Month: October 2013

Spray of Colour from Rural Rajasthan

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Rajasthan
Rajasthan

Rajasthan as we all know leaps into our heart with its blend of rich traditional colours that reflect off the ramped walls and spray forth from its vibrant festivals. The Rajasthani culture tastes of distinct  delicacies, the unique parquet of folk dances and music and the colourful diorama of fairs and festivals. The historical alleyways are not only part of Indian history but also divulge vivid pictures of the Rajputs and other local clans. The tradition inherited by the Rajasthanis marks a well-defined ethnicity foregrounding the ritual practices and commercial affairs. The Pushkar Mela, which is also known as the Pushkar Ka Mela, is a fusion of cultural, commercial and religious fervour that spills a spray of colour from the vibrant hotpot of incredible Rajasthan.

Incredible Rajasthan
Incredible Rajasthan

Pushkar, which is a Hindu holy place in Rajasthan, is one of the oldest cities in India and is said to be associated with Lord Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. It beholds the titles of 4 categories of Hindu pilgrimages, “The Deva Tirtha”, “Asura Tirtha”, “Arsha Tirtha” and “Manushya Tirtha” and thus the divine town on the shore of the sacred lake of Pushkar is also referred as “Tirtha-Raj”, which means the king of all pilgrimage sites. Most of the temples are dedicated to Lord Brahma, who is said to have performed penance in Pushkar for 60,000 years. Today Pushkar is a talking point not only among the Hindu pilgrims but also for domestic and international tourists, who largely travel to witness the colourful Pushkar Mela.

Pushkar Mela
Pushkar Mela

The Pushkar Mela is said to be one of the world’s largest camel fairs. But the main attraction lies on competitions such as the “matka phod”, “longest moustache”, and “bridal competition”. Many pilgrims as well as tourists go for a sacred bath in the Pushkar Lake during the Pushkar Mela. It is during this time when one can experience the traditional affairs that blends with vibrant colours and tunes up to folk dance and music along with the commercial affair of buying and selling livestock, which includes camels, cows, sheep and goats. Thus it is celebrated with Great Spirit and often tourists mull over its colourful chaotic harmony.

hotels in Pushkar
hotels in Pushkar

If one is looking forward to tie up with the cultural melodies of incredible Rajasthan along with the royal hues of Udaipur and Jaipur and the shifting dunes of Jaisalmer, it’s then time to pack your bags and head for Pushkar Mela 2013. It will be held between the dates from 9th to 17th November 2013. For a hassle free and pleasurable trip one can also step on the floor of Aaram Bagh, which is a decent villa style hotel and offers a tranquil ambiance surrounded by sand dunes, mountains and lush green valleys. The Pushkar Resorts and Hotel Ratan Haveli are some other hotels in Pushkar where one can experience a memorable stay at an affordable rate. On the other hand if you are seeking for a traditional Rajasthani style holiday, the Pushkar Fort is an ideal place to stay.

Pushkar is a noted town in Rajasthan and thus is well connected by road. The Ajmer Railway Station is the nearest railway station that is approximately 11 kms from Pushkar, whereas the Jaipur International Airport is the nearest airport, which is approximately 150 kms away. One can obviously feel the rush if you are looking forward to reserve your tickets now.

 

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Meet Vikalp Sahni- CTO Goibibo

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Vikalp Sahni- CTO Goibibo
Vikalp Sahni- CTO Goibibo

Vikalp Sahni has travelled a long way on the information expressway from Jabalpur to Silchar to Delhi to Bangalore and still takes his cycle to work. Not one to get bored of little Bits of data, Vikalp is always looking for big Byte challenges.  

Tell us about your last eating out experience

With close friends at a very own Claytopia an open coffee shop at Indira Nagar Bangalore. Its a weekend adda for the group where we curse each other and make all of us laugh out loud.

How do you get to office? How is the experience?

I Cycle, a sweaty and hearty experience 🙂

Your last holiday…Where? Which Airline? Which Hotel/Resort?

We drove down to Coorg for a long weekend trip. We took the Road and drove down. stayed in Taj Vivanta Coorg an amazing property amidst serene coorg rain forests. Loved property, service and weather.

