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Hampi Festival - a three day long music, art and cultural festival


Hampi festival, Karnataka

   Every year in November, Hampi a UNESCO World Heritage Site in India and a erstwhile capital city of a glorious Vijayanagara empire comes alive with fantastic classical & traditional dance performances, skits and dramas, fireworks, puppet shows, Light & Sound show and many more activities. The occasion is 'Hampi festival'.

   This Karnataka state government sponsored three day long festival is an opportunity to all music, art, culture and travel enthusiasts around the globe to relive and rejoice the glory of Vijayanagara empire

The festival attracts significant numbers of local and international visitors to this world's largest open air museum where national and internationally renowned artists are invited to perform their art. Whole atmosphere is not only exciting but also enthrall an entire audience. It also keep them excited to visit this place every year.

Hampi utsav/festival 2017 dates: 3rd November to 5th November 2017.

How to reach Hampi:

Nearest airport to Hampi

By Air:-   

Jindal Vijaynagar Airport in Toranagallu, Karnataka is about 37.6 km away from Hampi and connected daily to Hyderabad by Trujet airline.
Second nearest airport is Hubli airport which is located approx. 167.1 km from Hampi. Thereafter to reach Hampi from the airport you have to hire a car or take a bus.

nearest railway station to HampiBy Rail:- 

 Hospet is the closest railway station that is at a distance of just 13 km. from there you can easily take a chauffeur driven cab/taxi to reach Hampi. Book your car in advance if you want avoid any hassle. 

how to reach hampiBy Road:-

Hubli to Hampi is approx. 164 km, Distance between Hyderabad to Hampi is approx. 378 km via NH 167 and Bangalore to Hampi is 357 km.

Baisakhi a harvest festival of Punjab

 
Baisakhi festival celebration
[Image courtesy: wikimedia]
   Baisakhi or Vaisakhi is one of the important festival in North India, specially in Punjab. It has great historical as well as religious significance of celebration. Baisakhi is a spring festival that marks the Solar New Year and also the day on which tenth guru of Sikhs Guru Gobind Singh formed a 'Khalsa panth of warriors' in 1699. Usually the festival is celebrated on 13th or 14th April every year.

How it is celebrated ?

Farmers express their happiness while celebrating it with great joy and enthusiasm, on this day they wake up in the morning and go to temples and Gurudwara[ a place of worship for Sikhs] and thank God for the bountiful harvest. After the celebration Wheat harvesting begins in Punjab on Baisakhi.

Baisakhi is celebrated by the people of Punjab with vigor and joy. Gurdwaras are decorated and hold kirtans (religious hymns) and people gather to socialize and share festive foods. Devotees dress up in special colourful clothe and do into the traditional folk dance 'Bhangra' and 'Gidda'. 

Besides the Punjab, Bengalis mark it as 'Naba Barsha'[new year]. On this day People take ritual bath in the Ganga river and bedight their houses with rangoli.

The people in Bihar celebrate this day in April and November in honour of the Sun God, Surya at te place called Surajpur-Baragaon.
 

 
Vishu festival[Image courtesy: wikipedia]

In Kerala it is called as 'Vishu' and in Tamil Nadu, it is celebrated as 'Puthandu'

This is day is also important for Buddists because Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment and Nirvana on this auspicious day.

So, what are you waiting for? when you begin to plan your next trip, come by us at Clear Car Rental. We can find the right travel plan to fit your budget. 

Goa Carnival - 4 days annual fun and frolic festival





Goa carnival
(Image credit: joel)

The Goa state tourism department organized four day long annual Goa Carnival which typically occur during month of February or early March, has been started on 25th Feb and it will continue till 28th Feb. The Carnival is being celebrated since the 18th century and it has an ancient history which date back to Portutuguese rule. This year location for this carnival are Panjim, Mapusa, Margoa and Vasco da Gama. In recent years it has been observed that the numbers of tourist for this carnival has increased.

