Cultural Heritage Tourism In India
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Published: Thu, 20 Apr 2017
Heritage is property of the world. It has important evidences of past incidents and changes and it is the necessity to conserve it without political involvement and racial discrimination (UNESCO, 2004). So far Graham et al. (2000, p40) suggested Heritage is tremendously concerned in the construction and legitimating of collective constructs of uniqueness, such as group, gender, religion, civilization and nationalism.
When we talk about the relation of heritage into tourism industry, at first, holy cities such as Rome are acknowledged as a highly multifunctional and even ‘multi heritage’ place, as a result, the heritage attractions positively become the feature of Italy for tourist. To manifest the implication of heritage is consequently the key point of managing a heritage sites.
As cultural heritage tourism is mostly depending on the history, the event in the past has abundant evidence that how the past travels had been changing the entire pages of each century and affected our past life. Much of it is also passed on form age to age occasionally in the form in which it actually “happen” but more often as “myth or fable”. In whichever form it is of prime importance to a tourism professional, particularly in the circumstances such as the one obtaining in India with wealthy cultural heritage having continuity form the ancient (IGNOU, 2002). The process of finding will continue to the future because no one predict that how many real stories have buried in the earth or still has not being found. But somehow scholars has been able to find the real incident of past with the help of evidences of literature which still present all over the world as well as the role of science and researchers. An archaeology department of each country is encouraging the researchers to find out about our past. These particular reasons also encouraged to the selection of the dissertation topic, so at first this will focus on past history and development of Ajanta and Ellora caves and then it will look at the past record of tourist information and the with the help of available secondary data from Books, Journal articles, news papers past surveys and the information available from the internet, respective governments and non government agencies such as UNESCO, ICOMOS, IUCN, GHF, etc.
Cultural heritage conservation is always a centre of discussion in the form of developing economy of various nations. Cultural heritage tourism product is becoming a prime source for develop and developing countries. Countries like India where every tourist gets glimpses of diverse culture in his/her entire journey. India is primarily a cultural destination in international tourism in these are the features of India marketed as tourism product in international as well as domestic circuit. Domestic tourism competition already has begun in India from past decades every states government has been developing their strategies with the help of international organization to improve the tourism. In result due to sudden changes the competition can be seen among service providers as from hawkers to a large scale stakeholders. In scenario market everyone’s mind has been diverting toward the heritage sites in India, thus it’s creating trafficking of tourists as well as service providers. So it is affecting the quality of services and facilities. As high demand is cause of unbalancing and unwanted price hikes and thus tourist and visitors paying unnecessary charges for services and facilities. Also lack of infrastructure, poor management and other facilities from supply side creates a different picture of hospitality and tourism industry in India.
Visitors/ tourists these are the main driver of tourism industries. Firstly, the different demands and requirement of individual is affecting on tourism industry in India. Also the issues and understanding of heritage tourism by people it may be visitors/tourists or local communities are different.
Most of the people’s travel interest is to watch heritage sites around the world and some leisure activity thus it boosting the economy of respective destination. The most important part of tourism is a cultural as well as natural heritage property. So it always remains prime attraction to most of the people to come and enjoy their holidays. This dissertation will focus on the every aspects of cultural heritage tourism industry such as supply, demand, conservation management, interpretation, authenticity and politics of cultural heritage site.
The primary data can receive with the help of some questionnaire to understand the real nature and find out what can do more to achieve the overall development at Ajanta and Ellora Caves at Aurangabad.
To understand the World cultural heritage site here the UNESCO considers that as a monuments, architectural works, works of monumental sculpture and painting, elements or structures of an archaeological nature, inscriptions, cave dwellings and combinations of features, which are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science; groups of buildings: groups of separate or connected buildings which, because of their architecture, their homogeneity or their place in the landscape, are of exceptional universal importance from the point of view of history, art or science; sites: works of man or the combined works of nature and man, and areas including archaeological sites which are of excellent universal value from the historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological point of view.
In contrast it is suggested that World Heritage Sites should not only be exemplary situations for the pursuit of research but also be closely identified with the creation and maintenance of different kinds of knowledge (Darvill, T., 2007). People always willing to learn new things or exchange the knowledge between each other, it is nothing but to become aware about our surroundings and changing of trends in scenario market.
Here, In the Krakow Charter (2000), a monument is defined as “a clearly determined entity, the bearer of values, which represent a support to memory. In it, memory recognises the aspects that are relevant to human performance and feelings, associated with the historic time-line” (Vecco, M 2010).
