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METRO mart Volume 3 Issue 7 January 2014

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T H I R U VA N A N T H A P U R A M

Enchanting

Varkala

Hornbill in the city Refreshing Handloom Fashion My Kabab memories of Lucknow Lakshadeepam, a Spectacle of lights Attukal Pongala, an offering for the soul

ON FACE K Srikant, Chairman, SFS Homes www.metromartdaily.com

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My heartfelt new year wishes to the cityites. We must look forward for the future and leave the past. I too believe in being optimistic but until and unless we identify and learn to correct our mistakes from the past, we will be using our present and future to redo our mistakes which is complete irresponsible to self as well as to the society. 2013 is history and like every year 2014 was welcomes with a lot of happiness, expectations, celebration in the city. It’s high time we should analyze the changes we brought in our life during the last one year, as well as to our city. I am sure there are a lot of positive and constructive steps we built in our life and surroundings, but sure it must been better. This realization must help us in keeping our focus to build a better tomorrow. Our city requires responsible citizens and leaders to keep her healthy and wealthy, to take care of her lakhs of children.

Foreword

Dear Readers,

Kerala was famous for its handloom globally and lost its glory due to several reasons. To revive the handloom industry and to support the struggling families of the weaver craftsmen, state government in association with social entrepreneurship start up The People’s Company initiated Hornbill Brand handloom clothing line in the city this month. A collection of sixty garments consisting of 20 designs were launched at Czarina Designer Boutique by P H Kurien, Principal Secretary Industries & IT by giving the first merchandize to Sheila James, Czarina. We are sure Hornbill will create more new ventures to revive our conventional industries in the state.

Hari Shanker Manag8ing Editor

Our state is blessed with a lot of natural beauty for which we are called God’s own country. You can find every kind of places in the state, be it backwaters, beaches, hill stations, scenic beauty, pilgrim centres etc, an ideal place for people who wants to be with the Mother Nature. Our city itself possess a lot of tourist attractions, and one of the recently developed and popular destination is Varkala. With Chief Minister Umman Chandi announcing Varkala, the fifth taluk, the destination is going to grow in infrastructure. In this edition of METRO we are featuring Varkala, a small town in the city over last couple of decades made a mark in the global tourism map. We look forward more planned eco friendly developments in this part of the town bringing more career opportunities to the localites as well as for the state tourism revenue generation.

We have featured a lot of our regular ingredients for your reading delight. Let me take leave to prepare the next edition of METRO and we look forward your suggestions and guidance to make METROMART, Smart! www.metromartdaily.com

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CONTENTS Volume 3 Issue 7 January 2014

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Hornbill in the city Refreshing Handloom Fashion

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Toddler to Kids can now dance with Toonz!!!

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Made in India Inspired Collections @ Vedhika

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Customer focused treatments Kuts & Curls

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My Kabab memories of Lucknow

Editorial Assistant

Ampili Nair

Creative Assistant

Sayan Chaudhuri

“Fulfilling Dreams and creating Lifestyle”

GM Administration

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Inspiring Lifestyle awaits you at a Perfect Location

Corporate Office:-

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Ride on to Wayanad for MTB Kerala 2014

ON FACE

Attukal Pongal: All set for World’s biggest Women Empowerment

Last Leaf

V Viswanath

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Sub Editor

Enchanting Varkala

Lakshadeepam,a Spectacle of lights

Recipe

Photos by Sajan J.S

Managing Editor Hari Shanker hari@martinfotech.in CEO & Managing Director Siji Nair sijicn@gmail.com

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Annual Subscription `400

Roopesh Shekhar GM Sales

Sibu Nair Binoy Krishna

Photographer

Sajan J S

Metro Mart Thiruvananthapuram Jayaraj Plus Towers, Murinjapalam, Medical College Post Trivandrum - 695011 Tel: +91 471 6065511/ 9947733339 Email: metromart.tvm@gmail.com Bangalore Office:-

No:217, 3B Main, OMBR Layout Bangalore – 560 043 Tel: +919038000711 Email: info@martinfotech.in

Published, Edited and Printed by Hari Shanker A G and Owned by Haritha Media Pvt Ltd and Printed by him at SB Press Private Limited, Statue, Trivandrum 695001 and Published from Tharangam, Kodunganoor Post, Trivandrum 695003 Metro Mart is a monthly journal published from Trivandrum. Views and opinions expressed in the journal are not necessarily those of the Publishers. Metro Mart reserves the right to use the information published here in any manner whatsoever. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information published in this edition, neither the Publisher no any of its employees accept any responsibilities for any errors or omissions. © All Rights Reserved

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RNI No: KERENG/2011/40037

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SHOPPING

Hornbill

in the city

Refreshing Handloom Fashion Startup firm joins hands with Government to revitalize Kerala’s traditional looms

Hornbill, a first-of-itskind clothing line aimed at rebranding Kerala handloom globally and supporting the state’s struggling weaver craftsmen community, was launched as part of a joint initiative by the Government of Kerala and social entrepreneurship startup The People’s Company. The first limited edition of Hornbill, consisting of 20 exquisite designs by leading designers and a collection of 60 garments, was launched by P H Kurien, Principal Secretary, Industries and IT, at the Czarina designer boutique in the state capital. The People’s Company, which has been set up by six young people who graduated from the College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram (CET) this year, has partnered

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the Government of Kerala for a project called ‘Operation Phoenix’ to help revive the state’s ailing handloom sector where more than 50,000 traditional weavers are struggling to survive. “The response from the

industry to the project so far has been very positive,” said Kurien. “The youth who are behind this are setting an example with their spirit of entrepreneurship and their social commitment. I’m sure Hornbill will go on to become an international

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brand.” “We have got tremendous encouragement and support for this venture from the state government,” said Raqib Rasheed, Chairman of The People’s Company. He said the driving force of Hornbill and Operation Phoenix are a group of youth who chose a social cause over well-paid corporate jobs. The first edition of the Horn bill line consists of ethnic women’s wear designed with intricate hand embroideries and block prints, glistening bead works, and tailored to perfection. Hornbill brings the fabrics woven from the highest quality silk and cotton from the looms of Mayyil in Kannur and Balaramapuram in Thiruvananthapuram. The Hornbill collection also features cotton silk, a fabric developed on a market scale for the first time by Kerala Handlooms. A number of student groups across the state have assisted the project, including the Hornbill branding, logo design and its promotion. WebopX, a start-up from CET, created the vibrant graphic designs while the artwork and structure for Hornbill’s visual merchandising www.metromartdaily.com

P H Kurien, Principal Secretary, Industries and IT launching the Hornbill brand at Czarina designer boutique by handing over the first product to Sheila James, Owner Czarina came from fourth year architecture students of CET. As part of the Operation Phoenix, The People’s Company will integrate all weavers’ societies into a single production system and create linkage between new generation fashion designers passing out of national institutes, and traditional weavers, with the larger goal of breathing fresh life into the industry. The young entrepreneurs had focused their attention towards the rejuvenation of the weavers under the mentorship of then

Additional Chief Secretary (Industries and Commerce) V Somasundaran, and Kurien. According to the plan, all products will be commissioned as per approved designs and market viability. Besides redoing and renovating the showrooms, the programme will also try to expand the market for handloom products. A key element of the project is to create a platform to connect the existing infrastructure and industry with the vast number of new generation fashion designing and arts graduates who are also looking for jobs. January 2014

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SHOPPING

Toddler to Kids can now dance with Toonz!!! • Plans to open 100 stores in next one year across the country Toonz, leading brand in Children’s apparels and accessories started their 1oth Showroom in Kerala at Trivandrum. The showroom is situated at LMS compound Near CSI church , Palayam. With an aim to expand its operation across India and cater to the needs of children between the age group of 0-12 years, Toonz Retail India Private Limited launched its one stop store for kids in the Capital said Sharad Venkta, Managing Director & CEO of Toonz. Wowmom and Superyoung are the two brands that Toonz has been promoting since its establishment. While Wowmom takes care of all the needs of new born babies till their toddler age, Superyoung on the other hand shall take care of the children’s expectations between the age group of 2-12 years.

