'Shikaras' to adorn Goa's Mayem lake soon

Panaji, Oct 5: Goa tourism department has decided to soon introduce 'Shikara' boats, similar to the ones in Kashmir, at the famous Mayem lake here in a bid to attract tourists to the state's hinterland.

A comprehensive plan has been developed to revive hinterland tourism, including rejuvenation of the Mayem lake, situated 15 kms away from Panaji on an island, state tourism minister Dilip Parulekar told reporters here today.

'Shikara', which is a great attraction for tourists in Srinagar's Dal Lake and other water bodies, would be introduced at the Mayem lake. While in Srinagar Shikara is a wooden boat, the Goa tourism ministry has already procured fibre boats. "We will start it on a trial basis," Parulekar said, adding that the main aim is to attract tourists to the hinterland, instead of the beaches, which are overcrowded.

State government-run Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) will run the Shikaras. The tourism department has also decided to launch water zorbing, floating barbeque and similar facilities in the water body, which is currently facing neglect. "Total Rs nine crore would be spent on this project, which includes beautification of the lake," Parulekar said.


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