Ancient History – Athens

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Archaeologists have found evidence that Athens has been inhabited from at least the fifth millennium BC. The site would have been attractive to early settlers for a number of reasons: its location in the midst of productive agricultural terrain; its closeness to the coast and the natural safe harbour of Piraeus; the existence of defensible high ground, the Acropolis (from akron and polis, or ‘city on the high ground’); and the proximity of a natural source of water on the north-west side of the Acropolis.

Traces of Mycenaean fortifications from the thirteenth century AC can still be seen on the Acropolis, including some foundations belonging to what must have been a palatial structure. The fortifications, known as the ‘Pelasgian’ walls (after the indigenous people believed to have built them before the arrival of the Greeks around 2000 BC), remained in use until the Persian Wars of 490-480 BC. One stretch behind the temple of Athena Nike appears to have been deliberately preserved in the Classical period.

There was a decline of Mycenaean society across the Greek world around the end of the twelfth century BC. Whether this was directly connected with the Trojan War (around 1184 BC), or the so-called Dorian Invasion thought to have taken place soon after this conflict, Athens does not appear to have succumbed to an attack. The Mycenaean royal family of Pylos is said to have taken refuge in Athens after their city’s fall to the Dorians. One of its members, Codros, became king of his adoptive city.

The collapse of Mycenaean civilization left Greece in political, economic and social decline, accompanied by loss of artistic skills, literacy and trade networks. The Mycenaean form of writing, known as Linear B, was completely forgotten, and the Greek alphabet did not emerge until the late eighth century BC as the new form of writing. At this time city states began to emerge throughout the Greek world, governed by oligarchies, or aristocratic councils. Thirteen kings ruled in Athens after Codros, until in 753 BC they were replaced by officials with a ten-year term, known as decennial archons, and in 683 BC by annually appointed eponymous archons.

Conflict between the oligarchs and the lower classes, many of whom had been reduced to slavery, led to a series of reforms that paved the way for the emergence of the world’s first true democracy. Around 620 BC the lawmaker Dracon set up wooden tablets on the Acropolis known as axones. These were inscribed with civil laws and punishments so harsh that the death penalty was prescribed even for minor crimes, giving rise to the term `draconian’ which is still used today. Dracon’s intervention did little to ensure order, prompting representatives of the nobles and lower classes in 594 BC to appoint the statesman and poet Solon as archon.

Solon terminated aristocratic rule, setting up a representational government where participation was determined not by lineage or bloodline, but wealth. He eliminated slavery based on debt, and restituted freedom and land to those who had been enslaved. Solon created a `Council of Four Hundred’ from equal numbers of representatives of the Ionian tribes to which the Athenians claimed to belong, and instituted four classes of citizenry.

Peisistratos, Solon’s younger cousin, became tyrant (tyrannos) of Athens in 545 BC. He ensured the Solonian constitution was respected and governed benevolently. After Peisistratos’ death, however, things took a negative turn and anti-Peisistratid sentiment grew. By 510 BC King Cleomenes of Sparta was asked to assist in deposing Peisistratos’ son Hippias. Hippias sought refuge in Persia at the court of King Darius.

Soon after, the aristocrat Cleisthenes promised to institute further reforms giving a more direct role to citizens in government. His reforms were passed in 508 BC, and democracy was established in Athens. A new `Council of Five Hundred’ (the Boule) replaced the ‘Council of Four Hundred’, with equal representation from the various tribes. Cleisthenes is also credited with instituting the system of ostracism, which ‘voted’ an individual considered dangerous to democracy into exile for ten years.

It is uncertain when the former Mycenaean citadel was transformed into a sacred precinct but by the late eighth century BC a modest temple (or perhaps more than one) stood on the plateau. The oldest and holiest cult image on the Acropolis was the statue of Athena Polias (Protectress of the City), a crude olive-wood figure, so old that Athenians of the Classical period believed it had either fallen from heaven or been made by Cecrops or Erichthonios. This sacred image of Athena was ritually ‘dressed’ every year in a peplos, a sacred robe, as part of the Panathenaic festival.

