Bhubaneswar, October 18: Imagine exchanging your wedding vows with the majestic Sun Temple, the finest architectural splendour of Odisha as a witness! Well, if Rakhi Kankaria, one the popular wedding planners from India, has her way, this thrilling idea could just be turning into a reality. Rakhi, who is based in Hyderabad has approached the Odisha Tourism Department with the idea of promoting the site as a wedding destination.
She was one of the participants at the Odisha Travel Bazaar (OTB) being organised by Odisha Tourism Department in association with FICCI where around 46 tour operators from 19 countries participated.
Interacting with MCL, Rakhi Kankaria shared, “For a wedding planner, what is most important is a beautiful destination which inspires tradition and has the advantage of a natural ambience. So,the premises near Konark’s Sun Temple as a location is a better possibility to become a popular wedding destination. If the government supports all the wedding perspectives which include the band bajabaraat, late night parties, liquor and good food facilities including non-vegetarian food and gives us permission for the same along with wastage disposal process and restroom facilities, I think Konark can be a fantastic destination to promote.”
“We can create wedding sets on any barren land but having a wedding in the open air amphitheatre adjacent to the Sun Temple in Konark would be like taking it to another level. I go to Turkey, Thailand, Pattaya and other temple places in Bangkok and beaches to organise weddings. So, why should I not do the same thing here as it can help generate revenue for Odisha?” said Rakhi.
“The Sun Temple can be easily sold as a wedding destination in India as at present, Goa, Jaipur and Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad are the onlyoptions we have and we are bored of seeing these destinations! There are around three lakh families, who have the budget to spend beyond Rs. 5 crore in a wedding and around one lakh names from these three lakh families are repeated in these high profile marriages. So they feel bored to see the same destination.”
"I had interacted with a few government officials and they told us to see the site and bring investors. They are willing to provide us land. The government has a progressive approach and I think if they start taking strong action,it can be a turn around for Odisha! The place has 500 percent potential but the rate of action is going on at 75 percent."
On future plans, Rakhi informed, "I am planning to bring the delegates of Events and Management Association of India. We are also going to tie up with FICCI and our first event will be in Odisha where we will bring top 35 event companies to Odisha and showcase the state to them. I am working with various hotels to partner and associate with me and take it to the next level."
"We plan to bring IIFA Odisha, Sunburn, Bollywood music projects to Bhubaneswar and for all these activities, we need permission, support and sponsorship. Local industry members need to sponsor us so that we can execute them. Bollywood projects have 40 top artists. Similarly, Sunburn involves foreign artists," she said.
Interacting with MCL, Tourism Director Nitin B Jawale said, “Rakhi approached us with her plans for other places in Odisha, so we suggested her about Konark and Chilika which could be good wedding destinations. During festivals only, the stage is used while rest of the time, it remains unused. She is currently exploring the site and we have had a detailed discussion with her. After further discussion and consideration of various factors like liquor consumption and playing of loud music at the premises, we will come to a conclusion whether or not to hold weddings there. We have, however, suggested them to use the nearby Yatri Niwas, in case of liquor consumption at the party.”
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