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23 Oct 2018

NORTH'S FIRST FOR TOURISTS: SINGLE MODE FOR TRAVEL AND STAY Caravan to roam in Dooars

ANIRBAN CHOUDHURY, TT, 23 Oct 2018, Alipurduar: Tourists bound for north Bengal will now have the option to roam around in a caravan and stay at offbeat places in the midst of nature.

For the first time in north Bengal, a caravan has been introduced by a tour operator in Lataguri. He launched the service a few days back and has been receiving good response from tourists, mostly from Calcutta.

"I have adopted the idea from Kerala. From now on, the facility would be available for tourists who want to stay outdoors, instead of checking into hotels or resorts. The first group stayed in the caravan was on Saturday. They are still in the Dooars and from Tuesday, another group will enter the caravan," said Biplab Dey, the tour operator.

The caravan, he said, has been designed by former personnel of the navy. It is a modified SUV, having space for four persons to sleep, a toilet and a kitchen.

"There are two beds inside to accommodate four persons. There is also room heater, television and water supply. We have support staff like driver and cook to serve people hiring the caravan," he added.

The charges, he said, is Rs 10,000 per day for the entire facility, which covers transport, stay and food.

On Saturday, the caravan was at Kodalbusty, an upcoming eco-tourism site in Alipurduar district. It moved to Jainti that is on the fringes of Buxa Tiger Reserve the next day.

"We are choosing locations where at least basic accommodations are available so that our support staff can stay. Also, it would help if tourists want to spend the night inside the caravan. On Monday, it has moved to Lataguri. We hope it would attract more tourists in the coming days," said Dey.

Another attraction is that the caravan is fitted with four cameras, including a night vision one.

The cameras, he said, have been fitted for safety reasons. Also, these would enable tourists to watch the surroundings during their journey and at night. If the caravan moves to areas closer to forests, the tourists can even catch a glimpse of wild animals.

Rakhi Mitra, one of the tourists who is from Lake Town in Calcutta and had spent a night in a caravan for the first time, sounded ecstatic.

"It was an amazing experience. Usually, we stay at hotels and travel in car. But this time, it was entirely different. We could take rest inside, have some sleep and take food without any inconvenience. We were a five people altogether, including two children and it was great, as we travelled to different places in the Dooars. Also, at night, it was like spending time amid nature with the forests in the surroundings," she said..

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