Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple at Tiruvananthapuram

The AnanthaPadmanabha Swamy temple is one of the renowned Vedic shrines in India. It is located at Tiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala in India. It is on the name of this temple that this city got its name.

What makes this temple special?
The temple tower is the primary attraction. Shining in gold color and slightly larger than those from Tamilnadu and Andhra architecture, the tower looks fabulous. The temple has four entrances called nadas in four directions.
East nada
East nada through which usually entrance is made into this temple. On both sides of this road, shopping options are found in plenty.

The hugely vast corridor of this temple contains hundreds of granite stone pillars which show case marvelous architecture and takes one's soul into a trance. One has to enter this holy shrine only in traditional attire as mentioned by the temple authorities. Provisions are also made to provide traditional clothes to tourists who don't know this rule. Even the police and other security personnel who perform their duties inside the temple are seen only in traditional dress. As one steps into this temple, the peaceful corridors, the soft sea sand beneath the feet and the traditional Kerala style temple architecture draws their whole attention. This temple has vast assets in the form of Gold making it the richest temple in the world.

The holy idol of Padmanabha swamy is very huge in a lying position and one cannot see it all at once. Three looks are needed to view the entire idol. The view of the deity has a captivating power that cannot be expressed in words.

After the darshan, a small lump made of sandal and rose water is given to devotees which is to be applied on foreheads. It draws away heat from the  body and keeps it cool. The aravana prasadam , (the holy food as an offering of the to the God) is available at the exit entrance. It is made of jaggery, Kerala rice, milk, ghee and other condiments. It tastes amazing and leaves you wanting for more.

Another attraction of this temple is the temple tank which is considered very holy and adds lovely look to the temple.

Books on Kerala tradition and culture, temples of India and tourist places in Kerala and India etc are available inside the temple. Various items which showcase Kerala tradition and culture, items made of wood and coir, traditional dresses and sarees are available on either sides of east nada road.

P.S: Why I've written about this temple?
Because I got the luckiest opportunity to visit this temple twice with my family. I learnt the true and inner meaning of my life after visiting this temple.

Vital Nutrients for the elderly

Age healthily
Health is more important than any other in old age.

Aging is the process that always worries anyone. Nobody wants a older age suffering from health problems, nobody to take care and sometimes feeling burden to their own selves. Along with regular health checkups, proper diet and exercise are important for elderly to stay active and healthy. Women in the older age tend to be more weak and fragile because of many issues like menopause, anemia, joint pains and many other problems. Here is a list of nutrients that need to be taken in for elderly women that helps them overcome their health issues.
  1. Calcium: Required for active functioning of bones and found in milk,eggs, cereals, cabbage, cauliflower and soy products.
  2. Folic acid: Responsible for heart protection and formation of new red blood cells. Consumption of leafy vegetables, eggs, citrus fruits and pulses provides them to our body.
  3. Vitamin D: Fat less milk, cur and milk products this vitamin which is responsible for bone density.
  4. Vitamin B12: Responsible for keeping anemia under control and helps fight depression, anxiety and memory loss. Easily available from eggs, milk,fish and chicken. Supplements also can be taken under medical guidance.
Ensure that the diet for elderly people contains above nutrients to keep them active and healthy.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Spice Garden at Munnar- Teaching you the Origin of Spices

Betel nuts are born from this tall tree

Nut meg tree

Figs growing in bunches at their tree base

Cocoa plant

Red and juicy strawberries

My husband showing to my son the Touch me not plant

Cardamom growing at the base of the stem

Do you know that coffee grows like this?

Tender and green cloves

It's not betel, look at the pepper growing!!
Pure and fresh white hibiscus, looking like an innocent baby

Pink hibiscus

Yellow feast to our eyes!!

Red and blushing..looks like a king!!

