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Love always elevates the character of a man. It never lowers him, provided love be love.

- Shaheed Bhagat Singh

DIWALI 2017 - OCTOBER 19 (THURSDAY)

Diwali, also known as Deepavali or Deepawali is one of the most important, hugely waited and immensely cherished festival celebrated across India and in parts of Nepal. Originally, the name was Deepawali, which has its origin from Sanskrit, meaning "Rows of Deep". Over the years the name has been pronounced as Diwali, especially in Hindi, whereas it still remains Deepawali in Nepali. Diwali also popularly known as “Festival of Lights” is celebrated with great gusto and is observed as an official holiday across India. The festival of Diwali is not only significant to Hindus, but, has importance in Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. For Hindus, it is associated with the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya, after his 14 years of exile and victory over the demon Ravana.
On that day, he was welcomed to the kingdom of Ayodhya with rows of Deep, lightened throughout the kingdom. Thus, there is a tradition of lighting oil lamps that symbolize the victory of good over evil and freedom from spiritual darkness. Two Days before Diwali 2017 – Dhanteras Dhanteras is the first day of the 5 day celebrations. This is an auspicious day to start business ventures or to invest in gold/silver. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped from this day forward, through the preceding days of the festival, for wealth and prosperity.

JAL MAHOTSAV BACK FROM OCTOBER 15 TO JANUARY 2, 2018

Jal Mahotsav will take place from October 15, 2017, to January 2, 2018. Organised for a period of 80 days, the festival is held in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh with an aim to revive adventure tourism in the state.

The activites include zip lining, paintball, archery, kite flying, land parasailing, paramotors, hot air ballooning, water parasailing, water zorbing, snorkelling and scuba diving among others.

MINISTRY OF TOURISM ORGANISES NATIONWIDE ‘PARYATAN PARV’ FROM OCT 5-25, 2017

The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in partnership with other central ministries and state governments is organising ‘Paryatan Parv’ from October 5-25, 2017. Addressing the media regarding the ‘Paryatan Parv’ and the Swachhta initiatives, Alphons Kannanthanam, Minister of State (IC) for Tourism, said that programme is being organised with the objective of drawing focus on the benefits of tourism, showcasing the cultural diversity of the country and reinforcing the principle of ‘Tourism for All’. The Paryatan Parv will culminate in a 3 day event in New Delhi from the October 23 to 25, 2017 which will showcase the cultural diversity of the country, with cultural performances, crafts bazaar, food court showcasing folk and classical dance & music, handicrafts & handlooms and cuisine from all regions and States of the country. The “Adopt A Heritage” project launched by the Ministry of Tourism will be implemented at key sites during this period. Wayside Amenities for tourists will also be launched at important sites in identified circuits.

Central Ministries have also proactively come forward and will be part of the event. In addition, the mega event will see active participation by Cultural Associations and Organisations, Travel & Hospitality Industry, Institutes of Hotel Management, Indian Institutes of Tourism & Travel Management, Service Providers, Students and Youth and the Local Population

MADAME TUSSAUDS DELHI OPENING ON DEC 1

Madame Tussauds Delhi has announced the opening dates of the attraction slated for December 1, 2017. It is wisely located in the heart of Delhi’s Connaught Place.

Commenting on the same, Sabia Gulati, Head Sales & Marketing, Madame Tussauds Delhi said, “Madame Tussauds will serve its Indian guests with a unique and fun filled experience especially strategized and developed for them. Finally, we are here to change the way entertainment had been perceived till date. With the opening of the attraction on 1st December, Indians will behold a new era of entertainment allowing them to own their moment of red carpet in showbiz. We are sure our guests will welcome the attraction enthusiastically and will love it for most exciting celebrity experience it will bring to them.”

RAILWAYS COMMISSIONS 2ND GLASS-ROOF VISTADOME COACH FUNDED BY MINISTRY OF TOURISM

The Ministry of Railways has commissioned a second glass-roof Vistadome Coach, funded by the Ministry of Tourism, on the Jan Shatabdi Express plying on the scenic Mumbai-Goa route, to provide a panoramic view of the picturesque Western Ghats. The Vistadome Coach boasts of a glass roof which has electrically-controlled opalescence, that is, it can be made transparent or opaque at the turn of a switch. Passengers seeking a better view can head for a special observation deck. All seats are rotatable by 360 degrees and are pushback chairs. The coaches are fitted with automatic sliding compartment doors, multiple TV screens and wider body side door.

