Culture & Heritage
According to a report by the researchers of the University of Virginia, an individual’s choice of vacation depends on his mindset, perception and attitude towards life. So, if you are wondering why you end up taking holidays to specific places every single time (in my case I always, ALWAYS, choose a place that has beaches), here’s the answer. Read and know what is your personality type.
1. Mountain Lovers = Introvert: Do you always dream of relaxing and unwinding in the mountains? Well, the study says that people who fall in love with the serenity of the mountains, are introverts. Though the trekkers and mountaineers are considered to be creative folks, they are more often than not shy by nature. Goibibo recommends you to explore the beauty of Manali, Kasol, Ladakh and McLeodganj this summer vacation.
2. Architecture Lovers = Arty and Intellectual: Does your itinerary has more of museums, historical sites, palaces and memorial places than anything else? Then, according to the research, you definitely have an intellectual personality. So why not explore Golkonda Fort, Mysore Palace and Salar Jung Museum this summer vacation!
3. Beach Lovers = Influential People: If you hit a beach on almost every vacation of yours, then the research define you an influential person. The study reveals that people who love walking and taking strolls on the pristine and sandy beaches usually have an influential personality. Why don’t you go and take a beach vacation to Andaman Nicobar, Maldives or Gokarna to beat the heat this summer?
4. Cruise Lovers = Extrovert: The luxury cruise rides are not everybody’s cup of tea. But those who take up cruise vacations are definitely extroverts. Meeting new people, having fun and making the most of the holiday are the signs of people who fall in this category. Mexico, Fort Lauderdale, Amsterdam and New York, where are you cruising this summer?
5. Hippie Travel Lovers = Trendsetter: Travellers who always look out for a popular movie location, love exploring the local places and do quirky things are nicknamed Hipsters. The Argentinian researchers say that these travellers are trendsetters and visit the hidden and unexplored destinations of the world. Goibibo recommends you to explore Amazon Rainforest, Gangkhar Puensum and Pelling.
Now, the next time you are planning your vacation, make a note and give yourself a new traveller identity, may be!
The World Cultural Festival is due to kick off in Delhi on March 11, 2016. The three day festival is being hosted by Art of Living, an India based non-profit organization that was started by world famous philanthropist, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Being hosted across 1000 acres of land, the event is expected to be one of the biggest cultural gatherings that aims to bring together nearly 3.5 million people from different parts of the world.
A number of world leaders like President Bidhya Devi Bhandari of Nepal, President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka, Vice President of the European Parliament, Ryszard Czarnecki, and many others are expected to attend the event. According to Bhanumati Narsimhan, director of the Art of Living, “the festival aims to celebrate Art of Living’s 35 years of service, humanity, spirituality and human values.”
Here are what all you need to know about the extravagant three-day World Cultural Festival 2016:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to inaugurate the event on March 11, 2016,
- a number of spiritual leaders from various faiths are expected to come together at the event,
- more than 10,000 artists will play 40 traditional instruments on all three days,
- an inter-faith meeting will be held where spiritual and religious leaders are expected to participate in talks on issues of global concern,
- on the second and third day, a Global Leadership Forum is scheduled to happen, and,
- each day is expected to end with a meditation session.
The festival is open to all and is expected to turn out to be world’s largest platform where millions of people from around 155 nations will drop in to imbibe the most precious learning of life.
Well, we just celebrated the 17th anniversary of International Mother Language Day on February 21. However, we might not know the native language of every Indian state. Never mind, we are here to guide you with! After all, ‘travelling like a local’ is the best way to explore an unknown land and fall in love with its local culture. To ensure you a comfortable holiday and definitely, a safe trip, we have listed some frequently spoken local phrases in Indian metros.
The ‘City of Dreams’ is a hot favourite of everyone. Here you must gain expertise to adjust yourself in a over crowded local train and to relish the taste of ‘vada pao‘ and ‘misel pao‘. Do remember that Hindi in Mumbai is not the regular one. Mumbaikars love to hear Marathi. So, stay cool and approach them by saying ‘Kya boltaay boss’ or ‘Kya bolttaay bhidu’ (meaning ‘what’s up dude?’).
