Tourism is life line of Varanasi and biggest attraction for tourists has always been Kashi Vishwanath Temple and the river Ganga. I can’t even think of any tourist of pilgrim coming to Varanasi without having desire to at least visit Kashi Vishwanath Temple and have at least one boat ride on the river. As per the data of UP Tourism board nearly 7 million tourists had visited Varanasi in the 2017 and the number is growing every year. But because of bad infrastructure Varanasi was not able to impress tourists and pilgrims as much as it should have done. The city was a complete mess until 2014. Luckily Varanasi elected Mr. Narendra Modi as the member of parliament from Varanasi and he is also the current Prime Minister of India now.
During his tenure of past 4 years this city has changed a lot. They worked a lot for cleanliness under Swatch Bharat Mission which had huge positive impact on the city. Mr. Modi always talks about tourism hence he personally took interest in developing tourism facilities in Varanasi. And the most recent change is Ganga Cruise. We had small boats (hand rowing and engine run both) which can handle 4-6 people. Hand rowing boats are fine but the there was a huge increase in number of engine boats which had basically ruined the whole experience. It is very loud and since it is run on a diesel engine it creates huge pollution. People want to have peace when they go on a boat but these boats were very bad.
I have had so many guests who were disappointed with the boats. If fact they were willing to pay extra to have a bigger, safer and comfortable boat but it was not possible at all because we did not have any other option. But finally we have Ganga cruise as well which will leave positive impact on tourism in Varanasi and will definitely attract more tourists. The government has started this new cruise named Alaknanda and I have been told that it is a double-decker cruise ship which will be able to carry more than 100 passengers at any given time. The liner is equipped with 60 luxurious sofas to make your voyage incredibly comfortable and have eco-friendly bio-toilets. It also has an extensively equipped kitchen which will serve both veg and non-veg dishes to please your taste buds.
The lower deck of the cruise is fully air-conditioned and has a small stage which boosts all the needed multimedia functionality. To keep you connected to the modern world it also offers free on-board WiFi. The upper deck is a restaurant and will let you enjoy the view while hogging on your favorite food! The cruise is even equipped with numerous safety features and an on-board lifeguard for emergencies. When Cabinet Minister Mr. Nitin Gadhkari proposed the idea of Motorways, many People mocked him….but look at it….it is indeed happening…..it is the future.