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Henna Tattoos—no Pain, Just Stain

Madonna, Sting, and Demi Moore have recently “discovered” what Hindu brides have known for centuries: henna paste decorates the body with temporary tattoos. Usually applied to the hands and feet, the body becomes a canvas for patterns of scrolls, vines, or flowers that last for a few weeks.

Henna paste, or mendhi, takes from a few minutes to a few hours to apply depending upon the bodily location and the desired detail of the design. After the drawing with cones or syring...

India, Taj, henna, tattoo

Madonna, Sting, and Demi Moore have recently “discovered” what Hindu brides have known for centuries: henna paste decorates the body with temporary tattoos. Usually applied to the hands and feet, the body becomes a canvas for patterns of scrolls, vines, or flowers that last for a few weeks.

Henna paste, or mendhi, takes from a few minutes to a few hours to apply depending upon the bodily location and the desired detail of the design. After the drawing with cones or syringes is finished, the paste dries to allow the color to become absorbed by the skin. While this takes only 10-15 minutes, the paste should be left on the skin for another 6 hours to achieve the most lasting affect. A sugar and lemon mixture dabbed on the dried mendhi deepens the final color. When fully dry, the crust falls off on its own. Gentle toweling removes any last bits. The tattoo lasts longer with moisture but gradually lightens through natural exfoliation of the skin. Harsh soaps, chlorine and commercial exfoliation speeds the fading of the design.

Celebrations, such as childbirth and birthdays, may include mehndi, but it is Indian brides who traditionally display the most elaborate designs covering their feet and hands. Applying the paste is a celebratory pre-wedding ritual to bring love and good fortune to the couple but it has neither religious nor sacred meaning. Occasionally brides choose to mendhi much of their body and include the name of their groom amongst the designs. It is his right and duty to carefully search for it on the wedding night.

In the Middle East, mendhi days are spent getting to know women of the family as the designs are applied. Females gather to adorn skin with the more casual floral patterns inspired by Arabic art. It is a woman’s day to put away household responsibilities and share a joyful activity with others of her gender.

Leaves are ground into a paste and may be mixed with other ingredients such as oil or tea. The resulting mash remains dark green or black even though the stain is consistently reddish brown. Recipes for henna mixtures are well-guarded family secrets for good reasons. Women want their family members to have a deep, rich tattoo as tradition proclaims the bride doesn’t do housework as long as her design can be seen. In addition, how much your mother-in-law will love you correlates with the length of time the mendhi remains.

The paste that has adorned so many women comes from Lawsonia inermis, a small tree that grows in areas where the minimum temperature is usually greater than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Lawsonia inermis is a thorny tree that needs about five years to mature and produce leaves with useful levels of tannin. It grows better in arid than in wet regions and tolerates extreme heat and long droughts. Its origins as a tattoo paste can be traced to areas of Northern Africa, the Middle East and India. Blossoms of the same tree have been used in perfumes since 1500 BCE.

The use of this abundant plant began in earnest when the desert people of India discovered its “cooling” properties. By dipping their hands and feet into the mud or paste made from the crushed leaves, they were able to keep their body temperatures low as long as some color remained. In the arid heat of their desert environment, this was indeed a fortuitous discovery!
From this general application came more specific ones. Women found that a large central dot in the palm cooled as well as staining the entire hand or foot. This rudimentary design was embellished with dots around the center which evolved into the use of increasingly pleasing designs.

In addition to being used to apply temporary tattoos, henna has been used to color wool, silk, animal skins and men’s beards. Mummies dating to 1200 B.C. show evidence of henna use on hair and nails of pharaohs. Today the deep-colored paste is used by women to give luster to their hair as well as hide the grey.

When an Indian woman asks her husband if he has mendhi on his hands, it doesn’t mean she really thinks he is decorated with reddish-brown body art below his wrists. She is referring to her bridal days when she wasn’t expected to work while the mendhi could still be seen and is asking if this is also HIS reason for laziness.

 

Personality Of Kathmandu - Charming And Beautiful

It is hard to find words that do justice to wonderful Kathmandu. One ridge away from the highest mountains in the world, and thronged by a million Hindus and Buddhists, this pricely city is the archetypal mountain kingdom - mystical, magical and arcane. Temples loom out of the mist around every corner and the cobbled streets resound with the chanting of mantras and the chiming of temple bells. At dusk, the city is transformed into a cut-out of stupas, prayer flags and temp...

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It is hard to find words that do justice to wonderful Kathmandu. One ridge away from the highest mountains in the world, and thronged by a million Hindus and Buddhists, this pricely city is the archetypal mountain kingdom - mystical, magical and arcane. Temples loom out of the mist around every corner and the cobbled streets resound with the chanting of mantras and the chiming of temple bells. At dusk, the city is transformed into a cut-out of stupas, prayer flags and temple spires. On clear days, a wall of snow-covered mountains rises behind Kathmandu and eagles soar majestically overhead on the high Tibetan winds - it is like the special effects from The Lord of the Rings, but right there, alive in the real world.