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These two brands are sold across the country at “Toonz” exclusive brand outlets as well as through online sales. Toonz is a one stop shop for all needs, all occasions, all pockets, all things small or big and for all that a parent or child can think of. “The idea is to provide several options to our customers under one roof. We have covered all the requirements of a kid or a parent through this one stop shop. Be it apparels, toys, books, cosmetics, toiletries or party accessories, one can have

all the option in this kids store. Also what make us different are the smarter products with better pricing and quality” said Sharad Venkta, Managing Director & CEO of Toonz. In order to guide and help parents choose the product of their choice, the company will offer the service of child and product experts. Toonz Store will have shopping buddies who shall accompany kids and parents to different segments. Apart from this company shall also provide home delivery and gifting services through its stores.

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Toonz began its operation in 2010 when it opened its first store in Bangalore. Since then Toonz has come a long way and has emerged as one of the most sought after brand for kids. In last three years, the company has opened 42 stores in different parts of the country and is planning to take its tally up to 142 stores in next 12 months. The company has invested Rs 50 Lac to 75 Lac in each store. “Toonz� outlets across the country are either Company owned Franchise operated model

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or Company owned company operated Stores. At present Toonz has four stores in Delhi, two stores in UP, three stores in Haryana, two stores

in Punjab, 11 stores in Andhra Pradesh, Nine in Karnataka, nine in Kerala and two in Tamil Nadu. The company intends to open another 10 stores in Kerala soon.

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SHOPPING

Made in India Inspired Collections @Vedhika Enjoying an endearing patronage across Kerala, Vedhika boutique is the first designer shop in Kerala to foray in to ethnic haute couture. The ‘Made in India’ show by Vedhika was the launch pad of this couture. The first part of the Vedhika couture collection is through this ‘Made in India’ collection.

The collections at Vedhika celebrate the flower power, paint in color the dreams of women, display the artistic and passionate nature, and reflect graceful splendor and eternal sanctity.

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The Tres chic collection of Contemporaria revisits Indian sensibility with an international understanding. The sarees, stoles and kurtas of Kalamkari fabrics at Vedhika are great works of art. Inspirations of the motifs in Kanjivaram sarees are the carvings in the temples of Kancheepuram. In addition to this, Vedhika has introduced the houndstooth jacquard weave for the first time ever. The Kashmiri collection comprises of a rare harmony of Kashmiri with Kancheepuram silk, Organza, kundan work, zari work, deep velvets,

kotas, etc. Vedhika also celebrates Kerala with the motifs of Nattuvallam, Kathakali face and others. Vazhakkola and Peacock feather are some of the ‘nature’s bounty’-inspired prints. Maithri Anand and Anupama S. through their innovative takes on ethnic wear have successfully changed the style principles of the city. Vedhika has spread its wings from daily, festive and designer to couture, luxury and bridal wear by launching its new line ‘Vedhika Couture’. The

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“We have now reached the stage where everybody is so busy. It is the time of the speed bug, where people have realized that we do not have time. So they have started going back to their roots, to their values, to our textiles which are handcrafted. In fact things all over the world, all handcrafted things are back in vogue. Be it Savile Row or may be Complication Watches by Vacheron Constantin, Steinway & Sons Piano, everything is actually going back to the handcrafted things where luxury is measured in terms of man-hours spent behind crafting a product. So Vedhika couture is about handcrafted products. We are trying to create the same magical effect created by master craftsmen in their chosen field. So that is what we are trying to create in Indian designer textiles.” Maithri Anand Vedhika

brand celebrates the heart and soul of Indian heritage, tradition and culture through a kaleidoscope of textiles. The variety of designs available at Vedhika caters to women across ages. This designer shop has a

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good understanding of contemporary women’s fashion necessities. At the same time the significance of traditional craftsmanship is well attended to. The quality of clothing materials made available at this boutique is ascertained to be high.

Uniqueness of designs is another feature that the clients can be happy about. Vedhika ensures that there is always a vast collection of designer wears that their customers can explore and take home to enhance their wardrobe.

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BEAUTY & HEALTH

Customer focused treatments

Kuts & Curls ‘Kuts & Curls Skin and Hair Spa’ was established more than two years ago. Mini Anilkumar the leading force behind Kuts and Curls has an experience of more than 20 years in this field. Through his extensive experience in India and abroad, Anilkumar takes care of the business aspects.

Anil Kumar Hair treatments are the major feature at Kuts & Curls. Changing texture of hair, softening of hair without texture change, hair relaxing treatment, etc. are done at this saloon. The hair relaxing treatment by cutting layer enables easy management of hair. Hair softening leads to easy handling of hair without shortening the length. Hair cutting and styling, colouring, oil massage, smoothening

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and straightening are some of the common treatments of hair done at this saloon. All types of makeups, facials, bleaches, pimple treatment, etc. are carried out under skin care. Pedicure, manicure and waxing are also offered at Kuts & Curls. Kuts & Curls offers on-site Bridal Make-up. They provide a special bridal package at their saloon. The products used at this saloon are of L’Oreal, which are very effective. Sterilized instruments are used for the various skin care services and hair style treatments. The treatments provided at this saloon are customer oriented. Customers are consulted on what they require. Kuts & Curls makes it possible for the customer to realize their preferred nature of hair styling and beauty care.The staff at Kuts & Curls is experienced and caring. Staff is selected only after rigorous screening.

Mini closely monitors the beauty treatments provided by the staff to their customers. Kuts & Curls keeps in touch with the young crowd by participating in major events in colleges. Kuts & Curls have a steady customer base. New clients turn up through word of mouth. More than advertisements people come to this saloon after seeing the work they have done for existing customers. Kuts & Curls is within easy reach, being located at Naalumukku, Pettah in Thiruvananthapuram. Even though they have a growing beauty saloon clientele and support to start another branch, both Mini and Anilkumar say that they would concentrate in a place, as they want to give their customers undivided attention.

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DINING

My Kabab

memories

of Lucknow My liking for Kababs began while I lived in Unnao a place close to Lucknow - the Capital city of Uttar Pradesh. Those days I had frequent trips to Lucknow during weekends with my childhood friend Syed Nauman Hamid who had many relatives settled close to Clarks Awadh hotel in the heart of Lucknow’s shopping district. Many dhabas dotted this place with many specialties like biryani and Kababs. During my visits to this place I would order a different kabab each time along with the usual tandoori chicken and sheek kababs. I remember the subtle flavors of well-made shammi kababs and the tender portions of mutton boti kabab.

Lucknow or Awadh, as this city was known earlier, lie in the populous heartland of North India. The famous Nawabs of Awadh were as much known for their gastronomic sophistication as they were for their extravagant lifestyles and love for the performing arts. Their kitchens (called bawarchi khanas) took pride of place in the royal courts, as did their bawarchis or rakabdars (gourmet cooks). The bawarchis and rakabdars of Awadh gave birth to the dum style of cooking or the art of cooking over a slow fire, which has become synonymous with Lucknow today.

