Posts

Navratri – The Nine Nights Extravaganza!

Image
Dedicated to Goddess Durga and her infinite strength, grace and power, Navratri is a festival that celebrates womanhood and the feminine shakti. This festival commemorates the nine forms of Goddess Durga, and the tenth day is celebrated as Dussehra. In Sanskrit, the term Navratri means nine nights and is a dynamic extravaganza of nine beautiful, colourful and vibrant nights. Filled with dance, music and great food, Navratri is all about fun and frolic, as is evident from the gorgeous ensembles and lively dances. Garba and Dandiya during these nine nights are a common sight, and are played on a large scale across India, especially in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Kolkata is known across the world for its bigger-than-life Durga Puja festivities during this time.
The first three days of Navratri are dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga where the Goddess is dressed in red and mounted on a lion, flaunting unparalleled strength and power. Her three incarnations – Kumari, Parvati and Kali –…

Diwali

Image
Diwali should probably be renamed from “Festival of Lights” to “Festival of the Foodies”. Really, no kidding. All the weight that you managed to lose after a lot of hard work in the gym, there are great chances of you gaining it all back. Diwali is a festival that is all about rich food. Sweets and snacks rolled in ghee and sugar are available abundantly, so you can’t really escape the pounds even if you wanted to. Oh, but the food! If you are a foodie then Diwali must certainly be one of your favourite festivals. The variety of good food that is available is mind-boggling and a complete gastronomic roller-coaster. Here’s a list of the top 5 Diwali delicacies that have existed since time immemorial but will surely make your taste-buds sing!
Besan Laddoo
The incredible Besan Laddoo is everyone’s favourite. This soft ball of delight, if full of dry fruits and ghee, can make anyone’s day. If made well, it can melt on your tongue making it one of the most light yet filling Diwali sweets …

New Year’s

Image
India is a country of a gazillion different castes, religions and ethnicities. As such, it is not surprising that there are various different versions of the same festival or event, that takes places in the country and even the rest of the world. Take New Year’s, for instance. What is celebrated at midnight on the 31st of December every year in the rest of the world, is celebrated on many different dates throughout India, based on the region and traditions of that region. Of course, we Indians celebrate New Year’s like it is celebrated in the rest of the world, as well, but when it comes to regional New Years, we have quite the variety! Here’s a guide to New Year’s in India, and the myriad ways of celebrating them!
Gudhi Padwa/Ugadi
Celebrated in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and the Konkan belt as Gudhi Padwa or Ugadi, this is the first day of the Chaitra month. People celebrate this New Year by cleaning their houses, drawing rangolis, and dressing up in their be…

Makar Sankranti

Image
Makar Sankranti, a harvest festival, is popular throughout India mainly because of the kite flying and the delicious sweet called tilgul that is distributed on this day. But this Indian festival has more to it than meets the eye! This festival is celebrated as a way of showing happiness for the new crop and people in villages celebrate it with much gusto. While it is known by different names in different regions of India and countries of the world, it is still the same festival celebrating the Sun’s journey towards the zodiac sign Capricorn. For instance, while in Maharashtra it is called Makar Sankranti, it is called Uttarayan in Gujarat, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Maghi in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, Maghe Sankranti in Nepal, Songkran in Thailand, etc. Here are the 5 Makar Sankranti facts you should know that make this festival more special and fascinating
Click here for hotels in Mumbai

Makar Sankranti is the only Indian festival that follows the solar calendar. This is why, …

Mahashivratri in India

Image
With festivals in India come the holidays which sometimes stretch out into the long weekend. This time, we have Mahashivratri coming on the 7th of March, a Monday, which you can easily and conveniently make into a long weekend and plan a quick vacation! Mahashivratri, which literally means the “Great Night of Shiva” is a festival that is celebrated annually to honour the Hindu God Shiva. This is the day that Shiva was believed to have married Parvati, thus signifying the joining of Shiva and Shakti. Also called Shivratri, this exuberant festival is celebrated with fasting and all-night jagarans. If you are fascinated by this fest and want to take in the festivities, then plan a trip to one of the major Indian destinations that celebrate Shivratri with gusto. Check out Travelguru’s Mahashivratri hotel deals for some amazing discounts! Let’s take a look at the top 5 places to celebrate Mahashivratri in India
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Mahashivratri is celebrated with quite a lot of fanfar…

