Amidst all these stressful times when there are talks of Covid19 all over, round the clock, it is difficult to keep yourself aloof from the surroundings. We are confined at home 24×7 for many days, which for people like me who like to talk, host tea, lunches, dinners and most importantly taking morning and evening walks are feeling the heat beyond measure. Travel is out of the question, don’t know till when.
Hence, I decided to share with you the wonderful evening with my cousin Aarti and her husband Mohit in Jaipur. When I expressed the desire of eating daal, baati, choorma, she planned this outing for me. I fully trusted them for their choice and voila! What a choice it turned out to be!! It became a memorable evening!!!
Around 8 PM on 25th January we reached Shri Thal which looked to me mini chowki dhaani. Incidentally, the place belongs to Aarti’s good friend Ms Nidhi Upadhyay, a first-generation women entrepreneur with many prestigious awards in her thaali. We were accorded a very warm and traditional welcome at Shri Thal with their service staff. The seating arrangement was informal – Moodhas and Manjis and we were served raab as a welcome drink.
Shri Thal Village Restaurant, Jaipur is a Rajasthani Village in the City. This concept & idea of Village Theme Restaurant in the City came to Mrs. Nidhi Upadhyay’s(Managing Director – Shri Thal Village) mind looking at the busy lifestyle of Jaipurites, where it is practically not possible to get out of the city to experience the village ambience. For them, Shri Thal Village is an ideal place to enjoy ethnic Rajasthani Food, Village games & fun etc. The Restaurant is located on Queens Road in Vaishali Nagar, which is in the heart of Jaipur accessible from anywhere within 15-20 minutes of drive.
So, something about the ambience, it has a mini fort-like façade and a huge entrance door with a mud wall village structure with traditional mandana painted all over the walls, dry grass clad huts, water bodies & fountains. It is lit up in the night lit up with traditional lamps & village statues. It has Entrance Munim (Cashier) Counter Hut, Gaming Zone Huts for Shooting the Baloon, Ring Game, Chai Ki Thadi etc. There are 3 dining halls named after Rajasthani Folk Dances as Ghumar, Ghorbandh and Panihari.
What to say of Rajasthani cuisine meticulously designed by Nidhi herself who is a culinary expert and a passionate food presenter which included Jaipuri Aloo Pyaz ki Subzi & Dal Panchmel, Bikaneri Papad Mangdi, Jodhpuri Gatte, Traditional Dal Bati Churma, Bajri ka Khichda, Rajasthani Kadhi, 2 Types of Chutneys (Coriander & Garlic), Snacks like Moong Dal Kachori, Kofta, Mini Samosa, Jalebi, Rabdi Malpua etc. Wow! I was confused to the core, what to eat, what not to eat. Aarti helped me with that, I had a great time relishing food and hospitality of the people there.
I and Aarti danced to the beats of Dhol and some other traditional instruments, watched Kathputli dance sitting on Manji with childlike enthusiasm. It was an evening, where my mind was empty and heart full…there is so much to be enjoyed, which we waste in unnecessary complications of life.
No wonder, Nidhi Upadhyay has been awarded “Corporate Diva Award” by FM Tadka – Rajasthan Patrika Group for Shri Thal Village Concept in an award ceremony at the Hotel Marriott, Jaipur.
Many moods of versatile Nidhi
An inspiration for all young women
idhi came to Jaipur after 14 years of marriage from Jodhpur, originally belonging to Kota. During these years she received many job offers from hotels & schools, as word had spread about her talent for cooking, but she could not take it up due to home priorities. But as kids had grown up, thus her husband Ajay, who had been admiring her talent all through, thought of opening a restaurant for Nidhi in Jaipur by the name of Shri Thaal Village. It was gifted to her on her 14th wedding anniversary i.e. 9th May 2011.
What a tribute from a loving husband for her talented wife!
As goes the saying: Paying obeisance at Teerth Raj Pushkar in Rajasthan, India is equivalent to paying obeisance at chaar dham!
I was lucky to accomplish my chaar dham yatra by visiting Pushkar in January 2020, when I visited Jaipur for Literature Fest.
After finishing our Jaipur Lit Fest activities, Aarti, my cousin planned a trip to Ajmer, where our bade chacha lives. I was quite excited to meet him and my younger Chachi who live in Ajmer and I had not met them for years. En route Ajmer was the holy town of Pushkar, and I expressed my desire to visit Pushkar. My wish was granted and Mohit drove us ladies to Pushkar. I was very happy to be in Pushkar, which I had visited with my father some decades ago. Reliving those memories!
