Kullu, September 28
Adventure tourists are back to enjoying rafting in the Beas after the ban imposed for the rainy season was lifted on September 15.
The footfall has started to gain pace in the tourist destinations of the district as the guidelines to enter the borders have been relaxed. Rafting and other adventure sports are a major attraction among the tourists.
The adventure enthusiasts are taking rides in the river from Pirdi, Babeli and Raison rafting points. Ashok, Mohit and Vishal from Punjab said they enjoyed river rafting. Amit, a tourist from Delhi, said he had been planning to visit Kullu Manali from a long time, but could not come due to the Covid-19 outbreak. He was exhausted working from home and had come on a vacation to relax with his family. He added that rafting was a unique and an adventurous experience.
Seema from Haryana said they enjoyed their trip to Manali. River rafting was a thrilling experience, she added.
Ashok, who came from Mumbai, said he rafted from Babeli to Bashing and it was a memorable journey.
Krishan Chand, District Tourism Development Officer (DTDO), Kullu, said: “There are 363 rafts registered with the Tourism Department, including 198 in Babeli, 134 in Pirdi and 31 in Raison. As many as 288 guides are registered through 93 agencies, including 53 in Babeli, 28 in Pirdi and 12 in Raison. Rafting provides employment to a large number of local youth.”
The rafting operators said they were following the guidelines issued by the government. They said the Tourism Department had recently inspected their equipment and renewed their licences. They were hopeful that their business would improve with the increasing tourist footfall in the valley. “We have suffered a heavy loss due to the pandemic. Now, we hope that we will be able to earn our livelihood,” an operator said.
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