Nimal Panicker

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Their spread would consist of elaborate dishes like kababs, kormas, kaliya,

nahari-kulchas, zarda, sheermal, roomali rotis and warqi parathas. The richness of Awadh cuisine lies not only in the variety of cuisine but also in the ingredients used. There is a history for food in Lucknow. The famous Tunda Kebab is so named because it was a specialty of an one-armed chef. The uniqueness of this kebab is the masala which is a zealously-guarded family secret and prepared by women in the family. It is said to incorporate 160 spices. There are multiple stories surrounding the famed Kakori kabab. This kabab is considered blessed since it was originally made in a place of the same name in the dargah of Hazrat Shah Abi Ahder Sahib with

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divine blessings. Another popular story attributes this melt-inyour-mouth kabab to an ingenious chef who prepared this for the ageing and toothless Nawab of Kakori. However, here’s another version I discovered: Kakori is a small town about 14 km from Lucknow. This belt is widely known for Dasheri Mangoes, Zardozi work and kababs. This place became famous when some Indian revolutionaries forcefully snatched the government’s treasury from a train during the British period. In the same period it was also customary in this region for the rich Rajas and Nawabs to entertain senior British Officers with the best hospitality they

could offer. And if it was the mango season, then dinner in a mango orchard was arranged with a variety of chilled mangoes served in great style. At one such party in Kakori, stung by the remark of a British Officer regarding the coarse texture of Seekh Kabab, the host, Nawab late Syed Mohammad Haider Kazmi summoned his rakabdars, hakims and attars the very next day and asked them to evolve a more refined variety of the Seekh Kabab. Ten days of incessant research and design efforts resulted in the now famous ‘Kakori Kababs’ which was as far as perfection could go. The mince for the kabab was to be obtained from no other part but the raan ki machhli (tendon of the leg of mutton) and rawaz

or animal fat was replaced by khoya, black pepper replaced by white pepper and a brand new mix of powdered spices which still remains a closely guarded secret added to the perfect blend. And of course, the Nawab invited the same officer again and presented the new version of the Seekh Kabab and needless to say it met with great applause. Since then the Seekh Kababs of Kakori became famous by word of mouth and even today, though cooked elsewhere, are known as ‘Kakori Kababs’. Lucknow is proud of its Kebabs. The Tunda Kebab in the alleys of Lucknow’s Chowk area has now existed for over a hundred years and is popular even today. The Kakori Kebabs, Gilaouti Kababs, Shami Kebabs, Boti Kebabs, and Seekh Kebabs are personal favorites, among the many I have indulged in. The Seekh kabab, introduced in this region by the Mughals, was originally prepared from beef mince on skewers and cooked on charcoal fire. But later influences and innovations led to the use of lamb mince, which

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was preferred for its soft texture. Besides, serving of it did not offend the sensibilities of any Hindu guests. The immense popularity of this kabab led to further refinements and improvements (also leading to the Kakori Kabab). Shami Kabab was what any feast worth its name would consist of in the month of May when the mango was still raw. Made from mince meat, the kababs are round patties filled with spicy surprises and the tangy `kairi’ or raw green mango. Nehari kabab is a post rain delicacy seasoned with mustard oil buried for nine months in a mud pot under a tree and opened after the rains. The mustard plant is harvested in February and March. Another unusual offering is

the Pasanda Kabab, picatta malai gilori and lassi to of lamb marinated and name a few. And then my then sauteed on a griddle. parents moved back home I lived in Awadh region from my childhood to teenage, discovering the many culinary delights in the serpentine lanes of the old city of Lucknow Rahim-ke-kulche nihari, Bismillah-ki-biryani, Munna Chaat, Radhey-ki

to Kerala and also new opportunities came by me and I moved from city to city for better prospects and found a whole new world of kababs and curries waiting to be discovered! I am sharing some experience through my Classic Kabab a la carte food festival that I have put together for Classic Avenue, Trivandrum, where I am presently working as General Manager. The author Nimal Panicker is The General Manager of Hotel Classic Avenue , Trivandrum .

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COVER FEATURE

Enchanting Varkala Over the years, Varkala has been transformed from being a sleepy small town to a well-acclaimed international destination. A destination rich with cultural heritage, scenic beauty and pilgrimage centers. Being just 55 kms from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, the town has good transportation, medical facilities and other public utility services.

V. Viswanath

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The Greco-Roman ‘The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea’ describes of a Red Mountain and a place called ‘Balita’ with a harbour and a village by the sea. This could well be Varkala with its Red Cliffs. The fact that the area was mentioned in a mid-1st century sailing guide makes one wonder about the status Varkala had at that time. Further, it makes one think about the current situation in Varkala. Of course, we cannot compare the situations in 1st century and now, but we can discuss of what has happened over the last few decades. Metro Mart Thiruvananthapuram in this issue is highlighting the best in Varkala.

Varkala was the southern tip of the then efficient north-south backwater canal system until around 1880’s. To enable continued journey through the backwaters to Thiruvananthapuram a tunnel - drilled through the cliffs - was completed in 1880. The tunnel project was one of the major development initiatives of the times. This allowed direct water transportation from Tirur to Thiruvananthapuram. The 2000-year-old Janardanaswamy Temple is situated in Varkala. Referred as the Southern Benares, the temple is near the Arabian sea shore. This Hindu pilgrimage center is supposedly the place

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where devas did penance to please Lord Janardana. A bell with the names Peter von Belson and Michelle Evarald is at the temple. This is said to be donated by the captain of a Dutch vessel which sank near Varkala without any casualties. Near Varkala, atop the Sivagiri hill is the pilgrimage center of Sree Narayana Gurudeva. Thousands of devotees visit the Samadhi or the tomb of the Guru. Ever since the Guru came to Varkala and Sivagiri hill in the early 1900s, the public has been attracted to this solitary hill. The Saradha Mutt at this place was installed by the Guru in 1912. The Guru promoted values of spiritual freedom and social equality. The beach in Varkala is known as ‘Papanasam Beach’. ‘Papanasam’

means washing away the sins. During the Malayalm month of ‘Karkidaka’, people throng the Papanasam Beach to perform sacred rituals in memory of the departed souls of their ancestors. The beach is believed to have holy waters which would purge the body of impurities and the soul of all sins. The water at Papanasam is also considered to have medicinal properties.

Varkala is the Kappil

Another beach near

development aspects.

Beach. This stretch of beach is most sought after by tourists who like to get tanned. The scenic location offers a lovely view of the backwaters and the sea. It is 8 kms from Varkala. The confluence of the backwaters, the river and the sea can be seen at Kappil. In our next issue, we would continue with focus on Varkala and its

Varkala – the Fifth taluk in Thiruvananthapuram The fifth taluk in Thiruvananthapuram – Varkala – was officially launched by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. MLAs Varkala Kahar, B Satyan and V. Sasi, District Panchayat president Ansajitha Russell and District Collector K.N. www.metromartdaily.com

Satheesh were at the event. The function was presided over by Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash. With the inauguration of the new taluk office at Puthenchantha, 14 other offices too started functioning. Varkala taluk has an area of 18,518

hectares and includes Varkala municipality, and the 11 panchayats of Madavoor, Edava, Chemmaruthi, Vettoor, Elakamon, Navayikkulam, Pallikkal, Manamboor, Karavaram, Ottoor and Cherunniyoor. January 2014

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My home away from home home to Varkala - it was a good short time but I enjoyed.

