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  • Jun 17 2010

    Eco Tourism in India: A New Approach

    Eco-tourism means making as little environmental impact as possible and helping to sustain the indigenous populace, thereby encouraging the preservation of wildlife and habitats when visiting a place. This is a responsible form of tourism and tourism development. It is also the key to sustainable ecological development. The International Eco-tourism Society defines eco-tourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” You must – Minimize impact, Build environmental and cultural awareness, Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts, financial benefits for conservation and local people.

    Today the “Green Laws” of conservation are making people aware of how man and the environment can live symbiotically it is the only way to maximize the economic, environmental and social benefits of tourism.  In India too the movement is gathering momentum. Eco-Tourism in India is still at a very nascent stage, but there are for sure conscious efforts to save the fragile Himalayan Eco System and culture and heritage of the indigenous people. Holiday Camping vis a vis Hotel accommodation are gathering momentum in the Himalayan belt. Resorts tucked deep inside jungles of Karnataka, House-boats of Kerala, Tree Houses at Vythiri combine to make India one of the most diverse eco-tourism destinations on the planet.

    These points taken care of will aid organisations involved in eco-tourism:

    • Education -Three levels of education; how well the staff is educated, level of education the organization provides to local communities, and how well it informs guests about sustainable tourism practices and how to successfully practice themselves.
    • Conservation and Preservation – This pertains to the level of conservation/ preservation activity in the environmental and cultural sectors. This category will determine the flow of visitors  – ultimately..
    • Sustainable Use of Resources - This category involves how well the resort utilizes, preserves and recycles resources, and the effective techniques they practice. This category will focus on water, waste and energy resources.
    • Innovative/Creative Practices – Many are developing new approaches to conservation, education, marketing, and creative ways to sustainably use resources. This category focuses on these new approaches because they are direct factors contributing to successful ecotourism.
    • Influence on Local Communities Economies – This category determines if the involvement of the organization with the surrounding communities brings new economic growth to the local community.
    • Involving local human resources in the projects – This would ensure local support for the organisation and the activity both.
    • Local and Global Recognition – This category determines to what extent the local and global familiarity the ecotourism organization.
    • Marketing Practices – The way an organization market’s itself, will ultimately determine its survival/sustainability.
    • Involvement of Local People – This is about community participation. Say a stay in a village to experience ethnic life and functions first hand – lets say a stay at the lantern lit hut of a former Naga headhunter or a trip to Jatinga bird sanctuary to witness the eerie phenomenon of hundreds of birds flying to their death on foggy, windy, moonless nights during August to October. For there cord the only similar phenomena exists in the Phillipines.

    We look forward to your conversation and comments on it, to make Eco Tourism a success in Incredible India

  • Jun 14 2010

    Product launch at holy place: A New Concept of ‘business with leisure’

    Product launches and dealer meets are basically working vacations. The ambience needs to be sufficiently relaxing but boardroom facilities are a must as launches and meets entails some serious business work. A relaxing ambience of the seaside resort is an added advantage. It houses one of the largest conference centres in the state. Without going into the mundane details let us say that technical and secretarial services available here are efficient and competent – without the seven star price tag. There is something for every budget and a smaller budget does not mean ‘diminished’ returns. Even menus are customised to suit the corporate need and individual tastes. But why Puri – let us say that the resort is trying to mould itself to modern needs.

    Nature trails, sustainable eco tourism, continuing campaign to keep the beach clean – all these have added another dimension to a timeless destination – the seat of the Lord of the universe. Organizers and trainers know the potential of time outside the seminar room.

