S K Mishra. This particular enterprise has “partnered” with Sri Someshwar Baba. “There are many spiritual gurus, who could not get land in the main mela area. It works both ways. They get accommodation for their devotees and we get clients,” said Mishra.
Most of these enterprises eye the foreign clientele looking for an experience of the spectacular aspect of Kumbh without getting into much discomfort.
However, Anil Agarwal of Kumbh Village Camp, located near Harish Chandra Research Institute on Chhatnag Road in Jhunsi (closer to Sector-12 of the Mela area), said: “The Kumbh-2013 has not been marketed in such a way that many foreigners would get attracted. A large chunk of our clientele is Indian.” The Kumbh Village Camp has “tied up” with Shiva Shakti Siddha Yoga Ashram in Cuttack, Odisha. “Our Maharajji was looking for a place in the mela area. But he was refused. He then got in touch with us so that his devotees can stay comfortably near the Mela area,” he added.
Incidentally, till religious tourism has had a jerky start in so far as Kumbh is concerned. In 2001 Kumbh, a private tour operator, Cox and Kings, had set up its camp with modern-day luxuries. But it was forced to remove its apparatus following allegations of alcohol and meat being served in their camps.
Subsequently, the mela administration had banned any private operator within the Kumbh mela area.