Category Archives: Festivals & Pilgrimage

THE GREAT INDIAN WEDDINGS!

Hello everyone!! Its been a long while since I have posted for you guys. I missed you all and I missed writing about India, So I had to come back.

Stay tuned to our posts because we are now uploading them every week.

Today we have an interesting title to talk about that is., ‘INDIAN WEDDING’

As a matter of fact in the past decade tourism in India has come up as one of the most flourishing industries of the country. The beauty of the land has played a pivotal role in shaping up the industry to a great extent along with the facilities that makes the time spent here a memorable one. It is not just the beauty of the topography that has attracted the tourists from all across the globe, but the hospitality of the Indians too has paved the way for the travelers to enjoy the charm of the place.

Indian weddings are traditionally multi-day affairs, and involve many intricate ceremonies, such as the painting of the hands and feet of the bride called a mehndi. Garlands are presented to guests of honor instead of corsages, and lots of flower or rose petals are thrown for good luck.

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The country is visited by thousands every year to witness the great Indian weddings. Indian wedding forms attractive tour packages which are as exciting as the colors of the country. The Special Wedding Tour Packages are arranged to provide an insight into the lifestyle of the Indiana and the best of the weddings.

The Wedding Packages to India are attractive propositions as they are carried out for many days and involve interesting events during the course of the marriage. Monks & Monkeys Travels pvt Ltd offers you tailored wedding tours. The country which is divided basically into four regions, namely the Northern part, Eastern part, the Southern part and the Western part offers the chance of experiencing the weddings of the various rituals. Wedding in India is a huge occasion and loads of money flows for it. The tourists coming to the country to have a glimpse of the gala event can enjoy the various forms of weddings which are unique in themselves. The visitors get a chance of enjoying the best of Southern Indian Wedding in Kerala where the guests get the chance of witnessing the marriage in the beautiful backwaters and the bride and bridegroom dressed in the traditional attires. The marriage ceremony goes on for a single day where the guests get the chance of enjoying the very best South Indian wedding and cuisines too.

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The wedding in the eastern part of the country is not promoted much and is not usually featured in the list of the wedding tours. But the chief attraction of the Wedding Packages to India leis with the weddings of the Western India along with that of the Northern part where the ceremony runs for a long period. The weddings at the western parts features the Royal weddings from Rajasthan that gives an idea of the expenditure incurred during an Indian wedding. The weddings continue for three days with various functions including Ladies Sangeet, Jai Mala, the actual Wedding and many more. The gala event is embellished with a celebration of lifetime. The music and great food are an indispensable part of the weddings of India along with fire crackers making the atmosphere an electrifying one.

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Another happening wedding package offered to the tourists is the Celebrity Wedding in India which features the celebrations of a lifetime involving the celebrities of the country.

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The guests get a royal treatment at the weddings with the celebrations that are covered by the media throughout the country. The weddings in the Southern states of the country also feature the Beach Weddings in India which has grown in popularity recently.

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We have plenty of options to showcase Indian Weddings, Click on the link and mail us your taste @ Monks & Monkeys Pvt Ltd.

 

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So0O Wow Temples Of South-India!

Hey there! This friday we are talking about the majestic temples of south India.

If you have any plan for a vacation to South India this season, then you must visit the magnificent temples that decorate the region throughout. These Dravidian architecture masterpieces are a great way to discover hidden historical facts, and cultural secrets. These temples showcase the greatest of temple architecture in India, and here are the top five South Indian temples that you must visit.

 

  • Meenakshi Temple, Madurai:Ancient Madurai was one of the biggest religious and cultural centers of India, and it is also the home to the most impressive temples of South India. Meenakshi temple is one South Indian temple you must definitely see, the temple complex is spread over 15 acress, with 4500 pillars and 12 towers. The most stunning feature about the temple is its various sculpture, and then there’s the Chithrai festival that goes on for 12 days. During this festival the celestial marriage of god and goddess of the temple is re-enacted during the month of April. This is truly one of the top five South Indian temples.

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  • Tirumala Venkateswara, Tirupati:This majestic temple is not only the part of our list of favorite South Indian temples, but is also one of the most amazing temples around the world. It is one of the most sacred temples of Vaishnavites, and is dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, one of the most powerful gods in the Hindu religion. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, one of the richest religious bodies in the world, maintains this temple. The temple is also famous for the prasadam, Laddu. It has the largest solar power kitchen, and the whole temple complex uses only solar and wind energy. Moreover, around 75,000 devotees visit this temple every single day.

