Tag Archives: PM Narendra Modi

PM Modi features in Man Vs Wild on Discovery Channel, one of its kind adventure travails!

A few days ago, a video suddenly caught my fancy, especially as a travel – blogger and the one who watches Modiji’s activities closely, where he was shown with Bear Grylls, do I know about him?  I thought he was the one who shot one such documentary with the U.S. President Barack Obama, and all of us thought to wish we had such a cool head of state. Indeed, today we have one!  He is the one who thinks innovatively to serve the cause of the nation be it of environment conservation or education of girl child. He has his plate full. I noticed PM Modi in a never seen before avatar in this highly viral documentary. Like you all, my curiosity also grew and tried to find more on this!

So for the first time, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to be featured on the popular TV show Man vs Wild with Bear Grylls, the show’s host.

He posted a teaser clip and wrote, “People across 180 countries will get to see the unknown side of PM @narendramodi as he ventures into Indian wilderness to create awareness about animal conservation & environmental change.

Mark your calendar to Catch Man Vs Wild with PM Modi @DiscoveryIN on August 12 @ 9 PM. 

Modiji is known for being media savvy and using new avenues to reach out to the younger generation. This video can be seen as his latest gesture in this regard. The video shows dark forests, unexplored flora and fauna and tigers in all its wilderness!

As per a statement released by the makers of the show, Modi said, “For years, I have lived among nature, in the mountains and the forests. These years have a lasting impact on my life. So when I was asked about a special programme focussing on life beyond politics and that too in the midst of nature I was both intrigued and inclined to take part in it.”

He added, “For me, this show presents a great opportunity to showcase to the world India’s rich environmental heritage and stress on the importance of environment conservation and living in harmony with nature. It was a great experience spending time in the jungle once again, this time with Bear, who is blessed with indefatigable energy and quest to experience nature at its purest.”

Bear Grylls also talked about the episode and said, “It is such a privilege to be taking Prime Minister Modi on an adventure into the Indian wilderness and I feel truly honoured to get to spend time with this remarkable world leader. The wild reminds us that we need each other and that together we are stronger. I am so excited to spend time with the PM and to get to know the man who leads this great nation.”

The show is known for its host Bear Grylls’ survival techniques in extreme conditions and his love for flora and fauna. In the 45-second teaser video, a voiceover introduces Modi as the head of the largest democracy in the world.

It further shows Modi welcoming Grylls in India, and then taking a trip to the interiors of India together. At one point in the video, Grylls gives Modi a jacket to keep him safe.

The video promises a fun ride into the diverse wildlife of India and how to reach there through different means.

Who is Bear Grylls?

Edward Michael Grylls OBE (born 7 June 1974), better known as Bear Grylls, is a British former SAS serviceman, survival instructor, and honorary lieutenant-colonel, and, outside his military career, an adventurer, writer, television presenter and businessman. He is widely known for his television series Man vs. Wild (2006–2011), originally titled Born Survivor: Bear Grylls for the United Kingdom release. Grylls is also involved in a number of wilderness survival television series in the UK and US. In July 2009, Grylls was appointed the youngest-ever Chief Scout of the United Kingdom and Overseas Territories at age 35, a post he has held for a second term since 2015.

Do I need to write anything about Modiji? Not at all! He is the world’s most talked about, written about and most followed leader on social media & he is our Prime Minister.


On Saturday Modiji launched #MainBhiChowkidar campaign, as soon as I watched the video I was like WOW! And couldn’t stop sharing since. Every Indian must watch. What a way to counter Congress’s narrative on Chowkidar and highly regressive and distasteful – Chowkidar Chor Hai! Looks like it is bound to resonate with Indian public, especially with people who want to see Modiji winning rather sweeping 2019.

PM Modi expressed beautifully in his tweet while sharing the video that every conscious citizen of the country is Chowkidar, we all are Chowkidars in our respective fields. People immediately started responding with their selfies/photographs/ posters and their interests and contributions in respective fields on social media. People are proudly saying #MainBhiChowkidar. After closely watching so many elections, I have never seen such great connection with the concept after “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara” which has celebrities (though it was not for elections), whereas this has aam janta.

PM added, every Indian who is fighting corruption, dirt or any other social evil is a Chowkidar. Everyone working hard for the progress of the country is Chowkidar. Which Indian would not say #MainBhiChowkidar.

The campaign also drives the narrative of PM’s strong and decisive image which is coming up as a very strong point in the coming elections.

The video has anthem style which is melodiously rendered, doesn’t shout out loud – Vote for Modiji – rather it effectively conveys – Vote for the country – Vote for yourself – Vote for your children – Vote for your future. What could have been a better way of communicating than this?

Video urges people to join PM on March 31, for a program titled Main Bhi Chowkidar where he will interact with people across the country for the pledge BJP has leveraged, a unique tech innovation called conversation cards. People have started getting a personal message from PM when they take a pledge.

#MainBhiChowkidar has resonated well with the public in no time.

I personally have contributed to the cause of the country without ever making a big noise about it. I have never taken a bribe, never bribed anyone, tagged authorities and made them act for the garbage heaps, distributed saplings to thousands of people in Schools and Colleges. Associated with Dadar Beach clean up the program. Taken a keen interest in activities of the Government in last five years and have used my social media handles to the full potential to support Modiji.

RAGA’s Chowkidar Chor Hai and Rafale Rafale Rafale and Saboot, Saboot, Saboot have fallen flat, nobody seems to be believing him, though he tried very hard.

