Monday, December 27, 2010

Heavy snowfall in Europe Affects Jaipur Tourism

The Jaipur tourism industry of Rajasthan has been hard hit as heavy snowfalls enveloped Europe. There has been a steep fall in Rajasthan tourism owing to this as almost 70 percent of the European tourists who had planned travel to India, had to cancel their bookings in the Indian hotels and all India travel arrangements with the various travel agents of India, just due to these heavy snowfall conditions. As most airports in UK, France, Germany and several other countries in Europe are experiencing massive snowfall, the flights had to be either delayed or cancelled, which caused a lot of inconvenience to the travellers. Thus, the inbound tourists were compelled to cancel their travel to India and packages with the Indian travel agents. A 30 to 35% booking cancellation has been recorded by the Indian hoteliers and travel agents. The Jaipur tourism season mainly begins from December 20th and with the cancellation of some 1,300 European flights, it has resulted to a major dip in the Jaipur Tourism scene as it is one of the hottest travel destinations in India.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Indian Christmas – One of the Most Gorgeous Festivals of India

Indian Christmas has become an integral part of the Indian tradition of fairs and festivals, since the time the Europeans first set foot on the soils of this Asian subcontinent. With their coming to this golden land, the light of Jesus’ love and the doctrines of Christianity were soon spread to the natives of this country and Indian Christmas evolved as one of the brightest festivals of India. Today, India is proud to have a large population of Christian community who exists with mutual love and respect with all the other religions, all of which together form the exemplary brotherhood of India and a part of the country’s rich cultural heritage. Indian Christmas is known as “Bada Din” in Hindi, which means Big Day and the Santa Claus is also known as “Christmas Baba” or Christmas Father.

Indian Christmas Traditions

The tradition of Indian Christmas has evolved in its own way and has its own similarities and uniqueness when compared with the western Christmas celebrations. The Indian Christmas festival has been modified with geographical boundaries, climatic influences and last but not the least, cultural values. One of the striking most uniqueness observed in the Indian Christmas celebrations is the Christmas tree. The Indian Christmas tree may or may not be the traditional pine tree that forms the core part of the Christmas festival all over the world. Instead, the role of Indian Christmas tree is mostly played by the banana trees or the mango trees, which are decorated in their full glory.

It is interesting to note, how the traditional Indian customs have heavily cast an influence on the Christmas celebrations in India. Many Indian Christian homes on this auspicious occasion, decorate their homes with mango leaves. Christmas festival in the western countries is observed by light candles to celebrate light over darkness and the same is done in India too. However, the candles in Indian Christmas tradition is replaced by ‘diyas’ or small oil-burning clay lamps, which are arranged in various patterns near the door, on the railings and near the Christmas tree to accentuate the celebration feel with their ethereal charm.

Evening Church services hold an important custom and tradition in Indian Christmas. The Churches here are decorated attractively with candles and poinsettias. The urban areas of India, mostly use the pine trees for celebrating Christmas and decorate them with the familiar Christmas tinsels, toys, stars and colorful streamers.

No Christmas is ever complete without meeting the Santa Claus. So, after the nativity plays are joyfully showcased, the Santa Claus arrives with his big bag of gifts and distributes them all to the kids along with loads of toffees and goodies. In the metros of India, Santa Claus is easily spotted in departmental stores, restaurants and amusement parks. Carnivals, fairs and DJ nights are common in the cities and the Indian nightlife comes alive in its full fervor during the eve of Christmas and the Christmas Day. Besides these merriments, caroling on streets and colorful processions form a beautiful part of the Indian Christmas tradition. 

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Monday, December 6, 2010

India Travel for the Global Tourists – India Welcomes the HIV+ Tourists

India Travel for the global tourists is not only getting easier but also more interesting by the day. The MEA (ministry of external affairs) has given a fresh facelift to India Travel for the global tourists by recently lifting all the Indian travel curbs against the HIV + foreigner travellers. Foreigner tourists visiting India to get that much talked about “Incredible India” feel will NO MORE have to state their HIV status during their India Travel Visa filling up formalities. Indian tourism industry has thus, made India travel for the global tourists a little easier than before by removing all kinds of travel restrictions against the HIV positive tourists.


