Majuli, Deori Tribe Culture

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Deori Tribe of Majuli

Deoris  migrated from hills staying at various places and then finally reached Majuli through river Brahmaputra, they call themselves children of Sun and Moon (Jimo – Chaayan) have their own culture and faith along with the Hindu Gods they worship their ancestors, they served as priests for the royal families even today they have same respect among the other tribal communities. Deori means wise male and female.

Deori Tribal Ladies , Majuli Island

Deori Tribal Ladies , Majuli Island

Houses are stilted built by using bamboo, cane and wood, animals are on the lower level and upper level family stays, normally there is a corridor till the center of house which is used for all day to day work, there is place for faith in God and each home have a reserved place for it.

Deori Tribal Village house , Majuli Island

Deori Tribal Village house , Majuli Island

 

Marriages are arranged by the family elders and day is fixed, as gift cloths and ornaments are offered and it is solemnized in the presence of community as a religious ceremony. They enjoy rice, pork, goat, fowl in their meals.

Deori Tribal Mother and Child, Majul Island

Deori Tribal Mother and Child, Majul Island

Two major festivals associated with the agriculture activity, Magiyo Bisu is celebrated in the month of January and Ibaku Bisu is in April, there are special rules, it is celebrated for seven days, the village elders shower blessings by visiting all the houses and, puja is performed in each house by the head of family, guests are treated with homemade rice beer “Suzen” young boys and girls gather in an open space and dance the whole night.

Bhohagiyo Bisu is a religious festival and a very important Deodhani dance celebrated for two weeks, it is believed that a special power is there with few who can be a Deodhani, they predict about the prosperity of village or person, it is a holy female god dance and during this period no men are allowed in colored clothes in the dance area called the “Than”. Joydam festival is celebrated in the month of February it is very important festival and cultural meet for all the four groups of Deori tribes, it is to pay the respect to motherland and celebrate the bumper harvest or before the sowing of seeds, the main profession of Deori tribe is agriculture .

One can reach Majuli from Jorhat to Nimatighat by road and the take a 1.30 hr. ferry to cross the Brahmaputra , it  is also a port of call for river cruise M.V.Mahabaahu 

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Majuli, Sonowal Kachari Tribe Culture

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Sonowal Kachari Tribe of Majuli

Sonowal Kachari Tribe have its origin with Mongoloid features, they have no language of their own at present and speak Assamese language.They got the Sonowal name because they were experts in extracting gold dust from the rivers, they also have a good knowledge about the medicinal herbs and using them for many ailments .

Sonowal Kachari Tribal family, Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari Tribal family, Majuli Island

Believe in supreme power of creator and spirits worshiping the ancestors and sacrificing the animals and birds to please them but accepted the Vaishnave Satras followings in 17th century which is against any such things, each village have a place of worship called the “Namghar”.

They believe that they were the descendants of great Bhaskar Varma, Narakasur, Ban, Bhagadutta, Hadimba, Ghototkach, Bhim, Prahlad and Bali . They worship lord Shiva and performs the Bhouwa dance in praise of Lord Shiva. This dance signifies the beginning of a new life, a clean society and the removing of bad omen.

Bhouwa dance by Sonowal Kachari Tribe in praise of Lord Shiva

Bhouwa dance by Sonowal Kachari Tribe in praise of Lord Shiva

Family and village elders are treated with respect, villagers believe in cooperation and extend help in agriculture and house making in exchange for food and drink.

Sonowal Kachari Tribal Ladies , Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari Tribal Ladies , Majuli Island

Beetle nut and beetle leave are a part of their life and symbol of welcoming the guests at home, it is an important part of any ritual to include these, their villages are full of trees of beetle nut .

Sonowal Kachari village, Beetle nut trees , Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari village, Beetle nut trees , Majuli Island

 

Beetle leaves , Sonowal Kachari village, Majuli Island

Beetle leaves , Sonowal Kachari village, Majuli Island

 

In their family system there are clans and sub clans, marriages are forbidden in same and brother clan, they follow monogamy but having more than one wife is not objected, widow marriage is allowed.

