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Mount Everest base camp received more than 113,000 Tourists in 2016

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Mount Everest, Wikimedia

Lhasa, March 4, 2017: The Mount Everest base camp received more than 113,000 tourists last year, with a year-on-year increase of 91 percent, the local tourist administration said on Saturday.

Among them were more than 5,100 foreign visitors, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Tingri county government has been making efforts to offer a better travel experience to visitors in recent years.

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The government has repaired roads from the county to the base camp and ensured the power supply for the camp.

The base camp, which sits at an altitude of 5,200 meters, is suitable for year-round travel. (IANS)

 

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Seven Best Places To Visit In October In India

Seven destinations you cannot miss this Autumn.

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Best places to visit in October
India

Autumn is one of the most pleasant seasons. With the atmosphere being a little breezy and trees shedding their leaves, the view around you is picturesque. And, it would be really boring if you miss out on a vacation in this wonderful weather. After all, we must never pull ourselves away from packing our bags and go on vacations to interesting places. Below are seven best places to visit in October in India:

7 Best Places To Visit In October In India:

  1. Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh
Best holiday destinations in October
Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh

The sunrise in Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh is one of the most beautiful in India. The weather in this destination at this time is just how you want it to be. It is the only hill station of Madhya Pradesh, and indeed one of the most popular in India. From Parasailing activities to site seeing, you can do a lot in this lovely place! This definitely needs to be added to your bucket list.

2. Kutch, Gujarat

Best places to visit in October
Common Crane bird at Kutch

Indeed one of the most beautiful and tempting places to visit in the month of October is Kutch. The white sand will have a cool and pleasant temperature. The place is full of nature and its beautiful creations. From deserts, oasis and architecture, to wildlife and delicious food, this place is heaven on Earth. The place’s heritage and beauty make it one of the best places to visit in October.

3. Hampi, Karnataka

Best places to visit in October
Hampi, Karnataka

Hampi once was known for its magnificent architectural beauty. Much of it has now been ruined and vandalized. The city still, remains to be a quick and joyful getaway for this pleasant season. Especially if you live in Bengaluru, you should not be giving this thought a second consideration.

Also Read: Taj Lake Palace: Floating Palace in Udaipur is the Ultimate Destination for a Romantic Break 

4. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Best places to visit in October
Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Divine has to be the perfect word to describe the beauty of this place. The beauty of Ganges along with the serene view of the mountains, there is nothing more which one wants in their vacation. Living in Rishikesh would be living in peace. If your friends have tagged along with you, then Rishikesh can be an adventurous trip as well. Activities like river rafting, trekking and boating are popular in this area.

5. Darjeeling, West Bengal

best places to visit in october
Darjeeling, West Bengal

Darjeeling in West Bengal is called the ‘Queen of hills’, and with October being the ideal season for enjoying the beauty of Hills, we should rename it to ‘Queen of October’.  Colonial architecture, hills, rock gardens, shopping complexes and Monasteries- these places make Darjeeling an all-in-one tourist destination.

6. Nainital, Uttarakhand

Best places to visit in October
Nainital, Uttarakhand

One of the best hill stations of India, and indeed one of the best places to visit in October. Nainital’s weather, trees, farms, lakes, mountains and temples are completely breathtaking. Eating a plate of Maggi along with your family in this lovely tourist destination will make your trip more memorable.

7. Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Best places to visit in October
Jodhpur. Rajasthan

Rajasthan is India’s most beautiful state, and Jodhpur is the most beautiful city. Lakes, temples, palaces and every mark of royalty, is visible in this state. The city’s beauty, culture and heritage attract a lot of tourists every year and in every season, and hence makes it one of the best places to visit in October. So why should one miss the chance to spend his/her beautiful October away from Jodhpur?

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Adventure activities in Ötztal (Austria) that every adventurist must give a shot

The Beauty and spirited aura of this place is what make tourists from different corners of the world, land here

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Ötztal, Austria
Alpine valley Ötztal, Austria. Pixabay

New Delhi, October 3, 2017: An alpine valley in the western Austrian state of Tyrol, the Ötztal is a well known tourist spot. People from around the globe go to the valley to witness the grace of nature and the adventure activities this place has to offer. The Beauty and spirited aura of this place is what make tourists from different corners of the world, land here.

Let’s take a look at the best adventure activities that this place has to offer:

River Rafting: Feel the stunning waves and give yourself the much desired adrenaline rush, while wearing a helmet, special shoes, and a life vest. Experience water like never before!

Adventure activities in Ötztal
Rafting. Pixabay

Biking and Cycling: The Ötztal with its wonderful terrain, is the most exciting place for passionate bikers and cyclists. Not to forget, The Ötztaler Cycle Marathon is one of the most awaited events for the adventurists.

Adventure activities in Ötztal
Biking. Pixabay

Hiking: If you’re a fan of walking, do not think twice and head to the Ötztal. Alpine footpaths, theme trials, lake hikes and what not?
Dear adventurist, The paradise awaits you!

Adventure activities in Ötztal
Hiking. Pixabay

Also read: 10 Things to do before you Die: The Ultimate Bucket List!

Horse Riding: With a vast range of horses, there’s high probability that you’ll find a friend for you to sit on and watch the beautiful landscapes of The Ötztal. Discover the passion for horse riding in you!

Adventure activities in Ötztal
Horse riding. Pixabay

Geocaching: What’s that? A GPS assisted treasure hunt. A geocache is a small hidden box which the hunter needs to find by entering its coordinates into a GPS device. Sounds fun, huh?

