7 Tips To Play a Social Media Strategy for Your Wedding

Social media platforms offer everyone an opportunity to talk to the world about an event, product or service. After getting engaged, people tend to think of how to make people aware of the wedding plans and the like.

There’s so much to do through social media to get people to notice your event, but there are tips that make it easy to succeed in your social media strategy. The good bit is, it doesn’t cost a fortune to work out the tips. 

The following are social media strategy tips for your next wedding. 

 

  • Create an Instagram Business Account

 

The reason why I am insisting on a business account is that it has lots of useful options that ordinary accounts don’t have. An Instagram business account has the following options:

  • Contact buttons

With a business account, your profile will displace CTA features like Call, Email and Directions buttons directly above your feed. This makes it easy for visitors to contact you with a click of a button. You definitely grab the attention of many visitors with a click.

  • Link Your Pages

If you didn’t know, the owner of Instagram owns Facebook as well. Additionally, it is easier to link your Instagram business account to Facebook. Then it will be easy to share your feed in both places, respond to messages and reply to comments from inside Facebook.

  • Analytics

Analytics is apparently the best feature with a business account. This is because your account can track your engagement on your posts and display the statistics. This is the most useful information for generating new content, creating your Ad’s and engaging with your audience.

  • Swipe Up

It has been rumored that soon all Instagram business counts will receive the swipe up feature sooner or later. Currently, swipe up is only given to those with 10 thousand followers or more. 

 

  • Create A Hashtag

 

Hashtags work. They make your content viewable by anyone who has an interest in your event as it goes beyond just your followers. Hashtags can help you engage with friends by joining the conversation about your wedding. 

A hashtag in twitter helps you to reach beyond your follower list. While hashtagging about your wedding, use short word hashtags like #marywedspeter. Also, be careful to fill your content with too many hashtags, this may portray you as desperate and certainly dilutes your message. 

Even though hashtags are useful and drive engagement, they don’t always work on every single social media platform. They are not meant to be used on Facebook or LinkedIn. 

 

  • Design Ad’s To Promote The Event

 

Ads require little to no investment regarding money. However, if done correctly, it can help you reach a larger audience who you may not have connected with yet.

With Facebook Ads, for example, you can target a specific audience which is likely to get interested in your event.  

Always design a professional-looking Ad to give the best first impression. You can use a customizable template to help your event stand out. 

 

  • Post Images On Event Preparations

 

If you have a blog, the better. But that doesn’t mean social media can’t be of help.

There are plenty of plugins that prompt visitors to use or share the image. This will often lead to a reader sharing the image and spreading the word.

Ensure you post a beautiful and relevant image that your readers will be proud to pin, so use bright colors and sleek graphics to people to love and share. 

 

  • Relevant Quotes From Guest 

 

Guests and friends will definitely grace your wedding. A wedding without one or two guests speakers may be dull and so you need to feature one guest quote about your event. Although it’s not reasonably okay to disclose who your guests are, much of your audience may not even know who this person is or what they’re about.

By posting their quotes, you’re telling your audience what to expect on your big day and that they will learn a relevant lesson. Make the quotes and images shareable, most importantly.  

 

  • Post Continual

 

Of course, your audience needs an update of anything towards the wedding. They expect an update on the dates, theme, and venue details. 

Grab the photos of your wedding spot and talk about it continually. Choose a romantic getaway from the Caribbean and get your audience want to visit here early in advance. Who can resist the charm of Royal Barbados, a perfect spot for a total romance and relaxation, under the Caribbean sun!

 

  • Host a live video session on Facebook or Snapchat

 

Live videos are currently gaining immense popularity. Live videos will make your viewers ask questions which you can answer immediately concerning your event. You could also host a Snapchat story Q&A session to encourage participants to ask you questions about your big day. 

While doing a live video, use a beautiful image to catch followers’ attention and make you definitely stand out to your Facebook fans definitely. Encourage them to interact with you on other social media platforms to foster trust in you and your wedding event. 

 

On Forum Celebration Mall’s 8th Anniversary, let’s know how it revolutionized Udaipur in past 8 years!

Forum Celebration Mall, the most preferred hang-out destination amongst the Udaipur folks is celebrating it’s 8th Anniversary today!

With a surfeit of International and National brands peppered across Forum’s Celebration Mall, it is one such place that provides ace shopping experience together with transforming the “hanging-out at mall” culture which was not even existent a few years back. Forum celebration mall is one of its kind and an absolute delight for the shoppers with an average annual footfall of around 47 lakhs.

Forum Celebration Mall Udaipur

Largest and the most fancied amid other Udaipur malls, Forum Celebration Mall features the architectural majesty, which the city boasts from ancient times, showcasing magnificent arches and the prodigious central dome. However, what distinguished this mall from other malls in town is the contemporary youth culture which has been spinning since the day of its inception.