    At Toshali Sands you can have range of activities to complement any conference programme. The senior honchos can have a chat over a game of golf – not quite in the vicinity but neither too far away, then you can sweat it away at the gym, relax in the sauna, cycle around the reserve forest area, trek a bit or simply watch time and river Nuanai flow by lazily. Well if you have team-building activities in your schedule with combat or adventure games the Toshali Sands Team even help you arrange that too. There is another activity – unique to the resort – India’s best sand sculptor

    World acclaimed Sand Artist Sudarshan Patnaik can arrange a workshop in sand sculpting specially tailormade for you. The stretch from Toshali Sands to Konark offers a few pristine and virgin beaches. It is unspoilt nature and an idea is floating around that a cycle track could throw up an entirely new possibilty of extended beach hiking and cycling. This is an entirely new concept but we are seriously considering this. To keep your product launch hassle free

    Toshali sands will assign you a dedicated conference coordinator to make all the arrangements. Toshali Sands provides a conducive environment for product launch, seminars & conferences, dealer meets etc.

    The conference halls are – Indraprastha with a capacity of 350 (theatre style seating) offers double option with a collapsible partition for small meetings (over 200 people) and Boardroom parleys. Panchayat Conference hall can accommodate 200 in theater style and Mantrana Conference hall is relatively smaller but equally well appointed. Different from the more conventional type but you have an usually high level of service right from organizational to technical facilities, secretarial services etc.

    All corporates try to host Conference programmes for their executives in a relaxed and stress-less environment, where there will be better clarity of thought and vision. The concept of ‘business with leisure’ is here to stay and the key word in today’s corporate world where resorts pronounce themselves as superior to commercial hotels. Toshali Sands is not exactly competing with 5 star luxury hotels but as far as the settings and ambience goes. This is one of the best Eastern India has to offer, a four star classified resort.

    The Puri Kshetra is considered a holy place since millenniums. Toshali sands is aware that most people do pay a visit to the temple of Lord Jagannath – a guide, priest and transport is all for yours to ask. It is still early days for Toshali sands to start off as an attractive destination for national product launches but it is a fantastic destination for regional and zonal launches. We will be working our way up to making this a national destination.

    Recently, “The Blue Eyed Boy”- the new Maruti Suzuki Wagon R was launch at Toshali Sands by Maruti Udyog Limited in the holy “Sankha khyetra” of Shree Lord Jagannath, it was a huge success among Maruti dealers and distributors. the event drew wide corporate participation and national press coverage.

    For more details on Product launch, Convention and Conference Facility at  Toshali Royal View Resort, Shimla –  and Toshali Sands , Puri

    I would love to hear, your product launch at Toshali Resorts, we would be glad to have you as our guest. If you enjoyed this post, I would appreciate, if you share it on Twitter, Facebook, Orkut and other social networking sites.

  • Jun 09 2010

    “Shankha Khyetram”: The Holy Conch Shell Province of Lord Jagannath, Puri

    The holy land of Orissa is divided into four kshetras. These kshetras are named after the four names of weapons of Lord Vishnu such as Shankha (conch shell), chakra (disc), gada (mace) and padma (lotus). Puri Dham is known as Shankha Kshetra. Bhubaneswar is Chakra Kshetra, Jajpura is Gada Kshetra, and Konark is Padma Kshetra (sometimes Ark Kshetra after the sun god)

    The geographical size of Puri resembles a right oriented conch shell, the ‘Dakshinavarta Shankha’, which is why the name. The sacred section of puri looks like a conch shell and it is in this section that all the sacred centres like temples, mathas (English word for this), sacred tanks, trees and various other sacred sites are located. The Shankha Kshetra covers an area of roughly 10 square miles, out of which nearly 40% is submerged under the sea.

    Tantric layout of Shankha Kshetra

    Shankha Kshetra of Puri includes the Temple of Lord Jagannath and its huge compound circumscribed by a wall called Meghanada Pacheri. The temple complex is surrounded by streets or sahi, running in all directions from the temple. The sebakas (English word) live in the streets, which are close to the temple and monasteries, temples of several gods and goddesses, sacred tanks and trees, recreational and gymnastic centres (Jegaghar and Akhada (english word)) are located in different places scattered throughout the town.

