Thursday, 30 January 2014

Meeting Bharadwaj Dayala - The first Indian to go around the world on a motorcycle.

We meet people everywhere, every interaction is a kind of a transaction and we open an account with the people called the Emotional Bank Account. Like any banking deed it will have deposits and withdrawals. How we perceive that interaction is a reflection of who we are as individuals and what defines our attitudes. Some will remember the deposits, these are the Optimist type of individuals who want to see only positives and to some extend close their eyes to anything negative. Some people on the other hand will only see the withdrawals ignoring anything positive.  I am not approving or disapproving either of the stance here.Its just a perception! and individuals choose that.

I met one such individual who had a huge impact on my thinking and my perception of life. This may sound a bit philosophical but I mean it. I am glad that our paths crossed and I had an opportunity to talk to him. Mr. Bharadwaj Dayala, the first Indian to go around the world on a motor cycle. He did this in 2006 - 2007 and intends to repeat that this year.

Who is Bharadwaj Dayala?
I had no clue of who he was. I went for the Royal Enfield Owners ride this republic day. This is one group, individuals who are passionate about the Bull and love their rides. I aspired to join them at least once and finally realised that dream this 26th January. I was all charged up to ride with the boys on their ride for safety the REO brotherhood as it is lovingly called. The ride was from Vashi to Panvel in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Just before the ride, the leaders of the group briefed us and they invited Bharadwaj to address the group introducing him as the first Indian to go around the world on a motor cycle. That, kind of attracted my attention and saw Dayala for the first time. He stepped on the bike, the make shift stage that day so that everyone could see him. He spoke about what brought him from Vizag to Mumbai, just to be a part of this ride and experience it. That in a way explained his passion for the bike! I was impressed with him like all the others in the group. 

That first impression was the 'moment of truth' for me. I wanted to know more about this gentleman. That got me looking up for him on the internet and also talking to him. Knowing him a little better, my impression of him changes from admiration to being inspired by him. I wish the youngsters and even older people to know a bit about him. That makes me do a post on him. 
You can find a lot of information about him on the internet, his achievement, which again is no mean feat. Its always the most difficult to be the first in anything. But I was more interested in knowing him as a person, what it is it that makes people take up their passion this far turning their dreams into reality and the attitude that they wear on their sleeves. Such people are maniacs when it comes to setting up their goals and achieving them. They don't let anything deter them, for them nothing is impossible!

With this background, I had a chat with Dayala, thought it'll be just a couple of minutes exchanging a few pleasantries and notes I may take down! didn't realise how time flew and how much I got to learn from this gentleman. He is an unlikely biker, a middle height and built person not your typical macho biker, no fancy hairdo or the tattoos. But a man who looks more like a 'commando'. Yes the commandos are not very tall and big built people, I have seen half of the navy commandos, my dad was an instructor. I am sure he has the toughness and dedication that a commando follows.

Bharadwaj Dayala - the man

I spoke to him on phone, in fact he called me when he got a bit free with his assignments. The first thing he told me was he generally doesn't talk, in case he has made the call then he certainly wishes to speak and what he says will depend on what I ask him. Fair enough! I told him I wanted to know him as a person I had read his blog, heard his interview and done some reading up on what was available. I told him that nowhere he has mentioned anything about him as an individual. To this he says he doesn't like to talk about himself. For that matter he said that the people in his locality where he has been living for 8 years just learnt that he was a biker and that he had done one world tour on the bike. And that he intends to do it again soon. This the neighbours learnt from the newspapers. 

On plodding further, I learnt that he is a resident of Vizag, Andhra Pradesh. Is the middle of the 5 siblings, 2 elder brothers and 2 younger sisters. He says all of them are married except him, he says he is so by choice as he feels that the passions that he follows in life are quite crazy and will keep him away from home and family for long. He understands that the lady would have expectations from the relationship, even if she didn't he didn't want anyone to just keep waiting for him. This was certainly deep, valuing the sentiments of another human being.

Moving on, I wish to highlight his views that inspired and motivated me to achieve my own dreams and follow my passions. I wish to share with others who may not get an opportunity to talk to him but something every person should learn from him.

