Aug 07 2010
On the midnight hour of August 15, 1947 India got its freedom. There was delirious excitement as the new sun dawned on a new country. A freedom won at much cost, an occasion to be cherished and remembered for eons to come. A nascent, bruised nation faced a lot of challenges along the way; we have a long way to go but are happy to be here.
During school it used to be a flag hosting ceremony, followed by a full day’s telecast from Doordarshan – patriotic films, holiday, delicious smells wafting in from the kitchen, playing in the dust with equally scruffy friends and then a minor scolding later, after a delicious lunch – a little nap, then usually an outing on a stately rickshaw. Off late the day means pleasant traffic, a thinly populated office, decorated with rangolis and the customery samosa, jelebis, shared with the lucky/unlucky ones working on the day.
The Prime minister would hoist the tricolour and address the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort, like always. This year inflation, rising prices, red terror, commonwealth Games mess will likely be issues he addresses. But as a nation we are entering a stage where the next 20-25 years would shape the destiny of the country for a long time to come.
“Jana Gana Mana” – ¬†India Natioanal Anthem
For me August 15 is usually a working day but between renewing your pledge for a better tomorrow you can drop by at a nearby resort – add the Friday, the Saturday and maybe the Monday – a short drive to Shilon Bagh, Shimla or a near empty bus to Puri – depending on where you are. The country’s birthday needs to be celebrated well and never let the sombreness of the occassion pull you down, for all its sombreness the very word independence is a synonym of joie de vivre for me. Born free, forever free. Laud the achievements of the country but remember if everyone of us does their bit the country would be better, for it is not soil that make a land – its people.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† “Vande Mataram” – India National Song
We all know a lot about the pros and cons of our beloved motherland but for me August 15 has always remained and will always remain a personal experience, one which you can feel but can‚Äôt express. Prior to this 64th Independence Day I will renew the pledge to do my bit, do join me – as drops makes an ocean so will each of us take our motherland just that little bit forward in her journey.
Are you planning for a soaking, peaceful and tranquil weekend getaway to spend Independence Day in a lovely place amidst the beauty of nature. Then what are you waiting for, check out for an independent villa along Sea Beach or in the panoramic view of Himalayas‚Ä¶.. Rush in your queries for exclusive monsoon discount bonanza at – ¬†http://bit.ly/drz01n
Aug 01 2010
‚ÄúI percieve in an instant. Friend your delays on
Mountain after Mountain, Scented with flowers‚ÄĚ
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Quote – Kalidas (Meghdoot)
Poetry apart – Ever walked through a cloud? Walked right through it and got drenched to emerge to an astounding visual symphony of greens and whites and a riot of colours. Ever felt the soothing finger of monsoon rains that seems to make the hills more beautiful. Just be there and out of your window you’ll see the clouds moving from valley to valley, touching its midas finger along the way. When the skies are clear you can see kinnaur kailash in the distance and the Shivaliks too.¬†¬
Feel the freshness of nature with stunningly beautiful views which one can see only during monsoon season. The temperature drops, light wollens are out – walking through mist and fog and clouds are ethereal, a journey into a fantasy world. The natural vegetation comprises of pine, oak, cedar or Himalayan deodar, and rhododendron, as well as maple and horse chestnut. During monsoons, many wild flower species, wild strawberries are abunduntly found in forest. Cobra Plant is plentiful during monsoons.
The Britishers introduced non-local trees and flowering and the Weeping Willows, Silver Oak and chestnut have fared remarkably well locally. The nearby Chharabra village, part of Shimla Reserve Forest sanctuary and catchment area provides breathtaking views of the Himalayas and a look at the aforementioned flora and fauna and sometimes a jackal, kakkar (barking deer), the occasional leopard, and bird species like the Himalayan eagle, pheasants, chikor and partridges.