Ministry of Tourism provided financial assistance to the tune of Rs12 Crore @ Rs.4 crore per coach to Ministry of Railways for the manufacture of three glass top coaches, for developing rail tourism in the country. The first Vistadome Coach was commissioned by the Ministry of Railways on the Vishakhapatnam–Araku Valley Route in April 2017 and is attracting a large number of tourists.

QATAR OFFERS ELECTRONIC TRAVEL AUTHORISATION FACILITY FOR INDIAN TRAVELLERS

Indians travelling to Qatar can now avail the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) facility made available by the Qatar Ministry of Interior for nationals of 80 countries. Indians will no longer require prior visa arrangements and can now obtain a visa wavier upon arrival, according to a statement released by Qatar Airways. Electronic Travel Authorisation will allow eligible visitors to obtain visa by completing a simple online application prior to travel to Qatar. This wavier will be valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and will entitle its holders to spend up to 30 days in Qatar during either a single trip, or on multiple trips.

This wavier may be extended for a further 30 days. As part of the application, travellers will be required to provide proof of their accommodation like hotel bookings, details of their return or onward travel, a copy of their passport with a minimum validity of six months and a copy of their residence permit or visa to be aforementioned countries, with a minimum validity of 30 days.

OMAN RELAXES VISA RULES TO ATTRACT MORE INDIANS

Oman is granting non-sponsored tourist visa for the citizens of India, China and Russia who reside in or hold an entry visa to one of these countries – USA, Canada, Australia, UK and Schengen states – to enter the Sultanate of Oman.

These revised terms and conditions were issued by the Omani authorities. The issued statement indicated that the visa shall be granted for a period of one month for a fee of OMR 20. The spouse and children of the visa holder would also be allowed to enter the Sultanate while accompanying them.

THE OBEROI, NEW DELHI SET TO REOPEN ON JANUARY 1, 2018

After extensive renovations, The Oberoi, New Delhi, will reopen on January 1, 2018. The hotel has commenced reservation on its website or on phone.

The Rs. 500 crore-revamp project which was slated to reopen in April next year will be completed ahead of schedule. Built in 1965, the Oberoi New Delhi was closed two years ago for renovation, will have 218 rooms.

It will become the first hotel in India to have an air purifier to address growing concerns over the air quality in the national capital.

SAROVAR HOTELS TAKES OVER A NEW HOTEL IN BENGALURU

Sarovar Hotels has announced the signing of its latest hotel in Bengaluru, La Marvella Sarovar Premiere. The takeover is expected to be completed by the first week of November.

La Marvella Sarovar Premiere, Bengaluru – Jayanagar, is Sarovar’s fifth hotel in the city after Davanam Sarovar Portico Suites, RBD Sarovar Portico, Park Plaza and Radha Hometel. La Marvella Sarovar Premiere is promoted by SVG Exports offering all facilities and services of an upscale five-star business hotel located in Jayanagar.

With 102 rooms, a multi cuisine restaurant and a lounge bar, the hotel ensures guests a great stay. An Italian specialty restaurant will soon be introduced to bring a unique culinary experience to guests.

SAROVAR TO OPEN HOTELS IN AMRITSAR, RAIPUR, MAHIPALPUR, SOMNATH AND JAISALMER BY END 2017
Sarovar Hotels & Resorts has recently signed a new hotel in Jhansi. Sarovar is one of the fastest growing hotel chains in India with over 75 operating hotels across 50 destinations in India and Africa. Some of the expected openings this year include hotels in Amritsar, Raipur, Mahipalpur, Somnath and Jaisalmer.
BERGGRUEN HOTELS OPENS NEW PROPERTIES IN PORT BLAIR AND RAMGARH

Berggruen Hotels announced the launch of two new properties. The property in Port Blair, called Aqua Green is located opposite Port Blair airport and has 48 rooms and suites. The Keys Prima Aamari Resorts is situated in Ramgarh, 34 kilometers from Nainital and has 22 executive rooms and three executive suites. Ramgarh is a small hill station and tourist destination on the way to Mukteshwar in Nainital district of Uttarakhand, India. This place is rich in orchards. An unobstructed view of the snow-capped ranges of the Himalayas from this place can be seen. The place was once the cantonment of the English army. Port Blair ( pronunciation (help•info)) is the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a union territory of India situated in the Bay of Bengal.

