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Times Out & Proud: Time to claim your space with pride May 18th, 2019 from Times of India

Over 10 lakh pilgrims visit Kashi Vishwanath temple in 48 hours Despite the long awaited September 2018 Supreme Court verdict that decriminalised sex between consenting adults of the same gender, the LGBTQIA+ community continues to face stigma in society. In an effort to address this dissonance, we are launching a campaign to create a more inclusive and equal environment. Through this campaign, Times Out & Proud, the paper will offer the LGBTQIA+ community free space in its classifieds for three months.
The campaign started on Friday commemorating the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia . The classifieds will provide a platform to the LGBTQIA+ community to voice their stories. The campaign takes its cue from the Section 377 judgment in which Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar said, “We have to vanquish prejudice, embrace inclusion, and ensure equal rights.”

The only woman judge on the five-judge bench, Justice Indu Malhotra went a step further to say, “History owes an apology to members of the community for the delay in ensuring their rights. Section 377 will, however, continue to govern non-consensual sexual acts, carnal intercourse with minors and acts of bestiality.” Read More....


Online Travel bookings to see $24 billion more spending April 17th, 2019 from Times of India

Over 10 lakh pilgrims visit Kashi Vishwanath temple in 48 hours Indian travellers are set to spend an additional $24 billion in three years on online travel bookings , according to a report.

As India’s travel spending is set to grow at 13% CAGR from $94 billion in 2018 to $136 billion by 2021, around 57% ($24 billion) of the incremental bookings will happen online, revealed a report by management firm, Bain & Company. “The contribution of travel and tourism’s spend in India has reached developedmarket levels, from 6.7% of GDP in 2013 to 9.4% in 2018. This growth, combined with a rapidly growing internet user base and adoption of online bookings will lead to incremental revenues through online channels by 2021,” said Joydeep Bhattacharya, partner at Bain & Company. Read More....


Over 10 lakh pilgrims visit Kashi Vishwanath temple in 48 hours Mar 06th, 2019 from Times of India

Over 10 lakh pilgrims visit Kashi Vishwanath temple in 48 hours In a historic first, the Vishwanath Temple Trust opened the temple’s sanctum sanctorum for devotees an hour after ‘Shayan Aarti’ on Sunday night, a day before Mahashivratri. Usually, doors open at dawn after completion of ‘Mangala Aarti’.

Traditionally, the temple is shut for the day after ‘Shayan Aarti’ , except on Mahashivratri. This move by the temple and district administration enabled over six lakh pilgrims to enter temple premises and have jhanki darshan — offering prayers to Lord Vishwanath from the door of the sanctum sanctorum — in 24 hours between Sunday and Monday midnight. Read More....

PM to perform ‘bhumi pujan’ of Kashi Vishwanath corridor on March 8 Mar 05th, 2019 from Times of India

PM to perform ‘bhumi pujan’ of Kashi Vishwanath corridor on March 8 Prime Minister Narendra Modi will perform ‘bhumi pujan’ for the ambitious Kashi Vishwanath Temple (KVT) expansion (corridor) project on March 8. During his about three-hour stay in the city, Modi will also interact with women beneficiaries of various government schemes at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Trade Facilitation Centre in Lalpur area.

Talking to TOI on Monday, district magistrate Surendra Singh confirmed that initial intimation regarding PM’s visit on March 8 has been received. As per the itinerary, the will reach the city around 9.30 am and stay for more than two and half-hour, he said. Read More....


Mauni Amavasya pilgrims take holy dip at Kumbh in Prayagraj Feb 04th, 2019 from Times of India

Mauni Amavasya pilgrims take holy dip at Kumbh in Prayagraj  DM Allahabad Suhas LY has ordered the closure of schools on Tuesday due to traffic restrictions. Over 5 crore devotees took holy dip by 5 pm, claimed Kumbh mela authorities. Heavy force of RPF, UP police, PAC are deployed at every shed before the devotees are released for boarding their trains.

Allahabad Junction witnesses heavy rush of devotees trying to get back to their home. Railways are running Kumbh special trains for the devotees. Read More....

