A date with Costa Cruises’s neoRieviera

December 7, 2018, Mumbai: Europe’s No 1 cruising company, Costa Cruises, is commenced its India season for the 3rd time with the arrival of its ship, Costa neoRiviera at the Mumbai International cruise terminal. The day turned out to be truly special when Costa Cruise hosted a DATE with media and bloggers on the Cruise itself, which provided us with some very interesting insights. For me, this was the first time I had seen the ship with such close quarters as we were taken for the entire tour of the ship. Costa newRievera is nothing short of a sailing five – star hotel in the seas from Mumbai via Kochi to Maldives. Icing on the cake was some breathtakingly beautiful on-board performances!

So why should you choose a Costa Cruise?

  • The Only Italian finest cruise to home port in Asia
  • Exclusive entertainment for children
  • No Visa for Indian nationals
  • Children under 18 cruise free if sharing a cabin with two adults
  • A holiday for everyone, fun-filled activities
  • Maximum value with minimum cost

The Mumbai home port starting on December 7, was celebrated in the presence of Shri Tawde, Hon’ble Minister School Education, Sports and Youth Welfare, Hon’ble Minister of State, Water Resources, Ms Stefania Costanza, Consul General of Italy, Shri. Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman of Mumbai Port Trust, Mr Ashish Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary Transport and Ports, other senior Government officials, Marco Salvatico, Director, MICE & India Business Development, Costa Cruises and Smt. Nalini Gupta, Managing Director, Lotus Destinations, Representative of Costa Cruises in India.

The event kicked off with an announcement of the sailing of Costa neoRiviera from Mumbai to the Maldives via Cochin for the 3rd season. The sailings are from 08th December 2018 to 16th March 2019. This is the 3rd season that Costa Cruises will be homeporting in Indian waters and is the only international cruise liner in India to offer regular cruises directly from Mumbai to Maldives, confirming its strong interest in proactively developing the Indian cruise market.

This year Costa Cruises has deployed its ship, Costa neoRiviera which will begin its first sailing from Mumbai with an Indian Wedding. The built-in infrastructure on the ship makes it particularly easy for groups to hold large events in one location. This classic cruise ship has a total of 654 cabins, including sea view cabins and suites with private balconies. With around 670 crew attending to approx. 1,700 passengers, the ship maintains its exclusivity and provides dedicated services to guests. Fully-equipped with a Casino, Theatre, Disco, Ballroom, Grand Bar, it aims to provide plenty in entertainment from Magic shows operas and dancers that will captivate even the most well-travelled folks with spectacular performances.

The ship prides itself in serving up a culinary feast, catering to different dietary needs. Italian food is a speciality, with provision made to ensure customisation towards the Indian market by providing Indian & Jain meals. The wellness centre is spread across 1,300 sq. m with a gym, treatment rooms, sauna and steam room. It also has an outdoor jogging track, 4 Jacuzzis and 2 swimming pools. For those who would like to go shopping, the cruise ship has a duty-free shopping centre and also offers a wide selection of books in the library for book lovers.

Sanjay Bhatia Chairman Mumbai Port added “Cruise Tourism is a niche travel segment and its demand is expanding amongst Indians. Observing this trend, we have planned to encourage Cruise Tourism by inviting cruise liners to explore Indian waters. I am thankful to our Minister who acknowledged and supported our efforts to boost Cruise Tourism”. Elaborating the plans, Mr Bhatia said, “This year we are going to have 60 callings overall in Mumbai, and in April two bigger cruises are coming, which will have 100 callings in Mumbai. There is a new SOP in the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Shipping. We are developing this part of the Mumbai a key tourist destination, we are developing an international cruise terminal of the size of the International airport. We are very keen that cruise tourism develops as it would also open many employment avenues. ”

Nalini Gupta, Managing Director, Lotus Destinations, GSA Costa cruise India, says “This is exciting times to be in the cruising industry in India. I am quite confident, every Indian who experiences cruising with neoRiviera will take away nostalgic memories with them” She added, “I would like to thank Costa Cruise headquarters for showing that kind of confidence on Indian markets and Govt of India who is getting Cruising policy into place. I believe that the cruising industry is here to stay and 2020 belongs to cruising industry of the country.”

Memories of Mehrangarh Fort alive, once again!

PeeCee Wedding Wows in Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, ultimate wedding destination!

