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Experiencing tribal life at Roopark Village

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I had been hearing quite a lot about this village resort in Orissa. So, last Christmas holidays, I decided to forgo the city parties and the chilly Kolkata winter and experience a completely different lifestyle for a change. I usually prefer renting a car for short travels. I had been using Savaari car rental service for a while and I feel Savaari has outstanding service at some of the best prices I have explored. So, my cab was at my door on Christmas Eve.

Reaching there

This resort I am talking about is in Balasore district in Orissa, about 262 Km from Kolkata city. Before my travel, whatever I retrieved from online research was enough to get me hooked. There is a small tribal village called Kantabonia, about 37 Km west of Balasore and occupied by the Santhal tribe. On one edge of the village, surrounding the Kuldiha and Tenda Elephant Reserve lies this eco-village resort. With hills on one side and forests on the other, this looked like ultimate serenity.

It took me nearly six hours to reach via NH 16, with all the morning traffic and road work in Kharagpur.

The resort and its surroundings

Driving through the remote countryside with banana plantations and paddy fields, when I finally landed at my destination, I was awestruck at the beauty of the place. While I have been so such kind of resorts before, this was way different than one can envisage. A far cry from anything commercial, this place looked like a part of the surrounding nature, only enclosed by bamboo fences.

The entire setting is made in the form of tribal homes, with mud and thatched roof and other natural materials like bamboo, coir, and rattan. The pathways of red soil were left raw and untouched, only lined with pebbles to demarcate from the cottages. There was no sign of any fancy urban trapping. While everything was made eco-friendly, they were equally a treat for the eyes. Every hut had a small verandah where oil lamps, lanterns, and tribal trinkets adorned the ceilings and doorways. The walls were beautifully painted with colorful ethnic motifs. Even food was served on earthen tableware.

The view opened up to the Nilagiri Hills and the adjoining forests. While there were few tourists around the property, the only sound I could hear was the calls and chirpings for various birds or the trumpeting elephants from the nearby wildlife sanctuary.

Talking about the sanctuary, I must say, this forest reserve definitely enhances the experience of Roopark. Within a drive of just 40 minutes through the villages and fields, you can reach this famous elephant reserve of Orissa. These dense forests at the foothills of the Nilagiri Hills are home to leopards, tigers, Sambar and spotted deer and a huge population of elephants. Birds like hornbills and peafowls roam around outside the forests as well.

A respite from the regular

By sundown, the place assumed a completely opposite ambiance. Lit by candles and lamps, the village appeared like a page out of those folklores I have grown up listening to. A group of dancers was invited to perform at the resort. As the lead drummer introduced his rhythm, the women circled and matched the rhythm with their perfect footwork. The heavenly trance of the music, the glow of the oil lamps, and the chorus of the cicadas adding to the party took me away from my life back in the city, at least for some time.

Pro Tips:

Always book a reliable and cheap Kolkata taxi service because in Roopark you will need to keep a car with you at all times.
Definitely visit the Deokund Falls and the Chandipur Beach at 16 Km from the resort.
Opt for their adventure packages to enjoy different activities in and around the resort.

Wedding websites, e-invites, checklist & other tools simplifying Indian weddings

Technology has taken over the world, and its power to simplify life is not something that can be disputed anymore. And now it is taking over the Big Fat Indian Wedding by storm, with services such as wedding websites, wedding invitations, gift registry, checklist, budget planner, guests apps and more becoming increasingly popular among millennial couples. Wedding Wishlist brings you some of the coolest online tools and services to use for your wedding that will help save both money and time!

 

  1. Wedding Website

This has become the fastest growing trend for Indian couples, and with good reason. A customised wedding website is a great way for couples to share their story and function details with guests. This is particularly important for Indian weddings, as the huge guest lists mean that more than half the guests don’t know the couples personally. With a wedding website, the couple can share the story of how they met and add photographs, which helps guests feel more connected to the occasion. It also acts as an in-depth invite with function details and RSVP functionality, saving the family endless calls to check on who’s coming. Further, it allows guests to leave fun messages for the couple in their guestbook, which the couple can cherish for years after. And the icing on this big, huge cake is that this entire service is free and customizable.

 

  1. Wedding Invitations

While the trend of e-invitations is not new, it has now come off age. From the super traditional to super fancy, all kinds of weddings have one thing in common—an e-invitation. They’re practical, they’re creative, they’re good for the environment and there is an endless variety to choose from. Video invitations capture the love story in a way that catches the interest of the guest and gives them the necessary information about the dates, venues, and functions. Alternatively, one can go for a classic e-invite that goes with the theme and colours of the wedding celebration. They can be in the form of a Save the Date card, or a multi-page invitation.

