Not only Narendra Modi’s name, but everything about his past have now become selling points for a bus tour in Gujarat.
A local travel company has in place a day-long itinerary for passengers interested in travelling to Vadnagar, the town where the Indian prime minister was born in 1950. The once-a-week tour began in January, and is set to become a daily feature April 20 onwards. So far, more than 10,000 people have visited Vadnagar as part of the tour.
The tour’s advertisement plays on the oft-repeated story of Modi’s ascent from a tea-seller at a railway station in Vadnagar, Gujarat, to becoming India’s prime minister. The tour starts from Ahmedabad and lasts about ten hours.
Some of the landmarks covered in the tour include 64-year-old Modi’s birthplace and ancestral home in Vadnagar, the railway station where Modi sold tea as a young kid, and the schools he attended.
Visitors can also interact with the Indian prime minister’s classmates from his primary and high schools, “who provide unheard tales about him when he was a student,” Pankaj Chaudhari, tour manager of Akshar Travels, told India Today.
Another popular tale about Modi is narrated at Sharmishtha Lake, where he saved a crocodile as an eight-year-old boy, Suhaj Modi, Akshar Travels’ general manager, told Quartz.
The daylong trip costs Rs600 ($10), and “traditional Gujarati food is a part of the deal,” he added. The tour is more popular among non-resident Indians, according to the travel company’s managing director.
The announcement about this bus tour was made during this year’s state-sanctioned Vibrant Gujarat Summit, which is well-attended by top business professionals from the country and abroad.