Circa 2018, Date December 1, when all eyes are on Jodhpur which has moved from being a historical town in Rajasthan to preferred GLOBAL wedding destination of none other than Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas.

With this comes alive vivid memories of the marriage of my cousin Aarti’s wedding to Mohit in Jodhpur nearly five years ago, which, our entire clan called “Gwalior Gharana” attended. What to say of hospitality extended by dear Suman Bua and Phoophaji. It was beautiful weather in February when we were privy to the beautiful Rajasthani wedding which was a beautiful amalgamation of show and soul…

Now that International superstar Priyanka Chopra has zeroed in on Jodhpur for her marriage to American pop singer Nick Jonas, once again Jodhpur is in the limelight. Though Deepika and Ranveer chose a villa in far-flung Italy, PeeCee scores more points for choosing regal and historical Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Bhavan palace.

When Aarti’s marriage ceremony got over, my phoophaji advised us to visit Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Bhavan Palace which had already caught my fancy while coming to my dear Suman bua’s home for Aarti’s marriage. He arranged a vehicle for us and very next morning we were out to visit Mehrangarh Fort. Though tired because of marriage ceremonies, I was quite excited to visit the fort which looked so imposing to me while driving around the beautiful Rajasthan city of Jodhpur. Moreover, I have a fetish for forts and I may be credited for visiting several forts of India across States. The palaces in Rajasthan are truly royal and magnificent and it is very difficult to rate them on these parameters. Every fort has its own charm and a story to tell, the only common thread being Rajasthani Culture and architecture. Every fort awe-inspiring, leaving you to spellbound. The story is the same here, when accompanied by my husband Mukund, who was like – Oh another fort, another steep climb, guide telling Raja Rani Kahaniyan…tiring day!

The pre-wedding functions for PeeCee and Nick will unfold over three days, beginning on November 30 and culminating with a wedding (both Christian and Hindu) on December 1 and 2. I have come to know that Priyanka’s sangeet ceremony will be held at the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort, while the Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel, also in Jodhpur, has been chosen as the nuptial venue.

The Mehrangarh Fort has been known to host high profile events – the enormous 14th-century fort was rented out for Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar’s wedding reception in 2007, and Naomi Campbell’s lavish birthday bash for ex-boyfriend Vladimir Doronin’s 50th birthday. The red sandstone fort, known as the Citadel of the Sun, is built at a height of 125 metres above the city and is surrounded by imposing and intricately carved thick walls. The fort is known for its expansive courtyards and features seven entry gates. The most famous of these gates is the Jaya Pol, constructed by Maharaja Man Singh to celebrate his success over the armies of Jaipur and Bikaner. Fatteh Pol, which also means victory gate, was raised by Maharaja Ajit Singh to celebrate the defeat of the Mughals. The fort also houses several other structures such as the Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Phool Mahal (Flower Palace), Sheesha Mahal (Mirror Palace), Sileh Khana, Daulat Khana, and one of Rajasthan’s most well-stocked museums, the Mehrangarh Museum.

I spent quite a lot of time in Mehrangarh Fort and believe me every moment was worth it.

Wish Priyanka Chopra well for her regal marriage ceremony in Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur.

 

Sardar Patel’s Statue of Unity: The Tallest, The Grandest!


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the Sardar Patel Statue TODAY   (31st October 2018) – The Statue of Unity, the one to have laid the foundation stone for the project on 31 October 2013 as Gujarat CM. Besides PM Modi, Chief Ministers of several BJP-ruled states are expected to attend the gala event. Gujarat has the rare honour of possessing the competitor to Global Icon (The Statue of Liberty) – The Statue of Unity! This will attract reverse tourism as Gujaratis based in the U.S. will visit as tourists whereas till now Gujaratis loved to visit the Statue of Liberty in the U.S. – their favourite. Owing to its unique features, it is certain to attract tourist from all over the world.

Sardar Patel is renowned as the architect of independent India, as he united all diverse 562 princely states to build the one great Republic of India. Shri Narendra Modi decided to pay the honourable tribute which will be cherished for centuries by the whole world and it will become a matter of pride for every Indian for this great man. Built in less than five years, it is the world’s tallest, grandest and giant statue. It is a tribute to the man who united India, Sardar Patel.

