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Hill Stations Down South To Visit This Valentine’s Day! (For Lovey-dovey Couples)

0 What’s more romantic than holding hands and leisurely strolling through the lush green of a magical, misty mountain? From Munnar to Kodaikanal, South India is fantastically brimming with perfect romantic destinations. So if you’re planning for a fairytalish celebration this Valentine’s Day, here are a few South Indian Hill Stations to fill your heart to the brim with love. Munnar, Kerala Munnar, also known as “Kashmir of South India”, is a perfect getaway for lovey-dovey couples. The lush green carpet of tea plantations, the picturesque view from misty mountains,  the mesmerizingly rhythmic waterfalls, the blue sprinkles of Neelakurinji flowers and finally, the delectable cuisine of Malabar. The places to visit in Munnar are Echo Point, Atukkad Waterfalls, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Tea Gardens, Rose Garden, Mattupetty Dam etc. Vagamon, Kerala Vagamon bathed in lush greenery and utmost tranquillity is a place where the breeze sweeps in and drowns one’s heart in love. Vagamon’s pine forest with lined up trees, the rustling of leaves, the fragrance spread by gentle breeze is a fairytalish spot to stroll around with your significant other. Vagamon Meadows, Marmala Waterfall, Vagamon Falls and Mundakayam Ghat are some places to visit in Vagamon.  Coorg, Karnataka  Coorg, the Scotland of India, is a scenic place spilling the fragrance of coffee here and there. The emerald green hills of Coorg soaked in misty serenity is a perfect spot to stroll through and sip a warm cup of coffee to feel the warmth of love. Coorg offers jeep safari, thrilling trekking, river rafting, microlight flying. Let your Valentine’s day be more adventurous!  Ooty, Tamil Nadu Ooty, the Queen of Hill Stations, is another picturesque place to soak your heart in love. This scenic place has recently got bathed in fantastically frosty climate, thus making Ooty a “Mini Kashmir”. From Botanical Gardens to Doddabetta Peak, Ooty is blanketed with layers of love. Some of the spectacular spots in Ooty are Thread Garden, Emerald Lake, Catherine Falls and Kotagiri.  Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu  Kodaikanal crowned as “the Princess of Hills”, is a mesmerising spot filled with cascading waterfalls, bizarre trees with twisted roots protruding out, lakes rich in flora and fauna etc.. Kodaikanal’s pine forest is known for being the abode of hundreds of pine trees. From cycling, bird watching to rowing boats, this scenic place will give you memories that can last a lifetime. 

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Kashi Tamil Sangamam Express: Bridging South & North India, Culture & Pilgrimage (2024 Travel Guide)

