What Happens When Goddess Durga is in Bangalore?

Goddess Durga is the mother of the universe and believed to be the power behind the work of creation, preservation, and destruction of the world.

The word “Durga” in Sanskrit means a fort, or a place which is difficult to overrun.

Another meaning of “Durga” is “Durgatinashini,” which literally translates into “the one who eliminates sufferings.” Thus, Hindus believe that goddess Durga protects her devotees from the evils of the world and at the same time removes their miseries.

In this part of the world we believe Durga Ma is pure Sakti (Power) and she saved this world from demons by killing buffalo demon Mahisasura who was more powerful than God.

That’s why we celebrate the nine-day festival of Navratri in Hindu religion is dedicated to the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga.

Durga Puja in Bangalore

Bangalore has recently developed as a city were Durga Puja is celebrated with all warmth and colors. Why I am saying this because Durga Puja is associated with North India festival mainly in Bengal and Bihar.

Increase in migration from North Indian states to Bangalore in recent time has seen the new festival introduced like Diwali and Holi which were again festival associated with North India.

But with the introduction of these festivals in cities like Bangalore, It has given Bangalore a status of cosmopolitan were people from all part live in harmony and enjoy all kinds of festival together.

Undoubtedly I miss the Durga Puja festival of Bihar were I use to roam around from one Pandal to other on cycle with my friends as they were very close to each other and enjoy the loud music, color and food. It was food feast for us.

In Bangalore things are different there are few Pandals and at a distance, in which few are very commercialized due to which they lose the essence of festivity like Sarathi – Koramangala Durga Puja.

But undoubtedly there are a few good one like the one in palace ground, celebrating their 37th Durga Puja managed by Sidarth Samiti part of Bihar Bhavan, another good one is in Malleshwaram managed by Prabaasee Association where you feel you are really near goddess.

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I know in coming time there will be more of them and it should be because these are representative of our culture, but I hope these Pujas should not be commercialized as they lose the essence of culture.

Happy Travelling…

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A Drive to Hogenakkal Fall…

Hogenakkal fall is one the must visit place in India. A beautiful waterfall is on Cauvery river. Its 180 km drive Bangalore and 46 km from Dharmapuri. Very nice road till you reach Dharmapuri once you reach Dharmapuri and take diversion ( You can’t miss sign)  the road is not so great still its fair enough. Drive to Hogenakkal from Dharmapuri is like picture perfect with lush mulberry fields and giant terracotta guardian deities as you approach Hogenakkal, the roar of the Cauvery river catches your attention.

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Hogenakkal is also described as the ‘Niagara’ of India, offer an exciting holiday destination for Indians and foreigners alike. Hogenakkal is located about 750 feet above sea level amidst the Melagiri Hills. Hogenakkal is considered as one of the most beautiful places in the state.

The river near the falls is a good place to try your swimming skills as the water has some current here. he hills near the falls have many trails where adventure seekers can go trekking in the Melagiri Hills. You can relax while getting a massage from the Hogenakkal masseurs who have an array of oils and powders to rejuvenate your body.

Taking a bath in the waterfalls of Hogenakkal is considered as extremely beneficial for the health. It is so because of the widely grown herbal plants in the nearby areas. The place is widely known for the curative power of its water.

A visit to the Hogenakkal waterfalls is incomplete without taking a ride in the waterproof basket boats covered in buffalo hide or plastic stretched over light-weight wicker frames. These boats are locally known as Teppa. These are among the oldest water crafts in the world.

During monsoon, the canyon is half full with water and watching water falling in from all directions is a magnificent sight to behold. The only problem was that, since the water level is too high, the coracles will not be able to go inside the canyon. But this time, it was just right. We took the steps down and a couple of coracles were waiting for their rides in to the canyon. We chose to take the whole coracle for the four of us – which can normally accommodate 6 people.

Where to eat: It is advisable to carry food and water when visiting the falls. Hogenakkal bus stand is nearest point from the falls where you can get snacks and refreshments.

Be Safe….