The Statue of Unity is a monument dedicated to Indian independence movement leader Vallabhbhai Patel located in the Indian state of Gujarat. It is located facing the Narmada Dam, 3.2 km (2.0 mi) away on the river island called Sadhu Bet near Rajpipla in Gujarat. The monument along with its surroundings occupies over 20,000 square metres and is surrounded by a 12 square km artificial lake. It is the world’s tallest statue with a height of 182 metres (597 ft).  Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET), a special purpose vehicle was established by the Government of Gujarat for its construction and the outreach programme was carried out across India starting December 2013.

Initially, the total cost of the project was estimated to be about ₹3,001 crore (US$420 million) by the Government of India. Later Larsen & Toubro won the contract in October 2014 for its lowest bid of ₹2,989 crore (US$420 million) for the design, construction and maintenance. The construction was started on 31 October 2013 and completed in mid-October 2018. It will be inaugurated on 31 October 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The monument statue represents the Indian independence movement leader and the first Deputy Prime Minister of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel which is constructed facing the Narmada Dam, 3.2 km away on the river island called Sadhu Bet. The total height of the statue from its base will be 240-metre consisting base level of 58 metres and statue of 182 metres. It is constructed with steel framing, reinforced cement concrete and bronze cladding.  The statue needed 75,000 cubic metres of concrete, 5,700 tonnes of steel structure, 18,500 tonnes of reinforced steel rods, 22,500 tonnes of bronze sheets for construction. In the first phase, a bridge connecting the memorial to the mainland, a memorial, visitor centre buildings, a memorial garden, a hotel, a convention centre, an amusement park, research centres and institutes is being constructed.

The Statue of Unity is designed as a naturalistic and historically accurate representation of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, wearing characteristic garments, in a walking stance.

The project includes:

  • Bronze cladding on the Statue.
  • Fast elevators to reduce transit time for visitors.
  • The three-level base of the Statue: exhibit floor, mezzanine and roof – will contain a Memorial Garden and a large continuous museum/exhibition hall, comprising exhibits that focus on the life and contributions of Vallabhbhai Patel.
  • The observation deck, situated at a height of around 500 ft from the river bed, will accommodate up to 200 people at a time. It will provide visitors with a panoramic view, enabling them to see the Satpura and Vindhyachal mountain ranges, the 212 km long Sardar Sarovar Reservoir, and the 12 km long Garudeshwar Reservoir.
  • Access to the Statue via a 5 km boat ride.
  • A large canopied public plaza, overlooking the Narmada River and the Statue, comprising food stalls, gift shops, retail kiosks and other amenities.
  • The Gujarat government has plans to build a Shreshtha Bharat Complex near the Statue of Unity which will house Bhavans of different states. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has approached all state governments for setting up their respective Bhavans at the site.

Indeed Statue of Unity has much more to offer than meets the eye. The closest station and airport would be Vadodara which is some 90 Km away and travel time by road would be 2.5 hours followed by a boat ride of 5 Kms.

I am all set to visit, are you?

I would be visiting both most loved statues – The Statue of Liberty & The Statue of Unity in the same year – 2019! Isn’t it something unique!!

SWANKIEST EVER BHARTIYA RAIL: TRAIN 18


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Indian Railways will soon usher in a new era with its first “Made-in-India” engine-less train – named Train 18. Also known as T18, this train is set to hit the tracks for trials on October 29, 2018.

Being a  big “Bhartiya Rail” fan, I could not resist myself from watching the news on Train 18, this is another story that I watch and follow all news updates from Indian Railways/ Railway Minister. I was very delighted to see the swankiest ever train, ready to run on tracks of India which is being witnessed as the replacement of Shatabdi Express, But one thing worth questioning – why it is being positioned as replacement of Shatabdi Express, which in itself is a very good train. It could have been positioned as “Concept” train for Indian travellers. Anyways…it is all set of trial run of October 29, 2018, i.e. tomorrow. It is another story that not a single Metro in Mumbai is set for a trial run till date…5 years into the making and not a single track ready completely. These also need immediate attention of concerned authorities.

Good to know, that finally “Make In India” is gaining some traction after its high profile launch in 2016 by Modiji. Train 18 or T 18 has several highlights which makes it stand out amidst the Shatabdis and Rajdhanis of this world.

So what are these highlights, I would like to share with you.

This Make-in-India train is made from the estimated cost of Rs. 100 crores and is engine-less, which can run at 160 kmph speed and is adorned with swanky interiors.

This is a significant leap by the Indian Railways in terms of technology innovation.

