First Winter Chardham Pilgrimage in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand launched the first winter chardham pilgrimage from Mukhva in Gangotri region on November 16, 2014. The step has been taken (1) to make the state an all year tourist destination, (2) to cash in on “temporary advantage,” tourists avoiding Jammu and Kashmir due to September 2014 flash floods, and (3) to offer employment options for the residents of the remote areas badly affected during June 2013 devastating deluge. A similar approach would be followed for other popular pilgrimage routes, including Yamnotri (Kharsali), Kedarnath (Ukhimath), and Badrinath (Madmaheswar/Joshimath).
Only low altitude areas have been selected because of the following reasons:
- These areas do not experience harsh winter.
- Religious importance of the areas
- These are winter homes of presiding deities of the popular pilgrimage routes.
- The skies are clear during the season.
- Availability of potable water, electricity, and hotels
But these areas are prone to landslides.
Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited (GMVN) is offering winter chardham tour packages.
Gadhimai Festival: Mass Animal Sacrifice in Nepal
The 15-day-long Gadhimai Festival began in Bara district, Nepal on November 17, 2014. The sacrificial rituals are scheduled for November 28 and 29. Most of the animals sacrificed during once-in-five-year festival hail from India. About 250,000 animals, including buffaloes, chickens, goats, pigs, and rabbits, are slaughtered the way devotees want during the two-and-half-century old festival dedicated to Gadhimai, the goddess of power.
Visit Bhutan Year 2015
Bhutan announces Visit Bhutan Year 2015 and develops strategy to invite more number of tourists from Asia. A number of special events and travel deals have been planned for the visitors.
Official website: http://www.visitbhutanyear.com/
New Trail Town in USA
Olive Hill in Kentucky, USA won the Trail Town certification in November, 2014. The Olive Hill trail system consists of horseback riding and hiking trails. These local trails have been connected to the state park trails to expand the trail network. The Kentucky Trail Town Program facilitates adventure tourism development and promotion by linking trail systems and communities.
Olive Hill Trail Town Website: http://www.kentuckytourism.com/outdoor-adventure/attraction/olive-hill-kentucky-trail-town/2793/
Learn about Contemporary Trends in Adventure Tourism
A number of experts would discuss some of contemporary trends in adventure tourism during The New York Times Travel Show 2015, scheduled for January 23-25 in New York, USA. For example, representatives of Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and Adventure Cycling Association would share their views. Three adventure biking, hiking and walking travel dedicated events are planned.
Travel Show Website: http://nyttravelshow.com/event/adventuring-hiking-biking-and-walking-trips-choosing-the-best-itinerary-for-you/
Video Game Set in the Himalayas
The Himalayas fascinates video game developers like Ubisoft. The company sets Far Cry 4 in Kyrat, a fictional place in the lofty mountain range.
Far Cry 4 Website: http://far-cry.ubi.com/en-gb/game-info/game-mode.aspx