Monday, August 29, 2016

Choosing the Right Salwar Kameez for Yourself: A Few Trendy Tips

Talk about fuss free women clothing and the first name which comes to our mind is a salwar kameez. There was a time when salwar kameez was known for being the more convenient replacement of sarees. We know so many women – our mothers and aunts who chose to don a salwar kameez on their way to work – mostly because they were more comfortable in these dresses when they were on the move. It’s difficult to do all that running around in drapes.

The evolution of the salwar kameez

However, what primarily was more of a substitute for saree even ten or fifteen years back, has today an “identity” of its own. Women love to experiment with the styles of salwar to be worn by them not only when they are attending a function but also when they are wearing it on a regular basis. Today, we will be discussing a few points that you need to keep in view while you’re in the process of selecting a salwar kameez for yourself. Remember it cannot be a random choice – ever!

Here are the tips that you should keep in view while buying a salwar kameez

The first and foremost factor to be kept in view is your body type. Not every cut suits every body type. Make sure your wide party salwar collection consists of only the right cut and length suiting your body type. We will help you in selecting the same.

Are you a bit on the flabbier side? If yes, then please make sure you are not choosing anything with shorter sleeves. Choose something with longer sleeves (at least 5 inches). Vertical prints, dark colors and flower prints are ideal. Refrain from choosing suits that are too tight - clinging to your bulges. Thick colored silhouettes are ideal for those having wider waists.  

Trendy hand woven Unstitched Salwar Kameez Online

Shorter women, who want their salwar to render an illusion of height – should opt for longer kameezes. Similarly they can choose stuff with very thin borders. On the other hand, ladies who are too tall should avoid thin borders as that might make them look like pillars.

Besides your body type, your skin tone is another factor which should go on to influence the choice of your salwarkameez. Dark skinned ladies should opt for darker shades while fairer ladies should opt for light skinned hues.

Do educate yourself about the fabric of the dresses before picking something up. Keeping the season in view before selecting the fabric is only prudent. Georgette, chiffon and rayon are just a few of the fabrics made available today. These particular fabrics are preferred during the summer because they are light weight.

Polar fleece, flannel cashmere, fake fur, silk and silk blends are preferred during winter.

Last but not the least – make sure you’re taking someone along with you whenever you are buying ethnic clothes. This applies for girls or ladies who don’t really have the prior experience of buying Indian clothes or are not really confident of buying them. Take someone experienced along with you- somebody who has an eye for Indian fashion.

Make sure you’re scouting several stores in order to find the right product for yourself. There’s no need to rush through the selection process. Checking out stores online is only helpful since you get to scout more stores quicker than what would have been the case if you had thought about buying your salwar offline.

Just keep these points in view and be ready to turn a lot of heads at the next party or for that matter for any other casual function! Nail the look with the right accessories. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How to Celebrate Janmashtami at your Home?

Janamashtami is one festival which is celebrated in almost all states of India with same vigour, energy and enthusiasm. And why not, after all it marks the birthday of most loved deity Krishna, who is adored as Baal Gopal in his childhood, Kanha or Kanhaiya in his romantic avtar in adolescence and Shri Krishna in his adulthood as the Supreme Teacher. Janmashtami is celebrated in the month of Shravana. The festivities start at midnight when, it is said that Krishna was born and they last for two days. It is really remarkable that this is 5000 years old festival and yet observed with such dedication and enthusiasm.

Raaslila, dahi handi, swings decorated with fresh flowers are integral part of this celebration. And we get to see them quite often, thanks to TV shows and Hindi movies. In Mathura- the birthplace of Lord Krishna and Dwarka, his abode festivities are organized to the maximum. Dance, bhajan and kirtan are performed for two days. But Janmashtami is quite a popular festival to be observed at home, very much like Saraswati Puja, a veneration of Goddess Saraswati who presides education and arts. In household, observance of Janmashtami is quite different from what is portrayed in screens and pictures.

A Famous Hindu Festival Janmashtami 
The main ingredient required for Janmashtami Puja at home is sincere devotion and heartfelt thoughts. Homes are decorated to welcome Lord Krishna. Usually people install swings in garden or hall and decorate it with fresh flowers but these days space is sparse so small cradles are brought and idol of baby Krishna or Baal Gopal is made to sit on it. Children dress like Krishna and Radha. Idols of these two deites are dressed in niceties. The home and especially the Puja aasan is adorned with flowers and beautiful clothes. Bhajan and kirtan dedicated to the Lord are sung and played.  Ladies and kids make preparations whole day and finally puja starts at midnight. It is called Nishitha Puja because of its time. The first phase lasts for at most 45 minutes. The second phase starts in morning, after sunrise.

Abhishek is important part of Janmashtami puja. The idol is bathed in milk, curd, honey and water and ghee is applied to it. Then comes the most important part of this occasion- prasad or offerings. In temples, a total of 108 favourite dishes of Lord Krishna are prepared and offered but it is an impractical, if not Herculean, task to be done at household level. But that does not stop the true devotees to pour their heart out to please their beloved and revered God. In many households, 56 items are prepared to offer 'chhappan bhog'- a celebrated feast among Hindus. Most of the common offerings of Janmashtami are makhan (butter), misri (candied sugar), seasonal fruits, laddoos of different types like sesame seeds, flattened rice, coconut etc. One of the most common form in which Lord Krishna is remembered is makhan chor. His love for milk products is celebrated by the devotees so on His special day, sweets made of milk are must.

