Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tourists increase after Big B shot in Gir

Tourists increase after Big B shot in Gir
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik

Many Want To Travel To Spots Where Bachchan Shot For The Ad Film

Superstar Amitabh Bachchan's visit to the Gir Sanctuary has evoked a new kind of interest in the Asiatic lion's abode. Tourists who are thronging Gir after Big B shot for an ad film are demanding to travel the "Amitabh route" in the sanctuary to spot lions exactly the way he did.

Bachchan just finished shooting an advertisement in Gir for Gujarat Tourism Corporation. And, though there is still time for the ad to be telecast, the visitors to Gir have already increased by 100 per day. There are six designated routes in Gir of which Amitabh shot on four and posted pictures of lions at close quarters, on his blog.

A taxi driver told TOI, "Among the many tourists who wanted to see spots where Amitabh shot, there was a businessman and his family of 12 who insisted that I take them on the route where Bachchan shot. However, on not spotting lions, the family insisted on being taken around to other spots where Big B had shot."

However, the sanctuary was closed from June 1 to 5 as Bachchan was shooting there and reopened only for 10 days before it closed again for the mating season in the monsoon.

Deputy conservator of forest (DCF) Sandeep Kumar admits that the last 10 days of the tourist season saw a mad rush. "Before Bachchan's visit about 60-65 vehicle permits were issued, but from the day he left the number of permits issued went over 85." Going by the average of six adults allowed per tourist cab, the number of tourists per day increased by at least 150.

However Kumar did not rule out the fact that the rush could be attributed to the summer vacation coming to an end. However, a beat guard who has been associated with the issuing of the permits said, "Usually such mad rush is not seen at the time of the closure of the sanctuary. There is always a fall in the number of visitors during June 10 to 15. But this year the rush was maddening."

Amitabh Bachchan during his recent Kutch visit

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