All posts by bienumv

Love to read, write, travel and talking to self & people!

Desaru Coast set to welcome Indian business and leisure travelers in 2018

Malaysia’s First Premium Integrated Destination to increase Tourist Receipts with New Offerings

 “India has always been an important market for Malaysia. In 2016, a total of 6,38,578 Indian travelers visited Malaysia, maintaining its position as the sixth top tourist generating market to the country. Desaru Coast will definitely make the Indian excited and thus giving a boost to arrivals to the country” said Mr. Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Director – Tourism Malaysia, Mumbai. He was speaking during the exclusive preview of Desaru Coast here in Mumbai recently.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Philip Whittaker, Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Theme Parks & Attractions and Chief Commercial Officer of Themed Attractions Resorts & Hotels Sdn. Bhd. Said, “  “Desaru Coast’s India tour will open doors for us to connect with buyers of all sectors within the travel-value chain commerce whilst positioning Desaru Coast as the destination of choice amongst holidaymakers and business travelers alike within the region. We look forward to sharing a preview of the destination that will appeal to international travelers with its myriad of offerings.”

 Ms. Olivia Ooi, Senior Vice President, Destination Sales & Marketing, 2. Mr. Philip Whittaker, Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Theme Parks & Attractions and Chief Commercial Officer of Themed Attractions Resorts & Hotels Sdn. Bhd.
3. Ms. Kristine Lim, Vice President, Destination Sales & Marketing

Developed by Desaru Development Holdings One Sdn. Bhd., Desaru Coast is located at the south-eastern region of Malaysia, spanning over 3,900 acres along an unspoiled 17km beachfront facing the South China Sea. The destination is easily accessible via land, ferry, and air. Desaru Coast is home to four globally renowned hotels and resorts, two world-class golf courses, a themed water park, a retail village as well as a conference centre.

Anchored by Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark, one of the world’s biggest water parks with the largest wave pool in Southeast Asia, the attraction also presents visitors with a Malaysian fishing village atmosphere. Visitors can also experience the first water coaster in the region and a unique mix of wet and dry rides.

The fully-integrated beach-front destination will encompass globally renowned hotels and resorts namely The Westin Desaru Coast Resort, Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas and Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast.

Adding to the vast array of leisure and holistic offerings is Desaru Coast Riverside, a 23-acre water-front landscaped retail and lifestyle village located in the heart of Desaru Coast that delivers an all-inclusive leisure experience, including a range of retail, eateries and entertainment outlets. Completing the unique blend of experiences that the multi-billion-dollar integrated destination has to offer is the Desaru Coast Conference Centre, an equipped multipurpose venue with a banquet area and exhibition space that can host up to 1,000 participants. The conference centre is furnished with meeting and breakout rooms, VIP lounges, a pre-function area, and courtyard to cater to MICE events, corporate functions and entertainment events.

Golf aficionados will get the chance to tee-off at the first Els Club in Southeast Asia, the third in the world, The Els Club Malaysia in Desaru Coast. The Els Club Desaru Coast comprises two championship golf courses, the 27-hole Ocean Course and the 18-hole Valley Course. Managed by Troon Golf, the Ocean Course was designed by 4-time Major Champion, Ernie Els, while the Valley Course was designed in collaboration with Els’ long-standing friend and major champion, Vijay Singh. Golfers can be guaranteed a world-class golf experience with an incredible view.

Desaru Coast is set to unveil its destination offerings in stages, with the opening of The Els Club Desaru Coast – Ocean Course in September 2016 and The Els Club Desaru Coast – Valley Course in March 2017, followed by the remaining components from end June 2018.

The Indian travel community and visitors are welcomed to find out more about the latest updates on Desaru Coast developments at SATTE, New Delhi, Booth no. E170, Hall 1 (January 31st – February 2nd, 2018).

For more information, visit www.desarucoast.com

Vitamin E, Vital for Glowing & Youthful Skin #Evion

I started noticing dark patches of pigmentation on my face a few years ago…

Since then my struggle to get rid of them started, as I was mentally not prepared for this development. On finding me anxious about these patches on my face, advice started pouring in from all quarters. Apply Curd, Honey, Lemon, Multani Mitti…what not! I diligently followed some of the advice but of no avail. I showed these to my family doctor who gave me a medicated cream, which also didn’t help much. One of my colleague in the office told me that this is not pigmentation, these are excess calcium deposits on my skin, which further added to my anxiety. I did not where to seek help from as I had lost faith in doctors and skin specialists who made me pop-up six pills every day. It was really getting on my nerves…

…I almost decided to give up!