Bharadwaj loves travelling, has been doing that since he was 22 years old. Mostly it'd be on business he says. He loved the train journeys as that allowed him to see places and also do his own work, may be reading or working on the computer. 
He is a typical Gemini, has two distinct phases. One of them is a very private person, totally closed and the other one is a people's person, an entertainer. He plays the guitar, sings, he reads a lot, loves to travel, surfs the internet for getting information on a whole lot of things. Apart from doing the world tour, he has also toured India on his bike, he has climbed the mountain just to feel what solitude is as a part of the preparation before he embarked on his world tour.
For his living, read it as earning to fund his passions, he manages a hospital in Vizag. He has some doctor friends who are a part of this team. He says they support him in his endeavour. At 43, he is single by choice as he doesn't want to upset the feelings of another human being. He follows a dangerous passion. He says anything can happen. When he is preparing for an upcoming event, say a tour or climbing the mountain he needs to be just by himself, preparing, planning executing. That takes a lot of time and energy. Is a very disciplined activity. He talks about safety and says that he has never had an accident so far! Touchwood!! He says he is always busy but will always have some time for people who want to communicate with him. He may not have that time to revert quickly but he'll for sure. He prefers communicating on emails or messages that he makes it a point to answer. He says that of late he uses the electronic media like a 19 year old! Also adds that when he is in a conversation with someone and it doesn't interest him he starts reverting to the emails and messages. Thats a good take and a lot of us do it. Don't really know if this is polite or not but its fine I guess!
He says that he's a jack of all trades, he doesn't need to master anything. He says that one should know how to learn rather than learn all the time. If you know how to learn you can do it when you want to. He says life is very simple, we complicate it.... how true! Thats all he shared on his personal life!

One his first world tour

He says that it took him more than two years to plan and then about an year to execute it. He just wanted to go around the world on his motorcyle, how, what, when would follow. He says that he was sure he would do it that's it! He added people thought he was crazy to even think something like that as said earlier that he is a very unlikely candidate to be a biker. He says that he is not the best biker in the country. He had to get so many visas and the agencies and offices rejected that. Then he took it on himself to organise the visas and says that he got all of them, went back to the very same offices and agents, put them on their tables and told them to look at his visas. Since the legal requirement was fulfilled the next step was to embark on the tour. 

He had no sponsors. Some companies wanted to but their legal cells advised them against it as that was a very dangerous adventure he was taking up and it could turn to be liability for them, So finally he had no sponsors. Even that didn't deter him. He says no one knew about his tour, his friends got to know only 3 months before he embarked on it and his parents learnt about it only a couple of days earlier. Friends suspected something big happening in his life as they saw him running around. He says he had a poster outside his room that read, " You are welcome! in brackets, Please leave in 10 minutes. As he says he had tremendous amount of work to do. It was a mission not a job! First time is the most difficult as there is no information available, everything is going to be on trial and error, there cannot be a room for doubts. Being the first has its advantages as well as disadvantages. One spends a lot more money and takes a long time to execute the plan. There are also long gaps. He says it took him nearly 3 years to embark on his tour, 2 years were just planning and preparing but now he can put anyone on a tour in just 3 months.
He says that  he didn't want to give his parents an opportunity to say no to his adventure. Finally they learnt what all had gone into planning and executing it, they agreed to him taking up the project and give their blessings. The first Indian toured the world on his motorcycle from 2nd April 2006 to 2nd October 2007.

Learn more about the world tour on a motorcyle, follow the link to his blog:

Dream Live

Dayala has named his second world tour on his motor cycle as, "Dream Live" It will involve the Indians both laymen and riders. They'll all be a part of this event hence the 'dream' will be realised 'live'. Everyone will be able to be a part of it. No one knew about his first world tour, very few people learnt from the little coverage that media did.
He says that not many people want to realise their dreams. They don't want their dreams to come true as they are scared that it'll break the routine in their lives that they are so used to and that forms their comfort zone. 
There are many riders in the country very good in what they do, have the money too still they won't be able to take up the world tour. There's some hesitation, something holding them back even when they want to they don't. He wishes to show direction to such riders. In fact Dream Live will be launched on the 1st of March 2014.

