The Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC) has stepped up efforts to improve the infrastructure in Ujjain to cater to pilgrims who will be visiting the temple town for Simhastha 2016.
Though Indore, located just 55 km from Ujjain, has several high-end and budget hotel options, devotees incline towards staying in-town to be able to take part in all the events and rituals that take place during the festival.
Keeping this mind, adding to the two existing hotels Shipra Residency and Hotel Avantika, the MPTDC will be constructing a budget hotel in Ujjain to cater to middle-class travellers. The two existing hotels have a combined capacity of 33 rooms and 32 dormitory beds.
“(The budget hotel) is expected to become operational by November. The hotel will have 42 rooms,” an official of the state tourism department said. He, however, said the per-room tariff was not yet finalised.
The tourism development corporation has already built another budget hotel in Omkareshwar, one of the jyotirlinga sites, on the banks of the Narmada.
The corporation, in coordination with the district administration, also seeks to provide devotees with public convenience facilities like public toilets and bathrooms during the festival.
Meanwhile, the Indore Development Authority (IDA) is building Major Road (MR) 12 that will play an important role in ferrying pilgrims to the Simhastha fair. The road, which will run from Sanwer Road to Ujjain Road, will help reduce burden on the MR-10.
The Simhastha Kumbh, set to take place between April 22 and May 21, 2016, is celebrated in four places – Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik, and Ujjain – once every 12 years. The last Kumbh Mela in Ujjain was held in 2004.
The ritual of bathing in the holy waters of Kshipra will begin on the full-moon day in the Hindu month of Chaitra (March-April) and go on till the full moon shows up in the following month of Vaishakha.