6 days kerala tour package

Day 1: Cochin
Arrival assistance & transfer from Cochin airport/railway station to Cochin hotel. Sightseeing in Cochin.

    • Dutch Palace.
    • Marine Drive.
    • Jewish Synagogue.
    • St. Francis church.
    • Chinese fishing nets.
    • Thripunithura Palace.
    • Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 2: Cochin-Munnar 135 Km 4 Hrs

      After breakfast Drive to Munnar.where sprawling tea plantations, picture book towns, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities make it a unique experience. On the way visiting.

 

    • Adimali (Wholesale place for spices and cardamom).
    • Cheyyappara waterfalls, Valara waterfalls.
    • Viewpoint.
    • Pallivasal.
    • Attukal Waterfalls.

 

      Reach Munnar town! Check in to your hotel! Rest and relax! Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 3: Munnar 100 Km Sightseeing

      After breakfast Sightseeing in Munnar,covering

 

    • Mattupetty direction, Photo point, Mattupetty Dam – Optional [15 Minutes Boat Drive in this Dam.
    • Echo point (The natural Echo phenomenon is always happening here).
    • Shooting point (Famous point where normally film shooting takes place).
    • Kundale Lake (A super dam where we can go for shikara boating in the dam).
    • After lunch in Munnar by 2.00 P.M we visit.
    • Tea Museum (A place where u can see how they are processing tea-Like factory visit).
    • Visit Blossom Park.
    • Pothenmedu View Point.

 

      Back to the Hotel, Rest and relax! Overnight Stay in Munnar.

Day 4: Munnar-Thekkady 110 Km 3 Hrs

      Morning drive from Munnar to Thekkady On the way visit

 

    • Pooppara.
    • Vandanmedu.
    • Periyar wildlife sanctuary.
    • Anakara.

 

      Check in to the hotel.

 

      Optional activities in Thekkady.

 

    • Elephant safari,
    • Kalari Payette (A traditional martial Art),
    • Kathakali Show (A traditional performance-Art),
    • Jungle Jeep Safari and
    • Ayurveda Massages etc
    • Boating in Periyar.
    • Plantation visit.

 

      Back to the hotel. Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 5: Thekkady to Kumarakom/ Alleppey Resort stay 150 kms 3.5 hrs

      After breakfast drive from Thekkady to Kumarakom/ Alleppey. On arrival at Kumarakom/Alleppey check into Hotel. Activities such as Canoeing in small boat in narrow canals(Optional),Fishing, Village walk,Sightseeing covering Paddy fields, Famous resorts on the banks, Temples and churches, Snake boat, Birds sanctuary etc. Overnight stay at Resort/Hotel.

 

      (Or)

Day 5 Thekkady to Kumarakom/Alleppey Houseboat

      After Breakfast drive to Kumarakom/Alleppey .Board on to the houseboat. Cruise through the backwaters and inland waterways of Kumarakom/Alleppey. Overnight on board the house boat anchored in the backwaters.

 

      Check in Time 12.00 Noon!

 

      Boarding place: Kumarakom/Alleppey.

 

      You will be greeted with a Welcome Drink (Non Alcoholic).Crew will give a brief introduction.

 

    • 12: 00 Noon Cruise starts, relax and enjoy the canals and rivers and backwater.
    • Cruise through backwaters of Kumarakom/alleppey.
    • Sightseeing includes paddy fields & coconut lagoons & Resorts of Kumarakom/Alleppey.
    • Sightseeing Includes Bird sanctuary 01: 30 PM.
    • Stop for Lunch.
    • Menu: Traditional Kerala cuisine with fish (Karimeen) chicken, etc 2:30 PM.
    • Cruise starts again through Pathiramanal area.4.00 PM.
    • Tea & Snacks will be served.
    • Cruise to C-block, R Block & Rajapuram.6: 00 PM.
    • Cruise stops.
    • Enjoy the evening with Village walk 8: 00 PM.
    • Dinner and you can relax and sleep in our super a/c bed rooms 8: 30 PM.

 

      After breakfast Cruise starts again to Kumarakom and drop you to the boat jetty by 9 to 9.30 A.M

Day 6: Kumarakom- Kochi 120 kms 2 hrs

    After breakfast transfer back to Cochin Airport/Railway station.

 


Kerala Tour with Myhappyjourney

First, I would like to give special thanks to Myhappyjourney(MHJ), Mr.Koushik, the one who make our Kerala honeymoon trip memorable from 15 Dec 2015 to 22 Dec 2015. Though it was our first trip with MHJ.

 

Details about My Happy Journey step by step about our tour:-

 

I got better deal from Mr Koushik and detailed lists of package with choice of hotels. I booked by giving very small amount and booked it before 6 month from tour date. But after that nobody wants any money from me regarding balance payment. Every time Mr Koushik tell me to give rest money on tour day. Thanks for this attitude. I like it. MHJ is not like other travel company.

 

Next after giving initial amount they gave me hotel booking vouchers within 2 days as promised.

 

After that on travel day after reaching Cochin, gave balance payment and met with driver Mr Naiju Joseph who is very polite and humble, very good guy and also speak in hindi and english. Thanks MHJ once again for giving this wonderful driver who was as a guide cum driver and also knows every detail of road and spot.

 

Now we got good and awesome hotels specially in Munnar – Moonsoon Grande and kovalam – Soma Palmshore Beach Resort. Thanks Mr Koushik for arranging such beautiful resorts. Houseboat was awesome specailly its foods. I also got Honeymoon Cake before dinner. The houseboat guys was really nice and courteous. Kovalam beach hotel was superb.

 

Overall excellent honeymoon trip. All Credit goes to Mr. Koushik and Myhappyjourney for arranging the trip and giving best detailed package to us.

 

I hope to get the best services in future from MHJ and Mr. Koushik.

 

Wish all the best and HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016 in advance.


10 Magical Munnar Hotels and Homestays

10 Magical Munnar Hotels and Homestays

10 Magical Munnar Hotels and Homestays,  Munnar is one of the most visited hill stations and a majestic place, is understandably one of the most famous tourist destinations in Kerala. Located at the convergence of three mountain streams- Kundala, Mudrapuzha and Nallathanni, Munnar was once regarded as the summer resort of British government. Picture book town, sprawling tea plantations, holiday facility and winding lanes have made this destination a popular resort town.

  • Royal Mist
Royal Mist Munnar
Royal Mist Munnar

By :: www.tripadvisor.in

Royal Mist lies at a distance of about 10 km from Munnar and is surrounded by spectacular views. Owned by Mr. Anil and his family, Royal Mist welcomes its guests with incredible hospitality and allows them as much independence as they require. It is a modern house which has three guestrooms that look out onto the beautiful valley. Personalized service is offered at the homestay that can be enjoyed by the guests.

Royal Mist also has a spice garden which has wild orange and mango trees in it. Guests can take a walk in the surrounding areas and click some beautiful pictures. Tourists can also indulge in other activities such as sightseeing, trekking and plantation tours. Since a long time, Royal Mist has been getting 5 star reviews from the people who have visited it. It offers a perfect setting to enjoy an idyllic and beautiful family outing to explore the natural beauty of the region at its best.

  • Kaivalyam Retreat
Kaivalyam Retreat
Kaivalyam Retreat

By :: www.holidayiq.com

Surrounded by spice plantation and forests, Kaivalyam Retreat lies at a distance of about 8 kilometers from the fascinating Munnar town. It is a harmonious health retreat and is an ideal place to bring your mind, soul and body in harmony. Set amidst scenic, calm and peaceful surroundings, Kaivalyam Retreat offers an amazing experience to its guests during monsoons. International as well as domestic travelers visit this exquisite location to enjoy natural way of living.

This homestay includes a number of things that may interest the vacationers. Regular classes of yoga are held for beginners as well as for experienced people. An organic farm is also present in the vicinity where vegetables are grown for the vegetarian food served during the home stay. A trip to this alluring location can help the vacationer to enjoy himself amidst the never ending landscapes, natural pathways of streams and sprawling tea and coffee plantations.

  • The Tall Trees
The Tall Trees
The Tall Trees

By::www.bespokeindiaholidays.com

As the name suggests, tourists can find a number of tall trees in and around this resort. Spread over sprawling 66 acres, The Tall Trees resort is located at about 8 kilometers north of the appealing Munnar town. It beckons nature lovers with its scenic surroundings and peaceful ambiance. The surroundings are rich in bio diversity with more than 600 trees, rock formation, wildflowers, cardamom plantation, orchids, wild animals and birds.