Toshali Royal View Resort is just 24 kms off Shimla on the Chail Khufri road. Its not only the views itself. You can visit the 67-meter high Chadwick Falls. There are some ancient temples near the falls too. The museum and the mall have got so many references I am skipping them. Prospect Hill is another nice place on the Shimla Bilaspur road. The ancient shrine of Kamma Devi tops the hill. Jakhoo temple is devoted to Lord Hanuman and considered as the highest point in Shimla. Mashobra, a quaint little village offer pleasurable walks in densely wooded areas. During this time the aged Queen of hill stations comes alive in all its glory. And when you return after a tiring trek the warmth of our hospitality will only be matched by the warmth of your steaming cup of tea.
For exculsive Monsoon Package, Wedding Package, Honeymoon Package, Festive Package, Winter Vacation package at Toshali Royal View Resort, post a comment on your travel plan or mail to “firstname.lastname@example.org We will send best budget package. Share this post with your friends at Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, Linkedin and other Social Networking sites…
Jul 31 2010
Scorched by the summer heat, I lie withered almost defeated
Fervently, silently awaiting, Deliverance by your Healing cooling caresses
That could ignite me‚Ä¶.
Quote¬†by Taara Nandita
If it had words such would have been the sea shore’s lament. By June the weather is typically that of a tropical summer, very hot and humid. The parched lands wait for the monsoon rains. By mid July the monsoons arrive¬† low, dark clouds move over from the sea, the wind suddenly stops and there is complete silence ‚Äď then with a loud thunder clap it literally pours. It seems that the heavy deluge will wash away all the dust and heat of the summer with it. It cools the environs appreciably. Small rivulets make their way through the beach to the sea. Everywhere you look there is greenery, parched vegetation is replenished, new plants spring up, all around it looks greener than ever before.
Traditionally monsoon was the off season for tourists. Monsoon tours started with Goa, it gives you a unique, personal perspective of a place otherwise teeming with tourists. The monsoon mood of a beach resort is guided by the mood of the sea. The Arabian Sea is a much calmer compatriot of the Bay of Bengal. This is a turbulent sea. The beauty of it – especially during the monsoons can be both breathtaking and awesome at Balighai Beach, Puri.¬†¬†
¬†Toshali Sands looks bedecked in emerald. It‚Äôs a riot of greens. Every leaf, every blade of grass glimmers. It is instantly refreshing. The otherwise placid Nuanai river is full to the brim. The nearby sanctuary is a riot of colours. In the eastern parts of India it can literally rain for days. The gray, looming sky matches with the slate gray of the sea, the white of the breaking surf adds to the allure. Looking at a foaming raging sea can be somewhat intimidating but it is beautiful, uniquely beautiful. You can rest assured that one single look and you‚Äôll be hooked.¬†¬†
Life in Toshali Sands goes on as usual, a little relaxed. There are a lot of special offers for the Monsoons. This is the traditional rice planting season. While on a trip to a nearby village of artisans, if you wish you can see traditional farming, still practiced in most parts of India. So if you have heard someone asking tourists to give beaches a miss during the rains don‚Äôt listen, just go ahead, carry a big umbrella and head for an one of a kind experience at ethnic village resort ‚ÄúToshali Sands.
Post your monsoon exprience. To book your exclusive Monsoon Package, Honeymoon Package, Wedding Package… post a comment¬†or contact your travel consultant at Toshali Sands “email@example.com
Website : www.toshalisands.com
Jul 28 2010
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Jul 20 2010
The Suna bhesa or Bada Tadau bhesa or Raja bhesa happens the day after the return of the Lords from Gundicha. On the day of Bada Ekadasi, the 11th day of the bright fortnight in Asadha. The deities, on their chariots itself don the golden attire or the suna besa, with hands, arms and crown made of solid gold. They are decorated with gold diadems, hands and feet made of gold. Lord Jagannath holds a gold Chakra (Disc) in his right hand and Silver Sankha (Conch) in his left hand. Lord Balabhadra holds a gold Hala (plough) in his left hand and a golden Gada (mace) in his right hand. The dress reportedly weighs one ton. They are also offered sweet drinks, adhara pana, on huge cylindrical earthen pots reaching up to their lips. They are taken down from the chariots in a ritual descent to enter the temple.¬†
Golden attire – Suna Besha of Lord Sree Jagannath, Puri Dham Orissa
Other than the Rath Yatra, the Lord Sree Jagannath is dressed in this regal attire on festivals like Dasahara, Kartika Purnima and Pousa Purnima (Pushyabhiseka Besha).
