Pilgrims progress to next level of Sachin worship

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 23, 2013 06:26 hrs

Sachin Tendulkar fanatics, it’s time to line up. A six-dham yatra or Sachin darshan will soon take off from the holy soil of the Eden Gardens, Kolkata, and go all the way to Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium. On the way, prasad will be served with a sprinkling of some Boost on Sunfeast biscuits along with Pepsi. Or, you can have a bhandara at the restaurant, Tendulkar’s, part-owned by the cricketer.

A detailed 14-day trip itinerary has been drawn by a team of travel information company Holiday IQ to give a chance to fans of the Bharat Ratna nominee to indulge in some Sachin-doting. “Our team is actually full of huge fans of Tendulkar and they came up with this idea just for fun. The response it has generated has been unexpected,” Hari Nair, CEO, Holiday IQ, said.

Building up on the godly status accorded to the cricket superstar, HolidayIQ.com had even considered putting “Sachin Darshan” on the pilgrimage tour section of its website. While that did not happen, the company has gone ahead to coin an urban legend around the Captain Roop Singh Stadium, Gwalior, saying that “possessing the grass from the ground can help you live for 200 years”.

To make the tour more experiential, HolidayIQ has suggested activities such as wearing the number 10 India jersey and a wicket shaped tilak, chanting “aila” in the Little Master’s voice  in keeping with “religious sentiments” associated with the game or throwing cricket balls with Shane Warne stickers to the boundary while yelling “what a player!” in Tony Greig’s voice at the Chidambaram stadium, Chennai. “We are making places like Nagpur and Gwalior tourist destinations. Many places in India are associated with different things. We are showing the usual places, with a Sachin experience,” Nair added.

Travel companies are in touch with Holiday IQ to collaborate on the tour. The company is considering getting the concept registered. “It is a good opportunity. We have done packages around Bollywood but nothing like this has been developed in India yet,” a senior executive of Yatra.com said.

Holiday IQ is looking at creating smaller versions of the package to suit travellers who want to take a vacation for just three-four days. “We have got enquiries from offline as well as online travel companies which would want to sell this package and have the wherewithal to execute it. We are still to work out prices,” Nair said. The fans are surely hooked.


* Remember each century and chant Aila’ 100 times at Eden Gardens, Kolkata

* Move the sight screen 175 times to the left and 186 to the right at Rajiv Gandhi stadium, Hyderabad

* Offer 13 one-rupee coins to bowlers who were demoralised after playing against Sachin

* Run 200 times chanting “Sachin Sachin” around the Capt Roop Singh Stadium in Gwalior

* Roll for five days on Azad Maidan,Mumbai

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