covered again. After frying it ends with brownish crispy layer outside and soft, creamy, gooey cheese inside (just like melted mozzarella cheese on pizza). In the Kashmir region, it is often prepared with tomatoes, after frying.


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 Sandesh is a Bengali dessert created with milk and sugar. Sandesh can be made with the use of chhena or cottage cheese. The simplest kind of sandesh in Bengal is the makha sandesh (makha = kneaded). It is prepared by tossing the chhena lightly with sugar over low heat. The sandesh is essentially hot, sweetened chhana. When shaped into balls, it is called kanchagolla (kancha = raw; golla = ball). For more complex and elaborately prepared sandesh, the chhana is dried and pressed, flavored with essence of fruits, and sometimes even colored, and cooked to many different levels of consistencies. Sometimes it is filled with syrup, blended with coconut or kheer, and molded into a variety of shapes such as conch shells, elephants, and fish. Another variant is nolen gurer sandesh, which is made with gur or jaggery. It is known for its brown or caramel colour that comes from nolen gur.

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 Paranthe wali Gali, (literally meaning "the bylane of fried breads") is the name of a narrow street in the Chandni Chowk area of Delhi, India, noted for its series of shops selling paratha, a fried Indian bread, and now a popular culinary destination.

How many of you have already tasted those yummy parathas in the narrow lanes of historical Delhi..?



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Dining always was and is a great artistic opportunity and more so it is at Coquina in Lucknow. This is a small experiential kitchen that specializes in Awadhi Cuisine.Coquina offers a combination of traditional and modern cooking by knowledgeable individuals, who are cooks by passion and not by profession. Our guests get a chance to learn about this Passion Cuisine, cook for themselves under expert supervision and enjoy the meal as well.

Coquina offers truly experiential dining...Lucknow India




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Masala Dosa is a popular South Indian food.Originated in udupi karnataka. It is made from rice, potato, methi, curry leaves and served with chutneys and daal. Previously it was one of the most common breakfast in the South and now Masala dosa can be found in rest of India and other parts of the world. It is the most popular variation of dosa.In South India preparation of masala dosa varies from city to city. South Indian dish masala dosa ranked number 4 on the list of '10 foods to try before you die', compiled by US newspaper The Huffington Post.


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Vada pav, sometimes spelled wada pav or vada paav or vada pao, is a vegetarian fast food dish native to the Indian state of Maharashtra, consisting of a potato fritter in a bread bun.
The Marathi compound word batata vada means potato fritter. Pav is unsweetened bread.
Boiled mashed potatoes are spiced, commonly with chillies, garlic, asafoetida, turmeric, mustard seeds and garlic, but the spices may vary. The mass is then coated in gram flour batter and deep fried. The resultant fritter is served in a bread bun, accompanied by one or more chutneys


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Biryani is considered to be a dish of South Indian origin, more prominently considered to be dish of Nizam (Ruler of the state of Deccan). South India has more varieties of biryani than any other part of the subcontinent. Also, rice is a more staple food in South India than the rest of India. Hyderabadi biryani originated after blending of Mughlai and Iranian cuisine in the kitchens of the Nizam, rulers of the historic Hyderabad State. A biryani is usually served with Dahi chutney (yogurt and onions) and Mirchi ka salan - a green chili curry. Baghara baingan (roasted Eggplant) is a common side dish. The salad includes onion, carrot, cucumber, and lemon wedges.


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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Very Interesting Trivias - 3

The lake of Periyar flows through a narrow gorge between two tall hills (known as Kuravan and Kurathi). Kuravan means a tribal and Kurathi his spouse and mala meaning mountain. These two hills have been joined to form the biggest dam in the state which is five hundred and fifty feet in height and six hundred and fifty feet in width.

Stone sculpture of Kuravan and Kurathi, Kerala, India



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The Ghoomar Dance of Rajasthan India, ranks 4th amongst all the local folk dances of the world!!

Ghoomar is a traditional folk dance of Rajasthan, India and southern Asia. Ghoomar was developed by the Bhil tribe and was then adopted by other Rajasthani communities. It is performed by women in swirling robes, and accompanied by men and women singing together.
This folk dance gets its name from ‘ghoomna’, the pirouetting which displays the spectacular colors of the flowing ‘ghaghara’, the long skirt of the Rajasthani women. There is an amazing grace as the skirts flair slowly while the women twirl in circles, their faces covered with the help of veils. They use measured steps and various graceful inclinations of the body, beating palms or snapping fingers at particular cadences while singing lilting songs. Mostly Goddess Saraswati is worshiped during this dance. This dance is usually done in a circle.


