Feel at home, in Ayodhya’s homestays - Hindustan Times

Feel at home, in Ayodhya’s homestays

Jan 22, 2024 05:12 AM IST

Paying guest facilities and homestays are transforming the travel experience in the temple city, offering affordable hospitality with all local flavours

Ayodhya: Homestays, allowing a taste of the local flavours at an affordable cost, have turned out to be a viable option for visitors from across the country flocking Ayodhya to participate in the consecration ceremony on Monday.

A homestay facility in Ayodhya. (HT)
A homestay facility in Ayodhya. (HT)

Along with comfortable stay, the visitors are also enjoying home-cooked Awadhi food .

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The city has only 30 hotels and all were booked well in advance. Even the hotels in adjoining Lucknow, Barabanki, Gonda, Basti, Gorakhpur and Ambedkar Nagar districts were full.

With Shri Ram Janambhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust having invited around 8,000 people and the local mutts also inviting seers and saints from various states, the city is overflowing with pilgrims.

“There is hardly any space left where the visitors can relax after a long journey,” said Ayodhya development Authority officer Rakesh Singh.

“The guests could be adjusted only when the local people opened their doors for homestay. We encouraged the residents of Ayodhya to launch homestay projects to augment their income and help restore their old houses. Ayodhya is a religious town and is now connected with other parts of the country after the construction of the Ram temple started. But the people rejected the proposal,” he said.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath appealed to the people to opt for home stay and assured them all assistance. The CM’s appeal instilled confidence in people and 51 homestays and 600 paying-guest facilities were inaugurated on January 17. A day before the consecration ceremony, all the home stays and paying guest facilities were full, he said.

A native of Ayodhya Neera Yadav, who runs a home -stay in Kaushlesh Puri area of the city said, “Five rooms in my house have been converted into home stay. Tourists from Kerala, Telangana, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are staying here . They are enjoying Awadhi thali, nimona, fara, bhuja- chana and other edibles cooked in my kitchen. I have employed two cooks and the business is brisk. From a housewife I have graduated to an entrepreneur.”

Abhinav Srivastava has converted his ancestral house in Daualatpur village near Ayodhya into a home stay. “I have also constructed two Swiss Cottages on the premises . The Samda bird sanctaury is located near my village. There is large demand for my home stay among the visitors. The top diamond merchant of Gujarat, Govind Bhai Dholakia has booked my home -stay. He is enjoying his stay among the villagers and relishing the local food,” he said.

A native of Ranopali Sudha Maurya said, “The income of my family was limited and we struggled for livelihood but with the opening of the home stay the income of my family is likely to increase. The people are booking the rooms for two months and also demanding local food.”

Sunil Razdan, a resident of Jammu, is planning to launch container home facilities in Ayodhya to cater to the demand of the tourists and pilgrims after the inauguration of the Ram temple. He has purchased land and in the first phase Razdan plans to open 9 container home facilities.

A pilgrim Vikas Ambekar, who has come from Mumbai, said, “This is my first visit to Ayodhya. I have heard of the culture of Awadh and delicious food. The consecration of Ram temple gave me an opportunity to visit the land of Lord Ram and to savour local food.”

A district administration officer said all the home stays and paying guest facilities had been linked to Divya Ayodhya App launched by the chief minister. To cater to the tourists, the administration was planning to launch three community kitchens on public private partnership model in the city, he said.

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    Rajesh Kumar Singh is Assistant Editor, Hindustan Times at the political bureau in Lucknow. Along with covering politics, he covers government departments. He also travels to write human interest and investigative stories.

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