camp noel resort review

Camp Noel Munnar – A Perfect Holiday Destination

Every year we plan a get together with close friends and family to not so oft-visited places. This summer was no different. We zeroed in on Camp Noel Munnar, which is a solitary mountain resort located in the serene wilderness of Western Ghats at 7000 feet above sea level, in Idukki district, Kerala.

Camp Noel Munnar – A perfect getaway from home

How to reach here

I was in for a minor disappointment though when I heard of route and accessibility details. As it is we were to drive all the way from Karunagapally to Munnar, covering at least 600km, taking 8 hours. This place is a further 2 – 3 hour journey from Munnar town, near Pazhathottam village. It is advisable to travel in your own private vehicle instead of a tourist bus. Also note that, Idukki is not connected to other parts of Kerala by rail. We had a good lunch at SN restaurant at Munnar before going on our way.

national_park_pambadum_shola

mattupetty dam

The drive from Munnar to Camp Noel is breathtaking! You can get scenic views of tea plantations, the river along Mattupetti Dam, Kundalae Dam and the final stretch right through Pampadum Shola National Park. Roads are in good condition, except for a couple of turns with slopes when you reach Camp Noel. Make sure you get your vehicle refuelled at Munnar itself as this place is isolated and it takes you a good 2 hour trip downtown for fuel refill.

Camp Noel, Finally!!!

camp noel review
I looked around in awe and soon felt that the place was worth every effort taken to reach there. It took a few seconds to let the immense feeling of peace and calm sink in.

Camp Noel is definitely unlike the typical Munnar hotel; teeming with tourists. Here you can actually listen to the sound of silence! There are well furnished 8 double bedroom and 4 single bedroom cottages dotting the lush green landscape on a hilly terrain. There is a rustic elevated cottage or hunter’s cabin for those who favor adventure. Proud stately trees, flowering shrubs, succulents and terrace farms adorn the entire scenery. If you’re lucky, you can spot wild bison roaming around the place at night. We managed to spot one that night, right near the single bedroom cottage. We also spotted rare birds and a few woodpeckers on trees near the farms.

Cottage Interiors at Camp Noel Munnar

one_bedroom_cottage_camp_munnar

camp noel munnar

Each cottage has tastefully done up interiors with wooden flooring and elegant, pure wood furniture that adds a certain warmth and comfort to the ambience. We booked the one bedroom cottage while our friends booked the two bedroom one. A rustic stone fireplace adds an old world charm to the living space. The housekeeping staff is friendly and has kept the place well maintained. They had a nice collection of travel and fashion magazines laid out on the tea tables.

What to do at Camp Noel

flowers_camp_noel

You can pick fresh strawberries from farms nearby or feast on passion fruit. Camp Noel is a botanist’s dream destination. Lots of flowering plants and shrubs like the dancing girl, peace lily can be spotted here. You can go trekking in the surrounding forest, visit Chinar wildlife sanctuary nearby, Munnar botanical garden or shop for spices and memorabilia in the town area. Matupetti dam also offers scenic views. You can hire a sightseeing guide at the camp.

bison_hall

We just spent the entire day lazing around and exploring the place. Totally disconnected from the world with no mobile network and wi-fi (free wifi is available at the reception desk only!) we played cricket, football and badminton alongside our kids.

camp fire at camp noel
camp fire and cottage interiors image via www.campnoel.com

You can enjoy campfire in the evenings with music, with prior intimation. Camp Noel Munnar has very good facilities for conference meetings.

The night sky is equally spectacular with zillions of stars sparkling away to glory. You can watch fireflies fluttering around adding a certain enigma to the nocturnal panorama.

Food is fresh, simple and delectable. They offer complimentary breakfast. However, you need to pre order lunch and dinner as they need to get a few supplies from downtown sometimes.

Note

The only issue is hot water supply. You have to stick to their schedule. Hot water is not available 24 hours. Also, mobile networks totally conk off around here. You can access free wi-fi at the reception or use the landline available in your rooms to get in touch with your family or office if needed.

Do carry a few warm clothes as the nights can get pretty chilly at times. The best time to visit Camp Noel would be from September to May. The rainy season (June, July and August) is best avoided.

Do check out the Camp Noel Resort website for more details.

