Dol Purnima or Dola Jatra marks the Holi festival celebrations in Orissa and West Bengal.

Dol Poornima 1

“Dolecha Dologovindam, Chapecha Madhausudhanam
Rathetu Bamanam Drustwa, Punarjanma Nalabhyate”

Dola Purnima or Dol Poornima is the auspicious day during Holi festival celebrations in Orissa. Dola Purnima 2011 is celebrated on 19th March. The celebrations of Dola Purnima are similar to that of Dol Purnima festival in Bengal. The festival is also known as Dolajatra or Dol Yatra.

Dol Purnima harks the advent of Spring and is synonymous with Shri Radha Krishna. Around the region of Braj bhoomi – Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana and Nandgaon this is one of the prime celebrations, on the last full moon day of Phalguna. It also marks the birthday of saint Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Legend has it that Hiranyakashipu ordered demoness Holika to burn Prahlad in a fire. The fireproof demon Holika died but Prahlad survived due to the grace of Lord Vishnu. The tradition of symbolically burning Holika stayed. In Southern India Holika dahan signifies the burning of Kamdeva due to the wrath of Lord Shiva.

In Orissa and Bengal, Holi Celebrations will begin on Phagu Dasami and end on Phalgun Poornima or main Holi festival will be celebrated on the day after Dol Purnima.

In Bengal Dol Purnima is a day of colours, revelry and as with most celebrations in Bengal – sweets – malpoa, kheer sandesh, basanti sandesh (saffron), saffron milk, payash etc. The west Indian expats brought with them bhang, it stayed. In Shantiniketan Dol Jatra is celebrated with songs and dance of Rabindranath tagore.

Dol Purinima / Dol Jatra Celebration at Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri Odisha
Dol Purinima / Dol Jatra Celebration at Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri Odisha

The tradition followed in Puri is similar. After Holika dahan ladies mark out the site with a mixture of powdered raw rice and turmeric. The idols of Shri Radha Krishna is replaced by Lord Jagannath. After all he is but another synonym of Krishna.

The palanquin with the Lord is taken out in a procession. In the evening, milkmen, carry the Lord on their shoulders, for Krishna belonged to their clan. It is scented ‘abir’, colours, sweets and celebrations till evening, when the Lords take a bath and return to temple.

In some places, the new Oriya Panchang or almanac is read after the swing festival. In some regions, the festival comes to an end only on the tenth day and this is known as Dasa Dola. Numerous fairs are also organized during this period, which is called as Dola Jatra or Dol Yatra.

Dola Yatra from Lord Jagannath temple Puri to ‘’Dolabedi,’’ Jagannath (substitute) Dolagobinda, along with Maa Laxmi & Swarasati going to play holi at Dolabadi Puri Thousand of pilgrims & Tourist Enjoying this day.

“Dola Purnima” is a popular festival in the coastal districts of Odishaa. Lord Jagannath is worshiped as the name of Dolagovinda in this festival. On this day Odiya calendar becomes ready and it is worshiped on Dolabedi infront of Dolagovinda. It is the full-moon day in the month of Falguna.

This festival is mentioned as Basantotsab or Vasantotsav or Basant rithu festival in Puranic texts.

“Holi Mae Sab Miljate Hai, Khusiyo Ke Rang Khil Jate Hai”  Early Bird Reservation and Booking Open for Family and your friends to celebrate colourful Holi at Toshali Sands, Puri You can also contact “Metu” your Travel Consultant at and

Good Friday and Easter Celebration in India

Good Friday is observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The estimated year of Good Friday is AD 33 or AD 34. On the third day, from his crucifixion, on Sunday, jesus rose from the dead. This is now known as Easter Sunday. The Catholic Church treats Good Friday as a fast day. Good Friday and Easter

The period just before Good Friday is Lent. Fasting and other forms of renunciation are recommended as ways of following the example of Jesus. Liturgical services are held in the church, on this day. They start at noon and continue for the next three hours i.e. till 3 pm. Jesus is believed to have died on the Cross at three in the afternoon.

