Hosur lures B'lore cracker shoppers with light prices

The Hosur Road presented nothing less than a spectacle on Sunday with rows of vehicles on the highway bound for Bangalore, all carrying crackers home. Hosur (in Tamil Nadu) and Attibele (the town bordering Tamil Nadu) were the weekend destinations for Bangaloreans ahead of Deepavali.

It’s my share: A kid toys with crackers at a stall set up at Attibele bordering Tamil Nadu  on Sunday. DH Photo

The annual cracker stalls along the stretch were a crowd puller as festival enthusiasts thronged them to get the best deal. Cracker prices are competitive in the neighbouring state, given that the cracker manufacturing hub of Sivakasi is situated there.

On the Hosur Road, buses were seen crowded with cracker shoppers. While a few had carloads of them, others managed to balance multiple cartons filled with crackers on two-wheelers.

A three-kilometre traffic jam that stretched between Attibele and Hosur did not seem to dampen the spirits of shoppers as the crowd only increased as the day progressed. The stalls usually are set up after the toll gate, just a kilometre away from Hosur town.

With an increase in the number of shops this year, the stalls started from Nallur Village near Attibele, much before the tollgate, even as the shopkeepers rued the tough competition.

What seemed to have increased the footfalls at the stalls is the fact that the festival holidays follow the weekend this time, giving ample time to shop. Saravana, employee of a software firm in Bangalore, made his first visit to the place this year.

“I am from Madurai and I had heard a lot about the cracker sales near Hosur. This time, since we have the weekend ahead of the festival, I decided to buy crackers from here,” he said.

There were many customers like him who were not too keen on buying crackers for the festival, but had gone to the place just to witness the “grandeur” with which cracker sales take place there.

Similar was the case with Binay Patra, who recently got a job in Bangalore. Even though he does not buy crackers worth more than Rs 1,000, he was there as he had heard about the place from his friends.

There were others who have been ritualistically shopping for crackers from here every year.

Vinod Kumar and his family visit the place every year. Their shopping goes up to Rs 5,000 and more.

“We are a joint family with five children at home. We come here for the discounts and buy at least four boxes of crackers,” he said.

Shopkeepers, vying with each other for the attention of the customers, had put up banners promising discounts up to 90 percent.

With an assured discount of at least 80 per cent, customers were sure to get the crackers for at least half the price, compared to retail shops in the City. In spite of the increase in the number of shops, they seemed to be doing good business, as the low prices enticed buyers.

“We have had bills go up to Rs 2 lakh in the last three days. Sunday morning’s highest was a Rs-80,000 bill,” Satish, one of the shopkeepers, told Deccan Herald.

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