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Durga Puja celebrations in Columbus - A reflection of Indian culture in the West

An experience of taking part in a typical Bengali Durga Puja celebrations in Columbus, OH. It was an official invitation from the COBCA (Central Ohio Bengali Cultural Association) to attend Durga Puja celebrations.

In West Bengal, the 8th day i.e Durgaashtami day during Dussehra festival, is celebrated as Durga Puja. The huge clay (or plaster of paris) idol of Goddess Durga is beautifully decorated in a special way which is unique of Bengalis.
It was a high school in Columbus, OH. As it was the month of October, the weather was getting colder.

On entering inside, the invitees / guests were offered prasad (prasad is the food that is offered to god at the time of puja i.e worship and then this is distributed to the devotees). And then they were directed to a closed auditorium where cultural programme was going on like Hindi songs, Bengali folk dance etc.

After the cultural programme was over, devotees / guests entered into the hall where the beautifully decorated idol of Maa Durga Devi…

Visit to Bhadrakali Temple, Hanumakonda in Warangal District.

Guest post by Satya 

Hanumakonda is a historical town located between Warangal and Kazipet in the state of Telangana. The place is famous for Bhadrakali temple which is one of the oldest temples in India that is dedicated to Goddess Kali.

Travelers can go on a road trip from Hyderabad to Hanumakonda which is approx 3 to 4 hours ride on NH 163. For a night stay, there are budget hotels at reasonable rates.

About the temple The temple is located on the banks of a man-made (artificially built) tank known as River Bhadrakali.
The temple was built by Pulakesi II of the Chalukya dynasty. He built the temple in 625 C.E (Current Era) to commemorate his victory over the Vengi region of the then Andhra Desa (present Telangana region). Goddess Bhadrakali was the family deity i.e 'kula devata' of the Kakatiya Rulers of 'Orugallu' (the present Warangal). The rich temple architecture reflects the past glory of the Kakatiya kings. After the downfall of Kakatiya dynasty, the temple wa…

Madikeri - A Beautiful Hill Station in the Coorg District of Karnataka.

Madikeri which is also known as Mercara is a small yet beautiful cool hill station. This place is located in the lap of Mother Nature in the Western Ghats in Karnataka.

This place is popularly known as the 'Scotland of India'. It is the headquarters of Coorg district in Karnataka. The moment you step down from the vehicle, you feel cool and will be enchanted at the beauty of the mist-clad hills, lush emerald green forests, vast stretch of coffee plantations and the breath-taking views.

Coorg coffee is equally tasty as that of Nilgiris coffee. The aroma that spreads from the steaming hot cup of coffee in cool mornings is irresistible for the coffee-lovers.
Location Madikeri is located at an altitude of 1,170 m above mean sea level. It is at a distance of 252 Km from Bengaluru (capital city of Karnataka) and 120 Km from Mysore.
How to reach Bengaluru (Bangalore) is the nearest airport to Madikeri and from here you can conveniently travel to Madikeri in a private cab or in the r…

A blind date with Cresta in Randburg, SA for an unforgettable enriching experience

A decade back I got the opportunity to travel to London on an official trip. It was my first international flight experience and many questions cropped up in my mind like "Can I stay in a place with much of cultural difference?", "Will I get the typical South Indian stuff here?" and many more. Keeping all those fears asides, I thought why not #SayYestotheworld.

The trip was planned in a short span of time and on reaching London, I accepted everything with an open mind. In fact, I felt in love with London with old yet fresh metropolitan city.

Few years later,  I had a blind date with Cresta in Randburg, South Africa. A sudden and unplanned trip to a completely unknown place. I had never heard of either Cresta or Randburg. However, I had read about South Africa - the southernmost country in the Southern Hemisphere in the African continent. And being an Indian, South Africa reminds us of Mahatma Gandhi where he raised his voice against apartheid.

I was more thrilled …

Travel - The Secret of Happiness

In the beginning, I was not much interested in travelling and was a bit hesitant to travel to far away places. I was living in my own comfort zone and had a feeling that I can't adjust myself in a different place. But later in my life, I had to travel to distant lands with an open-mind. And now I can proudly say that traveling to the distant lands, has completely changed my outlook. I learnt a lot by traveling to distant lands and now I could easily adapt myself in any new place.

Now I enjoy travelling and it gives me immense pleasure. I feel it is good to save those extra earnings in a separate bank account exclusively meant for travel. And spend the money on travelling as and when required. Travel gives you everlasting happiness and undoubtedly, it is the secret of happiness.

Spending hours moving around in the modern shopping malls, spending money on materialistic things like trendy dresses, smartphones, latest electronic equipment etc gives you short term happiness. And you g…

My First International Flight Experience

Flying in an international flight for the first time would be a great experience and an unforgettable one. Almost a decade back I got the opportunity of flying in an international flight for the first time.  It was a wonderful experience flying from Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIV) to Heathrow, London.

It was a sudden official trip and there was no time to plan for the trip. There were hardly few days left for the travel and the very thought of flying in an international flight for the first time was too exciting. Due to shortage of time, we did quick shopping for our travel and bought few essential things like ready-to-eat packets, snack items etc.

All the packing for the trip was done in a very short time. As expected the day of journey had arrived after a hectic preparation / packing for the international trip and we reached RGIA at Shamshabad in a cab. As it was my first international travel everything was new for me like immigration, security check and other s…

Fall foliage in New Jersey

Fall i.e autumn in East and Mid-West of the U.S is the most enjoyable time. Tourists / visitors get a chance to see the summer's lush green trees gradually and brilliantly transforming into vibrant hues of yellow, orange, copper and deep crimson red. Autumn in these regions starts late September / early October. There will be a gradual change in the weather conditions too which slowly turns chill and windy.

Till September people in the communities walk around on the streets which suddenly get a lone appearance.

Fall is the time when visitors give lots of work to their cam i.e taking lots of clicks of the beautiful fall foliage. The colorful leaves of the trees all around in yellow, red and brown is a real feast to the eyes. Nature lovers just can't stop themselves admiring the beauty of the nature during this time.
Indians that too South Indians don't get a chance to watch such a transformation of colors of the leaves of the trees. So they enjoy seeing the fall foliage th…