Nawalgarh : A gallery like no other

They are often called as biggest open art galleries in the world. A village where almost every wall is a piece of art with frescoes more than 200 years old. Nawalgarh is in Jhunjhunu district of Shekhawati region of Rajasthan in India, not far from state capital Jaipur. Centuries before this used to be the resting point for the traders travelling with goods from west to east. Ultimately it developed into huge hub and then a centre of traditional art and culture. This regions is full of huge artistic havelis (mini castles) not just in Nawalgarh but many adjoining towns such as Ramgarh, Mahansar, Mandawa, Dundlod, Chidawa, Mukundgarh, Surajgarh and Fatehpur, etc. Each haveli has a style of its own inspired by the owner. A place worth a visit if you love art.

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Earth Day: Photo of the day

Its Earth day today. Lets make each other happier by making our earth happy. Let’s demonstrate support for environmental protection. Let’s make our cities more green, more sustainable. This painted stork migrates every year at a lake in the heart of  Delhi, very close to where I live. Watching him daily for months keep myself reminding that how beautiful our earth is and how much we need to do to keep it like that…

Earth Day
Happy Earth Day

Its rocking time at boat parties!

Secluded in the middle of the sea with thumping music, great company and a magical atmosphere, Boat Parties are catching up across the globe, including India! Ibiza, Prague, Croatia and Cannes are some of the most popular boat party destinations today. Let yourself loose and dance to the DJ’s electrifying tunes while soaking up some sun atop a private boat. Glimpse of some of rocking boat parties around the globe-

Ibiza, Spain – Pukka Up

Pukka-Up-Boat-PartyPukka Up’s legendary boat parties are one of the best sunset boat parties in the world with 3 hours of great house music over the crystal-clear Balearic Sea. Now in its 11th year, Pukka up has really become as one of the best boat parties in the world. So much so that they now plan to have three days of boat parties in San Antonio & Ibiza Town. The Pukka Up Boat Parties offers the finest house music, exclusive CO2 cannons (like the clubs), plenty of free giveaways and a gorgeous backdrop of Ibiza.

Prague – Czech Republic

party-boat-tripPrague treats its enthusiasts with floating clubs, equipped with flashy lights, bass-filled sound systems, with international DJs playing the hottest dance music. The stand-out thing about this boat party is that if anybody wants to take a break from the dance floor, the upper deck offers breath-taking views of one of the most beautiful cities in the world as the boatone floats under the Charles Bridge and through the heart of the city. This party is surely worthy of being a must go boat party.

Tisno, Croatia­ – Soundwave

TisnoSoundwave is an exciting annual festival that also runs a number of boat parties embarking the Adriatic Sea, with the Kornati islands only a short distance away. With stunning scenery and sunsets, the boat offers an onsite club to dance the night away under the moonlight at until the early hours. The boat party at Soundwave is certainly one of the most entertaining and exciting boat parties across the globe especially with it being stitched around one of the most happening festivals in the world.

Cannes – AXE Boat Party

Every summer in the French Riviera is celebrated with the AXE Boat Tour along France’s southern coastline. It has introduced a unique way of partying over the 13 years of its existence. With the last extravaganza held in Cannes, the AXE Boat Party has propelled the idea of grooving to the beats of international DJs playing the most thumping tracks atop a boat. Having covered cities such as Le Lavandou and Argelès with international celebrities on-board, the AXE Boat Party is a party religion in itself.

Goa- Boat Parties

boatpartyBoat cruises are something no tourist visiting Goa should miss. It is one of the most enjoyable and exciting things one should do while in Goa. All types of cruises and all types of boats. A lot to choose from. There are morning parties, evening parties and moon light parties.  A typical cruise will include DJs, live bands, MCs. Go for everything of your choice and have a rocking time in the Arabian Sea.

