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Embracing richness of Indian Traditions...

Ever thought, why a certain calmness prevails over as soon as we enter our temples or take part in any religious celebrations in our homes or anywhere. Is this a magic? 


There must be some magic or perhaps it is the aura created by the soothing fragrances coming out from the sacred herbs used in the celebrations / auspicious occasions. Since ancient times, people in India have been using natural fragrances of Loban, Guggal and Dhoop Sticks on various occasions. Even Ayurveda has given due emphasis on effect of using natural fragrances on overall wellbeing as well as purifying the environment. Loban and Guggal are the herbs, widely used in households, Ashrams, Temples, Gurudwara, Yoga centres, meditation sessions, etc.

 

Would like to mention specifically about Loban (Gum Benzoin), which is also considered as a good medicine in Ayurveda and has a great significance in spreading positive vibes and purifying the environment. Granules of Loban are regularly burnt in places of worship and meditation centres to create an atmosphere conducive for holy rituals and other activities. Inhaling Loban fumes is beneficial in calming the mind, stopping vomiting, treatment of cough, reducing abdominal pain and arthritis. Spiritually Loban is used to elevate the energy level by cleansing and unblocking the human body energy centres.

 

Pure Loban is yellow in colour and is infested with antiseptic properties and daily use of Loban in evenings is helpful in keeping pests/ insects out of the house, naturally. My father regularly fumes Loban in the evenings and spread the fumes in the entire house. After spreading of Loban fumes, the house atmosphere gets relaxing. He used to burn the Loban in an open diya to spread the fumes around the house, till I found this beautiful, easy to handle and antique looking Brass Loban Fumer -

Only problem with Loban burnt in an open diya or in a plate is that it must be kept at safe place and away from reach of kids, however this Brass Loban Fumer is safe to use and can be placed anywhere. At times kids also enjoy spreading the fumes in entire house.


To generate Loban fumes and spread the aroma, either you can use ready to burn Loban cups available in markets or burn the Loban granules with some Havan Samagri or with a small portion of dhoop. I prepared a base from dhoop to fume loban granules: 

Inhaling Loban aroma calms the mind and help in reducing chest secretions. Loban fumes are a traditional and spiritual means to uplift the energy levels and has been used for centuries by saints and kings. Feel the richness of Indian royalty in your home with this LOBAN FUMER casted in brass. Greenish texture on the intricate design makes it even more appealing and an endearing Lifestyle accessory. The Fumer ensures slow burning of Loban and long-lasting fumes.

 

Not only Loban, the Fumer can be used for placing Nagchampa and Patchouli dhoop cones. Soothing aromas of Nag Champa and Patchouli in charcoal-free dhoop cones will help uplifting your mood.


Stand to place the dhoop cones is also included with the package. Just ignite the cone and relax. Unless the stand is disturbed, the residual ash from the dhoop cones will not fall down. Each packet came with 40 dhoop cones to ensure at least a month of relaxing atmosphere. 


These dhoop cones are made with organic ingredients and hand-rolled by women artisans keeping  your wellness in mind. With every EK Dhoop stick that you light, you bring our rich traditions roots and wellness to your homes. 


I have received following 3 items from WorldofEK; Brass Loban Fumer, two packets of Dhoop Cones and one Green leaf textured Ceramic Mug:


I received the above items in this packing:


Going by the size of the items, one packet would have been sufficient to put all the 3 items together, so initially I thought that “Over packing”. However, when I opened the packets, I realised the due care and efforts by EK team to ensure the items are transported without any possibility of wear and tear during the transit.


·    Packing - As I always say, packing is the last activity for the Seller but is the first impression for the Buyer. I will give full marks for the packing and will surely be not bothered about any damage to even fragile items during transportation by WorldofEK.
·  Appearance - Preparing an Antique is a time taking process. The Brass Fumer is worth the amount you spend.