Diaspora can help India grow, says Mauritian PM Pravind Jugnauth Jan 23rd, 2019 from Times of India

Diaspora can help India grow, says Mauritian PM Pravind Jugnauth Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth on Tuesday said educated and self-reliant can be a great asset in bringing new perspective, investment and ability to home country India.

“The Indian diaspora can help India grow and in turn India can help out the countries where diaspora is located by developing opportunities to work together,” said Jugnauth in his keynote address at the inaugural function of Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas convention at Bada Lalpur. “I truly encourage the establishment of a diaspora knowledge network. The diaspora connect can indeed be a powerful instrument in face of increasing challenges and significantly contribute to transformation of our country,” he added. Read More....

Varanasi Boy develop apps for Virtual tour of Kashi Vishwanath Temple Jan 21st, 2019 from Times of India

Air India Link to Allahabad for Ardh Kumbh mela A Varanasi boy, settled in Michigan, has developed an app that will enable darshan of Kashi Vishwanath temple from the comfort of your home. Buy 3D goggles, download the app and savour the experience. The facility comes with pooja or aarti, recorded live and made accessible to the devotee for a fee.

The digitized darshan of the temple will be launched by chief minister Yogi Adityanath during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on Monday and will also be on display at Kumbh. Rupesh Srivastava, CEO of Youngsoft Inc, Michigan, has developed the app and he believes it’s payback time. Read More....

Kumbh to Generate Rs 1.2 Lakh Crore Revenue Jan 20th, 2019 from Times of India

Air India Link to Allahabad for Ardh Kumbh mela The mega Kumbh Mela , which began on January 15 and will continue till March 4, is expected to generate a revenue of Rs 1.2 lakh crore for Uttar Pradesh, says apex industry body Confederation of Indian Industry.

Although the Kumbh Mela is spiritual and religious in nature, the economic activities associated with it generate employment for over six lakh workers across various sectors, CII said in a report. Read More....

4500 NRIs from 85 nations register for pravasi conclave Jan 18th, 2018 from Times of India

4500 NRIs from 85 nations register for pravasi conclave Altogether 4,500 non-resident Indians (NRIs) from 85 countries have registered themselves for the 15th Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas (PBD) convention, which will be held in the city from January 21 to January 23. While most of the participants are from the US, UAE and Malaysia, 2,254 Indians will also attend the convention. Prominent foreign guests, including Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Norway MP Himanshu Gulati and New Zealand MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi will also attend the convention being organised by the ministry of foreign affairs on the theme of ‘Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India’.

“A total of 4,500 NRIs have registered themselves to take part in the PBD convention,” said district magistrate Surendra Singh. Read More....

Air India Link to Allahabad for Ardh Kumbh mela Jan 06th, 2019 from Times of India

Air India Link to Allahabad for Ardh Kumbh mela Air India is set to connect Allahabad with Kolkata, Delhi and Ahmedabad with an Airbus 320 aircraft from January 13 to March 30, 2019, to meet the rush of passengers bound for Kumbh pilgrimage at Prayag .

Fight AI 769 will take off from Kolkata at 2.40pm and arrive at Allahabad at 4.30pm on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Prior to that, flight AI768 will depart from Allahabad at 12.05pm and reach Kolkata at 2.05pm on the same days.Read More....

How Kumbh turned Prayagraj into an art gallery Jan 04th, 2019 from Times of India

How Kumbh turned Prayagraj into an art gallery Prayagraj Allahabad has a new name, the city also has a new look. From the railway station to the civil lines, from Arail village to the Sangam area , about 300 murals have brightened the city’s landscape. Even the trees on the Arail road have been painted in bold, barking colours. Kumbh 2019 is less than a fortnight away and Prayagraj already looks like an open-air art gallery.

The murals are largely Hindu mythological in content. Scenes of Samudra Manthan mentioned in the Puranas have been recreated . Read More....

