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...
Today, Gurpurab or Guru Nanak Jayanti (the birth anniversary of the first Sikh guru), also known as the Prakash Utsav, is being celebrated with much aplomb in India and amongst the Sikh community and followers of Guru Nanak Dev all over the world. Prabhat Pheris (early morning singing of hymns starting from...
It’s an interesting question that experts, psychologists, and spiritual gurus are perpetually giving us answers to. Everyone is seeking happiness - some find it in a stable career while others find it in the pursuit of more wealth. Some find it in close-knit relationships and familial ties while others...
Govardhana puja, also known as the annakoot puja, is celebrated in the month of Kartika (October – November) to commemorate the pastime of Lord Shri Krishna lifting the Govardhana parvat (hill) to provide shelter to and protect the residents of Braj (the area covering Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul and Barsana) from...
Today is the second day of the festivities of Diwali, which began with Dhanteras celebrations yesterday. The second day is known as Narak Chaturdashi - also known as the Narak Nivaran Chaturdashi or Roop Chaudas and more popularly among people as Chhoti Diwali. Almost all the traditional pujas that...
Among the umpteen festivals of India, Diwali is the most glorious and grandest of them all. An integral part of India’s cultural fabric, Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit word Deepavali, which means a cluster of lamps. The most common legend attached to Diwali is that Lord Shri Ram returned to...
India Beckons wishes its readers a very happy Dhanteras. Dhanteras, also known as Dhantrayodashi, marks the beginning of the five-day festival of Diwali and, according to the Hindu calendar, is celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha ('Dhan' means wealth and 'Teras' means thirteenth). This is the day...
Colorful dances, multicultural extravaganza, classical music, spiritual teachings, mouthwatering street food of aamchi Mumbai and dilwalon ki Dilli, puppet shows depicting stories from the Ramayana, Bollywood music, and loads of enthusiastic people enjoying the revelry – that’s what Diwali in London at Trafalgar Square (also known as DOTS for...

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