May 26 2010
Virgin Sea Beach, Wild Sea and Sun along the soothingly beautiful Konark Marine Drive. Bollywood, Oriya and Bengali film and TV serial makers are increasingly thronging the place. Filmmakers should appoint a local coordinator to handle arrangements, including scouting for locales, equipments and local talents. Smaller productions can do with a local fixer. On request the resort itself coordinates and facilitates film maker guests. It is about 65 KM from Bhubaneshwar city and it takes about an hour and a half by car to reach the resort from Bhubaneshwar airport.
You can call up the coordinator at the resort near by and arrange for a car pick up from the airport The scenery along the stretch of Konark Marine drive is stunning – its raw, wild and appealing to the discerning traveller. The casurina fringed Nuanai river meeting the sea nearby makes it an idyllic location for film and serial makers searching for pristine locales. Sunrise ansd sunset are lavish affairs with molten gold all around!
The adjacent Balukhanda sanctuary is also home to the shy and elusive Baliharina deer (Indian Blackbuck). It is rarely seen these days – you might get lucky. The Olive Ridley turtle – besides having a glimpse in the nearby research centre you may be lucky on a night during the nesting season when thousands of these turtles come ashore to lay eggs. The Bhitarkanika sanctuary is the largest nesting place of this turtle – over 6 lakhs throng here annually.
To site an example, one of Bollywood block buster “ASHOKA” was filmed on the Puri Beach in the near vicinity of Toshali Sands.
The best time to visit Balighai beach is during October to June. Orissa with its almost 500 km long shoreline is often overlooked as a film tourism destination, but other than parts of the Konkan coast Orissa has the largest number of pristine and virgin beaches in India. You won’t be chased by a hawker, won’t find a supermarket there – just the sea and sun and sand – whistling wind. A quaint old jeep used to drop and pick up guests of Toshali Sands to and from the Balighai beach. Now, it has been replaced by fuel efficient The resort also provides a life guard and umbrellas, mats and towels on the beach. The beach is a bit rough during high tide but amazing during low tide – so find out the time from the resort to make your own movie. Its also the photographer paradise…
I would love to hear, your script getting filmed at Puri Sea Beach. Which are the movies, TV Serials, Documentary films were made here at Puri Sea beach
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May 25 2010
According to Sri Lankan legends, when the Buddha died, his body was cremated in a sandalwood pyre at Kusinara in India and his left canine tooth was retrieved from the funeral pyre by Arahat Khema. Khema then gave it to King Brahmadatte for veneration. It became a royal possession in Brahmadatte’s country and was kept in the city of Dantapuri (present day Puri in Orissa).
A belief grew that whoever possessed the Sacred Tooth Relic had a divine right to rule that land. Wars followed. 800 years after the Buddha’s death, in the 4th century CE the tooth came into the possession of King Guhaseeva of Kalinga. He send his daughter Hemamali and her husband the prince Dantha away from the kingdom as war loomed. Hemamli hid the relic in her hair and travelled to Sri Lanka via Tamralipta. The relic was housed in Anuradhapura and later at its present resting place at Kandy. It is believed that a stupa at the site of the Temple of Lord Jagannath housed the tooth relic.
Myth says that Emperor Ashoka – distraught with the bloodshed at the Kalinga war met with Upagupta near the sleepy village of Toshali on the banks of river Daya – from here comes the name of the “Toshali Resorts” !! Probably. Archaeological findings abounds around the place – one even in a close proximity to the Konark temple.
Other than being the site of the Kalinga war Dhauli is much renowned for its 3rd century Ashoka edicts, the Shanti Stupa or Peace Pagoda, and the nearby Buddhist monastery. Here happened the war that ultimately helped spread Buddhism worldwide. Next up Lalitgiri – it has one of the earliest Buddhist complexes in the world believed to be made in the 1st century AD. With several rock-cut caves, viharas, chaityas, monasteries, stupas, and caskets of stone with Buddhist relics that throw much light on the history of Buddhism.
