Thursday, January 28, 2010

Major Indian Hill Station

India is a land of scenic beauty with its snow-capped mountains, lush green fields, verdant hills and white-foamy rivers. India boasts of many world heritage sites as well as world-famous palaces and monuments. The temples of Southern India are indeed examples of architectural wonder. India is a perfect haven for the tourists. Every year tourists flock in droves to explore the spectacular beauty of this splendid country. The tourism industry is a burgeoning industry in India.

The British must be given credit for developing most of India's hill stations. They did to escape the blistering heat of the long Indian summer. And with seven principal mountain ranges all over the country available to them they had the opportunity to explore each one of them and create their retreat towns, many of which are well maintained and retain their old-world charm.

Major Indian Hill Station
Almora Hill Station
Dalhousie Hill Station
Darjeeling Hill Station
Gangtok Hill Station
Gulmarg Hill Station
Kodiakanal Hill Station
Kufri Hill Station
Ladakh Hill Station
Mahabaleshwar Hill Station
Manali Hill Station
Mount Abu Hill Station
Munnar Hill Station
Mussoorie Hill Station
Nainital Hill Station
Nilgiri Hills Hill Station
Kodiakanal Hill Station
Ooty Hill Station
Panchgani Hill Station
Patnitop Hill Station
Shimla Hill Station
Srinagar Hill Station
Badrinath Hill Station
Bhimtal Hill Station
Chail Hill Station
Devikulam Hill Station
Idukki Hill Station
Itanagar Hill Station
Kasauli Hill Station
Khajjiar Hill Station
khandala Hill Station
Lonavala Hill Station
Nandi Hill Station
Pithoragarh Hill Station
Renuka Hill Station
Saputara Hill Station
Kullu Hill Station

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bathing Dates for Kumbh Mela 2010

Bathing Dates for Kumbh 2010

Ardha Kumbha and Maha Kumbha are the occasions when millions of people gather to take holy dip in the sacred waters. This is main reason for one to attend the Maha Kumbha and the Ardha Kumbha festival. It is believed that a holy dip in sacred rivers during Maha Kumbh or Ardh kumbh takes human out of the circle of life and death and one attains Moksha. Devotees, saints/sadhus turn up in great number from all over the world to take a dip in the holy waters of rivers like the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythological Saraswati at Parayag (Sangam). According to traditions these holy rivers offers purity, wealth, fertility and wash away the sins of all those who take bath.

Bathing Dates for Haridwar Maha Kumbh 2010

14 January 2010 - Makar Sankranti Snan - First Snan (bath)

15 January 2010 - Mauni Amavasya and Surya Grahan (Solar Eclipse) - Second Snan

20 January 2010 - Basant Panchmi Snan - Third snan

30 January 2010 - Magh Purnima Snan - Fourth Snan

12 February 2010 - Maha Shivratri - Pratham Shahi Snan - First Royal Bath

15 March 2010 - Somvati Amavasya - Dvitya Shahi Snan - Second Royal Bath

24 March 2010 - Ram Navmi - Fifth Snan

30 March 2010 - Chaitra Purnima Snan

14 April 2010 - Baisakhi - Pramukh Shahi Sanan - Main Royal Bath

28 April 2010 - Shakh Purnima - Snan

The Holi Dip

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

KUMBH MELA-History,origin,important dates,places

Holy Baths
History Of Kumbh Mela

The origin of the Kumbh is very old and dates back to the time when Kalasha (pot of nectar of immortality) was recovered from Samudramanthan (during the churning of the primordial sea), for which a tense war between Devtas (Gods) and Asuras (Demons) ensued. To prevent the Amrita Kalasha being forcibly taken into possession by Asuras, who were more powerful than Devtas, its safety was entrusted to the Devtas Brahaspati, Surya, Chandra and Shani. The four Devtas ran away with the Amrita Kalasha to hide it from the Asuras. Learning the conspiracy of Devtas, Asuras turned ferocious and chased the 4 Devtas running with Amrita Kalasha. The chase, lasted 12 days and nights during which the Devtas and Asuras went round the earth and during this chase, Devtas put Amrita Kalasha at Haridwar, Prayag, Ujjain and Nasik

The Religious Importance
ganga devi

The festival is religiously most important for the Hindus. At every Kumbh occassion, millions of Hindus take part in the celebrations. During 2004 Kumbh at Haridwar, more than 10 millions devoteed gathered at the site. Saints, priests, and yogis from all corners of India, gathered to participate in Kumbh. Haridwar is considered very holy, due to the fact that Ganga enter plains from mountains here itself.
The festival is visited by the most amazing saints from all across India. The Naga Sadhus are one such, who never wear any cloth and are smeared in ash. They have long matted hairs and are not at all affected by the extremes of heat and cold. Then there are the Urdhwavahurs, who believe in putting the body through severe austerities. There are the Parivajakas, who have taken a vow of silence and go about tinkling little bells to get people out of their way. The Shirshasins stand all 24 hours and meditate for hours standing on their heads. Spending the entire month of Kumbh on the banks of Ganga, meditating, performing rituals and bathing thrice a day, are the Kalpvasis.It is believed that bathing during Kumbh cures the bather of all sins and evils and grants the bather, salvation. It is also believed that at the time of Kumbh Yog, the water of Ganga is charged with positive healing effects and that water at the time of Kumbh is charged positively by enhanced electromagnetic radiations of the Sun, Moon and the Jupiter, the flux of which also varies in accordance to positions and the phases of the moon, and also by the + and - signs of the sun spots.

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, January 17, 2010


The Kumbh Mela ("festival of the pot of nectar of immortality") is held every three years in each of four different locations, returning to each of four places every twelve years. An Ardh (half) Mela (festival) takes place six years after the Purna (full) Kumbh in each location.

