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. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Where you will find cheapest Indian Handloom and Handicraft products outside India?

Indian handicrafts and handloom items have a huge market abroad. NRIs as well as foreigners value these products in high esteem and are often open to offer any price to acquire them for their living room or closet. Kanjivaram or Benarasi silk sarees are finest examples of Indian handloom product while pattachitra of Orissa or antiques from different part of India are always high on demand. These artefacts are always imported from different sources and contribute a good portion in our foreign revenue. With more and more people moving abroad and thus enhancing the exposure for these products more than ever before, question arises where you can find cheapest Indian handloom and handicraft products outside India.
In the year 2014, proposal was given about opening emporiums in different parts of the world to make Indian handloom and handicraft products easily available in foreign countries as well. However, still a lot has to be done in this aspect. Meanwhile there is a solution which can help the interested clients get these fine pieces of art at a reasonable price sans the conveyance cost and the solution is online shopping. There are several government aided and privately owned websites where you can order your favourite Indian products. You can order wooden sofa with mirror work cushion covers in silk to add Indian flavour to your sitting room. Terracotta figurines, brass wall pieces, silver utensils and jewelleries, bamboo and cane products and the list can go on which can add that zing to your abode.

Hand Crafted Patachitra Sarees Available Online

No matter where an Indian is based, at the time of wedding they love to flaunt their ethnic traditions. It is during these occasions, demand for Indian handloom and handicraft products rises. Benarasi saree or lehenga for the bride, sherwani or dhoti for the groom, jewelleries for everyone becomes the talk of the town. Since it is not possible to buy these things from there and even if they are available, they cost a fortune, you can go online. You can choose the currency in which you want to pay and get it delivered at your door steps. You may be charged a little more for the shipping cost, but you can rest assured of the quality of these products.
Not only Indians, people from foreign countries love Indian artwork. Metal boxes with striking designs are a favourite among them for their aesthetic and as well as utility value. Metals used for these boxes are iron, brass, copper, aluminium, tin and so on. Stone made idols and figures of Indian gods and goddesses are popular decorative items. All these are easily available over internet. If you can choose a right time, then you can even bag a good offer where your expense is much less than you are expected to pay. Subscribe to the site and you will get newsletters to know more about the inventory, deals and other lucrative offers. Thanks to globalisation, you can get everything you need from the global village with just a few clicks here and there.

It is true that you can get Indian clothes in foreign land, but for that regular supply of authentic Indian handloom for a cheaper price, you still have to wait for little longer till the red tapes are untangled. And in the meantime, help yourself with the websites. Their products are genuine. Often these sites work directly with the artisans. So when you do business with them, your purchase helps them directly. What more can be of fulfilling experience if not this? So, if you want Indian handloom and handicraft products, go online and satiate your desire to own these fine art pieces.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

What are the 10 Must-see Places Outside India?

World is full of natural and man-made wonders and making a list of ten must-see places in this huge world is a Herculean task. Of course, there will be people disagreeing from one school of thought to another, yet here is a list of ten places which is a delight to body and soul and will be an out of the world experience over all.

  1. Pyramids of Giza in Egypt- These 3800 years old monuments are the only intact relics of seven wonders. A tour of these pyramids is practically travelling to 2,560 BC. Pyramids will leave you surprised with its unique design which stood strong for more than forty centuries and still going strong.
  2. Yellowstone National Park, USA
  3. Yellowstone National Park, USA- This is a natural marvel. Primarily, it is located in Wyoming but spreads across Idaho and Montana as well. It is a volcanic hotspot along which a 3,500 sq miles recreation area has been created. It has everything- canyons, forests, exotic wild life, alpine rivers, hot springs and most importantly, hot geysers. The most visited of them are Old Faithful, Steamboat and Beehive Geysers.                                     
  4. Salar de Uyumi, Bolivia- With spanning over 4,086 square miles, this is world's largest salt flat. During the rains, its reflectiveness is worth watching. Due to this clarity, satellites are calibrated here. For the same reason, it is called world's largest mirror as well.
  5. Victoria Falls, Zambia- This is a one-mile long and 350 feet high waterfall from where more than 260,000 gallons of water flow every second. This is a spectacular view and a must add in your bucket list.
  6. Crystalline Turquoise Lake in Jiuzhaigou National Park, China- When you want to see a riot of colours, crowd of tourists in pristine setting and a cluster of beautiful geographic marvels together in one place, visit Jiuzhaigou National Park in Min Mountains. The crystal clear lake with myriad of colours like green, yellow, turquoise, aqua blue etc makes it a breathtaking spot.
  7. Beautiful Venice, Italy
  8. Northern Lights in Iceland, Norway, Finland or Sweden- Now this is one must see option which comes with further options. Northern lights or Aurora Borealis are the celestial games of light and sound in the winter sky. It's an absolute delight to watch. Best Northern Lights can be seen from Reykjavik in Iceland, Svalbard in Norway, Kakslauttanen in Finland and Jukkasjarvi in Finland.                                                                             
  9. Venice in Italy- Compared to the places mentioned above, Venice may sound mundane but a floating city is something you have not seen ever. A hustling bustling city is connected with only waterways is beyond any of your theoretical knowledge.
  10. Swiss Alps- You don't need to rush from a point to another ticking your checklist. When you are in Switzerland, enjoy the nature's beauty at its best. Get down at a random station, put your luggage in a locker room and explore the little towns in the mountains that are picture perfect.
  11. Machu Pichu, Peru- A visit to this Inca City is trekking into history. It is known to be the best architectural site of South America. A broad base rising up to a sharp peak gives a look of a human face. Take your time exploring the ruins and relics of more than 500 years old city.
  12. Cherry Blossoms in Japan- Once winter bids goodbye, spring makes its dramatic entry with cherry blossoms. Starting from late March to April end or sometimes early May, every nook and corner of Japan becomes magical with the pink blanket of flowers. Life suddenly becomes beautiful in this colourful atmosphere. You will never be able to erase this vision of pink splendour for the rest of your life. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Other than India where handloom items are famous?

