Shops That Rock ~ Himalaya, India…

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Himalaya is one of the most popular brands of health and beauty products in India. Around 200 million Himalaya products are distributed around the world each year.

Himalaya started in 1930 with one man, Mr M Manal and his hand-operated tablet making press. Since then it has grown to a huge company with numerous products and stores.

Himalaya’s herbal Ayurvedic tablets and medicines cater for over sixty different ailments from heartburn to osteoporosis. My family and I have tried many of these remedies with great success.

Himalaya also have a wonderful beauty range with cleansers, soaps, shampoos and many other products. They are extremely well priced and are made from all natural ingredients such as saffron, neem, pomegranate and walnut. Recently they launched a range of Ayurvedic products for pets so now the whole family is covered.

It is very easy to find Himalaya products in India as they are sold at most small pharmacies and supermarkets. They also have Himalaya specialty shops in many towns and cities. I visited the store in Mysore last trip and it had an amazing range.

With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair…

One of the joys of India is to catch a hint of jasmine from a hair garland as you pass someone in the street. These lovely flowers are worn by many Indian ladies on a daily basis. It is a cultural habit which I too have adopted each time I travel in India.

It is a favourite part of my day to get up early and visit the sweet flower sellers. In order to get the freshest flowers you need to be prompt as the best flowers sell out very quickly. Sometimes I will match the flowers with the colours I am wearing or otherwise I choose a bright, clashing hue to give a splash of colour to my day.

The few rupees you will spend will make you feel like a princess for the day and you’ll smell like one too…

Peacock perfection…

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My creative friend Melissa has just completed an amazing wire sculpture for me. It has taken her a few months because of the intricate detail she used in this stunning piece.
It is of course a sculpture of my favourite bird ~ the peacock…India’s national bird. I just adore him. I’m sure you will agree he is a true work of art.

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The beauty of bindis…

The beauty of bindis...

The beauty of bindis…

Whenever I travel in India I wear the bindi. A bindi is either a sticker or powder dot worn between the eyebrows. Traditionally the bindi is worn here as the space between the eyebrows is the centre of the Ajna chakra ~ a source of concealed wisdom. In the Hindu religion the bindi is seen as a symbol of worshipping one’s intellect. If we worship our intellect we are hopefully able to make all areas of our life pure.

The use of kum kum powder on the forehead as a bindi is a sign of respect to our inner guru.

Bindis are available everywhere in India. The bindis above I purchased on my last trip for 5 rupees per packet ~ gorgeous and a bargain too! It is fun to mix and match your bindi with the colour you are wearing that day. They come in an array of colours, some bejewelled and others extremely ornate.

The new master of Mehndi…

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Jacqualyn’s drawings…

My gorgeous friend Jacqualyn is learning how to do mehndi hand decorating. Mehndi is extremely popular in India and is used in ceremonies such as weddings and Deepavali.

Mehndi uses a henna paste made from the flowering henna plant. The dye is very popular for colouring hair, skin and material. The paste is applied to the body using a small cone. The finer the opening on the cone the finer the mehndi work.  It is most commonly used to decorate the hands and feet. Once the design is finished it is left to dry. This takes about twenty minutes. The dry raised paste is then left as long as you like ~ the longer you leave it the darker it will be. When the paste is first removed the design will be lighter and as the day wears on it will become darker due to the exposure to oxygen.

Jacqualyn’s designs are very beautiful and intricate and are based on traditional Indian motifs. I can’t wait for her first mehndi party…

More lovely designs...

More lovely designs…

The peacock is a very popular motif...

The peacock is a very popular motif…