Kashi Boatman Block Sail of Ganga Cruise, Varanasi Jan 01st, 2019 from Times of India

Kashi Boatman Block Sail of Ganga Cruise, Varanasi The ongoing strike of boatmen intensified on Monday after the boatmen blocked the waterway in Ganga to protest against the cruise operator being allowed to board passenger from Assi Ghat apart from Khidkiya Ghat.

The strike spoiled the plans of New Year celebrations of people visiting the ghats for boat ride and to enjoy New Year’s eve on the river banks. On the fourth consecutive day of their on Monday, boatmen blocked the waterway in river Ganga to disrupt the cruise movement to protest against increase in points of passenger collection for cruise operator. Read More....

New T20 Studium Host in Ayodhya and Wrestling Akhara in Varanasi Dec 20th, 2018 from Times of India

Tent City at Kangan Ghat for Guru Gobind Singh Anniversary in Patna Six km away from the disputed site of Babri Ram Temple in , UP government is quietly putting bricks and mortar at a 50-acre site with 23,000-seating capacity that has become a spectacle for many sportsmen and officials from Delhi touring it every week.

It’s a Rs 131-cr sports complex that will house a cricket stadium, first such big construction since 1992 when the Babri Masjid demolition shook up the temple town. The project was sanctioned by the Yogi Adityanath government at a meeting by state sports minister Chetan Chauhan, a former cricketer and two time BJP MP, two months ago during Diwali. “Our objective is to host a Ranji and international cricket T20 match in Ayodhya in next two years,” said Chauhan. Read More....

Train 18 Faster Train Flagged off By Prime Minister Dec 19th, 2018 from Times of India

Tent City at Kangan Ghat for Guru Gobind Singh Anniversary in Patna Train 18 , fastest train from railways' stable, will be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 29 likely from his constituency Varanasi, sources said Wednesday.

The country's first engineless train will replace Shatabdi trains and will run between Delhi and Varanasi, the source said. Train 18, manufactured by ICF Chennai at a cost of Rs 100 crore, recently became India's fastest train by hitting speeds of over 180 kmph during trial-run on a section of the Delhi-Rajdhani route Read More....

Tent City at Kangan Ghat to Celebrate 352nd Guru Gobind Singh birth Anniversary in Patna Dec 18th, 2018 from Times of India

Tent City at Kangan Ghat for Guru Gobind Singh Anniversary in Patna A tent city will be set up at Kangan Ghat in Patna City for the large number of devotees expected to visit Takhat Sri Harmandir Ji Patna Sahib gurdwara from January 11 to 13 next year to celebrate the 352nd birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh guru. The gurdwara premises will also be adorned with multi-coloured lights and other decorative materials for the occasion.

The tent city will have the capacity to accommodate around 5,000 people. Besides, an online registration procedure will be in place for allocation of rooms in the tent city. The system should provide a seamless systematic method for bed allocation to avoid mismanagement at the venue. Read More....

Kumbh 2019 Four Terminal Setup for passenger movement in Ganga Prayagraj or Varanasi Dec 15th, 2018 from Times of India

Helicopter Services in Agra ,Mathura and Varanasi The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is working towards facilitating safe passenger movements scheduled to be held at Sangam , Allahabad (Prayagraj) from January 15 to March 15.

The IWAI has already set up four floating terminals, one each at Kilaghat, Saraswati Ghat, Naini Bridge and Sujawan Ghat. Further, two vessels — CL Kasturba and SL Kamla — will be deployed for pilgrim movement, said IWAI spokesperson Deevakar Anand . Read More....

Helicopter Services in Agra ,Mathura and Varanasi soon Dec 12th, 2018 from Times of India

Helicopter Services in Agra ,Mathura and Varanasi It will soon be possible to take a chopper ride to Mathura, Varanasi , Agra and Allahabad . The UP cabinet on Tuesday cleared various proposals for land acquisition and free land transfer for setting up of heliports, and airstrips in these cities which, it hopes, will boost tourism there. The routes and connecting cities are yet to be finalised though.

