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Thousands of Devotees Reach Vijayawada to get Blessings from Goddess Durga

Goddess Kanakdurga was dressed up in a gold-hemmed sari wearing about 5 lakhs bangles.

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Picture of Goddess Durga. Wikimedia Commons

October 27, 2016: The Kanaka Durga temple of Vijayawada witnessed the presence of about 30,000 devotees on Tuesday. The devotees reached in such a large number to get the blessing of the presiding deity who was decorated with a sari with golden border.

Vijayawada is the center of Andhra culture. It preserves three ancient temples. The temple of Kanaka Durga is one of the most sacred and one of the most powerful temples which attracts a large number of worshippers.

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The gold-hemmed sari was denoted by the Chairman and Managing Director of Hetero Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Bandi Parthasaradhi Raddy. The Goddess was ornamented with nearly 5 lakhs bangles of four different colors.  Some people believe that if you get a darshan of the deity wearing bangles, you will be blessed with a healthy and long married life.

According to the officials, 30,000 devotees had a darshan of the Goddess which is much higher than the devotees’ count on the normal days. A number of worshippers are expected to visit the temple in the coming days. The officials are all geared up to handle the rush. Temporary shelters are constructed for the devotees. Also, additional prasadam has been secured for the devotees.

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Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, along with his wife Bhuvaneshwari presented silk clothing for the presiding deity decorated as Saraswati Devi. Speaking to media, Mr. Naidu said, “I prayed the goddess to enrich the state with good harvest, development and completion of Polavaram project in time.”

He added,”The International Musical Festival would be conducted in Vijayawada in December”. Minister for Endowments P. Manikyala Rao, Minister for water resources D. Umamaheshwara, MP Kesineni Srinivas, collector Babu A and Commissioner of Police, D. Gautam Sawang accompanied the Chief Minister.

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Movie Artist Association President, Mr. Rajendra Prasad, visited the temple in the morning. The VIPs were scheduled to visit the temple between 2 and 4 p.m. The Prakasam Barrage, one town flyover, was closed for the traffic. All the roads leading to the temple were provided alternative routes.

Prepared by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53

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Diwali Puja 2017: Everything You Need To Know About Timings, Muhurat

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Ganesh-Lakshmi are worshipped
Ganesh-Lakshmi are worshipped by devotees on the day of Diwali. Pixabay

New Delhi, October 18, 2017: Diwali is around the corner and everyone is busy with the preparations. On the eve of Diwali, the most important ritual is to perform Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja during the right muhurat (time) and with the right rituals(vidhi).

Here are some of the things you must take care of:

Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja Rituals

It is important that on the day of Diwali, you wake up early in the morning and pay homage to your ancestors and worship gods of your family. It is advised to observe a day-long-fast until the Ganesh-Lakshmi puja is performed in the evening.

Kalash pujan
Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja kalash. Wikimedia

Preparations For Ganesh-Lakshmi Puja

Families can embellish their home and office with Asoka and Marigold flowers, banana and mango leave on the day of the puja. Mangal Kalash covered with unpeeled coconut should be placed at both side of the main entrance of your house.

For puja preparation, place at the right hand side a red cloth on a hoisted platform and put in idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh on it after gracing them with jewellery and clothes. Once this is done, Navgraha gods must be placed on the left hand side on a hoisted platform under white cloth. Prepare carefully nine slots of Akshata (unbroken rice) for placing Navgraha on white cloth and sixteen slots of wheat must prepared for the red cloth. You should perform puja with all the important rituals.

Idols of Ganesh-lakshmi are being worshipped on the eve of Diwali. Wikimedia

Timings (Muhurat) for Lakshmi Puja

Pradosh Kaal muhurat is the time during which puja needs to be performed. It starts after sunset and lasts for about 2 hours and 24 minutes. Goddess Lakshmi will stay in your home if you perform Lakshmi puja in the Pradosh Kaal when it is Sthir Lagna time. Sthir refers to ‘immovable.’  Before you do the puja, make sure you find out Pradosh Kaal (time) for your city or area. It is important that you know the right time to perform the puja.

– prepared by Siddheshwar Sharma. Twitter: @MancSiddheshwar

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Line Up of Mouth-watering Kolkata Eateries this Durga Puja

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Indian bengali food on Durga Puja
Indian bengali food.

Kolkata, Sep 19, 2017: From traditional local delicacies like fresh river prawns cooked in coconut cream and hilsa in pineapple gravy to international dishes such as Caribbean chicken steak or fish in hoisin sauce, city eateries are gearing up to woo revellers during Bengal’s biggest carnival, the Durga Puja.

The metropolis’ fine dining hubs have spiced up their menus with buffets, mostly including lavish platters — both traditional and continental — ahead of the festival, set to be celebrated between September 26 and 30.

The Taj Bengal, a landmark hotel in the heart of south Kolkata, will keep its doors open round-the-clock during the Puja days, exhibiting mouth-watering spreads for brunch, lunch and dinner.

The Sonargaon outlet will have on its menu narkel diye cholar dal (Bengal gram tempered with cumin, coconut shavings and ginger), Sonargaon chingri malai curry (fresh river prawns cooked in coconut cream), sorse bata illish (river hilsa cooked in mustard sauce), and pabnar murgi (chicken morsels cooked in onion-based gravy with a hint of radhuni seeds).