After this the very human and amusing feud takes place between the Lord and Goddess Laxmi in the main gate of SreeMandir, Puri dham. Ultimately the humility of the Lord prevails and he is allowed entrance to his abode. There is great ullulation and fanfare and in his stately ‚ÄėPahundi‚Äô style the Lord returns to his seat ‚Äď marking an end to the grand spectacle of Rath Yatra. It is said that a ardshan of the Lords Sree Jagannath in ‚ÄúSuna Bhesa‚ÄĚ frees one from the cycle of rebirth.
This year you can see the Lords in their golden attire, popularly known as Suna Bhesa on July 22 and after the symbolic Laxmi-Narayan feud the Lords will enter SreeMandir on July 23‚Äô 2010 bringing to an end the grand festival of Rath Yatra ‚Äď The Car Festival.
To take part in the conclusive part of ‚ÄėRath Yatra‚ÄĚ ‚Äď The ‚ÄúSuna Bhesa‚ÄĚ Festival on 22nd July 19, 2010, Toshali Sands, Puri has exclusive arrangement to take you on visit to the ‚ÄúSree Mandir‚ÄĚ Bada Danda¬† ‚Äď The Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri Orissa ‚Äėnow called as Odisha‚ÄĚ. To Know more, leave your comment or contact travel desk ‚Äėmetu@toshali.in, we will get back to you.
I would be glad to hear more about the Holy Ritual Costume or Attires or Bhesas, please post if you feel any information‚Äôs in the blog is missing. And would be gald to have you as their guest at Toshali Sands, Puri
I trust you enjoyed this post, I would appreciate, if you share it on¬†Twitter,¬†Facebook, Orkut and other Social Networking sites.¬†
Jul 20 2010
King Indradumnya asked the Lord to keep him issuless, as then nobody will be able to claim the Jagannath temple as his own. The Lord agreed but queen Gundicha was aghast ‚Äď with no earthly heirs she took the Lord to be her son and extracted a promise that he will visit his Gundicha home for a week every year. According to some treatises of Mahabharata Subhadra, wanted to visit Dwarka, her parent’s home, and her brothers took her back to Dwarka on this day. Thus, The Chariot Festival or The Car Festival or popularly called as Rath Yatra is a commemoration of that visit.
Another legend says, the festival has its foundation in the residents of Vrindavan bringing back their Lords, Krishna, Balaram and Lady Subhadra from Kurukshetra.
The Bhagavad Purana says that it was on this day that Krishna and Balarama went to Mathura to participate in a wrestling competition, at Kansa’s invitation. When the brothers were ready to leave for Mathura, the Gopis and Gopals – blocked their way and relented only when the Lord consoled them and allayed their fears. The Festival commemorates this overwhelming separation.
On the day of Rath Yatra the chariots of Lady Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra reach directly the Gundicha temple, the chariot of Lord Jagannath stops at his Mausima (Aunt’s) Goddess Ardhamsini temple. Here the Lord is offered with Poda Pitha then the chariot proceeds towards the Gundicha Temple. After reaching the Gundicha Temple the Lords receive all the routine Rituals same as they used to receive in the main temple.
The Lords reach the Gundicha temple. There, in their Garden House, Adapa Mandapa, also known as their place of birth, the deities stay for seven days. On the ninth day of the festival, Bahuda Jatra, the grand return journey takes place. On the way back they stop for a short while and partake of poda pitha (sweet reciepie), a type of cake made of rice, lentils, jaggery and coconut, offered by their aunt. On reaching back the main temple, the deities, on their chariots, don the golden attire or the suna besa, with hands, arms and crown made of solid gold. They are also offered sweet drinks, adhara pana, on huge cylindrical earthen pots reaching up to their lips. They are taken down from the chariots in a ritual descent to enter the temple.