Sonowal Kachari Lady at handloom , Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari Lady at hand-loom , Majuli Island

In marriage it is must to present a hand-loom to the girl, they wear colorful home weaved dresses, dhoti, kurta and Gamsha. They love rice based food with less spices.

Their main occupation is agriculture, dairy farming, poultry and hand-loom cotton and silk cloth, all ladies are expert in weaving .

Sonowal Kachari, mother and child, Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari, mother and child, Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari ladies performing Bihu , Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari ladies performing Bihu , Majuli Island

Kacharis celebrate their festivals with great joy and enthusiasm there are three Bihu festivals, marriage, harvesting or any opportunity is enjoyed with dance.

One can reach Majuli from Jorhat by road to Nimatighat and then 1.30 hrs. ferry to cross the river Brahmaputra to  Kamalabari ghat and the by Jeep / bus to Gramur , it is also a port of call for river cruise M. V. Mahabaahu .

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Majuli, Treasure Island of Assam

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Majuli, Cultural capital and Treasure Island of Assam

Situated in the river Brahmaputra one can reach from Jorhat to Nimatighat by road and then by a ferry sailing for about 1.30 hrs. to reach Kamalabari ghat , one can reach by road from North Lakhimpur a 85 km distance is covered in about 3 hrs. It is the cultural capital of Assam spread over one hundred and forty four villages .

Crossing of River Brahmaputra by Ferry

Crossing of River Brahmaputra by Ferry

It is also a stopover destination for Brahmaputra river cruise M.V. Mahabaahu

According to a popular legend Majuli Island in Assam was created by the rivers Dihing and Bhramputra about 450 years ago as a result of earthquake and floods, It is a place of assimilation of different races and tribes , the Worlds largest river island is also the holy place of Neo Vaishnavite religion flourishing since 15th century , at one time there were sixty five Satras (monasteries) out of which twenty two are still active here carrying forward the unique cultural heritage of Assam, the others have shifted else where out due to the floods and soil erosion.

Mask making at Majuli Island

Mask making at Majuli Island

From May till the middle of September  the rains and flooding waters from Brahmaputra submerges most of the island and when it recedes leaves behind lots of water bodies suitable for fishes to breed and land becomes fertile for the paddy crops, these wetlands then becomes home to more than 80 species of migratory and more than 30 resident birds.

Tribe weavers at Majuli Island

Tribe weavers at Majuli Island

There are three tribes living here the Mishing, the Deori and Sonowal Kachari with altogether different life style.

Tribe ladies in home woven colorful cloths , Majuli Island

Tribal ladies in home woven colorful cloths , Majuli Island

Fishing , Bamboo & cane craft, Weaving, Mask making, boat making, cultivating paddy, rearing silk worms and pottery is the main occupation of its residents, Tourism is becoming quite popular as it is a birds watchers paradise, study of the tribal life style and the Neo Vaishnavism’s no caste based Hindu society .

 

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Kargil , Ladakh

Kargil lies on National Highway 1D which connects Srinagar to Leh , it is on the banks of Suru river , the name is from two words “Gar” means in local language “Any Where” and “Khil” means central place “where any one can stay”. Total population of Kagil 80% follows the Shia faith of  Islam and are inhabited in Kargil, Drass and lower Suru valley, Tibetan Bon Buddhist are mostly in Zanskar valley with small population in Shergol, Mulbek and Upper Suru valley.  There are about 4%  Hindus and Sikhs . Most of the people are of Burig and Balti of Tibetan origin mixed with Dard , Mon and Aryan people.

Kargil City view from Leh-Srinagar Highway

The Tibetan influence is seen in Kargil and Leh people , the Islam came here with Persian influence which has lots Persian words , phrases and even the religious songs in their language , the marriages are solemnize with common rituals of  Buddhist and Islam customs .

Mt. Nun & Mt. Kun from Suru valley trekkers hot spot

It was a transit point of caravans on their way to and from China, Tibet, Yarken and Kashmir till 1949, but since 1974 with the influx of tourists the region has been replaced as center for tourism related activities. Tourists traveling between Zanskar, Leh and Srinagar stop for  a night stay , before proceeding for onward  journey.