Kumbh Mela is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage and bathing festival that takes place at the following 4 locations of India:

-Prayag (near the city of Allahabad, in the state of Uttar Pradesh) at the confluence of three rivers Ganga (Ganges), Yamuna and mythical Saraswati.

-Haridwar (in the state of Uttaranchal Pradesh) where the river Ganga enters the plains from Himalayas.

-Ujjain (in Madhya Pradesh), on the banks of Ksipra river.

-Nasik (in Maharashtra) on the banks of Godavari river.

Dates for the Kumbh Festival
(every 12 years in 4 locations)

-In 2010, March-April, Kumbh Mela will be held at Haridwar in the foothills of the Himalayas. The main bathing date for Kumbh Mela, Haridwar, is April 14, 2010.

-In 2013, Maha Kumbh Mela will be held in Allahabad (Prayag), Jan. 27 to Feb. 25. Main bathing date: Feb. 10.

-In 2015, Kumbh Mela will be held Aug. 15 to Sept. 13. Main bathing date: Sept. 13.

-In 2016, Kumbh Mela will be held April 22 to May 21. Main bathing date: May 21.

Major Dates for the next Kumbh Festival in Haridwar:

14 January 2010 (Thursday) - Makar Sankranti Snan - First Snan (Holy Bath)
15 January 2010 (Friday) - Mauni Amavasya and Surya Grahan (Solar Eclipse) - Second Snan
20 January 2010 (Wednesday) - Basant Panchmi Snan - Third Snan
30 January 2010 (Saturday) - Magh Purnima Snan - Fourth Snan
12 February 2010 (Friday) - Maha Shivratri - Pratham Shahi Snan - First Royal Bath
15 March 2010 (Monday)- Somvati Amavasya - Dvitya Shahi Snan - Second Royal Bath.
24 March 2010 (Wednesday)- Ram Navmi - Fifth Snan
30 March 2010 (Tuesday) - Chaitra Purnima Snan
14 April 2010 (Wednesday) - Amavasya of Krishna Paksh of Baisakh - Pramukh Shahi Snan (Main Royal Bath).
28 April 2010 (Wednesday) - Shakh Purnima - Snan.

Shahi Snaan (Royal Bath) for six Akharas of Vaishnav and Udasi sects: March 15, March 30, and April 14, 2010

The basic point of the Kumbh Mela is for pilgrims to bathe at certain sacred spots on certain auspicious days. A large tented city is erected and pilgrims stay at tents owned by Pandas (religious and spiritual guides) and at various ashrams and hotels. Others will just camp on the ground or visit for the actual bathing day. Some of these bathing days are designated "royal." On all the 10 major bathing dates, the naga sadhus (naked mendicants) will parade and bathe. On all other days there will still be people bathing, other events, and random processions

Click Here For

Bookmark and Share

Maha Kumbh Mela, Haridwar Date(January 14-April 28,2010)

Maha Kumbh Mela, also known as the great Kumbh Mela, is conducted in every three years at each of the four distinct locations, namely Prayag (Allahabad), Ujjain, Nasik and Haridwar. The next Maha Kumbh Mela is held at each destination on the completion of 12 years. Ardh mela on the other hand takes place six years after Maha Kumbh Mela at each of these locations. Maha Kumbh Mela is one of the most sacred pilgrimages of Hindus. It is celebrated on a grand scale in India. Maha Kumbh Mela witnesses the largest congregation of worshippers, who come from all parts of the country to meet the holy men as in yogis, sadhus, ascetics who have dedicated their lives in the devotion of Lord.
The holy learned men who assemble at the Mela to take holy bath exude spiritual vibrations that pave way for the purity of mind and soul of other people attending the Mela. Maha Kumbh mela has a lot of religious significance for people in India. It is said that whosoever performs the holy bathing ritual with pure mind and with complete trust in the divinity, derives maximum benefits. Maha Kumbh Mela is celebrated at those spots, where the sacred nectar had fallen at the time of battle between the demons and Gods. During the Maha Kumbh mela, the devotees bask in the nectar or amrit. Here "Amrit" refers to the light of knowledge that will awaken your inner conscience and pave way for attaining enlightenment.

Kumbha (Kumbha means pot) Mela (means fair) is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage that takes place at the following four locations of India

1. Prayag, Allahabad (in the state of Uttar Pradesh) at the confluence of three holy rivers - Ganga (Ganges), Yamuna and Saraswati
2. Haridwar (in the state of Uttar Pradesh) where the river Ganga enters the plains from Himalayas
3. Ujjain (in Madhya Pradesh), on the banks of shipra river, and
4. Nasik (in Maharashtra) on the banks of Godavari river.

Bookmark and Share



Ramdevji is a folk–deity of Rajasthan in India. He was a saint of the fourteenth century who devoted his life to the upliftment of the downtrodden.

The story, as derived from folklore, is thus. King Ajmal was the king of Pokaran. His wife, Rani Mainade, was the daughter of the king of Jaisalmer. The couple was issueless for many years. Once day the king was on a tour of his kingdom. It was monsoon, yet the kingdom had not received any rainfall. On his tour, the king met a few farmers who were on their way to their farms to sow seeds. On seeing the king, they begun to return back to their homes. Surprised at this act, the king asked farmers the reason for their behaviour. When assured that no harm would come to them if they told the truth, the farmers told the king that they believed that seeing a barren king's face while on their way to their fields may cause their crops to fail, and therefore they wanted to return to their homes. King Ajmal was very sad on hearing this. Being a devotee of Shri Krishna, the king decided to go to the Lord's palace in Dwarika.