Vacationers can enjoy the beautiful sunsets from one of the rooms. This resort has preserved the pristine natural beauty in its perfect condition along with offering modern day comforts in ideally arranged cottages. Honeymooners can spend their ideal honeymoon at this location where they would not feel even a moment of boredom. So celebrate life with The Tall Trees resort and plan a vacation to feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

  • Gruenberg Tea Plantation Haus
Gruenberg Tea Plantation Haus
Gruenberg Tea Plantation Haus

By:www.cleartrip.com

Are you fond of tea? If yes, then do not miss the chance to stay in the middle of tea plantation. Lying at a distance of approximately 12 kilometer from the Munnar town, Gruenberg Tea Plantation Haus is a beautifully designed resort. The accommodation is spread over 3 levels which have rooms with balconies so that the guest can sit and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.

So choose Gruenberg Tea Plantation Haus, set amidst misty mountains, prairies of Munnar and orchards tea garden, as your next holiday destination as it will help you to feel refreshed and free from all your worries. Gruenberg Tea Plantation Haus would offer you a wonderful time that can be spent with your family members.

  • Swiss County
Swiss County
Swiss County

By:: www.tripadvisor.in

Cool climate, lush green forests, misty mountains and gurgling streams were the reasons why British used to call Munnar as the “Switzerland of India”. Swizz County is a small jewel which is present in the crown of Munnar. The luxurious Swizz County resort aims at giving its guests the best experience. The rooms at the resort are surprisingly affordable and can help the tourists to spend some amazing moments with their loved ones.

Rooms at the resort open out to mesmerizing beauty of the hills. Vacationers can enjoy their stay at the Alpine Suite which is believed to be one of the best designed and largest furnished suites at Munnar. You can also opt for other reasonably priced rooms. So to enjoy your holidays in serene and stylish surroundings, choose Swizz County as the resort of choice.

  • Rose Garden Homestay
Rose Garden Homestay
Rose Garden Homestay

BY::www.tripadvisor.in

If you are looking for friendly and homely environment during your holidays, it is most probable that you would find Rose Garden Homestay as the best location. Located at around 10 kilometers from the beautiful town of Munnar, it overlooks a nursery and cardamom plantation. Some of the delights which the Rose Garden Homestay guests can enjoy are seasonal fruits, freshly grown vegetables, fresh honey, farm grown coffee and spring water.

If you have the adventurous streak in you, then you can opt for lengthy treks that surround the property. Rose Garden offers an eco friendly homestay that can help a person to collect some everlasting memories by clicking photographs in the picture perfect backdrop. Enjoy this once in a lifetime experience and take home some memories that can be cherished for a lifetime.

  • Glenmore Resorts
Glenmore Resorts
Glenmore Resorts

By:: www.tripadvisor.in

Glenmore Resorts lies to the north of Munnar town and is a famous place amongst all those travelers who wish to enjoy their holidays on a pre-set budget. This is a six room resort that offers all the required facilities to its guests. Vacationers can enjoy themselves amidst nature or can simply enjoy in the beautiful surroundings.

Guests at Glenmore Resorts can enjoy various facilities like round the clock hot water, continental, south Indian or north Indian cuisine, trekking and sightseeing, ayurvedic treatments and barbecue facilities. There are some things in life that cannot be expressed in words. So enjoy your stay at Glenmore Resorts.

  • Spice Tree Munnar
Spice Tree Munnar
Spice Tree Munnar

By::spicetreemunnar.com

If you want to get pampered during your holidays, look no further as Spice Tree Munnar offers you the best deal. Located southeast to Munnar, this luxury resort is a perfect destination for all those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. This spa and resort gives the tourists a chance to explore nature at its best.

Spice Tree Munnar offers a healing retreat to its visitors that can help in reducing and transforming any stress present in mind and body. The time spent amidst the natural beauty of the region can encourage relationships, deepen friendship or build new relations. So come and discover the delightful ambiance at Spice Tree Munnar and spend some wonderful moments with your family.

  • The Wind
The Wind
The Wind

By:www.munnartoursguide.com

Set amidst a beautiful location, The Wind is situated approximately 25 kilometers away from the famous Munnar town. Elegantly designed cottages of The Wind offer panoramic views of the vicinity and overlook the cliff edge. It provides its guests with world class facilities and the best traditional Kerala hospitality. Every tourist visiting The Wind in Munnar can enjoy the nature at its best.

In addition to a relaxed stay, tourists can also enjoy sightseeing and tour assistance. Tourists can enjoy breathtaking beauty of the God’s own country during their stay at The Wind. So choose a honeymoon cliff cottage or cliff cottage to enjoy an unforgettable holiday.

  • Camp Noel Nature Resort
Camp Noel Nature Resort
Camp Noel Nature Resort

By:www.tripadvisor.in

Camp Noel Nature Resort is a special retreat for all those who love to spend some time with the nature. Set amidst tranquil location, Camp Noel Nature Resort helps the tourists to enjoy themselves amidst the serene ambiance of Munnar. The secluded wildness of the region can help the vacationers to enjoy the best of the region. It only takes a few minutes to reach the hotel from the main town.

At Camp Noel Nature Resort, nature lovers can choose a room depending upon their requirements and budget. The stunning vista and majestic views of lush green forests can help the tourists to get closer to Mother Nature.

So while in Munnar, choose one of the magical Munnar homestays or hotels and enjoy yourself amidst the captivating beauty of the region. Tourists can also delve in the beauty of the exotic flower, Neelakurinji that blooms once in every 12 years and covers the hill station in blue color. The beauty of Munnar can be believed only after seeing it. Munnar also offers a chance to the adventure lovers to try their hand at different activities. So pack your bags and plan a trip at the earliest to this beautiful and mesmerizing location with your family or friends and capture some everlasting memories in your camera or your mind. Happy journey!


Kochi tour & travel packages

Kochi tour & travel packages

  • 6 Kochi Tours that You Can Book Online
6 Kochi Tours that You Can Book Online
6 Kochi Tours that You Can Book Online

BY:www.getyourguide.com

Kochi tour & travel packages – Cochin is now called Kochi and is currently becoming one of the most famous destinations in Kerala. This is the best place to relax your mind, body and soul and make your journey a memorable holiday trip of your life.  Kochi tour is the easiest way for sightseeing different places in Kochi and that too at affordable prices. Today, people avoid hassles of the last minute; so they prefer pre booking of their trip which saves their time as well as money. There are many companies in the market available with the option of these services, so check out all the details of the company in order to get the best deal at lowest prices. Many companies deliver tickets at your home; thus you can feel relaxed after booking your tickets. Listed below are some exciting activities which you can easily book online and then enjoy famous places of Kochi.

  • City Tour to beautiful city Kochi:
City Tour to beautiful city Kochi
City Tour to beautiful city Kochi

By:wikitravel.org

It is worth staying in Kochi as this place is rich in Portuguese and Dutch heritage sites which give delightful experience and enhance the joy of the trip when you explore these sites on foot. The famous places are:

  • Explore the architecture from Fort Kochi
Explore the architecture from Fort Kochi
Explore the architecture from Fort Kochi

By:www.tripadvisor.com

Fort Kochi is a beautiful place to visit from where you can witness picturesque beaches and you can see different architectural styles of the buildings. These buildings are generally made in European style; that is why this small town is more popular than other towns in Kerala.

Chinese fishing nets are nestled at Fort Kochi which is considered as a famous tourist place in Kochi. The striking feature of this region is that there is a very unusual method operated on the shore for fishing.  These nets are set up on bamboo or teak poles which are held horizontally and the entire structure is at the height of 10 meters. It is believed that the origin of these nets was in China and that is why these are named Chinese fishing nets.

  • Enjoy scenic beauty of St. Francis Church -
Enjoy scenic beauty of St. Francis Church
Enjoy scenic beauty of St. Francis Church

By:gwenithwhitford.com

St. Francis Church is the first European church built in India. It is a beautiful piece of architecture, depicting the history which reflects the colonial struggle of European power from 15th and 20th centuries. Initially, the building was made up of wood but later when this church was permitted to Portuguese, they reconstructed the building in stone. It is an essential constituent of north Kerala, where regular prayers are held on all Sundays or commemorative days. It is kept open even on weekdays so that tourists can come and visit the place.

It is famous because it is a landmark which was built by Portuguese and in addition, legendary explorer Vasco da Gama was buried here. You can see various souvenirs from ancient times which are still preserved in the church, like old clock which was erected in the year 1923 in the memory of Hal Harrison Jones, a former director of Aspinwall and company and along with this Phankhas and fans are found which are marked as reminders of the British opulence.

  • Enchanting views of Mattancherry Palace
Enchanting views of Mattancherry Palace
Enchanting views of Mattancherry Palace

By:www.virtualtourist.com

This is the last place on the city tour to Kochi which has beautiful architectural style and was built by the Portuguese in ancient period. You can see stunning murals inside the palace. Along with this there is Bhagavathi Temple in the centre of the courtyard of the palace. This temple is built in typical Kerala style mansion which is home for aristocracy, nobility and upper classes.

