Saturday, October 30, 2010

PURNA TRAVELS: REGIONAL NAMES OF DIWALI IN INDIA

kanchan athalye | Saturday, October 30, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
PURNA TRAVELS: REGIONAL NAMES OF DIWALI IN INDIA: "The customs of celebrating Diwali, the festival of light vary from region to region. Though the theme of Diwali is universal, ie, the triump..."
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धनत्रयोदशी

kanchan athalye | Saturday, October 30, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
कार्तिक कृष्ण त्रयोदशीला समुद्रमंथनापासून आयुर्वेदाचे जनक भगवान धन्वंतरी अमृत कलश घेऊन प्रकट झाले. त्यांनी देवांना अमृत देऊन अमर केले. धनत्रयोदशीच्या दिवशी दीर्घायुष्य आणि आरोग्य लाभण्यासाठी धन्वंतरीची पूजा केली जाते. याच दिवशी यमाचीही पूजा केली जाते.

धनत्रयोदशीच्या दिवशी काय करावे?
भगवान धनवंतरीची पूजा करा.
घरात नवीन झाडू किंवा सूप खरेदी करून त्याची पूजा करा.
सायंकाळी दीप प्रज्वलन करून घर आणि दुकानाची पूजा करावी.
मंदिर, गोशाळा, घाट, विहीर, तलाव, बागेत दिवा लावावा.
तांबे, पितळ, चांदीच्या गृहोपयोगी वस्तू व आभूषणाची खरेदी करा.
कार्तिक स्नान करून प्रदोष काळात घाट, गोशाळा, विहीर, मंदिर आदी स्थानांवर तीन दिवस दिवा लावा.

धनत्रयोदशी पूजेत काय करावे.
अ) कुबेर पूजन
आपल्या व्यवसायाच्या ठिकाणी शुभ मुहूर्तावर नवीन गादी किंवा जुनी गादी साफ करून ठेवा. त्यानंतर नवीन बसण्याचे कापड टाका.
संध्याकाळनंतर तेरा दिवे लावून तिजोरीत कुबेराचे पूजा करा.
कुबेराचे ध्यान करताना खालील मंत्र म्हणा.
''श्रेष्ठ विमानावर विराजमान, गरूडाप्रमाणे भासणारा, दोन्ही हातात गदा धारण करणारा, डोक्यावर श्रेष्ठ मुकुट करणार्‍या, भगवान शंकराचा प्रिय मित्र निधीश्वर कुबेर मी तुझे ध्यान करतो आहे.''

खालील मंत्राद्वारे चंदन, धूप, दीप, नैवेद्य दाखवून पूजा करा.
'यक्षाय कुबेराय वैश्रवणाय धन-धान्य अधिपतये
धन-धान्य समृद्धी मे देही दापय स्वाहा ।'

नंतर कापूर आरती करून फुले अर्पण करा.

ब) यम दीपदान
धनत्रयोदशीच्या संध्याकाळी एखाद्या पात्रात तिळाच्या तेलाने भरलेला दिवा लावावा.
गंध, पुष्‍प आणि अक्षतांनी पूजा करा आणि दक्षिणेकडे तोंड करून यमासाठी खालील प्रार्थना करा.

'मृत्यना दंडपाशाभ्याम् कालेन श्यामया सह।
त्रयोदश्यां दीपदानात् सूर्यज प्रयतां मम।'

आता ते सर्व दिवे सार्वजनिक स्थळावर लावा. त्यापैकी एक दिवा दाराच्या उंबरठ्यावर अखंड तेवत ठेवा. अशा प्रकारे दीपदान केल्यावर यमाचा पाश आणि नरकातून मुक्ती मिळते.

यमराज पूजन
या दिवशी यमासाठी एक पिठाचा दिवा बनवून घराच्या मुख्य प्रवेशद्वारावर लावा.
घरातील स्त्रियांनी रात्री दिव्यात तेल टाकून चार बत्त्या लावा. पाणी, पोळी, तांदूळ, गुळ, फूल, नैवेद्यासह दिवा लावून यम देवाची पूजा करा.
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DOS & DON'TS WHILE BURSTING CRACKERS

kanchan athalye | Saturday, October 30, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
DO’S
• Use fireworks only outdoor.
• Buy fireworks of authorized/reputed manufacturers only.
• Light only one firework at a time, by one person. Others should watch from a safe distance.
• Keep the fireworks to be used at a safer place.
• Organize a community display of fireworks rather than individuals handling crackers.
• Always use a long candle/'phooljhari' for igniting fire crackers and keep elbow joint straight to increase the distance between the body and the crackers.
• Keep two buckets of water handy. In the event of fire, extinguish flame by pouring water from the buckets. Every major fire is small when it starts.
• In case of burns, pour large quantity of water on the burnt area.
• In case of major burns, after extinguishing the fire, remove all smoldering clothes. Wrap the victim in a clean bedsheet.
• The patient should be taken to a burns specialist or a major hospital. Don't panicky.
• In case of eye burns, wash the eye with tap water for 10 minutes and take the victim to a hospital.

