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Fair & Festivals in India in August 2015

Festivals are the mirrors of society! And with a bucketful of them available for every month, it’s not hard to guess India’s love for celebration. To teach you more about the country’s propensity, here is a list of wonderful festivals and events in August 2015:

The Monsoon Festival

Monsoon Festivals in India in August
  
With monsoons, comes fertility; and fertility is not only limited to crops, but has its wings spread over the art of expression as well. Some Indian minds have come with a unique way of celebrating the multi-faced monsoons.

And it happens in the capital city, Delhi. Since a decade, Delhi has been celebrating the much awaited monsoon season with a cultural festival that includes everything from music to drama, and art to poetry. The main essence of the monsoon festival is to revive this king of seasons in India.

With contemporaries of visual art, the festival tends to depict the love, nature has towards monsoons and how it connects to the human soul.  By banishing the atrocities of the urban life, it works with the richness of human emotions to contemplate over the awakenings of Indian monsoons.

In other words, the monsoon festival with a plethora of activities like workshops, theater, visual art and fashion walks, welcome the lovely monsoons.

It is going to be the 10th edition of it this year and will be flaunting the ethnic theme of Lord Krishna.

When: August 20-28, 2015
Where: Delhi  

Independence Day

Independence Day - Festivals in India in August
  
This is the day when India gained freedom. Amongst the most popular events in August, Independence day is celebrated all over India, with a special program in Delhi. It all starts a day before, President of India, addresses the whole nation with a patriotic speech.

Then comes the D-Day and it starts with hoisting of the Indian tricolor by the Prime Minister on the historic Red Fort, which is followed by twenty-one gun shots of honor. As a tribute to the national heroes of Indian freedom struggle, various divisions of the Indian Armed Forces along with the paramilitary put a march past show.

Well, this happens officially in New Delhi. Similar processions are carried on by chief ministers of different states. Not just in Government quarters and premises, the celebrations make home at schools and educational institutions also. As it is marked as a National holiday, cultural events and performances are held for the students a day before.

For some, it is also an excuse to fly kites all day long. Days before the auspicious day, skies of the city get dotted with colorful kites of different sizes. To catch the best kite flying action, visit Chandni Chowk area of Old Delhi.

When: August 15, 2015. Starting from 2 pm
Where: Jain Mandir to Fatehpuri Masjid, Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi   

Teej Festival

Teej Festival in India in August

The thing about Indian festivals is they have a religious or a mythological angle attached to almost everyone of them. Now the civilization has a festival attached to monsoons as well, and that too named after a small red insect, Teej, which emerges out in the rainy season.

But why it is celebrated? Well, the answer is no where related to the insect. Rather, the festival is a mark of reunion of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

It is not a festival that pans all over India, but in the parts of Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab. And primarily, its Rajasthan that devotes itself to it in a massive scale. It happens in the form of a fair, known as Sawan Mela.

Lots of singing, dancing, and feasting, followed by a convoy of decorated elephants, horses and chariots. All this is done in honor of Goddess Teej (a form of Goddess Parvati). Tripolia Gate, Gangauri Bazaar and Chhoti Chaupar in Jaipur must be your ideal place to be during Teej.

When: August 17-18, 2015
Where: Rajasthan, particularly in Jaipur 

Nag Panchami

 Nag Panchami - Festival in India in August
  
Lucky are the snakes of India!. Here, these reptiles are not just a wildlife show, but divine like the Lords. Visit the southern states of India during Nag Panchami and you will see the country’s love for the serpent.

Although different regions of India have their own set of traditions and rituals to celebrate this unique festival. A treat of milk and honey to the snake, particularly a cobra, is one of the main aspects of Nag Panchami. People worship temples of Lord Shiva to worship and seek blessings during the festival, as snakes are dear to the Lord. Don’t panic, if someone comes to you asking for milk or alms, carrying a dormant cobra. They won’t bite!

When to visit: August 19, 2015. 
Where: Rural areas of Maharashtra, particularly Battis Shirala Village. Adisha temple in Andhra Pradesh, Nagathamman temple in Chennai, Hardevja temple in Jaipur and Nagaraja temple in Kerala are the popular places to visit during NagPanchami. 

Onam Festival

 Onam Festival in India in August

It’s the homecoming of the Devil king, Mahabali, and the Malayalis love it. With complete traditions and rituals, they welcome him at their home. And is the state festival of Kerala, Onam.

