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Taj Mahotsav Festival in Agra, India

Posted on Sat, 02/18/2012 - 13:30 by easytours
 
Taj Mahotsav, also known as Taj Mahal Utsav, is a 10 day annual festival normally organized in the month of February at Shilpgram, near the Taj Mahal; however, due to elections in Uttar Pradesh, it will be organized from 16th of March to 25th of March this year. This major event evokes the memories of the old Mughal period prevalent in the 18th and the 19th centuries in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The Festival highlights the rich culture, arts, crafts, cuisine, music and dance of Uttar Pradesh. The festival is a golden opportunity for renowned artisans to display their magnificent works of art.

Taj Mahotsav commences with a splendid procession inspired by the Mughal rulers including beautifully ornamented camels and elephants, folk artists, drummers and master craftsmen. The handicrafts exhibited during the festival include silks of Banares, handmade carpets of Badohi, woodcarvings of Saharanpur, chikan work of Lucknow, and blue pottery of Khurja. One of the major attractions of Taj Mahotsav is the amazing performances by the folk artists from the different states of India.

Artisans from different parts of India get an opportunity to display their exquisite works of art. To name a few among them are the wood/stone carvings from Tamil Nadu, bamboo/cane work from North East India, paper-mache work from South India, Kashmir, marble inlay and zardozi work from Agra, wood carving from Saharanpur, brass wares from Moradabad, handmade carpets from Bhadohi, shawls & carpets from Kashmir/Gujarat, hand printing from Farrukhaba, the Kantha stitch saris from West Bengal and many more.


Wildlife in India - Male tigers do double up as mothers for their cubs

Posted on Sat, 02/18/2012 - 13:17 by easytours
 

Wildlife enthusiasts may have finally found an answer to the longstanding question - do male big cats rear their cubs whose mothers have died? Pictures taken at the Ranthambore National Park on Saturday evening by wildlife conservator and photographer Balendu Singh, show that the male tigers do double up as mothers for their cubs.

"These are pictures of the T25 tiger looking after the two cubs that he fathered," said tiger expert Valmik Thapar, as he announced to enthralled audience at the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) that this doubtful behaviour of the wild cats now stood confirmed in the Ranthambore forests. "This was unheard of in the tiger literature of the world. Only the female tigers were known to raise the cubs, but T25 has shown that the males also do it," Thapar asserted.

Until now the tiger was suspected to be playing a 'doting dad' to the two cubs after their mother died in February 2011. The state wildlife authorities, too, had been keeping a watch on the tiger and the orphaned cubs since June 2011 when first indications were picked up that T25 could be doubling up as mother.


Kadhai Paneer

Posted on Fri, 02/03/2012 - 19:13 by easytours
 

Kadhai Paneer - Recipe from Mahipal Singh Rathore

(Batons of cottage cheese and capsicum cooked in a wok, with tomatoes and herbs, prominently flavored with coriander seeds). (Batons of cottage cheese and capsicum cooked in a wok, with tomatoes and herbs, prominently flavored with coriander seeds).

Kadhai Paneer

Utensils:
1 serving dish
1 small pan
1 wok
1 grinder

Ingredients:
(All ingredients are easily available at any Indian grocery store in the U.S.)
Cottage cheese – 24 oz.
Coriander seeds – 0.2 oz.
Ginger – 0.6 oz.
Tomatoes – 24 oz.
 Garam masala powder – 0.2 oz.
Capsicum – 5 oz.
Whole red chilies – 5
Fenugreek leaves – a pinch
Salt – to taste
Green coriander – 0.6 oz.
Clarified butter or oil – 1.41 oz.


Chef of the Month - Mahipal Singh Rathore

Posted on Fri, 02/03/2012 - 18:54 by easytours
 
ChefThe modest demeanor of Mahipal Singh Rathore, the Executive Chef of the Taj View, Agra, doesn’t do justice to his culinary capabilities. He is a specialist in Avadhi cuisine and a graduate of the prestigious Institute of Hotel Management, Catering & Technology in Ahmedabad. This keen interest in the culinary arts was kindled at an early age, by his grandmother. Having accumulated accolades and experience over his last two decades at the prestigious Taj group of hotels, he delights patrons at the Taj hotel in Agra, with his mouthwatering recipes.

Wildlife exhibition at IIC

Posted on Thu, 02/02/2012 - 18:22 by easytours
 

Rare pictures capturing tiger habitats through the lens of an India Customs official, Vinod Goel, are on display at India International Center. The exhibition is a compilation of pictures taken across India for over 8 years.

"I hope the exhibition becomes an eye opener for the new generation. I want them, not only to love the wildlife, but to see its glory for themselves," said Goel.

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