It is a double storeyed building palace from where you can take a view of Kochi backwaters which have exquisite collection of murals. The themes of these murals are taken from great Indian epics, like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and also depict scenes from Kumarasambhavam. In addition you can see miscellaneous articles, like weapons, swings and furniture which offer the glimpse of the lifestyle of the royal family.

  • Immerse yourself in customs and traditions of Kochi:
Immerse yourself in customs and traditions of Kochi
Immerse yourself in customs and traditions of Kochi

By:www.india-safaris.com

After visiting some marvelous places, now it is time to submerge in the rich history and culture of Kochi. You can relax and enjoy while watching the dramatic Kathakali dance performance which was introduced in 17th century as a classical dance form by the Kerala people. This dance form is famous for its expressions which are further elaborated with gorgeous costumes and stunning make up.

Cochin Cultural centre is one of the prime organizations working in the field of Art and Culture in order to preserve and promote rich culture, tradition and heritage through performing arts in Kerala. For the convenience of tourists two air conditioned halls are opened where the artists perform these dance forms. The main theatre is opened in the heart of the city and is known as Eranakulam and second one is in Fort Kochi.

Prior to dance performance you can go backstage where you can see how they prepare for the show, see them applying makeup and then continue to enjoy lively performance which gives you thrilling experience. It is joyful to watch their extravagant gestures during their performance.

  • Different mouth watering cuisines of Kochi:
Different mouth watering cuisines of Kochi
Different mouth watering cuisines of Kochi

By:www.kochionline.in

While exploring Kochi you should not miss the chance to relish diverse varieties of the local cuisine of Kochi. You can enjoy Indian snacks, curried spices and fresh seafood as these are the specialties of Kochi. You can start your day through Spice Bazaar where you can stop for morning tea. There are various regions in Kochi mainly occupied by Muslims, Hindus and Christians where you can explore traditional dishes of this city.

You can start your food tour where you can enjoy your day with inhaling different fragrances of cardamom, coriander and cinnamon when you cross nearby bazaars of Kochi. Mattancherry is the heart of the city where you can have biryani and beef curry dishes, as this region is located near to Muslim area. Both the dishes are served with appam (coconut milk pancake) or iddyappam (rice noodles). Then you can move to Hindu section where you can enjoy Shudh Vegetarian food like Dosa or Thengapal which are served in small bowls. The final stop can be toddy bar, where men can drink alcohol in the famous bar. This will make your trip memorable as it includes a number of food tastings and that too at reasonable prices.

  • Adventurous trip on Kochi Bike Tour
Adventurous trip on Kochi Bike Tour
Adventurous trip on Kochi Bike Tour

By:www.artofbicycletrips.com

You can try exploring the city on bikes where you can explore different regions of Kochi. There are various routes available for Kochi Bike Tours; so you can check the details on internet and book online for which tour you are interested.

Hornbill’s Route – On this trip you can ride your bike along a canal amid lush green paddy fields, coconut trees and beautiful villages. This canal leads to Edamalayar forest which is situated on the banks of river Periyar. You can visit a famous bird sanctuary known as Thattekad Bird Sanctuary which is famous for different species of birds and elephants. The cool breeze along the way will rejuvenate your body, mind and soul.

Sunrise Beach Route – This is the most beautiful route where you can watch the sun at the horizon. To look at the markets and fish auctions along the beach can be a good experience. You can hear early morning prayers sung by Kochini women when you will pass near the church. You can enjoy serenity and calmness of beach, which is filled with peace on the sunrise beach tour.

  • Discover the renowned beauty along with Ayurvedic massage in Kerala:
Ayurvedic Treatment in Kerala:
Ayurvedic Treatment in Kerala:

You can experience the local culture and beauty of Kerala region in renowned backwaters of Kerala. The villages constructed along these are very beautiful and moreover, the people residing there are very loving and big hearted. They offer you traditional food which will be your life greatest pleasures because it is really tempting. Then you can walk through the rice paddies which will give you joyful experience and you will have magical memories of this time throughout your life.

Along with this, you can replenish your body with Ayurvedic massage which will help in relaxing your mind, body and soul. This would be a great way to end this beautiful local tour and spend your evening at leisure.

  • Complete your trip with Kerala Backwaters Cruise:
Complete your trip with Kerala Backwaters Cruise
Complete your trip with Kerala Backwaters Cruise

By:www.treklocations.com

Your trip cannot be complete without cruising on the backwaters of Kerala. Kochi is a combination of traditional and modern festivities where you can enjoy a string of wonders. There are many picturesque beauties where you can click a number of pictures which will enhance the joy of your journey. You can visit various destinations during your cruise, like Cochin port is famous for spices which were exported to west in ancient times. Along with this you can visit many other places like Jewish Synagogue, Fort Kochi and many more. It is must visit place in Kochi and it is also called Queen of Arabian Sea.  The backwaters will give you a refreshing sight where you can see various serene attractions, like different species of water birds and flowers on green banks of the rivers.

There are various places in Cochin which are striking features of this city. Its lush green mangroves and coconut trees add uniqueness and that is why it is considered as tourist’s paradise. The tradition, customs and reputation of this region has been maintained till the date which makes this city a famous and attractive tourist destination. Today, you can pre plan your trip and check options on internet. You can easily select the places which suit both, time restrictions and your budget.


Top destinations to celebrate Christmas in India

Top destinations to celebrate Christmas in India

The merry-making festival of Christmas is celebrated worldwide to commemorate the birth of Lord Jesus Christ. It is known as “Bada Din” in Hindi. Celebrated on 25th December every year, it is a very auspicious day, especially for the Christians. Although, the Christians make up even less than 5% of the population of India, it is still easy to witness traditional Christmas joyfulness in most parts of the country.

The streets and houses are adorned with charming Christmas bells, lights, angels and other decorations. Children rush to Christmas tree on Christmas morning to grab the gifts that Santa Clause has kept for them. People make cakes, tarts, other Christmas snacks like plum cakes which are the most popular during this occasion. Midnight mass, which is followed by a huge meal of varied delicacies, is an essential service for Christians, specifically the Catholics. Christmas celebration in India might differ in terms of customs and food, but the joy and pleasure still remains the same.

Top destinations to celebrate Christmas in India

Bringing amusement and joy to the people of India, Christmas offers a good time to travel across the country. Since it is a festive season, you can witness hustle-bustle in every corner of the country. Although, Christmas is celebrated with pomp and vigor in almost every area, below mentioned are a few destinations you can visit to make this festival even more enjoyable.

Goa

Goa Christmas
Goa Christmas

By::www.parrikar.com

Goa is one of the most preferred places to celebrate any festival. Apart from Indian tourists, the state of Goa welcomes a myriad of foreign tourists as well. The spectacular beaches and magnificent natural beauty of the place attracts a large number of people from different parts of the world throughout the year. Furthermore, Goa has a huge population of Christians who celebrate this grand event with immense happiness and joy. It is an ideal destination to savor traditional celebration with family members and friends.

Celebrated in the European Style, Christmas merriment begins on Christmas Eve, particularly for the devout. Several churches conduct midnight mass where carols are sung. But, there are many people, who dress like Santa a week before Christmas and sing carols holding a box to accumulate funds. These funds are used to organize feast for the poor.

Christmas fruit cake is the typical sweet in Goa which is made specifically for this occasion. The cake is made up of dry fruits and wine and the recipe is adopted from the West. The entire ambience in the region is very much like Diwali. The tranquil city of Goa all lit up with colorful lights and Christmas stars allures every individual.

Mumbai

Mumbai Christmas
Mumbai Christmas

BY:www.giasaysthat.com

24 December, the Christmas Eve and the celebration in Mumbai is no less than any other part of the world. Evening prayers in popular churches and late night celebrations is all that you can witness in Mumbai during Christmas. The entire city is decorated with Christmas lights, stars and bells. 25 December, the birth of Jesus Christ, is commemorated by the Christian Community of Mumbai with pomp and vigor. The spirit of Christmas remains the same for others as well.

Family and friends wish each other and share Christmas cards and gifts, having a lot of fun. Cakes and wine is one of the most preferred combinations that people, especially Christians, like to have during this auspicious occasion. Bandra, Church Gate and Hill Road are some of the well-renowned places where you can enjoy Christmas celebration with your family and friends.

Kerala

christmas in Kerala
Christmas in Kerala

By:www.facenfacts.com

Kerala, God’s own country celebrates Christmas, the festival of universal love with pleasure and happiness. Christmas star, cake, presents, crib and lightning is what best describes Christmas in Kerala. Although the Christmas tree is a relatively latest addition to Christmas celebrations in the vibrant land of Kerala, the Christmas star at Christian shops and homes sets the season of cheerfulness and delight.