 

  1. Wedding Gift Registry

This online trend really took of in the latter half of 2018 when Bollywood stars like Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra created one for their wedding. It is a way to make wedding gifting more meaningful and manageable for both the couple and their guests. A wedding gift registry allows the couple to create a list of the gifts they want for their wedding and share with guests. Guests can buy or contribute to any gift in this list. The idea is that it saves the guests the guesswork and running around, and it ensures the couple loves and uses every item they receive. Since all the gifts are delivered directly to the couple, it’s practical and waste-free for them and stress-free and hands-free for the guests.

 

  1. Indian Wedding Checklist

Wedding planning can be exhausting and complex. There is always a never-ending list of tasks and it can be impossible to keep track of them all. Wedding Wishlist’s checklist for Indian couples is the perfect tool to help you go through this journey without missing out on any task. It is the first checklist designed keeping Indian weddings in mind and keeps you on top of every relevant detail, from your mehendi artists and dhol walahs to the pooja ingredients! The best part is that you can also customise this to add your own tasks and reminders and remove the ones you don’t need. You can sort it by time to the wedding, functions or priorities, making it your perfect companion till the big day!

 

  1. Budget Planner

Another signature aspect of Indian weddings is the alarmingly huge amounts of money spent and the complex matrix of who spends what. With the budget planner tools, managing and tracking finances as well as keeping a close watch on the budget becomes a reality. This intuitive tool tells the couple what ideas spends should be across different areas, helps them keep track of outstanding payments and becomes a place for the couple to save all their invoices. It also allows the couple to add mutiple people who would be spending on the wedding and split the expenses between them!

 

To get all these tools and more for free, sign up to www.WeddingWishlist.com now!

 

Reasons to Tie the Knot in Chandigarh

If the wedding bells have begun ringing for you already, then there’s a lot to plan and look forward to. One of the decisions integral to your wedding plans is the destination of the ceremony and its preparations. More often than not, a destination wedding is the dream for many looking to enter into matrimony with their future partner. So, how about Chandigarh?

GUEST POST

Set near the foothills of the Shivalik range, the city of Chandigarh is a city that captures the imagination with its stunning urban planning and architecture that resulted from the blueprints of legendary French architect Le Corbusier. Since Chandigarh’s general hospitality and facilities make it one of the best places to live in India, it is no surprise that the city is also counted amongst the best wedding destinations in the country. And with an assortment of renowned hotels catering to lavish wedding arrangements,if you have the right Chandigarh hotel booking in place, then your dream wedding is sure to reach a grand conclusion.

Here’s why:

  1. Exquisite banqueting spaces

A perfect wedding starts with a perfect venue, and Chandigarh has plethora of them. For the best wedding celebration, we would recommend a 5-star hotel such as The LaLiT Chandigarh which lays claim to over 21000 sq. ft. of banqueting space, the biggest lobby in the city, spectacular suites for your guests, and world class fine dining facilities. It is also located particularly close to the airport which makes arrival and departure of friends and family a breeze. Another great option could be Fort Ramgarh.

 

  1. Perfect for wedding shopping

Shopping fever is at an all-time high when a wedding is on the horizon. Well, Chandigarh is one of the most modern cities in India which means you will never fail to discover venues and destinations for all your wedding-related shopping needs. The buzzing markets of Sector 17 Plaza, Elante Mall and the Shashtri Market are all you need.

 

  1. No traffic woes whatsoever

Since a wedding planning requires a lot of running around, accessibility and transit times should never be an issue. This is where Chandigarh’s well-planned wide lanes, roundabouts and smooth traffic ensure that your wedding preparations never face a major delay.

 

  1. Organise an enthralling pre-wedding party

Throwing a pre-wedding bash has become quite popular amongst the younger generation. The good news is that Chandigarh is a heaven for party-holics and organising a great sortie for your friends and family before stepping up on the ‘mandap’ and tying the knot of a lifetime. We recommend hosting the bash at Kitty Su at The LaLiT Chandigarh which has a fair few accolades to its name, most notably Times Nightlife Award for ‘Best Night Club’ in 2016 and 2017!

 

  1. Great salon options

To help you look at your ethereal best on your D-Day, Chandigarh’s plush salons are always at your service. You can book appointments with ease and have yourself done up at your stay or you can always opt for an in-house salon at your property such as the premium salon at The LaLiT Chandigarh’s premises.

