Navratri festival is no longer about just hopping to different pandals to play garba. This year, patrons are opting to visit popular Durga puja pandals or relish authentic Bengali or Gujarati food sitting in the comforts of their homes.
As the Navratri festivities are set to kick start on October 10, e-commerce websites have already seen a 50 per cent growth in sales of apparels and food items.
Websites like Tripxoxo are offering customers a day-long visit to five popular Durga puja pandals. People can also hire the services of a chef to enjoy some authentic Bengali or Gujarati upvas meals, as per their likings.
Vashi resident Vijay Kumar, a design consultant, is opting for the pandal hopping experience. “Every festive season I like to try something new. This time I am opting for the pandal hopping experience and would like to try the Bengali food offered at these pandals. I plan to do this along with my office colleagues,” he said.
The average cost of such packages extends from Rs 900 to Rs 4,000 on a daily basis, depending upon the number of patrons and the car they prefer to commute in. Some of the Bengali dishes prepared by chefs include cholar dal, luchi, mustard fish curry and bhapa doi.
Another resident, Meena Shah, who hails from suburban Ghatkoper, plans to call for a Brahmin chef at her home to relish on some authentic Gujarati cuisine.
“On the ninth day of the festivities, I am expecting many guests at my home. Usually on Navratri, we used to head back to our village in Gujarat to celebrate. However, we are unable to go this time and therefore I am trying out this new option of getting a cook and feasting on some good Gujarati cuisine,” Shah said.
Heena Akhtar, founder of Tripxoxo, said,” We have got a good response from visitors who are new to the city and are keen to undertake such experiences. We have received at least 12 bookings for such trips and have received multiple queries”.
Several websites, which offer incentives on buying festive gifts, are now offering promotional discounts.
Ashok Kumar Reddy, Founder & CEO, Grabon, said, “Over the years, shopping trends have changed drastically. Now, a higher percentage of people tend to shop online. E-commerce shopping was 45 per cent higher than the previous year. According to the market, we can expect around 50-55 per cent increase this year,” he said.
Demand for foods items, clothes and related travel-related items have increased. “We are seeing phenomenal growth and with an estimate of around 1 million customers likely to opt for gift vouchers, we expect the gift voucher sale to grow by 130 per cent,” saidArvind Prabhakar, CEO, gyftr.com.