Hedi Typolt

The year 2000 is ever memorable. I visited Varkala for the fisrt time. Stayed in a good hotel next to the empty beach. When I was on the beach I wondered, only a life guard was there and the beach was divided with a string, one side the local people and tourist on the other side . It was the time attraction to be a swimmer in a bath dress.

I had good days, silent places, friendly people, I visited Kovalam with a young taxi driver and his brother - there was only an ice man with his wheel icebox-nothing more – and to find the way back it was necessary to go the airport and then he found the way

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Since then I am a regular visitor to Varkala things changed, new buildings, new outfit, the touristic business.I think my taxi driver from the year 2000, is now a perfect one - he knows the route to Kovalam and back to Varkala with out visiting the airport!

places so near the cliff and Varkala – it is not the end when you have seen one tempelfest and katakalil and also when you are more interested in the real life from Kearla, you have to taste the original food and learn more about vegetables and fruits which are used in the healthy diet in Kerala.

The real taste and life is not easy to find, only in a private household – many Now I am a little bit older tourists like it more and and can stay longer need more and are interested in some treatments – and the lifestyle of Kerala – sea I feel better with the you can have everywhere treatment in Dr C G Jairaj but the special weather Hospital – got good friends and healthy life style here – a famous painter in combination with a from vienna Mrs Emmy treatment in Kerala can Cero Friedl – Museum help to stay healthy from der Phantasten in Vienna the winter time in europe. – visited many other places in Kerala – learned 14 years passed, lot of more to see outside from change – now a days I Varkala. have a look to stay longer – can enjoy, of www.holidayhomevarkala. course I will come again blogspot.com the cliff is and again--to be at my wonderful but not at all – home - home away from there are many unknown home

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What not to miss at Varkala Lord Janardhana Swamy temple Lord Janardhana Swami temple is an ancient temple which have a heritage of over 2000 years is the first temple of Lord Janardhanaswamy which is the sacred form of Lord Vishnu. Offering obeisances to the departed souls and forefathers is the important ritual. The nearness to

‘Papanasam beach’ facilitates devotees to make their offerings for those who passed away. Fisherman’s village The village is situated besides the beach exposing a traditional job title of Kerala. A visit to the village provides attractive information about the lifestyle and working style of fishermen in the seaside. The spot gives a view on the swing of

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group work and effort. The mode of fishing and sailing to the heart of sea is an enchanting sight . Kappil Lake The kappil lake is an estuary which at last merges with Arabian sea at the spot of Kappil beach. Before the merge the lake densely decorated with greenish coconut grove gives the elegant visual of ecstasy. A traversal through the lake will be an ideal choice to enjoy the real and pure beauty of nature with the background score perfectly tuned by small waves shrinking on rocks far away on the beach and the cool wind.

depicts the heritage of decades showcasing sacred saint life of India, their dedication and sacrifices for the wellbeing of society. The mutt mainly have the tomb of Sree Narayana Guru, a sage and well known social reformer of Kerala. The place quotes out the whole life of Narayana Guru and his contributions for the society. The hill top square of the mutt gives a nice panoramic view of Varkala

Sivagiri mutt Sivagiri mutt situated at Varkala is a spiritual destination that

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and its scenic landscape. Anchengo fort Anchengo fort is an ancient monument which stays as a symbol of British invasion in India, it was the trade settlement of British East India company in Kerala. Other than historical value the fort is a good tourist spot as it lies between the sea and backwater which is an awesome view for everyone. The Anjengo fort was built in 1695. Anjengo means ‘Anchu thengu’ or five

coconut trees . As the name inscribes the land is completely vegetated with coconut palms which sways gently over the backwater. Varkala Beach The beach holds an elongated golden sand carpet which stretches towards the deep blue

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sea. The clear water, swaying coconut trees and almost warm and fresh envelope of air add up the beauty. The shallow, clean and clear water here is safe too for a cool dip. This shore bags the status of one of the top ten seasonal beaches in the world. Fresh water spout The fresh water springs are yet another wonders of the beach. Amidst the salty sea water the cliff oozes cool, fresh water springs through which one can taste and feel the presence of nature, the signature of almighty. The mineral water springs moreover reside as a wonder for the visitors. After a long dip in the sea these springs can offer a fresh bathe that

can lead to a moment of experiencing the nature. Raja Ravi Varma Paintings This coloumn ,we invite you to a royal palace and a prince who made us pride among the wizards of painting.The royal birth tookplace at kilimanoor,20 kms west to varkala beach. The kilimanoor palace holds a very special rank in the hearts of those, who love the real natural fine arts of painting. Raja Ravi Varma shoots to fame,with his style of painting, in the mids of 18th century.

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ON FACE

“Fulfilling Dreams and creating Lifestyle” For three decades SFS Homes have been building apartments, villas and posh gated communities that are a statement in style, quality and innovation across the spectrum of residential and hospitality sectors. At SFS new lifestyles with high standards are created, fulfilling the dreams of discerning home owners. K Srikant - the Chairman of SFS Homes, has been spearheading the international marketing operations of the company for years and possesses great knowledge of prominent markets. He is a Senior Cambridge from Loyola School, Trivandrum, received an MBA from Cochin University of Science and Technology. His focus on customer orientation, fresh approach and constant industry updates has kept the company abreast of its times. He was the state chairman of the Builder’s Association of India. He travels widely and is a keen golfer. He speaks to Metro Mart on SFS and the construction industry.

K Srikant Could you please give us an overview of SFS Homes? We have been in this field for 29 years. This is our 29th year. We are a very customer-focused company and quality oriented. We have got

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November December January 2014 2013 2013

customers from Austria to Zambia, over 3000 customers worldwide. That helps us now and would in the future also. We do not have a single dissatisfied customer. We have always given delivery of projects on time every time. In spite of all the constraints – it could be non-availability of cement, sand, steel, metal – still we have always managed the situation by stocking well in advance. For example, in the months of February and March, traditionally there is a difficulty in obtaining steel. But then, we have stocked all these for the difficult months. We are

an ISO company. We are the highest rated company by Credit Rating and Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL). We have got DA2 certification, which is the highest for any developer in Kerala. One of our projects has also got a 7-star grading from CRISIL. Apart from that, the SFS staff are very well experienced. Our staff has an average experience of over 20 years in the industry – in construction, marketing, finance, HR, etc. So that is why we are a growth-oriented company. We have acquired land for the next few years. We have already done licensing. We comply with