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  • Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameshwaram:The Ramanathaswamy temple is known for its wondrous pillared-hallway that is the longest in India, with an amazingly painted ceiling. It is located in the holy city of Rameshwaram and just 100 mts from sea, where devotees have to take bath before entering the temple, and taking a bath in its 22 wells. The water in these wells is considered purifying and holy. Rameshwaram is located at the tip of Indian peninsular, and is a holy land from where Lord Rama and his army built a bridge to cross the sea to rescue Sita. It is definitely one of the top five South Indian temples.

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  • Kumbakonam:The town of Kumbakonam is located 40 kms from Tanjore and is home to 18 temples, specially the Sarangapani temple. It is one of the top five south Indian temples. This town is best known for temple hopping, and Sarangapani, the most magnificent of all is a shrine in the form of a chariot. Then 4 kms from Kumbakonam, there’s also 12th century Airatesvara temple.

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  • Thanjavur:Thanjavur is known to be the stronghold of Tamil culture during the 11th century, when Raja Raja I of Chola Kingdom built magnificent temples around the region. In total, Cholas built 70 temples in Thanjavus, with Brihadeswara being the most beautiful one, it is also known as the Big temple and is now a UNESCO world heritage site. The temple turned 1000 years old in 2010, and is the symbol of the might of Cholas, it is also one of the oldest temples in India that is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

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Let me tell you that there are several other temples that i have not mentioned. So when are you heading to South India.

That’s all for today!

Catch you on next blog.

Keep smiling 🙂

 

Diwali with us!

Hey guys! Welcome back to our blog.

Today let us talk about the recent passed and everyone’s favorite festival “Diwali”. We had a good experience offering our foreign guests to live Diwali with us. So we decided to let people who could not make a trip to India this year know about this grand festival of lights. Diwali is one of the most colorful, sacred and loveliest festivals of India. It is celebrated every year with great joy and enthusiasm across the length and breadth of the country.

The shimmer of trillion lights, deep music that sounds from everywhere, plates full of delicious-smelling sweets in the hands of adults and children, the crackling of firecrackers and the glitter of sparklers, bustle of crowded bazaars / markets, this is the feast of the triumph of good over evil, a time of bright fire of generosity on the streets and in the hearts of all Indians.

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We at monks-n-monkeys have made some exclusive highlights of Diwali tour for our foreign guests: day after day and year after year. After analyzing previous years’ celebrations, we decided to redesign Diwali-tour like never before. So plan your tour to India on such a promising journey.

Tourist information about the holiday Diwali

At this time, people are out to buy new clothes and gifts for relatives. Because October-November is the most  favorable time for the fair. And  you can find chaotic holiday markets (regardless of whether you are in the north or south of India). Fabrics, sarees, sweets, nuts, art, souvenirs at affordable prices – all this can be bought in India in 5 festive days of the festival.

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About the weather

October-November is the most favorable time to visit India. Days are dry and warm (25-30 degrees) and temperature drops to + 21 at night which is suitable for most of Europeans.

Date of festival

Start date of the festival changes every year because it depends on the lunar cycle. Diwali is celebrated exactly on the 15th day of the Hindu lunar month of Kartika.

The concept of the festival has a deep religious meaning. Hundreds of years ago,  after the 14 years of exile  the king of Ayodhya – Rama came back home after victory over evil,  people all around lit their homes  with earthen lamps to illuminate his way home, and have the opportunity to welcome the beloved king.  Since then, the Indians repeat  this tradition and illuminate their homes in a sign of the manifestation of spiritual light, the light of purification of the soul and heart.

Monetary concept:

Before the festival all Hindus are trying to finish old business, pay off debts. And then make new starts. The people of India believe that the ventures initiated in the week of Diwali prosper to greatest extent. People worship  the Goddess of wealth- Lakshmi and the God of auspicious beginnings- Ganesha.

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 The festival of lights lasts for five days.

And each day has its own name, and has a deep sense of ancient traditions and requires devoted  compliance with Hindu rituals and ceremonies.

