BHUBANESWAR: Tourism to Buddhist heritage site at Ratnagiri has got a shot in the arm with opening of the sixth unit of Toshali Resorts near the site.
Spread across an acre, Toshali Resort International has renovated the building, formerly a Pantha Nivas, to give it a new and modern look. The resort is located on the Diamond Triangle of Buddhist circuit comprising Lalitgiri and Udaygiri apart from Ratnagiri. Two other resorts at Lalitgiri and Udaygiri have also been lined up.
“I was bowled over by the location and the surroundings when I came for seeing the site during the bidding,” said Managing Director T Banambar Patra.
The resort has a restaurant which has on its menu traditional and authentic Odia cuisines along with a wide array of seafood and non-veg delicacies. Acknowledging the fact that tourist traffic to the State has come down due to the recent Maoist kidnappings, Patra hoped that by taking hospitality a notch higher the slide can be arrested. The resort will have five more rooms in addition to the existing 17. There are also plans to equip the resort with a health club, a conference hall, a spa, a coffee shop and a swimming pool. “Our major target is to boost Buddhist tourism. We want to provide the tourists basic amenities, a good place to stay and good food,” explained Patra.
The local residents of Ratnagiri are excited as the resort would open up job avenues. The resort managers are planning to hire as many locals as possible.
“The other two resorts will also be functional very soon,” added Patra. The State received around 220 Buddhist tourists last year. The number is very poor considering the Buddhist heritage sites the State is home to.