Photo of the Day: Charminar, Hyderabad

On World Heritage Day, a monument standing still to changing times in history… Charminar (four minarets)  at Hyderabad. Testimony to fast paced changes around- socially, culturally and politically. A jewel in India’s heritage crown…

Charminar in Hyderabad
Charminar in Hyderabad

Amur tigers are increasing in Russia

Amur TigerThe population of the Amur tigers in the Khabarovsk Region National Park has reached 10. This is approximately three times more than it was three years ago, when the “North Tiger” project was first implemented, the Amur branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) of Russia reports.  The Amur tiger is the strongest felid and the only one managed to adapt oneself to life in the taiga snows. In the early 2000-ies, the population of the Amur tiger was notably decreasing in the Far East. Creation of a special Fund for Protection of the Amur Tiger in Russia helped to solve the problem of preserving and increasing the population of these rare animals.

Amur Tiger cubsAccording to the results, it was decided to extend the project. Earlier, the Russian government approved the “Strategy for the preservation of rare and endangered species of animals, plants and fungi in Russia throughout 2030.” The increase in the number of the Amur tigers is a great success of the Khabarovsk Region National Park’s staff. This region is home to the most Northern grouping of striped cats. Until recently, they numbered no more than 20 individuals. The goal is to at least double the population by 2020.

Amur tiger with a cubIn the first year of our activity, three tigers were registered there. Now, 10 tigers are registered in the territory of the Park. So, the increase in the number begins to show. Primarily, it is due to the fact that most of the territory is under protection now, closed for year-round visits. Thus, a certain area of peace was created. Since the first year of its work, the National Park has also carried out biotechnical activities on feeding wild ungulates, and thus increasing the food supply of the tiger.

Amur TigerThe “Northern Tiger” project became successful due to the complex approach to the problem of conservation and restoration of rare species of animals. About 413 animal species are now included in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation, plus more than 70 regions of the country have their own regional Red Data Books. All the animals in these lists are excluded from economic activity. Their own programs of protection and increase of population are developed for many species. Anti-poaching services also play their positive role. Last year, an upgrading of penalties for killing, transportation and storage of rare species of animals or their parts was implemented. For example, previously, a poacher could be brought to account only if he was detained in the forest. Now, this applies to the transport of, say, skins, and storage. It also helps to protect rare species.

Amur tiger cooling off.
Amur tiger cooling off.

Census of tigers is conducted once every ten years in Russia, the last one took place in 2005. Besides, an annual accounting at monitoring sites is conducted. In 2005, there were approximately 450 tigers in the whole areal, about a hundred of them lived in the Khabarovsk region, the rest – in Primorye.  Primorye also reported growth last year. This is said to be the world’s largest tiger population, which lives in a not fragmented areal. The total number of Bengal tigers in India, of course, is higher than in Russia. But they live in small groups of 60-70 tigers and are isolated from each other, while Russia have, in fact, a huge habitat, where tigers can easily go to see each other. Last year it was also decided that a new national park where Amur tigers are going to be bred will be opened in Primorye.

(All photos : EPA, source: voiceofrussia.com)

Davos awaits with a vibrant summer

Davos KlostersDavos Klosters is a vibrant cosmos packed with contrasts that are mutually attractive and enhancing: a sports eldorado, health resort, business city and cultural metropolis merge together in the middle of stunning mountain scenery and transform Europe’s highest-altitude Alpine town into the place of a thousand possibilities. Here are some of the exhilarating events in the coming months, specially in June and July, so that you can have enough time to plan your visit.

Starting with the “GWunderwald Heidboden Davos” is a natural adventure trail on which visitors can actively learn facts about nature, flora, fauna, agriculture, forestry and hunting and the landscape at 30 different stations along the route. The trail is intended to inspire visitors and help them to explore the wonders of Nature. The trail is equally interesting for the young and young-at-heart.

There are lots of guided bike tours  coming between June to October, 2014. From summer 2014 onwards, the Hotel Grischa is organising guided bike tours with trained mountain bike guides, in which everyone can take part. On these guided day tours, visitors will not just get to know Davos Klosters as a biking destination, but will also learn a whole host of handy hints and tricks to keep them safe when out and about on two wheels. Tours are organised for four people or more, with a maximum of eight people per guide.

