Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Why Festivals In India Are Celebrated?

Festivals in India are the special occasions where the country adorns the celebrations. Socially, the whole nation becomes active in festivities. This is the main reason why festivals in India are celebrated in a community. During such occasions, the families organize get together, exchange gifts and greetings, participate in mass celebrations and even visit the special fairs. All this is done to keep the festive spirit alive in modern times.
Another facet to festivities in the country is that it binds together the community to celebrate their common culture. There are festivals for anything and everything in India. Due to the presence of different religions, faiths, ideas, ideals and culture, the country celebrates diversity. It is even said that one or the other part of the country celebrates the festival 365 days a year. Now, that’s exciting. There are religious festivals, cultural festivals and tourism festivals that are organized to upkeep the traditions, values and heritage of the region.
Religious festivals are celebrated as a part of belief. They are organized to honour gods, goddesses, spiritual personalities and events related to the journey of a religion. In India, there are primarily seven religions followed - Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism and Judaism. The festivals related to these religions are celebrated in the country with great fervour and excitement. It can even be said that faith brings out festive side of India. People perform donations and celebrate the festival on a large scale, just to make sure the religious festivals are organized in the best possible way. 
Cultural festivals in India are organized to provide a platform to the diverse art, music and dance forms of the country. They are specially organized to upkeep the artistic traditions of the past and popularize them for present and future. Many cities in India are active in special cultural events based on different forms of music, folk forms, classical and contemporary dance forms. Famous festivals among such a category include Khajuraho Dance festival, Konark Dance Festival, Elephanta Festival etc.
Tourist festivals in the country are organized to celebrate the heritage of the land for tourism purpose. These annual celebrations bring out the best in a destination and invite maximum tourists, both within the country and foreigners. These special festivals culminate the essence of the location and give the locals another reason to celebrate their age old heritage in the most promising way.  For tourists, such festivals are a focal point where they can enjoy their ‘India’ experience in the most authentic way. For this purpose, they specially participate in the fairs and festivals of India, organized to display the rich, vibrant and colourful side of the country. Some of the most visited festivals in India are Pushkar Fair, Desert Festival of Jaisalmer, Goa Carnival Festival.

It is best suggested for tourists to Go for India during festivals for the maximum cultural experience in the country. 

Friday, 21 February 2014

Chennai - Another Popular French Getaway

The gateway of South India, Chennai is also a prominent getaway for French tourists. Reason beyond this is its inclination towards artistic traditions and cultural heritage. Due to its Dravidian roots, the city is uniquely famous for its inherent inclination towards traditional music, dance, architecture and all other art forms. All this and much more fascinate a French traveller. When he comes to Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, he is served with loads of cultural experiences to remember for a lifetime.
At first sight, the city comes across as friendly to its tourists. Refined in every sense, this city based on a rich fusion of monumental heritage ranging from ancient era to modern history presents its best-kept secrets through sightseeing. Up close to Chennai, tourists can visit the twin towns of Mamallapuram and Kanchipuram in order to understand the Dravida heritage of Tamil Nadu.
Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram, located on Coromandel Coast, was carved out during the Pallava dynasty rule. It was from here that the dynasty conducted overseas trade of spices to the islands of Java, Sumatra and Cambodia. The frequent usage of this passage led the rulers establish their might in the form of rock cuts and sculptures in the sand. There are stone temples, rock cut bas reliefs, mandapas or pavilions and rathas or temple chariots that narrate the glory of Mahabalipuram. Out of all, the Shore Temple stands tall. Perched upon a rocky outcrop, shore temple presides over the seashore as a landmark attraction by day.
Nearby Mamallapuram is Kanchipuram, a treasure trove of Hindu temples and art from the Pallava, Chola and Pandyan dynasties. But amongst tourist circle, the destination is known more for its colourfully luxurious silk sarees with enigmatic gold weaving. In fact, the saree fabrics here are patented and in no other destination, one can find the emblematic Kanchipuram Sarees.
This is just a beginning of experiencing the cultural side of Chennai. We will be focusing on Kalakshetram in Chennai to have more expressive understanding of cultural roots in Chennai.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Reasons Why Tourists Go For India VI - Dance