Would I recommend Camp Noel?

memory_lane

Camp Noel Munnar has my whole hearted recommendation as a must visit holiday for everyone out there who need to totally de-stress and isolate themselves from their day to day mundane and super-fast routine. This place actually heals your mind, body and spirit. It deserves a proud thumbs up!

Mattupetty Dam By കാക്കരOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20104660

indoor plants that purify air

10 Amazing Houseplants That Purify The Air!

indoor plants that purify air

Do you think that spending time indoors would save you from polluted air outside? Think again! The air inside your home is polluted even if you keep it absolutely spic and span. In fact, the indoor air levels of many pollutants are 2 to 5 times higher than their corresponding outdoor air levels.

Air purifiers, household cleaners, cooking and frying stuff, pesticides, radon, lead, combustion, tobacco smoke are among the various factors that cause indoor air pollution. You can often find traces of formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide in addition to several other pollutants inside your home. This is usually the case in compact, urban living spaces. To add to this, poor ventilation causes indoor air to stagnate and harbor allergies and breathing problems.

What you could do is to clean your indoor air naturally by keeping potted plants inside. These indoor plants can purify the air around you and make you feel stress free. In fact, microbes present in the potting soil also help with the cleaning of indoor air.

Must Have Houseplants That Purify The Air houseplants that purify air

Devil’s Ivy aka Money Plant

This humble vine can help you breathe clean air. It steers the air clear off VOCs (volatile organic compounds) arising from wall paints, air fresheners etc. It is a typical low maintenance plant. This creeper can get pretty invasive though and grows real fast. Make sure you keep it trimmed.

 

indoor air purifying plants

Peace Lily

Peace lilies are very easy to grow. They bloom throughout the year, producing lovely white flowers. They need less sunlight and can thrive on less water. Place a pot of peace lily in your living room. It looks gorgeous and filters the air to control high levels of formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and benzene.

 

indoor plants - aloe vera

Aloe Vera

This succulent is easy to grow and maintain. It needs minimal watering. Aloe Vera is a highly effective air purifier. It can also be used as an all purpose medicine for a variety of ailments.

houseplants

Snake Plant

Can you believe this one is also known as “Mother-In-Laws’ tongue?” How true is that! The snake plant is an evergreen, ornamental plant with beautiful, elongated leaf blades that grow vertically upwards from a base rhizome. This one does not require much light and can grow well indoors.

 

spider ivy plant

Spider Ivy

This is very cute little plant with long, drooping leaves with white or yellow stripes. Small white flowers bloom on its stalks making it look prettier. It can withstand tough temperature variations. Inexperienced gardeners can grow a spider plant easily. It acts tough on air pollutants and purifies air by pumping oxygen back to it.

rubber plant

Rubber Plant

The round shiny leaves of a small rubber plant look very attractive. You can keep a potted rubber plant in your living room or bedroom, away from direct sunlight. It doesn’t require regular watering. Rubber plants are good air purifiers.

money tree bonsai

The Braided Money Tree

This good looking bonsai is so called as it is believed to be a harbinger of good luck and fortune according to Feng Shui principles. It looks beautiful on account of its braided trunk. The money tree can grow in dry conditions and low light. Its braided trunk sets it apart from other bonsais and easily captures the attention of guests. Its air purifying capabilities are well known.

broad leaf palm ree

Broad Leaf Lady Palm

This is another ornamental indoor plant that is an excellent air purifier. Its large palm fronds attract tropical butterflies and small birds if planted near the window or balcony. This one is pretty resistant to pests.

indoor houseplants

Boston Fern

Ferns have always been preferred house plants. They are quite easy to care for. The drooping fronds of the Boston Fern look attractive in a hanging pot. A potted fern looks elegant when mounted on a short balcony wall. Ferns purify air and keep you healthy.

house plants that clean indoor air

Corn Tree

This is another popular houseplant also known for its air purifying properties. Its shiny leaves look beautiful. This plant bears scented white flowers. The rough brown stem makes it look like a beautiful, young tree.

Are these plants safe for pets?

NASA has compiled an entire list of houseplants that purify indoor air as part of its
CLEAN AIR STUDY. Examine this list to see if the above indoor plants are toxic to pets or not.

A splash of green here and there inside your living space can prove to be a great stress buster. So go ahead and get a few potted greens for your indoors right away!