Friday, 7 March 2014

10 career tips for Modern woman

Career is just not doing the same job over the years and retiring in the old age. It is proving one's own abilities, honing their skills and growing up the ladders of success. It involves hard work and determination apart from continuous learning. Women face more challenges compared to men in attaining success in career due to multiple reasons like marriage, child care, health issues etc. However, with proper planning and co-operation from family members this would not be a problem. Lot of tips are needed to stay active daily at office and to attain success. Here is a list of top ten ideas that would work at your work place.

1. Maintain a planner: Note all the points in a planner so that you don't miss any. Never hesitate to carry a pen and notes to your meetings. Though many apps are available for noting down points, nothing beats a book and a pen. Learn to say 'no' to avoid unnecessary burden and distractions.

2. Improve your qualification: Keep updating your self in your field by doing any certifications, correspondence courses, publishing papers, giving or attending seminars on your subject. Learn every week a new concept apart from your routine work. Be in constant touch with market in your field.

3. Set a goal: Form a career goal for short term and long term. Take advise of your seniors and tips from your juniors. Be first to listen and learn.

4. Stay healthy: A healthy mind in a healthy body. Concentrate on your health. Monitor your exercise, diet and sleep patterns. Develop a hobby,meditate and do yoga to reduce stress.

5. Be positive: Take all comments and feedback from your colleagues in a positive manner. Never take them to heart and don't let them depress you. You know what you are capable of!! Yellow color boosts positive energy in oneself. So have a fresh yellow rose on your work desk or fill your monitor screen with yellow color wall paper.

6.Improve your bio-data: Don't forget to update your bio-data with your achievements and accomplishments as and when you achieve them. This adds a positive energy to you.

7. Pat yourself: Celebrate your every winning moment and note them down. Appreciate yourself by gifting and praising in front of a mirror. Wake up each day with new energy enough to make you love your work.

8. Seek cooperation: If you are not getting help from your family members, take some time and discuss with them. Tell them their importance and share some tasks to them reduce your burden. Don't try to be a super woman.

9. Check your financial status: Regularly check your financial plannings. A correct financial plan gives enough courage and confidence to go ahead in life.

10. Believe yourself: Work hard, think smart, trust your skills, constantly keep improving them and move ahead in positive direction. Remember, there are no short cuts to success. No pain, no gain. But fruits of labor are always sweet!!

All the best!!

Happy Woman's Day!!

The intricately simple art of being a woman !!!

A woman is simple.

A woman is mysterious.
A woman is intricate and never completely understood by anyone!!

A woman is jealous. She can't accept a fellow lady's beauty whole heartedly. She fights with her sister to get her favorite teddy or frock. She doesn't tolerate her close friend praising her fiancé.

A woman is short tempered. She scolds her kids when they are not eating properly. She shouts at her family members when irritated. Her face turns red when her boyfriend doesn't turn up on time.

A woman is patient. She teaches her children all that is good and bad with utmost patience. She waits till her chance arises to showcase her talent. She bears all those midnight schedules of her new born baby.

A woman is timid. She gets quickly worried when her family members don't come home in time. She is worried when her children are ill. She cannot send her children to far away places with whole heart.

A woman is brave. She can live for herself and for her family. She can answer social humiliations. She can achieve whatever she believes she can.

A woman is feeble. She may fail to defend herself from an assault. She cries bitterly to express helplessness. She goes into depression when hurt severely.

A woman is strong. She can overcome all her problems with confidence. She can tolerate all the pain to bring her baby into this world. She can build a stronger future generation.

A woman is revengeful. She remembers all the insults and answers them at an appropriate moment. She never forgives anyone who hurts her emotions. She doesn't tolerate when someone does any harm to her loved ones.

A woman is easygoing. She doesn't expect praises for her cooking and home making. She doesn't count time while serving her ill husband. She finds happiness in doing those troubling home making tasks. She is easily pleased by those little surprises from her dear ones. She can leave her career for her family.

A woman is negligent. She neglects her beauty once she becomes a dedicated mother. She doesn't care her health as she gets busy caring about her family members. She puts aside her interests and hobbies to dedicate time for her family.