Ratnagiri located in the Jajpur district of Orissa has excellent Buddhist ruins, sculptures, large monasteries, shrines, big stupas, and a colossal statue of Lord Buddha which much attract the visitors to the state. However, it is the wonderful Pushpagiri monastery that is really the pride of the place.
A renowned pilgrimage destination, Udaygiri is the largest Buddhist site in Orissa and is much famous for the Avalokitesvara statue of Lord Buddha. This statue of Buddha is unique as here the Enlightened One, i.e., Lord Buddha, is depicted having long flowing tresses.
Nestled in the triangle of Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udayagiri, Langudi ihouses clusters of rock carvings, consecrated stupas, two exclusive figures of Buddha along with female devotees. Remains of a monastery, constructed of bricks, two inscribed figures of Emperor Ashoka. One of it displays Ashoka with 2 queens.
Additionally these places and Khandagiri are important for Jain piligrims too. Today I’ll sign off with a quaint belief – Jagannath is identified with Buddha. His iconographics representation approximation o the meditating Buddha. The Triad is depicted as Buddha, Dharma and Sangha – the three gems of Buddhism, some even find affinity of the car-festival with Buddhist festivals. The Tooth-relic of Buddha is supposedly inside the images of the triad and is known as “Brahma-Padartha” (Divine-Matter). The Triad is deified by the Jainas as manifestation of the Jaina “Tri-ratna” (three gems of Jainism) representing right knowledge, right thought and right perception.
This is our land where everything is different but similar – separated but connected. Someday i hope to write about followers of Islam who enriched the tradition of Lord Jagannath and a king who ruled in his name.
Toshali Sands at Puri, Orissa, takes great pleasure in attending its travelers, corporate managers and guest, coming from Sri Lanka and South East Asia covering Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia Brunei, East Malaysia, East Timor, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Singapore. Toshali offers exclusive budget packages and arrange group excursion for the international Buddhist pilgrim, . For more details visit
I would love to hear, your visit to Buddhist Shrine, Toshali would be gald to have you as guest.
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May 08 2010
“Rath Yatra” – The holy Car Festival of Puri in its present form dates back at least a thousand years. Everything is on a grand scale. Full of spectacle, drama and colour, its a typical Indian fair. It’s also the embodiment of the synthesis of the tribal with the classical. One glimpse of the Lord is said to release one from the cycle of birth and death. The etymology of juggernaut originates from the chariots — in a way its true – an unstoppable force – of belief, piety, fervour that rolls on – transcending time and distance. Puri “Rath Yatra” has been celebrated in the city since times memorial. It is observed on the 2nd day of the full-moon fortnight in the month of June – July. This year the Car festival will be observed from 12th of July 2010 to till 23rd July 2010. The main car festival is on 13th July’ 2010 on Tuesday.
Off late Orissa has been subject to a lot of naxal violence – sparking off fears that the famous Rath Yatra – The Chariot Festival of Lord Jagannath could fall prey to it. Threat perception has always been high for the temple. It has been recommended level one security arrangements since 2004. Since then two Special Armed Police platoons are deployed at each of the four temple gates round the clock, complete with metal detectors and manual frisking. A “quick reaction team” is ready 24X7 to meet emergencies.
The Lord Jagannath temple administration has security of its own and some 77 of them are deployed inside the temple premises to look after temple security, safety of visitors and maintenance of order. The Puri district administration has already undertaken survey of buildings around the Jagannath temple and henceforth – till the day after the return from Gundicha temple they will be under constant vigil. Resorts, Hotels, lodges and dharamsalas in the temple town are periodically checked by the district police for suspected maoists. Such a recent raid landed a couple of underground naxals in the security net although the Government has neither confirmed nor denied reports.
The state government, has sealed its borders with Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to avoid entry of ultras from the neighbouring states and currently some 5000 paramilitary forces are about to engage Maoists. “Rath Yatra” is THE most important festival of Orissa and the Orissa government is aware about the threat and is planning for any eventualities.
More than 6000 police and rapid action forces will be on duty during the Rath Yatra in July 13th 2010. The Coast guard has been specially directed to guard against any attack from the sea route. Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has recently reviewed security arrangements personally. He has directed the Naxal-infested districts to keep a closer vigilance. In a two pronged strategy the government is beefing up security in no-Maoist zones.