The urge for lifting up this restriction had come way back in 2002, when the Union health ministry had requested for removal of this mandatory HIV test for the Indian bound foreign travellers. However, since the consulates and embassies could not enforce it, they continued displaying the need of HIV test certificate on their official web domains and India Travel visa forms. On September 17, the MEA e-mailed the consulates and embassies clarified that there is absolutely NO RESTRICTION for the HIV + travellers coming to India. Soon, the offices will also remove the requirement for HIV certification from all India Travel Visa forms.

Making this noble move, the MEA has not only upheld India's commitment to equal human rights and dignity but also, made India a more favorable travel destination for one and all. Recently, the US, Namibia and China also lifted their decade old restrictions on HIV positive travellers. 

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bundi Utsav Rajasthan – The Great Indian Carnival

Bundi Utsav Rajasthan, held in the festive month of November is one of the most fascinating festivals of India. Bundi Utsav gets its name from the place where it is held. Called Bundi, this place located in Rajasthan, India sure seems to be straight out of a picture post card. Each of places in Rajasthan have their own special significance, the very fact which has shot this destination in India to be one of the most fascinating tourist destinations in the world and it is festivals such as these, which have made Rajasthan tourism more meaningful than ever before.

Bundi Utsav RajasthanA cultural representation that’s spell binding

Folklore, handicrafts, dance, music and name it and the Bundi Utsav of Rajasthan has each of these gems studded on its festive occasion to keep up the frenzy and fervor of this occasion on the pinnacle. Some of the most respected and famous artists grace the cultural shows and entertainment on the occasion of Bundi Utsav in Rajasthan.

Bundi Utsav RajasthanLet’s explore beyond

The Bundi Utsav of Rajasthan, India bundles a lot of vibrancy. Take for example, the colorful procession or the Shobha Yatra that is a fun filled carnival showcasing some of the finest arts and crafts of this artist rich Indian state. From arts and crafts, cultural folk dance and music to ethnic sports and exhibition, there’s no excitement that goes amiss in this impressively entertaining event. The Bundi Utsav also packs in sightseeing, turban competition, musical extravaganza, deep daan, bridal attire, musical band competition and spectacular fireworks display.

Bundi Utsav RajasthanMoonlit glories

During the festival of Bundi Utsav in Rajasthan, dresses up in full glory yet another town in Rajasthan, in neighborhood of Bundi, called – Keshorai. The town comes alive under the moonlight flooded sky. The villagers dress up in the traditional best, come together at the banks of River Chambal and the women spray a magical mist in the air with their ritualistic holy chants.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ganga Mahotsav – The Dazzling Fairs and Festivals of India

Ganga Mahotsav 2010 begins! Ganga Mahotsav, one of the most awaited festivals of India, is celebrated in the month of October to November every year. The Ganga Mahotsav festival is a 5 day long beautiful affair that attracts tourists from far and wide. The celebrations of the Ganga Mahotsav begin from the Probodhini ekadashi and trail off to the Kartik poornima of the Indian lunar calendar. The venue of the Ganga Mahotsav is the Dr. Rajendra Prasad Ghat in Varanasi, a beautiful place which comes alive with all the joy and spirit and enlivens the bank of the holy Ganges.

What the Varanasi Ganga Mahotsav brings on the platter?

Ganga Mahotsav 2010 is five day long carnival, a platform that becomes the kaleidoscope of the finest craft and fantastic culture of India, all of which converge in a single place, i.e. by the bank of the River Ganges in Varanasi. While this art and culture festival of India converges the most traditional facets of the Indian cultural heritage, it is the vibrant state of Uttar Pradesh, which is the main show stealer in the Varanasi Ganga Mahotsav.

