Reported by Santosh Jgadev
Bhubaneswar, June 17:
Ahead of this year world famous Puri Rath Yatra on June 29, the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) Limited has lined up special package tours and events for the tourists of Sambalpur, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar who want to visit Puri during the festival, OTDC managing director MR Patnaik said here today.
This year, OTDC has developed a one-day special roof top package for devotees from Bhubaneswar and Cuttack and a two nights one day package for those from Sambalpur, Patnaik said. The package includes AC transport, food (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and snacks and dinner for Sambalpur tourist only) and sitting arrangements on a roof top on the Grand Road (Bada Danda) with guide services.
Three AC buses, each with a capacity of 40 seats, will be pressed into service in the special roof top package, the OTDC managing director informed.
The cost of the ticket for pilgrims from Bhubaneswar and Cuttack will be Rs 3,650 for adults and Rs 2,650 for children below 12 years. The ticket cost for adults will be Rs 4,490 and Rs 4,110 for children for Sambalpur pilgrims.
The transport service will start from June 28 mornings from Sambalpur and all tourists will gather at Panthanivas, Bhubaneswar the next day.
Apart from the special package, AC coaches will also ply from Bhubaneswar to Puri on the Rath Yatra day. As per the programme, the bus will leave Bhubaneswar Panthanivas for Puri at 7 am sharp and will leave Puri Panthanivas for Bhubaneswar at 6.30 pm.
Tourists/ general public can also avail of this service by paying Rs 500 per head only towards to and fro transport service, Patnaik said.
OTDC has also readied package tour programmes from Rath Yatra day to Bahudayatra day (July 7) which can be availed by tourists for Rs 600 per head. The package includes morning snacks on board, vegetarian lunch at Panthanivas Puri and AC bus services.
The bus will leave Panthanivas Bhubaneswar for Puri at 10 am and will leave Puri at 2.30 pm for Bhubaneswar. This service is meant for tourists who desire to have darshan of Lord Jaganath in Gundiacha temple and to experience the rituals performed during this period, said Patnaik.
The OTDC MD said traditional Odia delicacies would be served by Panthanivas Puri and Yatri Nivas, Konark from June 27 to July 10. The food thali will contain kanika, khechudi, puri, besara, mahura, dahi, saga-badi, amba khata and khiri. The cost of a thali has been fixed at Rs 180 per head.
For booking, one can contact to Manager Transport Unit Bhubaneswar, Tel- 0674-2431515/2433516 and Manager Panthanivas Sambalpur, Tel-0663-2411282/2411296, Patnaik said.
OTDC chairman Narendra Kumar Swain and other officials were present at the press briefing.