King Ajmal arrived at Dwarika and prayed for many days. Ultimately, in sheer disappointment, he asked Krisna's idol the reason for deserving such sorrow. The idol did not respond to the king's repeated queries. Angered and raged at this, the king threw a dried laddu at the head of the idol. The priest of the temple, considering the king to be mad, asked the king to go to the mystic Dwarika to speak to the Lord. The mystic Dwarika swallowed by the sea many centuries ago, lay at the bed of the Arabian sea. The unfearing king dived into the sea to meet the Lord. Pleased at the king's dedication and faith, the Lord granted him a boon. The king asked for Lord Krishna to be born as his son. The Lord promised to take birth in the king's house. Soon thereafter, the royal couple were blessed with children.JAY BABA RAMDEVPIR

Ramdevji is considered to be an incarnation of Krishna.

As mentioned above, King Ajamal (Ajaishinh) married Queen Mainade, the daughter of Pamji Bhati of Chhahan Baru village. The childless king went to Dwarika and pled with the Lord about his wish to have child like him. They had two sons, Viramdev and the younger Ramdev. Ramdev was born on Chaitra Shukla Panchami in V.S. 1409 at a place called Ramdevra or Runicha (Ranuja), some nine miles from Pokharan. Ramdevji was a Tanwar Rajput. He is considered to be the 72nd descendant of the Pandav King Arjun.

Muslims venerate Ramdevji as 'Ramshah Pir'. He was said to have had miraculous powers, and his fame reached far and wide. Legend has it that five Pirs (saints) from Mecca came to test Ramdevji's powers. After being convinced of his abilities, they paid their homage to him. Since then he is venerated by Muslims also as Ram Shah Pir or Rama Peer.

Ramdevji believed in the equality of all human beings, be they high or low, rich or poor. He helped the down-trodden by granting them their wishes. Baba Ramdev is often depicted on horseback. His worship crosses the Hindu-Muslim divide as well as the distinctions of caste. His followers include caste Hindus and the Dalits in modern-day Rajasthan, Gujarat and [[Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai,Delhi] and also in Sindh in Pakistan. Several Rajasthani melas (fairs or festivals) are held to commemorate him.

Ramdevji took samadhi on Bhadrapada Shukla Ekadashi in V.S. 1442 at the age of 33 years. Dalibai, his ardent follower, is also buried near his grave.

One day, young Ramdevji wanted to play with a toy horse. His father asked a toy maker to make one wooden horse, and for the purpose, gave him sandalwood and new cloth. The toy maker, however, stole most of the new cloth for his wife, and made the wodden horse from a piece of old cloth, with only a cover from new cloth. When Ramdev sat on the horse it began to fly and disappeared into the sky along with the child. Ramdev’s parents got angry with the toy maker and imprisoned him. Shortly afterwards, Ramdev came back along with the horse and accused the toymaker of cheating. The toy maker confessed his crime and begged for forgiveness. Ramdevji forgave him and accepted the horse. Wooden toy horses covered with cloth are among the most popular offerings at the temple dedicated to him.

“24 Banis” are considered as famous literature composed by Ramdevji. Many poets and followers like Harji Bhati, Raja Mansinh, Likhmauji Mali, Vijoji Sani, Hiranand Mali, Devshi Mali and Rani Rupande had composed Falk lores on Ramdevji which are still sung by his followers.

Apart from Rajasthan, Baba Ramdevji or Ram Dev Pir has a strong Hindu following in Kathiawar, Gujarat. There are many temples dedicated to him. People from all stratas of society worship him. A mystical festival, called Mandap, is also held in villages across Kathiawar to worship him. The whole affair is funded by the villagers. The highlight of the festival is an event in which a long (almost 60 feet or more in height) wooden log, called the Sthambh, is decorated and laid on the ground with a loose base, with eight ropes tied to it from eight directions. Several rites and rituals are performed for about a month. At a certain time and date, the Sthambh stands up. Very mysteriously and strangely, the Sthambh stands up on its own, without any support. The eight ropes are loosely tied in eight nails that are driven in the ground. Lakhs of devotees flock this mandap to have a darshan of the event. The Sthambh stand erect for exactly a day, and returns back to its position 24 hours later in the same fashion. It is believed that RamDev Pir himself appears in the Sthambh.

Bookmark and Share

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bikaner Prime Attraction

Forts & Palaces

Junagarh Fort
Built by Raja Rai Singh (who was a contemporary of Akbar), the fort remains unconquered till date except once, when Kamran supposedly captured it but could not retain it over 24 hours. It has 37 palaces, temples and pavilions that are built in red sandstone and marble. Richly decorated with mirror work, paintings and outstanding stone carvings, the architectural brilliance of the fort is worth seeing.

Suraj Pol (the Sun Gate) is the main doorway of the fort. The palaces are on the southern side of the fort and their courtyards, kiosks, towers and windows make a scenic view. The notable tourist attractions are Chandra Mahal (The Moon palace), Phool Mahal (The Flower Palace), Karan Mahal (Karn Palace), Anup Mahal, Diwan-e-Khas (Public Audience Hall), Hawa Mahal (the Wind Palace), Badal Mahal (the Cloud Palace), Rang Mahal (the Color Palace), Dungar Mahal, and Ganga Mahal. The fort is open from10 am to 4.30 pm daily and is closed on Fridays. The entry fee includes the fee of the guide.

Lalgarh Palace
Maharaja Ganga Singh (1881-1942) built Lalgarh Mahal, Sir Swinton Jacob being the chief architect. An imposing building, it has a captivation combination of Oriental style with its delicate latticework and European luxury with its overhanging balconies and terraced lawns. Peacocks and bougainvillea bushes provide the final strokes to the loveliness of its scenic beauty. The Lal Ghar Palace Library has a massive collection of rare, original Sanskrit manuscripts on parchments, copper and gold or silver plaques. The Lalgarh palace is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm and is closed on Wednesdays.


Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum
The museum has a plentiful collection of pre-Harappan, Gupta, and Kushan pottery, carpets, paintings, Bikaneri miniatures, armory and coins and also has a special section, which displays local arts of the area.

Fort Junagarh Museum
As the name suggests, it is located in the fort of Junagaarh and has an wide-ranging collection of manuscripts, carpets, jars, jewellery, armory, decorative items, treaties, and several other artifacts on its display.

Palace Museum or Shri Sadul Museum
The first floor of the Lal Ghar Mahal houses this museum, which displays royal exhibitories including well-preserved hunting trophies, personal possessions of former Bikaner rulers such as royal wardrobe, camera, golf tees, camera, books, electric toothbrush of the former 'maharaja', his earplugs and old photos depicting royal hunts.
Bookmark and Share

Rajasthan Fairs


If we remove the festivity of the fairs, Rajasthan would have been a dull place. It is surprising to see how the sheer will of human beings keep them in constant celebration in the rough weather and scorching sun of the desert land. Romance, faith and valor of the Rajputs infuses new life in the folklores and the folk songs of Rajasthan. The traditions are very much alive and traditional fairs are held all the year round marked by colorful costumes and cultural performances. There is music and dance and there are village women wearing heavy silver jewellery and hiding their faces behind the veil. There are traders who gather to sell their wares - household items and exquisitely designed handicrafts. There are camels and cattle and there are competitions.

Banganga Fair
It is said that the stream of Banganga was formed when Arjun, one of the Pandavas, shot an arrow to quench the thirst of dying Bhishma Pitamah, who was a brave warrior and had been badly wounded in the battle of Mahabharata.

Chandrabagha Fair
Thousands of devotees gather here at the time of fair to take a holy dip in the sacred waters of river Chandrabhaga.

Gogaji Fair
Gogaji is regarded as a saint by the Kayam Khani Muslims who are beieved to be his descendants. He is an eminent warrior-hero of the region. Hindus called him by the name of Goga Veer while Muslims call him Jahar Peer.

Jambheswar Fair
Jambheswar ji is considered an in carnation of Lord Vishnu himself, by the Bishnois. He always stood for self-control, truth and non-violence. Two temples of Jambheswar ji are situated near the town of Nokha - one in village Mukam and the other on the sand dune of Samarthal.

Kaila Devi Fair
One of the most venerated fairs of Rajasthan, Kaila devi fair is hels at the temple of Kaila Devi, who is worshipped as the guardian deity by the Yadavas, the Khinchis, and the princess of Karauli.

Karni Mata Fair
Karni Mata led an ascetic life and dedicated herself to the service of the poor and downtrodden and is believed to possess supernatural powers. She laid the foundation of Deshnok and her main followers are 'Charans'.

Kapil Muni Fair
The largest fair of Bikaner, Kapil Muni Fair is named after the Kapil who was a great sage, believed to have done 'tapasya' here for the redemption of mankind. Kapil Muni has been mentioned in Puranas and has been said to descend from Lord Brahma (the creator of the world) himself.
Khatu Shyamji Fair
Thousands of devotees visit the temple during this annual fair, many of them for performing the 'Jadula' ceremony of their children, where the child 's head is shaven clean for the first time.

Khetlaji Fair
There are shops and festivity that is characteristic of all Rajasthani fairs. The bubbling people who throng to the fair in their colorful attire certainly add the charms to this gala occasion.

Mallinath Fair
One of the biggest cattle fairs of Rajasthan, Mallinath Fair is just the right place to visit to look out for highly popular breeds of cattle such as cows, camels, sheep, goats and horses.

Nagaur Fair
The famous Nagaur fair is known for the cattle tradesmen with colorful turbans and long mustaches that come there with their fine breed of camels, horses, cows, and bullocks.

Pushkar Fair
One of the most sought-after fair in Rajasthan, a lot of tourists come to Pushkar Fair on pilgrimage as well as to see the display of a mystifying array of items.

Ramdevra Fair
Jai Baba Ramapeer Ni
Baba Ramdev was a Tanwar Rajput who took 'Samadhi' (left his mortal body for the heavenly abode) in 1458 AD. He was believed to have miraculous powers and is considered an incarnation of Lord Krishna

Sheetla Mata Fair
It is said that if the wrath of Sheetla Mata is let loose, then epidemics spread. This fair is held to make offerings and worship the deity to please her and keep her pacified. In the shrine, a red stone represents the deity.

Shri Mahavirji Fair
A sacred place to Digambar Jains, followers of Mahavir ji, they come from far off places to pay their homage to the venerated saint at the Mahavirji temple, situated in an enclosure known as 'Katala'.

Sitabari Fair
As the legend goes, Sita, the wife of Lord Ram, was left by Lakshman here to serve the period of her banishment. He also shot an arrow from where a stream of clear water sprouted for Sita.

Urs - Galiyakot
Thousands of devotees and followers congregate at the shrine during the annual Urs, to pay their homage and seek blessings of the saint to have their wishes fulfilled.
Bookmark and Share

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Important Days Celebrated All Over The World

Important Days Celebrated All Over The World

January 12 : National Youth Day.

January 15 :Army Day.

January 26 :India's Republic Day and International Customs day.

January 30 :Martyrs' Day

February 24 :Central Excise Day.

February 28 :National Science Day.

March 8 :International Women's Day.
March 15 :World Disabled Day.

March 21 :World Forestry Day.

March 21 :International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

March 23 :World Meteorological Day.

April 5 :National Maritime Day.

April 7 :World Health Day.

April 18 :World Heritage Day.

