Scaffolding removed at the Taj Mahal Tourists now have reason to cheer as the majestic Taj can once again be viewed fully in its glory and splendor. The scaffolding that had been erected to give the Taj Mahal a mud pack to clean and restore the whiteness of the marble and was part of its restoration efforts, has now been removed. Tourists could only get a partial view of the monument all the while the scaffolding was up since July 2017. MoS urges GoAP to take up tourism promotional activities Union Minister of State for Tourism & Culture, Prahlad Singh Patel, has called upon the Arunachal Pradesh government to focus on promoting cultural, spiritual and adventure tourism in the state, and to boost its potential to attract more international and domestic tourists. He stressed on good connectivity and prioritizing augmenting and upgrading the existing tourism infrastructures, and encouraging rural tourism to create more livelihood opportunities, as well as highlight its rich cultural heritage, arts, crafts, major festivals and an upcoming ecotourism event in Ledum village, besides the development of riverfront areas and trekking trails. FTAs to India record nearly 2% growth in August 2019 as compared to 2018: MOT Foreign Tourist Arrivals between August 2018 - August 2019 rose to 7,98,587 from 7,86,003, registering a growth of 1.6%, as per latest statistics released by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. FTAs during the period January-August 2019 were 68, 82940 as compared to 67,43,819 in January- August 2018 registering a growth of 2.1%. Ministry of Tourism signs MoU to work out of Air India overseas offices The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the national carrier, Air India with a common objective of promoting tourism to India. Now, Air India offices abroad will function as extended arms of MOT. Tourism ministry plans promotions around GST (Goods and Services Tax) rate cut for hotels Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister for Culture & Tourism (IC) said that GST rate cut on hotel accommodation service will boost the tourism sector. Speaking at the inauguration of the 2nd India Tourism Mart 2019, he further said that it was a significant move which will create a favourable environment for the tourism industry. The rate on hotel rooms with tariff ranging from Rs 1,000-7,500 has been cut to 12 percent from 18 percent. The current tax has also been brought down to 18 per cent from 28 percent for rooms ranging Rs 7501 and above. Also, there will be no GST for hotels ranging Rs 1000 or less.
An Introduction to Kolkata’s Street Food Kolkata street food offers a vast variety of reasonably priced gastronomic delights, served fresh and hot. The city is replete with stalls serving lip-smacking dishes ranging from the local flavours of jhal muri (spiced puffed rice snack), puchka (golgappa), singara (samosa), kachauri, maach bhaat (fish and rice), and telebhaja (oil fries), to Mughlai and Chinese delights like biryani, hot kathi rolls, (kebabs rolled in a paratha), potato and egg paratha, momos, chowmein, and thupka - you have it all here. Take a tour to explore the famous street food joints of Kolkata - BBD Bagh, Dalhousie Square, Sudder Street, and AJC Bose Road. The kiosks running along Dacres Lane are the ultimate destination for foodies. You can watch and learn as your food is prepared before you. Dacres Lane has been rated by WHO as one of the best street foods of the world, offering the best chicken cutlets, fish fry, fish roll, mutton/chicken/vegetable stew, ghugni, chowmein, fried rice, chilly/schezwan/garlic chicken, luchi/puri sabzi, chola-bhatura, kulcha-chana, momo, biryani, a wide range of sweets, lassi, firni and lots more. It has been a popular hangout for sailors and travellers since the last 200 years, it is a must visit for street food connoisseurs. BBD Bagh, a prime business centre area, serves some of the best street foods, ranging from luchi, kochuri and aloodom, cholar dal,maach bhat and lanchan. Dalhousie Square and around is a foodies paradise, offering a lip-smacking variety of snacks and meals, with choices ranging from typical Bengali and South Indian to Mughlai, Punjabi and Chinese cuisine.
