Sunday, 29 September 2013

Himachal turns mini “West Bengal”

Himachal Vacation Travel News
SHIMLA/ MANALI: With thousands of tourists from West Bengal thronged Himachal Pradesh to enjoy their holidays, the hill state has turned mini-Bengal where every third tourist is Bengali. Density of Bengali tourists is going to increase even more in October when their beeline is expected towards Himachal following “puja vacations” in West Bengal.
Tourists from West Bengal throng Himachal Pradesh
Kinnaur, Spiti, Manali and Shimla are the major places of interest for Bengali tourists where they have started thronging. Though tourists from neighbouring states like Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana and Delhi are also visiting Himachal to enjoy the pleasant weather here, but majority of tourists are from West Bengal. As they come to stay for long time period, their arrival has cheered the tourism industry of the state. Mostly Bengali tourists visit Himachal during onset of winters and in summer months of May and June. 
 
Kinnaur is emerging as the first choice of Bengali tourists where advance booking for October reveals that almost all hotels are going to be occupied fully after Navratra pujas. Popularity of towns of Kinnaur, Shimla and Manali among Bengali tourists has led to opening of many Bengali restaurants here. Most of the hotels in Kinnaur are on lease-purchase by Bengali people who are handling clients from their own state with their own traditions and styles.
A Bengali man, Shyamal Debnath, who has purchased hotel Aucktong on lease in Kalpa village of Kinnaur, said tourists from his native place have started thronging. He said, “Large numbers of Bengali tourists are expected to visit Kinnaur next month which will turn this tribal district into mini-Bengal. 70% of the total tourists visiting Kinnaur are only from West Bengal, 20% are from abroad and only 10% are from other states of the country.”
Kolkata being one the most crowded and noisy cities of the country, people from this metropolis look for a calm place to recharge their mind and soul and this is the reason that they always look for a serene place, preferably tribal area, to enjoy their holidays, sources said. Damaging of road between Kinnaur and Spiti has hit Bengali season in Spiti but Manali is recording a good start.
“This is good start of Bengali season. Still we have moderate customers but their number is increasing rapidly. Market is crowding with them,” managing director of Van Vihar restaurant and hotel Kamlesh Thakur said, who serves Bengali food especially to the guests from WB. Bengali tourists are also visiting Shimla, Dalhousie and Dharamshala in large numbers.
Shopkeepers who sell souvenirs, traditional clothes and fancy goods claim Bengali tourists do the maximum shopping in their shops. A shopkeeper Sanjeev Mahant said, “They bargain a lot but still they buy lots of stuffs. Every Bengali returns home with dozens of shopping bags in hands. They try everything. Many shops may shut down if Bengali tourists stop visiting Himachal.”

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