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Subah-e-Banaras and Kashi Vishwanath Dham Corridor: An Addition in Heritage Tourism and New Age Tourism of Varanasi

ABSTRACT

Everything that remains unchanged for a long course of time is believed to be on the verge of culmination. The characteristics of change are rather appreciated in nearly every walk of life. Tourism remains the primary halt to such dynamics. Tourist seeking change must be channelized in some way or other to maintain as well as to boost the tourism influx. Varanasi or Banaras houses the best of its tradition and culture since the inception of these vary two terms.

Heritage and tourism to those heritage sites is very crucial and requires different approach for plarming and development. Of course, it can easily be narrated that as a group or separate category heritage tourism does not exist; however, as a strategy for the sustainable development, a yardstick of heritage always be given special place. The city of Varanasi and its heritage have been always attraction for visitors and pilgrims for many hundred years. The existing intangible heritage or tangible tourism products and upgradation in some of existing resources are progressing through HRIDAY projects in Varanasi city, which is altering the regular trends of the city.

As per new age tourists, they display the culture, respect the host destination, and are environmentally conscious. They look to experience and learn rather than stand back and gaze. These new age tourists are participators not spectators also mingling with the locals to make it more bona fide. This initiative was taken by district administration on November 24, 2014 to showcase the cultural epitome of Kashi. The program starts with morning Ganga Aarti with shehnai recitation (classical musical instrumental) and mangalcharana (Sanskr it chanting from Vedas) followed by one how of yoga session and then two hours of classical music recital by budding and eminent musicians from all parts of Banaras and world. Besides yoga, music ancient Yajna (fire rituals) practice also takes place side by side. The new age tourists and guests generally visit Varanasi for the eternal peace and to feel within the existence of omnipotent, nature, and variety of traditions intermingled together in the life of the city.

The present paper attempts to study the existing and upgr adation of two heritage resources, that is, Subah-e-Banaras and Kashi Vislnvaiiath Dhani Corridor that will help to enhance the experience of visitor in respect of pilgrimage tourism, heritage tourism, and new age tourism.

INTRODUCTION

Mark Twain once wrote, “Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together” (Twain, 1897).

Several sacred and exotic sites situated in its geographical boundary are already well celebrated among towists and pilgrims. A regular activity of a visitor which includes pilgrims and tourist is accessing the sites like River front Ghats of Banaras, heritage walk in narrow lanes, enjoying street foods, and purchasing local handicrafts. But there are few missing component of originality since long time as reported by visitors.

Taking this missing element, stakeholders including local administration started thinking about creating a new event which can cater international and domestic tourist. This gave birth to the proceeding that is presently called Subah-e-Banaras which organized its first show in 2014

at bank of Ganga, at Assighat to exhibit the striking yet traditional way of life in Banaras.

Sri Kashi Vishwanath temple situated at Varanasi is among the 12 other Jyotirlingas. Vishweshwara or Vishwanatha is considered to be the most sacred among all 12 Jyotirlings situated all over India. According to tradition, the merit earned by single visit of this Jyotirlinga is equal to accrued merits by visiting rest of 11 Jyotirlingas across India. The famous Vish-wanathgali (narrow lane) leads the path to inner temple sanctum through the gate number. It is a narrow lane with shops of local handicrafts, souvenir, Prasad, and local weaved garments displayed on either side. On an average, 3000 pilgrims and tourist visit this place every day and the count rise to more than a million on any special occasion. The movement of pilgrims is often obstructed by stray animal inside the narrow lane as it is very irregular by length and breadth. The corridor plan is a decision to develop the facilities for the pilgrims and visitors keeping their requirement on priority. The 11.6 acres of land has been evacuated to develop the temple and river Ganga face front by bridging the inner sanctum of Vishwanath temple to Manikamika ghat situated at the Northern part of the temple. Pilgrimage tourism with regards to Kashi Vishwanath corridor expansion is being considered as the major makeover to facilitate the tourists and pilgrims with various newly induced facilities that shall be built inside its premises.

Banaras is bestowed with nearly all the religions of India. Eveiy religion is bestowed with then' heritage monuments and sites. It has Hindus heritage temples manifestation and then replicas (12 Jyotirlingas and 12 Swyamb-hulinga), Jain heritage sites (Chhedilal Digambar Jam Mandir, Sanmati Digambar Jain Mandir, and Digambarjam Mandir), Sikh heritage sites (Guru-ka-Bagh Gurudwara and Nirrnal Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya), Christian chinches as heritage sites (St. Thomas, Red, St. Paul, and David’s Church), Muslim heritage sites and monuments (DhaiNeemKangoore, Ganje Sahada, Chaukhamba, Biwi Razia, Gyanavapi, and Alamgiri Dharahra Masjid), and Buddhist ruins and Stupas (Dhamekha and Dharmrajika Stupa).

New age tourism comprises traveling with prior preparations to the destination which is located away from the daily workplace. Further, it explains the idea of leisure setting which happens to be voluntarily self-indulgent, commercial because there is transaction purchase that is restricted not only to tangible products but also to exotic, novel, sacred, and life transforming experiences.

External environment has a significant role in the evolution of the tourism. A list of many other activities was economically equal to tourism at the initial days but in long run it turned less favorable due to mass tourism factor. In 1950, 1960, and 1970, the global period of mass tourism or old tourism was followed by new age tourism. Banaras is the cultural and spiritual heritage hub for tourists who not only believe just in simple packaged toms but also prefer to dive deep in the “Juice of life” here inside city. This city caters the veiy basic to premium needs of every visitor according to their demand and hence it has been among the most favored destination for every holiday planner, making it a destination for mass tourism.