Tell us about one good habit you have

I follow traffic rules, religiously. And drive patiently 🙂

Tell us about one bad habit you have

I have very odd and bad sleeping habits.

What’s in your wallet/bag right now?

in bag everything right from my toothbrush to books, t-shirts, tracks, sports shoes, deo, arduino, a raspberry pi, cables always ready to travel or hack or for Gym 🙂

in my wallet a Rs 20 note and and old 1 Re note my freshly done license with a few credit cards. Also passport size photos of my family 🙂

Tell us about your last Bus journey

Bangalore To Chennai, KSRTC airawat volvo, always been a fan of KSRTC and there services. Never starts on time but always reaches on time or before time.

Your favorite dish …to cook ?

I can’t cook 😦  though i can prepare a nice tea

You are in a meeting …someone lets one go …what will you do?

??????????????
The 1st thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word

a)      Batman –    Comics

b)      Cricket –      Sachin Tendulkar

c)       Airport –     early mornings

d)      Ood-bilav –   some animal 😀

e)      Thai Green Curry –  Yummy

f)       Bantha Lemon- Missing it Badly.

g)      Musharraf –  Bad Guy

h)      Monsoon –   Chai Pakore

I)     Metric system –  Scale

j)        Profit  –  Customers or users.

Top 5 Hotel Destinations this Diwali

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The festive season, Ahh, Diwali, Family, Holidays, Firecrackers, Holidays, Sweets, New Clothes, Gold, A New Car, Holidays…. you get the drift…right? If you think that most people would be travelling home to be with their families and friends to enjoy and bring in the most important pan Indian festival there is, you would be right of course.

At the same time people all over India are zipping off for a Holiday Break with their loved ones. It seems that there is a strong desire to escape from the inevitable noise and pollution that the festival of Diwali brings with it, all though it must be said that there has been a strong trend away from the use of firecrackers in the last decade.

At Goibibo.com, we are in a good position to observe the flow of the festive travellers and where they are heading to, to escape for the Diwali Weekend.

No. 1) Hotels in Goa are all smiles as the Diwali Weekend gives them a smart early opening to the charter season which will open on 15th November. Goa comes in as the number one Diwali holiday destination this year. Have you booked yet? The Ronil Beach Resort would be a great pick.

Hotels in Goa
Hotels in Goa

No. 2) Coming in at number two we have the Hotels in Ooty, always popular among Indian holiday makers, Ooty is seeing heavy booking for the Diwali weekend. A key reason could be that it’s still quite hot in the south Indian plains and Ooty offers amazing weather all through the year. Check out Sunshine Inn if you still haven’t booked.

Hotels in Ooty
Hotels in Ooty

No. 3) Hotels in Pondicherry offer a unique experience. With their colonial grace, amazing vistas, French wine and sumptuous food, Hotels in Pondicherry come in third in our most popular holiday destinations for the Diwali Weekend. The Hotel Le Pondy has a typical colonial courtyard. Booked it yet?

Hotels in Pondicherry
Hotels in Pondicherry

No. 4) Hyderabad is the surprise entry at number four and it seems to suggest that not everybody wants to escape from the city noise. Quite a lot of people are visiting friends and relatives and the small sizes of city housing makes it necessary to stay in hotels in Hyderabad. The Landmark Hyderabad’s rooms have a class about them.

Hotels in Hyderabad
Hotels in Hyderabad

No. 5) Coorg, green and clean, a breath of fresh air with the aroma of coffees beans and wisp of fresh vanilla, Hotels in Coorg are selling like hot spicy Bandi curry and are highly sort after by holiday makers looking to fly the coup for the Diwali weekend. The Misty Wood Resort, true to its name is nestled in misty woods indeed.

Hotel in Coorg
Hotel in Coorg

Hurry and book your Hotel or Holiday on Goibibo.com, plans are filling up rapidly and it is a great way to get away from the noise and relax and enjoy a wonderful Diwali weekend with friends and family. By Rajesh Baruah

Diwali – Happy Travelling – A story in posters

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Goibibo would like to wish you all a Happy, Colourful, Filmy, Arty, Cultural, Religious Diwali and most importantly a SAFE Diwali with family and friends.