A high-level review meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary to assess the security cordon around the Shree Jagannath temple in Puri. It was decided that all the existing Close Circuit Televisions (CCTVs) installed in the premises of the temple would be upgraded. Additional places for installing CCTVs inside and outside the Shree Jagannath temple were identified. It was also decided that all hotels in Puri would come under a security cover and the Puri sea beach would be a strictly ‘zero tolerance’ zone for anything remotely suspicious.
It will be safe for pilgrims, devotees, tourist, travelers, photographers, journalist and common man coming to witness and participate in the holy carnival “Rath Yatra” – The Car Festival.
May 07 2010
Toshali Resorts International is the approved tour operator with Department Of Tourism, Government of India. Toshali brings you a walk through of Andhra Pradesh “The Kohinoor of India”
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May 05 2010
Everyone can make a difference to the amount of litter in the environment
When you think of Goa, what can you think of? Endless beaches, tourists basking under the sun, children playing in the sand, spicy seafood, amazing water games… what probably don’t come to our minds are the mounds of mounds of plastic waste and rotting garbage?
Trash on beaches
The human-created, foreign matter like plastics, metal, glass, Styrofoam, etc. are what actually is called trash. Since animals often mistake these trash items as food, please remember to pick up even small pieces of trash, which should ideally go into our Trash bags and then, into the recycle bags.
Glass, aluminum cans, tin cans, plastic drinking bottles can be recycled. These items must be clean and dry.
There are other trash items that we might discover while enjoying ourselves on the beaches. These could include syringes, needles, any sharp objects, condoms, tampons, waste materials, weapons, heavy items, or anything of which we are not sure. These items are not to be touched. The best we can do is mark such areas with sticks and stones so that others could also stay away and finally inform the beach captains or lifeguards. When in doubt, don’t touch.
Trash to be left alone
Natural items (such as algae, kelp, driftwood, shells, etc.) are part of the ecosystem system that we are working to restore and should be, at the best, left alone. So lets avoid disturbing plants, animals and fragile dune areas.
Beach clean up
A day at the beach is a fun summer activity, but no one wants to share the sun with discarded cans, bottles and other trash left behind by thoughtless beach visitors. Let us all help protect the environment and keep the beach a fun place to be when we organize a beach clean up day.
Let us support a healthy environment. Gather a group of friends together for a beach clean up day at your local beach. Help the environment even more by carpooling to the beach together in one or two vehicles rather than having everyone drive separately.
Brush the beach by collecting trash. Consider putting all the cans and bottles you come across in separate bags for recycling. If you find hazardous items such as needles, be sure not to pick them up with your bare hands. Bury any large deposits of seaweed.
Toshali Sands along with Orissa Tourism and Forest Department has set an example at Balighai Beach. Toshali is striving with a mission to Keep Puri beach clean for the incoming guest, devotees, pilgrims, journalists, travelers, and locals.
Therefore, Toshali appeals all to join hand in spreading message of Self-Help to everyone to be the part of the movement to keep Puri beach clean. Are your there !!! this is not merely a blog, we invite you to start conversation and draw attention of all the people concern to drive the cause.
Visit our Facebook Cause Page http://bit.ly/at0MJ7 And “Puri Beach : Keep Me Clean” Group for the cause at http://bit.ly/9911Mw
Apr 25 2010
India is among the most colorful nations of the world and boasts of a rich history, culture and heritage. To get the most of your trip and tour to discover incredible India, it would be a good idea to equip yourself with useful information before you set out for a journey of a lifetime.
Getting In and Out
- To explore India, you need a valid passport and visa to India. Carry them at all times while enjoying a vacation in India. Notify your country’s embassy or consulate in case your passport is stolen or lost.
- One needs additional permits to go to certain destinations in India such as Andaman Islands, Gujarat, Ladakh, Kerala, and more. Check with your travel agent or embassy while planning your visit.
- 15-Day visa extensions are granted under exceptional circumstances. If you intend to stay longer than 3 months on non-tourist visas there is a registration requirement. This registration makes the bearer eligible for domestic ticket prices.