Then again, while my way home from the office, in local train one lady pointing my patches, identifying herself as skin specialist suggested a cream to me and said, even Priyanka Chopra applies this cream to get rid of her patches. I took a sigh of relief…finally this cream is my calling! Without wasting any time, I rushed to the medical store and paid a bomb for this Jadu ki chadi. Believe me, even after applying 6 tubes regularly for nearly 6 months, my patches did not budge. I am still looking forward to catching that lady.

One leisurely Sunday morning, I came across an ad in HT Brunch which prominently mentioned Vitamin E as the base of that cream. Having lost all faith in creams and lotions, I paid no heed to it, but yes Vitamin E component stayed with me. I started researching on Vitamin E…

So literally, what does Vitamin E stands for? Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient found in many foods. In the body, it acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. The body also needs vitamin E to boost its immune system so that it can fight off invading bacteria and viruses. It helps to widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting within them. In addition, cells use vitamin E to interact with each other and to carry out many important functions.

After a yearlong struggle, I realized that this problem needs to be attacked inside out, applying creams, lotions, oils, face-wash etc. are of no avail if vital ingredients are not reaching inside. Hence it was important that I make some important changes in my eating habits and add those foods which are a good source of Vitamin E.

So What foods provide vitamin E?

Vitamin E is found naturally in foods and is added to some fortified foods. One can get recommended amounts of vitamin E by eating a variety of foods including the following:

Vegetable oils like wheat germ, sunflower, and safflower oils are among the best sources of vitamin E. Corn and soybean oils also provide some vitamin E.

AF5R1X Fresh spinach

Nuts (such as peanuts, hazelnuts, and, especially, almonds) and seeds (like sunflower seeds) are also among the best sources of vitamin E.

Green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli, provide some vitamin E.

Food companies add vitamin E to some breakfast cereals, fruit juices, margarine and spreads, and other foods.

To ensure a consistent supply of Vitamin E, I started eating five soaked almonds every day and added spinach soup to my dinner besides some of the sources mentioned above. Inside was sorted, what about the application on skin.

I came to know about Aloe Vera Gel which claimed to add a glow to the skin and is ayurvedic preparation too. I decided to invest in it chucking my age-old favourite Nivea cream. But what about vitamin E for the skin? On further research, I came across #Evion oil capsules and eureka…what a discovery it turned out to be! Every night I opened one capsule and mixed it with Aloe Vera Gel and applied on my face with a double quote on my patches. Gradually all this started showing results. Friends started telling me, your face is glowing, your patches are going, skin is tightening!

Now I have got Evion Vitamin Cream which I use everynight.

Vitamin E oil works to block free radicals from the body, which play a large part in the ageing process. If we can fight off free radicals, then we can reduce wrinkles and keep the skin youthful-looking.

Now you see it to believe it, these drastically lightened…making me happier!

This was Vitamin E and Evion capsules for me.

I hope you will draw inspiration from story on combatting dark patches, loss of glow and loosening of skin with Vitamin E and you can have details from #Evion website: http://www.evion.co.in/

This is my entry for the My Vitamin E mantra contest being held on Indiblogger by Evion.

The Great Mumbai Shopping Festival is here!

Aamchi Mumbai is all set host apro “The Mumbai Shopping Festival” from January 12 – 31st organized by MTDC,  purportedly on the lines of the Dubai shopping festival.

It will be first of the kind grand shopping cum fun and fair mela with many themes like fashion shows, street performance and more all around Mumbai city and Suburban, Thane and Navi Mumbai area. Complete 3 weeks (20 days Shopping festival mela) starting 12th January 2018 will last till the end of the month will be a grand trade fair and discounted shopping event with an extra dose of late night fun and fair with hotels, airlines giving discounts and restaurant and bars opened late night too. A great opportunity to enjoy best discounts and offers at more than 50 different locations in Mumbai.

