Thanks to smart card. You can now bid adieu to the nightmare of the high pitched yelling and scary stares of the bus conductors against you for not extending the correct change in city buses in Kerala. Most of the conductors hesitate to give back the change to commuters , which often lead to heated arguments and even fist fights. The smart card swipe option to travel in city buses would relieve the passengers from the hassles of always carrying change.
The success of the city on wheels project has prompted the district administration to extend the project to all private buses in future. This would make Ernakulam the first district , to issue tickets in all private buses by way of smart cards. At present 100 buses have been brought under this scheme in various routes like Vytila-vytila, Kakkanad, Aluva, Eroor, Tripunithura and Poothotta .
The inspiration for the city on wheels idea was the overwhelming success of the survey conducted by Technovia infosolutions , Kochi. The survey highlighted the problem faced by the passengers owing to the reluctance of the conductors to return the balance amount of the ticket fare. If the smart card concept becomes popular , we can hope that the city travel will become a much more enjoyable and hassle free affair for the passengers.
Water bus, the new boat service in the Vyttila-Kakkanad sector was inaugurated a couple of days back by the Union Minister K V Thomas. Water Bus, operated by the Kerala State Water Transport Department, set off on its maiden trip from the newly built jetty near the Vytilla Mobility Hub. The boat has the capacity to carry 8 bikes and 50 passengers.
The service will be a boon for those who work in Kakkanad /Infopark as the timings are fixed in such a way that it suits the office goers. The boat will reach the jetty, near InfoPark, in 30 minutes whereas the buses take around 45 minutes.The fare from Vyttila-Kakkanad trip is fixed at Rs. 8 and there will be seven daily services, the first in the morning being at 9.30 am.
The boat service is expected to take off a considerable load from the choked roads leading to Kakkanad. Boat service is way cheaper and faster alternative to the crowded buses that ply in this route. “Proper boat jetties with ample parking space must be built on the way to Kakkanad. SWTD must also recruit 15 crew members to man the sister vessel that is ready to operate in hub-Kakkanad sector,” said Benny Behanan, MLA.
“Our aim is to introduce catamaran-type fibre-reinforced-plastic boats, which are delivered within a few months of the order being placed. Being lighter and faster than steel boats, they can cover the Vyttila-Kakkanad distance in 12 minutes,” Elias George, MD of KMRL and Chairman of Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA). said.
Inland navigation, which can make travelling within Kerala a lot more faster and congestion free holds a tremendous potential and Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has drawn up a Rs 40-crore project for the purpose. There are many viable water routes that can be explored and developed like for instance the Kollam-Kottapuram National Waterway III can make a potential cargo transportation route whereas a boat service from Poothotta to Cochin city will go a long way in decongesting the city during peak morning hours as buses take around 90 minutes to cover a distance of just 22 Km due to the pitiable condition of the roads and traffic bottle necks!
Photo Courtesy: RouteCochin.com
Better known as papanasam beach,Varkala beach is the only one of its type in southern Kerala that has rocky cliffs jutting right into the sea, which makes it dramatically beautiful. The bright hued sand and the ancient Janardanaswamy temple nearby adds up to the charm of this quiet and isolated sandy beach .
The online travel meta search engine of Trivago says that Varkala is one among the five affordable Indian tourist destinations and is in the 28th position in the world list of tourist destinations that can visited on a budget. Munnar is the other destination in Kerala that occupies the 60th position in the chart. The other Indian destinations include Nashik at the 21st position, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan at 41st and Alibaug in Maharashtra at the 56th position.
The ‘Best Value Index’ is calculated based on various factors including the yearly average overnight price of a standard double room and overall hotel reputation from over 82 million traveller reviews. The spots thus chosen will be world’s best in terms of delivering the best value for your money.
Nashik, which tops the list of affordable Indian destinations this year offers a night’s stay at Rs 5,665.
Morocco’s Ait Benhaddou was voted as the first among the top 100 ‘Best Value Index’ destinations in the world where an overnight stay in a standard double room in the city can cost a visitor an average Rs 3,551.
The price-comparison website of Trivago has a monthly user base of 18 million people over its 30 international platforms. The index has been compiled according to the reviews and preferences of the users of the search engine.
Varkala beach, located between Alappuzha and Kovalam in a photographer’s delight as it offers the most spectacular sunsets at the backtrop of the towering rocky cliffs and swaying palm trees.
So in case you are planning a memorable holiday experience that wont leave a hole in your wallet, then head straight to Varkala. Apart from a beach holiday it will also offer you the best of ayurveda and spiritual experience.
The prince and his entourage enjoyed the heavy downpower from deep inside the forests and the beauty of the bountiful waterfalls in Vazhachal.
Later he met the tribals who live in the periphery of the tropical forests and enquired about their food habits and mode of living.
The Prince spent around 40 minutes in the elephant corridor and was curious to know about the unique flora and fauna of the region. He also spared time to interact with the forest range officials and other senior officials of Wildlife Trust of India and other forest conservation organizations.
The authorities also introduced snake charmer Vava Suresh to the prince, who has the rare distinction of capturing over 250000 snakes till date including king cobra with bare hands and releasing them to the wild. Elephant lover Thadikannan, traditional botanist Mari and wildlife expert S Guruvayurappan also met prince Charles.
The villagers of teh otherwise sleepy villages near vazhachal accorded a rousing reception to the visiting Prince in a traditional style when his convoy passed through the area.
Image courtesy : Mail Online
Kerala has been rated as one of the 10 best travel destinations for family for 2014. Lonely Planet, the world’s largest travel guide book publisher gave this prestigious award to Kerala at World Travel Mart in London, attended by representatives from the tourism industry from all over the world .