A temple is thought to have been built around 700 BC to the south of the later, Classical Erechtheion, to house the statue of Athena Polias. The first major building of which there are significant remains on the Acropolis was the so-called ‘Bluebeard Temple’, built in the Archaic period around 560 BC. The ‘Bluebeard Temple’ is thought by some to have stood to the south of the later Erechtheion. Ancient texts mention a mysterious building or precinct contemporary to the ‘Bluebeard Temple’, called the Hecatompedon, or ‘Hundred-footer’. Whatever this structure or place was, it gave its name to the principal room of the Classical Parthenon, perhaps because the later building occupies the same site.

With the expulsion of Hippias a new temple was built on the Acropolis, its foundations still visible to the south of the later Erechtheion. This building, the Archaios Naos, or ‘ancient temple’, is likely to have been deliberately commissioned around 506 BC as a replacement for the ‘Bluebeard Temple’.

The first Persian invasion of 490 BC saw the victory of the Athenians at the battle of Marathon against the forces of King Darius of Persia. The following year the elated Athenians leveled an area on the south side of the Acropolis and began construction of the Old Parthenon. A new gateway to the Acropolis was also commenced, known as the Old Propylaia.

This post-Marathonian building program on the Acropolis came to a violent end in 480 BC when Xerxes, son of King Darius, led a second Persian invasion of Greece. Athens had to be evacuated and Xerxes razed the city and buildings on the Acropolis. Under the command of Themistocles, the Athenians destroyed the Persian fleet in the battle of Salamis. Victory over the Persians was ensured after the battle of Plataea (479 BC), to the northwest of Athens, when a combined Greek army annihilated the Persians.

In the aftermath of the battle of Plataea, a vow was made by the victors never to rebuild the shrines that were destroyed in the war, preserving them instead as memorials for later generations.

Pericles, who was a general and statesman, came to power in Athens around 461 BC. He considered the oath of Plataea to have been fulfilled, as thirty years had elapsed from the Persian invasion, and proceeded to reconstruct the temples on the Acropolis. He gathered together the best architects and artists in the city and plans were drawn up to erect new buildings that would outshine those torn down by the Persians. The Periclean building programme enhanced the lower city with new monuments, such as the Temple of Hephaestus, also known as the Theseion, and the Painted Stoa or Poikile situated near the Agora (marketplace).

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Who Survived at the End of Lost?

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The final season of Lost was split up into two realities. One was a continuation of the main timeline from the first five seasons. This timeline is the “real world” and it’s this world that this article is focused on. The other reality is the “flash sideways” which is revealed to be a kind of “purgatory” (I don’t know if that’s the best word for it, but it’s some sort of “post life” world) at the end of the finale episode.

The “flash sideways” world occurs in a place outside of time. It happens after all of the characters die, even if they die at different times (which they obviously do.)

But this article is about who survived at the end of the “real world” timeline as the show ends? Who either escaped the island for good or was still alive on the island at the end?

Escaped The Island On The Plane

The first group of people who clearly survived were those who were on the plane flown by Frank Lapidus. Sawyer, Kate, Claire, Miles, & Richard were on the plane as passengers.

Survived On The Island

Hurley was the “new Jacob” at the end of the series (after Jack’s death) with Ben as his “#2.” Bernard and Rose were also still alive (avoiding drama!)

Desmond was also alive on the island at the end of the series but it is implied that he leaves to join his wife (Penny) and his son (Charlie) because Ben tells Hurley he doesn’t have to do things the way Jacob did (people can leave the island.)

And I don’t want to forget Vincent the dog (who so poignantly visits Jack as he’s dying at the end.)

Other Survivors

Walt, Aaron, Penny, Jin & Sun’s baby, and Eloise Hawking are some other characters from the show who are still alive at the end.

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Piraeus Port – Athens, Greece

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The port of  Athens , Piraeus was the greatest port of the ancient world and remains one of the busiest in the Mediterranean. In a country that derives most of its livelihood from the sea, Piraeus is the true capital, while  Athens  is a sprawling suburb full of bureaucrats. Still, it’s hard to find much charm in the tall buildings and dusty streets, although Zea Marina and Mikrolimano with their yachts, brightly-lit tavernas and bars are a handsome sight.