Courtyard by Marriott, Siliguri The hallmark offerings of the Courtyard by Marriott brand spells ultimate comfort and style, and being the tallest building in Siliguri, it is designed for the business traveller and the leisure traveller alike. Providing guests with world-class facilities and amenities, The Courtyard has high-speed internet and 24-hour room service, along with a fitness centre and an outdoor swimming pool. The all-day- diner ‘Siliguri Kitchen’ delights your palate and ‘The Siliguri Bakehouse’ indulges your sweet tooth with fresh baked goodies. Relax with the choicest liquors and beverages at ‘The KBar’. Also on offer are innovative event spaces for conferences and weddings. Aurika, Udaipur Perched atop an undulating hill, Aurika offers opulence and class. Spread over 5 acres, it beckons you into a world of regal splendour. Indulge in repast fit for royals at ‘Mirasa’, the all-day diner and ‘Ariva’, the well-stocked bar. The ballroom, courtyard and boardroom offer expansive banqueting and conference facilities, while the outdoor terraces are ideal for cosy get-togethers. Indulge yourself at ‘Araya’ the spa, the fitness centre and the outdoor swimming pool. The Library and the Rumpus Room inspire you to relax with a book. Try your hand at the putting greens and be enthralled by strains of melodious traditional music performed by local musicians at ‘Survani’.
Dev Deepawali Varanasi November 12, 2019 Dev Deepavali is more like an extended celebration of Deepawali, India biggest festival. Falling on Kartik Poornima (which is the next full moon night 15 days following Deepawali), it is celebrated with almost equal fervour at the holy city of Varanasi or Benaras. This day is also celebrated as Tulsi Vivah which marks the birth of Matsya (fish), the first avatar of Lord Vishnu, born of Vishnu and Vrinda, the representation of the tulsi plant. Dev Deepawali is flagged off with an elaborate traditional ceremony invoking Lord Ganesha (the god of auspicious beginnings), followed by a deepdaan - offering of earthen diyas (earthen lamps) to the sacred river Ganga at every single ghat, to the strains of vedic shlokas chanted by priests. The sight of floating diyas is divine and magnificent, to say the least, and leaves onlookers spellbound. Also, the daily Ganga Aarti, performed on the evening of Dev Deepavali, is the most elaborately performed and the most spectacular one to behold, followed by spectacular fireworks. Devotees also take a holy dip in the river Ganga, a ritual that is believed to help wash off all the sins of mankind. Be sure to visit this holy city of lights during the festival of Dev Deepavali and soak in the elements of India’s ancient culture, rich tradition, spiritual bliss and inner peace.
Lufthansa moves to e-check in baggage tags; to start bidding for next class of travel soon Lufthansa Airlines has now started e-mailing baggage tags to passengers’ e-mail accounts right on issue at origin airports, including those in India. The airline will also start bidding for the next higher level of travel from 2020, enabling an economy passenger to travel premium economy, and a premium economy flyer to business class by submitting a bid, which will be significantly lower than actual fare in that class - paying a little more to travel in a higher class by bidding could be a value proposition. Air India implemented a bidding system for upgrade earlier this year. Now fly Vistara between Delhi, Varanasi and Khajuraho in daily flights Starting November 3, 2019, Vistara will be operating daily flights to Patna, marking the beginning of its flight operations to Bihar. It will also be operating daily flights to Varanasi and Khajuraho from Delhi and Mumbai, thus bringing up its destination location tally to 32 within India. Two historic cities on Air India non-stop Flights Air India has restored its 20-year-old historical tourist circuit flight connecting Mumbai – Aurangabad – Udaipur – Aurangabad – Mumbai, thrice a week (Wednesday, Friday & Sunday) using the Airbus aircraft, from October 16, 2019. Air India Flight AI 605: Dep Mumbai 0500 hrs - Arr Aurangabad 0620 hrs; Dep Aurangabad 0715 hrs - Arr Udaipur 0840 hrs. Air India Flight AI 606: Dep Udaipur 0935 hrs - Arr Aurangabad 1100 hrs; Dep Aurangabad 1215 hrs - Arr Mumbai1335 hrs.