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Shekhawati Festival - The Vibrant Spirit of Shekhawati

The Shekhawati Region in Rajasthan is known as the land of Rajputs that offers an insight to the culture, performing arts as well as rural farm life of this stretched semi-desert part of the Indian state. Most of the palaces, havelis and mansions in this region built during the 18th and 19th century are a proof of the magnificence of the rich culture of the country. The architectural marvel and beauty of these huge buildings is unmatched for.

Shekhawati Festival,Nawalgarh
Dance performing during the Shekhawati Festival,Rajasthan
Nawalgarh is once again all set to serve as the chief location of the Shekhawati Festival. The upcoming year, 2015 promises to bring in the most colorful festival of the year again. The final dates for the 20th Annual Shekhawati Heritage Festival are here and it going to be held from 12th to 15th February 2015. 

So that the visitors can get a great idea of the whole region, the festival spreads in various venues like Nawalgarh, Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Churu but the Nawalgarh is the chief location to which Jaipur is the nearest. The main thought behind the organization of the festival is to attract more and more amount of tourists every year so that they can witness the friendly rural environment of this region. One gets a taste of humble hospitality of the rural hosts where you can also explore this picturesque rural destination too.

Shekhawati Festival,Nawalgarh
Camel Safaris, Shekhawati Festival
The Shekhawati Festival includes of some regular activities such as organized tour of the region where you visit the heritage buildings (havelis) of the region. During the festival, they are open for public visits. One gets an excellent opportunity to take part in various rural games and other sports activities.

Take part in Rassakashi, Matka Daur, Mehendi (Henna) or Rangoli or Painting competition etc. You can visit art exhibitions or can shop for some amazing handicrafts of the region. Workshops are also organized during the festival offering information about the art and craft.

Shekhawati Festival,Nawalgarh,Rajasthan
Another major attraction is the cattle fair where people from all over the state come, to buy and sell cattle. As far as food is concerned, you have various options to taste organic food at numerous stalls which are set during the festival. Seminars are organized so that visitors can understand the whole process of cultivation of such food. The festival also includes an award ceremony where students with merit as well as brave people of the local community are awarded.

     Shekhawati Festival 2015 Itinerary
  • The 20th Annual Shekhawati Heritage Festival
  • February 12th - 15th, 2015, Nawalgarh Rajasthan
The main venue for Shekhawati festival remains Nawalgarh with Jaipur being the nearest destination. Check out the Programme Details of Shekhawati Festival in Nawalgarh..

Shekhawati Festival 2015, Nawalgarh
Program Details

12th to 15th February, 2015 
  Thursday, 12 February-2015
 11:00 am  Local Games & Sports – Competition Initial
Surya Mandal Stadium, Nawalgarh
 04:15 pm  Craft Bazar-Inauguration
 05:15 pm  Organic Food Court-Inauguration
 Friday, 13 February-2015
 11:00 am  onwards  Local Games & Sports, Craft Bazar &
 Organic Food Court-Continued
Surya Mandal Stadium, Nawalgarh
 01:45 pm  Cultural Performance-Competitions Initial
Surya Mandal Stadium, Nawalgarh
 05:00 pm  onwards  Inauguration by Chief Guest
 Duff & Chang
 Cultural Program
Saturday, 14 February-2015
10:10 am onwards  Local Games & Sports, Craft Bazar &
 Organic Food Court-Continued
Surya Mandal Stadium, Nawalgarh
11:30 am  Poster, Painting & Bandhej-Competitions
01:30 pm  Mahendi, Musical Chair & Rangoli – Competitions Surya Mandal Stadium, Nawalgarh
03:15 pm  Cultural Performance – Competitions Semi Finals Surya Mandal Stadium, Nawalgarh
05:00 pm  Cultural Ceremony & Price Distribution
06:15 pm onwards  Laughter Show
 Sunday, 15 February-2015
 10:00 am Onwards
 Local Games & Sports, Craft Bazar, Organic Food Court,  Bandhej Exhibition-Continued Surya Mandal Stadium, Nawalgarh
 01:30 pm  Matka Daur, Rassakassi , Handicraft &
 Mahendi – Competition
Surya Mandal Stadium, Nawalgarh
 02:30 pm  Cultural Performance – Competitions Finals
 05:00 pm Onwards  Shopping Dhamaka – Final Draw
 Fire Show
 Kavi Sammelan
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Top Famous Indian Rail Cum Road Bridges

In a vast country like India, roadways and railways provide easy accessibility to different parts of the country.

Indian and overseas travelers find it enjoyable and interesting to travel via roads and rails as it helps them to behold the true colors of vibrant Indian kaleidoscope.

