If you or your dear ones plan to tie the nuptial knot in the state capital during the ongoing winter marriage season and haven’t yet finalized the venue, you have a tough task ahead even if you have deep pockets. For, almost all the community halls, banquet halls, hotels and playgrounds of schools and various localities are fully booked till December 15. Even though charges for the same and related services have gone up substantially compared to last year, no one seems to be complaining about having to spend big bucks for the once-in-a-lifetime event.
Hotel Maurya remains the most favourite address for the elite of the society for marriage purposes. All its seven halls and two open spaces meant for the event are booked till December 15. “We have taken 100% advance payment and have no scope for further booking. Our package includes food, service and venue,” said PB Thapa, food and beverage manager of the hotel. For bookings, the hotel needs a minimum of 18 guests, while the maximum number can go up to 1,500 at its biggest space. A substantial increase in the cost of food – the charge for vegetarian and non-vegetarian ‘thalis’ having gone up to Rs 1,290 and Rs 1,400 from Rs 1,150 and Rs 1,250 respectively – has had no impact on people wanting to hold the event at the most posh address of the city.
Hotel Chanakya is also fully booked till December 15. “All our four halls with the capacity to accommodate up to 300 guests have been booked till December 15,” said Nalini Dayal, assistant manager of the hotel. It has introduced Bengali and Rajasthani dishes especially for the wedding season, and increased the cost of its ‘thali’ by Rs 100 compared to last year. Here non-veg and veg ‘thali’ is available for Rs 870 and Rs 750, respectively.
For those hard-pressed to find a good venue, there is a little bit of good news. The city’s only revolving restaurant, Pind Balluchi, has scope for booking in December at its banquet hall, having a capacity of 500, located at the 16th floor of Biscomaun Tower. “We are booked only on December 9 and December 11. We are charging only Rs 650 and Rs 800 for veg and non-veg ‘thali’, respectively. Along with snacks, desserts and main course, this restaurant is also providing barbecue, Chinese dishes, pasta and chaat.
Though there is no scope for tying the knot at the floating restaurant, this venue has become the first choice for exchanging rings. “We are booked throughout December for holding engagement ceremonies,” said Gajendra Singh, public relation officer, Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation. For booking the floating restaurant, one has to shell out Rs 10,000 for every two hours.
Besides hotels, almost all the clubs, community halls and banquet halls of the city are running full during this wedding season. New Patna Club, which allows booking for members and their relatives, is fully booked this year even though it increased its rates from Rs 7,500 for members and Rs 25,000 for member’s relatives to Rs 10,000 and Rs 35,000, respectively. This covers veranda, lawn, guest room, kitchen space and parking. “No booking is given to non-members,” said, Shakeel Ahmed, manager of the club.
Similarly, Shagun banquet hall at Dak Bungalow road charges Rs 1 lakh for booking. Amrapali banquet hall at Beer Chand Patel Marg charges Rs 500 for non-veg and Rs 475 for veg ‘thalis’ and has also been booked for the wedding season.
Chetan Jha, a resident of Kankarbagh whose wedding is on December 4, failed to get any suitable space. Thus, he has been forced to organize his wedding at a playground near his house. “Date for my wedding was finalized quite late, so when I went looking for space at various hotels and community halls, I was told that they were all booked, hence I decided to make arrangements at the open space in front of my house.”
Shivam Singh, a resident of Buddha Colony, who is getting married on December 6, is holding his wedding ceremony at the parking lot of his apartment. Similarly, many other people who failed to get booking for a good venue, have chosen playground of various schools in the city for the purpose.
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