Diwali – A PosterBlog       

Diwali is participated in, celebrated and enjoyed all over the world. People want to be home with family and friends for this most loved of all Indian festivals. Daughters are heading home to be with their Moms and Sons are missing their Dads. …

This is of course a generalisation and it may be wrong most of the time and firecracker makers are on the ball. Please note the “Chainese Crackers” box creative pasted here. The colour of the child’s sweater is pink but the text cunningly says “Mother Baby” crackers.

Diwali – A PosterBlog
Diwali – A PosterBlog

The point is people want to be with their loved ones for this festival and will spare no expense to do the same. So much is written and said about this fest but still a lot remains to be cherished. Let’s take a small trip on the back of cracker boxes to explore another angle on Diwali.

cracker boxes
cracker boxes

This is probably the most iconic Diwali image as far as most of the Indian population above 35 is concerned and from what I have been led to believe that number is relatively smaller because we are young country where the percentage of the population that is under 25 is blah blah blah …….. And for all of them, this is probably as iconic a Diwali image as any.

cracker boxes-1
cracker boxes-1

Another quandary is whether Diwali is a religious festival or a purely cultural one? Now this kind of a question could yield long hyperventilating discussions in Kolkata or a simple shrug of the shoulders in Mumbai. The awesomely famous Cock brand fireworks of the Taj Serpent Eggs Factory, Sivakasi have got it figured out and play both sides of the record with ease.

cracker boxes-2
cracker boxes-2

Back in the day of the 35 plus people there used to be an amazing grace to the local commercial art and images like this were deeply loved.

cracker boxes-3
cracker boxes-3

But now it’s the digital age and I can’t help thinking that this is too easy to do and some guy called Deepak makes 10/20 of them in one day L and it certainly lacks the class and grace of old. Have a look at these two samples and go figure.

cracker boxes-4
cracker boxes-4

And of course there is always bound to be the confused art department that does not know what to do or does not give a $#%&, so they come up the box of crackers that does not know if its Diwali or Holi.

cracker boxes-5
cracker boxes-5

Goibibo would like to wish you all a Happy, Colourful, Filmy, Arty, cultural, Religious Diwali. Most importantly a SAFE Diwali with family and friends.

By:Rajesh Baruah

Diwali – Version 2.0 –A presentation to Samudragupta by Harisena

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A possible scene in the court of Samudragupta. Harisena’s ideas presented here could have been Mythified and Legended by the Indian people over the past two millennia and today have become the festival of Diwali. Happy Diwali Happy Reading.

Harisena – My Lord, you are truly great! You now control more of Bharatwarsha than any ruler ever did, you are Supreme, you are overwhelming, you are the so incredible, so magnificent, so gifted that the people on the street have started calling you Raja Chakrawarti, in fact some of the outer regions think you are an incarnation, an Avatar of Krishna !!!!

Avatar of Krishna
Avatar of Krishna

HH SamudraGupta –   ‘Hmmmm.’

Harisena – Sire, I checked the numbers and it appears that you now control the entire Ganga Basin along with the feared forest clans of the Vindhya region but it’s your most recent campaign that has got us the most eyeballs and sent your ratings soaring.

Gupta Empire
Gupta Empire

HH SamudraGupta –   ‘Hmmmm.’ (Eats Paan – 120/300 Katri Supari)

Harisena – Your Grace, everyone knew of the terrible rule of Narakasura the demonic king of Kamrup. Narak had defeated 16 local tribe lords and dragged 16,000 women to his palace, just for the fun of it. Your stupendous battle with him was a wonderful example of ambush warfare and now you control the Bharmaputra.

Narakasura
Narakasura

HH SamudraGupta – Handsomely spits Paan into a spittoon, he looks into the distance and he then says ‘Hmmmm.

Harisena – Your highness has married the 16000 women and given them the right and honour to be named as your wives. This phenomenal gesture and has further fuelled your legend. This brings us to the point of this presentation, the team and I believe this a superb opportunity for us to create a mega event, strictly BTL but with a 360 approach and we want to launch it with a high octane media blitz.

 

HH SamudraGupta – ‘HuH’!!!!