10 things about Train 18 that you should know about:

  1. Driven by a self-propulsion module san a separate locomotive, Train 18 or T18, is capable of running at a speed of up to 160 kmph. Train 18 comes with technical features for enhanced quick acceleration.
  2. The swanky 16-coach prototype without a locomotive (engine) will cut travel time by 15 per cent compared to the Shatabdi Express.
  3. Developed by Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory in 18 months, the fully AC train is designed in such a way that passengers can see the driver’s cabin.
  4. The estimated cost of each Train 18 vehicle is Rs 100 crore. Indian Railways’ Integrated Coach Factory General Manager Sudhanshu Mani said that subsequent production would bring down the cost compared to its current prototype.
  5. Train 18 will be unveiled on October 29. A trial will be conducted for three to four days. The trial will be conducted outside the factory after which the train would be handed over to the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) for further trials.
  6. The self-propelled train, fitted with CCTV cameras, would have two executive compartments in the middle with 52 seats each whereas trailer coaches would have 78 seats each.
  7. Though the maximum speed of Train 18 is 160 kmph against 130 kmph of Shatabdi, the issue could be the suitability of the existing tracks. The tracks are being improved and once the tracks are fit to suit Train 18’s speed, it would reduce travel time by around 15 per cent compared to Shatabdi.
  8. Train 18 has diffused lighting, automatic doors and footsteps beside GPS-based Passenger Information System.
  9. The footstep in a coach’s doorway slides outward when the train stops at a station enabling passengers to alight safely with comfort. The footstep would adjust to the variation in height between a train’s floor and the platform.
  10. Shatabdi was introduced in 1988 and is presently running on over 20 routes connecting metros with other important cities.

So, get set ready for your ride in Swankiest ever train by Indian Railways.

 

World’s Longest Sea – Crossing Bridge Inaugurated


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Chinese President Xi Jinping inaugurated the world’s longest sea bridge connecting the financial centre of Hong Kong, the gambling hub of Macau and Zhuhai city on the mainland as Beijing steps up efforts to create a new economic base in southern China on October 23, 2018.

Described as a mega infrastructure project, the 55-km HKZM bridge, which includes a seven-kilometre underwater tunnel, was inaugurated within weeks of the opening of a high-speed rail link between Beijing and Hong Kong.

“I declare the officially open,” Xi said at an indoor ceremony in Zhuhai. He did not address the audience.

Built at a cost of $15 billion, work on the bridge began in 2009. It is expected to ease the movement of cargo between Hong Kong and southern China and boost tourism in the region.

Ahead of the inauguration, state media reported: “Made from enough steel to build 60 Eiffel Towers and enough concrete to construct 22 Chrysler Buildings, it can withstand magnitude-8 earthquakes, and is even prepared for super typhoons. This is something built to last a century of service.”

The bridge will be opened to the public on Wednesday, with state media reporting that it “will slash the travel time between Hong Kong and Zhuhai from three hours to just 30 minutes”.

The bridge links Hong Kong’s Lantau island to Zhuhai and the gambling haven of Macau, across the waters of the heavily industrialised Pearl River estuary.

“The bridge will cut the once arduous journey from Zhuhai to Hong Kong, to just half an hour, but this is just a piece of the puzzle. With high-speed rail finally connecting Hong Kong to the mainland network and infrastructure projects in progress across the Pearl River Delta, this is about multiple mega-projects knitting together an entire region,” official Xinhua news agency reported.

Access to the bridge, however, will be restricted.

“Hong Kong residents will only be granted a licence to cross into Zhuhai by car if they meet highly selective criteria, including holding certain mainland government positions or making major contributions to charities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. Most people will need to travel the bridge on coaches and buses,” Singapore-based Channel News Asia reported.

Building the bridge was not without its headaches, and the tunnel was one of them.

“Part of the bridge crosses two of Guangzhou Port’s shipping lanes,” Li Jiang, a project manager with HKZM Bridge Authority, explained to Xinhua. “If we were to build a bridge above these lanes, it would have to be very wide and tall.”

Compounding the problem, these shipping lanes pass right by Hong Kong airport, and any bridge tall enough to let ships pass would disrupt flight paths. “Building a tall bridge was not an option,” said Li, adding the tunnel was the solution.

“Technically speaking, we were at a loss in terms of existing long sea bridge projects that we could learn from,” said Luo Dong, vice general project manager for the Island and Tunnel Project of the bridge.