The Lord does not have it easy however – Goddess Laxmi, angry at the Lord having left her alone refuses him entry into the temple. Her anger, jealousy and frustration is articulated by her companions, represented by a group of servitors from inside. Another group representing Lord Jagannatha respond with entreaties and endearments. The Lord has to answer 9 questiones posed by the Goddess. In the answer, equality between all devotees and social status and freedom of ladies are recognised by the Lord. After re-enacting this drama of daily domestic tiffs of mere mortals, the celestial couple finally make up.
The Lord uses Oriya in his cajoling of Goddess Laxmi – there are many versions but it basically starts and end this way:
Who are you? (Kia aschi)
¬†I’m Ramanatha Nathoramayah (husband of Rama or Maya)
But why should Maya’s husband come to see Laxmi ?
Who is Laxmi to Him ?
The Lord says, “Laxmi is my life, she is in my heart”
If Laxmi was in His heart, why should He come searching for her here. The lord wonders – Where is the cool touch of the sea, the liquid lucidity of the looks of Payodhitanaya in her words.
¬†According to some versions Lord Balabhadra or Borthakur intervenes:
¬†“Hey Bhadre ! if my brother, Jagannatha is a wrongdoer for lapses, if any, I too am not free from your accusation. Our darling Subhadra accompanied us because of the candid wish of both the brothers and not of Jagannatha alone. Subhadra cannot remain without her brothers. And so, you were left in the temple for the genuine reason best known to you.
¬†After all, you are the divine proprietress of the grand temple. Mind not my brother’s mistake, if any. Now open the door and let my brother enter the sanctum of the temple.”
¬†The lady ‚ÄėGoddess Lakshmi‚Äô gives in and finally the Lord moves into his own house house i.e in devotion called as Sree Mandir ‚Äď Sree Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri dham.
In the answer, equality between all devotees and social status and freedom of ladies are recognised by the Lord. After re-enacting this drama of daily domestic tiffs of mere mortals, the celestial couple finally make up.
¬†And thus ends with ‚ÄúBahuda Yatra or Bahuda Jatra‚ÄĚ ‚Äď one of the inseperable part of Sree Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra.
This year the return journey or Bahuda Yatra or Bahuda Jatra or Ulto Rath Yatra¬†is celebrated on July 21‚Äô 2010. Then you can witness the Lords in their Golden Attire ‚Äď Suna Bhesa ritual¬†on July 22 on Bada Danda, Puri and after the symbolic Laxmi-Narayan feud, the deities ‚ÄúLord Jagannath, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra¬† will enter SreeMandir on July 23‚Äô 2010 bringing to an end the grand festival of Rath yatra – The Car festival
¬†Toshali Sands, Puri has exclusive arrangement to take you to be the part of ¬†The Lord Jagannath Temple ‚ÄúBahuda Yatra‚ÄĚ on 21st July‚Äô2010, and entry to Sree mandir on 21st July 2010. To know more, leave your comment or contact travel desk ‚Äėmetu@toshali.in, we will get back to you.
I trust you enjoyed this post; I would appreciate, if you share it on¬†Twitter,¬†Facebook, Orkut and other Social Networking sites.
Jul 19 2010
In Hindu mythologies and rituals Gods and Goddesses are revered and loved just as family. Probably belonging to the bhakti yoga culture popularized by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – they wake up to strains of music, are offered prasadas, bathed, anointed with fragrances, dressed in finery and jewelry and fall asleep to lullabies. You can either view it as humanization of a deity or the acknowledgement of the Lord‚Äôs omnipresence.
In the Sree Mandir tradition of Sree Lord Jagannath, Puri there are altogether 24 beshas or Holy Attires or Ritual Costumes or¬† the Vastra Shringar of which 22 are used regularly while two beshas are used rarely. The Nagarjuna and Raghunath Besha. In all the attires or bhesas, Sree Lord Jagannath is the focal point except for the Pralambasurabadha Besha used to commemorate slaying of a demon of same name by Sree Lord Balabhadra.
The bhesas or the holy attires are:
- Abakasha or Tadapa Uttari Bhesa
This is done daily, after mangala arati. Abakash is the tooth brushing and bathing ritual.
- Badasrunghara Bhesa
It is the nightly retirement dress. This is mostly made of different kinds of flowers and silk clothes.
- Chandana Bhesa
This bhesa is done for 42 days, beginning on Akshaya Trutiya.
