The long weekend saw mad rush of tourists in hubs like Nainital, Mussoorie, Shimla as people rushed to the hill towns in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh amid rising temperatures in the plains.
Roads leading to these popular hill towns and eateries on the way were packed on Friday and Saturday as tourists got the long Good Friday weekend for a quick getaway.
The influx of tourists in the hill towns caused major traffic jams over the weekend on the main roads and tourist spots in towns like Nainital, Mussoorie, Rishikesh and Himachal’s Shimla. Long queues of vehicles entering the towns caused inconvenience to both the locals and the vacationers.
Nainital, Nearby Areas Packed; Kainchi Dham a Popular Tourist Spot After Virat Kohli’s Visit
The road from Uttarakhand’s Kathgodam to Nainital saw massive traffic snarls on the weekend as traffic police made efforts to control the rush of vehicles going towards the tourist town.
While it usually a little over an hour to reach Nainital from Kathgodam, tourists were stuck in traffic for over two hours on Friday.
Not just Nainital, nearby towns like Bhimtal, which is now an emerging tourist hub, also saw a massive footfall of people who were either unable to find accommodations in packed Nainital or were to looking to stay a little away from the hustle bustle.
Kainchi Dham near Nainital, which has always been highly sacred among the locals and also among people from all across the country and globe, has been witnessing an unusually high number of visitors since Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma’s visit to the Ashram of Baba Neem Karoli.
The roads leading to Kainchi Dham were packed on Friday and Saturday as tourists thronged the Ashram to seek blessings of Baba Neem Karoli, whose followers include big names like Mark Zuckerberg and late Steve Jobs apart from Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma.
Videos on social media showed the entry of the Ashram flooded with visitors.
The popularity of this holy place has gone up massively after Cricketer Virat Kohli and his actor-wife Anushka Sharma were seen taking blessings there in November last year.
Hotels Fully Booked in Mussoorie
Hotels were reportedly fully booked in Uttarakhand’s Mussoorie, which is another popular tourist hub and a weekend getaway destination for those living in Delhi-NCR.
“We have 100 per cent occupancy in the hotels at the main town this weekend. The stays in the outskirts have around 90 per cent occupancy," a Times of India report quoted Mussoorie hotels’ association president Sanjay Aggarwal as saying.
Over 30,000 Vehicles Enter Shimla in 2 Days
A total of 30,000 vehicles have entered Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla during the past two days, an ANI report cited data available with the city police.
The hotels also were running at their full capacity in the city with tourists rushing their for the long weekend.
“We arrived here at around 2 am but did not get any hotels, finally we were able to explore and get a hotel by 6 am, and here tourists have rushed due to the long holidays. Hotels are full. We had to move around for 10-12 kilometres here," ANI quoted Sanjeet, a tourist from Punjab, as saying.
“We arrived yesterday. I have come for the first time, Shimla is crowded, like Delhi and neighbouring states. The weather is pleasant here. We are enjoying it here. I am happy to be here. The tourists rush is somewhat troublesome as we were not able to find a hotel, after long and hard efforts we were able to find a hotel," another tourist from Delhi, Pooja, was quoted as saying.
Vice President of Shimla Hotel and Restaurant Association Prince Kukreja told news agency PTI that the hotel occupancy has increased to about 80 per cent in Shimla, adding that the peak summer tourist season will start from April 15 onwards till June 15.
Vehicles parked on the roads and in front of hotels by the tourists coming without advance booking coupled with construction going on under the Shimla Smart City project have become major traffic bottlenecks.
Tourist Influx Leads to Traffic Jam in Uttarakhand’s Rishikesh
A huge influx of tourists coupled with entry of e-rickshaws in the zero zone in Uttarakhand’s Rishikesh led to a massive traffic jam here for the second consecutive day on Saturday, causing inconvenience to people.
No vehicles are allowed in the nearly one-kilometre-long zero zone which stretches from the municipality building to the Chandrabhaga bridge in Rishikesh.
The entry of e-rickshaws in the zero zone was prohibited after a meeting of the administration and transport department on Thursday. However, as droves of tourists arrived, around 1,500 e-rickshaws entered the zero zone on Saturday, causing a traffic jam from Rishikesh to Shivpuri, news agency PTI reported.
The impact was also reportedly seen in Neelkanth and Lakshman Jhoola areas with vehicles moving at a snail’s pace.
Superintendent of Police, Dehradun (Rural), Kamlesh Upadhyay later said the ban on the entry of e-rickshaws in the zero zone will be strictly enforced.