0 The honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, ceremonially initiated the Kanyakumari – Banaras ‘Kashi Tamil Sangamam Express’ service on the 17th of December, 2023. The commencement of the inaugural journey, denoted by Train No. 06367 from Kanyakumari, was conducted virtually by the Prime Minister from Varanasi. In Varanasi, the honourable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, inaugurated the commencement of the second phase of the ‘Kashi Tamil Sangamam’ event, which took place from the 17th of December to the 31st of December, 2023. Subsequently, the Prime Minister officially commenced the first journey of the Kanyakumari – Banaras ‘Kashi Tamil Sangamam Express,’ a new weekly train service established to celebrate the illustrious cultural gathering in Varanasi. Dignitaries present at the function included the respected Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath, the Honourable Union Minister for Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, and Dr L. Murugan, the Honourable Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying & Information Technology. An elaborate ceremony took place in Kanyakumari, which included provisions for live broadcasting of the esteemed Prime Minister’s event occurring in Varanasi. The dignified Member of the Legislative Assembly, Shri N. Thalavai Sundaram, was present to honour the occasion. Ceremonies to commemorate the inaugural journey of the Kashi Tamil Sangamam Express are taking place at each of the 17 intermediate stops within Tamil Nadu. These welcoming festivities are seeing active involvement from various groups including politicians, government officials, rail commuters, students, and local residents. The stations in Tamil Nadu where these events are being held are as follows: Nagercoil, Tirunelveli, Virudhunagar, Madurai, Dindigul, Tiruchchirappalli, Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, Mayiladuthurai, Sirkazhi, Chidambaram, Cuddalore Port, Villupuram, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Arakkonam, and Perambur. The inaugural special Train No.06367, Kashi Tamil Sangamam Express, recorded bookings for 1094 passengers. Benefits of Kashi Tamil Sangamam Express service:  Historic Connection: The Kashi Tamil Sangamam Express inaugurates a significant railway connection as it initiates the inaugural dedicated passenger train service from Kanyakumari, situated at the extreme south of the Indian subcontinent, to the holy city of Kashi. This rail service marks an important link between two regions that are steeped in cultural heritage. Pilgrim Convenience: The recently introduced train service aims to facilitate improved travel and accessibility for the considerable contingent of devotees from Tamil Nadu making their pilgrimage to Kashi. Cultural Bonding: The objective of the service is to enhance the collective cultural legacy and intensify the interpersonal connections linking the southern and northern regions of India through the establishment of connections between these far-flung areas. Holistic Pilgrimage Route: The railway service facilitates the travel of devotees to key urban centres and sacred locations, including Varanasi, Allahabad (also known as Prayagraj), Banaras (another name for Varanasi), Madurai, Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, Chidambaram, and Kanchipuram, thereby establishing an extensive network for religious journeys. Regular services of Kashi Tamil Sangamam Express: Commencement of No. 16367/16368 Kanyakumari – Banaras – Kanyakumari Kashi Weekly Express will be as follows: from Kanyakumari starting December 28, 2023, on Thursday, and from Banaras starting December 24, 2023, on Sunday.

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India’s Train Journeys for the Ultimate Rail Adventure

0 Get ready for the ride of a lifetime! For travelers seeking a uniquely Indian experience, few things come close to the magic and wonder of crossing this vast country by train.  India’s rail network is not just tracks and trains; it’s a gateway to incredible landscapes, major cities, remote villages, and a kaleidoscope of regional cultures. Are you planning a domestic trip? Buckle up for these spectacular train journeys that promise not just stunning scenery but a crispy, fun-filled adventure.  Whether you’re a nature lover, a history enthusiast, or just want a unique way to explore India, these iconic trains should be on your bucket list.  1. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway First on the list is the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, popularly and locally known as the ‘Toy Train.’ Embarking on this whimsical blue and white journey from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling, the 8-hour ride showcases ever-changing landscapes. The highlight is the stop at Batasia Loop, offering a panoramic 360-degree view of Darjeeling town. And let’s not forget the enchanting experience of sipping hot tea at Ghum station, India’s highest railway point. Do not forget to experience the amazing and wanderlust journey. 2. Nilgiri Mountain Railway Ever heard of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway? Heading down south, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway covers a scenic 46-kilometer stretch from Mettupalayam to Ooty, making way to the surreal blue mountains.  The journey provides glimpses into local life, along with vibrant saris drying at tea plantations, craftsmen weaving reed mats, and more. An absolute must-do is visiting a tea factory in Ooty to unravel the secrets of tea-making while surrounded by the lush, green landscape. 3. Vasco Da Gama Express Ever been aboard the Vasco Da Gama Express? Waking up to the sight of shimmering lagoons, rivers, and the Western Ghats is nothing short of a delight. Coastal towns like Kannur still exude an old Portuguese vibe, with arched gateways, charming bungalows, and mouthwatering delights like Alle Belle cakes. This train seamlessly connects history and nature, making it a unique and unforgettable experience. Domestic tourism boosts the local economy, preserves cultural heritage, and fosters national unity. By traveling within the country, we support small businesses, artisans, and destinations that rely on tourism. Whichever you choose, an Indian train adventure will open your eyes to incredible landscapes, warm people, and profound history like nothing else can.

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Top 7 hidden locations in India that look like another planet!