The proposed heliport for Agra will be located close to the Agra-Lucknow Expressway. The government has identified 2.27 hectare land belonging to UP Expressways Industrial Development Authority which will be acquired for free. Read More....

Anil Kapoor Celebrates Dev Deepawali in Varanasi Nov 25th, 2018 from Times of India

Bihar Nepal Bus Services in, India The Dev Deepawali celebrations in Varanasi this year were just as grand as every year. But the highlight of the festival this time was the presence of actor Anil Kapoor.

The 'Mr India' actor enthusiastically took part in the celebrations that took place at the Dashashwamedh Ghat and also performed the Ganga Aarti on the occasion. Actor Anil Kapoor arrives to attend the Dev Deepawali celebrations at Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi (BCCL/ Unmesh Pandey).Looking dapper in an embroidered off-white jacket and pyjama-kurta, Kapoor arrived in style in a bajra on the ghat. Read More....

10, 000 people avail Bihar-Nepal bus service in 2 months Nov 15th, 2018 from Times of India

Bihar Nepal Bus Services in, India PATNA Around 10,000 people have availed the Bihar-Nepal bus service since its launch by the state government on September 11. The cross-border transport service is operated by Bihar State Road Transport Corporation under the state transport department as part of the government’s bid to promote Buddhist tourism in the state. Chief minister Nitish Kumar had launched the luxury bus service with an aim to promote tourism and strengthen cultural ties between Bihar and the neighbouring country. The bus service was launched following an agreement signed between India and Nepal. Read More....

Tourist Police Station to Come up at Kumbh Mela 2019 Nov 14th, 2018 from Times of India

Tourist Police Station to Come up at Kumbh Mela Allahabad For the first time in the forthcoming Kumbh, foreign tourists would find men-in-khaki as their felicitators-cum-guides after Kumbh Mela police has decided to set up a "tourist police station" at sector 20 in Arial area on the Kumbh Mela campus A total of 150 policemen with multi-lingual facility would be deployed at the proposed tourist police station to serve devotees arriving from abroad as well as southern states. "For the first time, Mela police authorities have finally decided to set up the tourist police station where special 'tent city' is already being planned and set up for the Mela, ASP (Kumbh Mela) Neeraj Pandey told TOI. Read More....

Over three lakh Diyas lit on bank of Saryu River, India Nov 06th, 2018 from Times of India

Over three lakh Diyas lit on bank of Saryu River, IndiaA new world record was set in the holy city of Ayodhya on the eve of Diwali Tuesday 2018 with over three lakh 'diyas' or earthen lamps lit up simultaneously on the banks of the Saryu river, officials said. Rishi Nath, official adjudicator of the Guinness World Records, made the announcement that the record was created at the Deepotsav event on the ghats here. "A total of 3,01,152 diyas were lit up simultaneously for a period of five minutes, which is a new record," Nath said in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and South Korean First Lady Kim Jung-sook. Read More....

Statue of unity to put Kevadiya on Global Tourism Map Nov 01st, 2018 from Times of India

Statue of Sardar Patel , Narmada Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Wednesday that the 182 metre world’s tallest statue - ‘Statue of Unity’- packed a potential to catapult Narmada district on to the global tourism map. The region, he said, is replete with indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants and the delicacies made from locally produced rice are sure to be hit among the visitors. Plants like khati bhindi (an okra variety) that has tremendous healing properties are grown in this forest area. He also said that delicacies like Una Manda, Thokla Manda made from locally grown rice are sure to be hit among the visitors, he said Read More....

Making Sangam city beautiful ahead of Kumbh Oct 27th, 2018 from Times of India

Ardh Kumbh mela Allahabad At a time when various walls, crossings and buildings of the city are being given a new look under the ongoing project of ‘paint my city’, the trans-Yamuna area of Naini is not lagging behind. Apart from various walls and buildings of the area, the long walls of Naini central jail and the shabby-looking main building of Naini station is now wearing a new eye-catching look.

Among these, the long span of outer wall of the Naini Central Jail (station road) is attracting the attention of every passerby. The vibrant paintings on this wall forces every commuter to stop and take a glimpse of the artistic strokes of the brush made by the expert painters. Read More....


