The Hindu festival of Kal Bhairava Ashtami is being celebrated in many parts of India today. It falls on the ashtami tithi of Krishna paksha of the month of Kartik (as per the South Indian Amavasyant calendar) or Margshirsha (as per the North Indian Purnimant calendar). This year it...
Trupti - a word I truly understood the meaning of when I attended the Palki Utsav held at Shri Chitrapur Matha in Shirali (Uttar Kannada) yesterday on the occasion of Kartik Poornima - which is celebrated with a lot of gaiety and pomp in most parts of southern India....
After sleeping (in nidra) for the four-month Chaturmas period, Lord Vishnu is said to awaken on probodhini (awakening) ekadasi, also known as the devutthani (Lord's awakening) ekadasi. This is an auspicious day, not only because the Lord is awakening from his slumber but also taking charge of his duties...
Goa BECKONS many visitors for various reasons. For me, travelling around India has been a fascination for some years, with paying my respects at various pilgrim and holy temples being the main agenda on most of my trips. In the past six years, I have travelled widely in India...
India Beckons wishes its readers a very Happy Gudi Padwa! Gudi Padwa (the first day after the new moon day or amavasya in the month of Chaitra) is celebrated as the New Year day in Maharashtra, while it also is commemorated in different parts of the country as Ugadi (Telugu...
The spring celebration of Holi sees many parts of India erupt in colour but perhaps the best place to witness it in all its glory is Mathura, home to Vrindavan and Barsana. Here, the festival can last for two weeks. Thousands of tourists descend on the region for a...
A land of many cultures, several factors over the centuries have influenced the architecture of India. From the artisans who came to the country and built monuments of grandeur to the distinct seasons of its regions, inspiration from diverse sources resulted in unique and spectacular buildings that have stood...
Today on Mahatma Gandhiji’s 71st death anniversary, what better tribute could we pay to the father of the Indian nation than taking time out to reflect on what came to be one of his favourite bhajans? These words resonate with those who walk the path of peace and endeavour...
Khadi: the word and its meaning 'Khadi' (pronounced Khādī) or Khaddar means 'cotton' in Sanskrit. It refers to any kind of cloth that is spun or woven by hand. This natural fibre is found abundantly in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. History Mahatma Gandhi, the father of our nation, started the Khadi movement...
Kumbh mela, by far India’s most revered and sacred festival, is now also inscribed by the UNESCO as the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Tens of millions of devotees attend the purna kumbh mela that takes place every 12 years in Prayagraj, Haridwar, Nashik-Triyambakeshwar and Ujjain. Apart from this,...
The haldi kumkum ceremony is quite popular in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Goa. The married women of Tamil Nadu host a similar function called Aadiperukku, which is celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month called Adi (mid-July to mid-August). This small function is hosted in...
The regal state of Rajasthan is on almost every international tourist’s itinerary for its varied landscape, ethnic folklore, delicious food and warm people. Royal palaces and formidable forts apart, Rajasthani thali food seasoned with spices and herbs is visually appealing and tastes great. The winter harvest festival of Makar Sankranti...
Sometimes we need to make that external physical journey in order to make that inward spiritual journey and connect to our souls. That is the essence of the Pandharpur Yatra (pilgrimage) or ‘Wari’ as it is more commonly referred to. The Wari Sant Tukaram was the first one to set out...
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bath is a fantastic place to visit at any time of year, but none so popular as the Christmas time. The famous Georgian sandstone that the city is built in twinkles like pillars of gold when the decorative lights are up, and while the bustling...

The bamboo bait!

Bamboo brings to mind different things for different people. For a foodie, it is either curry with bamboo shoots or the bamboo boxes in which dim sums are steamed and served; a wildlife-lover will identify bamboo as Panda’s favourite munch while a textile-maker will attribute its fibre or grass...

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