Kodaikanal : A honeymooners’ heaven!

Imagine spending some relaxed moments amidst mesmerising sceneries.Think of being caressed by cool refreshing breeze as you take a walk across beautiful landscape. Isn’t all this creates a perfect picture of summer retreat? And a romantic one too!

Kodaikanal is the place that offers every couple with an exceptional romantic as well as a soothing environment. Unlike other hill stations, this “Princess of Hill stations” is less crowded and presents enough seclusion for couples to spend some quality time in each other’s company.

On one hand, the serenity of Kodai Lake let couples enjoy some refreshing moments as they watch sunset on a relaxed Shikara ride while on the other hand, adventurous trekking routes present them with some thrilling moments. Kodaikanal, with its wide range of options, is a hill station that suits all kinds of couples and honeymooners.

From temples to museums to caves to waterfalls to parks to lakes to trekking routes to adventure sports to viewpoints to dense pine forest, you can wish for anything. And Kodaikanal might just offer you that!

With a literal meaning of “The Gift of Forest”, Kodaikanal in actual terms presents a naturally rich setting where one can interact with the most refreshing form of nature.

Once in Kodaikanal, there are few things which no couples should miss. Watching the silver stream of water flowing down to the earth and just hearing the sound of excited water drops touching rocks below. The activity is exciting and soothingly romantic at the same time.

Having a walk with your loved one across Coakers Walk is also must. Go for cycling early in morning and enjoy the natural charm of the place. A ride on the Shikara at Kodai Lake is also quite romantic. The view of the valley from Suicide Point is also worth watching.

With a temperature that varies from 11°C to 20°C during Summer, Kodaikanal presents a cosy romantic environment for all the couples. If planning for a trip, try visiting the hill station is from April to June and September to October. Homemade chocolates, marshmallows and cheese made by locals here are few of the things which must have some place in your bags back home.

There are umpteen number of accommodation options as well for couples to choose from, offering specific services to honeymooners.

Ayurveda: The ultimate natural rejuvenator!

We all need a break from the chaos of day to day lives. Isn’t it? Something which can rejuvenate us for daily hustle bustle. A relaxing ayurvedic massage can be the right choice which is not just therapeutic but also presents natural way of rejuvenating.

Ayurvedic therapies are gaining more and more popularity because of their effective as well as natural way of the treatments. Imagine yourself having a relaxing massage or herbal treatment in a soothing environment. Ayurveda has much more than just this. So what actually is Ayurveda? Lets have a look at it.

Ayurveda is one of the oldest system of medicine. Its roots can be traced back from Vedic period of India. Ayurvedic physicians or Vaidyas have constantly been mentioned in various historical context. And the intricacies and the effectivity of their ways is not unknown to many.

Ayurveda can be categorised in eight specific branches of medicine. Atreya, the school of physicians, and Dhanvantari which is the school of surgeons are two main schools of Ayurveda which depicts the scientific soundness of the method and detail in which each aspect has been dealt with. This in turn helps in having a detailed approach to various health issues.

Giving a complete and authentic view of the system of Ayurveda are the Vedas. The Rig Veda presents you with verses offering detailed picture of diseases, their nature, principle of treatment and herbal methods to treat them and eventually healing of mind, body and soul.

Atharva Veda present you with eight divisions of Ayurveda namely, Internal Medicine, Surgery of Head and Neck,Opthalmology and Otorinolaryngology, Toxicology, Psychiatry, Paediatrics, Gerontology (Science of Rejuvenation) and Science of Fertility.

While Charaka Samhita provide you with detailed view on moral and holistic method of treatment. Another important text of Ayurveda, Sushrutha Samhita deals with the method of surgery in detail. And the text, Samhitas of Vagbhata presents a overview of all the aspect of life, issues related and their treatment.

The system of Ayurveda is something that rejuvenates us without having us to worry about any side effects. In today lifestyle, where we are all are in a way forced to live amidst concrete jungles and pollution of cities, a natural retreat becomes a necessity. Ayurvedic massages, therapies and treatment are offering a relaxing experience.