People visit Kargil with the memories of 1999 India and Pakistan conflict as it lies very close to the line of control .

Bomb Shell splinters holes fired from Pakistan

The Suru river flows through Kargil , Suru valley extends till the Pensi-la where there is a famous peaks of Nun and Kun , Karaste kar is a small village on Leh highway where 9 meter tall rock carved statue of Maitriya Buddha attracts the tourists from far places . There are other magnificent Stupas and rock carved statues to be seen in Suru valley . Most of the trekkers take a hike to  the Nun- Kun view saddle (3810mtr. ) in the Parkachik ridge. It is a  3 hours of walking along the slopes  overlooking the fertile valley below.

Pakistani post was captured and pushed behind this peak

The road connection from Srinagar is open from May till November , rest of the year there is a heavy snow in the Zoji-la , this area is cut off by road in winters from rest of India , the Indian Air Force  operates few flights to help the local people to come in out of the valley. summers are warm with cold nights , Drass which is 56 km from Kargil is coldest inhabited place in India. The only  road link to Zanskar  is from Kargil .

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Drass Valley , Ladakh

Drass is a small town on Srinagar – Leh National Highway 1D , 147 km from Srinagar and 60 km from Kargil at a height of 3230 meters from sea level  , it is also called the Himalayan gateway to Ladakh , it starts from Zoji-la and extends till Kargil , it is the second highest coldest inhabited place after Siberia on earth , the temperature goes down till minus 60 degree centigrade in winters , in the local Baltic language Dras means ” the Hell” There are heavy snow fall and storms from November to April May . During spring and summer, the valley transforms into lush green Meadows splashed with a variety of fragrant wild flowers

Drass River originates from the Machoi glacier near the  Zozila Pass. The river is joined  by many other rivers and streams flowing in from snowfields from the nearby mountains. The river Shigar flows in from the north drains and joins it in the Drass valley.

The Puga Valley is famous for its hot water springs ,visitors come to this valley for a bath in these springs as this is known to help people suffering from rheumatism and skin diseases , Drass is a convenient base for a 3-day long trek to Suru valley This trek passes through beautiful upland villages and wild flower  meadows on both sides of the  Umba  – La pass ( 4,500 meters )

 

Dras War Memorial at the base of Tololing Ridge

The town got famous after the 1999 Kargil War when it was being shelled by infiltrators till the Indian Army recaptured the three heights, namely Tololing, Tiger Hill and The Three Pimples overlooking National Highway 1D that passes through Drass.

 

View of Tiger Hill from Srinagar – Leh Highway 1D

 

Tiger Hill view from Srinagar-Leh Highway 1D

Its inhabitants are mainly of the Dard origin , an Aryan race that migrated from Central Asian steppes. They speak Shina ,belongs to the Indo-European linguistic family. Their ancestral sport, horse-polo that the Dard plays with particular zeal, resembles our modern polo . The  people inhabiting these regions faces  the harshness of the valley’s winter; negotiate the formidable pass to transport a trader’s merchandise. The citizens of Drass can be described as the guardians of Ladakh’s gateway.

Tourism is being promoted in this region by organizing the Polo matches among the villages and teams from outside the valley. Polo stadium is named  after an army officer Lt. Conolel Vishwanathan who sacrificed his life to push the Pakistani intruders out of this valley in 1999 .

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Vamana Temple of Love Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh

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Vamana Temple of Love Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh was built during 1050 AD to 1075 AD by the Chandela Rulers . It is a UNESCO Heritage site

Vamana Temple of Love Khajuraho

Dedicated to the Vamana, the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and also the first incarnation where the Vishnu came in a full human form ( the form of a dwarf Brahmin).  Legend says that the Vamana came to earth to give back the authority of the celestial world back to Lord Indra (King of Heaven), after the benevolent Asura ( Demon) King Bali, took over the control of all the three worlds, Swarg ( Heaven) , Bhulok (Earth) and ( Pataal lok) the underworld.