April 22 :Earth Day.
May 1 :Workers Day (International Labor Day).

May 3 :Press Freedom Day.

May (2nd Sunday) : Mother's Day.

May 8 :World Red Cross Day.

May 11 :National Technology Day.

May 15 :International Day of the Family.

May 17 :World Telecommunication Day.

May 24 :Commonwealth Day.

May 31 :Anti-Tobacco Day.

June 4 :International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.

June 5 : World Environment Day.

June(2nd Sunday) : Fathers Day.

June 26 :International day against Drug abuse & Illicit Trafficking.
June 27 :World Diabetes Day.

July 6 :World Zoonoses Day.

July 11 :World Population Day.

August 3 :International Friendship Day.

August 6 :Hiroshima Day,

August 9 :Quit India Day and Nagasaki Day.

August 15 :Independence Day.

August 29 :National Sports Day.

September 5 :Teachers' Day.

September 8 :World Literacy Day.

September 16 :World Ozone Day.

September 21 :Alzheimer's Day.

September 26 : Day of the Deaf.
September 27 : World Tourism Day.

October 1 : International day of the Elderly.

October 3 :World Habitat Day.

October 4 :World Animal Welfare Day.

October 8 :Indian Air Force Day.

October 9 :World Post day.

October 10 :National Post Day.

October 13 :UN International Day for National disaster reduction.

October 14 :World Standards Day.

October 15 :World White Cane Day( guiding the Blind).

October 16 :World Food Day.

October 24 :UN Day, World development information Day.

October 30 :World Thrift Day.
November 14 : Children's Day ( in India )

November 20 :Africa Industrialization Day.

November 29 :International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People.

December 1 :World Aids Day.

December 4 :Navy Day.

December 7 :Armed Forces Flag Day.

December 10 :Human Right Day.
December 23 :Kisan Divas Farmer's Day).
Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

International Kite Festival-Uttarayan

Varied colors of celebration dot Gujarat skies
The festival of Uttarayan is a uniquely Gujarati phenomenon, when the skies over most cities of the state fill with kites from before dawn until well after dark. The festival marks the days in the Hindu calendar when winter begins turning to summer, known as Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan. On what is usually a bright warm sunny day with brisk breezes to lift the kites aloft, across the state almost all normal activity is shut down and everyone takes to the rooftops and roadways to fly kites and compete with their neighbors.

Kites of all shapes and sizes are flown, and the main competition is to battle nearby kite-flyers to cut their strings and bring down their kites. For this, people find their favored kite-makers who prepare strong resilient kite bodies with springy bamboo frames and kite-paper stretched to exactly the right tension. Lastly, the kites are attached to a spool (or firkin) of manja, special kite-string coated with a mixture of glue and glass to be as sharp as possible for cutting strings of rival kites. Production of kites and kite supplies can be seen on the streets of Ahmedabad beginning in November, to get ready for Uttarayan, and nowhere more so than in Patang Bazaar, the special kite market that appears in the old city. For the week preceding the festival, it is open 24 hours a day for all kite lovers to stock up for the festivities.
Varied colors of celebration dot Gujarat skiesVaried colors of celebration dot Gujarat skiesVaried colors of celebration dot Gujarat skiesVaried colors of celebration dot Gujarat skies
Parents who normally find their children hard to get out of bed for school will find them setting the alarm for 5 am on 14th Jan., to get up and start flying kites in the ideal pre-dawn wind. The atmosphere is wonderfully festive, as whole families gather on the rooftop, special foods like laddoos , undhyu or surati jamun are prepared for eating over the course of the day, and friends and neighbors visit each other for group kite-flying fun. Often people look out for which of their friends has the optimum terrace for kite flying and many will congregate there. This leads to many social gatherings that would not otherwise occur, as one person’s brother’s friends meet their classmate’s cousins, because they have all gathered on the rooftop of the same mutual friend. People often find themselves marking time by Uttarayans: “I met you three Uttarayans ago, right?” is a not uncommon phrase. At night, kite fighters send up bright white kites to be seen in the darkness, and skilled flyers will send aloft their tukkals with strings of brightly lit lanterns in a long line leading back down to the rooftop. From early morning to late at night, Uttarayan provides lots of fun and beautiful sights to remember for a long time.

Since 1989, the city of Ahmedabad has hosted the International Kite Festival as part of the official celebration of Uttarayan, bringing master kite makers and flyers from all over the world to demonstrate their unique creations and wow the crowds with highly unusual kites. In past years, master kite makers from Malaysia have brought their wau-balang kites, llayang-llayanghave come from Indonesia, kite innovators from the USA have arrived with giant banner kites, and Japanese rokkaku fighting kites have shared the skies with Italian sculptural kites, Chinese flying dragons, and the latest high-tech modern wonders. A master kite maker and famous kite flyer Rasulbhai Rahimbhai of Ahmedabad trains of up to 500 kites on a single string have come to be a classic attraction. Almost every known variety of kite can be seen in the skies over Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, from box kites to high-speed sport kites, from windsocs and spinsocs to hand-painted artistic kites.

Kite Festival
Bookmark and Share

Friday, January 8, 2010

Karni Mata Temple

Karni Mata Temple Deshnok

Deshnok Karni Mata Temple Bikaner
Although the temple is an important Indian pilgrimage site, foreign visitors are few, which could be why village locals are so welcoming and eager to talk about the temple and its 20,000 rodent inhabitants. They will relate how when sitting in the temple the rats (kabas) curl up and sleep peacefully in their hair.

