The state capital woke up to a bright, sunny New Year’s day — a relief given last year’s rain damper — with the chill in the air making it the perfect weather to head outdoors.
The festive spirit was palpable in the cold air and the happy laughter of picnickers as they set out to spend the first day of 2013 by scenic spots. Bikes, cars and buses — done up with balloons and decorative cardboards conveying New Year wishes — sped down the highways towards various picnic spots in and around Ranchi. Waterfalls and dams proved to be the biggest crowd-pullers with even people from neighbouring parts of Bihar and Bengal trooping in on tourist buses.
Among revellers at Jonha Falls, located about 35km from Ranchi, were JVM chief Babulal Marandi and Jharkhand High Court Justice D.N. Upadhaya. “I came to Jonha Falls after a long time and plan to stay for some time,” Marandi told The Telegraph.
Amar Nag, an employee of AG office who came to Jonha — where the footfall was at least 10,000 — with family, said: “We had an early lunch at home and then set out for Jonha Falls to enjoy the afternoon sun. My children love coming here. They bask in the natural beauty of the place.”
For Sanjay Lakhani, a businessman, New Year celebration is all about going out with family and friends. This year, Lakhani chose Getalsud Dam for a picnic with friends. “The day starts early for us as all arrangements have to be made. We always prefer to cook our meal at the spot for which a lot of things are required,” Lakhani said
Suresh Sahu, a hotelier and resident of Samlong, also visited Getalsud with his family. According to him, unlike Rukka Dam, this side of the reservoir was less crowded and hence, they preferred it.
“There are many children in our group and seeing them having fun makes us feel good,” Sahu said.
While Getalsud and Rukka together pulled in around 5,000 to 7,000 people, Dasam Falls, another picnic hot spot, registered a footfall of around 10,000-12,000. There were, however, many non-picnickers like Kundan Kumar, who came in to enjoy the beauty of the falls. “We had lunch in one of the many dhabas on the highway that serve quick but delicious non-vegetarian dishes before coming here,” said Kumar, a builder.
Ratna Haldar, a teacher of Surendranath Centenary School, likes to spend New Year with her dear ones at home. The special day starts with a good breakfast followed by an equally heavy lunch. “We are a big family and all relatives come down for the day. It is fun to be with them on the first day of the year,” she added.
The other place that drew people were meat shops as a meal without chicken or mutton is a strict no on this special day of the year.