The festival is one of the most ancient in India, but has not lost its traditional festive shine in today’s modern times. Onam is basically a harvest festival, which beautifully showcases the culture and heritage of Kerala. Decorations known as Pookalam mark the entrances of the homes.

Women dressed in colorful attires serve guests with authentic Kerala cuisines that are a part of a ritual named Onasadya. And on the streets, processions and parades in the form of Pulikkali Tiger Play, whereas the backwaters, being raced down by traditional snake boats,  depict the festive spirit of the auspicious Onam.  

When: August 28, 2015 (celebrations start 10 days prior and continue for around a week after).
Where: Kerala. The most spectacular celebrations take place in Trivandrum, Thrissur, and Kottayam. For Aranmulla snake boat race, travel to Pampa river, near Chengannur, South of Alleppey in Kerala.  

Shravani Mela


 Shravani Mela - Festivals in India in August


Celebrated through out the monsoon months in India, Shravani Mela is a festival dedicated to the almighty Shiva. In an attempt to pay obeisance to Baba Baidyanath Shiva, thousands of Saffron clad devotees march for more than 100 km.

The tradition says it starts on the Amavasya (No moon) day in the month of monsoon and ends by the Purnima (Full moon) day. In between all this, devotees have to fetch the holy waters of Ganga and shower it at Deoghar Baidyanath temple.

When: 1 August to 30 August 2015.
Where: All over India.

Bonderam Festival

Bonderam Festival in India in August
  
Removing the animosity between two communities, which is in existence since the Potuguese era, Bonderam festival is one such event Goa waits eagerly. In the company of thousands-locals and tourists, this harvest festival is held every year at the Divar island in old Goa.

As per the merry making spirit of Goa, the festival becomes a paradise of melodious music and dance. Parades and processions by different villages in the vicinity, and continuous recitation of Viva Bonderam keeps alive the carnival ambience of the festival.

When:  Bonderam Festival  is celebrated on the fourth Saturday of August every year.

Where: Divar island in Goa

Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan - Festivals in India in August

The much awaited festival for sisters in India, Raksha Bandhan celebrates the love they share with their brothers. It is one of the prime festivals in Indian societies and is celebrated all over the country.

Some states call it Nariyal Poornima, Kajari Poornima, while for most, its Rakhi Poornima. As a mark of the chaste love, sisters tie beautifully crafted ‘Rakhis’ on the wrists of their brothers. It is not only confined to brothers and sisters.

Above than the deep blood bonds, Rakhi can be tied by a wife to her husband or a disciple to his guru.

When: August 29, 2015.
Where: All over India. 

Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race

 Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race - Festivals in India in August

One of the major events that take place in God’s own country is the Nehru Trophy Snake Boat race. Piercing the silence of the exotic Punnamada lake in Alappuzha, the snake boats put the blue tracks on fire.

It has been like this since 1952, and every year a great show, infront of an huge audience is put forth.  The Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race is a prestigious event and features ceremonial water processions, that is like no other in the world.

When: 8 August 2015
Where: Lake Punnamada, Alappuzha, Kerala

Related  Post: 
Fair and Festivals in India in January
Fair and Festivals in India in February
Fair and Festivals in India in March
Fair and Festivals in India in July
Fair and Festivals in India in October
Fair and Festivals in India in November
Fair and Festivals in India in December


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Fair & Festivals in India in July 2015

Monsoons are the reason to go out and holiday after a scorching spell of the summers. July being the prime month of rains in most parts of India, brings with itself hefty opportunities, not just to enjoy the bliss of nature, but also explore the varied shades of incredible India.

These shades are depicted through different festivals, which are celebrated across boundaries of castes and community. Mentioned below is a list of some of the popular festivals in India that will certainly make your July 2015 memorable.

1. Kumbh Mela, Nashik

Nashik Kumbh Mela : Largest Human Gathering on Earth
Nashik Kumbh Mela : Largest Human Gathering on Earth
If Woodstock comes in your mind, whenever you think of massive human gatherings, then it’s time, you read about the Kumbh. Famous as Kumbh Mela in India, it is one of the most divine festivals for Hindus in the country.

Chances of a festival similar to the scale of Kumbh, in any part of the world are very minute. Such is its intensity and divinity, Kumbh Mela is itself a self proclaimed religion.

