Yatra Chardham – Sri Badrinath

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Sri Badrinath Dham is situated at a height of 3415 meters from the sea level on the right banks of river Alaknanda between Nar and Narayan mountains , in the back drop is the Neelkanth peak , this place was re established by Adi Shankarcharya in Eight Centenary , legend is that the black Shaligram stone idol was lying in the bed of Alaknanda river and was taken out by the Shankaracharya to establish it in the cave near the Tapt Kund .

Main Entrance Sri Badrinath Temple

The present temple  was built by King of Garhwal afterwards there were changes and renovations done because of the earthquake and rebuilt in the year 1803, it is a 50 ft tall stone structure with top covered with gold gilt roof , there is a tall arched gate after the flights of stairs the walls are painted blue, red and yellow giving a view of a Buddhist Mut , the Garbha griha is having the main idol of Lord Badrinath sitting in a Padmasan mudra under a gold canopy Badri tree , surrounded by the idols of Nar and Narayan, Narad , Ganesha, Udhava, Narsimaha ( the forth incarnation of lord Vishnu) Ma Lakshmi , Kuber and Garuda Nav Durga ( nine incarnations of Ma Durga ) , before entering the temple pilgrims consider to have bath in the Tapt Kund just next to the main entrance .

Legend

When Lord Badri was meditating here the Ma Lakshmi was standing next to him sheltering the Lord from the harsh weather and turned into a Badri tree .

It is said once Lord Shiva and Ma Parvati were in deep meditation here , a small child came crying disturbing the  Lord , Ma Parvati asked the child what he wanted , the child replied that he wanted the Badrinath for meditation, they discovered that this child was none other than Lord Narayan they left the place and moved to Kedarnath.

In Bhagvat Puran it is said that Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Rishi Nar and Narayan are in deep meditation for the welfare of all the living beings , according to Skandha Puran there is no better palace in this universe than Badrinath , according to Padma Puran this place is full of unlimited spiritual treasures.

 

It is also said that the person born with Birth Sun Sign ( Rashi ) Sagittarius ( Dhanu), Leo (Shimha) and Taurus (Maesh) must pay a visit once in their life time at Sri Badrinath Dham.

 For more information and packages contact +91-9810506646 or email : promark@promarktravels.com

Visit our website  www.yatrachardham.com

Yatra Chardham – Sri Kedarnath

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Sri Kedarnath Dham  is situated at a height of 3584 meters above the sea level on the head of river Mandakini surrounded by snow capped mountains , it is a plateu having the most popular Hindu pilgrimage in the Chardham. The temple here is dedicated to Lord Shiva and worshiped here of his back which is conical  in shape. This place is accessible from April till October , rest of the year the idol is kept and worshiped at Ukhimath near Guptkashi . Out side the main entrance there is a big stone statue of Nandi Bull facing the temple , upon entering the hall there are statues of five Pandava brothers , Lord Sri Krishna , Vidharba the guard of Lord Shiva. It is said that one who pays the visit here and bows his head is relived of Sorrows , it was from here onward towards the Swargarohan the Pandwa were blessed and relived of guilt and sorrow of killing their relatives in the Mahabharata war.

Sri Kedarnath Temple main entrance

Legend

This land was once ruled by the King Kedar who is also father of Vrinda , she had worshiped for sixty thousand years , to honor him this region was called as Kedarkhand. It is said the  Pandu the Pandva King died here while trying to  love  Madri .

When Bhim tried to stop the Lord Shiva who had disguised as bull had a fight with mace which hit the Lord Shiva , Bhim having guilt of hurting the Lord massaged the body with Ghee , today the pilgrims follow the ritual by applying the Ghee at the triangular Jyotirlinga along with offering of Bel leaves and milk in the puja .

Their existed a temple of Mahabharata time before this temple was constructed  in Eight centenary by the Adi Shankracharya .

Adi Shankarachrya took samadhi at this place in Sri Kedarnath Dham

When to travel

This temple opens along with the other temples of Chardham on Akshya Tritiya and closes on Depawali for winters , mid June till August is monsoon period , there are land slides and roads blocks quite common and during this period journey is not recomended.

What to see

The main place is the Sri Kedarnath temple , just behind it is the Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi , little above at a small distance on the left side of the temple is the Bhairo temple . Chorbari is a crystal clear snow water lake about a kilometer trek from Kedarnath with floating ice in the water. Vasuki Tal  is 6 km at a height of 4150 meters in the snow caped mountains , one can have a beautiful view of Chaukhamba peaks from here.

Where to stay

There are many guest houses and dharamshalas here but all are with basic facilities only.

