SUBJECT :The weekend tour package for Valmiki Tiger Reserve VTR, announced by the state government recently to promote ecotourism, has evoked mixed response so far. 

Forest Department at the VTR IN west Champaran

By: Saloni Vats

Patna, December 19, 2018: The weekend tour package for Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR), announced by the state government recently to promote ecotourism, has evoked mixed response so far. VTR is the state’s long tiger reserve situated in west Champaran district. Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi had announced it on November 18.

Though there were only nine people in the first batch last week, a Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) official said more people were showing interest now and 30 bookings had already been made for the second  batch , which would leave Patna on December 22 for the two-day tour of VTR, around 290km northwest from the state capital.

The per person package of Rs 2,800 include transportation from Patna to VTR, accommodation, food and sightseeing. Brajesh Kishore, manager (travel and trade) at BSTDC, said: “We receive many inquires about the package and are happy to host people to a place rich in wildlife and close to nature.”

The tour is conducted by BSTDC with the help of the state environment, forest and climate change department.

Gaurav Ojha, division forest officer, Bettiah, told this newspaper that VTR is home to 60 animals’ species and 350 species of birds and reptiles. “People generally know about tigers in VTR, but they can see here leopards, sloth bear, sambar deer and different migratory birds as well,” Ojha said.

Giving details of the package, Ojha said: “Beside jungle safari, we also organize 1 to 1.5km trekking on the rope bridge, which is an adventurous experience. We will also lend bicycles to our guests to move around the Valmiki Ashram here.”

Danapur resident Sanjay Agrawal, who visited VTR with his wife in the first batch on December 15-16, said: “It was first visit to the VTR and I was stunned to see its natural beauty. The arrangements made by the organizers were beyond expectations. People in Bihar should come and relax here. I will visit the place again with my kids.”

Booking are made offline at BSTDC office in Hotel Kautilya Bihar at Patna. The package is available till February, as of now.

Source: Times of India