    The shape of the sacred section of Puri resembles a conch shell (Shankha) and, therefore, it is also known as the Shankha Kshetra. Like the other names, that is, Shri Khetra and Purusottam Khetra, which have bearing on the Lord Jagannath, the paramount deity of Puri, Shankha Kshetra has equal ritual and symbolic significance.  The name Shankha Kshetra is the most significant because Shankha is one of the Aiyudhas or weapons of Lord Vishnu who resides in the navel or the central part of the shell in the form of Lord Jagannath. Shankha Kshetra is about 10 miles in extent, of which nearly two koshas are submerged in the sea and the remaining three koshas are above water.

    In the centre of the Kshetra lies the hillock called Nilagiri where the famous temple of the Lord Jagannath stands. The broad end of the Shankha Kshetra lies to the west where the temple of Lokanath, one of the eight noted Shiva Temples of Puri is located and on the apical end or the cone in the east, is located another Shiva Temple called the Nilakantha. The area between the two temples is two miles and is the most sacred.

    Tantric layout of Shankha Khyetram

    Tantric layout of Shankha Khyetram

    According to the Tantric philosophy, the Shankha Kshetra is made up of seven concentric folds.

    • The innermost or first fold, which forms the navel, or the Kshetra, is the seat of the divine platform on which the Lord Jagannath with his elder brother Balabhadra and their sister Subhadra are presiding.
    • The second fold, which is the outer layer of the first or the innermost fold, is hexagonal in shape and in this are located four goddesses of power, two tirthas, two sacred trees, Garuda (vehicle of Lord Vishnu) and the top of the Nilgiri hill which is convex like the back of a tortoise. The goddesses are Bimala, Kamala, Sarbamangala and Uttaral. The sacred trees are Kalpapadapa and Salmalitaru. The tirthas are Rohinikunda and Pranitodakakunda.
    • The third fold, is the central part of the lotus-like structure having eight petals, each inlaid with an idol of Lord Shiva and a goddess. The eight Shivas are Agneswar, Bateswar, Khetrapaleswar, Chakreswar, Baikuntheswar, Pataleswar, Isaneswar, and Lokeswar. The eight goddesses are Dwarabasini, Mahabajreswari, Swanabhairabi, Bhadrakali, Bhubaneswari, Mahakaliaghorea, Sitala, and Jagnyeswari. These deities are responsible for watching and guarding the firstfold having the Supreme Lord at the centre of the sacred complex.
    • The fourth fold, forms the convex surface of the temple precinct (Mahakurma) and the inner compound wall.
    • The fifth fold, which is the outer layer of the fourth fold, is again the seat of another eight Shivas and eight goddesses. The Shivas are Bisweswar, Markandeswar, Mahakaleswar, Karnameswar, Mukteswar, Ugreswar, Kapilalochana and Agreswer. The goddesses are Bisweswari, Saptamatrika, Dakshinkali, Charchika, Alameswari, Barahi, Banadurgeswari and Basulikeswari. These deities are also in charge of watch and ward functions of the sacred complex.
    • In the sixth fold of the sacred space there are four ashrams. They are Angirs in the east, Pandu in the west, Markandeya in the north, and Bhrigu in the south.
    • The seventh fold which is the outermost zone consists of the sentries of the Shankha Kshetra and two pilgrim centres. That’s all or is it? Theres another legend. This place is named after demon Shankhasura who was killed by Lord Vishnu. Shankhasura was born from the sweat of demon Madhu. Vishnu killed Madhu when he was on the verge of killing Brahma. Shankhasura wanted to avenge Madhu’s death. He pleased Shiva by his penance and learned Tantra from him. While he was learning Tantra he could hear the recitation of veda. Rishi Yagnavalkya was learning Yajur veda from Brahma at the moment. Shankhasura wanted to learn the recitation and he asked Shiva for the source. Shiva instructed him to go to Brahma to learn the Vedamantra. But Brahma had already distributed the four Vedas among his disciples, so Brahma refused to teach him Vedamantra. Shankhasura was enraged and he took away the four Vedas from the disciples forcibly and hid them in the sea. Lord Vishnu took on the incarnation of “Meen” to search for the demon. The demon hid in the Kalpa Vriksha inside the present temple. Lord Vishnu tried to kill the demon. The demon hid in a conch. Vishnu used teh Sudarshan chakra but the hard conch diverted the chakra.
    • Finally Vishnu killed the demon with his Brahmastra. Shiva was furious at the death of his disciple. The assembled gods pleased Shiva by singing “Vedasara Staba” (glories of Shiva). He requested Vishnu to name the place as Shankha kshetra after the name of Shankhasura. The proposal was accepted and the place was named as “Shankha kshetra”.
    Places of Interest around Shankha Khyetram