How to reach here

There are Buses and trains available up to Hardwar or Rishikesh connections from all over India , one can also reach Dehradun by air onward journey could be performed by buses, cars and jeeps , opening of Helicopter service is a big relief for old age people , the helicopter service is available till Kedarnath from Guptkashi ( Phata) and Dehradun . There is a good road till Gaurikund from here the 14 km trek can be done by walking or hiring the mules or palkis .

Delhi to Rishikesh                      230 km

Rishikesh to Guptkashi            201 km

Guptkashi to Gaurikund            32 km

Gaurikund to Sri Kedarnath      14 km

 For more information and packages contact +91-9810506646 or email : promark2promarktravels.com

Visit our website www.yatrachardham.com

Kingfisher Airline summoned by DGCA

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DGCA summons KF CEO, says passengers first

The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) summoned the CEO of Kingfisher Airlines, Sanjay Aggarwal, and ordered the airline to accomodate passengers, affected by cancelled flights, with other airlines.

DGCA summons KF CEO, says passengers first

The DGCA response came after Kingfisher cancelled 17 flights on Monday, for a third day in a row, from Bangalore and Mumbai and also rescheduled two flights. The airlines had also cancelled 28 flights on Sunday, February 19.

Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said in response to the crisis that there were no plans to bail out the troubled airline. The airline must talk to the banks and sort the issue out, he added.

Earlier, Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) officials, despite repeated attempts, declined to confirm or deny the developments. Instead, they repeatedly said that “we shall issue a statement when required” and refused to comment on the potential action by the DGCA.

The cancellations have affected incoming or outbound flights in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore.

The abrupt flight cancellations had created major problems for passengers waiting to travel after having booked their tickets months in advance, an official at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport said.

However, Sunday, the beleaguered carrier reeling under financial losses had claimed that despite flight disruptions since the past couple of days, it has not shut down any stations from its schedules, an official said.

The developments have also worried passengers intending to travel on KFA flights in the next few days or weeks.

“Last minute cancellations jeopardize our travel and onward plans, while other carriers charge heavily for the same sector if we try to cancel and make alternate bookings,” said A.A. Kinariwalla, a manager with a multinational in Mumbai, who is a frequent flier on domestic and international sectors.

A KFA spokesperson blamed the flight disruptions on certain unexpected incidents like ‘bird hits’ which rendered its aircraft out of service.

The flight disruptions are expected to continue for another three to four days with only 208 flights in operations, but the carrier has not shut down nor does it plan to close down any stations, the official said.

‘The speculation that we are reducing our operating schedule from 240 flights a day are ill-founded, as we will operate the full schedule on our booking system within the next four days,’ the spokesperson added.

While admitting that its bank accounts have been attached by the Income Tax Department, KFA said in the past also similar issues have happened and they have been resolved.

‘We have had a good meeting with our consortium of Banks who have accepted, in principle, the viability study prepared by SBI Capital markets and independent consultants. Our request for additional working capital has been acknowledged by the consortium and is subject to individual bank approvals,’ the spokesperson said.

The developments come after high fuel costs and falling revenue resulted in KFA losses in the third quarter of the current fiscal mounting to Rs.444 crore from a net loss of Rs.254 crore suffered in the like quarter of 2010-11.

Source: India Syndicate

Rural tourism boost for urbane Delhi

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Rural tourism boost for urbane Delhi

If all goes as planned, cosmopolitan citizens as well as tourists will be able to get a glimpse of ‘real India’ in the heart of Delhi.

The Delhi government plans to bring the Indian countryside to the Capital itself. To present the “real India” to foreign tourists, the government has selected 14 villages, each with a water body, across the Capital.

These spots will be redeveloped, restored and offered as a ‘rural tourism destination’ to the foreigners. The project, worth crores of rupees, has already received the necessary clearances.

Once the water bodies in these select villages are restored, the government would start developing basic infrastructure and creating a unique recreational environment with special focus on the visiting tourists.

The environment department officials say once these water bodies are restored, activities such as fishing and boating will be introduced. “At the same time, each village will have its own identity. The culture and infrastructural facilities will be developed accordingly,” an official said, adding that these features would boost the state’s economy and tourism infrastructure.

The prominent villages selected for the project include Goyla Khurd in south-west Delhi, Daulatpur in south Delhi, Hastsal village, Khera Dabur in south Delhi, Bamnoli village, Chhawla village, Dera Mandi village in south Delhi, Hiran Kudna village in west Delhi, Kamruddin Nagar, Doolsiras, Harshvihar and a lake in Madipur village.