The birth of Lord Jesus is enacted with the help of miniature models in churches and cathedrals of Kerala where carols and songs are sung. Priests of churches organize holy mass at midnight. Prior to beginning with the mass, the priest brings the image of infant Jesus and is headed by the children holding candles. Carols are sung and fire crackers are exploded to indicate the birth of Jesus. Later, feasts are organized that are attended by family and friends. In addition to local sweets, cakes are made, making Christmas a traditional festival in Kerala.

Bangalore

christmas in Bangalore
Christmas in Bangalore

By:mymysore72.blogspot.com

Bangalore, the IT hub of India is one of the highly developed cities of the world. Christmas here is all about goodies, Christmas tree, cakes, wine, carols and gifts. The whole idea is to come together with friends and family and share the joy of celebrating this auspicious day. City Harvest AG Church, St. Mary’s Basilica and Christian Fellowship Church are some of the famous churches where people in large number accumulate to light candles and celebrate the coming of Lord Jesus into this world.

There are many hotels and restaurants that offer special Christmas dinner, including a wide variety of delicacies, desserts and wine. The festival of Christmas would be incomplete without Christmas cakes. While some people bake cakes at home, adding wine and dry fruits, others prefer to get them from the market. Whether it is a child or an adult, Christmas cheerfulness can be seen on the face of every individual. Bangalore undoubtedly makes a perfect place to celebrate Christmas in India.

Chennai

christmas in Chennai
Christmas in Chennai

By:techshan.com

The fast developing city of Chennai has a good population of Christians. It is a popular choice to celebrate Christmas in South India. In addition to the churches, the hotels, shopping malls and trees are well decorated with Christmas bells, stars and balls. People sing carols and rhymes on Christmas Eve to celebrate the birth of Lord Jesus. Friends and relatives come together to celebrate Christmas with pleasure and joyfulness. Different hotels offer special dinners on this occasion, allowing people to enjoy Christmas to the fullest.

There are many night clubs where special Christmas parties are organized. Besides, many other events and programs are scheduled specially for this day. Allowing Christians and others to celebrate the blissful festival of Christmas with pomp and vigor, Chennai certainly is a viable option to enjoy the festival.

Daman and Diu

christmas in Daman and Diu
Christmas in Daman and Diu

By:www.indianholiday.com

Daman and Diu, the Union Territory administered by the Central Government of India has a large number of NRIs whose hearts are filled with joy during the festival of Christmas. The magnificent charm and golden beaches of the region attract a myriad of tourists from different corners of the world. The festival here is famous for its remarkable performances accompanied by melodious music. The main motive is to promote good spirit and fellowship.

Every house in the area is adorned with colorful lights, lamps, Christmas stars and bells to welcome Jesus and commemorate his birth. The air of Daman and Diu is filled with joy, dance, songs, laughter and lights during the energetic festival of Christmas.  As the local administration promotes Christmas season as a main tourist attraction, it is a perfect place to celebrate Christmas and witness the combination of Indian and Portuguese flavors.

Pondicherry

christmas in Pondicherry
Christmas in Pondicherry

By:trekkerpedia.com

Pondicherry is another destination which makes an ideal place to celebrate Christmas in India. Once a French colony, the land of Pondicherry is also known as “India’s little France”. The pristine beaches offer an amazing place to celebrate the festival. Besides, the traditional churches, such as The Sacred Heart of Jesus Church and The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception schedule various Christmas programs.

People in Pondicherry make tents to represent the birth place of Jesus Christ, decorating it with lights and other decoration pieces. The tent is made alike goat shelter where it is believed that Jesus was born. Different varieties of cakes are made by people and are distributed among neighbors, family and friends. The priest also distributes Appam and wine together with blessings.

The wide variety of options, in terms of destinations, that the beautiful land of India offers when it comes to celebrating Christmas makes Christmas celebrations all the more fun.

Christmas snacks and sweets

Christmas snacks and sweets
Christmas snacks and sweets

By:www.taste.com.au

Any festival in India would be incomplete without sweets and traditional cuisines. As the rituals in India demand exchange of snacks and sweets on Christmas day, preparations for the same start at least a month in advance. Some of the famous Christmas delicacies prepared in India include the following.

  • Nuereos or Gujia with the filling of coconut
  • Marzipan shapes
  • Coconut Barfi
  • Bebinca or layered Goan pudding
  • Chocolate walnut fudge
  • Chakli
  • Guava cheese
  • Cheeslings
  • Naan Khatais or Nankaties
  • Kulkuls

These much-loved Christmas snacks are made in different parts of the country and are enjoyed by people on the auspicious day.

In contrast to other religious festivals, although Christmas is a bit small festival in India, the joy and pleasure that people have towards this celebration is no less than other festivals. Apart from holding a religious significance, the festival of Christmas allows you to come together with your family, relatives and friends.

When to celebrate Christmas in 2014, 2015 and 2016

The festival of Christmas commemorating the birth of Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated every year on 25 December throughout the world with huge splendor and heartiness.


Diwali festivals in india

Diwali festivals in india

Diwali festivals in India – Diwali is the most important festival in India and it is also known as Deepawali in some regions. This festival falls on the darkest night of Kartik so people light up their houses with Diyas and candles and therefore, it is considered as festival of lights.  It is celebrated with full enthusiasm and happiness among people in India. The celebrations include various things like lighting of lamps, bursting of crackers and exchanging special sweets with friends and family which enlighten the mood of people and thus give them relaxation from their busy lives.

Diwali is celebrated because on this day Lord Rama, his wife Sita and his Brother Lakshmana came back to Ayodhya after 14 years and conquering the demon King Ravana. So, it symbolizes old culture of India which teaches us to vanquish all evils which subdue humanity to drive away darkness from our mind, body and soul. Diwali is one of the festivals that even in this modern world project glorious past of India which spreads knowledge among people.

It is the most glamorous festival which creates an atmosphere of joy and festivity among people. It is considered auspicious to buy new clothes and jewelry at this festive time. People clean their houses thoroughly and bring new items to decorate their houses. Even many parties are held in many homes for celebrating this occasion.

There are many traditions and customs followed during Diwali celebrations. On this day, lamps are filled with oils or candles are used to light up the house and symbolize that you should uphold the true values of life. Moreover, in many regions of North India gambling is done on large scale on this day. Shopkeepers start decorating their shops many days before Diwali and make the markets colorful. Lakshmi Pooja is also held during the celebrations in order to gain wealth and prosperity. It gives an opportunity to enjoy with family and friends and create many special memories with them.

Though with modernization the way of celebrating Diwali has changed but the ethics remain the same. Every year when this festival comes back, it brings a feeling of rejoice and merriment among Indians. Now, lamps are replaced with stunning electric illuminations and even many of them do not prefer to buy traditional clothes but still Diwali remains a wonderful festival where people get to share sweets and happiness and thus they get a joyful experience during this season.

As Diwali is celebrated by people residing in different parts and regions of India; so the festivities and flavors differ from northern tip of Kashmir to Southern end of Kanyakumari.  That is way celebrations of Diwali may differ from region to region but the principles of Diwali remain the same. Let us read which customs and relations are associated with Diwali in other states of India:

Delights of Diwali in Karnataka:

Out of five day celebrations, the first and third day of Diwali hold special significance for Kannadigas. On the first day, Ashwija Krishna Chaturdashi is celebrated which signifies the death of evil demon named as Narakasura. It is believed that in past Lord Krishna took oil bath to get rid from the blood of this demon so even today people take oil bath to get rid of evil spirits.

On the third day, Diwali is also called Bali Padymi. To celebrate this day women make beautiful designs of rangoli on the doorsteps of their houses. In addition they build forts which are made of cow dung and these festivities continue till the day of Tulsi Pooja is held in their houses.

It is very amusing to see people performing this ritual thus it makes the event profound in Indian contexts. This festival has been celebrated since ages but its fascination grows with every passing year. Everyone enjoys the glamour and endless zest of Diwali that grips the people around this time.

Enjoy the charm of Diwali in Maharashtra:

The fairs and festivals in Maharashtra symbolize the jest for life that fascinates the onlookers. Every festival in Maharashtra is celebrated with great enthusiasm and eagerness thus it makes the state a vibrant state. Diwali is a colorful riot in this state and is celebrated very interestingly when compared to other parts of India.

The celebration starts with Vasu Baras which comes on Ashwin Krushna Dwadasi according to Marathi Calendar. According to Vasu Baras, celebration is held in the honor of cows and various rituals are performed, like married women perform Pooja of cows which have calf as it symbolizes gratitude towards cow who is serving them and their children.