 

 

Photo Credits—
Money Plant by License
Aloe Vera by License

Snake Plant By Martin Olsson (mnemo on wikipedia and commons, martin@minimum.se) Own work CC BY-SA 3.0
Rubber Plant by License

Broad Leaf Palm Tree by License

Wall Texture Design – Decorative 3D Wall Panels For Your Home

 

3d wall panels india

Do your walls need a bit of sprucing up? Plain, pastel coloured walls can be demotivating unless, of course, you have some green foliage or other embellishing artefacts placed tastefully that can divert your attention away from those drab walls. So how about getting them repainted?

Painting, however, can be quite messy and time consuming. That’s when you need to think of 3D wall panels. They are easy to install, non messy and come in a variety of designs. Besides, if you want to change the look and feel of a single wall of just one single room, say your living room, this is a better idea as compared to getting it painted. 3D wall panels can transform any boring wall into an attention grabbing focal point of that particular living space. It adds elegance and extravagance to your walls. 3D wall paneling can be applied to ceilings too.

3D Wall Panels

beautiful 3d wall panels

via mywallart.comlicensed under CC by 2.0

3D Wall Panels for walls

via  mywallart.comlicensed under CC by 2.0

Different Types Of 3D Wall Panels

You will come across different kinds of 3D wall panels in the market. Eco-friendly and biodegradable Plant fibre wall panels(made of bagasse, bamboo pulp etc.) ,  MDF sculptured wall panels, Gypsum plaster 3D wall panels,  3D Wood wall panels made of solid wood or reclaimed wood and PVC/PU leather textured 3d wall panels.

Cost of 3D Wall panels

Depending on the material used, a box of 12 panels can cost you Rs.4000 (approx.) and above.

Wall Decor Redefined

You can choose from a variety of 3D Designs. These panels add a touch of style and glamour to your walls at affordable prices. Be different…install them on ceilings too. They are easy to install and maintain.

3d wall panel for ceiling

via mywallart.comlicensed under CC by 2.0

Painted 3d wall panels

via mywallart.comlicensed under CC by 2.0

Moreover,  you can paint them in a colour of your choice in case you do not want pastel or white shades. If you are an ardent DIY fan, you can install them yourself, it’s that simple. Apply a coat of fire retardant primer after installation if required.

Watch this video to know how to install 3D wall panels in your home.

The Young Scientists – Science Comic Magazine For Kids – A Review

Picture this! You have an inquisitive and smart little kid who is often intrigued by the mysterious ways of science! He may ask you questions like, “Do animals dream?” or “How on Earth did all the dinosaurs die out?” You may or may not know answers to these questions. You may be too busy to reply or you may shrug your shoulders and say, “I’ll get back to you later!” Some may even murmur a single sentence answer, which may in turn give rise to numerous other questions! That is when ‘The Young Scientists’ comes into picture!
the_young_scientists_magazine_review

The Young Scientists – Best Science Comic Magazine For Kids

Interesting Storyline And Illustrations

Apt for kids in the age group 4 – 13 years, this science comic magazine is power packed with interesting science and general knowledge concepts for kids. From distant planets and flying fish to matters as mundane as recycling stuff and keeping your surroundings clean, this magazine discusses it all. Replete with eye-catching, beautiful illustrations, it explains fascinating science concepts to kids through colorful cartoons supported by a related story line and easy to comprehend language.

Vocabulary And Practical Science Well Explained

Usually, adults and children are lazy to find meaning for difficult words. In this magazine, vocabulary for difficult words is provided at the bottom of the page. In addition, there is a ‘science scoop’, which adds value to the storyline. Besides science concepts, the magazine gives information related to “practical science”. For e.g., How to remove the bubble gum that is stuck to your dress? If an insect gets into your ears, then how do you get it out?”

Attracts Attention Instantly

In this age of smart phones and speedy internet, kids tend to key in their queries and get precise, to-the-point answers. They do not have the patience to read huge encyclopedias and general knowledge books. However, ‘The Young Scientists’ grabs their attention instantly. Children would prefer reading this science comic magazine over a huge, monotonous and sleep inducing encyclopedia with lots of text. In fact, this magazine works really well for kids with low attention spans. Children are able to recollect the concepts and apply later when they want. It is never boring to read the magazine repeatedly.

