Onam…..food, flowers and festivities


Onam Asamsakal


Fun Facts about Onam

# According to legends, the Asura King Mahabali visits his land and people once every year. That’s the day malayalees across the globe celebrate Onam.

# The Temple at Thrikkakara, near the city of Kochi is considered to be the abode of King Mahabali.

# Onam festival is based on the legend of King Mahabali’s pride and ultimate salvation. Read more about the legend - http://www.composedvolcano.com/wp/onam-festival/

# Onam is a secular festival where people from all communities and caste, irrespective of their religion, whether they are Hindus, Muslims or Christians, the wealthy or the poor, celebrate the festival with the same zest and eagerness.

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A drive to remember – from Dehradun to Kalsi, Ponta Sahib, Chakrata and back!

Visit to Chakrata Pic: http://www.holidayiq.com/destinations/photos/Chakrata-Photos.html

Anticipating any long drive or travel gets me thinking about it, and wondering about the place and the people that I would meet there. It keeps my thoughts busy and me, very alert. Therefore the visit to Chakrata, in the hills, had me in a tizzy long before the day dawned, for we were living in Dehradun, a picturesque town in North India, and you cannot miss the sights and lights of the hills, every night from our city.

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One of it’s kind Seafood festival – Whitianga Scallop Festival

Whitianga Scallop Festival Pic: http://auckland.concreteplayground.co.nz

For $40 you can be a part of the possibly New Zealand’s best Seafood Festival to be held on 15 September, 2012 between 10.00 and 17.00 hrs at Whitianga. Whitianga is the main settlement of Mercury Bay on the North Island of New Zealand.Located on the eastern coast, Mercury Bay is a V-shaped bay that was named by the famous British navigator / explorer Captain James Cook. With scenic views, landscapes, clean sandy beaches and sparkling waters on the Whitianga or Mercury Bay, this is surely a holiday haven. The Whitianga Scallop Festival will bring in talented local chefs cooking scallops and seafood in various styles. To fill up the other senses, there would be live bands providing quality entertainment in terms of music & live performances. For the aspiring cook in you, you can even take lessons in scallop making from celebrity chefs. As a pre cursor to the event 2012 Worlds Best Scallop Festival Recipe& 2012 Ode to the scallop has been announced. If you plan to be at the Whitianga Scallop Festival, ensure you and your friends have designed your dresses for there is an on-site dress-up competition as well. For more details about the event; check http://www.scallopfestival.co.nz/ Want to explore Whitianga or Mercury Bay? Write to Priya@bucketlisttravels.in Stay tuned to our travel updates, enjoy travel tip, interesting trivias, photo travelogues etc everyday, by LIKING us on Facebook  
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A family secret through generations –Aranmula Mirror

Aranmula Mirror (Kannadi)
Pic: http://www.karmakerala.com/

Aranmula is a small village on the banks of River Pamba, in the state of Kerala. Aranmula, ‘ar’ meaning six and ‘mole’ meaning bamboo, got its name when Lord Krishna, acting as the charioteer of Arjun, (from epic Mahabharata) was brought to the famous Parthasarthy temple on a raft made of 6 bamboos. Completely exclusive to Aranmula; the Aranmula Mirror (or Kannadi, as its known in Malayalam) is a mysterious creation by members of four families, who have kept the secret of making it, close to their hearts. For years, the secret has only been handed down from one generation to next, and hence the making of this mirror is still a secret! What is so typical or mysterious about this mirror, you may ask. The Aranmula mirror is made up of metal and not glass!!Records dating back to the 16thcentury, reveal that the metal mirror was in use in far off places like Egypt and Baghdad. One of the temples in Khajuraho depicts a woman looking at herself in the metal mirror while putting bindi to her forehead. Archeological excavations at Harappa have also brought about proof of the presence of a metal mirror made of copper. The Rig-Veda also mentions the presence of this metal mirror. Hence, it has been deduced by many, that the originators of this craft, migrated to South India and set the production of their craft in this small village, that has now become world famous. Or conversely, their craft was procured by travelers of yore and sold around the world! By the way, the British Museum in London has on display a 45cm tall Aranmula metal mirror in its collection!! Aranmula village is also known for its ancient temple dedicated to Lord Sri Krishna as Parthasarthy. According to another legend; around the 18th century, the artisans who were working on a crown for Lord Parthasarthy accidentally discovered the reflective property of a particular copper-tin alloy. They failed at reproducing the same effect in their subsequent works. Parvathi Amma, a widow in the community happened to dream about the correct composition of the metal and disclosed the information to the artisans. Since then, this craft is a close guarded secret within the family through various generations. Aranmula Mirror comes in varied size and priced upscale from 2000 INR and above. Most of the 5 star hotels in Kerala stock it in their curio shops to be sold as a unique gift. FIND us on Facebook   and enjoy travel tip, interesting trivias, photo travelogues etc everyday. You can also subscribe to our blog to read interesting travel stories, news from around the world…
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Beer Festival