Legends has it that its origin happened long before the ancient Vedic scriptures were written. As per Hindu mythology, once the Demigods and Demons got involved in the task of churning the ocean in order to produce the nectar of immortality.

When the nectar was retained after thousands of years of ocean churning, the demigods fled the spot with the pot of nectar (Kumbh), as they feared the ill-intent of the demons. This angered the demons and they went after the demigods, which resulted in fierce battles between the two.

In all this, few drops of nectar splashed out from the pot and fell to four places in India-Haridwar, Ujjain, Allahabad and Nasik. Some texts also say that the demons were the one who seized the pot of nectar and were chased by the other side. And this chase continued for twelve days and nights, which as per the ancient texts is equal to 12 human years.

Owing to this legend, Kumbh Mela is celebrated once in every twelve years at each of the four sacred places. And this time, it’s the turn of Nashik city to immerse into the eternal spirituality of the Kumbh.

Venue for the Kumbh Mela in Nashik  will be the same like always; Trimbakeshwar district, on the banks of the sacred Godavari river.

As per the reputation, Kumbh Mela for this year is likely to attract millions of pilgrims and tourists from all over the globe. Hindus believe that by taking a holy dip in the nectar mixed river during the Kumbh Mela, one gets free from all of his sins and attains eternal bliss.

The chaos of spirituality and divinity revolves in its every face, be it in the  form of the outrageous and naked ‘Naga Sadhus’, which are also known as  the ‘Aghoris’, the Babas, yogis or the simple Hindu pilgrims  from the mainstream of the country.

Thus, head to this unforgettable event this July and give religion a chance to govern yourself.

[ Plan your trip through Kumbh Mela Tour Package  ]

2. Amarnath Yatra


An experience that is bound to change the way you value any religion, Amarnath Yatra is an annual affair for lakhs of pilgrims, wishing to pay their obeisance to Lord Shiva. Since times immemorial, Amarnath cave has been a place of worship for the Hindus. Legends has it that Lord Shiva used the Amarnath cave to narrate the secrets of immortality to his consort, Goddess Parvati.

There are many epics revolving about the discovery of the cave by humans. Some say that a shepherd named Buta Malik accidentally discovered it, while others stick to the tale of Bhrigu Rishi  being the founder of Amarnath shrine. Whosoever is the founder, Amarnath cave is one of the most sacred shrines for Hindus in this whole world. It is the place where pilgrims avail eternal happiness in the shadow of the almighty Shiva.

The high altitude cave shrine has an iced stalagmite Lingam, which Hindus believe to be a part of the lord. Adjacent to the Shiva Lingam, there are other two more ice Lingams, which belong to Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha. The sacred shrine remains snow covered for most part of the year, but during a brief period in summers, it opens  its doors for the pilgrims.

Every year during the months of Shravan of the Hindu calendar (July and August), Amarnath Yatra is organized, which lasts for approx two months. The holy Amarnath cave resides at an altitude of around 12,756 ft which has to be trekked on foot. The journey is tough as it goes through undulated terrains and grounds. But with the spirit of the almighty in one’s heart, no route feels difficult. There are two routes made available from Jammu. One goes through Pahalgam, while the other is via Baltal.

In between the journey, various spiritual sites, like the Sheshnag lake, Mahaganesh mountain and Bail Gaon, all linked to the legends of Lord Shiva, will be coming your way. If you are lucky, you might catch the sight of a pair of pigeons at the doorstep of Amarnath. Some connect it to the immortal pair of birds, the description of which is mentioned in the mythological story of the shrine.

But before heading on to the spiritual journey, one must get himself registered for the Yatra, which is done by Jammu and Kashmir Government.

[ Check-out the list of Amarnath Yatra Packages ]

3. Rath Yatra


In Puri, it is a carnival like festival. Its that occasion, which is marked by three mammoth like chariots being pulled on the streets by devotees.

But what makes these men participate in such a huge procession? (can be tough lover for some).

Locals of Puri call it their immense devotion and love for Lord Jagannath, that drive them to celebrate in this fashion. The city, which is world renowned for the Jagannath temple, makes it a duty to completely devote itself in the celebrations of its favored deity, Lord Jagannath. And  they show it the best through the Rath Yatra or Car Festival, as the foreigners would say.

It all starts on the second day of the Shukla Paksha in the 3rd month of the lunar calendar.  Lord Jagannath along with his elder brother, Lord Balabhadra and sister Subhadra is worshipped in the famous Jagannath temple.