Themistocles founded the port of Piraeus in the 5th century BC when Phaliron,  Athens ‘ ancient port, could no longer meet the growing needs of the  city . The Miletian geometer Hippodamos laid it out in a straight grid of streets that have hardly changed. The centre of action was always the huge central agora, where the world’s first commercial fairs and trade expositions were held. All religions were tolerated, and women were allowed, for the first time, to work outside the home.

As Piraeus was crucial to  Athens ‘ power, the conquering Spartans destroyed the Long Walls linking  city  and port in 404, at the end of the Peloponnesian War. After the 100-year Macedonian occupation and a period of peace, Sulla decimated the city to prevent any anti-Roman resistance, and for 1,900 years Piraeus dwindled away into an insignificant village with a population as low as 20, even losing its name to become Porto Leone. Since the selection of  Athens  as the capital of independent Greece, Piraeus has regained its former glory as the reigning port of a seagoing nation, but much of it dates from after 1941, when German bombers blew the port sky-high.

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Top Review of Brig Hart

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This whole system seems crazy to me.

“The MonaVie opportunity and the R3 Global Total Support System to achieving better health and wealth.” Sounds a little crazy don’t you think? I say it is. But again, don’t want to upset anyone, it’s just my opinion.

The MonaVie product is claiming to be number one as a supper food? Brig Hart said these words himself. Who, by the way is an excellent speaker. Humble though isn’t he? MonaVie is a wine like substance, in a wine like bottle that you are to sell to your friends and family.

You will be offering the business opportunity and product to others through the follow acronym: The ITS factor, (Invite, taste and share.) “Make a list of every one you know every where…” Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Let me tell you something, If you are anything like me your reputation with friends and family for testing crazy products and programs on them is pretty bad. The last thing I ever do at this point is try to push or sell stuff to them. They know where to find me if they see me working on something that interests them.

$39.00 to get involved. Then you have the “right” to be able to buy a case of the product again, bottles of some sort of wonder wine at a wholesale price. Then you get signed up on an “AS” (auto ship) so they can continually ship you cases of this stuff. Anything like AA? (Alcoholics anonymous) You buy the MonaVie wine-like product at $32.00 each and then unload it at like $45.00 a piece.

I don’t know, didn’t people catch on to this kind of thing with Am Way years and years ago? At least that was regular products you could use every day or that regular people bought like toilet paper and T.V.s and such.

This system brings back terrifying memories of a drinkable goopy green Aloe Vera gel that I sold with Nutrition for Life. My poor mom still has some of that stuff in a box in the basement along with some other pills and stuff. Sorry mom.

I just can not support Brig Hart or this MonaVie product and selling system. Imagine trying to get people to come over to your house, drink some mystery drink and then actually buy it! THE END.

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Athens – Greece

Few cities in the world can compare to the historical significance of Athens. This city is not only the site of the first democracy in history; it has also been populated for over seven thousand years! When Ancient Greece started to rise in the fifth century B.C., it was Athens that sprang up as its capital and epicenter for the government. Athens is still the capital of Greece to this day but much has changed in the many thousands of years since it became the precursor to all of western civilization.

Despite its age, Athens still manages to be a very important and culturally relevant city in the 21st Century. It ranks among the top forty richest cities in the world and is also in the top thirty most expensive cities to live in. This owes much to the fact that Athens is and always has had a central role not only in the economic and political sphere of Greece but of the whole of Europe. Back when it was called “Classical Athens” and was considered one of many “city-states”, it was the educational capital of the world. The fathers of philosophy and modern thinking called Athens their home and the city fostered the growth of the mind, a concept relatively untouched by other countries at the time. Athens was the site of Socrates’ famous dialogues while Plato and Aristotle both used Athens as their headquarters for furthering the Socratic Method with the former’s Academy and the latter’s Lyceum still standing to this day within the city limits.