There are different foods offered according to the geographical location. Desserts made of pureed palm, shrikhand or flavoured and sweetened hung curd, murukku, aval etc are some of the foods that are especially prepared for this occasion in different states. Not everyone can prepare chhappan bhog at home. Sometimes finance do not allow us to make such spread, sometimes the basic infrastructure at home and sometimes health issues. But God asks for unconditional love, a pious heart and a pious ambiance to accept everything offered. If you have that, your offerings will be wholeheartedly accepted by the Supreme One. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

"Kajal Agarwal" the South Indian Actress Looks gorgeous with Ethnic Sarees

Indian ethnic sarees are known for their pristine beauty and unique appeal for which they are worn not only by women in India but also those living in other parts of the world. The ethnic sarees that are produced in India bear the distinct stamp of the region from where they are made. Due to this reason, these sarees also have a cultural significance of their own. Since there are many states in India, the styles and draperies associated with Indian ethnic sarees vary greatly. Usually cotton and silk are used for making these ethnic sarees. High quality cotton and silk fabrics are used in different ways to give rise to these unique looking sarees.

The ethnic Indian sarees are not only comfortable when worn in the tropical weather of our country but also extremely glamorous and stylish. It is due to this reason that both housewives and working women love to wear them when they go to various social occasions. Even leading actresses of the country love wearing these Indian ethnic sarees when they go for an award function, a press function or a movie release party. Kajal Agarwal is a leading South Indian actress who is known for having a strong liking for these sarees. Not only she loves to wear them during different professional occasions and parties but also adores them in her personal life as well. It is due to this reason that she has an extensive collection of the finest Indian ethnic sarees made by the leading manufacturers.

Actress Kajal Agarwal Love to Wear Indian ethnic sarees
The history of Indian ethnic sarees goes a long back when the earliest artisans used to make use of rudimentary techniques to create fine thread and then make exquisite sarees by using them. These sarees were also printed in a number of different ways by using natural dyes and pigments. The images and artwork that were depicted in the sarees mostly reflect the cultural, religious and social beliefs and practices of the people living in a particular area. These sarees were so gorgeous that they were not only worn for day to day occasions but also for special get-togethers as well. Over the years, the style of these sarees evolved and new elements were added to the sarees to make them more contemporary in nature. However, they still retained certain distinct elements associated with the traditional Indian sarees and due to this reason they were mainly classified as ethnic clothing.

While the fashion sense of modern women in India has undergone a major change in the recent times, women of this country still love to wear these traditional ethnic sarees in various occasions. The look of these sarees has been changed to some extent to go with the changing times, but their essence has still remained the same. Even women living in other parts of the world have a strong fascination for Indian ethnic sarees and therefore a large number of sarees are exported every year in other countries from India for these consumers. This has really improved the financial prospects of India on a grand scale.

The ethnic sarees that are handcrafted by the best of Indian artisans are now available for purchase in various online stores. Most women living in India can now get these beautiful sarees simply at the click of a button. The online stores not only present these sarees in multiple designs but they also help to make sure that all products are delivered to the doorstep of the buyer at the shortest possible time. This has really made it easier for the Indian women of today to get high quality Indian ethnic sarees from the comfort of their own homes.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Top 10 Special Rakhi Gift ideas for your lovely Sister

The festival of Rakhi, also known as Raksha Bandhan is held on the day of Rakhi Purnima that takes place on the month of August. It is a special day in which brothers and sisters express their love for one another and show each other how much they mean to them. The festival of Rakhi is held every year with great pomp and ceremony in Hindu households as it celebrates the unconditional love shared between a brother and a sister. On this auspicious day, the sister ties the sacred thread of Rakhi in her brother’s hand that symbolizes the eternal love between the two. The Rakhi is also meant to ensure the wellness and goodwill of the brother. The brother also promises to love his sister and protect her from all dangers in life and showers her with all kinds of gifts.

The celebrations of Rakhi are never really complete without the exchanging of gifts. Here are some gift ideas for men on this special day who wants to express their love and affection for their beloved sisters.

Rakhi mugs
You can get special Rakhi day coffee emugs for your sister in different attractive shades that look great and carry the message of love that you want to convey. These mugs often come in innovative designs and make for great gifts.

Jewel boxes
Women and girls love jewelry, and you can certainly give your sister the best looking jewel boxes that can accommodate all types of trinkets and pieces like necklaces, chains, bangles and rings.  

Barbie watches
Barbie dolls have attained a cult status among girls all over the world, and your sister would surely love to have a nice Barbie watch as the Rakhi day gift.

Gift Online to your Sister on the Eve of  Raksha Bandhan

Pooja thali sets
Pooja thali sets come equipped with all types of necessary pooja items like tray, bowl, Deepak, agarbathi stand, Pooja spoon, bell and tumbler. Plenty of girls love such gifts as they show deeper love for one’s sister.