A woman is careful. She fears about her child's health. She plans to provide them a secured life. She always keeps an eye on what her family members does.

A woman is full of love. She can play with her kid and can rule a country. She gives endless love to her partner and kids. She is emotional yet confident.She is compassionate and charming. She is modest yet courageous. She is placid and powerful.

Basically, a woman is endless!!!!

Amazing ways to use green tea!!

Wanna be a beau-tea? ;-) We all know drinking green tea has multiple benefits for health and beauty. Don't throw those green tea leftover in the dust bin. Use them in the following ways to enhance your beauty.

Reduce puffiness to eyes: Keep those used tea bags in freezer for an hour and put them on your eyes to reduce the puffiness.

Sprinkle a little: Sprinkle a little cold green tea on your face to give it a fresh look. This suits excellently for those having dry skin.

Inhale the steam: Add some green tea leaves to boiling water and inhale the steam for five minutes. It relaxes you a lot.

Instant glow:  Dip green tea bag in hot water for a minute. Squeeze out some water and massage your face with the bag to give your face an instant glow.

Exfoliate: Add honey to green tea left over and massage on to your face to exfoliate those dead cells.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

I'm in Love!!

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About 25 years ago, when I was a one year kid, my dad used to carry me on his shoulders to the market and buy me my favorite rose milk and idlis. He never beat me till now, not even once, let even scold me! Me and my sis always waited for him to return from office in the evening which was almost 13 miles away, because he used bring for us toys, flowers and sweets almost daily. Since then I fell in love with him!!

Staying alone in a place far away from home because of promotions and official works is not that easy for an Indian woman. Many struggles are involved while balancing work, family, children and society. When all these are indispensable in her life, a woman becomes adorable. Hence my mom is always adorable for us. I'm in love with her!!

Being very studious and also staying active in extra-curricular activities made me a favorite for my teachers. They showed me the way how to live in life and how not to !! Two months ago, I happened to meet my teacher who taught me second language at higher classes. She hugged me and scolded for not attending her son's wedding. Might be it was their love and inspiration that made me switch from a corporate field to teaching profession. Love you teacher!!

Adversities show  the true friends in life who really stays with us. And I am glad that I have two real friends, my sis and bro. I love them!! And I love adversities too for teaching me that truth of life.... I must mention my love towards God for making me love my life and for all those he has given me and for all those he hasn't.

Loving unconditionally by birth comes only for few. As long as you can keep them loving you, you are the most richest person in the world. The moment you lose their love and faith, you are dead. My husband is one of such a kind!! We met ten years ago and are married for six years for now. All these years have passed like very few moments for us. Very often we go through our marriage album to remind ourselves that we are really married!! Because we never felt the difference!! He takes care of me in such a manner and showers his unconditional love. I must admit I can never reach him in this aspect! I'm in love with my husband!!

4 years ago when I was pregnant with my son, during the third month, I lost my grandma. She loved me more than our mom and dad. The reason we never missed our mom though she stayed away from home for years together, is because of our grand mother. Now she's gone but her love is always upon us!! Love you grandma, miss you!!

I could recover from the loss of my grandmother because of two persons, one being my husband while the second is my little darling, my son!! While I was hoping for a girl and planning to name her with my grandma's name, I was gifted with this little rascal by the God. His entry changed my life and the way I think. Initially, though I felt quite challenging to accept this change, now I love this more than anything else in the world. I'm in love with my motherhood!!

Cure those cracked feet using these home tips

Fantastic dress and accessories for a party, got facial done, put all those makeup and nail colors. Okay, matching foot wear too, but are your feet really smooth and crack less?? Then congrats, if not its the time you read this post. Most of the women neglect caring their feet as they do their face and dress. Little care is sufficient for that part of our body which bears our weight. See what it is all about!!

Cracked feet are caused due to over weight and not caring them enough. Being over weight puts all that extra burden on feet and stresses them. Opt for comfort rather then style while choosing your footwear. While going to bed, wash them with mild soap and water, apply moisturizer and go to bed. Instead of spending lots of money on creams, you can choose any of the following home tips if you want to heal your cracked feet.

