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Tourism corporation to offer packages for ‘pindadaan’

PATNA: The Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) will offer tour packages to pilgrims during the traditional Pitrapaksh Mela in Gaya in September-October.

The Ashwin Krishna Paksha (fortnight) as per the Hindu samvat calendar will begin from Bhadrapad Shukla Paksha Anant Chaturdashi falling on September 23 and conclude on October 8.

Tens of thousands of Hindus travel to Gaya from different parts of the country and abroad to offer ‘pindadaan’ during the period, believing it delivers salvation to their ancestors’ souls.

BSTDC’s general manager Harendra Prasad told this reporter in Patna on Tuesday the packages would include a daylong Patna-Punpun-Gaya-Patna tour. The travelling, food and expenses of the ‘pindadaanrituals will cost Rs 10,000 per person, Rs 10,500 for two of a family and Rs 18,000 for four of a family.

A two-day-one-night package for Patna-Punpun-Gaya-Bodh Gaya-Nalanda-Rajgir-Patna trip will cost Rs 12,000 per head; Rs 15,500 for two of a family and Rs 24,800 for four of a family. The package will cover travelling, food, lodging and expenses of the ‘pindadaanrituals.

“We will also offer a package for the pilgrims reaching Gaya on their own. We will arrange their local conveyance and organise their rituals — all on a single day — on payment of Rs 7,000 per head; Rs 10,000 for two of a family and Rs 15,000 for four of a family,” Prasad said.

The BSTDC’s two-day-one-night package can also be an option for such pilgrims on payment of Rs 11,500 per head, Rs 15,000 for two of a family and Rs 22,500 for four of a family for local travelling, food, lodging and ritual expenses.

Yet another Gaya-Bodh Gaya-Rajgir-Nalanda-Gaya package will cost Rs 11,200 for one, Rs 15,500 for two of a family and Rs 24,500 for four of a family for two days and one night.

Prasad said the packages would cover all the expenses of the rituals, including puja items and priest. “This year, we also plan to launch a mobile app for e-pindadaan,” he said and added the tender for developing the app had already been floated.

With this app, Hindu believers can get ‘pindadaanrituals performed for their departed ancestors by priests without being present at Gaya. “It will cost Rs 18,000, which includes all the expenses,” Prasad said and added a DVD of the recording of the rituals would later be sent to the patron by post.

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