Dhanatrayodashi which is popularly known as Dhanteras is celebrated in Maharashtra in the same week. On this day, Yama – Deep –Dan is held where mothers or married women make diyas for each male member in the family. These diyas are made of kneaded flour which is offered to Lord Yama in the evening.

Choti Diwali is also known Narak Chaturdashi in Maharashtra because on this day lord Krishna has defeated Narakasur. On this day people get up early and massage their bodies with scented oils and as a custom they use Utanah for bath instead of soap; this is also called Abyang-snam. Utanah is made up of several Ayurvedic things like sandalwood, rose, kapoor and haldi.

On the day of Diwali, Lakshmi Pooja is a ceremony which is celebrated in the evening. It is believed that on every Diwali Goddess Lakshmi visits every house which symbolizes prosperity and wealth in homes. On this day, variety of mouth watering food is made which includes Chidva, Shankar- pale, Anarse, Kadaboli and many more which mark the uniqueness of this day.

Celebrate a scared Diwali in Amritsar:

Diwali is a grand festival celebrated among Sikhs too. Huge celebrations take place and decorations are done in the whole city and this way it enhances the glory of this festival. There is a renowned quote, “Dal Roti Ghar Di, Diwali Amritsar Di” because people from distant places came here to witness Diwali of Punjab. Another significance of this day was that, on this day the Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji returned from prison along with 52 princes who had been his fellow prisoners of Mughal emperor Jahangir. The striking feature of ancient history was that all the 52 prisoners have to hold the strings of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji’s attire to get released from the jail. That is why it is known as Bandi Chor act which symbolizes freedom from imprisonment.

You can see mesmerizing views in Amritsar because this day two festivals, Diwali and Bandi Chor Diwas are celebrated together at the same time which marks the triumph of good virtues. Moreover, it teaches us that we should have best intentions for our fellow human beings.

Exciting fireworks in Varanasi:

Varanasi is one of the best places to visit during the time of Diwali. People of Varanasi enjoy the constant stream of fireworks which is continued all night. If you stay in any of the riverside hotels in Varanasi you can enjoy fabulous and mesmerizing views over the river Ganga. Other than firecrackers there are many other highlights of Varanasi which boost the charm of the city during this festival.

Special Aarti is conducted on the banks of River Ganga and then candles and diyas are floated down in river which is a breathtaking view. In addition, procession of Hindu Deities is carried in the streets and even Ghats are decorated during this time.

The city looks beautiful and magical during Diwali celebrations because it is lined up with glowing lamps. Millions of saints came here to take bath in the river in early hours of the day.

Admire the beauty of Diwali in Jaipur:

All over India people decorate their homes with colorful lights but in Jaipur the entire markets and other places are illuminated on the occasion of Diwali. Even the government contributes on this occasion by lighting the whole city.

The pink city is known for Diwali celebrations because the celebrations start from a week before the Diwali. It is quite enjoyable to visit local markets during this season because you will find variety of things like an amazing range of earthen Diyas. Along with this you can shop for traditional dresses, handicrafts and other gift items from the famous markets, such as Johari Bazaar and that too at affordable prices.

When it comes to Diwali celebrations every state of India stands out with different traditions and customs. Various landmarks, palaces, malls and even historic monuments are decorated in order to enhance the beauty of the festival. In addition to increasing the happiness many shopkeepers offers discounts so that everyone can celebrate this festival with extreme joy and happiness.

Throughout, Diwali people hang Akash-kandil to light up their houses and many of them make rangolis at doorstep which depicts the colorful tradition followed in many regions in India. It is mainly celebrated in the month of October or November each year and the date figured out by the cycle of the moon. In 2014, Diwali is on 23rd October whereas in 2015 it will be on 11th November and in 2016 it will be celebrated on October 30.


When to celebrate Durga Puja

When to celebrate Durga Puja in 2014-2015-2016

When to celebrate Durga Puja in 2014-2015-2016

When to celebrate Durga Puja in 2014-2015-2016-Durga Puja, also known as Durgotsava or Sharadotsav, is an annual festival celebrated in India to worship Goddess Durga. The celebration commemorates the victory of Hindu Goddess Durga over a demon Mahishasura. It is one of the most significant festivals of India. In addition to being a religious occasion, it is also the period for rejuvenation, reunion and festivity of traditional customs and culture.

The lively festival of Durga Puja is celebrated with great pomp and vigor in Indian states like Jharkahnd, Assam, Bihar, Tripura, Manipur, Odisha and West Bengal, where a five day annual holiday is announced. As the states of West Bengal and Tripura have a large number of Bengali Hindus, Durga Pooja is regarded as a major festival of the year. Besides East India, Durga Puja is ecstatically celebrated in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Kashmir and Delhi. It is not only in India that the festival is celebrated with joy and delight, Nepal, where the majority of population is Hindu celebrates Durga Puja as a main festival. The same can be witnessed in Bangladesh as well.

How is Durga Puja Celebrated?

Durga Puja, the ceremonial worship of Goddess Durga, is celebrated in different ways at different places in India and other parts of the world at the same time. While the ceremony involves ten days of feast, fast and worship, the last four days, popularly known as, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami are celebrated with great cheerfulness and splendor in India.

In North India, the first nine days of the festivity, known as Navaratri, are usually observed as a period for fast and are followed by a grand celebration on the tenth day. In the southern part of India, the tenth day of the ceremony, known as Dussehra, is celebrated with much gaiety. In Western India, men and women participate in a dance form which is performed around for worship for the entire period of nine days. And in the East, a huge grandeur can be seen from the seventh day till the last day, which is the tenth day of the celebration.

Although, the festival holds universal significance and is seen to surpass regional influences, Durga Puja celebration of Bengal needs special mention. The festival is celebrated with devotion and dynamism with ceremonies of “Sarbojanin Puja” or community worship. Giant temporary structures known as “pandals” are constructed to conduct the prayer, which is followed by cultural performances and delicious feasts. The pandals are decorated with colorful lights and flowers.

Around a week before the beginning of the festival, during the event of Mahalaya, Goddess Durga is invited to visit the earth. Chokkhu Daan, an auspicious religious rite is performed at this time. Once the idols of Goddess Durga are positioned, rituals are performed to call upon her sacred existence into them. Known as Pran Pratisthan, a small plant of banana, called Kola Bou is purified in surrounding river and is dressed in sari to transfer the energy of the Goddess. Regular prayers are conducted each day throughout the period of the festival. On the third day, Kumari Puja is conducted where mother Goddess Durga is worshiped in the form of a small girl. The worshipping concludes on the following day with a maha aarti.

On the tenth day, which is the last day of the celebration, earthen idols of Goddess Durga are taken out along with other deities of Saraswati, Lakshmi, Ganesha and Kartikaya for their ceremonial immersion in river. The whole event is accompanied by a giant procession. The Bengali women bid emotion-charged adieu to Goddess Durga amidst drumbeats. This concludes the coming of Goddess Durga to earth. As Goddess Durga is believed to leave for Mount Kailash, the house of Lord Shiva, her husband, it is the time for Vijayadashmi or Bijoya when people hug their relatives and friends and exchange sweets.

Dandia and Garba Dance

In the western India, specifically in Gujarat, people spend nine nights dancing and enjoying. Garba, a traditional dance form of the state is extremely graceful where female dressed in beautifully embroidered ghagra choli and bhandani dupattas elegantly dance in circles around a lamp placed inside a pot. The word Garba means womb and the lamp inside the pot emblematically represents a life within a womb.

In addition to Garba, Dandia dance is another amusement when both men and women participate in pairs. The dance is performed holding small adorned bamboo sticks, known as dandias, in hands. Tiny bells or ghungroos are tied at the ends of these bamboo sticks so that they give pleasing sound when the dandias strike one another. The dance form encompasses a complex tempo. While the dance begins with a slow rhythm, the movements become fast with time in such a way that every individual dancing in a circle gets a chance to perform solo as well as hit his or her partner’s dandia exquisitely.

Exciting ways to experience Durga Puja in Kolkata

For those who wish to experience Durja Pooja in Kolkata, they must be in the city around a week before the beginning of the festival to capture the true essence of the celebration. Although, there are numerous ways to savor the festival, below mentioned are a few of them.

 

Get a glimpse of Durga icons being made

The skillfully handcrafted idols of Goddess Durga are eye-catching. You could not resist yourself from appreciating them even more once you see the efforts that are required to make them. Luckily, it is not something impossible to do. A large part of Durga idols are crafted in an area called Kumartuli, which involves a drive of 30 minutes from the city center of Kolkata. The name of the place means “Potter’s Locality” and as clear from the name itself, the locale was developed by a group of potters. Currently, approximately 150 families reside in that area. When you visit the place during Mahalaya, an occasion that is celebrated a week before the commencement of Durga Puja, it is easy to witness the eyes being sketched onto the idols at the time of an auspicious ceremony of Chokkhu Daan.