Top 10 Plus Points Of The Young Scientists Science Comic Magazine

1. Amazing illustrations
2. Attention grabbing ‘Contents’ page that gets kids hooked on to the magazine instantly
3. Story based explanation of science concepts in an animated, comic style
4. Available in 3 levels according to different age groups
5. Scannable QR codes for watching related videos on YouTube
6. Excellent paper and printing quality
7. Encourages children to take up or participate in science related activities
8. The end of every page has a tiny, interesting information tidbit related to the particular concept it features.
9. Improves reading habits in children to a great extent.
10. Encourages scientific thinking and elicits interest during group discussion among kids.

My 9- year -old son liked the magazine at the first look and he has become an ardent fan of this magazine. With that, I have decided to subscribe right away!

‘The Young Scientists’ helps kids to grow into responsible and knowledgeable young individuals. You can visit www.sciencecomics.in for more information.

Nutritious Homemade Almond Health Drink Mix Recipe For Kids

Horlicks, Pediasure, Bournvita, Amway Protein Powder…the list goes on… You try to get the best health drink mix for your kids. T.V. commercials and enticing newspaper advertisements feature happy and healthy kids consuming these health drinks. And then you end up buying the same for your family. Of course, they have nutrients like vitamins and minerals, but in addition these are also loaded with added flavours and lots of synthetic stuff with confusing hard to pronounce names. In fact, I just noticed MTR badam mix has just 8.5 percent badam in it. The rest of it is made up of milk solids, sugar, starch, saffron, preservatives and the like. That’s when I decided to formulate a homemade health drink mix that would be pure and healthy for my child.

Homemade Health Drink Mix Recipe

This is what you need to make a pure and nutritious health drink mix at home.
Almonds – 250 grams
Refined Sugar / Organic Sugar– 100 grams
Cardamoms – 2
Saffron(Kesar) – 5 grams – optional
Water – ½ litre

How To Make It

home made almond powder

 

Boil water till it begins to bubble. Add almonds and keep them for 2 minutes. Turn off the flame. Transfer the almonds in another vessel and rinse them under cold tap water for another minute. Throw away the water. Place these almonds on a dry, absorbent cloth. The skins come off easily. Peel all the almonds and keep them on an absorbent cloth under the fan so that they dry well.

 

blanched almonds

 

Now, dry roast the almonds in a pan over a low flame for 1 minute. Allow them to cool. Add sugar and cardamoms along with the almonds into a mixer. Grind the contents to a fine powder. Store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

This quantity will last for a week if you use 2 teaspoons per glass for three glasses. I suggest making this mix twice a month. Double the quantity of ingredients in that case. I used unrefined, organic sugar from 24Mantra.

Why do we peel off the skins?

The reason we blanch the almonds is to peel off the skins. According to Ayurveda, almond skins are difficult to digest and aggravates pitta in the body. Ayurvedic practitioners always favor soaking almonds overnight and peeling off the skins before consuming.

How Is This Homemade Health Drink Beneficial For Kids?

We all know the goodness of almonds. They are power packed with proteins, vitaminE and minerals like zinc. Almonds are excellent for brain and body development plus they impart excellent skin health. The best part is you can be absolutely sure of what goes in your health drink mix. So try this at home and enjoy its benefits!

For once, I wanted to get rid of everything chocolaty that has permeated our tastes! There are advertorials that show kids drinking milk only when it has chocolate mixed in it!  Not quite what I approve of! I was quite happy with this health drink mix. The results are equally good. My kid enjoys this drink. You can add saffron and dry dates powder too. It will turn out to be great!

 

maid in mumbai

A Mad Mad ‘NO MAID’ Week For Me!

All was well until one fine day when my maid suddenly announced that she would be going on leave for an entire week! This hit me real hard. The realization that I would be managing on my own for an entire week slowly dawned on me. Trust me…it was a nasty feeling. My entire routine would go off track just because I would be wasting my time doing regular household chores.

maid in mumbai

Looking at my forlorn expression, she brought another maid to work instead of her, for a week. But this lady would be turning up at 3.00 PM. I couldn’t possibly wait till late afternoon to have my house cleaned!

Isn’t it funny how we take maids for granted in Mumbai? In fact, if one leaves, there is always somebody else to work for us! Indians living abroad, especially in the Western countries know how difficult and expensive it is to hire house maids.

