Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Golden Throne All Set for Display in Mysore for Dasara

Traditional Dasara celebrations in Mysore Palace

The major attraction of Mysore Dasara festival, the golden throne was kept out from the strongroom of the Mysore Palace on Sunday and readied for Dasara festivities. This iconic piece of priceless heritage will be used by Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar of the earlier royal family for organizing the Khas Durbar or the private durbar.

Dasara festivities

For Mysore visitors, it’s the only opportunity of witnessing the glimpse of this royal throne as it will be again dismantled and kept in the strongroom of the Palace after the festivities of Dasara. The golden throne features a main seat, a beautiful umbrella and a series of steps leading to the royal throne. All these parts were assembled along with spiritual rituals and supervised by a group of priests on Sunday. Following this, a curtain was drawn to cover the golden throne. The throne will be kept for public display from October 5 to 13.

Traditional Dasara celebrations in Mysore Palace

Though the throne is a major part of Mysore Dasara, it is surrounded by mysteries. It is believed that it was gifted by the Mughals, a legend associated it with the Pandavas of the Mahabharata. As per to the legend, the throne was buried in Penugonda, which is now in Andhra Pradesh and was retrieved back by the Harihara-I, know to be one of the founders of Vijayanagara Empire after following the instructions of sage Vidyaranya.

A Permanent Web Address for Dasara

Beautiful view of Mysore city at Dasara night

Dasara is one of the biggest-ticket events in the opulent city of Mysore. The festival has now got a permanent web address. The National Informatics Centre has collaborated with the district administration in order to get a permanent official web address www.mysoredasara.gov.in. This unique website address will not change like the previous ones. According to a web developer, “Besides this, the government has control over the domain, unlike earlier when private persons, who developed the website, controlled the domain name.” He further said that, “The government can renew the domain name now.”

Dasara celebrations in Mysore

The new website has an added feature of having content in approximately 60 languages, live chats, and online support through email-based Dasara queries. The content of the Dussehra 2013 website has been created by a Mysore-based web developer Dot Angle. The website was made effective soon after its launch at Mysore Palace Board by the district minister V Srinivas.

Beautiful view of Mysore city at Dasara night

The website is also provided with an attractive photo gallery, vintage videos of earlier Dasara celebrations and all the information about accommodation and food. What makes this Dussehra 2013 website handy is event-wise listing. Even the website also contains an interactive poll corner for tapping the public mood on different Dasara-related issues.

Dasara Delights: Mysore Charges no Entry Tax for Inter-State Tourist Vehicles

Dasara festivities in Mysore

In order to grab the attention of tourists for Dasara celebrations from all corners of the world, the tourism department has announced several plans and works. Showcasing a gesture of goodwill, the department will free all the inter-state entry tax for vehicles starting from October 1. However, every year, this release was extended for just 15 days.

Dasara festivities in Mysore

The state Tourism Minister Deshpande told that he is trying to hold a meeting with the tourism ministers of all the states of South India. He said that, “I will discuss about having uniform entry tax and other measures that will facilitate tourists’ movement.” Rs. 15 Lakh will be exempted for Srirangapattana for Dasara festivities as a part of the promotional measures. Also, the tour packages by KSRTC and KSTDC would be launched soon.

KSTDC Dasara special package will be Mysore-Ranganatittu, Srirangapattana, Kokkare Bellur-Mysore (Rs 380), Mysore-Nanjangud, Gopalaswamy Hills, Bandipura-Mysore (Rs 390), Mysore-Srirangapattana, Talakad, Shimsha-Mysore (Rs 395), Mysore-BR Hills, K Gudi-Mysore (Rs 395) and Mysore-Byalakuppe-Madikeri-Mysore (Rs 450).

