Thursday, 2 October 2014

Season of 330 million Gods is here! Incredible India!

The concept of Tourism started with Tirthatan, Deshathan and presently Paryatan. In India, religious tourism has its own significance, as it is generally a high-volume, low-end tourism.

About Navratri:
Navratri in Sanskrit means 9 nights. Shakti or feminine power is celebrated or worshiped during the sacred time of Navratri. Forms of Shakti worshipped during Navratri are: Durga, Bhadrakali, Amba, Annapoorna Devi, Sarvamangala, Bhairavi, Chandika, Lalita, Bhavani and Mookambika.

Navratri in India
Colors of Festivity
In Gujarat, Navratri is celebrated with great fervor with men and women dressed up in traditional Gujarati attire play garba every night during the navratri.

Garba in full swing in Gujarat
Garba in full swing in Gujarat

In West Bengal, Durga Puja is celebrated during the same time and images of Durga slaying the demon buffalo Mahishasura are built and displayed in temples.

Durga Puja in West Bengal
Durga Puja in West Bengal

About Dussehra:
Dussehra is the tenth day of Navratri and celebrated as the day Lord Rama defeated the demon king Ravan in Lanka.

Effigy of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbkaran.
Effigy of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbkaran.
Credits: www.newzstreet.com

In Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, Dussehra has its origins dating back to 17th century. One won’t see effigies burning. Thus, celebrations are a bit different but nothing less than spectacular. The 10 day event preceding Dussehra begins with the Rathyatra of Lord Rama to the Dhalpur maidaan. Then, the various Gods with processions and bands arrive and the Gaddi shepherds come down from their homes in the hills to sing, dance and praise the gods.

Dussehra celebrations in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
Dussehra celebrations in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh

Bed and Breakfast during Dussehra
Foreign tourist particularly from Europe and USA, visit India during this time to witness the celebrations and become part of such celebrations. This is where the importance of Bed and Breakfast comes in as the they like to visit Ramlila, Durga puja pandals, burning of effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbkaran and have real feeling of existence of 330 million Gods of Incredible India!

Burning of Ravana effigy during Dussehra
Burning of Ravana effigy during Dussehra

Buddha Religious circuit
Keeping in view the tremendous potential of Religious Tourist arrival, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India, has launched Buddha circuit that includes sites of significance related to the life of the Buddha and is sacred to 500 million Buddhists and also attracts non-Buddhist tourists interested in historical heritage sites such as Bodhgaya in Bihar, Sarnath and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh, and Lumbini in Nepal.

Buddha Religious Circuit
Buddha Religious Circuit


Swachata Abhiyan
Small things make big impact! Prime Minister, Narendra Modi announced Cleanliness drive on 2nd October. As Prime Minister, he was advised to expand his vision but he understood the importance of cleanliness and hygiene to attract more tourists besides raising the standard of living. I could not have agreed more! 

Swachata Abhiyan, Narendra Modi
Swachata Abhiyan

In India, Dussehra, Diwali and Holi are celebrated with fervor and gaiety. This festive season of Dussehra and Diwali is no less important than Christmas celebration in December. Delhi bustles with activity and one can find frequent traffic jams all over the city but it does not lessen the enthusiasm of the people. In India, the tourism season starts from mid-September and goes on till March in most of the regions.

MonthForeign Tourist Arrival, 2013Change in FTA from previous month%age change in FTA from previous month
September453561--
October59809514453432%
November73392313582822%
December8215818765812%




As the data shows, the months of Sept-December account for almost 60% of Foreign Tourist Arrival in India.

As a closing remark, I hope that during this festive season and pro-active governance, there will be an increase in Foreign Tourist and Foreign Exchange Earnings.

Credits: