Why Should The World Look Towards India For Spiritual Pilgrimage Tourism
It is really shamefully paradoxical for Indians as we have failed to understand why even intellectual westerners keep on visiting this Magical Land called India and we Indians have always ignored the prospect of religious tourism.
Spirituality is one such aspect that keeps on drawing people like Steve Jobs, Beatles, Mark Zuckerberg and many more. It really baffles me to see the literary treasure, cultural heritage, diversity of religion has found more admirers from the western world than people who call India their home.
Now the pertinent question is what pulls the westerners to India?
The answer to this question lies in the Spiritual/pilgrimage tourism in India
Why does Spiritual/Pilgrimage tourism intrigue a person from another country?
Religion and pilgrimage tourism in India is a category of travelers, primarily motivated by spiritual consideration. Travel for spirituality has been there from time immemorial. Some of the most popular tourist destinations are founded on ancient places of worship.
India is a land of Pilgrimages
Practically, all religions- Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Sufism have their major and minor pilgrimage centers in different parts of this country. Apart from holy rivers and teerth sthanas, India houses various temples, mosques, dargahs, churches, gurudwaras and also different Gurujis and Babas. Hence, taking this into consideration some important circuits based on the importance of the religious places should be identified.
The West always looks at India as an enigma for spiritual and religious beliefs. This spiritual aspect is one of India’s main attractions for foreign tourists who wish to connect to their soul and travel in search of meaning to their modern individualistic and mechanical lives.
Spiritual tourism products are not like holiday/leisure tourism products, which are targeted to people with disposable income. Spiritual tourism is more focused on building community participation at a given location. It is a continuous process and people keep on coming to such locations.
Some challenges faced
The challenges which need to be addressed include lack of infrastructure like budget hotels, connectivity, sewage, hygiene, cleanliness, solid waste management, touts etc. The need of the hour is to develop a code of conduct driving religious etiquette. This will help in achieving a harmonious experience for the visitors.