Kirchner Museum Davos
Kirchner Museum Davos

Much is on offer for lovers of Folk music, pop hits and a great atmosphere. AlpenFieber is on 21st –28th June 2014. The focus will once again be on the experience, the shared hikes and the music. The participating hotels will once again take personal care of their guests and accompany them on walks and hikes to the most beautiful corners of the region. The concerts will be held in the open air or on four evenings in the participating hotels. Special locations, like the Sertig, the Schatzalp, Lake Schwarzsee and the Seehofseeli, have been selected as the venues for the daytime concerts. Hiking with like-minded people to listen to folk music resonating around Davos‘ beautiful countryside, swaying to and fro to the music and just having a good time.  

Sculpture Symposium at Davos Klosters is celebrating its 10th anniversary from 21st June to 21st September 2014. In its anniversary year “10 Years of the Sculpture Symposium”, a massive exhibition featuring 100 works of sculpture will adorn the entire resort. There will also be guided tours on the arts on the Stafelalp, moonlit walks and guided tours for children. Alongside the Scupture Symposium, artists‘ workshops will be open allowing visitors to discover or learn more about this artisan craft 

Tourists enjoying in Davos
Tourists enjoying in Davos

Swiss Festival of Yodelling will take place at Davos Klosters  from 3rd to 6th July 2014. 10,000 active members of the Swiss Yodelling Association and their many supporters are expected to descend on Davos Klosters for the 29th Swiss Yodelling Festival. Several tens of thousands of visitors are expected. The varied programme consists of a ceremony and parade, talks on yodelling, Alpine horn blowing, flag-waving, a Yodelling village with food and drink and yodelling-related stands, an accompanying entertainment programme and lots of events. 

Jazz music reverberating around the mountains from 8th to 13th July 2014. When the days are long & warm in Davos Klosters, the streets & squares resound to jazz sounds. It‘s hard to imagine the resort without its annual Jazz Festival. Once again this year, different concerts in a wealth of different jazz styles will be held during the festival, with large brass bands playing alongside solists against the backdrop of the magnificent Alps – there‘s sure to be something for everyone.

Swiss Festival of Yodelling
Swiss Festival of Yodelling

Social dance and musical entertainment in Klosters on 19th July 2014. Each year, the clubs and societies in Klosters organize a social get-to-know-you festival in the idyllic Silvretta Park. Visitors and locals alike mingle to the musical entertainment and gastronomic delights a-plenty. A children‘s programme of events is sure to make little ones‘ eyes light up, transforming this summer evening festival into a celebration for all the family. The Silvretta Park in Klosters is a meeting place for visitors and locals, for the young and not-so-young.  

The witch is out and about in Klosters – July  – August 2014. The Klosters-Serneus theatre group will be staging the play “D‘ Wätterhäx”, or in English the Weather Witch. The theatre will perform the play in the open air in Maiensässen on Selfranga. Tourists will be treated to an original play against the background of the breathtaking mountain scenery high above Klosters

Convivial folk evenings in July and August 2014. A number of different local folk groups from Davos Klosters will perform on folk evenings in the Davos Conference Centre. Alongside rural choirs, yodelling choirs and Alpine horn blowers, there will also be performances from flag-wavers and traditional folk groups. Visitors will be treated to regional songs, music and dance.

Biking in Davos KlostersAdventure lovers can be Swinging from tree to tree like Tarzan at Färich Adventure Park from July to September 2014. Before they are let loose, all Tourists are instructed by the park‘s employees in key safety techniques. Then you‘re off on your own and can move independently around the six courses, swinging from one platform to the next. The high-wire park is divided into different levels of difficulty. There is a specially secured course for children in which they can learn how to rope climb from tree to tree. The twelve-metre high pendulum on which visitors float between heaven and earth is the toughest challenge of all. Children under the age of 12 are only permitted to enter the high-wire park accompanied by an adult 

Say it with Flowers!

Brussels has an extremely rich green heritage: Brussels Park, the Botanical Garden, Leopold Park, the Bois de la Cambre, the Mont des Arts… A lot need to be told about them. . It is with the aim of rediscovering these hidden treasures that the Year of Flora will take place until March 2015. Exhibitions, visits, walks, conferences, there will be something for all tastes and ages.