METRO mart T H I R U VA N A N T H A P U R A M


every single rule. We do not have a single issue or a tax demand pending with the government. Another unique thing is, we are the first builder in South India to give individual water metering for flats. Nobody has done it. Now probably others are trying to follow. What are your latest projects? We have launched a new project near the Museum, Thiruvananthapuram called ‘Only one’. It is a very exclusive project with one apartment per floor. The finishes are all Deluxe ++. Apart from that we have launched another project in Kazhakoottam called ‘Tivoli’. It is part of a three-tower project called ‘Gateway’. It is where the MC Road and the National Highway meet at Kazhakoottam. During the recession years did SFS have any problem? Fortunately for us, we had no problem. Customer references kept us going. They have such faith in us that they keep on coming back to us and giving us good references. How has the expectation of customers changed www.metromartdaily.com

over the years? Customers have become much more knowledgeable. They are more demanding, because most of our customers are well-traveled. They have seen the best that the world can give and over 50% are NRI. So they know the standards and they expect us to follow those things. What is the approach of SFS Homes to eco-friendly construction? We are the first, I repeat, we are the first to do a residential green building in Thiruvananthapuram. It is called ‘Grande’ on the VellayambalamSasthamangalam road. For the project ‘Stanford’ at Mukkola near St. Thomas School, Thiruvananthapuram, we have got a pre-certification or a Gold Rating. Gold is a very high rating. Above that there is only Platinum. There is normal Green, then Silver, then Gold and then Platinum. We have been precertified. The project is in

foundation stage, still they have such confidence in us – the Indian Green Building Congress who give the certification. We are very much oriented towards eco-friendly construction. Technology has changed over the years. How do SFS and the staff keep up? Yes, technology has changed. We sent them continuously for training and upgradation courses. We teach them new practices. We ask them to go to other sites in the country and even abroad, so that they learn the latest construction practice. On our side, we have improved on machinery. We have our own tower crane, batching plant. We have got mixers, etc. What is your message for upcoming builders? Please follow all the rules. Do not try to short cut. The temptation is too much, but it is not worth it. There could be delays in licensing – it is okay. Follow every rule in the book. January 2014

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METRO LIVING

Inspiring Lifestyle awaits you at a Perfect Location A great way of enjoying the supremacy of township living!

is easily accessible to Sreekariyam, Karyavattom and Kazhakootam -

PJ Homes White Fence

Venjaramoodu Bypass.

is intended to bring out

It has an easy access to

the warmth of township,

Technopark, a landmark in

planned in an area that

state’s IT Corridor and the

is inherently peaceful

nearness of commercial

with nature’s sacred

centre( Sreekariyam )

spirit, which ensures you

boosts the diginity of the

that you are able to get

location.

away from the-strenuous city living to a calm and a healthier existence in

White Fence provides all the charm and gentleness

and so on. PJ Homes highly qualified team of property experts, architects and civil engineers includes some of the most competent professionals in the industry having decades of experience that enable us to offer the best in design, quality and service. From luxury apartments to exclusive villas PJ Homes

of life close to nature,

design every project with

coupled with the comforts

style and comfort in mind.

urban amenities.

of extra wider internal

For more information call

roads, heath club,

Tel:+91 471 - 3016111 Email:

The project comprises

children’s play area, round

info@pjhomes.in or Visit-

of 24 villas. White Fence

the clock security service

www.pjhomes.in

commune with nature, without compromising on

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January 2014

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33


METRO EVENT

Ride on to Wayanad for

MTB Kerala 2014 God’s Own Country Kerala has a huge potential for adventure tourism. Department of Tourism has initiated Mountain Biking in an effort to tap this segment of tourism in Kerala, MTB Kerala 2012 was conducted in November starting from Thenmala and concluding at Kovalam. 120 cyclists participated at the event.

from India included those

There were participants from Brunei, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand and other countries in this competition. Contestants

through Kerala Adventure

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January 2014

from Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, and the Northeastern states such as Manipur. The Second Edition of MTB Kerala International Mountain Cycling Challenge is being organized by the Government of Kerala, Department of Tourism Tourism Promotion Society on February 15th 2014 at Pozhuthana, Wayanad. International contestants

from more than ten countries are expected to participate for this Challenge. This year the cycling competition is located in Wayanad. Wayanad with its hills, rocks, caves, waterfalls and valleys is an ideal place for adventure tourism. The hill stretches near Perungoda-Kallor Road in Pozhuthana Panchayath has been selected as the track with approximate length of 4.8 kilometers. The

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“Through ‘MTB Kerala 2014’, we intend to highlight internationally the unlimited opportunities for adventure tourism in Kerala. Wayanad is an apt location for Mountain Biking. A mountain bike park could be considered in Wayanad on successful completion of the event. We already have registration from 7 countries for the competition. More than 50 national riders have registered till date. This event is held in association with Wayanad Tourism Organization and the support of Wayanad DTPC.” Asha Jose

CEO , Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society (KATPS) event in 1996. The terrain

(Elite Men) and National

circuit is varied and the

Cross-Country Competition

distance is around 5-8 kms.

XCO (Elite Men). The

moderate skill level.

MTB Kerala Race is being

winner of the international

held in two categories

competition can take

Cross Country Mountain

- International Cross-

home a prize amount of

Biking became an Olympic

Country Competition XCO

Rupees Two and a Half

circuit track would meet International Cycling Union (UCI) standards and of

Lakhs while the national

Location

category winners would have a prize amount of

The hill stretches in Perungoda , Pozhuthana in Wayanad district and is situated 7 kilometers far from Vythiri and 76 Kilometers from Calicut.

Rupees One and a Half

Track

Mountain Cycling

Five kilometer circuit track with moderate skill level and international Cycling Union (UCI) standard. The track is preparing in a tea plantation, which belongs to Harrison Malayalam Limited (Achoor Estate). Cross Country The first mountain biking world cup series took place in 1991 in Purgatory, Colorado. There are seven types of competitions in Mountain biking vis Cross country, Short track cross country, Down hill, Super D, Free ride, Dual and four cross.

Lakhs. MTB Kerala - International Challenge is open to professional and amateur male riders. It is just a distance of 76 kms from Calicut for the travelers to reach this cycling competition. Pozhuthana is 7 kms from Vythiri. For all those cyclists who want to register, online registration is made available at the website http://mtbkerala.com.

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September November January 2014 2013 2013

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METRO EVENT RECIPE

Lakshadeepam, a Spectacle of lights What if a thousand stars descended upon earth? This was the radiance that reflected from Sree Padmanabha temple on this Makarasankranthi day. The light, colors and the ambience What an enriching spectacle!

It was Lakshadeepam,

taken around the temple

lit as a part of the

accompanied by musicians

culmination of Murajapam,

and priests could be

a fifty six day veda recital

seen. Temple authorities

held once in six years to

confirmed that more than

enhance the energy of the

20,000 entry passes were

presiding deity and for the

issued. No untoward

prosperity of the nation at

incident took place even

large.

after crowds came in

Even before the temple

Ampili Nair

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January 2014

teeming hundreds.

gates opened, long queue

It was mirth everywhere.

of people trying to get

Every by lanes, every alleys

an entry into the temple

surrounding the temple

for watching the seventh

were in a jubilant mood

and culminating Seeveli

to see their’ Perumal’

a procession in which

in full grandeur. All four

the presiding deity is

doors facing east, west,

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north, south and the one

the accompaniment of

integrity of the royal family

that leads to Bhajanpura

nadaswaram and chenda

that ruled Travancore

palace was thrown open.

came the” Perumal “along

once. You may withdraw

People were seated on all

with Lord Narasimha

Privy Purse and other

sides of the temple, hours

Moorthy and Lord

embellishments of royalty,

before the stipulated time

Thiruvanbadi Krishna.

the regality or the innate

of the Seeveli. The most

Even the celestial bodies

nobility of royal blood

amazing feature of the

like stars and moon were

cannot be effaced.

whole process was the

paying obeisance to Sree

disciplined behavior of

Padmanabhaswamy.

the crowd. Their behavior

The nobility of the Royal family of Travancore, their

The premises had literally

humility and piety as Sree

become a sea of milk

Padmanabadasa or servant

After circumambulating

of Sree Padmanabha is

The chanting of ‘Hare

three times round the

legendary. It is said that

Rama Hare Krishna’ by the

temple the Lord was

the Maharaja before

devotees augmented the

taken to the sanctum

leaving the precincts at

sanctity of the event. The

sanctorum and was put to

the gate scrubs his feet

usual melee associated

sleep with nadaaswaram

together so as not to take

with temple festivals was

playing neelambari ragam.

even the dust particles of

missing clearly indicating

The crowd slowly plied

Sree Padmanabhaswamy

the awe and respect

their way back to their

temple. Venerable indeed

the lord and the royalty

homes.

they were !