DON'TS
• Don't ignite fireworks while holding them.
• Don't bend over the fireworks being ignited.
• Don't ignite fireworks in any container.
• Don't approach immediately to the misfired fireworks.
• Don't tamper with misfired fireworks.
• Don't attempt to make fireworks at home.
• Don't allow small children to handle fireworks.
• Don't throw or point fireworks at other people.
• Don't carry fireworks in the pocket.
• Don't store firecrackers near burning candles and diyas.
• Don't light firecrackers in narrow by lanes; preferably use open areas and parks.
• Don't wear synthetic clothing; preferably wear thick cotton clothing.
• Don't wear loosely hanging clothes; secure all clothes properly.
• Don't apply any cream or ointment or oil on burnt area.
• Don't drive recklessly while taking a burn victim to the hospital; a delay of up to one hour is immaterial.
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Friday, October 29, 2010

DIWALI SAFETY TIPS – HOW TO ENJOY SAFE DIWALI

kanchan athalye | Friday, October 29, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
Father lights the firecracker while mom and son stand back

We all want to have safe Diwali. It is true that lot of people love to burst crackers on this holy festival, but if precautions are not taken, it can result into any mishap. So explore an article that guides you about certain precautions while bursting crackers to enjoy SAFE DIWALI!

1. Before bursting crackers, make sure they are placed in open grounds and there are no inflammatory or combustible objects nearby. Keep 2 bucket full of water handy along with first aid kit. Dump all the waste as well as the burned crackers in one bucket. In case of any fire or mishap, pour water from bucket to control the flames.

2. Always make use of incense stick or along firewood branch or candle to light up the crackers. Make sure you maintain good distance between you and crackers. In any case, avoid using lighters or matchsticks for burning crackers as they have open flames and can prove dangerous.

3. Buy crackers only from license and reliable crackers seller to ensure full safety. If you plan to burn any new variety of cracker, make sure you read the instruction first written at the back of the packet.

4. When bursting crackers like rockets; avoid facing any open window, door or any open building gate. Remember if rocket zoom in the, it may cause fire accidents.

5. Always remember if crackers takes time to ignite, do not keep in trying to burst them. Move away immediately and throw some water to diffuse them.
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

ARTICLES IN DIFFERENT NEWSPAPERS

kanchan athalye | Thursday, October 28, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips

















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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

GUHAGAR

kanchan athalye | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
Guhagar located at 42 Kms. from Chiplun is a typical Konkani town with a beautiful clean Beach where a lot of people come in the evenings to see the sunset. There is an ancient Shiv temple of Vyadeshwar here, Guhagar is a small place and people who want a quiet peaceful holiday prefer coming to guhagar. There are quiet a few other temples in guhagar like Ufrata Ganpati Mandir to visit.


Guhagar Beach 
Guhagar beach is one of the cleanest and less polluted beaches in Maharashtra. It is located just within 200 metres from Guhagar S.T. Depot. The beach looks pretty safe though there are warnings posted by local villagers. Off late, Chat stalls have started making business on the shore.




Shri Vyadeshwar Temple 
Shri Vyadeshwar is an ancient temple of Shankar and Vyadeshwar. This temple of Lord Shiva is literally a stone's throw away from the S.T. Depot, right in the middle of the bazaar. It is the Kuladaivat of a lot of Kokanastha Chitpavan Brahmins (Surnames like Patwardhan,Godbole, Damle, Oak, Phadke, Apte, Abhyankar, Soman, Bhat, Ranade, Joglekar, Agashe, Kelkar, Deodhar, Pethe).


Velneshwar Temple and Beach
Located at 16 Kms. from Guhagar, Velneshwar has a beautiful beach and an Ancient Shankar Temple. The Temple complex has three four different temples and the secluded beach behind the temple is very beautiful and clean.




Hedvi Ganpati Temple and Beach
Hedvi is a small village located at approximately 27 km along Guhagar-Narvan road, towards south of Guhagar. This small village is yet another popular location around Guhagar that boasts of 2 places worth seeing. Most famous is the temple of Dashabhuja (10 Hands) Ganapati. This temple dates back to age of Peshwas. The idol of lord Ganesha is carved in marble and is supposed to be from Jammu-Kashmir. The temple is recently renovated and is very clean and simple. The second place is around 3 KM away from the temple, by the sea side, called Brahman Ghal (Gorge). On the same sea shore is the temple of Uma Maheshwari. One has to go past this temple to reach the Brahman Ghal. This beautiful natural wonder is a gorge in the black rock patch and is around 20 feet deep, 35 feet long and 1-2 feet wide in dimensions. During the high tide, the sea water gushes in and splashes around and a water column rises to a height of up to 100 feet in the air.


Enron Company Power Plant
The Enron Company plant is located at Veldur near Guhagar, You can see the plant from the outside as the plant is current shut down, the hugeness of the plant will surprise you and it worth seeing it from around, also you can proceed further to Anjanvel from here.



Gopalgad Fort
Anjanwel is a small town near Enron Company Plant at Veldur. Gopalgad Fort at anjanwel is one of the picturesque forts in Konkan. It is a coastal fort, half of which is on a hill and the other half touches the sea. You can drive up to the fort walls, but care should be taken while driving as it has very steep climbs. Roaming through the remnants of the fort is a nostalgic experience which you will definitely like.


