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discover hidden myths, taste diverse food and sleep below a sky full of shooting stars and galaxies every night
In the capital of India, Moghul monuments meet British architectural rationalism. An immense megalopolis formed by two very diverse cities. Old Delhi has its colorful bazaars and New Delhi is the modern and verdant center of power. Among the lakes in Delhi, the artificial Sanjay Lake is one of the neighborhoods in Delhi that attracts most visitors.

Delhi was already a green city when the British occupied India. They wanted to make the capital of the Indian empire a haven of greenery. But, Indian economic development threatens the ecological balance of New Delhi. Today, in the literal sense of the word, New Delhi is a green city.

The landscape of the capital has changed over the past fifteen years. The trees that line each road of Delhi and the many parks allow the city to breathe. Vegetation occupies about one-fifth of the territory of Delhi. Between 2001 and 2017 the city has gained more than 15,000 hectares of greenery.

Thus, it is possible to see real forests in the heart of Delhi. In Sanjay Van, the wildlife has an urban home. Any construction is not allowed in these forests since 1996.

To cut down a tree in the capital, it is necessary to ask the Delhi Forest Department. Above all one have to get the consent of those who live around. It is necessary to pay the equal of replanting 10 trees. This explains why there are still a lot of trees along the streets of Delhi. It may even happen that a tree has grown in the middle of a road without getting cut down!

New Delhi - The State of the Green City

Individual vehicles account for the largest share of particulate matter emissions. CNG has helped a lot in curbing vehicular pollution in Delhi.

Waste represents a growing health and environmental hazard. The treatment of waste has got more organized through the municipality. There are incinerators dedicated to sorting waste that is then recycled. Thanks to those, these recyclers also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases.

The battery operated vehicles are a non-polluting and environment-friendly mode of transport. It is also one of the cheapest means of transport. We can reach from one point to another, local markets, train stations and bus terminals. It allows us to travel short distances through narrow lanes inaccessible by cars.

The new and efficient Delhi Metro has also gone a long way to curb pollution. It also helps us in visiting places much more faster than in the past. There are also solar panels that power lights, fans and display systems inside trains.

In recent years we have also seen improvements through a sustained anti-firecracker campaign. The appeals for a more environment-friendly Green Diwali is working. As a result, this festival now makes breathing a little easy throughout the city.

We have seen initiatives that attest to an emerging ecological awareness. Of course, there is still a long way to go. The development process has to integrate with the environment. The local communities have to be at the center of the decision mechanisms.

A moderate transition is underway with a close relationship between ecology and culture. People are realizing more about their ancestral way of life. The young generation has an inherent respect for nature and biodiversity. It is a valuable example for the future development of a model of development. We have to be more respectful of nature by better sharing of resources and knowledge.

The temptations may be great. Be attentive to the beauty of each day, every new morning, to this prodigious world. It is a wonderful world with nature, and with all the living beings of this earth. What is our relationship with all this - with trees, birds, with all the living things we call nature? Are we not part of it all? Are we not the environment? Real reforms do not begin outside of oneself.
  • 19
  • Monday, October 16, 2017
Kalyan Kalyan Author
Diwali is one of the important festivals in India. It is the perfect occasion to indulge in sweets again and remember the longing memories. In India, Diwali, the Festival of Lights is a joyful celebration, 20 days after Dussehra. The name of the festival is roughly translated into the row of lamps.

The festival gets celebrated in different parts of India in different ways. There is no fixed date for Diwali. Rather, Diwali depends on the moon. The festival is always celebrated on the 20th day after the new moon in autumn, in October or November.

Diwali: It's the Festival of Lights in India

Why is Diwali celebrated in India? It is also the New Year festival at the end of the autumn season and the beginning of the new financial year. The worship of Lakshmi occupies a central place in the rituals.