Pushkar is one of the oldest cities in India. Located to the northwest of Ajmer, the tranquil city of Pushkar is a favoured destination for thousands of tourists and devotees flocking to Rajasthan. Situated at a height of 510 metres, Pushkar is surrounded by hillocks on three sides. The ‘Nag Pahar’, literally meaning Snake Mountain forms a natural border between Ajmer and Pushkar. Known as ‘the rose garden of Rajasthan’, the essence of the famous Pushkar rose is exported all over the world. Along with an interesting mythological history, a legacy of timeless architectural heritage makes Pushkar a fascinating city.
According to legends, Lord Brahma, believed to be the creator of the Universe dropped a lotus to the ground leading to the immediate creation of a lake. He then decided to name the place after the flower, and thus the name, Pushkar. The city of Pushkar is home to the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the whole world. Hindus consider a journey to Pushkar to be the ultimate pilgrimage that must be undertaken to attain salvation.
I didn’t have vivid memories of Pushkar so it was like being there for the first time. The experience was simply divine to Brahma Ji temple (only temple in India). I must admit that the market leading to the temple is to die for. You can shop so many curious, traditional dresses, handicrafts, pooja samagri and what to say of eating joints there servicing hot crunchy maal puas and rasgoolas!
The pilgrimage is loved and respected equally by foreigners and Indians, which was quite evident there. A number of steps lead to Brahmaji temple which is engraved in silver with gold stambh in the centre of its verandah.
Built with marble and decorated with silver coins, this temple can be identified by its red spire and the image of a swan (considered sacred to Lord Brahma). The chaturmukhi (four-faced) idol of Lord Brahma is housed in the inner sanctum. A marble statue of the sun god stands sentinel at the temple. Interestingly, while all the gods are shown barefooted, Surya is shown wearing ancient warrior’s boots. The feeling was simply divine.
After Brahma temple, we moved towards Pushkar Lake where people were performing religious rites but I was surprised to note that there was no concept of hygiene or cleanliness. It was quite an unpleasant sight, otherwise, it is so scenic which can’t be described in words, surrounded by mountains from all sides. Rajasthan Tourism needs to take up the initiative of cleaning the place on the lines of Namami Gange Program of Government of India. It is truly the need of an hour!
I also visited Pracheentum Hanuman Mandir there, followed by a sumptuous meal of Poori, Aloo Sabzi and Maal Puas at a typical bhojnalaya. I must admit that Pushkar visit is quite a walk and if your legs are strong enough then only you can see it in totality. Mine are of course not, still, they behaved.
Pushkar is well connected to the national highways of Rajasthan. Regular buses ply from Pushkar to the major Sanganer Airport in Jaipur is the nearest at a distance of 146 kilometres.cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Ajmer from the Ajmer bus stand.
Pushkar Terminus Railway station which is operational since 2012, is connected to Ajmer railway station located at a distance of 14 kilometres.
If you are planning a trip to Rajasthan, Pushkar visit should top your itinerary!
After completing the first exciting day at Jaipur Literature Festival at Diggi Palace, Aarti and Mohit decided to take me to the old city of Jaipur which is home to many shops painted in Pink (Probably they knew shopaholic in me was restless). It was a breezy wintery evening, and I had some cool time there!
I found Hawa Mahal to be quite imposing, artistic, having an extraordinary architecture which is delicately honeycombed and rises a dizzying five stories. Certainly, it is much grander than it looks in the picture, you can’t escape its grandeur while in Jaipur. My child-like excitement in the vicinity of Hawa Mahal was palpable. We clicked many pictures there and gathered some beautiful memories of this beautiful monument.
For the uninitiated, Jaipur’s Hawa Mahal was constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh to enable ladies of the royal household to watch the life and processions of the city. The top offers stunning views over Jantar Mantar and the City Palace in one direction and over Sireh Deori Bazaar in the other.
Popularly known as “The Palace of Winds” or “The Palace of Breeze” is in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. Made with the red and pink sandstone, the palace sits on the edge of the City Palace, Jaipur, and extends to the Zenana, or women’s chambers. Made for ladies, it holds special importance for me as a lady.
There’s a small museum (open Saturday to Thursday), with miniature paintings and some rich relics, such as ceremonial armour, which help evoke the royal past. Entrance is from the back of the complex. To get here, return to the intersection on your left as you face the Hawa Mahal, turn right and then take the first right again through an archway. Shopkeepers can show you another way – past their shops!