Ufarata Ganpati 
This temple of Lord Ganesha is 200 metres away from Bazaar, on the road to Anjanvel/Veldoor. The idol is carved in white stone (marble?) and was found by local fishermen around 300 years back. There is a legend associated with this idol, that's worth taking a note.
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GANAPATIPULE:

kanchan athalye | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
Ganpatipule is situated along the western coast of Maharashtra 375 km south of Mumbai, along the Konkan coast. Ganapatipule is one of the most spectacular beaches along the Konkan coast - an idyllic gateway that attracts peace-seekers, beach lovers, and pilgrims alike. The temple of swayambhu (self-originated) Ganesh is much frequented by thousands every year. The god is considered to be the Paschim Dwardevta (western sentinal god of india), and those who visit Ganapatipule, make it a point to pay their respect to this great deity. Aside from its clean beach and clear waters, Ganapatipule is rich in flora, including mangroves and coconut palms. Here, you can leave the hectic world behind as you laze around on golden sands or explore the many trails that lead from the beach.water sport facility available (except during monsoon).
This is the land of Ganpatipule, one of Maharashtra's almost virgin beaches. It is idyllic. It is famous not only because of its blue water and white sand, but for Swayambhu Ganpati Temple (Swayambhu means a self-originated idol, Ganapati). It is flooded by thousands of devotees and tourists every year. The beach here is still natural and pristine as ever. Sparkling blue waters, endless stretches of golden or silver sand, a cool breeze whispering sweet nothings in your ear. Ganpatipule is a small town. According to local folklore, the Hindu god -Ganpati, taking umbrage by a remark made by a native lady, moved to Pulé (a few km ahead of the town) from his original abode of Gulé. Thus the region was named Ganpati-pulé. 400 years old Ganpati idol at Ganpatipule is said to have sprung up from the soil. This deity faces the West, so as to guard the western gates, unlike deities in other Indian temples who face the east. The temple is at the base of a hill, and pilgrims walk around (pradakshina) the hill as a mark of respect.
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DIWALI IN GOA

kanchan athalye | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
First Day: Dhanatrayodashi
Second Day: Narkachaturdashi
Third Day: Laxmi Pujan
Fourth Day: Gudi Padava, VarshaPratipada / Pratipad Padwa
Fifth Day: Bhaubeej / Bhau-Bij
Related Festival: Tulsi Vivah

Diwali which is the festival of lights, is a one-day festival in Goa. Bhaubija and the New year day are also celebrated as part of Diwali festival. In Goa, huge effigies of Narkasura the demon, are made and burnt at dawn. The night of Diwali is also be jeweled with millions of flickering candles and an explosion of fire works and fire crackers, so it is known as the Festival of Lights. The lamps signify enlightenment or upliftment of the mind and edification of the spirit.

According to legend Narkasur was a Rakshas (demon) who was terrorizing the people. He used to come down to the villages and capture and kill the citizens. Lord Krishna killed him and freed people from his terrorism. Till this time there was no peace because of the people's fear of the Narkasur. With his killing, people were in a celebratory mood. They lit up their houses with 'pontis' and hung 'akash divas' above their houses.

Narak Chaturdasi is called Diwali in Goa. On this day, early morning, a paper made Narkasur (demon) filled with grass, wastepaper, crackers etc is taken out and to the accompaniment of taunts and insults, burnt and cremated. Early on Diwali day after burning the Narkasur the Hindu menfolk will return to their homes to be massaged by their wives / mothers with the same type oil and 'utnem'. The family then visits the local temple and returns to a similar feast of 'foav' sweets.
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KONKAN TRAVEL TIPS

kanchan athalye | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
Here are some Useful Travel Tips for people (Indians as well as Foreigners) visiting Konkan.

The entire Konkan Region is well connected with good roads and now after the Konkan Railway has started, Rail Travel to some places has become convenient. Air connectivity though available, is limited to only a few bigger cities like Ratnagiri. Overall you can be assured that Konkan is a Tourist Friendly place to visit.

Roads:
Maharashtra is one of the leading states of India and the roads are in good condition. This is true even for the smaller roads which crisscross the entire Konkan region. The crime rate in the region is low and the people are friendly to visitors. Most of roads you would travel have good scenic beauty and the traffic is also not very heavy barring the National Highway.

Accommodation:
There are a lot of Good Hotels and Resorts along the entire coast and range from the Luxurious Resorts to Simple one room lodgings, but be sure to make your Accommodation arrangements beforehand if you are traveling with a family. Apart from the Hotels and Resorts many local people lend extra rooms in their houses on rent for a nominal charge. Although it is quiet safe to take up the rooms, It is advisable to check the facilities offered beforehand.




Food:
There are Good Restaurants in the bigger cities but as far as eating out goes, most of the small towns have 'Khanavals' or small basic dining hotels instead of fancy restaurants. By and large, they are clean and you can be assured of a hearty meal at these places.
In most of these places you would get a choice of Reasonably Priced Veg / Chicken / Mutton or Fish Thali instead of separate dishes in their menu. The fiery curries may be a bit too spicy for some people but you will definitely like the taste.
It is advisable to drink Mineral or Bottled water which is easily available even at the smallest towns and villages. The local food is very good but some people may find it spicy and hot.

Dress to wear:
Casual light Cotton clothing is advised due to the Hot and Humid conditions. However Skimpy clothing especially for women is not advisable. be sure to use caps or hats and sunscreen creams/lotions for protection from sun.

General:
The local transport depends mainly on State Transport (ST) Buses, Auto rickshaws and 6 Seater tempos. Some bigger Resorts and Hotels arrange Tourist Vehicles for sightseeing, but it is an advantage if you have your own vehicle for traveling around the place.
Communication is not a problem as all of the tourist places have number of PCO/STD/ISD booths and all the leading Mobile providers network works in most of the places.
Credit cards may not be useful in smaller places and all the transactions are made in cash (Indian Rupees only), So be sure to carry enough cash for your trip.
It is advantageous if you know the local Marathi language as it will help you to befriend the local people who are very helpful by nature.
You do not require any special permissions to travel in Maharashtra, However you may find some Police Check posts near the Coastal areas. Please be sure to have all your papers with you like Passport, Valid Visa, International Driving license (If You are driving) etc. if you are a Foreigner.
Permission is not required to camp on any of the beaches but be sure that you do not create a nuisance to the local people and it is not advisable to stay overnight on a lonely beach if you have female members with you. If you are a big group then it is ok.
Many of the beaches on the coast are dangerous for swimming and proper care should be taken while entering the water. Please pay heed to the locals if they warn of dangerous waters.
We at urge people to be Responsible Tourists, please take care that you do not litter the beaches or harm the environment in any way while exploring it.