Generally Goa carnival celebration is melange of music, dance and food. It is also a best opportunity for visitors to get glimpse of great goan culture and traditions of the state. Street parades, Live dancing troupes, floats parade, electrifying music and folk dancers are the main attractions of carnival. Float of 'King Momo' [a character derived from the Greek god Momus, who is the god of satire] led all the parades in all cities. 

It's never too early and late to start your holiday but if you missed the event then don't worry apart form this there are many Goa tour options for every travel enthusiast who seeks an option from relaxing to adventure holiday.


World Sacred Spirit Festival, Rajasthan


 

World sacred spirit festival conceived by the Mehrangarh museum trust is an annual music festival that takes place at Ahhichatragarh fort in Nagaur and Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. The festival is a perfect blend of natural ambiance and harmony. It took place almost every year and grew in size with the number of attendees.

The festival will have musicians from the Orient, Africa and India. The festival is celebrated with a aims at the conservation and continuation of Sufi/sacred traditions of India and the world.

The participant artist in this magnificent festival are sitar player Irshad Khan, folk singer, musician and storyteller Parvathy Baul and musician Mehdi Nassouli, Oud player and Composer Issa Murad, flute player Rishab Prasanna, tabla player Zuheb Ahmed Khan from Palestine, flute player Lingling Yu from China and musicians Samuel Cattiau and Quentin Dujardin.

This year's festival dates are :  14th Feb. to 15th Feb. at Nagaur and 17th Feb. to 19th Feb. in Jodhpur.
See the festival's website for more info about event tickets and program details.

Apart from the festival days you can take off some extra time to see other attractions of the state. The cultural and historical tours of Rajasthan offer an opportunity to get a glimpse of the exotic locales of the region.

Hemis Festival

Hemis Monastery Festival
Image credit:- Madhav Pai




Hemis festival - It is a famous annual festival is held in late June or early July every year at 'Hemis monastery' the largest and richest monastery in all of Ladakh. This year it'll be celebrated on 14th to 15th July 2016.

The ceremony of this two day festival begins on the 10th day of the Tibetan lunar month and commemorates the birth of lord 'Padmasambhava' (founder of Tantric Buddhism in Tibet). The local people of Leh Ladakh come to celebrate the festival in their traditional dresses.  The festival take place in the courtyards of monastery with Cham dance or masked dance, performed by the resident Lamas of the monastery on the music of cymbals, drums and long horns. The cham dance represents the victory of good over evil. 

Chams are essentially a part of Tantric tradition, performed only in the gompas that follow the Tantric Vajrayana teachings.

How to reach :


It is 40 kms away from the south-east of the main city of Leh in Ladhak district.

By air:- 

Nearest airport is Kushok Bakula Rimpochhe Airport at Leh. There are good avaibility of direct flights from Delhi, Srinagar and Jammu. From airport you can hire a cab in advance to reach Hemis monastery.

By train:- 

Chandigarh and Pathankot are the nearest railway station to Leh and Chandigarh to Leh and Panthankot to Leh distance are 750 kms and 772 kms  respectively. 

By Road:-  

You can reach Leh from Jammu, Kashmir and Manali by private vehicle or public buses.

If you haven't seen or visited this awesome destinations in India yet, then why not take a customized trip to here using our tour planner Now!

9 Colours of 9 Days of Navratri Festival


9 colors of 9 days of Navratri


 Navratri a nine days festival of worshiping Goddess Durga and her nine incarnations. Navratri is a combination of two words 'Nav' and 'Ratri' which literally means 'Nine Nights'.
During this festival mostly devotees are excited to wear nine different colours of dress which signify that particular form of the deity on each day of the festival.

 Now the Navratri begins and everyone is getting busy with purchasing the best combinations of colors to immersed in festival fever and pandal hopping for garba and dandiya with family and friends, so gear up and take this amazing opportunity to visit and to be a part of celebration with on time and affordable car rental services in your city.

Here are list of nine different colours that are supposed to wear on different days of Navratri.