The illuminating moment of Ganga Mahotsav

The phantasmagoria of this dreamy Indian festival comes to a closure on the fifth day, when millions and millions of illuminated earthen lamps, called Diyas, are sent afloat the mystic and playful waters of the Holy Ganges. The fragrance of the burning incense fills the atmosphere impregnating the breezes with sanctity. The sacred Vedic chants on the other hand add to the holy scene by slowly transforming the Ganges bank to a celestial abode. This out of the world feeling and the scenes converges in a pair of worlds – Dev Deepavali, an enlightening event in the Ganga Mahotsav festival that brings down the curtains to this cultural bonanza of Varanasi.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Welcome to the Grand Sonepur Mela 2010 – India’s Pride, the Sonepur Cattle Fair

The Sonepur Mela or the Sonepur Cattle Fair is a beautiful villagey festival, held in the month of November in the pretty hamlet of Sonepur in Bihar. The Sonepur Cattle Fair is celebrated on the mesmerizingly beautiful confluence of the Holy Rivers – Ganga and Gandak. Also, sometimes just known as the Harihar Kshetra Mela, the Sonepur fair attracts visitors from far and wide, especially from all across Asia. The Sonepur Cattle Fair happens be Asia’s grandest cattle fair and is believed to have been celebrated since the ancient days. The Sonepur mela 2010 is just round the corner, so come, let’s explore more about this wonder cattle festival of Bihar in words and pictures, before you (who knows!) may finally decide to land up there and witness all the grandeur of a cattle festival with your own eyes !!

Sonepur Cattle Fair 2010 – the dates

The Sonepur mela or the Sonepur fair 2010 is all set to begin on November 21st and stretch till December 15th. This is a fortnight festival which begins from the day of Kartik Shukla Paksh or Kartik Purnima of the Kartik (November) month of the Hindu calendar, which is a full moon day. This fifteen day cattle festival of Bihar often some years extends to a month.

Sonepur Mela – the legends to remember

The Sonepur fair gets its inspiration from the legendary story of King Indrayamuna and the Gandharva chief called Huhu. It is believed, that these two men were cursed and turned into elephant and crocodile respectively by the influential sages Dewala and Agasthya muni. One day, the crocodile caught the leg of the elephant and both of them fought for several years with their herd. Finally, the King Elephant started to give up and went praying for his protection to the supreme God Vishnu. Lord Vishnu heard the prayers of the king and killed the crocodile with his “Chakra.” This released Huhu from his crocodile curse and simultaneously, also released king Indrayamuna from his elephant curse. Then, God Vishnu took both to his aboard in Vaikuntha. Since that time, the Sonepur cattle fair has been celebrated in their honor.

Sonepur Cattle Fair – an engaging tale of history

In the historical years, it was the great emperor of India, Chandragupta Maurya, who used to buy horses and elephants across the holy river of Ganges. Then, the Sonepur cattle fair became the platform for trading cattle. The fair began to attract traders from places far and wide, most notably from Central Asia. Originally, the locus of the Sonepur mela was Hajipur, where the puja used to be held in the Sonepur Harihar Nath temple. But, when the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb came to power, the Sonepur fair venue was shifted from Hajipur to Sonepur. Legends have it, the Harihar Nath temple in Sonepur, Bihar was originally erected by Lord Rama to offer prayers to God on his way to King Janak’s court, where he intended to win the hand of Sita. Many historical accounts also refer to Raja Man Singh having undertaken the repair and renovation of the Sonepur Harihar Nath temple in Bihar. The temple, as it stands with pride and all holiness today, was rebuilt in the late Mughal era, by an influential person called Raja Ram Narain.

Sonepur Mela – the cattle trade

The Sonepur fair is an interesting event in the fairs and festivals calendar of India, when almost every kind of animal is brought to the fair grounds for trading. Some of the most notable animals brought in the Sonepur cattle fair include Persian horses, camels, cats, ponies, donkeys, buffaloes and sheep. Animals like chimps, elephants, monkeys, guinea pigs, cats, bears and dogs are also brought in and lined up for trade. But that’s not all that is to this biggest cattle fair of Asia. The Sonepur mela also bustles with stalls which sell almost every kind of good imaginable ranging from garments, utensils, handicrafts and jewelries to furniture, toys, agricultural equipments and weapons.