Allahabad will now be known as Prayagraj Oct 16, 2018 from Times of India

Allahabad new name as Prayagraj Allahabad has been formally renamed Prayagraj after the UP cabinet put its seal on the decision on Tuesday. Government spokesperson and MP from Allahabad West, Sidharth Nath Singh announced that 'Prayagraj' would be used to promote Indian culture on an international scale and also for promotion of Kumbh, scheduled to start in January 2019. "I had personally taken up the matter with the governor a few months back and other people, too, had expressed their desire to have the name of Allahabad reverted to its original Read More....


Rajinikant Wraps up Film shoot in Varanasi Oct 25th, 2018 from Times of India

Rajinikant Make in Movies in Varanasi After wrapping up the Varanasi leg of the f the Tamil film ' Petta', superstar Rajinikanth went for darshan at Kaal Bhairav temple on Saturday morning. "Ever since Rajini sir was told about the tradition of paying obeisance to the deity by whoever visits the city, he was really keen to go for darshan to the Kaal Bhairav temple," said a member of the production team. "So before heading back home, he went to the temple, stayed there for a while and offered prayers," he added.

"During his nearly 20-day stay in Varanasi, Rajini sir enjoyed a lot of Banarasi delicacies also. While shooting at Ramnagar, during the refreshment break, lassi which he really liked. He also relished the Banarasi mithais and the What really impressed him about the city was the cooperation of the people that made the shooting go on smoothly," adds the source.

Construct Buddha Temple at Ayodhya, India Oct 22nd, 2018 from Times of India

Lord Buddha Temple in Ayodhya Adding a twist to the Ram Temple potboiler, BJP's Bahraich MP Savitri Bai Phule, who has been critical of her own party and government since long now, said on Sunday that a temple of Gautam Buddha should be constructed on the disputed site in as various statues excavated from the spot and academic research showed that the latter had close association with the place.

Phule's remarks came two days after CM Yogi Adityanath asked his supporters to start preparing for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya . Talking to reporters in Allahabad , Phule said, "We demand the construction of a grand temple of Lord Gautam Buddha at the disputed site as statues of Buddha recovered during excavation and academic research show that the place is associated with Buddhism. Buddhism is the only religion which does not discriminate on the basis of caste and class." Read More....

Carpet business to reach global heights: PM Narendra Modi Oct 22nd, 2018 from Times of India

Carpet Business in Varanasi The Indian carpet industry will capture 50% of the export market of the world in two years, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, adding that the industry should try to take the export value from the existing Rs 9,000 crore to Rs 25,000 crore by 2022 .

Modi was addressing the inauguration of the four-day India Carpet Expo in Varanasi on Sunday via a video link. However, he said, "It worries us that the next generation of weavers and artisans is not interested in continuing their traditional art and occupation. We should encourage and patronize skilled weavers and their coming generations to keep the art alive to maintain dominance in the market."

All development works related to Kumbh to be completed before 30 Nov 2018 Oct 16th, 2018 from Times of India

Kumbh Mela Tour in Allahabad UP CM Yogi Adityanath , who had taken charge of the preparations for the Kumbh Mela , stayed for two days in Allahabad and reviewed development work and also met the saints. The UP CM said that he has "fixed the deadline of November 30 to fulfill the development related works for Kumbh". It was learnt that after completion of 443 works at a cost of around Rs 15,000 crore, they will be inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi in the first week of December. An invitation has been sent to the prime minister for this speaking to the media in Allahabad, the CM said that Mela will give a message of 'New India', which is conceptualized by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that Kumbh Mela is the largest religious and spiritual event in the country and the world.

The CM said that this time the message of cleanliness, harmony and prosperity of India from Kumbh Mela will be carried out throughout the country and the world. The CM said that the previous deadline for completing development works was November 15 but now it has been extended to November 30. The CM said that arrangements for worshiping people in ancient Veni Madhava Mandir, Bharadwaj Ashram, Akshay vat and Saraswati Koop are being arranged. Yogi said that a museum connected with the tradition of Prayagraj would also be made.