 Day First:  Red colour 

First day of Navratri is called as 'Ghatasthapana'. The day is dedicated to Goddess Shailaputri and the colour to wear on the first day for devotees is "Red"

Day Second: Royal Blue  colour

Second day of Navratri is called as Dwitiya and on this day 'Goddess Brahmachari' is worshipped. the colour to wear on the second day for devotees is "Royal Blue"

Day Third: Yellow  colour

Third day of Navratri or Tritiya is dedicated to 'Devi Chandraghanta' she symbolizes spirituality and meditation and the colour to wear on this day for devotees is "Yellow"

Day Fourth: Green  colour

On the forth day, the creator of the universe 'Godess Kushmanda'is worshipped. The colour to wear on forth day of navratri is "Green"

Day Fifth: Gray

'Goddess Skandamata' is worshipped on the fifth day of Navratri. The colour to wear on forth day of navratri is "Gray"

Day Sixth: Orange 

'Goddess Katyayani' sixth incarnations of Godess Durga is worshiped on this day of Navratri and the colour to wear on is "Orange"

 Day Seventh: White

Goddess Kaalratri the seventh incarnations of Devi Durga, worshipped on the seventh day of Navrartri and "White" is the customary colour of the eighth day of Navaratri.

 Day Eight: Pink

Goddess of kindness and morality known as 'Devi Maha Gauri' is worshipped on the Eighth day of Navratri and "Pink" color to be worn on the day.

 Day Nine: Sky Blue 

Goddess of supernatural power 'Devi Siddhidatri' is worshiped on the Ninth day of Navratri and the colour to wear on the first day for devotees is "Sky Blue".


5 Famous Ganpati Idols to Visit in Pune During Ganesh Festival


  Ganesha Chaturthi also known as 'Vinayak Chaturthi' is the important Hindu Festival celebrated in honour of Lord Ganesha. The celebration has a long history and roots since the days of Maratha rulers. Indian freedom fighter and social reformer Lokmanya Tilak initiated this festival as a public festival in 1894 with a view to uniting citizens and strengthen the patriotic fervour in Indians.
While it is celebrated all over India, Pune is said to have it's own traditions to celebrating this festival with great pomp and gaiety where the festival actually started.

 The city has the five Manache (Respective) Ganesh idols where you have must visit during Ganesh Utsav.

1. Kasba Ganapti : 

        Kasba Ganpati  
         ( image credit: flickr)
                                                               
image credit:
image credit:
Located in the heart of city at Kasaba Peth, it is also known as Gram Devta of Pune and the temple was built by 'Shivaji Maharaj' and 'Jijabai Bhosale'.

2. Tambdi Jogeshwari :

  Tambdi Jogeshwari
( image credit: google)

It is supposed to be a oldest temple in Pune, established in 1893. It stands second privileged Ganpati idol of Pune after Kasba Ganpati Mandal.

3. Guruji Talim :

Guruji Talim
               (image credit: plus.googleapis.com)

It is the third respective Ganapti idol in pune Located at Laxmi Road. the Guruji Talim Ganpati mandal was started by two Hindu and two Muslim families in 1887 even before Lokmanya Tilak started this Sarvajanik Ganesh utsav and hence it's considered as a symbol of Hindu Muslim unity.

4. Tulsibaug :

         Tulsibaug Ganesh Idol
     (image credit: wikipedia.org)

 It is fourth respective Ganpati idol in Pune Located at Tulshibaug. which was established in 1901. This mandal is amongst the first who Glass establishing Fiber statue since 1975.

5. Kesariwada Ganesh Mandal :


Kesariwada Ganesh
   (image credit: wikipedia.org)

 Lokmanya Tilak established this idol in year 1893 in Narayan Peth, Pune. It is revered of known as fifth respective Ganapati idol in Pune. Lokmanya Tilak started this festival with the motive of to enhance the sense of belongingness as well as togetherness among the citizens and still the mandol takes large cultural and educational events and concentrates more on social work.