THE FIRST DAY OF DIWALI.

DHANTERAS – the day of goddess Lakshmi,

All women of India on this day, clean up their home and decorate them in the best possible way and also lit diyas (lamp oil clay vessels) all over. It is believed that on this day goddess Lakshmi descends on earth and chooses to visit homes which are clean and beautiful with many lights and music.

Women pray, sing hymns to Goddess Lakshmi, praying her to bless their home with wealth and prosperity.

THE SECOND DAY. NARAKA CHATURDASHI – “Small Diwali”

Creative day of the festival. People put efforts in order to decorate around.  Rangoli is a projection of the fiery light to the earth. They make the likeness of a fiery glare on the pavement and lawns of flowers and rocks, spilling out of colored powders and bright sand, dyed rice or grain cereals.

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THE THIRD DAY. DIWALI, festival of DIYAS – the main day of the festival.

On this day people get together with family to light the lamps prepared before, to worship. And in the evening, they visit friends and family generously exchange sweet gifts and best wishes. The presence of relatives accompanied by mass celebrations, explosions of firecrackers and fireworks.

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Why so many crackers n fireworks without even caring of environment?

Well, from parents I heard a more “earthly” explanation of the use of fireworks during the festival. It turns out that November is the month of the breeding of dangerous insects that spread disease and often becomes the cause of deadly epidemics. Smoke, steam, noise from the blasting of firecrackers and the smell of incense helps to reduce their number.

FOURTH DAY. PADWA / Govardhan Pooja

The fourth day of Diwali celebrations is ‘Padwa’ or ‘Varshapratipada’. In the North India, it is called as Govardhan Puja. This pooja is performed with great zeal and enthusiasm and in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In this pooja, there is a tradition of building cow dung hillocks, which symbolize the Mount Govardhan, the mountain which was once lifted by Lord Krishna. After making such hillocks people decorate them with flowers and then worship them. They move in a circle all round the cow dung hillocks and offer prayers to Lord.

THE FIFTH DAY-  BHAIDOOJ – a day of brotherly love

After the high voltage celebrations of Diwali, the festival of lights and fire-crackers, sisters all over India get ready for ‘Bhai Dooj’ – when sisters ceremonise their love by putting an auspicious tilak or a vermilion mark on the forehead of their brothers and perform an aarti of him by showing him the light of the holy flame as a mark of love and protection from evil forces. Sisters are lavished with gifts, goodies and blessings from their brothers.

Bhai Dooj comes every year on the fifth and last day of Diwali, which falls on a new moon night. The name ‘Dooj’ means the second day after the new moon, the day of the festival, and ‘Bhai’ means brother.

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Now if you think this tour takes all the boxes on your holiday checklist, go online to monks-n-monkeys travel.

For other mesmerizing destinations in India, visit our website and subscribe to our blogs and also like us on facebook.

If you have already traveled to India please comment below your views.

So that’s all for today, have a happy time 🙂 .

NAVRATRI FESTIVAL, INDIA

Hey everyone!!

Long time no see. Well we are glad to be here with you on wordpress on this World Tourism Day. Yeah you hear it right, World Tourism Day is celebrated with a theme “Tourism for all – promoting universal accessibility” Exciting, isn’t it?

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So today, lets come together n know all about the coming major festival ‘Navratri of everyone’s favorite nation.i.e India.
Well in my eyes (Navratri) this festival is not just a celebration of Hinduism, Vedic festival but Navratri is a celebration of the arrival of a new soul, a celebration of love and purification! People of all faiths, religions and nationalities come on Navratri to India.

Ohh, before going further let me tell you Navratri in brief, the term Navratri means nine nights, nights filled with dance, music and great food, Navratri is all about fun and frolic, as is evident from the gorgeous ensembles and lively dances.

The VALUE of NAVRATRI (9 Nights)
Navratri stands for 9 nights.
Why 9 nights?
Because Creation happens in darkness, in the womb. Nine months in the womb, like nine long nights, in which the spirit takes on human form.

Nine nights are precious as they carry a subtle energy. Subtle energy carries a wealth.

There is a way to bring this subtle energy into the outermost layer. We call this Yagna. There are many types of Yagna :
Yagna draya – which uses a lot of substances. 108 various types of herbs, fruit and whatnot;
Gyan Yagna – the discussion of knowledge;
Japa Yagna – reading mantras.