·    Delivery Time - Received the items on 3rd day from day of ordering.
·    Ease of Use - Lift the lid of Brass Loban Fumer, put the Dhoop/ Loban or Guggal and enjoy Aromatherapy. Need not worry about spillage of ashes.

As the emphasis for natural and holistic well-being is garnering steam especially after the recent Pandemic era, better to try our natural and traditional recipes for overall well being. Along with improving the well being, the Brass Fumer will be a coveted addition to your Elite Lifestyle choices.


This is me, soaking in the Aromatherapy with the fragrance of Patchouli Dhoop cone placed inside Brass Fumer and enjoying a Herbal Tea in this beautiful Green leaf textured Ceramic Mug to relax after a day's hard work:

The size of mug is just perfect for an extended late evening coffee or Tea session with family or friends or for relaxing in solace.


About EK: World of EK is an initiative by Ektaa R. Kapoor to bring the best of India to our homes. The products are designed thoughtfully keeping in mind the impact they have on one's well-being- the material, designs/patterns used in the products have a deep-rooted significance in Indian culture. Most of the products are handcrafted by artisans to promote Indian craftmanship.


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Rock cut Carvings at Urwai Gate - Gwalior Fort

Walls of Gwalior Fort have been a silent and bruised witness to tides of history. These walls have celebrated the glory, and have withstood battering by the invaders as well. Why not, earliest evidence say the Fort was built as early as 727 AD and was subsequently refurbished, expanded and provided its present shape in 15th century.

Also considered as the impenetrable Forts in India, the Western Gate of the Gwalior Fort is one of the striking parts of the Fort. However, most of the visitors unknowingly miss it out over the Gwalior Fort. Also, the local travel planners/ guides generally do not inform about this stunning Western entrance to the Gwalior Fort, known as Urwai Gate which greets the visitors with colossal rock cut architecture. 

The right-hand view from the Fort entry gate, metal road going up the hill ensures visitors miss out noticing the rock cut carvings and also roadside trees covering the view of these marvellous rock cut caricatures do not help the cause of these monuments. I too would have missed, had I not came across this view, while going up the hill and if I had not asked at the gate about these Rock-Cut sculptures.

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Shanichara Temple, Morena

The charming affair for exploring offbeat and marvellous hidden spots continues non-stop with Gwalior and nearby Chambal Ravines. I had a day in hand and thankfully got a car to drive, so Chambal Ravines were again the natural choice for exploring some more unexplored spots. What else this Vagabond would have thought of when Life gave him a spare day and a vehicle to drive.

It took me around one hour from Gwalior to locate, ask locales about the way and finally reach Shanichara Temple, situated deep inside remote corners of Chambal Ravines. Dedicated to Shani Dev, such a Grand Temple at such a remote location arouses curiosity to know about the history of the place as much as quest to explore another hidden spot.
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Triveni Dham, Shahpura

Whenever I used to drive to Jaipur from Delhi via NH48, I always used to thank government for the Smooth Ride. It was going on like this for ages, till one day I decided to explore what it is on right and left turns of this legendary highway. 

At one instant while driving from Delhi to Jaipur, one left turn had taken me to Bhangarh and ancient Neelkanth Mahadev Mandir. So, to explore what is there on the right side of NH48, I started Zooming-In the Google maps before Jaipur and I found one spot called “Triveni Dham”, approx. 12-13 km. from Shahpura.

It was the time to put to practice what I always tell - “Taking a couple of breaks to appreciate the beauty of the roads and surrounding spots will not delay your journey but will surely add the Magic to your spirits”. So, within half an hour from taking a right turn I was at Triveni Dham and in front of me was a grand temple premises at the bottom of a hill.

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Switch to Organic Foods with IsayOrganic

To think well, love well, and to sleep well one has to also “EAT WELL”. I feel fascinated when I come across people maintaining leading active life in their 70’s, 80’s and even beyond. And they are all roaring to go past 100 with same passion.