This he feels will be the most talked about event in the social media. He still insists there's no money and no plan as of now. He'd begin from 'Zero'. Give Dream Live 100 days and on the 100th day take off. How this dream is realised will be planned my the people- laymen, riders, media, sponsors and enthusiasts. They'll decide how everything will shape up.
This sounded so amazing to me and the idea goes so very well with my blog called the,'Optimist Diary'. I am hopeful that it shall be realised beautifully. Social media and the people have so much of power. We'll get to witness a great event, that too Live!. AAP government is an example how the strength of common people can realise just about anything. I am not talking politics here its just something that I thought loudly. So in 100 days the dream will come alive.

From 1st march 2014, Dream Live will go live on the social media and Dayala will share what he is doing that day, people will contribute, suggest and be a part of it. This will be a daily activity. People will watch their dreams taking shape each day and finally they'll be ready to take off with the rider. Sponsors will come onboard, corporates will join hands, a lot of people will keep a watch on this platform. Ofcourse corporates and their brands will earn a lot of mileage. He also wants about 10 - 12 bikers to be selected by the sponsors, flown to an international destination and ride with  him during some part of the tour. This I feel should be the dream of every biker worth his salt!
This will create awareness among the masses, an activity happening in the world with its heart in India. Will also be for peace and brotherhood. Every new project requires tremendous dedication and utmost discipline. He says that such freedom comes with huge responsibilities to be safe and to come back, being some of them!

Everyone has a dream but very few know how to make it a reality. Dream Live is about making a dream turning into a reality while everyone is watching it happen. Will certainly follow Dayala in his pursuit and be witness to another dream turning into a reality. Good Luck! Keep going!!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Hunar Se Rozgar Tak - creating employable skills

A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.
~Larry Bird 

I was associated with the 'Capacity Building' initiative of the Government of India way back, in the early 2000 when I worked as a lecturer at the Institute of Hotel Management, catering Technology and Applied Nutrition, Mumbai. The Government wanted people working in the Tourism sector to get some hands on training in handling tourists and tourist operations. People who had no formal training in handling such activities had to be covered. People working in canteens handling preparation and service of food, the taxi drivers, porters at the railway stations and similar other services had to be covered under the scheme. I was to take classes on soft skills covering the basic understanding of  body language of the tourist, anticipating his needs and use of some polite sentences to start a conversation with him. As these people in the service sector were the first point of interaction for a tourist and they thus became the 'Moment of Truth' carrying the image of the country and forming the first impressions.
I did training programmes over the weekends, we covered the porters from the Dadar railway station, one of the biggest in Mumbai. Every session had about 15- 20 participants. They were given a certificate at the end of the programme and also were paid stipend  for the day as they'd have missed the opportunity to earn that day's wage. These were some of the best training sessions that I have conducted.

Hunar se Rozgar tak is on the same lines as Capacity Building program but more streamlined and focused. This is meant for the youth who do not have the means to get formal training that can make them employable in the Tourism and Hospitality sector. The program is very close to my heart and my colleagues share the same sentiment. We'd certainly want the information to reach the most deserving candidates and we train them and make them employable with the right skills set for the hospitality sector.

 Hunar Se Rozgar Tak - The Program Details

Apeejay Institute of Hospitality (AIH), an initiative of the Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Ltd. is empanelled to offer ‘Hunar Se Rozgar Tak’ programme at Navi Mumbai by India Tourism Development Corporation, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

 The Government of India, Ministry of Tourism launched a special training initiative titled ‘Hunar Se Rozgar Tak’ in the year 2009-10 for creation of employable skills amongst youth belonging to the economically weaker strata of the society.

In December 2013, AIH received approval from MoT to conduct full time training programs in trades of Food and Beverage Service (06 weeks), Housekeeping (06 weeks) and Food Production (08 weeks). Each course will also have a built-in emphasis to help improve the behavior and attitudes of the trainees, in order to enhance their market acceptability. There will be no application or course fee chargeable to the applicant / trainee. 
A trainee with a minimum attendance of 90% will be paid a lump sum stipend of Rs.1,500/- for the 6 weeks course and Rs.2,000/- for the 8 weeks course. The stipend will be paid at the conclusion of the course. Besides stipend, uniforms and lunch shall be provided free of cost to all the enrolled trainees.