You may not see this exact sight, but most certainly you will see rats (kabas) clumped on the edges of milk bowls and gather in a heaving mass over plates of food by the altar.
Visiting the Temple
Before entering, shoes must be removed, as with all Indian temples. An outstanding feature is the solid silver entrance doors donated by Maharaja Ganga Singh.
Once inside you will notice a wire grill covering the court yard to stop birds eating the holy rodents. There are also holes and tunnels built into the construction to allow them to move around freely.
Temple priests tend to the rats by constantly refilling large bowls of milk. In the heart of the temple, the shrine, there is a huge bowl filled with prasaad (sugar balls). It is a shocking sight as it is totally overrun with countless rats.
Tourists are not permitted to enter this area but many pilgrims surround the huge bowl.
It is highly likely, if not a certainty, that a holy rat will run over your feet, if so, it is considered a blessing. If a white rat is sighted then you are especially spiritually graced. Eating food or drinking water that previously has been sampled by a rat is considered to be a supreme blessing.
Curiously, there has been no recorded incidence of rat borne disease amongst the temple visitors. Could that be a miracle?

The Story of Karni Mata
Karni Mata, born in the 14th century, was an incarnation of Durga, the goddess of power and victory. During her lifetime she performed many miracles.
When one of her clansmen died and she was unable to bring him back to life and she asked Yama, the god of death to bring him back to life. Yama could not because the clansman had already been reincarnated.
Karni Mata made an agreement with Yama that from now on all of her tribespeople would be reborn as rats until they could be born back into the clan.

Getting There
Road - Deshnok is a 30 minute bus or taxi ride from Bikaner. Bikaner is about 450km from Delhi, 350km from Jaipur, 350km from Jodhpur. The condition of the road is good.
Air - The nearest airport is Jodhpur 253km
Rail - Bikaner is connected with Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhatinda, Kalka and Howrah.

Bookmark and Share


Facts About Bikaner
Location: Situated in North-West of Rajasthan.
Distance:Jaipur (321 km), Jodhpur (243 km)
STD Code: 0151
Population:.49 millions
Area: 38.1 sq km.
Language: Hindi, English & Bikaneri
Altitude: 237 metres
Clothing :Summer light tropical (cotton) for summer & Light woolen for winteR

Bikaner Hotels Directory
Three Star Hotel (1)

Hotel Raj Vilas Palace

Heritage Hotel (5)

Hotel Bhairon Vilas
Hotel Maan Bilas
Hotel Marudhar Heritage
Hotel Jaswant Bhawan
Hotel Meghsar Castle

Deluxe Heritage Hotel (5)

Hotel Bhanwar Niwas
Hotel Karni Bhawan Palace
Hotel Lallgarh Palace
Hotel Basant Vihar Palace
Gajner Palace Hotel

Budget Hotel (9)

Hotel Dhola Maru
Hotel Harasar Haveli
Hotel Bothra Planet
Hotel Sagar
Hotel Thar
Hotel Shri Ram
Hotel Shivam
Hotel Jaidev Plaza
Hotel Palace View

Guest House (1)

Rajpura's Bahadur Vilas

Resort (1)

Marudhyan Resort

Deluxe Resort (1)

Heritage Resort

Grand Heritage Hotel (1)

Hotel Laxmi Niwas Palace

Bookmark and Share

PLACES TO SEE IN BIKANER-Jungarh Fort,Lalgarh,Devi kund,Gajner Wildlife,Shiv Bari Temple,Deshnok,Kolayat ji,Kalibangan,Bhandasar

Places to see in Bikaner

PLACES TO SEE IN BIKANER-Jungarh Fort,Lalgarh,Devi kund,Gajner Wildlife,Shiv Bari Temple,Deshnok,Kolayat ji,Kalibangan,Bhandasar

Junagarh FortJunagarh Fort
Junagarh Fort was constructed between 1588 and 1593 by Raja Rai Singh, a general in the army of Mughal emperor Akbar, with embellishments ...

Lalgarh PalaceLalgarh Palace
Situated 3km north of the city center this palace which built by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the memory of his father, Maharaja Lal Singh...

Camel Research farmCamel Research farm
This government managed station, 8km from Bikaner is probably unique in Asia. There are about 230 camels at the National Camel Research ...

Devi KundDevi Kund
Eight Kilometers east of Bikaner, this is the site of royal chatries of many of the Bika dynasty rulers. The white marble chatri ...

Gajner Wildlife SanctuaryGajner Wildlife Sanctuary
The lake and forested hills of this reserve, 32 km from Bikaner on the Jaisalmer road, are inhabited by wildfowl...

Shiv Bari TempleShiv Bari Temple
Enroot to Camel Breeding Farm is the Laleshwar Mahadev Temple (Shiv Bari). Fortified by a high wall, the temple...

Deshnok TempleDeshnok Temple
Deshnok is a village 30km south of Bikaner along the Jodhpur road. A visit to Deshnok's fascinating temple of Karni Mata...

Kolayat JiKolayat Ji
This Temple is fifty two kilometers towards Jaisalmer and is dedicated to "Kapil Muni" who is fifth recreation of "Lord Vishnu"...

The name Kalibanga itself does not say much but to a student of history it is immediately recognized as one of the important...

Bhandasar TempleBhandasar Temple
Bhandasar Temple is dedicated to the fifth tirthankar Sumitnath, and the building was commissioned in 1468 by a wealthy Jain merchant...


Bookmark and Share



Bikaner is a desert built on an elevation and surrounded by a long embattled wall pierced by five gates. A magnificient fort built betwen 1588 & 1593 by Raja Raj Singh dominates the city. Sheer beauty in the desert is the royal fortified city of Bikaner. Lying at the northern tip of the famous triangle of the desert cities, Bikaner is a beautiful medival town.

