Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category

Thikse Gompa or Thikse Monastery, Leh, Ladak, India

Monday February 27th, 2012 in Festivals, India, Places to Visit | 1 Comment »


Thikse Gompa or Thikse Monastery, Leh, Ladak, India

Thikse Gompa or Thikse Monastery, Leh, Ladak, India (Picture : instantfocus)


* It is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Yellow Hat (Gelugpa) sect, located on top of a hill, approximately 19 kilometres east of Leh in Ladakh, India.

* It is noted for its resemblance to the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet and is the largest gompa in central Ladakh.

* The monastery is located at an altitude of 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) in the Indus valley.

* It is a 12-storey complex and houses many items of Buddhist art such as stupas, statues, thangkas, wall paintings and swords.

* One of the main points of interest is the Maitreya (future Buddha) Temple which is installed to commemorate the visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to this monastery in 1970.

* A 15 metres (49 ft) high statue of Maitreya, the largest such statue in Ladakh, covering two storeys of the building is deified in the monastery.

* Thiksey Gompa serves as the residence of approximately eighty monks.

* It has been served, for quite a long time, by the successive reincarnations of the Skyabsje Khanpo Rinpoche.

* Restoration of the old monasteries in Ladakh, including the Thiksey monastery, is being carried out by the Archeological Survey of India, at the request of the concerned Monastery administration.

* The annual festival held in the monastery precincts is known as the Gustor ritual, which is held from the 17th to 19th day of the ninth month of the Tibetan calendar (October–November).

* Sacred dances such as the mask dance or Cham Dance are performed as a part of this ritual.

Reference Link : Know Your Destination

Uthirakosamangai, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, India

Sunday February 19th, 2012 in Festivals, India, Places to Visit | Be the first to Comment »


Uthirakosamangai, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, India

Uthirakosamangai, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu, India (Picture : baskr@Flickr)

* It is a sacred place, situated 16 km south-west of Ramanathapuram and 72 km from Rameshwaram, in Tamil Nadu.

* The place is famous for an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

* The deity here is carved in Emerald. Goddess Mangalesvari is also worshiped here.

* The temple has been glorified by the hymns of Manickavasagar.

* The temple is considered sacred along the lines of Ramanathapuram, Sethu Madhava Theertham and Lakshmana Theertham.

* The temple is located 32 km East from Paramakkudi and 10 km west from Ramanathapuram.

* A large number of devotees visit Uthirakosamangai to worship Lord Shiva and celebrate Arudhra Festival, which is held in the month of December attracts a large number of tourists.
Reference Link : Know Your Destination

Sanchi Stupa, Raisen, Madhya Pradesh, India

Wednesday February 15th, 2012 in Festivals, India | 1 Comment »


Sanchi Stupa, Raisen, Madhya Pradesh, India


* The Stupa at Sanchi is one the most wonderful structures of ancient India.

* It has been included by the UNESCO as one of the heritage sites of the world.

* The Sanchi Stupa is a fine example of the development of the Buddhist architecture and sculpture beginning from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D.

* Stupas are large hemispherical domes, containing a central chamber, in which the relics of the Buddha were placed.

* Emperor Asoka (273-236 B.C.) built stupas in Buddha’s honour at many places in India.

* The site of Sanchi was discovered in the year 1818 by General Taylor and an archaeological museum was established in 1919 by Sir John Marshall.

* The Sanchi Stupa is one of the best preserved early stupas in central India.

* The Sanchi Stupa is surrounded by a railing with four carved gateways facing all the four directions.

* Another interesting characteristic about the Sanchi Stupa is that Lord Buddha has been symbolically represented by footprints, wheels, thrones etc rather than by his own image.

* The gateways of Sanchi stupas contain ornamented depiction of incidents from the life of the Buddha and his previous incarnations as Bodhisattvas described in the Jataka tales.

* The Buddha has been shown symbolically in the form of tree or through other inanimate figures.

Chinese New Year 2012 – Year of Dragon

As the chinese new year falls on a different date every year, the question on everybody’s mind is When is Chinese New Year 2012?

Chinese lunar New Year is commonly known as Chinese New Year or spring festival. This is an important annual festival celebrated by Chinese round the globe. The festival is based on Chinese calendar and starts on the first month (as per the Chinese calendar) and ends on the fifteenth day of the first month. Chinese new year 2012 will be celebrated on 23rd of January and is the year of Dragon, the most auspicious animal as per the Chinese zodiac. This new year features contemporary and traditional Chinese cultural activities, dances, festivities, singing, Chinese opera, arts and crafts, karaoke competition, innumerable stalls of culinary delights, lion dances, chess competitions, children’s events, calligraphy, dragon parades to name a few.

The Chinese New Year festival is open to all, irrespective of age barriers. They key here is to explore the rich Chinese cultural heritage by being a part of it. In present years, the festival has turned out to be one of the most celebrated festivals. Most countries declare an official holiday on Chinese New Year and year 2012 is not an exception as well. Lunar New Year is known as Tet Nguyen Dan in Vietnam, Setsubun in Japan and Korean New Year in South Korea. The Chinese New Year forms a great annual event in the Chinese communities. You will find families and friends gathering for reunion dinner and markets buzzed with activities.

Chinese New Year is celebrated round the globe including countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Mainland China, Macau, Hong Kong SAR, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Festivities also take place in different countries with major Chinese ethnic populations. Though Chinese New Year is celebrated with pomp and glory in Japan, Cambodia and Philippines, yet it’s not a public holiday here.

Chinese New Year is complete when accompanied with Chinese New Year Songs which convey the meaning of good luck, and blessings.

