Jail tourism seems to be the new thing for Uttarakhand. The Haldwani prison in Uttrakhand is offering a ”real jail experience” for ₹500 per night.
When Vishal Bharadwaj was making Maqbool, he replaced the three witches with two astrologer policemen. He justified this by saying that witches would be unrealistic, but cops and India’s love for astrology would not.
Perhaps proving him correct is Uttrakhand’s Haldwani prison. Work is being done to transform a part of the old prison into accommodation for ”tourists” looking for a real ”jail feel”.
According to jail officials, astrologers tell those who have ’bandhan yog’ in their ’kundali’ to get rid of it by spending time in jail. It is believed that according to planetary motion, it is inevitable for some to serve a prison sentence. Therefore, to ward it off, many are advised to spend a night in jail and eat the food served to inmates.
Hence, the idea of warding off the ’bandhan yog’ with a nominal ₹500 is attractive to many. Referring to this, Deputy Jail Superintendent Satish Sukhija stated that the jail frequently received ‘orders’ from seniors to allow ”recommended persons” to spend a few hours in the jail barracks, in prison uniforms, and consume the food made in the jail kitchen. This inspired officials and the deputy jail superintendent to propose this venture.
Other potential visitors could be tourists looking for a thrill or trying to tick something off their bucket lists.
The Haldwani prison was built over 100 years ago, in 1903. The new tourist spot was previously an abandoned section comprising of old armory and six staff quarters.
Perhaps Bharadwaj was not wrong, after all.