Saturday, July 18, 2015

Insider Tips !!

Kota Sarees of Bundi, Rajasthan -  Kota saris are well known all over India for their typical designs and most importantly their weightlessness! Light and ephemeral, you can see them being made in Khaithoon, a village of weavers, 22 km from Kota.  They normally cost a few hundred rupees, perhaps a little more if the gold border has used real zari.

 Karni Mata Temple - It is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Karni Mata at Deshnoke, 30km from Bikaner, in Rajasthan. It is also known as the Temple of Rats.
The temple is famous for the approximately 20,000 black rats that live, and are revered in, the temple. These holy rats are called kabbas, and many people travel great distances to pay their respects. The temple draws visitors from across the country for blessings, as well as curious tourists from around the world.

The story behind rats at the temple is different from that of the legend according to some local folklore. According to this version, a 20,000 strong army deserted a nearby battle and came running to Deshnoke. Upon learning of the sin of desertion, punishable by death, Karni Mata spared their lives but turned them into rats, and offered the temple as a future place to stay. The army of soldiers expressed their gratitude and promised to serve Karni Mata evermore.
Eating food that has been nibbled on by the rats is considered to be a "high honor". If one of them is killed, it must be replaced with one made of solid gold.


Badami, Karnataka - Badami was the regal capital of the Badami Chalukyas from 540 to 757 AD. It is famous for rock cut and other structural temples. It is located in a ravine at the foot of a rugged, red sandstone outcrop that surrounds Agastya lake. The lake is named after one of the Saptarishis, Agasthya. Legend says that the name Badami has origin in the Vatapi legend of Ramayana relating to Sage Agastya.
There were two demon siblings Vatapi and Ilvala. They used to kill all mendicants by tricking them in a peculiar way. The elder Ilvala would turn Vatapi into a ram and would offer its meat to the guest. As soon as the person ate the meat, Ilvala would call out the name of Vatapi. As he had a boon that whomsoever Ilvala calls would return from even the netherland,[citation needed] Vatapi would emerge ripping through the body of the person, thus killing him. Their trick worked until Sage Agastya countered them by digesting Vatapi before Ilvala could call for him, thus ending the life of Vatapi at the hands of Ilvala. Two of the hills in Badami represent the demons Vatapi and Ilvala.
It is believed that the water of the Agastya Lake has healing powers and has the power to cure leprosy.

 Agra: One of the most interesting things to see in Agra is local artisans doing marble inlay work. Make sure your tour manager sets aside some time for this activity!

Aurangabad: Himroo is a fabric made of silk and cotton, which is grown locally in Aurangabad. Himroo was brought to Aurangabad in the reign of Mohammad Tughlaq, when he had shifted his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, Aurangabad. The word himroo originated from Persian word Hum-ruh which means ‘similar’. Himroo is a replication of Kum-khwab, which was woven with pure golden and silver threads in olden days, and was meant for the royal families. Himroo uses Persian designs, and is very characteristic and distinctive in appearance. Himroo from Aurangabad is in demand for its unique style and design. Some historians believe that Himroo was the innovation was local craftsmen with very little Persian influence.
The Himroo shawls and saris can be found in many showrooms around the market area of Aurangabad. Be sure to get one.


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