Poush Mela : The Gurukul Festival at Shantiniketan, West Bengal

Poush Mela is one of the important Bengali festival celebrated at  Shantiniketan in the district of Birbhum of West Bengal. This week long fair celebrated with true Bengali spirit, great splendor and magnificence and its diversity with great joy and excitement among Bengali family located across the world and by people belonging to different cultures and traditions from different parts of country participate in the fair.

According to Bengali calendar, the fair falls on the 7th day of the Poush month. The week long Poush mela is observed in the last week in the month of December. The festival celebrates the commemoration of Rabindranath Tagore and Tagore’s contribution to the literature and higher learning at Shantiniketan. And Mela is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘gathering’ or ‘to meet’ or a Fair.

Shantiniketan is a small sleepy town in the district of Birbhum, West Bengal surrounded with natural beauty. It is about 180 kms north of Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal. The history of the place takes us to 1860s, it was known as Bhubandanga. Maharshi Debendranath Tagore found the place beautiful, peaceful scerene and found the destination suitable for studying and higher learning, so he purchased the place and named it “Shantiniketan”, the abode of peace….

Later in 1901, Maharshi’s son Rabindranath Tagore was successful in initiating an open air school that would follow the system of Gurukul system of ancient India. At Shantiniketan, he started his teaching on the seventh day of Poush with five students as the first learners. In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore became the Winner for the Nobel Prize in Literature..  Slowly the Santinniketan system became so popular by 1922, and the Santinniketan emerged as full-fledged university called Viswa Bharathi.

At Shantiniketan, Poush Mela attracts large number of tourists from India also from different countries of the world. Poush mela is famous for the perfect congregation of different cultures and traditions blending at ease. Travels, Visitors and Tourists enjoy the fair and experience the rich heritage of Bengal and this taken to the higher level through the cultural performances by the students of Shantiniketan and live performances of Bengali folk music, Ravindra sangeet bynotably music gurus.

Tourists not only get to witness and participate in the Poush Mela cultural activities but also get to see a large collection of local artistic handicrafts and printed fabrics for all to buy and experience the Bengali spirit in true sense. And get to learn the Strategic development of the university is explored to every one, welcoming everyone to the higher learning.

In 2010, the three days Poush Mela is celebrated on 27-29 December

Toshali Resorts Travel and Trip Planner will help you get started. East India Golden Triangle Tour Exclusive  Package for Poush Mela from 27-29 December 2011, for more details visit http://bit.ly/hDdQ6o or simply post a mail to metu@toshali.in

Rann Utsav : Gujurat Annual Festivals, Adding Colour To The Desert …

Rann Utsav is one of the famous festivals of Gujarat, Kutch. This is three to four days cultural extravaganza organized in different locations within Kutch in Gujarat. This festival celebrates the diversity and uniqueness of the Kutch district.

Rann Usav
Rann Usav

The three days of Utsav is packed with cultural music, dances and craftsmanship, pageantry and in all an encapsulation of the true spirit and zeal of the inhabitants. It is organized by the Gujarat tourism department to celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of the Kutch district.

People from far of places come and gathered during the festivities of Rann Utsav and celebrates the spirit and warmth of Kutch.

The Rann Kutch Utsav is an unparalleled showcase of the ethnic and traditional widely different, however, hugely congregation of Indian traditional art forms. Visitors, locals from all parts if Gujuat state and India gather during the fair to celebrate and salute the spirit and warmth that people of Kutch have inherited and protected its tradition.

Gujurat tourism and co-sponsors, engage all visitors. Semi parched Grasslands of the Banni hosts the most magnificent display of vernacular architecture as the exhibition platform for the varied range of arts and crafts of the Kutch region.

The Festival showcases different art forms, dances, Music during the shade of Full moon and in an aura of chilling winters. Many tourists from outside the state of Gujarat enjoy various tour packages that involve sightseeing of the Kutch and adjoining areas during the fair.

The Rann Utsav is held annually on the full moon night of the month of December. In 2010, Rann Utsav is celebrated on 19th to 21stDecember 2010. and it wll be celebrated from 09th Dec  to 11th December 2011 For Reservation and Booking at Rann Utsav, please visit http://bit.ly/hl24XY

Let Toshali Resorts Travel and Trip Planner help you get started. For more details, simply post a mail to metu@toshali.in

Muharram : Festival to commemorate the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain

Muharram is one of the famous festivals of Muslims. This festival commemorates the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain, the grandson of the holy Prophet.

Image Courtesy : Festival of India
Image Courtesy : Festival of India

It is said that during this month, while on a journey, Hazrat Imam Hussain, his family members and a number of his followers were surrounded by the forces of Yazid, the Muslim ruler of the time. In Iraq during the siege, they all were deprived of food and water and many of them were put to death. T his results a dispute and disagreement among Muslims on the question of succession after the demise of Hazrat Ali, the fourth caliph.