India has always cherished its age old connect with the art of dance. The country’s fondness towards the graceful dance forms is a part of Indian culture. Like other cultural attractions, dance is also varied discipline in the country. Different regions have different regional dance forms. With its many forms, the cultural dance performances have been seen as modes of worship, devotion and a joyous celebration of life. Based on 4th century ancient treatise, Natyashastra, these dance forms originated as a form of worship in the temples. Basically, these forms present a wide range of hand gestures, facial expressions and body postures in a lyrical way to project or narrate mythological stories.
As a means of entertainment, these dance forms acquired a more secular character and received a royal patronage. This development proved favourable for growth and popularity of dance forms to the public at large. Presently, the cultural heritage of dance performances in India is present in different cities of the country where many cultural dance forms are staged and presented to the people as well as tourists.
Currently, the dance of India can be divided into two parts – Classical and Folk. Classical dance is based on well-defined traditional disciplines and includes the following:
Bharata Natyam from Tamil Nadu has elegant eye and hand movements called as mudras. The performer’s chiseled stance and posture too elaborate the dance presentation.
Kathakali from Kerala is a spectacular dance drama narrating the mythological stories through detailed gestures, elaborate make up & costumes along with well defined body movements. This is an immensely popular attraction of Kerala tour. In fact, every evening, the dance drama is staged in Cultural Center, Kochi to keep its traditions alive.
Kathak from Uttar Pradesh was a favourite dance at the royal courts of North India in the past. It was also a popular art form with the Mughals. Still it is followed by many classical dancers with the same zeal and dedication.
Manipuri, which has a delicate, lyrical flavour, hails from Manipur. The dancers performing this dance form enact the legend of Radha and Krishna.  Kuchipudi from Andhra Pradesh is a 17th-century dance-drama that centres on the envious wife of Lord Krishna.
Odissi, claimed to be India’s oldest classical dance form, was originally a temple art, and was later also performed at royal courts.
In addition to the formal arts of dance, Indian regions have a strong free form, folksy dance tradition. These high spirited dance forms feature Bhangra of Punjab; Bihu of Assam; the Zeliang of Nagaland; the Chhau of Jharkhand; the Qauwwalis, Birhas and Charkulas of Uttar Pradesh; Ghoomar of Rajasthan; Dandiya and Garba of Gujarat; the Yakshagana of Karnataka ; Lavani of Maharashtra; Dekhnni of Goa; Karakattam, Oyilattam, and Mayilattam of Tamil Nadu.

The dances of India present a rich, varied, vibrant and exotic side of the country to the tourists. Deeply etched in the past, these art forms present the rich and continuing legacy of dance disciplines in the most authentic way. Want a dance performance tour, go for India and experience the India culture in the most vibrant form. 

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Reasons Why Tourists Go For India V – Craft

India is an evergreen attraction for art lovers from the world over. There is reason behind this. No other country is accredited in the world for producing such a fantastic and large variety of colourful arts and crafts. Every Indian state is accredited for its unique and fascinating contribution to the country’s range and variety of handicrafts. Intensely colourful, delicately worked, exquisitely ornate and highly evolved, the handicraft industry of India is equally important for a tourist to India. They also make good souvenirs to take back hope after a shopping tour.
Crafts are not just a means of earning and livelihood for craftsmen here. These handicrafts are also a proud and creative expression of each community's distinct culture and identity. Their dedicated approach towards each handcrafted objects gives a new artistic meaning to the utilitarian subjects like quilts, table-tops, pottery, textiles, fabrics, etc.
Every part of India has its specialties. In fact, the destinations enjoy another identity of being a sourcing point for finest handicrafts and textiles. Like Brocade Silk Sarees are equivalent to Varanasi, Blue Pottery is associated with Jaipur, Bidriware to Golconda, Thangkas to Sikkim, Pietra Dura art of Agra, Shawls and Carpets of Kashmir, etc. Similarly, every destination journey is incomplete without observing and even purchasing such souvenirs. These ethnic sourcings beautified with Indian artistry and finest craftsmanship lure traveller’s mind to a point that makes them hard to resist. This is the main reason why these ethnic handicrafts are preferred by tourists during shopping in India.
Metalwork in brass and copperware are also an important art souvenir to be taken back home. It can be finely worked into trays, ashtrays, cups, plates and bowls. In Rajasthan, Meenakari is the technique used to colour the antique wares and jewellery with intricate enamel work. In Karnataka, the preferred antiques by tourists feature Bidri work based on inlaying technique upon a gunmetal alloy with fine designs in brass or silver. This gunmetal is later then blackened with sal ammoniac, to leave the inlay work shining.
Carpets are yet another tourist favoured handicrafts in the country. In fact, there is no match to a Kashmiri rug. A pukka Kashmiri carpet is made completely of wool with a little silk for a desired sheen. Woven carpets or durries from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh are also considered a valued purchase.
Who can forget the touristic love for vibrant and exotic Sarees from India. Every tourist appreciative of Indian culture prefers to buy at least one of a kind piece of work back home. Same fascination can be observed with paintings of various kinds i.e. from Rajasthan, Kerala, Tanjore, Delhi, Bihar’s Madhubani etc are also purchased by art enthusiasts.

