Ranchi-Deoghar Air service for Shiva devotees draws lukewarm response

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Despite best efforts of the Jharkhand tourism department to woo Shiva devotees to avail of the air service introduced by it to facilitate them fly from Ranchi to Deoghar to offer prayers at the sacred Baidyanath temple during the month of Shravan,the response among them has been lukewarm so far.

At Deoghar,the temple of Baidyanath houses one of the 12 revered jyotirlingas in the country.

Though thousands of devotees rush from Ranchi and its adjoining areas in Jharkhand to offer holy water on the idol of Lord Shiva there during Shravan,only 60 Shiva devotees had booked the seats so far.

The air service starting from July 22 is slated to continue till August 21.The aircraft has nine seats.Its departure time from Ranchi airport is 8 A.M and landing time at Deoghar is 8.45 A.M. The air fare inclusive of light refreshment,puja kit and premium darshan is nearly Rs 14,999 for each traveler for to and fro flight.

Since last month when the department had launched the service with an aim to give boost to tourism,it had put up hoardings and inserted advertisements in local dailies exhorting Shiva devotees to make use of its air service.But now its associate-Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industry-is trying to mobilise 40 more Shiva devotees to avail of the service to make the number their atleast 100 so that it can take off without any hassle.

An effort toward this end was being made by FJCCI member Poonam Anand.”We want this service to become popular.It will help create a good image of this state and attract tourists in the long run”,said Anand.

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