Getting Around and About
- Most cities have means of efficient local transportation such as taxis, auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws, and buses. Private cabs can also be hired.
- It is important to carry an International Driving License if you wish to drive on your own.
- For inter-city and inter-state transport you can avail services of Indian Railways and domestic airlines. Buses, taxis and cabs also ferry people across cities and states.
- It is best to visit Indian plains during cooler months from November to March.
- For a visit to mountainous regions of India, the months of April to October are better suited.
Food and Health
- Indian cuisine is a tad too spicy for European and American taste buds. Indulge in the gastronomical delights only if you have the stomach for it. Also, there are plenty of non-spicy cuisines and delicacies to choose from.
- You may occasionally need insect repellent cream. If you are allergic to dust, be sure to carry medication with you. Sunscreen is another must-have.
- Bargaining is the norm in local bazaars selling products without a written price. Resist the urge to buy without comparing prices from shops selling similar stuff.
- Be wary of roadside peddlers trying to sell you semi-precious and precious gems and jewelry. Visit state emporia and the Central Cottage Industries Emporia (most major cities have one) for fixed prices and a fair idea of the cost with a regular dealer.
- Trading in ivory, fur, animal skins, antiquities and the like is illegal. If you must have it, obtain a certificate of legitimate sale and permission for export before leaving the country.
- Public display of affection is not appreciated and neither is public nudity unless perhaps one is at a beach.
- One is expected to cover the head before entering a religious place such as a temple or mosque.
- Ask for permission before clicking pictures of women and religious complexes. Some places charge for taking pictures while it is prohibited at a few places as well.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Do Drink lot of water when traveling in India during summer, Mineral water bottle are easily available everywhere.
- Do carry attested photocopies of your travel documents and keep the originals in a safely locked baggage.
- Do fill up a Currency Declaration Form along and a Disembarkation Card besides making an oral declaration of the luggage you are carrying.
- Do not smoke in public places.
- Do not give money to beggars.
- Do wear light cotton cloths, advisable for summer travel in India
- Do carry UV sunglasses, Caps or an Umbrella during your summer visit.
Toshali “Care” for its guest, Toshali is celebrating 25 glorious years of customer satisfaction. Discover Incredible India with Toshali Holidays..
For more info leave a message with me “Metu” your travel expert and guide. I would be glad to get back and address your queries. Add on more tips, if you feel any of the tips missing, which your fellow travelers should know….
Apr 24 2010
“The grandeur and heritage of Puri “Rath Yatra” – The Car Festival, is the annual holy carnival for devotees, travelers, tourist, photographers, Journalist, travel gurus. It’s the photographer’s paradise, and people from all over the world come to film The Chariot festival. Every year pilgrims find something new to witness and take back memories and blessing when visit to Jagannath Dham.
Puri, the south-eastern Indian city is visited for a number of reasons; its beaches, its coastal cuisine, its temples, and the Rath Yatra are a few of them to mention here… Popularly known as the Temple Chariot Festival; Rath Yatra and Annual Car festival is the yearly festival of the Hindus in which lord Krishna “Jagannath”, his heavenly brother “Balabhadra”, and his divine sister “Subhadra” are taken from the 11th Century Shree Jagannath Puri Temple in town to the Gundicha temple amidst millions of devotees – domestic and international. One of the most incredible spectacles in the world, this festival also commemorates the human journey of dark to light, the journey from ignorance to knowledge, and the journey of final salvation.
Puri Rath Yatra has been celebrated in the city since times memorial. It is observed on the 2nd day of the full-moon fortnight in the month of June-July. Wonderfully decorated wooden chariots of the deities are pulled by devotees with large ropes. These ropes are considered very auspicious and devotees who can touch them are deemed as lucky. This year the Car festival will be observed from 12th of July 2010 till 23rd July 2010. The core festivities of Rath Yatra – the Car Festival will be celebrated on 21st June 2012
“Rath Yatra : The Car Festival at Puri”
Catch the magical glimpse of the festivities as have been celebrated over the years at http://bit.ly/afotpC
Rath Yatra is not just for the people of Orissa. It is a celebration for devotees and visitors from all over the world. Owing to the painstaking efforts of Prabhu AC Bhaktivedanta of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Rath Yatra is not just limited to Indians, it is today a popular festival celebrated in several European and Asian nations as well. Belfast, Dublin, Venice, Toronto, USA san Francisco and other cities in USA states and Singapore are a few of them to mention.