Vamana Avtar the Fifth Incarnation of Lord Vishnu

The exterior of the temple has double walls with intricate carvings of Apsaras in various sensual poses or other carvings depicting everyday life, like musicians, dancers, women preening in front of a mirror, etc. The main doorway is carved with four armed Vamans. The temple is a sandstone structure with mortise and tenon joints to hold the adjacent stones together.  the  temple has a central chamber-the sanctum ( Garbha Griha), an atrium, a Maha Mandapa, a central towering spire – Shikhara and a porch leading to the main temple entrance.

Images on the outer wall of Vamana Temple of Love Khajuraho

It is nirandhara (one without ambulatory) temple, consisting on plan of a sapta-ratha (seven-projectioned) sanctum, vestibule, maha-mandapa with lateral transepts and entrance-porch, contrast to the developed local temples, erotic scenes are absent here.

At first sight many of the Khajuraho temple sculptures would appear to be naked, there is no nude body in Indian art. Adornment, associated with auspiciousness, The bodies lining the exterior of the Vamana Temple,  are represented decorated  in jewelry and draped in semi transparent veils. Associated with fertility, abundance, prosperity, and good fortune, voluptuous female bodies and loving couples are perfectly acceptable subject matter for temples.

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Chaturbhuj Temple of Love Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh

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Chaturbhuj Temple is situated in village Jatakari ,Khajuraho, built in 1100AD , the Chaturbhuj (Lord Vishnu ) means the one with four arms . It is peculiar temple in three distinct characters which differentiate it from other temples of Khajuraho .  It houses the tallest stone carved idol among all the Temples in Khajuraho , only temple in Khajuraho with no Erotic figures, it is also the only important temple in Khajuraho that faces west . 

Chaturbhuj Temple of Love Khajuraho

Standing over a platform with entrance from the West , it is normally  not seen in the Hindu temples but rest all the architecture needs are taken care of like the Mandapa , Garbhagriha and the Shikhara , there are images of Ganga can be identified with the presence of Crocodile and Yamuna can be identified with Turtle , there is a beautiful image of Lord Shiva in his Ardhnarishwar ( half man , half woman) carvings along with the heavenly life .

Main entrance , tallest statue among all the temples at Khajuraho

The main idol is suppose to be of Lord Vishnu but the close observation gives impression of three bodies in one , head with Jata ( hairs) of Lord Shiva , the four arms carrying Lotus, Conch , one arm showering the blessings and the other is giving the Abhay ( fearlessness ) , the standing pasture with one leg resting on toe is a Lord Krishna dancing style ( Incarnation of Lord Vishnu) , near the main idol there are images of Sura – Sundari .

Lord Chaturbhuj , Features of Lord Shiva and Lord Krishana

Beauty of this temple is seen  at sunset the sun comes streaming in and falls on the figure, lighting it in such a way that it appears to be full with life.

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Varaha Temple Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh

The Varaha Temple dedicated to the third incarnation of lord Vishnu built by the Chandela King Yashaovarman in around 900 to 950 AD Built on a lofty plinth a simple modest pavilion , pyramidal roof of receding tiers resting over fourteen pillars made of sand stone , located just opposite to the Lakshmana temple of Love  .

Varaha tempel Khajuraho

Varaha is the third Avatar ( Incarnation) of the Lord Vishnu, appeared  to defeat Hiranyaksha , a demon who had taken the Earth ( Prithvi ) and carried it to the bottom of  the cosmic ocean . The battle between Varaha and Hiranyaksha is believed to have lasted for a thousand years, which the Lord Vishnu  finally won. Varaha carried the Earth out of the cosmic ocean between his tusks and restored it to its place in the universe. Varaha incarnation of Lord Vishnu married Prithvi ( Bhudevi ) in this avatar.