Although they are not as quick as airplanes but some privileges are restricted to the road and railway transport industry.

India has a diverse topography that abounds with snow clad mountains, deserts, beaches, river valleys and hills.

The connectivity to different parts of this country has been made possible by an impressive network of road and railway bridges as some natural boundations have hurdled the mobility of road vehicles and railways.

Here is the list of some famous Indian rail cum road bridges for your kind perusal.

Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link (Bandra-Worli Sea Link) 

Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link (Bandra-Worli Sea Link)
Rajiv Gandhi Bridge, Bandra
It is a cable stayed bridge which links Bandra in the Western Suburbs of Mumbai to Worli in South Mumbai. This bridge has a concrete steel viaduct on both sides. Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) in association with the Hindustan Construction Company has executed this project worth Rs. 1600 crore.

Rajendra Setu 

Rajendra Setu, Mokama
Rajendra Setu - The road cum rail bridge near Mokama in Patna
 2 kilometers in terms of length, the Rajendra Setu has another name called Mokama bridge. This bridge was inaugurated by Dr. Rajendra Prasad in the year 1959.

Saraighat Bridge 

Saraighat Bridge, Guwahati
Saraighat Bridge, Guwahati
Built in Guwahati, this bridge connects the Brahmaputra River of Assam to the Saraighat. Opened for general public in 1962, Saraighat Bridge offers proximity to the Chilarai Park and Lachit Borphukan Park.

Naranarayana Bridge 

Naranarayana Setu,  Assam
Naranarayana Setu,  Assam

This bridge is 2.5 kilometers long and connects the Pancharatna to the town of Goalpara. The former  Prime Minister of India ‘Atal Bihari Vajpayee’ performed the inauguration ceremony of this bridge in 1998.
Godavari Bridge 

Godavari bridge, Rajahmundry
Godavari bridge, Rajahmundry
Godavari Bridge has a length of 2.7 kilometers and was commissioned by Indian Railway’s South Central Railway. President Fakhruddin Ahmed was the guest of honor during the inauguration ceremony of this bridge held in 1977.

Howrah Bridge 

Howrah Bridge, Kolkata
Howrah Bridge, Kolkata
Built on the Hoogly River, Howrah Bridge is the largest cantilever bridge in India. It connects Kolkata and Howrah and was renamed Rabindra Setu on 14th June, 1965.

It requires years of construction to construct a solid bridge. Hundreds of workers have put in a lot of hard work to build them. No matter whether these bridges have been built to connect nearby places or far-off destinations, they certainly play an important role in day to day life.
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Special Deals for Luxury Train Travel in India

Luxury Train TravelWith the onset of January and Republic Day knocking our doors, the operators of five luxury trains running in India have come up with special discounts and complimentary pre &post tour accommodation at a 5 star luxury hotel. These five luxury trains include Palace on Wheels, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, Maharajas’ Express, Deccan Odyssey and the Indian Maharaja. In this blog, I will give you a brief description regarding the offers available on each of the above mentioned luxury tourist trains.

Maharaja Express Republic Day OfferMaharajas’ Express 

Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has come up with a special ‘Republic Promo Day’ for all the journeys made before 26th January, 2013. The offer is valid for all the five train tour packages operating till April, 2013. According to the ‘Republic Day Promo Offer’, all the journeys booked before 26th January, 2013 will include 1 night complimentary pre & post stay at a five star hotel from the departure destination.

POW & RROWPalace on Wheels & Royal Rajasthan on Wheels

Besides Maharajas’ Express, the similar offer is also available on two other luxury tourist trains- Palace on Wheels & Royal Rajasthan on Wheels. Both the trains are owned and managed by the Rajasthan Tourism and Development Corporation (RTDC). As per the offer, all the journeys starting from January till April will include 1 night before and 1 night after stay at a five star luxury hotel in Delhi.

Deccan Odyssey OfferDeccan Odyssey

Deccan Odyssey is the second luxury train launched after the success of the Palace on Wheels train. It is operated by the Maharashtra State Tourism and Development Corporation (MTDC). It takes guests across some popular destinations in Maharashtra along with a halt in Goa. As per the offer, all the departures of the Deccan Odyssey train from January to March will have a minimum 10 percent discount on all occupancy rates. 

Indian Maharaja Offer
Indian Maharaja

Indian Maharaja, the chartered version of the Deccan Odyssey train, owned by the Travel Corporation of India (TCI) too offers discount on its departures. A minimum of 5% discount is available on all occupancy rates for the journeys between January to March.