MSF 2018 is a joint initiative of ‘Maharashtra Tourism’, ‘OMCPL’, ‘Maharashtra Unlimited’ and ‘Visit Maharashtra’. A festival dedicated to shopping here forth putting Mumbai city on the world map as a huge Shopping Destination. These 20 days events bring in Entertainment, Prizes, Lifestyle, Great Experience with almost every part of Mumbai on Sale, Discount and Offers of about 5000+ local & international brands covering South Mumbai, Western Suburban, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Far North Vasai Virar locations. Many Associate partners like MCHI Credai, Naredco, FICCI, GJEPC India, Retailer Association of India, India Bullion and Jewellers Association Ltd and Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association gave support and push to this festival. The Opening ceremony of this festive event will be held on 12th January at BKC (Jio Garden) and Similarly Closing at Gateway of India on 31st January 2018 by Hon’ble CM.

Shopping Partners

Shopping destination and Hospitality partners like Malls, Restaurants, Hotels, Various Retail Outlets, Departmental Stores, Petrol Stations, Airlines, General Stores, Movie Theatres, Online Shopping giants are all connected together for this mega shopping event of Mumbai. Below are the listed partners:

Music Concerts, About 13 Stage and Sports Events and Many performing arts can be observed at 13 various locations in Mumbai city, Suburbs, Thane and Navi Mumbai area. Below are the details.

Street Performances

Music Concerts for all genre performed by Bollywood and Marathi folk world along with Local Musicians and talents less known. College and Rock bands, International EDM artists will all be seen rocking late night performing Classical, Rock, Indie Pop, Jazz and more.

Venues

Bandra Carter Road, Girgaum Chowpatty, Shivaji Park, Worli Sea Face, International & Domestic Airport, Juhu Beach, Outside 3 Star Hotel Kharghar (Navi Mumbai), Vashi Railway Station, Galleria Mall Powai, Upvan Lake Thane, Cypress Garden Mulund and Maxus Mall Mira Road.

Late Night Zones & Bazaar

During Weekends, Late night Bazaars are organized opened till and wee hours (Till 4 Am). Few locations are kept wide open for fun and entertainment for family and friends to enjoy along with shopping. Below are the dates and late night locations :

  • 13th January & 14th January (Bandra Jio Garden, BKC)
  • 19th January & 20th January (Mindspace Malad Link Road)
  • 26th January & 27th January (Powai)
  • Food Trucks and Khao Galli Food Options

Food Truck Association of India will showcase food options at the trending food truck eateries of Mumbai. These will be a weekend fun and eateries zone with dates as detailed below :

13th and 14th January at Worli Seaface.

19th and 20th January at Mindspace Malad.

26th and 27th January at Powai.

Infiniti and InOrbit Mall Malad, High Street Phoenix Lower Parel, Phoenix Market City Kurla, Oberoi Mall Goregaon, RCity Mall Ghatkopar, Grand Central at Seawood Navi Mumbai and Thane Viviana Mall.

Super Markets Brands & Grocery Stores

DMart, Big Bazaar, Crossword, The Bombay Store, Reliance Fresh, Haiko Powai, Vijay Sales Outlets, Nature’s Basket, Reliance Mart and Digital outlets.

The idea is to come to Mumbai, enjoy its delicacies, visit tourist spots and shop, availing attractive discounts everywhere. “It is going to be a unique experience!

Summertime Villa, jewel in the GOA’s Crown!


Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

When at the end of the year, you plan to hit GOA for obvious reasons, you can explore a new boutique hotel, Summertime Villa…Let me introduce you to Summertime villa in Goa, Asia’s Most Romantic Boutique Hotel 2016, winner of World Boutique Hotel Awards in London! A luxury hilltop villa in Goa with tropical gardens, koi pond, and infinity pool. Total privacy in a secluded location, yet close to the famous beaches on the coast of North Goa. Summertime is also a preferred sanctuary for Bollywood celebrities who want to escape the paparazzi for some me-time.

Summertime villa in Goa makes a winning combination of a location close to north Goa’s hotspots yet surrounded by two peaceful acres of lush tropical gardens. This sort of generous private space is simply unheard of in Goa, especially in north Goa. The two acres are spread around the villa in such a way that maximum amount of privacy is assured, as several high-profile celebrities have discovered.