So, if you want to be a part of Sonepur fair 2010 – the grandest cattle festival of Asia go ahead, witness the fun, capture them in your lenses and be a part of this interesting and unique grandeur!

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pushkar Fair in Rajasthan – The Colorful Fairs and Festivals of India

With the month of November comes the time to celebrate the Pushkar Fair in Rajasthan. Pushkar fair in Rajasthan is the time when the sleepy, quaint little town of Pushkar in Rajasthan suddenly comes alive with frenzy and there flows a riot rainbow colors everywhere. The beautiful occasion of Pushkar fair 2010 is all set to begin very soon.

Pushkar fair 2010 dates

The dates for the Pushkar fair 2010 are November 12 to November 21 (as in the recent years, the celebrations is prolonged by several days for its tremendous craze). Pushkar fair Rajasthan is celebrated for five frenzied days. Pushkar fair in India is considered one of the world’s largest camels fair. The celebrations of this camel fair in Rajasthan are held around the full moon day of the Kartik month of Hindu Calender. Usually this period is called the Pushkar fair season which stretches from mid November or Kartik ekadashi to early December or Kartik Poornima. The day of the full moon is considered the main day of the Pushkar fair in Rajasthan, which commemorates the legends of Lord Brahma.

Legends of Pushkar Fair

The history of Pushkar festival in Rajasthan is written in the Hindu scriptures. The town of Pushkar in Rajasthan is counted amongst the five sacred cities of ancient India. There are some 400 temples in this small town, which makes it year round tourist attraction of Rajasthan. According to the Pushkar Fair legend, on the full moon night or the day of Poornima, all the 330 million Hindu Gods assemble around the holy Pushkar Lake. Legend of Pushkar festival also has it that on this very day and from this very Pushkar Lake, the creator of Life in Hinduism i.e. Lord Brahma had sprung up.

Pushkar Camel Fair Attractions

The Pushkar camel fair 2010 is all gearing up to usher in the fun and festive spirit like all the other years. This is the time when the desert life dances and dazzles in thousand colors.

The pilgrims, the lake and the temple - The occasion of Pushkar camel fair in Rajasthan is when the Hindu pilgrims gather in this picturesque dessert town to take a holy dip in the sacred Pushkar Lake. A dip in the holy Pushkar Lake is believed to rinse away all the sins of the person. The pilgrims pay their obeisance in the Brahma Temple of Pushkar. The Pushkar Brahma temple happens to be the only Brahma Temple in the entire world. That apart, on this day, people also buy and sell livestock like sheeps, camels, goats and cows.

Treat for onlookers - For the onlookers, the Pushkar fair grounds and the sights that it beholds becomes the live canvas of vibrancy and a spirited atmosphere. The Pushkar fair, locally known as Pushkar ka Mela or Pushkar Mela is an annual five day camel and livestock festival. On this day, Pushkar becomes one of the most visited tourist attractions in Rajasthan.The fun highlights of the Pushkar fair in Rajasthan are Bridal competition, matka phod, longest moustache and so on. In the recent years, Pushkar fair grounds have also been hosting cricket match between the local Pushkar club and the foreign tourists.

Stalls and exhibitions - Women crowd at the stalls well stocked with lovely bangles, bracelets, jewelry, clothes and fabrics of all kinds. One of the main attractions of Pushkar fair in Rajasthan is the came race. There are also other musical competitions, shows and exhibitions which follow one after the other keeping the spectators happily busy with entertainment galore.

Pushkar camel fair tents - For the Pushkar fair, a special tented city is created just closeby the holy Puskar Lake. Many pushkar fair pilgrims and tourists prefer to stay in these lovely Pushkar fair tents. Often the participants in the camel races, drama, music, dance and competitions and also the traders stay in these beautiful and comfortable Pushkar fair tents.