Along with these you can also visit Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati idol the richest Ganesh Mandal in the city which was established in the year 1893.
   Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati idol
(Image Credit: bhaskar.com)

How to reach Pune :-


Pune is well connected by air, rail and road to other major cities in India.

    Nearest Airport :- 

     Lohegaon airport where you can get a transfer taxi to reach the city.

    Nearest Railway station :-  

    Pune junction is an important station of Central Railway Zone. 

    Bus Stand:- 

    Shivajinagar and Swargate bus stand. The city is easily accessible by state transport buses or rental cars from major cities such include Ahmadnagar, Aurangabad and Mumbai.


     If you are planning to visit to Pune to experience immense fun then we suggest that there’s best way to rent a car for the utmost convenience and safety travel to Ganesh festival.

    Navratri, The Celebration Of Shakti

    image credit: webgranth.com


    The ganesh festival is just over and we all were waiting for navratri since then which is one of the important festival in India. It is one of the biggest festival celebrated in India. Navratri, the literal meaning is nine nights. Its a word derived from Sanskrit. These nine days and nights are celebrated by worshipping the manifestations of Goddess Durga. She is the divine power symbolizing the shakti. 

    The navratri is celebrated in October but the exact dates are confirmed every year by lunar calender. Navratri has various stories behind its celebration. Once upon a time Asuras, the demos rose above the Suras, gods. They achieved more powers than gods and defeated them under the leadership of Devil Mashishasur who was a powerful Asur and created a chaos in the world. All gods were scared for the welfare of the world hence the ultimate powerful goddess, Maa Durga was born to defeat him. Their battle went on for the nine days and on the last day, 10th day Mahishasur was defeated and killed by her so the name is navaratri because battle went on for nine days. This is also called as a "Durgotsav". 

    Navratri has bigger celebration in Maharashtra, Gujrat and Karnatka. Garba of Gujrat, Durga puja in West bengal, 'Ravan-dahan' in Karnatka, Ramlila in Notth India are the best picks of Navratri. 

    It is believed that Maa Durga stays with us in these nine days blessing us happiness and prosperity. The forms of Durga are Shailiputri, Bramhacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahagauri, Siddhidatri. These forms are also known as Navadurga.

    According to different regions these nine forms are known as with different names. The various incarnations of Maa durga celebrated in this nine days are Durga, Bhadrakali, Amba, Annapurna devi, Bhairavi, Chandika/Chandi, Lalita, Bhavani, Mookambika. Every day has its own celebration in Navratri. In first three days, Maa kaali which is also known as Kaali destroy the evil in our homes and souls. In second three days goddess Laxmi gives us the spiritual health. Laxmii is the goddess of Wealth. In last three days the goddess Sarswati who is the goddess of wisdom is worshipped. We all seek for these three aspects.

    Ghatasthapna is done on the very first day. A pot is installed in home and grains are sowed. A diya is lit throughout the nine days undisturbed. The pot is a symbol of universe and diya represents the shakti, the pure and divine power.
    The last day, 10th day is known as Dusshera or Vijayadashmi which has its own mythological importance and beliefs. More about it in our next post. 
     
    Image credit:festivalchaska.blogspot.in
    These nine days the atmosphere in home is very zealous. Garba dance is performed which has turned into big time events these days. Specially girls start preparing for their costumes weeks before navratri. 

    Navratri is the festival of Goddess Durga, we worship the divine power personified by feminine form. It gives us the message that the true, unimaginable and abundant form of shakti lies in the feminine form of god. If she can love and care for you unconditionally, work for you all the time and seem mild then she also has the tremendous spellbinding shakti to destroy you. If she can rise and create you she also has the supreme power to finish you fiercely. And while I am writing this I remember a role of mother in our lives. We worship the goddess these nine days wholeheartedly but we actually have been living with this one form of goddess since the day we are born. She brings us to the world, protects from all the possible evil things and loves us no matter what, she is our Mother, our goddess. 