Summertime is built in contemporary Bali style, the preferred holiday destination of the owners. Large glass walls bring in views of the two pools and every window and door opens out to stunning greenery. The double height living room is the heart of the villa. A large rattan and wood sofa flanked by deep armchairs invites hours of convivial catching up with family members and friends. Summertime villa perches on a hilltop just outside Calangute overlooking paddy fields and a lush tropical garden. It is a rare luxury villa which enjoys two acres of private gardens, shared with birds, butterflies and tranquillity which is fast disappearing even from Goa. There is a large infinity pool which overlooks the gardens and the valley, a waterfall and a koi pond.

The three massive suites of 75 sq meters each are all done up in happy colours and hand-picked furniture from Bali and from other places from the owners’ travels. There is a large separate wall to wall wardrobe, exquisitely done large bathrooms with walk-in showers and twin vanities. Just outside the Koi suite is the large koi pond where colourful koi fish await some snacks. A burbling waterfall ends in the koi pond and this presence of water is a huge attraction to birds, both resident and migratory.

Another strong presence is of books, books and more books. In a bright corner of the living room is a Bibliochaise – a chair built around a mini-library. Obviously, the house belongs to big-time readers and their collection keeps on expanding.

The impressive frontage of Summertime overlooks the large infinity pools. Folks who want to do laps can do so in the whopping 14 x 7-meter length while the lazy swimmers can perch on the benches built inside the main pool overlooking the gardens or immerse themselves in the smaller lounge pool.

Summertime is fully staffed with an amazing cook, a very versatile caretaker and well-trained housekeeping staff. The grounds care for three staff members who live in a charming bungalow at the bottom of the property. Summertime’s staff and the wonderful food has also been a huge highlight and just about every guest leaves raving about the quality service and food.

Summertime’s owners also run the Solita, a classic luxury yacht available for exclusive charter. A completely different way of exploring Goa, the Solita will take you out to sea to spot dolphins and down Goa’s secret backwaters and past quaint villages – an experience from a more elegant time.

Both the Solita and Summertime can transport you into a novel world, into the Goa you dream about, one filled with balmy sea breezes, soothing greenery, gently lapping water and birdsong.

 

MMRDA Smart Card, Really Smart!

The smart card that is to be introduced by the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) is likely to change the way you travel and shop in the city. The cross-transport smart card can also be used as a credit and debit card, at shopping malls, movie theatres and for online transactions. The planning authority is expected to start inviting bidders to design the software for the much-delayed single-ticketing system in December.

The card can be used across different modes of transport such as metros, monorail, suburban railway and BEST buses.

A senior MMRDA official said that the card can act as a debit or credit card and can be used even for non-transit transactions. The official said: “We will tie-up with banks to issue these cards that can be used for fare payment and in shopping malls.”

Apart from this, officials said that the cards will be based on an “open loop” system for fare collection.

An open-loop system would entail banks to operate at the back-end, unlike the conventional closed-loop system where the transport authority collects fares.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is keen on getting the project on track. A first-of-its-kind initiative in India for multi-modal corridors, the smart card may, however, reach you only by 2019.

The project is expected to be implemented in a phase-wise manner.

MMRDA is expected to begin the implementation of this project with the metro. Besides the existing line that connects Versova and Ghatkopar, the new lines are expected to link Colaba to Seepz, Dahisar to Andheri East and to Mankhurd, Lokhandwala to Kanjurmarg, Wadala to Thane, and Thane to Kalyan.

MMRDA is then planning to implement the system with the BEST buses and railways. The planning authority is also going to hold a competition to finalise the design for the smart card.

Now travelling and shopping across Mumbai will be BIG FUN!

Source: The Hindustan Times

Dwarkadhish Temple: Gujarat – Epitome of Spirituality & Tranquility!

Gujarat has been in the news, the reasons are well-known.

Now that heavy – duty and hyper – hyped elections are over in Gujarat and results are keenly awaited, you can plan a trip to Gujarat and pay obessience to Dwarkadhish temple like our national leaders, who did pre-elections, lesser mortals like us can do post-elections. You can choose to say thanks to deity for the results! Just kidding!! Here you can enjoy beautiful winters of the state and inimitable, authentic Gujarati food which is loved globally. This will certainly make your trip to the shrine, more blissful.