Beer festival Pic: http://www.telfordswarehousechester.com/2012/10/13/telfords-oktober-beer-festival/

People across the world take their beer very seriously; why else would you have Beer Festivals of international stature across the world at different periods of time? The Oktober festival @ Munich is the world’s most famous global beer festival, known as much for the beer as much as for the beer girls & the sauerkrauts. 14th China International Beer Festival at Xinghai Square in Dalian, a port city of Northeast China’s Liaoning province recently concluded on July 26, 2012. The event had more than 30 beer breweries from domestic cities and foreign countries such as Germany, the U.S., Czech Republic, Sweden, Ireland, Denmark, Japan and South Korea that took part in the beer festival, which offered over 400 different brands of beer!! Ta’ Qali, a small village in Malta is currently hosting ‘The Farsons Great Beer Festival’ that starts at 20:00 hrs every night till coming Sunday (5th August 2012). The festival offers the best local and international beer brands, coupled with the latest and most popular in local entertainment. Ta’ Qali is known for its national stadium which is the home stadium of the Malta national football team These festival are not just about beer, food is another highlight during such events; when foreign chefs make delectable food for the visitors. The inaugural Mumbai International Beer Festival was held in October 2011 in Mumbai, the first of its kind in India, there was live music, great food, brew education, blind tasting session,… etc as its highlights. Such beer events are regularly held all over America and gets participation from about 200 breweries offering over 800 beers! Few organizers take the excitement one level up by awarding the breweries in various categories! Want to make a beer tour in Belgium / Ireland / England, contact priya@bucketlisttravels.in and let us craft one trip for you…:) FIND us on Facebook   and enjoy travel tip, interesting trivias, photo travelogues etc everyday. You can also subscribe to our blog to read interesting travel stories, news from around the world…  
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Get Ready for Sunburn Goa 2012

Sunburn Festival 2012 Goa

The 6th edition of Asia’s biggest dance music festival kicks off on the beaches of Candolim –Goa in the last week of December. Sunburn, is a 3 day dance-music festival going to be held in, 27-29 December 2012. This 3 day festival, for the last 4 years, has been attracting thousands and thousands of people from both India and overseas. Renowned Indian and International DJs entertain the crowd with their enthralling music during these 3 days. If you are a family or a group of 4 adults planning to attend this festival or generally vacationing in Goa; and if you happen to be looking for a holiday home in Candolim, Goa; then send in your query at priya@bucketlisttravels.in, for we might have the best stay option for you!! For details about the event visit http://sunburn.in FIND us on Facebook   and enjoy travel tip, interesting trivias, photo travelogues etc everyday. You can also subscribe to our blog to read interesting travel stories, news from around the world…
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Meet Nessie the Loch Ness Monster!!

Loch Ness in Scottish Highlands

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Meet Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Yann Arthus-Bertrand

As I was exploring the beautiful city of Montpellier in France, I had a lucky chance to see an ongoing exhibition by the famous aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The larger-than-life-blown-up images were transcendentally beautiful and awe inspiring. Born in Paris, Yann Arthus-Bertrand was interested in nature and wildlife from an early age. He founded the Altitude Agency in 1991, which was the world’s first press agency and images bank specializing in aerial photography. About 500,000 pictures were taken in more than 100 countries by more than 100 photographers!!