- Hati Bhesa or Gajanana Bhesa
On the full moon day of the month of Jyestha, after the bathing ceremony is over, the Deities are dressed to resemble Lord Ganesha.
- Suna Bhesa
When the Deities return from the Gundicha Mandir on their chariots, they appear in the Golden dress. It is said that a darshan of the lord in Suna Bhesa frees one from the cycle of rebirth.
- Raja Bhesa
The Lord dresses up in this attire on the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Aswina, the full moon of Pousa and the full moon of Phalguna.
- Banabhoji Bhesa
On the 10th day of the dark fortnight in Bhadra, the Lords are dressed for a picnic, like the cowherds.
- Kaliyadalana Bhesa
On the 11th day of the dark fortnight of Bhadra the Lord is dressed as Krishna the slayer of serpent Kaliya.
- Pralambasura Badha Bhesa
On the following day, the 12th day of the dark fortnight of Bhadra the Lords are dressed to commemorate Lord Balaram’s slaying of the demon Prahlamba. his is the only beshas when Lord Jagannath’s elder brother Lord Balabhadra occupied the central place.
- Krishna-Balarama Bhesa
On the 13th day of the dark fortnight of Bhadra, the Lords are dressed as Krishna and Balarama.
- Bali Vamana Bhesa
On the 12th day of the bright fortnight Bhadra, the Lord is dressed in the image of his reincarnation as Vamana, the slayer of demon Bali.
- Radha-Damodara Bhesa
From the 11th day of the bright fortnight of Ashwina to the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika, the Lords are dressed with a rope around his waist in reminiscence of his bal-leela with mother Yashoda.
- Thiakia or Laxmi-Narayana Bhesa
This bhesa is used on the 11th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika.
- Bankachuda Bhesa
The curly haired make-up. Used on the 12th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika.
- Adakia or Trivikrama Bhesa
Attire used on the 13th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika.
- Dalikia Bhesa or Laxmi Nrisimha Bhesa
Used on the 14th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika.
- Raja Rajeswari Bhesa
Attire on the full moon of Kartika.
- Chacheri Bhesa
From the 9th day of the bright fortnight to the full moon of Jyestha except the 14th day, this dress is used.
- Nagarjuna Bhesa
In honor of Parasurama. It is used only occasionally – during the month of Kartika, when there are six days of Panchaka. This was done six times in the last 30 years on 11/3/95, 11/16/94, 11/26/93, 11/3/68, 11/16/67 and 11/26/66.
- Ghodalagi and Jamalagi Bhesa
From the 6th day of the bright fortnight of Margasira (Odhan Sasthi) to the 5th day of the bright fortnight of Magha (Basanta Panchami) to Dol Purnima – the Deities wear winter clothes.
- Padma Bhesa
On Saturdays or Wednesdays between the new moon of Magha and Basanta Panchami. The dresses are made from lotus, sola lace and paper.
- Gaja Uddharana Bhesa
On the full moon day of the month of Magha. It commemorates the story of Gajendra, the king of the elephants, and the alligator.
Toshali Sands, Puri has exclusive arrangement to take you on visit to the ‚ÄúSree Mandir‚ÄĚ ‚Äď The Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri Orissa ‘now called as Odisha”. To Know more, leave your comment or contact travel desk ‚Äėmetu@toshali.in, we will get back to you.
I would be glad to hear more about the Holy Ritual Costume or Attires or Bhesas, please post if you feel any information‚Äôs in the blog is missing. And would be gald to have you as their guest at Toshali Sands.
I trust you enjoyed this post, I would appreciate, if you share it on¬†Twitter,¬†Facebook, Orkut and other Social Networking sites.
Jul 16 2010
‚ÄúAll journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.‚ÄĚ-Martin Buber
Like the quote mentions, offbeat, secret, exotic destinations of Incredible India await to be explored by the tourists and travelers, when they arrive for the XIX CommonWealth Games to be held from 3rd to 14th October, 2010 at New Delhi.