So for the uninitiated, Dwarka is the headquarters of Okhamandal taluka  in the extreme West of the Saurashtra peninsula on the Arabian Sea. It is a station on the Ahmedabad-Okha broad gauge railway line, about 137-km from Jamnagar, 217 km from Rajkot and 378 km from Ahmedabad.

A state highway with Jamnagar and Okha also connects it. The nearest airport is Jamnagar. Dwarka lies on 20.22′ north latitude and 69.05′ east longitude and built on the night bank of Gamut creek. Dwarka was known as the city of Gold. Shree Krishna came here from Mathura along with some Yadav families and established his own empire Dwarka. That was the legend but science proved it partially. Scientists researched on that and have found some facts.

Dwarka is derived from ‘Dwar’, a door, and in ancient times its flourishing port was considered to be the gateway to the mainland. As ‘Ka’ means ‘Brahma’ meaning, gateway to Moksha. It is called Dwarkamati and Dwarkavati. Being adopted home and capital of Shri Krishna after he gave up Mathura. It is held in such a high esteem as a place of Hindu pilgrimage that it is considered to be one of the four principle holy places or Chardham, it is also known as Mokshapuri.

The Dwarkadhish temple, also known as the Jagat Mandir and occasionally spelt Dwarakadheesh (Gujarati: દ્વારકાધીશ મન્દિર; Sanskrit and Hindi: द्वारकाधीश मन्दिर), is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Krishna, who is worshiped here by the name Dwarkadhish, or ‘King of Dwarka’. The temple is located at Dwarka, Gujarat, India. The main shrine of the 5-storied building, supported by 72 pillars, is known as Jagat Mandir or Nija Mandir, archaeological findings suggest it to be 2,200 – 2,000 years old. Temple was enlarged in the 15th- 16th century. The Dwarkadhish Temple is a Pushtimarg temple, hence it follows the guidelines and rituals created by Vallabhacharya and Vitheleshnath.

According to tradition, the original temple was believed to have been built by Krishna’s grandson, Vajranabha, over the hari-griha (Lord Krishna’s residential place). The temple became part of the Char Dham pilgrimage considered sacred by Hindus in India, after Adi Shankaracharya, the 8th-century Hindu theologian and philosopher, visited the shrine. The other three being comprising Shringeri, Badrikashram and Puri. Even today a memorial within the temple is dedicated to his visit. Dwarakadheesh is the 108th Divya Desam of Vishnu on the subcontinent, glorified in the Divya Prabandha sacred texts.

As per Hindu legend, Dwarka was built on a piece of land by Krishna that was reclaimed from the sea. Sage Durvasa once visited Krishna and his wife Rukmini. The sage wished that the pair took him to their palace. The pair readily agreed and started walking with the sage to their palace. After some distance, Rukmini got tired and she requested some water from Krishna. Krishna dug a mythical hole that brought in river Ganga to the place. Sage Durvasa was furious and cursed Rukmini to remain in the place. The temple where Rukmini’s shrine is found is believed to the place where she stood.

The town of Dwarka in Gujarat has a history that dates back centuries and mentioned in the Mahabharat epic as the Dwaraka Kingdom. Situated on the banks of river Gomti, the town is described in legend as the capital of Lord Krishna. Evidence such as a stone block with the script, the way the stones were dressed showing that dowels had been used, and an examination of anchors found on the site suggest that the harbour site dates only to historical times, with some of the underwater structure being late Medieval. Coastal erosion was probably the cause of the destruction of what was an ancient port.

Hindus believe that the original temple was constructed by Vajranabh, the great grand son of Krishna, over the residential palace of Krishna. The current temple in Chaulukya style is constructed in 15-16th century. The temple covers an area of 27 meters by 21 meters with the east-west length of 29 metre and north-south width of 23 metres. The tallest peak of the temple is 51.8 m high.