Women need handbags wherever they go and so you can give your sister a nice handbag that comes in beautiful shades and designs. There are plenty of handbag manufacturers that you can choose from who can get you fine quality products.

Chocolates are an eternal favorite with all girls and you cannot just go wrong with them.

Home décor items
Homedécor items such as show pieces, wind chimes, clocks and flower stands make the perfect gift for your sister. You can choose them in different styles to suit your sister’s preferences.

An idol of Krishna or Ganesha can be the perfect way to shower the Lord’s blessings on your sister. These idols also come in different materials and designs that make them quite attractive.  

Personalized gifts
Personalized gift items are quite popular nowadays as they are known for their uniqueness. You can add pictures of you and your sister in a mug or picture frame and get a personal message written on them.

Flowers can be a great way to express brotherly love to your sister.

So if you are looking to buy the best Rakhi day gifts for your sister, then you can find them in an online gift store that stocks different types of attractive festival gifts. These stores can not only provide you with ample choices when it comes to stylish gift items but also offer you attractive discounts which can help you get more items for less. With so many online gift shops coming up nowadays, it has become quite easier for buyers to find quality gifts from the comfort of their own homes. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

What you need to know about trendy men’s accessories?

Watches are the most important accessories for men. This is one accessory where you can invest a lot of money and actually make it a timepiece worth holding on to for ages. You can always have a number of grungy watches equipped with the latest technology and stuff but it pays to have one classic watch that can go well with the suits and any formal wear that you may don on from time to time. Just imagine teaming a sports watch with a three-piece suit!

Ties are also an important part of a man’s wardrobe. It is always better to have as many ties as possible. However, while buying ties avoid the mistake of buying pieces that don’t suit your wardrobe. If you wear expensive formal wear then your ties should be equally well priced and in case your formal wear is regular then it should be lesser in terms of price. At any rate, it should be compatible. It is also important that your ties are made of the best possible material. Normally ties made from silk in deep colours like navy blue work wonders.

Wallet is one of the most neglected areas of a man’s wardrobe. There are lots of people who go for years without changing their wallet or even cleaning it. A wallet is very important because it have your identity-related documents. It also has your hard-earned money. You can easily get wallets that are priced affordably and offer a lot of quality.

Money clips
Money clips are a useful accessory in the sense that they can help you carry cash with yourself and yet not look messy. It has normally been seen that the most successful men carry their cash in clips rather than keeping it in their wallets.

Modern Men Accessories
Messenger bags
Compared to conventional bags messenger bags are much more comfortable and elegant. You can use these bags to carry around a number of items that you may need from time to time in a day. If you are wearing great attire then you can be sure that messenger bags will complement them perfectly. They are available in different sizes and colours and you can take your pick from them.

Socks have been part of men’s fashion for ages. They are basically timeless. However, at times these little beauties can be a little complicated. You need to learn how to be able to choose the best ones. Normally most men prefer cotton socks. While buying a sock remember to buy one that goes with the colour of your shoes.

A lot of men are under the impression that scarves are only for ladies but that is so far from truth! It is always better to go for a scarf that offers some good quality. You should wear them during winters – they will make you look stylish and keep you warm as well. You can wear with a casual jacket or a pea coat.


More than being a trendy accessory a belt is an important piece of equipment – one that holds your pants from falling off. However, it pays to have a leather belt that seems classy. Just like a good pair of shoes these can last you a long time. The most preferred colours in this case are chocolate brown and black. These colours are especially ones that will help you stand out in a crowd. These colours are also good because they will be compatible with your suits. Other than these, sunglasses and cuff links are also good accessories for men to have. But the best accessory is indeed a fat free body! It makes anything look good on you and you good in anything.   

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What are some Traditional Indian Garments good for a typical Tamil Reception?

Tamil weddings, like all other Indian weddings are high on pomp and ceremony. These are festive events that are known to be gorgeous and colorful. Therefore it is no surprise that the men and women who attend a wedding would love to look their very best. If you are new to a Tamil wedding reception, then you need to dress up in the traditional style to be a part of this special occasion. Over the years, traditional Tamil clothing has attained global recognition due to the beauty and elegance that is associated with them. The style and motifs used with these clothes have also undergone a great change over the years. Today, anyone who is looking to wear traditional Tamil clothing for a wedding can have a wide range of options to choose from.

When it comes to women, saree or half saree and blouse is the main staple of costume in a Tamil wedding. Although a woman can easily choose from a wide range of sarees that are available online, the most popular ones are of course the heavy Kanchipuram sarees. These are made by using fine gold threads which make them exquisite and beautiful. The sarees are large and give way to extra pallu that is worn around the waist. The style, color, texture and embroidery of these sarees can vary greatly from one piece to another. Different types of materials are used to create these sarees, such as silk, crepe silk, georgette and chiffon. When a Kanchipuram saree is combined with a well matching blouse, it can give rise to a stunning look.

Hand Woven Silk Sarees for Tamil Reception
A half saree typically consists of a dupatta, long skirt and a blouse which can be worn around the body. Usually, these sarees are worn by younger girls and are known for their enhanced comfort. Although the numbers of women wearing these sarees are rare, they can still be seen from time to time. The draping style of a saree can vary from one person to another. Whether a woman wears a saree or a half saree, she needs to combine it with traditional ornaments such as bangles, necklaces and other accessories. Bangles are traditional accessories that are worn particularly by married women. They are also considered to be auspicious and are therefore highly cherished by all women.