Wish you  Happy Konkan Holidays
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DIWALI IN ANDHRA PRADESH

kanchan athalye | Tuesday, October 26, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
First Day: Asweyuja Bahula Thrayodasi, Dhanatrayodashi, Yamadeepdaan
Second Day: Narkachaturdashi, Divvela Panduga / Divili Panduga
Third Day: Kaumudi Mahostavam, Karthigai Deepam
Fourth Day: Bali Padyam / Bali Pratipada
Fifth Day: Divvela panduga/ divili panduga, Yamadwitheya

Andhra Pardesh is one of the oldest state of India and was created by combining the old princely state of Hyderabad with the Telgu-speaking portions of the former state of Madras. Andhra Pradesh has traditional way of celebrating Diwali that is organized and celebrated throughout the state. The festival of light is celebrated in Andhra Pradesh together with other places of the country. It is a festival that revolves around Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. During the festival the whole country explodes into color and noise.

Whereas in the North, Diwali is celebrated in the evening with crackers and diyas, in Andhra Pradesh, the festival starts early in the morning. People of Andhra Pradesh celebrate the Diwali festival by visiting temples and offering poojas. Night skies are filled with fire scintillations and homes are decorated with lamps and joy filled the faces of people as they enjoy fireworks. In Hydrabad, there is a tradition of giving bath to the buffaloes, on the day of Diwali. There is also a custom of decorating paper figures.

Festivities cut across boundaries to move on from small villages to the big towns, for almost a month before Deepawali. Sales of expensive silk saris, jewelery and ornaments, household goods go up. From the poor to the rich, everyone indulges in shopping for the biggest shopping spree of the year. Sweets, which are an integral part of any festival in Andhra Pradesh, are prepared in homes as well as bought from shops for exchange. This festival is full of messages depicting one or more aspects of human life, relationships or ancient traditions.
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Monday, October 25, 2010

PAWAS: - RATNAGIRI

kanchan athalye | Monday, October 25, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
Besides its natural beauty and serenity, Pawas achieved prominence when Swami Swaroopanand (a spiritual leader who influenced an entire generation of Maharashtrians) had made it his abode. The place where he used to reside is now converted into an ashram. A visit there is still like a journey through time. Following the great saint Dnyaneshwari tradition Swami Swaroopanand too tried to spread his teachings in the cannon people. Now due to Swami Swaropanandas work Pawas has become a major place of tourist attraction. He made a new big family of devotees all over Maharashtra by chanting the Mantra 'Om Ram Krishna Hari'. He stayed here for a period of 40 years. Pawas is now one of the important holy places of Konkan. Samadhi of Swami Swaroopanand is there in the Pawas & also temple has been built for his devotees. The special variety of eatables of Konkan like 'Fanaspoli', Ambapoli, Amras & other different Konkani items are available to the tourists at a very reasonable rate. Near Swaroopanandas Samadhi on the Avala tree lord Ganesh Statue has appeared. People definately visit this place & also the house 'Anant Niwas' where Swami Swaroopananda stayed. It is 20 km. from Ratnagiri.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

THIBA PALACE - RATNAGIRI

kanchan athalye | Thursday, October 21, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
One of the major attractions of Ratnagiri city situated on a small hillock. There is also a best sunset point from here. One can have a panoramic view of Someshwar creek, Bhatye bridge to pawas and Arabian sea. This palace was used for keeping the King Thibaw, last king of Burma (now Myanmar) under house arrest. Thibaw ruled the Burma for 6 years.

Burma was partitioned from India in 1935. British took over the Burma kingdom and arrested king Thibaw. To keep him far away from his kingdom i.e. Burma he was kept under house arrest at Ratnagiri. Though the king was under British rule, he was given legal rights and was treated with the state honors. King died at the age of 58 in Ratnagiri. His grand-grand daughter Tity was the last living heir of the king . She got married to a local resident Shankarrao Pawar.

The palace is a beautifully constructed three storied structure with sloping roofs. Semi-circular wooden windows with beautiful curving are the main attraction of this structure. On the first floor one dancing hall with a fully marble tiles floor is in the palace. One Buddha idol is installed at the back side of the palace. This idol was brought to India by king Thibaw. Presently the palace is maintained by archaeological depth. The plans are a foot to convert the palace in to museum and providing tourist accommodation there. Thibaw palace is best situated on a hillock and panoramic view from this point is most enchanting. This is a point worth – visiting for Ratnagiri tourist.
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DIWALI IN MAHARASHTRA

kanchan athalye | Thursday, October 21, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
First Day : Dhanatrayodashi
Second Day: Narak Chatudarshi, or Choti Diwali, Roop Chaturdashi, Kali Choudas
Third Day: Laxmi Pujan, Chopda Pujan
Fourth Day: Diwali cha padva or Balipratipada, Gudi Padva , Varshapratipada/ Pratipad Padva
Fifth Day: Bhaubeej

Diwali celebration in Maharashtra is interestingly different from what is seen in other parts of the country. In a typical Marathi family Diwali celebrations starts with 'Vasu-baras' that comes on tithi 'Ashwin krushna dwadashi' as per Marathi calendar. Vasu-baras is a celebration held in honor of cows - regarded as mother by Hindus. Following the rituals of the day married women perform 'puja' of cows having calf. The tradition symbolizes a woman’s gratitude towards cow for serving them and their children.




