Friday, 31 August 2012

Friends, due to Internet connection lost, I had a lots of problem  29-30th August to post. Please don't take it otherwise, hope it will not happen again in future! Please keep watching and share your opinions.Till Sunday, good bye!
Tips from the kitchen of an Indian homemaker

Today’s Tips
 
 1. Slice a lemon and put in your refrigerator; it works as a freshener
2. Use juice of small onion on your skull to prevent dandruff.
 
 

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Festivals of India in the month of August


Sitabari Fair




Sitabari Fair is dedicated to the divine legends of Ramayana, the jazzing fair is organized in Sitabari, a small town in Rajasthan. A large number of devout Hindus visit the place so as to take a holy dip in the 'Lakshman Babhuka' stream. Apart from its religious importance, the fair offer business opportunity to traders, cattle breeders and craftsmen in and around the state.



Kazri Teej




Kazri Teej festival has great significance for both married and unmarried women, who believe to seek blessing for a happy married life. The festival falls after the new moon in the month of Shravan(July-August). Rajasthani also call the occasion as Sawan Festival, which welcomes the cool monsoon days.



Tarnetar Mela


The colorful fair is a three-day event held every year in the first week of 'Bhadrapad' (August-September). It is dedicated to the deity of Lord Shiva, positioned at Trineteshwar temple in Saurashtra, Gujarat. Devotees also call the fair as Trinetreshwar Mahadev Fair. They visit from different corners of the world and take a holy dip in the water reservoir-'Papanshu', meaning, the destroyer of sins.
Flavors of India
Chingri die Alu (potato), Vindi (Okra),  (Potato & Okra with Prawns)

        Ingredients

·         Prawns: -                                                                             200gm.
·         Vindi (Okra or Lady’s Fingers):-                                           250gm.
·         Potato:-                                                                                2 piece
·         Onion (slice in fine pieces):-                                                 2 piece 
·         Red Chili Powder (if you want):-                                       1/2 teaspoon
·         Kashmiri red Chili Powder:-                                                1 teaspoon
·         Turmeric Powder:-                                                         1/2 teaspoon
·         Mustard / Refined Oil:-                                                 1 Cup(150gm)
·         Sugar:-                                                                          1/5 teaspoon
·         Salt:-                                                                                    to taste



 

Process:

1.  Dress and wash Prawns and marinate with Turmeric Powder & Salt before cooking.                  
2.       Full heat the oil in a pan and fry prawns for 1min.
3.       Set aside the fish.
4.       In the same oil that was used to fry the fish, add potato and onion.
5.       When the color of onion should take up a bit of brownish, add the Okra tomato and fry for 2-3 min.
6.      Add ¼ cup water, all the powders of ingredients, salt, sugar & cook for 2-3 min.
7.      Add the fried prawns and mix well.
8.      Add about 2 cup of water and stir well.
9.      Cover and let it cook for 10 minutes on low flame.
10.  Take it off the flame after 10 minutes.
11.  Serve hot with Rice or Indian flat Roti or Garlic Bread.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

DESTINATION INDIA
Rajasthan(PART-V)
Jaisalmer


The Golden City (View from The Jaisalmer fort)

Jaisalmer is the largest district of Rajasthan and third largest in the country in area. It lies in the Thar Desert, which straddles the border of India and Pakistan. It is bounded on the northeast by Bikaner District, on the east by Jodhpur District, on the south by Barmer District, and on the west and north by Pakistan.
Jaisalmer is named after its founder Maharawal Jaisal Singh, a Rajput king in 1156 AD."Jaisalmer" means "the Hill Fort of Jaisal". Jaisalmer is sometimes called the "Golden City of India" because the yellow sand and the yellow sandstone used in every architecture of the city gives a yellowish-golden tinge to the city and its surrounding area.
While Jaisalmer may always have been remote, it is filled with many artistic structures and monuments of local historical importance. Jaisalmer's medieval mud fortress and walled township make it a popular tourist destination. The surrounding desolate landscape evidences a stark, austere beauty. Camel safaris through the nearby desert dunes are popular with tourists; competition for business is fierce. A few quiet days spent wandering around the town and the surrounding desert can be a wonderful way of unwinding from the chaos of larger Indian cities.