The main reason for Kathmandu's remarkable state of preservation is its unique geographical situation. There are only two roads out of the Kathmandu Valley, one going north to Lhasa in Tibet and the other winding down to the Terai plains - a five hour journey to cover a distance of 50 kilometers. Historically, this was Kathmandu best defense against foreign invaders. Unlike India and Tibet, Nepal was never conquered by the British.

The city's meteoric rise to fame began in 1769 when Gurkha king Prithvi Narayan Shah swept eastwards from his base at Gorkha, conquering the towns on the valley rim and isolating Kathmandu. Bhaktapur and Patan from the outside world. This marked the start of the golden age of Kathmandu architecture - temple-strewn Durbar Square has barely changed since. As the city grew, the natural fortifications of the valley walls became a hindrance rather an asset. Everything has to be trekked in from the plains of India and builders had nowhere to go but up, explaining the rather chaotic skyline of leaning brick towers.

Politics also played a role in Kathmandu's status of suspended animation. From 1816 to 1950, Nepal was completely cut off from the outside world, vanishing into legend as another forbidden kingdom of the Himalaya. The Swiss explorer Toni Hagen was the first European allowed in and walked all over the country, setting a precedent for the 200,000 trekkers who now visit every year.

 

Mount Abu - The Paradise In The Rajasthan Desert

Mount Abu is an oasis amongst the desert in the state of Rajasthan, India. Mt Abu is situated at the southern tip of the Aravali range and because of its foliage it has a cool climate. Mount Abu is considered a summer retreat but it also has a stunning array of attractions; the Delwara Marble Jain Temples, dating back 11th- 13th centuries, makes it a popular pilgrimage center.

Mount Abu has an extensive religious history, having been home to many sages and saint.

The ma...

mount abu,rajasthan,hotel,online hotel booking,hotels in mount abu,hotels in Rajasthan,book a hotel

Mount Abu is an oasis amongst the desert in the state of Rajasthan, India. Mt Abu is situated at the southern tip of the Aravali range and because of its foliage it has a cool climate. Mount Abu is considered a summer retreat but it also has a stunning array of attractions; the Delwara Marble Jain Temples, dating back 11th- 13th centuries, makes it a popular pilgrimage center.

Mount Abu has an extensive religious history, having been home to many sages and saint.

The main sites in Mount Abu are:

Gaumukh Temple: The temple gets its name from a natural spring which flows through a sculpted cow’s head. It is said that the yagna’ of sage Vashishtha was performed here. A beautiful marble image of Nandi (the celestial bull rescued by Aebuada) is situated nearby.

Delwara Jain Temple: these temples were built between the 11th and 13th century. They are beautifully carved temples built from marble and dedicated to the jain Tirthankaras. The oldest temple is the Vimal Vasahi temple. Build in 1031AD, by Vimal Shah-a merchant and representative of then Gujarat ruler, is dedicated to the first Tirthankara. A superb example of temple architecture, the central shrine has an image of Rishabhdev and large courtyard with 52 small shrines. Each houses a beautiful statue of thirthankaras with 48 elegantly carved pillars form the entrance to the courtyard. Another finely crafted temple is the Lun Vasahi Temple. It was built in 1231AD by brothers Vastupal and Tejpal who were Ministers of Raja Vir Dhawal, a ruler of Gujarat which belonged to the Porwal Jain Community. The fine craftsmanship of the Lun Vasahi Temple includes beautiful door casings, pillars architraves and sculptures on the porticos.

Adhar Devi Temple : The Adhar Devi Temple is a favoured spot for tourists. You have to walk up a flight of 360 stairs to reach the temple chiseled out of a huge rock.

Sunset Point: At the sunset point you can watch the sun setting and covering the surrounding hills with a beautiful golden glow. A spectacular site. Honeymoon Point: Also known as Andra Point, it offers an enchanting view of the verdant plains and valleys. The place looks most beautiful during the dusk hours.

Shri Raghunathji Temple: Dedicated to Shri Raghunathji, this temple was built in the 14th century AD. It is situated near the Nakki Lake and contains beautiful sculpted work of the deity. It was built by famous Hindu preacher Shri Ramanand.

Gardens and Parks: throughout the hilly paradise of Mount Abu there are many beautifully laid parks and gardens. The more notable gardens include Ashok Vatika, Gandhi park, Municipal Park, Shaitan Singh Park and the Terrace Garden.

Nakki Lake : situated in the center of the city is the perfect location for a romantic evening.

Mount Abu is a popular destination for many reasons, both as a summer retreat and for tourists looking at taking in some of the history that this beautiful part of India has to offer. World-class tourist facilities are available at Mount Abu including star and heritage class Hotels and Restaurants.




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