Its 953 small windows called Jharokhas are decorated with intricate latticework. The original intent of the lattice design was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life and festivals celebrated in the street below without being seen since they had to obey the strict rules of “purdah”, which forbade them from appearing in public without face coverings.
This architectural feature also allowed cool air from the Venturi effect to pass through, thus making the whole area more pleasant during the high temperatures in summer. Many people see the Hawa Mahal from the street view and think it is the front of the palace, but in reality, it is the back of that structure.
In 2006, renovation works on the Mahal were undertaken, after a gap of 50 years, to give a facelift to the monument at an estimated cost of Rs 4.568 million.
The palace is an extended part of a huge complex. The stone-carved screens, small casements, and arched roofs are some of the features of this popular tourist spot. The monument also has delicately modelled hanging cornices.
The corporate sector lent a hand to preserve the historical monuments of Jaipur and the Unit Trust of India has adopted Hawa Mahal to maintain it.
Lucknow brings back many a nostalgic moment for me…the years spent there, the time spent there is just unforgettable, in fact, they are running like a flash-back in my mind. Since I have planned a trip to Lucknow, there have been many vivid memories of the place, my stay, my office, my home, my friends and my colleagues…all are making a beeline in my head and heart.
I didn’t know I would be going through all this and more…I am overwhelmed. How time rolled, how so many years passed, I never missed Lucknow so much, as I am doing now. Anxiety and Excitement are in equal measure. I am remembering visits to Hazrat Ganj in the evenings where we casually strolled, did “Ganjing” as it was popularly called, on many a pleasant Lucknow evening. Coffee in the coffee houses there, Chaat at the chaat corners, window shopping and some serious shopping too, at various places was my favourite activity. No measure can match up the pleasure of Ganjing in those days.
We stayed near Bhootnath temple in Indira Nagar which had many a shop in its vicinity, while returning from office, I would come via Bhoothnath and pick up whatever I liked to eat. I knew each and every shop by name, as I was quite a regular there. I made many precious friends there.
Soni Bhaiya, was always around till we stayed there, and always. His love and affection for me are unconditional, then there is Kamal Mathur, polite, courteous, creative, friendly always…look forward to meeting him and wife Ritu after say 25 years.
When all of a sudden, I decided to leave Lucknow for a new life in Mumbai, it was a sort of culture shock for me. Lucknow is a place known for its culture and tehzeeb and Mumbai…less said the better. Being a capital of the largest state of India, U.P. it has always been a multi-cultural city. Known for its courtly manners, beautiful gardens, poetry, music, and fine cuisine patronized by the Persian-loving Shia Nawabs of the city are well known amongst Indians and students of South Asian culture and history. Even after leaving Lucknow, many many years ago, I keenly follow the political and social developments there. I always, how I wish I was in Lucknow now when Yogiji is CM. Such is my love for Lucknow!
Lucknow has many places for sightseeing like Bada Imambara, Chota Imambara, Residency, Rumi Darwaza, Gomti River Front, Lohia Park, Janeshwar Mishra Park and many more. Of course, not to miss Ganjing and chai and chaat in Chowk. I heard that Lucknow has Metro now, so Metro ride to banti hai, Mumbai mein to ban hi rahi hai…
The trip to Lucknow is not complete without shopping for some chikan kari, which is matchless because of its craft, the intricacies, embroideries and love for the dresses, sarees! The place is Ameena Bad for that. It brings back memories of dear Papa who loved visiting Ameenabad always, it was his city after all.
Lucknow is famous for its Awadhi cuisines and if you are a non-vegetarian, don’t miss Tunde – Ke – Kabab’s, most authentic kababs one can think of. Mouth-watering chaats, shakes, kulfis, fruit chaats etc. are other add-ons. Being a foodie, I would love to try all this and more!
I heard that Lucknow has transformed completely and is developed enough to give some serious competition to Metros, but I am going to explore my good, old Lucknow where I spent such precious carefree years, not without doing some serious work as UP Govt’s Class I officer.
In Mumbai, people did not even know what it is to be like UP Government official, this is life you encounter all…it is a roller coaster ride, ultra-highs and ultra-lows!
Special thanks to Dr. Raveesh Shrivastava, who made this happen from Millennial Works.
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:
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.
The swanky 16-coach prototype without a locomotive (engine) will cut travel time by 15 per cent compared to the Shatabdi Express.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Train 18 has diffused lighting, automatic doors and footsteps beside GPS-based Passenger Information System.