Christian countries observe Good Friday in slightly different ways. The essence remains similar. It marks the culmination of Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday, and takes place two days before Easter Sunday. Services are aimed at allowing worshippers to experience some of the pain and humiliation that the son of God experienced for humanity.

The celebrations of Easter in India commence with Lent and culminate with Easter Sunday. Christians all over, especially in Mumbai, Goa and the Northeastern states, make elaborate arrangements for Easter festivities. Easter eggs and Easter bunnies are much in demand as gifts.

The exchange of colorful lanterns and replicas of the Holy Cross is also exchanged by friends and relatives. Diversity in the lifestyle and culture sees a lot of variety in the traditional Easter recipes.

In 2011, ‘Good Friday and Easter Festival’ is celebrated in 22nd to 24th April

Toshali Resorts International Invites all Fans, friends, guests to celebrate “Good Friday and Esater” at Toshali Resorts in India booking and accomodation reservation visit . You can also contact your Travel Manager ‘Metu’ for more details at and

A pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno Devi Holy Shrine

Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine
Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine

The saying goes until you are invited you cannot visit her shrine. An incarnation of Shakti Shri Mata Vaishno Devi sits in her shrine at the top of the Trikuta hills near Katra in Jammu and Kashmir, at an altitude of 5200 feet and 14 kms from Katra. Some 8 million piligrims visit annually making Mata Rani the second most visited temple after Lord Venkateshwara.

Legend says Lord Rama found her deep in meditation and gave her the name Vaishnavi. The mother in turn fasted for 9 days on navratras and the practice of reading the Ramayanas during the navratras started from here. The more popular legend is that of the divine mother guiding her humble disciple Sreedhar to organise a grand feast and Bhairav Nath a tantric following her through Banganga and Garbh Joon, to her hilltop abode. The mother took on her Mahakali form to slay Bhairav Nath but granted him a boon that her pilgrimage will henceforth be considered complete only upon a visit to the shrine of Bhairav Nath, some 2.5 km from the holy cave temple.

My Yatra began at Katra and pilgrims have to cover 13 km. of terrain on foot to reach the Darbar. One kilometer away from Katra, you would find Banganga, place where Mata quenched her thirst and at 6 km., the holy cave at Adhkawari. Yatris are advised to obtain a yatra slip only from the Yatra Registration Counter at the Tourism Reception Centre, Katra Bus Stand and nowhere els.e. Without an authentic yatra slip, crossing of Banganga checkpost will not be allowed. The Yatra Slip is absolutely free but is necessary to commence the Yatra. You can obtain caps, canvas shoes, sticks etc. on hire for the Yatra. Those who have problems in climbing on the mountains, can hire the services of a pony or dandi (palenquin). Pithus can also be hired for carrying the children on shoulders. It is advised that you should avail of the services of only registered people be it the pithu, pony or the dandiwalla and keep his token for the period he is engaged. Maa Vaishno Devi

The entire 13 km route is quite wide and tiled. Besides, the whole path is lit up every night by powerful sodium vapour lamps. The entire route is swept and cleaned from time to time throughout the day. Yatris are requested to keep the path clean. Shelter cum sheds and shelter cum cafeterias are setup throughout the route. Pure vegetarian food is available at these outlets. Price charts are exhibited at all these outlets prominently. Drinking water has been made available all along the route, with water coolers and storage facilities. Public utilities with automatic flushing systems along the track and at the Bhawan.

After 6 km. of trekking, you would reach Adhkawari, the holy cave where Mata meditated for nine months. Do visit the cave. After 9.5 km., you would reach Sanji Chhat where you can rest for sometime. Accommodation is also available at this place. Bhawan is just 3.5 km. away. On reaching Bhawan, show your Yatra Slip at the Registration Office and obtain the Batch no. provided on the slip. This number is important as it will determine your place in the queue for darshan. On reaching Bhawan, have a bath and change your clothes. Be sure to get your luggage and leather items booked in the cloak rooms and obtain the receipt. Book the valuables separately and obtain the receipt.