Pushkar Fair Tour

Paahun Tour Managers, a one of a kind luxury India specialist Tour Company is offering the best and the most luxurious Pushkar fair tour at the cheapest rate possible!!! The magical sojourn of mystical Rajasthan coupled with the frenzies of the colorful Pushkar camel fair 2010 are not to be missed. So, take this grand opportunity and be a part of the glorious and world famous Puskar Fair 2010 and tour in élan the myriad tourist attractions of Pushkar and Rajasthan.

For more information on Paahun Tour Managers

Visit –

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India - + 91 - 80 – 42021383
Australia - + 61 - 2 – 80034494
United Kingdom - + 44 - 20 – 81440037
United States of America - + 1 - 347 - 4149002

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Indian Tourist Visa Information for Travelling to India

If you are planning an India travel in the near future, then get ready with Indian tourist visa. Only when you are authorized with an Indian tourist visa, will you be permitted by the Indian government to visit India. All international travellers coming for an India tour need a valid Indian tourist visa, except the tourists coming from neighboring Bhutan and Nepal. Currently, India is offering an “Indian travel Visa on Arrival” facility for international tourists travelling to India from Japan, Luxembourg, Singapore, New Zealand and Finland. However, if you belong to a different country other than the ones mentioned, then, you must obtain an Indian visa before your India travel. Here are the things you need to know before you make your India visa application.
Types of Visa available for India tour
International travellers who are planning an India travel for 72 hours or less, can obtain an Indian travel visa called ‘Transit visa’. In other cases, the traveller will be needed to obtain an Indian tourist visa. The Indian tourist visas are usually issued for a period of six months, during which you can get enough time to tour the various tourist destinations of India. However, that again depends on the nationality of the tourist. Most India tourist visas are multiple entry visas, and so, you can obtain Indian travel visas valid for as short as three months or as long as one whole year! If you are a tourist travelling to India from the United States, then, you can jolly well obtain ten year India tour visas from your country. The Indian tourist embassies of select 18 countries even offer Indian tourist visas which remain valid for 5 years. These include the following countries – France, Vietnam, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Mexico. However, irrespective of the duration of your India travel visa, no international tourist is permitted to stay in India for more than 180 days at a stretch. Moreover, the 5 years India travel visas only allow the travellers to stay for a period of 90 days in India at a stretch.
Cost of Indian tourist visa
The Indian tourist visa cost differs from one country to another, according to the tourism agreements between the government of India and the individual countries. For example, if you want a six month tourist visa for your India tour, you can expect to shell out 70 dollars in the U.S, 30 pounds in the U.K and 90 dollars in Australia. But if you are from any of these countries like Japan, Argentina, Mongolia, Jamaica and South Africa, there’s good news for you! These countries have special agreements with the Ministry of Tourism in India, which relaxes the cost of the Indian tourist visas for the tourists coming from these countries. So, you pay comparatively less for your Indian visa when you are a tourist visiting India from any of these countries!
Indian Visa Application
One excellent news is that the Indian Embassy now has started to outsource the Indian visa application process to a host of private Indian tourist visa agencies in different countries to make the process easier, faster and definitely more efficient. So, if want to travel to India from U.S.A, you can acquire Indian visa for your India tours and travels from Travisa Outsourcing. If you are a tourist from another country planning to visit India, you can get in touch with the VSF India visa centers for acquiring VSF India visas. These VSF India centers are located in France, Thailand, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, China and Australia. To apply for Indian visa, you need to acquire the Indian visa application form from the Indian Embassy in your own country. To make the process easier and faster, you can simply fill up an online visa application form, always available on the Indian visa application processing agencies. To obtain your Indian tourist visa, you have to submit your tourist visa application, fee and passport, a recent passport sized photograph and your tour itinerary details. However, if you want things to get further easier and faster for you, just get in touch with –
India - + 91 - 80 - 42021383
Australia - + 61 - 2 - 80034494
United Kingdom - + 44 - 20 – 81440037
United States of America - + 1 - 347 - 4149002

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mahalaya – The Count Down for Durga Puja in West Bengal Comes to an End

Mahalaya ushers in the festival of Durga Puja in West Bengal. With the Mahalaya 2010 which is on 7th September 2010, i.e. today, the countdown for the Durga Puja 2010 has finally come to a grand closing and the new countdown has begin to welcome Goddess Durga to earth. Durga Puja is one of the grandest festivals of India. The Indian festival Durga Puja is mostly celebrated in West Bengal, though several states in India celebrate the Durga Puja festival in their own ways. With the Indian festival of Janmashtami, the countdown for the festival of Durga Puja begins. However, it is only on the Durga Puja Mahalaya day that the ritualistic preparations of this beautiful Indian festival reach its stage of finality.