So some sects of Muslims hold meetings where speeches are made on the happenings of Karbala and on the lives of martyrs.

The Shias, however, observe this festival in a different fashion they put on black clothes, as black is regarded as a color of mourning. Assemblies are held every day during the first nine days where shia orators relate the incident of the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain and his party in a great detail.

Image Courtesy : Festival of India
Image Courtesy : Festival of India

The preachers show their grief and sorrow by inflicting wounds on their own bodies with sharp metal tied to chain with which they scourge themselves. This is done in order to depict the sufferings of the martyrs. It is a sad occasion and everyone in the procession chants “Ya Hussain”, with loud wails of lamentation. Generally a white horse beautifully decorated for the occasion, is also included in the procession, to mark the empty mount of Hazrat Imam Husain after his martyrdom.

In 2010, Muharram is celebrated on 17th December.

Toshali Resorts International  offers budget festival holiday packages and arranges, to be at MuharramFestival,  Toshali  is authorised Travel and Tour Operator, recognised and accredited by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India . Book your vacation package at Toshali  at http://bit.ly/dVC9iu

To know more on the Lumbini Festival, post you comments or Contact your at Toshali Holidays Planner at metu@toshali.in

Charta Festival : The Tribal Harvest Festival of Chhattisgarh in India

Charta Festival is one of the famous tribal harvest festivals of Chhattisgarh, celebrated in the Koriyan district of the state. This festival is related to harvest. The group of married women cooks several preparations of the collections and feast is organized.

Charta Festival has kids going around the village collecting rice from each household. The married girls then cook the collected rice on the banks of the nearby water body as men and women sing and dance, eagerly awaiting the community feast to be served.

The feast features several songs and dance of tribal community. People show their talents in the celebrations. People get together and share the events of life. This festival brings unity and merry among the people of the community.

In 2010, Charta festival is celebrated on 19th December.

Toshali Resorts International  offers budget festival holiday packages and arranges, to be at “Charta Festival”, and Explore Chhattisgarh. Toshali  is authorised Travel and Tour Operator, recognised and accredited by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India . Book your vacation package at Toshali  at http://bit.ly/dVC9iu

To know more on the Charta Festival Vacation Package, post you comments or Contact your at Toshali Holidays Planner at metu@toshali.in

Lumbini Festival : To Honor the Significance and Heritage of Buddhism

Lumbini is the birth place of Gautam Buddha, the Guru of Buddhism and is one of the most important Buddhist Pilgrimage Site.

Lumbini is one of the famous festivals of Andhra Pradesh organized by the Tourism Department of the Government of Andhra Pradesh.  Every year this festival is celebrated in the month of December to highlight the “Buddhist Heritage” of the state.

Lumbini at Hyderabad
Lumbini at Hyderabad

This Lumbini festival provides an excellent opportunity to tourists to discover the remaining traces of Buddhist influence of the Hyderabad city. Lumbini is the place where Lord Buddha was born. Every year this festival is organized to give the significance of Buddhism.

The Festival is organized at the Nagarjunasagar dam, in Hyderabad.

The history traces back to 2000 years ago, the significance of Lumbini Festival marks the importance of Buddhism as a religion to the state of Andhra Pradesh., when Buddhism was the only prevalent religion in the state. It is celebrated every year to observe the significance of the holiness of Buddhism and celebrate the religion.

Thousands of followers of Buddhism gather in Hyderabad during Lumbini  festival every year, it is celebrated on one of the weekends for three days in the month of December. The pilgrimage celebration starts from the second Friday of the month.

In 2010, Lumbini festival held on 10th to 12th December 2010.

Toshali Resorts International  offers budget festival holiday packages and arranges, to be at “Lumbini Festival”, Hyderabad. And customized your accommodation on demand, book your package reservation at with Toshali Travel and Tours. Toshali  is authorised Travel and Tour Operator, recognised and accredited by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India . Visit to Book  Buddhist Tour Package at http://bit.ly/i0ri8s

To know more on the Lumbini Festival, post you comments or Contact your at Toshali Holidays Planner at metu@toshali.in

Makar Sankranti Festival : An auspicious harvest utsav in Indian culture.

Makar Sankranti … In Sanskritमकर संक्रान्तिAssameseমকৰ সংক্রান্তিTeluguమకర సంక్రాంతిMarathiमकर संक्रान्तिKannadaಮಕರ ಸಂಕ್ರಾಂತಿ

It signifies the transition of Sun to the Capricorn and is the traditional harvest festival in parts of South Asia.