Ahh!! The city of rosogolla (sweet made of cottage cheese and soaked in sugar syrup) and macher jhol (fish curry) gives a warm welcome to all. Even if it is your first visit, a Bangali babu would love to invite you for lunch or dinner and serve Bhetki Macher Paturi (baked fish covered with banana leaf) or Ilish Maacher jhal (hilsa curry). Don’t hesitate! Just step in and say ‘Kemon acho?’ (how are you?). With a smiling face he will surely reply ‘ami bhalo achi’ (I am fine).
Confused how to interact with locals in the Tamil capital, Chennai? Rather than considering yourself to be an alien, learn the state’s native language or some local dialects like ‘Nalla Irikiringala?’ (Are you well?) or ‘vannakkam’ (meaning greet or namaskaar). I am sure you are going to have a pleasant stay in the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu!
In our capital, every male is greeted as ‘bhaiya’ (brother). Delhi is speckled with historical remains, glorious past and thereby, worthy of travel. While Delhi gives a friendly happy-go-lucky feel, knowing some basic Hindi phrases like ‘Aapka swagat hai’ (you are welcome), ‘phir milte hai’ (see you later), ‘namaste aunty/unchle/bhaiya’ (hello sir/madam/brother) help to interact with locals and get acquainted with local culture.
Don’t get disheartened with the style of Hindi or English you hear from locals here. Bangalore is full of life and here every tourist is treated like God. To travel like a local in Bangalore, you might get to learn a bit of Kannada like ‘inda bandēni’ (I am from …). Wait! There is another way too! Simply learn to say ‘Kannada Gotilla’ (I don’t know Kannada.), and people will guide you towards the right path.
Like all other north-eastern states, Assam boasts of a peaceful environment coupled with abundant natural beauty. While in Assam, you cannot deny to fall in love with its slow moving life. Knowing its native language like ‘Aapunaak loge pai bhaal lagil’ (Pleased to meet you) or ‘Aponar Bhalne?’ (How do you do?) will let end up making friendship with locals. While returning bring along the traditional gamusa (cotton towel) as a token of memory.
We wish you a pleasant trip!
The Union Ministry of Tourism has launched a new mobile application called the ‘Swachh Paryatan’, to help travellers click pictures of dirty tourist spots and inform authorities about the same. The mobile app has been launched as a part of the ‘Clean India Mission’. It has been made available for around 25 heritage monuments across the country, namely, Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Humayun’s Tomb, Qutab Minar, and Red Fort amongst others. The ministry also has plans to include other tourist destinations in the application soon.
Tourism minister Maneesh Sharma has stated that with the help of the application people can now click images of dirty and untidy tourist destinations and inform respective authorities for immediate action. At the same time, they can also send their valuable suggestions to restore the condition of tourist landmarks across the country. According to the minister, the cleanliness of the noted destinations will be restored within a span of 1-2 hours.
Initially, the application will be available only on android phones. However, with time it will become accessible to Windows and iOS phones also. The application shall be monitored from time to time by the project monitoring unit of Swachh Bharat Mission. Introduction of such a mobile app came after it has been found that heritage sites like forts, palaces, monuments etc. are gradually shattering down under the blanket of untidiness and unclean environment. With such an initiative, Indian heritage sites are expected to get back their glorious looks of yesteryear.
Once decommissioned from service in June this year, the world’s oldest aircraft carrier used by Indian Navy, INS Viraat, will be converted into a luxury hotel cum museum. The Defence Ministry has given go ahead to such a proposal raised by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC). After nearly six decades of serving the Indian Navy by sailing across oceans, INS Viraat will get ready to start with its new journey from this year end. The warship will thereby help in promoting tourism in Andhra Pradesh.
According to Andhra Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, this warship turned 500-room luxury hotel will be docked at the shores of the port city of Visakhapatnam and serve as an exclusive tourist attraction. Apart from 500 rooms, INS Viraat will also have a conference hall with a seating capacity of 500 people. Its conversion into a luxury hotel-cum-ship museum will be jointly pioneered by Indian Navy and Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA). The central government will also contribute towards the project. Andhra CM also revealed that tourism-related activities like yachting, sea sports, sailing, gliding, cruising and others may also be allowed on the warship.
The 28,700-tonne aircraft carrier is presently on its last operational tour of duty. The last British ship was inducted into Indian Navy on May 12, 1987. Visakhapatnam is the only Indian city to have the country’s submarine museum and with the introduction of INS Viraat as a hotel-cum-museum, the city is going to make optimum utilization of its long coastline and multiple beaches, which in turn will take tourism to greater heights.