How I managed without a maid in Mumbai

Finally I said, “What the heck!” and decided to take the matter into my own hands. “After all, it’s just a week.”, I thought. So this is how it went! I bought a nice pair of kitchen gloves and a handy mop that took care of difficult corners.

DAY 1: I wake up earlier than usual, at 5.30 AM to be precise, do the dishes, sweep and mop the floor. I prepare breakfast and lunch. I pack off my two guys to office and school respectively. I feel a bit more tired than usual. But then my house is clean by 9.00 AM. And I’m free to do my writing till my son comes back by 4.00 PM.

DAY 2: I follow the same routine. However, I feel more active and less tired. What a way to go!

DAY 3 TO DAY 7: I enjoy my mornings. Since I do not wait for the maid to arrive, which she did, by 11.00 AM, my house work gets done by 9.00 AM sharp. The most absurd thing that happens is I get rid of a niggling backache that had me visit a physiotherapist last month! I guess my humble broom took care of that!

On DAY 7 I realize that
1. A little bit of discipline goes a long way in ensuring good health. Depending on someone all the time for things you can do yourself is not a very good idea.
2. Enrolling for a weight loss regime has been crossed out of my TO-DO LIST.
3. My husband and son started being extra careful not to spill stuff on the floor. They started doing their bit to help me feel better. Now all bits and pieces of trash go straight into the dust bin and not on the floor. They would rather wipe their feet clean on the doormat before entering our home than face a monstrous, yelling mom!
4. Finally, I found some “ME Time .”

Today is DAY 8 and I’m waiting for my maid to report at 11.00 am. It’s 100% not what you think! I’m waiting to send her away for good!

So that’s my ‘No Maid’ story! Of course, it was manageable as I work from home. It may not be easy for working moms. But like I said earlier, a little bit of discipline is all you need in case your maid takes a break!

Why I stopped cooking with aluminium!

This little story goes a long way! As a child, I always wondered why grandma’s aluminium cooking pots turned ugly after being used for some time! These vessels would get defaced with tiny black depressions and marks on the inner sides. That never stopped granny from using aluminium though! She would go to the market and buy new pots. She also had steel and earthen cookware but she always felt aluminium pots heated faster and cooked faster.

Why I stopped cooking with aluminium

Why aluminium is bad for you!

Those little black marks on the vessels are great causes for concern, though. It shows how reactive this metal is! Aluminium reacts immediately with acidic and alkaline food matter to form toxic compounds that leach into your food. Try cooking tomatoes, curd or tamarind in an aluminium vessel or sauté onions with a few tomatoes in an aluminium kadhai. You will see how the surface changes form after a few uses. Sometimes, the reaction is so extreme that the taste of food gets altered.

Now for a few startling facts!

Harmful effects of aluminium

Modern times have seen the decline of pure aluminium pots and pans. However, we still use a lot of aluminium for food storage. Aluminium foil wrapping, soda cans, soft drink cans, frozen and processed food containers…the list is endless. In fact, we use aluminium foil quite casually, for baking, packing food for our little ones etc., without thinking twice!
Aluminium compounds directly target your nervous system. Prolonged consumption of aluminium compounds can speed the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other debilitating conditions. This metal slows mental growth in children. It accumulates in various organs, causing illnesses in the long run.

So what kind of aluminium cookware is safe?

if you insist on using aluminium cookware, go for hard anodised aluminium cookware as the aluminium is well sealed inside a smooth and hard coating that won’t corrode easily. This prevents aluminium leaching into food to a huge extent.

Though it is impossible to root out aluminium totally from your lifestyle, try your best to avoid using it for cooking and food storage. So now it is soft drinks from tetra packs instead of cans for me! I use stainless steel tiffin boxes to pack food for kids. Aluminium foil is a strict NO in my kitchen. In fact these 7 super tips to replace aluminium foil in your kitchen are quite interesting! Do check them out!

Let me know if you know any more methods of cooking and baking sans aluminium foil! Would love to hear from you!


Aluminium Foil Image By Lewis Ronald (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Walking Fish! Meet The Mudskipper!