0 India has been getting a lot of attention in the last few centuries, not just for its talents and rich cultural diversity, but also for its hypnotic landscapes and its picturesque territories that just make you feel like you’re on a whole different planet! These beyond beautiful destinations can not be talked about in words, rather, one needs to go see it for themself to understand the depth of the captivating beauty of India. Here are some of the top 7 destinations that will cement down on your bucket list once you hear about them! Robber’s cave, Himachal Pradesh The labyrinth of caves were just the perfect hiding spot for the robbers who were hiding their hoards from the British. Today, after centuries, these abandoned treasury warehouses hold nothing but bewitching waterfalls and crystal blue waters and are perfect to visit during March and April. Puga valley, Ladakh Particularly known for its hot springs that hold medicinal value, the Puga valley is what heaven would look like if it had been on Earth. Best to visit between the months of June and September, this wonder is sure to knock your socks off! Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu Infamously known as the ‘The Last land of India’, Dhanushkodi is where India visibly ends, wherein the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea meet. It’s not quite usual that one gets the opportunity to witness the very end of a large country and watch as two vast water bodies meet. Perfect to visit during the monsoon, between October and February. Sheshnag Lake, Kashmir The alpine lake is located in the heart of Kashmir, and in the path of the holy pilgrimage of Kedarnath. The Sheshnag lake is not just well known for its religious and spiritual beliefs, but also for its enchantingly scenic views. Check out this splendour of nature between Mid-June and October. Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh Lahaul is a land where the peaceful Budhism flourishes, along with its panoramic views of the valleys, hills and lakes around. See for yourself why Lahaul is praised and celebrated for its views, people and culture between the months of May and October and have your spiritual awakening! Amkoi, Meghalaya Eminently noted for its rock structures that are naturally smoothened and shaped, and for its exotic wildlife and forests, the Amkoi village of Meghalaya is a true wonder to the tired city eyes. Visit between June to September if you’re a monsoon lover who seeks comfort in the cool breeze. Nubra Valley, Ladakh Also known as Dumra, this little valley holds quaint sightings like the Bactrian Camels, scenic orchards and vistas and serenic monasteries that drive you towards your inner peace. Ideally visited between February and April, then August to November, the Nubra valley is sure to be an eye-catcher.

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THE PRIDE OF INDIA part-IV

0 With its stunning architecture, historical monuments, and spiritual sites, India is a popular destination for tourists and history enthusiasts. In this article, we’ll explore some of the top destinations in India with historical significance that will leave you amazed. MAHABALIPURAM Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram, is a town known for its rich history, culture, and fantastic architectural wonders. Mahabalipuram is home to several UNESCO World Heritage structures, including the Pancha Rathas, Shore Temple, and the Varaha Cave Temple. These structures are over 1,000 years old and exhibit the excellent architecture of the Pallava dynasty. The town is located on the coast, which offers visitors the chance to relax on the sandy beaches and frolic in the Bay of Bengal waves. Indulging in adventurous water sports like jet skiing, banana boat rides, and surfing is also an exciting activity to try. Mahabalipuram is known for its handicrafts, especially stone carving. Visitors can watch the skilful artisans carve intricate designs from stone and even purchase their creations as souvenirs. The town’s cuisine is worth trying. The delicious local dishes cooked with traditional spices and flavours will leave your taste buds wanting more. MEENAKSHI AMMAN TEMPLE Meenakshi Amman Temple is one of the most iconic temples of India, located in the heart of Madurai, Tamil Nadu. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar, who are considered to be the embodiment of divine power, beauty, and wisdom. The serene and spiritual ambience of the temple is deeply calming and refreshing. The intricate details on the temple walls will leave you in awe. It’s a great place to capture photographs and selfies. The temple is huge and stretches over sixty thousand square meters, with several enormous mandapams (pillared halls), a large tank, and several smaller shrines. Exploring the entire temple complex will take you at least two to three hours. The temple is home to several festivals throughout the year, the most famous being the Meenakshi Thirukalyanam which takes place in April or May. During this festival, the whole city comes alive with a carnival- like atmosphere, and the temple becomes the center stage of the festivities. This festival attracts millions of devotees from all over India and the world.

