Summer Heat forces tourists to remain indoors in Varanasi

A soaring heat wave continues to sweep Varanasi shutting the business of boat owners and giving problems to residents and tourists.

The banks of the Ganges are deserted and boat owners are facing losses due to the rising mercury.

"The heat wave has been intense since the last fortnight. We are facing a lot of problems on account of this. Towards evening around 4 p.m. a few tourists struggle in and we take them for sightseeing. Otherwise our business has seen a major drop, because of the immense heat," said, Chamru Nishad, a boat owner.

With temperatures hovering around 44 degrees Celsius in the city and surrounding areas, people, especially tourists, are falling prey to the intense heat.

"It is terribly hot here. The tourists, who come here for a holy dip in the Ganges, normally head for the ghats on a sightseeing tour in the boats, but now it is sizzling hot. The heat wave is certainly a dampener for the tourists. Even the residents here are facing problems due to the torrid weather," said Rambharat Pandey, a temple priest.

The temperature is over 40 degrees Celsius since the last 15 days and the residents and tourists are forced to stay indoors.

Water and juice kiosks on the roadside are cashing in on the situation as people try to survive the scorching sun.

Most of northern India is in the grip of a severe heat wave, with Punjab and Rajasthan recording temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius.

The Indian summer starts early in April and continues till late June. The weather cools with the arrival of monsoons in July.

Meteorological experts say over the years, the average temperature has been going up due to global warming.

Airlines in India Hiking Fares

Air travel in india will be more expensive as all major airlines have decided to raise the fares by at least 10 percent. According to the reports from the industry sources, the hike is due to ATF price hike. Crude oil has touched $120-a-barrel mark in the international market. It is said that the new round of fare hike will again hit passenger growth rates. In the last quarter of the 2007-08 fiscal, the number of domestic air passengers grew just 11.12 percent over the corresponding period of the previous year.

The number of inbound tourists has sharply increased in the hill town of Manali in as other states reels under intense summer heat.For the past several years the hill resort has been witnessing increased tourist inflow as the heat of summer gets intense in the plains and tourists look for sublime surroundings of Manali.The number of high-budget foreign tourists has also witnessed a rise here due to the ideal weather and friendly environment.

Apart from the foreign tourists, Indians too wanting to escape scorching summer heat prefer to spend some time in Manali.With almost upto three times increase in the flow of tourists, the number of hotels in Manali has increased to about 1,000 to meet the ever increasing demand for accomodation.Apart from hotels a number of homestays and resorts have come up not only in the town, but also in its suburban areas to cater to the needs of the growing number of visitors.

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