Tulsi Vivah Festival – The beginning of Wedding Season in India

“OM Tulsayei Vidmahe
Vishnu Priyayei Dhimahi
Tanno Vrinda Prachodayat.”

Tulsi vivah is a holy festivity that has a lot of significance for Hindus. This ceremonial day marks the beginning of the auspicious marriage season for Hindus.

Tulasi / Tulsi Plant - Holy Basil (Ocimum Tenuiflorum)
Tulasi / Tulsi Plant - Holy Basil (Ocimum Tenuiflorum)

Tulsi is considered to be an incarnation of Maha Lakshmi, who was born as Vrinda in her previous birth. Tulsi was married to a demon king Jalandhar. She offered prayers to Lord Vishnu to protect her husband from being harmed by any God. Several Gods approached Lord Vishnu and requested him to take the form of Jalandhar and live with Tulasi, without letting her know about the truth. To know the complete story, read on.

Lord Vishnu agreed to the request and did as told by other Gods. After the death of Vrinda’s husband, when truth was known to her, she cursed Lord Vishnu and converted him into a stone, i.e. Shaligram and after that, she collapsed. From her body, came out a tulsi plant. It is due to this reason that Vishnu puja is regarded incomplete without the presence of Tulsi leaves. Since then, every year Tulsi is married to Lord Vishnu and the event is known as Tulasi Shaligram Vivah. It is said that the person who performs the custom of giving away Tulsi to Lord Vishnu, considering her to be his own daughter, is considered to earn the credit of performing kanyadan.

Tulsi vivah is conducted on the next day after Kartiki Akadashi. As a part of festivity celebration, tulsivrindavan is adorned like a bride. Along with tulsi, the plants of amla, sugarcane and tamarind are planted. Special feast is prepared consisting of delicious vegetarian dishes. A full meal consisting of puri, rice, sweet potato kheer, moongachi gathi, red pumpkin vegetable is offered to Tulsi Vrindavan in the afternoon time. The ceremony of wedding takes place during evening. Several dishes made from poha are served to Lord Vishnu. Prasad is then distributed amongst all.

In 2010, Tulsi Vivah is on 17th November, 18th November, and 21st November.

Toshali Sands welcomes all to be the part of  Tulsi Vivah Festival experiencing, exclusive arrangement has been done for the guest to witness and be the part of the festival. For hotel , Wedding and Reception facility Reservation, Book your package at  http://bit.ly/9Tr6lA . For more details on customized Wedding and Reception facility budget contact travel planner to metu@toshali.in If you feel, we have missed any information that is helpful for your friends visiting this blog, do post. We would be glad to receive your comments and conversation.

Jhiri Mela – An Annual Fair held in Jammu and kashmir

A tribute to a legendary farmer is an annual fair held in Jammu every year in the months of October-November. The fair is celebrated to salute the courage of a farmer, his sacrifice for the liberation of the farming community. The Samadhi of Baba Jit Mal, popularly known as Baba Jitto at Shama Chak Jhiri, about 22 km from Jammu. He had laid down his life after he was cheated by the Kardar of the area.

It is a thrilling experience for every visitor to the fair. The Jhiri Mela celebrates honesty, innocence, humility and stands for courage, culture and truthfulness.

Lakhs of tourists from all over the India gather during the Jhiri Mela to pay tribute to the Samadhi of this legendary farmer.


According to an ancient legend, there was an honest, truthful and uncomplicated farmer called Baba Jitu. A Brahmin and devotee of Mata Vaishno Devi and Raja Mandalik Jitu used to live in Aghar village near Katra, Vaishno Devi.

He grew Fed up with the attitude of his aunt Jojan and decided to leave the village. He met Mehta Bir Singh, the Kardar of the Ambgrota in Jammu and urged him to provide him a piece of land for tilling. But Bir Singh gave him a piece of barren land after signing an agreement, which was written and signed by King Ajaib Dev. Jitto was asked to give one-fourth of his produce to the King.

He worked hard day and night and transformed the barren land into lush green fields. His dream was realized when he had a luxuriant yield. As soon as, Bir Singh got the news regarding the good yield, he arrived at the fields along with his men and asked them to lift three fourth of the crop and leave only a quarter with Jitto.