The tradition forbids some castes to enter into the temple, so for them the Rath Yatra or the Chariot journey is the only mean to seek blessings from the three Lords. The chariots start their journey from Jagannath temple and ends at Gundicha Mandir.

As per Hindu mythology, Gundicha is the place of their aunt, so after staying there for 9 days, the return trip of the chariots back to Jagannath temple takes place.

The Rath Yatra festival is amongst the most sacred festivals in India, thus, it draws pilgrims and tourists from all over the world.  This year the Ratha Yatra is going to be little more auspicious than the usual.

The tradition says that after every 19 years, the idols of the deities get a new avatar, and the Rath Yatra gets named as Nabakalebar. Thus, this year it’s going to be Nabakalebar Rath Yatra which will be commencing in the second half of July 2015.

4. Karsha Gustor Festival

A Masked Dancer At The Karsha Gustor Festival
A Masked Dancer At The Karsha Gustor Festival
If you are planning a trip to Ladakh in the month of July, then you have your chances to witness its cultural’s anatomy saved. As in July, Ladakh celebrates Karsha Gustor festival at its very famous Karsha monastery.

The Gompa resides on a mountain slope in Zanskar, thus you have to climb all  the way to the site. . No doubt, this Himalayan region enthralls visitors with captivating sights that look so impossible to be scheduled in the urban mundane.

From the top its like a picture perfect paradise, and with the friendlies (Lamas) in their disarming best, do not hesitate in submerging yourself in their festivity.

Ladakhis, being highly grounded to their roots,  very well know how to celebrate. But certainly not like the merrymaking affairs of Goa or down south. They dance in their traditional way, narrating a story and during the Gustor, its the victory of good over evil. If you have been to any festival in Ladakh before, then watching the masked dance performances of the chums won’t be a new thing for you.

However, the festival also features a special black hat dance performance by the monks, that is highly delightful to watch. The monastery has a lot to explore and every nook and corner of it narrate a different tale.

5. Eid-Ul-Fitr


Ed-Ul-Fitr is a very popular festival for Muslims all over the world. It is an annual affair for the community and is also known as ‘Breaking of the Fast’ festival. Here fast is in context of the month long Ramadan festival, in which Muslims keep fasts and are abstained from doing any unlawful activity described by Islam.

A tough ordeal, but surely in the right faith of religion.

Coming back to Eid-Ul-Fitr. The festival depends on the sighting of the moon, and the night before it holds great significance. As a mark of celebration, Muslims go for special Eid shopping, offer prayers at mosques, invite friends and families for grand feasts.

And the feasts are just not the usual ones. If you haven’t been into one, now it’s the time. These feasts highly speak of lip-smacking Sheer Korma, which is a traditional dish, that has vermicelli, milk, sugar served with sprinkles of dates, pistachios and almonds.

Plus, it is customary for Muslim households to serve this yummy dish to whosoever turns up on their doorstep.

6. Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima

The Indian version of ‘Teacher’s Day’ of the west, Guru Purnima is a festival in honor of spiritual and academic teachers. In India, the festival is celebrated by followers of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.

Hindu scholars and ascetics prefer to call it Vyas Purnima also, in a sense of gratitude to one of the most spiritual gurus of all time, Maharisi Veda Vyasa. As per Hindu traditions, the auspicious Guru Purnima festival is celebrated on a full moon day of the Ashad month i.e the months of July and August.

For the year 2015, The festival is scheduled to take place on 31st July. As the day  is dedicated to the spiritual gurus, rather than modern day academic teachers, it is celebrated with austerity in the various Yogic ashrams of India.

Move  to the Himalayan ashrams in Rishikesh on this day to see the colors of Guru Purnima. It is more of a worship occasion to the Guru rather than a celebration over there. However, spiritual organizations also organize cultural performances and programs especially for the day.      

7. Splash

India’s answer to the water festivals of Europe and the West, Splash, is the new way to celebrate monsoons in the country. And what better way than the evergreen, monsoon host of India, Kerala, to mark this occasion. To be precise, the Splash festival in India is celebrated in the Wayanad region of Kerala.

Facts say that Wayanad, being one of the most beautiful spots in Kerala, attracts a lot of tourists. True, but now you have one more reason to travel to this part of India. The three day Splash event is a  mix of both indoors as well as outdoor activities, and it will bring back your childhood days.

