Latest in Travel: Kaziranga National Park Reopens Early This Season, Ban on Commercial Activities Near the Taj Mahal and More

Mawmluh Cave earns spot at UNSECO’s ‘First 100 IUGS Geological Sites’ and Jodhpur RIFF is set to tune the Rajasthani city in harmonies.

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One-horned rhinoceroses await tourists at Kaziranga National Park this season.

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Kaziranga National Park Opens Gates Early

Assam’s Kaziranga National Park, famed for being home to the largest population of one-horned rhinoceroses, formally reopened on October 2, 2022, ahead of most other parks, which are scheduled to welcome tourists beginning late October. The park will currently be operational for jeep safaris in two ranges, namely, Kohora and Bagori ranges. The partial reopening is attributed to post-monsoon road conditions. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudeva of Isha Foundation commemorated this season on September 23. Last year on World Rhino day, the Chief Minister and Assam Police burned 2479 one-horned rhino horns seized from traffickers in efforts to slash myths about them having medicinal value and stop their trafficking. Three rhino statues were sculpted with the ashes from the horns, which are currently placed in the Mihimukh region of the national park. Assam also edged closer to eco-consciousness by signing the Memorandum of Understanding on the sustainable use of land and agricultural practices at this year’s reopening. 

 

Supreme Court Bans Commercial Activities Near the Taj Mahal

The Supreme Court of India has passed an order to ban all commercial activities within 500 metre range of the Taj Mahal. This has put over 50,000 jobs at risk as the demarcated area houses a vast number of shops, emporiums, hotels, and eateries. The order passed last Monday saw the SC instruct the Agra Development Authority to take necessary actions immediately to stop all commercial activities near the World Heritage Site visited by innumerable tourists every year. The move resulted from a group of shopkeepers filing a petition when they were shifted from their original location in the Taj Ganj area to a new location. This sparked controversies as several other shops continued operations in the area. 

 

UNESCO lists Mawmluh Cave as ‘First 100 IUGS Geological Sites’

Meghalaya’s Mawmluh cave, locally known as the ‘Krem Mawmluh’, has made it to UNESCO’s list of the ‘First 100 International Union of Geological Sites’ globally. The cave—situated at an elevation of 1,290 metres above sea level and believed to be the fourth longest cave in the Indian subcontinent—is renowned for its stalagmite formations, among other rock formations, which helps in studying the past variability of the global climate system. The cave in Sohra also shelters a pool formed as a result of five different rivers crippling into the cave. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma took to twitter to announce the happy news. 

 

Rajasthan International Folk Festival Returns to Jodhpur

Jodhpur is gearing up to host the 13th edition of Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF)after a two-year hiatus. The fest, endorsed by UNESCO, will take place between October 6 and October 10 at Mehrangarh Fort this year. While the fest celebrates traditional folk music and art of Rajasthan, artists from across the globe find a platform for their melodies at the RIFF stage, thanks to Mick Jagger, the International Patron of Jodhpur RFF. The fest showcases crafts beyond music and hosts cultural dance performances, puppetry with  spreads of delicious local, European and pan-Indian eats to children and adults alike. Tickets for the festival can be purchased here

 

Haryana to House the World’s Largest Jungle Safari Park

The Aravalli range in Haryana is set to welcome a 10,000-acre safari park spread across Gurugram and Nuh districts of the state. The park will be a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Haryana government, and the funding will be aided by the Central government. A statement released by the state government revealed that the new park would be inclusive of a herpetarium, an aviary park, four zones for big cats, an expansive area for herbivores as well as nature trails and botanical gardens. The development is expected to boost tourism and provide employment opportunities for the locals in the region.

 

Uttarakhand’s Latest Attraction is a Realistic Behind-The-Bars Experience

Uttarakhand is offering guests  ‘real jail’ experiences at ₹500 per night for those on the watch-out for out-of-the-ordinary experiences. The ‘inmates’ will be housed at a previously abandoned section of the Halwani jail and will be provided with prison uniforms and food cooked at the jail’s kitchens. The opportunity was developed primarily as people wished to be imprisoned to ward off negative astrological alignments or ‘Bandhan Yog’ within their horoscope. Deputy Jail Superintendent of the prison told Times of India that the prison has been on the receiving end of many requests from senior officials to allow ‘recommended’ individuals to serve jail time based on astrological predictions that read affirmative of an imprisonment in the near future. 

 

To read more stories on travel, cities, food, nature, and adventure, head to our web forum here or our new National Geographic Traveller India app here.

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  • Sudrisha Goswami hopes to connect people with engaging stories from spectrums of art, culture, design and communities. She can be spotted sipping a cup of hot chocolate on any given day with a book in her hand and her eyes scanning crowds for different journeys.

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