  • Mash a ripe banana and apply on the cracked part. Leave it for 20 min and wash off with plain water.
  • If the cracks are severe, apply a mix of glycerin and rose water at night times.
  • Fill a bucket till half with warm water. Add five slices of lemon, hand full of salt and little glycerin. Soak your feet for 15 min and massage slowly. This is an excellent foot mask.
  • Mix turmeric, aloe vera gel and camphor. Appy this to cracked feet. Wash off after 20 min.
  • Walk for some time in open grass without foot wear. This improves blood circulation to your feet.
  • Before going to bed, soak your feet in dettol water and rub them gently to free them from any fungal infections.
  • Walk in red soil if possible for 20 min to remove fungal infections and dead cells.
  • Put coffee decoction in a half bucket of water. Soak your feet for 15 min to get smoother skin.
  • Mix fuller's earth and rose water and apply at night time for 15 min. Wash off and apply moisturizer or petroleum jelly.
  • Pumic stone may be harsh on your foot. Soak your foot in warm water and gently remove those dead cells using an old tooth brush.
  • Mix a cup of gram flour and two spoons  of turmeric with water. Apply this mix thrice a week.
  • Put your feet under the shower and let that water fall on them. Do this for ten min to improve blood circulation to your feet.

Follow any of these regularly and show off your smooth heels!!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Kanya Kumari-the last bit of Indian rock

A beach always looks amazing and refreshing because of the beauty of the sea water, the rising and falling waves, the lovely breeze and the sand beneath our feet. Any soul is bound to fall in love with such a beauty. Now, imagine the scenic beauty of a beach formed at the meeting point of three seas!! That's what makes Kanya Kumari (located in the state of Tamilnadu, India) a hot spot for tourists. Three different seas, the Bay of Bengal, the Indian ocean and the Arabian sea, meet here making this beach a unique and amazing beauty. This town is very well connected with major cities in south India. The nearest airport is Trivandrum at just 90km away.

Three different colors of water, three different colors of sand and the lovely rocks on the beach offer an entirely different kind of relaxing experience. This unique geographical location at the southern most tip of India offers a nature lover the mind blowing views of both the sunrise and sunset over the sea water. Hundreds of tourists who visit this place daily make sure that they don't miss these scenic views.  Bathing in the holy water here which is formed due to meeting point of three seas is believed to purify oneself. People taking their holy bath here is a common sight here.

This is a place which almost never sleeps. Even at the night most tourists are often sighted shopping or relaxing at the beach. The special steaming Tamilnadu idlis,which melt in your mouth instantly can be enjoyed at the beach any time. Shoppers find many items made of sea shells at reasonable prices at various stalls along their way to the beach.The beach looks so colorful and lively that it lifts one's mood instantly.

Playing in the water with my son and collecting sea shells are the two most things I had done extensively on this beach. We almost spent two full days on the beach right from dawn to the dusk and even at nights for a long time. This was the most lovely experience among all the trips I went on till now and I had taken a promise from my darling that we visit this beauty one more time in the nearing future.

Though my lens was not enough to cover the beauty of this place, here's my attempt !!

The nearest railway junction to Kanya Kumari is Nagercoil. This town is famous for the Nagaraja temple.

Kanya kumari railway station

The view tower at the beach to get a better view of the beauty of the three seas

An image from Gandhi Memorial. This building is built in memorial of Mahatma Gandhi such that sun's rays fall directly on his tomb on Oct 2nd as a mark of  respect
2004 devastating Tsunami memorial at the beach

The famous Tiruvalluvar statue, standing tall in the sea water

Vivekananda rock memorial. One has to reach this on a small ferry before sunset.

The waves and rocks at Muttom beach

My son and me at sunrise

Watching sun rise at the tip of Indian sub continent!!

