It’s on again!  The Greatest Show on Earth has been going since 2005 and is held at the famous Diggi Palace, owned by a royal family that now doubles as a hotel.  Our tour starts and ends in Delhi – 16-25 January 2017 and will be lead by Canadian Maggie Westhaver and Australian Sharon Thrupp, both long time residents of India and active writers.  For further details or contact Sharon at  If you want to extend your trip or simply visit other parts of India we have some great add-ons.

A three day feast of small, independent films is the last thing you would expect to find  in a small town in the north of India.   McLeod Ganj is a small town as far as India goes.  Famous for being the home of the Dalai Lama for the last 50 years, it is perched high on a ridge overlooking the Kangra Valley with the foothills of the Himalayas as a backdrop, and  is the residence to  8,000 local Indian and refugee Tibetan and expat  residents and many tourists.

Dharamshala Film Festival or DIFF is where all the films come together usually in October or November each year.  It has been big on vision since its beginning.    It’s founders, a  local husband and wife team,  Indian and Tibetan, both film makers,  saw the lack of opportunities  for local artists and filmmakers in the area and decided to do something about it.

The first festival held in 2012 was based on the idea to create a non-partisan cultural platform to involve all communities of the area.  It was also to promote mutual understanding, foster harmony and offer exposure to contemporary forms of creative expression. A big ask for a small place!

Some 4 years on, I think it has been achieved.  From films like  Butter Lamp, Tashi and the Monk, Lo Sum Choe Sum , Ankhon Dekhi  and Five Broken Cameras – all quirky films from mixed origins made by independent film makers that have some relevance about life today.

One can never forget the behind scenes which are handled by a lot of young, enthaustic volunteers hoping to see a famous or up and coming film director/maker or simply to be in the mountains to have a good time amongst fellow film enthausists, it is a great place to be.

I  am planning to book my pass for the entire festival.  It starts in Dharamsala 3rd and runs till 6th December 2016.  Book your place now with our Dharamsala Film Festival package.

Ladakh is exotic, remote, stunningly beautiful and one of my favourite parts of the world.
It is no ordinary place. Leh, it’s capital is built in the rarified air of 3,500 metres. It sits in a green belt surrounded by arid and desolate and lunar looking landscape Due to its remoteness and proximity (close to the Chinese/Tibet border and Pakistan) it is a sensitive place strategically for India. There is no mobile coverage for foreign visitors and limited internet connection. It is a disconnected place, and has its roots far beyond technology . It’s history is thousands of years old. You can see it in the landscape and in its buildings – the most prominent being it’s monasteries.
One such monastery is Hemis, 90 minutes drive from Leh. Hemis is famous for its festival that is 300-year-old and features lama dancing, colour parades and ancient ceremonies. It is a showcase of how its traditions can bind people from across generations. The festival organised in the honour of Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, the annual two day Hemis Festival at the Hemis Monastery has become an important date in the calendars of travellers from across the world.
This year is especially different as it is the grand Naropa Festival 2016, to be held from July 1 to 31. This spiritual programme takes place once in every 12 years and one of the features will be the unveiling of the giant Thankga (Buddhist painting) of Guru Rinpoche and the display the ornaments belonging to Naropa, the 11th century Indian saint and are some of the holiest treasures of the Himalayas.
For anyone wanting to escape to somewhere completely different or simply to be part of an ancient festival, this is the place for you. As part of our festival tours we are running an 8 day 7 night package from 11-18 July 2016. Details : Contact us:

Welcome to the world of Marigolds and Exotic Hotels in India. A highlight of the tour was having New Years Eve big bash where everyone danced the night away to all the Bollywood favourites at the Exotic Marigold Hotel in Khempur (near Udaipur). They also visited other sites of the movie as the Pink City of Jaipur and the Taj Mahal in Agra. This tour/retreat for women was organized by Tammie Day from Vibrant Women and organized by from 29 December 2015 to 6 January 2016.

If you are looking to start 2017 with a bang, Tammie is organizing her 2016 New Years Eve extravaganza starting again in Delhi on 29 December. You can contact us for details Thanks Tammie for sharing this video with us.

Bangles have been found in many archaeological sites in India, with the oldest examples dating back to 2,000 B.C. or earlier. Those early bangles were usually made from copper, bronze, agate, or shell and some feature rivets or gold-leaf decoration as well.
While girls in traditional Indian society are allowed to wear bangles, married women are generally expected to wear bangles. The jewelry is primarily associated with matrimony, signifying marriage in the same way that the Western wedding ring does. Sikh brides wear red and white carved bangles called “chuda” on their wedding day. After a Hindu woman’s husband dies, she breaks her glass wedding bangles in an act of mourning.
Color and Meaning
Glass bangles hold different meanings according to their color. Some regions have specific bangles associated with their local traditions, and there is a more general color code for bangles as well. Red bangles symbolize energy, blue bangles symbolize wisdom and purple symbolizes independence. Green stands for luck or marriage and yellow is for happiness. Orange bangles mean success, white ones mean new beginnings and black ones mean power. Silver bangles mean strength, while gold bangles mean fortune.
Tradition and Beliefs
An Indian bride on her wedding day will sometimes attempt to put on as small a glass bangle as possible; smaller bangles are thought to symbolize more happiness during the honeymoon and afterward. Friends or sisters often aid the bride in this task by sliding the bangle on with scented oils. After the wedding, the woman continues to wear her bangles as a charm of safety and luck for her husband, and if the bangle breaks before the husband’s death, it is considered an ill omen.
From :Yahoo7 answers by Narenda b