River rafting, crab catching, splash football, splash volleyball, paddy transplantation, treasure hunt and climbing the slippery pole are some activities that will keep you busy, even if you are a spectator.

You can also try your hand in other activities like cycling, bamboo rafting, river crossing, archery and trail walking. Splash also helps in promoting the traditional art forms of Kerala. ‘Keraleeyam’, which is an indoor program at the Splash event, showcases dance and musical performances.  

8. Dree Festival


Far from the mainstreams of India, lies an unexplored beauty, Arunachal Pradesh, which celebrates a festival known as the Dree festival. As the state has agriculture as its main occupation, most of its festivals are based on it.

Dree, being one of them, is celebrated in the month of July, when the state is under the spell of the monsoons. The Dree festival at the ritual level belongs to the Apatani tribe of Arunachal and involves certain sacrifices to be done in the name of the Gods.

For the rest of the population, Dree is a festival of joy where celebrations are in the form of folk music and dance competitions. The festival takes place every year in the month of July.  

9. International Mango Festival, Delhi




Mango is the king of all fruits, and as the spring comes, we just can’t have enough of this pulpy fruit. But imagine a festival dedicated to this tropical delight. Yes, you heard it right! The capital of India, Delhi, every year celebrates its love for Mango with an International festival.

The Mango festival invites specialties of mangoes from all corners of the country. Be it, Alphonso, Dasheri, Falsa or Bombay green, the festival has it all. This one of a kind opportunity to relish so many flavors of the super fruit, bring mango lovers from far off distances.

Interesting fact about the International Mango Festival is, besides, sucking on the mangoes, recreational events and activities like mango eating competition, mango folk performances, mango slogan writing and mango carving are also the highlights of the festival. Mango products like Aam Papad, Aam Panna, Mango Pulp, pickles and jam are also put on sale.

So what are you waiting for?, the festival is only for two days.  

10. Champakulam Moolam Boat Race

A scene from the Champakulam Moolam Boat Race in Alappuzha
A scene from the Champakulam Moolam Boat Race in Alappuzha
Kerala backwaters soothe every purpose. Be it serving the tourists by narrating about the lush green beauty and captivating natural surroundings of the state, or playing a host to some of the most spectacular boat races in the world.

One such event that supports tourism on Kerala backwaters is the Champakulam Moolam boat race, which takes place during the monsoons. The exact date of the race is decided as per the Malayalam calendar and local traditions, so it is bound to change every year, yet the month remains the same.

On the race day, huge boats, decorated in traditional designs get lined up on the river Pembu in Moolam.  Some of these boats are believed to be more than 100 ft long and have elevated prows, which gave them a renowned name of snake boats.

Champakulam Moolam Boat race is the oldest of its kind and besides being a spectator boat, is a test of endurance, skill and agility of the rowers. As it’s no easy job, the rowers undergo tough training prior the competition.

Related Post: 
Fair and Festivals in India in January
Fair and Festivals in India in February
Fair and Festivals in India in March
Fair and Festivals in India in October
Fair and Festivals in India in November
Fair and Festivals in India in December 

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Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015 Travel Guide

Sage playing the conch in Nashik Kumbh Mela

The largest human gathering on earth, Kumbh Mela is known to be one of the most sacred Hindu festivals. Nashik Kumbh Mela is one of its faces and is celebrated over a period of 12 years on the banks of Godavari river.

Precisely, the celebrations of this extravaganza take place at the origins of the sacred Godavari river, Trimbakeshwar district in Nashik, Maharashtra. In an attempt to delve completely into the spiritual flow of the Kumbh festival, pilgrims and tourists in figures of millions, flock to this part of the globe. The main essence of the festival is the dip in the holy waters, which Hindus believe washes away all the sins of this mortal world.

Highly fascinating is the sight of saffron clad or the naked ‘Sadhus’. As per Hindu traditions, Nashik Kumbh Mela invites 14 sects of Sadhus, known as Akharas. Out of these 14, 11 are Lord Shiva followers, including the fully naked Naga Sadhus, while the other 3 sects are dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

Significance of Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015

Hindy mythology describes the origins of Nashik Kumbh Mela somewhat like this. Lord Brahma, creator of the Universe once advised Gods to perform the task of churning of the ocean, in order to obtain nectar, which will make them rid of their weaknesses. They soon realized it’s a tough task, so sought help from the demons, on the pretext of giving the other half of the nectar to them.

