Eastbound

Madras Music Festival

A month long festival, where classical music and dance events are organized across the city. Madras Music Festival is an event hosted every December–January in Chennai. Spanning some six weeks, a number of large and small kutcheris / Carnatic music concerts are performed by highly competent musicians.

The traditional role of the Music festival is to allow enthusiasts of Carnatic music to appreciate performances by renowned artists, and to allow promising young artists to display their talent and skill. Audiences and artists come from across India and from the international Indian diaspora to be part of the event.

Previously it was a traditional month-long Carnatic music festival solely consisting of Carnatic music concerts, lecture demonstrations and award/title ceremonies. However, over the years it has also diversified into dance and drama, as well as non-Carnatic art forms.

The festival was first created in the 1927 by a group of individuals who later went on to establish the Madras Music Academy.

The event calendar for 2015 – 2016 are not yet out but it takes place in December every year, the main dates are from 17th Dec to10th Jan.

http://www.indian-heritage.org/musicseason/index.html

Eastbound Guests visiting Chennai during this festival will have access to various events/performances in the city. Our local office would be happy to assist in organizing tickets to the concerts of your interest. Please contact our local office for the schedule and request for prior reservations.


Tyagaraja Carnatic Music Festival, Tanjore

Tyagaraja Aradhana is an annual Carnatic music festival where many exponents of Carnatic music come to perform and are watched by thousands of ardent fans of Indian classical music. It is associated with the world famous singer and saint Tyagaraja and is one of the most important music festivals in India.

From Tanjore / Trichy, one can easily visit this annual Carnatic music festival held in the month of January and February at Thiruvaiyaru Temple grounds.

Thanjavur stands at a point of confluence of arts, music, culture and dance leading you to explore other places like Thiruvaiyaru, Srirangam, and Kumbakonam. You are in the very heart of Tamil culture, here as it was centuries ago you will discover expressions of grace and richness of life… in its temples and sabhas, in its music and lost wax sculptures, in its specific style of Bharatanatyam, its soulful Carnatic music compositions that every proud Tamilian will wake up to every day of his life even as the aroma of filter coffee wafts around him and the fragrance of sparkling jasmines call him to prayer.  Each day begins here in the wee hours waking up even as the gentle light of the morning sun lights up ‘peria kovil’ – the Brihadeeswara temple. Suprabatham and classical music nights here are as sacred as nightlife is to any metro dweller.


Textiles Tours in Hyderabad

Same Day Excursions:
Pochampally: small village near Hyderabad is renowned worldwide for it’s beautiful silk weaves. The world knows this quaint town for its spectacular Ikkats. Spread over a charming part of the Deccan plateau, Pochampally is the largest centre for Ikkat. The place has been declared a Model Village due to its cleanliness and civic amenities. The ministry of Textiles have started a huge Textile Park in Pochampally with over 3000 weaves and provide employment to over 5000 villagers. They give training to villagers and then put them on live weaves; they produce some of finest Ikat and double Ikat works.  The park has a dedicated person to take guest around a tour of the park and show the entire process, end to end. This park is worth visiting as a one-stop place and everything to do with Ikat!

Pochampally is approx 65 kms from Hyderabad. If you are interested in more weaver workshops tucked in the villages then continue to a nearby village of Koyyalagudem for more Ikkat tie-and-die fabric work but mostly Cotton weaving. For Silk Pochamppaly still remains the main center, although there aren’t many families now doing weaving here these days as their kids have chosen different, more lucrative professions over the traditional business of weaving.

This will be a full day excursion with packed lunch or a fresh hot local thali lunch can be arranged at a newly open Organic Restaurant in Koyyalagudem – only for discerning travelers

In the City:

Suraiya Hassan Bose
She reinvents ancient Indian designs to inject handlooms with contemporary verve. The 80-year-old entrepreneur engages in revivalist techniques. Her master weavers from different regions of the country transform ancient forms of mashroo with tie and dye threads, crafting distinctive motifs in jamewar and exclusive borders in gold for saris. Our guests can visit her workshop, located walking distance from Golconda, to spend time with workers and learn more about this rare art form. Suraiya comes to the workshop daily but she is growing old thus passing it on to his son, who is more involved.

Ghanshyam Sarode
He is one of the Master weavers of Andhra Pradesh and has spent all his life in revival of the traditional weaving of Uppada & Paithani Sarees, fabrics and stoles. He travels extensively to all over the country and abroad just to get the old designs and reinvents / restores them with help of local weavers in the villages around Hyderabad. He was instrumental in reviving the weaves of Uppada village by empowering more than 3000 weavers to practice this dying art. He now has a boutique /show room in the posh Banjara Hills and happy to show his collection to the guests.

ApCo Hyderabad – a good handloom showroom cum workshop owned and operated by Andra Pradesh Government Textile Department located in the city, near Salarjung Museum.  Clients who do not have time to visit the villages can visit ApCo and see the both manual weaves and Jacquard Looms on the top floor and see artisans at work.