Entering into the eighth year of its commencement on July 2nd ’19 let’s know about 8 things that brought a huge transformation in Udaipur:

  • Mall Culture: Forum Celebration Mall is the first mall which claims of developing the true mall culture in Udaipur. It was only till 2011-12 when most locals were completely new to mall culture having big shopping brands, and international food joints like McDonald’s and Dominos for the first time; entertainment section and many other recreational activities to cherish upon on weekends. Most people admit that they experienced stair escalators for the first time in Celebration Mall back then. Thus a pioneer in building the so-called “big city” culture in Lakecity.

  • Shopping Destination: From apparels to accessories, Forum celebration Mall provides a one-stop solution to shopaholics. It is the one that redefined the shopping culture transforming it from street bargain hunting to window shopping culture. In fact, it is the hub of big brands including Clarks, Louis Philippe, Adidas, Woodlands are just to name a few. This mall not only offers a wide shopping experience but also a private excursion tour to domestic visitors. This is one of the reasons it is counted among the best places to visit in Udaipur.

Apparel brands at Forum Celebration Mall Udaipur

  • Community Building at Forum Celebration Mall: Unlike shopping culture which every other shopping mall in Udaipur offer, Forum Celebration Mall is a prominent place for social cause and other cultural activities. It not only provide reasons for people to unite and cherish but at the same time makes them aware of recent activities and things going on around the globe. An event like Junior Master Chef, Just Dance Competition, the Forum Purple Run (a marathon for awareness regarding Alzheimer’s) is some of the exemplary events that bring people of Udaipur together for a social cause.

Social Events at Forum Celebration Mall Udaipur

  • Recreational Activities: Before the spread of mall culture which is believed to come from metropolises, there were only a few places within the town where families could gather for fun and leisure. However, with the advent of Forum’s mall, it became the hotspot for foodies, youngsters, families and also tourists. The Gaming zone, Hungama 7D, the external kids play zone, spa nation, the fish spa, and the rides offers far more recreational assortments than ever before.

 

  • Movies and Entertainment Hub: Apart from shopping, leisure and entertainment are what people look for while entering a mall or an amusement park. Likewise, the Forum Celebration Mall offers an extensive range of entertainment options which captures the interest of all age groups. The successful establishment of PVR is one of the milestones which management must count for. The PVR cinema is recognized to be the first successfully running multiplex within the town.

 

  • Atrium: Forum Celebration Mall has the biggest atrium in terms of areas all over Rajasthan. The central entrance with huge overhead dome provides a ceremonial view to the visitors. The biggest advantage that it enjoys is the huge atrium which provides ample space for car shows and other auto workshops.

Atrium at Forum Celebration Mall Udaipur

  • A societal junction: The best part that one could notice in this mall is that this place is the hangout junction for all kinds of social classes. People from all classes and interest hit this place most prominently. Existence of big bazar also engrossed crowds from ration shops to mall shopping.

Retro Carnival at Forum Celebration Mall UdaipurRetro Carnival at Forum Celebration Mall UdaipurRetro Carnival at Forum Celebration Mall Udaipur

 

  • Lifestyle: Lifestyle stores like Lenskart, Iconic, Reliance Trends, Max, etc., provide wide options to come and have a completely different kind of shopping experience. The biggest transformation is earlier people used to visit malls only for fashion commodities only but now the brands like Boxania, Lenskart, Reliance Digital and the like have transformed the buying culture over the years.

Brands at Forum Celebration Mall Udaipur

Knowing the fact that it is the only junction for all fun, leisure, relaxation, family time, shopping and entertainment, are you all ready to plan a visit?

Udaipurites, it’s time to share your feedback for Forum Celebration Mall!

Udaipur, also known as the lake city, is well-known for places that feels so natural and real but the city’s man-made architecture also blow away one’s mind.

The best example of one such architecture is Forum Celebration mall. The very first mall of this Lakecity has redefined the entire definition of malls in Udaipur. In fact, the mall actually brought forward the initiative to bring in the concept of malls to Udaipur in the very first place. From food to leisure shopping, the Forum Celebration Mall has become one of the most significant hubs for various type of activities which Udaipurites can enjoy.

Forum Celebration Mall

Being the largest mall in Udaipur, Forum Celebration Mall is home to various National and International brands related to food, lifestyle, and everyday use industry.

The managing authority of the Forum Celebration Mall is concerned about customer satisfaction as well. In order to maintain the rapport that comes by the brand Forum’s association, the authorities wanted to know more about the customer feedbacks.