It is start of the journey of Sun to the Northern phase. Indian astronomy considers zodiac signs side really and not tropically and because the earth tilts 23.45 degrees (and Ayanamasa) the date. It was on December 31 about a thousand years ago, now it is on January 14, in another thousand years it will be around the end of January.

Image Courtesy Zulva
Image Courtesy Zulva

It is celebrated under the names of Makar Sankranti, Uttarayan, Maghi, Pongal, Bhogali Bihu, Shishur Saenkraat or Makara Vilakku in parts of India and as Maghi or Maghe Sankranti in Nepal, as Songkran in Thailand as Pi Ma Lao in Laos, Thingyan in Myanmar and Moha Songkran in Cambodia, all traditionally rice producing and consuming countries. In Orissa too it is celebrated widely with major celebrations centered on Kalijai, Atri, Keonjhar, Jashipur and Jagatsinghpur.

Legends abound – it is said to be the beginning of the ‘Uttarayan’ (day) phase of the gods, on this day Lord Vishnu ended the dominance of the ‘asuras’.

Religious Benefit of highest merit acquired by a Holy dip on the day of Makar Sankrant : The time from Sunrise to Sunset on Makar Sankranti is auspicious. A Holy dip during this period carries special religious significance in Indian tradition and culture. Pilgrims take a Holy dip in the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Krushna and Kaveri at the Holy places situated on the banks of these rivers acquire the highest merit.

Personally, Makar Sankranti always meant ‘pithas’ or home made sweetmeats, traditionally prepared with jaggery, flour of newly harvested rice, coagulated milk and desiccated coconuts. Oe personal favorite was one steamed variety resembling small idlis eaten fresh and steaming with thick jaggery – heavenly.

In year 2011 Makar Sankranti will be celebrated on the 14th January 2011

Toshali Sands Offers a exclusive Festival Package 03 Days / 02 Nights Package to celebrate Makar Sankranti at Lord Jagannath Sankha Kheytram and Balighai Beach, Puri.. For Reservation and Booking visit at http://bit.ly/eGq10H …. You can contact your travel planner metu@toshali.in

World AIDS Day : Universal Access and Human Rights

World AIDS Day Theme: Universal Access and Human Rights

Every year 1st December is celebrated as World Aids Day. This day is celebrated to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among people to assert their duties and responsibilities to increase human cooperation and homogeneous correspondence between the mass and HIV affected people.

The World AIDS Day provides welfare government, community organizations, national Aids program me, Governments and individuals to focus on the global AIDS epidemic.

World AIDS Day provides an opportunity for all individuals, communities and political leaders to take proactive action and should ensure that human rights are well protected and global targets for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care are met.

What can we do? – All Should Wear a Red Ribbon and Raise Awareness…

The Red Ribbon is an international symbol of AIDS awareness campaign. It is worn by people around World AIDS Day, and ofcourse all year round particularly to demonstrate care and concern and educate protection about HIV and AIDS, and to remind others of the need for their support and commitment.

Across the World, the Red Ribbon started effort at a “grass roots” level; however, there is no one official AIDS ribbon manufacturer, and everyone who are concern make their own. It’s easily done – just use some ordinary red ribbon and a safety pin….!

Aids Awareness Red Ribbon (Image Courtesy - Avert)
Aids Awareness Red Ribbon (Image Courtesy - Avert)

If you want participate and want to take your voice and awareness raising a step further, then you should find a local event or NGO or Community to take part in. Around the world there are hundreds of activities taking place to mark World AIDS Day, including candlelight vigils, art shows, marches and religious services.

If you can’t find anything in your area then why not organise an event yourself?

New Year Eve Celebration: A Symbolically Family Vacation, Signifies a Renewal of Life.

Celebration of New Year’s Day originates from harvest seasons in ancient times. Identified customs involved wearing new clothes, replacing old utensils etc. Symbolically a New Year signifies a new life. Some Customs and practices have evolved through centuries but still retain some definite traits.

Toshali Resorts Wishing all a Happy New Year 2011
Toshali Resorts Wishing all a Happy New Year 2011

The Mid-Night Cacophony: Horns and drums and shouting would drive out evil so today the deafening cacophony of sirens, car horns, boat whistles, party horns, church bells, drums, pots and pans – anything goes.

The Booze Bash: Perhaps the re-enactment of a rite depicting the chaos preceding God’s universe.

Resolution: On New Year, people cleared all borrowings. We often say that in the New Year we are “turning over a new leaf.”

Luck in the New Year: It is thought that the first day of the year is symptomatic of the other 364 days. So any symbol that signifies good luck is sought and offered.