For men, the traditional costume in Tamil Nadu has always been shirt, dhoti and angavastra. Although most men in this part of India wear lungi during their daily work and general occasions, they prefer to wear a dhoti during a special occasion like a wedding or a wedding reception. While the traditional color for these garments has always been white, nowadays many men prefer to choose their clothes from other shades as well. The angavastra is a type of long cloth that is draped around shoulders. While at one point of time the angavastra was worn by men instead of the upper garment, nowadays they are mainly kept over a shirt. Many of these clothing items also come with special designs and motifs these days. Although many men prefer to wear western outfits while they attend weddings, the traditional Tamil dress code of shirt, dhoti and angavastra still continues to remain popular.

The traditional Tamil garments for wedding or wedding receptions can be easily purchased from the various online stores that offer extensive stock of these clothes. Many of these online stores also offer great discounts on these clothing items which make it quite affordable to buy them. With more online stores coming up that present traditional Tamil clothing, the popularity of these garments is likely to increase over time.

Friday, July 22, 2016

What are the Best Places in Europe to Visit in Winter?

On any day, Europe is the best destination to travel. No matter where you go, Europe has a lot to offer for your memory kitty. If you want to have a medieval and ancient historical tour, go to Italy or Greece, for an emotional or rather modern war history, go to Germany, Austria etc, to revel the natural beauty, go to Switzerland, for a more fashionable experience, go to France or if you want simply to enjoy the life while on vacation, go to Spain. If you managed to get a leave during Christmas or winter in general, Europe can still be the best bet. Whether you like to enjoy snow and chill or you want a break from the chills you can choose the destination accordingly.

Christmas Markets in Europe

Christmas is undoubtedly the most charming of all festivals. The ambience around you changes and even if you do not belong to the faith, you unknowingly be a part of that merry making. Christmas market is something that you will rarely find anywhere else in the world in such splendour. These are the historic markets that pop up anywhere and everywhere. Shops that look like cottages, selling pretty stuffs that may or may not signify Christmas. Glass balls, ginger breads, mulled wine, sleigh bells, and of course the essence of festivity which is good cheer. If you are planning your Europe trip in and around Christmas, then your destination should be Germany, Austria or Sweden. The Christmas market of Cologne, Munich, Vienna and Stockholm is a treat to eyes and soul. And if you can explore the smaller towns, it will be an experience you will cherish for the rest of your life.

Plan Your European Discovery on Upcoming Winter
Sweden, Iceland and Norway

These three countries are added in the list for one of the most fascinating geographical marvel called aurora borealis or northern lights. These countries remain in the lap of night for several weeks in December and January. You will no get to see sun during this time but the night sky can give you an unforgettable sight. Go to Abisko or Jukkasjarvi in Sweden, Reykjavik in Iceland or Svalbard in Norway, you will see the eccentricity of nature with vibrant colours. There are many other places where these lights are seen, Scotland in UK being one of them, but the magnitude of these lights is surely the highest in these countries.

Adventures and Thrills

Life can be boring without adventures and thrills. So, if you want to enjoy the fun of adventurous sports in snow, head straight to the ski resorts in Jasna in Slovakia, or to the Swiss Alps which is home to the winter sports. There are snowshoe trails, trekking, cross country skiing, snowboarding, snowparks, Winterland and what not. Engelberg, Murren, Lucerne, Gstaad, Crans-Montana, Zermatt and Chateau-d'Oex must be on your itinerary. France too has some of the best ski resorts in Europe. Val Thorens, La Plagne and Alpe de'Huez are the top most resorts of Europe located in the French Alps.

Refuge from Snow and Cold Breeze

If you are from a cold place or dread the extreme winter, go for places that are comparatively warm during this time of the year. Best options would be Italy and Spain. There are places in Italy that witness their share of dusting snow like Venice, Florence and part of Tuscany, but if you move towards coastal area or southern mainlands including Sardinia and Sicily are really comfortable. In Spain, you can enjoy the tropical sun in winter. If you want to see Mediterranean Sea at its best, go to Barcelona, Majorca, Andalucia or Tenerife Islands. Spain is the perfect example of the proverb 'seize the moment'. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Go Ethnic with Your Handmade Home Decor

If we discuss popular ethnic handmade home décor items, we visualize cushions with mirror work, wall hangings, embroidered table and sofa covers, hand carved mirror or photo frames in copper, fulkari bed cover and so on. Does not these images present a perfect ethnic home décor? Interestingly, all these items that people all over the world rave about are handmade. The intricate thread work may give you an impression of some machine but as a matter of fact, there are families who have dedicated their generations in past and will do in future as well, to these art works. These skillful artisans have inherited the talent as legacy and sometimes are forced to choose this over any other profession. Let us discuss some novelty handmade home décor items that will give your enormous flat in posh locality or a modest home in a small town an ethnic home décor.