The flag atop the temple shows the sun and moon, which is believed to indicate that Krishna would be there till Sun and moon exist on earth. The flag is changed from 5 times a day, but the symbol remains the same. The temple has a five-story structure built on seventy-two pillars. The temple spire is 78.3m high. The temple is constructed of limestone which is still in pristine condition. The temple shows intricate sculptural detailing done by successions of dynasties that ruled the region. The structure was not expanded much by these works. There are two entrances to the temple. The main entrance (north entrance) is called “Moksha Dwara” (Door to Salvation). This entrance takes one to the main market. The south entrance is called “Swarga Dwara” (Gate to Heaven). Outside this doorway are 56 steps that lead to the Gomati River. The temple is open from 6.00 am to 1.00 pm and 5.00 pm to 9.30 pm. The Krishnajenmastami festival, the birthday of Krishna was commissioned by Vallaba (1473-1531).

So what are you thinking, pack your pilgrimage bag and head to Dwarkadhish temple!  Jai Shree Krishna!!

 

Head towards The Lil Flea Mumbai, this weekend!

The Lil Flea, a festival of shopping, food & music, good vibes and perhaps the largest & happiest of its kind in the country is back in the bay! With fairy lights , cozy tents, happy vibes, hundreds of pop up shops from all over the country, experimental and fusion foods, some of the best up & coming live bands, movie screenings, the lil book exchange, a well-stocked bar and a whole host of little things, this festival promises to keep you occupied for a happy weekend!

Be there for:

PopUp Shops from all over the country: If you love shopping or simply exploring what’s buzzing in the market, then The Lil Flea has to be on your bucket list. The Lil Flea brings together some of the best homegrown shops from across the country with contemporary apparel, quirkily printed shoes, chic bags, handmade jewellery, digital pop art and heaps of cool things to keep shoppers busy for a whole day or more.

Experimental & Fusion Foods: Being a discovery platform, the people of The Lil Flea are always on the lookout for amazing up & coming food chefs, bakers and niche food brands. Rest assured that you will be spoilt for choice here

Music: Listen to some of the country’s best up &coming indie musicians perform live as you chill on the turf, sip on a drink or make yourself comfortable in a teepee. Stay tuned for the full lineup

The Lil Book Exchange: Bring a book along you can exchange it for another without any price at the Lil Book Exchange.

Movie Lounge: Adding a nostalgic touch to The Lil Flea, the team has decided to host some cool classics through the day. Make yourself comfortable on some comfy pillows, sip on a Bira provided as an optional combo offer or simply grab some pop corn. Pre-register for these sessions if you are wise, as the numbers of headphones are likely limited.

Festival Bar: If the weekend calls for a drink or two, make sure you drop by to The Lil Flea’s Festival bar. Placed right next to the music stage, listen to the music as you choose from a delectable selection of handpicked cocktails, wines, sangraias, alcohol golas and slushies and some really great offers from our new favourite Bira

One Lil Tree: Join this small but amazing movement to help improve the way we live and the air we breathe. Collect your free seeds to plant in your home, adopt a plant or learn the art of organic gardening.

The Happy Vibe: You can feel the happiness in the air when you visit The Lil Flea. Happy sellers, happy visitors, fun sit outs, beautiful bohemian décor all come together at this festival to make it one weekend to remember.

You can book your tickets on Insider.in for Rs. 249 for a single day and Rs. 400 for all three days.

Not to be missed this unique event this weekend.

UNESCO recognizes Kumbh Mela’s ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’

India’s Kumbh Mela has been recognised by UNESCO as an “intangible cultural heritage of humanity” and held up as the world’s largest peaceful gathering of pilgrims.

The External Affairs Ministry recently said the recognition was accorded by the Inter-Governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, an entity which works under UNESCO.

The decision to recognise the Kumbh Mela was taken at its ongoing meeting in Jeju, South Korea. The inscription of the Kumbh Mela was recommended by the expert body which examines the nominations submitted by member states. The committee observed it was the largest peaceful congregation of pilgrims on the earth.

“The Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO inscribed the ‘Kumbh Mela’ on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its 12th session held at Jeju, South Korea,” the MEA said.

The session, which started on 4 December, is to end on 9 December. It said the inscription was the third in two years following ‘Yoga’ and ‘Nouroz’.

“The committee observed that ‘Kumbh Mela’ is the largest peaceful congregation of pilgrims on the earth. The festival, held in Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik, represents a syncretic set of rituals related to worship and ritual cleansing in holy rivers in India,” the MEA said.