The training programs will be open to 8th standard pass youth in the age group of 18 to 28 years. Admission for the HSRT courses will be on first come first served basis. The trainees with minimum attendance of 90 % will be required to appear in an end-of-the-course test and those who pass it successfully will be awarded a certificate jointly by Apeejay Institute of Hospitality, Navi Mumbai and Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
AIH will make conscious effort to facilitate employment of the pass-out students from this program.

Ministry of Tourism and Apeejay Institute of Hospitality invite candidates to hop onboard and give wings to their career!

For further details connect with AIH at
or write to
Apeejay Institute of Hospitality
No.1, Sector-10, C.B.D. Belapur, Navi Mumbai – 400 614, India 

Ph. 022 2758 9050
Email :

Monday, 27 January 2014

Brotherhood of REO

Finally I was there with the Vroom gang, in the true spirit of Brotherhood!

Occasion: Republic Day, 26th January 2014.
Venue: Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.

Royal Enfield Owners ride for safety on Republic day.
Royal Enfield Owners organised a ride for pride this Republic Day, 26th January 2014 from Vashi to Panvel. The rally carried the message, “Ride for Safety”. The event was a first of its kind in Navi Mumbai more than 1000 Royal Enfield Owners  participated in this prestigious event. The rally was lead by women riders. Pravinaa Shetty, Gayatri Mattoo, AAshwini Marathe and ofcourse yours truly got to lead the ride. Pravinaa, made the experience absolutely wow for me. I wish to join her for more rides.
Women riders leading the Ride.
The beast, Royal Enfield Bullet, is not just to pump the adrenalin rush but it makes the rider responsible, disciplined, follow brotherhood and take up social causes in a big, organized way! Bullet is all about power and stability just like her rider. Nigel Rich, a member of the REO is the person who spearheads the rides. He is a big man if you go by his height, equally big is his heart and his spirit even bigger. Had been wanting to meet this group for the last couple of years, finally I was with them. They have organized many rallies in the past. Their ‘Republic Day Rally’ and the ‘One Ride’ in the first week of April are yearly events that carry social messages. The rides are received very well by the people, last year Republic day Ride carried the message to stop violence against women and had hundreds of supporters and people saluting them. Regret I missed that one but this year made it up for it by all means. The rides and the riders are cheered on with enthusiasm and have good fan following now.
With REO Bro -Nigel Rich
We see youngsters misusing the powerful bikes leading to accidents due to rash driving. Palm Beach Road in Navi Mumbai sees such accidents almost everyday. The Bikers, through these rallies carry the message that safety and responsible driving provide the thrill and excitement of biking making the experience enjoyable and fulfilling. Speed needs to be supported with a sense of safety and responsibility. It’s a habit that can be inculcated at an early age and make road safety a way of life!
REO has about 29 groups in the city of Mumbai alone, and they join such rides supporting  social causes from time to time. Its their passion for the ride and the want to highlight road safety and responsible riding and driving among the general people, especially youngsters. Ofcourse they are dutiful citizens of the country! 
The Rally was to start from Centre One Mall at Vashi, the REO groups started lining up from 8 am. Finally everyone reported by 9. Nigel Rich and Steven Miranda, briefed the riders of all the dos and don'ts. 