Make visit to various delightfully decorated Pandals

One of the best parts of Durga Puja is undoubtedly the Pandals of Goddess Durga. Not only they are exquisitely adored, each one has its own unique theme. To experience Durga Puja at its best, one can opt for pandal hopping. As there are thousands of pandals in Kolkata at the time of Durga Puja, it is possible to visit only a few of them. Besides, strategic scheduling is required as the pandals are spread all over the town. The most popular and crowded ones can be found in the North and South Kolkata and the area is expediently linked by the Metro Railway. The best time to visit the pandals is during the night when they are all well-lit with colorful lights. However, for those who want to avoid crowd, daytime is perfect for pandal hopping.

Get a taste of different flavors

No other time in Kolkata would be perfect to enjoy varied cuisines than Durga Puja. The celebration would not be complete without delicacies. Whether it is Bengali restaurants, streets or Pandals, one can find a wide array of disshes everywhere in the city. Pandal hopping can be a tiring venture, so getting a taste of assorted flavors certainly makes sense. The food served to the visitors at pandals is known as Bhog. It usually comprises of a fried dish, vegetable curry, a dessert and chutney. The Bengali restaurants in Kolkata also offer special Durga Puja menus including authentic cuisines.

See the Kola Bou Bath

Durga Puja gets underway from Saptami, the seventh day of the celebration. A custom is performed to transport the energy of Goddess Durga into the deities. This is done with the help of a small banana plant known as Kola Bou. Amidst drum beats and chanting of mantras, Kola Bou is purified in nearby river. Following this, Kola Bou is dressed in a sari having red border. It is then taken to the icon of Goddess Durga which is positioned alongside Lord Ganesha. Majority of people consider Kola Bou as Lord Ganesha’s wife. Airitolla and North Kolkata ghats of Bagbazar are a few perfect places to witness this ritual.

Watch the immersion of Durga deities

On Dashami, the last day of the 10 day long festival, the celebration begins with married ladies offering red sindhoor to the idols of mother Goddess Durga, which is then smeared on each other. The statues of Goddess Durga, along with Ganesha, Lakshmi and Saraswati are immersed into the river in the evening. Babau Ghat, located close to Eden Garden makes an ideal immersion spot, while one can also see the immersion at various other ghats along the river. The most delightful way of watching the same is by boat.

When to celebrate Durga Puja in 2014

The festivity of Durga Puja begins on 29 September and concludes on 4 October in 2014.

When to celebrate Durga Puja in 2015

18 October to 23 October marks the celebration of Durga Puja in 2015.

When to celebrate Durga Puja in 2016

The celebration of Durga Puja commences on 7 October and lasts till 11 October in 2016.


Mysore Dussehra Festivals 2014

Mysore Dussehra Festivals 2014

Mysore Dussehra Festivals 2014

Mysore Dussehra Festivals 2014  is an alluring destination for tourists, particularly at the time of Mysore Dussehra. The amazingly illuminated Mysore Palace attracts the attention of a large number of tourists from all over the world during this celebration. Approximately 1 crore Indian rupees are spent every year only to maintain the illumination and over 25,000 bulbs are replaced each year prior to the start of Dussehra celebration. The significance of Mysore Dussehra is evident from this.

The state festival, Nadahabba, Mysore Dussehra is celebrated every year with much gaiety and grandeur in the royal city of Mysore, Karnataka. Commemorating the victory of good over evil, the festival is celebrated every year to honor Goddess Chamundeswari who destroyed the demon Mahishasur.  While Dussehra is celebrated as one day festival in other parts of India, Mysore Dussehra involves 10 day long celebration during the Navaratri festival.

History of Mysore Dussehra

The auspicious festival of Mysore Dussehra holds major significance among the Hindus, especially in Mysore, Karnataka. The city of Mysore got its name from Mysooru, the word derived from the word Mahishur or Mahishasurana Ooru, which means the towm of Mahishasura in Kannada. The city has been related to a story found in Devi Bhagavatha.

As per the story, Mahishasura, a buffalo headed demon ruled the city of Mysore. As an answer to the prayers of various Gods and Goddesses, the Goddess Parvati came on to the earth as Goddess Chamundeshwari and executed the demon on the top of Chamundi Hill nearby Mysore. After destroying the monster, it is believed that Goddess Chamundeshwari lived on top of the hill. This is how the city and the hill got their names and the festival is celebrated every year with immense pleasure and joy to honor the victory of Goddess Chamundeshwari.

The celebrations of Mysore Dussehra first began in the 15th century by the kings of Vijayanagar. After their empire fell, Raja Wodeyar I, the Wodeyars of Mysore, revived the festival in 1610. The festivities started with the Royal couple of Wodeyar performing a Puja of Goddess Chamundeshwari within the temple premises, located on the top of Chamundi Hill at Mysore. It was in 1805 under the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III that the tradition of holding a special darbar or royal assembly was started in Mysore Palace at the time of Mysore Dussehra. A large number of cultural and religious events are celebrated at different locations, like auditoriums, exhibition grounds and Mysore Palace since then. These exciting events attract the attention of a large number of Indian and Foreigner audiences.

Grand celebration of Mysore Dussehra

A 10 day long festival of Mysore Dissehra culminates on Vijayadashami, the tenth day of festivity. The day represents the successful wrapping up of the previous nine days. Vijayadashami also symbolizes the triumph of the King, whether it is a battle or day-to-day governance. The celebration gets underway from the sixth day when Goddess Saraswati is honored. Eighth day is devoted to Goddess Durga and the ninth day commemorates Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. A splendid extravagant procession is held on the tenth day, which begins from the Mysore Palace and ends in Bannimantap.

The festival of Mysore Dussehra is steered by the regal family of Mysore. The family performs special pooja on this auspicious occasion. During the celebration, the entire city is decorated and illuminated. Apart from the Mysore Palace, other buildings are beautifully adorned with colorful lights. A variety of cultural programs, such as food festival, poet’s meet, film festival, sports and wrestling are organized in the Palace and are enjoyed by a large number of people. The Karnataka Exhibition Authority arranges Dasara Exhibition in Doddakere Maidana where top business establishments, private sector companies and Government departments, along with other people, put up their stalls for months to advertise corporate and industrial trade.

Highlights of Mysore Dussehra

The festivity of Mysore Dussehra has a variety of highlights, some of which include the following.

Lighting at Mysore Palace

One of the main attractions of Mysore Dussehra is the Mysore Palace, situated at Chamindi Hill at Mysore, which is well-lit with around 1 Lakh light bulbs throughout the duration of the celebration from 7 pm to 10 pm. In 1805, during the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, a tradition was started where a durbar, royal assembly, was put up and was attended by the special officials, masses and officials along with the members of the family. The tradition is followed even now by the present Wodeyar family who holds a private durbar during Mysore Dussehra. Various other religious and cultural programs including dance and music representing the culture of Karnataka are performed in front of the illuminated Mysore Palace.

The Grand Procession

On the auspicious occasion of Mysore Dussehra, the traditional procession, popularly known as Jumboo Savari in the local area, is carried out on the streets of the royal city of Mysore. Although, the procession itself is one of the major highlights of Mysore Dussehra, the main attraction of the procession is the statue of Goddess Chamundeshwari which is positioned on a golden mantapa, constituting approximately 750 kg of gold, on the top of a bedecked elephant. The regal couple along with other followers worships the icon before it is taken in procession. Varied music bands, dance groups, beautifully festooned elephants, camels, horses and colorful tableaux form a part of the parade which begins from the Royal Mysore Palace and culminates at Bannimantap where a tree called Banni is worshiped. As per Mahabharata legend, Pandavas used Banni tree to hide their arms during Agnatavasa. Prior to commencing with any war, the kings used to worship the tree as it was believed to help them in emerging as champions in the warfare. The Mysore Dussehra celebration comes to an end on Vijayadashami night with an occasion called Panjina Kavayatthu, meaning torch light parade, which is held in the grounds of Bannimantap. Stunning laser show, fireworks and acrobatic show and equestrian show can be experienced here during this time.

The event of torchlight parade is famous from the time of Royal King who used to change to his riding attire to make grand entry on horse and was saluted by his military units. During the dusk, the lights were lit to welcome the Maharaja and military officials. Only military units were allowed to participate in the parade at that time. The main aim of the parade was to introduce confidence in people and also to unveil the military potential of the reigning King to the unknown rivals.

In Mysore, the elephant procession held during Mysore Dussehra is known as Jumbo Savari. However its original name is Jumbi Savari. Even though the Goddess Chamundeshwari is taken on an elephant during the procession, the name “Jumbo” is still intact.