So, let’s help them! All you’ve got to do is fill in the survey form and you’ve done your part.

To fill the feedback form, click on the link https://bit.ly/2MZKczd.

Every feedback is important for the authorities at the Forum Celebration Mall, Let’s help them enhance our experience at our beloved mall.

 

Have you witnessed the best dance performances of this city yet?

The finale of the Forum Just Dance, the signature event of the renowned Forum group took place on 1st June 2019. The event was organized in the premises of Forum Celebration Mall from 6 p.m. to 8.30 p .m.

The event enjoyed a magnanimous success with more than 150 participants from the city.

There were many unforgettable performances of various dance forms like traditional, patriotic, western and much more.

Top 10 participant were selected from each category and the winner was chosen from the selected one.

The winners are as follows:

Solo Category:

  • Winners from Age Group of 10 to 15 are:

First position: Angel Sukhwani

Second Position: Himakshi Lohar

Third Position: Vineet Mathur

  • Winners from Age Group of 16 and Above are:

First position: Tanishka Sutrakar

Second Position: Swaraj Singh

Third Position: Kavya Dixit

Group Dance Category:

First position: SADA Dance Group

Second Position: Jitendra Dance Group

Third Position: JDCA Group

The details for the next signature event of the group, ‘Forum Junior Chef Champ’ is coming up soon.

The last date to register for Forum Junior Chef Champ is 20th June 2019.

For registrations, use the following link: https://tinyurl.com/yxdezb2f

And for those who’ve missed the event, don’t worry because we’ve got you covered. In this article, we are sharing with you, some of the best snippets from the event.

HAVE FUN!

Celebration Mall Udaipur Completes 7 Years Today!

Celebration mall has redefined the entire concept of malls in Udaipur. As a matter of fact, it actually took the initiative to bring the concept of malls to Udaipur in the first place. From shopping, food, and leisure, the Celebration Mall has become the hub of all the activities for the Udaipurites!

Team of Forum Celebration Mall Udaipur

On the 7th Anniversary of this architectural marvel in Udaipur, let us rewind the glorious changes that the mall brought to our lives.

Being The Largest Mall in Udaipur

Celebration mall took the first step towards urbanization in Udaipur and became the largest mall in till date. From the imperial architecture to the recreational facilities, it is a treat in every sense. Celebration mall became the perfect destination for every age segment.

Home to The Biggest Brands

Most of the huge brands were brought into the city via Celebration Mall. The categories of these brands can be widely distributed. The Celebration Mall, Udaipur opened with McDonald’s outlet in December 2010 & then officially opened the mall with few outlets on 2nd July 2011.

The journey continued with lots of ups and downs but the mall stood tall against all odds and proved that mall business is here to stay. The mall has brought several brands like PVR Cinemas, McDonald’s, Domino’s, Barbeque Nation, Kapkids, Simba, Lilliput, Being Human, Woodland, People, Levi’s, Adidas, Wrangler, Metro, Mc Donald’s, Subway, Jaipur Jungle, and many more to Udaipur City. The mall receives an average footfall of 4 lacs per month with shoppers from Udaipur and nearby regions along with domestic & international tourists.

Now after 7 years it is one of the biggest malls in Rajasthan offering more than 100 brands to shop, eat and get entertained by.

A hub of Leisure and Entertainment

Apart from the outstanding facilities and stores, Celebration Mall keenly concentrates on the leisure and entertainment of the citizens of Udaipur enriching the quality of every individual’s life. Some of these elements brought a revolution in Udaipur. Justifying the statement, let’s consider the example of brands like PVR Cinemas which became the people’s choice for Cinema. So next time when you think of watching a movie- just keep in mind you are witnessing the best movie experience in Udaipur.

For extended entertainment Hungama Game planet to take care of your babies while you are shopping without worrying about them, exclusive activities like Snow Park which created an enormous amount of excitement between the people. Thus, it clearly displays how the mall hosted people from every age group.

Events and Happenings

In the last 7 years, the mall has literally shown Udaipur the art of celebrating moments of life. With more than 100 events every year it is one of the favorite destinations to dance, music & cultural shows, theme-based celebration on various occasions and festivals. Udaipur also embraced the visit by Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to the mall. Also, renowned YouTube Sensation Bhuvan Bam appeared for public show.

The Most Lavish Food Court

Apart from food joints and restaurants, there is a complete separate food court in the mall that includes a wide range of brands like Dominos, frozen junction, Keventers, Baskin Robbins, The Belgian waffle co, Tikka express, Bamboo grilles, Vinod Fast Food and few more local food junctions which has given a mouthwatering experience to people.