    Every home has a living goddess in it working for them, loving them, nurturing them silently without expecting. Do we worship them? Do we recognize their sacrifice? Do we say thank you? Do we say "we can live and win" because of you? 

    Lets make a difference this year, lets remember the first living goddess we come across in our life, lets be thankful for them and worship them by giving respect they deserve and love that they dont even demand for. "Shatakoti Pranam" to these goddesses in our homes, thank you for being our Shakti.

    Happy Navratri to all! 



    Shri Krishna Janmashtami most popular place to experience the festival



     Birla Mandir, Delhi  (credit: Sushil Kumar Verma)

     The whole nation geared up the great devotion and enthusiasm for celebrating the Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna. The festival also known as Gokulashtami and devotees from around the nation celebrates it with much pomp and grandeur. Thousands of people visit the temple on this day to have the darshan of their worshipable Lord Shri Krishna. There also Dahi Handi or Gopal Kala a  popular ceremony celebrated on the second day of Janmashtami.

    Here are few most popular and special places where large number of devotees throng during Janmashtami because these are the places where Shri Krishna had spent his life.

    Mathura :

                 Lord Shri Krishna Temple (credit: prasadsewa.com) 

     Mathura is a birthplace of Lord Krishna and it's a stronghold for Janmashtami celebration. It's a district place situated on the banks of river 'Yamuna' in north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. 

    How to reach:- 

    By air: 
    Kheria Airport is the nearest airport to Mathura which is approxmitly 46 km away from Mathura. Taxi or cab are available from the airport to reach Mathura. 

    By road:

     Mathura is well connected to the major cities (Agra, Lucknow, Delhi and Kanpur) by bus and private vehicle. 

    By train:

    Mathura is very well-connected to the country through Western and central rails.



    Vrindavan: 


    Prem Mandir (credit: commons.wikimedia.com)

     This holy place is situated in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh state. According to mythology it is the place where Lord Krishna spent his childhood days.

     How to reach:

    By air:

    Nearest aiport to Vrindavan is Kheria airport and it is about 72 km away from the city.

    By train: 

    Vrindavan has a small railway station but well connected to Mathura railway station.

    By road:

     Vrindavan is good connected to Delhi and Mathura by bus as there are frequent buses and taxis are available from there.

    Dwarka :


        Dwarakadheesh Temple (credit: bharatdarshan.info)
     Dwarka is considered as one of the seven most ancient cities in India. It is located in Jamnagar district in Gujarat state. Most famous Lord Krishna's Dwarkadhish temple is located at the heart of this city.

    How to reach

    By air : 

    There is no airport in the town but the Jamnager and Porbandar is the nearest airport for it.


    By train: 
    Dwarka is well and one of the popular railway station on the western railway line and has good connectivity with many of major cities of the country.

    By road:

    Visitor can easily reach to Dwarka by road as it has good road connectivity with the other tourist destination.


    Apart from that Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi are also popular places for Krishna Janmashtami celebration.
     Every year numbers of devotees and tourists come to witness this celebration if you too want to visit then do make your plan properly and book really a quick and easy car rental services for your visit to these places.

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    Guru Purnima

    Guru Purnima

       'Guru Purnima' is a festival celebrated to pay respect to spiritual leader called as Guru. The festival is mainly celebrated by the Hindus and Buddhists in India. The word 'Purnima' means the full moon day and Guru Purnima also falls on the fool moon day in Ashadh (June-July) month of Hindu calendar. Hindus celebrates the Guru Purnima in honor of a great sage Vyasa who is regarded as one of the greatest religious leader (guru) by Hindu. Guru Purnima not only marks the birth day of the sage but this is the same day when he began writing the Brahma Sutra (a religious script).   It is also the day when Lord Buddha made his first sermon at Sarnath in UP and hence in Buddhism the day is observed in honor of Lord Buddha who is regarded the Guide and religious leader of the people.

