Tag Archives: London

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.

Poora London Thumakda!!!

London always excites me…right from the times when I was English Hons Student in Hindu College, Delhi University, many years ago. As the title of the course suggests, we as English Hons Students were extensively taught Shakespeare, Milton, Bronte Sisters, Tennyson…many more difficult to recall now.  I always marveled how beautiful Shakespeare’s UK would look?  I made a scrap book of pictures of United Kingdom with the limited resources I could lay my hands on…


…with our limited means and all the more limited thinking, it was near blasphemous to express our desire to visit London (Read: UK) in those days. Life moved on, but dream lingered on! In following years, I got the chance of visiting many countries barring London and I had almost forgotten my dream. May be that was not for me…


Buckingham Palace, London’s Eye, Wax Museum, Thames River, Hyde Park…fascinated me no end particularly when I read about Bollywood celebrities spending their Summers in beautiful London! I will read about it with great interest and watched photos even more keenly. Everything  about London looked so fascinating, but probably not for me.


But as goes the saying, every idea (read: dream) has its own time. Time of my dream too came and opportunity of visiting London just fell on my lap in January, 2004.  Without wasting any thoughts, I just lapped it.  & Here I was in London! London called me finally!!


My first solo trip to London was quite exciting, at the same time, was full of apprehensions as well.  Just praying and wishing, hope all turns out well as planned.  So how did my London trip turned out to be? Read on to know:

Landing at Heathrow Airport – one of the biggest airports on earth, it was beyond my comprehension and stores like Harrods, cosmetic shops, toy shops, designer dresses, big & well-known brands all over, quite enticing!

My sight-seeing began two days after I landed and my first destination was Trafalgar Square, I could not believe myself that I was actually there. It looked very similar to our Horniman Circle in Mumbai, never mind I had visited famed Trafalgar Square which I hugely admired in DDLJ where Amrish Puri fed pigeons. It was the first day of snow fall in London, so day turned out to be quite special.  I was finding it difficult to bear the cold, so I had to cut short the visit to neighboring places.


Following days, I visited Buckingham Palace at 11 AM in the morning and was lucky to watch change of guard parade which was truly fascinating. Huge crowds had gathered on bright sunny morning outside the palace by London standards, not by Mumbai standards. Cruise in river Thames was an amazing experience in itself which was followed by the walk at Hyde Park. What to say of the Madam Tussaud Wax museum, I had never seen anything like this before, such real statues in wax.  I wondered all through, how they have done this? Why we don’t have one in India?  London’s Eye, just OMG!


On one of my tube train sojourns, I landed at a station – Wimbledon, accidently! When tube announced next station – Wimbledon, I quickly got down there to see the famous Wimbledon Stadium, which I had seen only on TV with Steffi Graf playing tennis matches and voila what a sight it was! I beamed with pride as I was at a landmark destination, but not without paying heavy price for this adventure, rather misadventure!


Now on the last leg of sight – seeing, I realized that I had not shopped for anything except for a pair of slippers as my sandal had broken during the outing.  I walked to the nearest tube station and luckily found a shop of foot wear after walking barefoot for nearly a kilometer, may be more, in that chilled / wet weather, holding sandals in one hand and tears in both my eyes.  I promptly bought a slipper from there, albeit two sizes large, but my joy knew no bounds. I will never forget that day in my life. It was the most expensive slippers I could have, rather forced to have.

On the last leg of my trip, I did some mall hopping, visited Harrods, did street shopping and ate nice spicy Indian food in famous Indian restaurants.  Though Pound exchange was quite unviable even then, still shopping was a delightful experience, as one pound has so much value.

So how London cropped up again? Today morning I read in Economic Times that falling Pound may make holidayers’ English Summer Dream Come True!

And I want to visit again…

… With the Pound steadily depreciating against the Rupee in recent months post Brexit, cheaper airfares and attractive promotional offers from airlines and lure of London as a sought after shopping destination, indeed it is going to be English Summer for Indian travelers!!

Am I included?





Top Ten Trending Destinations For 2015

1. London, England
2. Santiago, Chile
3. Paris, France
4. Mumbai, India
5. Buenos, Aires, Argentina
6. Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
7. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
8. Sydney, Australia
9. New York, the US
10. San Francisco, California

While perennial favourite London (England) tops a new list of trending destinations in 2015, Mumbai made it to the fourth position following Santiago (Chile) and Paris (France). In fact, India is the only country from all of Asia to have made it to the list.

The list is based on the findings of 800 consultants at American Express Travel, who chimed in for a report on the travel habits of North American consumers. While the top 10 list is filled with many of the usual suspects – London, Paris and New York – less predictable cities such as Santiago, Buenos Aires and Mumbai also got featured.
Resort destinations like Providenciales in Turks and Caicos Islands, and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico are among surprise entries. The ranking is based on destinations that saw the greatest year over year growth in bookings at American Express travel.

Also, more and more travelers are looking for customized experiences that may include more hands on experience such as wine tours and cooking classes.

The interest in river cruises as compared to ocean cruises is also experiencing a significant spike for travel in 2015.
News courtesy: RELAXNEWS / HT

Happy New (Travelling) Year 2015, travel fraternity welcomes you!

Friends you would remember my blog post few days ago for Holiday (Holics) 2015 is for you where I had shared with you how you can club your leave with paid holidays and fulfill your sigh-seeing / travel plans which you have been yearning for from years. This is the ideal year for holiday seekers who want to explore more & more travel destinations but are unable to do so because of lack of leave/ holidays. You are privileged that this year – 2015, you need not disturb your official commitments, spouse’s maika trips and children’s school schedule – you can squeeze in so much in just one year, obviously if you plan wisely. As a first measure – list out those destinations which have been on your wish-list. Oh! Difficult!

So many, don’t scratch your head, I am presenting before you the photo-essay of some exotic national and international destinations, you can certainly take your pick from there:


1. Skiing in GULMARG, Kashmir

Skiing in Gulmarg

2. DUBAI Shopping Festival


3. MAHABALESHWAR Strawberry Farms


4. GOA Carnival

Goa Carnival



6. JAISALMER Music Festival, Rajasthan






9. JIM CORBETT, Nainital

Jim Corbett


12. GANGTOK international Flower Festival



15. OMAN


17. RISHIKESH River Rafting

rishikesh river rafting
18. MYSORE Dussehra

mysore dussehra
19. TARKARLI for Diving


us christmas





south africa

You got to be 60 to be a tourist


This year’s statistics reveals that there is a growing trend in senior citizens in India who are taking up to tourism in a big way. Gone are the days when seniors in India doing tourism meant only Chardhaam yatra or pilgrimage to some temple or shrine. Now they are ready to explore exotic destinations like Greece, Europe, Alaska cruise, Rio Carnival, Switzerland, London – Paris, Amazon cruise etc. It is no longer restricted to big business tycoons or highly placed professionals but it is percolating to aspirational middle class who have time and wealth both at their disposal.

There were over 15 million outbound travellers from India in 2012, according to Ministry of tourism, of which 35% are senior citizens, above age of 60.

Pure tourist segment is growing at a fast clip of over 20% a year

According to a report by Amadues Frost & Sullivan there will be an increase of 250 million of over 65s across Asia Pacific countries by 2030 with main contributors of increase being India & China.

So what is pushing this trend?

1. Early retirement

2. Healthy Lifestyle

3. Ample money

Above all zest for life!