Diwali: It's the Festival of Lights in India

What is the purpose of making Rangoli? In these days intricate and colorful rangolis get drawn on the floor in front of the home. It is a very ancient tradition, usually handed down from mother to daughter. It was the first form of pictorial art on earth as per Chitra Lakshana, an ancient treatise on painting. People believe that bad spirits get trapped in the intricate designs and can not enter home.

After tracing the contours, the expert hands drop a color line to fill the shapes. Women then create shades and intense chromatic effects. Clay lamps in the center or the edges with their trembling flames enhances the beauty of the designs.

Diwali: It's the Festival of Lights in India

How is Diwali celebrated? The first day is Dhanteras. "Dhan" means wealth and "teras" refers to the 13th day of a lunar fortnight in the calendar. In North India, people buy gold or silver items.

The second day is the Naraka Chaturdasi or Choti Diwali. In West Bengal, people worship goddess Kali, while demon effigies get burned in Goa.

The third day is the day of the new moon known as Amavasya. This darkest day of the month is the most significant day of the Diwali festival in North and West India. Lakshmi gets worshiped on this day, with a special puja performed at night.

In the mornings, people wear clean and festive clothes. They buy lush colorful floral garlands and decorate the doors with it. House shrines also get adorned. Good wishes and atmosphere of happiness are in full bloom. They then visit the neighbors with gifts, usually homemade sweets. In nearby temples, people pray to the gods.

In the evening hours, candles and oil lamps are lit everywhere, but now also with electric lights. People play music, sing, dance and eat together. Children burn firecrackers.

The fourth day has various meanings throughout India. In northern India, people do the Govardhan Puja. In Gujarat, it gets celebrated as the beginning of New Year. In Maharashtra, people perform Bali Puja to seek the blessing of king Bali.

The fifth day is the Bhai Dooj. Brothers and sisters gather and share food, to honor the bond between them.

What to eat during Diwali? The shops get filled with a spectacular variety of sweets prepared for this festival. Kaju Katli, made with cashew nuts and often coated with a thin film of an edible silver leaf is most popular. In fact, if ever there is a time to experience the best sweets in India, it is during Diwali.

For those who want to prepare them at home, grind half a bowl of raw cashew nuts to a fine powder. Grease a frying pan with ghee. Mix half a cup of water and sugar until it dissolves. Put it in the pan and boil for a few minutes, over low heat until it has reduced and is sticky. Add the cashew nuts and mix well. Stir for four or five minutes, until they do not stick to the walls of the pan. Be careful not to burn it.

Remove from heat. With wet hands knead the mixture. Flatten it with a wet roller with a little water so that it does not glue the dough. Make a thin layer and cut it into pieces (the custom is to do it in the form of diamond shapes). It is also customary to glue edible silver leaves on one of their sides.

Diwali: It's the Festival of Lights in India

Where to Celebrate Diwali in India?

Are you wondering where it is best to join the Diwali celebrations? Take a look at these Diwali destinations in India.

1. Varanasi

Diwali in Varanasi is something that one should not miss. On the occasion of Diwali, all the Ghats in Varanasi were illuminated with thousands of diyas and the fascinating sight certainly earns Varanasi the title of City of Light in Diwali.

Varanasi attests to Diwali celebrations, with millions of lights and millions of people. People start the day with the Ganga Snan ritual. You can explore the bustling street markets that sell sweets and fireworks. On a sunset boat ride, you can soak in the sight of the lamps by the shore that illuminates the darkness.

Fireworks can be seen and heard all night and to be really a part of it, you should rent a hotel near the riverbank. There is a spiritual aura borrowed from the songs and recitals on the river banks. The festivities culminate in noisy and colorful firecrackers that soar everywhere. The Special Aarti Ganga on the illuminated ghats is a totally different experience.

2. Calcutta

Calcutta or Kolkata has its own style of celebrating Diwali. Kali Puja coincides with the Diwali festival. Kali is worshiped on this occasion unique offerings are made to her during this festival. In addition to the sweets and flowers, fish, meat and even a buffalo calf is offered to the goddess. The city is illuminated with lamps, light bulbs and candles everywhere. A dazzling fireworks show is a part of the celebrations as well. Kolkata, also known as the city of joy, lives up to its name during Diwali.