However, Baba Jitto prayed to follow the terms of the agreement but all his requests fell on deaf ears. Most of the farmers from nearby areas, who gathered could not stop Mehta due to fear of the King’s men. Left with no solution and no means of help, he committed suicide leaving all surrounding grains red with blood.


People from all over India come to Jammu during the time of Jhiri Mela to pay homage to Baba Jitu and his holy soul. During the fair exhibitions are organized that cater to diverse variety of articles ranging from Pottery, vases, utensils and toys to books on Baba jitu. For the people coming from all over India, one important ritual during the Jhiri Mela is to take a holy dip in Babe- da- Talab’ which is known to have miraculous powers for curing skin disorders.

Jhiri Mela commencing from November 19, 2010. It lasts for many days and is an exemplary experience for all its visitors.

Toshali Holidays has made exclusive arrangement for their Guest, Tourist, Travellers. Send Query for Jhiri Mela at Jammu & Kashmir http://bit.ly/aSaiCR . You can also ask your Travel Consultant Metu at metu@toshali.in

Id-ul-Zuha : The festival of Bakrid

Id-ul-Zuba is a Muslim festival, coincides with the Haj pilgrimage in Mecca. In this festival there is tradition to sacrifice a goat or “Bakr” in Urdu. Id-ul-Zuha also called Id-ul-Adha in Arabic and Bakr-Id in India and its subcontinent because of its tradition of sacrificing a goat or ‘bakr’ in Urdu. The word ‘Id’ derived from the Arabic ‘iwd’ means festival and zuha comes from ‘uzhaiyya’ which translates to sacrifice.

According to the legends Ibrahim decided to sacrifice his son Ismail, at Mina, near Mecca. Then it was revealed to him that this exercise was merely a test of his faith in Allah.

Id-ul-Zuha Festival
Id-ul-Zuha Festival

The Bakrid Festival is a commemoration of Hazrat Ibrahim’s great test of obedience to Allah, who ordered him to sacrifice the person dearest to him.

On this day firstly prayers are offered in the mosques and then the sacrificial meat is distributed after the Id special prayers. And the festival is celebrated in great rejoice and exchange of greetings and gifts marked the Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid), the festival of sacrifice, celebrated with traditional fervour and gaiety in India.

When is Id-ul-Zuha celebrated?

Id-ul-Zuha is celebrated from the tenth to the twelfth day of Zil hijja. Also, Id-ul-Zuha or Eid al-Adha annually falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja of the lunar Islamic calendar. The festivities last for three days or more depending on the country. Eid al-Adha occurs the day after the pilgrims conducting Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide, descend from Mount Arafat. It happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan. (Courtesy : Festival of India)

In 2010, Id-ul-Zuha is celebrated on 17th -21st November. And November 6th in 2011

Toshali Resorts International has made exclusive arrangement for their Guest, Tourist, Travellers. Send Query for Id-ul-Zuha http://bit.ly/f9IFjW . You can also ask your Travel Consultant Metu at metu@toshali.in Wishing all our friends “Id Mubarak”

Pushkar Fair : The Annual Largest Camel Fair in the World

Pushkar Fair is world’s largest camel fair held in the holy town of Pushkar in Rajasthan.  This camel festival hosts around 50,000 camels in this magnificent event they are sold, decorated, raced and saved.

Largest Camel Fair
Largest Camel Fair

Pushkar is among the five Dhams of Hindus Badrinath, Puri, Rameswaram and Dwarka. On this occasion villagers from far and near to gather and enjoys the fair.

According to legends Lord Brahama killed the demon by his lotus flower and the places where his petals floated Lake sprang up. Puskar Lake was surrounded by 500 temples and 52 palaces at one point.  This is the only Brahama temple of India. Puskar is held at Pushkar town, 11 km from Ajmer in Rajasthan, India for twelve days annually.

