A tiny lamp floats past our boat on the waters of the Ganga, like a fallen star carrying a wish. Amidst the darkness that engulfs it, the lamp bobs away along the calm waters of a river as old as time. Probably just as old is the city of Varanasi that’s stood along the banks of the Ganga, its ghats welcoming faithful from all over the world. Some, seeking solace, others, praying for the ones departed. It is an overwhelming scene – people waking up at the crack of dawn ready to welcome the sun as they pay respects to the life-giving river, while others, just a few kilometres away, heads tonsured watch their loved ones being cremated on the banks – witnessing the circle of life and death play out day after day for millennia.Varanasi, said to date back to 6 BC and known to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, holds a special place in Hinduism due to the belief that it’s where Shiva chooses to stay while on earth. It is also one of the 12 jyotirlinga shrines in India – places that were said to be touched by the celestial pillar of light that chased away the cosmic darkness from earth. Its famed ghats, by comparison to the city’s existence, are fairly new – just about three hundred years old. But it’s here that the entire city descends, to celebrate, to mourn and to ruminate.No words can come close to describing the feeling as you emerge from the narrow lanes of settlements line the banks and, for the first time, lay your eyes on the expanse of the river. And, as you take a boat ride, you look at this city anew from a fresh perspective. It’s easy to imagine how life must’ve been all those centuries ago as the river flows on, peacefully, carrying the hopes and dreams of the people that live along its banks.
The Great Night of Shiva or Mahashivratri is unlike any other Hindu festival. Find out when is Mahashivratri in 2019, and why and how it is celebrated in India (and also in Nepal).
Snapshots from the largest gathering on the planet!120 million people congregating at the confluence of two of the holiest rivers in India is a pretty big deal. Words cannot begin to describe the magnitude of the Kumbh Mela, the largest gathering of people that can even be seen from space. The Kumbh Mela is nothing like you’ve ever seen before – even the most crowded Indian metropolises pale in comparison to the scenes before you at Prayagraj. Thousands of colourful tents stretch as far as the eye can see. These have been built by close to 6,000 organisations to which the land along the rivers has been allotted for a specific amount of time. These organisations hosts the millions of devotees and ascetics who arrive from all over the country. The Purna Kumbh Mela or the ‘Full’ Kumbh’ is hosted once every 12 years and the Maha Kumbh once every 144 years (the last Maha Kumbh took place in 2013). What’s underway now is the Ardh Kumbh or the ‘Half Kumbh’ that takes place every six years. The faithful arrive to take a holy dip in the Triveni Sangam – the confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers – throughout the duration of the mela. But some days are more important than the others and that’s when the Sangam receives the maximum number of devotees, sometimes as many as 50 million in a single day! The Yahoo guide to the Kumbh Mela has everything you need to know about this unique festival but here are some snapshots of what it is like to be in the midst of the surreal festival that is the Kumbh Mela.
Maghi Purnima is one of the most important days in the Hindu calendar as well as in the Kumbh Mela schedule. Find out why.
Stunning pictures of the weekend getaway you never knew.For the most part, Araku Valley has been a hidden gem, nestled in the Eastern Ghats, near the Odisha border of Andhra Pradesh. Located just 115 km from Visakhapatnam, Araku has always been well connected and relatively easy to access. It’s also the destination the folks at Andhra Pradesh Tourism want you to visit this year. The bait–a hot air balloon ride over the most breathtakingly beautiful valley in India you’ve likely never seen.
Hot air ballooning may not give you the adrenalin rush of a bungee jump, but there’s a case to be made for soaring gently in a basket suspended from a balloon.
From Keto to intermittent fasting—these were the most fashionable diets to be on this year.What a year it’s been! You began resolving to lose weight and get fit…but it didn’t exactly turn out the way you hoped. Here you are, standing before the mirror looking disappointed at yourself. But while you were chugging beer, there were others who worked hard and ate healthy. However, it’s never too late to start, especially when it’s the beginning of a new year. May 2019 be the year you get fit. And for some diet inspiration, here were the five diets that trended in 2018.
We’re at the very end of 2018 and if you haven’t as yet started making plans for your 2019 travel, don’t worry we have you sorted. We’ve trawled through booking sites for the best flight rates from Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. Whether it’s the ever-reliable Goa or Sri Lanka, which, really, is the new Goa, these are just some of the places you can travel to in February 2019 from Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.Fares are subject to change.
It’s that time of the year again when Pornhub releases its annual data on how people used its services. In its sixth annual Year in Review, the adult entertainment site revealed what trended, what types of porn we watched and who we looked for. Pornhub reported a total of 33.5 billion visits in 2018, a jump of over 5 billion from last year’s numbers with an average of 100 million visits every day. So how did Indians fare on Pornhub? Who and what did we search for and how long did we last on Pornhub? As it turns out, we now have the answers. Here are the 8 things we learnt about India’s porn surfing habits in 2018.
We’re at the bitter end of 2018 and if you haven’t already started planning your 2019 journeys, chances are you’re probably thinking of it. Conveniently, the folks over at TripAdvisor have released their list of the top 10 emerging destinations from 2018. Here they are for some wanderlust inspiration!
Whether it’s a hidden cove on a private island or a large crowded sandy patch like Juhu in Mumbai, no place brings back as many memories as a beach does. Thankfully, India boasts of a 7,500 km-long coastline and several beaches to build memories. The folks over at TripAdvisor invited their users to share their favourite beaches and these are the top 10 beaches in the country based on the polling. Unsurprisingly, most of the best beaches in India (according to TripAdvisor users) are in Goa. Is your favourite beach on the list too? Find out!