It also serves as the entry point for visiting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is home to several museums and a major naval base INS Jarawa of the Indian Navy, along with sea and air bases of the Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Air Force.[2] Port Blair is also famous for the historic Cellular Jail and other small islands like Carbyns Cove, Wandoor, Ross, Viper etc.[3] which were once home to British colonists. The Andamans is an archipelago of over 570 tropical islands, of which only 36 are inhabited.[1][2] Radhanagar beach at Havelock was bestowed with the title of ‘Asia’s Best Beach’ in 2004 by the TIME magazine. It is also listed as world’s 7th most spectacular beach on Time magazine list.

LORD’S 2ND OFFERING IN BENGALURU: 53-ROOM LORDS ECO INN MYSURU ROAD

Mid-market hospitality chain, Lords Hotels & Resorts has announced the launch of its 27th hotel property in Bengaluru. Located on Mysuru Road, the 53-room property is branded under Lords Eco Inn and is Lords Hotels & Resorts’ second property in the metropolis.

The hotel is scheduled to commence operations shortly. The launch of this property brings the hotel chain’s target of expanding to 40 properties by 2020.

The hotel chain has announced its ambition to increase presence in the Southern states of India and has hinted at upcoming projects in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh besides Karnataka.

ALITALIA RETURNS TO INDIA WITH DELHI-ROME FLIGHT FROM OCT 30

Alitalia is ready to make a comeback to India after it stopped operating into the country in 2008. The Italian airline will start a new direct flight between Delhi and Rome from October 30, 2017. The new daily New Delhi-Rome service will operate for the entire winter season until March 24, 2018. The connection was launched to meet the increasing demand for flights between the two countries. The new connection would be Alitalia’s second new intercontinental destination of 2017, after Male, Maldives (from 31 October), and the extension of direct flights to Los Angeles, USA, for the upcoming winter season. Italy, is the second European country, after Great Britain, for arrivals from India.

The flight will be on Airbus A330, which is equipped with exclusive ‘Made in Italy’ amenities. Business Class guests can relax in luxurious Italian brand Poltrona Frau leather seats that fully recline to a comfortable flatbed position, and enjoy award-winning onboard dining featuring the best of Italian regional food and wine. All classes feature newly renovated cabins and include Wi-Fi connectivity for phone calls, Internet and e-mail.

Passengers arriving at Rome Fiumicino International Airport from New Delhi will get easy connections to 39 cities in Italy, Europe, North Africa and the Americas served by Alitalia including cultural capitals (such as Florence, Pisa, Venice, Paris) and many more (such as four US destinations, New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Miami, as well as Havana). Departures from New Delhi operate every day at 4.40 am, and arrive in Rome at 9.00 am local time. Guests arriving at Rome Fiumicino airport from New Delhi with connections to other cities will have a Transit Team to assist them and ensure they reach their next departure gate on time. Departures from Rome Fiumicino operate every day at 2.40 pm local time, and arrive in New Delhi at 2.40 am local time the next day. This schedule is ideal for Alitalia passengers to connect to many other cities across India, such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Jaipur and Bangalore thanks to special agreements between Alitalia and Jet Airways, as well as with other major Indian airlines.

PLACE IN FOCUS : MAMALLAPURAM, TAMIL NADU

Mamallapuram, also popularly known as Mahabalipuram, is an ancient town in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu. Mamallapuram possesses deep historical significance and is said to have been a bustling seaport during the Periplus era (first century CE), from where ancient Indian traders sailed to countries of South East Asia.

The town features numerous tourism offerings. It has a group of temples in the form of chariots, cave sanctuaries, giant open-air rock reliefs and more; these monuments have also been classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of the other popular places of tourist interest include Arjuna’s Penance, Shore Temple, Open Air Museum, The Old Light House, Cholamandalam Arts Village among others.

Did you know?
Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to mankind. The Father of Medicine, Charaka, consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago.
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