When the churning resulted into the extraction of a nectar pot, the Gods did not keep their promise and ran away with it. On seeing their pact being broken by the Gods, demons got furious and started a chase on them. The chase continued for 12 days and nights all around the globe, and in all this, few drops of the precious nectar got sprinkled at four places in India. These places in the modern world are known as Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain and Nashik. To commemorate this mythological event, Hindus celebrate this festival in their respective times.

The festival of Kumbh in Nashik is divided into various dates which are considered highly auspicious. These dates or events are scheduled as per the positions of the moon, Jupiter and sun. Unlike the other Kumbh festivals in India, Kumbh Mela in Nashik falls partially during the Hindu month of Shravan (Lord Shiva) and Bhadrapada (Lord Vishnu).

Therefore, the proceedings differ a little. On the last day of the month of Shravana, falls ‘Purnima’ (full moon), and Hindus go by the belief of offering water to Lord Shiva on this day as it is considered very auspicious.

On the other hand, a no moon night or ‘Amavasaya’ in the month of Bhadrapad, a holy dip in the sacred river is something that every Hindu pilgrim looks for.            

Nashik Kumbh Mela 2015 Dates

Devotees Taking A holy dip during Kumbh Mela festival.

Before attending the sacred Nashik Kumbh Mela, it is good to know about the dates and schedule. These are listed as follows :
  • July 14,2015 : Flag hoisting ceremony of the Kumbh takes place on this day. In other words, it marks the beginning of this sacred festival.
  • August 9, 2015 : This is the day when the lifeline of the Kumbh, the ‘Sadhus’ take the center stage. On this date, flag hoisting ceremony of the various Akharas (sects) at Sadhugram takes place.
  • August 26, 2015 : Day of the first Snan/bath, also known as ‘Shravan Pratham’  
  • August 29, 2015 : Shravan Purnima (First Shahi Snan/Royal Bath)
  • September 13, 2015 : September marks the beginning of the month of Bhadrapada. And on this date, the second Shahi Snan/Royal Bath and main bathing day take place. Hindu traditions name this date as Bhadrapad Amavasya.
  • September 18, 2015 : Third Shahi Snan/Royal Bath, known as Bhadrapad Rishi Panchami.
  • September 25, 2015 : Bhadrapad Shukla Tritiya.

Bathing Ritual During the Main Day 

Most important day (13 September 2015)  of the Nashik Kumbh Mela is characterized by a bathing ritual that starts with the sunrise and continues all day long. People from all walks of life take part in this large scale ritual, whereas the different sects of ‘Sadhus’ indulge in the spiritual bath as per their set order and time.  

How to Reach Nashik Kumbh Mela

Nashik in the state of Maharashtra is very well connected to the major cities of the state. It is around 180 km from Mumbai and 220 km from the city of Pune. The city has an extensive system of transport that connects with both of these important cities.

Reach by Air :

Nashik does not have a fully functional airport yet. Thus, in order to reach the Kumbh festival, one can make use of Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport in Mumbai. CST is an international airport and it operates regular flights from all over the globe.

Reach by Rail :

Nashik railway station, which is one of the most important junctions of central railway is 38 km (approx) from the site of the Kumbh Mela. Being a major rail route junction, it frequently operates trains from the various parts of India.

Reach by Road :  

The city of Pune also is fairly close to Mumbai and Pune. Thus, travelling here via road is no such problem. Private and State government buses regularly run between these cities.

Things to be Kept in Mind

Nashik Kumbh festival takes place during the time of monsoons. As the city falls in a highly wet zone of India, heavy rainfall is expected throughout the season. Thus, it is advised one must keep a check on the accommodations and necessary items. 

And, if you are planning to camp on site, then you may check-out the Price Guide for Nashik kumbh mela 2015 to make sure your journey to visit "Aastha ka Kumbh".
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Live a Maharaja Life aboard Maharajas Express with IHPL Special departure This September

A journey in Maharaja Style! With Indian Holiday Pvt. Ltd. (A 2 times National Tourism Award winning Company) and IRCTC (Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation) joining hands, travelers get a great opportunity to enjoy a journey onboard Maharaja Express on special discounted prices. The departure is scheduled to take place on 23rd September ’15. The destinations to be covered by this journey include Ajmer and India’s Golden Triangle route- Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The journey spans for four days and three nights and lets you visit the world famous heritage sites including Red Fort, Taj Mahal, Ranthambore National Park and Jantar Mantar.

