Monday, 20 March 2017

How to Save Money on Road Trips

How to Save Money on Diesel

It’s no secret that the price of gas is continually rising. According to data from the Energy Information Administration, the national average for a gallon of regular gas in mid-January 2009 was $1.83. Three weeks later, the price was $3.44, and in 2012, the average price exceeds $4.00 in some areas.
With no estimated date in sight as to when prices will come down, consumers need to be smart about how to save on fuel costs before they reach the pump. Fortunately, there are many ways to save significantly – without requiring a great deal of effort on your part.
A few years back we looked at our monthly expenses and couldn’t believe how much we were spending in Diesel! There had to be a way to try and cut down what we were paying at the pump. Well I’m sure many of us are all wondering how to save money on Fuel right??!! Especially when you are heading out on a road trip, it is nice to try and save every penny in order to use that money on more FUN things along the way…..well this is what I found to help you along the way.

The first thing we did 2.5 years ago was sell my Tahoe and bought a Hybrid car…..that made an incredible difference! This option isn’t right for everyone as it is small and only holds my children and I (sorry Daddy you’re outta’ luck), but it is a great vehicle to tote the kids back and forth to school, for grocery trips, and if my husband has a meeting that is quite a distance from us. Still…..we have to have a bigger car so we can go on road trips (there are 5 of us total + all our stuff means we are a Suburban sized vacationing kinda’ family) and so finding a way to save on gas (especially for long road trips) was a goal of mine.

This is what I found!! There are many APPs and websites out right now that compare prices, locate the nearest gas station, and direct you to the one that will save you the most money on gas. Many of the websites and APPs are free to use (or just a few dollars) and will save you a lot more money at the end of the day….or trip for that matter. Here are some great ones!

With gas prices lurching upwards, however, the road trip is taking a toll on our wallets. Most families aren’t going to trade in their minivan for a hybrid car. Yet in spite of rising fuel costs, car travel is still by far the most economical and efficient ways to get around.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to use less gas. For example, by simply driving less aggressively you might be able to save as much as 37%. With that tip alone, the effective price of gas drops from $3.79 to $2.39. By incorporating some of the 20 changes below into your driving routine, you might not find the current outrageous price of gas to be such an impediment to your summer road trips after all.

So, how can you make sure a road trip fits your budget this year? Here are some tips:
1. Check Your Tire Pressure

Before you go, check your tire pressure to make sure it is at the manufacturer’s recommended PSI. This little tip will save you on MPG over distances.
2. Remove Excess Weight

Baggage is essential. But sometimes pulling the extra seats out of a minivan or getting rid of non-essentials saves you money on the road. Clear out anything not truly needed from your car.
3. Visit a Mechanic (not just an oil change)

Get an oil change and a tune-up. Ask a mechanic to take an overview of your vehicle before you head out. This can avoid costly repairs at shops along the way. Make sure your mechanic tops off your antifreeze, brake fluid and power steering fluid. He can also check your hoses, belts, and brakes for sign of wear. If you’re headed somewhere warm, ask him to take a look at the a.c. system. Since you’ll be staring out those windows for a long time, make sure your windshield wipers are good. Taking time to do this before you leave can save you immeasurable headache later.
4. Be Ready for a Breakdown

Do you have a spare tire? Make sure one is in your trunk for the unfortunate flat that may come along the way. Also, don’t forget to ensure that your spare tire is actually inflated. Do you have a jack in your trunk? Consider grabbing a rain poncho in case you’re stuck changing a tire in inclement weather.

Roadside assistance programs aren’t expensive, but they can prove invaluable. AAA offers such assistance as jump starts, free tows, and lost key assistance. Your car insurance company may be able to add this service to your auto insurance for just a few extra dollars a month. Look into this before you head out on your road trip.
5. Buy the Cheapest Fuel

Using an app like Fuelzee saves you money by finding you the cheapest fuel. When your fuel gauge gets low, make sure to search Fuelzee and find out where the nearest station is with the best price. Planning ahead for this can save you hundreds of dollars across a long trip. Fuelzee can even search for cheap fuel in any location, so you can check to see if you should get a fill up now, or in 200 miles. Find the cheapest gas stations from San Diego to Sarasota with this little app.
6. Don’t Speed

Each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed, but on average gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. What does this mean? You can safely assume that for each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph you will pay an additional $0.25 per gallon for gas. Try to not speed. (It’s also safer and avoids the risk of paying big bucks for a ticket.)

