Thursday, January 14, 2016

Uttarayan(Festival of Kites)

Uttarayan (known as Makar Sankranti  in other parts of India) is the day when the sun starts to travel northwards marking the decline of winter.

Gujarat celebrates 2,000 festivals every year! Among these, the festival of Uttarayan is one of the grandest and stands tall.

In Gujarat, Uttarayan is a holiday when every family can be met outdoors. People of all ages fly kites from dawn to dusk. Crowded rooftops, fun-loving rivalry to outdo each other in kite flying skills and delicious traditional Gujarati feast are the hallmarks of the day.

As millions of kite enthusiasts pitch themselves at the rooftops, waves of flying kites overwhelm an otherwise deep blue sky. On January 14, watch the sky change colors... like a rainbow in a glittering sun after the rain and bask in the glory of Uttarayan, when the skies of Gujarat give way to colorful kites

Why do we celebrate Makar Sankranti?

Makar Sankranti is a Hindu festival celebrated in almost all parts of India and Nepal in a myriad of cultural forms. It is a harvest festival. Makar Sankranti marks the transition of the Sun into the zodiac sign of Makara rashi (Capricorn) on its celestial path.

When is kite festival in India?

As spring approaches in India, kites fill the sky in celebration. January 14 is the festiva
l of Uttarayan, also known as Makar Sankranti, which marks the movement of the sun to
 the northern hemisphere.

Who Comes

Though Uttarayan is originally a special day of the Hindu calendar, it is said that the idea of flying kites to celebrate the date was a concept that arrived with Muslims from Persia, and it has now transcended all religious boundaries. No matter what your background or beliefs, if you are in Gujarat in January, you will no doubt find yourself flying kites with everyone else. Visitors come from around India for the celebration, many Gujaratis who live outside the state choose this time to make their trip home, and international visitors have come from countless countries, including Japan, Italy, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, the USA, Malaysia, Singapore, France, China, and many more.

History of Uttarayan

Kites are believed to have first arrived in India either through Muslim traders coming eastward through Persia or Buddhist pilgrims coming from China in search of sacred texts. Either way, they have a long history in the region. Over 1000 years ago, kites were mentioned in song by the composer Santnambe, and numerous classic miniature paintings of typical scenes in the area depict people flying kites. Since Gujarat is at the westernmost edge of India, it is one of the regions where Muslim and Hindu cultures have blended to a great degree in many aspects. Hence, the development of using kites, probably brought by Muslims, to celebrate Uttarayan, a Hindu festival. Still, no one knows exactly when this tradition began.

Significance of Uttarayan

The sun has started its movement towards the north, the days have begun to get cosily warm and for the people of Gujarat, it can only mean one thing, Uttarayan is here. Probably the only Indian festival that is understated and yet makes for an overwhelming experience each time you celebrate it, Uttarayan or the kite festival urges the child within to come out, head to the terrace and get completely lost in the beauty of flying the soaring beauty.

It is the time when children don’t need to be nudged out of bed, they are already wide awake before you reach their rooms. Bathed, dressed with a cap on (no throwing tantrums as mommy tries to put that on, for a change) they disappear up the stairs before you can say hello.

No matter how early you manage to reach the terrace, the best spots to fly a kite will already be taken. That one spot with the best wind will see an awkward looking crowd; with all flying their kites dangerously near to the guy who got there first.

You may not give any thought to the mixed vegetable shaak that your mom makes any other time during the short winter in Gujarat, but come Uttarayan and it is only ‘undhiyu’ that you want. Shops will sell readymade undhiyu, while mothers will cook undhiyu for atleast twenty families at one go.

Uttarayan means boxes full of til laddoos, badaam pattis, chakhris and every other wintry farsaan in the face of earth. One has to constantly munch on these dry sweets and savouries while strategizing the next move.
And worry not, even if your stock finishes, chances are you will find tons of your friends’ boxes strewn about the terrace.

Your childhood best friend from next door will be your biggest enemy during these two days. You may have learnt the trick of flying kites successfully from his father, but you won’t bat an eyelid before you cut his or his father’s kite.

