Deepavali diaries

Tourist spots, including Sakleshpur, Wayanad, Sri Lanka and Dubai, are brimming with Bengalureans, who are heading out this holiday season

author_img Sanath Prasad Published :  03rd November 2021 03:04 PM   |   Published :   |  03rd November 2021 03:04 PM
Jenukallu Gudda in Sakleshpur

Jenukallu Gudda in Sakleshpur

After staying put for almost one and a half  years of the pandemic, Bengalureans are packing their bags, if they haven’t already done so, to head to popular tourist spots. While some choose to celebrate the festival with lights, sweets and firecrackers in namma ooru, a fair number is celebrating the festive season by spending time at beaches, hills and caves. From Wayanad to Sri Lanka and Dubai, travel enthusiasts in the city have chalked out their itineraries. 

Trip advisors and travel vloggers find a sharp surge in travel after a damp 2020 when tourism took a hit owing to the pandemic. Travel vlogger Nivedith Gajapathy, who will be spending his Deepavali in Sri Lanka, believes that the island country is one of the most travel-friendly to Indians these days. “I am exploring Jaffna this time and also the traditional travel circuit, covering Kandy, Nuwara Eliya among other places. It works out well for a family trip,” says Gajapathy. 

According to Vinutha Kiran, proprietor of Travel Lounge Inc, a city-based travel company, there has been a 40 per cent increase in Bengalureans heading out of the city this Deepavali compared to 2020. “Enquiries and booking to places like Gokarna, Chikmagalur, Sakleshpur, Dandeli, Goa, Puducherry, Sri Lanka and Dubai have been constant in the last few weeks.

Belkan beach in Gokarna 

This is mainly due to the travel restrictions that are now relaxed, especially in Sri Lanka, which is the preferred destination,” says Kiran who is organising a six-day trip to Dubai later this month. “Bengalureans are heading to Gulf countries, especially Dubai and Sharjah, owing to the cricket World Cup,” adds Kiran. 

For travellers planning last-minute trips this weekend, here is a word of caution. According to travel organisers, most of the regular tourists places like Chikmagalur, Kodagu, Goa are packed and they suggest visiting off-beat places like Honnavar, Vagamon, Varkala, Mannavanur etc. Adventure Buddy, a city-based trip organiser, has two travel packages this Deepavali — a two-night trip to Sakleshpur and a three-night visit to Gokarna. Akshay TR, co-founder of the company, says, “We have received over nine bookings for Gokarna and 21 bookings for Sakleshpur.

The Gokarna trip, costing Rs 6,250 (food,stay and entry fee inclusive) per head, will include a  Gokarna beach trek, Yana caves trek, visit to Mirjan fort and Nirvana cliff among others. While Sakleshpur costs `3,850, it will include a visit to hill view points, nature camping sites.” Resorts which were shut during the second wave of lockdown are cashing in on the festive rush and offering tempting deals.

For instance, Tapash Kumar Sahu, a city-based IT professional, booked a private resort in Wayanad, Kerala, during the lockdown and is planning to visit the place this weekend. “My wife and I are staying for two nights, paying `15,000. It otherwise costs `15,000 per night. We are visiting Wayanad to relax and we will explore the local Kerala cuisine and celebrate Deepavali amidst greenery,” says Sahu.