Paying attention to fuel economy will only save you so much, however. Here are a couple of other great ways to save money on road trips.
7. Use Cruise Control

Turning on the cruise control helps you maintain a constant speed on the highway and, usually, will save you money on fuel. It also helps you feel more relaxed as you travel long distances.
8. Avoid Toll Roads

Use a GPS app like Google Maps, which lets you chose a route without tolls. Sometimes two routes are almost parallel and take nearly the same time, but can save you big bucks by avoiding tolls and turnpike charges.
9. Visit Free Attractions

There are tons of free attractions and great places to visit. Take the time to get a guidebook and research places to visit with free or low-cost entrance fees. Spend a day at your local library looking at guidebooks, and check out a couple for the trip. Museums, the beach, free music festivals, parks and historic sites are great options. Many museums offer free admission on select days. For instance, you can see works of art (from Van Gogh paintings to Egyptian tombs artifacts) for free at NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
10. Save on Food

Pack a cooler before you go. Along your road trip, you may want to stop a local grocery store and grab sandwich stuff for lunches, long drive days, or day trips. Make sure to pack a cooler.
11. Stay for Free

Do you know someone along the way you could crash with? If you are open to crashing on a couch, let friends and relatives know where you’d like to go on your trip and ask for suggestions. Camping is also inexpensive or free. And if you’re up for an adventure, try staying with a free spirit host with Couchsurfing’s website.

Perhaps some of the most famous free stops you can make involve the streets themselves. Fromthe Pacific Coast Highway in California to the beautiful Grand Canyon, the sights along these iconic roadways range from historic to breathtaking. As you drive, explore the little towns along the way — each with its own memorable history, and special attractions. So, are you ready to go? Pick and date, and get started planning your next road trip now!

Driving Habits

1. Drive Less
Between the rising cost of gas and the slumping economy, there are a number of reasons why people are driving less today. It’s not so hard to do either. Combine your errands into one trip to avoid repeat drives into town. Consider walking instead of driving for nearby pick-ups, or drag out that bicycle that’s gathering dust in the garage or shed.

2. Warm Up Your Car for Shorter Lengths of Time
If you wake up to a cold morning, don’t warm up the car for longer than 30 seconds (up to one minute if you must). If you idle the engine for more than a minute, you waste fuel and pump nasty greenhouse gas emissions into the air. Engines of modern cars do not require the extensive length of time that older models needed to warm up.

3. Buy Gas Early or Late in the Day
Purchase gas early or late in the day, especially during warm months. Gas is cooler earlier in the day, and more dense. As temperatures rise, gas density falls and you get less of it when you pump.

Also, buy gas early in the week. Prices typically rise between Wednesday and Saturday, but stay lower during the early days of the week.

4. Slow Down and Drive Steady
Driving fast may be fun, but it also increases drag, which increases fuel consumption. Driving just below the speed limit and driving smoothly (not accelerating quickly) uses gas more efficiently, so you may have to fill up a lot less often.

5. Monitor When and How You Brake
Braking excessively wastes gas and causes your brake pads to wear out quickly. Maintain a safe distance between yourself and the car in front of you when you’re in heavy traffic – that way, you won’t need to brake as often as if you were tailgating.

Also, by keeping a bit more distance between you and the car ahead, you can begin braking earlier, especially when approaching a traffic light. By not having to slam on the brakes at the last minute, you’ll improve the efficiency of your car and save gas.

6. Turn Off the Engine
If you’re waiting outside for your spouse to finish getting ready for your night out, or you’re waiting at a railroad crossing for the train to cross, turn off the engine. Idling is a major waste of gasoline, and contributes massive amounts of pollutants to the atmosphere.

7. Eliminate Wind Resistance
An open window increases drag and costs you fuel in the long run – so keep your windows closed whenever possible. Also, remember to remove unneeded car racks and carriers. If you normally drive around with a ski rack, bicycle rack, or luggage rack on your roof, take it off when it’s not in use to make your vehicle more aerodynamic.

8. Avoid Gas Stations Near the Highway
The first gas station that you encounter after a long stretch of highway will usually be pricey. If possible, plan ahead or drive a little farther toward the nearest town to find a cheaper station.

9. Don’t Wait Until Your Tank Is Almost Empty to Fill Up
If you wait until your tank is almost empty, you may be stuck paying for whatever gas you find conveniently nearby, as you won’t be able to search for the best deal.
Car Maintenance

10. Monitor Your Tires
Under-inflation causes tires to wear out faster and wastes gas. Properly inflated tires reduce friction and offer better gas mileage.

However, temperature changes can cause tire pressure to fluctuate by as much as two to three pounds per square inch (psi), so be sure to check the psi regularly – especially during seasons when the weather shifts drastically. You may also want to contact your car dealer to see if they offer free tire pressure check-ups.

Also, if you utilize snow tires during the winter months, be sure to replace them in the spring. Snow tires cause excess friction on dry surfaces, wasting gas.

11. Tune the Engine
Car engines need to be regularly tuned. A properly tuned engine uses less gas, so if you can’t remember when you last had a tune-up, it may be time to schedule one.

12. Change Filters
Check your filters regularly – especially if you live in a dusty area. Clean filters help to keep cars running more fuel efficiently.

13. Use the Correct Motor Oil
Be sure to use the proper motor oil. If you’re not sure which type your car requires, check the owner’s manual or do a search online. Using the wrong motor oil can cause the engine to work harder and waste gas.

14. Turn Off the A/C
As much as you may love air conditioning, it turns your car into a gas guzzler. Keep it turned off as much as possible. To keep your car cooler, park in the shade and roll the windows down a crack to circulate air.
Transmissions & Fuel Efficiency

15. Drive Manual
Manual transmission cars are more fuel-efficient than automatic transmission. If you drive one, shift up early and shift down late to save on fuel. Also, shift into neutral when the car is standing still to reduce the strain on your transmission.

