Jharkhand: Government ban on worshipers’ pandal a boon to state tourist destinations | Ranchi News

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RANCHI: When a door closes, a window opens. For many in Jharkhand hoping to pandalism this Durga Puja after Covid deprived them of the opportunity last year, the state government’s restrictions on the entry of worshipers have been a disappointment. But with hotels across the state welcoming visitors, it offered a window of opportunity for some to make the most of the festival time.
Thanks to the ban, major getaway destinations in Jharkhand are bracing for a strong rush during Durga Puja, slated for next week. Tourist destinations like Netarhat and Betla, which are already experiencing an increase in the number of visitors in recent months, are set for more business in the coming days.
“We weren’t able to visit the pandals last year, nor could we go on vacation due to travel restrictions and quarantine protocols. But this year, after the government again banned worshipers from entering pandals, I decided to take my family on vacation to Betla and Netarhat, ”said Arindam Moitra, a resident of Lalpur.
He was lucky to have made his reservations three weeks in advance unlike Sumit Das from Tharpakhna. “A few days ago I tried to book rooms at the Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation (JTDC) hotel in Netarhat. But there are no rooms available, ”said Das, who is now planning to take his family on a short trip to Mandarmani in West Bengal.
“Reservations in our hotels open 90 days in advance. In 2020, hotels were closed due to the pandemic. But this year our hotels in Betla and Netarhat are 100% occupied during the entire Durga Puja period, ”JTDC Director General Alok Prasad told TOI on Wednesday.
“Even our hotel in Patratu is completely occupied next week,” he said. “This year Netarhat has seen a good number of visitors even during the lean season, as all rooms were fully occupied on weekends,” added Prasad.
A JTDC official said that if Betla and Netarhat are crowded, lesser-known destinations such as Itkhori and Tenughat are expected to see an increase in bookings after Navratri ends.


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