    Places of Interest around Shankha Khyetram

    Toshali Sands has exclusive arrangement to take you to places of your interest in the “SHANKHA KHYETRAM” and “RATH YATRA” – THE CAR FESTIVAL. To Know more, contact Toshali Sands, Puri travel desk or leave your comment, we wil get back to you.

    I would be glad to hear more about Shankha Khetram, please post if you feel any informations in the blog is missing. And would be gald to have you as their guest at Toshali Sands.

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  • Jun 05 2010

    World Environment Day “Clean and Green, Protect and Save the Planet”

    “Save Earth”. We have nowhere else to go. Its not my slogan and I dont know whose it is. The stark word of Carl Sagan – an astronomer drills in the need for a clean environment – a clean earth.  One excerpt from his – “Pale Blue Dot”. Dont read it, just feel it.

    “Look at that dot. That’s home. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. Every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer, every king and peasant, every mother and father, every “supreme leader” in the history of our species lived there – on a spec of dust suspended in sunbeam…….. Our planet is a lonely speck in all this vastness, no help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves……… this is our last stand.”

    Frightening? Perhaps. Truth? Absolutely. In Toshali Resorts, long before eco tourism became fashionable and government started to support initiatives we have been travelling the green path. The idea was to be in harmony with the surroundings. Toshali Sands had a great advantage. It was next door to a pristine beach, with 30 acres to spare. The area has been forested since 1989. Some 40 thousand trees and shrubs have been planted. Coconut, betel nut, bottle palm, ashoka, mango, casurina- mostly local fauna. They survive better and gel seamlessly. The idea was to compliment the Balukhanda reserve. The ‘view’ is definitely greener now. Solar energy use is in. It will continue to be a priority and the windy beaches may see a few windmills too- nothing definitive yet, just a thought. From the sea to the hills – Toshali Royal View Resort in Shilon Bagh, Shimla, is nestled on the pine slopes of the Kinnor Hills overlooking the snow clad peaks of the Himalayas. It is just half an hour from Shimla down the Kufri-Chail road. The building has a quaint old world feel. Frankly a gaudy building block on a dense pine slope would be an eye sore so the architects got us a design that blends with the surroundings. Planting trees is a not a special ‘drive’ here it is part of the ‘job’ – the overall attempt to blend in – environmentally, culturally and visually. Deodar, Himalayan fir and spruce are some of the species we have planted.

    Toshali Jungle Lodge, Simlipal, is a unique resort. It is situated in one of the original 14 biosphere reserves of India and near a tiger reserve. It offers the visitors a unique ‘wild’ environment. A resort in a biosphere has to adhere to the strict guidelines – no littering, no trash, no activity disturbing the wildlife – just blending in – unobtrusively. We are bystanders watching life in the forest go by. We are lucky to have the privilege of watching ‘nature at work’. Without trying to sound too pompous Toshali is the only quality accomodation in the ‘neighbourhood’. And the quality does not come at the cost to the nature. The idea is – to leave things as you found them when you came.