16. Manage Your Speed
If you drive a car with automatic transmission, use cruise control to manage your speed and conserve fuel.
Planning Ahead

17. Choose the Best Route
Whenever possible, take the route with the fewest stop signs and traffic lights. The shortest route isn’t always the most fuel-efficient way to go.

18. Fill Your Gas Tank Near State Lines
When traveling, fill up near state lines if possible. Due to different tax rates, you may save a bundle just by crossing into another state. If you’re planning a road trip, do research ahead of time to see which states offer the best prices.

19. Consider Buying a Fuel-Efficient Car
Consider getting a more fuel-efficient car. Even several models of affordable non-hybrids can get 40 miles per gallon.

20. Download a Gas App
Using smartphone apps can really help you save at the gas pump – sometimes more than $0.20 per gallon. Several apps are not only available for the iPhone, but also for the Android, Blackberry, Windows phone, and others as well.

Fuel Finder – This APP is only a few dollars and will detect your location (will have to turn on your location first), and then when you touch the pin point near you it will display the price per gallon….fabulous!

MapQuest gas prices – We are all pretty familiar with MapQuest….now they have taken it a step further by showing you the nearest gas stations on your route and when you hover over the # of the station in question it shows you the price of gas there, love it! This is great when planning a long trip as you could pinpoint the cheaper stations and make plans to stop at certain ones along the way, thus saving you money and time!

AAA TripTik This APP by Triple A locates gas stations along your route as well and shows you gas prices. Many of us have used AAA for years to plan the most efficient route for road and business trips, now they provide this gas comparison feature plus voice activated directions to your next destination.

Gas Buddy – This is a free APP that detects where you are (when you turn your location on) and shows you the nearest gas stations with the price of their gas as well.

Fuel My Route – This is a great online site where you put in where you are, your final destination on your road trip, and it pin points the best places to stop along the way that have the cheapest gas. Of course gas prices change slightly from day to day but if you do this right before you head out it should save you quite a bit.

Waze – Large community based traffic and navigation app where people share where accidents are. If you can avoid traffic and knowing the shortest route you will save $ on gas.

If you’re headed out on a road trip you might also like my post on keeping the kids busy on road trips here!

1. Buy discounted gas gift cards

Sites like and sometimes sell discounted gas gift cards for gas stations like Shell, Gulf and Mobil. This means you could get a gas card worth, say, $100 but only pay about $95 for it. That’s $5 in free gas!

2. Drive like a sane person

Sure, traffic jams, slow drivers in the left lane and rubberneckers may make you crazy. But “angry driving” — like rapidly accelerating — can cost you big, says Kelli Grant, the senior consumer reporter “If you peel away from a traffic light like you’re in the Indy 500, you’re going to pay for that,” she says. In fact, in a test by, accelerating slowly from a green light and stopping gradually for a red light cut fuel consumption for someone driving a Land Rover by more than 35% and for a Mustang more than 27%. Furthermore, the study found that cruise control is the way to go on the highway: A Land Rover got roughly 14% better mileage using cruise control set at 70 mph compared to a driver cruising between speeds of 65 and 75 mph; for the Mustang, it was 4.5% better mileage.

3. Strategically time your trips to the pump

During a regular week, you want to fill up your tank on Wednesday or Thursday before 10 a.m., says Chris Faulkner, president and CEO ofBreitling Oil and Gas, a Dallas-based independent oil and gas exploration and production company. The reason: “Gas prices rise on Thursdays in anticipation of weekend travel” and “10 a.m. is when most station owners make their price change for the day,” he writes. “Unless it is an emergency, do not buy gas Friday, Saturday or Sunday.” During the holidays, some experts say that prices could rise in anticipation of more drivers on the road. So, see tip #4 below for finding the best prices before you fill up this 4th of July.

Friday, 17 March 2017


April Fools' Day (sometimes called All Fools' Day) is celebrated every year on 1 April by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. The jokes and their victims are called April fools. People playing April Fool jokes expose their prank by shouting April Fool.More specifically, April Fools’ Day is about making other people look stupid with practical jokes. Some newspapers, magazines, and other published media report fake stories, which are usually explained the next day or below the news section in small letters. Although popular since the 19th century, the day is not a public holiday in any country.Its origins are uncertain. Some see it as a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it stems from the adoption of a new calendar.
April Fools! The date falls on a Friday this year, so keep an eye out for office pranksters.
What happens on April Fools’ Day?
For those who don't know, April Fools’ is a light-hearted day of national japery celebrated every year on April 1st.
Millions of people in homes, schools and workplaces spend the morning of April 1 playing practical jokes on each other in the hope of a quick laugh (and to avoid doing work).
The media love to play the joker and many publications, including The Telegraph, relish the once-a-year chance to publish a fake news story to wind up their readers.
‘Victims’ of April Fools’ jokes are known as April Fools, but only until midday. Then the person playing the joke is considered the April Fool.
Sadly the day, which has been popular throughout the Western world since the 19th century, is not a public holiday.
But why would you want a day off when there’s a legitimate chance to play a joke on your boss?
Where did the April Fool's day originate?
The custom of setting aside a day for the playing of harmless pranks upon one's neighbor is recognized everywhere.Some precursors of April Fools' Day include the Roman festival of Hilaria, the Holi festival of India,and the Medieval Feast of Fools.
In Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392), the "Nun's Priest's Tale" is set Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two.Modern scholars believe that there is a copying error in the extant manuscripts and that Chaucer actually wrote, Syn March was gon. Thus the passage originally meant 32 days after March, i.e. 2 May, the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia, which took place in 1381. Readers apparently misunderstood this line to mean "32 March", i.e. 1 April.[citation needed In Chaucer's tale, the vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox.