Confirming the development, the environment department’s Delhi Parks and Gardens Society CEO Dr S.D. Singh said: “We are hopeful of cleaning and restoring water bodies. We will be using a new process to complete the work.”

“The real problem with these water bodies is that they have become dumping grounds for sewage or other pollutants. With poor oxygen content, these can’t support marine life,” Dr Singh said.

“We are hopeful of cleaning and restoring water bodies. We will be using a new process to complete the work.”

The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) will restore the water bodies and institute scientist Dr Rakesh Kumar will implement the project using the phytorid technology.

This restores the oxygen content in the water, thereby creating conditions to reintroduce marine and aquatic life.

It only involves introduction of certain categories of antipollutant and oxygen-releasing plants to the water bodies.

“It is energy-efficient, requires low maintenance and is aesthetic,” Kumar told Mail Today. The technique positively impacts the nitrogen, phosphorous and other aspects affecting water quality.

Source: www.indiatoday.in

India needs to streamline visa, infrastructure to tap tourism potential: Experts

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India needs to streamline visa, infrastructure to tap tourism potential: Experts

As tourism becomes a key driver of the Indian economy with its growing foreign exchange earnings and income generating potential, the government has to streamline infrastructure and visa procedures to tap the segment’s full potential, experts across the industry say.

“Travel and tourism is the second largest employer in India and the second largest revenue earner. It needs no introduction. The country is a continent in itself. But the government has to sort out the visa road blocks and infrastructure loopholes,” Iqbal Mulla, president of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), told IANS on the sidelines of a South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) business forum.

Mulla said: “India gets the second highest tourist traffic from the UK but the new Indian visa regulations stipulate that a visitor from UK cannot return to India within two months of visiting the country”.

“You need easier visa policy so that foreign tourists can stay longer or return on repeat trips. India cannot be seen in a week’s time,” Mulla said. He said TAAI has taken it up with the tourism and civil aviation ministries.

Like other countries in the west, India too must introduce visa on arrival, Harkripal Singh, chief representative of the TAAI said.

“Security threats are all make-belief. People can stand in queues in airports at metros for their visa,” Singh said.

Pointing to a mismatch between inbound and outbound tourism arising from visa controls and poor infrastructure, Mulla said “outbound tourism was growing by 25 per cent and all tourism boards were buying from India”.

The outbound tourism figure from India is expected to touch 50 million by 2020, estimates by leading South Asian tourism monitors say.

“We are losing foreign exchange because of this huge mismatch between footfalls and growth rate in inbound (nearly 6.28 million foreign arrivals last year) and outbound tourism. Issues like multiple taxes and entertainment licenses are slowing down growth of inbound tourism…if you want to host a dinner at a five star property for a group of foreign tourists, the tour operator has to acquire at least 54 licenses,” Mulla explained.

India should do much more to attract foreign tourists to the country, Timmy S. Kandhari, executive director of leader, hospitality and leisure of PricewaterhouseCoopers, said.

“India gets only 6 million tourists while Istanbul alone gets 13 to 15 million tourists. India lacks infrastructure and rooms. We currently have 120,000 rooms and are short of 150,000 rooms. Land acquisition for new properties is a major problem as well as connectivity to smaller cities,” Kandhari told IANS.

The marketing strategy for India as a destination should also shift from a heritage-culture oriented packages to more experiential itineraries. “Today’s traveller likes to eat, experience and shop,” Rajeev Kohli, joint managing director of Creative Travel Pvt Ltd, said.

The government needs to allocate more for tourism, Nawang Rogzin Jora, the tourism minister of Jammu and Kashmir said. “The ministry allocation of Rs.1,000 crore by the government is pathetic. This shows clearly that there is no appreciation for tourism,” Jora said at SATTE on Saturday.

“International tourist arrival in India is expected to grow with a CAGR of 7.9 per cent for a period spanning 2010-2015. Indian outbound departure is expected to reach 20.5 million by 2015,” Sanjeev Khaira, managing director of the exhibition firm UBM India, said.

UBM-India organised the South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE), a buyers-sellers’ forum, Feb 10-12 in the capital.

Addressing a session, “Tourism: A Driver of Indian Economy”, Khaire said “the strong support from the government on the tourism industry front through investments and the Incredible India campaign attracting more than 750 million in the hospitality and tourism sector were definitely signs of growth that need to be nurtured”.

A research note by the auditing and consulting firm Deloitte Touche observes that the sector is expected to generate around USD 42.8 billion (nearly Rs.1,897.7 billion) by 2017.