Ever heard of walking fish or fish that can walk on land or even fly? Nature can leave you spellbound with its extraordinarily miraculous creatures. Meet the mudskippers, a strange breed of fish that can swim in water, walk on land and fly in the air!

fish that can fly - mudskipper
Photo Credits:0095.info

 

Fish that walks on land – Mudskipper

gambian_mudskippers
By Bjørn Christian Tørrissen [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Mudskippers are amphibious fish meaning they live on land as well as in water. They have modified pectoral fins (in the upper part of their bodies) which they use as legs, to walk in shallow water and on land. They spend most of their time on land, returning to the water only to store water periodically in their gills. You can find these little creatures perched on mangrove roots. They can grow as long as 4 inches to 12 inches long.

Where are Mudskippers found?

They usually inhabit swampy land like mangroves and river estuaries. In India you can see these walking fish in the mangroves of Sunder bans. Mudskippers can also be seen in other places around the globe as in West Africa, Polynesian islands, Japanese coasts, Philippines and Australia.

Fish that can fly

Flying_fish_mudskipper
By Charles Lam from Hong Kong, China (I Can Fly) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Can you imagine fish flying? Well, Mudskippers can fly too! They can actually flip in the air up to a height of 2 feet using their muscular bodies.

These remarkable creatures even fight to defend their territories! A mudskipper calls its opponent for a duel by raising the fin on its back.

So how do they breathe?

Mudskippers breathe with their gills as normal fish do when in water. Before going on land, they have this marvelous ability to store water in their gill chambers. They can also breathe thru their moist skin as amphibians do.

Check out this exclusive documentary by Planet Doc on mudskippers. Kids will find it very interesting.

curry leaves for hair growth

5 Super Ways To Use Curry Leaves For Hair Growth!

Did you know that the humble curry leaves or kadi patta are power packed with nutrients that can give you thick, lustrous hair? It’s a pity that natural herbs as these are often underestimated. Luscious, dark green curry leaves are rich in essential nutrients that nurture your scalp and hair from the root to the tip.

Over the years, your hair loses its shine and healthy texture on account of various reasons ranging from heating tools, chemical hair treatments, prolonged exposure to the sun and lack of proper nutrition.

curry leaves for hair growth

photo credits: sue mah via cc by 2.0

Curry leaves can be applied externally to improve hair texture and cure dry scalp conditions. To encourage hair growth, you have to consume it daily besides using it for external application. These miraculous leaves encourage fresh hair growth besides reversing damage caused by heating tools, chemical hair treatments and exposure to sun.

How to use curry leaves for hair growth

Curry Leaves For your Scalp – External Application

Curry Leaves Hair Mask

For this hair mask, make a paste of 2 cups dark green, fresh curry leaves. Add 2 tablespoons of curd. Massage it into your hair and scalp. Leave this mask on your hair for 30 minutes. Cover your head with a shower cap. This mask will cure dry scalp conditions including dandruff. After 30 minutes, wash your hair with a mild shampoo and rinse with warm water. Rinsing with warm water ensures that no oily residues of curd remain in your hair.

Curry Leaves Hair Oil

Instead of preparing a hair mask every time, you can make some curry leaf oil every week, for regular use.

Take ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds and 2 cups of chopped fresh green curry leaves. Heat 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan. Before the oil reaches boiling point, turn the heat off. Add the fenugreek seeds and chopped curry leaves into the oil. Allow this to sit overnight. Strain and store this curry leaf hair oil in a bottle for everyday use.
Check out this herbal hair oil recipe that you can make at home using curry leaves, hibiscus and henna for maximum hair growth.

Curry Leaves For Hair Growth – Consume Internally

Don’t cringe at the thought of having to eat curry leaves! There are tastier ways of eating these leaves instead of simply chewing them raw. You can consume curry leaves using these tasty recipes!

Curry Leaves Chutney

You can make this simple curry leaf chutney to go with your afternoon meal of rice. It tastes just as good with chapattis.

For curry leaves chutney, you need:

Curry Leaves – 1 cup
Onion – 1
Garlic – 10 cloves
Tamarind – size of a small ball.
Red chillies – 2
Mustard seeds – ¼ teaspoon
Urad dal – ½ teaspoon
Salt to taste.

How to prepare

Sauté mustard seeds, urad dal, chopped onions, crushed garlic and curry leaves in two teaspoons of cooking oil, till the onions turn translucent. Add tamarind and salt. Allow this mix to cool. Grind to a fine paste and your healthy curry leaves chutney is ready.

