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West India to Start Online Booking for Elephant Ride
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West Indian state Rajasthan is planning to start online booking for the elephant ride, a famous and popular way to do sightseeing at its hilly ancient forts, according to a local media report on Monday.


A tourism department is preparing a record of all the 110 elephants to be used for riding. The database involves the name of elephants, mahouts and their rotation number, Indo-Asian News Service reported.


"We are planning to systematize the elephant riding here. Special booking counters would be set up. We would also prepare a draft for online booking," said Pawan Jain, assistant director of the department.


The government is encouraged to carry out the plan by the favorable response to online booking of wildlife safari in Rajasthan's Ranthambore national park.


Most of the mahouts also welcomed the possible changes in elephant ride.


"The online booking facility would certainly increase the customer base as people would be able to book tickets without standing in a queue. It would also give a huge exposure to elephant rides," says Shayam Gupta, an elephant owner.


It is a popular tourist choice to climb the hill and visit the famous ancient Amber Fort by riding an elephant. The ride will cost 600 rupees (US$13) per elephant for two persons.


(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2007)


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