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Jail Tourism: For ₹ 500 Per Night, Uttarakhand Offers 'Real Jail' Experience To Tourists

Indiatimes logo Indiatimes 28-09-2022 Isha Sharma
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The government of Haldwani, Uttarakhand, has created a unique initiative for travelers who want to understand what it's like to be incarcerated. According to them, this is also designed for people who want to serve time to eliminate a problematic astrological alignment within their horoscope.

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For Rs. 500 every night spent in jail, the jail administration in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, has struck up a novel technique to help people avoid "bad karma."

To accommodate "tourists" seeking a genuine "jail experience," a section of the former prison is currently being refurbished.

Not only visitors but those whose astrologers advised them to serve time in jail to avoid "Bandhan Yog" in horoscopes that forecast imprisonment.

The Times of India reported that the Haldwani prison was constructed in 1903 and is today used to house "jail guests" in a section that includes the former armory and six staff quarters.

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"The jail frequently received "orders" from senior officials to allow "recommended persons" to spend a few hours in the jail barracks. These "tourist inmates" are given prison uniforms and food made in the jail kitchen," Satish Sukhija, the prison's deputy jail superintendent told TOI.

"All such cases are mainly of people whose astrologers predict that a jail term is inevitable as per the planetary positions in their horoscope. We have an abandoned portion inside the prison that can be developed as a dummy jail to accommodate such ‘inmates' for a night for a nominal fee of ₹ 500," the jail official said.

A Haldwani-based astrologer, Mrityunjay Ojha, said, 

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"When three celestial bodies, including Saturn and Mars, are placed in an unfavorable position in one's horoscope or birth chart, it becomes an equation that predicts the person may have to undergo imprisonment. In such a situation, we usually advise the subject to spend a night in jail and have their meals provided by inmates to bypass the bad effects of planetary positions."

"I had moved a proposal regarding the matter to the inspector-general of prisons. He not only appreciated it but even asked me to send him a detailed project report," Sukhija told TOI.

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