“The water conditions of the Pearl River Delta are so complicated. Building a bridge and tunnel system in this area was a real challenge.”

Courtesy: The Hindustan Times

Munich hosts 185th Oktoberfest

The visitors also enjoyed a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, inviting everybody to celebrate the Oktoberfest. Visits on weekdays and during noons and afternoons became increasingly popular and the Wiesn has regained the favour of families. Also, more senior citizens found their way to the Oktoberfest, initiated by the Wiesn-tables for elder guests by the city of Munich and the proprietors of the smaller tents. The Oide Wiesn vintage area retained its reputation as favourite place for local guests from Munich.

In fashion, the combination of traditional dirndl dresses or leather pants and sneakers was a trend. An estimated 6.3 million visitors (2015: 5,9 million in 16 days; 2017: 6,2 million in 18 days) came to the Oktoberfest, including 500.000 guests at the Oide Wiesn (2015: 535.000, 2017: 480.000).

According to data of the ATM machines, the whole world visited the Oktoberfest, the top 10 being: USA, Great Britain, Austria, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, Australia, Sweden and Belgium.

The Oktoberfest post office reported an average of 500 sent postcards per day. Beer mugs mostly went to Australia, Asia and the USA, gingerbread hearts were sent to Italy and Austria and due to the beautiful weather, most guests could also send their warm winter clothes right back home.

Festival officials, carnies, vendors and tent proprietors are happy with the final results.

The increased safety measures have been optimized and gotten used to by guests and security personnel. The stewards were mostly praised for their helpfulness and friendliness.

Food and Drinks

There was an increased appetite at this year’s Wiesn: The tent proprietors reported an increase of 10% in food sales, with a big request for traditional dishes like duck, pork legs, roast pork and kässpatzen (thimble dumplings with cheese).

Special offers at noon time and street vendors also attracted many hungry guests. Summer-like temperatures also provided a high request for ice-cream.

At the Ochsenbraterei, 124 oxen (2015: 114, 2017: 127) were consumed. The Kalbsbraterei reported 48 eaten calves (2015:50, 2017:59).

According to the breweries, the guests drank 7.5 million litres of beer (2015: 7,3 million, 2017: 7,5 million), alcohol-free beverages ended with a plus of 10%.

Mugs, please!

Security personnel collected 101.000 mugs at the tent exits.

Fun rides and Carnies

The speakers of the fun ride owners and carnies reported “A great Wiesn”. Traditional family businesses like “Rund um den Tegernsee” and “Zugspitzbahn” were just as popular as new attractions.

Souvenirs

Fridge magnets and similar items were the souvenirs most sold. In the balloon department, unicorns and flamingos were the absolute favourites. At night, balloons equipped with LEDs lighted the way for Oktoberfest guests.

You can also order your favourite souvenirs online at the Oktoberfest.de Shop.

The Wiesn-Hit

This year’s newcomer hit was “Cordula Grün” by Josh, followed by revolutionaries’ classic “Bella Ciao”. Neil Diamonds’ “Sweet Caroline” or “Highway To Hell” by AC/DC still rocked the beer tents.

The official Oktoberfest-App on the rise

In its second year, the official Oktoberfest App was received very positively by visitors, tent runners and carnies. A total of 170.000 downloads and twice as many downloads as last year (80.000) show its success.

Lost and Found

By the end of the Wiesn, the Oktoberfest lost and found office counted 2.685 finds, among them: 840 passports, 460 wallets, 350 pieces of clothing, 350 phones, 300 keys, 140 glasses, 130 pieces of jewellery, 90 bags and rucksacks, 20 umbrellas and 5 cameras.

Remarkable finds were also: Both of one couple’s wedding rings, a food delivery box, a sheet for documenting accidents on your way to work from 2015, a laptop, a brochure display stand, a dog leash, golden ballerinas and a company’s internal shooting stand ranking.

Courtesy: Oktoberfest.de

World Tourism Day

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) celebrated ‘World Tourism Day’ on 27th September 2018 with UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) with an aim to promote ‘Tourism and the Digital Transformation.’ This was intended to emphasize the necessity for investment in the latest digital technologies and develop entrepreneurship in the travel and tourism sector. The esteemed speakers Mr. Tarun Joukani, Managing Director, STAAH highlighted his views and thoughts on the role the technology and Mr. Munaf Kapadia, CEO, The Bohari Kitchen emphasized on how experiential tourism especially the home dining can boost the tourism prospects in the state.