Curry Leaves Dosa

This one is a super simple recipe. Make a paste of one cup fresh green curry leaves. Add this paste to ½ litre dosa/idli batter. Add salt to taste. You can make regular dosas as you normally do.

Curry Leaves Rice

For this nutritious rice recipe you will need:

Cooked Rice – 1 cup
Curry leaves – 2 cups
Garlic – 5 cloves
Hing (asafoetida) – a small pinch
Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
Red Chillies – 2
Urad dal – 1 teaspoon
Black pepper(whole) – ½ teaspoon
Fried chana dal – 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds – ¼ teaspoon
Cooking oil
Salt to taste.

How to prepare

Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a frying pan. Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and let them splutter. Add hang, crushed garlic cloves, urad dal, chana dal, black pepper, red chillies, coriander powder and sauté for a minute. Add curry leaves and tamarind. Grind this to a very fine paste.

Now heat 1 teaspoon of cooking oil or ghee in a pan. Add ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add a few more curry leaves. Add the paste that you made. Add cooked rice and mix well. This is a nutritious rice recipe for kids and grownups alike and works wonders for your hair.

Using curry leaves for hair growth is an age old tradition followed in South India. And I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t like these methods of using curry leaves. In fact, you can grow a curry leaf plant at home to have a continuous supply of fresh curry leaves. Do try this natural fertilizer for curry leaf plants.

Do let me know if you tried any of these methods, in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you!

Amazing Hanging Pillar Of Lepakshi Temple, India

The Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi, or the hanging pillar temple in India, is an exemplary work of ancient Indian architecture, Vijayanagara architectural style to be precise. Located approximately 120 km i.e. a 2 hour drive from Bangalore, Lepakshi is a small village in the Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh.

lepakshi hanging pillar
Photo Credits

Lepakshi Hanging Pillar

lepakshi-temple-hanging-pillar

Photo credits

This beautifully carved stone pillar hangs from the ceiling and reaches a few millimetres above the temple floor. Nobody has been able to find out how exactly the kings architects managed to suspend such an immensely heavy stone pillar from the ceiling. In fact, you can easily pass a cloth under this pillar, an act often shown by the local guides. During the British regime, a British engineer got his men to shift the pillar to find out the secret. Unfortunately, this caused the pillar to touch the floor at one corner besides altering the structure of the roof to some extent.

Lepakshi Temple Attractions

Monolithic Nandi

Lepakshi_nandi

Photo credits

Lepakshi is also home to the famed temple complex built by Vijayanagra kings way back in 1583. This temple is built on a rocky hillock called Kurma Sailam or tortoise hill. The first marvel you encounter is a colossal Nandi located almost a mile before the temple. It is 27 feet in width and 15 feet in height and rumoured to be the largest monolithic Nandi in India.

Ganesha and Naga

lepakshi_ganesha

lepakshi_naga
Photo credits

The temple also features a huge structure of Lord Ganesha carved in stone, leaning against a rock. Near this is a huge Naga with seven hoods and three coils, towering over a black Shivalingam, protecting it.

Fresco Paintings

fresco at lepakshi temple

Lepakshi Temple Ceiling” by Pp391Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

You get to see some intricate and beautiful specimens of fresco paintings on the ceiling just before the main sanctum sanctorum. The 24 feet by 14 feet fresco of Veerabhadra, the main deity of this temple, is spectacular. The famed Shiva Parvati Kalyanam (wedding) is also depicted here. These frescoes have been painted using natural shades of green, brown, white, black and ochre on a lime treated surface.

Natya Mandapam and Kalyana Mandapam

shiva parvati kalyanamandapam at lepakshi temple
Photo credits

Other eye catching attractions are the Natya Mandapam with 100 pillars and an unfinished
Kalyana Mandapam with intricately carved stone pillars. The ancient artisans who sculpted these pillars have given attention to detail resulting in a spectacular display of ancient mythology and architectural designs in this structure.

Lepakshi temple is a must visit site on your itinerary if you happen to be near Bangalore or Anantpur. Ancient Indian Architecture has given birth to many such marvellous structures in India. Visit this site on ancient Indian monuments for more fresco paintings and inscriptions at Lepakshi .


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