Vanita Passary – we can also arrange meeting with Vanita Passary, who is doing some contemporary Ikat revivals in Poochampally village and recently launched her store in Hyderabad.

Vineeta Pittie’s
She is a very special person to meet, a great patron of the Hyderabad’s rich culture and hospitality. Married to a local Marwari businessman, she came to Hyderabad when she was 16 years old as highly educated young girl who made this city her home for rest of her life. She lives in one of the oldest Kayasth Haveli in the downtown. The house is 200-year-old located in Raja Bahadur Motilal haveli, Begum Bazaar and adorned with antiques and rare paintings. The house is as good as a living museum; it also has a tube lift still in working condition, some 50 years old. It is conveniently located from the Charminar area but in middle of a busy narrow Street. This magnificent haveli is well maintained and Vinita is more than happy to have our guest (with prior appointment) and host a tea/snacks. In the same Haveli she also has her workshop where one can see local artists working on her designer masterpieces. She has many stories to tell and talk about wide range of subjects. To be able to spend time with her in her Old palatial home is a very special feeling.

Vinita Pittie has been in the business of fashion for 23 years and was one of the first designers who put Hyderabad on the national fashion map. Her trousseau collection of saris, cholis and bangles has added mirth to Bridal Asia ever since its inception in 1999. She has no pretensions and considers herself ‘not a mainstream designer’ and she is just happy to represent Hyderabad.

She prefers the guest to visit her place after 11AM in the first half, which fits best to visit after the Old Hyderabad tour. She can also arrange a small fashion bazaar if it’s a group (less than 20 pax), in the courtyard of her house and bring local artists to display their creations and art. During this interaction she will serve our group some local refreshments, snacks and tea.


Goa Hotel Reviews

Few weeks’ back our director Manish Pratik travelled to Goa and here are his reviews on various hotels:

Planet Hollywood (http://planethollywoodgoa.com/)
A brand new hotel (4+ star) not too far from the airport. It has opened recently and has a modern, funky feel, which may be liked by youngsters, families with kids, inbound incentive groups. Rooms are well equipped with plenty of Hollywood kind of theme in and around the resort. Could be a good one for Corporates especially young crowd.

Holiday Inn Resort Goa (http://www.holidayinngoa.com/)
Welcome sight to see this hotel go through complete renovation specially lobby and public areas. The product is certainly more than a normal Holiday inn is expected to offer. It can be fit into any market, especially group, conferences segment.

The Leela Goa (http://www.theleela.com/locations/goa)
Most certainly a high-class top of the line resort maintained very well. It remains perhaps the best in Goa. Be particular about selecting right category of room here depending upon client’s requirement as they have many variants. Since it is secluded may not be great for the younger people looking for partying around.

Kenilworth Goa (http://www.kenilworthhotels.com/goa/)
It remains one of the good 4 star option in South Goa. Public areas including entrance, lobby have been renovated. Rooms by and large remain same nothing special but usable.

Nanu Resorts (http://www.nanuhotels.in/)
Perhaps the best 3 star hotel in South Goa. Despite of being one of the oldest they have maintained basic standard right. Being a very old hotel, room size is little small but usable. Good for families and friends traveling together.

Royal Orchid, Majorda, Ramada and Zuri are not in good shape. You may get competitive rates because of their need for business but clients will certainly not be thrilled with the choice of hotel.

Central, North

Grand Hyatt Goa (http://www.goa.grand.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html)
One of the most luxurious product available in Goa. Best option for large conferences and conventions. Being a large hotel and away from beach it is not so good for FITs. Another flip side is quality of crowd because of hotel picking up large domestic conferences could make it not so great experience at times.

Casa de Goa (http://www.casadegoa.com/)
It remains one of the charming, boutique hotels of Goa not too far from the beach. They have two sections one with standard rooms and across the road one with Vilas, which are fantastic for long stays, families who want something different from a normal hotel. Very well maintained rather upgraded over the years. An authentic Portuguese style of architecture, which goes well with the surroundings.

Grand Mercure Goa (http://www.mercure.com/gb/hotel-8861-grand-mercure-goa-shrem-resort/index.shtml)
A relatively new hotel with good size inventory and well equipped conference facilities. Could be good option for both Groups and FITs in north Goa.

The Park, Goa (http://www.theparkhotels.com/goa/goa.html)
Although this hotel is there for some time but I did not visit it earlier. A unique, modern, boutique kind of hotel with limited inventory but an unbeatable location, which is almost on the beach. But be careful about the rooms, which are very modern looking with bathrooms almost in the room may not be appreciated by everyone. With the land being a longish one most of the rooms do not have sea or, beach view.

360 Beach Retreat (www.360beachretreat.com)
Another interesting modern small hotel very close to the beach. They have a nice beach and sack in front. Rooms are small but very well equipped.

In case of any further query about Goa hotels please feel free to check with us.

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