Some of the people in a group will know zilch about kite flying but you can never tell; they will be dressed most appropriately for the terrace sport, will scream the loudest ‘Kapio che’ even when they aren’t flying one, will go ‘What’s up bro? Tu toh gaya’ threateningly to his friends and finally, upload an album called ‘Uttarayan 2016’ on Facebook before anyone else manages to.

Uttarayan is one great photo op; if your whole morning and afternoon has been spent flying and cutting kites, your evening will be spent lighting ‘tukkals’ or paper lanterns that go up in the air and make for the most breath-taking visual imagery.

Essentially, Uttarayan is two grand days of coming together as a family and community, celebrating the sport, food and season that Gujaratis all over the world love and cherish the most.

International kite festival

The International Kite Festival (Uttarayan) is regarded as one of the biggest festivals celebrated. Months before the festival, homes in Gujarat begin to manufacture kites for the festival. The festival of Uttarayan marks the day when winter begins to turn into summer, according to the Indian calendar.
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Sunday inaugurated the 28th edition of International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad.
Ms. Patel claimed that the festival has boosted the kite-making industry in Gujarat as well as attracted tourists in the State over the years.
“Just like this Kite Festival, our Prime Minister started many such festivals to make the people of Gujarat prosperous. Thanks to this festival, the kite-making business in Gujarat has grown from Rs 100 crore to Rs 700 crore within last 10 years. It has helped all those who are in the business of making kites and other related products,” she said.
The inaugural function, held at Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, was attended by several dignitaries, including Governor O.P. Kohli and Minister of State for Tourism Jayesh Radadiya.
“As many as 98 kite flyers and enthusiasts from 29 different countries have come here to take part in this festival. Apart from them, 55 participants from eight different States and 28 from Gujarat will also showcase their talent here,” Mr. Radadiya said.
Participants from the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Netherlands, Singapore, Turkey, Vietnam, Poland, Argentina and Brazil are taking part in this event, he said.

Besides the main kite festival, the State Tourism Department has also simultaneously organised the festival in other cities, including Botad, Porbandar, Mandvi, Surendranagar, Khambhat and Modhera.

Images of kite festival 2016

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Beauty tips

Our skin needs time and care for it to regenerate and leave behind the old and tired. Without this, improving our skin condition and color is an absolute impossibility. This is why we need to ensure the below basics to make time for the skin to heal itself.

 More Beauty tips videos

  • Drink a lot of water
  • Sleep well
  • Exercise
  • Follow a good skin care routine. Do not skip the exfoliation on a regular basis! For without this we cannot get rid of dead and dry skin. You needn’t always buy a scrub. Homemade scrubs are just as effective! Use oatmeal for an exfoliator instead of a packaged product. There are many options!
  • Remove your makeup before you sleep every night. Yes every night without fail no matter how dead tired you are! With makeup on, our skin cannot repair itself.
50 Amazing tips for Nail art







 Easy & Quick Solution to Dandruff

   Dissolve 2 aspirins in any dandruff shampoo and then wash your hair. Results are amazing     dandruff.

Make Your Own Herbal Hair Oil

(For dandruff & strong hair)

  • Take a bunch of mehendi leaves along with amla pieces (either fresh or dried ones which have been soaked overnight).
  • Grind these coarsely together.
  • Now take about 150 ml of coconut oil in a cooking vessel (kadai) and add the paste to it.
  • Simmer on low flame till all moisture evaporates.
  • Cool and strain use regularly.
  • Keeps dandruff away and also makes hair roots strong.
For a Glowing Face
Make a paste of 2 table spoons of cream (malai), 1½ table spoons of Ata (wheat flour ) and few drops of lime juice. Daily apply this paste on your face for 5 minutes, then remove it and wash.

[Note : For oily skin use besan (gram flour) instead of Ata.]

Try to think positive, take proper sleep and drink lots of water certainly no one can look more charming.

For Chicken Pox Marks
Kachha  doodh with chiraunji  (bheegi hui) mix it well and make a paste, apply it on chicken    pox marks, they will disappear in few days.

