Rudra Meditation Cave has become a popular new tourist destination after PM Modi spent a day meditating in the cave during the final days of general elections, earlier this year. Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel in an interview said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a brand ambassador for tourism in India. His presence is incredible and wherever he goes, he attracts attention. He is our biggest brand ambassador.” He further said, “The Rudra Caves which he visited earlier this year is attracting a deluge of tourists. This is great for tourism in the country. I am told that the Rudra Caves have received pre-bookings for the first time.”
The cave is situated barely a kilometre away from Kedarnath shrine in Uttarakhand. From a minimal desolate booking to 78 bookings, the Rudra Meditation Cave in Kedarnath visited by Modi has been pre-booked for the first time, according to official figures. Since it was open to the public in 2018, the first time the place has been booked in advance. Immediately after Modi's visit, the caves reportedly received four bookings in the month of May, followed by 28 bookings on June, 10 on July, eight on August, 19 in September and 10 in October. The cave is maintained by the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN).
A senior official at GMVN stated that they are expecting more bookings for September and October till Diwali, despite the cold weather conditions during that period. “After that, we will take bookings for May 2020," the official said. The caves can be booked for Rs 1,500 for night stay and Rs 999 for stay between 6 am to 6 pm.
As the cave is located at a remote location and is meant to encourage meditation, only one person is allowed in the meditation cave at a time. Despite the fact that the cave offers complete isolation, a phone has been installed in the cave which can be used by the visitor in case of an emergency. The cave has electricity, drinking water, an attached toilet and heater for the occupant. The occupant will also get morning tea, breakfast, lunch, evening tea, and dinner. Meal timings can be changed as per the occupant’s preference. The cave also has a bell that can be used to call an attendant, as 24X7 staff has been deputed for guests.
(from PTI inputs)