Choice of Colours

Colours go a long way when you want to give ethnic Indian flavour to your home décor. So, when you plan makeover, include warm coloured items to your room. We understand that changing the wall colours are not always possible and we are not insisting for it either. But if you incorporate décor items like sofa covers, cushions, wall pieces, and curtains in different shades of red, orange, yellow and brown, your home will look cosy and welcoming.

Indian Handicrafts available online for Home Decoration

Concept of Ethnic Look for a Living Room

Ethnic look will be incomplete without woodwork items. Hand-carved wooden decorative items look very sophisticated and they complement any décor. Similarly the zaffri work also gives an elegant and inviting appearance. But if you don't have them and including them would mean exceeding your budget in leaps and bounds, don't feel disappointed. Get your old wooden furniture and varnish it in glossy finish. Zari work table cover in earthly hues will take your décor to another level. As mentioned before, bright coloured cushion covers with mirror work all over are integral to your handmade ethnic home décor. Similarly, curtains you are using can be embroidered for that extra impression. Don't forget to gather them and tie up with a silk tassel. Rugs and carpets look great in an ethnic themed décor but to be truthful, handmade one would cost a fortune.

Ethnic Home Decor

For the Indian essence in your bedroom, you can put some efforts from your side. Stitch your old silk sarees into curtains. Add zari, gota or appliqué to make it even beautiful. These days you will find different bed sets that are essentially Indian in look. With golden thread work, raw silk patches and even sequins embellished here and there, they make your room mutedly gorgeous. A lampshade with dokra work or stained glass will give it seal of perfection. At the end of this make over session, you won't stop smiling at the final result of your handmade ethnic themed home décor.

Some Essential Items

We all know that Indian handmade art and crafts are high on demand. It will be no short of foolishness not to include them in your home décor. A white and blue ceramic vase at the corner, wooden horse or hand-carved elephant on the glass shelf, hand-carved wooden or black metal jewellery box for your beautiful wooden dresser, soapstone jar of jali work beside your music system, pattachitra wall piece, jute-made lamp shade on the side table with sofa, a brass lamp hanging from the ceiling and the list can go on but you will never fall short for options to make your home sophisticated with ethnic handmade home décor items. However, catch is to maintain the thin line between giving your house an ethnic facelift yet stop right before it becomes your personal museum. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Divyanka Tripathi is Busy For Her Wedding Ceremony

Divyanka Tripathi of Yeh Hai Muhabbatein fame is a household name today. Her sizzling chemistry with Ruhanika Dhawan aka Ruhi has made her character of Ishi Maa larger than life. Though she has equal chemistry with all her other co workers like Karan Patel, Sumit Sachdeva, Aly Goni, Neena Kulkarni  or Anita Hasnandani Reddy, but the bond she shares with her on-screen daughter outshines everyone else. And little did her fan know that when a new character ACP Abhishek, a friend of Raman Bhalla, her reel life husband was introduced in the serial, a new script was being written elsewhere at a cosmic level. But it so happened that first who met as colleagues were engaged in January 2016 and on July 8, they got married in Bhopal.

Thanks to different social media platforms, celebrities are quite accessible these days. You can know what is going on in their lives, interact with them and virtually be a part of all functions of their life events. Divyanka Tripathi who is almost like a family member of every household though was very busy managing the hectic shooting schedules and preparing for the wedding, kept her fan following updated with everything ongoing preparations. Fans could see her choosing the wedding trousseau, pre wedding photo shoot and exclusive pictures of a wedding which was nothing short of a dream sequence. Some websites have also posted the picture of the wedding cards and not to mention photos of every event from mehendi, sangeet to the wedding and reception. And their first picture as man and the wife surely takes the cream, away. The glow on the face of newlywed bride and groom, their dresses, their jewellery and accessories, the guest list, venue and everything related to this wedding became talk of the tele town for the last few days.

Divyanka Tripathi getting married with Vivek Dahiya 
Different TV programmes and website articles told us the changes made in the script due to the wedding functions. Divyanka and Vivek took a leave of 10 days for the occasion. It was difficult for the team to accommodate the space since Divyanka is the lead and there are rarely episodes where she is not shot. So creative team came up with different ideas like sending her to ICU, Australia or her shots to be taken separately. After all, she is the favourite bahu and mother of TV screen. But all wells that ends well. Everything was sorted out. Both the bride and the groom who are leads in two daily soaps, Yeh Hai Muhabbatein and Kavach worked overtime to wrap up as much as they could before leaving for the wedding which took place in Divyanka's home town and followed by a reception held in Vivek's home town Chandigarh. Divyanka and Vivek could take their time out from their respective shooting schedules to do their shopping, preparations, photo shoots, and talking to their fans about these preparations as well. One look at the wedding and pre wedding pictures and you will understand the precious bond they share.

Prior to this, Divyanka had been in a serious relationship as well but they amicably separated after a long period of courtship. The elegant actress from the small town of Bhopal started her career as an anchor with Akash Vani. Very few people know that this soft looking girl next door actress has a degree in mountaineering and gold medals for rifle shooting as well. The 'sarva-guna-sampanna' bahu of TV serials is no less in her real life as well. And it is for the time to say that how comfortably she fits into this new avatar. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Ratha Yatra‬: A Grand Celebration of Car Festival in Puri, Odisha

Ratha Yatra also known as Car Festival, this amazing event is observed in the month of Asadha, on the second day of the lunar fortnight that falls during June-July. Commonly famous as Rath Yatra, this occasion is celebrated in the admiration of Lord Jagannath who is considered to be an embodiment of Lord Vishnu. 

