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Union Government approves Rs 450 crore for five states under Swadesh Darshan scheme

The Union Government has approved 450 crore rupees for Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Sikkim under the Swadesh Darshan scheme. 
•    It was approved by the Union Tourism Ministry for the development of Heritage circuit in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Ramayana Circuit in Uttar Pradesh, North East Circuit in Sikkim and Coastal Circuit of Tamil Nadu. 
•    The Heritage Circuit in Uttarakhand: It covers Jageshwar-Devidhura-Katarmal-Baijnath sites with total project cost of approximately 83 crores rupees. 
•    Coastal circuit in Tamil Nadu: It envisages development of Chennai-Mamamallapuram-Rameshwaram-Manpadu-Kanyakumari. 
•    The total project cost is of approximately 100 crores. 
•    Ramayana Circuit in Uttar Pradesh: It envisages development of two destinations, Chitrakoot and Shringverpur. 
•    North East circuit in Sikkim: It includes development of cultural centre, paragliding centre and craft bazaar for mountaineering and meditation hall at approximate project cost of 95 crores. 
•    The Heritage Circuit in Madhya Pradesh: It covers developing Tourism Infrastructure Gwalior-Orchha-Khajuraho-Chanderi-Bhimbetka-Mandu. 
•    The total project cost is of approximately 100 crore rupees.

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Goa to Host Bird Festival to Promote Avian Tourism

Aiming to promote avian tourism, the Goa forest department will host its first "Bird Festival" in the state in November, state Environment and Forest Minister Rajendra Arlekar said on Friday. 
•    Goa is home to nearly a third of all the bird species in the country. 
•    The event will include bird-watching sessions at the state’s numerous wildlife sanctuaries.
•    The bird festival will be held over three days from November 11 to 13 and participants at the event will be treated to bird-watching sessions at the state’s numerous wildlife sanctuaries including Dr. Salim Ali bird sanctuary.
•    The participants will also watch a series of films screened on birds and their habitats, and engage with well known ornithologists who would be conducting technical sessions at the event.
•    Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Arlekar said that his ministry was in talks with the state Tourism Ministry, in order to promote avian tourism in Goa, which is home to 432 of the 1,224 bird species found in India.
 

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World's 1st beer themed hotel to open in USA

Stone Brewing', a brewery based in San Diego, California is set to open the world's first beer-themed hotel in the city in 2018. 
•    The $26 million 'Stone Hotel', that will spread across 1,00,000 square feet, will feature a bar-style lobby where guests will be welcomed with complimentary beer on arrival. 
•    Draft beer will also be delivered to the guests' rooms.
•    The sprawling 100,000 sq-ft, $26 milllion Stone Hotel, set next to the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station venue, will feature a bar-style lobby where guests will be welcomed with a complimentary Stone beer on arrival. 
•    The hotel will also also offer in-room 'beer growler' service, with draft beer delivered in a jug.
•    Other facilities at the hotel will include a 10,000 sq-ft rooftop garden, a pool deck, an acre of outdoor event space and an 8,000 sq-ft ballroom.
 

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UNESCO lists Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier works among World Heritage Sites

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has listed Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier’s works among its World Heritage Sites list. 

•    In this regard, announcement was at the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO held in Istanbul in Turkey. 
•    Le Corbusier works were added in the list in recognition of his contribution in spearheading the modern architectural movement after World War I, with an emphasis on functionality, bold lines and materials such as concrete, iron and glass. 
•    His 17 sites across spread across seven countries France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Argentina, Japan and India have been added in the World Heritage Sites list. 
•    He was Swiss-French architect, urban planner, designer, painter, writer, and one of the pioneers of what is now called modern architecture. 
•    Corbusier also had prepared the master plan for the city of Chandigarh in India and contributed specific designs for several buildings including Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex.

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Japanese island Hokkaido Best in Asia according to Travel guide Lonely

Travel guide Lonely Planet has published its 'Best in Asia' list, ranking the Japanese island of Hokkaido the best destination in Asia. 

