Tourism in Western Rajasthan : A Land of Hospitality

Posted on 21/04/2016

Western Rajasthan is immensely rich from the viewpoint of tourism. But reasons best known to the situations prevailing in this part of the country the numerical data oftourists is comparatively quite less. One of the main reasons for this fact may be said tobe its geographical condition. The best suited months for tourist activity in this regionare between October and March. With the beginning of April to almost entire September adverse climatic conditions present unpalatable situation such as duststorms, scorching beat etc.
 In southern and easternpart of Rajasthan during rainyseason things become still worse and most of the places become inaccessible. This precisely accounts for the problem of the development of tourist industry in Rajasthan.After the adverse geographical condition which prevents the development of tourism, we may account yet another important reason for this. Rajasthan is underdeveloped and backward in means of transport and communication especially when compared with other regions of the country. The Western Rajasthan particularly has limited means and resources of communication network. To start with the railways, the share of Rajasthan regarding the development and modernization process is quite negligible.
It is still continuing in the age old feudal railway system which has become obvious and rotten. To cope up with the facilities which ought to be provided to the tourists who are accustomed to modern comfortsand luxuries of the west, the Government should take up the modernization of the railways in a big way. Important cultural, political and commercial centers of Rajasthan ought to be provided with broadcasting railway lines. The superfast trains with Air Conditioned coaches and dining car equipped with appropriate eatables and beverages and mineral water be started at the earliest. It has been observed that the tourists fa ce great problem regarding drinking water while travelling. The tourism department and concerned agencies should see that this problem is solved. The important railway stations and terminals should be modernized to lodge the tourists at least temporarily. They should be provided with special reservation facilities and if possible some coached be made reserved exclusively for the tourists. The medical postal and communication facility besides banking facility be also provided on important railway stations to encourage tourism. The experiment of palace on wheels should be extended and other su ch special trains be introduced to promote tourism in Rajasthan.
Similarly road transport should be also modernized.The roads should be built, repaired extended to different tourist spots in Rajasthan. It is an open secret that compared to neighboring States of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh the transport network is far from satisfactory in Rajasthan. The State Road Transport and private transport network ought to be improved to the satisfaction of the tourists. For this quite a good number of deluxe buses and luxury coaches should be introduced to facilitate the flow of tourists in Rajasthan in general and Western Rajasthan in particular. The touristbuses should be suitably equipped with modern amenities for the convenience of the tourists. It is important to mention here that Western Rajasthan is a vast region having its own peculiarities. Barmer-Jaisalmer parliamentary area alone is almost equal to the area of Kerala State. That is yet another reason making this area inaccessible to the tourists. The tourists have a given schedule of stay in the country and they visit this part of the country almost at the end of this period. It is suggested that about a fortnight’s period may be given to them over and above the normal period so that they could visit the remote quarters of Western Rajasthan.
Coming to the problem of accommodation and lodging facilities vis-à-vis influx of thetourists in the Western Rajasthan since last ten years the picture is quite disappointing.To facilitate the comfortable stay of the touriststhe hotel industry should be given all possible encouragement. For building standard hotels and lodges the Government should earmark the suitable lands, financial assistance and other such subsidies which can encourage the hotel business communities and agencies to build enough accommodation for tourists. The hotel business communities in their turn should evolve code of good behavior towards the tourists and refrain themselves from the mentality of extorting money and creating bad impression about the country and its people.
Rajasthan in general and Western Rajasthan in particular is famous for its hospitality and respectful behavior towards the guests. Guests are always welcome like rains in the Western Rajasthan. In typical Marwari language the word Panvana stands as synonym for guests and Panvana means son-in-law. Therefore, it is quite natural that guests are treated at par with son-in- law. People now are forgetting gradually this worthy tradition and have started mocking at the incoming guests and tourists. They never hesitate in extorting as money as is possible on flimsy pretexts.This tendency should now come to a stop and the age old tradition of utmost hospitality be revived.The tourism department needs complete gearing of its administrative machinery to look into and solve various problems pertaining to lodging and transport of the tourists. The department ought to organize its activity in such a way that the tourist should be guided so that the tourists do not fall in the hands of unscrupulous people.The Government should make all arrangement in such a way that the tourists return with good impression about the country and its people in general. Only then they will encourage others to visit this glorious and wonderful country of ours.
The people of Rajasthan had been hearing since long that important tourist spots such as Jaisalmer, Abu Ranakpur, Osian etc. are going to be connected with air service. But unfortunately nothing had been done so far in this regard. Similarly no efforts to natural habitat. Perhaps Western Rajasthan is the only place in the world where protection of wild life and trees is regarded as a sacred duty or religion. The Bishnoi community is famous for its supreme sacrifices in this regard. This has led to the growth of wild life population and these animals are almost domesticated to the extentthat they feel no fear in approaching the visitors.Therefore, it is suggested that the entire region of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner be converted into wild life sanctuaries. Sardar Samand in Jodhpur and Sharda in Pali district attract birds of Central Asia and South Europe. The migration of the birds from these faraway places is being noticed every year. These places may also be developed at par with Bharatpur’s Ghana bird sanctuary. Similarly Guda, about twenty five kilometers away from Jodhpur is famous for its prized possession of Chinkara and black buck. This place should also be converted into sanctuary. For greater flow of tourists it may be suggested that the tourism department should plan the appropriate strategy. Several measures may be adopted to meet this objective such as:-

