We just had India’s most widely celebrated Hindu festival called the Durga Puja. If you were in India then you would have seen the festivities. Devotees install stages for the worship of the Goddess called “pandals” on the streets and market places – an absolute delight. Durga Puja is a festival that marks the victory of the Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. The festival also signifies the coming of autumn. The 10th day is called “Vijayadashami” or “Dussehra”. The festival lasts about 9 nights and 10 days (called Navratri) and is an annual holiday in India. On the 10th day, the idols of Durga are carried out in grand procession and immersed in the river. On this day, Lord Ram also killed the demon “Ravana” who had abducted his wife Sita to his kingdom of Lanka. An effigy of Ravana is burnt on the day of Vijayadashami.
Today is Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and a national holiday in all the states and union territories of India. Second of October is referred to as “Gandhi Jayanti”. Mahatma Gandhi was born on this day in 1869 at a place called “Porbandar” in the state of Gujarat, Western India. This day has been recognised and celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence by the United Nations General Assembly.
India is one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations not just for Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs but people of all religions. People from all over the world of all faiths come to experience spirituality. You will find that all of your senses are fulfilled by spiritualism in India. If you are considering visiting India for spiritual purposes then here are some facts about the Hindu religion you might find useful on your spiritual journey.
If you are travelling to India then one of the most striking features that you will notice is her poverty. You might have heard of lots of nice things about how India is making progress and about its growing economy. That is all well and good and rightly so; millions of people have been uplifted out of poverty. You can read more about poverty in India here. Gone are the days when people used to starve to death – thankfully none of that anymore.
To explore any city in India one must be aware of the various modes of commutation that are available at hand. In most cities in India you would find the local state transport buses and hired cabs or taxis. In addition to these, larger cities such as Mumbai, there is the option for “local trains” and Kolkata has the “trams” while Delhi has the “metro“.
However, the one mode of transport that is vital across most of India is the auto rickshaw. In fact, in cities and towns across the country, the black-yellow or the green-yellow rickshaws are the backbone of city transport. They are called “autos” by the locals. The seating capacity of a normal auto is 4, including the driver. There are also six-seater rickshaws in certain towns and cities. Normally their fare rates of these autos controlled by the government.
If are travelling to India then you have to try the famous street foods of India. Although I have advised against it previously but if you are up the mark and have all your jabs in place (cholera, typhoid and hepatitis C) then be a devil and go for it. You can find more about health tips in my India travel guide book.
Thousands of people visit India so that they can experience Indian spiritually. But many of them who visit the country do not know that other than Hinduism there are other religions that also exist in India. This means that there are non-Hindu religious places that can also be visited and can provide spiritual upliftment.
What to wear in India? What kind of clothes would be safe to wear? What should I pack? Can I carry my shorts along? Should I carry cotton or linen or woollens or all? Should I carry flats or high heels? Are these questions in your mind too? Well then read along, as I pen down some basic tips that would help you pack that bag for your trip to India.
If you are one of those people like me who love pizza then don’t worry, you are in luck. There are places in India for example the Pizza Hut where you can eat. The good thing is that you will find them in most major cities and towns of India. Although you may not find Pizza Hut in smaller towns and villages but most metros and larger towns of India will have them. If you are travelling to Delhi then there’s one in the popular destination of Connaught Circus in Connaught Place in Delhi.
There are travel blogs and there are travel blogs with a difference. If you have not met Savi and Vid of BruisedPassports.com then you should check them out. Not only do they blog about their travels but blog about the outfits they wear on their travels. They are the most glamorous travelers I have known. Gorgeous Savi has a PhD in visual arts and literature. She describes herself as a bit of an urban gypsy. While handsome Vid loves taking pictures and is a coffee geek.
Who doesn’t like going on holidays!
Some of us like to sit in the sun for hours, be it on the beach or enjoying skiing. Sadly, while we are lazing away in the sun, the solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) of the very sun we are enjoying can actually cause damage to our DNA. Here’s an interesting article that was published in the prestigious Journal of Investigative Dermatology (Nature Publishing Group).
If you are planning a visit to Mumbai this year, then here’s a video you will like. The video (filmed on Nokia Lumia HD Camera) captures the spirit of Mumbai; the city that teaches us that without struggle there is no success. In a nutshell, Mumbai is the capital of the western state of Maharashtra. Previously known as Bombay, it is also the most populated city of India and supposed to be the fifth most populated city in the world. Mumbai is supposed to be the most prosperous city of India and is supposed to have one of the highest GDP in Asia. In addition, Mumbai is the financial, commercial and entertainment (Bollywood) capital of India. However, you will find big disparity between the huge skyscrapers and the home of the biggest slum of Asia.
If you are one of those people that love to get scared then check this out. India has some of the world’s most haunted places. In fact, if you thought that India was a country of many Gods and Goddess then you might in for a surprise. India has a dark and spooky side as well. Indians believe in all sorts of ghosts, ghouls, spirits, black magic and unnatural things. You might wish to read about the types of ghosts believed in India. If are one those travelers who likes to explore haunted places then why not visit the Bhangarh Fort that has the reputation of being one of the most haunted places in India and is listed as one of the most haunted places of the world. Sadly, this place is not the most visited of places in India and neither do foreign tourists know about this place. But the place has a reputation of its own and is considered as India’s “most haunted” place. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, why not check this place out for yourself.
If you have never been to Goa then you are missing out on one the most popular destinations of India. Goa is considered as the party capital. But there is more to Goa than just partying on the blue beaches. Goa has many Portuguese churches and if you happen to like Indian food then Goa has lots of interesting dishes for you to try. In addition, Goa is very scenic so why not take the opportunity and do a nature tail. If you like wildlife then you should visit the Bhagwan Mahavir and the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuaries. There are numerous waterfalls for you to discover, for example the secluded Dudhsagar waterfall on the Mandovi River is quite a popular one where the only locals visit.