Allahabad will now be known as Prayagraj Oct 16th, 2018 from Times of India

Allahabad new name as Prayagraj Allahabad has been formally renamed Prayagraj after the UP cabinet put its seal on the decision on Tuesday. Government spokesperson and MP from Allahabad West, Sidharth Nath Singh announced that 'Prayagraj' would be used to promote Indian culture on an international scale and also for promotion of Kumbh, scheduled to start in January 2019. "I had personally taken up the matter with the governor a few months back and other people, too, had expressed their desire to have the name of Allahabad reverted to its original Read More....


Rajinikant Visited Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi Oct 13th, 2018 from Times of India

Rajinikanth Visited Kashi Vishwanath Temple Superstar Rajinikanth , who is currently shooting for Tamil film 'Petta' in and around Varanasi, took time off for darshan at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple on Tuesday evening. The thalaiva, along with actress Trisha Krishnan, reached the temple around 7 pm and attended the Saptrishi aarti .Dressed in his characteristic white kurta, the actor stayed for nearly an hour and witnessed the entire aarti. Later, he was given a rudraksha mala along with prasad by the temple authorities who were also really delighted to have the superstar amidst them. Read More....


Last Rites of unborn girls performed in Varanasi Oct 03rd, 2018 from Times of India

Last Rites of unborn girls performed in Varanasi For the peace of souls of those unborn girls who were killed in their mothers’ womb, the rituals of last rites were performed on the bank of holy Ganga at Dashashwamedh ghat in Kashi on Wednesday. A social organisation–Aagman organises this event annually on the occasion of Matri Navami in Pitri Paksha to discourage female foeticide in the society.The pind daan of 5000 female children whose lives were seized before coming to this world was performed as per Vedic tradition amid chanting of mantras by a group of five priests. Read More....

Transgender perform Pind Daan in Varanasi Oct 02nd, 2018 from Times of India

Trans Ggender Pind Daan Amid chants of mantras, the kinnar (transgender) people, led by Mahamandaleshwar of Kinnar Akhada Lakshmi Narayan Tripathi performed ‘pind daan’ (last rites) of their ancestors during Pitri Paksha at Pishach Mochan Kund .Kinnars from various places including New Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Ujjain, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh assembled at the mythological pond to perform the rituals. “We have been performing the rituals for last two years for the peace of departed souls,” said Tripathi. Read More....

Kashi airport to begin 24-hr operations from Sept 28th, 2018 Oct 02, 2018 from Times of India

Kashi airport to begin 24-hr operations LBS (Lal Bahadur Shastri) International Airport in Varanasi will start round-the-clock operations in view of the demand for operating more flights and night parking facilities by some airlines. Presently, the country has about 20 such airports. LBS International Airport director Anil Kumar Rai said, “We have received Airport Authority of India (AAI) nod to operate the airport round-the-clock. Presently, the airport is being operated from 7.30 am to 9.30 pm only, Read More....

LGBT Marriage and Parentings Rights Sept 07th, 2018 from Times of India

LGBT Marriage and Parentings Rights LGBT community won its battle to decriminalise homosexuality. But the victory will gather real meaning only when they secure the right to marriage, inheritance, guardianship and adoption, say lawyers and activists .The LGBTQ community welcomed the verdict that also said the society cannot dictate a sexual relationship between consenting adults .Many cut cakes and waved the rainbow flag which has come to be associated with the gay pride movement and is often used during marches held by the community. Read More....

LGBT Rainbow Flag closet celebrations SC Verdict Sept 06th, 2018 from Times of India

Trans Ggender Pind Daan The LGBT or the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in India cheered yesterday's Supreme Court verdict that ended controversial British-era Section 377 and decriminalized consensual gay sex. In a win for the gay rights activists, who have been fighting for their rights since decades, this was a "rainbow moment" in India's history. Rainbow flags swirled the skies after the landmark verdict. The word rainbow is often associated with the gay community and rainbow flag, Read More....