These days, Athens still boasts a remarkable beauty thanks to the combination of the ancient Greco-Roman architecture mixed with the Neo-Classical and Modern styles that stand side by side and, in some cases like Omonoia Square, are mixed together to create strikingly beautiful buildings. Though the city has withstood attacks from Persians, Romans, Germans, and many more in its thousands of years of existence, the beautiful art and architecture of Athens was nearly decimated by a very unlikely foe in the 1970s: Pollution. The vast amount of air pollution around Greece was taking its toll on the statues and sculptures until the Minister of Culture stepped in and completely revamped Athens’ energy policy. Thanks to his efforts visitors today can stroll around the Acropolis and the Parthenon without breathing in smog and the gorgeous caryatids and sculptures now seem poised to withstand yet another millennium.

Tourists still flock to Athens on a large scale each year and it isn’t hard to see why. Whether it is the history buff reveling in the leftovers of the first democracy or the partygoers who worship Athens’ beautiful beaches and nightlife, there is truly something for everybody in this remarkable city. Few ancient towns possess the immediacy of modern day Athens and it is a testament to the city’s unerring dedication to furthering the mind with intellectual pursuits rather than warmongering that this gorgeous area still stands proudly as a shining beacon to the brilliance of Ancient Greece.

Forex Trading Review – Top 4 Forex Trading Strategies Revealed

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Many trading investors especially beginners would like to learn the best trading strategy for them. There are four that are commonly used by experts. These are the swing, discretionary, scalping, and automated trading. First thing to consider before entering the Foreign Exchange Market is to identify which trading style suits you best. Several factors may affect your trading style like your time and capabilities. This article will give you and idea on how each of these trading strategies work:

Swing Trading:

It is almost similar with Day Trading where you could use many trading systems. Its chart time fame is longer than that of day trading. It includes three types of trades, the trend trading, counter trend trading and range trading.

Discretionary Trading:

It does both technical and fundamental analysis. This trading style use visuals like charts to see the pattern of the movement of the market condition. It analyzes the market on a regular basis therefore giving the trader a better understanding of the trading environment. It also applies quantitative analysis to forecast traders’ earnings.

Scalping:

It uses the fundamental analysis to predict the future exchange rates. Traders who use this style watch the economic condition as a whole. They base their analysis on news that would affect the economy like natural disasters, politics, price hikes etc. Before the market adjusts to the condition they make a quick buying decision then sell once the market has recovered.

Automated Trading:

This is the most commonly used by both new and old traders. Trading is possible with little or no human intervention through the use of automated software programs. These trading robots were designed by expert traders. Since Foreign Exchange trading entails a lot of time and effort they saw the need for system to do the work for them. They programmed these robots based on their trading strategies so they need not to be in front of their PCs all the time. If you are the type of person who doesn’t have enough time to monitor the market 24/7 this is a trading style that will best work for you. Having the right knowledgeable, discipline and a reliable tool should not only make your trading easier but will also increase your chances of getting profits in no time.

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Cheap Flights to Athens

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A glorious and magical  city  worshipped by gods and humans alike,  Athens  happens to be one of the most famous vacation destinations in Europe. With the sun shining over the city all year through, the climate is one of the best in that part of the world, making it an ideal place for tourism. There are several cheap flights to  Athens  plying on a regular basis, board one and embark on a vacation of a lifetime. This enchanting birthplace for civilization is laden with breathtaking views. If it’s not the magnificent landscapes that inspire you, the ancient and contemporary architecture will.

The city with distinct aspects is at once appealing and exciting. A walk around the famous historic triangle of Plaka, Thission and Psyri overwhelms you, a stroll in the old neighborhoods reveal the coexistence of different eras, and the mansions of yore, some well-preserved and some worn out by time present a striking contrast to the modern. The Greek capital dates back to mythological times and as a result the place is dotted with stamps of antiquity all through its surface. The city that you see in its entire splendor is a consequence of several influences, including ancient and medieval Greek, Roman, Byzantine and the contemporary era. Do a wise thing, come to the Greek capital equipped with a rather long stay, reason? The historical attractions are one too many. Start your journey with the South Slope of Acropolis, go on to the ancient Agora, visit the temple of Olympeion Zeus, spent a few hours admiring the Hadrian’s Arch and Library, go atop the Hill of Areopagus, the Hill of Philopappou and that of the Nymphs, and see Kerameikos. Attractions like Lysicrates’ Monument, Panathenaic Stadium, Roman Agora, Temple of Hephaestus, and the Tower of the Winds is also not to be missed.