Elephants decorated on Dasara

On the other hand, KSRTC package will be Giridarshini: Bandipur Goapalswamy Hills, BR Hills, Nanjangud and Chamundi Hills (adult: Rs 325, child: Rs 160), Jaladarshini: Golden Temple (Byalakuppe), Dubare, Nisarga Dhama, Abbe Falls, Raja’s Seat, Harangi dam and KRS (adult: Rs 350, child: Rs 175), Deavadarshini: Nanjangud, Talakad, Bluf, Mudukutore, Somanathapur, Srirangapattana, and KRS (adult: Rs 250, child: Rs 125), Nagara Darshini: Nanjangud, Chamundi Hills, Mysore Zoo, Mysore Palace, Srirangapattana and KRS (adult Rs 200, child: Rs 100) and Bangalore-Mysore Darshan: Bangalore, Srirangapattana, Chamunid Hills, Mysore Zoo and Mysore Palace.

 

Mangalore Dasara Celebrations to Start from October 5

breathtakingly beautiful view pf Mysore palace at night

With Dasara around the corner, Sri Gokarnanatha Temple, also famed as Kudroli temple is preparing to celebrate the 101st annual festival, Mangalore Dasara and Navratri from October 5 to 14. The festivities at the premises of temple will be inaugurated by Sri Kshetra Dharmastala dharmadhikari D Veerendra Heggade on October 10. The event will be headed by Former Union minister B Janardhan Poojary. It is expected that this 23 years old Mangalore Dasara will grab the attention of thousands of devotees.

breathtakingly beautiful view pf Mysore palace at night

The rituals of Mahanavami Utsava will begin from October 5 and the idols of Sharada and Nav Durga will be installed on the same day as a part of the festivities. The utsav will further have Pujas and rituals, which would be offered to the idols of Kooshmandini, Siddhidatri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Mahagowri, Mahakali, Adishakti, Shailaputri, Kathyayini, Skandamata and Ganapathi.

Dasara Dolls in Mysore

As a part of Dasara celebrations, various cultural programs will also be organized at temple’s Santhosha Kala Mantapa at each day during the festival. The celebrations for Vijay Dashami will be held on October 14 and the procession of Mangalore Dasara will also be held on the same day. Idols of Navadurga and Sharada will be taken as a part of the procession from the temple’s premises and it will pass through Mannagudda, Lalbagh, Lady Hill Circle, Ballabagh, PVS Circle, KS Rao Road, Ganapathi High School, Navabharath Circle, Hampankatta, Car Street and Alake. After the procession, the idols will be immersed in the pond of the temple.

Dasara Special: KSRTC Launches the ‘Hop-on Hop-Off’ Bus Service in Mysore

For the convenience of people, KSRTC has launched its special ‘Hop-On Hop-Off’ bus service today in the beautiful and royal city of Mysore. This bus service would be a regular feature even after the celebrations of much-awaited Dasara festival. The state tourism minister, R.V. Deshpande disclosed this to the media today after a meeting held with officials at the office of DC.

Dasara celebrations in Mysore

He stated that this special bus service would be based on the theme ‘Mysore on wheels’, where tourists can pay a visit to 15 different spots of the city without any hassles. The tickets for the same can be booked online through makemytrip.com. He further added that it is also proposed to run chartered flights to Mysore from Bangalore during the festival of Dasara.

Idol of Lordess Durga as a part of Dasara celebration in Mysore

The minister added by saying that they would give good publicity for Dasara at all the airports in the leading metro cities and metro rails in Delhi. In fact, the department is planning to present an exclusive short film on the festival soon. It was also proposed to convert the Dasara Exhibition into a big event with unique features, added Deshpande while referring to the Expo. He said that this year Dasara expo will have special garden for kids and senior citizens. Cleanliness would be the topmost priority and a bottle of packed drinking water would be made available without any charges to the people at ticket counter. In order to monitor security, surveillance cameras would be set up at strategic points.

Beautiful view of famous Mysore Palace at night

In a nutshell, the Minister said that the Center had passed a fund worth Rs. 5.25 Crore for developments in Palace apart from Rs. 8 Crore provided for the renovation projects of Brindavan Gardens and other spots in Mysore.