A Drive to Historic City of Madurai

403207_2587821854221_1893461808_n My Journey to Madurai started from Bangalore at 6 AM and I reached Madurai by 2 PM. It was a well planned Journey. Road from Bangalore to Madurai  is  great and you can drive all the way at high speed. Hosur ,Krishnagiri, Dhramapuri, Salem,Dindigul are few major cities in between Bangalore and Madhurai. Suggestion : You can have your Lunch or Breakfast in these cities but I will suggest have it either in Hosur or Salem as they are big city and you can find good restaurant in these places. Total distance between Bangalore and Madurai is 450km, so I would suggest to plan it well if you are single driver in group. About Madurai: Madurai is one of the oldest city of south India also called as temple city.  It has old history which starts from 3rd century,ruled by many dynasty and empire but it only grew & grew and its culture became more strong and strong. Some say its Athens of India other say Its Mathura of South. Whatever you say Its Must see place in India particularly Minakshi Temple where after one point only Hindu’s are allowed to proceed. But still seeing it from outside only will leave you speech less. Its architecture is unique and beautiful. Madurai is built around the Meenakshi Amman Temple, which acted as the geographic and ritual center of the ancient city of Madurai About Meenakshi Amman Temple 424694_2587830614440_1844628967_n426447_2587832894497_324496489_n The original temple was built by Kulasekara Pandya, but the entire credit for making the temple as splendid as it is today goes to the Nayaks. The Nayaks ruled Madurai from the 16th to the 18th century and left a majestic imprint of their rule in the Meenakshi – Sundareswarar Temple. The temple complex is within a high-walled enclosure, at the core of which are the two sanctums for meenakshi and Sundareshwara, surrounded by a number of smaller shrines and grand pillared halls. Especially impressive are the 12 gopuras. Their soaring towers rise from solid granite bases, and are covered with stucco figures of dieties, mythical animals and monsters painted in vivid colors.   Mythology Legend has it that the reigning deity Meenakshi was born out of holy fire as an answer to the prayers of King Malayadwaja and his wife Kanchanamalai. She married Lord Shiva and both ruled the city of Madurai as Lord Sundareshwar and Goddess Meenakshi. It is also believed that Lord Indra founded the temple along with a suyambu lingam. There is mention about the temple in ancient Tamil literature through It is said that Lord Vishnu, Meenakshi’s brother travelled all the way from Srivaikuntam- his abode to witness the marriage. But he couldn’t make it on time and the marriage was solemnized without his presence. Angered by this insult, he vowed never to enter Madurai and settled in nearby Azaghar Kovil. He was later convinced and to this day, his pacification is celebrated as Azhaghar Thiruvila. Modern Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple History It is said that the temple was plundered in the 14th century by the Muslim raider Malik Kafur who looted the temple for its valuables. Restoration was undertaken by the Nayak ruler Vishwanatha Nayakar around the 16th century. It was Vishwanatha Nayak who rebuilt the temple in accordance to shilpa shastra. Food and Stay Food in Madurai is very authentic south Indian food with lots of curry flavor. I liked non veg especially chettinad chicken . Stay in Madurai is affordable you can find many hotel around temple. The below link can help you to find other places to explore other than Meenakshi Amman Temple which remains center of attraction. http://www.mustseeindia.com/Madurai/attractions Points to Remember

  1. Plan your trip well if you are going by road.
  2. Have food in between at some city when you are driving from Bangalore.
  3. Get your vehicle checked properly
  4. Fuel up your tank on regular basis were ever you find Gas Store.
  5. Must Visit Place is Meenakshi Amman Temple.
  6. Try chettinad chicken.

Happy Journey…

Connecting Airlines

9:22:2014 I was travelling down to Mumbai due to some personal work. But you never know how many times you travel you find new things or meet new people or meet some familiar faces.download

This time I meet some people whom I didn’t know personally, but were familiar to me and this was not one way. India is a country with 1.40 billion people, many of them use train, flight and bus for communicating. It is very rare that you see or meet someone whom you know on these platform when you are not in touch &  when this incidence happens not once, but twice in a day it make that day special.

I woke up in the morning to catch my 5.30 flight from Bangalore airport to Mumbai airport on Sunday. I reached late on airport and missed my flight. Go Airline people were quite helpful so they arranged next flight for me at 7.30. I had lots of time, so I went in to waiting area and was sleeping. At 7 there was announcement to gather on Gate 7 to catch the flight. I was in the queue and then I saw a pretty lady walking towards the queue. she saw me I saw her. She went and took a corner seat on in the waiting area. She didn’t recognize me, but I did. Well, who forgets a pretty girl from your college days. I went to her and asked are you XXXX she said yeah, I then formally introduced myself to her, I am sure she would not have recognized me. We never had words when we were in college, but seeing someone after 11 years who is familiar to you brings joy in your heart.

Well, that was first and not sure maybe the last time we spoke. When I came back I googled about her and found that today this pretty girl is one of the successful model and actor.

It was now time to catch my return flight from Mumbai airport at 2.30 PM from same airlines “Go”. I got my window seat 6A and was sitting calmly and thinking about my meeting, while at the rear of my seat a Punjabi couple or should I say just friend were sitting. Girl was crying and saying to guy that she took many wrong decisions and she was murmuring about her ex. It was torture.

