Guarding the pigeons of Delhi
Photo Location : Jain Bird Hospital, Old Delhi

Tony Deemer

This is no ordinary picture. At least not for John Keider. John was doing the ‘Old-Delhi’ routine walk, as all visitors to the area do, when he saw this guard enjoying the Sunday morning paper. What was more interesting is the fact that he was at the doors of the Jain Bird Hospital that stands at the beginning of the market, opposite Red Fort. A blind spot for many, John convinced him to take him upstairs to see the workings of the efficient bird hospital, with hundreds of cages and a strict routine of feeding, cleaning and vet visits. It’s for these kind of simple surprises that John loved Delhi. It was so much more to him than the ancient monuments.
Dal Lake, Srinagar
The great North India loop
We understand that many of your travellers come with limited time and unlimited appetite for India. The country has such a vast range of sights and activities that it is a difficult choice for them when picking destinations. The Golden Triangle (Delhi –Jaipur-Agra) is the most marketed and spoken about circuit, and rightly so. We’ve added two more destinations for you, so that travellers can use Delhi as a jumping-off point. Here’s a short note on what’s in store in these destinations.

Visit the capital of the country to get a quick orientation on how the city is moulded from its history and a step into the future. Delhi offers a mix of history, shopping, in-city experiences, dining and cultural immersion - it is a great way to get a bit of all during your days here. With its museums, modern sopping arcades, state emporiums, delicious street-food and walk through historical monuments, you can start the trip with a wholesome note.
The pink tinge is hard to miss when you enter the city of Jaipur. Rapidly moving to become a youthful, fast-paced city, Jaipur finds it hard to shed its association with history. And that’s the main hook for travellers. Spend a couple of days discovering essential monuments like Amber Fort, Jantar Mantar, City Palace and Hawa Mahal. Walk through the old city streets in the colourful markets, brimming with the signature block printing fabric and silver.

The lure of the Taj Mahal is hard to ignore. It is one of the most stunning monuments of the world. After breathtaking views and ample time here, spend a day visiting the twin city of Fatehpur Sikri, the fabulous Sheroes (run by acid attack victims) and the old part of town where pigeon and kite flying are old sources of entertainment. Also visit the bear and elephant rescue centers of Wildlife SOS, just off the town. By the end, the Taj Mahal will be one of the many memories of the city.
Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary
The city can well be called the base point of lower Himalayan adventures. Apart from its spiritual avtaar, Rishikesh is the perfect place for some adrenalin pumping activities. Rafting is the biggest draw of the city, where the Ganga rushes to make Grade 1-4 rapids. Even better would be to travel about 100 km up stream to a small place called Jayalgarh for rafting in the Alaknanda River. Mountains, deep gorges with a green meandering river and camping on the sandy banks. The experience is unforgettable.

For a taste of the wild, head to Ranthambore for a couple of days. Tiger sightings, call of the deer and the sounds of many birds – Ranthambore promises to extract you from the city adventures and land you in the wild. Jeep safaris, nature walks and living in luxury camps can be the order of the days here. The former royal hunting ground is home to a variety of animals and birds, ideal for a wildlifer.
Even as the magnificent destinations and majestic décor take you back to a simpler time, no modern comfort will be missed. Ultimate Travelling Camp offers you a chance to get to know your destination better, learn about the local ecology and the efforts to preserve it, and even exchange a few friendly words and smiles with the local residents.
Highlights include:
• Relive the Glamping legacy of the British Raj
• 24 hour security at Camp
• In-House Restaurant with multi-cuisine menu
• Organic Garden
• 3 water bodies with wooden decks
• Archery and Croquet
• Free Wi-Fi Access at Reception Tent
• In-house Library
• Boutique shop
• In-House Excursion Specialist & Guest Relations Executive
• Each tent has a private terrace
• Specially designed ayurvedic toiletries
• Private Butler Service
Footloose in Delhi & Around
Alternative Delhi
Guidebooks and brochures are sure to enumerate a number of sights for your Delhi trip. But where does one go for a bite of the alternative? Here’s a handy list for a traveller that wants to go beyond the usual and see Delhi from a different eye. Be it quirky museums, gorgeous rooftop bars or classic Delhi, the city has a plethora of surprises in store.
Heritage Transport Museum
In the commercial twin city of Gurgaon stands a unique museum with 75 vintage and classic cars that take one through the evolution of the Indian car industry. This also includes wooden rocking horse, models of trains and other collectibles. But what’s really the highlight, are the cars. Be ‘transported’ to the timeless elegance of these classic vehicles.

Kumhar Gram
If you have a soft corner for pottery, Delhi’s Kumhar Gram (colony of potters) is the perfect place to head to. Do not expect a glitzy showroom vibe. Instead, this is an authentic peek into the lives of
Ranthambore Fort
700 potters who reside outside of the city. Utilitarian pieces as well as stylized ones are available to buy, directly from the potter. Guided tours are available if you feel overwhelmed by the zigzag streets and disorder.

Luxuriate in Old Delhi
Head to Haveli Dharampura in Chandni Chowk of Old Delhi to witness a heritage home come alive with music, dance and excellent local food. The restored haveli is a window into the opulence that was once a part of these streets. The 130 years old home is a glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous of a bygone era. Book a meal and a musical event for one of the evenings that you’re in Delhi.
Surwal Lake
If you’re a book-lover, this experience is made for you. The brainchild of Raju Singh, Chapter 101 is a bookstore that stocks over 1,000 titles of first-edition copies and classics. The curated collection has been sourced from all over the world and touches a wide variety of topics such as fiction, art, music, sport and biographies. The store lies in Gurgaon and is the perfect antidote to the traffic-choked roads of the buzzing commercial centre.


