Travel Koh Samui - Discovering the Hidden Treasure of Thailand

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Do you wish to visit the tropical islands, the enthralling temples, the local markets and the stunning beaches of Koh Samui, but need some travel suggestions about the beautiful places and activities around there? Koh Samui is one of the most attractive destinations in Thailand with palm-fringed beaches, coconut groves, dense mountainous rainforests, plus luxury resorts and posh spas.

Well, we have listed some interesting places of Koh Samui that you will love to explore. Below you can find some amazing places, that will make your vacation in Koh Samui a memorable one.



Dreamy Beaches of Koh Samui
Koh Samui’s coastline is covered with some beautiful beaches along. Here you will find some calm and peaceful beaches, as well as some vibrant beaches. The famous and sometimes crowded beaches are Chaweng Beach and Lamai Beach, on the eastern side of the island. Also, the towns of these two beaches offer the most interesting things to do for tourists.

If you prefer a calmer atmosphere, then yo…

Durga Puja: An Artistic Carnival to Worship, Admire and Enjoy



Calcutta has an ancient history, a city that boasts of an unparalleled gastronomy, complex arts, dances and much more. Let us know, then, one of the most marked and unknown festivities for the traveler, that begins to develop up to 10 months before its celebration. The Durga Puja festival is an explosion of colour, joy and gratitude, surrounding the worship of Durga and her victory over Mahishasura.

The preparations begin months in advance when the artisans begin to draw inspiration for clay idols of Durga. By means of bamboo sticks cut in various shapes and sizes they manage to make the basic structure of the idols of the goddess and the platform in which the colossal figure will be displayed, but they also use everything they they find at hand from plastics to reconverted elements. This is a long and delicate process as there is always the risk that they will break and have to start over again.

In a diligent and methodical way, the craftsmen strive to create exquisite pieces of art. The most qualified perform, with great care with fine clay. The sculptures have a great aesthetic sense and their execution is organized according to the neighborhood associations, which will house the Durga, that is to be venerated by friends and neighbors. In short, every year the festival translates into hours and hours of endless preparations.

During the weeks of Durga Puja, life seems to stop completely for the entire state of West Bengal, as well as in large enclaves of Bengalis around the world. In Calcutta, this is a period of crowds, colours and music, where suddenly all flock to the streets.



It is a deeply felt and colourful celebration that blends craftsmanship, artistic flair and architectural knowledge. A set of terracotta images, statues and paintings of Durga, decorate the streets of the city, who is placed in special temporary structures in playgrounds, squares, plazas and anywhere there is a free space until the end of the puja.

The pandals made of bamboo and cloth, are exposed in open space for the visits of the faithful from morning until late at night. The pandals are the tangible form of worship of the goddess and with the participation of citizens become the true religious art and celebration of the life of this chaotic city.

While some pandals are simple structures, others are often designed as works of art with themes that rely heavily on history, current events and sometimes pure imagination. The shapes and dimensions of the pandal are at the generosity of its more or less well-off inhabitants, ranging from the most traditional, decorated with woven reeds and covered in straw mats, to those most pretentious, replicating the great architecture terracotta temples or white marble carvings exhibiting virtuously in polystyrene.

In fact, visiting the pandal in recent years, one could say that the Durga puja is the largest outdoor art show in the world. In the nineties a large number of architectural models grew on the outer parts of the pandal, but today the architectural motifs also extend to the elaborate interiors, executed by skilled artists, with consistent stylistic elements, carefully executed and signed by the artist himself.



From the folk to the most eccentric architectural experiments using throw-away, thatched huts to those pointed by the Thai flavor, to the Wizard of Oz, to that naive floors and bright colours, each isolated pandal reinterprets the arrival of Durga in a new context, to imply playfully to its permanent validity.

The themes that inspired pandal and idols are often the distinctive sign of the community, especially in Kolkata, starting from the 1990s. The Puja committees decide on a particular theme, the elements of which are incorporated in the pandal and the idols. Popular themes include ancient civilizations such as the Ancient Egypt or Inca. Contemporary Subjects like the Titanic and Harry Potter also have been the subject of some pandals.

The design and decoration are generally made by local students of art and architecture. The financial resources required for these themes are generally higher than those needed to make figures based on traditional themes. They attract the crowds and are well accepted by visitors. Following the example of Kolkata, the pandal theme have become popular even in neighboring states, particularly in Orissa.

For the most heartfelt celebrations of Bengal, Calcutta becomes the Eastern Rio De Janeiro as tens of millions of visitors immortalize the imaginative staging of typical pandals, from the traditional to the more eccentric, to celebrate the victory of the Goddess, loving mother and ruthless warrior at the same time.



Durga Puja makes me long for my childhood, when we were happy and we had no problems. For a few days the whole world seems to enter into another dimension where there is only love, peace, solidarity and of course, happy people, or at least, smiling ones. The whole society imposes on us to live these days as an idyllic time in which everything is positive. But above all, the atmosphere was what changed. Everything was more cheerful. The devotional chants sounded on the radio.

I remember more than once waking up in the middle of the night and finding myself in a bed full of family members, and hearing them still sing and talk and laugh. Thus we have all come out of singing, happy, with the same desire to live.

In the five-day celebration of Durga Puja, in Calcutta the atmosphere lights up somewhere between Christmas and the Carnival with amazing psychedelic neon lights, the race for shopping, the tub in the neighborhood streets to show off new clothes and the least simple as possible, the music at full blast, mass elation, and of course, the pandal-hopping.

Comments

Daniella Flores said…
Calcutta is beautiful! I would love to go and learn about the ancient history there.

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