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EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME part-1

0 Our pick of some of the best hotels and properties that you must visit in the year 2023 We hoped you enjoyed our coverage of some of the best properties that you ought to visit this year. We received such great options that we had to split this feature in two issues. If you havent seen our previous listing, we urge you to visit our website. Continuing on with our coverage, we were actually spoilt for choices. Here’s our final list of properties that really deserve a visit this year. So sit back and enjoy our feature. We would be absolutely delighted if you do decide to visit one of these properties! FOUR SEASONS MALDIVES AT KUDA HURAA LOCATION: Kuda Huraa, Maldives BRIEF DESCRIPTION: The Four Seasons Resorts Maldives at Kuda Huraa is an award-winning luxury property that beckons guests with the welcoming embrace of a lagoon, flower gardens, and a private spa island in a charming setting of a Maldivian village. Tastefully designed, there is an infinity pool overlooking the clear waters of the Maldives where guests can spend the entire afternoon lounging on the outdoor deck, sipping cocktails, and enjoying occasional dips in the pool and the view of the endless ocean. Extending across three majestic islands, this opulent resort is home to the Maldives’ first private spa island, a world-class surfing tournament and an impressive sea turtle conservation sanctuary. REASONS TO VISIT: Experience the charm of being surrounded by crystal waters at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa. Centrally located amongst the country’s most celebrated surf breaks, a surfing holiday at Kuda Huraa is an exceptional experience. Idyllic beauty, island spa, sumptuous dining, unrivalled Four Seasons service and world-class surf are what the resort is known for. BEST TIME TO VISIT: The best time to visit the Maldives is between November and April. The climate is warm and tropical, with average highs at a consistent 29°C to 31°C year-round and average lows rarely falling below 24°C. January to April are the driest months, withlittle rain and low humidity, making this the perfect time to take a trip. NEARBY ATTRACTIONS: Located at a slight distance from the main resort, one must sail across the blue waters, and step onto a green island to soak up the ethereal whites. THE KUMAON LOCATION: Kasar Devi region of Uttarakhand BRIEF DESCRIPTION: The Kumaon is a transformative luxury retreat tucked away in Kasar Devi region of Uttarakhand. It is surrounded by the spectacular undulating hills and rich biodiversity with unparalleled views of the mighty Himalayan range. Conceptualised by Dr. Vikrom Mathur, one of the co- founders, whose profound love for the region and special relationship with its people goes back to his childhood days. He has researched and written about environment, society and development for the past 20+ years. Genesis of The Kumaon is rooted in his passionate beliefs as well as interest in the region’s ecology and its coupling with the culture and livelihoods of local communities. REASONS TO VISIT: The comfortable and secluded setting of The Kumaon provides a perfect ambience forstargazing where one can fully immerse in the beauty of the mysterious night sky. The experiential journey at The Kumaon is a natural paradise where one can explore the rich biodiversity and unchartered landscapes with retreat as a base camp. Locally sourced, farm fresh produce makes for a splendid culinary experience at The Kumaon. While one can go foraging for various ingredients in the forests with the team, insights into the sustainable local cuisine can be found in complex fibre and biodynamic superfoods that are native to the region. One can try a variety of produce like protein-rich black soybean daal, bhaang chutney made with ground cannabis seeds, and millet flatbreads! A combination of indoor or al fresco dining can be enjoyed at the gourmet restaurant that sits in a cantilevered structure of floor- to-ceiling glass with an adjoining main terrace area. A formidable juxtaposition of minimalism and modernism, The Kumaon is uniquely crafted as a secluded private sanctuary. Award-winning Zowa Architects from Sri Lanka – Pradeep Kodikara and Jineshi Samaraweera, have taken their love for nature, natural materials and minimalism to weave these together into contemporary design aspects that reflect at The Kumaon. NEARBY ATTRACTIONS: From The Nanda Devi temple that sits on the top of Crank’s ridge, to the Chitai Golu Devta bell temple, one can visit these sacred sites frequented by the local worshippers. Then there is the nearby town of Almora with an old-world charm and secrets from history.