A Quick Overview: Why should you visit Pushkar Fair:

  • It is the largest Camel Fair in the World

    Camel Ride at Pushkar
    Camel Ride at Pushkar
  • It has only temple for Lord Brahma in the world
  • It has the famous Sarovar with 52 Ghats surrounding it in the Earth
  • It offers around 400 temples to see.
  • Pushkar Fair is all encapsulated with numerous cultural activities.
  • Traditional and Ethnic shopping items from all over the state are on sale during fair.
  • Pushkar  Mela has the rare combination of religious fervor and cultural vibrancy in Rajasthan.
  • One of the most interesting and attractive feature of the fair is the opportunity to meet and see numerous different cultural folks.

In 2010, Pushkar Fair is celebrated on 13-21 November.

Toshali Resorts International has made exclusive arrangement for their Guest, Tourist, Travellers to visit Pushkat Fair at Rajasthan. Reservation and Booking Pushkar Mela can be made at http://bit.ly/gb5Hsr . You can also ask your Travel Consultant Metu at metu@toshali,in

Puri Beach Festival, Orissa: Do Not Miss it….!

Puri Beach Festival is celebrated every year in the month of November at Puri, Orissa. It has gained enough popularity in the recent years as tourists from all over India and globally during the festival, making it a perfect ambiance and opportunity for the, tourist and travelers visitors to interact with the local Orissa people and know about their culture.

Starting from Fashion shows, exhibitions, cultural programs, delicious cuisine all form a part of this colorful festival, there are many interactive, attractive and entertaining events organized here for the tourist and visitors at Puri during the festivals.

Puri Beach Festival has always been on epitome on the tourism prospects. The festival is held in the month of November, this festival is an annual 5 day Puri beach festival is held 23rd-27th November every year packed with engaging activities and events for the tourists to blend in the culture and traditions all colorful and majestic of Incredible Orissa.

While on a visit to Orissa, the Beach Festival is the most enchanting experience of all. Starting from the cultural performances to beach fun, Puri beach festival offers for every age group. The venue of the festival is Puri Beach, it is a pilgrimage in itself at Lord Jagannath Dham and a perfect vacation and holiday destination.

Activities held during the Puri Beach Festival are

  • Cultural events, classical and folk dance performances, sand sculptures, handicrafts and food festivals to rock concerts, DJs, On The Beach Parties; Puri Beach Festival has established it as an international festival.
  • Every day at the festival tourist and visitors can listening rock music, tapping feet on classical and folk tunes, enjoying dance performances, shopping ethnic and traditional handicrafts, enjoying the beach and to have night-long fun on beach.

The credit for conducting the wonderful Puri Beach Festival goes to the following star co-sponsors…

  • Hotel and Restaurant Association of Orissa (HRAO).
  • Ministry of Tourism, Government of India
  • The Department of Tourism, Government of Orissa
  • Development Commissioner of Handicrafts and
  • The Eastern Zonal Cultural Center; Calcutta.

In 2010, The Annual “16th Puri Beach Festival” is held 23rd – 27th November.

Toshali Sand, Puri has made exclusive arrangement for their Guest, Tourist, Travellers, Locals, Visitors at Balighai Beach, Puri.. Reservation and Booking for the Puri Beach Festival can be made at http://bit.ly/aKlamj .. You can also ask your Travel Consultant Metu at metu@toshali,in

Dance Festivals of India

india-dance-festivalIts varied dance forms are an indicator to India’s rich cultural heritage. All classical dance forms revolve around the nine ‘Rasa’ or emotions, namely happiness, anger, fear, courage, peace, kindness, agony, surprise and disgust. Numerous dance festivals are a pointer to the continued and growing popularity of India’s rich heritage. Some of them are:

Hampi  Utsav

Hampi festival is one of the major tourist attractions of Karnataka. It features dance, drama and music against the backdrop of the rocks and ruins of an ancient empire. It takes place around late January.

Khajuraho Festival

It is the best known dance festival held in February-March in Khajuraho. The cultural extravaganza takes place at an ampitheatre near of the Chitragupta Temple.

Konark Dance Festival

Held against the backdrop of the imposing Sun temple, annually from February 19 to 23. The exquisite ‘Salamander’ or the ‘dancing hall’ of the Sun temple is an architectural wonder. The walls are covered with fine sculpture. The festival started in the year 1986 at Konark Natya Mandap, Arka Vihar, Konark. It was started by Guru Gangadhar Pradhan.