In the last 4 years, it has continuously won the “Certificate of Excellence” from well-known website TripAdvisor. It is the highest rated mall on various online platforms like Google, Facebook, and Justdial.

This year the mall was by acquired by multidomain Prestige Group from Bangalore, which operates more than 7 malls across 5 other cities in the name of Forum Mall. Now our favorite and most preferred shopping destination will be called as Forum Celebration Mall. With this new possession, the mall will be taking a giant leap towards being the destination mall of Rajasthan.

Share us your personal experience whenever you make your next visit to The Forum Celebration Mall.

5 bakeries in Udaipur to satiate your sweet tooth cravings

Winter is about to hit the city of lakes. We’ve all started feeling those cold waves sending a shiver through our spine. It’s about time we take our sweatshirts and cardigans out. It’s also that time when we cannot resist eating sweets, be it that Halwa or Ras malai at wedding functions or those late night trips for Doodh Jalebi. Whatever it may be, winter provides us with an excuse to soothe our sweet tooth cravings. So here we are, with the list of the top 5 bakeries and patisseries in town that are sure to give you a sugar rush. Make sure you try each of them out! (And don’t worry, all the bakeries listed here serve eggless products, so you don’t have to control your hunger pangs next time you see one of them on the table!)

  1. Le Cakery Bakery and Café

5 bakeries in Udaipur to satiate your sweet tooth cravings

Opened in 2011 by Mr. Yash Bhatnagar, this bakery comes at the heart of every person. Situated in the center of the city offering some of the best cheesecakes in town, this bakery has made its way into every house. Their specialties include chocolate truffle pastry, macarons, tarts, and mousses. Our personal favorite had to be the caramel walnut pie and the blueberry cheesecake. The subtle flavors combined with the perfect ambiance makes for a great place. They have come up with two new varieties of cakes this festive season, namely, the Pistachio Velvet and the Orange Velvet cake. You can also give their home-made bread a try ranging from whole wheat and 8-grain (multigrain) to their focaccia and garlic bread. They even have a café serving amazing Risotto, Pasta, and Pizzas!

5 bakeries in Udaipur to satiate your sweet tooth cravings

Where – 73, Chetak Circle, Udaipur

Timing – 9.30 am – 9.30 pm

Home Delivery – Available

 

  1. The Bake Affair

5 bakeries in Udaipur to satiate your sweet tooth cravings

‘Fresh Eggless Yummy’ is what the card reads and that’s exactly how their products are once they enter your mouth. That dense, creamy and mellow flavor you always wished for? All of it fits just perfectly to give your taste buds a tickle. Started in July 2015 by Mrs. Meenal Khamesra Agarwal, Bake Affair is a home-based bakery that serves appetizing cakes and pastries on an order basis. They specialize in puddings and cheesecake (Oreo cheesecake and red velvet cake are to die for!) and for this festive season, they’ve got Dry Fruit coated chocolates, dessert jars, and customized hampers to gift to your special ones. They also make customized and theme cakes along with red velvet and loaf cakes. Order 24 hours in advance because as they say, ‘Delicious things don’t come easy!’ or at least what foodies might say.

5 bakeries in Udaipur to satiate your sweet tooth cravings

Where – ‘Savitrikunj’, A-25, Alkapuri, Near Hotel Lakend, Udaipur

Timing – 10 am – 8 pm

Home Delivery – Available

 

  1. Simply Sweet

5 bakeries in Udaipur to satiate your sweet tooth cravings

‘Do what you love and love what you do’ is exactly what Mrs. Diya Trivedi did. What started off as an inclination has finally begun to pay off with the bakery becoming much talked about in town. Calm ambiance with beautiful graffitis on one side makes for a great place to sip on a cup of coffee and desserts. Their bestsellers include, Nutella brownie, tarts, cake pops, and recent additions of the very trending Spiral Potato and Garlic Toast make for a wholesome package. Diya is one of the first home bakers in town providing customized cupcakes and cakes. For the festive season, they’ve come up with Gulab Jamun cupcakes and Cheese fruit tarts. We’re sure you’ll be tempted by her baking skills once you give the place a try.

5 bakeries in Udaipur to satiate your sweet tooth cravings

Where – 168 C, New Fatehpura, Near Baskin Robbins, Sukhadia Circle, Udaipur

Timing – 11 am – 12 midnight

Home Delivery – Available

 

  1. Zoe’s Cake Studio

5 bakeries in Udaipur to satiate your sweet tooth cravings

Mrs. Ankita Singhal is yet another amazingly talented home baker trained in eggless French entremets, Fondant cakes, Royal icing and Wedding cakes. She is one gem of a person and has been into baking for 6 years now. She has recently moved to Udaipur and started Zoe’s on an order basis in 2015. They also serve deconstructed desserts and cakes at Vantage by Panna Vilas, a rooftop restaurant by Hotel Viaan. Ankita tells us, cakes will soon be available to order from the latter. Her bestsellers include Gulab Jamun cheesecakes, Rabri Mousse and Almond Dredges. They’ve got flavored cashews, hazelnut date chocolates and dessert jars set up especially for this festive season. Order at least 24-36 hours in advance to get your mouth watering delicacy ready.