Whenever I come across these legends, I always gets motivated to their lifestyle and passion for long living. Some of them are practicing Yoga daily, some are doing mild exercise daily, some go for regular walking, and some follow strict disciplined daily routine depending on their choice. However, on thing common with all is that they all are also follow healthy eating habits. Foods promoting immunity is an essential part of their diets. And switching to Organic Food is an easiest way to EAT Well.

Contents in the pack: 
Kathal ka Achar (Jackfruit Pickle), Mushroom SoupBlack Grape Jam, Honey & Tea Gift Hamper, Roasted Flax seeds

Also knows as Jackfruit, it is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. Eatable matter inside its thick, bumpy shell can be used for preparing a variety of dishes, it can be eaten raw or processed into delicious PICKLE.

However, to prepare pickle by yourself make sure you apply oil on your hands and the knife to peel the KATHAL to avoid sticking it to your hands. My mother used to prepare it long back. No-preservative’s, just right SALT preparation from ISayOrganic ensure the goodness and rich taste as our grandmother’s recipes. I loved it, so did elders and kids with Desi Ghee Lachcha Parantha. Half of the bottle was emptied within a day. 

Isayorganic.com can you send one more bottle?


Price - ₹ 380 | Quantity – 200 g.

 

A warm bowl of soup so delicious with small tender bites of mushroom pieces, flavoured with pinch of garlic and black pepper to compliment the natural flavour of mushrooms.

Yes, this soup is good for individuals with heart issues and will invoke your hunger after 10-15 minutes of having it. Just follow the quantity mix mentioned on the bottle and enjoy the soup, healthy and sumptuous.

Price - ₹ 170 | Quantity – 100 g.

Black Grape Jam

As compared to other grapes, Black grapes contain high amount of antioxidants which protect your body cells from damage, help in faster healing from illness and in boosting immunity as well. 

Sustainably grown and freshly sourced black grapes from Nagpur are carefully crushed for a rich tasting Black Fruit Jam. The sweetness is also kept optimum to ensure it does not affect the taste of Grapes. Crushed portions of Grape multiply the delight of enjoying the Jam with your Bread, Cakes or may be Chapati. The price looks slightly on a higher side, shall be looked into. 

Price - ₹ 381.50 | Quantity – 300 g.

Honey & Tea Gift Hamper

The honey is polyfloral, where nectar is collected from many flowers.

Having a cup of Tea in morning blended with black Assam tea, dehydrated ginger, turmeric, giloy, Ajwain and an array of herbs & spices will remove toxins from the body. Both honey & green tea are rich in antioxidants that help renew skin cells giving it a glowing and younger look.

Taste - Infested with herbs, ImmuniTEA let us savor the flavor of all the herbs. Pinch of Ajwain  makes for a soothing experience and above all this Tea does not taste bitter like normal Green teas. Goodness of herbal Tea with taste of Masala Tea to summarize in few words. 

Price - ₹ 599 | Quantity – 1 unit: 200 g. Wild Forest Honey + 125 g. ImmuniTEA

Roasted Flax seeds

Loaded with fiber and provide good amounts of protein, Flax seeds need no introduction. Quality may be a concern at times, when buying in open. I am myself taking a tablespoon of these Flax Seeds with Milk, daily morning. 

Slight pinch of Salt makes munching of these roasted flaxseeds more enjoying. Trust me our native foods are more nutritious than any other supplements.

Price - ₹ 102 | Quantity – 200 g. 


Stay healthy with IsayOrganic and Travel healthier...

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Sahastrabahu Temple/ Saas bahu Temple

Temple which was originally called as Sahastrabahu Temple, is now popularly known as Saas bahu temple. How come?

In the ancient times, there was a king, King Mahipala whose wife was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. So, this temple was built by King Mahipala in the year 1092 depicting Lord Vishnu with thousand arms, Sahastrabahu. Hence the temple, an architectural marvel was originally called as Sahastrabahu temple. Located at eastern part of Gwalior Fort, the first look appearance of the temple is simply mind blowing. 