“As a religious festival, the tolerance and inclusiveness that Kumbh Mela demonstrates are especially valuable for the contemporary world,” the MEA said in its statement.

The committee also took note of the fact that knowledge and skills related to the ‘Kumbh Mela’ were transmitted through the Guru-Shishya parampara (teacher-student relationship) by way of saints and sadhus teaching their disciples about traditional rituals and chants.

Reacting to the recognition, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said it was a proud moment for India. “A very proud moment for us as sacred Kumbh Mela is just inscribed as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO,” he tweeted.

In 2003, the UNESCO General Conference had adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage as an international treaty, acknowledging that cultural heritage was more than tangible places, monuments and objects and that it also encompassed traditions and living expressions.

The Kumbh Mela joins new elements from Botswana, Colombia, Venezuela, Mongolia, Morocco, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates on the UNESCO list.

 

 

 

Aditi Rao Hydari unveiled Swatch’s new ‘Swatch x You’ collection

Inspired by creative and budding designers and customers, Swatch marks the launch of its new collection at Palladium Mall, Mumbai. Swatch, the Swiss watch brand is known for creating the world’s most innovative timepieces for more than 34 years, launched its new ‘Swatch x You’ collection with brand friend and Bollywood actress Aditi Rao Hydari at Palladium Mall on December 5, 2017, in Mumbai. With the moto “Design your Own, Own your Design” the new range is a celebration of freedom, personalisation, and self- expression.

Aditi-Rao-Hydari-brand-friend-swatch-at-the-launch-of-swatchs-new-swatchxyou-collection-in-mumbai

Sporting a watch from the new collection and resonating with the brand’s core elements, brand friend Aditi Rao Hydari stated, “I am honoured to be associated with Swatch watches and unveil this new and unique ‘Swatch x You’ collection. The brand has been an important catalyst in making watch industry smart and relevant. Being a watch lover myself, I feel ecstatic to be a part of this new collection and congratulate Swatch on setting a new benchmark in the watch industry. This innovative range is my personal favourite because every timepiece reiterates the philosophy of living life by my own rules”.

For the first time ever, Swatch is giving its customers a chance to design their watch, their way. With the newly customizable Swatch x You series, Swatch lovers can play a part of budding designers themselves. The collection comprises of signature timepieces created by customers in just five easy steps, giving the entire range a touch of personalisation and uniqueness.

 The new collection is inspired by dreams, ideas and opportunities. It offers every individual a sense of personal style that he/she can show off and pull off quite easily. Customers can create their own signature Swatch in just five easy steps. Featuring pre-designed watch heads, straps, loops and pins, the process makes watch making a snap. From solid mint green to racy red stripes, no matter what the mood is, Swatch has your wrist all the time!

SWATCH understands that change does not knock on your door. The new collection is for life’s pivotal moments when individuals allow themselves to embrace emotion, create change and dance with the unknown. That is why now customers can now create their own signature Swatch in just five easy steps either online or in-store.

Swatch, launched in 1983 by Nicolas G. Hayek, is a leading Swiss watch maker and one of the world’s most popular brands. The first Swatch watches surprised everyone with their revolutionary concept, creative design and provocative spirit. The brand philosophy is based on colour, movement, lightness and transparency, which can be seen in every Swatch product and project. Today Swatch continues to innovate and surprise with new models, collections and special editions. The brand maintains a strong presence in the world of sports with its commitment to snowboarding, freeskiing, surfing, beach volleyball and mountain bike slope style. Right from the start, Swatch connected with art and artists, and Swatch watches remain a prominent canvas for artists from a broad range of disciplines.

 

 

Magnificent Mehrangarh Fort, Memorable Trip, Jodhpur, Rajasthan India

We have very fond memories of attending my cousin Aarti’s wedding in Jodhpur some three years ago, which was a typical Rajasthani marriage in Jodhpur. When marriage got over, my phoophaji advised us to visit Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Bhavan Palace which had already caught my fancy while coming to my dear Suman bua’s home for Aarti’s marriage…