Look forward that how Congress counters this campaign, probably with #MainBhiPappu (Due apologies to all the Pappus)

Watch Mile Sur Mera Tumhara for sheer nostalgia as it has been a part of our gowing up years…



Kumbh Mela: To witness the world’s biggest congregation of humanity

After the tumultuous year 2018, people are hoping big for peace, harmony & spirituality for the year 2019, as it is starting with the Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019, going to be held at Allahabad (Prayag) from January 14th – March 4th, 2019. According to estimates, the Kumbh Mela 2019 would have more than 12 crore pilgrims drawing in for the bathing ritual held in Allahabad.

With PM Narendra Modi performing the Maha Aarti on Sangam Ghat and announcing the prarambh of Ardh Kumbh along with UP CM Yogi Adityanath, this year Kumbh is unquestionably the most anticipated event of the Year 2019. Massive preparations are underway to provide bhakts with never before experienced. In the words of Yogi Adityanath, “ With Kumbh (Ardha Kumbh) Mela due in Prayag in January 2019, the preparations are afoot to host an expected 12 crore visitors. Inviting one and all to be a part of the Mela. He informed about the world-class arrangements of the Kumbh Mela, and of cleanliness. He added, “I promise, you will not find any dirt in the venue, which we have expanded to 10,000 acres from 5,000 acres. Also, this time, the Kumbh Mela will have more cultural attractions than ever before.”

Going by the arrangements put in by the Yogi Government this Kumbh, it is going to be a big tourist attraction for Indian & Foreign Nationals besides being Spiritual, Cultural and Religious experience which comprises its core. The major attractions being Shahi Snan, Sangam Walk and Laser Show etc. Not only this, the Centre has plans to start airboat service from Varanasi to Prayagraj for the Kumbh Mela as per the announcement made by Central Road Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari recently. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is arranging for a ferry service near Sangam Ghat as well.

Noted film producer Subhash Ghai upheld the Kumbh Mela as an inspiration for all artists. “As artists, we get inspired by history, our epics, our puranic sanskritis and give this punarjivan in our own ways. We consider the age-old Kumbh tradition that was mentioned as early as in the 7th century by Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang, as a great pride of India. I hope by taking part in the Kumbh Mela, this unique gathering of humans focused on soul and world peace alone, we will give more power to this wonderful tradition.”

The Royal Bath or the Shahi Snan or the Rajyogi Snan is the first holy bath that is taken by Nagas, followed by saints and sages of different Akharas (religious groups) in the Sangam. Millions of pilgrims follow these saints and sages down onto the river; the Nagas take the lead.

The organisers have left no stone unturned to make Kumbh Mela as women-friendly as possible with sensitisation training and the establishment of separate ghat among other measures. The Gobind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute (GBPSSI) at Prayagraj is training about 8500 police personnel and additional 9000 paramilitaries on gender, cultural and linguistic dialect sensitization. In another first at the Kumbh, women – only ghat is being constructed.

The city of Prayagraj will host its first Kumbh in January 2019 after its recent rechristening. Kumbh Mela 2019 promises to be a grand spiritual event in which millions will throng from around the world at the holy confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati.

It is believed that the Kumbh Mela starts when astrological positions of Sun, Moon and Jupiter are fully occupied. This is considered a holy time in the Hindu religion. Prayagraj is connected by air to several domestic destinations. The airport is at Bamrauli and is 12 km away from the city centre. The city has four major railway stations namely Allahabad Junction, Prayag Station, City Station at Rambagh and Daraganj Station. Prayagraj is well connected by road as well.

Millions of people visit Prayagraj during the Kumbh Mela. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that the city expects 15 crore visitors during Kumbh Mela 2019. Peshwai is one of the attractions of the Kumbh Mela. Peshwai marks the beginning of the Kumbh Mela and is a marvellous procession. Holy men and their entourage arrive at the Kumbh on elephants, horses and in carriages.

Uttar Pradesh government is organising Sangam Walk for the tourists visiting the city for Kumbh Mela. A laser-light show will be one of the attractions this year. The show will be held at Allahabad Fort.

Indian, as well as foreign nationals from abroad, are expected to visit the Kumbh Mela. Heads of foreign missions in India were invited by the government to observe the preparations at the site Kumbh Mela.

This is the first time that about 1500 cameras would capture images and videos across the city. This would enable organisers to understand crowd behaviour and pedestrian’s movement which is very critical handle crowds of this scale.

Plan your visit in advance for that unique spiritual experience!

Inputs: News 18 and ET


Sardar Patel’s Statue of Unity: The Tallest, The Grandest!

Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the Sardar Patel Statue TODAY   (31st October 2018) – The Statue of Unity, the one to have laid the foundation stone for the project on 31 October 2013 as Gujarat CM. Besides PM Modi, Chief Ministers of several BJP-ruled states are expected to attend the gala event. Gujarat has the rare honour of possessing the competitor to Global Icon (The Statue of Liberty) – The Statue of Unity! This will attract reverse tourism as Gujaratis based in the U.S. will visit as tourists whereas till now Gujaratis loved to visit the Statue of Liberty in the U.S. – their favourite. Owing to its unique features, it is certain to attract tourist from all over the world.

Sardar Patel is renowned as the architect of independent India, as he united all diverse 562 princely states to build the one great Republic of India. Shri Narendra Modi decided to pay the honourable tribute which will be cherished for centuries by the whole world and it will become a matter of pride for every Indian for this great man. Built in less than five years, it is the world’s tallest, grandest and giant statue. It is a tribute to the man who united India, Sardar Patel.