However, I¬†agree to witness the changes after the recession a bit – but overall the scenario painted is far rosy than what will eventually materialise. However budget tourism and Northern Indian packages will receive a boost – more as a result of ending of the recession. A personal opinion – the influx of tourists to Northern India will be because of the Dushera / Diwali rush rather than the Common Wealth Game 2010. In fact in view of the paranoia among the Westerners over security I feel that Delhi will not actually be swarming¬†with tourists.
ASSOCHAM predicts India is going to earn around USD 16,915 million in¬†the year 2010 from tourism. The Common Wealth Game 2010 will give them the impetus. Foreign tourists will depend on tour and travel agencies for reservations, flight bookings and other travel services. Expectedly over 2 million foreign tourists and 4.5 million domestic tourists will grace Delhi on the eve of the Commonwealth Games 2010.
The Ministry of Tourism and Archaeological Survey of India has¬†launched ‘Discover India in Common Wealth Game 2010′ in road shows in¬†CommonWealth countries as heavy tourists arrival is expected from¬†these places. Delhi is getting beautified. Tourists will be able to hop on and off dedicated tourist bus services from mid September. Heritage, religious¬†and adventure tourist sites in the northern states are getting¬†repackaged. From spa to spirituality everything is on the menu.¬†Bhangarh – one of the 100 most haunted place worldwide will welcome tourists under an initiative ‘Ghost to be Host’ :). ¬†Shimla, in Himachal Pradesh Nainital, in Utaranchal and Puri, a beach destination¬†and such popular tourist destinations are expected to be crammed with¬†tourists as CWG 2010 corresponds to the domestic tourist season.
Athletes, besides free accommodation, security, transportation would reportedly be offered trips to the Taj and heritage sites likeFatehpur Sikri, Sikandra, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Ranthambore, Sariska, Mathura, Vrindavan among others.
Since Delhi is staging the games Northern Indian destinations in¬†Himachal, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan will definitely see an increase in¬†tourist influx but overall Kerala, Orissa, Goa, Andamans etc will also¬†benefit. Alternative, niche focus areas like Medical Tourism, Yoga,¬†Ayurvedic rejuvenation packages, Tribal and Village tours will get a¬†boost. Already popular destinations like Shimla in the north, Puri in the east etc will be choc a bloc. As there will be a heavy rush in the¬†Northern India, domestic tourists will flock to Orissa and other¬†Southern states. Puri (Orissa) is an evergreen destination and this time a¬†significant number of foreign tourists will also visit the Buddhist¬†circuit in Orissa, driving on the local economy. Chandragiri and¬†adjacent places are nearly perfect destinations for tribal or rural¬†tourism. North eastern states are natural havens and nature seekers will not give it a miss. Kaziranga with the highest tiger density in India is the gateway.
Offbeat destinations like Similipal Tiger Reserve Forest and Sanctuary, Jatinga bird sanctuary, Naga headhunter villages like Mon and Longkhum, adventure tours in caves of Mizoram, including one full of human skeletons from ancient history (Milu Puk) are one of a kind experience. Budget Tourism is a sector that will register heavy growth. The unheralded bread and breakfast scheme, with firm focus on ‚ÄúAtithi Devo Bhava‚ÄĚ has open up new avenues of niche accommodation.
Commonwealth Games ‚ÄúCWG‚ÄĚ is expected to bring a boom to the medical tourism industry. With such anticipation both the healthcare providers and the medical tourism facilitators, are making extra efforts to gain from this opportunity.
Foreign tourist arrivals between January-June 2010 were 26.32 lakh¬†compared to 23.76 lakh in the same period in 2009 (up 10%). According¬†to India tourism ministry data foreign exchange earned by India¬†increased by 28.1% in June 2010 over June 2009. Foreign exchange¬†earnings during January-June 2010 were $6,842 million with a growth¬†rate of 36.6% compared to $5,007 million in 2009. Foreign tourist¬†arrivals in India during June 2010 were 3.70 lakh compared to 3.42¬†lakh during June 2009. Forex earned in June 2010 was $1,020 million¬†compared to $796 million in 2009. ¬†Things are looking upbeat for¬†CommonWealth Games 2010.