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The Maharaja Express was voted "The World's Leading Luxury Train" at The World Travel Awards, 2012. This Indian luxury train offers a royal ride and features state of the art amenities like Wi-Fi internet, Plasma TVs, DVD players and individual climate control. All passenger cars of this luxury train have been named after a precious stone or the Navratnas. Each coach incorporates as its motif the gemstone after which they are named.

The Maharaja Express is owned and operated by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation and is the most expensive luxury train of the WORLD.. It runs on 5 circuits covering more than 12 destinations across North-West and Central India, mainly centered around Rajasthan. 

Seeing the picture below.. can you seriously believe that its a train??


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Most of us know Barakhamba Road in Connaught Place and have walked and driven upon it. It has so many landmark buildings on both its sides including the prestigious Modern School. How many of us, however, know about Barakhamba monument?

Barakhamba monument is a Lodhi era building located in Nizamuddin. The monument is graded A in terms of heritage value by INTACH Delhi Chapter. The tomb has twelve pillars and has three arched openings on each face. The verandah (passage), laid around the central chamber, has four domed apartments at each corner. The structure is located in an open park and is easily visible and accessible to public. It lies on the opposite side of 7th Hole of the Delhi Golf Club course and on the main road from Neel Gumbad (Blue Dome) circle or Nizamuddin circle to the World Heritage Monument – the Humayun tomb.




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The Corridor of 1000 pillars inside Rameswaram Temple, Tamlinadu, India. The temple comprises of the longest corridor in the world which is 197 metres long from East to West and is 133 metres wide from South-North.
 
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Shukratal is the place where Sukadeva Goswami spoke the sacred Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) to Maharaja Pariksit 5000 years ago. It is located about half way between Delhi and Haridwar, a four to five hour drive, and about 86 kilometers before you get to Haridwar. The little town sits on the banks of the holy Ganga River, where it has cut a swathe through the rocky region.

The 5100 year old Banyan Tree known as the Akshay Vat.



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The International Kite Festival- The three-four days International Kite Festival is held every year during the second/third week end of January at Ahmadabad during Uttarayan festival (14-January). Visitors come from around India for the celebration and international visitors have come from countless countries, including Japan, Italy, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, the USA, Malaysia, Singapore, France, China, and many more.  

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Silvassa, the capital of Dadra & Nagar Haveli, is a sylvan paradise that derives the name “Silvassa” from the Portuguese word “silva”, which means wood. Silvassa is a place of spectacular beauty - it is surrounded by nature and there is a rare purity in the air of Silvassa. For lovers of history, travel to Silvassa to see the century-old church of Our Lady of Piety and the ruins of the Tadkeshwar Mahadev Temple at Bindrabin.

Tribal Dance, Dadra and Nagar Haveli


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Indian coracles are commonly found on the rivers in Southern India. Coracles are primitive, light, bowl-shaped boats with a frame of woven grasses, reeds, or saplings covered with hides. Indian coracles are considered to have been in existence since prehistoric times, and are a major tourist attraction at the Hogenakkal falls on the Kaveri river. Although these boats were originally designed for general transport, they have recently been used mostly for giving tourists rides.

Locals on a caracle on the Kabini River, Karnataka, India.

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Mithila painting is a style of Indian painting practised in the Mithila Darbhanga, Madhubani region of Bihar, where powdered rice is coloured and is stuck. Tradition states that this style of painting originated at the time of the Ramayana, when King Janak commissioned artists to do paintings at the time of marriage of his daughter, Sita, to Lord Ram. The painting was traditionally done on freshly plastered mud wall of huts, but now it is also done on cloth, handmade paper and canvas. Mithila painting mostly depict men and its association with Nature & scene and deities from ancient epics like Krishna, Ram, Shiva, Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. Natural objects like the sun, the moon, and religious plants like tulsi are also widely painted, along with scenes from the royal court and social events like weddings. Generally no space is left empty. 

Traditionally, painting was one of the skills that was passed down from generation to generation in the families of the Mithila Region, mainly by women. The painting was usually done on walls during festivals, religious events, and other milestones of the life-cycle such as birth, Upanayanam (Sacred thread ceremony), and marriage. This painting is in fact the simplistic manifestation of philosophical heights achieved by our Nation in yesteryears.


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Very Interesting Trivias - 2

A wonderful capture by one of our fans "Mark Brunner". Thank you very much Mark for allowing us to share your picture.

The picture is being taken in Kolkata, India. The picture shows an idol of Goddess Durga which is yet to be completed by the artisans. Di you ever take a walk in "Kumartuli"? The word "Kumartuli" literally means "Artisan's bylane" where various idols of Hindu belief are being handcrafted with mud and array of colours before they are being transported to various places of worship..!!..




