India is romancing with rains in many parts of the country this time and truly, there is nothing like getting drenched in the first shower of monsoon and there is nothing as intoxicating as the fragrance of wet earth. With this freshness, we take you to the Yoga Capital of the World - Rishikesh, in this edition. So, explore the city with us, checkout the amazing property we discovered, learn about the festival of Janmashtami and enjoy making the traditional dessert - Sooji Halwa.
Hope you would enjoy the edition, pour in your views as we would love to hear from you.
Eyed By Indian Zing
Atali Ganga Resort, Rishikesh
A forty minute drive from Rishikesh, Atali Ganga is built into a two and half acre slopping hill side, overlooking the Ganges on one side and borders a reserve forest on the other, India’s first hotel that is designed around activities and a thought to keep the outdoors in focus all time, Atali has 22 cottages built at various levels and includes all comforts of modern living.
Atali Ganga is uncluttered and organic in design, the management’s focus has been in training their young local staff for service and active officers for the activities and operations.
Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm in India.
The actual celebration of Janmashtami takes place during the midnight as Sri Krishna is believed to be borned on a dark, stormy and windy night to end the rule and violence of his uncle, Kansa. All over India this day is celebrated with devotional songs and dances, pujas, arti, blowing of the Conch and rocking the cradle of baby Sri Krishna.
The grand celebrations in Mathura (Lord Krishna’s Birthplace) include religious plays called Ras Leela. (a dramatic enactment of events from Krishna’s life). In Maharashtra, Janmashtami is celebrated by hanging dahi handi high above the ground and people form a human pyramid to break it.
When:: July/August every year Where: All over India
Holy cities abound in India and coming in a close second to Varanasi are the cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Rishikesh is one of the “twin national heritage cities” and a magnet for spiritual seekers. Today it styles itself as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, with masses of ashrams and all kinds of yoga and meditation classes. Along with the Yoga love.. it also attracts tourists for the adventure opportunities it offers like white-water rafting, trekking, mountain climbing, bungee jump and more.
Rishikesh is the starting point for the Char Dhaam Yatra and there are several ancient temples around Lakshman Jhoola, the bridge that spans the Ganga. The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple and the Trimbakeshwar Temple are most popular.
Ever since the Beatles popularised transcendental meditation years ago, Rishikesh has been a haven for those seeking spiritual enlightenment through yoga and meditation, and is fondly called the ‘YOGA CAPITAL OF THE WORLD’.
Rishikesh is very popular with adrenaline junkies. You can indulge in White water rafting and choose the grade (ranging from 1 to 4) based on your age and appetite for adventure. Bungee jumping is another activity you can indulge in here.
The confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati is the main ghat for taking a holy dip. The ancient Rishi Kund and Raghunath Temple nearby are also worth a visit.
Aarti at the Ghat
Rishikesh is popularly known for it’s ghat- side aartis that take place at dusk. The aarti at the Parmarth ghat is a spectacular sight and is also a photographer’s delight.
The bazaars of Rishikesh are a shopper’s paradise. Here you can buy beautiful wall paintings and wooden furniture to give your home a rustic haveli look.
From the Kitchen...
A wonderful dessert that can be prepared in minutes. Sooji (Semolina) Halwa is traditional, yet modern in its simplicity, which makes it a traditional and delightful combination with puris and chana.
1 cup semolina (rava)
1/2 cup ghee
1/2 cup warm milk
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp chopped raisins (kismis)
1 tbsp chopped cashewnuts (kaju)
1 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
For The Garnish:
1/2 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
1 tbsp raisins (kismis)
1/2 tbsp chopped cashewnuts (kaju)
Heat the ghee in a broad non-stick pan, add the semolina and roast it on a slow flame for 6 to 8 minutes till its light golden brown.
Add the milk, 2˝ cups of hot water, mix well and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, while stirring continuously.Add the sugar, raisins and cashewnuts and mix well. Cover and cook on a slow flame for 5 to 7 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
Add the cardamom powder, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 1 minute.Serve immediately garnished with raisins and cashewnuts.