5 bakeries in Udaipur to satiate your sweet tooth cravings

Where – New Navratan area and Vantage by Panna Vilas, Haridas Ji Ki Magri, Udaipur

Timing – 10 am – 6 pm

Home Delivery – Available

 

  1. Celebration Bakery

5 bakeries in Udaipur to satiate your sweet tooth cravings

Talk about bakeries and any list would be surely incomplete without this one here. They’ve been around for about 17 years now and need no introduction whatsoever to describe their products. Specialising in Dark Chocolate cakes and cookies, they are the first choice of every person in town. Mr. Ritesh Jain is the owner and has got everything you are looking for. They even have a fast food counter serving hot dogs, footlongs, burgers, etc. They’ve got customized cookie hampers made for the festive season and have come up with Natural Ice cream cakes that are selling like hot cakes in the city. Drop over anytime with your order and they cater to it within minutes.

5 bakeries in Udaipur to satiate your sweet tooth cravings

Where – Surajpole and Sector-4 (outlets), Shop no. 4/5 Fatehpura Circle (Main Branch), Udaipur

Timing – 8 am – 10 pm

Home Delivery – Available

 

Leave your comments and feedback below and let us know what you’d want us to review next! Happy Eating!

 

 

[Pictures] The Grandeur of Durga Puja 2012

The Navratri began on 16th Oct 2012, and so began days of joy, dance, music, pleasure and above all, devotion. Every state was outperformed by the charm of Gujarati art of celebrating, with the Garba/Dandiya Raas. Soon, 6th day of the Navratri fell on 20th October, and as many of you all might know, the Bengali community begin their celebration of the year long awaited festival. In Udaipur, this occasion is being celebrated from more than 5 decades by the people from Bengali community who are proud residents of this wonderful City of Lakes.

Like every other year, this year too, there were celebrations at different places in Udaipur. UdaipurBlog.com brings you pictures from the 4 day celebrations of Durga Puja that ended on Vijaya Dashmi. Beginning with the bodhan, to routine rituals, “pushpanjali”, “balidaan”, “sandhi-puja”, and the famous “Dhunichi” dance and Sindur Play, the celebration concluded with immersion of the deity idols into water bodies. For a detailed info on the traditions and how the idols are made ‘Eco Frendly’ as well as fit for immersion into water bodies, I suggest you to read the post below

Link: Shree Shree Durga Puja: Traditions Penned by the initiators of Durga Puja in Udaipur

Photos By: Aniket John, Gaurav Bhattacharya, Prasun Bannerjee

Durga Puja 2012
Bindu Bhawan
Durga Puja 2012
Bang Bhawan
Durga Puja 2012
Hiran Magri
Durga Puja 2012
Town Hall
Durga Puja 2012
Sindur Khela

Durga Puja 2012

Durga Puja 2012

Durga Puja 2012

Durga Puja 2012

Durga Puja 2012

Durga Puja 2012

Durga Puja 2012
Visarjan

Shree Shree Durga Puja: Traditions Penned by the initiators of Durga Puja in Udaipur

About the Author: Mr. Anand Bhattacharya is an Advocate, and belongs to the successor generation of  late Shri Nripendralal Bhattacharya, who started the Durga Pooja ceremony in Udaipur in the year 1956 , at Bindu Bhawan, 49,Shastri Marg, Udaipur. Since then it is being celebrated there every year at the same place with spirits of great enthusiasm, zeal, and spirituality, and the culture is inherited by generations.

Durga Pooja | UdaipurBlog

Shree Shree Durga Pooja”, which is being celebrated during the Shukla Paksh of Bengali Kartik month every year, known as “Navratri” in the Hindi speaking area of the country, is not just a religious ceremony for the Bengalis. It is a religious-cum-social function and as the festival approaches, the heart of every Bengali is enveloped by the feeling of joy and pleasure. This is a time of the year, when all the new and major purchases are done, new books, new films, new songs, new designs of cloths etc. are released and Bengalis, specially those residing in Kolkata, often plan site seeing trips to various places, specially because the schools also remain closed for around fifteen days during this time. The business, especially for those dealing in consumer goods, is very brisk. Shops are flooded with fresh stock of consumer goods and the market is full of customers.

