Newsletter Vol. 4

Two Indian luxury trains are ready for revamp in 2013-14
The two luxury trains of Rajasthan, Palace on Wheels and Royal Rajasthan on Wheels are ready to serve the esteemed passengers in a more special way through a facelift in facilities. The refurbishing plans are different for each train and will be implemented before the maiden train journey in October 2013. The newer version of Palace on Wheels will feature water purifiers in washrooms, updated communication & entertainment options, and a touted makeover for the dining car, bar, lounge, spa and health club.

Royal Rajasthan on Wheels will row for wooden floors layered by fine carpets to minimize noise and new doors. Additionally, the train speeds will be increased so that guests spend less time on wheels and more time in the heritage destinations. All that and much more will be offered to guests at the same price.

Clean India Drive at Taj Mahal
In a bid to keep the destinations clean and hygienic, India Tourism is promoting its Clean India Campaign at different heritage sites. This month, it was Taj Mahal’s turn to witness the launch of the cleanliness campaign. As per the campaign, steps will be taken to beautify the landscape and persistently work towards up keeping the hygiene standards in and around the grandeur of Taj Mahal. At the launch of this ‘Clean India Drive’, Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi reinstated that the attempts to provide hygienic environment at tourist sites will definitely attract more visitors. The current action plan of this initiative will cover at least 36 monuments and tourism sites in different parts of the country.

Heritage lighthouses to be developed as tourist destinations

India has a number of heritage lighthouses along its long coastline that have immense tourist potentials. Development of these lighthouses as tourist destinations will definitely contribute to the popularity of coastal and cruise tourism in the country. To realize the above mentioned potentials of the Indian lighthouses, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Sh. K. Chiranjeevi has agreed to provide funding for infrastructural development to promote them as tourist destinations. As a pilot project, Konhoji Angere, an island lighthouse, located nine nautical miles offshore Gateway of India in Mumbai, Maharashtra will be taken up for the initiative. As per the plan, the island will be connected via boat jetty and passenger terminal. Once the jetty is built, the lighthouse will be promoted as a new day-trip destination amongst the domestic and international tourists in Mumbai.

Upcoming Fairs and Festivals

Id-ul-Fitr – This festival marks the end of Ramadan, the 40 day long fasting period for Muslims and celebrates the illustrious beginning of Islam. The date of the festival depends upon the sighting of the crescent moon. A special namaz is held at different Indian mosques and the festival is celebrated by hugging the family and friends & relishing Sewaiyan, a sweetened vermicelli delicacy specially cooked for the occasion.

Independence Day – This is a national holiday, commemorating India’s success in achieving the freedom from British rule on August 15, 1947. As a part of this celebration, the Prime Minister of India addresses the nation from the Red Fort Complex in Delhi and hoists the tricolor flag in memory of this glorious achievement. Indians on this day indulge in Kite Flying, a sport signifying their personal freedom in the country.

Raksha Bandhan – Raksha Bandhan is much more than a festival. It is a vow of love wherein girls tie sacred threads (rakhis) on their brothers’ wrists and receive gifts in exchange and a promise of everlasting protection. This year, the festival will be celebrated with full gusto on August 20, 2013.

Janamashtami – This festival, marking the birth of Krishna is celebrated with great reverence amongst Hindus all over India. Tourists make special plans to visit Mathura and Brindavan in Uttar Pradesh to participate in the gala celebrations there. These two villages showcase the life, childhood antics, frolics and most popularly redolent melodies of Krishna’s flute. Also, in Maharashtra, there is a unique way to celebrate the special festival through ‘Dahi Handi’. During this, pots of butter are strung high in the streets and human pyramids attempt to reach them, imitating Krishna’s childhood pranks. The festival is scheduled on Aug 28, 2013.