Kuttanadu is where you can catch glimpses of rural Kerala, with sprawling paddy fields, the criss-cross of waterways and ducks swimming all around, fresh water fish being caught and sold, people transporting things in boats etc.
Kerala has launched a global advertising campaign in London showcasing its stunning backwaters, pristine beaches and serene countryside. The campaign is aimed at making Kerala a must visit destination for travelers all over the world. The brain child of Stark Communications, the brand agency for Kerala tourism, the campaign will hit cinemas screening the movie, ”Eat Pray Love”, in the UK,
The campaign will also be extended to the other major markets in Europe, including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium and Switzerland. The timing for the campaign would not have been better for Kerala as it was recently adjudged the ”most preferred destination’ in India” at the CNBC Awaaz Awards, 2010, while the Kerala Tourism Board was conferred the Best Tourism Board award.
This is not the first time that Kerala tourism department is indulging in innovative campaigns and road shows to garner more interest in this happening tourist spot and to highlight the unseen and the unexplored attractions of Kerala. Last year, the Kerala tourism department in an innovative tourism promotion campaign had decorated 120 taxis in the UK with Kerala tourism promotional advertisements. The campaign became a huge hit among the British, who make up one third of the 6.50 lakh foreigners who visit the state every year.
From being an unknown destination in the southern tip of the Indian sub continent, Kerala has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world in a short span of a decade or so. Voted as ”One of the Ten Paradises in the World” by National Geographic Traveller in the year 2000, Kerala has indeed left its indelible imprints in the international tourism map with well timed and innovative promotional campaigns and propaganda.
Though Kochi has been projected as the business capital of Kerala and an emerging metropolis, things are far from rosy as far as its safety index at night is concerned. How safe do you feel while venturing out in the night in this city? Kochi will be deserted fairly early at night as it has not much night life except for a few pubs and discos mostly attached to star hotels where people can chill out and hobnob with their friends after their work hours. However , these hang out places are pricey and might not be within the reach of the ordinary citizens .Hence for most Kochinites, outdoor fun is confined to marine drive, Subhash park and a handful of malls strewn around the city.
Marine drive is not generally safe after sunset though it is a favorite spot for families. Pick pockets and loiterers passing dirty jokes at the passersby and indulging in loud talks are regular sights which make these only green open spaces of this city less welcoming for peace loving families. If you are thinking of coming out to these open spots to breath in fresh air and to relax after being cooped up in your dingy workspace in the air conditioned interiors, you could be caught unawares at times! Gangsters and thugs who get paid for committing crimes are on the move in this city and many a time crimes remain unresolved mysteries.
The many by- lanes and the narrow city roads too are not always safe for women pedestrians after dark. A sizable population of female workforce is employed in textile shops and other business establishments which remain open till late hours. The badly lit and deserted bus stops often turn into a haven for anti social elements who find pleasure in intimidating and teasing these hapless women. Not many dare to confront them and even if someone choose to, they wont find many supporters for their cause!.Even after boarding the bus , their ordeal will be far from over ; right from the male passengers under the influence of their evening quota of booze to the door checker and conductor in the bus, everyone will make their journey a nightmare.
Though women in Kerala are better placed than their counterparts in other parts of India, God’s own country has indeed a long way to go to make sure that every woman feels safe on the roads of Kochi.
Jet airways is adding the twenty-fourth international destination of Milan on its network with the introduction of India-Italy route. The airline will be connecting India to the glamour hub of Milan using its state-of-the-art Airbus 330-200 aircraft. The daily non-stop flights from the national capital New Delhi to Milan starting from December 5th, 2010 will be extremely helpful to the business community and travel and tourism sector alike. Europeans have always formed the majority of tourists to India in general and Kerala in particular
This service will also enhance the connectivity from Milan to the other Italian cities like Florence, Rome, Venice and Pisa, besides easy access to other European destinations like Paris, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Helsinki, Lisbon, Madrid, Zurich, Vienna, Belgrade and Budapest in conjunction with the interline partners of Jet Airways.
This will be the first and only flight to offer a direct air link between Milan and India. Anyone traveling from Milan to India will be able to connect over 42 destinations on Jet Airways’ network within India and will also have access to travel onwards to Jet Airways’ destinations of Kathmandu, Dhaka, Colombo and further onto Asian destinations like Singapore, Bangkok, and Hong Kong.
Flight 9W 142 will depart Delhi at 1255 hours, arriving in Milan at 1800 hrs. On the return leg, flight 9W 141 will depart Milan at 2125 hrs, arriving in Delhi at 0955 hrs.
The term diwali literally means a row of lamps and this festival signifies the victory of good over evil. A popular festival of fireworks,lights and sweets, Diwali celebrations span many days in most parts of India. However in Kerala, Diwali celebrations are low key affairs, mostly confined to South Kerala and to the North Indian community that has made Kerala their home.
Kochi too is celebrating Diwali in all its religious fervour and finery. It is a time to strengthen the bonds of friendship and brotherhood for many. Exchanging sweets, lighting crackers, making colorful rangolis and illuminating their homes and work places with oil lamps are some of the popular rituals that are associated with this festival. Kochi has a sizable population of Gujaratis, Jains and Sikhs mostly concentrated in Mattancherry, who will be celebrating Diwali in all its zest.People take an early morning oil bath, wear new dresses, exchange special sweets and visit temples on this day. The fireworks and light shows signify the removal of the spiritual darkness from their hearts of people.
Diwali is also an occasion of paying tribute to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha. This 5 day long Hindu festival is celebrated throughout the world with great zeal. Dhanteras, the day before Diwali is considered auspicious for purchasing gold and new home appliances and many a time, the shoppers offer exciting discount offers and deals to lure the customers. From silver utensils to gold pendents, home gadgets and furniture , people seem to have no dearth of shopping ideas for this day! A Bhopal business man hit the headlines when he brought home an automatic teller machine (ATM)to celebrate Diwali in true style this year!
However, for an ordinary Malayalee, Diwali might still mean lots of exotic sweets, gifts and a bottle of liquor ( no festival in Kerala can be complete without this) if not anything else!