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.
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.
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/
Travellers from across the globe are pouring in every day to discover new destinations in the state. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has constantly worked to offer an enriching experience to the visitors. The six resorts that were built by MTDC in the last five years at Sakoli (District Bhandara), Ambhora (Nagpur), Mozari Point Chikaldara (Amravati), Bodhalkasa (Gondia), Gaganbawda (Kolhapur) and Kunakeshwar (Sindhudurga) have immense potential to allure visitors from across the globe and help MTDC to promote untapped destinations. The details of these resorts, and how to reach them are as follows:
Sakoli is a small town in district Bhandara of Maharashtra. From cultural and historical spots, natural beauty, adventure and entertainment activities there are several exciting prospects for travellers to discover Sakoli. Just a few kilometres away from the Chulbhand river and surrounded by ponds and lakes, Sakoli is located on the Mumbai-Kolkata national highway.
You can reach there by road, located 101 Kms from Nagpur for which all kinds of transport is available whereas nearest railway stations and airport are Nagpur.
From here you can visit Andhalgaon, known as the dark village in Bhandara tehsil, apart from being a major supplier of Kosa silk cloth, is also famous for its weaving industry and manufacturing silk-bordered clothes, The Gondumari Palace, 10km away from Sakoli, is a place of historic importance and Explore the wildlife of Nagzira National Park and Navegaon Bandh Bird Sanctuary.
Here you can stay at MTDC’s leased out its property to M/S Tuli Hospitality Pvt Ltd and is an ideal destination for visitors looking for homely comfort.
Ambhora Village is situated on the bank of Wainganga River in Kuhi Taluka 75-km away from Nagpur. The key attractions of Ambhora are the shrines on the confluence of the three rivers — Wainganga, Kanhan and Amba. Overwhelmingly beautiful, Ambhora is home to Shri Harinath Temple and Ambatitthak Buddha Vihar which have major pilgrim footfalls at least thrice during festivals annually.
You can reach here Road: State transport buses are available from Nagpur to Ambhora and visitors can hire private transports too. Nearest railway station and airport is Nagpur.
You can visit Markanda, a shrine devoted to Lord Shiva and a sacred place of worship for Hindus, in the middle of Chamorshi which is situated on the bank of Wainganga river. Tadoba, called the Jewel of Vidarbha because of its rich tiger reserve, is the oldest national park in the state. Ambakhori, situated on the bank of Pench River, is the main attraction with its waterfalls and forests.
You can stay at MTDC’s Holiday Resort, Ambhora, an ideal destination for the travellers to experience the nature’s ecstasy.
MOZARI POINT, CHIKHALDARA
Mozari Point is situated in a picturesque setting with a deep valley on three sides. It offers splendid views of sunrise and sunset. This point is 2-km away from Chikaldara district headquarters. Visitors can also approach the Devi Point area and west side of Gawilgarh Fort which provides a magnificent view.
Public transports are available from Nagpur, Badnera and Akola. The nearest railway stations are Badnera and Akola which are almost 80-km away from Chikhaldara. Several trains from Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur halts at both Badnera and Akola junction. The closest airport is at Akola, which is 150 km away from Mozari Chikhaldara.
You can visit Gugamal National Park spread to 1673.93 square km was built in 1974. It is a small part of the Melghat Tiger Reserve. Bhimkund-Kichakdara is fenced with lush green background from all sides. Bhim-Kund is nearly 3500 ft. deep and visitors take bath to wash away their sins. Panchbol Point is 4-km away from Bir Lake. The five hills edges are linked naturally with several valleys to form a huge valley. This point is known as Five Eco Point.
You can stay at MTDC Mozari Point Resort has very spacious rooms with neat and hygienic ambience. The restaurant offers decent and homely food.
Bodhalkasa, an attractive nature trail with wide dam and enlivenment, is about 135-km from Nagpur. There is an array of activities like speed boating, paddling and thrilling water sports. It is a perfect destination for adventure and wildlife. The visitors can dine with the tribes, explore their culinary, and culture.
Public transports are available from nearest town Tirora. Nagpur, Tirora and Kachewani are the nearest railway stations, and the closest airport is Nagpur.
You can visit Bodhalkasa dam, an idyllic getaway for visitors, which is filled with adventurous nature trails, it is an excellent opportunity for visitors to enjoy jungle safari. Visitors can also avail of water sports activities like riding, paddling and speedboats.