Two month long Dasara Exhibition

Another main attraction of Mysore Dussehra is the Dasara Exhibition which is held in Doddakere Maidan. Chamaraja Wodeyar X, the Maharaja of Mysore started the exhibition in 1880 with an objective of bringing timely developments in the city. The responsibility of holding the exhibition is now undertaken by the Karnataka Exhibition Authority. Commencing during Dasara, the exhibition lasts until December. A variety of stalls are set up in the exhibition, selling items like kitchenware, clothes, plastic items, eatables and other accessories, attracting a myriad of people. Ferris wheel and other attractions are included in the exhibition to entertain the individuals.

Dasara Gombe

When talking about the highlights of Mysore Dussehra, Dasara Gombe certainly cannot be missed. The occasion where the dolls are used for the festivity is popular among the local residents. This clearly indicates there are diverse ways when it comes to celebrating Mysore Dussehra.

Known as Gombe Thotti, the ceremony involves worship of dolls during the celebration of Mysore Dussehra. At the time of this ritual, it is easy to see beautifully decorated and carefully positioned dolls in every house. During this festival of dolls, the idols are arranged in a specific order in rows according to the requirement. While the story of Ramanaya is exhibited in one row, the play of Mahabharata is narrated in the other. These idols are even used by the people now-a-days to spread crucial messages like save the environment. Each house has diverse kinds of dolls for different roles, each symbolizing a different individual.

The dolls also signify the unique art of the state, something which requires a lot of creativity and innovation on the part of the performer. The plays narrated using the dolls are not limited to Ramayana and Mahabharata, but a number of other stories are also scripted to make the occasion even more exciting.

Dasara Gombe, when organized in Mysore Palace during the festival of Mysore Dussehra draws the attention of a lot of people who gather to enjoy the show. The event of Dussehra procession is also enacted with the help of dolls which mesmerize every individual present in the Palace. The idols are available for sale and many people purchase them to have a collection of such dolls. Simply speaking, there is a lot to enjoy in Dasara Gombe.

When to celebrate Mysore Dussehra Festivals 2014

The grand festival of Mysore Dussehra will be celebrated from 7 October to 15 October in the year 2014.

 


Navratri festivals 2014-2015-16

Navratri festivals 2014-2015-16

 

Navaratri Festivals 2014-2015-16 can be split in two words “Nav” meaning nine and “ratri” meaning night; thus Navaratri literally means nine nights. The celebrations of this festival begin on the first day of Ashvin month, according to the Hindu calendar and conclude on the tenth day of the month which is celebrated as Dussehra. According to the Gregorian calendar, this festival should always fall in the month of October; however the exact date varies every year.

Why is Navaratri celebrated?

Goddess Durga is worshiped during the festive celebrations of Navaratri and she is believed to be the personification of Devi. This form of goddess Durga symbolizes feminine body and creative energy. The supreme goddess has nine aspects and thus Navaratri is dedicated to worship all the aspects of the goddess. Each form of the goddess is worshiped on a particular day throughout the nine days. The nine forms of goddess Durga are:

  • The fortunate and auspicious- Bhadrakali
  • Mother of universe- Jagdamba or Amba
  • The food giver- Annapoorna
  • The giver of joy- Sarvamangala
  • The terrifying aspect- Bhairavi
  • The violent one- Chandika
  • The beautiful aspect- Lalita
  • The life giver- Bhavani
  • The one who listens- Mookambika

The Navaratri celebrations are dedicated to Eternal mother’s worship that has her origin in the Vedas. Goddess Durga is also said to be a combination of Trinity of goddesses, which are Parvati, Lakshmi and Saraswati. These are the three goddesses which are worshiped as the main goddesses during Navaratri. However the central theme of Navaratri is the victory of good over evil.

Legend of Navaratri

Navaratri is celebrated for a number of reasons throughout the country; however three of the most common reasons of celebrating the festival are:

According to Chaitra Navaratri, this festival is celebrated to commemorate goddess Durga’s victory over Mahishasura. Mahishasura was a demon who had defeated all gods. Goddess Durga was created by Vishnu, Mahesh and Brahma to kill the demon who had terrified all the gods.

The 9th day of the Chaitra Navaratri celebrations marks the birth day of Lord Rama and is celebrated as Ram Navami.

In the Sharad Navaratri, 10th day of the festival marks the victory of Lord Ram over Ravana, the demon king and thus is celebrated as Dusshera.

Why twice a year?

Beginning of summers and winters marks two of the most important junctions of solar influence and climatic change. These two connections are preferred as the revered opportunities to worship the divine power because:

It is believed that a divine power provides energy to the earth to move on its axis which in turn causes changes in the nature. Chaitra Navaratri is celebrated to show gratitude to the divine power for maintaining correct balance in the universe.

Minds and bodies of people undergo changes due to the external changes in nature and Sharad Navaratri is celebrated to worship the divine power so that it bestows its blessings on all of us to give us enough power to maintain our mental and physical balance.

Celebrations of the nine days

The Navaratri celebrations last for full nine days, with each day having special significance. The celebrations are marked by huge pomp and show and people dress up beautifully to pay obeisance to the nine forms of goddess Durga; along with offering prayers to the Trinity of goddesses.

  • 1st to 3rd day of the festival

The first three days of the celebrations are dedicated exclusively to the worship of Maa Durga. During this time, the power and energy of the goddess are worshipped. Each and every day is dedicated to various manifestations of goddess Durga.

Kumari, which signifies a girl child, is worshipped on the first day while on the second day Parvati, the quintessence of a young woman, is worshiped. The third day is reserved for the worship of goddess Kali which symbolizes a woman who has reached her maturity.

Barley seeds are planted on the first day of the festival in a bed of mud. This pot is kept in the room where pooja is held on regular basis. By the 10th day, which marks the end of the celebrations, each seed has grown into a four to five inch long shoot. After the pooja on the last day, the shoots are given to the attendees and it is believed to be the lord’s blessings.

  • 4th to 6th day of the festival

The next three days are devoted to worship the goddess of peace and prosperity, goddess Lakshmi. Although goddess Lakshmi is worshiped on these three days, goddess Saraswati is prayed to on the fifth day. 5th day of Navaratri is known as Lalita Panchami and this day is celebrated by keeping all the literature and books at one place and then lighting up a diya in front of them. This is done to call upon Maa Saraswati.

  • 7th to 8th day of the festival

The seventh day of the celebrations is dedicated to goddess Saraswati, who is said to be the goddess of knowledge and art. Devotees offer prayers to the goddess and seek spiritual knowledge. Children worship the goddess to obtain her blessings. The knowledge of spiritual world can help a person to get free from all the earthly bonds, which would in turn help him to get closer to god.

While on the eighth day, a havan is performed. This consists of a sacrifice which is done to the holy fire. The sacrifice is done to honor the goddess Durga and to bid her farewell as well. The offerings are made out of rice pudding, sesame seed and clarified butter.

  • 9th day of the festival

The ninth or the last day is the most important part of the celebration and is often regarded as the culmination of the majestic Navaratri celebrations. The last day is known as Mahanavami and on this day people perform Kanya pooja.

In this pooja, people worship nine young girls who have still not attained the age of puberty. Each girl symbolizes one of the various forms of goddess Durga. Their feet are washed by the lady of the house and at the end of the pooja, the girls are given parshad and new clothes as a mark of respect to the goddess.

The rituals

A large number of rituals are attached with the celebrations of Navaratri. The celebrations differ in each state of the country as people have their own ways of celebrating this festival. Some of the most famous and fascinating celebrations take part in the following states:

  • In Gujarat

In Gujarat, devotees celebrate Navaratri in the form of Durga pooja. In the evening, after worshiping Goddess Durga, devotees perform their traditional dance such as Dandiya and Garba. Men and women dress up in beautifully embellished traditional clothes and dance to the tunes of devotional songs.

The main difference that separates Dandiya dance from Garba Rass is that the former is performed after worshiping goddess Durga while the lateral is performed before the aarti is done. Dandiya is performed with the help of wooden sticks while Garba includes hand and feet movements.

  • In Maharashtra

In the Indian state of Maharashtra, goddess Durga is continuously worshiped for nine days. On the 10th day, devotees worship goddess Saraswati and school going children seek her blessings for their studies. People consider this day as auspicious and buy new clothes or ornaments. Devotees also visit various temples to mark their respect.

  • In West Bengal

Navaratri is celebrated on a large scale in West Bengal. Gigantic idols of goddess Durga are constructed and installed in huge pandals.  Devotees in large number visit one of these several pandals present in the city and worship to the goddess. People dress up in new clothes and then celebrate the event.