Adding Final Touches to Idol of Goddess Durga - Durga Puja West Bengal
Rituals of Mahalaya – the onset of Durga Puja

With the coming of the Mahalaya it is believed Goddess Durga, the beloved wife of Lord Shiva of Kailash Mansarovar, prepares to come down to earth with her four children – Goddess Lakhsmi, Goddess Saraswati, Lord Kartik and Lord Ganesha to visit her paternal home. Mahalaya is an auspicious day in the entire Durga Puja festival. This occasion, which heralds the advent of Goddess Durga to her birth place, is observed seven days before the actual Durga Puja festival.

People Offering Mahalaya Tarpan to Ancestors in the Holy Ganges - Mahalaya before Durga Puja Festival
Mahalaya – the auspicious day of remembrance

From the day of Mahalaya begins 'Devipaksha' which marks the ending of the 'Pitri-paksha'. On the day of Mahalaya in India, men dress up in dhotis and offer ‘tarpan’ or prayers for the ancestors on the banks of the Holy Ganga. This is a pre-dawn ritual which is believed to fill the mind, body and soul of the worshipper with the Holy blessings of their ancestors, who come down to earth for 15 days, stay during Mahalaya Amavasya and leave on the Mahalaya new moon day. According to the Durga Puja legends, Mahalaya is the day when the Gods wake up from their divine meditative state to prepare themselves for the Durga Puja festival.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Indian Crafts - The Essence of Indian Tradition

Indian crafts form a rich part of Indian tradition. The history of Indian crafts is as old as 5000 years. Indian handcrafts reached its peak during the Indus Valley Civilization and during those times, Indian crafts also held a religious value. So, come let’s have a look at the rich tradition of India, through its wide range of art and crafts.
Indian Carpets
Indian carpets are amongst the best known Indian crafts. The carpets of India form an integral part of the country’s rich craft traditions. The Indian tradition of carpet weaving goes back to several centuries. The Indian carpets are usually woven with wool and silk. The hand flooring carpets like door mats, floor mats and durries are made from cotton, bamboo, grass, jute, coir and wool.

Indian Jewelry - Tradition of India
Indian Gems and Jewelry
Indian gems and Indian jewelry have been the pride of Indian crafts tradition since the ancient times. Earliest Indian jewelry used to be made with seeds, leaves, stones, feathers, berries, fruits, claws, teeth, animal bones and leaves. Today, these forms of Indian jewelry can still be seen to a certain extent in the Indian tribal communities. Indian jewelry has ornaments for every part of the body and today they are made with gold, silver, oxidized metal, diamond, gem stones, pearls, copper and several other semi-precious metals and stones.
Indian Glassware
Just like most of the traditions of Indian crafts, glass making in India also dates back to several years in history. Indian glass making accounts have been found in the epic of Mahabharata and historical events have also found great evidence of Indian glassware art during the medieval period and Mughal rule. Indian glass making is thus, an ancient Indian art.
Indian Pottery
Indian pottery is one of the most fascinating works of art in the Indian tradition of art and crafts. This ancient tradition of pottery making in India speaks volumes about the different civilizations that were born in this mystic land.