It all started as a goodwill

The majestic structure was

was quite befitting the solemnity of the occasion.

have in the hearts of the people.

gesture of erstwhile

illuminated by one hundred

Moolam Thirunal Rama

Travancore king Anizham

thousand lamps .The oil

Varma, nephew of late

thirunal Marthanda Varma

lamps were lit inside and

Chithira Thirunal Bala

as a part of imparting

along the seevelippura. It

Rama varma who was

five righteous virtues

was really a visual treat to

anointed as the head of

or sat karmas including

see the majestic gopuram

the royal house led the

sacrament, festivals, pooja

all decked in the glow of

seeveli with folded hands.

or invocation, offering

one hundred thousand

He was immediately

feast or Annadana and

lamps.

followed by members

Veda japam or reciting

of the royal family and

Vedic chants.

then by Brahmins who

The floating idol of the Sree Padmanbhaswamy in

A tradition initiated

a reclining posture or in the

way back in 1750AD

eternal sleep of yoga nidra

still honored in all its

in Padmatheertham pond

The Pageantry

intricacies and piety! It

which is of the same size as

followed then with

speaks volumes about the

the presiding deity in the

were chanting hymns and selected guests.

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temple was also illumined Murajapam as the name itself reveals is a continuous chanting of the sacred verses of Rig, Yajur and Sama Veda by dividing it into eight parts completing each part or mura in seven days. A sreebhootabali or seeveli as generally known is held every week to mark the end of one mura. The idols of Lord Padmanabhaswamy, Lord Narasimha and Lord Krishna are taken out on garuda vahana in a grand procession during seeveli. One chapter from each veda will be completed in one day thereby finishing it on the fifty sixth day of commencement.. Devotees are free to partake and sponsor this seeveli. The royal family meticulously makes arrangements well ahead of the rituals to look after the well being of more than200 vedic scholars, of which 45 come from Kanchi Kamakodi peedam. The Scholars and the ‘Asta vaidyans� are given royal reception and preparations for a homely stay commences nine

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November January 2014 2013

months before the event ,remembers Pooyam thirunal parvati bai in a magazine brought out on the occasion. She also find Murajapam as an opportunity to watch other cultural programmes other than Kathakali as the temple premises provide various artists an opening to display their talents. The Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple, one among the 108 sacred Indian temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu, has a hundred foot and seven tier gopuram. The temple with a corridor of 365 and one-quarter sculptured granite-stone pillars with elaborate carvings were decked with vazhakula and coconut for the occasion .

Eighty foot flagstaff greets you at the centre of the main entrance. Inside the sanctum sanctorum the Lord is seen as reclining over Adi sesha the Serpent. The lord can be seen through three doors. Shiva is worshipped through the first door and Lord Brahma through the second and lord Vishnu at the third door. Lord Vishnu along with his consort Bhoomi devi and Lakshmi devi could be seen through the middle door. It is believed that the lord is in Yoga nidra and protects Ananthapuri from all calamities. . The ever benevolent glance of Sree padmanabhaswami showers his blessings incessantly.

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METRO EVENT

Attukal Pongal: All set for World’s biggest Women Empowerment It is said that the Goddess Bhagavathy revealed herself to an ardent devotee of the Mulluveettil family. A young girl appeared before the head of the family while he was performing his oblations in the Killi river on an evening and requested him to help her cross the river. Impressed by her charismatic demeanor, the old man bent before her with awe and reverence and not only helped her cross the river but took her to his house nearby. However, while the household members were preparing a warm welcome to the young girl, she vanished. The Goddess Bhagavathy appeared as an icon before the old man in his dream at night and asked him to establish an abode for her in the nearby sacred ground of shrubs and herbs (kavu), at a marked spot. When the old man went to the spot it was as in the dream. A temple was erected in this place to house the Goddess. Over many years local devotees renovated the

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January 2014

building and also installed a beautiful and majestic icon of the Deity with four arms, bearing weapons of destruction in each, like spear, sword, skull, and shield. The consecration ceremony of this Exalted Being was performed by the high priest of the Badrinath Temple. The Goddess at Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is worshipped as the Supreme Mother, creator of all living beings and the mighty preserver. It is believed that Vishnumaya

took the incarnation of Bhagavathy to annihilate evil and protect the good in the world in this era of Kaliyuga. There is a mythological story that Attukal Bhagavathy is supposed to be the divine form of Kannaki, the famous heroine of Chilapathikaram, written by Ilankovadikal, the Tamil Poet. Kannaki - after the destruction of the ancient city of Madurai - left the city and reached Kerala via Kanyakumari and on the

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This year we are expecting around forty lakhs of devotees would come to offer Pongala. To evaluate the preparation for Pongala festival first a meeting of councilors was presided by V Sivankutty MLA. A second meeting involving various government departments was held by Devasom Minister V S Sivakumar. There will be two stages where programmes such as classical dance and musical concert will be conducted. A L Vijayakumar Vice President, Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Trust

way to Kodungalloor took a sojourn at Attukal. Kannaki is believed to be the incarnation of Parvathy, the consort of Paramasiva. ‘Thottampattu’ which is sung during the annual temple festival is based on the story of Kannaki. This story is further validated by the architectural depictions of Goddess Kannaki seen on the Gopuram temple.

Attukal Amma cares for them like a mother does her children. They vouch that Attukal Devi is the supreme power, capable of granting all their wishes. There are many who testify the supreme power of this temple. They would give evidences of how their wishes have been fulfilled. People from far and wide visit this shrine to receive blessings and to seek an end to their sufferings.

The devotees believe that

Lakhs of devotees pray

with utmost devotion at the feet of Attukal Bhagavathy. Any day, a visit to the temple would give one a glimpse of the diverse nature of devotees visiting this temple. They might be seeking good health, offspring, salvation or just peace. The well-known saint Sri Vidyadhiraja Chattambi Swamy had found the premises of Attukal Bhagavathy Temple an ideal place for his meditations.

Arrangements for the Pongala festival are almost done. A festival committee of 111 members and 9 sub committees have been formed and its activities are being carried out. The members of all the committees are very dedicated to the festival. Around 5000 police personnel would be deployed during the festival. Voluntary organizations in this area have been contacted to coordinate water, food, and other facilities. This year, there would also be a Gajamela and Kudamattam on February 8th – the first festival day. M.S. Jyothish Kumar Secretary, Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Trust

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FESTIVAL

Attukal Pongala,

an offering for the soul A silent revolution in the offing, a celebration of feminity ! Come to Thiruvananthapuram on an Attukal pongala day, you will be able to perceive this. You could see the otherwise weaker section of society roaming with confidence at the pitch dark night. No other day they have this demeanor. It’s the confidence that Attukal amma instills on them. They literally become a Durga with courage on one side and love and benevolence on the other. Ampili Nair An entire city engulfed in the spirit of dedicating oneself at the feet of the goddess Attukal Amma This is Attukal pongala, the largest women congregation in the world where at least one person from each household and thousands from outside the district and even abroad throng the temple to see their deity once.

