What’s Opening Up and Where To Go - Part 1

What’s Opening Up and Where To Go - Part 1
Did you know that the Hawa Mahal is able to stand upright because of its pyramidal shape? , Photo Credit: Shutterstock

As states slowly begin to open their doors for tourism, they are also gearing up for the ‘new normal’. Here is everything you need to know about travelling domestically post-COVID

OT Staff
August 25 , 2020
05 Min Read

Rajasthan: Tourism reopened on June 1
Along with monuments and museums, the Rajasthan government has also re-opened wildlife safaris and biological parks.

A virtual tour of Rajasthan’s grand havelis might cut it for a while, but there’s only so much CGI we can handle. Don’t worry, you can now walk through history once again as the government of Rajasthan has decided to reopen the monuments under its archaeology and museum department. Furthermore, people can also enjoy the state’s natural bounty again as the wildlife safaris and the biological parks have thrown their proverbial doors open. Monuments were initially open only four days a week, but now visitors are allowed daily. However, the visiting hours have changed. The government is taking several precautions like fumigation and ensuring that the premises are sanitised, leaving no room for error. 

Pro Tip: If you’re not on a cash crunch, avoid local transportation. Hiring a private vehicle would be a wiser option. 

Madhya Pradesh: Tiger Parks reopened on June 15
Along with Uttarakhand and Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh has given a green signal to the re-opening of wildlife sanctuaries.
Bandhavgarh National Park was originally the Maharaja of Rewa’s hunting preserve. White tigers are said to have been first spotted here.Madhya Pradesh is a hub of wildlife hotspots with almost 11 national parks including Bandhavgarh and Pench. The state recently announced the opening of these sanctuaries and national parks from June 15 along with state-run and private hotels and resorts. As per the tourism board, it’s a sign of ‘return to normalcy’. Strict guidelines of wearing masks, maintaining social distance and proper sanitisation have to be followed. The state is expecting domestic tourists from nearby states as well as from within. Other places of interest like the Gwalior Fort and Sanchi Stupa will also open, but with restrictions. 

Pro Tip: Hire a personal caravan (with separate driver’s cabin) for a thrilling yet safe journey across the state. 

Read: 5 Perfect Breaks to Beat the Pandemic Blues

National Parks: Safaris will operate at 50% capacity
You can look forward to spotting tigers, leopards, deer and other animals in the sanctuaries that are opening up across India.
Jim Corbett national Park is one of the few national parks in India to offer a night stay inside the jungle The ecotourism industry breathed a sigh of relief when major sanctuaries like Jim Corbett, Rajaji National Park, Ranthambhore, Sariska, and Kumbhalgarh, among others, announced their reopening in June. The safaris will work at 50 per cent capacity and strict guidelines will have to be followed, announced the Uttarakhand Chief Wildlife Warden, officials at Ranthambhore National Park and DFO of Kumbhalgarh, separately. Standard protocols include wearing of face mask at all times, social distancing, proper sanitisation of cars, and thermal checking at entry points. The industry is optimistic about recovering some of the business lost during the lockdown through this. 

Pro Tip: Plan a trip during the summers as the chances of tiger sightings are slightly higher. 

Karnataka: This was launched on June 17
Operational capacity may be reduced to avoid crowding and ensure physical distancing practices 
The best way to get around exploring Karnataka is on foot, be it the palm- lined beaches of Gokarna or the ancient ruins in Hampi A backpacking trip across the globe may not be possible, but a more homebound approach can now be undertaken with the Karnataka government’s ‘Caravan tourism’. The fully equipped camper van can take you around Hampi, Gokarna and Coorg, among other places. Convertible beds, a smart television, solar panels, and even a refrigerator, these camper vans have everything you need. Even though 2020 might not have stood ground as per our travel expectations, it sure fared well in terms of convivial travel. 

Pro Tip: Be mindful of the local beliefs and practices at religious institutions, and dress appropriately.

Odisha: Proposals will be in by July 10
There will be both single- and multiple-day cruises covering destinations over 4-5 days
Chilika lake is the largest coastal lagoon in India and the second largest in the worldThe Odisha government will be operating day-cruise services at five locations—Chilika Lake, Mahanadi, Bhitarkanika, Satkosia Gorge and Hirakud Reservoir. Odisha has 482 kilometres of coastline, including Chilika, which is the largest brackish-water lake in Asia. The cruise will focus on providing a luxury experience. The government is also looking into watersports, houseboats, aquariums, and an aqua park to attract visitors. Bhubaneswar is home to the Nandankanan Zoological Park, which serves as the first gharial breeding centre of India. Furthermore, the park also gives you the opportunity to experience a unique combination of flora and fauna. 

Pro Tip: The best time to visit Odisha is from October to April because of the state’s tropical climate. Did you also know that there are 62 distinct tribes in Odisha?

Read: What’s Opening Up and Where To Go - Part II


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