The journey was arduous but the temple trust has done a lot to make the way accessible. The path is paved, food and water are available all along the way, battery operated autos and mules and dolis make the journey easier for the very young and very old. Chants of Jai Mata Di reverberate along the hills day and night except for the peak winters. The cool weather of the hills is an added incentive for visitors. The journey can take some time on foot but the scenery and anticipation makes it worthwhile. It take about 6 hours on foot and another 4 to climb down and can be easily accommodated in a weekend.

Summer Vacation is already knocking at the door…….   Mata Vaishno Devi Tour Package is open now – visit at  for Early Bird Offer. For exculsive Summer Holiday Package, Wedding Package, Honeymoon Package, Festive Package, Summer Vacation package avialable, simply post a comment on your travel plan or mail to and . We will send best budget package. Share this post with your friends at Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, Linkedin and other Social Networking sites…


Have You Ever Been to Elephant Festival in Jaipur, India…!!!

 Elephant festival of Jaipur (Image Source Rajanthan Tours)Ever thought of the majestic elephant as a canvas? Come down to Jaipur during the elephant fest. Decorated in paints and colorful livery, actually the female elephants get to wear anklets that jingle, they look as bit majestic as in the days of yore when Rajput pride shone bright in Rajasthan. The festival started the Holi festivities. It used to be held at the Chaugan stadium near the Hawa Mahal. The elephants walk through the Old City and usually start out from Ravindra Manch. So you might accompany them but do remember entry is free so arrive before the usual 4 pm start. As for the mundane events after the elephants reach the venue – well they include Elephant ‘beauty’ contests, Elephant polo, Elephant race, the tug-of-war between Elephant and 19 men and women – need I tell you who wins – every time?

Elephant festival (Image Courtesy Rajasthan Tourism)
Elephant festival (Image Courtesy Rajasthan Tourism)

And yes I almost forgot this year onwards it will be held at the Jaipur Polo Grounds. On menu this year are: Gaj Shringar’ exhibition, traditional elephant procession, gair dance, elephant decoration competition, Chang Dhap folk dance, Matka Race for tourists, a tug of war event between domestic and foreign tourists, Braj Holi folk dance and the playing of holi colours on elephants. Then rows of elephants will walk the ramp followed by band recitals and concluding the evening with a display of soundless fireworks.

In 2011, ‘Elephant Festival’ will be celebrated in Jaipur on 19th March… Are you there …!!

Toshali Resorts International invites all Fans, friends, guests to celebrate “Elephant Festival” at Jaipur, India…. For booking and accomodation reservation for weekend tour . You can also contact your Travel Manager ‘Metu’ for more details at and .. Share this information with your friends at facebook and other social networking sites..

Summer Holiday – Popular Destinations in India

Whether it is Mast Holiday, Holiday Camps, Summer Holiday Destinations, Hill Stations, Summer Camping Destinations or Honeymoon Destinations in India….. Visit to know about best popular places for holidays, vacation & weekend breaks in India.

Coorg Croog

Coorg (Kodagu) borders Kerala and enjoys moderate climate. Besides the scenery is breathtaking, lush greenery, coffee plantations and the deep woods. There’s something for everyone. Madikeri, the headquarters is known as the Scotland of India, Kakabe produces honey, animals abound in Nagarahole national park, Cauvery Nisargadhama is a 2.5 sq. km. island in the middle of the River Cauvery.

Ooty Ooty

Situated in the Nilgiri biosphere reserve Ooty (Udhagamandalam) is known as the queen of the hill stations and sits some 2200 mtrs above the sea level. An added attraction for is the mountain train journey on a ratchet and pinion track from Kallar, and makes its way through hair-raising curves and dark tunnels and deep ravines with some of the most stunning views available.


Kodaikanal Kodaikanal

It is one of Tamil Nadu’s finest hill stations, some 7200 feet up in the Palani hills in the Western Ghats. Did you know? The Kurinji Flower is in full bloom around December once in 12 years. Last seen in 2006, the next one expected in 2018. Berijam Lake, Coakers Walk- If you wish to catch the scenic valleys, the best place. Oh yeah its close to the bus stand and do try out the telescope near the main gate. Bryant park and Kodai Lake, Silent valley, suicide point, Devil’s kitchen are some must see places.