The Statue of Unity is a monument dedicated to Indian independence movement leader Vallabhbhai Patel located in the Indian state of Gujarat. It is located facing the Narmada Dam, 3.2 km (2.0 mi) away on the river island called Sadhu Bet near Rajpipla in Gujarat. The monument along with its surroundings occupies over 20,000 square metres and is surrounded by a 12 square km artificial lake. It is the world’s tallest statue with a height of 182 metres (597 ft).  Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET), a special purpose vehicle was established by the Government of Gujarat for its construction and the outreach programme was carried out across India starting December 2013.

Initially, the total cost of the project was estimated to be about ₹3,001 crore (US$420 million) by the Government of India. Later Larsen & Toubro won the contract in October 2014 for its lowest bid of ₹2,989 crore (US$420 million) for the design, construction and maintenance. The construction was started on 31 October 2013 and completed in mid-October 2018. It will be inaugurated on 31 October 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The monument statue represents the Indian independence movement leader and the first Deputy Prime Minister of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel which is constructed facing the Narmada Dam, 3.2 km away on the river island called Sadhu Bet. The total height of the statue from its base will be 240-metre consisting base level of 58 metres and statue of 182 metres. It is constructed with steel framing, reinforced cement concrete and bronze cladding.  The statue needed 75,000 cubic metres of concrete, 5,700 tonnes of steel structure, 18,500 tonnes of reinforced steel rods, 22,500 tonnes of bronze sheets for construction. In the first phase, a bridge connecting the memorial to the mainland, a memorial, visitor centre buildings, a memorial garden, a hotel, a convention centre, an amusement park, research centres and institutes is being constructed.

The Statue of Unity is designed as a naturalistic and historically accurate representation of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, wearing characteristic garments, in a walking stance.

The project includes:

  • Bronze cladding on the Statue.
  • Fast elevators to reduce transit time for visitors.
  • The three-level base of the Statue: exhibit floor, mezzanine and roof – will contain a Memorial Garden and a large continuous museum/exhibition hall, comprising exhibits that focus on the life and contributions of Vallabhbhai Patel.
  • The observation deck, situated at a height of around 500 ft from the river bed, will accommodate up to 200 people at a time. It will provide visitors with a panoramic view, enabling them to see the Satpura and Vindhyachal mountain ranges, the 212 km long Sardar Sarovar Reservoir, and the 12 km long Garudeshwar Reservoir.
  • Access to the Statue via a 5 km boat ride.
  • A large canopied public plaza, overlooking the Narmada River and the Statue, comprising food stalls, gift shops, retail kiosks and other amenities.
  • The Gujarat government has plans to build a Shreshtha Bharat Complex near the Statue of Unity which will house Bhavans of different states. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has approached all state governments for setting up their respective Bhavans at the site.

Indeed Statue of Unity has much more to offer than meets the eye. The closest station and airport would be Vadodara which is some 90 Km away and travel time by road would be 2.5 hours followed by a boat ride of 5 Kms.

I am all set to visit, are you?

I would be visiting both most loved statues – The Statue of Liberty & The Statue of Unity in the same year – 2019! Isn’t it something unique!!

Swacch Ghar Abhiyan with Royale Atmos by Asian Paints!

I have always believed in the dictum: Cleanliness is next to Godliness!

As a true Blue Mumbaikar, I always wondered why Mumbai is so polluted, so dirty, ugly sights, garbage dumps, dirty platforms, railway tracks, iconic Gateway of India, lovely Juhu beach full of trash…what not which are immensely contributing to the pollution in our lives. Ironically, we lived with them since, but kept our own houses clean (Really?). Truly inspired by PM Narendra Modi’s campaign, Swacch Bharat, Shrestha Bharat, I started contributing towards cleanliness of the aamchi Mumbai, by taking on social media with élan and tagging MCGM and Govt. of Maharashtra, who promptly acted on my tweets and made those places garbage free.

Going by that, I have always kept my house and surroundings spic and span, which as a writer have immensely contributed to my blogging and other creative sojourns, till…hold on…

I always believed that my house is almost pollution free as it is cleaned and dusted every day properly and I was quite happy about it, till I saw…

…Beautiful Deepika Padukone in a mask in Asian Paints Royale Atmos commercial tip-toeing us in her celebrity life, but making a shocking revelation – – Indoors are 5X more polluted than outdoors!

How come I never thought about it? But could not restrain for long…

I list here Pollution Causing Culprits inside the home:

  1. Smoker husband, though he keeps exhaust fan on, yes, it is causing pollution
  2. House being on roadside, vehicles emissions quietly enter, without me knowing about it
  3. Chimney in the kitchen, which takes out some and brings in some emissions from outside
  4. Dirty Footwear which we park inside the home
  5. Sanitary Napkins disposal methodology
  6. Painting the walls after a gap of two years which unknowingly accumulates host of dust
  7. Carpets in all the rooms which are vacuum cleaned once a month
  8. Curtains in the rooms which are washed occasionally
  9. Dirt in the corners, which house help avoids
  10. Outside Grills & nets, which accumulate outside dirt

I am very happy that now we have an effective ammunition to fight all this and more…

…Royale Atmos by Asian Paints is a first of its kind paint that not only looks beautiful but also cleans the air making it purer than before. It’s Activated Carbon technology reduces harmful pollutants from the air. Additionally, Royale Atmos also absorbs and reduces select foul smells to make the air fresher. Royale Atmos is the first Asian Paints product to have a fragrance, instead of the normal chemical smell of paints. Thus, it also acts like an air freshener by releasing a mild fragrance week after painting.