    The Significance of Guru Purnima

         Origin of Guru Purnima festival dates back to Indian ancient Guru-Shishya (disciple) tradition which symbolizes the holy relation of Guru-Shishya. It is an auspicious day when people are seen expressing their gratitude towards the person they regard as Guru. The celebration is throughout the country and Hindu monks called as Sanyasi celebrated the day by offering prayer to the Guru. Programs of reciting Hindu scripture, especially Guru Gita written by Vyasa himself, are held in all parts of the country. Bhajan and Kirtan are also organized on the day to mark the Guru Purnima. The festival also includes the ritual of Padapuja, worshipping Guru's feet. Many devotees are seen worshipping the sandals which are regarded as the symbolic feet of the Guru. They are also seen taking pledge to follow in their life the teaching and guidance of their gurus.

    On this auspicious occasion we team Clear Car Rental wish every Guru a very Happy Guru Purnima.

    Hanuman Jayanti


      
      Hanuman Jayanti is one of the Indian festivals celebrating the birth of Hanuman deity. It falls on the 15th day of the Chaitra month (in the month of April) according to the Hindu lunar calendar. The day would be usually a full moon day. But, in some parts of India (Tamil Nadu) the birth of Hanuman (Aanjaneya) would be celebrated on an Amvasya day (no moon day) of the Margashirsh month (falls between December and January).  It is also celebrated during the month of Vaishakh (end of April and the beginning of May) in some other parts. The variation depends upon which calendar one would be referring to.
      Hanuman (also known as Aanjaneya) was a staunch devotee of Lord Rama as the legends state. He was the son of Vayu (air deity) and helped Rama to rescue Seetha from Ravana’s clutches. Hanuman is revered for various reasons. For some he is the symbol of strength. For some he is the protector from evil spirits. Especially people who are affected by Shani (deity of mal-effects) would go to Hanuman temples on Saturdays to get rid of their problem. According to legends Hanuman is the only deity whom Shani would not dare to affect. So, Hanuman is revered for protection over distressing negative energies.
      On the day of his birth the devotees would visit Hanuman temples, would hold spiritual discourses and would do puja at home by chanting mantras. Hanuman Chalesa is the special mantra that would be recited to appease Aanjaneya. Devotees would apply ‘sindhoor’ (vermillion) on their foreheads and the rituals would be done at dawn since Hanuman was born at dawn.

    Shri Ram Navami

     
      
      Ram Navami is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of lord Sri Rama –the ideal King of Ayodhya. The festival commences on the ninth day of the Chaitra Navaratri (Vasant Navratri) and it is celebrated with great fervor all across India. Lord Rama is the celebrated hero of the epic Ramayana. Rama is said to be an ideal king/son/husband. Thus, a celebration of his birth day has been a part of Indian festivities. He was born on the ninth day of the Chaitra month (according to the lunar calendar) to Dasharatha and Kausalya.
      Many people take up fast from the first day of the Vasant Navratri (Gudi Padwa) in the name of Lord Rama and end their fast on the ninth day, the day when Rama was born. On that day processions of Ram idol along with Sita Mata and Lakshman take place and people distribute a type of drink called ‘Paanaka’ (Sharbat made out of jiggery and lemon juice mixed with pepper powder). In some parts of India on this day some people will hold the ‘kalyanotsava’ (marriage of Lord Rama and Sita).  At noon, a coconut draped in cloth would be placed on a cradle to rock; this ritual is done to mark the birth Lord Rama. Rama Navami will be celebrated by holding spiritual discourses and processions.  Usually it falls in March and April.

    Konkan Fruit Festival



      As the name suggests the Konkan fruit festival is all about the fruits of Konkan region of India.  The festival is organized every year in Panjim, Goa. The festival is exhibition -cum sale of the fruits of Konkan region. This three day summer festival is organized by Botanical society of Goa in association with City Corporation of Panjim. Fruit eating and fruit carving contest and other completions of homemade fruit items like jams, wines, squashes etc are fun activities of the festival.
      Konkan fruit festival witnesses the wide response from thousands people who are seen visiting the festival and enjoying the event. You can also see at the festival wide variety plants and seedling and edible items made of fruits being sold on large scale. Many stalls set up for the occasion are seen displaying wide variety different fruits of Konkan region. You can have the choice of buying these delicious fruits as they are also available for sell. Though the festival is all about Konkan fruits, it also offers the visitors other entertaining activities like music and dance programs and fancy dress competition thus attracting more and more tourists  to witness the amazing event