Normally the Pooja used to be celebrated, initially in Chaitra Month (i.e. around March-April) in the olden days. However, it is said that the Pooja during this time (September-October month) of the year, was started by Shree Raam during his fight with Ravan, when  he was not able to overcome the strength of Ravan. This Pooja is therefore also known as “Akaal Bodhan” [Akaal means – untimely and bodhan means – commencement]. It is also very interesting to note, that as per the belief, this Pooja was performed for Raam, by none other than Ravan himself, who was a Brahmin of the highest order, as there was no other able Brahmin available at the place where such Pooja was performed. This was done by Ravan, knowing fully well that the aim of this Pooja was for vanquishing him. This shows the depth of our culture, where duty is given priority over every other thing – even the life of the person.

Durga Puja Aarti | UdaipurBlog

As against the Navratri pooja, which starts from the first day of Shukla Paksh [ekum], the Durga Pooja as per Bengali system, starts from the sixth day or “Shashti”. There are two Puraans – Devi Puraan and Kalika Puraan – under one of which the Pooja is performed as per Bengali system.

Another very important fact which requires to be taken note of, is that the idol of Shree Shree Durga Mataji is made of completely natural (mostly bio-degradable) commodities. The basic structure or the body of the idols is made by straw being tied to bamboos by jute string (sutli). Over this structure of straw,  the first coat of mud, impregnated with chaff of rice, is applied. Addition of chaff, strengthens the binding quality of the mud. Once this first coat of mud gets dried up, the second and smooth coat of pure and closely sieved mud is applied, which gives the final shape and smoothness to the idols. Once this coat gets dried up, a primary coating of chalk is applied on the mud. After that coat dries up, natural water colors are applied thereon. These water colors are dissolved in the extract obtained by boiling tamarind seeds in water. That makes the colors permanent. After drying up of the colour , the whole idol is coated with a fine solution of sabudana [TROPICANA SEEDS] boiled and dissolved in water. This acts as a laminating film for the colours, and protects it from atmospheric effects like fading out etc.. The hairs are made of finely combed jute, and the black colour to the hairs is imparted by boiling the duly combed jute with Harde, Catechu (Kattha) and certain herbs. Nowadays of course readymade hairs are available. Thus the idol consists mostly of natural inputs. Therefore, this idol is more eco-friendly than the POP idols that are being made in other parts of the country. It may also be noted that except for the faces (which are also made of mud) whole of the idol is made by hand and dies are not used. This is a traditional art, and specialized by some families who are doing this work for generations. Luckily, as the number of poojas and requirement of idol is ever increasing, this art is not a dying art and actually new artists are getting added to this profession every year.

Idol Making Process Durga Puja | UdaipurBlog

The format of the idol which is being worshipped during this Durga Pooja ceremony is known as “Mahishasur Mardini Roop” i.e. the roop or form, which Maa Durga adopted for vanquishing and ultimately killing “Mahishasur”, who was one of the most powerful asur (evil power) of all times. It is said that when “Mahishasur” became so powerful that even the Gods (Devtas] started getting tormented by him, all the Gods contributed their powers and created this “Mahishasur Mardini Roop” and in that form, duly fortified with the strength of various Gods, Maa Durga annihilated “Mahishasur”. This format of Maa Durga therefore is known as “Shakti Roop of Maa Durga” and in this roop, Maa Durga  has ten hands, each wielding a special weapon known as ayudh, which were contributed by various different Gods.

Alongwith the main idol of Maa Durga, riding a lion and seen as killing “Mahishasur”, there are other idols namely “Ganesh”,  “Maha Laxmi”, “Maha Saraswati” and ”Kartik”. Each of these idols are manifestations of certain virtues. Lord Ganesh is manifestation of wisdom, Maha Laxmi Ji is manifestation of wealth, Maha Saraswati Ji is manifestation of learning and Kartik Ji is the manifestation of administration/organization. If the whole idol is perceived with this viewpoint, it would very clearly covey the message that if one wants to overcome evil powers (whether external or internal) one would need to have integrated and concentrated physical power (Maa Durga herself); wisdom (Ganesh ji); financial resources (Maha Laxmi Ji); learning (Maha Saraswati ji) and administration/organization (Kartik Ji). This reasserts the position that this Pooja teaches a method by which any person can overcome the vices by augmenting his physical powers, wisdom, wealth, learning and administrative capacity.

Durga Idols | UdaipurBlog

The Pooja starts from Shashti (sixth day) and continues upto Dussera. It is said that on completion of the Pooja, Raam was able to win over and kill Ravan, and that is the reason why completion of the Shree Shree Durga Pooja coincides with the Ravan-Kumbhkarna-Meghnath effigy burning.

