• Tea plantations and Muthirappuzhayar River on hills near Munnar, Kerala
Taj Mahal ticket valid for three hours only

Taj Mahal ticket valid for three hours only Authorities have decided to strictly enforce a 3- hour validity rule for all visitors to the Taj Mahal (up to 70, 000 a day during tourist season), with effect from June 9, 2019. After the successful implementation of turnstile gates last year, this is a welcome move as per the Archeological Survey of India, and a necessary step towards crowd management. Fourteen gates have been installed for entry and Ten for exit. These gates operate on the magnetic coin system. These coins are issued along with the receipt for each visitor, when the tickets are bought. To access the turnaround gate, the visitor needs to enter the coin at a designated slot on the gate. Once the gate opens, the entry time is recorded and the visitors needs to complete the tour within three hours. If the tour exceeds three hours, one will have to again pay for a ticket at the exit gate. The charge is the ASI fee amount of INR 700. The total cost of a ticket is INR 1,300 (ASI fee of INR 700 /- + ADA 600/-). As there is no turnstile gate at the main building of the Taj Mahal, tickets will be scanned after purchase, before one walks up to the main building and enters the monument. The coins are available in four colors – blue for Indian tourists, green for foreigners, Grey for visitors from SAARC and BIMSTEC countries and yellow for children below 15 years of age. Prahlad Singh Patel is the new Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel has been appointed as the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. A five-time parliamentarian, he also earlier served as a Minister of State for Coal in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. He defeated his nearest competitor Pratap Singh of Congress with a margin of 3,53,411 votes. Besides a Bachelor’s degree in Science and a Master’s degree in Philosophy, Patel also holds a degree in Law. He was a member of the Executive Council of VV Giri National Labour Institute and the Consultative Committee in the Ministry of Labour and Employment. Karnataka International Travel Expo 2019 (KITE), Bengaluru August 25-27, 2019 Karnataka Tourism is organizing the KITE 2019 (August 25-27, 2019) in Bengaluru, with support of major travel trade and hospitality associations. Almost 350 international and domestic buyers are expected to attend, participate and network at the event, which will mainly feature B2B road shows and meetings. KITE aims to create a platform to offer a congenial environment to create business opportunities for all concerned.

Marayoor: The untold history of the Stone Age

Marayoor: The untold history of the Stone Age Marayoor, just 40 km north of Munnar, falls in the protected area of the Western Ghats in the rain shadow area, and is famous for its natural sandalwood forests. Inhabited by tribals (Muthuva and Pulayar tribes) who make a living out of cultivating the rich soil, it makes for a pristine offbeat tourist destination. Surrounded by lush green tea estates dotted with numerous waterfalls and streams, including the Thoovanam Waterfalls, the visitor can enjoy a plethora of delights and experiences by exploring the muniyaras (burial chambers) dating back to the Iron Age. Exploring the underground tunnels is nothing short of thrilling. Muniyaras are cave-like structures resting on vertical stone slabs resembling crudely made boxes. Cave paintings dating back to the Stone Age depict daily life of the times and are an absolute delight to discover. The summit commands a breath-taking view of the rolling hills and the lush valley spread out below, with tall, bounteous crops of sugarcane. The sugarcane factory is a must-visit place. Another must-do on the list is a jeep safari to The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary about 25 km away, which is home to numerous flora and fauna, with over 225 avian species, teeming herds of Gaur (Indian Bison), elephants, leopards, Bengal tiger, Sambhar deer, Bonnet macaque, Blue antelope (Nilgiri Tahr), and endangered species such as the Great Grizzled Squirrel of India and Indian Star tortoise, among others. This area has the largest population of mugger crocodiles in India. The nearest airport is at Kochi 146 km away.

Narsingh Bagh, Dholpur

Narsingh Bagh, Dholpur Dholpur Palace & Lodges has launched the spectacular Narsingh Bagh, a property water-locked from three sides. It can be easily reached from Delhi, Jaipur and Agra and makes for a great weekend retreat. On offer, are 12 cottages, fashioned with Dholpur stone, which served as the hunting lodges (shikargah) for the royal family of Dholpur. One may enjoy nature walks, bush dinners serving a variety of delectable Indian and Continental dishes, or simply relax in the club house with indoor games and sundowners. This is also an excellent place for birdwatching, and going on wildlife jeep as well as boat safaris. You may even spot leopards and sloth bears, while a boat safari may offer glimpses of two different species of freshwater crocodiles. Mariott, Kathmandu Marriott Kathmandu is a charming 214-room property, which seamlessly combines modern designs and local creativity in vivid splashes of colour, spelling luxury and comfort. Dining options include Thamel Kitchen (multi-cuisine menu), Edamame (Southeast Asian cuisine) and Raksi Music Bar, with its waterfall terrace extension (exotic beverages and delectable food). Also, on offer is over 8000 sq. ft. of banqueting space for conferences and events, and a swimming pool, spa and salon and a fully equipped fitness centre.

Durga Puja

Durga Puja October 04 - 08, 2019 | West Bengal The ulu-dhwani(a sound made by rolling the tongue) and shankh-dhwani (sound of blowing a conch) pierce the dark nights, warding off evil from wherever the sound carries forth. The streets are over-flowing with men resplendent in their dhoti’s (unstitched garment for lower body) and women in their distinctive white and red saris. The nights are a glittering affair with light shows of the elaborate arrangements and the crowds that throng the cityscape. For five days every year in October, the city of Kolkata takes on a new visage as the city celebrates Durga Puja, the largest and most vibrant festival of Bengal. The lanes and parks of Kolkata transform into an open art exhibition as various committees compete to set up lavish and innovative pandals (makeshift prayer arrangements), each displaying an interpretation of Goddess Durga. The ten-armed Goddess saved the world from evil when she slayed the demon, Mahishasur. A deity that embodies the power of the feminine force, both destructive and nurturing, today, Durga is a symbol of woman power. In her modern incarnation, she brings a message of destroying evil in its many forms - hunger, poverty, gender discrimination, ecological change and even terrorism. Come, join us as we go pandal-hopping and treat yourself to a sensory extravaganza. Take delight in the beauty of a city turned into a gallery; be surrounded by silks and muslins, extravagant clothes, jewellery and makeup. Listen to the fascinating sounds that fill the air. Tantalise your taste buds with the offerings of Bengal. We promise you an unforgettable experience.

IndiGo to start daily flights to China

IndiGo to start daily flights to China IndiGo Airlines is all set to operate daily budget flights to Chengdu and Guangzhou, China, from Delhi and Kolkata, as soon as it secures the necessary approvals provided by the Indian and Chinese governments. At present Air India and SpiceJet fly to China (SpiceJet goes to Hong Kong) while a number of Chinese carriers fly to India. Indore airport gets ‘international’ status Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport, Indore will soon enjoy the status of an international airport, and will be setting up an immigration counter, operating round the clock to attend to international flights. It has been bestowed upon with a World Standardization Certificate by the UK. As per reports, Air India would be launching the first international flight from this airport to Sharjah in June, 2019. SpiceJet to operate Guwahati-Dhaka flight from July 01 From July 01, 2019, SpiceJet will be operating its first flight between Guwahati and Dhaka, Bangladesh, under the Central Government’s UDAN international scheme. Fourteen other flights will soon be added to its domestic network from June 20, 2019, along with increased frequency on the existing routes of Kolkata-Dibrugarh, Guwahati-Dibrugarh, and Bengaluru-Mangaluru. Expanding its network further, the low-cost carrier will also soon fly daily on the Bengaluru-Belagavi route.

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