Well, I am a foodie by heart! Be it a regional cuisine or a hot-pick Asian delight, my love for food knows no bounds. Staying in Delhi, the land of Mughals, I have had enough of Mughlai Chicken, Awadhi Biriyani and Lucknawi kebabs. I therefore decided to taste state flavours and local spices, India is known for. Hence began my gastronomic tour to regional restaurants in Delhi. Trust me, they all are fantabulous- be it the food or traditional décor. According to me, some of those best restaurants in Delhi are:
City of Joy, Alaknanda-A Chic Bong Flavour
Take out your old pair of jeans, Kolhapuri sandals and head to relish a perfect ‘Bangali’ lunch/dinner brought from the kitchens of Bengal. Catering to a wide menu of Bengali fish recipes, vegetarian dishes and local sweets, this elegant restaurant has touched the heart of numerous Bengalis and non- Bengalis. Try the mutton and chicken dishes too to savour flavours of herbs and spices from Bengal. The restaurant’s Bengali terracotta chandeliers and cane furniture paint the image of a chic Bong household. So, in City of Joy, feel like a Bong, eat like a Bong!
Where: Aravali Shopping Complex, Alaknanda, South Delhi
Must Try: Prawn Malai Curry, Doi Pomfret, Shukto, Kosha Mangsho (Mutton), Fulko Luchi
Cost for Two: Rs. 800
Rosang Soul Food-For the North Eastern Bamboo-shoot Pleasure
They are humble! They are experts of local flavours! Yes, this small calm cosy restaurant in Green Park takes you for a real date with North East India. Chefs and waiters come all their way from various North-eastern states to prepare and serve hearty home-style regional dishes. While the food won’t leave you supersaturated by oil and spices, it will leave you satiated with taste and quantity. Warm service and chat with cheerful staff make for an unforgettable dining experience.
Where: Green Park, near Uphaar Cinema
Cuisine: Assamese, Naga, Sikkim, Arunachal, Tripura
Must Try: Nghui Ngosing, Masor Logot Khorisa, Tokhan, Wild Red rice tea
Cost for Two: Rs. 1000
Yeti, The Himalayan Kitchen-A Fusion of Pahari Spice and Tradition
Not much places in Delhi offer Nepalese, Tibetan, Bhutanese or Himalayan cuisines. This chic, elegant restaurant in Hauz Khas Village and GK 2 is one of those few places where the not-so-popular food menu tantalize your taste buds with a fine taste of sweet and spice used in the local kitchens of Himachal. Brick walls decorated with Himalayan antics, Tibetan masks, Buddhist prayer flags and art- the restaurant’s ambience is worth appreciation!
Where: Greater Kailash 2, Hauz Khas Village
Cuisine: Tibetan, Nepalese, Bhutanese, Himachali
Must Try: Bhutun, Shapta, Mutton dumplings and Chow Chow
Cost for Two: Rs. 1,100
Naivedyam-Quest for Dosa Ends Here
In this land of kebabs and qormas, Naivedyam, an authentic South Indian restaurant does complete justice to the vegetarian fare. Stuffed with dishes (sweet and tangy) brought from kitchens of the south, Naivedyam is one stop destination for a fine vegetarian meal. Soft background music, antique furniture and paintings of gods and goddesses make your dining experience a pleasant one.
Where: Various places across NCR
Cuisine: South India
Must Try: Rawa Dosa, Lemon Rice, Curd Rice, Vegetable Oothappam and yes! Filter Coffee
Cost for Two: Rs. 600
Viva o Viva-Where Crabs from Goa Let Tongue Go Crazy
Haven’t tasted seafood in Delhi? Want to eat something unconventional? Drive to Viva o Viva in Goa Niwas, Chanakyapuri. Goa and seafood goes hand in hand and this restaurant leave you spellbound with Goan flavours that come in the form of crab and prawn platters. Fish cooked with local herbs and vegetarian delights typical to the state are apt for foodaholics in search of an offbeat dining experience.