Looking to play a few holes while on your trip. There are a number of golf clubs and resorts out of the city that offer daylong packages with caddies. Gurgaon's 17-acre Hamoni Golf Camp is one such place where golfing enthusiasts of all levels can go and play. You can also sign up for a class if you’re looking to sharpen your skills.
Delhi Tourism gets a 119 crore boost
The Government of Delhi is preparing a tourism policy and master plan for promotion of tourism and tourism infrastructure for Delhi Tourism. For this, the Delhi Government has earmarked a total expenditure of Rs 119 crore for Tourism sector in 2017-18. This includes revenue budget of Rs 69 crore and capital budget of Rs 50 crore. An amount of Rs 117 crore is earmarked for implementation of various schemes, programmes and projects under Tourism sector. With aim to promote Delhi as a film-shooting destination, the Delhi Government has proposed to introduce “Single Window Clearance Mechanism” for film making facility so that the legal formalities to shoot in the city can be completed by visiting only one Government Office. “Smooth system is being developed for granting permission to Film Producers and to provide them with consolidated information on guidelines for shooting and to make film shooting a hassle free experience,” said Manish Sisodia, Deputy CM, Government of Delhi, in his annual Budget speech for 2017-18. A Soft Adventure Park at the Garden of Five Senses and riverfront development of River Yamuna is also on the cards. “This will create a place that allows people to connect with nature and the River Yamuna. It will also help spread awareness about the importance of the River and its protection and mobilize people towards the improvement of the River,” he said.
Jet Airways amps up connectivity
India’s leading air carrier, Jet Airways will increase its daily flights to 650 from 600 starting end of March. This will allow the travellers better connectivity within the country. Direct services to Madurai and Bagdogra from Mumbai, Jaipur to Chandigarh, Dehradun to Srinagar, and Bengaluru to Kozhikode will be some of the new sectors. Other non-stop sectors will include Bengaluru to Lucknow via New Delhi and Mumbai to Srinagar via Dehradun. The carrier will also add 12 additional frequencies on its existing routes across its network, which include a 7th daily flight between Mumbai and Goa as well as Delhi and Lucknow. Apart from this a fourth frequency between Chennai–Tiruchirappalli and a second frequency between Delhi and Bhopal is also expected to begin operations soon. The airline will also introduce two additional services on the New Delhi–Patna route. “Our planned network enhancements this summer will offer our guests much more by way of choice, connectivity and convenience. We look forward to welcoming all our guests to experience the joy of flying to brand new city pairs like Mumbai and Madurai,” said Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways.
Cochin International Airport has a new addition
A new integrated international passenger terminal for commercial operation was inaugurated by the Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan. The Chief Minister lauded the CIAL, the country’s first airport built under PPP model, which has heralded a new chapter in aviation history by becoming the first in the world that completely operates on solar power. The Chief Minister received passengers and crew who arrived at the new airport Terminal 3 via a Jet Airways flight from Muscat to Kochi. The first flight, which arrived at the new terminal, was received by ‘water salute’ as per tradition. The foundation stone for the project was laid in February 2014 in view of growth in passenger traffic through CIAL. The terminal was inaugurated in February last year. It is having a peak hour capacity of 4000 passengers, according to a CIAL release. Vijayan also inaugurated the 4.3 km long four-lane road connecting the airport and National Highway at Athani near Aluva and also the expansion of the CIAL’s solar power capacity from 15.5 MW to 21.5 MW.
101-room Hyatt Place Rameswaram opens in Tamil Nadu
Hyatt has announced the opening of its Hyatt Place Rameswaram, the first Hyatt Place hotel in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the fifth Hyatt Place hotel to open in India. The hotel offers 101 guestrooms and suites, 4,757 square feet of high-tech meeting space, free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, 24-hour gym, and an outdoor swimming pool. “The opening of Hyatt Place Rameswaram is a significant milestone for the Hyatt Place brand as it continues to expand in India and across the globe,” said Kurt Straub, Hyatt’s vice president of operations, India. “Rameswaram’s first Hyatt Place hotel will be a vibrant and dynamic hotel that combines comfort and style that fits right into the region’s religious tourism.
Radisson Blu Atria Bengaluru opens with 167 rooms
Carlson Rezidor announced the opening of its new Hotel-Radisson Blu Atria Bengaluru, with 167 guest rooms and suites with modern amenities. The hotel is located 45 minutes away from the Kempegowda International Airport (BLR) and 10 minutes from the City Railway Station. The hotel has four in-house dining options for guests. It has over 1,250 square meters of flexible room configurations with its six meeting spaces and two boardrooms, capable of accommodating large wedding receptions or intimate team meetings complemented with state-of-the-art presentation and audiovisual tools. Other facilities available at the hotel include the Business Class Lounge, business center, swimming pool, spa and fully equipped fitness center. Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, said, “Bengaluru is a progressive market and continues to thrive on high economic activity, an international focal point of India’s growth momentum. The opening of Radisson Blu Atria Bengaluru is a testament of our footprint in the region and a reflection of the unique brand identity that we bring to the city”.

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