Museums and art galleries showcasing creative arts are omnipresent throughout  Athens  with some giving a great insight into Greek archeology, history, modern art, while others dedicated to ceramics, music, railway etc. One of the unique selling points of  Athens  as a tourist destination is its close proximity to the whitewashed Greek islands. Enjoy one-day getaways, charming villages, ancient historical cities and equally fascinating and picturesque countrysides, each one with a varied color, culture and character. If you happen to be visit  Athens  with family, fret not. The city presents myriad options for all of you to enjoy together. These include parks and gardens, National Zoo, planetariums, educating and entertaining cultural centers, go-karting areas, and amusement parks. Places to stay and crash in are as varied as the attractions of the city itself. You can opt to stay at a luxurious five-star hotel, book yourself a bed and breakfast, stay in a holiday home or an apartment, or check into a cheap hotel accommodation. Culinary delights and gourmet foods can be relished and savored at any of the several world-class restaurants, or try a meal at the local eating joint, which is equally scrumptious and satisfying. For a prefect start to your holidays in Europe, come to  Athens  first.

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Top Online Casino Payout Rates

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Most all top online casinos voluntarily subject themselves to regular audits (usually monthly) by a qualified and reputable third party firm, such as Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC). These audits generally focus on two aspects of the online casino’s operations: their random number generator and their payout rates. The latter — payout rates — is the subject of this article.

An online casino’s payout rates are displayed as a percentage — that being the percentage of incoming wagers that are paid out in winnings. As you can imagine, the higher the payout rates, the better. The top online casinos are often considered so, in part, precisely because they offer the highest payout rates.

A top online casino with the highest payout rate in video poker may not have the best payout rate for slots. Payout rates vary within top online casinos for each individual game. If you’re planning on joining a top online casino for a specific game — be it poker, craps, baccarat, video poker, roulette, blackjack, slots, keno, or any other top online casino game — check the top online casino’s payout percentages for that specific game.

Top Online Casino Payout Rates Overall: Grand Online Casino (98.42%), Golden Palace Online Casino (98.15%), Sands of the Caribbean (98.11%), USA Casino (98.09%), 32Red Casino (97.97%), Ladbrokes Casino (97.68%), Casino-on-Net (97.63%), InterCasino (97.13%).

Top Online Casino Payouts for Slots: Slotland (98.00%), Casino Las Vegas (97.50%), Golden Palace Online Casino (97.18%), Royal Vegas Online Casino (96.59%), Aztec Riches Casino (96.51%), Yukon Gold Casino (96.31%), Shark Casino (96.49%), Casino Kingdom (96.15%), Ladbrokes Casino (96.03%).

Top Online Casino Payouts for Video Poker: Jackpots in a Flash Casino (99.53%), Lucky Nugget Online Casino (99.11%), Crazy Vegas Casino (99.07%), Lucky Emperor Casino (99.03%), 7 Sultan Casino (99.00%), Royal Vegas Online Casino (98.77%), Swiss Casino (98.70%), Spin Palace (98.60%), RiverBelle Casino (98.59%), Roxy Palace Online Casino (98.58%).

Top Online Casino Payout at Table Games: Casino Kingdom (99.62%), Mummys Gold Casino (99.52%), Aztec Riches Casino (99.22%), 3 Diamond Casino (99.19%), 49er Casino (99.10%), Casino Domain (99.01%), Challenge Casino (98.98%), Crazy Vegas Casino (98.91%), Cherry Casino (98.69%), Captain Cooks (98.57%).

Top online casinos that get their payout rates audited will almost always publish the results of each audit on their website for anyone — member or non-member — to view. They’ll even keep archives of all their past audits, also open to public viewing.

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Athens Hotel Guide

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 Athens  is a  city  which arguably has one of the richest histories in the world. It was the home and center of the world empire of Greece, and is still the capital of the country today. If you are looking for a lively  city  rich in culture and history, there are few places better to visit than  Athens .