    Eco tourism is not fashionable, it’s a necessity. In Africa the Masais were educated on the need to preserve the big cats – tourism and conservation efforts succeeded. Eco friendly tourism is here to stay. Local inclusiveness is a must and today we would like to renew our pledges of being one with the nature on the World Environment Day, 5th June

     

    We appeal : Plant one sapling a day, lets every day be the World Environment Day to “Save Our Planet”

    If you like the Blog and want to save the environment, do email and  share with your friends at Facebook, Twitter, Orkut and other Social Networking  Site. We will be glad to recieve your comments and conversations.

  • May 31 2010

    Corporate Golfing: The New Mantra of Business Vacation

    The Toshali Sands Resort is located on Konark Marine Drive. The Puri railway station is just 7 km away form the hotel. Toshali Sands Resort the first 4 star category resort in Orissa approved by Dept. of Tourism sprawled across acres of lush green lawns and gardens and has views overlooking the Balukhanda Reserve Forest on the Konark Marine Drive in Puri. The resort offers some 100 plus AC rooms divided into Deluxe rooms, Cottages and Villas. All the rooms are well furnished with satellite television, telephone, internet accessibility etc.

    The hotel offers three conference halls and an on request pick up or drop from the airport in Bhubneshwar (some 68 kms away). The resort abounds in greenery and last time around saw a flock of 20 ducks on the campus – they are still there. More than 30 acres of lush green is soothing to say the least. A 9 hole golf course is around 60 kms away and transport is easily arranged. Toshali Sands is a popular destination for corporates who plan conferences, seminars and events near Puri. Toshali was the name of the village where emperor Ashoka found peace – the resort derives its name from that village – and if tranquility is one criterion high on the list of corporate clients – they won’t be missing it. The Conference Coordinator at Toshali Sands takes care of all aspects of the event and customisations are in accordance with the wishes of the client.

    Facilities for hosting corporate events are – adequate and robust rather than being exceptional. The cuisine is predominantly Indian and do not expect very exotic dishes on the menu. Late private dinners are not a problem and can be arranged on a short notice. There is more than enough scope for group activities and the scenes at the almost adjacent Balighai beach is soothing with sunrise and sunset offering stunning sceneries at the nearby confluence of river Nuanai and the sea. Pick up and drop are arranged on request – on a world war II Willys jeep. Though the reception asks for an hour’s notice for to and fro beach transportation it always took about 10 mins to arrive. It is a nice place for pleasure cum business trips – probably arranging a conference in a holy city makes the idea a bit of a novelty.

    Our aim is to make organising corporate golf as easy as possible for our clients, whilst providing excellent service and competitive price. To cater the need of business meetings, international conventions, conferences, exhibitions and events you will find Toshali chains of exclusive business hotels and resorts that provide conference halls, board meeting rooms, and modern business centers. Organizations like MMTC, Maruti Udyog Limited, PSU’s other blue chip companies are the few big name, who come back regularly to avail the Convention and conference facility at Toshali Resorts.

    For more detail Toshali Sands – http://bit.ly/c1shIY and Toshali Royal View Resort – http://bit.ly/dlcRfb .

    I would love to hear, your forthcoming Corporate event, Toshali would be gald to have you as their guest. If you enjoyed this post, I would appreciate, if you share it on Twitter, Facebook, Orkut and other social networking.

  • May 26 2010

    Serenity on Puri Sea beach, Movie makers preferred location…

    Virgin Sea Beach, Wild Sea and Sun along the soothingly beautiful Konark Marine Drive. Bollywood, Oriya and Bengali film and TV serial makers are increasingly thronging the place. Filmmakers should appoint a local coordinator to handle arrangements, including scouting for locales, equipments and local talents. Smaller productions can do with a local fixer. On request the resort itself coordinates and facilitates film maker guests. It is about 65 KM from Bhubaneshwar city and it takes about an hour and a half by car to reach the resort from Bhubaneshwar airport. FireShot capture #015

    You can call up the coordinator at the resort near by and arrange for a car pick up from the airport The scenery along the stretch of Konark Marine drive is stunning – its raw, wild and appealing to the discerning traveller. The casurina fringed Nuanai river meeting the sea nearby makes it an idyllic location for film and serial makers searching for pristine locales. Sunrise ansd sunset are lavish affairs with molten gold all around!