DHANATRAYODASHI
is a popular name for Dhanteras in Maharashta. Some also celebrate Dhanvantari Jayanti on this day to honor the great ancient doctor Dhanvantari. On the day of Dhanatrayodashi 'Yama – Deep - Dan' is held wherein mothers and wives make one ‘divas’ each for all living male in the family. The diva, made from the kneaded flour is lit and offered to Lord Yama in the evening. As they perform the ritual womenfolk pray to Lord Yama - the Hindu mythological God of Death that their husbands and sons be blessed with a long life.





NARAK CHATUDARSHI
Chhoti Diwali is popularly known as Narak-Chaturdashi in Maharashtra. On this day people celebrate Narakasur’s death by Lord Krishna. They get up early in the morning and massage their bodies with scented oil. And as a custom they use 'utane' or 'utanah' for bath instead of soap. This special bath is referred to as 'abhyang-snan'. It may be noted that 'Utane' is not the same as uptan. Utane is made of several things having ayurvedic properties like 'chandan' (sandalwood), 'kapoor' (camphor), manjistha, rose, orange skin and haldi (turmeric).

LAXMI PUJAN
Lakshmi-pujan is celebrated on the Diwali evening. Believing that Goddess Lakshmi visits every house in the evening, people perform ‘Lakshmi Puja’. This is essentially a worship of Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesh, money, jewelleries and the broom.
A variety of mouth-watering delicacies including chivda, chakali, shankar-pale, anarse, kadaboli, karanji, shev, chirote etc are prepared to mark the festival. Throughout Diwali, Marathi people hang 'Akash-kandil' / 'Akash-dive' and light up 'panti's outside their houses. Tradition of drawing colourful 'Rangoli's is also followed in Maharashtra as in rest or India.

DIWALICHA PADVA
The third day of Diwali is also celebrated as 'Diwalicha Padva' by many. This is a celebration of togetherness of husband and wife and love shared by them. To mark the occasion wife does 'aukshan' of her husband and husbands present a special gift to their wife.




 

BHAU BEEJ
The last day of Diwali festival is called Bhau Bij. In this sisters do 'aukshan' of their brothers and pray for their long life. Brothers, in their turn bless their sister and pamper them with loads of Bhau-Bij gifts.







TULSI – VIVAH
In Maharashtra, end of Diwali celebrations marks the beginning of Tulsi-Vivah. Under this people organize marriage of sacred tulsi (a basil plant) in their house. In Maharashtra the tradition is that people start organizing marriage ceremonies of their sons/daughters only once Tulsi-vivah starts. Celebration of Diwali ends with Dev-Diwali.
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PURNA TRAVELS: EMRALDS OF KONKAN

kanchan athalye | Thursday, October 21, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
PURNA TRAVELS: EMRALDS OF KONKAN
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PURNA TRAVELS: REGIONAL NAMES OF DIWALI IN INDIA

kanchan athalye | Thursday, October 21, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
PURNA TRAVELS: REGIONAL NAMES OF DIWALI IN INDIA
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PURNA TRAVELS: ABOUT KONKAN

kanchan athalye | Thursday, October 21, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
PURNA TRAVELS: ABOUT KONKAN
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ABOUT KONKAN

kanchan athalye | Thursday, October 21, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips


 Konkan is a coastal strip of land bounded by the Sahyadri hills on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Maharashtra's Konkan coast includes the districts of Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Thane.

The entire coastline of the western state of Maharashtra, starting from the well known towns of Kihim and Alibag in the north to the town of Vengurla in the south where it merges with that of Goa is dotted with golden beaches, picturesque creeks, solitary lighthouses, ancient forts, stunning cliffs and charming fishing hamlets, many of them still remain the way nature sculpted them. This region is best known for its fresh produce, especially Pomfret (a fish), Avocados, and delicious Alphonso mangoes.

This area is relatively undeveloped, a few travellers are already finding their way to the excellent beaches, which fringe the coast. The Konkan railway will definitely increase the amount of travellers who arrive here. They offer what the real traveller is looking for - vast open spaces, undisturbed solitude and the prospect to do something really different.

Culture And People
This region is a relatively prosperous area of the state. The people are literate and well off, living in neat and clean villages. They depend upon fishing for their livelihood and very little agriculture occurs here. However, the southern portion, in and around the town of Ratnagiri, is famous for its Alphonso mangoes.

 Culinary Delights
Konkan cuisine is a homogeneous combination of Malvani, Gaud Saraswat Brahmin, and Goan cuisines. Konkan cuisine has two styles of cooking, Konkan cast Brahmin cuisine, which uses few spices and is more coconut based, and the spicy non-Brahmin version. A little further inland, the Konkan cuisine has peanuts, sesame and coriander as the main spicing agents.

The food has a lot of coconut in it and masalas that have mainly red chillies and coriander. Konkan food uses 'Kokum' (a deep purple berry that has a pleasing sweet and sour taste) and raw mango as souring agents along with tamarind and lime. The Konkan food also has a version of 'Garam' masala called bottle masala, which has about 20-25 ingredients powdered together. Konkan food also plays on textures. Many dishes use coarsely ground masala that you can feel with your tongue to give the food a different feeling.