Harisena – Your benevolence! Let me explain. As you are well aware the crop is ready in the fields, when the crop is taken we have a celebration and the people buy all kinds of things etc. This event called “Dhandiwas” is good for business but we are thinking we need to make it large. Let’s add some value to “Dhandiwas” and extend with a new day, let’s call it “Narakasura Maurya diwas” and make it into a two night package.

image

HH SamudraGupta props himself up in his throne picks up his Veena and says – “HMMMMMM”

Harisena – Your Munificence! We were also thinking about the gold coins of the Goddesses Ganga and Laxmi that you wanted to launch, let’s launch all the properties together and go for a Mega action plan with a “Laxmi Diwas” and   (Interrupted by HH Sam jumping out of his throne)

Goddesses Ganga and Laxmi
Goddesses Ganga and Laxmi

HH SamudraGupta – Enough!….. I have seen the light. This is a shining star of an idea. This is a brilliant plan. I can see the big picture here. Let’s call this property “Diwali” after the light that it has sparked in my head. Let’s call the day to buy new things and celebrate as “Dhanteras” as it is the thirteenth day of the Krishna Paksha of Ashwin.  Hmmmmm ….This is good…. Let’s call the celebration of the victory over Narak as Naraka Chaturdasi as naming it with my name would make me appear vain. Let’s call the day of the launch of the new coin as “Laxmi Puja” so people see it as a religious or a cultural activity rather than a commercial one. Yes….this is good. I am sure we can add-on a few more ideas to this and make it Viral.

Harisena – Sire you are truly a radiant star who shines with the awareness of the inner light.

Happy Diwali
Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali.

Notes –

*Harisena was the panegyric poet of Samudragupta Maurya’s court.

*Krishna is credited with killing Naraksura the king of Pragyotish along with his wife Satyabhama. Samudragupta also conquered Assam in around 350 CE.

*Samudragupta minted a gold coin with the image of Laxmi.

*Wiki – He was known to have been “a man of culture”, a patron of learning, a celebrated poet and a musician. Several coins depict him playing the Veena. He was surrounded by a galaxy of poets and scholars and took effective actions to foster and propagate religious, artistic and literary aspects of Indian culture.

*Naraksura image from Dajiworld.com

*Rice farmer image from Guardian

*Diwali girl – touch talent

By Rajesh Baruah

Air India got approval to fly Dreamliners in Japan

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Japan has recently dropped the ‘safety talk’ condition on Indian Aviation standards. So, now Air India has now finally got permission to fly its latest Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Japan.

According to a senior Air India official, Air India recently have 8 Boeing 787 Dreamliner among which one is being used for domestic flights, six is being used for flying to foreign destinations whereas one has been kept standby. He further added that from the approaching winter schedule the ninth Dreamliner will be set up on the route of the Japan. Very soon, Air India will announce the date for the launch of Dreamliner flight to Japan.

Air India
Air India

Japan was not allowing Air India to fly its Boeing 787 Dreamliner to its skies from the time when the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) elevated safety concerns over the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA). Japan also raised concern on the Boeing 777s which was currently used on the Tokyo route by the airlines.

Before allowing the Indian Carrier to fly its new aircraft, Japan wanted to have a safety talk with the DGCA, reports a senior official. According to the senior official, the endless process of having safety meetings with individual countries as well as safety concerns for India has been dropped by ICAO as after it did an audit of DGCA in the month of August.

During an ICAO meet in Canada last week, DGCA’s concern for the endless process was raised to their Japanese counterparts and they agreed gave India the approval to fly Dreamliner to their country.

Goa tourism is all set up to shape up a hotel management institute

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The Department of Tourism, Government of Goa, will be constructing a hotel management institute at Farmagudi, Ponda in an estimated cost of Rs. 23.18 crore. The State Government wants to boost the hospitality industry through this ambitious project. It also aims to provide jobs and world class training opportunities for the state’s youth.

The project has already been approved by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The stakes of both Ministry of Tourism and Goa government are 50:50 as both the institutions are bearing 50% of the cost of the project. However, Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) will construct the building of the institute, which has been aptly named as Special Project Vehicle (SPV).

Goa tourism
Goa tourism

40,000sqmts of area has been reserved for the institute along with built-up area of 11,000sqmts. The project also includes a girl’s hostel of 25 rooms along with a reserved area of 1,125sqmts. GTDC has already invited tenders across the country for the construction of the institute and it further plans to complete it within 270 days.