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,...
As soon as the New Year dawns, the people of Tamil Nadu get ready for their annual celebration of Pongal – a great harvest festival, celebrated by one and all. Pongal is the first day of the month of Sankaranti, on the Makar Sankaranti day that falls on January...
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...
Jaipur usually tops the list of best places to visit in Rajasthan, and for good reason. The Pink City is colourful, historic, packed with culture, and BECKONS travellers from all parts of the world. But while most people travel to take in iconic sites like Amer Fort and Hawa...

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...
Christmas is a wonderful time in this part of the world. Everything turns into something magical - London transforms into a living testimony of this magic, with Christmas trees and decorations adorning many famous landmarks of the city. From Christmas shopping to Christmas markets, special goodies deck every nook and...
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...
Thanks to Bob Marley’s legendary music, Jamaica was put on the map and we came to know about its gorgeous landscape, beaches, and colonial architecture. Its reputation as an ace holiday destination continues to hold away today. If you are eager to experience an island vacation, this Caribbean nation...
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...
Festivals are usually a time to rejuvenate, to let go and wash off the negativities and to make way for the new year and for a new beginning. It’s a time to reflect and a time for soul cleaning. It’s about shedding the old skin of darkness and ignorance...
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...
In India, Navami is celebrated as the last day of the nine nights of Navratri – the festival in which Goddess Durga is worshipped and revered.  In north India, especially amongst the Punjabi community, it is celebrated by holding kanjak or kanya pujan, where young girls, who are thought...
Navratri is coming to a close and Dussehra will soon herald the end of celebrations. Through it all, Ramlila has been held, regaling audiences with enactments of the Ramayana through the epic poem, Ramacharitmanas. For those unfamiliar with this, Ramacharitmanas narrates the glory of Shri Ram and Ramlila showcases...

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