Munnar Munnar

It is the most popular hill resort in Kerala. Kerala and greenery are synonymous. Some places of interest include Pallivasal, Chinnakanal, Anayirangal, the Tea Museum and the oddly named Top Station – the highest point on the Munnar-Kodaikanal road.



Srinagar Srinagar

Heaven on Earth. Insurgency and political turmoil haven’t taken its toll. She is as beautiful as on the day she enthralled Jahangir into saying: “Agar Firdaus bar ru-e zamin hast. Hami asto. Hami asto. Hami ast.”  – Farsi for – If there is heaven on earth, it is here, it is here it is here. He recited Kwaja Amir Khusrav. Be careful but do visit it once.


Shimla Shimla

A Dilliwala speaking about Shimla. Well the ex summer capital, the most popular hill station in Northern India – simply by numbers. The mall looks a bit like bazaars of Delhi but just go out a bit and Shimla will still enthrall you. Take the train to chug into the Queen of hill stations and she will unravel her beauty. The city is named after goddess Shyamala Devi, an incarnation of Goddess Kali. Annandale, Jaku hill, Tara Devi and Sankat Mochan temple and Mashobra are some places of interest.

Manali Manali

It is at the North end of the Kullu valley, some 250 km from Shimla. Legend says its home to the seven sages of Hinduism. The name suggests it – its named after the law giver saint Manu. Tourism in Manali picked up after rise of militancy in Kashmir. It’s a place for adventure tourism with its ‘extreme Yak sports’ making it to the covers of the Time. Naggar fort, Hirimba Devi temple, Solang and Rohtang are some of the must see places around.


Summer Vacation is already knocking at the door……. Early Bird Summer Package Booking at Toshali Royal View Resort, Shilon Bagh Shimla, visit at . For exculsive Summer Holiday Package, Wedding Package, Honeymoon Package, Festive Package, Summer Vacation package at popular Summer Holiday Destinations in India, simply post a comment on your travel plan or mail to and . We will send best budget package. Share this post with your friends at Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, Linkedin and other Social Networking sites…

Shree Ram Navami Festival: The Birthday Celebration of Lord Rama in India

Shri Rama Navami celebrates the birth of Lord Rama to King Dasharatha and Kausalya of Ayodhya. It falls in the Shukla Paksha on the ninth day of the month of Chaitra and marks the end of the nine-day Chaitra-Navratri celebrations. Lord Rama is the 7th incarnation of Lord Vishnu who came down to earth to battle the invincible Ravana in human form. Lord Rama

In Bhadrachalam the day also celebrates the wedding anniversary of Sri Rama and Sita. The festival is celebrated for 9 days and is marked by continuous recitals, Akhand Paath, mostly of the Ramacharitamanas, organized several days in advance to culminate on this day, with elaborate bhajan, kirtan and distribution of prasad after the puja and aarti.

On the last day celebrations and festivities begin with prayer to the Sun god early in the morning. At midday, when Rama was incarnated on that day in Treta Yuga is marked with devotional service is performed with Bhakti and piety.

The house is and decorated. Offerings of fruit and flowers are placed before the family shrine and prayers are recited.

An image or picture of baby Rama is placed in a covered cradle. At noon the covering is removed and Prasad is offered to Rama, and then shared by the devotees.

The festival is a focal point for moral reflection and being especially charitable to others. Celebrations at places associated with Sri Rama, like Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and Ramesvaram in Tamil Nadu, attract thousands of devotees.


In 2011, ‘Ram Navami’ Festival will be celebrated in 12th April

Toshali Resorts International Invites all Fans, friends, guests to celebrate “Ram Navami” at Toshali Resorts in India, for booking and accomodation reservation visit . You can also contact your Travel Manager ‘Metu’ for more details at and

Jamshed-e-Navroz : Parsi New Year, The Celebration Of Glory


Jamshed-e-Navroz finds mentioned in the Persian ‘Book of Kings’. First celebrated by King Jamshed, the day coincides with vernal equinox and marks the transition from winter to summer.