Such is the colourful world of arts and crafts in India that mesmerizes the world. You can also know and appreciate arts and crafts via go for India.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Reasons Why Tourists Go For India IV – Shopping

It must be essential to note that many tourists come to India just for shopping. An adventure of a vibrant kind, shopping is a great attraction in the country. But this trend is not just catching up recently. India was a shopper’s paradise then and now as well. Many historic travellers like Vasco Da Gama came to India after listening to the exotic tales of sourcing the finest silks, spices and carpets. Since then, numerous dynasties, foreign travellers came up to this country for obtaining its finest souvenirs.
In India, shopping takes up an irresistible urge, which cannot go unnoticed. There is so much in the country in terms of bustling bazaars, emporiums, well planned markets and even malls that add on to the shopping attractions of the country. During the shopping tour, a visitor can purchase the vast number of colourful arts, crafts, antiques, knick-knacks, fabrics, carpets, and much more add up to the list of shopping subjects. All these products offer a treat for the onlooker where the buyers can enjoy the shopping walks into markets and shopping hubs.
There are many tourist destinations famous for their specialties in shopping. Kashmir is renowned for its pure woolen Pashmina shawls, carpets and other woolen products. In terms of spices, the region is famous for saffron, Black cumin seeds, Kashmiri chillies and honey.
Jaipur in Rajasthan is known for blue pottery, bed linen, furnishings, durries, embroidered fabrics, vibrant footwear, stone carving, bangles, wooden toys, blankets. Agra is renowned for Pietra Dura inlay decoratives including the replicas of Taj Mahal, coasters, and the luxurious souvenirs from the city can vary even to the dining tables. Other shopping attractions of Agra include leather works including shoes, bags, belts and more; rugs and carpets. 
In Varanasi, travellers can source the bright and beautiful Banarasi Sarees produced by local craftsmen of Benaras. They utilize the weaving traditions on finest silks to produce the rich and royal sarees. Brass ware, ivory ware, glass bangles, copper ware, wood and clay toys and exquisite gold jewelry of Varanasi are also famous. Mysore, another hospitable destination is equally famous for its silks and other handicrafts made of sandalwood, rosewood and teakwood.
In Delhi, the visitors can shop from a variety of shops and source the variety of items including carpets, silks, jewellery, leather and silver ware, handicrafts and hand printed cotton. In Kerala, tourists can source numerous souvenirs ranging from Aranmula Kannadi - a lavish hand mirror, Netturpetti – ethnic jewel box, spice boxes, wood carvings, snake boat and Kettuvallam models, etc.

In all, India is a prominent shopping destination with numerous shopping attractions to look out for a lifetime. A shopping tour through the bylanes of the city or into its sophisticated emporiums brings out the best of the shopping destination called India. 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Reasons Why Tourists Go For India III – Rituals and Traditions

