Tag Archives: Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal, Red Fort & Qutub Minar among the top 10 revenue generating monuments

The top 10 revenue generating monuments during 2015-18 are Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Sun Temple Konark, Group of Monuments Mamallapuram, Ellora Caves, Group of Monuments Khajuraho and Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad. The information was shared by Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate change in reply to a starred question in the Rajya Sabha. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) spent Rs 41,076.79 lakh in 2017-18 for the conservation of protected monuments.

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HRANI Conclave in Lucknow on February 16 to promote eco-friendly practices

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI) is set to organise its next conclave in Lucknow on February 16, 2019. Set to be held at Taj Mahal, Lucknow, the conclave will be inaugurated by Justice D P Singh, Chairman, Uttar Pradesh Solid Waste Management Monitoring Committee. The theme of the conclave ‘Environmental Concerns of Hospitality Industry’ is chosen to promote ecotourism by adopting environment-friendly practices. Dr Anita Bhatnagar Jain, Additional Chief Secretary, Food Safety and Drug Administration Dept., Govt of Uttar Pradesh; Anurag Yadav, Secretary, Urban Development, Government of Uttar Pradesh, and I K Kapila, Advocate & Solicitor, Techno-Legal Environmental Consultant will be gracing the event as guest speakers. The topics for discussion during the upcoming HRANI Conclave – Applicable SWM and plastic waste disposal rules and role of stakeholders in effective implementation of plastic and solid waste management – aim towards spreading awareness on the environment-friendly practices that hotels can adopt.

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Make in-flight announcements in local language: DGCA

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued an advisory stating that airlines may consider using local language for in-flight announcements “to extent feasible”. Moreover, in order to enhance awareness about the cultural heritage of India, pilots can make in-flight announcements about important monuments or sites enroute the flight, the advisory said. Announcements in local language would be in addition to the ones made in Hindi and English, according to the DGCA advisory. The DGCA clarified in its latest advisory that airlines may make the aforementioned additional in-flight announcements without compromising any safety requirements or core job functions of crew members. “It is made clear that the above announcements be made without compromising safety of operations at any stage,” the advisory added. In 2016, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had issued a circular asking airports under its control to make public announcements in the local language followed by Hindi and English. There are more than 100 operational airports in India. “To enhance awareness about cultural heritage of India, pilot can make in-flight announcement about the important monument or site (such as the Taj Mahal, the Konark Temple, the Ajanta Ellora, the Statue of Unity, etc), which are enroute the flight,” the DGCA advisory stated.

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MOT identifies 17 attractions to be developed as Iconic Tourist Sites

The Ministry of Tourism has identified 17 sites in 12 clusters for development under Iconic Tourist Sites Development Project. The sites include Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Ajanta & Ellora, Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Colva beach, Amer Fort, Somnath, Dholavira, Khajuraho, Hampi, Mahabalipuram, Kaziranga, Kumarakom and Mahabodhi. The Ministry shall be developing the sites with focus on issues concerning connectivity to the destination, better facilities for the tourists at the site, skill development, involvement of local community, promotion & branding and by bringing in private investment. The monuments taken up for development fall under the jurisdiction of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and State Archaeology Departments. The Ministry will carry out interventions at these monuments in collaboration with the ASI and State Government, and all development plans will have elements of universal accessibility, cleanliness at the monuments, use of green technology and enhanced security for the tourists.

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Photography allowed at protected monuments

The Archaeological Survey of India, in an order issued recently, decided to allow photography within the premises of all centrally protected monuments/sites except three which include Ajanta Caves, Leh Palace and Mausoleum of Taj Mahal. This comes in the wake of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi observing that space technology in the modern era has developed to such an extent that one can photograph even minute objects from far off distances, and in this background, it is indeed ironical to restrict the tourists/visitors from taking photographs of their experiences at heritage monuments and sites. He recently inaugurated Dharohar Bhawan, the new headquarters building of ASI at Tilak Marg, New Delhi.

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Tourists unable to pay monument fee, road tax

Lally Matthews, Hon. Secretary, IATO, says even though its a bold move by the PM, there are some immediate problems. “We are seeing that the clients who are travelling in India are facing a problem in paying the monument fee at the counters. There have been instances at the Taj Mahal as big notes are not being accepted at the counters and tourists are coming back without visiting it. The drivers are unable to pay road taxes and inter-state taxes owing to the same problem. Tourists who have already exchanged money can’t use the money they have in hand and can’t even take the new currency from banks. There are problems for tourist vehicles to pay at petrol pumps. Apart from that, foreign tourists staying in hotels are unable to pay by cash for any services, and the same problem they are facing at restaurants as well. There are also reports that some hotels are even charging 10 per cent extra if a tourist is paying by card,” he concluded.

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100-room Leela, 150-room AIANA to open in Agra

The Al Sawari Group will purchase a six-acre site near the Taj Mahal from The Leela Group in the historical city of Agra to develop a hotel complex, marking the group’s entry into India. Al Sawari Holding has also entered into a management agreement with the Leela Group to operate a 100-room Leela Palace Hotel on this site. Another management agreement has been signed with AIANA Hotels and Resorts, a global hotel management company, to operate a 150-room Aiana Hotel on the same plot. An MoU was signed between H.E. Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman of Al Sawari Holding and Al Faisal Holding and Vivek Nair, Chairman & Managing Director, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts. “We are delighted to partner with Al Sawari Holdings, and view this agreement as a forerunner to several other developments in India and overseas. The proposed Palace hotel will combine unparalleled views of the Taj Mahal with a truly luxurious hospitality experience in Agra. We are also looking forward to further strengthening our presence within the golden triangle by adding a Palace hotel in Jaipur and will continue our efforts to expand in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer,”said Vivek Nair, Chairman and Managing Director, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts. “We are delighted to announce the expansion of the AIANA portfolio in India with the signing of a management agreement with A Sawari Holding to operate AIANA Agra – a 150 room hotel in one of the most visited leisure destinations in India.”, said Amruda Nair Joint Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Aiana Hotels & Resorts L.L.C.“With the signing of our 6th hotel in India, we will continue to follow the cluster strategy …

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