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Replicas of Kerala’s Famed Snake Boats Win World Travel Market (WTM) 2016 London Award for Best Stand Feature

This edition of WTM featured 5,000 exhibitors from 182 countries

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Vallam Kali (snake boat race) Flickr
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Thiruvananthapuram, November 9, 2016: Replicas of Kerala’s famed snake boats, showcased at the Kerala Tourism pavilion at the World Travel Market (WTM) 2016 in London, have been adjudged the “Best Stand Feature”.

The three-day event ended late on Wednesday.

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The stand featured three vibrant and visually appealing replicas of the snake boats along with images and a video of a “Vallam Kali” (snake boat race) that takes place on the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha, in Kerala.

Spread over 120 square metres, the pavilion wooed curious visitors to take a closer look at the show-pieces.

The judges noted that the snake boats made them “want to go to Kerala just to see that in action”.

“The award and response to our stand is a reflection of Kerala’s stature on the world tourism map,” said State Minister for Tourism A.C. Moideen.

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“Tourism remains one of the most important sectors for Kerala and we are keen to develop the potential of the state further by catering to foreign tourists through such prestigious events,” he added.

This edition of WTM featured 5,000 exhibitors from 182 countries.

Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture Mahesh Sharma and Union Tourism Secretary Vinod Zutshi were among those who visited the Kerala Tourism stall.

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“The snake boats are synonymous with Kerala and have once again showed why they are a big attraction among visitors to the state from across the world,” said V. Venu, Kerala Tourism Principal Secretary, who led the Kerala delegation besides participating in a roundtable interview chaired by BBC presenter Aaron Hazelhurst to mark WTM Responsible Tourism Day.

Kerala received 1,66,792 tourists from Britain last year, accounting for 17 per cent of the total foreign tourist arrivals to the state. (IANS)

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  • Ruchika Kumari

    I just want to go kerala and watch this snake boat race live

  • Diksha Arya

    I definitely want to watch this snake boat race…

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393