Gudi Padwa 2021

Image
“Happy Gudi Padwa, neet bol gadhava!” This is how many people wish each other on Gudi Padwa day in Maharashtra. This jovial and merry day is also known as the Maharashtrian New Year, and besides wishing each other Happy Gudi Padwa, people also wish each other “Navavarshachya hardik shubhechha”, which mean Happy New Year! It’s one of the happiest and most fun days for Maharashtrians and it is celebrated with great zeal all over the state. Gudi Padwa falls on the 8th of April this year, which is a Friday. Take advantage of the long weekend and Travelguru’s Gudi Padwa long weekend hotel deals and plan a trip some place new! Here’s how Gudi Padwa is celebrated, and its significance in other parts of the country

Click here for hotels in Maharashtra

The Celebration

The most important part of Gudi Padwa is decorating the gudi. The gudi is a little copper or silver pot that is placed inverted over a bamboo stick, covered with a brightly coloured zari-bordered cloth and adorned with neem leav…

Ujjain Kumbh Mela

Image
Did you know that the Kumbh Mela is the largest human gathering in the world? It is also the largest peaceful human gathering, and reportedly, one that can be seen from space. The Kumbh Mela is primarily a Hindu gathering but which has lately seen a lot of participation from people from different parts of the world. Held every third year at one of the four major venues – Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik and Ujjain – the Kumbh Mela is one event that everyone must visit at least once. If you are fascinated with the Kumbh Mela enough to want to participate in it this year, check out this quick guide to the 2016 Ujjain Kumbh Mela

Click here for Ujjain Kumbh Mela Deals

Ujjain, an important city in Madhya Pradesh both culturally and historically, will be the host for the Kumbh Mela this year. Believed to be one of the sacred cities of India, Ujjain will be hosting the Kumbh Mela after 13 years, according to the rotational process used for the mela. The Kumbh Mela, no matter where it is held, att…

Jagannath Rath Yatra

Image
Known as the “Chariot Festival” in English, the Rath Yatra is an annual procession of deities Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra. An exuberant and important Hindu fest, the Rath Yatra is also referred to as the Puri Rath Yatra as it takes place in Puri, Odisha. This Rath Yatra goes back centuries; it is believed that the Rath Yatra dates back to the 10th century and is also mentioned in Hindu epics like Brahma Purana and Padma Purana. The basic tenet of this festival is to celebrate the visit of Lord Jagannath to Gundicha temple and Mausi Maa temple in Puri. This year, the festival starts on 6th July and the return journey or the “Bahuda Jatra” falls on the 15th of July. If you want to attend and enjoy this unique festival, plan a trip to Puri this July! You will find tons of amazing hotels in Puri that offer the best in comfort and convenience.

Considered a form of Lord Vishnu, Lord Jagannath has a huge following that turns up each year to attend the big procession that starts at th…

Rakhi

Image
There are people who belong in your lives making it more beauteous. They teach you to smile, learn, help, care, share, respect, and above all love each other. With their presence around, you feel great and the thought of their absence makes you pale. They are the love that is beyond your imagination, compelling you to be happy on the most wrecked day of yours. They are your Siblings!
Love comes in different shades of colours, of which one belongs to your siblings. Be it sisters or brothers, both await Raksha Bandhan with great desires. With planning beginning before a month, your thoughts to make him/her feel special are just as equal as your siblings. Both think of stuff that would bring a glimpse of a smile that would not be any less than an angelic charm.
We do it because we love to do so, our parents asked us to do it, or we do this from our juvenile ages. Unaware about the relevance of this fest, we make it just a trend that lies beneath the smiles we share on this day. Raksha B…

This Janmashtami – Do it like Krishna!

Image
With craze being your friend and fun being your urge, this Janmashtami, get infatuated to the joyous ambiance. Dahi Handi is a festival that gives a lot of unknown faces become adventurous. Out of nowhere, people living in their own cocoon come and display courage with great strength and agility during this fiesta. Supporting each other, holding firmly onto the ones near you, pushing your partners to get ahead of you and bearing the weight of your teammates just to see the tied handi at an elevation broken by someone else. Sounds a saint’s duty, but it becomes a fact when a horde of people unite for one blissful cause keeping their sake aside and prioritizing the cause more than their selves. Probably, the playfulness of lord Krishna shadows his virtuous intentions behind his pranks. He is a true trendsetter of goodness in the name of fun. No matter, how many handis are broken this day, but the thought to unite all of us makes it more worth than we see it as.