In the times, when luxury hotel prices, airfares and hike in food prices at fine dining restaurants has made tourists re-consider their India visit, Luxury trains is a far better option for tours to India as they are virtual five star hotels that offer week long trips. The accommodation, dining and sightseeing tours are all included in the luxury train tour prices.
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Bikaner Camel Festival 2015

Bikaner Camel Festival 2015

Bikaner Camel  Festival
Fair & Festivals
04-05 January 2015
Main Attractions
Colourful camels at their best!

 The Camel Festival, Bikaner is organized by the Department of Tourism, Art and Culture, Government of Rajasthan, annually, in January. Camel festival 2015 is going to be a lot of folk dances with local tunes. Camels are a particular favorite with international tourists.

The Camel Festival in Bikaner capitalizes on this fascination  and is a remarkable spectacle of unusual camel performances. So you can expect a lot of camel races, camel dances, and bumpy camel rides.

Bikaner,Camel Festival
Amazing Camel Hair Art at Bikaner Camel Festival

The festival tees off with a lineup of beautifully decked up camels on open sand grounds. The first day hosts the Camel Pageant where camel owners showcase their Camels decorated in colorful attire and junk jewelry.

Up next are the Camel dance performances which are  also a crowd favorite. The evening marks a competition for the best decorated camel, besides other disciplines such as camel milking and the best camel hair cut.

It is indeed fascinating to see the camels display awesome footwork, as they match  beats to the slightest direction their drivers give out.

Bejewelled necks, colorful bridles, long, lanky camel shadows on dusky sands and jingling anklets cast a magical spell on spectators as the desert  sun takes a bow against this sea of colors.
Camel Festival Bikaner,Rajasthan
Bikaner Camel Festival
What’s the food, you ask? Tea and sweets prepared by camel milk, authentic Rajasthani and Marwari cuisine.

The Camel Festival 2015 is a full fledged spectacle of myriad Rajasthani flavors. The second day witnesses a whole fleet of camels take part in an exciting camel race where locals and tourists together cheer thoroughbreds.

The Camel Festival’s evenings are mostly reserved for renowned folk artists of Rajasthan. The Festival’s grand finale is an amazing display of fireworks that lights up the faces of the visitors and locals alike.

Camel Festival
One of the most colorful events in Asia
The interesting highlights of the festival are:
  • Camel races
  • Camel milking
  • Fur cutting design
  • The best breed competition
  • Camel bands
  • Traditional folk dance and music

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Kumbh Mela: Largest Human Gathering on Planet

Mahakumbh Mela

Maha Kumbh Mela 2015 will commence in Nashik from 14th of July, 2015,and will continue for a year, ending on 11th August, 2016,  which is considered as the first auspicious date for bathing in the holy river Ganga. The Mela will span across 56 days and is expected to be attended by millions of devotees traveling from far and wide. In wake of security and convenience of those attending, special arrangements have already been made by the state government.

Maha Kumbh Mela Yatra

The 2015 Mela is, undoubtedly, the largest assembly of people offering their reverences by taking a dip in the holy Ganga water in Haridwar or Allahabad. The pious congregation is organized in the four cities of Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain. Purna Kumbh Mela, which happens after 12 years, was last celebrated in the year 2001. 

Maha Kumbh Mela Yatra 2013
A sadhu taking holy bath in the Ganges
The place and the date of the Mela are decided  on the basis of planetary positions of the Jupiter,Sun and Brahaspati. There is a common belief among devout Hindus that they will be able to wash away all their sins by taking a dip in the holy water in the Ganga which has special powers during the time of the Mela. Security has already been spruced up and important counters set up in all corners of the premises to ensure a smooth, hassle-free Maha Kumbh Mela in Nashik 2015.

The main bathing dates for Kumbh Mela 2015 in Nashik are given below: 

Special Bathing Dates of Nasik Kumbh Mela 2015
   14 July 2015 at Ram Kunda
         Main Ceremony of Flag Hoisting
19 Aug, 2015 at Sadhugram
          Flag hoisting of the Akharas
26 Aug, 2015
          Shravan Shudha Pratham (First) Snan
29 Aug, 2015
         Shravan Sudha pornima (First Shahi Snan)
13 Sept. 2015 (Main Bathing Day)
 Bhadrapad Krushna Amavasya Dwitiya (Second Shahi Snan)
18 Sept. 2015
    Bhadrapad Rushipanchami Dwitiya (Third Shahi Snan)
25 Sept. 2015
     Bhadrapad Shukla Vaman Dwadashi Tritiya

                                          Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016

Main Bathing Dates for Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016
22 April 2016 (Friday)  
             Purnima – Full Moon
   06 May 2016 (Friday)  
             Vaishakh Krishna Amavasya
        09 May 2016 (Monday) 
             Shukla Tritya
              11 May 2016 (Wednesday)  
             Shukla Panchami
            21 May 2016 (Saturday)  

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