Where: Goa Niwas, Chanakyapuri
Must Try: Pomfret curry with pav, King Fish Masala, Butter Garlic Crab
Cost for Two: Rs. 700
The Potbelly Rooftop Cafe-For Bihar’s Heart-melting Litti Choka
Narrow alleys, quaint locality and steep winding stairs- and you land in Potbelly, a rooftop restaurant serving the flavours of Bihar. Plain yet colourful sitting areas, vibrant and chic yet homely interior and an overall aesthetic set up juxtaposed with delicious Bihari food is something rarely experienced in the bustling city of Delhi.
Where: Shahpur Jat
Must Try: Litti Choka, Meat Pakora Basket, Khada Masala Mutton, Champaran Style Mutton, Sarso Machhli
Cost for two: Rs. 1000
SodaBottleOpenerWala–The real World Irani Cafe
Your craving for Parsi food ends here! A kitschy colourful café type restaurant replete with pool table, red checked table cloths from the time of nuns and cuckoo clock take you along a trail of Parsi culture. Cutleries like typical chai wala glasses, kettle and aluminium tiffin carriers, are what stands apart. And the menu card? Ah! The layout and name of dishes- both are superb. Heard of Khade Chammach ki Chai? Rest of the dishes are free if you can drink this one!
Where: Khan Market, Delhi and DLF Cyber Hub, Gurgaon
Must Try: Bhendi Bazaar Sheekh Parantha, Berry Pulao, Bacon Keema Macaroni, Prawn Patio, Ginger Biscuit
Cost for two: Rs. 1200
Karims–From the Kitchens of Mughals
Now this is one restaurant that every Delhite and non-Delhite will love to visit repeatedly. If you are a meat lover, then Karim’s is your ‘Mecca in Delhi’. Be it a family dinner or a food date with fiancée, dining in Karim’s is apt for all. Aroma of steaming nahari, taste of butter naan and a normal dining set up has attracted foodies since years. Don’t mind if you have to a share table. Just concentrate on that juicy tandoori chicken!
Where: Many places across NCR, Karim’s Jama Masjid is the main branch
Cuisine: Mughlai, North Indian
Must Try: Mutton Qorma, Mutton Nahari, Paya, Qeema Naan
Cost for Two: Rs. 800
February is the month of love and celebration. So why not plan a visit in one of these soon? Hold on! Do visit again and share your experience with us.
The ‘Surajkund Mela 2016′, a celebration of Indian folk traditions and cultural heritage, was inaugurated by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and brand ambassador of Haryana Tourism, bollywood actor Dharmendra on 1st February 2016. Organised by the Surajkund International Crafts Mela Authority & Haryana Tourism in collaboration with Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs, the 30th edition of Surajkund Mela will play host to at least 20 countries and all the states of India. It is the largest crafts fair in the world and showcases the richness and diversity of handicrafts, hand-looms and cultural fabric of India and the world as well.
Quick Facts on Surajkund Mela:
Venue: Surajkund, Faridabad
When: 1st to 15th Feb. 2016
Theme State: Telangana
Timings: 10:30 am to 8:30 pm
Focus Nations: China and Japan
Number of Countries Participating: 20
What to Look out For:
- Day long cultural performances by renowned national and international cultural artists at the open air ‘Chaupal’ within the Mela ground.
- A special ambience created in the Mela area which is divided into five zones themed around the five seasons of India i.e. Spring, Summer, Monsoon, Autumn and Winter.
- A multi-cuisine Food Court that will serve lip-smacking cuisines from different parts of the country and world.
- Competitions for school and college students.
- Souvenirs like mugs, key rings, neckties, umbrellas, fridge magnets etc. will be available for sale at affordable prices.
- Separate section dedicated to amusement and adventure activities for all age groups.
Important Information for Visitors:
- Entry tickets can be bought online from bookmyshow.com and are available at 20 metro stations including, Dilshad Garden, Rithala, Jahangir Puri, Kashmere Gate, Rajiv Chowk, Central Secretariat, Saket, HUDA City Centre, Noida City Centre, Karol Bagh, Dwarka Sector 21, ITO, Mandi House, Lajpat Nagar and Badarpur, among others.
- Tickets: Rs.80 for regular citizens and Rs.40 for senior citizens and disabled persons (weekdays), Rs.120 for regular citizens and Rs.60 for senior citizens and disabled persons (weekends)
- RO system kiosks have been installed to provide safe drinking water to visitors.
- e-ticket is also available on the government website of Haryana Tourism.
So, what are you waiting for? Book your tickets now!