While the chingri and hilsa thali will cost Rs 2,900 per head, non-vegetarian gourmands will have to shell out Rs 2,500 for a sumptuous meal at the eatery. For vegetarians, the price will come down to Rs 2,200.

For those who want to try something that is not cooked at home on a regular basis, The Hub, the hotel’s multi-cuisine restaurant, offers a range of continental and Indian dishes like murgh badami shorba, Kabuli pulao, phulkopir paturi, mozzarella melt, prawn and mascarpone pie.

For dessert, foodies can spoil themselves with gajjar halwa sita bhog and dry fruit milk cake. The buffet will have unlimited cocktails and mocktails all tucked into a price tag of Rs 2,450.

At Novotel Kolkata Hotels and Residences, in the heart of Kolkata’s IT hub in Rajarhat, the breakfast assortment during the Puja days includes bhog khichudi, heeng kachori, aloor dum and jalebi.

The pocket pinch here would be within Rs 1,300 — with breakfast priced at Rs 900, lunch at Rs 999 and dinner for Rs 1,299.

For a filling lunch on Ashtami (September 28) afternoon, look no further than the hotel’s Studio restaurant, the pan-Asian galerie serving sorshe illish, illish paturi, chingri malai curry, kosha mangsho, narkel bata chingri, mangsher kofta pulao, pui sager chorchori, channar kalia and toker dal among many mouth-watering dishes.

“Traditional delicacies will be the focus. Somehow we have seen during the Durga Puja days just everyone wants to eat Bengali food,” Neelabh Sahay, Executive Chef of Novotel, told IANS.

People eager for a different flavour can try the Afra Tafri on Camac street, a posh and bustling south Kolkata locality.

From pan-fried fish with chilli basil sauce to Caribbean chicken steak, fish in hoisin sauce, and cottage cheese garlic, this gastropub will also be easy on the pocket. The buffet price is kept at Rs 699, inclusive of all taxes.

“Keeping in mind the various ways of satisfying the food lover’s taste buds, we introduced the contemporary festive buffet which will be available at Afra Tafri on the festive days of Durga Puja,” Chef Mohammad Feroz Hussain said.

Also Read: This Durga Puja Brings Narratives of Communal Harmony 

Before you burp, for those who have a sweet tooth, Park Plaza in South Kolkata’s Ballygunge will offer chhana toast from Krishnagar in Nadia district and langcha from Tarapith, a small temple town near Rampurhat in Birbhum district.

“We want our customers to get the original flavour. That’s why we will bring the sweets from where they belong,” Chef Gautam Kumar told IANS.

There will also be “chat contests” for those who will avail the buffet priced at Rs 999 for lunch and Rs 1,199 for dinner.

Back on Camac Street, the gastropub Monkey Bar has lined up a specially curated “thaala meal” of home-style Bengali delicacies specially curated by Kolkata-based home chef, food critic and passionate foodie Iti Misra. The offerings come in three variants — vegetarian, fish and chicken — at a price range of Rs 999 to Rs 1,299.

(Debayan Mukherjee can be contacted at debayan.m@ians.in)

(IANS)

 

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Birmingham Pragati Mandal: A Local Hindu Charity in UK Raises more than £3K for St. Mary’s Hospice

The vibrant evening included Indian traditional cuisines as well as Bollywood and Dance performances by Melody Express of London

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Birmingham St. Mary's Hospice
The members of Birmingham Pragati Mandal. Twitter
  • Birmingham Pragati Mandal is a local Hindu Charity in the city
  • The Hindu Charity hosted an event at Shree Krishna Temple in Sparkbrook
  • Through the event, Pragati Mandal raised a staggering £3,200 for the Birmingham St. Mary’s Hospice

Birmingham (UK), August 16, 2017: Birmingham’s local Hindu Charity is known as the Birmingham Pragati Mandal. On Tuesday, the 15th August 2017, the Pragati Mandal organized a ‘Dinner and Dance’ event to raise funds crucial for the health of terminally ill families.

The event was hosted by the Hindu Charity at the Shree Krishna Temple in Sparkbrook. A total of 225 guests made it to the event to fund for the families that suffer a terminal illness.

ALSO READ: Dorset Indian Mela: Indian food festival on August 26 in UK to Showcase different varieties of Cuisine and Culture

The vibrant evening included Indian traditional cuisines as well as Bollywood and Dance performances by Melody Express of London.

The Pragati Mandal was able to raise funds over £3,200 which will be donated to Birmingham St. Mary’s Hospice. The Hospice in Birmingham offers expert life care.

The volunteer ambassador of St. Mary’s Hospice, Polly Patel, stated that the evening was fantastic and it was impressive to see Pragati Manda’s efforts of bringing together so many people for a wonderful charity. The generosity of the people was acknowledged. He also mentioned that they money raised is expected to help around 1200 individuals and families across the city.

The CEO of the Birmingham Pragati Mandal, Raman Bulsara, also noted how the Birmingham St. Mary’s Hospice runs on donations and charity for its “reliable services.”

– prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394


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