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One of the world's largest hotel franchising company, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, with approximately 9,000 hotels in nearly 95 countries, continues to expand its presence in India with the addition of four new hotels under the Ramada, Howard Johnson by Wyndham, and upscale Wyndham brands in sought-after and culturally-rich destinations such as Jaipur, Varanasi, Mohali, and Udaipur.
The new properties will bring Wyndham's total number of hotels in India to 50, and they are part of the company's ongoing commitment to the sub-Indian continent's growth, with about 30 hotels in the pipeline, eight of which are anticipated to open in 2022 alone.
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Indra, Panos Loupasis, Vice President Development for Middle East, Eurasia & Africa, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts EMEA, said: "One of the fastest growing economies in the world, India brings immense potential for hospitality. These four new openings represent a significant milestone in our continued growth objectives to bring even more accommodation options all across the country. We look forward to continuing our strong growth trajectory here and in the wider Indian sub-continent and making travel possible for all in such a beautiful and diverse region.
Also Read : Hotel occupancy has grown to 35% in November 2020
The latest additions in India include:
Wyndham Chandigarh Mohali
Opened in October, this upscale hotel offers 80 guest rooms, three on-site eateries, a full-service spa with a heated indoor pool, steam room, sauna, and fitness centre and salon. The property also features a business centre and a wide event space for up to 1,200 guests. Conveniently located within direct access to the city centre and just 11 kilometres from Chandigarh International Airport, the hotel's guests can easily reach the nearby Elante shopping mall and the 11-acre Mohali Golf Range.
Inside of a hotel | Unsplash
Ramada by Wyndham Varanasi Katesar
Located in Varanasi, regarded as the spiritual capital and with world-renowned architecture, temples, and palaces, the 68-room hotel features a contemporary design and top-class amenities, including a gourmet restaurant and cocktail bar, and a modern spa with a swimming pool and fitness centre. The property opened earlier this month and also features four generously sized meeting rooms and access to Varanasi's business highway.
Ramada by Wyndham Jaipur North
Expected to open in December, the 107-room hotel will be the perfect getaway to experience Jaipur's colourful architecture, impressive City Palace, old bazaars, and Hawa Mahal, offering guests easy access to Jaipur Airport and the modern city centre. The hotel will boast a spa, an outdoor pool, a gourmet restaurant, and a seasonal rooftop overlooking the city. In addition, It will offer ample event space, including four meeting rooms and a theatre, to accommodate over 400 guests.
Howard Johnson by Wyndham Udaipur Roop Nagar
Expected to open by the end of the year, the contemporary, 94-room hotel features a wellness spa facility and a rooftop infinity pool overlooking Udaipur, also known as the "City of Lakes". Ideal for business travellers, the hotel offers an impressive business centre, meeting rooms, and banquet halls measuring more than 3,000 square feet. This amenity-rich hotel is perfectly positioned to explore one of India's most popular cities, with easy access to the World Heritage Site of Udaipur Palace, Lake Pichola, and Fateh Sagar Lake, which boast panoramic views of the Aravalli Mountain Ranges. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : Wyndham, India, economy, hospitality, milestone, Mohali, Varanasi, Jaipur, Udaipur.)
By Olivia Sarkar
For most, Kaashi is the seat of the gods, one sees colourful throngs of pilgrims, a vast sacred-scape, and life-ending climactic ceremonies at the undulating ganga while navigating its crowded streets, which unfold like a broadway production and a costume drama all at once. Many seekers, literary personalities, old world flaneurs, and residents flock to the ghats at Varanasi to take their redemptive holy plunge; with its antique charm, it has served as a continual muse.
In its attempt to enchant its apostles and acolytes with another perspective, on the occasion of Dev Deepawali, the city presented another distinct perspective for travellers to enjoy its mystic appeal and floating lights on its river. The Uttar Pradesh Tourism organised the Varanasi Hot Air Balloon Festival, for visitors to enjoy the joyous celebration of gods celebrating Diwali, and see the city in all its glory from an aerial view.
The Festival adds this experiential repertory, in addition to its landlocked beauties. | File
The Festival adds this experiential repertory, in addition to its landlocked beauties - temples, old paths, craft traditions, gastronomic cornucopia, and unravelling legends in every nook and corner. This new offering, according to Mukesh Kumar Meshram, Principal Secretary, Culture and Tourism, adds another experience for explorers and will position Varanasi as a top destination for many premium and high-value travellers from around the world. He also stated that the post Covid tourism will focus on creating authentic experiences and traditions into modern packaging for long-term tourism sustainability.