In 1508, French poet Eloy d'Amerval referred to a poisson d’avril (April fool, literally "April fish"), a possible reference to the holiday. In 1539, Flemish poet Eduard de Dene wrote of a nobleman who sent his servants on foolish errands on 1 April. In 1686, John Aubrey referred to the holiday as "Fooles holy day", the first British reference.On 1 April 1698, several people were tricked into going to the Tower of London to "see the Lions washed".
In the Middle Ages, New Year's Day was celebrated on 25 March in most European towns. In some areas of France, New Year's was a week-long holiday ending on 1 April. Some writers suggest that April Fools' originated because those who celebrated on 1 January made fun of those who celebrated on other dates.The use of 1 January as New Year's Day was common in France by the mid-16th century, and this date was adopted officially in 1564 by the Edict of Roussillon.
In The Netherlands, the origin of April Fools' Day is often attributed to the Dutch victory at Brielle in 1572, where the Spanish Duke Álvarez de Toledo was defeated. "Op 1 april verloor Alva zijn bril." is a Dutch proverb, which can be translated to: "On the first of April, Alva lost his glasses." In this case, the glasses serve as a metaphor for Brielle. This theory, however, provides no explanation for the international celebration of April Fools' Day.
Whatever the gag, it usually ends with the prankster yelling “April Fool!" when the victim falls for it. To give you a sense of how seriously some people take April Fools' Day, 


In India, there have been numerous references to April Fools' Day in both cinema and popular literature and people are jovially associated with the day. In Indian cinema, Hindi movie April Fool (1964 film) along with its title song is popular.

२४ मार्च - अंतर राष्ट्रीय क्षय रोग दिवस

२४ मार्च - अंतर राष्ट्रीय क्षय रोग दिवस

क्षय रोग/टीबी/तपेदिक के प्रमुख तथ्य।

  • भारत में होने वाली मृत्यु के कारणों में से एक टीबी है। इस बीमारी के कारण हर तीन मिनट में दो व्यक्ति और दिन में एक हज़ार व्यक्तियों की मृत्यु हो जाती है।
  • प्रत्यक्ष प्रेक्षित ट्रीटमेंट, छोटा-कोर्स की रणनीति, भारत में पिछले पैंतीस वर्षों में टीबी के क्षेत्र में किए गए शोध पर आधारित है।
  • भारत में वर्ष १९९७ के बाद डॉट्स का सफ़लतापूर्वक संचालन संशोधित राष्ट्रीय क्षय रोग नियंत्रण कार्यक्रम के अंतर्गत किया गया है।
  • टीबी से पीड़ित बहुत सारे रोगियों में दवाओं के प्रति रेजिस्टेंट विकसित होता है, जिसे बहुऔषध-प्रतिरोधी तपेदिक (एमडीआरटीबी) कहा जाता है। डॉट्स को एमडीआर टीबी के उद्भव को रोकने में प्रभावी पाया गया है।
  • एचआईवी से पीड़ित व्यक्तियों के टीबी से पीड़ित होने की संभावना अधिक होती है।
  • टीबी पर अक्संर पूछे जाने वाले प्रश्न।
टीबी शरीर के अन्य अंगों में भी फैल सकता है, जिसमें निम्नलिखित शामिल है:-
  • लिम्फ नोड्स (लसीका नोड टीबी)।
  • हड्डियों और जोड़ों (कंकाल टीबी)।
  • पाचन तंत्र (गैस्ट्रोइंटेस्टाइनल या जठरांत्र टीबी)।
  • तंत्रिका तंत्र (केंद्रीय तंत्रिका प्रणाली टीबी)।
  • टीबी का उपचार करने के लिए सबसे बेहतर प्रबंधन पद्धति डॉट्स (प्रत्यक्ष प्रेक्षित ट्रीटमेंट, छोटा-कोर्स) हैं।
 मुख्य लक्षण
  • दो सप्ताह से अधिक समय तक लगातार खांसी होती है, जिसके कारण कफ़ (श्लेष्मा) पैदा होता है।
  • आमतौर पर, साँस लेने में कठिनाई (तकलीफ़) होती है, जिसकी शुरुआत हल्की होती है, लेकिन यह परेशानी धीरे-धीरे बढ़ जाती है।
  • वज़न में कमी या भूख न लगना।
  • उच्च तापमान ३८ डिग्री सेल्सियस (१००.४ फेरनहाइट) या इससे अधिक हो सकता है।
  • अत्यधिक थकान या थकावट होना।
  • अधिक से अधिक तीन सप्ताह तक अस्पष्टीकृत दर्द होना।
( आज के दिन क्षयरोग के कारक कीटाणु की खोज हुई थी )
 यूं तो हर दिन ही अनवरत इस रोग के बारे में जानकारी प्रासारित कर आम जन को रोग से बचाव व उपचार की जानकारी दी जाती है | पर आज विशेष रूप से यह किया जाना नियत है |
 आज  whatsapp user प्रबुद्ध जनों से इस कार्यक्रम में सहयोग आग्रह व अपेक्षा करता हूं |
 यह अब लगभग सभी को पता है कि *15 दिन से ज्यादा की खांसी टी बी हो सकती है |
* निकट की शासकीय सुविधा में खखार जॉच करायी जानी चाहिये |
* रोग पाये जाने पर पूरा इलाज मुफ्त ऱोगी के निवास के निकट ' आशा ' के माध्यम से प्रदान कराया जाता है |
* आशा अपने सामने ही रोगी को दवायें गटकवाती है|
 ( इस सामने ही दवा खिलाने को डॉट्स  DOTS - यानी Directly Observed Treatment Shortcourse कहा जाता है )