On the day of the occasion, the wooden idols of Jagannatha, Balrama and Subhadra are taken out in procession in three chariots to their summer temple for a week. The main chariot is 14 meters high and 10 meters square with 16 wheels. The actual structure of the carts starts two months before the celebration day, on the third day of the bright fortnight of Vaisakha (April-May). 

Famous Car Festival in Puri

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Alarnath Temple: The Other Form of Lord Jagannath

Alarnath Temple is located in Brahmagiri which is about 25 kilometers from Puri. It is a special place for the Krishna devotees and a little lesser known tourist destination than the Jagannath Temple. Alarnath temple witnesses gathering of devotees during the Ashadha period which is post Snana Yatra when Lord Jagannath along with family of brother and sister is bathed with holy water. After bathing with lots of water, the Lord and his family is taken ill which is known as the Anasara period. The devotees visit the temple of Alarnath during this Anasara period when they are not allowed into the sick room of the Lord.

According to mythology, Lord Brahma worshipped Lord Vishnu on top of the hill during Satya Yuga. One day Lord Vishnu appeared and told Lord Brahma that he was pleased with the way he prayed and asked him to prepare a four-armed deity of Lord Vishnu holding the shankha, chakra, gada and padma (conch shell, disk, club and lotus) and make a shrine on the hill. The idol was made from black stone and there is another idol of Garuda too. The rulers of Rajasthan actually established the temple here and started worshipping the deity which made the people call the place as Alarnath or Alwarnath.  

Alarnath Temple 

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in 1610 A.D. stayed here for 2 weeks during the Anasara period of Lord Jagannath. He claimed that he could find Lord Jagannath in Lord Alarnath and since then it has become a popular belief that Lord Jagannath manifests himself through Lord Alarnath during the Anasara period. Lord Alarnath is served Kheer made from milk and rice during the Anasara period. Idols of Satyabhama and Rukmini can also be found inside the temple of Alarnath. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is also present inside the temple in idol form. The lake behind the temple is famous for Chandan yatra celebrated every year. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Phooluri (Phuluri) Care of Lord Shree Jagannath, Balabhadra, Maa Shubhadra at the Time of Anbasara

Phooluri or Phuluri Seva or care is a special ritual practiced in the Jagannath Temple of Odissa. This is done after the Snana Yatra episode during which the deities are brought out for bath only once in a year. After the deities are bathed with lots of water they fall sick and retire in the rest room. This period is known as the Anbasara period. During this time no one is allowed inside the room other than the sevaits of the deities. The ailing deities Lord Jagannath, Balavadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan are confined inside the Anbasara Ghara. They suffer from fever during this period.

The Daitapatis are the only people allowed inside the room during this period. They are the ones who serve the lords and are allowed to stay close to the gods. They practice the ritual Phooluri seva which is done each year during the fever period of the gods. This ritual was first introduced by Atibadi Jagannath Das who was the autor of Srimad Bhagabat. He was a contemporary of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This ritual holds lot of significance among the followers and devotees.

Lord Shree Jagannath, Balabhadra, Maa Shubhadra
Phooluri seva or care cannot be provided without sesame oil. This oil is provided by Odiya Math which was established by Jagannath Dash. The ingredients of Phooluri oil include 4kgs of pure sesame oil, Bena roots, fragrant flowers like Jai, Malli and Jui. The oil smells beautiful and the mixture is left in an earthen pot. The pot is sealed with earthen clay and stored underground since Hera Panchami to Anabasara. A saint of Odiya Math is sent to fetch the pot from underground and the Daitapatis apply the oil on the body of the deities. There are approximately 165 Daitapatis in service of the Lord and his family. The ritual is a significant one. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ayurvedic Medicine Dashamula for Lord Jagannath

Dashamula or Dashamoolah is an Ayurvedic medicine practiced in India since ages to cleanse and treat various types of health issues. It is a mix of herbs and is quite effective. The Dashamula medicine is used to treat Lord Jagannath after the Snana Yatra when he is bathed with lots of water from the pots filled with holy water from the sacred well. The Lord and his family bathe only once a year and it is a huge festival in Odissa. Post the bathing ceremony the Lord along with his family rests in a sickroom and is treated with Dashamulah.