When it comes to Ayurveda, the state of Kerala is exceptionally popular for its several ayurvedic centres offering high quality and efficient services. However, there are many institutions and centres all over the country presenting a treat for mind, body and soul.

SOUKYA Holistic Health & Ayurveda Treatment Centre in Bangalore is one such example. Others being Athreya Ayurvedic Resort, Kerala Ayurvedic Health Care, Kairali Ayurvedic Treatment & Health Spa, Patanjali Chikitsalya and many more.

Green Acres: Ecotourism Stay near Hyderabad

Green Acres is an organic farm cum camping site which present nature lovers an opportunity to experience nature in a eco-friendly ways. Founded in the year of 2008, Green Acres is one of the amazing examples of eco destinations around Hyderabad, the capital city of Telangana.

With growing environmental awareness, ecotourism is gaining more and more popularity amongst travellers. We at Holidays DNA bring in Green Acres for fellow travellers to spend some days in nature- friendly way.

Located at a distance of 65 kms from Hyderabad near Bhongir, Green Acres present each and everyone with some memorable moments amidst best of natural settings. The farm was started with the intention of promoting healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

This organic farm has been transformed into green acres of land out of a barren piece of land. This has been done through Agroforestry and Permaculture. With various kinds of fruit bearing trees, the farm is now seeing return of various native wildlife.

The farm Green Acres believes in the principle of 3Ps which are People, Planet and Profit. Also with the principle of 3 Rs namely Reduce, Reuse and Recycle by its side, Green Acres use eco-friendly methods, waste management and renewable/alternative energy sources. At the farm, visitors are also encouraged to repair, renew and repurpose the existing things so as to reduce the burden on earth.

There are many activities one can do at Green Acres. Along with camping, bonfires at night, some of the eco-friendly activities offered are rock climbing, nature walks, badminton, bird watching, butterfly watching, star -gazing, farm tour and field work and many more.

There are various kinds of tents offered at the Green Acres so as to accommodate visitors. Campers can choose any of the tents based on the numbers of people and their specific requirements.

The tent are with detachable rainflies and windows with flaps which allows stargazing and keep flies and insects away. At the Green Acres, you will be offered with a palate delight too. Simple yet extremely delicious meal prepared out of vegetables and crops grown organically at the farm.

Although one can go camping any time of the year, the best time to plan your eco- tour to Green Acres is during the month of September to March. Reaching the farm is also not a difficult task as it is well connected to the road and is quite close to the Hyderabad city.

While at the farm, one can also go visiting other tourist spots such as Bhongir Fort, Yadagirigutta, Surendrapuri and Kolanpak which is a 2500 year old Jain temple.

What to Shop in India?

India is one of the best shopping destinations of the world. What makes India unique from other destination is the wide variety of the options catering to all kinds of tourists and their differing tastes and interests.

Markets are in almost all the nick and corner of India, selling much more than food and groceries. All the places of the country have something unique to take home representing the culture or tradition of that particular land. India is nothing less than a paradise for shopping lovers.

What to shop in Kashmir?

One of the best creations of nature Kashmir is not just for sightseeing and relaxation but also for one of the most important destinations for shopping in India.

Kashmiri Handicrafts attracts hordes of tourists every year because of their high quality and excellence of work which is equally attractive and beautiful. For instance, Pashmina and Shahtoosh shawls are something which are worth-buying and taking your home.

Other handicrafts such as carpets, woodcrafts, pherans, papier-mache items, shawls, silk and tweeds, brass, copper and silverware, wall hangings with naqqashi work, saris, cricket bats, wicker baskets, etc. will also captivate you for sure.

Tourists can buy all attractive and intricately created handicrafts from the various private and government emporiums. If you are particularly looking for Walnut Wood Carved Articles, Paper Mache, and Kashmiri Handicrafts, Lal Chowk, Badshah Chowk in Srinagar are quite good for the same.

For traditional Dongra Jewelry, one can go to Vir Marg, Raghunath Bazaar and Hari Market in Jammu. Jammu & Kashmir Arts Emporium can be visited in you are interested in buying Pashmina Shawls, Shahtoosh Shawls and Carpets.

