Deccan Odyssey’s Second Run to Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve Cancelled

The second scheduled visit of the Deccan Odyssey, the luxury train bringing foreign tourists to Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), was also deferred on Monday. The first visit on October 6 too had been deferred indefinitely for unknown reasons.

Deccan Odyssey Restaurant Car

Deccan Odyssey Restaurant Car

“We are unaware about the reasons for cancelling the visit of the train. The programme of Deccan Odyssey’s tour to TATR is final. The first and second visits on October 6 and November 3 respectively were deferred for unknown reasons. The tour organizers can rearrange schedules to make up the missed trips,” said field director and CCF, TATR, GP Garad.

Tiger in Pench National Park

Tiger in Pench National Park

He claimed TATR has already received Rs59 lakh payment against Deccan Odyssey tour of the tiger reserve. “Hence, the programme is not going to be cancelled. However, it is likely that they (MTDC and operator Cox & Kings) would revamp the entire schedule in consultation with each other,” Garad said.

Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve

Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve

He claimed he is in touch with those involved in organizing the tour. “However, the new schedule to make up the lost trips has not been conveyed to us yet,” Garad said.

The sanctuary is still awaiting the maiden tour of the acclaimed luxury train. The train is to make 17 trips to Tadoba and four trips to Pench tiger reserves.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Deccan Odyssey to arrive in Kolhapur on November 1

This season’s first tour of the Deccan Odyssey, a five-star luxury tourist train, will touch down in Kolhapur on November 1. In the 4-6 hour halt in Kolhapur, tourists on the train will be able to visit the New Palace, the Mahalaxmi Temple and the Town Hall museum in Kolhapur during their stay, stated a release from the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), a state-owned nodal tourism agency.

Deccan Odyssey train

Deccan Odyssey train

By March 2015, six tours will touch down Kolhapur this season. After November 1, the second tour will be on November 29, followed by December 27, 2014. In 2015, three such tours will pass through Kolhapur; one each on January 24, February 21 and March 14, the release stated.

Deccan Odyssey Onboard Restaurant

Deccan Odyssey Onboard Restaurant

Starting from Mumbai, the train will pass through Aurangabad, the Tadoba tiger reserve in Chandrapur, the Ajanta caves and Nashik, before arriving at Kolhapur on the sixth day of the tour. Apart from visiting the palace, the temple and the museum, tourists will witness a traditional martial arts performance known as ‘Mardani Khel’, the MTDC release stated. The train will travel onwards to Goa and return to Mumbai.

The luxury train runs two tours: the Deccan Odyssey for Maharashtra and the Indian Maharaja-Deccan Odyssey for a pan-India tour.

Launched in 2004, the Deccan Odyssey is a joint venture between the MTDC, the Indian Railways and the Union ministry of tourism.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Talks on for Running Daily Trains on Primary Buddhist Circuit

The tourism ministry is awaiting tourist numbers from UP and Bihar, which would largely determine the economic feasibility of running a tourist train on a daily basis.

The Mahaparinirvan Express, the special luxury train that connects Buddhist centres, might soon start daily service in the peak October-March season. For this purpose, talks are on between officials of the tourism ministry and Indian Railways.

The primary Buddhist circuit comprises places connected to the life of the Buddha. The train covers Buddhist locations such as Bodhgaya, Nalanda/Rajgir, Varanasi/Sarnath, Kus-hinagar, Lumbini and Sravasti. The government had announced plans to identify and develop five tourist circuits on specific themes. It had also allocated Rs 500 crore for the project.

Mahaparinirvana Express

Mahaparinirvana Express

The initial plan of the tourism ministry was to develop the circuit through better roads, infrastructure and hotels. The lack of economic incentives and the fear of political backlash due to low returns on investments forced the ministry to go slow on the project, a top ministry official said, requesting anonymity.

“Roads, toilets and hotels would have incentivised greater tourist inflow but the maintenance costs would have been tremendously high. Also, no government would want to be seen developing roads and toilets in, what is essentially, a tourist circuit,” said the official.

Mahaparinirvan Express Cabin

Mahaparinirvan Express Cabin

The tourism ministry is awaiting tourist numbers from UP and Bihar, which would largely determine the economic feasibility of running a tourist train on a daily basis. In discussions with railway officials, the ministry said it has plans to invest about Rs 150 crore to incentivise railways to run a daily train. If the costs escalate, the amount is to be paid in instalments.

“The train will ideally be run on a daily basis, at least from October 1 to March 30. The rest of the year can be on the basis of traffic inflow,” added the official.

Buddhist Circuit

Buddhist Circuit

The proposed fares in the special train will be somewhere in the range of thrice the current fare. The tourists that the primary Buddhist circuit hosts are predominantly from outside India. This could entail that running the train on a daily basis with higher fares during the peak season could yield revenues to offset the costs.

“The plan is that it will not be as costly as the Maharaja Express or the Palace on Wheels train. However, what’s also certain is that it won’t be as subsidised as most Indian trains are,” added the official.

Source: www.business-standard.com

Uncovering the Best Beaches of Goa

Goa is India’s smallest state by area and fourth smallest by population. On the map it is located on western side of India, in the region known as Konkan. It is surrounded by the state of Maharashtra in the north and by Karnataka in the East and South, while the Arabian Sea forms its western coast.

Goa Beach

Goa Beach

Goa is one of the richest states of India. It is ranked the best place for its infrastructure and high quality of life in India. It is visited by a large numbers of domestic and international tourists each year for its world famous beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture. It also has a rich flora and fauna.

Goa Dance Carnival

Goa Dance Carnival

Goa’s beaches cover about 125 kilometers of its coastline. They are divided into North and South Goa. North Goa is more commercial and touristy with an abundance of mostly low and medium budget tourist accommodation and whereas South Goa area is much higher –end hotels and private beaches location. These beaches are lined with snakes that provide fresh sea food and drinks.

Goa Carnival Festival

Goa Carnival Festival

The state features a tropical monsoon climate. It has a hot and humid climate for most of the year. It also has a short winter season between mid – December and February.

There are many ways to go to Goa.  Air, roadways and railways are the means of transport through which we can go to Goa. Many luxury trains also take their guest to Goa. These trains are:

Goa is also known as the origin of Goa trance. While Goa trance itself has achieved widespread popularity. It has also immensely influenced later forms of music such as psytrance.

Hotels in Goa

Hotels in Goa

Rice and fish curry is the staple diet of Goans. Goan cuisine is famous for its rich variety of fish dishes cooked with elaborate recipes. Coconut and coconut oil are widely used in Goan cooking along with chilli peppers, species and vinegar giving the food a unique flavor.

Going to Goa for your holidays would be a great fun. So, step forward to book your tickets for this wonderful destination which is waiting for you.