In the Times of India there was an article about heritage tourism and in that the Atul Sethi has mentioned that Heritage can become a serious economic driver for India, if the country is able to get its act together. If we take an example as future 2025, so the picture of the heritage site will give different view as no beggars or touts in particular area like Maluti temple, a world heritage site in Jharkhand India. So tourist can enjoy the holistic experience of the temples and can savour the living legacy of the region. The heritage tourism in India is attracting hordes of international and domestic tourist and top of the line contributors to the country’s foreign exchange and GDP. The global heritage fund organizations 2010 report says that developing countries like India can tap a $ 100 billion a year opportunity by 2025, if they make sincere attempt to preserve and responsibly develop their heritage sites.
The chapter provides a literature review of cultural heritage tourism in India, Particularly at Ajanta and Ellora Caves World Heritage sites inscribed in 1983 by UNESCO at Aurangabad, India. These caves are great example of cave architecture from the 2nd to 6th century. It is mainly demonstrate the Buddhist, Jain and Hindu religion cultures. So, these studies will focuses on the religious diversity of cultures in India as well as it involve the importance of heritage visitor’s management at those sites. And then it will compare with other world heritage sites. As what can do more to maintain/sustain the balance between demand and supply side of heritage tourism industry in India. Increasing tourists and the conservation of heritage sites these are the main issues now days. So, as subsidizing product of tourism industry what are the main significance and characteristics of cultural heritage tourism and its importance around the world and in India particularly at Ajanta and Ellora caves.
First of all need to understand the definition of cultural heritage tourism. Most researchers believe that heritage is linked to the past which symbolizes some sort of gift to be passed down to current as well as future generations, both in terms of cultural traditions and physical objects (Hardy, 1988 cited in Timothy and Boyd 2003). But in contrast many authors have pointed out that what elements of past a society need to maintain (Fladmark 1998; Graham et al., 2000; Hall and McArthur 1998 in Timothy and Boyd 2003). As there are many incidents all cannot link to the cultural aspects. This makes selective sort of heritage it assumes some aspect of value, that which is of personal value is labelled as personal or family heritage, whereas those values dictated by nations or communities become ‘our’ heritage (Hall and McArthur 1998 cited in Timothy and Boyd 2003). Hall and Zappel (1990) observed the connections between cultural and heritage tourism, stating that Cultural tourism is experiential tourism based on being involved in and stimulated by the performing arts, visual arts and festivals. Heritage tourism whether in the form of visiting preferred landscapes, historic sites, building or monuments, is also experiential tourism in the sense of seeking an encounter with nature or feeling part of the history of a place.
Furthermore Timothy and Boyd (2003) stated that heritage can be divided into tangible immovable resources (e.g. national park, sanctuaries, monuments, buildings), tangible movable resources (e.g. objects in museums) and intangible resources including values, customs, ceremonies, lifestyles and experiences such as cultural events, currently UNESCO focusing on folk dances of south India as a cultural heritage( ). It defines that heritage tourism as ‘an immersion in the natural history human heritage, arts, philosophy and institutions of another region or country’ (Timothy and Boyd 2003).
The consideration of architectural heritage had been a matter of national concern only at most the laws regarding protection of historic building in Europe date back to that period of their national borders. There are numerous cultural groups live in each country, but their scope never went beyond the boundaries. The cultural internationalism was a result of the First World War, with the formation of the confederation of Nations, and most of all of the Second World War, with the formation of the United Nations Organization and the establishment of the UNECO (ICOMOS, 2010).
According to the UNESCO, the Ajanta Caves are the masterwork of the Archaeological rock cut caves. The first Buddhist cave monuments at Ajanta date from the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. During the Gupta dynasty period (5th and 6th centuries A.D.), highly abundantly decorated caves were added to the original group. The paintings and sculptures of Ajanta, considered as a stunning success of Buddhist religious art, have had a considerable artistic influence.
As it mentioned above the Ajanta caves depict the role of the Buddhist community, intellectual and religious halls, schools for self development based on the teaching of “Vipassana”. In the Buddhist tradition which means insight into the nature of reality. Vipassana is one of world’s most ancient techniques of meditation; it is a practice of self-transformation through self-observation and introspection. In English, vipassana is often referred to simply as “insight meditation”. The caves also was a reception centres in the India of the Gupta and their immediate successors.
The caves are located 100 km north-east of Ellora, 104 km from Aurangabad, Maharashtra India and 52 km from Jalgaon Railway Station. They are cut into the volcanic lava of the Deccan in the forest ravines of the Sahyadri Hills and are set in beautiful sylvan surroundings. The most important part is these magnificent caves containing carvings that depict the life of Buddha, and their carvings and sculptures are considered to be the beginning of classical Indian art. And this is main reason why tourist and researchers attract to those sites.