Jardins du Fleuriste _ Tuinen van de Bloemist © Bruxelles Environnement
Jardins du Fleuriste _ Tuinen van de Bloemist © Bruxelles Environnement

Birth of Belgian horticulture precedes that of Belgium itself. In fact, its origins can be traced back to at least the 17th century. In Brussels the official creation of the Brotherhood of Saint Dorothy, patron saint of gardeners and florists, dates from 1664. Following Belgium’s independence under the reign of Leopold I from 1831 to 1865, Brussels became one of the capitals of European horticulture and rivalled Ghent for the extravagance and innovation of its horticulture market. Leopold II gave Brussels several of its green heritage treasures. He also encouraged painters to magnify all exotic plants. Today, Brussels is rediscovering its horticultural splendour. It was also very close to being named European Green Capital.

Brussels Gardens2014 marks the 350th anniversary of the creation of the Brotherhood of Saint Dorothy in Brussels. This event is a unique opportunity to show off the capital’s horticultural splendour of the past, present and future. It was for this purpose that the non-profit organisation Year of Flora was formed on the initiative of the Royal Brussels Linnean and Floral Society. Year of Flora is under the High Patronage of Her Majesty Queen Paola.

Year of FloraYear of Flora was officially opened on Thursday 10th April. Between spring 2014 and spring 2015, Year of Flora will be organising or promoting a certain number of events dedicated to the parks and gardens of Brussels including exhibitions, visits and conferences. These events will be directed at a large public audience, from 7 to 77 years, both French- and Dutch-speaking. Tourists will also be targeted. Year of Flora begins in the Royal Galleries of St. Hubert. With the support of the non-profit association Photo Gallery, there will be an exhibition devoted to the Brussels parks.

Following the exhibition in the Royal Galleries of St. Hubert, there will be the “Balades de Flore” organised by Bruxelles Environnement and Visit Brussels. From May until October, the public will be able to visit this fine heritage immortalised by Photo Gallery. Three zones will be created in the North, Centre and South of the city. These will include the capital’s most beautiful public parks: Mont des Arts, Brussels Park, Egmont Park, Petit Sablon, Leopold Park, Jardins du Fleuriste, Bois de la Cambre, Botanic Garden, Square du 21 juillet, Sobieski Park, Jardin Colonial, Osseghem Park, Garden of the Chinese Pavilion… Guided tours will be led by the non-profit association CAP. The guides will be accompanied by renowned experts.

Floral Carpet

With parks below, Brussels in the sky
With parks below, Brussels in the sky

This year, the Flower Carpet will once again light up the Grand-Place in Brussels. Intricately and gracefully sewn together, made up of the most colourful begonias, the carpet will be rolled out on the 15th, 16th and 17th of August 2014. Admirers will have the chance to take it all in from above. This time, the carpet will be taking you to mysterious faraway lands. It will be enchanting. By travelling no further than to the Grand-Place, your senses will be taken on a voyage, as if by magic! The glimmering patterns come together to create an elegant, harmonious floral masterpiece.

Carpet of flowers is 75 metres long and 25 metres wide. It takes 2 years to bring about, as the million cut flowers need to be reserved well in advance. Do you know how the flowers are kept fresh for 4 long days? On the day just before the opening, 120 volunteers bring colour to the carpet, based on a life-sized picture, drawn on micro-perforated plastic which is fixed to the ground and laid down on a fine layer of sand. The first Grand-Place carpet of flowers dates back to 1971 and the event you will discover this year is the 19th carpet of flowers to be designed for your delight. The themes are often chosen in relation to current events. A specific cultural event or a historic anniversary represents an opportunity to inspire our designers to excel.

It will be very pleasant to walk along the carpet 2014 and to experience the perfumes and colours close-up. But there is so much more to say of having a panoramic aerial view of it from the City Hall balcony. From above, the privileged visitors will experience memorable moments where each of them, according to his or her culture and imagination. The spectacle of the entire Grand-Place with its exceptional Gothic architecture and ephemeral and sparkling carpet will be offered to the amazed eyes of its visitors every day.

Let the music play!

Floral Carpet at Grand Place
Floral Carpet at Grand Place

Last, but not least, of the surprises: the inauguration concert will be as wonderful as the magnificence of the carpet. It will add its range of acoustics to the range of colours and materials and will cause our peaceful Grand-Place to undergo a metamorphosis to rise to the occasion and will vibrate, sound and resound. The concert will take place every evening, accompanied by a marvellous light and sound spectacle.