Bindu Bhawan Durga Puja | UdaipurBlog

The most important Pooja during the whole Durga Pooja ceremony is “Sandhi pooja”. This pooja is to be performed within a time of 48 minutes. These 48 minutes are carved out of “Ashtami tithi” and “Navami tithi” – 24 minutes from the end of Ashtami and 24 minutes from the beginning of Navami – these 48 minutes constitute Sandhi Pooja time. It is said that during this time “Mahishasur” was killed by Maa Durga, because “Mahishasur” had a boon that he will not be killed in any “tithi”. Sandhi Pooja therefore is of immense importance, because the whole purpose of vanquishing “Mahishasur” was achieved during this brief span on 48 minutes when there was no tithi in particular. The sandhi pooja is to be commenced, performed and completed within these 48 minutes, and there is every attempt to ensure that there is no lapse during this pooja.

Balidaan or sacrifice is a part of every days’ pooja. While sacrifice of goat or buffaloes used to be offered very commonly in the past, nowadays normally Balidaan of sugarcane, gourd (petha) and banana [jointly known as ‘bali’] is offered. However, still in some places sacrifice of goat is being offered. There are four balidaans during the Pooja – each after completion of the poojas of Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and of Sandhi Pooja. It is essential that the “Bali” is cut by one stroke of the weapon.

The Durga Pooja ceremony ends with immersion of the idol of Maa Durga in the water – in lakes, rivers, sea etc. . Since the idol is made of mostly bio-degradable items, it does not pollute the water resources. The immersion ceremony is followed by each greeting  the other and touching the feet of elders and obtaining their blessings. Eating of sweets is a part of each such ceremony!

Visarjan | UdaipurBlog

It is also considered by most of the Bengalis, specially ladies, that Maa Durga comes to the earth during this time, as a married daughter comes to visit her parents once in a year, and therefore everyone wants to offer the best offerings that he or she can, to Maa during this pooja. Similarly after immersion (visarjan) , ladies are quite sad and many weep when the idol of Maa Durga is taken away for visarjan. Therefore, it is again reiterated that this is not just a religious ceremony but a social festival in which everyone gets emotionally involved.  This probably is a time in the life of every Bengali, when every one tries to forget his woes and misfortunes and tries to be happy and enjoy the occasion. This festival is therefore an in-built aspect of the life of every Bengali and in whichever part of the world he may be during these days, he would always wish to be in the Pooja atmosphere, with his near and dear ones, at least during these few days. Probably Maa also comes down to the earth during this time – because God is nothing but a manifestation of the devotion that is contained in everyone’s heart !!!

लो वसंत फिर आ गया..!

दुनिया भर की टेंशन, फेसबुक-ट्विटर पर खुद को खोजते, इतनी सारी व्यस्तताओं और उलझनों के बीच हमारे मन का कोई हिस्सा अपने “होने” के एहसास को बचाने की भरसक कोशिश करता है और हमें बार बार ये एहसास कराता है कि हमारे अन्दर कुछ “अनूठा” अभी भी जिंदा है…मरा नहीं है.. हम अभी भी इतने “मेकेनिकल” नहीं हुए है, जितना हम अपने आप को मान लेते है.. और इन्ही तमाम उलझनों और टेंशनो के बीच हमारे मन ने आज खेतो में उगी पीली फसल
और उदयपुर की सड़कों पर आँखों में घुस रहे छोटे छोटे कीड़े “मोयला” (जिनसे सब डरते है) ने हमें जाता ही दिया है कि लो ऋतुराज बसंत आ ही गया. यूँ भी देखा जाये तो ये ऋतुएं किसी कलेंडर की मोहताज तो होती नहीं… हमारा मन ही इन्हें समझ जाता है… सर्दी किसी बुझती लौ की तरह अपनी तमाम ताकत का एहसास करवा रही है..तो समझ लो वसंत आ रहा है. वैसे एक बात तो है.. सर्दी-गर्मी-वर्षा..ये ऋतुएं हमारा तन समझता है… पर वसंत की अनुभूति हमारे मन तक होती है. आज वसंत पंचमी के दिन हमारे उत्तर भारतीय भाई तो पूरे पीले-केसरिया वस्त्र पहने अलग  ही आभा दे रहे होंगे. वीणा- सितार में राग बसंत गूंज रही होंगी.. सितार की बात आई तो बताते चले..हमारे बंगाली भाई आज माँ सरस्वती की पूजा करते हैं. माँ सरस्वती की कृपा हमें कुछ करने का जज्बा जगाती है. पर आज ज्यादा धार्मिक बातें करने का मन नहीं है सो माँ सरस्वती को यहीं प्रणाम.