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December January 2014 2013

When in distress to whom do we reach out to ? Its invariably mother, the ever inspiring pillar that never fail even if the whole world turns against us. Her lap is always our abode, ever nurturing and ever solacing. Attukal Amma is this and more to the teeming millions that gather here to offer pongala on the pooram star of Malayalam month Kumbham. Arrangements are all progressing to make this year’s Attukal pongala that falls on !6th of February2014 a grand experience Pongala festival , a ten-day long festival that starts on the karthika star of

Malayalam month Kumbham ends with the sacrificial offering or kuruthitharpanam at night on the tenth day. Pongala is celebrated on the ninth day of the festival. The pongala commemorates the reception accorded by women to Kannagi who took a sojourn at Attukal on her way to Kodungalloor after slaying King Pandya. The pongala with a literal meaning ‘that which boils over’ is a rice porridge with jaggery , coconut gratings and raisins offered to appease the goddess Attukal Amma. After the offering is made, the temple priest consecrates it by sprinkling holy water

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premises cannot afford to accommodate the millions, the public roads, pavements, government offices, schools, colleges, bus terminals, railway stations and courtyards are thrown open to offer Pongala. K P Ramachandran Nair Chairman

over the earthen pots. The pongala can be interpreted as the representation of god realization through five elements like fire, air, water, earth and space. Women, from all walks of life, irrespective of caste and creed assemble around the temple precincts to a radius of 7 km to offer pongala naivedium to Attukal Amma. Since the temple

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January 2014

The festival begins with the musical rendering of the saga of Goddess Kannagi called’ thottam pattu’ along with the kappukettu ceremony. An ambience of solemnity and sanctity prevails throughout the festival. It symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. The temple authorities, voluntary organizations, local people, festival committee members and various government departments see to it that

M Radhakrishnan Nair President

the festival is conducted without a hitch. Law and order is ensured with the support of the police and volunteers. Those who had participated once cannot hold them back and come back the next year with more vigor.. To what can we attribute this feel to, other than the charisma and the love that Bhagavathy showers on them.

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EVENT SCAN

Uplifting the

Coir Industry ‘Coir Kerala’ began in 2011. It is the biggest international event on coir and natural fibre products. The focus initially was on increasing the domestic and export market for coir and coir products. There is another idea behind this and that is to make Alappuzha the hub for coir industry. For that we need to attract all players to Alappuzha.

Anil K R, Director of National Coir Research & Management Institute (NCRMI)

In 2006 coir export amounted to around Rs.600 crore. Gradual interventions to boost trade began right from 2006. 2011 saw the trade increase to Rs.800 crore. We had ‘Coir Kerala’ in 2011, 2012 and 2013. After ‘Coir Kerala 2013’ the export became around Rs.1,117 crore. Domestic market increased from around Rs.1,800 crore in 2011 to more than Rs.3,000 crore now. ‘Coir Kerala’ is held keeping in mind several objectives. The main is to improve the standard of living of coir workers. Another aspect is increasing export market. The impact of increased production means workers would have more workdays and thereby income. 80% of the coir industry workers are women. There have been sustained efforts by the government over the last several years for the upliftment of coir industry. Substantial increase in wage pattern is seen during this period due to

these interventions. It should also be seen as a positive result arising from the successful attempts at projecting coir. ‘Coir Kerala 2011’ had 32 foreign buyers attending the event and Indian institutions were around 50. In 2012 the number of foreign buyers became 76 and domestic was 75. There was a quantum jump in 2013 – around 136 foreign buyers from about 32 countries and around 150 national buyers. Simultaneous increase in exhibitors and quality of products is also seen. For ‘Coir Kerala 2014’ we are expecting about 160 foreign players from around 46 countries. Domestically more than 250 have registered for the event. About Rs.100 crore of business happened during last year’s Coir Kerala. This year we anticipate Rs.150 crore of business. About 100 international and 150 national stalls would be put up at ‘Coir Kerala 2014’.

Coir Kerala 2014 in Alappuzha The 4th edition of the biggest annual international event on Coir and Allied Natural Fibre products is being hosted at Alappuzha from February 1st to 5th, 2014. The event would include expositions

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January 2014

by manufacturers, display of value-added and latest range of coir & natural fibre products, innovations in technology & products, and seminars, discussions and presentations on upcoming trends and future markets by eminent

personalities. Following the phenomenal success of Coir Kerala in 2011, 2012 and 2013, the event has turned out to be the most influential and comprehensive annual event for the development of coir industry.

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METRO SCAN

TCS City Learning Campus to be world’s largest corporate training facility Tata Consultancy Services a leading IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, announced that it is setting up the world’s largest corporate learning and development center with a total capacity to train 15,000 professionals at one time and 50,000 professionals annually. The proposed TCS Learning Campus in Thiruvananthapuram will be located on a 97-acre property in the Technopark area of the city. The campus will be built over an area of 6.1 million square feet and feature residential accommodation for

professionals and faculty at the center. TCS with an employee count closing in on 300,000 is India’s largest private sector employer. Most of its workers are based in India and the average employee age is 27 years. This year, TCS will hire 50,000 employees. The humongous facility will train ‘India’s next generation of engineers and professionals,” TCS said in a note. At a ceremony at TCS’

current training facility, TCS Peepul Park, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh was the chief guest and laid the foundation stone for the project. The orientation of the buildings has been planned to take advantage of prevailing wind conditions and increase passive cooling. The campus is planned as a sustainable facility with rain harvesting, 100% waste recycling and energy efficient systems.

poolwo Set to create a splash in the virtual world www.poolwo.com, the brainchild of five Malayalees, is open to the e-world. Dr. Sashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, inaugurated the website. Poolwo.com is designed to let users understand the world better, unlike other social networking

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January 2014

websites. There is no dearth of websites providing entertainment and information, but poolwo. com combines these and is truly an infotainment website. An array of services that have never been offered

under a single platform is the main highlight of poolwo.com and will help them to foray easily into the world of social media networking.

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METRO SCAN

Kerala To become World Travel Bloggers’ Capital Come March and ‘God’s Own Country’ will become the capital of travel bloggers across the world. In a pioneering initiative, Kerala Tourism has launched an unprecedented online campaign to bring the world’s best bloggers to the state for an on-theroad experience. The ‘Kerala Blog Express’ will be a two-week-long road journey from the south to the north of the state on a branded luxury bus.

Travel writers, photographers and bloggers, who already have their own blogs, were eligible to enter the selection. The registration for the ‘Kerala Blog Express’ journey ended on January 10. The profiles of the participating bloggers are available on the Kerala Blog Express website for voting, by the general public. The followers of the participating bloggers on social media like Twitter and Facebook are also eligible to vote. The online

global travel is concerned,” Hari Kishore S Tourism Department Director

Several of the writers participating in the race for the 25 seats on the Kerala Blog Express have

“These bloggers have millions of followers around the world, for whom their word is final as far as

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January 2014

voting will be completed on January 15 and the bloggers with the highest votes will earn seats on the Kerala Blog Express, following a final review by a judging panel of the tourism department. Entries have been received from as many as 80 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, Spain, Germany, Canada and Indonesia. Some of the world’s best-known travel bloggers like Venezuelaborn Marcello Arrambide whose Wandering Trader is one of the most popular travels blogs on the internet, Romanian Cezar Dumitru whose extensive travel experiences have been recorded on his Imperator Travel website are taking part.

Twenty-five top bloggers from around the world will be selected for the road journey in an online voting on a website (www. keralablogexpress.com) specially created by Kerala Tourism. The website, launched recently, has already

received over 100,000 visits, with some of the top travel bloggers from India and international countries entering the race for the final selection. The bus journey will begin on March 1.