Prominent features:

Reduces indoor air pollutant: It reduces a harmful air pollutant, formaldehyde, and makes the indoor air healthier to breathe.

Releases fragrance: It emits a soothing fresh fragrance.

Green assure: The promise of Green Assure from Asian Paints, implies that this product conforms to strict international environmental and safety standards.

Teflon™ surface protector: Fortifies your walls against tough stains, increases durability and reinforces the strength of the paint film. Comparable to the best interior emulsions across the world, it protects your walls against the toughest household and water based stains.

Smooth matt finish: It comes in a rich Matt finish which makes your walls look perfect.

Few tips to ensure clean air inside your homes #CleanAirBeautifulHomes

  1. Festive season is on us, get your walls painted with Asian Paints Royal Atmos as a booster shot for Pollution free home: https://www.indiblogger.in/drive/royale-atmos-paint-purifies-air
  2. https://www.asianpaints.com/product/royale.royale-atmos.html
  3. Wash your bedsheets and upholstery regularly
  4. Vacuum Clean the carpets regularly
  5. Get Sanitary Napkins disposal bins in your washrooms
  6. Wash outside grills, nets etc with piped water once a week
  7. Remove grease oil dirt from fans, ACs, Chimney and exhaust fans
  8. Clean footwear outside homes before parking them inside
  9. Not to smoke, chew tobacco etc. inside the house
  10. Get your gadgets serviced from time to time
  11. Have indoor plants which not only provide fragrance but also add to positively inside your home sweet home

What are you thinking, pick – up the shade card of Asian Paints Royale Atmos and get ready to paint your home which will not only keep you Pollution Free but will add to your HAPPINESS QUOTIENT as well.

Loving the product, loving the commercial – hail this initiative of Asian Paints and thank them for contributing towards our healthy and long life, what else do we want?

Kedarnath: Holy abode of Lord Shiva – The Protector, the Destroyer!

Recently PM Narendra Modi offered prayers at Kedarnath temple, the sacred Himalayan Shrine located on Garhwal Himalayan Range near Mandakini River in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand in India. You must be wondering am I following PM? Ah! Yes, though unintentional. His trips are as exceptional as he himself is. His visits take us to various unthinkable destinations which are great enough to generate big curiosity. I personally like to explore places, but it is not possible most of the times, so the best thing is to follow PM and write and spread awareness about those places. The destination of this is week is Kedarnath – where PM paid obeisance as soon as its doors opened after six-month-long winter break.

Kedarnath is amongst the holiest pilgrimages for the devout Hindus. It is set amidst the stunning mountainscape of the Garhwal Himalayas at the head of the Mandakini River. Kedar is another name of Lord Shiva, the protector, and the destroyer. Shiva is considered the embodiment of all passions – love, hatred, fear, death and mysticism which are expressed through various forms. The shrine of Kedarnath is very scenically placed and is surrounded by lofty, snow – covered mountains, and during summer grassy meadows covering the valleys. Immediately behind the temple, is the high Kedar dome peak, which can be sighted from great distances. The sight of the temple and the peak with its perpetual snows is simply enthralling.

Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open only between the end of April (Akshaya Tritiya) to Kartik Purnima (the autumn full moon, usually November). During the winters, the vigrahas (deities) from Kedarnath temple are brought to Ukhimath and worshiped there for six months. Lord Shiva is worshiped as Kedarnath, the ‘Lord of Kedar Khand’, the historical name of the region.

All of us remember Kedarnath to be the worst affected area during the 2013 flash floods in North India. The temple complex, surrounding areas, and Kedarnath town suffered extensive damage, but the temple structure did not suffer any “major” damage, apart from a few cracks on one side of the four walls which was caused by the flowing debris from the higher mountains. A large rock among the debris acted as a barrier, protecting the temple from the flood. The surrounding premises and other buildings in the market area were heavily damaged.

The unstable temple is not directly accessible by road and has to be reached by 14 kilometers (8.7 mi) uphill trek from Gaurikund. Pony and manchan service are available to reach the structure. The temple was built by Pandavas and revived by Adi Sankaracharya and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest Hindu shrines of Shiva. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, expounded in Tevaram.

Pandavas were supposed to have pleased Shiva by doing penance in Kedarnath. The temple is one of the four major sites in India’s Chota Char Dham pilgrimage of Northern Himalayas. This temple is the highest among the 12 Jyotirlingas.

The presiding image of Kedarnath in the form of lingam is or irregular shape with a pedestal 3.6 m (12 ft) in circumference and 3.6 m (12 ft) in height. There is a small pillared hall in front of the temple, that has images of Parvathi and of the five Pandava princes. There are five temples around namely Badari-year, Madhya Maheswara, Tunganatha, Rudra Nath and Kallesvara. The first hall inside Kedarnath Temple contains statues of the five Pandava brothers, Lord Krishna, Nandi, the vehicle of Shiva and Virabhadra, one of the guards of Shiva. Statue of Draupadi and other deities are also installed in the main hall.  An unusual feature of the temple is the head of a man carved in the triangular stone fascia. Such a head is seen carved in another temple nearby constructed on the site where the marriage of Shiva and Parvati was held. Adi Shankara was believed to have revived this temple, along with Badrinath and other temples of Uttarakhand; he is believed to have attained Mahasamadhi at Kedarnath. Behind the temple is the samādhi mandir of Adi Sankara.