The ministry of tourism figures suggest that foreign tourist arrival (FTA) is expected to grow to 10 million by 2010-12 while volume of domestic tourism is expected to increase by 15 percent to 20 percent over the next five years.

Estimates say domestic tourism translates into 700 million footfall in destinations across the country.

Source: IANS

EU Green Tax: Global Airlines Warn Of ‘Retaliatory Action’

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‘Retaliatory Action’

With European Union facing global flak over imposition of a green tax on all aircraft flying in its skies, world airlines’ body IATA has warned European airlines of “retaliatory action” by non-EU nations if a global solution was not arrived at soo

EU Green Tax: Global Airlines Warn Of 'Retaliatory Action'

“Time is not on our side. Airlines from Europe may face some retaliatory action. And some non-European airlines may have to choose whether to obey the law of their land or that of Europe ?- two more unintended consequences which should convince all states that the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) is the way forward,” IATA chief Tony Tyler said.

He called for a global solution through the ICAO, a UN-body, to break the impasse on Europe’s plans to “unilaterally” include global aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS).

India, Russia, the US, China and several other countries would meet in Moscow later this month to decide on whether to take retaliatory measures against the EU on its “unilateral” decision to impose carbon tax on air travel.

The EU imposed the tax from January, but about 30 countries, including India, Russia, China and the US, opposed the move, saying it was “inconsistent with the international legal regimes”.

In a speech to the European Aviation Club in Brussels yesterday, Tyler said the consequences of the “unilateral and extra-territorial approach go beyond market distortions to states seeing this as an attack on their sovereignty.”

“I am sensing a growing recognition that a global scheme developed through the ICAO would provide a superior solution both for managing aviation’s emissions and to resolving the political problems caused by extending the scheme beyond Europe’s borders,” the IATA Director General and CEO said, adding, “We will do all that we can to promote a pragmatic solution.”

Source: PTI

Promoters infuse Rs 131cr in SpiceJet

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Updated: Wed, 08 Feb 2012 14:22:10 GMT | By Lalatendu Mishra, Mail Today

Marans infuse Rs 131cr in SpiceJet

Promoters of SpiceJet disagree with audiors that the financial health of the low-cost airline is in danger.

The SpiceJet stock in early trade on Tuesday plunged 2.44 per cent after its auditors reportedly raised concern over the low cost airline’s financial health.

According to reports, the accumulated loss of the airline to the tune of Rs.1,078 crore as on December 31, 2011, has eroded the company’s net worth and doubts had been raised on the carrier’s ability to continue as a going concern.

Soon after the SpiceJet stock plunged, its promoters said they had infused additional equity of Rs.131 crore and they also rubbished all concerns.

“With great respect, we wish to state that there is a misinterpretation of facts. The fact is that the net worth of SpiceJet Ltd as on December 31, 2011, was almost Rs.100 crore. It is worth to mention that an equity infusion of Rs.131 crore was done by the promoters in October 2011. The net worth of the company has actually improved,” Neil Mills, chief executive officer, SpiceJet told Mail Today.

“The networth of Spice-Jet has actually risen tenfold. SpiceJet net worth was just about Rs.9.13 crore at the end of September, 2011 quarter and it has grown to almost Rs.95.57 crore on the back equity infusion, which was done by promoters. So, it is not correct to say that the net worth has been eroded,” said SL Narayanan, Group CFO, Sun Group, the promoter of SpiceJet.

However, experts said that the promoters have to pump in more. According to estimates by Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) SpiceJet is expected to post a full year loss of Rs.500-600 crore. “We expect significant pressure to finance these losses and the airline has to make possible provisions for next fiscal,” said Kapil Kaul, CEO South Asia, CAPA.

Source:

www.indiatoday.in

UK mulls barring low income migrants

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UK mulls barring low income migrants

The country feels that only those who can add quality to the UK should be allowed in the kingdom.
London: The United Kingdom has been considering granting entry only to those Indians and other non-European Union immigrants who add to the quality of the country’s life.

The country has been contemplating barring others with a low income potential. Two proposals by Immigration Minister Damian Green are likely to affect Indian professionals and migrants.

The minister feels that only those who can add quality to the UK should be allowed in the kingdom. According to proposed rules, only those earning over 31,000 pound would be allowed to stay beyond the mandatory five-year period.

Source:

www.indiatoday.in

Policy on import of jet fuel silent on logistics

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Wed, 08 Feb 2012 08:18:39 GMT

Policy on import of jet fuel silent on logistics: Experts

Airlines welcomed the decision of a ministerial panel to allow direct import of fuel, but aviation experts said several questions remained unanswered, particularly on logistics, as airports don’t have private fuel storage facilities.

