Udupi, May 20, 2018 (DHNS): To boost tourism potential and upgrade tourism activities, the Udupi district administration has embarked upon the novel concept of houseboats on the lines of Kerala.
A houseboat cruise is a very different experience that must not be missed, said district Tourism Department assistant director Anitha Bhaskar. She said that the district has ample tourism opportunities as it offers nature’s bounty with picturesque locations. The department, which is working on many projects to promote tourism in the district, is at present making plans to introduce houseboats after the monsoon in the district.
Anitha said that currently three houseboats have been introduced at Panchajanya, Thirumala and Paradise Lagoons.
The decision, taken after much home work, promises to be an experience for those keen on houseboats. These boats are anchored at Kodi Bengre which has a proper channel to ensure that it remains an unbelievable experience for those who rent it. There are opportunities for the boats to cruise along narrow canals and offer the familiarity of village life.
The financial aspect has been worked out and prices are charged based on the comforts that are offered in each cruise.
Food is also made available and food prices vary depending on the taste of customers. The operation of boats are strictly prohibited during monsoon, Anitha added.
She said that more and more boats are encouraged to venture out into business.
There are also plans to introduce houseboats in the Kudrus, which are the local islands and are found in many numbers especially in the areas bordering Udupi-Kundapur and Kundapur taluk.
‘Panchajanya’ was launched during the last fishing season and is one of the three that offers an exotic experience at the river estuary. Thirumala was launched a couple of weeks ago and the cruise is yet to pick up business. The business is not that great at present as election fever had hit the region.
There were also spells in the past few days. However, as still a few more days are left to go for the monsoon, the operators of the boats are all anxious about the possible business, said Rajesh Kamath, who is a partner with ‘Panchajanya’.
Parties can also be arranged during nights in the houseboats. The level of water needs to be high for a good trip and most rivers in the district have sufficient water flow. Problems though may arise during the peak summer when the water-level recedes, Anitha added. She said there are two leisure boats along with three houseboats and one more houseboat is likely to begin operations after the monsoon.
Many tourists are attracted by the charm of staying on a houseboat, which provides a unique experience of living on the water with all the conveniences of a hotel stay, she said.