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Holymen Take Five-Star Tents to Court

on 2001/1/13 8:48:02 ( 1890 reads )


ALLAHABAD, UTTAR PRADESH, January 12, 2001: A luxury tour operator is forced to defend itself in court after it set up next a five-star tent city at the Kumbh Mela Hindu festival site. Irate Hindu sadhus demanded that British travel agent, Cox and Kings, wind up its 74 Swiss-cottage style tents as it went against the true Kumbh spirit. Local official, Mr. Sadakant said the camps were meant to cater to foreign tourists including international celebrities. Reports surfaced that the camp was serving alcohol and meat to its residents -- both taboo at the Mela. Local officials said the holy men's sentiments had to be respected. Organizers ordered the camp be moved using a statute that stated that anything which could affect the sanctity of the religious congregation could be banned. But Cox and Kings said they would fight the order in court, citing misunderstanding of company motives to cater to "spiritual seekers" rather than five-star tourists. The temporary resort has plush tents going for $489 for two nights -- the same as a five-star Delhi hotel. All 74 tents are booked for the entire 42-day duration of the Kumbh Mela.

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