Package deals for lords' trail

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By BIBHUTI BARIK
  • Published 6.06.12
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Bhubaneswar, June 5: Like previous years, this year too, a few thousands of rupees can buy you the rare privilege of having a bird’s eye view of the lords’ chariots and the entire convoy from a posh, cosy rooftop enclosure of a private hotel in Puri.

A special package tour of the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) will enable visitors to watch the festival from an exclusive enclosure on the rooftop of a private hotel on Grand Road on June 21.

“So far, we have got 260 seats at the Grand Central Hotel on Grand Road. We are negotiating with the owners of two other high-rise buildings in the same area so that we can accommodate more tourists. The special package for tourists will include transportation, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, snacks and dinner. We are also making arrangements for refreshment so that the rath yatra visitors need not have to come down to the street,” said M.R. Patnaik, general manager of the OTDC.

Tourists (12 years and above) travelling from Bhubaneswar and Cuttack will have to shell out Rs 2,900. Package for those below 12 years will be charged Rs 2,350. The visitors will be transported to Puri by deluxe air-conditioned coaches.

Those, who have booked their journey from Sambalpur, will have to spend Rs 5,000. The package is for two nights and one day without any lodging arrangement. It will, however, be a daylong affair from Cuttack or Bhubaneswar.

The OTDC will have no services from Berhampur and Rourkela as there was not enough response to visit the rath yatra in Puri from these two towns last year.

Diamond triangle

The OTDC has also launched a diamond triangle Buddhist circuit tour package from Puri and Bhubaneswar ahead of rath yatra. Tourists coming to Puri from different parts of the world to see the rath yatra can also avail this special package tour which will include sightseeing trips to famous Buddhist sites in Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri, Udayagiri and Langudi.

While the package will cost Rs 880 from Puri, a visitor will be charged Rs 620 from Bhubaneswar. The OTDC authorities are also planning to launch a Bhubaneswar-Chandaka half-day tour where tourists can have a quality time in the Godibari eco-tourism complex at the entrance of the Chandaka Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary. “The half-day tour will cost Rs 250,” said an OTDC official.