The temple, at a height of 3,583 m (11,755 ft), 223 km from Rishikesh, on the shores of Mandakini river, a tributary of Ganga, is an impressive stone edifice of unknown date. The structure is believed to have been constructed in the 8th century CE when Adi Shankara visited. The present structure is on a site adjacent to where Pandavas are believed to have built the temple. It has one Garbhagriha and a Mandapa and stands on a plateau surrounded by snow clad mountain and glaciers. In front of the temple, directly opposite to the inner shrine, is a Nandi statue carved out of the rock.

You can reach Kedarnath from Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun which is located 260 Km, whereas nearest railhead is at Rishikesh 243 km. Kedarnath is well connected to Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun and Delhi.

The ideal time or peak season to go to Char Dham Yatra is from May – October, except monsoons, this is because all the four sacred sites are parched in Garhwal Himalaya, which is prone to heavy rainfall.


PM’s visit to Lingaraja Temple in Bhubaneswar, Odisha

On Saturday, April 14 almost all the News Channels were running clippings of PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Lingaraja Temple in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The detour of Lingaraja temple by Modiji along with temple priests and his entourage generated my excitement in the temple, though I am not a temple person per se, but Lingaraja temple looked very unique and antique. The architecture is timeless and feeling of being there…just divine!  Honestly, I had never heard about this temple before… but if Modiji is visiting the place, then it must be truly special & indeed it is special!

To curb my curiosity about the temple, I dug deep into it to know more about the Lingraj temple which I would like to share with the readers.

Lingaraja Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Harihara, a form of Shiva and Vishnu and is one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar, the capital of the East Indian state of Odisha. The temple is the most prominent landmark of the Bhubaneswar city and one of the major tourist attractions of the state.

The Lingaraja temple is the largest temple in Bhubaneswar. The central tower of the temple is 180 ft (55 m) tall. The temple represents the quintessence of the Kalinga Architecture and culminating the medieval stages of the architectural tradition at Bhubaneswar. The temple is believed to be built by the kings of the Somavamsi dynasty, with later additions from the Ganga rulers. The temple is built in the Deula style that has four components namelyVimana (a structure containing the sanctum), Jagamohana (assembly hall), Natamandira (festival hall) and Boga-mandapa (hall of offerings), each increasing in the height to its predecessor. The temple complex has 50 other shrines and is enclosed by a large compound wall.

Bhubaneswar is called the Ekamra Kshetra as the deity of Lingaraj was originally under a mango tree (Ekamra) as noted in Ekamra Purana, a 13th-century Sanskrit treatise. The temple is active in worship practices, unlike most other temples in Bhubaneswar and Shiva is worshiped as Harihara, a combined form of Vishnu and Shiva. The temple has images of Vishnu, possibly because of the rising prominence of Jagannath sect emanating from the Ganga rulers who built the Jagannath Temple in Puri in the 12th century.

Lingaraja temple is maintained by the Temple Trust Board and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The temple has an average of 6,000 visitors per day and receives lakhs of visitors during festivals. Shivaratri festival is the major festival celebrated in the temple and event during 2012 witnessed 200,000 visitors.

The Lingaraj temple is the largest temple in Bhubaneswar. James Fergusson (1808–86), a noted critic and historian rated the temple as “one of the finest examples of purely Hindu temple in India”. It is enshrined within a spacious compound wall of laterite measuring 520 ft (160 m) by 465 ft (142 m). The wall is 7.5 ft (2.3 m) thick and surmounted by a plain slant coping. Alongside the inner face of the boundary wall, there is a terrace to protect the compound wall against outside aggression. The tower is 45.11 m (148.0 ft) high and the complex has 150 smaller shrines in its spacious courtyard. Each inch of the 55 m (180 ft) tall tower is sculpted. The door at the gate of the entrance porch is made of sandalwood.

PM also visited the temple of Goddess Bhubaneswari and Parbati before interacting with sevayats and asked about the temple’s history, rituals and architecture. The Prime Minister emphasized the need to keep the temple premises clean and ensure ‘swachhata’ all around.


Bye Bye 2016, the year that was…stud or dud?

Circa 2016, the year that was…STUD or DUD?

The year 2016 started on a promising note, looked as if it would turn out to be a landmark year in my life – the STUD year, how I wish, if wishes were horses…

…In today’s times when every single day pops up a new challenge, it is no mean achievement to remain and smile in that grind. If it has been an achievement, let it be! Personally, time moved on, so the happenings, nothing much to talk home about…professionally it was a challenging year…for the industry …for the industrious (like me).

For the first time I closely watched ‘Survival Instinct’ of our member developers, who inspite  of so many negatives, prevalent slowdown, hostile media, developments at Centre & State level, they fought it all with immense zeal, innovation and perseverance. They took it up  constructively at all levels and got many decisions moulded positively…

…Year moved on with its pace and witnessed many industry events, of which I was integral part, which was exciting and tiring both. The zeal to outperform self in every event, on every occasion, sometimes took heavy toll on me. Though I loved taking the toll, whether it was EoDB Seminar, International Women’s Day Celebration, Hosting NYT Bureau Chief, Ellen Barry, Networking event at Smaaash, Two mega Property Expos, RERA Seminar, AGM and not to forget MPL III with round the year media presence. The year would be remembered for receiving three Appreciation Letters and best compliment ever – the “Silent Worker” coming from most unexpected quarters. Though I have been known for raising voices and making noices!! The unflinching belief and strong support was provided by team members – actually they are above that now – Bhagyashree and Reena who graduated in their work sphere and amalgamated well in the organization culture…unlike ME!