    The adjacent Balukhanda sanctuary is also home to the shy and elusive Baliharina deer (Indian Blackbuck). It is rarely seen these days – you might get lucky. The Olive Ridley turtle – besides having a glimpse in the nearby research centre you may be lucky on a night during the nesting season when thousands of these turtles come ashore to lay eggs. The Bhitarkanika sanctuary is the largest nesting place of this turtle – over 6 lakhs throng here annually.

    To site an example, one of Bollywood block buster “ASHOKA” was filmed on the Puri Beach in the near vicinity of Toshali Sands.

    The best time to visit Balighai beach is during October to June. Orissa with its almost 500 km long shoreline is often overlooked as a film tourism destination, but other than parts of the Konkan coast Orissa has the largest number of pristine and virgin beaches in India. You won’t be chased by a hawker, won’t find a supermarket there – just the sea and sun and sand – whistling wind. A quaint old jeep used to drop and pick up guests of Toshali Sands to and from the Balighai beach. Now,  it has been replaced by fuel efficient The resort also provides a life guard and umbrellas, mats and towels on the beach. The beach is a bit rough during high tide but amazing during low tide – so find out the time from the resort to make your own movie. Its also the photographer paradise…

    I would love to hear, your script getting filmed at Puri Sea Beach. Which are the movies, TV Serials, Documentary films were made here at Puri Sea beach

    If you enjoyed this post, I would appreciate, if you share it on Twitter, Facebook, Orkut and other Social Networking sites.

  • May 25 2010

    Buddhist Mythology: Landmarks the Buddhism in Kalinga

    According to Sri Lankan legends, when the Buddha died, his body was cremated in a sandalwood pyre at Kusinara in India and his left canine tooth was retrieved from the funeral pyre by Arahat Khema. Khema then gave it to King Brahmadatte for veneration. It became a royal possession in Brahmadatte’s country and was kept in the city of Dantapuri (present day Puri in Orissa).
    A belief grew that whoever possessed the Sacred Tooth Relic had a divine right to rule that land. Wars followed. 800 years after the Buddha’s death, in the 4th century CE the tooth came into the possession of King Guhaseeva of Kalinga. He send his daughter Hemamali and her husband the prince Dantha  away from the kingdom as war loomed. Hemamli hid the relic in her hair and travelled to Sri Lanka via Tamralipta. The relic was housed in Anuradhapura and later at its present resting place at Kandy. It is believed that a stupa at the site of the Temple of Lord Jagannath housed the tooth relic.

    Myth says that Emperor Ashoka – distraught with the bloodshed at the Kalinga war met with Upagupta near the sleepy village of Toshali on the banks of river Daya – from here comes the name of the “Toshali Resorts” !! Probably. Archaeological findings abounds around the place – one even in a close proximity to the Konark temple.

    Other than being the site of the Kalinga war Dhauli is much renowned for its 3rd century Ashoka edicts, the Shanti Stupa or Peace Pagoda, and the nearby Buddhist monastery. Here happened the war that ultimately helped spread Buddhism worldwide. Next up Lalitgiri – it has one of the earliest Buddhist complexes in the world believed to be made in the 1st century AD. With several rock-cut caves, viharas, chaityas, monasteries, stupas, and caskets of stone with Buddhist relics that throw much light on the history of Buddhism.

    Ratnagiri located in the Jajpur district of Orissa has excellent Buddhist ruins, sculptures, large monasteries, shrines, big stupas, and a colossal statue of Lord Buddha which much attract the visitors to the state. However, it is the wonderful Pushpagiri monastery that is really the pride of the place.

    A renowned pilgrimage destination, Udaygiri is the largest Buddhist site in Orissa and is much famous for the Avalokitesvara statue of Lord Buddha. This statue of Buddha is unique as here the Enlightened One, i.e., Lord Buddha, is depicted having long flowing tresses.