1.It should be determined that which country and area is prone to tourist activities for example countries like Britain, France and United States of America and other European countries send good number of tourists to visit Western Rajasthan. The Tourism Department should propagate the features of Western Rajasthan and places and things of especial interest to these countries.
2.Special cultural delegation of intellectuals, writers, journalists etc. should be invited by the Tourism Department to pay a visit to Western Rajasthan and educate the people of their respective countries regarding the cultural heritage of India in general and Rajasthan in particular.
3.Literature pertaining to history, tradition, art, culture, artifacts and handicrafts, natural phenomenon etc. be prepared and given wide publicity.
4.The maps of important tourist spots should be prepared incorporating details of these spots means of transport and communication available for the tourists. Lodging and boarding facilities and photographs of important objects such as monuments, sculptures, paintings, ornaments, musical instruments, objects of handicrafts etc. should be published in form of leaflets and handy books for the convenience of the tourists. Similarly calendars containing photographs of typical objects of Western Rajasthan be prepared and if possible distributed among the tourists and exhibited in hotels, railway stations, air ports, tourist lodges and other public places. At least a calendar incorporating the most important tourist spots of every district of Western Rajasthan be printed and distributed.
5.Handbooks and pamphlets in different languages of the world especially English and French are prepared to highlight the main features of tourism in Western Rajasthan. This should be done in such a way that when a tourist visits a particular place of interest he should have the feeling of some association with that place. In another words the tourist should be given

proper information and education regarding different places and objects of the tourist interest.
6.The tourist guides can play a big role in the development of tourist industry in
Western Rajasthan. They should not only be given proper education and training regarding the culture and tradition places
of historical interest, history of place and monuments and main features of art and
craft of Western Rajasthan but also they should be made committed the norms of their profession. They should have sense of involvement in the whole gamut of tourism, instead of taking it as a mere money making business. They should be
given excellent training in understanding, speaking and writing foreign languages such as English, French etc. They would not hesitate in helping the tourists in whatever little manner they could do and solve their minor problems in routine way. The educated youth are employed in tourism industry to meet the twin ends of solving unemployment problem of the country and development of tourist industry.
7.The problem of beggars is a menace for the country as a whole and it affects the tourists also in its own way. This is a social evil and the solution should be found to meet it in an appropriate way. The tourism department should make arrangement to keep the tourist spots free from beggars, thieves and cheats and discourage all such nasty activities. They not only bring bad name to our country but also hamper the tourist influx in the country.
8.It has been observed that the festivals and melas are organized by the tourist department have not yielded the desired results. A large amount of money is being spent on them every year. Instead of these festivals and melas the tourist department should organize symposia and seminars to highlight the features of tourist interest. Competitions of different types such as photography, music, handicrafts etc be organized and given due publicity.
9.The technology of audio-visual system be pressed in to service to present features of history and life of the people of Rajas than who are quite district from others in several respects. The radio and television should give due coverage to these features. It is the pins duty of the journalists of Rajasthan to highlight its culture and tradition by writing articles and publishing photographs in newspapers and magazines.
Source:IMJT Journal Dr Irfan Mehar report

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