From the backwaters of Kerala to the hills of Shillong, Indians were looking for reasons to get away from the daily grind. So what travel destinations were at the top of people’s list of places to visit? Thanks to Google, we now know. Here were the top trending destinations in India in 2018 (in no particular order). Have you visited them all?
2018 has been a year of upsets and a year of triumphs. At a time when big-budget flicks such as Thugs of Hindostan and Race 3 failed at the box office, there were movies like Raazi and Badhaai Ho that announced the arrival of a new kind of cinema—one that is independent of the traditional star system and relies on great content. Each year IMDb releases a list of top films based on its user ratings. This year’s list includes biopics, thrillers and coming-of-age romances from around the country. South Indian movies to make it to the list did not include a Rajinikanth flick (even though he had two releases this this year), but rather a vibrant mix of films across genres. Significantly, the 2018 IMDb list of the top movies doesn’t feature a single one starring any of the Khans. And the movie that topped the list was a dark horse that you’d never expect to end up at number one. Did your favourite film make it to IMDb’s list of the top 10 films of 2018?
Top tips to get that beard you’ve always wanted.How often have you looked at your friend’s well-groomed beard and wished for a great mane yourself? So you are at it for months, refusing to shave or even let anything resembling a razor come close to your face. And despite that, at the end, all you have is a stubble. We get your frustration. Trust us, we do.
It’s time you start preparing for the festive season!We’re well into the final three months of the year. With this begin the never-ending parties. And if you’re the kinds that hosts (or loves to get behind the bar as a guest), here are five cocktails that will make you the star of the evening.
United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has released its annual report on the state of tourism in the world and these are the 11 fastest growing destinations right now.Tourism is often a great indicator of the state of the world. A safe country will attract more tourists, while a booming economy will send more; it’s logical. So, in a way, the job of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is to put a number to the world’s state of being. According to the report, released recently, the industry generates 10 per cent employment worldwide, contributes 10 per cent to the world’s GDP and seven per cent of the world’s exports. And so, even though it might seem that we live in difficult times, the tourism numbers might suggest otherwise. 2017 has been the eighth consecutive year of sustained growth with tourist arrivals growing at 6.8 per cent, the highest since 2009’s global economic crisis. According to the report, a total of 1,323 million tourist arrivals were recorded around the world, a jump of around 84 million from 2016.Africa and Europe grew faster than the other regions in the world with North Africa and Southern and Mediterranean Europe seeing a high number of tourist arrivals in 2017. Specifically, these are the 11 places where tourism is growing the fastest.
Who hasn’t suffered a headache right? It’s debilitating and annoying. While you try real hard to get to the end of your workday, the pounding pain makes you wish you were in bed instead of staring at your computer screen. We’ve all been there. In fact, one study claims that at least 68 per cent of medical students tend to suffer from migraines. But before we get to listing out home remedies for headaches, it’s important to understand the different types of headaches, their causes and whether you probably should be worried about your headache.What are the different types of headaches?When you’re suffering from one, all types of headaches seem like the same. But the fact is there are several different types of headaches. The best way to make out the difference is by simply identifying which part of your head hurts. If it’s just once side, chances are it’s a migraine. When your entire head hurts—ie barring the forehead—it’s called a tension headache. A sinus headache doesn’t affect your head, but rather your eye and your cheeks. If you feel that constant pain behind your eye, you’re most likely suffering from a cluster headache and if the pain is restricted to the top or front of your head, it’s probably an allergy headache. These are just some of the most common types of headaches.What is causing my headaches? Clearly, every different type of headache has a different cause. A migraine tends to be hereditary; if both the parents suffer from migraines, there’s a 75 per cent chance the child will inherit the condition, according to some studies. Similarly, if the entirety of your head is hurting, it’s probably because you’ve been undergoing some sort of stress or haven’t had enough sleep. Sinuses or allergies can also cause headaches. As can changes in pressure, caused during a flight for instance.*While these natural remedies are known to work, it’s most appropriate to consult a physician before you try out any of these remedies. This article was created for informational purposes only and cannot be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Tourism constitutes 10 per cent of Kerala’s GDP and 25 per cent to the total employment in the state. So the best way to build Kerala is to visit it!Kerala is open for business again. The state that thrives on tourism is recovering from the worst flooding since 1924. With airports shut and roads submerged, the tragedy couldn’t have struck at a worse time—at the beginning of peak tourist season. Even so, with the water receded and viral diseases under control, Kerala is welcoming tourists again. And what better way to contribute to Kerala than by actually visiting it? So here are 9 places to visit in Kerala in the coming months.
TripAdvisor has released its list of the most popular museums on the planet. How many have you seen so far?Some of the top museums in India may not have figured in TripAdvisor’s list of the most popular museums in the country, but that’s not necessarily the case with the international museums. Sure, you may want to believe that the Louvre topped this year’s list (it didn’t) or that the British Natural History Museum was among the top 10 (it isn’t), but these museums are among the most visited in the world for a reason.
Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Hyderabad’s Salarjung and National Museum in Delhi don’t figure anywhere in Tripadvisor’s list of the top museums in India. Find out which museums Indian tourists have been visiting the most in 2018.