  • In Kashmir

Hindu minorities in Kashmir celebrate Navaratri with pomp and show. Devotees observe fast throughout the nine days of the celebrations and eat only fruits or specially made food in the evening. Aarti is held on the last day of the celebrations after which the devotees break their fast.

Navaratri food

Some of the dishes which are traditionally prepared during the celebrations are:

  • Sabudana puris and kheer
  • Singhare ka halwa
  • Makhane ki sabzi
  • Kuttu atta roti and sabzi
  • Fruits and fruit juice

India is a land of festivals and a large number of festivals are celebrated in the country; however Navaratri holds special relevance amongst people belonging to different religions. So, if you are planning a trip to India then plan it around September or October to take part in some of the most important festivals.

 

  • When to celebrate Navaratri in 2014:

Chaitra Navaratri is falling on 31 March and will last till 8 April while Sharad Navaratri is falling on 25 September and will last till 3 October.

  • When to celebrate Navaratri in 2015:

Chaitra Navaratri is falling on 27 March and will last till 5 April while Sharad Navaratri is falling on 13 October and will last till 22 October.

  • When to celebrate Navaratri in 2016:

Chaitra Navaratri is falling on 25 March and will last till 3 April while Sharad Navaratri is falling on 1 October and will last till 10 October.


Sunburn Festival Goa 2014

Sunburn Festival Goa 2014

Sunburn Festival Goa 2014-The vibrant city of Goa hosts a large number of festivals with as much dance, music, decoration, fairs and feast as possible. Whether it is Christian, Hindu or Portuguese festivals, the multi-cultured land of Goa celebrates each festival to commemorate the ceremonies with lively spirit. The festive season is one of the best times to see all new side of the city. The lighthearted people of the region welcome tourists from all around the world to show its glamour and glittering Sunburn Festival Goa 2014 celebrations. With the energetic streets filled with cheerful fests, one cannot resist dancing to the festive beats of vivacious Goa.

Among the various festivals celebrated in the city of Goa, Sunburn Festival Goa is one of the most admired and popular, not only among the Indian audiences, but those coming from foreign countries as well. The three day long festival is one of the main attractions of the city and draws attention of a large number of people from different parts of the world. Organized by Shailendra Singh of Percept, the festival is hosted by Nikhil Chinapa, a well-renowned presenter, Video Jockey and Radio Jockey on MTV India. The celebration combines music, dance, shopping, entertainment, food and includes various stages where talented artists perform. A wide array of events is hosted at the festival, each offering a different experience to relish and enjoy. The Sunburn Festival Goa is hugely popular among the youth and its charisma has brought worldwide exposure to it.

History of Sunburn Festival Goa

The year 2007 marks the first celebration of Sunburn Festival Goa. Partnered with Nikhil Chinapa, Percept organized the opening International Dance Music festival at Candolim Beach, Goa. Smirnoff was the sponsor of the occasion. The event comprised of a total of 10 stalls in addition to a flea market. 36 national and international performers in total gave electrifying performances, leaving the audiences spellbound. Nearly 10,000 people attended this very first festival.

Since 2007, the festival is celebrated every year with great enthusiasm and joy. Despite terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008, which took place exactly a month before the festival, Sunburn Festival Goa was celebrated with the same spirit and enthusiasm. The lively festival had a huge turnout of more than 22,000 fans. “After Dark” parties were also introduced in this year, which were organized in club Butter that continued from 10:30 pm till 5 in the morning, making Sunburn Festival Goa a 24 hour event. Attractions like Thai foot masseurs and rock climbing wall were also launched in this year.

In the year 2010, a fashion show was organized in club Butter as a part of Sunburn Festival Goa. After the passes went live, they were all sold in 22 minutes. This makes it evident that the craze people have for this festival is incredible. The Sunburn Festival Goa was once again celebrated at Candolim Beach in Goa in 2011. The main attraction of the event was Above and Beyond, Infected Mushroom, Spertaque, Axwell.

It was in 2012 that the Sunburn festival was celebrated in Noida at Unitech Golf and Country Club along with the festivity in Goa. The seventh edition of Sunburn Festival Goa held in 2013 witnessed a myriad of artists and amazing music. A large number of spectators arrived at the venue to enjoy remarkable performances.

The festival has been set as a benchmark and it is needless to say that within a short period of a few years, the event has become a bit hit among the people.

Things to expect at Sunburn Festival Goa

Sunburn Festival Goa is a time to relish melodious music, electrifying performances, exciting events and to get into long lasting fun. Apart from some amazing performances, there are a lot other things that can be expected during this stimulating occasion. Some of them include the following.

The Artists

The success of any Dance Music Festival depends majorly on the artists. They should be talented enough to entertain the audience and retain their attention. As far as Sunburn Festival Goa is concerned, the event hosts some of the most brilliant national and international artists who leave the audience spellbound. The mesmerizing performances delivered by the artists amuse the people, forcing them to dance to their rhythm. Whether it is music or dance, every artist holds the capability to give magnificent live performances at the venue. The diverse music varying from Indian DJ and other rock performances make Goa a blessed paradise. When you are here, you would certainly not be disappointed by the artists. In fact, you can witness some amazing and varied performances not only from Indian talent, but from those coming from across the seas as well.

Huge stages

Partnered with some of the best Indian artists and those across the world, Sunburn Festival Goa creates huge stages, allowing the audience to witness some miraculous performances on mind-blowing sets. Axwell, Markus Schulz and Afrojack are some of the talented artists who design spectacular stages for the grand and stimulating event of Sunburn Festival Goa.

Delicious cuisines and beverages

Whether it is a religious occasion or a talent festival, any celebration in India would be incomplete without food and drinks. It would not be wrong to say that most of the people in India are foodies and do not need a reason to eat or drink. Of course then what can be better than enjoying mouth-watering snacks and beverages with some good music. The festival not only includes performances, but has various food stalls where one can enjoy some appetizing delicacies with tons of drinks.

The cruise

For those who get tired of walking around the venue and the madness of the mob, Sunburn Cruise is a viable option. Taking a cruise on the Arabian Sea, amidst pristine water, watching the sunset is an amazing feeling worth relishing. Besides, the cruise offers splendid view of the city. A few drinks accompanied by some songs and dance performances ensure absolute entertainment. Taking a Sunburn cruise is certainly one of the best ways to experience the serene ambience, picturesque scenery and natural panorama of the place. You surely cannot miss out this opportunity when you are in Goa for Sunburn Festival.

Camping

It cannot be denied that the hotel prices are sky high during the festive season in Goa. Affording the costs of accommodation can be a bit challenging if you are out on a budget trip. But, you need not worry as long as the team of Sunburn Festival is there with you. The Sunburn guys take away the hassle of looking for an affordable accommodation during the time of Sunburn Festival. You can camp with your friends on-site. This is really an exciting opportunity, especially for adventure buffs. Staying on the site of where Sunburn Festival is being held is a unique experience in itself.

The market

It would take a long search to find someone who does not like shopping and exploring the market undoubtedly makes sense when you are out in a new place. Sunburn Festival Goa offers a great opportunity of shopping in the flea markets that are filled with colorful clothes, awesome accessories and souvenirs. People get to see different variety of stuff. The festivity also includes kite festival and Ferris wheel for the entertainment of the public. Those who are not scared of height can savor Ferris wheel ride.

The after parties

Those who love to party hard are sure to take pleasure in the after parties of Sunburn Festival Goa. The event organizes various after parties that allow every party lover to keep awake and party all night. A suitable venue is selected for the after parties to make sure that tourists and local people do not have to deal with any kind of problems.

Sunburn Festival Goa, with its three day long merrymaking elements which are a superb blend of entertainment, music, shopping and food, expects huge presence of audience. For these three days, the beautifully festooned and designed stages at the Candolim Beach present an array of national and international performers causing you to surrender yourself to melodious music.

With no limit to fun, the grandeur of this enthralling event appears to be larger than life due to the nearby restaurants and resorts. They are spectacularly decorated during festive season, offering sufficient flow of dance, music, food and beverages. Apart from this, locally prepared Fenny in addition to various other Goan beverages brings excitement of expecting what would be coming next.

So, plan your trip in advance as it is one of the perfect times to bask in the grandeur of Sunburn Festival Goa. Witnessing the amazing performances and dancing to the beats of rock music all night long can be a part of your precious memories if you decide to head to Sunburn Festival Goa.

The festival is not only anticipated by Goans, but also welcomes tourists coming from different parts of the world to savor this annual celebration. The festivity oscillating between Christmas celebration and New Year Eve provides an electronic experience.

When to celebrate Sunburn Festival Goa in 2014

The eighth edition of Sunburn Festival Goa will be celebrated from 27 December to 29 December 2014 at Vagator Beach, Goa.