Friday, November 29, 2013

A Hundred Hands!

Beautiful coir handicrafts of Pipli, Orissa
 Handicrafts – handmade by beautiful hands .....
I always loved handicrafts and happened to read about a beautiful event being held in Bangalore to promote handicrafts and the artisans.

The Handmade collective - The only festival of all things handmade is back for the 4th year with over 65 Artists & Groups.....says the home page of the website:

This festival is being held in Bangalore from 27th -30th November 2013.
Venue: The Kocchar Institute, St. John’s Church Road, Opposite Kendriya Vidyalaya, MEG, Bangalore.

A Hundred Hands is a nonprofit trust whose mission is to help those directly involved in the creation of handmade art, crafts and homemade foods, to earn a fair and sustainable livelihood from their work.

For more details, please visit their website:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Little Human Planet!

I came across a beautiful song taught to my daughter in her school (Class II) and would like to share this thoughtful song with all of you.
‘In our big round planet, out in the big starry space
Let’s meet our friends around the world
And go from place to place.
Our lives may be so different
Different countries, different names
Different languages, different weather
But inside we are just the same.

Let’s meet our friends around the world

Hello – and how are you?

We are the children of the world.

We are it’s future too!

Let’s meet our friends around the world.

We are - Little Human Planet!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Most Nutritious Indian Breakfast!

Recently the ‘Times of India’ conducted a survey (published August 30, 2013) on ‘ India’s Breakfast Habits’ in four metro cities, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, and found that 3 idlis, a bowl of sambhar and a tumbler of filter coffee is the most nutritious breakfast !
Traditionally, idli’s are prepared in most of the South Indian (especially in states like Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh) households almost every day or every week. It is one of my favorite breakfast dishes.
Idlis with puthana dal chutney, mini idlis for juniors - my nephew loves these!

One of the favorite accompaniments with Idlis - split chick peas (puthana dal/dalia in Hindi) chutney
Why idli’s are the best breakfast choice? Here are some answers which make it the most preferred morning (or evening) meal/snack (some even prefer to have it for dinner):
a)      Simple to make (provided the idli batter is fermented and ready to be added in the idli moulds - to be steamed)
b)      Fat free - as it is steam cooked.
c)      Most nutritious and complete meal- rice (carbohydrate source) and urad dal (adds to the protein value)
d)      One feels satiated on eating this meal…no need to binge in between…..
e)      It is light on the pocket and waistlineJ
f)       Thus affordable and healthy!

Food is our common ground, an universal experience.
-          James Beard

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Largest bangles market in India ! Part II

Part II
One will find all types of bangles here: lac bangles, glass bangles, metallic bangles, embellished bangles in a range of colors! Of special mention are the famous lac bangles, sold here. Lac is a type of clay and these bangles are very brittle.

Lac bangles

Two hours passed by as minutes, admiring these beautiful creations….
I would have loved to explore the various labyrinthine lanes which sell beads, clothes, perfumes, bridal trousseaus etc. All that a women could wish for! However as dusk set in, I had to leave Charminar, with a resolution to come back again and explore its myriad bylanes and hunt for more treasures…

Hard to resist - I had to buy one of these.

The rows of bangles continue...

Beautiful treasures for a small price!

Largest bangles market in India !

Part I

It is simply enticing, you are tempted to buy more and more ! This is what all my friends who visited the bangle market in Charminar had said to me several times. And I vouch this fact.
One of the many lanes lined with bangle shops.
Upon entering the shop.....dazzling array
As I entered Laad bazaar, one of the many bazaars in Charminar area of Old city of Hyderabad (erstwhile!) also known as Chudi (bangle in Hindi) bazaar, Meena bazaar, I was attracted towards the numerous shops displaying a range of attractive bangles in varied colors and hues ! It is said that this bazaar was established by a lady, Ladli Begum. The bangle shops have feminine names like, Ladli, Gehna, Nagma etc.
Upon entering the shops (one needs to decide which of the shops to enter), the bangles are displayed elegantly in glass cabinets and the salesmen ensure that you are spoilt with a choice of beautiful bangles at very economical price (you need to bargain hard!)
This bazaar houses around 350 bangle shops. The price of bangles can range from Rupees 100 to Rupees 5,000 per pair.

Metallic bangles

Decorated with beads and more

Colorful glass bangles
The colorful lot
To be continued...

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Charmed by Charminar!

 Last year, when I visited Hyderabad (erthwhile) I made it a point to visit the much famed Charminar.

Entering the old city with a view of Charminar.
Here are some facts about this imposing structure standing tall at the intersection of four busy roads:
a)      One of the main landmarks of Hyderabad.
b)      It is known as Charminar because of its four (char = four, in Hindi; Minar in Arabic, manara = spire/tower) minarets.
c)      It is one of the main landmarks of Hyderabad.
d)     Known as ‘The Arc de Triomphe of the East”
e)      It was built in 1591to commemorate the eradication of plague in Hyderabad.
f)       It is a  massive square structure, 56 meters (183.72 feet) high and 30 meters (98.42 feet) wide
g)      It is built of granite and lime mortar.
h)      Each of the four grand arches of this structure, face the four cardinal directions that open into four streets which lead to thriving markets known as Laad Baazaar and Pather Gatti, which are famous for exquisite bangles and pearls, respectively.
i)        It has four minarets, one on each of its corners. These fluted minarets are attached to the main building and rise towards the sky to a height of 56 m (183.72 ft). Each minaret has a double balcony.
j)        Inside the minarets, 149 winding steps lead to the top floor, which provides a panoramic view of the city. However, the general public is not allowed to access this.
k)      It is the oldest surviving mosque in the city of Hyderabad. 

Delicate stone work adornment

A view of the imposing structure.
Adjacent to this monument is a Durga temple – an excellent example of communal harmony!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Future dependent on Responsible Tourism...

The pioneering WTM World Responsible Tourism Day, in association with the UNWTO, hosts the world's most comprehensive, searching and thought-provoking agenda on responsible tourism.

Celebrated today, November 6, this one defining day in the year that travel companies, destinations, organisations, employees and suppliers come together across the world in a remarkable expression of this new way of thinking !