Bharadwaj Dayala 
Bhrajdwaj Dayala, the man who has gone around the world on his bike and this time wants to do it again on his Bullet came all the way from Vizag to be a part of the Ride. He was truly inspiring. He was given the bike of one of the REO brothers who left us, but always wished his bike to participate in the rides. Respecting that wish his bike was a part of this ride as well and that too given to one of the best bikers in the country Mr. Dayala. I am sure he was happy watching it from up there. Salute to him from everyone. The only non Bullet rider that was allowed on special request was  a person who had polio and found Bullet to be too heavy to handle. He was inducted into the brotherhood for his spirit! Way to go. There were many women and children also participating as pillion riders. All the lady riders were invited to lead the ride in the true spirit of brotherhood of REO. Sang the national anthem and flagged off the ride. The speed was maintained at 40 Km/ Hr sometimes even coming to 30. The headlights were kept on and the Tricolour unfurled in its true glory behind the bike and each one looked majestic. The sound that filled the air was that of all the Bullets roaring. Its amazing to hear all the bikes kick at the same time. 
The onlookers saluted the bikers, gave way at every traffic signal, its just amazing not to stop at any red light! the signal was always go for us. The route that we followed was Vashi-Palm Beach Road-Uran Phata- Palaspe- Panvel. From Centre One took the Palm Beach road, one of the best roads in Mumbai for a ride, went to the new developing hub of Uran all the way till Panvel and back. It was a pleasant morning and the ride was equally good. The sight was an absolute visual delight, never ending files of the bike and the roaring sound made Republic Day celebrations even more fun.The song of the horn filled the air from time to time. Cheering the bikers and spreading the message of road safety.We were back by 12.30 pm took about 3 hours to complete the ride. The atmosphere was all charged up, every biker cherished each moment.
I am so glad I could make it this time, yes had to leave my boys behind even though they wanted to come along, requesting my dad to attend to a more pressing requirement of the day, a desperate haircut for the boys and I choosing to join my REO brothers than visiting the neighbourhood barber! But some day I shall ride with my boys and the big boy!

PS: To note
Rules that the bikers follow for the ride :-
1. Be on time for the ride.
2. Helmet for the rider and the pillion is compulsory and carry riding gears (if any).
3. Shoes or boots compulsory for the rider.
4. No overtaking amongst each other. 
5. No rash riding during the ride/ rally.
6. No breaking file, ride in a file of 2.
7. No violence during the ride.
8. Always follow the bike which is ahead of you, all the way through the rally. 
9. Headlights will be full time on.
10. Every rider should carry valid driving license along with all necessary documents.
11. Ensure that the Royal Enfield is well serviced to avoid a break down during the ride.

Violation of any of the above rules will disqualify the rider and he can be asked to retire from the ride.

It was the teamwork of REO that made all this possible working day in an out, getting permissions to organise the ride on a very important and crucial day - The Republic Day of India. Appreciate the efforts of Nigel Rich, Atul Vig, Steven Miranda, Hozefa Gilitwala, Ashish Mattoo, Saniel Sonawane, Navin Nair, Christopher Nadar, Mohit, Carl Gawli, Bharat Choudhary, Viraj, Diezel, Karan Sharma, Mohit Khanna, Ali Asgar and all the participants. 

For more pictures, check the link:

Friday, 24 January 2014


I have followed the voyage and  have been in touch with the goings on, have loved the pictures coming our way through Facebook and the blog. Was wondering if all of this (some rare pictures) can be a "Collector's Item? Yes it has become one and it is for the people to feel a part of the history too!

What am I talking about?
Our man, the history maker! The first Indian to circumnavigate the earth non stop and unassisted. Isn't that a feat? It certainly is! We have had a great maritime history but an Indian became only the 79th person in the world to do so. Glad that we have arrived and we did it through Lt Cdr Abhilash Tomy, KC (He was decorated with the honour, Kirti Chakra for achieving this feat). 

A bit about the voyage

I have written about it, just at the moment he started the historic voyage, the circumnavigation in November 2012. Heres the link:

It's about  India's greatest naval adventure.

It is about one man who covered about 40000 kms, sailing around the world, alone and without any help or stops. The boat Mhadei, went through some of the most terrible and lonely places on this planet encountering ferocious storms and raging seas. An adventure of this magnitude is so difficult that less than 100 people have ever successfully completed one. To compare, more than 5 times the number has gone to space and more than 5000 people have been on the Everest.

He sets off on the historic voyage from the Gateway of India, Mumbai on 1st November 2012, Thursday. Moves slowly and steadily on the route marked for him. If you can say marked, in the first place! Remember nothing is marked in the sea; one has to make it on his own but the route is more or less just a guideline.