Lalgarh Palace - Bikaner, Bikaner Travel Agents
For the best time of your life, welcome to the holiday at Bikaner. The breathtakingly beautiful city of camels and citadels is awe aspiring owing to its camel safaris, fabulous forts and the worship of thousands of holy rats at Mata Kali temple.

Junagarh Fort, Bikaner Vacation Packages

The must visit for the tourist is topped by the Junagarh fort with its captivating cutworks and dots on the red stones and the marbles. Inside the fort the Dewan-i-khas, the Phool Mahal, Hawa Mahal, Badal Mahal and Anup Mahal will sweep you off your feet. The Lalgarh Palace is the other beautiful palace in Bikaner. A part of it has now been converted into a hotel for promotion of tourism and the other part is the preserver of the legacies of the yester years in the form of Sadul Museum. For more amazing antiques and artilleries you may visit the Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum.

Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum, Bikaner Tour Packages

The beautiful Bikaner has the Mata Karni and Goddess Durga temple, the Bhandasar Jain Temple and the Shiv Bari Temple that attract the most pious tourists to Jaisalmer. For souvenirs and general shopping metal ware, blue pottery, paintings, puppetry, embroidered fabrics and block-printed fabrics are the best bets that are easily available in Bikaner.

The city of Bikaner is the renowned venue for several fascinating festivals. You may enjoy the camel races, camel milking and camel dancing competitions at the annual Camel Festival. The festival is celebrated in January every year and attracts several tourists to Bikaner. During spring Bikaner hosts the famous Gangaur Festival. The 18-day long festival is dedicated to Goddess Parvati. In case you are planning your tour of Bikaner in November the full-moon night is the most auspicious occasion to be there. Bikaner celebrates the Kolayat Festival with the holy dips in water of the Kolayat Lake then.

src-tourism of india

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rajasthan Tourism

Colours of Rajasthan

The Indus Valley Civilization, one of the world's first and oldest civilizations, was located in part of what is now Rajasthan. Kalibangan in Hanumangarh district, Rajasthan was a major provincial capital of the Indus Valley Civilization. Traditionally the Dangi,Bishnoi Rajputs, Yadavs, Jats, , Gujjars, Meenas and other tribes made a great contribution in building the state of Rajasthan. All these tribes suffered great difficulties to protect their culture and the land. Millions of them were martyred for this land. ‘The Hinduan Suraj’ title to Udaipur was only due to Sisodia Rajputs. Gujjars had been exterminated in Bhinmal and Ajmer areas fighting with the invaders. Bhils once ruled Kota and Bundi. Bargurjars were sardars in Alwar, Jodhpur and Ajmer areas. Bargurjars and Meenas were ruler of Dhundhar region, Bundi.
The earlier contributions of warriors and protectors of the land —Vishnoi, Bargurjars, Jats, Bhils, Gujjars and Meenas — were neglected and lost in history. Rajasthan means the Land of the Kings. Modern Rajasthan includes most of Rajputana, which comprises mainly the erstwhile Rajput kingdoms as well as two Jat kingdoms and a Muslim kingdom.Jodhpur, Bikaner, Udaipur, and Jaipur were some of the main Rajput states. The Jats were rulers in Bharatpur and Dholpur. Tonk was ruled by a Muslim Nawab. Rajput families rose to prominence in the 6th century CE. The Rajputs put a very valiant resistance to the Islamic invasions and protected this land with their warfare and chivalry for more than 500 years. They also resisted Mughal incursions into India, but contributed to the slower than anticipated access to the Indian Subcontinent. Later The Mughals, with a technique based on the combination of treachery and skilled warfare were able to set firm grip on northern India. The fighter spirit and valour of Rajputs impressed the Mughals to such an extent that they started treating their Rajput aides as the backbone of their Kingdom.Even after defeating, the Mughals held Rajput valour and value in highest esteem.
Mewar led others in resistance to Muslim rule: Rana Sanga fought the Battle of Khanua against Babur, the founder of the Mughal empire; and Maharana Pratap Singh resisted Akbar in Haldighati, the Bhils were Rana's main allies. Most of these attacks were evenly met as the Mughals outnumbered Rajputs in great numbers in all the wars fought between them. The Haldighati war was fought between 10,000 Rajputs and 1,00,000 Mughal force. Over the years the Mughals began to have internal disputes which took their concentration away at times. They also had to fight off Pathan warriors from neighbouring Afganistan and the newer enemy, the British Empire which consisted of large numbers of natives whilst engaging against various other regional powers such as the Persians. The Mughal Empire eventually weakened to which several groups across their kingdom (including Sikhs) saw opportunities to establish their power whilst the army was fighting somewhere else. The Rajputs saw this as an opportunity to reassert their independence. With the decline of the Mughal Empire in the 18th century, Rajputana came under attack by the Marathas and Pindaris, and the Maratha general Scindia captured Ajmer. The Rajput kings following a rapid defeat, concluded treaties with the British in the early 19th century, accepting British sovereignty in return for local autonomy. Following the Mughal tradition as well as its strategic location Ajmer became a province of British India, while the autonomous Rajput states, the Muslim state Tonk, and the Jat states (Bharatpur and Dholpur) were organized into the Rajputana Agency.
The Marwaris (people from Marwar) and Rajasthan's formerly independent kingdoms created a rich architectural and cultural heritage, seen today in their numerous forts and palaces (Mahals and Havelis) which are enriched by features of Muslim and Jain architecture. The development of the frescos in Rajasthan is linked with the history of the Marwaris, who have also played a crucial role in the economic development of the region. Most of the wealthiest families throughout Indian history have links to Marwar. These families include the legendary Birla, Bhandari, Bajaj, Mittal, Agrawal and Khandelwal families.

