Monday, January 29, 2018

5 Places To Find Nirvana In India

India has a fascinating spiritual history and culture. Many people may not realize that though Hinduism has long been the most prominent Indian religion, both Hinduism and Buddhism originated in northern India in ancient times. For that matter, Jainism and Sikhism can be traced back to India as well. All in all, the history of the subcontinent from a religious perspective is both complex and fascinating, and over time has created a rich tapestry of religious culture.

One feature of this tapestry that may also surprise some people is that spiritual nirvana is a concept for some in India (as well as some who visit). Over the years, nirvana has become a vague idea to many in the international community, thanks in large part to pop culture twists on it. The spiritual notion was used as the namesake for one of the most popular bands of the last 50 years, and “Nirvana” is currently the name of an online arcade game as well. The game actually speaks somewhat to the idea, with lush backdrops of mountains and clouds and a focus on a sort of mystical peace.

Now, in actual religious practice, nirvana represents a sort of ultimate state of peace. It’s the final stage of Buddhism in which one is freed from the cycle of reincarnation and able to transcend to a higher space. No element of pop culture, be it a band, an internet game, or anything else, can really speak to a notion that big. But in a more casual sense, the term “nirvana” has evolved over the years to represent a high state of spiritual peace – and this at least is an idea that blends nicely into the full tapestry of Indian religious history.

For centuries, Indians have done as good a job as any people in the world of setting up religious buildings and retreats in beautiful areas. Whether directly or indirectly, it speaks to the pursuit of that spiritual peace that we think of as a more earthbound sense of nirvana. These locations can make for excellent destinations on a journey through India, so we wanted to list a few of them.

Ranakpur Jain Temple



The Ranakpur Jain Temple is one of five sacred pilgrimage destinations for Jainism practitioners, and at a glance it’s easy to see why. It’s a stunningly constructed temple, made largely of marble and considered by some to be a wonder of the world (though it’s never earned an official designation to this effect). The temple’s situation in Aravalli Hills in the Northwest also makes for a beautiful surrounding setting.

The Ladakh Monasteries



Ladakh is actually an entire region, and one known for a sparse population and some Tibetan influence. It’s a somewhat barren but beautiful place filled with mountains and lakes, and it’s home to several renowned monasteries. These are beautiful places of particular importance to Buddhists, but sought after as generally peaceful retreats also.

Mahabodhi Temple


This temple in Bodh Gaya is arguably the most important religious site of any on this list, as it’s said to be the place where Buddha himself finally attained actual nirvana. Naturally it has become both a pilgrimage spot and a tourist destination as a result, and it’s a beautiful place to seek your inner peace. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tirupati

Tirupati is the only site on this list that is actually a whole city, but it’s worth noting in its entirety. The main religious attraction is the Sri Venkateswara Temple, a popular Hindu pilgrimage location. However, the surrounding national park makes for a breathtaking spiritual retreat as well. As a fun note, there is also a zoological park in the area, where visitors can observe primates and lions, among other animals.

Vaishno Devi


Vaishno Devi is effectively a sprawling Hindu shrine to the mother goddess MahaKali. It includes numerous temples and caves and is set on the side of a mountain that is something of a challenge to reach, at an elevation just over 1,500 feet. Vaishno Devi is in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and makes for a serious pilgrimage for those with the will to reach it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Faces Glam On Velvet Matte Lipsticks

Are you looking for a good long lasting lipstick which won't make you break the bank? Say hello to FACES Canada Glam on Velvet Matte lipsticks! These matte finish smooth lipsticks glide on your lips weightlessly and offer great pigmentation! And considering how ridiculously affordable they are, you wont feel guilty even if you buy 3-4 of them! The best part about these is that besides the excellent staying power, these won't dry out your lips!

I am reviewing three shades from them - Sweet Amber, Desert Rose and Plum Plum



Sweet Amber - It's a beautiful pink nude with a touch of brown. Great for the day and for a natural yet noticeable appearance. This is a great shade for fair to medium skin tones. 


Desert Rose - This is a slightly dark variation of the shade above with a hint of purple. This shade would look a bit bright on fair skin but great on medium to dark skin tones.


Plum Plum - This one is a bright magenta shade with hints of plum. Its a bit loud but will suit all skin tones


With 12 irresistable colors to choose from, the versatile range of these lipsticks ensures that your craze for lip colors will never fade out! Totally recommend this one to college students or people who want good lipsticks at a reasonable cost! 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Restaurant Review - TGI Fridays

Last Saturday, I visited TGI Fridays in Seasons Mall with a friend and had a great time over lots of good food and cocktails. This outlet is divided into indoor and alfresco and is a great place for shoppers to relax for a drink or a quick bite. Famed for it's meat-heavy menu, TGIF serves a variety of American cuisine chicken wings, burgers and grills along with Tex-Mex cuisine. 

They have a variety of LIITs, which arrive in humongous goblets and one is enough to get even the avid drinker tipsy so we obviously started and ended our afternoon with them!


I also had a dirty martini which is one of my favorite drinks and this was nice and strong too!


TGIF recently launched their Power packed Hangover Brunch which is on every Saturday and Sunday which is perfect if you had a heavy night before! We tried the Bloody Mary Chicken Wings which consisted of succulent roasted chicken wings tossed with spicy vodka bloody mary sauce garnished with Cajun seasoning. It was the perfect blend of spice and tomato on juicy chicken wings. If you love the drink, you will sure like these!


Since I'm a die hard calamari lover, I had to try the Calamari Frites which essentially was hand battered golden fried calamari served with marinara sauce! We devoured them in no time!


If you love ribs, you just have to try them at TGIF as they serve imported baby back ribs which are cooked till juicy and tender and are then fire grilled and glazed with your choice of sauce.  We had the baby back pork ribs in Jack Daniel's Tabasco sauce with a side portion of grilled shrimp and boy were they delicious! 


TGIF has a lot of unique handcrafted cocktails out of which I tried the Lemon Flower Drop which is a delicious and refreshing blend of Elderflower,Vodka and Amaretto liqueur. Even though I am not fond of sweet drinks, I absolutely LOVED this one! You must try it if you are a cocktail lover!


Since LIITs are a specialty here, we tried the Ultimate Electric Long Island Iced Tea which is a high voltage potent variant of the signature cocktail and consists of Blue Curacao topped with Lemon-Lime soda. We also had the Blackberry LIIT which has blackberry juice and frozen pieces of it too. Both are delicious and give you a NICE kick haha!




Overall, I had a great time and totally recommend TGI Friday's if you're looking for a great meal and even better cocktails! Head to Season's Mall today (or your nearest TGIF if you're in a different city or country)

Address - 3rd Floor, Seasons Mall, Magarpatta

TGI Fridays Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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