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The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Successful Travel Influencer: Insider Tips from That Couple Though!

0 it’s 2023 and the new year promises new opportunities with some new challenges. It is always great to see the travel industry getting back on its feet again. From airlines to the hospitality industry every thing seems to be functioning smoothly during this phase after the early Covid pandemic. This does not mean we are not under the threat of Covid. We as responsible citizens and influencers urge travellers to make their travel decision based on the travel advisory issued by the government. The periodic lockdowns and the challenging lifestyle during the pandemic has lead to a sudden urge to take a break from the daily hustle and bustle. With limited restrictions on travel and with all markets opening up completely, travel continues to remain everyone’s preferred choice. Influencers here play a key role in helping you make the right choice. But being a successful travel influencer comes with its own set of challenges.One of them is to increase their audiences. This includes exploring unique destinations and presenting these in the best way possible. However, creating a spot-on travel content strategy that consistently holds the audience’s attention can be tricky which is why here are ten actionable tips that travel influencers can incorporate in order to attract or increase their follower count. Adapt to improved content strategies Just because you are a travel influencer does not imply that you can be physically present at different locations. As much as everyone loves to travel, there is no denial in the fact that it is an expensive affair. However, you still need to continue content creation and hence ensure to spread your plan in a way that covers all important places for your audience type. Build a strong niche One of the most important tips to thriving on the internet is to build a set of credible and niched audiences who directly or indirectly end up promoting your account through shareable content. This will ensure you reach people faster and get recognized for your unique work. Collaborate with related industries Travel is not just limited to promoting tourism destinations but also involves an overlap with many other industries. Wedding events and destinations, sports tournaments, shopping destinations, etc play a huge role in enhancing footfall in any tourist space.Influencers can focus on these areas and collaborate with wedding decorators, sports management teams etc to provide insight into details for these and give behind the scene access to their viewers. Create a sense of community Interacting regularly with your audience will help you get to know them personally and vice versa. A great way to do this is by asking questions on what is their favourite travel spot and exchanging travel stories. Introduce affiliate marketing Affiliate marketing helps rope in some extra revenue while also giving out great deals to your audience. This can include hotel stay deals, restaurant coupon codes or even discounts offered for travel essentials. Affiliate marketing thus helps increase authenticity for travel influencers. Quality over Quantity With so many influencers trying to cover the same topic, it is common for it to start looking like repetitive information to your viewers. Hence quality content is highly crucial and make sure you present it in unique ways. Many times, even if the information provided is not something new, the way it is presented makes a big difference for people to easily retain it. Appreciate local culture People love to connect with real things and what better than showing them a glimpse of the rich cultural nuances of different regions? From food and art to the beauty of languages and more, adding real local culture to your feed is the way to go when creating content as a travel influencer. Recommend must-visit spots and assist avid travellers Every place has hidden gems and something that only a few people know about. Make sure you do your research well and educate your audience about these amazing spots at popular locations and how you can get there. Hike places, quaint old corners, a small church somewhere in the middle of a small town, everything reflects the beauty of travel. Some of these tips work really well for solo travellers as well. Share diverse knowledge Diversify your content on different platforms so you know you are reaching unique users. This will also help you secure your digital presence in the constantly evolving world. Moreover, you can also alter the content on different platforms. For example, building podcasts on Spotify to creating long-form videos on youtube go above and beyond the mainstream social media presence. Consistently interact with your audience If there is one thing that can never be replaced, it is the power of consistency. While it is understandable that content creation can become tricky and time-consuming, showing up every day in some form or another has an immense effect on enhancing your algorithm. 2023 is all set to be one of the most exciting years for the travel industry and thus makes for a perfect time for travel influencers to fully capitalize on their presence through these effective tips.

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