Most of the chutneys and masalas are being hand ground, as it is believed that machines cannot give the same quality as using the grinding stone. Konkan cuisine also uses a lot of charcoal grilled onions. These onions are either used chopped or ground along with masalas after being grilled. This gives the food a very interesting smoky flavor. Of course, coconut is also liberally used in various forms: raw grated, fried grated, coconut paste and coconut milk.

Fresh tender coconut water is another way to quench your thirst. The white flesh of the coconut, which they scoop out after one has drunk the water, is simply delicious.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

REGIONAL NAMES OF DIWALI IN INDIA

kanchan athalye | Wednesday, October 20, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
The customs of celebrating Diwali, the festival of light vary from region to region. Though the theme of Diwali is universal, ie, the triumph of Good over Evil, the Darkness paving way for Light and Ignorance leading to Knowledge. With warmer days turning into a mild winter, the fun-filled Deepavali, is celebrated for five days from Krishna Chaturdashi to Kaartik Shukla Dwiteeya. Diwali is observed by Hindus, Sikhs & Jains, each community celebrating Diwali for different reasons.

Before Diwali

Days before Diwali, people start decorating their homes, preparing sweets, light up their homes with colorful lights, buy new clothes & Jewelry. But in some Indian regions the rituals of Diwali starts off two days before Danteras, ie the first day of Diwali. Such festival are:

Agyaras: The Patels and the Vaishnavs begin their Diwali celebrations before Dhan Teras, on the 11th day of Ashwin. The day is devoted to preparing the choicest snacks and savories.

Wagh Baras: This day signifies the importance of women in society. Women in the house are worshiped and they buy new clothes and jewellery.

First Day

Throughout India, the first day of Diwali is widely known as Dhanteras. This day is celebrated to revere Dhanavantri, the physician of the gods, and Goddess Laxmi. Dhanteras is also known by various other names such as:

Dhanatrayodashi: Dhantrayodashi a special ritual is accomplished which is called Deepdaan. In it lamps are lit for every individual in the family and ancestors and they are floated in a river or pond.

Yamadeepdaan: In India, the festival of Dhanteras is also known as Yamadeepdaan. This name is associated with Sixteen-year old son of King Hima was doomed to die but the dedication of his young wife made Yam, the God of Death, return back.

Dhan Teyras: On Dhan Teyras, fast is kept and the worship is done by lighting an earthen lamp on the main entrance of the house and offering water, vermilion, rice, jaggery and flowers to Yamaraj.

Asweyuja Bahula Thrayodasi / Dhantheran: In few South Indian States this festival is known as Asweyuja Bahula Thrayodasi or Dhantheran. This day is marked by buying new utensils and silver/gold items.

Second Day

In every Indian household, the second day is celebrated with the lighting of 5-7 deep (Diyas) on the door and corners. It is Diwali on a smaller scale, with fewer lights lit and fewer crackers burst. The various regional names associated with the second day are:

Choti Diwali: Choti Diwali or 'Small Diwali' is Diwali on a smaller scale, with fewer lights lit and fewer crackers burst. This day is known as Choti Diwali in most North Indian States.

Narkachaturdashi: Celebrated in all South Indian states, God Yama is worshiped on this day to get over the fear of demon Narakasura. People make an effigy of Narakasura, and burn it. Later, they take bath and burst crackers.

Roop Chaturdashi: In all north Indian States, the second day of Diwali is also known as Roop Chaturdashi. On this day, Hindus takes a ritual bath and perform Sadhana (Meditation) for gain of beauty and magnetism.

Kali Choudas: The day before Divali is called Kali Chaudas and on this day, a head wash and application of kajal in the eyes is believed to keep away the kali nazar (evil eye).

Mahanisha / Kali Puja: The festival of Diwali is known as Mahanisha in Bengal. It is believed that Maha Kali appeared on this day, accompanied by 64,000 yoginis.

Divvela Panduga / Divili Panduga: Divvela Panduga, also known as Divili Panduga is one of the most significant festival of Andhra Pradesh that include the legend of Narakaasura, decoration of house by rangolis, oil lamps and celebration with fire crakers.

Third Day

Accompanied by the exchange of sweets and the explosion of fireworks, the third day of Diwali as the most important and significant day. The name Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word Deepavali. Other names that vary according to the regions are:

Laxmi Pujan: Diwali is synonymous with laxmi pujan. Houses are decorated, Goddess laxmi is worshiped and the women do "aarti" to their husbands, while praying for his long life.

Chopda Pujan: Diwali also represents the start of a new business year so all businesses close their accounts and present them to Lakshmi and Ganesh during the Chopda Pujan.

Deva Divali: Among Jains, Diwali is known as Deva Divali. It is on this day that Lord Mahavira is worshiped, sacred scriptures are recited and homes and temples are illuminated.

Sukhsuptika: Among the Kashmiri Pandit, the festival of lights is known as Sukhsuptika, which literally means sleep with happiness.

Kaumudi Mahostavam: In some part of Andhra Pradesh the festival of Diwali is known as Kaumudi Mahotsavam.

Badhausar: In Gujarat, Diwali is known as Badhausar. On this day, Lakshmi is believed to visit the homes that are well lit. So, families decorate their houses with light, flowers and paper chains.

Balindra Pooja: Diwali is also known as Balindra Pooja in many South Indian States. In the morning, a pooja offering oil to Krishna is performed.