Jaisalmer Fort


Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest forts in the world. It is situated in Jaisalmer city Jaisalmer and built in 1156 by the Bhati Rajput ruler Jaisal, It is situated on Meru Hill and Named as Trikoot Garh had seen the scene of many battles. Its massive sandstone walls are a tawny lion colour during the day, turning to a magical honey-gold as the sun sets. This is a living fort and about a quarter of city's populations still live inside the fort. The main attractions inside the fort are: Raj Mahal (Royal palace, Jain temples and the Laxminath temple.
The famous Indian film director Satyajit Ray wrote a detective novel and later turned it into a film – Sonar Kella (The Golden Fortress) which was based on this fort.



 Tazia Tower





One of the prominent Jaislamer attractions, the Tazia Tower bears relics to the rich architectural splendor of the ancient times. The five storeyed Tazia Tower was constructed by the Muslim artisans for their imperial rulers of Jaisalmer. Tazia Tower is an integral part of the architectural monument of the Badal Mahal that draws several tourists from far and wide.
Tazia Tower was constructed in the form of Tazia that are usually part of Muslim religious festivities. Representing the secular identity of the region, the Muslim craftsmen had constructed the beautiful architectural master piece as gift for the imperial Hindu king of Maharawal Berisal Singh.


An integral part of the unique art and craft of Jaisalmer, the Tazia Tower represents the enriched architectural zeal and imagination of the local craftsman of the ancient period. The tourists are absolutely thrilled with the awesome architecture of the five storeyed Tower.



Jain Temples




Jain Temples situated in the Jaisalmer Fort are a must visit site in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. You will find these temples to be very old and high pilgrimage as well as archeological value attached to them. These are a group of Jain temples dating back 12th and 15th centuries and are dedicated to various Jain Tirthankars (Hermits). On the walls of the temples, you can find animal & human figures, carved in famous Dilwara style.

These temples are built in the Dilwara style that is famous all over the world for its architecture. The style got its name from the famous 'Dilwara Temples' situated on Mount Abu, a famous Hill station and pilgrimage destination in Rajasthan. The Jain temples in the Jaisalmer Fort are dedicated to Rikhabdevji and Shambhavdev Ji, the famous Jain hermits known as 'Tirthankars'. Like all other structures in Jaisalmer, these temples are craved of yellow sandstones. The beautifully carves decorations on the wall will give you divine peace. The Astapadhi Temples that are situated in the same complex are a must visit too.



Patwan Haveli


This place was the residence of erstwhile rich traders of jaisalmer-patwas. Their mansion-called haveli in the local dialect is an architectural wonder in itself. the exquisitely carved stone work is a hallmark of unique craftsmanship. It is heartening to observe that despite bureaucratic obstructions, the first haveli, which is privately owned, is extremely well maintained. A museum has been developed in the premises, giving people a chance to revisit the old days and experience the life and style of erstwhile patwas. This attempt has added unmatched value to the heritage status of the place.




Nathmal Ji ki haveli




Nathmal Ji ki haveli was commissioned to serve as the residence of Diwan Mohata Nathmal, the then Prime Minister of Jaisalmer. Maharawal Beri Sal commissioned the construction of this Haveli. The architects of this haveli were Hathi and Lulu who happened to be brothers. There is a very interesting story regarding its construction. It is said that the two brothers started building different facets of haveli simultaneously. In those days there were no such instruments, which could keep a track on continuity and thus when this building came up finally it had irregular shape.

Barring that, this haveli is still considered the best in Jaisalmer in terms of grandeur. There are other minute details worth appreciation. For example there are two Elephants made of yellow stone. These life-size replicas have been put in front of the main entrance so that it looks as if they are guarding the Haveli. Other than these, there are pictures engraved on pillars and walls. These consist of Horses, Cattle, and depiction of Flora among other things. But the most interesting aspect of this haveli is the drawing of modern amenities such as cars, fans etc. It is said and believed that the Architect brothers dint see these things ever in their life and engraved it with mere help of their descriptions given by people who had seen it.