All of this adds purity, prosperity, peace and harmony to all. The whole environment becomes alive. No bickering in mind, just an innocent mind.
Read life as a gift, present time as a gift.

Navratri takes all the tiredness and stress away. With whole heartedly we dedicate these divine days and return to the source from which we came. Then we sing a Bhajan.

In these nine days we awake the divine qualities within us.

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MORE ABOUT NAVRATRI

Divine Mother or the Goddess (Devi) is venerated during the nine days and nights of celebrating Navratri. Although the divine Mother is One, she is worshiped in three forms as Durga, Lakshmi and as Saraswati.

During the first three days of Nava Ratri, the emphasis is on the removal of coarser, surface obstacles with the help of the Goddess Durga. The human heart is contaminated with anger, greed, hatred, passion (lust), pride, jealousy. These “invaders of the heart must be removed, and the heart is to be purified.

That is Durga sitting on tiger, enters the heart of man and ruthlessly destroys all the dirt that live in it. Still confused personality paves the way for the development of a healthy personality which can reveal the divine goodness.

Over the next three days of NavaRatri is revered the same Devi in Her creative aspect of the Goddess Lakshmi. Standing on a blossomed Lotus and holding Lotus flowers in hand Lakshmi is the epitome of softness, harmony and perfection, and she blesses the man with material and spiritual success and prosperity.

After Durga has cleared away the old personality can begin the creative process – the Foundation has been laid. More and more beauty unfolds, it fills the heart with joy. In the spiritual movement it represents the advent of Lakshmi.

Lakshmi supports and nurtures the creative expression of the soul. Durga destroys the dilapidated remains of old vices; Lakshmi gives virtue. Durga removes the diseased part of the mind; Lakshmi performs healing.

Lakshmi is the Goddess of material and spiritual prosperity. She symbolizes the divine celebration. The Lakshmi period marked by the development of the divine qualities of compassion, mercy, universal love, unity, magnanimity of heart, balance of mind. Lakshmi brings stability of mind, enriches the spirit and eliminates that distraction.

The last three nights Nava-Ratri are devoted to the worship of the Goddess Saraswati who bestows wisdom. Saraswati comes to make us enlightened. Saraswati is described as having a white complexion like the Himalayan snows. She shines all of her clothes and glittering decorations give off a pure, snowy light. Saraswati is compared to a Jasmine flower. This flower is not only white, but also fragrant. Where there is purity, there’s also flavor. She holds the Veena (musical instrument) – a symbol of harmony of the individual.

Saraswati – Goddess of Wisdom – allows us to go beyond the barriers of our ego and experience the transcendental dimension. Creativity begin to unfold. Saraswati destroys ignorance and reveals the radiance and splendor of consciousness.

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NAVRATRI IN 2016 DATES:-

Navratri Day 1 – October 1, 2016 – Ghatsthapana – Navratri Begins
Navratri Day 1 – October 2, 2016 – Chandra Darshan
Navratri Day 2 – October 3, 2016 – Sindoor Tritiya
Navratri Day 3 – October 4, 2016 – Varad Vinayak Chaturthi
Navratri Day 4 – October 5, 2016 – Upang Lalita Vrat – Lalitha Panchami
Navratri Day 5 – October 6, 2016 – Saraswati Awahan
Navratri Day 6 – October 7, 2016 – Saraswathi Puja (western parts of India)
Navratri Day 7 – October 8, 2016 – Maha Lakshmi Puja (western parts of India)
Navratri Day 8 – October 9, 2016 – Mahashtami – Annapoorna Parikrama – Saraswati Visarjan – Mahanavami fasting
Navratri Day 9 – October 10, 2016 – Mahanavami

The tenth day is celebrated as Dussehra.
Finally, the tenth day of this grand festival is celebrated as Dussehra, the day when Lord Rama triumphed over Ravana. This day signifies the victory of good over evil, and is also celebrated on a large scale across India. This year, Navratri starts on the 1st of October. The best way to celebrate Navratri this year is to participate in the festivities and explore how the festival is celebrated in other parts of India. Don’t waste another minute and plan a trip to a lovely destination in India. Check out monksandmonkeys for Navratri tours!

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