 डॉट्स मतलब
सलाह मुफ्त
जॉच मुफ्त
इलाज मुफ्त
वो भी रोगी के गॉव में....
 * यह कोर्स ६-८ माह का होता है |
* रोगियों को विशिष्ट आदर पूर्ण व्यवहार दिया जाता है |
 लगभग ४-५% रोगी अल्पग्यता के चलते पूरी अवधि इलाज नहीं लेते | परिणाम स्वरूप उनकी टी बी जटिल, "औषधि रोधक" MDR Tb - Multi drug resistant  प्रकार की हो जाती है | जो स्वयं को तो लंबी रुग्णता व अंतत: म्रत्यु प्रदान करती ही है, साथ ही समाज में स्वस्थ व्यक्तियों को प्रथम दिन से ही जटिल प्रकार की टी बी फैलाने का काम करते हैं |
* यूं तो क्षय नियंत्रण कार्यक्रम में इस प्रकार के ' होने ' को रोकने हेतु व्यवस्थायें हैं पर प्रबुद्ध जन के सहयोग के बिना , अपर्याप्त...
 आप से निवेदनुपरांत, अपेक्षा है कि जब भी अवसर हो जरूरत मंद को यह जानकारी propogate करें.|
 विशेष अनुरोध है कि यथा संभव अपने आसपास कभी भी किसी को भी टीबी का इलाज अधूरा न छोड़ने दें | पहली बार में पूरा इलाज नियमित रूप से लेने हेतु प्रेरित करें |

 ये न सोंचें कि किसी को टी बी हो रही तो हो... हमें क्या !
 यह हवा से ही फैलती है... कल ...हम और आप तथा हमारे आपके वंशज आज के प्रयासों से ही सुरक्षित हो सकेंगे|
 यह आग की भॉति है ...कहीं ये हम पर चरितार्थ न हो ....." आग को होती नहीं अपने पराये की तमीज़ ....ये बात भूल गये आग लगाने वाले ...!"
 यदि हम आसपास ग्ञात रोंगियों को नियमित पूरा इलाज पूरा करने को प्रेरित नहीं करते तथा अनियमितता ग्यात होने पर उनहैं नियमित नहीं करवाते तो यह आग लगाने के तुल्य ही होगा |

 क्रपया अपने सभी ग्रुप में भेजें  ...आग होती नहीं अपने पराये की तमीज़.२४ मार्च - अंतर राष्ट्रीय क्षय रोग दिवस

Navratri 2017 - 2018 Dates

Navratri 2017 - 2018 Dates
One of the greatest festival Navratri is a nine-day festival. This festival is dedicated to the nine manifestations of Goddess DurgaThis festival is celebrated twice in a year with great devotion and fervor in all over India As per the Hindu calendar, Chaitra Navratri 2017 is from 28th March to 5th April. The most important Navratri in a year is the Sharadiya Navratra which begins on the first day of the bright half of Ashvin or Ashwayuja 21th September 2017 to 30th September 2017 as per traditional Hindu calendar. You can share this dates and calendars with everyone you care about and elevate the festive mood.
Vasant or Chaitra Navratri March - April 2017 dates 