“The news is very positive for the airline industry. But we have to see how the airlines will import the fuel. Do they have the cash to do so,” said Sharan Lillaney, aviation analyst at Angel Broking, reacting to the decision Tuesday.

“There are other questions as well: Where will they store the fuel? Will they use the infrastructure of oil marketing companies? Will oil companies allow that? So, there needs to be clarity on these things first,” Lillaney told IANS.

A group of ministers headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday decided to move the cabinet with a proposal to allow airlines to directly import aviation turbine fuel to help them save on taxes and thereby cut their operational costs.

Several airlines have been facing one of the toughest times and wanted the government to help them out by permitting direct import of jet fuel that was now accounting for close to 50 percent of their operational costs.

‘We have applied officially to the commerce ministry for direct import of fuel. If we import fuel directly for our own use we become an actual user. Therefore, we won’t have to pay sales tax and other levies,’ Kingfisher Airlines chairman Vijay Mallya had said.

According to Amber Dubey, director aviation at global consultancy firm KPMG, airline companies may initially need to depend on oil marketing companies for infrastructure and expertise, since the business of jet fuels is a complex one.

‘Plus, an airline cannot get into trading business and sell the same to other airlines. We are likely to see new models of collaboration between airlines, oil companies and providers of logistical service providers in the near future,’ Dubey told IANS.

At some airports like in Mumbai, there is no scope for private firms, or airlines, to set up additional facilities to store and vend jet fuel due to space constraints. But land is available in some others like in Hyderabad and Delhi, experts said.

At present, the government’s foreign trade policy holds jet fuel as a restricted item for private import, which can only be brought in through authorised companies. It was also not clear if domestic oil retailers can sell jet fuel at international rates.

Source: IANS

Aviation stocks rally after direct jet fuel import allowed

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Tue, 07 Feb 2012 16:03:26 GMT

Aviation stocks rally after direct jet fuel import allowed

Mumbai: Scrips of three listed domestic carriers — Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and SpiceJet — rallied after the government Tuesday allowed airlines to import jet fuel directly.

Aviation stocks rally after direct jet fuel import allowed

The decision on direct jet fuel imports was taken by an empowered group of ministers (EGoM) headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Analysts said the move, announced by Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, would help airlines to cut 10-15 percent of their operating cost.

The move will enable airlines to directly import jet fuel as an end user, thereby saving sales tax, which ranges between 20-35 percent and is levied by state governments.

The Indian aviation sector been reeling under rising aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices caused by high sales tax and other levies. Domestic airlines are estimated to have lost around Rs.3,000 crore in the first six months of this fiscal.

Mumbai: Scrips of three listed domestic carriers — Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and SpiceJet — rallied after the government Tuesday allowed airlines to import jet fuel directly.
This is very positive news for the industry. The airlines can be able to save up to 10-15 percent of their operating cost as jet fuel accounts for nearly 50 percent of the cost,’ Sharan Lillaney, aviation analyst, Angel Broking told IANS.

‘The decision will help the airlines to break-even, pay back the oil marketing companies.

The scrip of Vijay Mallya-led Kingfisher Airlines hit an intra-day high of Rs.30.90, up 20 percent from Monday’s close of Rs.25.75 at the Bombay Stock Exchange. The stock was hovering around Rs.28.50 in afternoon trade.

The Jet Airways stock too gained 18.06 percent and touched a high of Rs.351.90 from the previous close of Rs.298.05. The stock was Rs.336.90 around 2.30 p.m.

Budget carrier SpiceJet also gained 19.51 percent at BSE and touched an intra-day high of Rs.29.40 from the previous close of Rs.24.60

Analysts, however, said more clarity was required as to how airlines would manage the logistics of storing and importing fuel.

‘We have to see how the airlines will import the fuel, do they have the cash to do so, where will they store the fuel, will they use the oil marketing companies’ infrastructure or not. So there needs to be clarity on these things first, besides this, the news is very positive,’ said Lillaney.

Airlines have not yet come out with any logistics plan for storing and importing the fuel. This was one of the arguments by the three oil marketing companies Hindustan Petroleum, Indian Oil and Bharat Petroleum, who were opposing the move.

ATF is currently sold at Rs.71,155.22 per kilolitre (kl) in Kolkata, at Rs.67,702.21 per kl in Chennai, at Rs.63,864.31 per kl in Mumbai and Rs.62,907.82 per kl in New Delhi.

The average fuel price in cities like Kuala Lumpur is around Rs.41,000 per kilo litre, followed by Singapore at Rs.42,000 and Dubai at Rs.43,000.

Source: IANS