Let me also run you through a few of the significant facts about the Rath Yatra festival:
- The 3 chariots of the deities are constructed newly of Phassi and Dausa trees, local trees that are especially brought to Puri from nearby cities and towns of Orissa.
- The chariot of Lord Jagannath (Krishna) is known as Nandighosa and is driven on sixteen wheels.
- The chariot of Subhadra is popular as Dwarpadalana and is traveled on twelve wheels.
- The chariot of Balabhadra is called as Taladhwaja. It has fourteen wheels.
- The construction of the chariots begins on the day of Akshaya Tritya. This year the date will be 14th of May 2010.
- A ceremonial everyday boat ride for the deities commences at the Narendra Tank and this festival is held for 21days and is called the Chandan Yatra.
- The ceremonial bathing of the deities, Snana Jatra in the month of June follows this act.
- Nearly every house in Orissa is decorated with flowers and oil lamps on the account of Rath Yatra.
- Over 10 lakh devotees come down to Puri for this festival.
- Once the festival is over, the chariots are broken and the sandalwood sold to devotees as mementoes and relics.
The Rath Yatra truly manages to enable visitors and devotees with an ethereal experience of natural nirvana. Come embark on this journey and enjoy a never before experience. Toshali makes all arrangement for their guest to experience the car festival.
How to Reach Puri for the Chariot Festival?
- Shree Jagannath Temple Puri is 60-km from Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Orissa.
- Nearest Airport is Bhubaneswar 60km from the holy temple from there you can easily hire a vehicle or a bus or an environment friendly Rickshaw.
- Rail Lines in India are well connected with Puri Railway Station directly to and from different major cities like Kolkota, New Delhi, and Bhubaneswar, Tirupati and Ahmedabad and more.
- By road Puri is 60-km from Bhubaneswar main bus stand and 35-km from Konark on Marine Drive.
- Toshali, the ethnic village resort is located on the Puri – Konark Marine Drive, which is just 15 to 20 minutes drive to Shree Jagannath Temple. Toshali makes all arrangements for its guests to witness and experience Rath Yatra – The Chariot Festival.
On the event of The Car Festival “Rath Yatra” 2010. Toshali is on to demonstrate the positive change on International coastal clean up drive at Puri beach to keep it clean, and have initiated the initiative cause “Puri Beach: Keep Me Clean”. It has already set an example on “Balighai beach”, Puri in coordination with the Orissa Forest Department.
Balighai Beach at Puri
Do not forget to carry your camera; we would appreciate if you share your video and photographs at our blog. For More Information on The Car Festival leave a comment, Metu will revert back…
Apr 01 2010
Toshali Resorts Interantional is celebrating 25 glorious year of customer satisfaction. Rejuvenate Your Soul At Toshali, Where Nature Comes Alive.
Toshali Resorts International is – (A division of TK International Limited), owned and managed by travel and tourism professionals with over 35 years of experience.
It was incorporated in 1982, is engaged in development of holiday resorts and has become one of the leading integrated tourism companies in India. All the property are breathtaking tourist resorts in India
Toshali Resorts future plans is to develop Resorts & Hotels, Home sites, in the area of Beach Resorts, Heritage Destinations, Eco Friendly Sites & Lakes etc and give its guest best of the luxury holiday resort and travel experience.
Toshali Resorts Mission, its objective is promotion of tourism in the country and focusing on customer delight.Products:Toshali Luxury Resorts are at topographically diverse landscapes “Where Nature Come Alive”
For all assistance and guidance regarding hospitality and information about Toshali Resorts, do post all your queries/comments to your friendly travel expert “Metu”
- Festivals in India
- Things to Do