Phoophaji arranged a vehicle (read: luxury car) for us and very next morning we were out to visit Mehrangarh Fort. Though tired because of marriage ceremonies, I was quite excited to visit the fort which looked so imposing to me while driving round the beautiful Rajasthan city of Jodhpur. Moreover, I have a fetish for forts and I may be credited for visiting several forts of India across States. The palaces in Rajasthan are truly royal and magnificent and it is very difficult to rate them on these parameters. Every fort has its own charm and a story to tell, the only common thread being Rajasthani Culture and architecture. Every fort awe-inspiring, leaving you to spell – bound. The story is the same here, when accompanied by my husband Mukund, who was like – Oh another fort, another steep climb, guide telling Raja Rani Kahaniyan…

…but Mehrangarh was different, it has lifted for tourists to go various levels, one need not necessarily climb rather take the steep walk to visit the fort. I must say a visit to the fort was very enlightening and it opened many layers of Rajputana, Raja-Maharajas, their aesthetic sense, their valour and love of their land. No wonder Mehrangarh has a steady stream of Indian and foreign tourists, in every season. We were lucky to have visited in winter, which further added to our experience about Mehrangarh fort. Standing high above the plains on this isolated rock, the Fort covers an area 460 mts in length and 230 mts in width, with walls that vary in height from 6 to 36 mts.  Inside its ways, there are several palaces, which are known for their intricate carvings and sprawling courtyards. The foundation of the fort was laid on May 12, 1459 by Rao Jodha on a rocky hill nine kilometres to the south of Mandore.

The invincible fortifications are six meters thick. Some of the walls still bear cannon marks they had once withstood. The Chamunda Mataji was Rao Jodha’s favourite goddess, he brought her idol from the old capital of Mandore in 1460 and installed her in Mehrangarh. She remains the Maharaja’s and the royal family’s Isht Devi or adopted goddess and is worshipped by most of Jodhpur’s citizens as well. Crowds throng Mehrangarh during the Dussehra celebrations. It contains period rooms like Moti Mahal – The Pearl Palace, Sheesha Mahal – The Hall of Mirrors, Phool Mahal – The Palace of Flowers, Takhat Vilas -Maharaja Takhat Singh’s Chamber.

Burnished red sand stone, imposing, invincible and yet with a strange haunting beauty that beckons. The beauty and the grandeur of numerous palaces in the fort narrates a saga of hard sandstones yielding to the chisels of skilled Jodhpuri sculptures. To enter the Mehrangarh fort, seven gates have to be crossed.

The work of building the fort originally commenced in 1459 on the behest of the founder of Jodhpur – Rao Jodha but much of the fort as it stands today was built in the era of Jaswant Singh. This magnificent fort is spread over 5 kms. and is located on top of a hill which is all of 125 meters high.

The Mehrangarh Fort encloses many palaces, which are known for their intricate carvings and sprawling courtyards. The Moti Mahal which is made of elaborately carved stones is the dwelling place of the royal throne of Jodhpur which is popularly referred to as the Sringar Chowki in local parlance.

There is also the majestic Umaid Villas that showcases some remarkable Rajasthani miniature art work. The Ajit Villa is conspicuous with its rich collection of musical instruments and regal attires while the gorgeous Phool Mahal is where the legendary Jodhpur Coat of Arms is preserved.

The parapets of Phool Mahal are adorned with exquisite art works portraying various melodious scenes. There are seven gates, which include Jayapol (meaning ‘victory’) built by Maharaja Man Singh to commemorate his victories over Jaipur and Bikaner armies. Fattehpol (also meaning ‘victory’) gate was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh to mark the defeat of the Mughals. The palm imprints upon these still attract much attention even today.

The museum in the Mehrangarh fort is one of the most well-stocked museums in Rajasthan. In one section of the fort museum there is a selection of old royal palanquins, including the elaborate domed gilt Mahadol palanquin, which was won in a battle from the Governor of Gujarat in 1730.

The museum exhibits the heritage of the Rathores in arms, costumes, paintings and decorated period rooms. Mehrangarh fort has never ever been seized. The invincible fortifications are six meters thick.

Some of the walls still bear cannon marks and today this magnificent Jodhpur fort is a living testimony that recounts the chronicles and legends of Jodhpur’s rich past.

It was really a very memorable afternoon like icing on the cake. I wish we had more time to splurge on this Rajasthani marvel.

If Rajasthan visit is on your agenda, don’t give it a miss…Watch video for a great experience!