•    Shanghai in China, Jeonju in South Korea, Con Dao Islands in Vietnam and Hong Kong completed the top five. Meanwhile, Meghalaya, the only Indian destination featured on the list, was ranked ninth.
•    Hokkaido is the northernmost of Japan's main islands, famous for skiing volcanoes and hot springs.  
•    Lonely Planet said: 'Hokkaido's perfect powder snow put it on the international map, but it has also blinded visitors to the year-round charms of Japan's northernmost island. 
•    Top 10 location list are:
1.   Hokkaido, Japan
2.   Shànghai, China  
3.   Jeonju, South Korea
4   Con Dao Islands, Vietnam  
5    Hong Kong, China
6    Ipoh, Malaysia
7    Pemuteran, Indonesia
8    Trang Islands, Thailand
9    Meghalaya, India  
10  Taitung, Taiwan

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Philippines palawan voted World's Best Island

The Philippines' Palawan province has been voted the World's Best Island in a survey by Travel + Leisure magazine for the second time after winning in 2013. Three beaches from the Philippines have made it to the top ten list this year - Palawan, Boracay, and Cebu. 
•    Santorini in Greece and Ischia in Italy were also included on the list.
•    Palawan officially the Province of Palawan, is an island province of the Philippines that is located in the Mimaropa region. 
•    It is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. 
•    Its capital is Puerto Princesa City, but it is governed independently from the province.
•    The islands of Palawan stretch between Mindoro in the northeast and Borneo in the southwest. 
•    It lies between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea. 
•    The province is named after its largest island, Palawan Island measuring 450 kilometres (280 mi) long, and 50 kilometres wide.

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Jaipur and Pune in Rockefeeller 100 resilient cities

US-based Rockefeller Foundation has selected Jaipur and Pune in its third and final tranche of the world's 100 most resilient cities list. 
•    Rockefeller helps cities become more resilient to social and economic challenges by providing them with technical assistance and $200 million in funding. 
•    The first two tranches of the list included the Indian cities of Surat, Bengaluru and Chennai
•    The selection has made the city eligible to receive funding to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the city’s resilience-building process and engage stakeholders from across different government agencies, public and private sectors and various communities to incorporate diverse perspective and knowledge. 
•    The city will also receive technical support to develop a resilience strategy that reflects the city’s distinct needs and support and services needed towards implementing that strategy.
•    In 2009, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had made efforts to join hands with the United Nation International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) to upgrade its disaster management efforts and become a part of the UN mission to make 1,000 cities world over as “disaster-safe city”. 

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World's largest cruise ship "Harmony of the seas" starts Maiden voyage

The world's largest ship which is 330ft longer than the infamous Titanic today set sail from Southampton on its maiden voyage to Rotterdam. 
•    Harmony of the Seas, which cost almost £800million to build and weigh 227,000 tonnes. 
•    The huge ship, which it is claimed burns 1,147 gallons of fuel an hour - equivalent to 376 million cars - will return later this week before heading off to Cherbourg for a three-night cruise, then to Barcelona later this month.
•    The Royal Caribbean ship has capacity for 6,000 people and has facilities including its waterslides, an Ampitheatre, and high-street restaurants.  
•    Harmony of the Seas, which cost almost £800million to build and weigh 227,000 tonnes. sailed past the Isle of Wight last night on its way to the Netherlands on the four-night cruise
•    The ship was carried out of the port by several tugs which had to turn the huge vessel and guide it out to the open sea.
•    There's no passengers on board but the ship which is nearly 330 foot longer than Titanic, has around 500 crew as its continues its sea trial until Sunday

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Indian Railways launches Bharat Darshan Tourist train for pilgrims

Bharat Darshan Tourist train for pilgrims to visit Shirdi, Tirupati, Jagannath Puri, Gangasagar, Baidyanath Dham and Jyotirlingams among others has been launched by Indian Railways.
•    The tourist train comprises 10 coaches and bookings are being done by IRCTC wesbite. 
•    The service offers budget-friendly package for pilgrims. The package includes train journey, road transportation, accommodation, sightseeing at tourist locations and onboard and off-board meals.
•    Bharat Darshan will cover pilgrimages destinations like Jagannath Puri, Gangasagar, Baidyanath Dham, Gaya, Banaras and Ayodhya. 
•    It will also cover 7 Jyotirlinga package and also offers “Dakshin Darshan with Shirdi” tour package that will cover Shirdi, Tirupati, Kanchipuram, Rameshwaram, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Mysore and Bangalore.
•    Indian Railways is an Indian state-owned enterprise, owned and operated by the Government of India through the Ministry of Railways. 
•    It is one of the world's largest railway networks comprising 115,000 km (71,000 mi) of track over a route of 65,808 km (40,891 mi) and 7,112 stations. 

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