In order to stay equipped with the global trends and growth in the digital sector, MTDC is constantly focusing on Content, Search Engine Plan and Online Destination Promotion by developing online goodwill through social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. The objective of each social media platform is to engage with followers; keep them connected with developments and interact with people. Additionally, Paryatan Parv is celebrated across the state from 16th September 2018 to 27th September 2018. The idea is to spin around the importance of tourism among all stakeholders such as hoteliers, resort operators, tour operators and other trades to support the tourism sector in the state.

Similarly, to celebrate the true spirit of World Tourism Day, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation has announced the ‘Swachhata Hi Sewa Campaign’ on the vision of Hon’rable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, carried out from 15th September 2018 to 2nd October 2018 at the several destinations across the state in Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Ratnagiri, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Amravati and Ratnagiri.

Commenting on the occasion, Shri Jaykumar Rawal, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism & (EGS), Government of Maharashtra said, “I am pleased to celebrate World Tourism Day with the theme ‘Tourism and the Digital Transformation.’ It is crucial to adapt the digital transformation taking place across the globe. I believe digital platforms offer high level of engagement across different demographics and geographies which will help to connect and educate travellers from all over the world. The association in the recent past with Airbnb, Etihad, Jet Airways and Ola has assisted us to meet the growing demands of the travellers and to overcome the challenges faced earlier. Our sole aim is to provide the best possible experience for the travellers through the digital initiative.”

Shri Vijay Kumar Gautam (IAS), Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra added, “The World Tourism Day 2018 theme highlights the objective of Tourism and Digital transformation across the globe. The social media platforms are cost-effective as they create larger connectivity and visibility among the various stakeholders. Travel and Tourism companies are getting benefits through this, so we are also developing this aspect. Interactive website and Social media are developed for tech-savvy commuters who will have all the essential information with a click of a button.”

Commenting on the occasion, Shri Suhas Diwase, (IAS), Managing Director, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) said, “The travelling sector has gone through a paradigm shift, where the travellers are looking for a new experience every time they travel. The World Tourism Day’ 2018 theme emphasizes the importance of digital transformation which will help the travellers to create a better experience with a click of a button. At MTDC, we always try to match up to ongoing trend and create a unique experience for the travellers whenever they visit Maharashtra.”

Since its foundation, MTDC has been at the forefront of development and maintenance of various tourist sites and at present owns and maintains resorts in these regions. To aide tourists, MTDC has opened information centres at all popular destination, which provide travel information about various tourist spots in Maharashtra along with travel maps, Maharashtra tourism guides and travel books at affordable prices.

Maharashtra is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India offering a diverse range of experiences from pristine beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, natural caves, waterfalls, to imposing forts, colourful festivals, ancient pilgrimage shrines, museums, and historical monuments. For further details, please visit: http://www.maharashtratourism.gov.in/

 

And We Walked Away: A Review

Subrat Saurabh has come up with another gem with “And We Walked Away”, this time in English. After reading “Kuch Woh Pal”, I thought this young engineer turned author brought so much to the table for Hindi readers with his lucid writing and excellent command over Hindi that too in verse. Touched upon so many untouched aspects of life, Kuch Woh Pal was like a breeze of fresh air amidst hordes of English best sellers.

Yes, his “And We Walked Away” did not disappoint…today’s campus life is well portrayed. It is the story of very practical about love, Naina and hopelessly in love Abhimanyu. This will certainly strike a chord with the younger generation who are currently living campus life or have recently been through campus life. The book begins with well-known author Abhimanyu returning to his Alma Mater after a decade and minutely notices changes taken place all over the place. He goes into flashback mode and reminisces love of his life – Naina, his friends, faculty, parents, grandparents and life on campus. Subrat has minutely captured the nuances of his life, Naina’s life, his friends’ lives that it read like an autobiographical account of the author.

Abhimanyu’s rush to propose Naina and ways and means adopted by him makes him the poster boy of GenNext who is in a rush to do everything. After a spade of failed tricks to impress and convince Naina, a trick finally works, which is an interesting twist, but does it really work? You need to read the entire book to know the end.

The trails and turbulence provided by Dev and Aarush as friends in his life are interesting and keeps you hooked throughout. You should have ample time to read this book as you would not like to leave it without reading the climax.