Adventure activities in Ötztal
Geocaching. Pixabay

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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Can Flourishing Islamic State (ISIS) be Stopped in Afghanistan?

The truth about IS and Afghanistan is definitely no picnic

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Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016.
Taliban fighters react to a speech by their senior leader in the Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2016. The rise of IS in Afghanistan has become such a priority that U.S. and Afghan forces sometimes support the Taliban while battling IS, VOA
  • Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups
  • Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops
  • In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS

June 25, 2017: The Islamic State group is rapidly expanding in parts of Afghanistan, advancing militarily into areas where it once had a weak presence and strengthening its forces in core regions, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.

Depending on the location, the proliferation of IS has drawn varied resistance from the Afghan military, U.S. air support and ground troops, local militias, Taliban forces and other militant groups.

Attacking IS has become such a priority in the country, that disparate forces sometimes join together in the ad-hoc fight, with Afghan and U.S. forces finding themselves inadvertently supporting the enemy Taliban in battling IS.

Confusion leads to mistakes

All too often, officials say, mistakes are made due to confusion on the ground.

Afghan army planes on Wednesday night accidentally air dropped vital supplies of food and water to IS militants in the Darzab district of northern Jouzjan province instead of to their own besieged troops, provincial police chief, Rahmatullah Turkistani told VOA. The supplies were meant to help Afghan forces that are countering twin attacks by IS and Taliban militants but were used instead by IS.

“It’s not getting better in Afghanistan in terms of IS,” U.S. Chief Pentagon Spokeswoman Dana White told VOA this week. “We have a problem, and we have to defeat them and we have to be focused on that problem.”

Reinforcements for the IS cause reportedly are streaming into isolated areas of the country from far and wide. There are reports of fighters from varied nationalities joining the ranks, including militants from Pakistan, India, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Central Asian neighbors.

Confusing scenarios

Still, the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISK) as IS is known in Afghanistan remains a fragmented group composed of differing regional forces with different agendas in different parts of the country.

“IS-K is still conducting low-level recruiting and distribution of propaganda in various provinces across Afghanistan, but it does not have the ability or authority to conduct multiple operations across the country,” a recent Pentagon report said. But where it operates, IS is inflicting chaos and casualties and causing confusing scenarios for disparate opponents.

In the Tora Bora area, where IS has made a strong stand in recent days, local villagers and militias joined with Taliban to rout IS. IS regained ground after a few days, leading to U.S. military air attacks on IS positions in conjunction with Afghan intelligence instructions and army operations.

IS fighters reportedly have fled from mountain caves of Tora Bora, where al-Qaida’s leader Osama bin Laden hid from U.S. attack in 2001.

Families displaced

IS fighters were also reportedly advancing in neighboring Khogyani district, displacing hundreds of families, according to district officials. It is one of several areas in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistani border, where IS has been active for over two years.

Fierce clashes in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar last month left 21 Taliban fighters and seven IS militants dead, according to a provincial spokesman. At least three civilians who were caught in the crossfire were killed and five others wounded.

“IS has overpowered Taliban in some parts of Nangarhar because the Taliban dispatched its elite commando force called Sara Qeta (Red Brigade) to other parts of the country, including some northern provinces to contain the growing influence of IS there,” Wahid Muzhda, a Taliban expert in Kabul, told VOA.

ALSO READ: Flashback to Terror: 1993 Mumbai Blasts Judgement to Hail on June 27 After 24 Years

Recruiting unemployed youths

IS has also expanded in neighboring Kunar province, where, according to provincial police chief, it has a presence in at least eight districts and runs a training base, where foreign members of IS, train new recruits.

Hundreds of miles from Nangarhar, IS is attempting to establish a persistent presence in several northern provinces where it has found a fertile ground for attracting militants and recruiting unemployed youths, mostly between the age of 13 and 20.

IS has been able to draw its members from the Pakistani Taliban fighters, former Afghan Taliban, and other militants who “believe that associating with or pledging allegiance” to IS will further their interests, according to the Pentagon report.

Hundreds of militants have joined IS ranks in northern Jouzjan and Sar-e-Pul province where local militant commanders lead IS-affiliate groups in several districts.

Darzab district

Qari Hekmat, an ethnic Uzbek and former Taliban militant who joined IS a year ago, claims to have up to 500 members, including around 50 Uzbek nationals who are affiliated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) — previously associated with al-Qaida and Taliban in Afghanistan.

IS and Taliban are reportedly fighting over the control of Darzab district in Jouzjan which they stormed this week from two different directions and besieged scores of government forces. The Taliban has reportedly captured the center of the district while IS militants control the city outskirts.

Afghanistan faces a continuing threat from as many as 20 insurgent and terrorist networks present or operating in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, including IS, the Pentagon said.

“In areas where the government has limited influence and control, IS attempts to emerge and expand there,” Ateequllah Amarkhail, an analysts and former Army general in Kabul told VOA.

Hit-and-hide strategy

IS has also claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in urban areas, however, with a hit-and-hide strategy that is proving effective. And it is engaging too in more skirmishes with U.S. forces that initially were sent to the country to help Afghan forces halt the spread of Taliban.

Three American service members based in eastern Afghanistan were killed in April during operations targeting IS militants, according to the Pentagon.

“ISIS-K remains a threat to Afghan and regional security, a threat to U.S. and coalition forces, and it retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks in urban centers,” the Pentagon said. (VOA)