No matter how much I love the sea, spend hours looking at it and at times talking to it, I won't be able to sail. I get sea sick and that prevents sailing, for that matter even joining by mariner husband. I must have already invented countless reasons why it wasn't a good idea to join him onboard. I remember sailing from Chennai to Port Blair way back. It was only a 4 days voyage but I was sick of seeing the sea and my head kept spinning. I was dying to see the land, the trees, the birds and what not! So, have great admiration for people who can stay put, keep calm and sail on! Marrying Capt. Todiwan was also a decision made on such emotional values. A man who can live in the sea for 5 months at a time can surely face anything (including ME- pun intended) and that I was in safe company. 
That truly justifies my admiration for the sea and all people who have made the sea their way of life or a way to earn their living! This admiration I probably expressed in my posts all through while the voyage was on.

Coming back to the voyage of Tomy, the next significant moment was crossing the Equator, have a post on that as well; 

Another milestone achievement was rounding the Cape Horn, very few sailors get to do that. Heres a post talking about it,

He spoke about crossing the international date line yet another significant event and  kept his fans and fans of the voyage posted on the happenings through his facebook page and also had regular updates on his blog: 

He was back in Mumbai on 31st March 2013, completing the circumnavigation in 150 days and 7 hours. But the official reception was organised on the 6th of April 2013, where he was  received by the First Citizen of the country President Pranab Mukherjee. He didn't announce his arrival till then and finally everyone learnt about the same when he posted a picture of his stamped passport announcing his arrival on 31st March 2013.

He was received to a Hero's welcome.The whole country took pride in the achievement. It wasn't just his achievement but that of the Indian Navy and India. He received the prestigious Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award for 2013.

All the excitement, agony, hope, endurance, persistence and grit of a man on a mission is recorded in pictorial form in his book 151, and I get a signed copy of the same!

I feel privileged to own a piece of the history! A national treasure. Through this medium I wish to congratulate Lt Cdr Abhilash Tomy and Co-author Lynn De Souza for coming up with a masterpiece thats just not rare pictures but pictures that speak volumes of the circumnavigation, non stop and unassisted by an Indian..... the only one so far!

Yay!! I finally receive my autographed copy. The book is Brilliant thats the least I can say. Compliments to the authors. The book opens with a message from the President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee followed by a Foreword by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral DK Joshi. Then a prologue by the man himself.  Pictures narrate the story and take you through those 151 days of circumnavigation. The language is simple, fluid and something that engulfs you in the very mood and the mindset that the sailor must have gone through. A masterpiece that should be the toast of your collection of books. Its certainly going to be the jewel in my collection. Coincidently my first book that came as a prize of proficiency for standing first in my class in the third grade was, ' A journey to the centre of the Earth' by Jules Verne. This one adds to that, a prized possession!
If you love the sea and sailing, you'll like this book, if you don't understand that you'll love the pictures- a rare collection indeed. And the story that they so effortlessly tell. This is certainly a great coffee table book. He is an inspiration to the youngsters many of whom may consider a career in the armed forces particularly the Navy, and the book introduces you to the different facets of the man and his voyage.

He is a good photographer, continues to capture life and moments around him, is aesthetic, one who knows the right moments to capture. If you wish to own a copy of the book please follow the link and order yours:

Lt Cdr Abhilash Tomy, KC and Ms. Lynn De Souza with President Pranab Mukherjee presenting their book 151.

PS. Apologies for making you meander through the different links... its perfectly fine if you didn't visit them, if you did.... thank you :) felt like sharing with my readers what I have already written, while the voyage was on.

If you wish you get a copy of 151, You can send an email to

Thursday, 9 January 2014

College study tour to Rajasthan

The  Apeejay  Institute  of  Hospitality  located at CBD Belapur  shares its premises  with  The  Park  Navi  Mumbai. It is an initiative of the Apeejay  Surrendra  Park  Hotels  that  operates its collection of  Luxury  Boutique hotels in India. The  institute  offers  a 3 years   Bachelor’s  Degree programme in Hospitality Studies (BSc-HS)affiliated to the University of Mumbai & YCMO University and  is recognized by the  University Grants Commission.

