Rural Tourism : Proven Ways of Rediscovering Yourself.
Rural Tourism : Epitome of Getting Lost in the Living Rural Culture.
Mahatma Gandhi once said that India’s heart lies in it’s villages. Each provincial local area is saturated with fables, native craftsmanship, specialty and common legacy. The customary lifestyle is exquisitely essential and can enormously enrich a guest’s experience. The inventiveness and creative mind, deftness and expertise of country craftsmen have advanced over ages.
For city people, this lifestyle, personally joined with nature is emerging as the most sought after analgesic for fatigued metropolitan nerves.
Plausible Definition of Rural Tourism
” Any form of tourism that showcases the rural life, art, culture and heritage at rural locations, thereby benefiting the local community economically and socially as well as enabling interaction between the tourists and the local community for a more enriching tourism experience can be termed as rural tourism.”
Rural tourism is essentially any activity which takes place in the countryside.
It is multifaceted and may entail farm or agricultural tourism, eco tourism, tribal tourism etc and is experience oriented.
The locations are sparsely populated and predominantly in natural environments.
They mesh with seasonality and local events and are based on preservation of culture, heritage and traditions.
Spotlighting the art, culture, history and heritage to attract tourists is nothing new, particularly in Europe. All the people don’t get motivated to travel for the same reason. Travel motivators involve a wide rage of human emotions and drives, that modern science still has difficulty in measuring and fully understanding. They are intrinsic and relate to peoples inner feelings and arise out of needs and wants. These are the reasons what for a person travel to one destination as opposed to others and gets engaged in specific tourism activities.
A few decades back, many different countries felt the need to dedicate personnel specifically to promote the artistic, cultural and historical attractiveness of their towns, cities, regions and states. Because travelers were becoming more and more interested in opportunities to learn about places through their art, cultural traditions and hence Cultural and Heritage Tourism began to grow. Rural tourism can very well be considered as a sub set of big domain of the universal set, that is Cultural & Heritage Tourism which is based on the mosaic of places, traditions, art forms, celebrations and experiences that portray the true identity of a nation and it’s people, reflecting the diversity and character of a nation.
A growing number of visitors are becoming special interest travellers who rank art, heritage and / or other cultural activities as one of the top five reasons for travelling. Travellers who engage in cultural tourism activities visit the following types of tourism attractions:–
# Art galleries, theatres and museums.
# Historic sites, communities and land marks.
# Cultural events, fairs and festivals.
# Ethnic communities and neighbourhood.
# Architectural and archaeological treasures.
The demographic profile of the cultural heritage travel segment today is younger, wealthier, more educated and more technologically savvy in comparison to the past profile.
Tourism got the industry status by Govt. of India in the VII th five year plan but the tenth five year plan identified tourism as one of the major sources for generating sustainable livelihoods and employments in India.
Rural Tourism: Emerging Strength of India
The development of a strong platform around the concept of rural tourism is opportune for India because India has a rich tradition of art, craft and culture. The striking feature of rural tourism is it’s intent to raise the living standards of rural artisans, promote a diversity of crafts, thereby improving the socio-economic conditions of host communities through convergent linkages. The thrust also lies in recognizing local, social, cultural and oral traditions, folk dances and in providing a learning experience for the tourist. Rural tourism is therefore seen as a major revenue for this endeavour.
Artisan Village Vs Open Air Museum
Europeans have cathedrals and in return we have temples( though it is much older). But very often it has been seen that tourists have little interest in those dead cultures belonging to a bygone era, rather are more interested to experience living culture which can only be possible through rural tourism and its different manifestations/connotations / attributes. Like the concept of ‘Open Air Auditorium’, the concept of ‘Open Air Museum’ is being widely discussed that means the museums are no more remaining confined within four walls.
An artisan village can be truly referred as an Open Air Museum where everything which catches the attention of a tourist is in a living form. There may be a variety of intangible tourism products like making of toys out of cowdung, betel nuts, paddy, lacquer, terracotta etc., Painting of a pattachitra, watering a betel leaf garden, harvesting of paddy using bullocks, cooking in an open hearth, churning butter, spinning wool, weaving clothes through handloom, steaming paddies so as to make it edible etc……
paper pulp masks of Raghurajpur Craft village, Puri, Odisha, India
Source : Trawell.in
cowdung mask, painting and carving
Source: hand/eye magazine
source: hand/eye magazine
wood art of Chaitanya kept in Kalabhoomi
folk wood art of a village alongside the Jagannath sadak on the way to Puri
Bottle art of Odisha
pattachitra in making at Raghurajpur
Betel nut craftsmanship of Rewa, MP
A hunger for the delights of effortlessness, the ageless allure of rustic craftsmanship and a long cherished culture of different Indian societies is seen to progressively consume the psyche of the cutting edge voyager. The obvious outcome is this scaffold between excited, busy metros and the slow moving hinterland of country life. The geographical spread and socio- cultural diversities of India provides various all season interests and round the year reasons to tourists of all kind to come for a visit to India.
This change in perspective envoys a new sustainable tourism approach dependent on India’s rustic resources, where the credible and indigenous flavour of the nation lies. This will likewise help us keep associated with our underlying foundations of family values and retain our connections with our roots. Essentially all our rural tourism sites process a craft or other traditional skills, based on learning which has been carried forward by ‘Gurus’( Teachers) and ‘Shishyas’(students).
The ‘Gurukul’ measure exemplifies one of the earliest learning frameworks in India’s socio cultural history. Some site models with the ‘Gurukul’ trait are –
# Pochampalli of Andhra Pradesh for IKAT style weaving
(50 k.m. from Hyderabad)
# Raghurajpur of Orissa for PATTACHITRA Painting
(2 k.m. off BBSR-Puri Highway, Puri- 14 Kms.)
# Hodka of Gujrat for EMBROIDERY.
(Bhuj- 60 k.m. Last village near the Rann of Kachchh)
source:eyes of India.com
# Pranpur of Madhya Pradesh for CHANDERY style weaving.
(Jhansi- 3Hrs, Lalitpur- 1 hr, Both on Delhi-Chennai Trunk Train route)
# Aranmula of Kerala for VASTU VIDYA.
(Pathanamthitta Dist, Kerala)
Promotes traditional Kerala style architecture
A visitor experience based on rural tourism is specially relevant for India where almost 70 percent of her population reside in nearly 7 million villages. Just like Aadhar Card, a ‘Tourism Card ‘ may be designed and issued to the citizens of India. If one undertakes a journey to a rural sitehe/she may be issued an assistance of five thousand rupees ( let’s say) or so through that card. I think , the heavy outflow of Indian tourists can be redirected to the rich domestic destinations of India. As a matter of fact the outbound Indian tourists are more in number in comparison to the Inbound tourists to India.
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Dr. Manoj Mishra