All in all it was year full of action.  The year moved at a pace till Diwali, which I celebrated enthusiastically, and Tanya was home from hostel. It was after this period, I was surrounded by the thoughts that nothing happened during the year, I am stuck wherever I was, no traction in life, complete stagnation or no accomplishment which I can be proud of.

Amidst all this and more…I kept myself very busy and occupied. Still took out time for some heavy duty blogging…book reviews…product reviews…bloggers events. Sudden  brake came to all this due to sudden death of my father –in-law followed by death of my Phoophaji.  Since then I have been feeling restricted in my creative pursuits.

This year we undertook two trips – Udaipur and Ahmedabad which turned out to be quite successful and provided me good amount of fodder for the blog. Truly speaking, I enjoyed most on both the trips especially Fateh Sagar Lake in Udaipur in the night, the lighting, the breeze, the façade, the promenade…everything was in sync and setting was ideal for breezy romance. The lake Pichola, boat ride, Lake City Palace Udaipur, Udaipur Palace and Handicraft Centre are jewels of Udaipur. Dal, Baati, Choorma for Lunch…and some last minute shopping of Batuas for Anuksha for taking it to Netherlands to her friends there, made it all very memorable.

Our stay at Club Mahindra at Udaipur was out of the world experience, the hospitality, the property, the events, the location all was awesome. I had the time of my life there. At Ahmedabad, we did extensive sight- seeing and shopped till we dropped at Law Garden Road. Dinning at Vishala for most authentic Gujrati / Marwari dinner will always be etched in my memory. It was great family time and wonderful hospitality extended by Shashi and children Rishabh and Rashi.

Socio Political Scenario remained quite volatile throughout the year but Demonetisation took the cake. Mother rather Grand Mother of all announcements…It sent lives of Millions of Indians in a tizzy. The move was completely 180 degree opposite for rich and poor. Poor suffered long queues, no cash, no money, no payments, no work and rich no means to hide the cash.  One decision had such wide-spread implications, nobody would have imagined in their weirdest dreams, above all Modiji himself. Kudos to people of our Republic who stood by the decision and supported the move inspite of hardships. Opposition was in full form, fighting tooth and nail against the decision, but no revoking decision was taken. Biggest surprise package was Mamta Bannerji who opposed it no end and finally sat quietly as Modiji was not paying any heed to it. It seems heavy duty cleansing has been done by this move with IT deptt. catching people involved in converting black into white or stashing new currency or even hoarding wealth disproportionate to their incomes. World –Over Economists mulled and culled over this move but could not arrive at answer to the question as basic as why Rs.2000 note was started? Any way this move took the thunder out of Trump’s victory as the President of the United States of America. I did not closely follow the elections but in the last leg I could sense that it is going to be Trump’s triumph undoubtedly! My prediction came true!!

Another prediction – Wherever I had predicted that BJP will win, it won!!!


Inspite of everyone around me cursing Modiji for demonetization for whatever reasons, my faith in his decision remained unwavering; I knew some Amrit will come out of this Manthan. I devoted lot of time watching TV especially after demonetization and reading articles and cartoons, Kejri Ke Bawaal, So Sorry, ROFL RAGA kept me amused throughout the year. With some posts, I laughed my heart out, Pappu became my favourite! I remained glued to TV when he was on screen especially during his earthquake and balloon comments. They should be ashamed of making such comments such well respected and adored PM of India. Frustration loomed large! Hope they take some lessons from Modijis attitude and have some faith in his decisions. They are pulling country backward with all their might!

UP elections and Union Budget would be watched closely in the New Year…

…Our industry – The Real Estate – was bogged down by challenges from all quarters and top it all was hostile media throughout the year. MCHI – CREDAI remained in News throughout the year by way of excellent support provided by agency White Marque Solution’s team and willing presence of our President for media. Many exclusive stories came out which helped industry immensely. Many programs were done throughout India by Industry experts with major focus on Affordable Housing, Smart City and Infra projects. All this and more kept me occupied throughout the year.

Many a times I was bogged down by thought – Not my cup of tea, I Can’t!  But approached every new challenge with renewed zeal and that kept me afloat throughout the year. I did some wonderful pieces for my blog and for my works which were appreciated by one and all, won few contests like – International Women’s Day and Dear Zindagi.  I hardly watched any movies but read quite a few books. I remained quite active on social media and solved one big issue of dump yard in Mangroves through my tweets. Unknowingly I developed good knack for socio-political issues.

As ever, I did not miss single episode of DD Rangoli, Modijis Mann ki Baat and News Hour on Times Now. A jolt came to my social – political routine was when Celebrity Anchor Arnab Goswami left Times Now. News watching has never been the same again. Heard he is coming up with something soon…his passion for news was unflinching!

Jayalalitha’s lost long battle of life and moved to eternity. I always admired her for her courage and strength. In Bollywood, I like to vote for Dear Zindagi and Sultan. The year would be marked for celebrity break –ups, the record in number and many marriages too and signed off with birth of Saif and Kareena’s baby Taimur. The name drew many trolls on social media.