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Teli ka Mandir, Gwalior

When was the last time you drove for 6-7 hours since early morning, just to visit that splendid spot? 

When you are in the country known India, there are many such spots which are destinations in themselves. Even a whole day travel is worth to just spend 30-40 minutes at the spot. Ancient Teli-Ka Mandir in Gwalior is one such spot. Colossal size, splendid architecture, intricate carvings of Gods and Goddesses and image of Garuda, vehicle of Lord Vishnu make this temple a complete destination.

More than 100 ft. in height, the temple is a unique blend of different Indian architectural styles. It is the tallest structure in the Gwalior Fort. Check out the different styles of lower half and the upper dome.
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Alwar - Unseen Getaway

State where once Rolls Royce’s were deployed to collect garbage, could not have been an ordinary place. Legend of Maharaja Jai Singh of Alwar is well known, how he bought Rolls Royce company to its knees. Apart from the legend of Maharaja jai Singh Alwar is acclaimed worldwide for its famous dessert Kalakand (Milk-Cake). 

Located midway between Delhi and Jaipur, Alwar is one of the oldest cities in Rajasthan, with history going back to the time when Viratnagar used to be flourishing center. Viratnagar, the same Matsya Desh dating back to the times of Mahabharata, where Pandavas spent last year of the 13 years of exile. Despite located close to Delhi, Alwar somehow gets missed out from the itinerary as crowds prefer opulence of Jaipur or probably information about unseen spots in Alwar is rather limited.

Alwar City has several spots, which make it a worthy weekend getaway destination. Though Alwar is a dry region, but has a celestial Siliserh lake, which shall be the first spot in the Alwar itinerary. The Siliserh Lake is a big man-made lake, constructed by Vinay Singh in year 1845 AD and was supposed to provide the water supply reserves for Alwar state.
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Amazing Roads, Road trips in India

When I finally reached my destination, I realized that I was too tired. So, I had to sit back for the sake of recharging myself before I could have thought of exploring the destination.

 

While I was sitting and recalling the drive to the spot, a thought flashed to my mind – “Was this the RIDE, I should be PROUD of, or I will CHERISH FOREVER”. Probably not.

 

Perhaps in my excitement quest to reach the destination ASAP, I drove too fast and pushed myself to the limits. I forgot that “LIFE is a JOURNEY, not a DESTINATION”.

 

Essence of Life lies in enjoying the moments and Essence of TRAVEL lies in ENJOYING the Roads as well. This resonates with practically most of us, especially while driving. Being myself an avid Roadtripper, trust me “Taking a couple of breaks to appreciate the beauty of the roads and surrounding natural landscapes will not delay your journey, but will surely add the Magic to your spirit”.

 

For most of my trips till date I have been driving myself. Bringing you the collected and selected Roads from offbeat and hidden spots, for those who understands that “Journey is the destination itself”.

1) Road to Naddi Village, 3 km. from Mcleod Ganj - 

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Token of Baklava

To think well, love well, and to sleep well one has to enjoy his/ her food. Till it melted in the mouth, I did not realize that Turkish delicacy has been delivered to our doorstep. That feeling when Taste buds feel sumptuous as, perhaps next to nothing in this world.

 

Seeing the baklava, I went back into the memories of my Turkey trip, wherein a health nut like me could not resist having Baklavas in tonnes, be it morning or afternoon or any time of the day. It was an instant recall of the Turkey trip, wherein I loved munching on different food items everywhere as much I enjoyed exploring various places.

 

You can bring back the memories in form of pictures or souvenirs, but local cuisine can be bought back in limited quantity, if at all. You may enjoy local food as much as you can during the trip, but thereafter you can only crave for that sweet/ dessert or anything you tasted in your trip.


About Baklava - Baklava is a traditional Turkish sweet, blended with various dry fruits like ground walnuts, almonds, pistachios along with honey and nutritious elements. 

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