Maharajas Express Special departure

The departure has a whole lot for its guests. They are getting a 5% discount with complimentary one night stay in a five star hotel and one way airport transfer on your arrival. Therefore, they get to save additional cost of USD 300. But to avail this offer, bookings need to be done before 10th July’15.

Known for its royalty, Maharaja Express is one among the leading luxury trains in the world. The luxury train has won World Travel Award thrice. Also, in 2011, it was listed under World's Top 25 Trains by The Society of International Railway Travelers.  The services provided by this luxury train remain etched in the minds of every traveler for years.

With elegant interiors such as fine sylvan décor, floor to floor carpeting and wooden paneling, the luxury train boasts of great comfort that a guest wants. There are 14 guest cabins that are brilliantly-designed falling under five categories of suites with different names and themes. The suites are- Deluxe cabins, Junior suites, The Suites, The Presidential Suite and the most exquisite one is The Rail Suite, which comprises of a master bedroom and a separate living area. All the cabins are well-facilitated with world-class amenities such as pneumatic suspension, dining cars, bar, lounge, souvenir shops, Wi-Fi and   television. The en-suite washrooms are well-set with a bathtub along with other premium toiletries. Guests can select their cabins according to their own choice and suitability.

The dining area marks a perfect mélange of aesthetic and noble ambience. Savor delectable and delicious dishes of your choice. While getting pampered by services, enjoy the striking passing prettiness. Rediscover the romance, once lived by royal kings and queens. Get familiar with the rich culture and heritage of India by visiting the three essential destinations- Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, along with Ajmer. In fact, Maharaja Express has now become a great venue for all important business meetings and family gatherings.  Come and live a journey in Maharaja Style.

For more information on this special departure of Maharajas’ Express train, visit www.maharajas-express-india.com/offer/
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Fried Food, Cold Drinks Now Banned during Amarnath Yatra

Amarnath Yatris won’t get halwa, puri, burger, pizza or other stuffed parantha from this year.
Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has banned all sorts of cold drinks, fast food and fried food in both the routes to Amarnath (Baltal and Pahalham). In a conversation with the Deputy Chief Executive, he said that the ban has been imposed following recommendations by an expert committee which also comprised of eminent doctors. 

The decision to ban the fried food as well as cold drinks has been taken primarily because these food items lead to acclimatization problems and since the route lies at an elevation of about 13500 feet. Oily food results in respiratory problems in regions where the temperature dips down to sub-zero at night.

This committee was called following the concerns of Supreme Court for the large number of pilgrims’ death in 2012. During the 39-day Yatra as much as 130 pilgrims had died in 2012. The following years, the deaths however came to a fall but there still were 40 casualties in 2014.

SASB has prepared a special menu to tackle the problem. The menu has been prepared for food-stalls, langar, organizations, shops, dhabas and other such establishment on the route. The menu includes pulses, cereals, green potato, vegetables, soya chunks, plain dal, besan curry, green salad, fruits and sprouts. Other items in the menu are zeera rice, plain rice, khichri and nutrela rice, dal roti, roti, missi roti, makki ki roti (without oil or butter), Kashmiri nan, bread jam,  tandoori roti, samber, idli, uttampam, poha, bread kulcha, steamed dumplings, herbal tea, low fat curd, sharbat,  coffee lemon squash/water, low fat milk, fruits juice, mineral water, glucose, roasted papad,  vegetable soup khakra, til ka ladoo, dry petha, dhokla, and amla/fruit murabba.

On the other hand, strictly banned items are- non-vegetarian food, Tobacco/gutka, alcohol, pan masala and other intoxicants, bathura, burger, puri , pizza, heavy pullav/fried rice, halwa, ladoo, khoya burfi, gulab jamun, jalebi and other halwaii items, pickle, cream-based food-items, stuffed parantha. Also crunchy snacks like namkeen, kurkure, lays, mathi and dried dry-fruits and not permitted to be sold or consumed along the way.

People not adhering to the guidelines will be penalized. District Magistrates of Anantnag and Ganderbal are asked to issue special orders under the Ranbir Penal Code provisions for the people violating the rules.
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