The schedule of the CWG has coincided with the end of recession. This¬†should provide the perfect opportunity for an under pressure tourism¬†sector to erase deficits and launch itself on a path of high growth in¬†the next decade.
For more details on the package and your travel management in India, contact your travel manager ‚Äď email@example.com
Jul 15 2010
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Jul 07 2010
Taittiriya Upanishad is a part of the Yajur Veda. A verse says “Matru devo bhava, Pitru devo bhava, Acharya devo bhava, Atithi devo bhava”. Means – Be one to whom your mother is a god; be one to whom your father is a god; be one to whom your teacher is a god; be one to whom your guest is a god – this Upanisad teaches the importance of following the path of charity, duty and dharma.
‘Tithi’ in Sanskrit means date ‘Atithi’ is one who arrives at your doorstep – unannounced. Emphasis in the Upanishad was on the good treatment of even the unexpected guest – who knows it well may have been god – testing the munificence of the host :). This is the tagline of the initiative of Ministry of Tourism, Government Of India to tap the full potential of tourism in India.
The campaign aims to sensitising key stakeholders towards tourists, through training. Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and China far outstrip us in foreign tourist arrivals. There is no reason why India cannot compete. However we need to change our attitude towards those who visit us. Often tourists are mistreated, cheated and rudely dealt with. It‚Äôs simple, if someone in a house is rude to you, you don‚Äôt refer it to friends and relations. This is why in spite of an incredible wealth of tourist spots, cultural diversity and destinations for the soul, India still not amongst the top 20 tourist destinations Of the world. We hover around the 40s.
The Charter of ‚ÄúAtithi Devo Bhavah‚ÄĚ Program includes Hygiene & Cleanliness issues for transportation, hotel rooms, restaurants, shops, etc., personal hygiene & cleanliness of the service provider and cleanliness of the places of tourist interest.
- Conduct and Behavior: The service provider shall be courteous and polite.
- Integrity and Honesty: The service provider should display honesty and integrity.
- Safety and Security: safety and security of the tourists shall be ensured.
Training of key stakeholders in terms of changing their attitude and behaviour towards foreign tourists. The key stakeholders listed were taxi drivers, tourist guides, operators, immigration officers, tourist police and others who have direct interaction with inbound tourists. Any initiative aimed at changing attitudes and perceptions poses challenges, and designing a training program for the often Semi-literate tourist sector workers and convincing them was tough.
FTAs had increased by 45 percent during 2005-06 and 2006-07. In 2005 and 2006, tourist arrivals in India grew annually at a steady 13 percent. The global economic crisis saw a drop in FTA arrivals in 2008 and 2009 but in the opening months of 2010 India has seen a jump of 17 per cent in FTAs. Government has roped in Aamir Khan as the brand ambassador for Atithi Devo Bhavah. The commercials as well as the print advertisements and posters have gone live from January 21, 2009.
Attitudes need to change drastically. Since time immemorial guests has been well treated in India. Legend and history said that even if a sworn enemy came to a Rajput household as a guest – he need not have feared for his life – such was the standard of hospitality. Terminology reflects social mores – in Germany expat labours are called guest workers. Just last week, I read the news of molestation of 2 tourists – its utterly shocking. Crime against foreign tourists at major tourist destinations will remain – the state is expected to act swiftly to ensure punishment for perpetrators and allay fears about India being an unsafe destination. It has done so in a few cases – it must continue to follow up other cases similarly. Fleecing remains another area of concern – how many times have you seen foreigners being ripped off in flea markets, by auto, taxi and rickshaw drivers. This doesnot happens in popular tourist destinations.
You cannot think about such things in say China or Japan, even Malaysia, Singapore etc. States like Goa and Kerala have succeeded because they have sensitised the local population. Things are good in Uttarakhand, Punjab, Himachal, Orissa and most areas of the North Eastern states. But to make India a most favored destination this change must be all pervasive.
Actually I have seen that tourists going for alternative packages – like say tour of tribal villages etc go back content – because in all their primitive simplicity they have demonstrated values that we have forgotten.
Toshali Resorts, welcomes you to discover Incredible India….. ¬†“Atithi Devo Bhavah” – “Guest Is God”
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