    Nestled in the triangle of Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udayagiri, Langudi ihouses clusters of rock carvings, consecrated stupas, two exclusive figures of Buddha along with female devotees. Remains of a monastery, constructed of bricks, two inscribed figures of Emperor Ashoka. One of it displays Ashoka with 2 queens.

    Additionally these places and Khandagiri are important for Jain piligrims too. Today I’ll sign off with a quaint belief – Jagannath is identified with Buddha. His iconographics representation approximation o the meditating Buddha. The Triad is depicted as Buddha, Dharma and Sangha – the three gems of Buddhism, some even find affinity of the car-festival with Buddhist festivals. The Tooth-relic of Buddha is supposedly inside the images of the triad and is known as “Brahma-Padartha” (Divine-Matter). The Triad is deified by the Jainas as manifestation of the Jaina “Tri-ratna” (three gems of Jainism) representing right knowledge, right thought and right perception.

    This is our land where everything is different but similar – separated but connected. Someday i hope to write about followers of Islam who enriched the tradition of Lord Jagannath and a king who ruled in his name.

    Toshali Sands at Puri, Orissa, takes great pleasure in attending its travelers, corporate managers and guest, coming from Sri Lanka and South East Asia covering Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia Brunei, East Malaysia, East Timor, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Singapore. Toshali offers exclusive budget packages and arrange group excursion for the international Buddhist pilgrim, . For more details visit 

    I would love to hear, your visit to Buddhist Shrine, Toshali would be gald to have you as guest.

    If you enjoyed this post, I would appreciate, if you share it on Twitter, Facebook, Orkut and other social networking sites.

  • May 08 2010

    Securing The Chariot Festival: Puri is Safe

    “Rath Yatra” – The holy Car Festival of Puri in its present form dates back at least a thousand years. Everything is on a grand scale. Full of spectacle, drama and colour, its a typical Indian fair. It’s also the embodiment of the synthesis of the tribal with the classical. One glimpse of the Lord is said to release one from the cycle of birth and death. The etymology of juggernaut originates from the chariots — in a way its true – an unstoppable force – of belief, piety, fervour that rolls on – transcending time and distance. Puri “Rath Yatra” has been celebrated in the city since times memorial. It is observed on the 2nd day of the full-moon fortnight in the month of June – July. This year the Car festival will be observed from 12th of July 2010 to till 23rd July 2010. The main car festival is on 13th July’ 2010 on Tuesday.

    Off late Orissa has been subject to a lot of naxal violence – sparking off fears that the famous Rath Yatra – The Chariot Festival of Lord Jagannath could fall prey to it. Threat perception has always been high for the temple. It has been recommended level one security arrangements since 2004. Since then two Special Armed Police platoons are deployed at each of the four temple gates round the clock, complete with metal detectors and manual frisking. A “quick reaction team” is ready 24X7 to meet emergencies.

     The Lord Jagannath temple administration has security of its own and some 77 of them are deployed inside the temple premises to look after temple security, safety of visitors and maintenance of order. The Puri district administration has already undertaken survey of buildings around the Jagannath temple and henceforth – till the day after the return from Gundicha temple they will be under constant vigil. Resorts, Hotels, lodges and dharamsalas in the temple town are periodically checked by the district police for suspected maoists. Such a recent raid landed a couple of underground naxals in the security net although the Government has neither confirmed nor denied reports.

    The state government, has sealed its borders with Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to avoid entry of ultras from the neighbouring states and currently some 5000 paramilitary forces are about to engage Maoists. “Rath Yatra” is THE most important festival of Orissa and the Orissa government is aware about the threat and is planning for any eventualities.

    More than 6000 police and rapid action forces will be on duty during the Rath Yatra in July 13th 2010. The Coast guard has been specially directed to guard against any attack from the sea route. Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has recently reviewed security arrangements personally. He has directed the Naxal-infested districts to keep a closer vigilance. In a two pronged strategy the government is beefing up security in no-Maoist zones.