What to shop in Jaipur?

Rightly called crafts capital of India, Jaipur presents amazing shopping opportunities especially with folk art, gems and jewellery.

One of the famous spot for shopping is the Jauhari Bazaar where you can find tie-and-dye fabrics along with beautiful saris as well as handcrafted jewellery. In you want you can also buy loose precious and semi-precious stones from here.

For handmade paper and blue pottery, visit the village of Sanganer. If you have enough space, Jaipuri quilts in bright colours and dye make for an interesting buy. Being the largest gem-cutting center in the world, Jaipur is a good place to buy few garnets, amethysts, or quartz.

What to shop in Delhi?

A one stop for all kinds of shopping, Delhi is a major shopping hub of India. The city has wide range of markets presenting varied kinds of shopping opportunities. For handicrafts, paintings and ethnic clothes and an overall wonderful shopping experience Dilli Haat is the place for you.

For creations in women’s wear, jewellery, ceramics, rugs, furniture, and other small items, one can visit Santushti complex. For indian handicrafts you can visit Central Cottage Industries Emporium and Pragati Maidan.

For traditional Indian wear, gift items in terracotta, and antiques in metal and ceramic ware, tourists can pay a visit to the Hauz Khas Village and take home some exquisite souvenirs from India.

Meena Bazar & Chandni Chowk also make for an interesting visit along with good shopping experience. Lajpat Nagar, Khan Market, Shankar Market and Palika Bazaar are good for day to day garments and others basic stuff but require some amount of bargaining skills.

What to shop in Tamil Nadu?

Looking for some ethnic Indian cotton saris and silk saris? If yes, the state of Tamil Nadu is the perfect place for you. Not just these, in Chennai tourists can buy amazing, bronze sculptures, rosewood inlay work with ivory or famous Thanjavur paintings as well.

Kanjivaram silks are something which makes for an amazing keep. For cane mats, wood elephants, and other kinds of woodcarvings, one can visit Poompuhar. Other places good for shopping are Mount Road and Mahabalipuram. Miniatures and mythological images in brass and copperware are also found in the state of Tamil Nadu and are worth buying.

Some of other the places to shop in Chennai are Kairali, Purbashree Emporium, Central Cottage Industry, Grand Sweets & Snacks, Pushpa Shoppe, Sharaz, Sarala’s, Firdusi, Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers, Prince Jewellers, Nalli Chinnasami Chetty, Rasi Silk Emporium, Kumaran Silks,etc.

What to shop in Kolkata?

Kolkata is also quite popular as a shopping destination. Wide range of products including from leather goods, plastic toys, ethnic jewellery, garments, fabric, confectionery, clothing, poultry products, meat, flowers, etc. can be found here.

For wooden furniture and musical instruments, one can visit Bowbazar. And if you are not high on money and want some reasonable buying, you can visit Chandni Market.

For authentic and traditional buy such as handlooms, textiles, handicrafts, cosmetic jewellery, etc. it is better to visit Government emporiums. Most of these emporiums are located in Dakshinapan Market.

Some popular shopping spots in Kolkata are Central cottage industries emporium at Chowringhee, Shreeram arcade, Shops on the arcade near Oberoi Grand, Treasure island, etc. and if you are ready to try your bargaining skills, try visiting places such as New Market, AC Market, College Street and Dakshinapan Shopping Complex.

Apart from these places, one can also go to to Lucknow and Moradabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh for shopping of gold and silver jewellery and metal ornamentation. For wooden handicrafts the state of Karnataka is quite popular.

The city of Mysore in Karnataka is especially known for sandalwood handicrafts. For stone and marble work, states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan are quite famous.

Buying a Madhubani painting of Bihar or Folk and Phad painting of Rajasthan or Cane and Moonj artifacts of North-East states can be one of the best decisions of your life!

Indian People (Culture, Weddings & Clothing)

India is a land of diversity and colours. The people of India and their lifestyle are as diverse as the geography of the country and its varied religions and traditions. Indian way of living presents a beautiful amalgamation of diversity, complexity and simplicity.

