Tourism-Concept, Resources and Development Hang Gliding and Paragliding, Water Sports Tourism, Cave Tourism Part 7

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Hang Gliding and Paragliding:

These two sports give the thrill of soaring high in sky like an eagle. In Paragliding the aerofoil wings are ten times lighter than the wings used in hang gliding. Paragliding is popular among adventure-loving tourists; hang gliding is now confined to competitive events. Centres for this sport are marked in low and medium valleys of Bilaspur, Manali, and Bir (Kangra) in Himachal Pradesh and at Udhagamandalam in Tamil Nadu. Lack of good trainers and the high cost of equipment are the hurdles yet to overcome.

Water Sports Tourism:

Image of Water Sports

Image of Water Sports

Image of Water Sports

River rafting has tremendous scope for its promotion in India. So far, such areas are limited to Ganga near Rishikesh, Beas near Manali, and part of the Indus in Ladakh. But Teesta in Sikkim, Brahmaputra in Assam, Chandra in Lahaul (Himachal Pradesh), and Bharali in Arunachal Pradesh offer excellent conditions for adding to this list. There is the need to replace costly imported equipment by manufacturing indigenous equipment and to provide trainers and river guides. India has numerous natural as well as man-made lakes to promote aquatic games like sailing, angling of the prized trout fish in cold mountain torrents, and wind surfing. Besides the lakes, there is a long coastline ranging from roaring sea waves at Goa to calmer waters of the coral reefs along our two islands groups.

So far, the arrangements for the best developed water games exist in two lakes, one is the Pong dam in Himachal Pradesh and the other in Umaim near Shillong. The first water sports festival organised at Panaji on the banks of Mandovi river in Goa has proved that it can offer much more than the fun, sun and swim on its beaches. A number of rivers and canals criss-crossing Goa’s coastal strip have the potential to develop water games if good instructors and cheaper equipment are supplied to attract more of home tourists.

The clear sea water among the corals of Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands provides ideal sites for developing diving sports for the most adventurous tourists. In the sport of scrubbing, a person plunges head long 40-50 meters into the sea from a boat. Similar is the peaceful game of snorkelling in which a fibre glass mask is used to cover eyes and the nose under waters. The scuba and snorkel are the names of the breathing and protective apparatus carried down by the divers up to the limit of sunlight in the sea. These sports give a feeling of thrill, person experiences weightlessness while roaming among the shoals of fishes.

Cave Tourism:

Although India has a large number of caves and rock-cut temples, they have not so far been considered for the promotion of cave tourism.

There are as many as 30 caves around Aurangabad, Ajanta being the most popular a pair of them at Chitrakoot with stream water flowing along their base. There is a story that Ram and Lakshman held court in these caves, sitting on a slab of rock inside. There are about 500 caves in Central India around Pachmarhi and Bhimbetka near Bhopal. Many of them provided rock shelters to pre-historic dwellers in seven different periods in the area’s rocky terrain and dense forests. Some of them possess cave paintings of the early man. The twin hill of Khandagiri and Udaygiri near Bhubaneswar have caves showing rock sculptures and Jain images.

There are beautiful caves near Cherrapunji in the Garo Hills of Meghalaya in Limestone rocks with well-developed stalagmite and stalactite formations. A recent discovery of Asia’s longest 19.2 km cave in this state besides 200 others in the Jaintia hills has proved a turning point. So far, the promotion of cave tourism has remained an unknown concept. But now the state has brought out a special brochure on its caves and has arranged a package tour to them.

Wilderness Tourism:

Even Africa does not offer half as much diversity in flora and fauna as India. India has rich biological diversity besides its well-known cultural heritage. Wilderness tourism develops on National parks, sanctuaries and the wet-lands of all types. Wild life broadly includes entire uncultivated range of flora and fauna and so all the forms of life living in wilderness or growing without the direct intervention of humans. Plants, major mammals, and insects are its essential constituents.

The most popular wilderness resorts for (wild life loving) tourists are summed up below:

The Kashmir valley shelters Hangul or Kashmir stag or Musk deer at Dachigam sanctuary. The first ever National Park named after Corbett is situated in the Nainital foot hills. It provides a natural habitat to the wild elephants and tigers. It further extends into Nepal’s territory.

The Kanha National Park situated mid-way between the Vindhya and Satpura hills of Madhya Pradesh is a home of tigers, panthers, and spotted deer or chital and Bhandhavgarh, close to it, is especially renowned for tigers. The bird sanctuary of Ghana near Bharatpur in Rajasthan is known for migratory birds coming from central and northern Asia. There are also its permanent residents namely the water fowls.

The Melghat in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra provides seclusion to tigers and panthers. Gir forests in Saurashtra are the only home now left for Asian lion. In the Bandipur National Park in the Western Ghats of Karnataka are found elephants and in Rajasthan great Indian Bustard- a large sized crane. The Chilika lake in Orissa has a large aquatic fauna including birds. Kaziranga National Park in Assam is well known for its one-horn rhinos. The Manas National Park in Assam along the borders of Bhutan possesses elephants, tigers as well as rhinos. In far south i.e. in Periyar National Park of Kerala, the wild boars, elephants and barking deer are common.

The proposed park near Khajuraho or Orcha is expected to protect 800 bears. India can rightfully boast to possess a wide variety of natural habitants in its wide plateaus, shallow watery marshes, deep ravines, marshy grasslands, and brackish lagoon waters. Locate all these varied habitants on the map.

The opening up of new areas in National Parks and introduction of eco-friendly transport within them not to scare the animals are the two incentives to promote wild life tourism.

Side by side the wildernesses need to be protected from the influx of trekkers, hikers, and mountaineers. A sound policy for promotion of tourism calls for creation of awareness for conservation of wild life among the local people without looking for only immediate and heavy cash returns. No wild life can be protected without protecting the proper environment for it.

In Brief, It Can Be Said That:

We have studied the meaning of today’s organised tourism by contrasting it with example of old-time tourist and their travels. Tourism is now further divided into a number of primary types on different bases. Recreation or entertainment and holidaying has become a part and parcel of any type of modern tourism.

The resources of India for developing tourism have a great potential. Apart from diversities of weather and climate, there is a rich biodiversity consisting of protected plants, wild animals, and birds in areas of wilderness away from clusters of human population.

Next are the scenic landscape reserves of mountains, their peaks and snowy slopes, hills, scraps, cliffs, varied rock formations, caves, and water bodies including wetlands of many types? Seascape tourist resources are marked along our coastal water comprising a variety of beaches of great promise.

The terraced gardens along hillsides, enclosed fields, and open grasslands in quieter rural countryside many of these created by man, are other resources in the lot.

Our rich cultural heritage extending over centuries of history is another great weather enriching Indian tourism. A great variety of performing arts and festivals carry a great appeal for tourists in this ancient modern land of ours. The increasing number of incoming tourists has brought jobs for millions of local people directly or indirectly.

All these resources of modern tourism are of great relevance for earning revenue particularly in the current era of world-wide economic reforms.

Tourist resorts are classified inter mountain and hill resorts, beach resorts, cultural centres of great variety, and destinations developed for many types of adventure tourism. All these are categorised on the basis of their location, site characteristics, and scope for variety of attractions for the tourists. The places within easy access and developed for providing accommodation and other amenities become popular for drawing the largest number of tourists. However, off the beat tourist destinations in difficult areas are meant for these who have adventurous sports like river rafting, mountaineering, water and snow games or costly ventures like hang gliding, para gliding, golf playing, and heliskiing.

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