Three colors of sea water can be seen clearly from the circular fort nearby the beach

Must visit Tirapurappu water falls on the way to Kanya Kumari from Trivandrum. An amazingly enjoyable experience bathing here!!

Monday, 3 March 2014

8 Do's and Don'ts for a better sleep

How many of us are following a correct sleep schedule? How quality is our sleep? As we grow older, our sleep gets shorter and shorter because of stress, tensions, unhealthy lifestyle habits, not caring about health and various other reasons. Sleep is also an important factor in determining one's health and beauty. Sleep is the God's gift for us to relax ourselves after a hectic day. Imagine two days and nights, full of joy, shopping, outing, eating and all other tasks, but, without sleep?? How would your third day be?? Food, clothing, shelter and sleep are the basic requirements for a human. Our modern life is depriving us from quality sleep leading to many metabolic disorders. Let's see what are those do's and don'ts for a better sleep.

  1. Eat moderately:

Never go to bed without eating anything or immediately after having heavy meal. Both of these hinder your sleep. Always have a light dinner one hour before you sleep or a moderate dinner two hours before you sleep.

     2. Napping in the noon:

A nap of half an hour after lunch is suggested but sleeping beyond that may trouble you from sleeping at night. Also don't sleep after 4 P.M to get that nice sleep by 10 P.M

     3. Moderate exercise:

 Don't over do the workouts and never do exercise just before sleeping. Maintain at least a 4 hour gap between your exercise routine and sleep timings. Also don't sit idle without doing exercise at all. Do simple workouts to get that deep sleep.

      4. Make your bedroom a no gadget zone:

 No gadgets in your bedroom please!! Put all your electronic gadgets out of your bedroom. Check all your social networking updates next morning and watch those soap repeats the next day. No tv, no mobile, no gadgets. Just dim your bedlights if possible put it off and sleep in dark.

       5.  Relax yourself:

Postpone all those thoughts about next days work or financial matters or any other issues. Relax yourself for five minutes by simple breathing exercises and empty your mind and go to bed.

       6. Compensations won't work:

Don't be in an idea to compensate all your lost sleep on weekdays that coming weekend. You can't compensate your daily sleep in that manner. This will not work!! Daily dose is the daily dose that's it.

      7. Foods that better sleep:

Bananas, warm milk with honey, almonds, cereals,rice, potatoes, oats and mush rooms help in getting better sleep. Avoid foods rich in sugar and oil content and junk and deep fries at night. Plan your dinner appropriately.

      8. Natural sleeping pill:

If you are married, don't miss your natural sleeping pill !! Yes, sex relaxes all your muscles and brings sleep very easily. So enjoy sex for a better sleep!!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Ponmudi-The Golden Peak

On the way to Ponmudi two dams, and water falls also occur but one must visit them only before sunset. Because later there won't be any admissions inside. Bathing in the waterfalls is also not permitted due to safety concerns. One more highest peak in the Western Ghats of India, Agastyakoodam, is also nearby. But it is open to visitors only for a few days in a year.

A house in traditional Kerala style en route Ponmudi from Trivandrum

As you travel across Kerala, what you see are predominantly coconut trees !!

Meenmutty bridge

Entrance for Meenmutty waterfalls. We missed this beautiful waterfalls because we reached it after sunset
Dense forests on both sides of road en route Ponmudi

Board showing 15th hairpin bend. There are in total 22 hairpin curves enough to thrill you!!

Echo point rock - Climb this rock and you will touch the sky!!

View of other peaks from the top most peak at Ponmudi

If you stand on the top of the highest peak, roads and other people look very tiny and like play toys!!

This was the peak I was talking about..Trekking this peak is really enjoyable.

View of mountains on all directions

View of the road while trekking the peak

Overall View of the echo point rock (shown above in close up)

Beautiful sunset amidst the hills

Mother nature at sunset among the hills

View of the valley at sunset. You feel like sitting there and watching it for hours together!!

Refreshment center amidst the beautiful hills. One should never miss sipping a cup of hot tea in that cool breeze here!!