USA Los Angeles-Freeways

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The natural and mystical Light Show!

Aurora Polaris Pic source: www.wunderground.comblogJeffMasterscomment.htmlentrynum=314&page=1

Nature has many a mystical occurrences; Aurora Polaris (Polar lights) which I rightly call – natural and mystical light show; being one of them. It’s a sight in itself – spectacular flares in red, green, violet and blue hues light up the night sky naturally! Scientific explanation to this bizarre occurrence is that the light shows take place when solar blaze collide with the Earth’s magnetic field and ionosphere and is visible from high latitude regions (Arctic and Antarctic). Polar lights are a natural phenomenon found in both the northern and southern hemispheres and offer stunning displays. Northern lights are also called by their scientific name, Aurora Borealis, and southern lights are called Aurora Australis. Aurora Borealis (or the northern lights) was named after the Roman goddess of dawn, “Aurora” and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas, by Pierre Gassendi in 1621. The Aurora Australis is almost identical to Aurora Borealis but is visible from high southern latitudes in Antarctica, South America, New Zealand and Australia.

Polar Lights Pic source: http://elzo-meridianos.blogspot.in/2007/06/aurora-boreal.html

In places like Alaska and Greenland, Auroras are visible almost all the nights of the year and sometime even during day time. But the day ones are difficult to notice with naked eye. Auroras have been observed on other planets like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune also, but these are visible only through a space telescope! The Scots from the North of Scotland called it Fir Chlis, that means Nimble man in Scots Gaelic or Merry dancers! The Northern Lights are a regular feature of the night sky from the autumn through to spring in the north of Scotland. The Hebrides, a group of islands off the North West coast of Scotland are believed to be a good place to watch the Northern Lights. The supernatural nature of this light show is intriguing enough to find a place in lots of people’s bucketlist. LIKE us on Facebook   and get travel tip, stories, pictures etc daily. You can also subscribe to our blog here…
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Travel tips

  Here are few Tips for your travel. Also do check out our pinboards Travel must haves and Traveling with a baby for few pictorial travel tips :) Intelligent planning •    Try an coincide your trip with a local event or festival which will help you experience the local culture and traditions in close quarters •    Read and get an idea about the local culture. It will help you not only appreciate but also gel well into surroundings •    Check the weather at your travel destination. Carry clothing accordingly •    Carry a small rucksack meant to be carried while sightseeing – you can store your water bottle/ few essentials and also carry comfortably what you shop in one place •    Don’t forget to include a water bottle in your checklist. This way you do not have to buy water bottles every time. Just refill! Documents Travel documents have been covered in detail in our earlier post. Following are general tips •    Keep multiple copies of your passport, visa and credit card •    Keep copies of your photograph as it appears in the visa •    Get travel insurance •    Do not keep all you money, travel cheques, credit card in one place Money matters •    Carry some foreign currency to cover incidental expenses. Rest you can exchange from any bank / money exchange outlets in your destination country. Banks generally give a better exchange rate, but check with local sources before doing the conversion Gadgets •    If you plan to use your electronic gadgets during your travels then we suggest you invest in a multi-pin adapter. Don’t forget to carry the chargers! •    Carry your camera and its accessories for capturing those memorable moments Intelligent packing •    Carry small bottles of body wash, shampoo, creams etc. At the end of your vacation you can discard the bottles and if you have more days of vacation left buy more locally •    Carry clothes which dry off quickly and needs no ironing •    Carry light clothes. Avoid jeans – they are heavy, bulky, take too much space and takes long to dry •    Carry 4 shirts and 3 bottoms. You have 12 dresses if you mix and match •    Kindle can be quite handy if you want to read or refer to Lonely Planet kinda books on the go and you will not have to lug around books •    Rolling your clothes tightly before arranging them in your travel bag gives lot more space than otherwise More general travel tips in the next post…. Do you have travel tips you would like to share? Write to us! We shall include it to the main list on our website along with your name… Hope you found the information useful. Subscribe to our blog posts through e-mail and stay tuned to lots of travel information & interesting tidbits from around the globe…You can also follow us on Facebook.
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