3. Amritsar

A Punjabi adage goes Dal Roti Ghar Di Diwali Amritsar Di. There is nothing like Diwali's home-cooked food in Amritsar. This is true, the Diwali here coincides with the celebrations of Bandi Chhor Divas, a Sikh festival that marks the return of the Sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, who liberated kings from Jahangir and arrived at the Golden Temple in 1619.

The golden temple shines even more, as it is shrouded in lights and the lake was illuminated with countless oil lamps and candles Fireworks and festivities during Diwali in Amritsar is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience. The city of the Golden Temple is a delight in Diwali. Special kirtans echo through the city and the golden temple bathes in light. The Diyas reflect in the water of the huge sacred pool. It is a banquet for any photography enthusiast.

4. Jaipur

Jaipur, the pink capital city of Rajasthan, is the best place to enjoy Diwali celebrations. Celebrations in Jaipur begin at Dhanteras, the first of the five-day Diwali celebrations. In the historic center, every street gets dedicated to a craft. There is the area of silverware, cloth sellers, shoes etc. The entire city of pink is adorned in varied colors and lights that will welcome you like none you have seen before.

Each area competes to have the most beautiful decorations. The result is a fairytale city transformed into a color chest. Sights such as Fort Nahargarh offers lovely views after the dark. You can see stunning glimpses of the illuminated walled city. In addition to the houses is covered up, the entire markets are decorated with lights.

You can also see musicians in the streets of the city. The markets here sell more than a thousand types of clay lamps in many shapes, sizes and colors. The covered markets are flooded with traditional clothing and crafts. What else? the best-lit market wins a prize. Apart from a feast for the eyes, you can treat your palate with delicious sweets and foods.

5. Purushwadi, Maharashtra

The Purushwadi fireflies festival held in June is a fascinating event to attend here. For a quiet Diwali, away from street fairs and firecrackers, visit Purushwadi, a small village located on a hill along the Mumbai-Nashik Highway. Families in this small village celebrate the Diwali with a bonfire and cook local food.

Children go from house to house, singing traditional songs, inviting each household to pour the oil in their oil lamps, mounted on top of a package handmade from chopsticks. You can participate in the daily life of the village, helping the local women who Rangolis (intricate design done on the floors and courtyards of the houses using colored powder), helping in the rice harvest, looking for a bath in The river, cut wood for the bonfire and toast your own barbecue dinner at the bonfire.

Diwali: It's the Festival of Lights in India

Dev Deepawali in Varanasi

15 days after Diwali, Dev Deepawali is a unique festival held on the banks of the Ganga River in Varanasi, also known as Benares. People say that on this day, the Gods come down to celebrate Diwali. All 84 ghats get cleaned and decorated with flowers, rangolis, and lamps. The river comes alive with flickering flames floated over the Ganges. The annual Ganga Mahotsav takes place three days before Dev Deepawali. It has cultural performances, crafts exhibitions and of course food.

Diwali: It's the Festival of Lights in India

Considered as an important pilgrimage center for Buddhists, Sarnath is a popular tourist spot in Varanasi. Known as the place where Buddha came to give his first sermon after he attained enlightenment in Bodhgaya, Sarnath is definitely a must-see place. The main sanctuary in Sarnath is called as Mulagandhakuti and it is believed that the hut where the Buddha used to sit in meditation during his visit to Sarnath.

Pillars of Ashoka, the national emblem of India is a major tourist attraction in Sarnath. The pillar has four lions at the top, looking back and a wheel called Ashok Chakra placed under the lions. The most sacred place in the excavated area comprising Sarnath is the Dhameka stupa. Another striking nearby construction is the Chaukhandi stupa, a stacked brick structure on top of which stands an octagonal tower.
  • 12
  • Friday, October 13, 2017
Kalyan Kalyan Author