Karthigai Deepam: On Karthigai Deepam, people clean their houses and draw 'Kolams' (Rangoli) in front of the house and also place some lamps on it.

Thalai Deepavali: The first Diwali of the newly wed in Tamil Nadu is known as Thalai Deepavali.

Sharda Pujan: To augur success, those involved in trade and business do pujan of their new ledgers. This is known as Sharda Pujan.

Bandi Chhor Diwas: Diwali is celebrated as Bandi Chhor Divas by Sikhs throughout India. The story of Divali for the Sikhs is a story of the Sikh struggle for freedom.

Diyari: The festival of Diwali is known as Diyari among the Sindhis. They celebrate this festival by performing puja to Goddess Lakmi.


Fourth Day

The fourth day of Diwali falls on the first day of the lunar New Year. At this time, it is new year for most of the Hindus, while for other on this day old business accounts are settled and new books are opened. The fourth day is known as:

Goverdhan puja: Govardhan Puja is an occasion to worship Lord Krishna and Govardhan Parbat or Mount Govardhan, near Mathura.

Bestavarsh: The fourth day is celebrated as new year and the families celebrate it by dressing in new clothes, wearing jewelery and visiting family members.

Gudi Padava: The association of the New Year termed as Padava or Padavo, with Diwali also substantiates the harvest festival theory.

Varsha Pratipada/ Pratipad Padwa: The Fourth day is also called Varsha Pratipada or Pratipad Padwa that marks the coronation of King Vikramaditya and Vikaram-Samvat was started from this Padwa day.

Annakoot: On the fourth day, Annakoot is celebrated in observance of the episode in Sri Krishna's childhood, in which He gave protection to the cowherd clan of Vrindavan from the wrath of Indra.

Bali Padyam / Bali Pratipada: In Karnataka and other states, the fourth day is celebrated as Bali Paadyami or Bali Pratipada, commemorating the annual visit of demon king Bali to his subjects on Earth.

Muharat Pujan: All business establishments and families perform muharat pujan or veneration of their books.


Fifth Day

The fifth day of Diwali is widely known as Bhai dooj or Bhatri Ditya, and is dedicated to the sacred bond shared between brothers and sisters. It is a big family day and the various regional names of this festival are:

Bhai Phota: In Bengal this event is called 'Bhai Phota'. Two days after Kali puja, 'Bhai Phota' is celebrated. On this day, sisters keep a fast and invite their brothers to be felicitated.

Bhaubeej / Bhav-Bij: The fifth day of Diwali is known as Bhaubeej or Bhav-Bij among the Marathi speaking community.

Bhai-Tika: The last day of Diwali is known as Bhai Tika in Nepal. Also known as brother and sister day, sister pray to Yamraja for her brother's long life and prosperity.

Yamadwitheya / Bhathru Dwithiya: As the legend goes Yamraj, the God of Death visited his sister Yamuna on this particular day. That is why this day of Bhayyaduj is also known by the name of "Yama-Dwitiya" or Bhathru Dwithiya.

Gorehabba: A unique festival celebrated by a remote village of Karnataka, Gorehabba fills joy and enthusiasm in people's life. On this day the villagers start playing with the cow dung and there are also a few interesting rituals that are done.

Bhatri Ditya: A festival in tune with the Diwali celebration, Bhatri Ditya is a special occasion amongst brothers and sisters and is observed as a symbol of love and affection.

Bhathru Dwithiya: Bhathru Dwithiya is a significant Hindu festival that lay utmost importance to the love shared between a brother and his sister. Various rituals and customs are followed while celebrating Bhathru Dwithiya.

Related Festival

Kojagara: Besides Diwali, in some regions a festival called "Kojagara" is also celebrated to propitiate the Goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi.

Labh Pancham: The final festival during the Diwali period is Labh Pancham. It is also known as 'Laakheni Panchmi' and 'Saubhaagya Panchmi.'

Tulsi Vivah: A long awaited festival observed in every Hindu household of Goa, Tulsi Vivah is enthusiastically celebrated with the preparation of special sweet dishes.
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EMRALDS OF KONKAN

kanchan athalye | Wednesday, October 20, 2010 | Best Blogger Tips
Shripad Narayan Pendse (January 5, 1913 - March 24, 2007) was a writer of several Marathi novels. He hailed from Maharashtra, India.His novel Rathachakra received a Sahitya Akademi Award in 1963.His novel Garambacha Bapu was translated in 1969 into English with the title Wild Bapu of Garambi as a part of the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works, which had been organized with Sahitya Akademi collaboration.Haddapar and Tumbadche Khot are Pendse's other two popular novels.


Sir Chintaman Dwarakanath Deshmukh, (14 January 1896 - October 2, 1982), better known as C. D. Deshmukh, was the first Indian to be appointed as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India in 1943 by the British Raj authorities. He subsequently served as the Finance Minister in the Union Cabinet (1950 -1956).Deshmukh received his education at Jesus College, Cambridge, England in the field of Natural Sciences. He was married to freedom fighter and activist, Durgabai Deshmukh.




Sir Raghunath Purushottam Paranjpe (16 February 1876 – 6 May 1966) was the first Indian to achieve the coveted title of Senior Wrangler at the University of Cambridge, and became a university administrator and Indian ambassador.