 

Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad Grabs the Travel Award 2013

Grand exterior view of Beautiful Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad

Adding more pride to the Indian hospitality sector, the beautiful and opulent Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad has grabbed 2nd position in the category of Overseas Holiday Hotels for Asia and India at the recently hosted Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Award 2013. Along with this, the grand heritage hotel in Hyderabad has also positioned 37th in the category of World’s Top 100 hotels.

Grand exterior view of Beautiful Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad

The magnificent Falaknuma Palace went a decade-long renovation and in 2010, it was opened as the Taj Falaknuma Palace. The elegantly refurbished and restored rooms of the hotel offer the guests with an experience of the city’s Nizam era. Boasting of its Tudor and Italian blend of splendid architecture, this 60-room palace has been decorated with unique pieces of sculptures, paintings, marble fountains and chandeliers. However, this luxurious hotel in Hyderabad still has the original features of the age-old palace dating back its existence to the year 1894.

Awe-inspiring interiors of newly refurbished Falaknuma Palace in HyderabadIt was the 16th edition of the Condé Nast Traveller annual Readers’ Travel Awards. The hotels were chosen by the readers of the magazine, which reflects the views of consumers on what the travel industry has in store for them.

Cheap Hotels in Bangalore: Bliss for Budget Travelers

Bangalore sires a wide range of budget hotels

Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India is reckoned to be among the fastest growing metropolises in India. The garden city is the capital of the South Indian state of Karnataka. The city of Bangalore is an ideal mix of ancient and new. Along with being a hub for several reputed IT companies, the city is also known for its glorious past and architecturally beautiful monuments.  Whether for business or leisure, the city welcomes numerous travelers and as such there are plenty of accommodation options to pick from. For frequently visiting travelers, there are various budget hotels in Bangalore to anchor at. Here is our pick of some popular ones:

The National Residency

Bangalore sires a wide range of budget hotels

Counted among the leading budget hotels in Bangalore, the National Residency is an ideal option for business class and leisure travelers. Owing to its convenient location, it is the most preferred choice of budget class visitors. You can expect comfortable rooms along with all the basic amenities at budget prices.

Barons Inn

budget hotels in Bangalore

An ideal choice for business class visitors, Barons Inn is ideally located at South Bangalore’s Jayanagar suburb. Serving guests with warm and friendly services, the hotel has carved out a niche for itself among the budget hotels in the city.

Hotel Ganga Sagar

There are plenty of budget accommodations in Bangalore

Lying close to Koramangala Indoor Stadium, Hotel Ganga Sagar is one of the most preferred choices of budget class travelers coming to Bangalore. The hotel staff walks ahead an extra mile for serving guests in the best possible way.  As it lies close the major attractions of the city, guests can explore the sights and sounds while staying at this hotel.

Serenity Inn

budget hotels are the popular choice of travelers in Bangalore

Serenity Inn is a popular 2-star accommodation facility in the city of Bangalore, lying close to Bengaluru International airport. Ideal for business and leisure travelers, the hotel is known for its responsive services along with comfortable guest rooms. The courteous and friendly hotel staff put in all its efforts to serve guests in the best possible way.

Delicious Dasara Thali not to be a Part of Hotels in Mysore this Festive Season

Panoramic view of Mysore Temple at Dasara

The lip-smacking ‘Dasara Thali’ that was introduced as a special dish for tourists flocking to Mysore, will not be a part of Dasara this festive season. Keeping in view the inflation for the second consecutive year, the stakeholders have arrived at the decision of not providing the special Dasara thali.

Panoramic view of Mysore Temple at Dasara

While blaming soaring of prices as the major reason for missing of Dasara thali from Mysore hotels, M Rajendra, who is the president of hotel owners association stated, “It is because of price rise that we cannot offer food for lower price for tourists. We have offered special dishes for Rs 20 and Rs 30 during previous Dasara seasons, but from past one year we have cancelled it because of the price rise in the materials which we use for cooking. With the current price, it is a difficult task for city hotels to serve special dishes for the tourists at minimum cost.”