Dashamoolah in English means 10 roots. This concoction is a cleansing one and is prepared from the roots of 10 herbs. In Ayurveda the body is treated as the abode of 5 elements and weakening of one element creates misbalance within the system. This concoction is prepared with herbs and sesame oil to cleanse the pitta dosha or the fiery element. It is basically made into a liquid form; however, Dashamoolah can also be herbal steam. This encourages the flashing out of toxins through the sweat glands. However, the Lord is offered the liquid form of medication.
Ayurvedic Medicine Dashamula
Dahsamoolah is also known as Dashamula kashaya and is used to treat kapha, cough, vata, asthma, cold and inflammation too. The Lord after bathing so much is inflicted with fever and Dashamula treats him of fever, cough and pain in flanks. The Lord is also offered pepper along with this liquid medicine to make it more effective. The ingredients of Dashamula include:
  •       Bilva- Aegle Marmelos
  •       Agnimantha- Permna Mucronata
  •       Shyonaka- Oroxylum Indicum
  •       Patala- Stereospermum Suaveolens
  •       Gambhari- Gmelina Arborea
  •       Brihati- Solanum Indicum
  •       Kantakari- Solanum Xanthocarpum
  •       Gokshura- Tribullus Terrestris
  •       Shalaparni- Desmodium Gangeticum
  •       Prishnaparni- Uraria Picta
8 parts water is mixed and strained to get the medicine. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mahaprabhu Lord Jagannath Snana Yatra at Puri Temple

The Snana Yatra or the bathing festival is a famous religious festival in Puri and it has lot of significance within the country too. People from all over the globe visit Puri, Odisha during this festival to be a part of Lord Jagannath’s journey to his maternal aunty's(Mousi Maa temple) home. It is observed and celebrated on Purnima or the full moon day of the Hindu month of Jyestha which falls in May or June. For the Vaishnava sect it is an important festival. This Snana yatra is the only time when the deities- Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra, Sudarshan and Madanmohan are brought out of the Janagannath Temple and taken to the Sana Bedi. This is known as “Pahandi’ by local people.

This procession looks marvelous with hoards of devotees dancing, singing, pulling the rope of the holy chariot along with purohits chanting mantras. On the Snana Bedi all the deities are bathed ceremonially. The bathing venue is decorated beautifully with lots of flowers and colorful clothes. The Snana Yatra witnesses large number of visitors from around the world. It is a belief of the devotees of Lord Jagannath that if they make a pilgrimage to this land during this celebration, they will be purged of all sins; hence, the crowd.

In Skanda Purana it is mentioned that King Indradyumna was the one who first performed this ceremony when the idols were installed in the shrine for the first time. Since, then the people of Odisha have celebrated this bathing festival. The Snana Bedi or the Snana Mandapa is situated in the north-east direction of Ananda Bazaar beside the outer wall of the temple. The length and width of the platform is 76 feet. The height is also long enough for all the devotees standing outside to see the Lord and his family.

Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Maa Subhadra on Snana-Mandapam (Bathing Platform)

Since, this is the bathing festival; the deities are bathed with the holy water from Suna Kua or the Golden Well. 108 pots of water are fetched from the well by the Suaras and the Mahasuaras on this auspicious day. Water from this holy well is fetched once in a year only, during this festival. People drawing water from the well cover their mouths with clean cloth lest the water gets contaminated. The pots are kept inside the Bhoga Mandap where the priests purify them with turmeric, sandal, whole rice, perfumes and flowers. The Suaras later carry the pots out to the Snana Mandap where the Jalabhishek is performed amidst the chant of Vedic mantras by priests and blowing of conch shells accompanied with Kirtana.

After the Snana ceremony, the deities are adorned with new dress known as the Elephant or the Hathi Vesha. The attires of Lord Jagannath and Balaram resemble that of an elephant while Goddess Subhadra wears a lotus attire or vesha. This is a special appearance of the Lord and his family for his devotees. With so many baths, the deities fall sick with fever and are not returned to the pedestal. There is a sick room inside the temple known as the Ratan Bedi where the deities are kept.

Deities stay inside the room for 15 days and during this time no public worship or darshan is allowed. This period is known as ‘Anasara’. To treat Lord and his family, they are offered Dasamula medicine mixed with cheese and fruits. Even the daily temple rites remain suspended during this period. The deity along with his family appears in front of public on the 16th day in his new form which is known as ‘Netrotsava’. Some devotees also visit the Alarnatha Temple nearby during the Anasara period with a belief that the Lord manifests himself as Alarnatha. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

How to Celebrate Raja Parba in Odisha

Odisha is a beautiful land of temples and ancient art and craft. Its festivals, traditions and culture are also quite unique. They draw a lot from their rich past and still have maintained many of the cultural traditions like celebrating the Raja Parba. All their festivals are known all around the world for the pomp and show because they are generally held on a large scale. Festivals are an integral part of the Odisha culture and people there live their lives in the perfect blend of modernity and traditional values. Odisha has a distinct flavor to its cultural celebrations which attracts lot of tourists.

The Raja Parba or festival is one such cultural celebration of Odisha. It is also known as Mithuna Sankranti which marks the beginning of the solar month of Mithuna; the start of the rainy season. The festival continues for 4 days and the second day actually signifies the beginning of the rain month. The festival normally begins from 14th of June when the entire Odisha welcomes the rainy season and celebrates the first brush of monsoon on their soil with flowers blooming everywhere. From here begins the year of productivity and hence people are happy and celebrate all over Odisha.

There is an interesting myth around this festival. It is believed by the Odisha people that Bhudevi, the divine wife of Lord Jagannath menstruates for 3 days and on the 4th day she goes through Vasumati Gadhua which means the ceremonial bath of the divine wife of Lord Jagannath and the mother of all. The period of worshipping Bhudevi begins from this day and the name Raja Parba has been derived from the term Rajaswala which denotes a menstruating woman. As a woman gains her fertility through menstruation, so also mother earth begins to realize her power of producing and this entire festival is a worshipping of fertility.

