A PANDAL, a complimentary banquet hall, e-invites, henna artists, music, all-day meals, including starters and mocktails — and of course, hand sanitisers, social distancing and seating only for 50.
Bookings are open for customised wedding packages in the Statue of Unity complex, with the Gujarat government planning to open up tourist destinations after the three-month Covid lockdown.
The wedding venue is Statue of Unity Tent City 1, located on Dyke 4 of the Narmada Dam about 4 km from the 182-metre statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
“The picturesque location and open-to-sky setting with Statue of Unity and Narmada Dam in the backdrop makes for a perfect destination wedding,” says Chetan Verma, Manager-Operations, Statue of Unity Tent City 1, which has 60 tents and two “Presidential Cottages”.
“We have drawn up packages for 50 persons as per the state government’s Covid guidelines. The cost per package is about Rs 2.5 lakh, which is extremely affordable as our cottages cost about Rs 12,000 each per night at the regular price (before the lockdown),” says Verma.
Tent City 1 is being developed, operated and managed by Lallooji and Sons, an Ahmedabad-based event management company, on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.
Officials say that ever since it opened on October 27 last year, it has mainly hosted official events, starting with the World Bank Conference, which saw the participation of World Bank CEO David Malpass, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
Over the next five months, until the lockdown in March, three weddings were held, including that of the daughter of Principal Secretary (Health) Dr Jayanti Ravi.
Before the lockdown, the complex drew an average of 15,000 visitors on weekdays and 22,000 over weekends.
Says Nilesh Dubey, Kevadia Deputy Collector and Chief Administrator of Statue of Unity: “Promoting the location for destination weddings is a good idea, and will be good for the Statue of Unity in the long run. We don’t have word yet on when tourist spots can open, but we are prepared. The Tent City is open.”
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