Mamallapuram Utsav

In late December or early January, for 4 weeks danseuse enthrall against backdrop of the Pallava Rock Sculpture – ‘Arjuna’s Penance’ of this ancient temple town, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Nishagandhi Festival

It is a twice a year festival – held in October-November and March-April in the Nishagandhi Theatre, at the Kanakunnu palace compound in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

Natyanjali Utsav

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is also the Lord of dance forms as the ‘Nataraj’, it begins on Mahashivratri at the 1000 year old temple in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu.

Taj Mahotsav

Taj Mahotsav is a 10 day extravaganza held between February and March. It features classical dances, folk art and music. The venue is Shilpgram, a stone throw from the majestic Taj Mahal in Agra.

In 2010, Toshali Travel and Tours  offers budget festival Holiday packages and arranges, to be at Indian Dance Festivals. And customized your accommodation on demand, get reservation at http://bit.ly/cwKz4E Toshali Travel and Tours is authorised Travel and Tour Operator, recognised and accredited by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India

To know more about the Indian Dance Festivals, post you comments or Contact our Toshali Holidays Planner at metu@toshali.in

Dadri Mela : The Largest Cattle Fairs in India

India is a land of festivals, fairs and celebrations. Most of these follow the crop cycle. Over time they have grown legends, most portraying the victory of good over evil. And all adding to the color and gaiety to life.

Legend says Ballia was the capital of King Bali, who was vanquished by Lord Vishnu in his ‘Vamana’ incarnation. It was once situated in the confluence of river Ganga and Saryu.

In more modern times Ballia was the birth place of the hero of First War of Indian Independence, Mangal Pandey. The city of Ballia is also believed to the birth place and workplace of Maharshi Bhrigu.

Dadri is a village some 5 km from the town of Ballia in Uttar Pradesh. Every year on Kartik Poornima (October – November) it hosts one of the largest cattle fairs of the world, alongwith the Sonepur and Pushkar fair. There is a temple dedicated to Sage Bhrigu in Dadri. It is believed that this is where Dardar Muni, son of Sage Bhrigu, on the boon of Lord Brahma, undertook penance. The fair attracts about a million people. It is famous for trading in livestock.

Dadri Mela /Fair is held on 21 November 2010

Toshali Travel and Tours  offers budget festival holiday packages and arranges, to be at “Dadri Mela” in Dadri, Ballia in Uttar Pradesh. 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

To know more on the Dadri Mela, post you comments or Contact our Toshali Holidays Planner at metu@toshali.in

Children’s Day in India : Birthday Celebration of Chacha Nehru

Children’s day was first celebrated worldwide in October, 1953, under the sponsorship of International Union for Child Welfare, Geneva. The idea of Universal Children’s Day was mooted by late Shri V.K. Krishna Menon and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954.

Universally, Children’s Day is celebrated on 20th November. However in India it is celebrated on 14th November, because the date marks the birth anniversary of our beloved first Prime Minister – Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru or as children called him fondly ‘Chacha Nehru’.

The birth of Chacha Nehru..

His great love for roses and children are well-known. He often compared the two, saying that children were like buds in a garden to be carefully and lovingly nurtured, as they are the future.

He was ‘beloved’ of children who christened him ‘Chacha Nehru’. As atribute to his great love for children, his birthday is celebrated all over India as ‘CHILDREN’S DAY’. A national holiday, it is celebrated in schools and colleges with functions catering to children.

Children's Day (Image courtesy - Indian Public Holiday)
Children’s Day (Image courtesy – Indian Public Holiday)

Apart from his formidable skills as a statesman, Nehru was also immensely fond of children. Children to Nehru were little adults in the making.

The story also goes that he started to wear a rose on his jacket after a child pinned one on it. The national children’s centre, Jawahar Bal Bhavan, is also named after him.

The significance of Children’s Day

Amidst all this pomp and celebration we should not lose sight of Chacha Nehru’s real message. Providing children with a safe and nurturing environment in which to flourish and develop to contribute to nation building. This day we renew our commitment to the welfare of children and teach them to live by Chacha Nehru’s example.

Schools have cultural programmes with students running teh show. Schools celebrate this day by organising cultural programmes.