Dasara festivities

This novel concept of Dasara thali in Mysore hotels was introduced in 2010 for making the special dish available to the lower sections of the society. The dish includes palya or sagu, chapatti, bisibelle bath or vangibath or pulivogre, sweet, pickle and curd. However, this thali concept was not adopted by the three star and five star hotels.

Another hotelier said, “The price of the commodities has sky rocketed, it is not possible to provide that kind of food with Rs 20 and Rs 30 price and Dasara is the right time to make a hay so we don’t want to incur loss by providing food at that price. During last year, the tourist number was not encouraging because of drought like situation in the state. This year we are hoping to make a good business.”

Traditional dance performance at Dasara in Mysore

Ratnakar, a hotel owner in the city stated that, “We are not here to do a charity, we want to do business and with the prices of commodities soaring we cannot even think of dasara thali.” He further added that they will be a part of such novel gestures if the state government takes initiatives and provide them with oil and food items at subsidized prices at least during the festive season of Dasara.

Keralites celebrate Onam with Great Fervor across the Gulf

People celebrating Onam in traditional way

Keralites settled in the Gulf countries celebrated Onam, the harvest festival of South India with great enthusiasm and traditional fervor. The expatriates took part in preparing the Onam special meal, Onam Sadya, which consists of 20 to 30 dishes served on banana leaves along with variety of vegetables, payasam, rice and banana.

Onam pookalam decorationm

According to Gopa Kumar, who is one of those many Keralites working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), “We do miss colourful celebrations with a lot of activities back home.” He further stated that, “But at the same time this occasion reminds us the advantages of life in the UAE.”

On the occasion of Onam, his mother-in-law and wife woke up early in the morning to prepare the special dish of Onam Sadya for the family including two school-going kids. Kumar further said, “Being a working day, we prepared the Onam Sadya before leaving for work and came back in the afternoon to enjoy the feast together.”

Beautiful pookalam at Onam

For Onam celebrations in Saudi Arabia, the Indian schools and Indian embassy observed a holiday while the restaurants and hotels run by the Keralites prepared Onam Sadya as their Onam special dish. Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam are the places in Saudi Arabia where maximum number of Keralites live. The hotels here welcomed large number of people for the special festival feast.

People celebrating Onam in traditional way

Balakrishna Pillai, who works as a design engineer in Saudi Arabia said that, “Being a Keralite I have to celebrate our national harvest festival wherever I am living.” On the other hand, in Oman, various catering establishments and hotels did a great business, however most of them faced difficulties in meeting the orders for Onam Sadya, reported the Times of Oman.

According to a hotelier in Ruwi, “By 11.30 a.m. itself, we stopped taking further orders for takeaways because we knew we would be unable to meet the demand.”

Educational Institutions of Coimbatore Echoed with Onam Traditional Celebrations

Onam celebrations among girls

The fervor of Onam gripped the city of Coimbatore at least two weeks before the festival on September 16. The schools, colleges, universities and various commercial establishments here celebrated the spirit of Onam with great enthusiasm. Various competitions for dances, pookalam and martial arts forms were hosted.

Onam celebrations among girls

The Onam special celebrations were taken to new heights with the inclusion of a social welfare facet to it this time. Some of the college students paid a visit to the old age homes and orphanages of the city, showing them the gestures of care, love and affection.  Sri Krishna Arts and Science College’s students came up with a signature campaign to abolish child labor as a part of Onam special celebrations.

students celebrating Onam

On the other hand, Departments of Catering Science and Hotel Management colleges took part in preparing the traditional dish called, ‘Onam Sadhya’. The traditional fare brought smiles on the faces of all the students and faculties. Students from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Rathinam Technical campus presented a procession of girls wearing traditional attire and performing the Mohini attam, while men clad in ‘mundu’ played the Chenda melam and performed different martial art forms.

Ladies performing dance at Onam

Sasi Creative School of Architecture, Sasi Creative School of Business, Sankara College of Science and Commerce, Kalaignar Karunanidhi Institute of Technology and several other colleges celebrated Onam in the traditional style.