For Best Hair
Massage hair with warm coconut oil an hour before washing. Take some petals of hibiscus and grind it in the mixer. Apply this paste to your hair and then rinse it. For better result you can boil a few hibiscus flowers in coconut oil. Filter this oil and use it to control hair loss and thinning, you can also use Jaborandi oil which is again an extract of hibiscus flower.

Tomato Wrap

Make a puree of 4 tomatoes. Soak some rice for 30 minutes and grind it coarsely. Add this to the pureed tomatoes. Apply this mixture all over the body and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Bathe with warm water; this is a good scrub recipe for oily skin.

Hair Care

Problem: Excessive hair loss or getting early grey hairs.

 Remedy: Soak some methi seeds in night and in the morning make the paste of the seeds and apply it to your scalp. After 1½ - 2 hrs rinse it with plane water. This will strengthen your hair and make them dark and shiny.

Skin care
Problem: If your face is dry and rough.

Remedy: Take equal amount each of Melon, Pumpkin, Cucumber and Watermelon and make a paste of these. Then blend it with milk cream and apply it on your. After 1 hr rinse your face with plane water.

Problem: Sunburn. 
Remedy: Mix 1 teaspoon of Besan with 2 teaspoon of curd and apply it on your face. Let it remain on the face for ½ hrs. Rinse with plane water. Helps in curing sunburns.
Skin Tips

Improve your complexion
Mix equal amounts of Cucumber juice and Lime juice and apply them to your face before taking bath; wait for at least 10 mins.  Your complexion will improve.

Household Tips for your skins– Using Tomatoes
Tomatoes are Anti-Oxidant hence including tomatoes in your daily diet will make your skin Wrinkle Free. And using the paste of one day old curd with a tomato and applying it to your skin soft. Also, if you skin is oily then applying the its pulp on your face for 15 min. then rinse your face with warm water. This will absorb extra oil from your skin and improve your complexion.

Beauty Tips

a. After the Mehendi dries, remove it and apply some Vicks Rub on your hands, let it be there for 5-6 hours. The color of your Mehendi will darken.
b.      Remedy: Mix 1 teaspoon of Besan with 2 teaspoon of curd and apply it on your face. Let it remain on the face for ½ hrs. Rinse with plane water. Helps us during sunburns.
c.       After removing the skin of the Cucumber and making a paste of the cucumber with raw milk and applying it on your skin will improve your complexion.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Uttarakhand Floods Information

Uttarkashi:(+91) 1374-226461
Chamoli:(+91) 1372-251437, 9411352136
Rudraprayag:(+91) 1364-233727,9412914875
Control Room (Uttarakhand):(+91) 135-2710334, 9557444486
Google Person Finder


Environmentalists say the disaster in Uttarakhand was inevitable due to rampant construction, felling of trees and building of dams in the name of development. They warn it will continue if the state doesn't change tack.
The Uttarakhand government’s failure to check indiscriminate construction in the ecologically sensitive upper Himalayas is to blame for the widespread devastation in the state, say environmentalists. And if things continue, there will be worse to come.

Over 505 dams, part of 244 hydroelectric projects, have been proposed or are being built on the Ganga and its tributaries — Mandakini, Bhagirathi and Alaknanda — in Uttarakhand. A further 45 are already running. The Char Dham area (the pilgrimage circuit of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri), that’s the most affected by the recent floods and landslides alone has around 70 dams.

“Uttarakhand gets high intensity rainfall and is prone to landslides. It also falls in a zone of high seismic activity. Against this backdrop, large hydroelectric projects increase the risk of disaster manifold as they involve the construction of dams, long tunnels, and roads, all of which require the blasting of hills,” Himanshu Thakkar, of the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People, told dna.

Activists say that 95 per cent of the dams were built after 2000, when Uttarakhand was formed. They rue that the state’s political leaders think that tourism and dams are the only way to development.

Untreated sewage flowing into the river is another problem. It pollutes the river, causing the riverbed to rise, leading to floods upstream and flash floods downstream.

Illegal mining of stones from the riverbed using excavators is rampant. On paper, excavators aren’t allowed. Only chugaan or manual picking is permitted. But government data itself says there are around 4,640 cases of illegal mining in the state and over Rs 100 crore has been collected in fines from illegal miners.