Celebrating Raja Festival In Odisha

Women do not indulge in pampering themselves with new dresses and jewelry. They refrain from doing any household chores during the 3 days. They mostly adorn themselves in traditional sarees and put Alatha on their feet to look more beautiful. Nobody walks barefoot on the ground and lots of delicacies are served like pithas which are sweet and tasty. Chakuli and podophitha are the hot favorites. Women also indulge in playing indoor games and girls spend time on swings with their friends. There is a folk song associated with Raja Parba which is known as Raja Geeta which eulogizes Mother Earth.

All 4 days of Raja Parba have different names- first day is Pahili Raja, second day is Mithuna Sankranti, and third day is Bhu Daaha while the fourth day is Vasumati Snan. The grinding stone representing the fertile earth is bathed by ladies on the 4h day after smearing it with turmeric paste, vermillion and decorating it with flowers. Mother Earth is offered all types of fresh seasonal fruits and the day before the celebration is known as Sajabaja and is a preparatory day when everything in the house is cleaned including the grinding stone.   

Though entire Odisha celebrates Raja Parba, yet Balasore, Puri and Cuttack celebrates it with great grandeur. Puri is already the most popular religious place in Odisha and any festival is observed with splendor there. No agricultural activity is carried on during the 3 days to provide rest to Mother Earth who will later produce crops and sustain life. Soon to be mothers and unmarried girls celebrate it with utmost dedication and abide by all the restrictions during the period. Women are only allowed to take bath on the first day and through the rest of the festival they must refrain. Dance and music is integral to Odisha festivals and here also yatra performances are arranged in Gotipua style. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

10 Traditional Silk Sarees That are Favourite of Rekha

Rekha is the face of Indian beauty clad in a gorgeous saree. Rekha wears heavy silk sarees with crimson red lipstick and heavy ornaments for every public appearance. Many actresses like Madhuri Dikshit and Vidya Balan try to copy this style but Rekha is the benchmark of Indian beauty who has the grace and elegance that no other heroines have. Here is the list of 10 traditional silk sarees that our favourite actress Rekha loves.

  1. Kanjivaram Silk Sarees- Kanjivaram is the most popular saree among all the actresses. We find Rekha wearing different shades of Kanjivaram sarees on different occasions. Whether it is the premiere of her movie Silsila in 1981 or wedding of Nitu Singh and Rishi Kapoor, she is always seen in one of her finest Kancjivaram silk saree. Very Recently, Rekha wore a dark maroon  Kanjivaram silk with golden border, for the screening of Ram-Leela. Undoubtedly, she looked every inch a diva.
  2. Kasavu Silk Sarees- Kasavu is the traditional white and golden silk saree. Rekha wore it for Super Star Awards 2011. With golden and pearl jewellery, wavy hair on her shoulder, kohl-rimmed eyes, and signature red lips, she was indeed the show stopper. But what made her distinct in the crowd was her disarming smile which never leaves her lips.
  3. Handloom Silk Sarees- No one can match the dressing and styling sense of this yesteryear beauty. If she dresses gorgeously for the formal occasions like award functions and weddings, she looked absolutely elegant and sophisticated in a white handloom silk saree which she wore at the book launch of Wendell Rodricks. She teamed it up with a golden three quarter sleeved blouse, minimal necklace and big jhumkas. Needless to say, she stole the show. 
    Indian Beauty Queen Rekha
  4. Benarasi Saree- Though she is mostly seen in south Indian silk sarees, but she looked equally stunning in a green Benarasi saree for 56th Filmfare Awards 2011. Golden jadau jewellery, lustrous wavy hair, small bindi and the red lips made her look like a Goddess.
  5. Silk Saree with Golden Zari Border- When she appeared in a red border white silk saree with a big bindi, quite unlikely on her part, for the Big Star Young Entertainers Awards 2012, onlookers almost skipped a heart beat, such is her charisma.
  6. Silk Work Saree- Rekha also loves silk sarees with heavy embellished work of sequins, silver zardousi, mirror and stones. She wore it for a social function and teamed it up with short sleeves designer blouse.
  7. Brocade Silk Saree- We all are aware of Rekha's love for heavy and gorgeous sarees and it is quite natural that brocade will make it's space in her cupboard as well. She wore an off white brocade silk saree for a promotional event. Flowers in the hair bun, long earrings and a heavy necklace completed her look.
  8. White Plain Shimmering Silk- Rekha sported a contemporary look with white plain silk saree with gold tint and sleeveless blouse and gold with pearl jewellery for Dada Saheb Phalke Award.
  9. Cream Designer Silk Saree- It is quite evident that Rekha either wears bright and gorgeous colours like red, golden, yellow, orange or chooses white or cream shades. Like she wore for the launch of a music album. Every one was mesmerized when she appeared in a cream butter silk saree with mirror, stone and embroidery work in border and pallu.
  10. Crushed Silk Saree- Quite contrary to her usual look of heavy traditional saree, jewellery, and hair do, Rekha appeared for a promotional event in a plain white crushed silk saree, sleeveless blouse, hair tightly done in a high ponytail and costume jewellery.