There are places all ove…

Ganesh mandals

Image
With Ganesh Chaturthi just round the corner, we can’t stop noticing the excitement that has engulfed every soul of Mumbai. The city has transformed into a spectacular showground with massive idols of Ganesha, blaring microphones, blinding light works, beating drums and Ganpati chants. Add to that, the ornate pandals set up across the city not only bring together people from different backgrounds but amounts to a sensational sight to behold. Every Ganesh mandap set across Mumbai has a story of its own. For instance, some mandaps represent social issues, while some showcase urban or village life. If one truly wants to drench in the festive spirit of Ganesh Chaturthi, he or she must visit pandals in Mumbai. Here is a list of 5 Ganpati mandals that one should visit this year.

1. Lalbaugcha Raja




Every Ganpati pandal promises to be a unique experience, but the Lalbaugcha Raja is undoubtedly the most famous Ganesh mandal in Mumbai. Drawing an average of 1.5 million people a day, this pandal…

during Navratri

Image
1. Girls on a shopping spree: The 9 nights of Navratri calls for 9 different outfits. So get ready to witness girls stocking up their wardrobes with the latest trends in Ghaghra Cholis, accessories and a lot more stuff.

2. Navratri dance rehearsals: It’s time to twirl and swirl! From garba to dandiya, you can find people from all age groups gearing up ahead of the festival and rehearsing on their favourite songs.

3. Falguni Pathak Posters: Every year after hibernation, Falguni Pathak comes into action during these 9 days. Known as the queen of garba, she performs at different venues throughout Navratri.

4. People heading to Gujarat: Gujarat being the only state that sets into a nine-night dance festival, attracts a lot of people from across India. The sounds of dandiya sticks and dhol can be heard throughout the city. For those of you who are planning to visit Gujarat can check out Navratri hotel deals at Travelguru.

5. Well stocked kitchen: From people who are fasting to the one’s w…

Durga Puja pandals in Kolkata one shouldn’t miss

Image
The rush has already begun. The 2016 Durga Puja festival is now just a few days away and one can sense the festive mood amongst the Bengalis across India (and especially Kolkata). This is the time when Kolkata comes alive with vibrant colours, sparkling lights and more than thousand thematic and colourful pandals. Each year, the puja organisers come up with the most unique and elaborate pandal themes to attract the visitors. While some of the pandals are designed based on the traditional theme, others are more contemporary. Here are 10 Durga Puja pandals that will adorn the Kolkata festive landscape this year.

1. Bagbazar Durga Puja



It is one of the oldest Durga Puja pandals in kolkata, and has been around for more than 100 years. It is a relatively simple pandal which emphasises on traditional and culture celebrations.

Where: Brindaban Pal Lane, Bidhan Sarani, Bagbazar, Kolkata

2. Kumartuli Park Durga Puja:



Celebrating its 24th year in 2016, Kumartuli Park pandal is the youngest pan…

Diwali melas in Delhi to attend this year

Image
It’s that time of the year when the entire nation illuminates with the lights of happiness and joy. The time when everybody gears up for new wardrobe additions, attending parties and following the tradition of gifting. Yes, we are talking about Diwali, and these are the only things that make Diwali special. And not to forget, the Diwali Melas which bring people from all walks of life together as one big, happy family. From a long list of designers setting up their shops to the artisans from around the world selling handmade items, these Diwali Melas are definitely something to look forward to. Here’s a list of handpicked melas in Delhi that you must attend during Diwali.
Blind School Diwali Mela




It is one of the most sought-after Diwali melas in Delhi. You can find the beautiful handmade candles and handpainted diyas prepared by the students of the blind school. This year, in addition to diyas and candles, you will find quilts, cushions, furniture, pots, planters and home decor items…

reasons not to miss the International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad

Image
Kai po che! We all might have come across this phrase, but how many of us know its literal meaning? Well, ‘Kai po che’ is a Gujarati word meaning a victory shot, implying that a kite flyer has just cut the string of the other kite. In few days from now, you will hear the phrase more often than ever in Ahmedabad – the kite capital of India. Why, because the vibrant city of Ahmedabad will be hosting the International Kite Festival from January 8, 2017 to January 14, 2017.

International Kite Festival aka Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti is an annual event when the sky is filled with fluttering beauties, and the families come together to celebrate the 300 year old tradition.

What follows are some reasons why you should not miss the Kite Festival in Ahmedabad.

1. A sight that will leave you speechless – At this colorful festival, expect to see nearly 150 kite flyers and kite makers from across the world come together to display a sheer variety of kites. You will see kites of every hue and sty…