Well, I was looking around and then I saw a face staring at me like I am a small monkey at the zoo. “Ha Ha Ha”.

He was no other then my super junior. I remember he use to come in my flat to ask for notes or small issues which he felt I can guide him to and today it was like we are on the same floor. We chatted for long throughout the journey. I enquired about him. He said he is working for software firm, happy with his Job and satisfied. He said he is getting married soon.

Woo, that was like soothing. You feel great when some of your friends are on right place and living their life full of colours.

This journey was one of the great experience for me where I meet two people from different aspect of life. Well, Thank you “Go” for making my journey memorable.

The Story of Ganesh going Public….

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You would  be thinking what is this, what could be story behind Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganapati since it is related to sentiments of Indian and their religious belief.

If you are thinking same, You are right but I want to tell you story when this religious sentiment was not a wave but it was only limited to house hold celebration.

This story took shape with my recent visit to Mumbai and evidencing the feast . It took me by wave by seeing so many people coming together to celebrate it without asking who are you or where are you from. It tinkled me and I decided to know more about it and put it on paper.

So here is summation of all what I got and understood. Hope you will like it and love to know about it.

History

Ganesh Chaturthi is said to have been celebrated since the days of Maratha rulers: Satavahana, Chalukya and Rashtrakuta. This festival was celebrated by Peshwas to worship Ganapati as their family deity as a private affair. Chhatrapati Shivaji brought this event to public to promote traditions and nationalism. Mainly celebrated in the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh with a lot of zeal and splendor, Ganesh Chaturthi is the most popular festival of Maharashtra.

Going  Public

The festivities remained a family affair until the festival was revitalized by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in the late 19th Century, to take the message of freedom struggle to all Indians.

So why Bal Gangadhar Tilak want to take it to public? Before that let me tell you about Ganesh Chaturthi in zest.

It all started when Bal Gangadhar Tilak realized the actual power of this festival and understood how this festival helps to bring different class of people together. It was time of British Rule and Britisher never allowed any kind of public gathering. So he decided to bring Ganesh Chathurthi at Public forum so that he can bring all class of people on same platform and make them understand the actual power of unity which can be used to galvanize the mass against British Rule. Festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi that continued for ten days gave people of every religion the scope to interact and know each other. It was a unique move by this freedom fighter, which he achieved with the Ganpati Visarjana or immersion procession which is taken out on the final day of the ganesh festival.

Early Reason Celebration

Ganesh Chaturthi is festival were Idol of lord Ganesh is kept in Pandal ( Temporary Shrine) which is then worshiped for ten days with different kind of herbal leaf which is then immersed  with Idol of lord Ganesh in water. it is believed that these herbs helps in keeping water clean and thus helps people to drink water from these water bodies.

Celebration

Ganesh Chaturthi preparations commence from almost a month before the festival. The celebrations last for around ten days (from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to Ananta Chaturdashi). First day clay idol of Lord Ganesha is installed in home decorated with flowers. Temples witness the visit of large number of devotees. Pooja is performed and bhajans are chanted. Often, families gather together to celebrate the festival. Localities organize and arrange for pandals and install large idols of Lord Ganesha to celebrate the festival with friends and family. Festivities goes on for next nine days. On the final day of the celebrations, the idol of Lord Ganesha is taken on the streets. People exhibit their enthusiasm and joy in the form of dancing and singing on the streets along with the idol. The idol is finally immersed in the river or sea. The day witnesses a large number of devotees expressing their happiness and offering their prayers.

Vision of Bal Gangadhar Tilak work he brought people from all class and group together but there are several other reasons. Ganpati is after all a popular god. His blessings are invoked at most religious ceremonies as he is the god who can remove all obstacles to success. He is the giver of fortune and can help to avoid natural calamities. He is also the god who brings prosperity.

So next time you want to visit Mumbai or Pune make your schedule around Ganesh Chaturthi so that you can see the beautiful color of festivity on the street of these city to enjoy and live the moment.

Happy Travelling….

 

10 Things to Do in New York City After Midnight

My Girls On Tour - UK Fashion Blog

    New York Fashion Week is coming to an end and I haven’t been able to make it this as my invite (as perhaps yours was too?) was somehow lost in the post. However to make up for this series of unfortunate events, I thought it would be nice to share my night time experience in the city which never sleeps and the pictures that I took on our 12 hour stop over in the city some months ago. Our plane arrived in from London at 11pm and we were to fly out to Punta Cana at 6am, and so we would have the whole night to see the lights, the action, hail a yellow cab and perhaps even have time for a trip up the Empire State Building. It was hard to find things to do for such an awkward itinerary and so I hope that this will help…

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