Indian Pottery - Tradition of India
Indian Textiles
Textiles form the most versatile tradition of India. The tradition of textiles in India traces back its root to the dawn of Indus Valley Civilization. Textiles weaves of the Indus Valley Civilization weaved garments from homespun cotton. Today, the Indian textiles enjoy being one of the most flourishing trades in the world. The banarasi saree, the Kanjeevaram silk and Khadi are some of the finest examples of the rich and varied Indian textile industry.
Leather Crafts India
The Indian tradition of leather crafts also dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization. Many ancient texts have been found referring to the use of animal skin in India. The ancient ascetics and sages have themselves testified the ancient Indian tradition of leather crafts. In the olden times, leather was only used was clothes and footwear. These days, leather is mainly used for making armors, bags, shoes, belts, caps and saddles.
Indian Metal Art
Metal works have been in the Indian tradition for some 5000 years now has been well testified by the famous dancing girl image from the Mohenjodaro civilization. Traditionally, the craftsmen of India have been using assorted metals like copper, iron, silver and even alloys like bell metal, bronze, white metal and others to show their versatile metal craftsmanship.

Indian Embroidery - Tradition of India
Indian cane furnishing
Bamboo is considered one of the best assets of Indian tradition where art and craft is concerned. The Indian cane furnishings made from bamboo have been in popular use in the Indian homes since the 2nd century AD. From chairs, sofas, tables, stools, bookshelves and cabinets to beds, couches and recliner, bamboo has found an artistic use in India.
Indian embroidery
Probably the finest examples of Indian embroidery is Chikankari and zardosi work. The detailed and intricate work of these two embroideries is simply fascinating. However, Indian embroidery is just not limited to chikankari and zardosi embroidery. It extends well beyond and almost every state in India has its own unique styles of embroideries. Kashida embroidery of Kashmir, Phulkari embroidery of Punjab and Kantha stitch of West Bengal deserve a special mention in this regard.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Indian Folk Dances - The Rural Facet of Cultural India

Indian folk dances and tribal dances celebrate every occasion, whether it is to welcome the seasons or a new born baby. The Indian folk dances have a special meaning during weddings and festivals. Simple and joyful, the folk dances of India have their own unique significance. So, come let’s discover the beautiful tribal and folk dances of India.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The fascinating Nicobarese dance is performed by the tribal people of Car Nicobar Island on the Pig Festival or the Ossuary feast. Costumed in coconut fronds, this dancers dance away the moonlit night under the swaying palms.
Andhra Pradesh
Thapetta Gullu is the tribal dance of Andhra Pradesh, performed by a group of 10 or more. This dance in the praise of the local deity is performed with drums and tinkling bells.

Dandiya - Folk Dance of India
Arunachal Pradesh
The folk dance of Arunachal Pradesh is called Bardo Chham, which is performed by Sherdukpens. The dance depicts the triumph of good over evil.
Karma or Munda, as this traditional tribal dance is called, is performed by men and women by circling around the Karma tree of good fortune and dancing in the rhythm of drums.
Panthi, performed by the Satnam community dancers is a folk dance of religious and spiritual significance. The dance is performed around a jaitkhamb on the occasion of Maghi Purnima. The Raut Nacha is the other folk dance of Chhattisgarh performed by yaduvanshis or yadavs as a tribute to Lord Krishna.
The Tarangamel folk dance of Goa is performed by the rainbow costumed youths on the festivals of Holi and Dussehra. Streamers and multi-colored flags are the main props of this dance. The other popular folk dances of Goa are Kunbi dance, koli dance, samayi nritya, jagar, gonph, dekhni, tonnya mell and ranmale.
The folk dances of Gujarat are Garba, Padhar, Raas, tippani and bhavai. Garba dance is performed during Navratri in circular movement patterns with clapping. The Bhil tribes perform the tribal dance of Padhar with interesting movements that depict sea waves and roving mariners. The vibrant and energetic dance of Raas is a mock fight dance that uses polished sticks or dandiya.
Himachal Pradesh
The Kinnauri Nati is a beautiful hillside folk dance of Himachal Pradesh which enacts all the activities involved in the crop fields like sowing and reaping. The Namagen folk dance of Himachal Pradesh celebrates the autumn season.