AIH is also the center of learning for  Apeejay Surrendra  The Park Hotels. The group's Management Training Programme, Professional Development Programmes as well as consultancy projects for the hospitality industry are some of its  additional core activities. The highly accomplished faculty team is drawn from academics, supplemented by visiting faculty from reputed institutions, experts from The Park Hotels and professionals from the Hospitality and Services sector. The institute boasts of a world class curriculum augmented by state of the art facilities on campus with separate hostel facility for Girls and Boys.
Not only academics but extracurricular activities are also given equal impetus. Students have the advantage of getting hands-on operational training at The Park, Navi Mumbai, doing their industrial training from any of the Park properties or associated organizations and take up careers with the Park Hotels. 

This year the institute organized a Domestic educational tour to Rajasthan and visited the capital city, Jaipur and the other tourist destinations in Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh and Haldi Ghati. 37 students with 4 faculty members were there from the 11th to the 20th of December, 2013. The students learnt every aspect of this tour right from selecting the destination, zeroing down on the local attractions, reserving hotel rooms, planning the itinerary, identifying the hotels to visit as a part of the study tour, as well as all the Dos and Don’ts of travelling as a group.

Rajasthan was chosen as it is one of the most sought after tourist destination in the word and is one of the highest earners in the country in terms of revenue from tourism. It also has some of the best hotels in the country and houses some of the best Heritage hotels not only in India but are among the best in the world. Also this time of the year offered the best of Rajasthan in terms of the weather and travel.

The group left from Mumbai Central on the 11th of December 2013 by the Jaipur super fast train, that leaves at 9.30 pm. Reached Jaipur at 12.50pm on 12th December, we had a luxury tourist bus waiting for us at the station. We boarded the  bus and headed to our hotel at Jaipur.  Reached hotel in half an hour, were received at the hotel with refreshing welcome drinks and headed straight to the restaurant for lunch. There were two cakes waiting for the twins who were celebrating their birthday that day. The hotel was good and the rooms very comfortable. In the evening, that day we went to the World famous Choki Dhani, an ethnic village resort representing the culture, traditions and aspects of village life in the state.

Day two of the tour was for  a hotel visit, soon after the breakfast at our hotel we left for the Taj Hari Mahal Hotel. The group was large so was divided into two ensuring that they got a good exposure and got to learn all aspects of operations at the heritage property. Evening was left free for shopping.

Day three - The day of sightseeing, we started with the Amer Fort. The fort stands atop a range of craggy hills. The fort is remarkable as much for the majestic grandeur of its surroundings as for its sturdy battlements and beautiful palaces. Post lunch we visited the City Palace, situated in the heart of the old city and the first high rise structure (7 storey) in the city. After seeing the magnificent palace we went to the famous Jantar Mantar (observatory) the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built in the 18th century by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in different parts of the country.  We also visited the Hawa Mahal, the 5 storied stunning semi octagonal monument having 152 windows with over hanging latticed balconies, a fine piece of Rajput architecture and Jal Mahal situated in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake.

Day Four – We left for Jodhpur it was a whole day journey by road we reached the hotel in the evening. Some of the students freshened up and relaxed at the hotel whereas some did a bit of shopping at the local market close to the hotel.
Day Five – We went to see the Famous Mehrangarh Fort.  It is one of the largest forts in the country. It is situated 400 feet above the city and is enclosed by imposing thick walls. Had a relaxed evening back at the hotel.
Day Six – Left for Udaipur. Reached Udaipur in the evening had our dinner at the restaurant and retired for the night.
Day Seven – We left early morning for Chittorgarh. We visited the Chittorgarh Fort, Vijay Stambh, Padmini Palace, Rana Kumbha Palace, Kumbha Shyam Palace. The story of Chittorgarh is a saga of valor, tenacity and sacrifice. The fort is a treasure trove of history and offers to the travelers an insight into the lives of the great Rajput rulers, who laid their lives fighting superior enemies instead of leading a life of submission under them.

Day Eight – We visited the Leela Palace hotel, one of the best modern palace hotels in the city. The tour was very well organized by the hotel HR and Training team. The property is amazingly beautiful with great service standards. Evening was free for camp fire. The students enjoyed the chilly evening sitting by the camp fire.
Day Nine - We visited the Haldi Ghati, a mountain pass in the Aravali ranges, the name is believed to have come from the yellow coloured soil that looks like turmeric. It is the site where the famous battle of Haldighati was fought between Rana Pratap and the Mughals in the year 1576. We saw the light and sound show based on the life of the Maharana and his horse Chetak.