Chaitra Navratri Dates

During Chaitra Navratri ninth day is celebrated as Ram Navami while after Sharad Navratri next day is celebrated as Dussehera or Vijayadashami, the victory of good over evil. 
Sharad Navratri is the most famous between these two Navratris. On both the auspicious occasion during Chaitra and Sharad Navratri, nine forms of Goddess Maa Durga - Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skanda Mata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Maha Gauri and Siddhidatri are worshipped by the devotees. 
The devotees worship these nine incarnations of goddess Durga till nine days to get blessing of Maa Durga. It is believed that People who worship Maa Bhagwati, do fasting and chanting mantras during Navratri will be blessed with prosperity, health and wisdom in their life. Jaagran has also been made by the devotees during navratri nights. 
Navratri celebration and worshipping style is different in every state of India but the devotion is same for Navratri festival. It is celebrated widely in every part of India with great enthusiasm with a different name of Goddess, like in Gujarat devotees worship as Goddess Jagdamba while in West Bengal it is named as Durga Puja. In Kolkata people erected huge Pandals at various places for Durga Puja and set up great idols of Mata Durga for worship. In Gujarat, Dandiya and Garba are the two popular dance forms which are performed by the people during Navratri festival.Chaitra Navaratri is also known as Vasant Navratri, celebrated more popularly with great pomp and devotion in the northern part of India,specifically in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand. Devotees all across the country do fasting till nine days, sing hymns and do Kanjak puja to get the good health, wisdom and blessing of Maa Durga.
According to Hindu lunar calendar, Chaitra is the first month and the first day of this month is celebrated as the Hindu New Year. Chaitra Navratri is the end of the winter season and begining of the summer in India.

    Vasant Navratri or Ram Navratri also known as Chaitra navratri -2017

    Chaitra navratri, also known as Vasant Navratri or Ram Navratri, is a 10-day festival dedicated to Goddess Tara of Dus-Mahavidya. In the year 2017, Chaitra or Vasant Navratri will be from 28th March 2017 to 5th April 2017. These are very auspicious days for the tantriks, sadhaks for saadhna and also for any other specific tantrik pooja to resolve the materialistic problems.
    Chaitra Navratri Tantrik Anusthan
    During these Chaitra or Ram navratri auspicious days, extensive prayer is offered to request earnestly Goddess Durga for blessings. In the period of Navratri consecrated chants of Durga Saptashati are done which is a part of Markandeya Purana. The mantras in the book narrate how Goddess Durga was empowered and provided with divine weapons by our Trinity of Gods (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) to decimate Mahishasura and various other demons. Vamtantra conducts tantrik anusthan of Shri Durga saptshati, Shrimad-devi Bhagwat, Devi Mahaatmya and other texts invoking Goddess Durga are cited by vamtantra during this period of nine days.
    By keeping fasts, chanting shlokas and mantras, the devotees show their regard for the Goddess. It is believed that during Navratri, the Goddess promptly heeds to devotees and fulfill wishes. She is worshipped in the three forms of the divine femininity, as the remover of vices, as the bestower of wealth and prosperity and as the Goddess of wisdom.
    It is celebrated with primary intention to propitiate Shakti and to bestow upon us all wealth, prosperity, knowledge both sacred and secular, and all other required positive energies. Goddess Durga is known for alleviation of distress; showing great kindness toward the distressed.A particular ritualistic worship of the Goddess is performed daily, along with the recitation of the Durga Saptashati.
    Navratri Vrat or Navaratri Vratam
    Navratri Vrat or Navaratri Vratam is an important fast observed by Hindus.  It is believed that those devotees who perform Navratri fasting will find happiness on earth and will receive ‘moksha.’ Legend has it that, how to observe the Navarathri Vrat was once narrated by Goddess Durga to one of her ardent devotee. The Vratam is observed by both men and women and Navratri mantra is repeated during the period. One must carefully work upon his/her aahar (food), vyavhaar (behaviour) and acharan (character) during these sacred days. 
    Aahar - One should always avoid non vegetarian foods and consuming "Satvik" food like fruits, Kutu Ka Aata, Singara Ka Aata, Curd and Potatoes is considered to be auspicious. Usage of Onion and Garlic should be avoided.
    Vyavhaar and Acharan - During Navratri festival all devotees should worship Maa Durga with spiritual emotion.
    Navratri Pooja Vidhi:
    Get your house cleaned and ready. You are inviting Goddess into the home. Usually this is done on the Amavasya, a day before the beginning of Navratri.For performing the Navratri Pooja, you need to wake up early in the morning. Get up sharp at the sunrise.Take bath and wear laundered clothes. Sprinkle 'Gangajal' all over the Puja room.Keep 'deep' at the left side of the deity.Light the 'Akhand Jyot'. Keep in mind that you should not leave the house vacant if you are lighting the 'Akhand Jyot'. Someone must stay back at home.
     On the right hand side of the idol, keep incense sticks etc. Now, offer sandalwood powder and some fresh grass,fresh flowers to the Goddess. Then, offer the sari or dupatta to the Goddess. Keep yourself prepared to do the Puja with full devotion and concentration. Keep the kalash and coconut as well. Lay the mat and sit in an upright position in front of the deity. Light the 'deep'. Ring the bell or blow the 'Shankh'. Place some sweets in front of the Goddess. Next, offer 'paan' with a clove placed on it. If you are married, then offer two such paans. Perform 'havan' using this mantra- "Om aing hreeng kleeng chamundaya vichche namah". Give aahuti for 11 times. Fold your hands and pray. At last, offer prasad and do aarti of Goddess Durga. Sing the "Kshama Prarthana" of the 13th chapter of sacred Durga Saptshati and conclude the Puja. Pray with whole heart.The Durga Saptashati book should be kept carefully and respectfully.
    Each day fresh flowers and fruits are offered to the Goddess. Arati is performed and bhajans are recited.The Mantras and Bhajans to be recited Devi Mahatmya (Durga Saptashati) and Sri Lalita Sahasranama are recited during the period. 
    For 'Kalash Sthapna':
    On the first day of the Navaratri, a small bed of mud (taken from any auspicious place) is prepared in the puja room of the house and barley seeds are sown over it. On this Bed a Kalash made of Earthen/ Copper is kept and filled with water. Above the pot a bowl filled with rice is kept. A dry Coconut wrapped with mango leaves is then kept over this Kalash. This Kalash is believed to be a symbolic form of Goddess Durga. By keeping Kone invocate the goddess in the Kalash.
    On the tenth day, the shoots are about 3 - 5 inches in length. After the puja, these seedlings are pulled out and given to devotees as a blessing from god. This Kalash must not be touched during the nine days. One diya is lit close to this Kalash which is supposed to burn endlessly for nine days. This is known as Akhand Jyoti.
    Many people believe that the length of the Shoots determines the Quantum of income that they will have in coming six months. This belief could have been because India is basically an agrarian economy wherein the productivity of the land determined one's income.

