Ram Temple: Shrine brings shine to hotel industry in Ayodhya - Hindustan Times

Ram Temple: Shrine brings shine to hotel industry in Ayodhya

By, Ayodhya
Jan 12, 2024 09:20 AM IST

The hospitality industry in Ayodhya is set to benefit from religious tourism, with major hotel chains such as IHCL, Marriott, and Sarovar planning projects in the temple town. The existing hotels are struggling to meet the demand, and there are plans for around 550 "Home Stay" centers for visitors to experience local culture and cuisine. The transformation of Ayodhya gained momentum after the bhoomi pujan ceremony for the Ram Mandir in August 2020.

With a daily footfall of around one lakh expected here after the Pran Pratishtha ceremony on January 22, the hospitality industry is turning out to be one of the biggest beneficiaries from religious tourism in Ayodhya where the local economy is all set to revolve around the Ram temple even as the temple town is witnessing a major development push for a complete makeover.

For Representation Only (REUTERS)
For Representation Only (REUTERS)

Projects of all prominent hotel chains of the country are in the pipeline in Ayodhya.

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For instance, the Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), counted among the country’s largest hotel chain operators run by the Tata Group, has already lined up two projects in the temple town. Its two brands, Taj Hotels and Vivanta, are leaders in the sector.

Other prominent hotel chains lined up for Ayodhya are Marriott International, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. The JLL group’s five projects are also coming up in Ayodhya.

The Park Inn by the Radisson among the new entrants in Ayodhya.

Ayodhya’s transformation from a non-descript mofussil town to bustling city gained momentum after Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over the bhoomi pujan ceremony of Ram Mandir on August 5, 2020, about nine months after the Supreme Court’s unanimous verdict in favour of Ram temple on November 9, 2019.

The 40 -odd existing hotels in Ayodhya are barely able to cope with increasing demand for rooms from domestic and foreign tourists.

“At present, around 40 hotels are in operation in Ayodhya and around 3500 to 4000 rooms are available. In addition to this, another 1500 rooms are available in guest houses, dharamshalas and home stay facilities. This is far less than the present requirement,” said Arun Agarwal, owner of Hotel Abha Palace, Ayodhya.

He is a member of the Faizabad Hotel Association. Faizabad has been renamed as Ayodhya.

“We are expecting daily footfall of around one lakh people in Ayodhya after the pran pratishtha ceremony on January 22. From where will rooms come for them even if only 10% or 20% stay back in Ayodhya for the night halt?” Agarwal added.

Garish Oberoi, president of Hotel and Restaurant Association of northern India, is foreseeing a bright future of the hospitality industry in Ayodhya.

“In days to come, people will not only visit Ayodhya to pay obeisance to Ram Lalla but they will also come here for ceremonies and rituals,” Oberoi said.

“Ayodhya will also become a wedding destination for spiritual persons. Not only weddings, but people will also like to perform other family functions like the mundan ceremony (tonsure) of children and birthdays in Ayodhya,” Oberoi added.

For devotees of Ram Lalla visiting Ayodhya from all across the country, around 550 ‘Home Stay’ centres are available at present for lodging with locals and enjoying the local cuisine and culture.

The Ayodhya Development Authority, which is spearheading the project, has received 600 applications for locals willing to start a homestay facility at their residence.

“The Home Stay facility will be an ideal opportunity for visitors to enjoy local cuisine and culture of Avadh by staying with locals. The tourism department and the development authority will keep a check on these centres to ensure their proper functioning,” said Vishal Singh, vice-chairman, Ayodhya Development Authority.

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    Pawan Dixit has been a journalist for over a decade. He has extensively covered eastern UP for around five years, covered 2012 UP assembly polls, 2014 Lok Sabha polls while being stationed in Varanasi. Now, in Lucknow, he covers outstation political assignments, reports special cases from district court, high court and state information commission

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