Kerala was put in fourth position among the top 10 overseas family destinations by Lonely Planet while the first three positions were bagged by Denmark, Thailand and Belize. The other child-friendly destinations in this prestigious league include New York City, Hawaii, Prague, Italy and Iceland.
The World Travel Mart that was held from 4-7 November 2013 attracted a huge crowd of visitors and delegates. Some of the dignitaries who visited the WTM Kerala pavilion that had been themed on the Ayurveda included Jonty Rhodes, the former South African international cricket player and brand ambassador for South African Tourism.
“The intensity of travel in India could put you off taking a trip here with family, but Kerala is a family-friendly version, more laid back than other regions, greener, slower paced. There are also lots of national parks for elephant spotting, palm fringed beaches and boat trips along the lush canals of the backwaters,” The Lonely Planet said.
The award function which was held in London has a special significance for Kerala considering the fact that Britain is one of the most important markets for Kerala tourism industry, Kerala had recorded a footfall of over 1.5 lakh tourists from Britain last year.
The coveted award was received from the Lonely plant by the Kerala Tourism director S. Harikishore. “With the British economy registering the fastest growth in the last three years in the previous quarter, the mood at the World Travel Mart hosted by London was upbeat” opined Harikishore.
The Kerala delegation included 12 co-exhibitors from the hospitality segment of the state. The annual event of the WTM, London is feted as one of the premium most travel and tourism events in the world. Over 5,000 exhibitors from 184 countries and different regions attended this year’s WTM.
The cheap and best chappathis rolled out from the district jail in Kakkanad, Kerala which have already become a run away hit will now be delivered through a new outlet in Marine drive under the brand name ‘Metro Chapati’,
The discussions are on with the GCDA for making available a small area, near Parade Ground, on Marine Ground for setting up the outlet. The sale is expected to be commenced by next month.
This outlet will be a boon for those who are residing and working in and around the heart of the city. A packet of five chapatis and chicken curry will cost only ₹ 25, whereas a plate chapatis with vegetable curry costs ₹ 20. Around 10 to 20 inmates are engaged in making chapati and curry on a shift basis.
Last month, the jail chapati and curry recorded the highest sale that earned a total revenue of ₹ 7,22,705 and a profit of ₹ 5,27,859. On an average the outlet in Kakkanad records a daily sale of 60,000 chapatis and the regular customers include employees from Infopark, FACT and BPCL along with the local residents. The officials are also planning to add more chapati making machines if the demand increases further.
The ‘Metro Chapati’ will now join the league of ‘Poojappura’ chapatis from Poojappura Central Jail, Thiruvananthapuram; Freedom Chapati from Viyyur Central Prison, Thrissur, and Kannur Central Prison, and ‘Santhwanam’ Chapati from Kozhikode District Jail, which are also selling like hot cakes.
Kannur in Kerala gets the rare distinction of being the first district in India where every family owns a piece of land.
“It is a historic step. Every family of landless poor in the district is going to get three cents of land for building a house,” Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said while declaring Kannur as India’s first landless-free district.
He urged all states to emulate the example of Kerala in distribution of land, saying it requires “political will and hard decisions”.
The ambitious project has already chalked out the list of beneficiaries who will get state and central government aid to construct houses under Indira Awaas Yojana.
Though the national land reform policy stipulates that every landless person should be provided 10 cents of land to construct a house, that allocation was not possible in Kerala due to shortage of available land in the state.
Considering the tough task for the state administration to spot adequate land, this project becomes a laudable effort, which will indeed make Kerala a role model for other states in the country.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will be on a 9 day trip to India starting November 6, which will also include a stopover in Kerala. The royal guests will start their Kerala tour on Nov 11 with their arrival in Kochi, according to the schedule provided by the British High Commission in New Delhi.
The royal couple will make a visit to the Kerala Folklore Museum and Theatre in Kochi and also watch a demonstration of traditional dance forms of the state. They will next join urban planners and city dignitaries to view the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) marking the participation of Kochi in the Future Cities project. The couple is also scheduled to attend a reception for civic and business leaders hosted by Kerala Governor Nikhil Kumar.
The next day, the royal guests will visit the Vazhachal Forest Range and the elephant corridor and see the elephant conservation measures being adopted. They will also meet the local community and the WWF outreach workers. On Nov 14 Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles will visit the Jewish Synagogue in Kochi where they will meet the community members besides getting a traditional Jewish prayer of blessing. A trip to the Mattancherry Palace Museum will be their last item in their Kerala tour itinerary.
The axiom “eat breakfast like a king” has been proven right ! A study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University found eating a good breakfast increases fertility among women who suffer from menstrual irregularities.
The influence of meal times on the health of women with menstrual irregularities due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has been analysed in the study. PCOS affects approximately 6-10% of women of reproductive age, disrupting their reproductive abilities.
Women suffering from PCOS suffer from insulin resistance, which in turn leads to an increase in male sex hormones (androgens). It can cause menstrual irregularities, hair loss, increase in body hair, acne, fertility problems and future diabetes.
The study covered over 60 women with a body mass index of less than 23 in the age group of 25-39 for a period of 12 weeks.
The women were divided into two groups and were allowed to consume 1800 calories a day. One group consumed their largest meal, approximately 980 calories as breakfast and the other group as dinner. The findings showed improved results for the group that consumed a big breakfast.
Glucose levels of insulin decreased by 8% and testosterone levels decreased by nearly 50% in the breakfast group while dinner group showed no changes. The rate of ovulation too went up in the breakfast group compared to the dinner group, showing that eating a big breakfast leads to an increase in the level of fertility among women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
The study was published in the journal Clinical Science.