Tourists on way to Taj Mahal through Yamuna Expressway will soon be able to get a taste of Indian culture along the journey. The Uttar Pradesh government is planning to set up at least two resorts based on rural themes similar to Jaipur's famous Chokhi Dhani.
"We are planning ethnic five-star village resorts along the 165-km-long expressway. The facilities will be based on the concept of Chokhi Dhani which attracts a large number of foreign as well as domestic tourists," said Abhilash Sharma, director, UP tourism.
Similar to Chokhi Dhani, which showcases the rich culture of Rajasthan, these resorts will depict the culture and village life of UP, Sharma said, adding "foreigners living in Delhi and nearby areas often visit Jaipur's Chokhi Dhani on weekends."
According to the state tourism department, the Chokhi Dhani management has also shown interest in developing such villages in UP along national highways near tourist places. On public-private-partnership model, such facilities could be set up either with Chokhi Dhani management or other groups which could promote tourism in UP.
"Last year, around 59.51 lakh tourists visited Taj Mahal out of which 7.17 lakh were foreigners. In 2011, the total number of tourists was 52.96 lakh, including 6.92 lakh foreign nationals," Sharma said.
"Keeping in view the volume of tourists, two ethnic villages can be developed along the expressway. One could be near Noida which will also cater to foreign nationals residing in Delhi. Through DND Flyway, Noida-Greater Noida Expressway and Yamuna Expressway, the site in Noida near Dankaur or Jewar could be covered in less than three hours from Delhi," he said.
Another site may be somewhere between Agra and Mathura so that the facility can cater to the visitors of Taj Mahal and temples of Mathura, he said.