Happy Diwali from the Gorgeous Mukund Haveli

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October 31st 2016
Published: November 1st 2016
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While our friends back home are celebrating Halloween, we are in India celebrating Diwali. Happy Diwali!

We are staying in the village of Mukandgarh in a 150 year-old haveli that is being restored to it's original glory by Indian Moments and we are staying here with Neeraj and his family (who we met during our last visit to India and who took us to our first Indian wedding). The ornate wooden doorways, detailed frescos on the walls and intricate archways makes us feel like we are in a magical Indian castle. The courtyard has a flower-shaped pool that is filled with marigolds and rose petals. The inviting garden has quaint seating vingettes among the flowers, plants and water irrigation system. The city can be viewed from the watch towers or roof top.

Our room is just as period appropriate as the rest of the palace. We walk through a short wooden door to enter the sitting room punctuated with a chandelier. The bedroom area has high ceilings and little cubbies in the wall. Then there is the elaborate bathroom with two showers and a huge tub. My words cannot do justice to this uniquely Indian guesthouse.

The festival of lights has included elaborate decorations, sweets stands on every corner, fireworks all day and night and religious ceremonIes. We celebrated with Neeraj's family here in Mukandgarh. There were some Brits and Aussies visiting, so our entire group celebrated together.

Our evening started in the open-air courtyard that was saturated with color thanks to the many marigolds strung around the doorways and windows. We began with the ceremony and prayer. We were all given a proper third eye, a red bracelet and instructions on how to pay proper respect to the gods.

Then we had a cocktail hour out in the garden under the stars which was followed by a feast of Indian cuisine. The dinner was set up out in the garden surrounded by lights. There were candles and lanterns everywhere which made the beautiful setting absolutely gorgeous. The night was then capped off by a fireworks display.

Additional photos below
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1st November 2016

Halloween and Diwali
So, I was going to write you about the excitement at our house as we gave out candy to about 25 kids here in Redmond, Oregon last night. The girl dressed up as an I-phone, the maiden who wielded a plastic sword that made a sound of steel on steel when she shook it at you, the little guy dressed as a robot who had to take his 'head' off in order to see where to put his hands to get a kit-kat bar! But, I see you are distracted by the smoke and mirrors and bright sparkly things of Diwali!!! More seriously, this is amazing. Mom is visiting for a few days so I read and showed it to her this morning. Traveling mercies. DRB

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