Discovery Travel and Living sets up an 'Indian Rendezvous'

MUMBAI: Earlier this year Discovery Travel and Living had unveiled its first local initiative The Great Indian Wedding. This takes a look at six different weddings. Now the channel will look at six Indian cities. The show airs every Sunday at 8:30 pm from 12 November.

The cities covered are Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai. What is unique is that each episode will be anchored by a well known personality from that city. So Konkana Sen Sharma will anchor the Kolkata episode, Sushma Reddy will anchor the first episode of the show which looks at Mumbai, Vasundhara Das will anchor the Bangalore episode, filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor will anchor the episode on Hyderabad, Meera Vasudevan will anchor the episode on Chennai and Ayaan Ali khan will host the episode on Delhi.

The episodes will inform viewers about the food, air, music, adventure and travel opportunities available in each city. The episodes will offer anecdotes on famous places, interactions with each city's popular personalities, trivia and little known facts.

Discovery India MD Deepak Shourie says, "Indian rendezvous promises viewers both in India and abroad an unparalleled journey into the heart of India's biggest cities. It reflects the vibrand spirit and soul of modern India. We are confident that viewers will enjoy watching and rediscovering their cities."

Discovery Lifestyle Networks VP Aditya Tripathi says that the plan going forward is to have at least one local show each quarter. So in each year you will see between four to six local shows. Indian Rendezvous he says took eight months to complete. The Mumbai episode was shot a year back. The next show will kick off in February 2007. Vir Sanghvi will host a food based show. "This will give viewers an idea of different cuisines, their origins and how a cuisine defines a region. Most people know Vir as a journalist but his knowledge on the subject of food is phenomenal.

"This month and in December we will be shooting several episodes of the Great Indian Wedding as it is the marriage season. Following the successful pilot we will air at least six episodes sometime in the middle of next year. There are also several other concepts that have gone into production. They include shows on hotels, homes, fashion, holiday destinations. Indian Rendezvous will also air on Discovery Travel and Living in the UK and in Asia."

Shourie adds that as DTH grows in India the network will look at bringing more channels into the country possibly next year. He however said that at this juncture it is too premature to say anything specific.

Coming back to Indian Rendezvous. Reddy says, "Colourful, vibrant, energetic and friendly Mumbai is and will always be the gateway to India. Mumbai is a city of startling contradictions with stately Victorian architecture and flanking skyscrapers that stab the sky. It is the country's financial hub and the Mecca of cinema. All this and more makes Mumbai one of India's most exciting cities. Fast moving and full of life."

The Mumbai episode will among other things look at cricket and the episode visits the CCI where the champions trophy was played at the Brabourne Stadium, Wankhede Stadium and meets ex cricketer Ajit Wadhekar.

It also visits the Taj Mahal Hotel where the discovery travel and living media meet took place this afternoon. The hotel even today retains an old world charm. It always visits the horse races at the Mahalaxmi race course. It also looks At the street food at Juhu Beach as well as Chor Bazaar as well as the small but passionate jazz scene. It talks to jazz musician Louis Banks who mentions that both Mumbai and Kolkatta have a history of jazz.

DAs says, "Bangalore has attracted people from diverse ciltural and linguistic backgrounds. Being born and brought up in Bangalore and having had the opportunity to travel to other Indian cities I truly understand and love this city. In the past from being known as a pensioners paradise among many other things Bangalore has become a city for all age groups and profiles- students, young professionals, musicians, dancers and artists. Indian Rendezvous presents the city for all seasons in its totality and splendour"

The Bangalore episode looks at the Infosys Campus which is a city within a city. It also examines fashion with expert Prasad Bidappa as well as looks at Bangalore's pub culture. Bangalore is known as the pub city of India. The episode also looks at Cubbon Park, which is spread over 300 acres of urban tranquillity.The park is popular with daily joggers and nature lovers. The episode also looks at Soukhya a health clinic.

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