Day Ten- We visited the Jagdish Temple, built between 1628 and 1653 dedicated to Lord Jagannath. The next attraction was the City Palace, which is one of the architectural marvels of Rajasthan, it is the most visited attraction in Udaipur. The palace has various towers, domes and arches. It boasts of the wonderful blend of Medieval, European and Chinese architecture. We also visited the palace museum. We returned to the hotel, had our lunch and checked out. On our way we visited Saheliyon ki Bari, this is a well planned garden blessed with extensive and shady lawns and great water fountains.

Towards the evening we did boating on the Fateh Sagar lake and visited the Jagmandir island in the centre of the lake it was a sight of rare beauty. We then visited the Pratap Smarak, which is on top of the Moti Magir or Pearl Hill overlooking the Fateh Sagar Lake. The path to the top, traverses through elegant gardens including the Japanese rock garden.

We had dinner at the Natraj restaurant that is famous for its Thali meals. Then it was time for us to board our train back home. We came back with very informative and enriching memories of the Royal Rajasthan.

We used the expertise of Royal Tours, a Mumbai based travel company that specialises in group tours especially school and colleges. We found them doing a fantastic job!

For pictures follow the link: 

Foundation course in Travel & Tourism (IATA approved)

AIH Teams up with IATA to offer the foundation course in Travel & Tourism

Apeejay Institute of Hospitality (AIH), an initiative of the Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Ltd. becomes the IATA authorized training centre in Navi Mumbai. It has been a vision of the top management to one day be able to offer this program as they see it carrying great value for the students who are seeking a career in the travel and tourism industry. This is the right time for them to prepare themselves to enter into the globally rewarding career.
The programme was launched in an inaugural ceremony at the institute campus on 6th January 2014. Classes commenced from 7th January 2014. We believe that this course will benefit the hospitality students in a big way.

The institute offers the IATA Foundation Course in Travel and Tourism. It’s a six months program and the learning hours at the institute are 6 hours per week. The batches are both weekdays as well as weekends so that students from other discipline and professionals can also take up the course. The eligibility for the programme is 10 + 2 / Under graduate / Graduate in any discipline. On successful completion of the programme, the candidates will be awarded the International Certification from IATA, Canada.

AIH will offer excellent placements through campus interviews in international and domestic airlines, airport operations, travel agencies, tourism organizations, travel portals, airline back offices, hospitality and many more.

The travel and tourism industry employs more than 200 million individuals worldwide, (source: IATA) in such diverse areas as travel sales, ticketing, hotel guest services and administration, nature reserve guides, cruise ship marketing, group sales, tour operations, packaging, niche as well as specialty travel sales and attraction management among others. Responsible travel and tourism aims to bridge cultural differences, fostering an environment which enriches our lives through the bringing together of people for leisure, family get togethers, business and educational purposes.

On successful completion of the program, the candidates will acquire the knowledge and skill to work in an ever growing industry that contributes to making the world a global village. The international Travel and Tourism industry is expected to grow more than double in size in next decade.

The IATA Foundation course in Travel and Tourism is a comprehensive course to begin a career in travel and tourism industry. It is a global qualification that certifies that the candidate has achieved a certain level of professional competence.  Learn industry terms and codes, products, services, international air fare pricing and e- ticketing. Facilities include air-conditioned class rooms, Audio Visual aids, access to library, internet lab and well equipped computer lab for GDS. The institute has full time IATA qualified and experienced faculty.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson 
To the first batch of the IATA program, we wish you the very best, have enthusiasm, have  fun and learn about the vast possibilities that await you!

IATA and AIH invite candidates to hop onboard and give wings to their career!

For further details connect with AIH at
or write to
Apeejay Institute of Hospitality
No.1, Sector-10, C.B.D. Belapur, Navi Mumbai – 400 614, India 

Ph. 022 2758 9050
Email :