New “Flora Walks” mini-maps available from May

In collaboration with Bruxelles Environnement (Brussels Environment), VISITBRUSSELS has published a new “Flora Walks” mini-guide which will be released in the coming weeks. Illustrated with pretty maps, this mini-guide invites visitors to discover the horticultural high points of Brussels via the city’s most beautiful green spaces. From history to anecdotes… over 50 places are listed!

The first walk takes you to the south of the capital to stroll through the magnificent parc Tenbosch (Tenbosch Park), which contains remarkable trees and shrubs, some of which are unique to Brussels and Belgium, or even to the famous Bois de la Cambre (Cambre Wood), a remnant of the medieval age which was renovated last century. With its small woods, lawns, bodies of water and “island”, it is one of the focal points in Brussels, its history and hidden corners being relatively unknown to the general public. It is also home to the étangs d’Ixelles (Ixelles ponds) and their beautiful variety of exotic trees.

Brussels ParksThe second walk takes in the green spaces designed by Leopold II in the north of the city. With a rare beauty and elegance, these lesser known – except to their residents – parks and gardens feature as part of a walk which crosses parks and gardens that mainly lead away from the Royal Palace Park: Jardin Sobieski (Sobieski Garden), Jardin du Fleuriste (Florist’s Garden), Park de Laeken (Laeken Park), …

From Petit Sablon (Petit Sablon square) to Parc de Bruxelles (Brussels Park) passing through Parc d’Egmont (Egmont Park), Jardin de la Cathédrale (Cathedral Gardens) and the fabulous Jardin Botanique (Botanical Gardens), the walk uncovers the heart of the city, the historical centre and its immediate surrounds. History on a small and large-scale… and places to rest and relax in the city. All of this is encompassed in the third walk.

Trekking in Dhauladhar near Dharamshala – Triund

18 km from Dharamshala, Triund (2975 mtr) lies at the feet of the perpetually snow clad Dhauladhar at the height of 2975 m. It also forms the base for trek to Indrahar Pass via Lahesh Cave. A moderate and enjoyable trek worth a trip in summers as well as in winters. The snow line starts at Ilaqa (3350 mtr), 5km from Triund. It is a popular picnic and trekking spot. The tracks from Rawa, Dal Lake, Dharamkot and Bhagsunag meet at a ridge known as Galu temple (2130 mtr) which has a small shrine and water point. After the snow nullah the trek rises abruptly waving through 22 curves making the ascent tiring and difficult. On the way one can spot many birds and wild animals. Accommodation is available in the rest house of Forest Department, but water has to be fetched from a distance of about 2 km. Triund has a perfect view of Dhauladhar ranges on one side and Kangra valley on other.

An eventful June in Wales

Old Course on Porth Dinllaen Peninsula
Old Course on Porth Dinllaen Peninsula

Wales offers a whole lot of events which caters to people of all genres. Whether you’re a fun seeking family, a chilled out couple, or anything in-between, there are plenty of things to do in Wales during these events.Unlock a land of myths and legends, vibrant history and culture, stately homes, mighty castles and great gardens, all enveloped by rugged coast and dramatic landscapes.

Rest assured ,  you won’t be bored in Wales!!! So lets have a look on what is in store for the month of June-

The 5th Seafair Haven Festival – 7th to 14th June 2014 – Pembrokeshire, Wales

Seafair Haven is a maritime festival which takes place biennially, for traditional and classic vessels and long boat rowing to celebrate the magnificent Milford Haven Waterway in Pembrokeshire. From the sheltered upper reaches, to the dramatic scenery of St Ann’s Head, there will be opportunities to meet up with old friends and make new ones whilst enjoying the heritage, culture and welcome of the picturesque Host Ports.

Winter Wonderland Cardiff
Winter Wonderland
Cardiff

Gregynog Festival  – 13th June 2014 –  Powys in Mid Wales

Gregynog Festival is the oldest festival of its kind in Wales and one of the UK’s premier classical music events.  Located in the beautiful countryside of the Welsh Borders, it brings the finest international artists together in a house-party atmosphere to perform programmes inspired by an annual curatorial theme.