Salim Singh ki haveli



Salim Singh ki haveli has been built on the remains of an older haveli built in the late 17th century. The new building was built in the year 1815 and was occupied by the Mehta family of Jaisalmer. They were the most influential family of their time. This haveli was named by Salim Singh, the then Prime Minister of the kingdom when Jaisalmer was the capital. The haveli has a distinct architecture. The roof has been constructed in the form of Peacock. The haveli is situated beside the hills near the Jaisalmer Fort.

Like other havelis in Jaisalmer, this too has tuskers guarding the gateways. These are made of sand stones and look very close to the original in appearance. The haveli consists of as many as 38 balconies and they all have distinct designs for themselves. The front facet of the haveli resembles ship stern and thus this haveli is also sometimes referred as Jahaz (ship) Mahal.




Gadisar Lake



Gadisar Lake is one of the most important tourist attractions in Jaisalmer. Its charm lies in the fact that it was the only source of water for the Jaisalmer city in the olden days. A manmade reservoir, the Gadisar Lake in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan was constructed by Raja Rawal Jaisal, the first ruler of Jaisalmer. In the later years Maharaja Garisisar Singh rebuilt and revamped the lake.


Tilon-Ki-Pol


Artistically carved Chattris, Temples, Shrines and Ghats surround the banks of Gadisar Lake. Located towards the south of Jaisalmer city the entrance to the Gadisar Lake or Garsisar Tank is through a magnificent and artistically carved yellow sandstone archway that is known as the Tilon-Ki-Pol.
The view of the Jaisalmer Fort from the Gadisar Lake is breathtaking.





 Sam Sand Dunes



There is no point coming to the Thar Desert if you don't go for the Desert Safari. That is why Sam sand dunes are becoming the major attraction in Jaisalmer. This is the closest place from where you can loose yourself in 'the Great Thar Desert'. Sam has a truly magnificent stretch of sweeping dunes, with sparse or no vegetation. The best way to get here, of course, is on camelback. 

Enjoy the romance of solitude as your camel takes you deep in the hearts of the Thar Desert. Viewing the sun set behind the horizon from here is an unforgettable experience.

Good morning/Good afternoon/Good evening my friends, wherever you are! This is 11:00pm.  29th august here in India and of-course Wednesday, so here I am. So late I’m today, to post new blog for some personal reasons; but now I have plenty of time to write for you! Keep watching and please share your thoughts that help me to improve my blog! Namaskar.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Tips from the kitchen of an Indian homemaker

Today’s Tips



 1. Friends, do you know that lemon is a natural bleach? To protect your skin from sun-burn, mix lemon-juice (1/3) with cold milk (2/3) and apply it to your face. Stay for 5min, wash with cold water and see the magic!

2. To get a brand-new look of your mirror, spray water on it and clean with any paper; it will be sparkling again.

Festivals of India in the month of August


 Onam

 



Onam is one of the greatest festivals of Kerala. It is the festival, which the Keralites celebrate unitedly without the difference of caste and religion. Onam is a time for sports and festivities and in Kerala where one third of the area is low lying, covered with canals, lakes and backwaters; the people take to their boats and country crafts to celebrate. Colorful aquatic festivals are organized along the sacred river Pamba.



Onam is the most important harvest festival of Kerala and is an attraction for thousands of people within and outside the state. Ranging from four days to ten days, all the activities during this season are centered around worshiping, music, dances, sports, boat races and good food. It is celebrated in the Malayalam month Chingam (ending of August and beginning of September). This year Onam 2012 falls on Wednesday, 29th of August.