The description of the caves is, the total number of caves are 30 but one is unfinished caves so the 29 caves were excavated beginning around 200 BC, but they were abandoned in AD 650 in favour of Ellora. In that five of the caves were temples and 24 were monasteries, thought to have been occupied by some 200 monks and artisans. After 7th century to 18th century there was no any supportive record has found, it may be because of increased forest surrounding of the site and that it was forgotten until their ‘rediscovery’ by a British tiger-hunting party in 1819.
The Ajanta site consists of 29 caves cut into the side of a cliff which rises above a wander in the Waghora River. Today the caves are reached by a road which runs along a terrace mid-way up the cliff; however each cave was once linked by a stairway to the edge of the water. This is a Buddhist community, comprises five sanctuaries or Chaitya-grihas (caves number 9, 10, 19, 26 and 29) and monastic complex sangharamas or viharas. A first group of caves was formed in the 2nd century BC: the Chaitya-grihas open into the rock wall by doorways surmounted by a horse-shoe shaped bay. The ground plan is a basilical one: piers separate the principal nave from the side walkway which joins in the apsis to permit the ritual circumambulation behind the (commemorative monument). This rupestral architecture scrupulously reproduces the forms and elements visible in wooden constructions.
A second group of caves was created at a later date, the 5th and 6th centuries AD, during the Gupta and post-Gupta periods. These caves were excavated during the supremacy of the Vakatakas and Guptas. According to inscriptions, Varahadeva, the minister of the Vakataka king, Harishena (c. AD 475-500), dedicated Cave 16 to the Buddhist sangha while Cave 17 was the gift of the prince, a feudatory. An inscription records that the Buddha image in Cave 4 was the gift of some Abhayanandi who hailed from Mathura.
The earlier architectural formulas were re-employed but treated in an infinitely richer and more ample manner. The decoration attained, at this time, an unequalled splendour: the statuary is numerous (it was already permissible to represent Buddha as a human; these representations are found both on the facades and in the interior). Finally, the wall painting, profuse and sensitive, constitutes, no doubt, the most striking artistic achievement of Ajanta.
Under the impulse of the Gupta dynasty, Indian art in effect reached its apogee. The Ajanta Caves are generally decorated with painted or sculpted figures of supple form and classic balance with which the name of the dynasty has remained synonymous. The refined lightness of the decoration, the balance of the compositions, the marvellous beauty of the feminine figures place the paintings of Ajanta among the major achievements of the Gupta and post-Gupta style and confer on them the ranking of a masterpiece of universal pictorial art.
Here needs to understand the history of India as how the past events has changed its culture first major civilisation Indus River valley was found early five thousand years back. The twin cities of Mohenjodaro and Harappa World heritage site UNESCO now in Pakistan were ruled by priests and held the fundamentals of Hinduism. These civilisations are known to possess a sophisticated way of life, a highly developed sense of aesthetics, an astounding knowledge of town planning and an unreadable script language. The Indus culture at one point of time extended nearly a million square kilometres across the Indus river valley. It existed at the same time as the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Sumer but far outlasted them. Surviving for nearly a thousand years the Indus valley civilisation fell to tectonic upheavals in about 1700 BC, which caused a series of floods.
The Aryans came around 1500 BC, and that was the reason to the collapsing Indus Valley culture. At the dawn of Vedic ages the Aryans came in from the North and spread through large parts of India bringing with them their culture and religious beliefs.
In 567 B.C. Siddhartha Gautama was born. After asceticism and meditation, Siddhartha Gautama discovered the Buddhist Middle Way-a path of moderation away from the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification.
Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment sitting under a Pipal tree, now known as the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, (A name of place) India Gautama, from then on, was known as “The Perfectly Self-Awakened One,” the Samyaksambuddha. There are lots of paintings and sculptures “Vipassana”.
During this time lived Mahavira, who founded the Jain Religion. The Indian subcontinent is full of caves and monuments devoted to these religions and are worth a visit.
After two hundred years, in the 4th century B.C., Emperor Ashoka, one of the greatest King of Indian histories, led the Mauryan Empire to take over almost all of what is now modern India. This great leader embraced Buddhism and built the group of monuments at Sanchi (a UNESCO world heritage site). The Ashoka pillar (four lions are seated back to back on single cut rock pillar) at Sarnath has been adopted by India as its national emblem and the Dharma Chakra on the Ashoka Pillar adorns the National Flag.
They were followed by the Guptas in the north, while in the south part of India quite a few different Hindu empires, the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Cheras spread and grew, did business with Europe and other parts of Asia till the end of the 1100s.
Christianity came in India at about the same time from Europe. Legend has it that St. Thomas the Apostle arrived in India in 52 A.D. Even earlier than that people of the Jewish religion arrived on India’s shores.
In about the 7th century A.D. a group of Zoroastrians, or Parsees, landed in Gujarat and became a part of the large mix of religions in India today, each of which adds its important and distinctive flavour.