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The paintings on the rock looks pretty new right? Can you believe they actually date back to 1500-2000 BC.

The Bhimbetka rock shelters, Madhya Pradesh are an archaeological site of the Paleolithic, exhibiting the earliest traces of human life on the Indian subcontinent. The colors used for the paintings are vegetable colors which have endured through time because the drawings were generally made deep inside a niche or on inner walls which protected them from rain water. The oldest paintings are considered to be 30,000 years old !!!



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 Matheran Hill Railway is among the six other Mountain Railways of India and are considered as World Heritage Sites.
Isn't it amazing when you experience a ride on the Train that winds its way through the mountainous jungles ..!!



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 Did you ever have the chance of plucking Tea leaves from a Tea Garden?
A tea garden worker plucking tea leaves in Darjeeling, West Bengal



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Love to collect souvenirs ?
Madhubani painting or Mithila painting is a style of Indian painting, practiced in the Mithila region of Bihar state, India. The origins of Madhubani painting or Mithila Painting are shrouded in antiquity and mythology. The Painting is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments, and is characterized by eye-catching geometrical patterns.


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Did you ever had a chance of enjoying the Horse carriage ride in front of the famous Victoria Memorial, built in memorial of Queen Victoria in Kolkata, West Bengal, India?

  
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Tram transport in India was established by the British in the 19th century. Discontinued in most Indian cities between 1930 and 1960, Kolkata has the only public tram service in the country till now and is considered to be more of a heritage ride !!



Very Interesting Trivias - 1

The Pushkar Fair, or Pushkar ka Mela, is the annual five-day camel and livestock fair, held in the town of Pushkar in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is one of the world's largest camel fairs, and apart from buying and selling of livestock it has become an important tourist attraction and its highlights have become competitions such as the "matka phod", "longest moustache", and "bridal competition" are the main draws for this fair which attracts thousands of tourists.
Local women shopping at ‪#‎PushkarFair‬, ‪#‎Rajasthan‬


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 The #Sundarbans is the largest Delta of the world and is covered with mangrove forest. The Sundarbans is a UNESCO World Heritage Site covering parts of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal. Home to the famous Royal Bengal Tiger, it is declared as an important National Park. Sundarban has extremely rich diversity of aquatic and terrestrial flora and fauna. 



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#HauzKhasVillage, South Delhi houses a water tank, an Islamic seminary, a mosque, a tomb and pavilions built around an urbanized village with medieval history traced to the 13th century of Delhi Sultanate reign. It was part of Siri, the second medieval city of India of the Delhi Sultanate of Allauddin Khilji Dynasty (1296–1316).The etymology of the name Hauz Khas in Urdu language is derived from the words ‘Hauz’: “water tank” (or lake) and ‘Khas’:“royal”- the “Royal tank”. The large water tank or reservoir was first built by Khilji {the plaque displayed (pictured in the gallery) at the site records this fact} to supply water to the inhabitants of Siri.The tank was de–silted during the reign of Firuz Shah Tughlaq (1351–88). Several buildings (Mosque and madrasa) and tombs were built overlooking the water tank or lake. Feroz Shah’s tomb pivots the L–shaped building complex which overlooks the tank.
In the 1980s, Hauz Khas Village, studded with domed tombs of Muslim royalty from the 14th to 16th centuries, was developed as an upper class residential cum commercial area in the metropolis of South Delhi, India. It is now a tourist cum commercial area with numerous art galleries, upscale boutiques and restaurant.Swans and ducks are among the attractions at Hauz Khas Lake - which is part of the attraction to visitors.



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The tomb of Sher Shah Suri is in the Sasaram town of Bihar state, India. The tomb was built in memory of Emperor Sher Shah Suri, a Pathan from Bihar who defeated the Mughal Empire and founded the Suri Empire in northern India. His tomb is an example of Indo-Islamic architecture, it was designed by the architect Aliwal Khan and built between 1540 and 1545, this red sandstone mausoleum (122 ft high), which stands in the middle of an artificial lake, which is nearly square, is known as the second Taj Mahal of India. The tomb stands at the centre of the lake on a square stone plinth with domed kiosks, chhatris at each of its corners, further there are stone banks and stepped moorings on all sides of the plinth, which is connected to the mainland through a wide stone bridge. The main tomb is built on octagonal plan, topped by a dome, 22-metre in span and surrounded ornamental domed kiosks which were once covered in coloured glazed tile work.
The tomb was built during the reign of his son Islam Shah. An inscription dates its completion to August 16, 1545, three months after the death of Sher Shah.

 

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