You can stay at MTDC’s Bodhalkasa Resort which is about 7-km from Magezari Gate of Nagzira, wildlife century
Located in Kolhapur, Gaganbawada is one of the most beautiful hill stations of Maharashtra blessed with scenic beauty and an eccentric view of the Konkan coastal region. Due to this reason, many Hindi and Marathi filmmakers are attracted towards this hill station. This is also one of the most favourite developing destinations for trekkers. It is located on the stretch of Kolhapur-Kharepatan route, merely 55 kilometres from Kolhapur and is abundant in natural beauty. A haze of fog covers Gaganbawada most of the time during monsoon making it the best season to visit the serenity.
You can reach there by Road which is an hour and a half drive from Kolhapur bus stand. Kankavli and Kolhapur are the nearest railway stations to Gaganbawada. The closest is the Belgaum airport and is well -linked with major metro cities.
You can visit Gaganbawada, located within the Sahyadri range in the traditional Western Ghats, offers an extremely popular fortification ‘Gagangad’, just 1-km away from the destination. Karul Ghat & Bhuibavda Ghat are the two ghats, which fall in the category of the most scenic routes that originate from Gaganbawada. The Morjai temple and plateau is an attraction to hikers. It is 8-km away from town at a height of 980 MSL, a perfect example of ‘Sada Ecosystem’.
You can stay at MTDC Holiday Resort in Gaganbawada, Kolhapur is suitable for visitors as it offers superior quality stay and accommodation facility.
Kunakeshwar is positioned in the Devgad taluka of Sindhudurg district, about 14-km away from Devgad and 438-km from Mumbai. Kunakeshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located on the hillock facing the sea, where we can see a scenic sundown. The temple was built in the 12th century and has a 10m stone wall separating the temple from the sea.
You can reach there by State transport buses from Devgad, Kankavli and Malvan go to Kunakeshwar on a regular basis, visitors can also opt for hired private vehicles for this hour-long journey. The nearest railway station is Kankavli, which is around 51-km away from Kunakeshwar. The nearest airport is Panaji, Goa.
You can visit the Rock Cave, 1-km east of Kunakeshwar Temple, is a place of tourist attraction. The idols of this cave are carved out of black stone. At the coastline of Mithbav and Tambaldeg bird watchers get to see an attractive variety of winged creatures. This beach is calm and has less chaos as it is not amongst the regular trips of the tourists. Kotkamate is a small village situated 15-km away from Kunakeshwar. This temple was renovated in 1725 by Kanhoji Angre the admiral of Martha Navy. The temple has sculptures of goddess Shri Bhagvati.
You can stay at Kunkeshwar Resort (MTDC) in Sindhudurg which offers a holistic view of its pristine beaches away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Shri Jaykumar Rawal, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism Government of Maharashtra: “Tourism is not only a source of revenue for the state but is also a key source of growth for local communities.”
He was speaking on the occasion of the celebration of one-year milestone partnership of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) with Airbnb and the launch of Tourism Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme in the state to boost the tourism prospects.
The program aims to drive economic growth in local Maharashtra communities by helping micro-entrepreneurs in hospitality sector grow their business through four key pillars of support- Training, Enabling, Access and Promotion.
The program would be launched first in Elephanta village where MTDC and Airbnb will associate with Gram Panchayat and identify 35 homes and get aligned with Airbnb standards. Hosts of these homes would be the first set of entrepreneurs benefitting from this program.
Shri Jaykumar Rawal, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism Government of Maharashtra, added, “In Airbnb, we have found a global partner whose vision to create skilled micro-entrepreneurs in hospitality and homestay ecosystem to further expand Maharashtra’s tourism potential. We are pleased to expand our partnership with Airbnb with the launch of the Tourism Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme, which will help mentor and support budding entrepreneurs in in hospitality sector and build a strong homestay network across key destinations. This is the first-of-its-kind tourism initiative in India where the Government has used the revenue shared by a partner to create a program to benefit various underprivileged communities in the State. With new innovative initiatives like this one, together with Airbnb, we aim to attract a larger global audience and exponentially boost tourism in Maharashtra,”
Commenting on the occasion, Shri. V.K. Gautam, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism and Culture, Government of Maharashtra, said, “Through the Accelerator Programme, Maharashtra Tourism and Airbnb aim to create a homestay ecosystem in Elephanta and create at least one hospitality micro-entrepreneur in every village across Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Palghar. In year one, we target to create and nurture 1500 tourism and hospitality entrepreneurs. This will motivate tourism and open up new destinations and unique experiences for travellers.”