Teachers of the school perform songs and dances for their students. Various competitions are organised. Television channels have got into the fray and air special programmes for kids.

Toshali Travel and Tours offers Weekend budget festival holiday packages and arranges to celebrate “Children’s Day” at Toshali Resorts. And offers to customized your accommodation and vacation plan 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 . Book your Children’s Day Weekend Package http://bit.ly/b2G0Dd

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

Chandigarh Carnival : Festival of fun and frolic in India

Chandigarh, a new city and lacking in some of the age-old cultural traditions, has acquired new ones and a few like the Chandigarh carnival and “Maha Moorkh Sammelan” are unique.

Chandigarh carnival is a three day long gala, organized by the Chandigarh administration to promote creativity and talent of the citizens. It provides a platform to children and senior citizens, to come forward and exhibit their talent. Various competitions like painting and clay modeling etc. are conducted. Pick and drop facilities for senior citizens ensure greater participation.

Many schools also come and take part in the carnival. Some of the major competitions held are clay modeling, painting, fancy dress, singing, sit-and -draw etc.

The Carnival starts with a gala parade where colorfully dressed revelers set the tone. One of the biggest features of this festival is that it arranges for pick up and drop facilities for the senior citizens, so that they do not face any inconvenience.

The 2009 edition comprised of 16 troupes from Jordan, Hungary and France showcasing their talent.  Around 42 stalls were set up by NGOs to exhibit musical instruments, rare photographs, replicas of French architect Le Corbusier’s art works. The main entrance was in the shape of a guitar.

Cultural programme during Chandigarh Carnival 2008

In a land of festivities this is one ‘new age’ celebrations that merits mention. Chandigarh carnival is held every year in second week of November, immediately after Children’s Day (i.e 14th November). The venue for the same is Leisure valley in Sector 10, Chandigarh, India

Toshali Travel and Tours  offers budget festival holiday packages and arranges, to be at Chandigarh Carnival, Chandigarh. 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 : www.toshalitravel.com

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

Ganga Mahotsav : Festival at Varanasi, the cultural capital of India

Ganga Mahotsava is a 5-day festive event held on the banks of Ganges in Varanasi on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Kartik. Ganga Mahotsava tends to promote Varanasi and Ganga as the cultural capital and lifeline of India respectively.

The event gives stress on the promotion of the classical style of Indian music & dance. It provides opportunity to viewers, to witness performance of the great exponents of Indian classical dance and music. Some of these exponents of art reside in Uttar Pradesh itself.

In the past editions, laureates like Ustad Bismillah Khan, Pundit Chhanulal Misra, Girija Devi, Bal Murli Krishnan, Bhimsen Joshi, Birju Maharaj, Amjad Ali Khan, Vilayat Khan, Zila Khan, Sujat Khan and Zakir Hussein have given their enthralling performances in this festival. This festival is a must attend for every tourists the festival of lights at Varanasi.

It is believed, on the day of Dev Deepavali God descends from Heaven to take a holy bath in the Ganges. During the festival the banks of the river Ganga are lit with diyas or the earthen lamps and amidst chanting of Vedic hymns. The ghats of Ganga wear a majestic mystic look as thousands of pilgrim , tourists walk to take the holy dip in the wee hours of the holy day.

Men and women bathes in the river while chanting mantras and doing surya namaskar or worshiping and bowing to the Sun God.

Ganga Mahotsav Cultural Festival is held in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh from 17 to 21 November 2010

Planning your Trip for Ganga Mahotsav, Our tip here would be…

Stay at Varanasi for  5 days : If you want a true taste of Varansai, you should consider staying in one of the many dharmshalas lining the ghats? For those who like their creature comforts, book a hotel well in advance to avoid last minute hassles.

My recommendation would be : Enjoy a boat ride down the mighty Ganga River, taste the famous puris and kachoris for breakfast and finish it off with a Banarasi paan (Beetle), shop around for the hallmark Banarasi Sarees (India famous dressing attire) and also  visit the ancient temples dotting the oldest city in the world.

Toshali Travel and Tours  offers budget festival holiday packages and arranges, to be at “Ganga Mahotsav”, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. 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 : www.toshalitravel.com

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