For hundreds and thousands of years, India has been strongly revered due to the skilled artistry and craftsmanship of Indian artisans. Out of the many products that have been produced by them, the handloom sarees always deserve special mention as they have always been known for their classic and ethereal beauty. Here are some of the most notable areas all around the country that are known for their unique styles of handloom products.

West Bengal
West Bengal has its very own style of handloom sarees, and some of the most popular ones of them all are Baluchari, Tant, Kantha and Dhanekhali products. Each of these saree products come with their own set of unique artistic patterns and usage of color. The artwork used in these sarees reflects the ideas and sentiments of the people living here as well as their sense of viewing the world.

Hand Woven Indian Silk Sarees Online

Odisha is the modern name of the region whose ancient name was Kalinga. With a rich tradition of unique culture the rgion is known to produce some of the finest samples of high quality handloom products. The Sambalpuri sarees that are made here are not only worn by women in different parts of Odisha but also by women in other parts of the country as well. The beautiful sarees are handcrafted to perfection with lightweight materials such as silk, cotton and tussar.

Benaras is one of the oldest cities of India and therefore it is not surprising that the city with have a culture that is thousands of years old. This rich culture is perfectly reflected in the Benarasi silk sarees that are designed and manufactured here. The sarees are notable for their pristine beauty, which is why they are extremely popular as bridal sarees. The pure gold and silver threads that are used for weaving these sarees make these sarees extremely gorgeous. The intricate embroidery and beautiful zari designs give these sarees their unique touch.  

Bihar is a region that has always been famous for its beautiful tussar silk sarees. These sarees are adorned with fine artwork that takes its inspiration from the classic Madhubani paintings. A number of different fabrics are used to create these sarees and even woolen and blended sarees enjoy great popularity.

Andhra Pradesh
When it comes to handloom industry, Andhra Pradesh always deserves special mention. There are a number of regions all across Andhra Pradesh that is known for their saree weaving techniques. Among the regions that produce world class weaves include Mangaliri, Gadwal, Pochampalli, Venkatgiri and Dharmavaram. All of these regions are noted for their top quality weaving techniques that have a unique style of their own.    

These regions described above have always made a strong contribution to the handloom industry of India. The famous handloom products designed and manufactured in these regions are not only popular in India but in other parts of the world as well. Other than India, there is also an extensive handloom market in certain other countries such as China, Burma, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Middle Eastern countries as well as various regions of Europe and USA. The handloom products that are made in India are in high demand in these countries. With the advent of online shopping, it is now perfectly possible for the people living in these parts of the world to buy top quality Indian handloom products from the comfort of their own homes. Buying these handloom products from the online shops not only allow the buyers to choose from a broad range of items but also make it possible for them to make the most of lucrative discounts. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Why peoples of Middle East always searching for Traditional Indian Dresses?

India has always been a culture that is heavily steeped in its traditional culture and belief systems. The reflections of these beliefs have been observed in Indian art, architecture, music as well as fashion. For hundreds and thousands of years, India has developed its very own ideas and concepts about clothing. This can also be seen in the pictorial representations of the various gods and goddesses that make up the Hindu pantheon of religious deities. Since India has always had a tropical climate, the fabrics that have been used mostly in India for creating various types of clothing items include cotton, muslin, silk and blends of cotton and silk. These fabrics allow easy passage of air and keep the wearer cool and comfortable under all occasions. A wide range of dress materials are made for both men and women by using these fabrics. 
Traditional Indian dresses have always been in high demand among men and women in this country. It is for this reason that the artisans and dressmakers of this country design them in a wide variety of styles to suit various occasions. Special artistic motifs and embellishments are used in these dresses that make them exquisitely beautiful; this when taken together with the creative use of colors makes these dresses truly beautiful and gorgeous. Most Indian men and women love to deck themselves up in these clothes when they need to attend a particular wedding or make a strong appearance in a religious festival or a family get-together. This is also true for people who are living within the boundaries of the Indian subcontinent or those who are residing in other parts of the world.

Large range of Traditional Indian Dresses Online
One of the places in the world where the Indian clothing items are immensely popular is the Middle East. Middle Eastern countries, such as Dubai and UAE have always had a strong liking for the clothing items that are made in India. People from these two regions of the earth have shared strong ties of culture and commerce for thousands of years. Many people used to travel back and forth within these countries, thus exchanging many ideas in terms of culture, cuisine, religious belief systems as well as fashion ideas. Since both countries have comparable weather conditions, the clothes that are made in India are perfect for Middle Eastern conditions. Men and women in the Middle East have been fond of traditional Indian dresses for a long time and now it is possible for them to get these dresses easily from various online stores.

There are currently many ecommerce stores in Middle East that allow consumers to buy Indian dresses online. These stores are perfect places to get the best branded Indian clothing products as well as clothing items that are made by well known designers. Whether one is looking for designer kurtas, ghagra cholis or bridal wear, he or she can easily check out the online stores in the Middle Eastern regions for buying the best of these products. There are also a number of online stores that are based in India that cater to the consumers from Middle Eastern countries. This makes it even easier to get these products as and when one desires.

The easy availability of Indian dresses through various online stores in MiddleEast has encouraged more men and women in these countries to try on Indian traditional clothes and experiment with their looks. This has also made it possible for Indian clothing companies to expand their markets and earn great revenue from out of them. It is due to the sheer popularity of online shopping in Middle East that more ecommerce stores offering Indian clothes are coming up at the present moment.               

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Gokarna: Why does it attract so many foreign tourists?

Gokarna, can very simply be described as a small touristy pilgrimage town which receives visitors throughout the year. As it has several temples nearby, the town is virtually thronged by Hindu pilgrims most of the times. However, the interesting thing to note here is that besides the Indians, the foreigners including the Europeans and Russians frequent this place as well. “Why exactly do these foreigners visit this small town often? What exactly does this pilgrimage sort of a town have to offer these foreigners? Let us find out in the course of the post.

Gokarna: A touristy delight in Karnataka

Situated in Karnataka, Goakarna serves as a perfect retreat for pilgrims with all its Shiva temples with His original image (as is believed by the inhabitants of the town and perhaps even by the visitors). The place is primarily famous for the string of religious festivals held here. Shiva Ratri, observed at the end of February is celebrated amidst much jubilation here.

Talking about the sea of foreign tourists the town receives every year; let us tell you that the trend has been started by the European backpackers who primarily visited Gokarna for its warm climate in winter. Another major reason behind the foreigners thronging here is the much coveted isolation offered by this place.

Beautiful Beach of Gokarno

The role played by the beaches

The life styles of Gokarno are not solely revolving round beaches. It should be pointed out that the town is not only known for its temples. It is equally famous for its beaches. And who doesn’t know? Beaches are always a favorite of foreigners. Here is a rundown on the most exotic beaches of Gokarna.

Gokarna Beach

Though it is more popular with the Indians and less with the foreign tourists, it should be mentioned that it is visited by the latter – perhaps by a much lesser degree than what’s the case with the other beaches. It stretches for several kilometers long. Perhaps one of the reasons why foreigners avoid this particular beach is because of the consistent lack of hygiene. You can hardly find any locals cleaning this beach up. Things are in fact worse after Shiva Ratri. The beach is converted into a virtual garbage dump after a night of revelry.

Om Beach

Situated further along Kudle beach, this particular beach is divided by a rocky island. Foreign visitors are a regular sight here. A section of the beach is primarily occupied by restaurants offering cheap accommodation in the shape of concrete beach huts and bamboo. Come the monsoons and you will not really have access to many accommodation options here.

Kudle Beach

Kudle Beach can be reached by a brief walk downhill from the drop-off points right at the southern and northern end of the beach. Travelers are advised to stay in the southern stretch of the beach. Backpackers had always been a regular feature of this particular beach. Thanks to these backpackers – parties and jam sessions were held regularly as well.


So, as we were saying before, beaches also have to play a crucial role in bringing foreign tourists to the town. As you might have gauged by now, the place is practically brimming with a number of beaches. One of the prominent trends which can be noticed in recent times is the gradual thinning down of the backpacking crowd in recent times. Various sections of the town have stopped entertaining backpackers simply because they have started receiving affluent tourists (especially from the metro cities of India) and also because they have had to face several problems owing to the backpacking crowd. The backpacker, many a time were involved in theft, drugs and other anti-social activities.