“Airbnb’s commitment to create 50,000 hospitality micro-entrepreneurs in India. The launch of the Accelerator Programme is a major step towards realizing our commitment and Maharashtra is our lead partner in creating a progressive, sustainable tourism ecosystem in India,”said Mr Chris Lehane, Global Head of Policy and Communications, Airbnb. Lehane added, “Airbnb has always been committed to building a more inclusive tourism sector across the world and no more so than in emerging markets like India. Enabling and empowering all communities, including those that may have not previously benefited from tourism is integral to inclusive tourism. We are therefore excited about the launch of the Tourism Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program to mentor budding hospitality micro-entrepreneurs in underserved communities.”
Last year, Brian Chesky, CEO and Co-Founder of Airbnb, in his meeting with the Honourable Prime Minister, had shared, “Through our partnership signed last year, Airbnb and Maharashtra Tourism have worked together to train hundreds of micro-entrepreneurs across key tourism districts.”
Mr. Amanpreet Bajaj, Country Head, Airbnb India, said: “We’re thrilled to today announce the expansion of this partnership through the Tourism Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme and continue to play a role in supporting healthy, sustainable tourism in Maharashtra.”
Key elements of the Programme include:
○ Training: Airbnb will create a comprehensive training toolkit which will be used by Maharashtra Tourism to identify quality destinations, homes and entrepreneurs, as well as by Airbnb to train selected entrepreneurs on technology, hospitality, financing, regulations and promotion.
○ Enabling: Airbnb has been sharing a portion of its earnings in Maharashtra with Maharashtra Tourism towards tourism development in the State. Besides, using this fund as the program’s foundation, Maharashtra Tourism will connect trained entrepreneurs with existing government programs for additional funds.
○Access: Airbnb and Maharashtra Tourism will connect selected entrepreneurs with local partners to offer them access to technology, address language barriers and provide mentorship support. Airbnb’s co-hosting model has the potential to help village youths or community-based organizations with smartphones and better language skills become partners to micro-entrepreneurs with quality homes.
○ Promotion: Once entrepreneurs are ready to host travellers, Airbnb will partner with content creators to promote the homes to tourists around the world. Maharashtra Tourism will also use its promotional platforms to support the entrepreneurs.
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/
Founded in 2008, Airbnb is a global travel community that offers magical end-to-end trips, including where you stay, what you do and the people you meet. Airbnb uniquely leverages technology to economically empower millions of people around the world to unlock and monetize their spaces, passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs.
Taj Mahotsav, one of the most eagerly awaited festivals, is celebrated from 18th to 27th, 2018 February every year at Shilpgram near the Eastern gate of “Taj Mahal”.
This 10 days long carnival is actually a vibrant platform that gives you information about India where you can find India’s rich arts, crafts, cultures, cuisine, dance and music. Taj Mahal is the most beautiful historical place of India which tells about incredible India. Taj Mahotsav is organized by UP Tourism and it is a source to increase Indian Tourism.
Held annually in the historic city of Agra where lies the majestic Taj Mahal, the Taj Mahotsav is perhaps one of the most spectacular and celebrated events in the Indian calendar. Organized by Uttar Pradesh Tourism, this festival pays due respect to the matchless cultural heritage of the state and the country as a whole. One can see this event as a concise and compact representation of the Indian cultural diversity that is coated in the fabric of a 5,000-year-old history and mythology.
It is a time when the best of India’s arts, crafts, culture, cuisine, dance and music comes to the fore in a manner that is hard to pass by. The crème-de-la-crème of Indian folk artists, musicians, dramatists and other artisans gather at the 10 days celebration and enliven the environment. A great time indeed, for the ones who have the appreciation for the classical and folk arts.
Shopping options are plenty during Taj Mahotsav as the entire event scene assumes the look of a small market where you can shop for handicrafts, antiques, woodwork, ivory work and other speciality items of India. As a natural consequence, this fiesta remains a major tourist attraction for the town of Agra.
In its 27th year, the Taj Mahotsav – a cultural bonanza, began in 1992 and since then its grandeur has reached the greater heights. Hosted at Shilpgram, a close distance from Taj Mahal, a large number of tourists join this festivity of multiple facets. The festival starts with a procession, including bejewelled elephants and camels, drum beaters and performances by folk artists and more. About 400 artisans from different parts of the country show their craft before national and international visitors.
The festival presents beautiful hues of Indian art and culture!