Wednesday, 6 January 2016

IRCTC introduces ‘Desert Circuit’ for the Rajasthan

IRCTC, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, has introduced a special train that is providing a golden opportunity to travellers who want to visit the colourful state of Rajasthan this winter. Specially launched to cover the desert circuit of the state, this special semi-luxury train commenced its operations last weekend. In a bid to boost desert and heritage tourism in the country, the train will take passengers on a five-day trip covering beautiful locations in Jaisalmer and Jaipur.

Starting its journey from Delhi's Safdarjung railway station, the train will first take travellers to Jaisalmer, where a guided trip will be organised to the various tourist destinations of the place, including the Sand Dunes, Gadisagar Lake, Patwon Ki Haveli, and Jaisalmer Fort, a  continuing up to Day 3 of the trip.

In Jaipur, the next stopover, tourists will be taken to City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, and Chokhi Dhani on the fourth day. Amer Fort will be part of the last day's itinerary, before passengers are dropped back to Delhi in the evening.

Water Tourism in Madhya Pradesh

With an aim to attract more tourists Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC) has decided to promote water tourism in state.

Since the state has several water bodies, the tourism department will begin with "Jal Mahotsava" at Indrasagar dam from February 12-21, 2016. The upcoming "Jal Mahotsava" will be organized at Hanuwantia island, located in Khandwa district, where the preparations have already begun. "Indrasagar dam is one of the biggest water bodies. It has become even more beautiful with about 10 islands there. Our motto is to make people aware about the tourism at such water bodies in Madhya Pradesh," said Hariranjan Rao, Managing Director, MPTDC.

To mark the beginning, first three days will witness the national convention of adventure sports by Adventure Tour Operator Association of India. They will be organizing adventure water sports activities along with other adventure sports like trekking, mountain cycling etc. Island activities will include bird watching, treasure hunt, night camps, cultural activities, volley ball, tug of war, paragliding, hot air balloon, para motor, kite flying etc.

However, for the tourists, special cottages have been constructed at the island and instead of cabs and other transport, bullock carts will be available for roaming around nearby villages and tourist destinations. Atleast 100 camping tents will also be available for adventurous visitors, apart from cottages. Handicrafts fair and exhibition about esteemed and historical water bodies of Madhya Pradesh will be on display for tourists. Tour packages for "jal mahotasva" will be out soon for three, four or upto ten days.

New board to boost Maharashtra tourism in protected areas

The Maharashtra government has approved the establishment of an eco-tourism board which will work to boost tourism in the state's protected areas like tiger reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and conservation reserves.

The board, which will be on the lines of that in other states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Karnataka, will frame a comprehensive plan for the development of tourism in these areas, ensure conservation and involve local communities in the effort to boost employment.

The objectives of the board will include development tourism infrastructure like guest houses and lodges, publicity, conservation of bio-diversity, forests, wildlife and education. It will also involve locals for the management of these areas, creation of homestays, and providing food, vehicles, guides for tourists and build their capacity.

Friday, 18 September 2015

UP government to back first Jain Circuit in Varanasi

State tourism minister Om Prakash Singh announced state government's support in developing the first-ever Jain circuit in Varanasi. He said that chief minister Akhilesh Yadav would soon sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for development of a Jain circuit in Varanasi on public private partnership (PPP) model with a trust.

The Jain circuit at Sarnath, one of the most revered place for Buddhists and also one of the key tourism sites, is going to be developed on PPP model on the initiative of Sri Jain Shwetambar Tirth Society (SJSTS) which would coordinate development projects in the circuit. Seth Anandji Kalyanji Trust of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, would develop the Jain circuit in the ancient temple town and its adjoining areas. The trust would offer financial assistance of around Rs. 500 crore. In UP, the circuit would cover Varanasi, Kaushambi, Shravasti and Kushinagar.

Telangana plans tribal tourism

The Telangana tourism department plans a tribal circuit covering Laknavaram, Mulugu, Tadvai and Oorattum areas. This is aimed at attracting tourists interested in experiential tourism.

This type of tourism is popular with foreign tourists who often travel to know more about local cultures. “The tribal circuit in Telangana will be developed under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme at a cost of Rs 96.67 crore. The proposal iscurrently with the Ministry of Tourism,” an official said.

Forming the Basohli tourism development authority in Kathua

With an aim to tap the tourism and heritage potential of the historic Basohli town, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed today issued directions for setting up a separate tourism development authority for Jammu and Kashmir's southern gateway.

Announcing a new tourism development authority for Basohli in Kathua district, Sayeed said the town needs to be brought on the tourism map of the country. He also directed the Chief Secretary to speed up procedural processes for setting up the development authority.

He also indicated that the Tourism Department is making a concept plan for setting up a mega amusement park to promote it as a major tourist destination, catering to neighbouring states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

Assuring promotion of exquisite arts and crafts of Basohli, in particular Basohli paintings, the Chief Minister announced setting up of a skill development institute to expose craftsmen to new trends and design.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Project to beautify ghats, clean Ganga soon: Tourism Minister

The UP state tourism department and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to maintain various dilapidated building, monuments and heritage sites in the state.

All tourism motels en-route important towns of Ghaziabad, Garh, Agra, Lucknow and Varanasi will be renovated with modern facilities.

In remote districts the tourist complexes will be leased out for their upkeep and betterment, said secretary and director general of state tourism department Amrit Abhijaat. He said that all the historical buildings, monuments and sites being maintained by ASI will be repaired soon.

The state government has agreed to pay the maintenance cost for the conservation of ancient monuments, archaeological sites and remains of national importance. "As and when ASI will ask finance for the maintenance work the state government will remit the amount immediately," he said.

Tourism department will also construct a Mughal Museum in 5.29 acres of land near Taj Mahal in Agra on international pattern that will cost around 130 crores rupees. The museum will exhibit dresses and life styles of various mughal emperors and other historical things of the medieval period.

For the facility of tourists from abroad the department is considering construction of a Taj orientation centre in which audio-visual facilities, food courts and toilets will be available, the official added.