    A high-level review meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary to assess the security cordon around the Shree Jagannath temple in Puri. It was decided that all the existing Close Circuit Televisions (CCTVs) installed in the premises of the temple would be upgraded. Additional places for installing CCTVs inside and outside the Shree Jagannath temple were identified. It was also decided that all hotels in Puri would come under a security cover and the Puri sea beach would be a strictly ‘zero tolerance’ zone for anything remotely suspicious. 

    It will be safe for pilgrims, devotees, tourist, travelers, photographers, journalist and common man coming to witness and participate in the holy carnival “Rath Yatra” – The Car Festival.

  • May 07 2010

    Doorway to Deccan : Discover Andhra Pradesh

    Toshali Resorts International is the approved tour operator with Department Of Tourism, Government of India. Toshali brings you a walk through of Andhra Pradesh “The Kohinoor of India”

    “Incredible India – Doorway to Deccan : Discover Andhra Pradesh”

    Exciting south India tour with family Booking open for Early birds

  • May 05 2010

    Puri Sea Beach : Keep it Clean

    Everyone can make a difference to the amount of litter in the environment

    When you think of Goa, what can you think of? Endless beaches, tourists basking under the sun, children playing in the sand, spicy seafood, amazing water games… what probably don’t come to our minds are the mounds of mounds of plastic waste and rotting garbage?

    Trash on beaches

    The human-created, foreign matter like plastics, metal, glass, Styrofoam, etc. are what actually is called trash. Since animals often mistake these trash items as food, please remember to pick up even small pieces of trash, which should ideally go into our Trash bags and then, into the recycle bags.

    Glass, aluminum cans, tin cans, plastic drinking bottles can be recycled. These items must be clean and dry.

    There are other trash items that we might discover while enjoying ourselves on the beaches. These could include syringes, needles, any sharp objects, condoms, tampons, waste materials, weapons, heavy items, or anything of which we are not sure. These items are not to be touched. The best we can do is mark such areas with sticks and stones so that others could also stay away and finally inform the beach captains or lifeguards. When in doubt, don’t touch.

    Trash to be left alone

    Natural items (such as algae, kelp, driftwood, shells, etc.) are part of the ecosystem system that we are working to restore and should be, at the best, left alone. So lets avoid disturbing plants, animals and fragile dune areas.

    Beach clean up

    A day at the beach is a fun summer activity, but no one wants to share the sun with discarded cans, bottles and other trash left behind by thoughtless beach visitors. Let us all  help protect the environment and keep the beach a fun place to be when we organize a beach clean up day.

    Let us support a healthy environment. Gather a group of friends together for a beach clean up day at your local beach. Help the environment even more by carpooling to the beach together in one or two vehicles rather than having everyone drive separately.

    Brush the beach by collecting trash. Consider putting all the cans and bottles you come across in separate bags for recycling. If you find hazardous items such as needles, be sure not to pick them up with your bare hands. Bury any large deposits of seaweed.

    Toshali Sands along with Orissa Tourism and Forest Department has set an example at Balighai Beach. Toshali is striving with a mission to Keep Puri beach clean for the incoming guest, devotees, pilgrims, journalists, travelers, and locals.

    Clean and Well maintained Balighai Beach at Puri is an effort by Toshali Sands along with Orissa Tourism and Forest Department

    Clean and Well maintained Balighai Beach at Puri is an effort by Toshali Sands along with Orissa Tourism and Forest Department

    Therefore, Toshali appeals all to join hand in spreading message of Self-Help to everyone to be the part of the movement to keep Puri beach clean. Are your there !!! this is not merely a blog, we invite you to start conversation and draw attention of all the people concern to drive the cause.

    Visit our Facebook Cause Page http://bit.ly/at0MJ7 And “Puri Beach : Keep Me Clean” Group for the cause at http://bit.ly/9911Mw

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