Bhangra - Folk Dance of India
The folk dances of Haryana are Saang, chhathi, khoria, dhamal, ghoomar, raslila, jhumar, gugga and loor. While many of these folk dances are performed during weddings and festivals, there are several other dances which are dedicated to different seasons and harvests.
Yakshagana is the popular dance drama of Karnataka which involves songs, dance, music, story, acting and dialogues. The elements of Yakshagana comprise both classical and folk dance forms. There is another folk dance popular in Karnataka. It is called Dollu Kunitha, where the men from the Shepherd community perform an artful dance with various acrobatic movements and drumming.
The tribal dance of Kashmir is called Dumhal, which is performed by men belonging to the Wattal tribe. The performers are costumed in colorful robes and beaded conical cabs.
The folk dance of Lakshadweep called Lava is performed by the people living in Minicoy Island. The dancers dress in multicolored dresses and a headgear. Each dancer carries a drum and they dance in prolific movements in the rhythm of the drum beats and song.

Cheraw - Folk Dance of India
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh has three different folk dances called Tertali, Charkula and Jawara. Tertali tribal dance is performed by a group of 2 to 3 women belonging to the Kamar tribe. The Charkula dance is more popular in Braj, which is especially performed the next day after holi. This dance which is dedicated to Lord Krishna and his consort Radha, is performed by women who dance with mult-tiered pyramids on their head, alight with oil lamps. The jawara dance is performed by the men and women of Bundelkhand with jawara baskets on their heads.
The Kokna tribal dance also called Pavri Nach or Tarpha Nach, is popular in the hilly regions of Maharashtra. The main accompaniment used in this dance is an wind instrument called pavri or tarpha.
 Thang Ta and Dol Cholam are the folk dances of Manipur. While the former is a dances form which incorporates martial art moves and with a display of traditional warfare, the latter is a drum dance performed during the Holi festival.
The folk dance of Mizoram is the Cheraw dance where groups of four performers dance holding two pairs of bamboos, weaving patterns as they dance.
The tribal dance of Nagaland is called Chang Lo or Sua Lua. In the earlier times, this dance was performed by the people of Chang tribe to celebrate victory over enemies. These days, this wonderful dance is performed during the festival of Poanglem in Nagaland.
Chhau Nach - Folk Dance of India
Ghumara or Ghumra is one of the most popular folk dance forms in Orissa. The other popular folk dances of Orissa are Ruk Mar Nacha or Chhau nach, goti pua, Nacnī, Keisabadi, Karma Naach, Dhap, Dalkhai and Baagh Naach. Apart from these, there are other Odissi folk dances as well which include Rasarkeli, Sajani, Chhata, Daika, Bhekani, Maila Jada, Gunchikuta, Chhiollai, Jaiphul, Dauligit, Humobauli and Bayamana.
Garadi is the famous folk dance of Pondicherry. The dance continues for 5 to 8 hours and is performed in almost every festival in Pondicherry. The dance depicts the legend of Ramayana.
Bhangra is the popular folk dance of Punjab. The instruments accompanied in this dance performance include dhol, table and chimta. The dancers wear traditional Punjabi attire for this dance and this dance is popularly performed in the harvest season. Giddha, jhoomer, dhamalan, danker, sammi, dandass, ludi and jindua are the other folk dances of Punjab.
Kalbelia is the folk dance of Rajasthan, performed by women dancers of the Kalbelia community. This dance has serpent like movements.
Singhi Chham, a masked dance is the tribal dance of Sikkim. This dance depicts the snow lion, which is the decreed the guardian deity of Sikkim. The dancers wear furry costumes for this performance.
Tamil Nadu
The folk dances of Tamil Nadu are Kamandi or Kaman Pandigai, Kummi, Kolattam, Mayil Attam, Poikal Kudirai Attam and Theru Koothu. Most of these rural dances are dedicated to festivals, Gods and Goddesses.
Hojagiri is the folk dance of Tripura, where the dancers perform fascinating acrobatic feats in rhythm.
West Bengal
The folk dances of West Bengal are gambhira, kalikapatadi, Nacnī, alkap and domni. The gambhira is a themed dance depicting social issues while kalikapatadi is a dance depicting the calming down of angry Goddess Kali by Lord Shiva. The Alkap dance is associated with the Gajan festival.

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