Nowruz – means “New Light” and marks the Persian New Year. One of the holiest festival, it is believed to have been invented by Zoroaster himself.

The Jewish festival of Purim is probably adopted from this and it is also a holy day for Sufis, Ismailis, Alawites, Alevis, and the Bahá’ís.

The UN’s General Assembly recognized the International Day of Nowruz,  in 2010 and was officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Besides Iran it is celebrated in countries that were territories of,  or influenced by, the Persian Empire. In India, it is a day of joyous  celebration. Parsis wear new clothes, gold or silver kustis and caps.

Auspicious symbols like fish, birds, butterflies and stars, are patterned on doorways. Guests are welcomed with rose water and rice. navroze-mubarakh

The traditional drink served is falooda, sweetened milk flavored with rose petals and lunch consists of sev and sweet yogurt and pulao.

The meal ends with ravo, a copy of the Gathas, a lit lamp, an afrigan,  a bowl of water containing live fish, an earthenware plate with sprouted wheat or beans for prosperity, flowers for color, silver coin  for wealth, painted eggs for productivity and sweets and rosewater for sweetness and happiness. Additionally seven foods beginning with ‘sh’ and ‘sa’ symbolizing creation are kept. Jamshed Navroz is a time for Parsis to reiterate their identity and on par with Gudi Padva and Ugadi, New Year days in India.

In 2011, ‘Jamshed-e-Navroz’ – the Parsi New Year in India is celebrated in 20th March

Toshali Resorts International Invites all Parsi friends to celebrate “Jamshed-e-Navroz” at Toshali Resorts in India, for booking and accomodation reservation visit . You can also contact your Travel Manager “Metu’ for more details at and

Mewar Festival : A fascinating festivity that enthralls the beholder..

Its March – you are ready for a short break after a hectic quarter. So if you can get leave then why not Udaipur. After all it is the lake city, the Venice of the East. It is the place associated with the legendary Maharana Pratap and the battle of Haldighati. Mewar has been synonymous with freedom and independence ever since. And it is that time when Udaipur comes alive with the Mewar Festival.

Mewar Festival (Image source : festivalofindia)
Mewar Festival (Image source : festivalofindia)

The festival celebrates the advent of spring. This coincides with the Gangauri festival. Gana is another name for shiva and the festival is in honour of his consort Gauri. It is a celebration of spring, harvest and martial fidelity. It’s believed that Parvati returned to her parental home during Gangaur, to bless her friends with marital bliss. The first important ritual of the festival is collecting ashes from the Holi fire and burying of wheat and barley seeds in it.

The idols of goddess Gangaur and Isar (Lord Shiva) are taken in a procession through the city. The festival has special significance for women in Rajasthan. They take Part in the procession, prepare the deities. Dancing, singing, concerts, fireworks marks the procession. The procession concludes at the Gangaur Ghat of Lake Pichhola. The idols are transferred into special boats. After this the cultural part of the festival begins. Performances highlight the Rajasthani culture. The three-day festival ends with a beautiful display of fireworks.

Oh since you are in Udaipur do care to look around for the Udaipur is famous for City Palaces, Saheliyon-ki-Bari, Bagore Ki Haveli, Suraj Gokhada, Pratap Memorial, Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake, Monsoon Palace, Shri Eklingji Prabhu Temple and many more…

In 2011, Marwar Festival will be celebrated from 6 – 8 April at Udaipur, Rajasthan

How to reach Marwar Festival at Udaipur

By Air – Udaipur is well connected to all the major cities which includes Delhi, Mumbai, Jodhpur, Jaipur.

By Road – Rajasthan Roadways run very comfortable deluxe & air conditioned buses from Jaipur, Delhi, Ahmedabad to Udaipur. The roads are very good, and it takes around 8-9 hr. from Jaipur. You can also come by taxi from Jaipur and Ahmedabad.