Varaha with Goddess Saraswati between mouth and nose with Veena , disfigured Bhudevi between the fore legs

The Varaha sculpture is colossal and monolithic and made of sandstone , the entire body 2.6 mtrs long and 1.7 mtrs. tall is covered with small images of Gods and Goddesses  in all there are  674 deities in 12 neatly carved rows symbolism to  the collective  power of these individuals  to the Lords Incarnation as Varaha to save the Bhudevi ( Prithvi ) the earth .

Varaha incarnation of Lord Vishnu with 674 carved images of God and Goddesses on its body

Goddess Sarasvati  playing Veena is carved between nose and mouth, Shesh Nag  (the Serpent ) is lying at the bottom between the legs, facing the Varaha a disfigured image of Bhudevi (The  Earth) can be seen sitting  below Seshnaga, the serpent is depicted in a devotional posture.

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Chardham Helicopter Charters year 2016

Chardham Helicopter Charters for the year 2016 will operate from Dehradun first flight on 10 MAY 2016.

 

Take Off from Shastradhara Helipad

To operate the Helicopter charters in this area , permission is granted by the DGCA of Govt. of India,  before the operations starts the Govt. Officials inspect the helipads situated at Kharsali ( Yamunotri ) Harsil ( Gangotri ) Guptkashi ( Phata, Sitapuri, Sirsi ) Sri Kedarnath and the Sri Badrinath , when these helipads are declared fit, only then the flights operations are allowed.

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There is a regular Shuttle service between Guptkashi (Sitapuri, Sirsi & Phata)  and Sri Kedarnath but other places only chartered flights are allowed. There is difference between Chartered and Shuttle Service.

View of Sri Badrinath from a Helicopter

Normally following services are offered as chartered Service

a. Dehradun – Yamunatri – Dehradun  same day return

b. Dehradun – Gangotri – Dehradun  same day return

c. Dehradun – Yamunotri – Gangotri – Dehradun same day return

d. Dehradun – Sri Kedarnath – Dehradun same day return  

e. Dehradun – Sri Badrinath – Dehradun same day return  

f. Dehradun – Sri Badrinath – Sri Kedarnath – Dehradun same day return

g. Dehradun – Yamunotri – Gangotri – Sri Kedarnath – Sri Badrinath – Dehradun Two days trip 

f. Guptkashi – Sri Kedarnath – Guptkashi Shuttle Service 

g. Gobindghat – Ghangharia – Gobindghat Shuttle Service ( Valley of Flowers & Hemkund Sahib)

The Helipad at Yamunotri is at Kharsali about 7 km before the main temple , Palki, Horses and Pitthoos are available from the helipad with prior arrangements.

The Helipad at Gangotri is at Harsil about 24 km from the main temple , Jeeps, Cars are available from here

The Helipad at Sri Kedarnath is about 1 km from the main temple, it is a easy walk or Pitthoos are available

The Helipad at Sri Badrinath is about 1.5 km from the temple , Car, Jeeps are available.

To book your charter / Shuttle service, visit our website for rates  yatrachardham.com 

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Chitragupta Temple of Love Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh

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Chitragupta Temple  dedicated to Sun God was built during the 1023 AD by the Chandela Rulers , built near the  three storied Step well Chopra tank which is also a part of this spectacular temple , is the only Sun temple at Khajuraho .

Chitragupt Temple of Love Khajuraho

Chitragupta temple  faces East, and its cell contains a 5-foot-tall image of Surya wearing an Armored Coat and long Boots complete with the chariot and seven horses that carry him across the sky. Surya also appears above the doorway.

Ladies in different poses

The entrance of the temple portrays three  smaller idols of Sun God ,walls decorated with Apsaras in dancing poses, couples in sensuous moments and a impressive images of Lord Vishnu with 11 heads , his own face is in the center and the other heads represent his 10 main incarnations.

love Making Couples

This state which is “like a man and woman in close embrace” is a symbol of moksa, final release or reunion of two principles

Most Famous Love Making Couple of Khajuraho

The vast majority of arts depict various aspects the everyday life, mythical stories as well as symbolic display of various secular and spiritual values important in Sanantan way of Life traditional way  . depictions show women putting on makeup, musicians making music, potters, farmers, and other folks in their daily life during that period  .

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