Vasant Panchmi | UdaipurBlog

उदयपुर ब्लॉग के कर्ता-धर्ता..सभी परीक्षाओं में व्यस्त है .(माँ सरस्वती की सबसे ज्यादा याद तो इन्हें आ रही होंगी आज.. दो अगरबत्ती ज्यादा जलाने वाले
है..) दिल दिमाग फुर्सत पाना चाहता है. कड़ाके की ठण्ड से थोड़ी निजात मिली है. खिड़की से अन्दर आने वाली धूप अब थोड़ी थोड़ी चुभने लगी है. वसंत, तुम्हारे आते ही मौसम कसमसाने लगा है. सर्दी का मन तो नहीं है जाने का..बार बार लौट लौट कर अपने होने का एहसास करवा रही है.. प्रकृति ने चारो तरफ
पीला-केसरिया रंग उढेल दिया है.. गुनगुनी सर्दी दिल को कुछ ज्यादा ही बैचेन किये दे रही है. मन कह रहा है कि बस कुछ चमत्कार हो जाये और “वो” मेरे पास
हो.. दिल के करीब रहने वाले गीत लबों पर आने को बेताब है. मन अपनी चंचलपना पूरी शिद्दत से दिखा रहा है. मौन हैं..चकित है.. कि इस वसंत का एहसान माने, शुक्रिया अदा करें इसका..कि डांट लगायें.. वसंत का आगमन..बहार को देखकर मन उड़ चला है ..फिर से !

घर-घर चर्चा हो रही फूलों में इस बार लेकर वसंत आ रहा खुशियों का त्योहार बहरहाल मन की इन्ही अनसुलझी परतों के बीच ऋतुराज वसंत महाराज तो आ ही गए है. और ये जब जब आते है तो हमें किसी और ही पुरानी दुनिया में ले जाते है. किताबों का बोझ आज भी उतना ही है. बस जब छोटे थे तो “विद्या” पौधे की पत्ती ज़रूर किताबों में छुपा दिया करते थे. पीली सरसों अब उतनी दिखाई नहीं देती. टेरेस पर लगे पौधे पर ज़रूर गुलाब उग आया है. बड़ा सा… पर उसकी पत्तियों को किताब में सहेजना अब उतना अच्छा नहीं लगता. हवा की हलकी खनक आज भी महसूस होती है. शाम को फतहसागर फिर से जवां लगने लगा है. कुल्हड़ की कॉफी रंग जमा रही है. मौसम अलग सा मिज़ाज जता रहा है. मदहोशी फिर से छाने लगी है. वसंत आज हमें फिर से उकसा रहा है, उन पुराने दिनों को फिर से जीने को. आज जब हम अपने आप ही नाराज़ होने लगे है.. उदास ज्यादा और खुश कम होते है..पहले की मदहोशी और आज की मदहोशी के
मिज़ाज, सुर और परिभाषाएं, सब बदल गए है. तो आज के दिन कुछ अलग ढंग से वसंत के साथ कुछ अलग हटकर करते है.. पुराने दिनों को ताज़ा करते हुए  अलग ढंग से जीते है. आज खुद से नाराज़ न हो. सबसे कटे हुए, अलगाए हुए उदासीन न बैठे.. बस कुछ ऐसा करें कि ये दिन गुज़र न पाए…आज के खास दिन “मेकेनिकल लाइफ” को अलविदा कह दे. जिन चीजों को हम कई दिनों से नज़र-अंदाज़ कर रहे थे, उन्हें आज कर ही डालते है. चलिए इसी अंदाज़ में आज ऋतुराज का अभिनन्दन करें… वसंत मनाएं.. दिल को खूब खूब महकने दे..चहकने दे.. आप सभी को इस मनमोहक आनंदित कर देने वाली वसंत ऋतु
की बहुत बहुत बधाई.
आपका जीवन हमेशा वासंती रहे.

New Year Celebration with Cambay

Cambay New Year Party

The high time is approaching, the party fever is increasing. And thus we have got one more party location to add to your confusion of where to go, which party to choose and any similar FAQ ;). This one’s a grand party by one of the finest hospitality names, the Cambay Hotels and Resorts.

The date to be put up on the reminder is of course the 31st December; time shall be 7:30 pm onwards, and you will find yourself in a grand celebration welcoming the 2012 with lots of fun, frolic, happiness and gaiety. Their assurance of great food with company of great people will surely make you say that it’s really a great time that you are spending with Cambay.

As per the ‘party protocol’ you will have to book your entry as soon as possible, the rates are as follows:

  • Couple entry: Rs 2500
  • Single entry: Rs 1600

To book your entry, do contact on the following numbers: 09351256434, 09351256404