Holding the fifth rank in the cycle, year of dragon follows the rabbit and comes after a regular interval of twelve years. The Chinese New Year doesn’t fall on any particular date; hence it is necessary to go through the calendar so as to come up with the accurate date on which the year of the dragon actually falls.

People grouped under the dragon years or more simply people born in the year of the dragon exhibit characteristics like-

  • * Enterprising
  • * Innovative
  • * Self-assured
  • * Flexible
  • * Passionate
  • * Brave
  • * Unanticipated
  • * Scrutinizing
  • * Generous
  • * Charismatic
  • * Free spirited
  • * Smart and witty
  • * Original

However, they possess a couple of negative characteristics as well. For instance, they crave for attention and are egoistical by nature. They aren’t modest and have a bossy temperament. Their general tendency is to dominate others. They detest solicit advice and may be insensitive and tactless to their partners.


Dragons are blessed with good health. The only thing that bothers them is stressful situations. At work, dragons are pretty imaginative and prefer taking a radical approach towards their work.


Dragons share similar kind of objectives as well as goals in life. The best suited occupations on their part are as follows-

  • * Inventors
  • * Computer analysts
  • * Campaigners
  • * Architects
  • * Engineers
  • * Philosophers
  • * Lawyers
  • * Brokers
  • * Advertising agents
  • * Psychoanalysts
  • * Salepeople
  • * PR People
  • * Managers
  • * Officers in the armed forces
  • * Politicians

As dragons are born under the same animal symbol, they often share similar likes and dislikes. Some of the likes and dislikes are as follows-


  • * Preferred color: Greenish-Blue
  • Gems and Stones: Sapphire, Opal, Amber
  • Preferred Gifts: Tarot cards, mirror, camera, a family crest, cell phone
  • Pastimes and Hobbies: Computer programming, fossil hunting, public speaking, astrology





  •    * Taking orders
  •    * Lethargic people
  •    * discounted ideas
  •    * redundant bureaucracy

Grand Kerala Shopping Festival – Dec. 1, 2011 – Jan. 15, 2012

The Grand Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF) is a unique shopping fiesta that redefines the very essence and enjoyment of shopping. Kerala the southernmost State in India, popularly known as ‘Gods Own Country’ has always been a favourite for travelers and tourists from around the globe across the ages.

The ever-inviting borders of this land never leave you empty handed once you traverse them. The Grand Kerala Shopping Festival, the signature shopping festival of Kerala, is yet another fascinating event that stands testimony to this fact.

The festival, managed by Government of Kerala, is on its fifth edition, which starts from December 1, 2011 and concludes by January 15, 2012. Fresh enterprises, mind blowing offers and exciting prizes – both for shops and shoppers – make GKSF the biggest shopping extravaganza in the country.

Guaranteed prize for each and every single purchase in the form of scratch ‘n’ win coupons and gift vouchers. Mega prize up to 101 kilogram of gold is also for the taking. Furthermore this year, GKSF will be providing 100% VAT refund for the consumers from outside Kerala. GKSF welcomes you all to get hold of this amazing opportunity to savour the new experiences in shopping.

About GKSF

The festival first started on 2007 Dec 1 to next year Jan 15, celebrated as Grand Kerala Shopping Festival and since then it became an annual shopping festival. The event lasts for 46 days and the very special fact about GKSF is that the entire Kerala is participating in this festival.

As done during the previous years, the festival is conducted by Tourism Department in co-ordination with the Industries & Commerce Department, Finance Department and Local Self Government Department to fulfill the objective. Through this shopping festival, the Kerala Government intends to transform the State into a hub for international shopping experience and there by “Launch Shopping Tourism” in the state. In the process, the brand image of Kerala Tourism would go a long way to help upgrade the infrastructure of traditional marketing centres in Kerala.

The organizers are well set with get show on road of the version-5 of the Biggest ever Shopping Extravaganza, the “Grand Kerala Shopping Festival” with novel initiatives and exciting prizes to the shops and shoppers. Like the government promised, GKSF is shaping up to its full throttle with the experiences from the previous years.

Offers and offers from big brands and MEs for their product, hotels give their special offers, exciting prizes, fun full events and many more!!! With all these special discounts available, GKSF would be the right choice for your shopping terminal.


Prize structure of daily draw
Prize (Sovereign)
No. of Winners per day
No. of winners in a week
1st week – (10 days)
2nd week – (7 days)
3rd week – (7 days)
4th week – (7 days)
5th week – (7 days)
6th week – (8 days)
Total Winners
Weekly draw
Prize (Sovereign)
No. of winners/week
No. of winner/6 week
1st prize
10 sov
2nd Prize
5 sov
Mega draw
Prize (Sovereign)
No. of winners
1st prize
1 KG
2nd Prize
½ KG

It is made known to all the concerned that Government has announced 101 Kg gold in the normal carat of 22 carat. But the South Indian Bank will issue gold to the winners in 24 ct only. So the quantum of gold prize to the winners will be regulated in terms of 24 ct. That is the weight in gm of 22 ct will be converted to the corresponding weight in 24 ct. Thus there will be slight reduction in weight due to this conversion. For eg 1000gm of 22 ct gold = 916gm of 24 ct. So for each sovereign this proportionate reduction in weight will be there.

The winner is liable to pay taxes as per existing rules in force.

Scratch and Win Prizes
There will be Gold coin-1 gm (24ct) as instant prizes instead of Gift article, GKSF 5 will have redeemable coupons of value Rs.100 as Scratch N ‘Win Prizes. The winner can avail discount corresponding to the amount won or can purchase from the shops to the value of the redeemable coupon.