    Wednesday, 15 March 2017

    Marathi Vikram Samvat (2131)2074 Begins

    Marathi Vikram Samvat (2131)2074 Begins
    Prathama Tithi Begins at 19:48 on March 27, 2017
    Prathama Tithi Ends at 21:44 on March28, 2017
    Gudi Padwa is the Marathi festival, which is celebrated because Hindu New Year (known as “Samvatsara” in Sanskrit) begins from this day. As per the Panchang, Nav Samvatsar begins from the Pratipada of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) of Chaitra month.
    Gudipadwa Muhurat
    1. The Samvatsara begins on the day when Pratipada (first day of a fortnight; also known as “Padva”) is prevailing during the sunrise.
    2. If Pratipada is prevailing on the sunrises of 2 days, the first day is considered for the celebration.
    3. If Pratipada is not prevailing during the sunrise of any day, Nav Varsh will be celebrated on the day when Pratipada is beginning and ending.
    In case of Adhik Maas (extra month added after every 32 months, 16 days, and 8 Ghatis), below given rules will be followed:
    If it is Chaitra Adhik Maas (the extra month), Nav Samvatsara will begin from its Pratipada only. It is because Adhik Maas is the part of its original month only. Hence, along with the original Chaitra month, Adhika Chaitra is also considered the part of the New Year.
    When To Perform Gudi Padwa Rituals
    Below given things can only be performed during the original Chaitra month:
    • Nav Varsh Phal Shravan (listening to the New Year’s horoscope)
    • Taila Abhyang (oil bath)
    • Nimba Patra Prashan (eating Neem leaves)
    • Dhwajaropan (flag hoisting)
    • Navratrarambh (beginning of Chaitra Navratri)
    • Ghatsthapana (establishing Kalash/holy stoup for Navratri Puja)
    But, Nava Varsha Naamgrahan (naming ceremony of the New Year) during Sankalp must be done in Adhik Chaitra Shukla Pratipada only. The name of this Samvatsara is Sadharan 2074. It is also the Shri Shalivahan Shak 1939 and the name of this Samvat is Hevilambi.
    King of Nav Samvatsara (Varshesh)
    Lord (astrological planet) of the first day of the New Year is considered as the Lord of the year. In 2017, the Hindu Nav Varsh day is Tuseday. Hence, lord of the Hindu New Year 2017 is Mars.
    Guddi Padwa Mantras
    These Mantras can be chanted as per the relevance of your worship procedures. Some people keep fast on the day. Mantras for them as well are given below:
    Morning Vrat Sankalp:
    ॐ विष्णुः विष्णुः विष्णुः, अद्य ब्रह्मणो वयसः परार्धे श्रीश्वेतवाराहकल्पे जम्बूद्वीपे भारतवर्षे अमुकनामसंवत्सरे चैत्रशुक्ल प्रतिपदि अमुकवासरे अमुकगोत्रः अमुकनामाऽहं प्रारभमाणस्य नववर्षस्यास्य प्रथमदिवसे विश्वसृजः श्रीब्रह्मणः प्रसादाय व्रतं करिष्ये।
    Shodashopachar Puja Sankalp:
    ॐ विष्णुः विष्णुः विष्णुः, अद्य ब्रह्मणो वयसः परार्धे श्रीश्वेतवाराहकल्पे जम्बूद्वीपे भारतवर्षे अमुकनामसंवत्सरे चैत्रशुक्ल प्रतिपदि अमुकवासरे अमुकगोत्रः अमुकनामाऽहं प्रारभमाणस्य नववर्षस्यास्य प्रथमदिवसे विश्वसृजो भगवतः श्रीब्रह्मणः षोडशोपचारैः पूजनं करिष्ये।
    After Puja, the fasting person must chant this Mantra:
    ॐ चतुर्भिर्वदनैः वेदान् चतुरो भावयन् शुभान्। 
    ब्रह्मा मे जगतां स्रष्टा हृदये शाश्वतं वसेत्।।
    About Gudhi Padwa
    Gudipadva has several names as per the different regions in India.
    1. Samvatsar Padvo is celebrated among Konkanis of Goa and Kerala. 
    2. Rest of the Konkani diaspora in Karnataka know it as Yugadi.
    3. People from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana celebrate Ugadi.
    4. Kashmiris celebrate it as Navreh.
    5. Sajibu Nongma Pānba or Meetei Cheiraoba is celebrated in Manipur.
    6. Chaitra Navratri begins from this day for North Indians.
    On this day, Marathis hoist the Gudi. That is why this festival is known as Gudi Padava. Gudi is made on a bamboo stick by placing an inverted Kalash of silver, copper, or bronze over it and adorning the bamboo with a beautiful cloth (usually, it is of saffron color and made of silk with brocaded borders). The Gudi is then adorned with Gaathi (sugar crystals garland), Neem leaves, a mango twig, and red-flower garland.
    The Gudi is hoisted at a higher place like terrace in home so that it is quite visible to everyone. Many people also stick it on their windows or the right side of their doors.
    Significance Of The Gudi
    People hoisted Gudi in history when their King Shalivahana defeated Sakas and came back to Paithan, as it is considered as the symbol of victory.
    2. Some people also hoist Gudi to commemorate the victories of Chhatrapati Shivaji.As it is believed by some that Lord Brahma created the universe on this day, Gudi is also believed to be the Brahma Dhwaj (Lord Brahma’s flag). Some people also consider it as Indra Dhwaj (flag of Lord Indra). Hence, for some, it is also the beginning of the spring season.Some people also hoist Gudi as the symbol of the Lord Rama’s return to the Ayodhya after 14 years of exile.Usually, it is believed that hoisting Gudi brings prosperity in life. Gudi is also known as Dharma Dhwaj to many and its each part has a meaning. The inverted pot is considered as the head and stick is considered to be spine (as bamboo has the vertebrae, just like human spine).For farmers, Gudhipadva is celebrated as the end of Rabi crop season and the beginning of the new harvest season. They plough their fields on this day to ensure a good harvest throughout the year.Gudipadava is one of the most auspicious Sadhe Teen Muhurats (3 and a half most auspicious days) of Hindus. These Sade Teen Muhurats are Chaitra Shukla Pratipada (Gudi Padawa), Vaishakha Shukla Tritiya (Akshay Tritya), Ashwin Shukla Dashami (Dussehra), and half Muhurat is considered on Kartik Shukla Pratipada (Diwali). Being quite auspicious, many people start new ventures and investments on this day.