In the 15th century Guru Nanak laid the foundation of the Sikh religion in Punjab.
In 1192, Mohammed of Ghori, a ruler from Afghanistan, came into India and captured several places in the north including Delhi. When he went home he left one of his generals in charge who became the first Sultan of Delhi. During this time Islam, was introduced into a major part of Northern India. It can be mentioned that even before that, just after the period of the prophet, Islam was brought to the western coast of India by Arab traders and flourished in what is now Kerala.
The Dehli Sultanate gradually took control of more and more of North India over the next 200 years, till Timur, who was called “Timur the Lame” or “Tamberlane” came from Turkey in 1398 to attack India. He and his army stole all the valuables that they could carry and left again, Soon the Mughals, who were from Iran, came in and took control of the north.
In the meantime south, in 1336, the Hindu Vijayanagar empire was set up and became very strong.
The Europeans – Portuguese, French, Dutch, Danish and British – started arriving in the early 1600s. The above people held territories in India and made a good friends as well as enemies among India’s rulers as they got more and more involved, with the Indian politics, however the British who eventually controlled most of India and finally made it one of their colonies.
Two hundred years later, in the 4th century B.C., Emperor Ashoka, one of the greatest King of Indian history, led the Mauryan Empire to take over almost all of what is now modern India. This great leader embraced Buddhism and built the group of monuments at Sanchi (a UNESCO world heritage site). The Ashoka pillar at Sarnath has been adopted by India as its national emblem and the Dharma Chakra on the Ashoka Pillar adorns the National Flag.
They were followed by the Guptas in the north, while in the south part of India several different Hindu empires, the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Cheras spread and grew, trading with Europe and other parts of Asia till the end of the 1100s.
Christianinty entered India at about the same time from Europe. Legend has it that St. Thomas the Apostle arrived in India in 52 A.D. Even earlier than that people of the Jewish religion arrived on India’s shores.
In approximately the 7th century A.D. a group of Zoroastrians, or Parsees, landed in Gujarat and became a part of the large mix of religions in India today, each of which adds its important and distinctive flavour.
In the 15th century Guru Nanak laid the foundation of the Sikh religion in Punjab.
In 1192, Mohammed of Ghori, a ruler from Afghanistan, came into India and captured several places in the north including Delhi. When he went home he left one of his generals in charge who became the first Sultan of Delhi. During this time Islam, was introduced into a major part of Northern India. It may be mentioned that even before that, just after the period of the prophet, Islam was brought to the western coast of India by Arab traders and flourished in what is now Kerala.
The Dehli Sultanate gradually took control of more and more of North India over the next 200 years, till Timur, who was called “Timur the Lame” or “Tamberlane” came from Turkey in 1398 to attack India. He and his army stole all the valuables that they could carry and left again, and after that the Delhi Sultanate was never so strong again. Soon the Mughals, who were from Iran, came in and took control of the north.
In the meantime south, in 1336, the Hindu Vijayanagar empire was set up and became very strong.
The Europeans – Portuguese, French, Dutch, Danish and British – started arriving in the early 1600s. All of them held territories in India and made friends and enemies among India’s rulers as they got more and more involved, with the Indian politics, but it was the British who eventually controlled most of India and finally made it one of their colonies.
India got its independence from Britain in 1947 after a long struggle led mostly by Mahatma Gandhi. In the process of becoming independent, India became, two countries instead of one. In the years since independence India has made huge progress and coped with great problems, and has developed its industry and its agriculture, and has maintained a system of government which makes it the largest democracy in the world.
India got its independence from Britain in 1947. Since independence India has made huge evolution and muddle through with great problems, and has maintained a system of government which makes it the largest democracy in the world.
Every community and nation try to protect, conserve and develop heritage as an asset, particularly to make them important tourist sites by developing better infrastructure and facilities, which offer a rich cultural experience to tourists and ensure cultural and natural heritage of the destination to be preserved and conserved.
To extend INTACH’s mandate beyond conservation, the Heritage Tourism Division was set up in December 2005. A cogent system of sustenance of heritage sites was evolved in the activities of the Division. This would allow people to have access to and understand heritage sites in complete detail. The Heritage Tourism Division’s primary work is to synergize heritage with tourism.
The Division works for development of sustainable tourism connected with heritage as an asset. A development of tourist facilities is in harmony with the local eco-system and heritage architecture, and regulates sensitivity of design in architectural style of construction of any new tourist facilities. The aim of developing tourism is to conserve and utilize buildings to sustain their maintenance. Heritage Tourism development aspects are:
Community Development of tourist receiving destination
Socio-economic Growth of the receiving community
Preservation and Conservation of cultural and natural heritage sites
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