Snowdonia Arts Festival – 14th to 15th June 2014 – Betws-y-Coed, Wales

Betws-y-Coed and the Conwy Valley have retained a strong connection with the arts ever since the original artists’ colony. Many artists and craftsmen live and work in the area, and The Snowdonia Arts Festival has been organised to celebrate the artistic heritage of the area, the artists currently working here, and the artistic endeavours of local schoolchildren through workshops and competitions.

Swansea International Jazz Festival – 20th to 22nd June 2014 – The Dylan Thomas Centre, Wales

Swansea Jazzland, in conjunction with Swansea Metropolitan University, Swansea City Council and Arts Council Wales will be presenting Swansea International Jazz Festival.A full and varied programme of jazz over the weekend with a combination of ticketed and Free events.

Glastonbury – 25th to 29th June 2014 – Somerset, Wales

In many ways, Glastonbury is like loads of different festivals converging on the same gorgeous countryside for the weekend. Each area of the Festival has its own character, its own loyal fans and its own special attractions: so Silver Hayes (formerly the Dance Village) is as distinct from the Green Fields as the Circus & Theatre fields are from The Park.  

Lake Vyrnwy Powys Scenery
Lake Vyrnwy Powys Scenery

Pembrokeshire Fish week – 28th June to 6th July 2014 – Pembrokshire, Wales

If you love good food, enjoy beach and out door activities or just great family fun, then you will definitely enjoy thePembrokeshire Fish Week Festival and there is plenty for non fish lovers too. There are also lots of opportunities for keen cooks to learn how to get the best out of their fish and shellfish in a variety of demonstrations and master classes with top chefs.  

Swansea Pride – 28th June 2014 – Swasea , Wales

Raising awareness about the issues and difficulties affecting the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Cultivating a sentiment in favour of equality and diversityin particular through celebrating the diversity of the LGBT community. Staging an annual LGBT festival and smaller events throughout the region.

The Dylanathon – 28th June 2014 – Dylan Thomas Birthplace, Swansea, Wales

The Dylanathon is a photographic competition with a twist. It’s not just for the professional but anyone with a digital camera, smartphone or tablet looking for a fun and challenging day out. This competition is not just for the technically proficient.  We are looking for inspired interpretations of the subjects – one photo of each of ten Dylan related subjects over an eight hour period.

IMG_3904All Wales Boat Show – 30th May to 1st June 2014 – Conwy Quay Marina, Wales

The All Wales Boat Show is a celebratory festival of all water-based activities & is unique to the Region with a catchment. The All Wales Boat Show, WYA will again be offering you the opportunity to refresh your boating skills and gain top tips from expert’8 instructors at the All Wales Boat Show. FREE on-the-water and shorebased workshops in partnership with Celtic Cruising & Snowdonia Sailing School.

NoFit State Circus – 23rd May to 7th June 2014 – Cardiff, Wales

Wales’ own NoFit State Circus returns home with award-winning BIANCO, a show that has set audiences alight throughout the world. BIANCO is a tale of beauty and transformation, with death defying circus skills set to intoxicating live music in a non-stop two hour celebration of life. It is an all-consuming experience where the audience is at the heart of the action.  

Woodfest Wales – 27th to 29th June 2014 – St Asaph, Wales

An interactive festival, full of exciting things to do for all the family. Step back in time and see craftsmen and women carrying out traditional Crafts and skills – creating beautiful, facinating and functional art, sculptures, objects, buildings and more. Watch the latest high tech forest equipment demonstrated by working professionals. Woodfest has 7 different event arenas with exhilarating displays on constantly along with over 150 outside stands of demonstrations and trade, and 6 main marquees full of interesting and unique goods produced in this country.

Gower Folk Festival – 13th to 15th June 2014 – Gower Peninsula, Wales

Gower Folk Festival is unique, with fantastic music set amidst the scenery of Gower in an award-winning micro-brewery pub!  Our atmosphere is legendary, both audience & performer are members of an exclusive musical party taking place in a very special location, the Gower peninsula.  Camping is provided on site, so there will be nothing easier than sliding out of your tent into a workshop or concert. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty with sandy beaches, ruined castles & wild ponies, all within walking distance of the festival.

Don’t miss, if you are in Wales this June.