Thanks to all the participants who visited our booth and the shop during this activity.
Come back soon!
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Soon we will celebrate our first year in operation in Jaisalmer.
Seems a long time from my former "Rainbow Boutique" in Mahabalipuram!
We are delighted to say this year has gone very well. We are now rated FIRST SHOPPING DESTINATION IN JAISALMER, on TripAdvisor. Our Google rating is EXCELLENT. We also received good comments on WikiTravel and Virtual Tourist.
This is all thanks to our amazing costumers, who took the time to give positive feedback about the shop. I really want to thank you guys (and girls!). I am deeply grateful for this, and it has been my pleasure to serve you during this last year. I hope you are all having good and safe travels. And I also hope to have the chance to see you again some day and sit around a good cup of indian "chai". I enjoyed meeting each and every one of you!
India is truly becoming a filmmaker's destination. We all knew that "Bollywood" was the biggest movie industry in the world, but since the success of "Slumdog Millionnaire" (and probably with an eye on the huge market India represents), more and more western-made movies include that "India connection".
Exotic appeal? While "Eat, pray, love" had its Ashram section many westerners crave for and edge on commercial teasers, other more thought-through films depict India (and tourists!) to the delight of the viewers from all nations. For example "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" has made both my grand-parents laugh like never before in Kashmir, and my fiancee's parents laugh to tears in Canada.
Recent blockbuster "The Dark Knight Rise" also used an Indian setting, shooting at the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. That fort, slightly smaller than Jaisalmer's Fort, is an amazing sight, towering over the Blue City, with it's thick walls, perched on it's cliff like an mighty eagle's nest. Certainly a sight to include in your Rajasthan tour.
Just back from travel with new goodies! New precious statues and gold & silver mandalas. You will soon be able to admire the unbelievable craftsmanship needed to carve such magnificent items.
Carved Mandala’s are meticulously designed with exceptional detail and symmetry. They are truly one of kind, and do make exceptional gifts.
Mandala (Sanskrit maṇḍala"essence" + "containing", also translates as "circle" or "completion") is a concentric diagram having spiritual and ritual significance in both Buddhism and Hinduism. In the Tibetan branch of Vajrayana Buddhism, mandalas have been developed into sandpainting. They are also a key part of anuttarayoga tantra meditation practices.
In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of aspirants and adepts; as a spiritual teaching tool; for establishing a sacred space; and as an aid to meditation and trance induction, by assisting the meditator to experience a mystical sense of oneness with the ultimate unity / cosmos.
For those who wondered why we were closed for a few weeks: here it is! I was visiting a few places in South East Asia.
First stop was Singapore, the international capital of food & shopping. Restaurants and hawker centers as far as the eye can see, and shopping centers that cover 4 street corners and are opened 24/7... Nice sights: sneak in Marina Bay Sand's Skybar after sunset and get a glorious view of illuminated downtown Singapore, wander through the Golden Arches of the orchid gardens, stop for tea at Holland Village.
Second stop was Thailand. Kayaking in Phang Nga Bay was just fantastic. We visited the Hongs (caverns and lagoons carved from gigantic rocky islands), and got to see amazing landscapes (or should I say seascapes?) and weird fauna. Who has ever heard of turquoise coral (or bright yellow or purple?). Even saw a mudskipper, a fish with legs that is at ease in the water but still hops and runs on the ground. And of course: Thai jewelry. Amazing designs and finish.
Did you know about niello?
Nielloware Thai jewelry and related items from Thailand were popular gifts from American soldiers taking "R&R" in Thailand to their girlfriends/wives back home from the 1930s to the 1970s. Most of it was completely handmade jewelry.
The technique is as follows: The artisan would carve a particular character or pattern into the silver, leaving the figure raised by carving out the "background". He would then use the niello inlay to fill in the "background". After being baked in an open fire, the alloy would harden. It would then be sanded smooth and buffed. Finally, a silver artisan would add minute details by hand. Filigree was often used for additional ornamentation. Nielloware is classified as only being black and silver colored. Other colored jewelry originating during this time uses a different technique and is not considered niello.
Many of the characters shown in nielloware are characters originally found in the Hindu legend Ramayana. The Thai version is called Ramakien. Important Thai cultural symbols were also frequently used. Collecting Thai jewelry (correctly known as Siam Silver jewelry) is a growing hobby, with many jewelry enthusiasts.
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Tired after playing Holi!
The main day, Holi, also known as Dhuli in Sanskrit, also Dhulheti, Dhulandi or Dhulendi, is celebrated by people throwing scented powder and perfume at each other. Bonfires are lit on the eve of the festival, also known as Holika Dahan (burning of Holika) or Chhoti Holi (little Holi). After doing holika dahan prayers are said and praise is offered. The bonfires are lit in memory of the miraculous escape that young Prahlad accomplished when Demoness Holika, sister of Hiranyakashipu, carried him into the fire. Holika was burnt but Prahlad, a staunch devotee of god Vishnu, escaped without any injuries due to his unshakable devotion. Holika Dahan is referred to as Kama Dahanam in South India.
Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna (February/March), (Phalgun Purnima), which usually falls in the later part of February or March. In 2009, Holi (Dhulandi) was on March 11 and Holika Dahan was on March 10. In 2010, Holi was on March 1 and Holika Dahan was on February 28. In 2011, Holi was on March 20 and Holika Dahan was on March 19.
In most areas, Holi lasts about two days. One of Holi’s biggest customs is the loosening strictness of social structures, which normally include age, sex, status, and caste. Holi closes the wide gaps between social classes and brings Hindus together. Together, the rich and poor, women and men, enjoy each other’s presence on this joyous day. Additionally, Holi lowers the strictness of social norms. No one expects polite behavior; as a result, the atmosphere is filled with excitement and joy.
Every year, thousands of Hindus participate in the festival Holi. The festival has many purposes. First and foremost, it celebrates the beginning of the new season, spring. It also has a religious purpose, commemorating many events that are present in Hindu mythology. Although it is the least religious holiday, it is probably one of the most exhilarating ones in existence. During this event, participants hold a bonfire, throw colored powder at each other, and celebrate wildly.
Originally, it was a festival that commemorated good harvests and the fertile land. In addition to celebrating the coming of spring, Holi has even greater purposes. Hindus believe it is a time of enjoying spring's abundant colors and saying farewell to winter. Furthermore, Holi celebrates many religious myths and legends.