It is an experience in itself to notice the how the rich history, culture and traditions vary with change in location and in turn resulting in different kinds of people and their lifestyle.

This constitutes distinctive mannerisms, different habits and cuisines. The lifestyle here in India presents amazing mixture of age old traditions and practices with development and modern world beliefs and living patterns.

The country has emerged as one of rapidly growing countries in just economic sector but other field as well. In spite of this, the people in India still follow their traditions and practices with slight change and addition from the outside world.

In the subcontinent of India, people belonging to various races stay together. There are 6 main kinds so ethnic group such as Negrito, Proto – Australoids or Austrics, Mongoloids, Mediterranean or Dravidian, Western Brachycephals and Nordic Aryans.

Traditionally in India, most of the people live in a joint family which sometimes constitutes of group of 5-6 to 20 members. If we look into traditional Indian houses, the eldest male of the family is in the commanding position and women take care of the household and the entire family and children. However, now one can see many nuclear families as well and women playing equal role in running a family.

Worshiping forms an integral part of Indian families. Along with temples, mosques, churches and gurdwaras, most of the Indians have a personal space for worshipping in their houses as well. Worshiping pattern not just differ with religion but also with caste. In Indian society still some parts follow age old practices of castes and positions.

Indian people are quite hospitable and consider their guests as their Gods. This can be seen in the way they their guests. No matter what the situation and timing is, guests are invariable offered with food and drinks.

Elders are given utmost importance in Indian society. In some parts of the country, elders are greeted by younger ones by touching their feet. Children are taught at home to not answer back their elders or parents and to respect elders.

These habits are inculcated in them deliberately by parents. Children are supported by supported by their parents throughout their educational life.

Indian Culture & Languages

India is a land of varied culture and origins. With the variation in location, even the languages people speak also differ. Languages in fact represent the variation in lifestyle of the people and their different cultures.

The country has 22 official languages each with a rich literature and history. Most of the languages in India can be divided into two main group- Aryan languages which are spoken mostly in Northern part and Dravidian languages which are spoken mostly in the southern part of the country.

There are other families of languages as well such as Sino-Mongolian and Austro-Asiatic, etc. There are umpteen numbers of dialects as well spoken by comparatively smaller group of people.


Weddings and other celebrations in India

Indian weddings are not just a religious or societal recognition of two people starting their life together but an association of two families, an event filled with merriment, wide range of functions, music, dances and religious chants. These are no less than any other festivals and form an important part of lives of Indian people.

The weddings also differ with geographical locations varying from elaborate 4-5 days wedding of North India to comparatively smaller and one day weeding of some Southern states, from Hindu weddings to Christian weddings to Muslim weddings to Sikh wedding to any other. No matter which part and to which religion the wedding is associated with, colours and enjoyment is common to all.

Along with wedding, in India almost every day one festival is celebrated. These festivals such as Diwali, Holi, Eid, Christmas, Mahavir Jayanti, Republic Day, etc. add further colours and charm to India with their varied forms and importance.

Clothing Style in India

There is similar kind of traditional attire for entire Indian subcontinent. Indian traditional clothing style differs from region to region depending on the religion, geographical conditions and culture over there as well as the history of the place.

The common attire for women in most part of the country is sari which is a long strip of unstitched cloth and is worn with a blouse or short top. Along with daily wear for many around the country, it is gaining popularity in function and festivals especially amongst young generation.

The patterns of wearing saris differ from one geographical reason to another such as from Northern states to West Bengal to Karnataka to Maharashtra, etc. Salwar-kameez also forms an important wear for Indian women.

With the advent of globalisation and lessened gap with the western world, western dressing can also be found common all over India, especially amongst the young generation.

Men in India mostly wear pajama-kurta in most part of the Northern India. In southern part, they can be seen wearing wraparound cloth called Mundu or Dhoti and angavastram which is a shawl. However, now you will many wearing pant and shirts on a daily basis.

In some parts of the country, men can be seen wearing turban which is more common with people of Sikh faith. Pagari and Safa which are also worn on head are mainly worn on occasion like marriages and other festivals. Functions and festivals are the time when various ethnic groups of India wear their traditional attires with authentic jewellery.