Thiruonam Lunch
Onam is a celebration of Ten days. People put flower mats in front of their houses, to welcome the King Mahabali. There is competition for the laying of flower mats; Keralites all over the world celebrate these ten days with pomp and gaiety. They wear new dresses, visits almost all the temples they can, performs lot of dances like Thiruvathira kali and Thumbi Tullal  and the most important thing is the grant lunch they  have on the Thiuruvonam day  which is also called the Fourth Onam. People of Kerela never miss the Grant lunch. A saying in Malayalam quotes "Kanam Vittu Onam Unnanam" which means "We should have the Thiruonam lunch even if we have to sell all our properties". They give that much importance to the lunch on the Thiruonam day.
Flavors of India
Macher Kalia (Fish in red curry)

        Ingredients:

·         Fish (Rohu or any solid fish): -                                    500gm.
·         Onion (slice in fine pieces):-                                       2 piece 
·         Ginger paste: -                                                       1/2 teaspoon
·         Garlic paste :-                                                        1/2 teaspoon
·         Tomato(slice in four pieces):-                                       1 piece
·         Green chili:-                                                               3-4 piece
·         Fresh Coriander :-                                                       1/3 cup
·         Red Chili Powder (if you want):-                              1/2 teaspoon
·         Kashmiri red Chili Powder:-                                       1 teaspoon
·         Cumin Powder:-                                                      1/2 teaspoon
·         Coriander Powder:-                                                1/2 teaspoon
·         Turmeric Powder:-                                                  1/2 teaspoon
·         Mustard / Refined Oil:-                                         1 Cup(150gm)
·         Sugar:-                                                                  1/5 teaspoon
·         Salt:-                                                                             to taste

Process:

 

1.  Wash the fish and marinate with Turmeric Powder & Salt before cooking.                  
2.      Full heat the oil in a pan & fry the fish till brown.
3.      Set aside the fish.
4.      In the same oil that was used to fry the fish, pour in the onion .
5.    When the color of onion should take up a bit of brownish, add the ginger paste, garlic paste, tomato & fry for 2-3 min.
6.      Add ¼ cup water, all the powders of ingredients, salt, sugar & cook for 2-3 min.
7.      Add the fried fish, green chili and mix well.
8.      Add about 2 cup of water and stir well.
9.      Cover and let it cook for 10 minutes on low flame.
10.  Take it off the flame after 10 minutes.
11.   Garnish with fresh coriander.
12.  Serve hot with Rice or Polaw or Fried Rice or Garlic Bread.
1.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Destination India



Rajasthan(PART-IV)

Udaipur

Unforgettable Udaipur, the charming ‘City of Lakes’ was founded by Maharana Udai Singh in1559 and was named after him. The beautiful city sprawls picturesquely on the slop of a low ridge along the banks of Pichola and Fatehsagar lakes. It is surrounded by an amphitheatre of low hills and studded with placid blue lakes, white marble palaces, graceful gardens and sacred shrines. The numerous water bodies give Venetian look to the city, which stands out in stark contrast with its desert neighborhood. Undoubtedly Udaipur is one of the most romantic and enchanting city of the country. It is often called the "Venice of the East", and is also nicknamed the "Lake City".




City Palace



City Palace, Udaipur, is a palace complex in Udaipur, in the Indian state Rajasthan. It was built by the Maharana Udai Singh as the capital of the Sisodia Rajput clan in 1559, after he moved from Chittor. It is located on the east bank of the Lake Pichola and has several palaces built within its complex. Udaipur was the historic capital of the former kingdom of Mewar in the Rajputana Agency and its last capital.
The City Palace in Udaipur was built in a flamboyant style and is considered the largest of its type in Rajasthan, a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles, and was built on a hill top that gives a panoramic view of the city.