Mangesh Keshav Padgaonkar  A Marathi poet from Maharashtra, India.He was born on March 10, 1929 in Vengurla, Sindhudurg District in Maharashtra. He received a Master of Arts degree in Marathi and Sanskrit from the University of Bombay, He taught Marathi at Ruia College for some years, and then during the 1970 -1990 period served as an editor at the U.S. Information Service, both in Mumbai.Padgaonkar has forty publications to his credit. The U.S. Library of Congress has acquired thirty-one of his publications.Padgaonkar has received several awards including the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1980 for his collection of poems Salam, the M.P. Literary Conference Award in 1956, and the Maharashtra State Award in 1953 &1955.


Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (14 April 1891 — 6 December 1956), also known as Babasaheb, was an Indian nationalist, jurist, Dalit, political leader, activist, philosopher, thinker, anthropologist, historian, orator, prolific writer, economist, scholar, editor, revolutionary and the revivalist of Buddhism in India. He was also the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. Born into a poor Untouchable family, Ambedkar spent his whole life fighting against social discrimination, the system of Chaturvarna — the Hindu categorization of human society into four varnas — and the Indian caste system. He is also credited with having sparked the Dalit Buddhist movement. Ambedkar has been honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award.
Overcoming numerous social and financial obstacles, Ambedkar became one of the first "untouchables" to obtain a college education in India. Eventually earning law degrees and multiple doctorates for his study and research in law, economics and political science from Columbia University and the London School of Economics, Ambedkar returned home a famous scholar and practiced law for a few years before publishing journals advocating political rights and social freedom for India's untouchables. He has been given the degree of Bodhisattva by Indian Buddhist Bhikkues.


Maharshi Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve (April 18, 1858 - November 9, 1962) was a preeminent social reformer of his time in India in the field of women's welfare.
Karve was one of the pioneers of promoting women's education and the right for widows to remarry in India. The Government of India recognized his reform work by awarding him its highest civilian award, Bhārat Ratna, in 1958 (Incidentally his centennial year).
The appellation Maharshi, which the Indian public often assigned to Karve, means ”a great sage”. Those who knew Karve affectionately called him as Annā Karve. (In Marāthi-speaking community, to which Karve belonged, the appellation Annā is often used to address either one's father or an elder brother.)


Gopal Krishna Gokhale (May 9, 1866 - February 19, 1915) was one of the founding social and political leaders during the Indian Independence Movement against the British Empire in India. Gokhale was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and founder of the Servants of India Society. Through the Society as well as the Congress and other legislative bodies he served in, Gokhale promoted not only or even primarily independence from the British Empire but also social reform. To achieve his goals, Gokhale followed two overarching principles: avoidance of violence and reform within existing government institutions.



Dr. Pandurang Vaman Kane (1880-1972) was a notable Indologist and Sanskrit scholar. He was born in a conservative Chitpavan Brahmin family in the Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra, India. Eminent Historian Professor R.S. Sharma writes of him in the following words: "Pandurang Vaman Kane, a great Sanskritist wedded to social reform, continued the earlier tradition of scholarship. His monumental work entitled the "History of the Dharmasastra", published in five volumes in the twentieth century, is an encyclopedia of ancient social laws and customs. This enables us to study the social processes in ancient India.


Kanhoji Angre (? – June 4, 1729) was the first notable chief of the Maratha Navy in 18th century India. He fought successfully all his life against the British, Dutch and Portuguese naval interests in the Indian Ocean during the eighteenth century, and hence was alleged by them to be a pirate. Similar work was carried out against the colonial powers by the Kunjali Marakkars in the sixteenth century. Despite the attempts of the British and Portuguese to subdue Angre, he remained undefeated until his death.


Bal Gangadhar Tilak 23 July 1856–1 August 1920 (aged 64), was an Indian nationalist, teacher, social reformer and independence fighter who was the first popular leader of the Indian Independence Movement. The British colonial authorities derogatorily called him the "Father of the Indian unrest". He was also conferred upon the honorary title of "Lokmanya", which literally means "Accepted by the people (as their leader)". Tilak was one of the first and strongest advocates of "Swaraj" (self-rule) in Indian consciousness. His famous quote, "Swaraj is my birthright, and I shall have it !" is well-remembered in India even today.







Govind Vinayak Karandikar (born August 23, 1918), better known as Vindā Karandikar, is a well-known Marathi writer. In 2003, he was presented with the Jnanpith Award, which is India's one of the most prestigious literary awards. He has also received for his literary work some other awards, including Keshavasut Prize, Soviet Land Nehru Literary Award, Kabir Samman, and India's highest literary award, for lifetime achievement, the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 1996 Besides having been a prominent Marathi poet, Karandikar has contributed to Marathi literature as an essayist, a critic, and a translator.
Experimentation has been a feature of Karandikar's Marathi poems. He has written some poetry in English, this poetry having been published as "Vinda Poems" (1975).
Karandikar translated Aristotle's Poetics into Marathi, and some of his own Marathi poems into English. He wrote modern versions of some old Marathi literature, including Dnyaneshwari and Amrutānubhawa.
Karandikar's writings include Shwetagangā (1949), Mrudgandha (1954), Dhrupad (1959), Jātak, and Vrupika. He poems for children include Rānichā Bāg, Sashyāche Kān, and Pari Ga Pari".
Karandikar is the third Marathi writer to have won the Jnanpith award, after Vishnu Sakharam Khandekar (1974) and Vishnü Vāman Shirwādkar (Kusumagraj) (1987).


Vinayak Narahari Bhave (September 11, 1885 - November 15 1982) often called Acharya (In Sanskrit means teacher), was an Indian advocate of Nonviolence and human rights. He is considered as a National Teacher of India and the spiritual successor of Mahatma Gandhi.
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