    Holi - Festival Of Colors


    Significance of Holi festival

       Festival of color, Holi is a spring festival celebrated by the Hindus in all over the world. It is the most charming festival of India celebrated in each part of the country.  There are many stories associated with the origin of Holi festival. It is mainly believed to be related with lord Krishna. It is said that lord Krishna often complained of his dark skin to his mother comparing his skin color to the Radha's fair color. His mother decided to apply the color to Radha. Later on Krishna played such pranks on Radha and other Gopikas. Thus the festival is celebrated to commemorate Radha’s celestial love for Krishna.
      The festival of Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter. The festival usually falls on the last full moon of day of Phalguna (Feb- March) month. On the eve of the Holi festival particular bonfire is set on fire thus marking the mythological incidence of Holika Dahan in which Holika (a demoness with a boon that she could not be burnt) dies of burning when she sits on pyre with Prhalad (an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu) who escapes the fire unhurt due to supernatural power of the god lord Vishnu.
      Celebration of Holi contains the activities of people throwing colors mixed with water and applying colors to each other. The festival of Holi gets different flavor in different parts of the country. There are many form of the festival of Holi celebrated in different ways. Lath Mar Holi in Barsna is very striking. Thousands of people gather at the compound of Radha Rani temple to witness the women striking hard with sticks to men who are seen protecting themselves with some kind of shields. Mathura, Vrindavan, Braj, Agra are some of the places related with lord Krishna and hence celebration of Holi there is very religious and divine.

    Holi in different states of India

      Holi is also known by different names in different parts of the state. In West Bengal and Orissa it is known as Dolyatra of Basant Panchami while it has other name of Phagawa in Bihar. In Maharashtra and Goa Holi is known as Dhulivandan. Baithki Holi and Khari Holi are some forms of main festival of Holi. Holi festival abolishes the gap between rich and poor, men and women, young and old, rich and poor who all comes together to celebrate colorful Holi.

    Maha Shivaratri festival


    Maha Shivaratri is celebrated to remember lord Shiva and take his blessings for personal well being in this life and after. The shivratri is observed a day before the amavasya in the phalgun month according to Hindu calendar. The devotees of Shiva stay awake on 13Th night, generally walking / travelling to some Shiva temple, singing/chanting panchakshari mantra and praising the lord Shiva. They fast on 14Th day as a penance and offering to lord Shiva, people generally restrain themselves from eating grains on this day, only some fruits, milk and milk products and some items like sabudana (sago), nuts and dry fruits can be savored while fasting. Some people take a complete fasting and restrain themselves from eating anything and some even fast without water known as nirjala fast. Bael leaves, flowers, ghee lamp, incense sticks and bhoga are offered at the temples. This is the biggest devotional event among the Hindus and devotees all around the country(India) observe this day with great religious obligations.     