The Gatherings: More or less in keeping with the tradition of sharing and caring within the community.Most of these rituals and beliefs predates Christianity and perhaps history itself. Changing beliefs and customs have molded the customs which basically denotes renewal of the circle of life.

Welcome The New Year 2011 At Toshali Resort, Exclusive New Year Package for your family and friends from on 30 Dec 2010 to 3rd Jan 2011 – http://bit.ly/hmjpg2 For details on the exclusive family package contact your travel consultant Metu at metu@toshali.in

Lucknow Festival : The Carnival that Showcase the Living Culture of Awadh

Lucknow festival is one of the famous festivals, celebrated in the month of November-December. This festival captures the undying elegance and splendors of Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh (UP). In this festival you will find an insight to the old and cultured atmosphere of the city like  Ghazals, Thumri, Kathak in the style of Lucknow, Sarangi. Exciting events like Ekka races, cock fighting, Kite flying and other traditional village games that recreate an atmosphere of Awadh’s Nawabi days and captures the undying elegance and splendour of Awadh.

Lucknow Festival View
Lucknow Festival View

Beside all this, you can taste the traditional delicacies of Lakhnawi cuisine, mouth  watering vegetarian cuisne to lip-smacking non-vegetarian Nawabi Cuisine.

Lucknow Festival is organized jointly by UP Tourism and Lucknow District Administration have stalls by the craftsmen of other states presenting a composite culture of the entire country and provides a platform for the local talents of UP in the 15 day festival.

How to Reach

Lucknow Festival is the best time to visit Uttar Pradesh, it gives the travelers, tourist, guests, visitiors, great chance witness the religious festival and fair and also participate in the stunning carnival.

From the city of Lucknow the nearest airport is Amausi (14 km). Super fast and express trains join Lucknow to Guwahati, Varanasi, Puri, Kolkata, Dehradun, Allahabad and Ahmedabad. Lucknow is on the vital cross routes of National Highways 24, 25 and 28. UPSRTC bus stand is at Charbagh, Opp. Railway station.

In 2010, Lucknow festivals held on 25th November  to 5th December in Lucknow, the capital city of UP

Toshali Resorts International  offers budget festival holiday packages and arranges, to be atLucknow Festival, Lucknow. And customized your accommodation on demand, book your package reservation at with Toshali Travel and Tours. Toshali  is authorised Travel and Tour Operator, recognised and accredited by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India . Visit to Book at http://bit.ly/dGMX2s

To know more on the Lucknow Mahoutsav, post you comments or Contact your at Toshali Holidays Planner at metu@toshali.in

Christmas Celebration : Vacation at Balighai Beach, Puri. India

“Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace.”

Christianity is not new to India. St. Thomas the Apostle, also called Doubting Thomas or Didymus was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Present during the last supper, he is best known for disbelieving Jesus’ resurrection when first told of it. He was perhaps the only Apostle who went outside the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel. He is believed to have brought Christianity to India in 52 CE.

Merry Christmas to All
Merry Christmas to All

Bada Din or Christmas is observed in India on 25th December. The greetings “Merry Christmas” translates to  ‘Krismasasya shubhkaamnaa’ (Sanskrit) and ‘Christhu Jayanthi Nalvaalthukal’ (Tamil). And father Christmas becomes ‘Christmas Baba’ in Hindi or ‘Christmas Thaathaa’ in Tamil, oil lamps sometimes replace candles and banana plants and mango leaves sometimes replace traditional Pine trees but the yuletide spirit prevails.

The Midnight mass on Christmas Eve is a very important service and on the night of 24th December, all members in families visit their local churches to attend the Midnight mass. The mass over, everyone relishes a mouthwatering feast of various delicacies. Thereupon, presents are exchanged. Although Christians are few in number Christmas is celebrated with gaiety across India – some regional twists exist but it enriches the overall message of peace and harmony.

An essentially Western concept Christmas has become a part of the country’s essential festival calendar. Like all places, the Balighai beach too wears a festive spirit  during the xmas- new year period, lights abound, parties are organised including the new year bash. It is also one of the best times to travel due to the prevailing cool weather.

Christmas Celebration
Christmas Celebration

In 2010, Christmas festivities go a long way and on the fifth day get converted into the gayest affair of the year- the New Year celebrations. Celebrated on the last day of the year, that is, on 31st of December, this is the jolliest of all the festivals celebrated all over the globe.

Christmas Offers, Holiday and Vacation Packages : Toshali Resorts Package from 23rd December to 25th December 2010 (Thursday – Monday)  http://bit.ly/fmgXpZ ..

Welcome The New Year 2011 At Toshali Resort, New Year Package from on 30 Dec 2010 to 3rd Jan 2011 – http://bit.ly/hmjpg2

For details on the exclusive family package contact you travel consultant Metu at metu@toshali.in