This will continue if the central and state governments don’t stop the rush to clear projects,” noted environmentalist GD Agrawal told dna. Since 2008, this octogenarian has undertaken many fasts to draw attention to the plight of the Ganga. One such fast was instrumental in the scrapping of three major hydropower projects. Last week, Agarwal embarked on another indefinite fast in Hardwar to demand the scrapping of over 60 proposed and under construction hydropower projects.

“Teerthyatra has become tourism and has had a devastating effect on the ecology. Due to rapid deforestation, trees can no longer absorb rainfall,” says Rajinder Singh, well-known environmentalist and member of the Inter Ministerial Group on Upper Ganga basin hydropower projects. Construction on rivers in the area spells doom, said Singh. Last year, Uttarakhand banned Singh from entering the state after he protested against under-construction dams.

Singh alleges the central government is also to blame for its silence. In the last four years, the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA), headed by the prime minister, has only met thrice. The last meeting was in April 2012.

The rapid increase in tourism, especially between April and November, is another cause for alarm (see box). The construction of lodges and other tourism infrastructure is completely unregulated. During this recent disaster many of these lodges and other buildings were heavily damaged or washed away.

Activists say despite the many floods, landslides and cloudbursts in recent years, nobody has learnt any lessons. “After the Uttarkashi flash floods of 2012, the local administration prepared a report that recommended the removal of illegally constructed structures on the riverbed and flood plains. But the report did not see the light of day,” Thakkar said.

Mallika Bhanot of Ganga Ahvaan, a local NGO, made the same point. “Rampant construction in the upper reaches of the Ganga is not in line with the topography of the region. There’ve been many instances in the past pointing to the dangers of such construction,” said Bhanot.


The worst natural disaster in the country this year has reached its tenth day and looks like the worst is not over yet. Uttarakhand still lies wounded from the devastating floods and landslides that took several lives and left thousands stranded.
Adding to the calamity, an IAF chopper crashes in Dehradun taking 19 lives. There were 20 people on board the MI-17 V-5 helicopter, including nine National Disaster Response Force personnel and six Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force jawans.


According to the IAF, the helicopter made a stop at Gauchar while returning from Kedarnath. It took off from Gauchar at 2.30pm, but went missing for three hours thereafter. Around 6pm, it was discovered that the helicopter had crashed north of Gaurikund. This is the second such incident in a week in Uttarakhand after a private helicopter carrying relief material in Rudraprayag crashed near Gaurikund on Sunday, leaving the pilot injured.
The entire country suffered a huge loss as pilgrims from all over were visiting the worst affected Badrinath and Kedarnath areas
Many organisational bodies have travelled to Uttarakhand to evacuate and help the victims. Their courageous and brave efforts are commendable and applauded.
The Indian Armed Forces (IAF) has put to use some of the best military skill-sets to great effect in the flash-flood affected zones of Uttarakhand and rescued hundreds of fatigued and exhausted stranded tourists almost seven days after the tragedy struck the Kedar Valley.
The state's disaster management and mitigation minister Yashpal Arya Uttarakhand denied reports that quoted him as saying that he feared the toll was nearly 5,000. “The enormity of disaster is so big that the toll could be more than the present figure. However, the picture is likely to be more clear in the coming days” he said.

Developments on this big story:
* According to reports, an estimated 4000 people are still stranded at Badrinath where there is no road connectivity due to recent landslides. Nearly 1000 people need to be evacuated in Harsil. The security personnel involved in the rescue mission aim to airlift all those stranded in these two towns to safer places so that they can be given proper medical care, food and water.
* An overcast sky and low visibility at places today did not come in the way of air rescue operations, even though a thin veil of early morning fog briefly delayed flight of choppers from Sahasradhara helipad and Jollygrant airport. A Pawan Hans pilot engaged in relief and rescue operations in Gauchar said the weather is okay in Uttarkashi with no major hindrance to air rescue operations.
* As cremation of decaying bodies recovered from Kedarnath could not be done yesterday due to bad weather, police are trying to ensure that the process begins today in view of threat of outbreak of an epidemic looming large, officials said.
* Air Chief Marshal Browne, who was speaking to media after visiting the site of yesterday's IAF chopper crash, said: " I think 3 to 4 days more till the weather clears out and the operation is complete.