 

  1. Take a break from the preparations with amazing spas

Wedding preparations can take a toll on the mind. So, why not relax from time to time at a great spa before returning to the wedding planning with more enthusiasm? You can try out Rejuve – The Spa which is the biggest of its kind in the entire city. Its Ayurvedic, herbal, natural and aroma therapies can help you and your guests unwind and make the most of their wedding stay!

 

  1. Lavish and authentic Punjabi cuisine

Last but not the least, Chandigarh lays claim to the most delectable and authentic versions of the Punjabi cuisine that is ubiquitous across traditional Indian weddings, especially in the north. As a capital of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh has a culture that truly relishes gastronomy. So, you can rest assured that you will have some of the country’s best chefs from nationwide popular restaurants such as Baluchi preparing the menu for your dream wedding!

Marriage is one of the most exciting moments in one’s lifetime as it represents the cementing of a life-long relationship. And it’s not just the wedding but the entire preparation in itself that provides a great opportunity for family and friends to come together and revel in traditions and celebrations that the occasion demands. With many gorgeous wedding venues in Chandigarh, such as The LaLiT Chandigarh, tying the knot in the city promises to be a beautiful experience etched in the memory forever.

 

A Simple Test to Save Your Baby’s Delicate Skin

The preparations to welcome a baby start way ahead of its birth. With the whole family indulging in top baby brands to get the best daily use products for the newborn, the ignorance is often at its peak. From skin care products to diapers and baby wipes, established names in the baby-care industry leverage the blind faith of the market and people tend to buy their products without taking into consideration the listed ingredients. But, the harsh reality is that most of these products comprise a list of chemicals that serve to be extremely harmful to your baby.

One such product used daily for the supposed care of an infant is “baby wipes”. These might be doing more harm than good to your baby’s ultra-sensitive skin. With modernization in the lifestyle, wet wipes have replaced the traditional practice of using cotton and water for cleansing during a nappy change and are handier and easier to use. It saves time and is deemed to be more hygienic. However, if your little one still gets those red, itchy rashes on the bum even after all the care; the baby wipes are to be blamed. Believe it or not, most baby wipes contain ‘polyester’ – a water repelling material made of plastic. The use of polyester instead of organic or natural fabric cuts the manufacturing costs thereby increasing the profit margins of these well-established brands. However, it greatly impacts your baby’s skin and leads to allergies and rashes.

How to determine the presence of polyester in wet wipes?

 

Wondering how to protect your baby from the unintentional exposure to unpleasant chemicals? Here’s an easy DIY flame test you can conduct on the baby wipes to see if they are safe to use. All you require is a baby wipe, a candle, and a matchbox.

The Procedure for Flame Test-

-Light the candle using a matchstick.

-Dry up the baby wipe, hold it from a corner and burn it in the flame.

-Observe the results.

 

Variations in results-

If you sense a bad smell like that of plastic burning, it confirms the presence of ‘polyester’ in the fabric used for a wipe. You will also notice the formation of hard black residue or lumps on the burned edges which convey the inferior quality of the fabric and huge amount of polyester used in it. Such chemically formulated wipes are a definite no-no for your munchkin.

On the contrary, if you sense no bad smell or a smell similar to that of burned cloth or paper, it denotes that the wipes are made up of natural fabric and aren’t comprised of polyester. Moreover, there will be soft ash-like material instead of hard lumps. You can rely on such wipes to be safer for your baby.

“A brand that stood out the test”

Although the percentage of polyester varied with each brand, most of the popular baby wipes fail the flame test due to a cheap fabric. However, one brand that came out with flying colors is Mother Sparsh 98% water-based wipes.

When tested, these wipes burn into ashes without exhibiting any foul smell thereby confirming that no these are made up of natural and organic materials. The Mother Sparsh 98% water-based wipes are so gentle on your baby’s skin that they are often claimed to be “as good as cotton and water”.

 

Reasons to use Mother Sparsh baby wipes-

  • The use of 100% natural fabric such as cotton, make this brand highly recommended for a super soft baby skin.
  • It is the best among all the natural baby wipes available on the market as they are water-based sans any harmful chemical formulation, hence no side effects.
  • Unlike other brands, it has a superior quality of fabric that is extremely soft just like a mother’s touch.
  • Mother Sparsh wipes are 100% biodegradable, which makes them not only suitable for babies but also for the environment.

As your baby’s skin is a lot more sensitive than yours, it is essential that all the products are selected carefully. After all, your baby’s health and well-being matter the most, right?

To see how to perform the flame test and identify whether your baby wipe is made of natural/organic materials or not –

Video 1 – Click here

Video 2 – Click here

Video 3 – Click here

Know More about the Brand-  mothersparsh

 

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