The lockdown restrictions for the tourists wishing to visit the town of Puri has been removed. This decision was taken in order to encourage religious tourism for the people who wish to visit the famous town. All tourists who wish to stay in the town of Puri as long as they wish with no mandatory quarantine.
The town of Puri is popular for its beach temples and the most iconic and important site is ‘Lord Jagannath Temple’ is a 12th-century religious shrine. Along with the lifting of the entry restrictions for tourists, the government has also started the cruise services for the tourists. The cruise operations are popular in the Mahanadi, Bhitarakanika, Chilika, and Satkosia lakes.
According to the officials, there will be no limit imposed on the number of tourists entering the city of Puri. This decision was taken to revive the tourism sector of Odisha which will help the livelihood of many locals who suffered during the lockdown.
All hospitality services and hotels are allowed to book tourists without any restrictions. Previously, the tourists will have to book a minimum of 72 hours in a hotel which will not be done anymore. However, the government, announced that social distancing measures and sanitization protocols will have to be followed by visitors.
Also, The sacred cremation grounds in Puri, known as ‘Swargadwara’ will be closed for the month of September and it is expected that it will be opened from next month.
The tourism sector of India has suffered a huge setback due to the COVID-19 related restrictions on tourists. The government of India has decided to open up inter-state travel in order to boost tourism activities.
The cruise tourism is being aggressively promoted by the tourism ministry of Odisha. The tourism secretary Mr. Visal Dev, decided to develop Cruise tourism for the popular lakes such as Mahanadi and Chilika. Many development plans are underway to establish a ‘Bitarakanika Circuit’ connecting bird sanctuaries, forests, wildlife sanctuaries, and popular tourist destinations such as Aaradi, Chandbali, and Khola.
Another circuit known as Chilika Circuit is popular for the bird-watching, waterways where dolphins are round. This cruise circuit will be 3 days and a 4-night journey through the rich biodiverse forests and waterways. Various other cruise packages are being developed with international and national cruise operators. The water bodies of Odisha has tremendous tourism potential to help small and medium tourism operators.
Furthermore, other projects such as water parks, adventure sports, aquariums, and aqua parks are being developed as well. Many of these initiatives will be under the Eco-tourism program which will promote local livelihood, help preserve local wildlife and the environment.
The following YouTube video by ‘Sourabha Mohanty’ gives a detailed tour of the City of Puri and the famous Jagannath Temple.