For 33-year old banking professional Mouyuk Mitra, nothing can be more relaxing than enjoying a weekend amid nature. Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announced demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, Mitra has been working late into the night. His job doesn’t get over even after the counters are shut.
Thanks to the year-end weekend, Mouyuk will be celebrating New Year at Deulti with his friends. They have booked a room at Nirala Resort in Deulti and have plans to spend the time playing cards.
Like Mouyuk, several Kolkatans will head to various weekend destinations and picnic spots to usher in the New Year. But if you are still thinking where to go this New Year, well, it’s too late.
From the farmhouse at Bawali, resorts in rustic Baranti to the majestic Itachuna Rajbari, every weekend destination near Kolkata is sold out for New Year celebrations.
The demonetisation move did take a toll on the tourism industry, but owners and managers of these quick getaways aren’t complaining. They told HT that demonetisation hasn’t impacted year-end bookings.
“With December 31 and January 1 being Saturday and Sunday, it’s an ideal time for the tourists to visit nearby places. All the rooms are sold out,” said a spokesperson of Itachuna Rajbari.
Similar is the scene at Monchasa, an extremely popular eco-tourism resort in East Midnapore. The bamboo cottages with all modern amenities are booked till December 31.
Money or no money, Kolkatans made sure they planned their New Year celebrations in advance.
Sahana Roy will be driving to Sundar Gram at Rajendrapur, around 42 km from Kolkata on New Year. “You can go for a boat ride on Bidhyadhari River, make bonfire and barbecue. It’s the perfect place to enjoy picnic with family and friends,” she said.
Pranab Pal of Sundar Gram said that most of his guests book online using credit cards. “We have three mud cottages. We are booked on all weekends till February end. I am forced to say no to those who are calling in late as we are completely sold out,” he said.
Bawali Farmhouse in Nodakhali, South 24-Parganas, is a hit among picnic-lovers. The farmhouse, which has ponds, manicured gardens, playground and tree-house cottages, had minimum bookings in November when demonetisation was announced. However, with time, business is back.
Apru Chatterjee of Bawali Farmhouse told HT that the picnic spot was booked for year-end celebrations in August. “The bookings for New Year celebrations were done months ago. Those who come to enjoy picnic here can also indulge in bird-watching and fishing,” he said.
IT professional Shipra Guha booked Palashbari eco resort at Baranti online two months ago. She knew there would be a rush with New Year being a holiday this time. Baranti village, 280 kms from Kolkata, is located on the banks of Muradi river. One can also travel to Joy Chandi hill, Garpanchokote, Panchet Dam and Maithon Dam. Spokesperson at Palashbari, Baranti, said that the resort is booked till January 15.