Overall I remained in balanced frame of mind, sometimes felt quitting it all and explore some unconventional ventures …but has the time come for that…not YET!! When it will come, it will come, you will all know it!

Needless to mention, support provided by husband Mukund, cooperation by Tanya, appreciation by Sangeeta, caring & sharing by Anuksha & Ananya, Prabhat for remaining most loving brother, enthusiasm by Hema didi and above all moral support by Mummy! All achievements wouldn’t have been possible without this TEAM!!!

Special thanks to Saxena Couple – Vandana and Aniljijaji who read and commented on all my activities and read my blogposts with lot of interest. Truly motivating! Connected with lost lost friends & brother – Kamal Mathur and Angela D’Cruz after many many years. Thanksgiving not complete without mention of Balwant ji who remained connected through out.

So can it be termed as DUD – Certainly Not! STUD – Neither!!

Stepping into New Year 2017 with renewed energy and hope…

Till then ADIEU…2016!


Oh yes! The year 2017 rings in my new blogs – www.travelknotsV2.wordpress.com and www.inmodistimes.wordpress.com.

Stay tuned with latest on my blogs – Your blessings & wishes – to be integral part of 2017…forever!





Bachpan wali woh Diwali…Aaj Kal ki yeh Diwali!

Day started with receiving Diwali wishes on Whatapp since early morning, followed by early cooking, watching Rangoli – Diwali Special on DD National, house cleaning and preparation for the evening pooja.  But…I did not forget to listen to PM Narendra Modi’s Mann –Ki- Baat on radio which was based on Diwali and Festivities surrounding it! I can safely say it was the Best Diwali described ever!!  He expressed Diwali’s significance in a very unique way; he dedicated this Diwali to Soldiers of the country that guards our borders while we celebrate.

 This year it was a low-key Diwali for Vaghela house-hold as my father in law moved on his eternal journey who immensely loved Diwali followed by Gujarati New Year which was a big celebration in Vaghela House hold with patriarch “Pappa”  and “Dada” who took great interest in all the celebrations.  We all miss his presence this Diwali!! He will always be missed!!!

 Daughter Tanya is here from hostel joined with her friend Dhruvi which brought lot of joy and festivities to the festival.  Festivities started with Dhanteras Pujan at office where like one big happy family we joined hands to celebrate, there was lighting, finery, jewellery, traditional dress, puja, mithai, gifting, receiving, family gathering and what not…followed by Dhanteras Puja at home. Like all years, this year’s Diwali is also big on Laxmi Puja which I would be performing in special Temple Border Kanjeevaram saree received from www.triveniethnics.com for Laxmi Pujan. Thanks Triveni for making festivities even more special…

Saree courtesy: Triveni Ethnics
Saree courtesy: Triveni Ethnics

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 This Diwali was made even more special by fond memories of Diwali celebrations in our childhood by one of the most revered poet by writer & poet Gulzar which I am sharing with you below. What a beautiful expression through –  बचपन वाली वो दिवाली.

हफ्तों पहले से साफ़-सफाई में जुट जाते हैं, चूने के कनिस्तर में थोड़ी नील मिलाते हैं,

अलमारी खिसका खोयी चीज़ वापस  पाते हैं, दोछत्ती का कबाड़ बेच कुछ पैसे कमाते हैं, चलो इस दफ़े दिवाली घर पे मनाते हैं  ….

दौड़-भाग के घर का हर सामान लाते हैं, चवन्नी -अठन्नी  पटाखों के लिए बचाते हैं

सजी बाज़ार की रौनक देखने जाते हैं, सिर्फ दाम पूछने के लिए चीजों को उठाते हैं, चलो इस दफ़े दिवाली घर पे मनाते हैं ….

बिजली की झालर छत से लटकाते हैं, कुछ में मास्टर  बल्ब भी  लगाते हैं

टेस्टर लिए पूरे इलेक्ट्रीशियन बन जाते हैं, दो-चार बिजली के झटके भी  खाते हैं, चलो इस दफ़े दिवाली घर पे मनाते हैं ….

दूर थोक की दुकान से पटाखे लाते है, मुर्गा ब्रांड हर पैकेट में खोजते जाते है

दो दिन तक उन्हें छत की धूप में सुखाते हैं, बार-बार बस गिनते जाते है, चलो इस दफ़े दिवाली घर पे मनाते हैं ….

धनतेरस के दिन कटोरदान लाते है, छत के जंगले से कंडील लटकाते हैं

मिठाई के ऊपर लगे काजू-बादाम खाते हैं, प्रसाद की  थाली   पड़ोस में  देने जाते हैं, चलो इस दफ़े दिवाली घर पे मनाते हैं ….

माँ से खील में से  धान बिनवाते हैं , खांड  के खिलोने के साथ उसे जमके खाते है

अन्नकूट के लिए सब्जियों का ढेर लगाते है, भैया-दूज के दिन दीदी से आशीर्वाद पाते हैं, चलो इस दफ़े दिवाली घर पे मनाते हैं ….

दिवाली बीत जाने पे दुखी हो जाते हैं , कुछ न फूटे पटाखों का बारूद जलाते हैं

घर की छत पे दगे हुए राकेट पाते हैं , बुझे दीयों को मुंडेर से हटाते हैं, चलो इस दफ़े दिवाली घर पे मनाते हैं ….