    Vasant Panchami - a festival devoted to Goddess Saraswati

    Vasant Panchami

    Vasant Panchami is a festival celebrated by the Hindus all over the world. The festival celebrates the goddess of Saraswati which is known to be the goddess of Knowledge. Goddess Saraswati is a consort of the lord Brahma who is according to Hindu mythology, considered to be the creator of the whole universe. Devi Saraswati is known to be goddess of learning and wisdom. The Goddess Saraswati symbolizes the Knowledge.
      The word Panchami literally means five and the festival falls on the fifth day of Mag (Jan- Feb) month of the Indian Calendar. The day is supposed to be auspicious to teach the children to write their first word in their life. On the occasion of Vasant Panchami Brahmins are invited to home and fed. Yellow color gets importance on this day. People usually try to wear yellow dress on this festival. India’s crop fields are filled with the color yellow, as the yellow mustard flowers bloom at this time of the year.The goddess Saraswati is also adorned with yellow cloths and worshiped.
    Pitri Tarpan is done on the occasion of Vasant Panchami. Pitri Tarpan means worshiping ancestors. Kamdev (the god of love) is also worshipped on this holy event. Sweets are exchanged with relatives and friends. Children like to fly kites on this day. Vasant Panchami has a great religious and social importance in Indian society and hence the festival is celebrated with great fervor.
    Vasant Panchami is celebrated in Punjab with more fascinating way. First of all the festival is known as Basant Panchami here. On the occasion children and many young boys and girls fly the colorful kites.  Thousands of colorful kites presents amazing look in the sky. This is largely seen in Ferozepur (Punjab) where the festival is also known as Kite Festival.


    Lohri - Festival in India


    Lohri festival popularly celebrated in North India especially in states like Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and the nearby areas.
     Lohri is celebrated on the 13th of January marking the end of the winter season. The next day is the first day of their month. The festival coincides with the Hindu festival Makara Sankranti (celebrated on the 14th of January). Many people believe the festival began as a celebration of the eve of the winter solstice. The day begins with children collecting money from houses in the neighborhood. Children go from door to door singing songs in praise of Dulha Bhatti, a famous legendary Rajpoot hero of the Punjab who robbed the rich and helped the poor. On the eve of Lohri people create huge bonfires in the harvested fields and in front of homes after that they gather around bonfires and pray for good year. Popular songs, peanuts and corn puffs are enjoyed near the flames. Sarson da saag and makki di roti is usually served as the main course at a Lohri dinner. Farmers pray to God for good harvest seasons and good financial year on the eve of Lohri.

    Konark Dance Festival, Orissa


       Tourists visiting Konark in the month of December has a great chance of enjoying much more than mere sightseeing and beautiful beaches as  the town of Konark in the state of Orissa (India)hosts its the charming Dance festival every year in the month of December.  The dance festival offers an occasion for the tourists to witness the many renowned classical dancers performing their arts at the backdrop of Sun Temple, a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO.
        Konark dance festival is an occasion where many eminent dancers from all over the country are seen performing in open theatre. The festival is celebration of classical dance forms like Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri, Kathak etc. Konark Dance Festival is a joint of initiative of Odissi Research Center and Orissa Tourism. The festival has been successfully organized for the last 19 years. It is an event to honor the classical dance forms and celebrated classical dancers. Konark dance festival also provides a platform to both acclaimed and budding talents who are seen enthralling the visitors by their outstanding performance. The event of festival is witnessed by thousands of tourist from across the country. Craft Mela is another added feature of the festival where many beautiful handicrafts are seen being purchased by many tourists.

    Sonepur Cattle Fair, Bihar

     
    Sonepur, a small town of Bihar, is famous for its fair popularly called Sonepur Mela. Sonepur Mela is known for its cattle fair (especially elephant) and sometimes it is also called as Sonepur cattle fair.  Sonepur cattle fair is Asia’s one of the biggest cattle fairs. The town of Sonepur, situated at just 22 km of Patna -capital city of Bihar, hosts this fair every year in the month of November.
    Sonepur fair has historical importance as it was visited by royal Rajas and Nawabs in the past. They used to camp there during the fair. Sonepur fair holds religious significance as it was held on the full moon day of Kartik month (November) which is considered to be the most sacred month of Hindu calendar. Sonepur is located at the meeting point of two holy rivers namely Ganga and Gandak. People visiting Sonepur fair are seen taking bath in this holy confluence point of two rivers and seeking bless in Hariharnath Mandir located there.
    A Sonepur fair is an event and a place where thousands of cattle are sold and bought. The cattle particularly include elephant, horse, camel etc. the fair is held on large ground and is visited by lakhs of people throughout the country and from abroad as well. The fair is not just confined to cattle fair, it is also an event when numerous cultural and entertaining programs like dance, music, folk arts etc are performed.

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