Destination News – Issue 02
May 25, 2020


Thrissur Pooram Thrissur, Kerala, May 03, 2020

Thrissur Pooram is considered as the most colourful of all temple festivals in Kerala. Thrissur/Thrissivaperoor Pooram is frequently also referred to as ‘the pooram of all poorams’. It is celebrated every year on Pooram – the day when the moon rises with the Pooram star in the Malayalam Calendar month of Medam.

 The Vadakkumnathan Temple situated on a famous hillock right in the centre of city, serves as the venue for the festival. People believe that the Gods and Goddesses of the neighbouring temples descend from the heavens to be a part of the celebrations in this temple.

These Gods and Goddesses visit the temple premises sitting atop giant and unusually decorated elephants along with grand ensembles of Chenda melam and pancha vadyam. Around 50 elephants wearing Nettipattam (decorative golden headdress), beautiful bells and ornaments, impressive Kolam with umbrellas perched atop, beautify the festival more.

 The festival may be described as 36 hours of unbroken pooram while serving as a place of major tourist attraction. The Thiruvampadi and Paramekkavu temples or Dewasoms are the major points of attraction of the festival. These two temples compete with each other in display of spectacular fireworks.

 The festival signifies the coming together of different communities to promote communal harmony. The Muslim community provides the craftsmanship of the Pandals, while the material for the umbrellas called Kudamatton is offered by the members of the church. Thrissur Pooram was started in 1798 by Raja Rama Varma the Maharaja of Cochin from 1790–1805.

Unconventional Place to Stay 

Mary Budden Estate – Kumaon, Uttrakhand

Discreetly located in a cosy corner of the Kumaon region in Uttarakhand, Mary Budden Estate, Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary allows you to experience the magnificent middle Himalayan range in all its glory. The serene five-acre estate is perched almost 8,000ft above sea level, making it the ideal escape from the bustle of everyday life. The restored eco-friendly heritage property (one of the five privately owned estates in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary) is named after its former owner, and dates back to the 19th century.


A day in a sanctuary village

Dalar is one of 5 villages in Binsar and the second largest village of the sanctuary, with 12 homes. Guests are taken to Dalar (completely on foot- 2 hours OR 15 minute drive in the estate gypsy + 30 minutes walk) and whilst a local Kumaoni lunch is prepared for them at the village house, they are free to pick their own greens for dinner since vegetables, grains and fruit for the estate comes from their own farm. We also take them to the local temple, pond and “view point” of the village, ending the day with possible leopard sightings at dusk (on the way back to Mary Budden estate).



Domestic Airlines will be allowed to resume flights in India with about a third of operations from Monday after a two-month coronavirus shutdown.

 A day after announcing resumption of domestic commercial passenger flights from May 25, the Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday issued detailed guidelines for airlines, airports, passengers and other stakeholders. The ministry said it will prescribe lower and upper limit on air fares and airlines will have to adhere to it “during the period of COVID-19 pandemic”. “On the day of commencement (May 25), limited operations (about one-third) would be permitted,” it said. It said passengers will have to report at airport two hours prior to their flight’s scheduled departure time and only those who have done web check-in will be allowed to enter the terminal building. Only one check-in bag would be allowed and airlines will not provide any meal services in flights, the ministry said. Boarding for a flight will commence 60 minutes before departure and boarding gate will be closed 20 minutes before departure, it said. All scheduled commercial passenger flight operations have been suspended since March 25, when the Modi government announced the nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had announced on Wednesday that domestic flights will resume from May 25 in a calibrated manner.

Ministry of Tourism(MOT) to first observe, then decide

 With everyone talking about post-COVID safety measures and protocols for tourism and hospitality, authorities will be formulating these policies once the National Tourism Task Force meets. In the meantime, there will be a lot of dependence on the protocols that the health ministry shall be coming up with very soon. However, we need to create a sense of security, whether in restaurants, hotels, airports or other tourist places. Each country will be bringing in its own set of protocols ensuring that travellers and tourists have a sense of security that the place is safe from COVID-19 and is keeping in with norms for safety and hygiene. Hence, the government and stakeholders have to work together if we want people to come to our country.

While everyone is talking about the new normal, it is believed that there will be new kind of promotions and new markets to explore to attract tourists into India. Would Incredible India 3.0 look different from Incredible India 2.0? Providing her view, Rupinder Brar, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism said, “We still have to see how the world actually evolves and what we can expect, because there will be a lot of changes in the future. It’s too early to say what we can do. Meanwhile, there is a lot of talk of sustainability, home-cooked food and experiential tourism. However, we need to see how it will pan out, in detail, and shall wait for most parts of the world to come up with their own guidelines. We will continue to study trends in the meantime.”

She added that they can already foresee there will be more domestic tourism and short-distance travel in the future. This would also be reflected in our commercials. “For overseas promotions, we need to showcase our strengths, particularly in the COVID-19 environment—the way of life, the ‘Namaste’ greeting, the philosophy of home-cooked food, and other things derived from our culture like Ayurveda, meditation, Yoga, etc. We would be looking at pitching them. However, which countries we should pitch to and from where travel will happen, we shall wait for some time to know. We will see how the countries come out with their own protocols of travel. There is no point creating a promotion at this point, as the world is still grappling with COVID-19. Right now, all we need to do is wait and work towards creating hope.


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