Mass tourism, when compared, has more negative impacts than positive, and therefore though it boosts local economy, it also exploits the natural and cultural heritage. The city has maintained and forgoes the effects of it, but this is the high time to discuss the various aspects and proper ways to maintain the balance by practicing sustainability and adding new options in the present scenario.

The best option was to divulge the tourist mass for the better management and proper showcasing of the culture in order to preserve natural heritage of Banaras. Introduction of Subah-e-Banaras was considered the very first step toward the many more suggestive to promote and preserve the culture of the city by going back to our roots.

The present paper is attempted to study the existing and upgradation of two heritage resources, that is, Subah-e-Banaras and Kashi Vislnvanath Dham Corridor that will help to enhance experience of visitor in respect of pilgrimage tourism, heritage tourism, and new age tourism.

LITERATURE REVIEW

The term new age tourism is somewhat connected with the limits of elective tourism. Elective travel is considered to be conventional methodology of Fordist as the dismissal of mass travel, for an increasingly imaginative, specific, and greener Post-Fordist approach considered as practices and estimations of counter-social developments of the 1960s (Conti and Perelli, 2019). New age travelers’ ideological duties differ impressively (House, 1994) with this type of the travel industry exercises and encounters that are explicitly characterized by expansive ideological range (Weiler and Hall, 1992). New age tourism is likewise viewed as grasping some type of environmentalism esteems network (Morphy, 1992) additionally create productive “host and visitor” (Smith 1989) associations (Eadington and Smith, 1992) alongside genuine social duty thought (Krippendorf, 1987).

Heritage is a rising entity in the travel industry business giving sightseers’ encounters dependent on the substantial and elusive survives from the past. Because of the absence of different potential outcomes, the arrangements found in fringe domains frequently feature the travel industry—especially heritage tourism—as the most significant action to dispatch an increasingly practical advancement process (Fonseca and Ramos, 2012). The issues of heritage tourism in Varanasi and its method of reasoning of the engraving as a world legacy site are considered by Singh and Rana (1993, 2017, 2019) portraying how the city of Banaras (Varanasi) is significant from legacy just as a hallowed scene.

THE MODERN/NEW TOURIST

The tourist today is altogether different from previous patterns. The best organizations in the travel business are those that tackle the situation utilizing technology, inventive promoting progr ams, better preparing of staff, and by creating closeness and comprehension of its clients/visitors. The contrast in tourism designs in the following century will be progressively identified with what travelers are looking for in a tour experience than in the way they travel. The present explorer, the well-behaved or unbridled hiker, is typically educated, instructed, and in general, completely assured of what the person is going to extract from their tom. The new age tourist is more comfortable by using mobile app rather taking help from travel agents (Table 5.1). For them, the streamlining of time and cash is the key and they get ready for their excursion by investigating the place through the web and the encounters of companions and individual voyagers. Broadcasting media acted as a catalyst to this move and further energized the quest for encounters thr ough the advancement of an immense scope of the way of life/ experience programs that have developed more as of late into experiential touristic docu-dramatizations alluded to as reality developers.

The focus is being redirected in investigating new outskirts where conventional ideas did not pennit. In Tourism, Technology, and Competitive Strategies, Poon (1993) talks about the adjustments in buyer conduct and qualities that are the basic main thrusts for the new travel industry.

The new traveler is experienced, increasingly adaptable, autonomous, quality cognizant, and harder to please. They are more often interested and generally focused for ecological balancing activity, deep concerned in displaying all respect in the tangible and intangible heritage of host nation; overall, they can be termed as the submissive and indulgent lot rather gazers. Things that could never show up on the rundown of the “mass” vacationer, for example, experience, getting off the beaten track, and blending with local people are currently the establishments of the new visitor encounters. Ordinarily, these voyagers are getting some distance from movement and lean toward an abnormal state of contribution in the association of their outing.

TABLE 5.1 Comparison of Old and New Tourist.

Old tourist

New tourist

Stereotype

Experience something exotic

Mass tourist

Self-propelled

Nomads

See, enjoy, and preserve

Been there, done that

Enjoy the core of it

Encounter

Existence

Superiority

Appreciation

Admire attractions

Admire sports

Preventive

Happening

Eat in hotel

Enjoy local fare

Congruent

Compound

Use travel agents

Use Mobile app

Information about destination by print

Information by review web sites

Source: Based on Poon (1993) Tourism, Technology and Competitive Strategies.

Travel is never again a curiosity to the new vacationer. Studies bolster what industry officials have been seeing throughout a previous couple of years. Individuals expect more out of then excursions than they used to, and they are progressively gutsy. Overviews did by the Canadian Tourism Research Institute demonstrate a high level of enthusiasm for escape exclusions, ecotourism, cultural tourism, and consolidating a professional trip with a pleasure trip. Throughout the following 10 years, the travel industry items and attractions should take into account guests who are all more requesting and separating, just as increasingly dynamic and progressively intentional in their decision of destination. There will be a move in accentuation from latent amusing to dynamic learning, and the quality and validity of guest encounters will be vital to friture accomplishment in a focused market.

An Acronym that is important to depict the “new” traveler is REAL, which represents Rewarding Enriching Adventuresome Learning Experience. A key supporting idea for REAL tourism is the genuineness of experience, which is regularly identified with the habitat and culture and seen to be unaffected by “mass” travel. New tourists like to be viewed as voyagers and not vacationers. Some particular focuses that should be remembered while managing the new tourist are: This kind of voyager requires a totally extraordinary showcasing approach. They keep away from regular polished showcasing instruments and want to utilize solid sources, for example, informal referrals, their very own free research and confided in distributions; they want encounters rather than items and administrations; they can be called experiential voyagers, they reach out over all age gatherings and conventional market sections.

 
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