Sheesh Mahal

The palace complex is a conglomeration of eleven palaces, numerous courtyard, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens, built ovar a span of over three hundred years. The complex is approached through the ‘Hathi Pol’ or the ‘Elephant gate’. The ‘Bara Pole’ or the ‘Great Gate’ brings you to the first courtyard which leads to the ‘Tripolia Gate’, with eight carved marble arches or torans.
The way now leads to a series of courtyards overlapping pavilion terraces, corridors and hanging gardens. There is a ‘Suraj Gokhara’ or the ‘Balcony of Sun’. The walls of seventh century ‘Mor Chowk’ or ‘Peacock Courtyard’ are adorned with three large peacocks (mor), a vivid mosaic in the glass. The ‘Zenana Mahal’ or ‘women’s quarters’ facing the Mor Chowk has some of the most splendid room in the Palace.Other important chambers includes, the ‘Sheesh Mahal’ with inlaid mirror (Sheesh) work and the ‘Chandra Chowk’ or the ‘Moon Square’, at the top of the palace. The ‘Krishna Vilas’ is full of fine miniatures depicting splendid scince of royal processions, festivals, the games of Chogan etc. The ‘Chini Ghitrasala’ is noteworthy for its blue and white Chinese and Dutch ceramics. The ‘Bhim Bilas Palace’ exhibits a series of wall paintings on Lord Krishna. The ‘Amar Bilas’ has a well laid out terrace garden.



Lake Palace



Lake Palace was built in 1743- 1746 under the direction of the Maharana Jagat Singh II (62nd successor to the royal dynasty of Mewar) of Udaipur, Rajasthanas a royal summer palace and was initially called Jagniwas or Jan Niwas after its founder. The Maharana, ruler of Udaipur from 1628 to 1654, was very friendly with Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and encouraged his craftsmen to copy some of the glories of his incomparable buildings at Agra. The palace was constructed facing east, allowing its inhabitants to pray to the Sun god at the crack of dawn. The successive rulers used this cool haven as their summer resort, holding their regal durbars in its courtyards lined with columns, pillared terraces, fountains and gardens.

Lake Palace (formerly known as Jag Niwas) is now a luxury hotel, of 83 rooms and suites featuring white marble walls, located on a natural foundation of 4 acres (16,000 m2) rock on the Jag Niwas Island in Lake Pichola, Udaipur, India. The hotel operates a boat which transports guests to the hotel from a jetty at the City Palace. It has been voted as the most romantic hotel in India.




Lake Pichola


Picturesque Pichola surrounded by hills palaces, temples, bathing ghat and embankments, is about 4km. in length and 3km. wide. It is named after the village of Picholi. The main attractions are two island palaces Jag Nivas and Jag Mandir set splendidly in the turquoise waters of lake. The majestic City Palace sprawls along the eastern bank of the lake.




Jag Mandir



Jag Mandir tis the second island palace of Pichola. The construction of the palace was started by Maharaja Karan Singh. Later on, several additions were made by Maharana Jagat Singh and was named after him.




Fateh Sagar


Fateh Sagar was built in 1678 by Maharana Jai Singh to the north of lake Pichola and two lakes are linked by a canal. The lake is enclosed on the three sides by hills and the Pratap Memorial lies to the north of the reservoir. It is named after Fateh Singh who undertook renovations of the lake and rebuilt the dam. A drive around the lake during the sunset is a truly enchanting experience.




Jagdish Temple




Jagdish Temple is a large Hindu temple in the middle of Udaipur in Rajasthan. A big tourist attraction, the temple was originally called the temple of Jagannath Rai but is now called Jagdish-ji. It is a major monument in Udaipur. The Jagdish Temple is raised on a tall terrace and was completed in 1651. It attaches a double-storey Mandapa (hall) to a double-story saandhara (with a covered ambulatory) sanctum. The mandapa has another storey tucked within its pyramidal samavarna (bell-roof) while the hollow clustered spire over the sanctum contains two more, nonfunctional stories.




Saheliyon ki Bari



Splendid Saheliyon ki Bari or the ‘Gardens of the maids’ reflect the luxurious and unique life style of the ladies of the royal court.The well laid out garden flanking the embankment of the Fateh Sagar Lake was built for the forty eight young ladies-in-waiting who accompanied a princes to Udaipur as part of her dowry. The gardens noted for their discreet and impeccable taste are studded with four lotus pools with dainty kiosks, marble pavilions and elephant shape fountains. The colorful flower beds, lawns are protected by a series of walls and shady trees. 


* There are many places in Udaipur besides these. I am just trying to share the most beautiful places.