* IAF Chief NAK Browne who visited the site of a chopper crash said that most of the evacuation work has been completed, adding that they would continue with rescue work once the weather allowed them a window of opportunity. Speaking about the chopper crash that took place on Tuesday evening Browne said, “What exactly happened we will know only once we recover MI17 voice data recorder. We have sent commandos to the crash site. We have recovered recording devices and only analysis will reveal the cause of the crash.” However Browne was also quick to say that the IAF was not going anywhere. “Morale is still very high…Our rotors will not stop churning”, he said. The Air Chief also said that 20 people had been killed in the crash.
* Rescue operations continue to be severely affected by bad weather as torrential rains show no sign of letting up. Air rescue operations have been grounded in most areas and while ground operations are continuing.
* “There are so many bodies across the Kedarnath valley that it is not surprising that their decay is causing contamination of water. It needs to be contained now or we could have a bigger problem at hand,” an ITBP official said told a leading newspaper.
* Floods affected areas in Uttarakhand are facing the threat of a spreading epidemic. According to a report, the past 3 days more than 300 villagers from villages of Rampur, Sitapur and Sonprayag have reported sick with similar symptoms such diarrhoea, fever, dysentery etc.
* According to Captain Ajay Srivastava, another pilot flying on the same route, the MI17 that crashed had flown from dehradun with their helicopter in the morning. He told CNN-IBN, “The incident happened at 1 or 2 pm around Guptkashi, and got confirmed at 4 pm. The weather is very bad.”
* The IAF lost one Mi-17 V5 helicopter in a crash during the rescue operations in Gaurikund in which 19 persons, including officers of the Air Force, were feared killed.
* Rescuers on Tuesday evacuated 2,403 pilgrims stranded in the mountainous regions of flood-hit Uttarakhand even as 19 persons, including IAF and paramilitary personnel, were feared killed in a chopper crash near Gaurikund.
How u can help uttrakhand  

please its my request for all of u to visit  it is a voice effort
 so that the uttrakhand can rebuild and many lives can surive

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Vastra Samman
We believe that just by re-using our old clothes the problem of clothing for the poor can be solved to a very large extent [more]
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Cloth is given as a motivation, with dignity, to people working on their own community issues. We turn age old charitable cloth into a resource for much needed development work in Indian villages [Read more..]
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Rahat Floods
In the last few years Goonj.. has annually been initiating ‘RAHAT-FLOODS’ to collect relief material for the lakhs of victims in Assam, Bihar & West Bengal during floods. [more]
Rahat Winters
Before every winter GOONJ actively initiates RAHAT Winters, its winter campaign, as a response to a recurrent but often ignored problem for the underprivileged. [more]
Recycling (A New Approach)
‘GOONJ’s mission is to make clothing a matter of concern. All our products are made from the last strands and shreds of the cloth, paper and other household material we get after sorting out the wearable, usable stuff. This product is made out of torn cloth/jeans, audio tapes etc. people discard in droves. There are no designer minds at work; it’s largely the ingenuity of our own minds.’ 

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Monday, March 25, 2013

HOLI (The festival of colors)

Holi Festival

Holi Festival
One of the major festivals of India, Holi is celebrated with enthusiasm and gaiety on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun which is the month of March as per the Gregorian calendar.

Holi festival may be celebrated with various names and people of different states might be following different traditions. But, what makes Holi so unique and special is the spirit of it which remains the same throughout the country and even across the globe, wherever it is celebrated.

Entire country wears a festive look when it is time for Holi celebration. Market places get abuzz with activity as frenzied shoppers start making preparations for the festival. Heaps of various hues of gulal and abeer can be seen on the roadside days before the festival.
Pichkaris in innovative and modern design too come up every year to lure the children who wish to collect them as Holi memorabilia and of course, to drench everybody in the town.

Womenfolk too start making early preparations for the holi festival as they cook loads of
gujiya, mathri and papri for the family and also for the relatives. At some places specially in the north women also make papads and potato chips at this time.  