 Athens  is a  city  riddled with mythology. The city is very ancient, and was the center of learning and Greek culture. Many of the concepts and ideas formulated in ancient Greece are what we today call “western civilization.” Today the city is home to nearly three and a half million people.

 Athens  is named after Athena, the goddess of wisdom, and the best time to visit is during the late summer or fall. Winter is also a good time to visit, as there will be few tourists and the weather will be good with the exception of a bit of rain.

 Athens  is a  city  full of parks, gardens, and cafes. While the hustle of the  city  might remind you of New York, you will find that  Athens  has a charm of its own. There are many landmarks for tourists to see, and you don’t have to travel far to see all of them.

The first place you may want to visit is the Acropolis, the ancient part of  Athens  field with beautiful temples. You will be able to fully appreciate ancient Greek architecture after viewing the Acropolis with your own eyes.

The Agora market is another area of  Athens  you will need to visit. In antiquity this was the center of the commercial and political activity in the city. This was once the place where Socrates gave his speeches, and is also the place where St. Paul searched for potential adherents to Christianity.

When it comes to dining, Athenians love to eat out. You will find a lot of fresh produce while touring the city, and there are plenty of places to eat traditional Greek cuisine. You will want to try the country salad and eggplant mixed with mince meat.

 Athens  is no longer the cheap  city  it used to be. Frugal backpackers can expect to spend 40 euros per day by hiking and staying in hostels. Having your own room and eating at hotels will cost you about 80 euros a day, and if you really want to enjoy yourself you can expect to spend up to 120 euros daily. No matter what budget you’re on, traveling to  Athens  is the trip of a lifetime.

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Popular Designer Salwar Kameez Styles for Spring 2011

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Salwar kameez still in trend

Fashion is never constant and for women it’s changing every day or rather every hour from clothing to hairstyles. For Indian women though the costumes vary as per the occasions but certainly salwar kameez is ageless piece of elegant clothing. With cool and pleasant atmosphere around surely this spring collections has lots to offer. Designer salwar kameez are great authentic pieces of a professional innovative works for every festive season. This outfit is exclusive and is for every occasion from a cocktail to reception. It’s preferred because of its easy to carry drape rather than other outfits. It’s a must buy for every women. Spring collections are made from fabrics like crepe which is apt for climate transition phase from winter to summer too.

Reasons to own designer salwar kamiz:

Many designers have presented this spring collections in many fashion weeks like Lakme, Wills lifestyle and several new collections are expected to arrive. To own a designer salwar kameez is a desire of every woman. The specialty in them is the intricate sequencing and patch work done in every piece without any two costumes of a kind. As designer work is not cheap so the clients are specific on their purchase. This adds a   unique  element to their personality and wardrobe too, making the person a trend setter in surrounding. The best part of designer product is the unmatched comfort fitting, the research they put in creating a single piece due to the label value. The differences are very evident from the local pieces and a designer work from prints, stitching; quality of fabric, sequences, delicate hand and machine work stands always apart. In kameez the low neck line are very trendy and hot this spring season. Above all the final look of attire which is because of the peculiar design and finishing from the choice of threads in the color of sequences makes the costume timeless and can be worn several times. Designer salwar kameez for spring is forever multi utility costume. Salwar kameez are categorized as per different events like exotic salwar kameez, trendsetter salwar kamiz, Patiala, chudidar salwar kameez to simplify choice.

Let’s have a look at the fabrics used by designers for salwar kamiz collections:

Chanderi jacquard, semi crepe, chanderi silk, cotton, pure crepe and rayon material! Many designers have their specific likes which are clearly visible in their collections. Like Manish Arora will always keep black color as base is filled with various bright colors. Another prominent designer is Neeta Lulla whose spring collections are inspired by the life around her and her fashion forecast is fusion wear making kurta’s give every girl and women the very classic Indo western look. Ritu Kumar too is very fashionable and leading designer whose clothes offer a range for fashioners from 18 years till 70 years.

The prices vary as per designer brand and fabrics used. Normally initial range is not very expensive and starts from 3000/- above. I know it’s hard to stop yourself after reading this. Gift yourself this Christmas a good designer salwar kameez and fall in love with the exclusive wear.

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