Rituals are the roots of India. Its significance is essential as existence of humankind in the country. The day here begins with a ritual and ends with the same. They add structure and balance to our life. And in the country as large as India, the rituals are more vivid, colourful and diverse. Followed with a lot of devotion and enthusiasm, these rituals form the traditional wealth of the country’s most illustrated experiences. In fact, many tourists who wish to visit India envision themselves to be the part of India’s celebrated rituals. This denotes the complete experience of travellers in the country.
The first ritual experienced by the hearty travellers is definitely the welcome in the colourful country. Following the philosophy of Atithi Devo Bhavah, this welcoming ritual includes receiving the guests and offers them great respects of visiting India. This includes applying Tika on the forehead of the tourists, offering them garlands followed by Aarti. This custom extends India’s heartfelt welcome and sets the effective tone for the impressive India tour.
This kind of divine experience follows travellers at every turn in India, where they are welcomed by every household in any destination with the same fervour and excitement. With great simplicity, care and affection, the guests’ curiosities regarding the complex rituals and traditions are also met by many Indian families.
Also, the guests are involved in the festive celebrations, so that they can have a rich and personalized experience of ritualistic and traditional side of the country. Enjoyed with a lot of enthusiasm, these rituals present the country at its most exciting best. This is also the main reason why travellers prefer to go for India during the festive times and it gets more difficult to block the slot during the days set for celebrations.

Beyond the rituals and traditions, these festivals follow the rituals that have been passed on from generations to generations, and have become a part of country’s living heritage. Though the times have changed, still it has caused no change to the way these festivals are celebrated. Such is the importance of rituals and traditions that have withstood the passing times and offer a rich and enchanting glimpse of India’s living heritage. Many travellers go for India for its wealth of traditions and rituals. 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Reasons Why Tourists Go For India II – Culture

Culture is referred as the way of life in India. Remarkably known for its cultural diversity, this country is a home to several ethnic groups, each having their own language and culture. The diverse history of the country, woven together in a tapestry presents the foundation of world’s major religions of Buddhism, Hinduism and the spread of Islam and Christianity. But wait, this is just the hook to the country’s rich cultural diversity. There is more to the culture of India than just the religions. The elaborate rituals, traditions, festivals, music, food, dance, architecture also comprise in the great cultural wealth of the country. It is ingrained in the culture of the country to present the unique hospitable aspect to the visitor from different parts of the world.
This hospitable side binds the country together under the belief of Atithi Devo Bhavah under which every guest is greeted at par with God and respected as a family member in terms of cordial hospitality, food and comforts. Everywhere in the country, a traveller will surely experience this commonness. Any household you visit, any hotel you stay, any sightseeing you do; every Indian will make sure you receive the best of hospitality in the country. Subdued in this common belief, rests the foundation of culture based on architecture, languages, religions, dances and cuisines.
Besides the awe-inspiring hospitality, it’s the ancient cultural heritage that bridges the ethnic diversity and brings the country on the single platform. It is the country’s inclinations towards the classical music and dance. Depicting the social-religious life, music in India is essentially melodic. There are two prominent bastions of classical music, first is Hindustani Music prevalent in north and Carnatic Music in south.
Like other aspects of Indian culture, dance also has different interpretations and there are eight distinctive classical dance forms in the country that belong to different states. They are Kathak (UP), Kathakali and Mohiniattam (Kerala), Odissi (Odisha), Bharatnatyam (Tamil Nadu), Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh), Manipuri (Manipur) and Sattriya (Assam). But together, these dance forms through gestures and postures present the rich and elaborative side of the country’s culture.
Food is another specimen of rich Indian culture. Seasoned with spices or Masalas, these curries, flatbreads, biryanis, and other colloquial cuisines present the rich side of India’s culinary wealth.
Festivals in India are loud and colourful affairs, pulling in every one in the grandeur of the celebrations. There are festivals dedicated to regions and religions that are celebrated with great pomp and splendour. For Indian festivals, it is often said that the festive time runs in the country throughout the year. This quote itself reiterates the importance of festive times in the eternal culture of the country. Also, these festivals invite tourists from different parts of the world to participate and enjoy being the part of Indian festivities.
Architecture of India also echoes the age old resilience of the country that constantly absorbed new ideas. This openness to new ideas has brought to the country the scintillating collection of ancient ruins, sculpted temples, caves, stupas, mosques, forts, palaces and a lot more in its rich architecture.

This diversified culture also forms one major reason why tourists Go for India. The unique unity in diversity of the country’s civilization can be experienced during the cultural tours of the country.