Season of Bloom
Everybody gets delighted at the arrival of Holi as the season itself is so gay. Holi is also called the
Spring Festival - as it marks the arrival of spring the season of hope and joy. The gloom of the winter goes as Holi promises of bright summer days. Nature too, it seems rejoices at the arrival of Holi and wears its best clothes. Fields get filled with crops promising a good harvest to the farmers and flowers bloom colouring the surroundings and filling fragrance in the air. 

A Hindu festival, Holi has various legends associated with it. The foremost is the legend of demon King
Hiranyakashyap who demanded everybody in his kingdom to worship him but his pious son, Prahlad became a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashyap wanted his son to be killed. He asked his sister Holika to enter a blazing fire with Prahlad in her lap as Holika had a boon which made he immune to fire. Story goes that Prahlad was saved by lord himself for his extreme devotion and evil minded Holika was burnt to ashes, for her boon worked only when she entered the fire alone.

Since that time, people light a bonfire, called Holika on the eve of Holi festival and celebrate the victory of good over evil and also the triumph of devotion to god. Children take special delight in the tradition and this has another legend attached to it. It says that there was once an ogress
Dhundhi who used to trouble children in the kingdom of Prithu. She was chased away by children on the day of Holi. Therefore, children are allowed to play pranks at the time of 'Holika Dahan'.

Some also celebrate the death of evil minded
Pootana. The ogress tried to Lord Krishna as an infant by feeding it poisonous milk while executing the plan of Kansa, Krishna's devil uncle. However, Krishna sucked her blood and brought her end. Some who view the origin of festivals from seasonal cycles believe that Pootana represents winter and her death the cessation and end of winter.

South India, people worship Kaamadeva- the god of love and passion for his extreme sacrifice. According to a legend, Kaamadeva shot his powerful love arrow on Lord Shiva to revoke his interest in the worldly affairs in the interest of the earth. However, Lord Shiva was enraged as he was in deep mediation and opened his third eye which reduced Kaamadeva to ashes. Though, later on the request of Rati, Kaamadeva's wife, Shiva was pleased to restore him back. 

Holika Dahan
On the eve of Holi, called Chhoti or Small Holi people gather at important crossroads and light huge bonfires, the ceremony is called Holika Dahan. This tradition is also followed in Gujarat and Orissa. To render greatfulness to Agni, god of Fire, gram and stalks from the harvest are also offered to Agni with all humility. Ash left from this bonfire is also considered sacred and people apply it on their foreheads. People believe that the ash protects them from evil forces.

Play of Colors
Holi Festival
Great excitement can be seen in people on the next day when it is actually the time for the play of colours. Shops and offices remain closed for the day and people get all the time to get crazy and whacky. Bright colours of gulal and abeer fill the air and people take turns in pouring colour water over each other. Children take special delight in spraying colours on one another with their pichkaris and throwing water balloons and passers by. Women and senior citizen form groups called tolis and move in colonies - applying colours and exchanging greetings. Songs, dance on the rhythm of dholak and mouthwatering Holi delicacies are the other highlights of the day. 

Expression of Love
Lovers too long to apply colours on their beloved. This has a popular legend behind it. It is said that the naughty and mischievous Lord Krishna started the trend of playing colours. He applied colour on her beloved Radha to make her one like him. The trend soon gained popularity amongst the masses. No wonder, there is no match to the Holi of Mathura, Vrindavan and Barsana - the places associated with the birth and childhood of Radha and Krishna.

Ecstasy of Bhang
There is also a tradition of consuming the very intoxicating bhang on this day to further enhance the spirit of Holi. It is so much fun to watch the otherwise sober people making a clown of themselves in full public display. Some, however, take bhang in excess and spoil the spirit. Caution should therefore be taken while consuming bhang delicacies.

Sober Evening
After a funfilled and exciting day, the evenings the spent in sobriety when people meet friends and relatives and exchange sweets and festive greetings.

It is said the spirit of Holi encourages the feeling of brotherhood in society and even the enemies turn friend on this day. People of all communities and even religions participate in this joyous and colouful festival and strenthen the secular fabric of the nation.