बूढ़े माँ-बाप का एकाकीपन मिटाते हैं, वहीँ पुरानी रौनक फिर से लाते हैं

सामान  से नहीं ,समय देकर सम्मान  जताते हैं, उनके पुराने सुने किस्से फिर से सुनते जाते हैं, चलो इस दफ़े दिवाली घर पे मनाते हैं …

Best tribute to our bachpan ki diwali!

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Diwali has always been my favourite festival. I start preparing for the festival at least one month in advance with shopping, scouting for gifting ideas, decorations, diya making & buying etc. Diwali brings immense joy to me personally. Entire year I wait for Diwali as it is a great social, religious, religious and festivities oriented festival, I love everything around Diwali…weather also take a turn for the better! Not only this, it is the time of the year when I like to introspect about the year gone by and prepare for the future dreams…wish dreams were horses. No Diwali goes without remembering DIWALI we use to celebrate at our home town Gwalior amidst battery of family members, buas, cha-chas, dadi-dada, bhaiyya, bhabhis, didis…everybody. For female members it was kitchen time all five days whereas we children enjoyed festivities with new dresses, sweets, delicacies, crackers, rangoli…to top it all outstation visits in Diwali vacation.

You can watch PM Narendra Modi’s Manni-ki-Baat here!

Diwali is big Puja time particularly Laxmi Pujan…which I do with lot of enthusiasm and fervour as ever.


Wish all my readers a very happy Diwali & Prosperous New Year!!



Dream BIG, Dream #DigitalIndia

MODI-DIGITAL-INDIA-BIGIt was heartening to note that PM Narendra Modi along with Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo recently launched ‘Twitter Samvaad” which is an important step in seeing Indian twitterti exchanging notes with Government agencies on twitter. As part of the Prime Minister’s Digital India initiative, this tweet-powered service enables citizens to be the first to know about the government’s actions by receiving political content in real-time on their mobile devices anywhere in the country. This is indeed like a dream come true!


As I was in the process of making my mind on writing the blog post on “Digital India” hosted by indiblogger, the news gave me enough fodder for thought. Being a social media junkie, I always of dream of my brigade to expand. Surprisingly even now, at least 50% of the people I interact with are digitally challenged in some way or the other. They can’t be connected on social media platform. They are, where they were from ages…the need is to transform them! The need is to make every Indian citizen “Digitrate” (Digitally literate). My mind goes back to Late PM Shri Rajeev Gandhi who Computerized India on a massive scales in late 80s and accomplished success with that too. But India has come a long way from its baby steps in computerization to India of today. And I must admit that Intel may be credited for this mammoth computerization with their SMART and consumer friendly computers, which took world by storm. I would like to use this platform to hail the Intel’s commitment towards building Digital India through its ‘Digital Skills for India’ and ‘Innovate for India’ initiatives.


For long Intel has been fostering technology as the enabler for creating a digitized India. Individually Indians are a great success but as a COUNTRY, we need to do lot of catching up.

Now with Modiji initiating the #DigitalIndia project to connect India digitally with a planned allocation of Rs One lakh crore, it will ascertain that a new era ushers in where all citizens will have access to connect with Government Digitally. The plan is to establish a digital platform to digitally connect and deliver government programs and services to individuals across India, thereby harnessing the power of information technology. The project also plans to connect all villages through high speed internet by 2019. Indeed the plan is ambitious, to say the least!

So what dies ‘Digital India’ would actually translate into? E- Governance? What’s that? How Indian Citizens be stake-holders to this program? How it will function? What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats? What would be infrastructure needed?

We have to find the answers to these questions and many more…
So primarily E –Governance focuses on making the process of Governance, Service delivery digital, i.e. through the use of Information and Communication Technology thus adding up non-repudiation to the paradigm of Accountability. It means that whatever work you want to get done or service you want to avail, it would be carried out and backed by sound technological infrastructure making processes thus fast and efficient. This technology enabled process is not far from us to seek, but…

What does this entail? Here every individual’s personal record will be stored in a virtual central repository or Digital Locker, which can be accessed by government officials anywhere anytime, through established protocols. For example, an individual’s certificates from school or college, birth certificates, medical records etc are all stored in the individual’s folder and these can be accessed by any government official to confirm or verify the individual’s claims without the need for the individual to present the hard copy. The purpose is to free the individual from the need to physically present the hard copy for verification in any government office. This will save a lot of time for the individual and the government officials, as also reduce the opportunity for bribes being demanded. Of course this not an easy task and to achieve this, data-centres of massive capacity are needed. It is huge opportunity but it has its own threats too.


We as Indians are quite casual about our security measures, accidents are most common place in India and Insurance penetration being lowest in the world is ample proof of my statement. With this digitization program where Government will be custodian of every citizen’s personal data, the chances of theft and misuse would also be there. Implanting high security measure will be a major task in the way of E-Governance. What happens if the system doesn’t respond or crashes when data access is needed the most. Challenge is to ensure smooth functioning of all this and more.
Today India prides itself with “Software Wizardry” – providing software solutions to the world. But it is high time that we use this wizardry for our nation and countrymen. I know challenges are many but opportunities are huge. Who would like to give upon this opportunity? I would like to see India digitized sooner than later, where we too can pride ourselves on this parameter. If Intel could empower us, why can’t we empower our own countrymen?

#DigitalIndia should be every “Digitrate” person’s dream, then only we will able to give shape to Modiji’s dream project.
The clock is ticking for the #DigitalIndia program and opportunity is there to develop the digital backbone of the country.

This post is part of Indiblogger contest for Intel #DigitalIndia.