KURSEONG 22 MAY: In the northern fringes of Kurseong Town, lies St. Mary’s Hills where “The Grotto” is a famous destination for locals as well as the few tourists that visit Kurseong. But even then, the tourism department is lying asleep over a gold mine of tourist attraction and it is high time they should start developing the area that has immense tourism potential.
In Kurseong, there is no tourism at all and the few tourists that trickle here is because of the natural beauty. Besides that, there is no tourism infrastructure at all and nothing has been done regarding this. Even though the natural sites that Kurseong possess attracts some tourists like “The Grotto” and “Eagle’s Crag” to name a few.
In “The Grotto” there is a statue of Mother Mary. Families and young couples visit the site in great numbers where prayers are offered by people from different faiths. The surrounding of “The Grotto” is blessed with dense forest and a peaceful environment. People believe that the statue of Mary possess divine powers and candles are burnt to seek her blessing. A natural spring lies besides the statue which is believed to be holy.
A local, Mr Rakesh Rai, said that whenever any guests visit our home, they enquire about places to visit in Kurseong and I always take them to “The Grotto” where they are amazed by the silence of the deep forest, the beautiful holy environment of Mother Mary and the beautiful scenery they get to view.
Mr Mukesh Sharma said that looking at the surrounding of “The Grotto” and its natural beauty, it is a great spot for Tourism authorities to make a blueprint to lay infrastructure for tourists. Presently, the place attracts such a large number of people without even any infrastructure and one wonders how popular it might become once it is developed by the concerned department.
In this connection, when asked, a GTA member said that the GTA has just been formed and we are sorting out several projects to be implemented to develop tourism on a large scale in the Hills. We will definitely look into the potential and viability of developing the areas in and around “The Grotto”.