    The Hindu New Year 2074 or Vikram Nav Varsh Samvant

    The Hindu New Year 2074 or Vikram Nav Varsh Samvant in the traditional lunar Hindu calendars followed in North India – especially in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkand, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Delhi and Chhattisgarh is celebrated on Chaitra Shukala Pratipada (March – April). In 2017, the Nav Samvat begins on March 29. The New Year is first day after the Amavasi (No moon) in the month of Chaitra. The current year is known as Soumya Samvatsar.
    Nav Varsh Samvat 2074 in Gujarati calendar begins on October 20, 2017.
    Saka Era 1939 begins on March 29 in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.
    Vikram Era was started in 57 BC by Emperor Vikramaditya as a commemoration of his victory upon the Shaks. This victory took place at Ujjain, one among the four places associated with Kumbh Mela. This Hindu calendar is also known as Vikram Samvant.
    According to the traditional Hindu calendar followed inNorth India this is year Vikram Samvat 2074. This calculation of Hindu New Year is based on the Luni-Solar calendar. A month in the calendar is calculated from the day after full moon to full moon (Pratipada tithi after Purnima to Purnima). This is known as Purnimanta system.
    The calendars followed mainly in North India are based on the Amanta and Purnimanta system. Amanta calendar is calculated from New moon to New moon. Purnimanta is calculated from Full moon to Full moon. Amanta is used in some places for calculating festivals and other auspicious days.
    The Amanta Lunar calendar starts with Chaitra month. Amanta is used fix all the major Hindu festivals in North India. Even those communities that prefer the Purnimata calendar use Amanta calendar for fixing festivals.
    It must be noted here that Gujarat follows a different calendar system and there the New Year falls on the day after Diwali – the calendar is popularly known as Vikram Samvat – the current year in Gujarati calendar is Vikram Samvat 2074 (It will change only on October 20, 2017).
    Similarly, the official Government of India calendar, the Saka Calendar, has its New Year in Chaitra month but it falls on March 21st or March 22nd.
    #MaaDurga#Shailputri#Brahmacharini#Chandraghanta#Kushmanda#Skanda Mata#Katyayani#Kalratri#Maha-Gauri#Siddhidatri#Jagdamba#Chaitra-Navratri#Ramnavmi#Dussehera#Vijayadashami
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