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featured in the National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveller and Lonely Planet.

“This is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country to attract the travel blogger community for a first-hand experience of our land,

“For two weeks, our state will be transformed into the capital of travel bloggers,” said Kerala Tourism Secretary Shri Suman Billa. The Kerala Blog Express will travel through destinations like Alappuzha, Kovalam, Varkala, Kumarakom,Thekkady, Munnar , Wayanad, Kochi and Bekal during the two-week journey. The selected bloggers will also be able to participate in activities like boating in the backwaters, experience Ayurvedic treatment,

its geography and culture,” A P Anilkumar Kerala Tourism Minister

watch Kathakali performances besides giving bath to the state’s famous captive elephants. “Imagine the blogging about Kerala, whether it is about its nature-blessed destinations or cuisine or culture, during the two weeks of their journey through the state,” Shri S Harikishore added.

Several participants have already blogged about the impending experience. “Kerala Blog Express would be a stepping stone to experience Kerala nature along with other travel bloggers,” said USbased bloggers Veronica and David James in their new post after entering the contest.

New Divisional Railway Manager Sunil Bajpai has assumed the office of Thiruvananthapuram Divisional Railway Manager. He was Senior Professor at Indian Railways Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Jamalapur. His career of 25 years with the railways began in 1988 as Divisional Mechanical Engineer in Mumbai Division. He has an M. Phil (Social Sciences) from IIPA, MS in Design Engineering from BITS Pilani, Advanced

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Studies in Environmental Management from Birmingham University (UK), and Graduate Qualification in Mechanical Engineering from CEI (London). Other key positions he decorated include Group General Manager for Freight Operations Information System under Centre for Railway Informatic System (CRIS), Director, Mechanical engineering

Sunil Bajpai in Railway Board, Director at Research, Design & Standards Organisation(RDSO),Chief Mechanical Engineer(Planning) in Southern Railway and Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer in Mumbai Division.

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RECIPE

MambalaKulambu (Mangoes cooked in a coconut) sauce)

Pineapples, Mangoes taste even great when cooked in the right form. This is one of those kind of dish.It comes straight from kerala..And you all know that keralan dishes are the best ones.This dish is not a exceptional. It proved it uniqueness.

Ingredients: Ripe Mango-2 chopped Turmeric powder / Manjal podi-1 tsp Red Chilli Powder-1 tsp Green chilli-2 slited Sugar-1 tblspn Salt to taste For Masala: Coconut-1 cup Cumin seeds-1 tsp For Tempering: Coconut Oil-1 tblspn Mustard seeds-1 tsp Curry leaves – a spring Method: - Grind Coconut with cumin seeds to a smooth paste by adding some water.

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- Add chopped mangoes along with the seed in a kadai..Pour in 3 cups of water. - Add in turmeric powder,chilli powder,green chillies,salt and sugar in it. - Bring this to boil.Cook for 10 mins or until the mangoes are cooked. - Add in the ground masala in this and mix well.Simmer for 5 mins. - Now make seasoning by heating oil and add in mustard seeds and curry leaves.. - Pour this over the gravy and mix well. - Serve hot with rice.

I am Aarthi, I blog at Yummy Tummy. My passion towards cooking started just few years back. From that day onwards I started creating new recipes which was really appreciated by my friends and family. I wanted to save those recipes in a place where it never gets destroyed. Hence Yummy Tummy is born. It started as my little space where I store all my recipes, but now it has a grown a lot more than I thought it would be. I update my blog on a regular basis with step by step pictures which helps my readers a lot and show the ease of cooking. Do drop at my space sometime, everyone is welcome. My Blog : http://www. yummytummyaarthi.com

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METRO EVENT

NCRMI’s new portable coir fibre extractor commissioned Machine will help resolve coir raw material shortage, says Minister A new portable coir fibre extractor with built-in crusher, developed by the National Coir Research Management Institute (NCRMI), was commissioned by Minister for Revenue and Coir Adoor Prakash “Technology interventions are the only ways to help traditional industries such as coir survive the crisis of labour and raw materials shortage,” the Minister said. “As an R&D institute, NCRMI is doing a tremendous job helping this mechanization process with machines such as the fibre extractor.” Adoor Prakash demonstrated the easeof-use of the new FEE 6.0C2 Fibre Extraction Machine by feeding green and dry coconut husk into the machine which processes these into high quality fibres, with a separate collection tray for the pith. The Minister said the Coir Department hopes to distribute the new machine to coir cooperatives to help them produce raw fibres. He said discussions are

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Adoor Prakash tests the new coir defibering machine developed by NCRMI, with K Muraleedharan and Rani george

also on with the Coconut Development Board for distributing the fibre extractors directly to coconut producers with a buy-back arrangement for the fibre and pith produced. “Kerala produces 600 crore coconuts annually; if we can convert even half of the husk from these to fibre we will easily be able to solve the raw material scarcity and reduce reliance on neighbouring states,” he added.The new machine is capable of processing 550-600 husks per hour yielding 44-48 kg of raw fibre, NCRMI Director Anil K R said. The extractor, which occupies a space of just 1.5 metres by 1.1 metres weighs around 480

kgs and is fitted with a 10 HP motor that consumes significantly less amount of electricity per unit of production than large bulk processing machines. Anil said the machine can easily be operated by a single person. “The FEE 6.0C2 comes with built-in safety features and we have designed it to minimize physical stress on the user. It is primarily built for women who constitute more that 80% of the coir industry workforce in Kerala.” NCRMI, the statesupported R&D centre, hopes to commercialize the machine after getting inputs from the cooperatives which will get the machines under the pilot scheme.

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The New Year 2014 has started off with high hopes for Thiruvananthapuram and the State. Several initiatives are being planned by the government. Efforts to revive KSRTC and setting up of 500 laboratories in select primary health centres would benefit the state as a whole. Some initiatives announced would prove to be a boon to the people of Thiruvananthapuram. One of them is, PPPAC clearing the proposal to widen Kazhakoottam-Mukkola stretch which would improve the traffic in the area. The people of Varkala region would benefit with the inauguration of Varkala Taluk. A new bi-weekly superfast express train between Kochuveli and Lokmanya Tilak has been introduced by Southern Railway. The 2014-15 Budget for the State also has promised a bio-medical waste treatment plant for the capital city. For this Rs.3 crore has been set apart. The State Budget has allotted Rs.50 lakh for a Sea-Life Leisure Park in Varkala. Rs.206.65 crore has been earmarked for the tourism sector which would boost the promotion of tourism in the state. A proposal to upgrade the Neyyar Dam region into a Tourist Destination Centre is also planned. There has been a change in portfolios of ministers in the state cabinet. Ramesh Chennithala has joined the UDF ministry as the new Home Minister. The establishing of a Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram by United Arab Emirates is also a boost to the tourism industry. This could also result in increased investment in the state from UAE. A Consulate of Sri Lanka is also expected to come up in Thiruvananthapuram. All in all, the first month of 2014 has begun with a positive outlook for Thiruvananthapuram. Come February, we have Attukal Pongala on the 16th. The authorities are expecting more than 40 lakh devotees to offer Pongala. We can wait and see what more development activities would be announced and carried out for the city in the coming months. Siji Nair

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Metro Mart january 2014  

Metro Mart within the last two year was able to make its presence felt in the city and now a utility readers look upon. Our readers are the...

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