Our generation may not relate much to the book, as times were really different then, but yes we could catch the glimpse of what our children would be going through in these times. Abhimanyu’s parents and grandfather are true representatives of their generation, particularly from North India. Their pearls of wisdom are big takeaways from the book.

Indeed, it is a heart-warming tale of love and friendship, told in a simple manner, keeping the suspense alive all through. The story revolved around three friends in an Engineering College with love stories being the mainstay in their lives.

Subrat Saurabh is the author of the bestseller Kuch Woh Pal. He is popularly known as ChickenBiryani on social media. What to say about his popularity across mainstream media and on social media as well.

Emerging as a promising author on India’s literary canvas who is proficient in both languages – Hindi & English, a rare feat indeed!

Book pre-ordered on Amazon, delivered promptly in excellent condition.

Published by notionpress.

MTDC supports Lit-O-Fest 2018 in London

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation supported the Lit-O-Fest 2018 in London which provides a platform to emerging and award-winning talent in the field of literature, art and culture.

: Smt. Smita GLK Parikh, Lit-O-Fest Director; Smt. Reeva R Jadeja, Awardee; Shri Mahendra Sinh Jadeja, Li-O-Fest International Advisory; Shri Pankaj Dubey, Author; Shri Jaykumar Rawal, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism; Shri.Vijay Kumar Gautam, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra;Shri Anup Jalota, Renowned Singer; Smt. Ekta Sodha, CEO, Cadmus Education

Lit-O-Fest 2018 London felicitated the legendary achievers by presenting them the Global Innovation Awards 2018 to the artists including Anup Jalota, Radhakrishna Pillai and Ekta Sodha among others at the British Parliament. Lit-O-Fest 2018 London has also launched 15 books written by teenagers aimed to encourage the budding talents across the globe.

MTDC successfully holds the first ever Tourism Road Show in China

With the rising tide of Chinese tourists visiting India, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) participated in Tourism Roadshow in China organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in association with Indian Embassy, Beijing and Consulate General of India in Guangzhou and Shanghai which was successfully concluded in major cities including Guangzhou, Wahun and Shanghai from 28th August 2018 to 2nd September 2018 in the presence of Shri K J Alphons Hon’ble Tourism Minister, Government of India, Shri Jaykumar Rawal Hon’ble Tourism Minister, Government of Maharashtra, Shri. Gautam Bambawale Indian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Vice Governor Hube region Wuhan, Mr Chang Hyei and other officials were present.

Tourism Roadshow in China consisted of buyer-seller meet, Incredible India seminar, a presentation on tourism promotion strategy by Chinese companies which focussed on why Chinese travellers should travel to India and the state of Maharashtra. The main aim of Tourism Roadshow in China is to draw Chinese travellers by highlighting the Buddhist circuits across the state and the country. Circuits in Aurangabad, Pune, Nashik, Mumbai, Satara & Kolhapur, Raigad and Nagpur were promoted to encourage Buddhist Tourism. In fact, MTDC preserves and encourages the rich heritage and Buddhist culture of the state of Maharashtra and influences them in the expansion of a world-class, sustainable site of distinction which enhances the lives of travellers and inhabitants alike.

China is one of the major outbound tourist market in the world, which generates 144 million outbound travellers. The association aims to tap the Chinese market and increasing Chinese tourist arrivals to India along with maximum footfall in Maharashtra. The objective of this roadshow was to create awareness of the state and several destinations among Chinese travellers.

Commenting on the occasion, Shri Jaykumar Rawal, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra said, “It’s a pleasure to perceive that the roadshow has received an overwhelming response from all the stakeholders across China. Maharashtra is already becoming a preferred destination among international travellers. The roadshow was a new experience for the members of both the nations, as it gave a prospect of exchanging new ideas and facts about our countries which will assist us to attract Chinese travellers. Maharashtra has successfully entered the Chinese Tourism market in the first of it’s kind road show and time has come to work to unlock the huge potential of Tourism and Maharashtra has all that a Chinese traveller would need right from heritage to contemporary state of the art accommodation units”

Shri Vijay Kumar Gautam (IAS), Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra added, “We have received an overwhelming response from China during this Tourism Roadshow.  MTDC has showcased various Buddhist circuits of the state and encouraged the Chinese travellers to explore Buddhist Tourism in the state of Maharashtra. This Roadshow has assisted us in strengthening our ties with China. It is just a beginning and I think a lot of things are yet to be explored, we look forward to inviting more Chinese travellers to our country in the years to come.”

 

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