By Train – Udaipur is connected to many major cities of India. There are daily trains from Delhi, Jaipur.The best train between Delhi and Udaipur, the daily Chetak Express. Trains take around 12 Hrs from Jaipur to Udaipur.

Toshali Tours and Travels, recognised by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, offer an exclusive budget accommodation and Rajasthan travel package to take you to “Mewar Festival” at Udaipur. For Reservation and Booking visit at . Contact your Travel Desk Consultant “Metu” for more information on “Mewar Festival” at

Gudi Padwa Festival : Celebrated to mark the Marathi New Year in India

Gudi Padwa or Gudhi Padva is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month to mark the beginning of the Marathi New year according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar (Marathi : गुढी पाडवा often mis-pronounced as guDi padwa because ढी sounds like डी while speaking). It is also know as Samvatsar Padvo.

Gudi Padwa Festival (Image source
Happy Gudi Padwa Festival (Image source

The South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka observe this day as Ugadi the Sindhis celebrate it as Cheti chand, Bengal celebrates it as Nav Varsha, Baisakhi in Punjab and so on.

Padwa is Marathi for the Sanskrit word Pratipada, the first day of a lunar month or the Sanskrit word for crops Pradurbhu.

The Gudi is a bright green or yellow cloth adorned lined with brocade tied to the tip of a long bamboo over which sugar crystals, neem leaves, a twig of mango leaves and a garland of red flowers is tied. An inverted copper pot covers these. This is hoisted outside the house, in plain view.

Scholars differ over the significance of the staff. Some say Brahma created the universe on this day, to some it signifies the triumphal return of Lord Rama to Ayodha, the flag of Lord Indra or a symbol of Shivaji’s victory.  The spring season starts from this day. Behind all the associated myths this is a festival of a predominantly agrarian society, marking the end and the beginning of a farming cycle.

Irrespective of the significance Gudhi is believed to ward off evil, invite prosperity and good luck to the household and for the young ones it is the savory Puran Polis, a holiday, pampering parents, visit to the park and such small happy things. 

In 2011, Gudi Padva Festival will be held on 16th March in Maharastra, India.

Toshali Tours and Travels, recognised by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, offer an exclusive budget accommodation and travel package to take you to “Gudi Padva” Festival. For Reservation and Booking visit at . Contact your Travel Desk Consultant “Metu” for more information on “Gudi Padwa” at and

International Women Day 2011 : A Tribute to Women

 International Womens Day

It was originally International Working Women’s Day. The origins are found in worldwide movements for emancipation of women since the early 1900s. Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. Observance was shifted to 8 March, later in 1913 and has remained the date for International Women’s Day ever since. Some claim that the first IWD was observed on 19 March 1911 in Germany.

Image Source IWD
Image Source IWD

IWD has grown from strength to strength. For many years the UN has held an annual conference to coordinate international efforts for women’s rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as ‘International Women’s Year’ by the UN. Women’s organisations and governments observe by holding events to honour women’s advancement and renew the vow to ensure that equality is maintained in all aspects of life.

The day is an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Georgia, Guinea Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The day sees men honoring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc. with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

India sees heinous crimes against women – rape, dowry deaths, female infanticide etc. daily so the day holds special significance. It serves as a reminder of how much we have achieved and how much more still needs to be done.


Theme: So while many people may think there is one global theme each year, this is not always correct. It is completely up to each country and group as to what appropriate theme they select. However, In 2011, the global United Nation themes used for International Women’s Day to date is “Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women” for more details you can visit

1911 – 2011 on 8 March International Women’s Day  is a global day, celebrating 100 years on the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

Toshali Resorts International honours and pays tribute to women on 8th March the International Womens Day. Gift a Vacation at Toshali Resorts, for the your women you love the most, be it your Mother, Sister, Wife, Daughter, Beloved, and some one whom you adore, honour and respect. For more details on the accomodation reservation visit . You can also contact “Metu” for more details at and .