INDIA A TOURIST’S PARADISE
The most valuable assets of India as a desirable tourist destination lies in its thousands years old historical and cultural heritage. Every region, every part of India encompasses culture of its own, entirely distinct in traditions, language, festivals, beliefs and rituals with different and unique style of living and dresses.
No country in the world comprises such distinction and such diversity with a unity and integration. This diversity may be attributed to the historical roots of developments of each region, due to different dynasties that ruled the different regions. The development of different life style, celebrations of different festivals, adopting different languages, different dressing sense, all exist as per the norms fixed by the then ruling dynasty. Each region has unique physical features, soil types and climatic conditions, and so has distinct vegetation and wild life. When the natural beauty is mingled with a different culture the resultant harmony presents a unique land sparkling picture, reflecting each destination in its unique and colourful way.
One finds everything in India exotic as well as native, the snow clad Himalayas crowning the head in the North, enveloping all the beauty within itself, releases the mighty rivers, Indus, Gangas, and Yamuna and their tributaries. These rivers roll over the whole country like arteries, supplying life blood to the body of the country and its inhabitants throughout the year. The complex beauty of the desert state of Rajasthan is found rarely in any part of the world. With the Thar as a background the vivacious sanddunes, mirages and camels, the huge and glorified palaces, forts and havelies, present a complex and unique beauty. The culture of Rajputs with bright Badhani colours, intricate designs and the royal background give their sharp look different from others. In their unique architectural style in the series of palaces are the lake palace of Udaipur, the sand coloured torts in Jaisalmer, the city palace of Jaipur, which with the pink city of India, coupled with the vibrant folk dances and folk songs make India an ‘Epitome of Cultural Beauty’.
The Taj Mahal at Agra, a symbol of Mughal romance and faith, in its architectural perfection and splendor attracts tourists from all over the world. The Taj Mahal reflects the Persian cultural and their architectural eminence, and is today counted among the Seven Wonders of the World.
The caves of Ajanta-Ellora, the Sun Temple of Konark, the temples of Khajurao and Dravidian style stone carved temples of Hoysalewara and Ranganathswamy, the medieval glory of the Qutab Miner, the Red fort, Fathepur Sikri and other forts and mausoleums with Persian architectural influence, the Victoria palace at Kolkata, beautiful and elegant churches at Goa. Each and every one of these symbolizes the richness of Indian culture with tremendous diversification and each has its own attraction for the tourist.
India has witnessed many eras blooming on her soil. Each era and dynasty has left its indelible mark, on her different regions with uniqueness and distinction. From the Harappans to the Maury as, Guptas to Sultans and Mughals to the Portuguese and the English, each era witnessed a metamorphosis. Different cultures with different life styles and beliefs intermingled. Each century brought a new culture, made its impact, kept intact the original identity and beliefs also, and thus a unique diversity with integration is the present India.
Tamil Nadu is known for hundreds of ancient temples. The famous Meenakshi Temple of Madurai is embellished with 30 million sculptures. Down South, the tranquil bay at Kappad, near Kozhikode where came the Portuguese navigator Vasco-da-Gama, changing the history of India, the Coromandel Coast in Mahabalipuram, the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque in Delhi an iron pillar, rising to a majestic 7.31 m erected by king Chandra Varman, in the AD Sixth century on which the ravages of time have left no speck of rust on the pillar, are some of the most visiting places by the tourist from every part of the world.
The Bhool Bholaiyan at Lucknow, the mystery of shaking Minarets in the mosque and tomb of Rajbibi in Ahmedabad, the acoustic wonders of Gol Gumbaj, the famous Golden Temple at Amritsar, the oldest church at Palayur in Goa, the oldest synagogue at Mattancherry in Kochi and the oldest mosque in Eheraman Malik Manzil in Kodungallor, also the modern Lotus Temple at Delhi, the Bahai temple of worship at Delhi, the Stupa of Sanchi, the Tower of Silence at Mumbai, the tallest statue of Bahubali at Karnataka all speak of the glorious heritage of our country and so are the places of attraction for tourist throughout the world.
No where in the world, can be found such multifaceted, most diversified culture with such a rich heritage reflecting many dynasties and regimes. India is known for its unparalleled religious beliefs as well as for its vast variety of people, the animal kingdom and the rich flora. India is a miniature world where the tourists find the best of the West and East coexisting in perfect harmony for centuries.
Another aspect of Indian culture can well be seen in its vibrant and colourful festivals. India has been the birth place of many religions. The Hinduism, The Buddhism, The Jainism, The Sikhism, The Islam and The Christianity Zorxestriamism all have nourished and flourished here well. The Desert festival, the Kite festival, Boat race festival in South India, the Durga Pooja festival of Kolkata, Dussehera of Mysore, Puri festival of Odisha, Ganesh Chaturthi festival of Maharashtra, all are celebrated so colorfully and in such a grand manner that year after years tourists from all over the world come to enjoy their beauty. Though the list of tourist attractions in India is endless one must still mention about the beauties of cities of Haridwar, Rishikest Varanasi, Ujjain, Mt Abu and Amritsar. Who can ignore the beauty of Kashmir, Elephant caves, Andaman Nicobar Islands and backwaters and, house boats and the lagoon of Kerala? Shrinagar, Kullu, Manali, Nainital, Darjeeling, Ooty, Mussoorie, etc are name of the famous hill stations.
Not only the above historical festivals, the modern festivals, like, the Taj Mahotsava, Khajurao Dance festival, Konark Dance festival, etc also give an opportunity for seeing all internationally acclaimed faces of Indian classical dance and music on one stage.
Over the years we have developed the concept of eco-friendly tourism, which means that while promoting tourism in very possible manner, we should not forget the importance of ecological balance. Many of the places at the foothills of the Himalayas have become the dumping ground of wastes for the tourists. While promoting the tourism in wild life, it must be ensured that the tourists should not become a threat to the tranquility and ecological balance of the forests.
No doubt, India’s diversified culture presents a ‘paradise for tourists but to keep it intact, a number of judicious and prudent policies to facilitate the tourists, and attract more and more tourists are to be framed and required to be implemented at a fast pace. The tourists visiting India, should be enchanted not only with the rich heritage, but they should also feel here safe, sound and welcomed.
The call of this Paradise can be summarized in a few lines
“The snow clad Himalayas at the top,
The flow of rivers, valley and lakes,
The fort and havelies in desert lop,
Vibrant festivals, temples and mosque make
Nowhere have you found such diversified features
You would say and say our teachers.’