Endowed with natural beauty and a great history, tourism is a flourishing industry in Rajasthan. The palaces of Jaipur, lakes of Udaipur, and desert forts of Jodhpur, Bikaner & Jaisalmer are among the most preferred destination of many tourists, Indian and foreign. Tourism accounts for eight percent of the state's domestic product. Many old and neglected palaces and forts have been converted into heritage hotels. Tourism has increased employment in the hospitality sector.
Rajasthan is one of the most popular travel destination in India. Every third foreign tourist visiting India also travel to Rajasthan. Known for Historical Monuments, the modern Rajasthan Tourism is benchmarked for the warm hospitality and Internationally Awarded Hotels & Resorts. Here you'll see a perfect amalgamation of ages old traditional culture, modern luxury and comforts. Touring Rajasthan is a unique experience which leaves you spell bounded as you explore it more & more. The major Tourist Destinations like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur are well interconnected to take up a round tour in form of Itinerary. Rajasthan also connects to other popular places like Agra, Khajuraho and Varanasi
Rajasthan is famous for the majestic forts, intricately carved temples and decorated havelis, which were built by Rajput kings in previous ages, they were the soul of pre-Muslim era Rajasthan. Jantar Mantar, Dilwara Temples, Chittorgarh Fort, Lake Palace, City Palaces, Jaisalmer Havelis are part of the true architectural heritage of India. Jaipur, the Pink City, is noted for the ancient houses made of a type of sand stone dominated by a pink hue. At Ajmer, the white marble Bara-dari on the Anasagar lake is exquisite. Jain Temples dot Rajasthan from north to south and east to west. Dilwara Temples of Mount Abu, Ranakpur Temple dedicated to Lord Adinath near Udaipur, Jain temples in the fort complexes of Chittor, Jaisalmer and Kumbhalgarh, Lodarva Jain temples, Bhandasar Temple of Bikaner are some of the best examples.
Rajasthan is often called a shopper's paradise. Rajasthan is famous for textiles, semi-precious stones and handicrafts. The attractive designs of jewellery and clothes are eye-catching and invite shoppers. Rajasthani furniture has intricate carvings and bright colours. Rajasthani handicrafts are in demand due to the intricate work on them.Rajasthan's shopping appeals to both tourists and people from other parts of India due to its cheap prices for quality goods.

Rajasthan is culturally rich and has artistic and cultural traditions which reflect the ancient Indian way of life. There is rich and varied folk culture from villages which is often depicted symbolic of the state. Highly cultivated classical music and dance with its own distinct style is part of the cultural tradition of Rajasthan. The music is uncomplicated and songs depict day-to-day relationships and chores, more often focused around fetching water from wells or ponds.
The Ghoomar dance from Udaipur and Kalbeliya dance of Jaisalmer have gained international recognition. Folk music is a vital part of Rajasthani culture. Kathputali, Bhopa, Chang, Teratali, Ghindar, Kachchhighori, Tejaji etc. are the examples of the traditional Rajasthani culture. Folk songs are commonly ballads which relate heroic deeds and love stories; and religious or devotional songs known as bhajans and banis (often accompanied by musical instruments like dholak, sitar, sarangi etc.) are also sung.
Rajasthan is known for its traditional, colorful art. The block prints, tie and dye prints, Bagaru prints, Sanganer prints, Zari embroidery are major export products from Rajasthan. Handicraft items like wooden furniture and handicrafts, carpets, blue pottery are some of the things commonly found here. Rajasthan is a shoppers' paradise, with beautiful goods found at low prices. Reflecting the colorful Rajasthani culture, Rajasthani clothes have a lot of mirror-work and embroidery. A Rajasthani traditional dress for females comprises an ankle length skirt and a short top, also known as a lehenga or a chaniya choli. A piece of cloth is used to cover the head, both for protection from heat and maintenance of modesty. Rajasthani dresses are usually designed in bright colours like blue, yellow and orange.
The main religious festivals are Deepawali, Holi, Gangaur, Teej, Makar Sankranti and Janmashtami, as the main religion is Hinduism. Rajasthan's desert festival is celebrated with great zest and zeal. This festival is held once a year during winters. Dressed in brilliantly hued costumes, the people of the desert dance and sing haunting ballads of valor, romance and tragedy. There are fairs with snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats and folk performers. Camels, of course, play a stellar role in this festival.

Amber Fort, Jaipur
AmberFort, Jaipur
The sprawling Amber Fort is a typical example of what the lives of our gallant Rajputs were like - militant, adventurous, temperamental and also self-indulgent...more on Amber Fort

Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer
Sam and Dunes, Jaisalmer
Sam Sand Dunes are also the most picturesque spot around Jaisalmer, and perhaps the whole of western Rajasthan...more on Sam Sand Dunes

Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National park is famous for its tigers and is one of the best places in the country to see these majestic predators in the wild. ...more on Ranthambore National Park

City Palace, Udaipur
City Palace, Udaipur
This majestic City Palace is the most-visited tourist attraction of Udaipur and often distinguished as the largest palace complex in Rajasthan....more on City Palace, Udaipur

Rankpur Jain Temples
Ranakpur Jain Temple
Ranakpur is one of the five most important pilgrimage sites of Jainism. It is home to an exceptionally beautiful temple complex in the Aravali ranges and a must visit for the tourists ... more onJain Temples in Ranakpur

The State Capital is multifaceted and offers innumerable attractions to people coming from all across the world. It is well known for its marvellous architecture and town planning....more on Jaipur

Lake City 'Udaipur' is one of the most beautiful and romantic cities of India...more on Udaipur

Jaisalmer, another princely state of Rajasthan is a paradise of the desert kingdom. The city name itself provokes an image of deserted land with camel swiftly moving on the golden sands. ...more on Jaisalmer

Bookmark and Share
Related Posts with Thumbnails