The soaring prices of hotel rooms in Puri, especially on the Grand Road, have put a dent in the plans of tourists.
Hotels On Grand Road, Puri
As the Holy Trinity gets ready for Snana Yatra on June 4 and for the subsequent Rath Yatra, the devotees have also begun to stream towards Puri to witness the Grand event on the Grand Road.
However, the soaring prices of hotel rooms in Puri, especially on the Grand Road, have put a dent in the plans of tourists.
As per reports, the rooms which were priced between Rs 1,200 to Rs 2000, are now priced between Rs 10,000 and 12,000. It is like there is no limit on prices anymore. Hotel owners are charging tourists as per their wish.
A tourist and Jagannath devotee, Bandana Das said, “Last year we could not rent a room on the Grand Road, because all the rooms were already booked by the time we tried. Even no rooms were available online too. I do not think we will get a room this year too, given the crowd we are expecting during Rath Yatra. The increased rates do not help too.”
Asked about the room rates, District Tourism Officer, Saroj Pradhan said, “We will hold a meeting with the hotel association to ensure that the tourists who come to Puri during Snana Yatra and the subsequent Rath Yatra, do not get harassed by the middlemen during hotel booking, and get rooms at reasonable prices.”
Girish Nayak, a hotel owner in Puri said, “The rates of hotel rooms should be fixed in such a manner that it does not pinch the hotel owners too. If the room rents are increased then the hotels should mention clearly what led to the increase in room rates.”
Apart from the private hotels, there are some rooms under the control of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) as well. While the rates of those rooms are reasonable, most of those rooms are out of bounds for common devotees.
“There are some rooms under our control which are reserved for the VIPs. We have some spare rooms as well for the devotees which we give on rent for a special price for two days, and one day before Gundicha Jatra,” said an SJTA official.
“As far as this year’s Rath Yatra is concerned, we have already received many applications to book rooms, the number of which is way beyond the available rooms. We will decide who will get rooms after discussing the same with the district administration,” said the official.
Devotees and tourists are also reportedly irked after not being able to book hotel rooms online. It is suspected that the hoteliers have closed their online bookings to extract more money from the customers through offline bookings.