On the occasion, Samit Garg, Founder and CEO of E-factor Entertainment who hosted the event said that this new offering adds an authentic and high-value offering for the city's 'living heritage,' and that the city's breath-taking terrain and bird's eye view match perfectly in splendour with its wonderfully preserved wonders on the ground. He also stated that New Age travellers are looking for a new type of tourism that is not based on a single product but rather on a succession of fresh and transforming 'experiences.' There is a growing desire for 'exploratory and experience travel' over traditional leisure activities such as visiting tourist attractions. The Varanasi Hot Air Balloon Festival, which runs from November 17 to 19, is intended to usher in a new era in Uttar Pradesh tourism for well-heeled global visitors.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Varanasi, hot air balloon, festival, diwali, tourists
Varanasi is the holy city of pilgrimage of the Hindu community that lies on the banks of the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh. It was popularly known as Kashi the city of lights in ancient times. It is the spiritual capital of India, the holiest city of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism. With that, it is also the spiritual headquarters of the Aghori sadhus of India. Due to the prevalence of numerous religions in the history of India, today we see different cults and practices which have emerged from the main body. Each sub-culture has their individual beliefs, rituals, deities, and dictate their ways of living.
Aghori Sadhus is one of the most feared and simultaneously the most revered clan of them all. They lead a bizarre lifestyle that is beyond common understanding. Aghoris are sadhus belonging to an unconventional clan who are worship Lord Shiva, mainly Bhairava who is a form of Shiva associated with death. They engage in post-mortem rituals with their body covered in the ashes from the dead bodies. Their practices often stand against orthodox Hinduism.
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The unconventional lifestyle of Aghori Sadhus
Aghori Sadhus accept nudity and are mostly spotted naked with their bodies smeared with ashes from the dead. They use bones from human corpses to craft skull cups, bowls, and jewelry. They let their hair grow long without ever cutting them, believing that "this is how we were born and we should accept our natural self.
Smoking Weed and Alcoholism
Like most Sadhus, Aghoris also reek spiritual enlightenment, upliftment, and being free from the cycle of rebirth. However, they do not indulge in worshiping idols, instead, they rely on meditation along with the consumption of cannabis and alcohol. They believe that the use of drugs transports them to a higher plane of spirituality which is closer to God and helps them practice greater concentration.
They immerse themselves in deep devotion to Lord Shiva. Pexels
Aghori Sadhus claim that goddess Kali demands satisfaction in meat, alcohol, and sex, to find purity in the filthiest. They indulge in having sexual intercourse with appropriate dead bodies. They say that if an Aghori can focus on God during sex then they are on the right path.
They also practice sexual acts with consenting menstruating women in the middle of cemeteries with human ashes all over their bodies. They cannot be involved or involve someone in the act by force. These activities give the sadhus supernatural powers and transcend spiritual levels to reach God.
It is rumored that Aghoris eat human flesh from the dead bodies and practice meditation on the dead body. They are not questioned only because they do not kill to eat. Cannibalism is openly practiced by these Aghoris in Varanasi. Their bizarre eating habits do not end here they are also known to eat garbage, human faces, and also leftover foods. They are often witnessed sharing their food with animals eating out of the same bowl. They believe that the true devotee of Shiva should not hold any hatred in their heart and they believe considering animals dirty is wrong.
Aghoris live their lives on the edge of bizarre and away from all human norms. They immerse themselves in deep devotion to Lord Shiva. They preach that Lord Shiva is the answer to everything as he is omnipresent and absolute. They perform penance, which is of three kinds that are called Shiva Sadhana, Shav Sadhana, and Smashaan Sadhana. Their lifestyle leaves the rest of the population with mixed emotions of curiosity, disgust, fear, and respect. They must be left on their own, as is their wish.
Keywords: Aghori, Aghori tribe, Aghori cannabilism, India, Hindu, Shaivism, bizarre practices, necrophilia
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched the Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PMASBY) from his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi which will be one of the largest pan-India schemes to strengthen healthcare infrastructure.
The Prime Minister said that the scheme, estimated to cost Rs 64,000 crore, would make the health infrastructure self-reliant.
"Aarogya concept is needed in everyone's life. We should invest the maximum in physical and mental wellness but, sadly this was not done in the post-Independence period. Due attention was not paid and those who were in power, kept the healthcare system deprived and lacking," he said.
Modi said that the middle-class groups and the poor were the worst sufferers in the absence of adequate facilities at the grassroots level.
"This mission will solve these problems. We are focusing on hill states like Uttarakhand and Himanchal Pradesh and also the northeast. We will address the gaps," he said.
The Prime Minister said that special attention would be laid on early detection and 125 districts will have referral facilities.
Secondly, testing would also be stepped up and 730 districts will get integrated testing laboratories.
He said that research centres will also be upgraded and four new National Institute of Virology units would be set up so that the country can be ready to deal with new viral issues and the pandemic.
He said that as the health infrastructure developed, it would generate new employment opportunities too.
The Prime Minister also announced new development projects worth Rs 5,200 crore for Varanasi.
He said that in the past seven years, Kashi had undergone a change with the building of roads, ghats, bridges, parking lots, and cleaning of the Ganga and Varuna rivers.
"This could have been done earlier but the previous governments lacked political will," he said. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PMASBY), Varanasi