Memories are an important part of life; these even have existential overtones and pertain to consciousness. Given this, I would like to share a recent memory of mine. The memory pertains to a was a trip from Srinagar to Mumbai organized by our faculty- the department of Tourism and Travel Travel Management of Kashmir university. Study tours are usually held for a variety of reasons. One major reason is that it is one of the components of the syllabus for according a perspective and specific knowledge about the nature of tourism of other states and how they are working for the promotion and preservation of tourism. This perspective helps in generating and transmitting the knowledge of what they have done and what we need to do for the promotion and preservation of the tourism in the state. I would here like to share insights that accrued from the faculty organized trip from Mumbai to Goa.
First, let me elaborate some of the attractive and elaborate points of Mumbai tourism. Mumbai is and always been a mega city driven by power, wealth, glamour and fame, which have become the focal point of attraction of the folks visiting the place; they feel it is the best place to shape their dreams and aspirations. Moreover, it is also a city with strong historical artifacts and aesthetics-wonderful British, architecture, museums, beaches, and so on. However, it is the Arabian Sea and its preserved beauty, beatified by management which makes it more mesmerizing than any city.
Mumbai has great infrastructure as compared to other states of India, and some historical hotels such as Oberia and Taj hotel and a shrine of Haji Ali Dargah on the zoo of Arabian sea add to the city’s splendor. Around the sea is the Four lane Bandra -Worli sea link (officially called as Rajiv Gandhi sea link bridge ) which is built in a curved shape at the distance of 5,75Kms connecting North Mumbai to South Mumbai and from where the south Mumbai or Nariman point begins.
To preserve the beauty of the city and make it pollution less, its management has made some bold restraints like as smoke free zones, and auto rickshaws are not allowed to drive towards the south Mumbai and if a person may throw a small piece of paper or polythene on a road they are charged a fine of 200 hundred rupees. There is less inflow of international tourists as compared to domestic tourists.
Goa, the smallest state has great numbers of beaches and places of worship especially for the lovers of Christ. The oldest Basilica of Bom Jesus Church is located here in old Goa. Most European tourists love to spend some beautiful moments here. The lifestyle and behaviour are unique and different from other. As a historical testimony, Goa was under the control of Portuguese for almost four hundred decades and ultimately got freedom from Portuguese in 9 Dec,1961 and became a state of India. The Punjum city, the oldest city of Goa is situated on the bank of Arabian sea. The Boat cruising line is extraordinarily beautiful. It mesmerizes tourists of all stripes.
The inflow of international tourists is more than domestic tourists during the winter season as compared to summer.
I will now compare these two tourist places with Kashmir.
Both of above two states are made attractive by artificial beauty which depicts the mesmerizing attraction of tourists not only of domestic but also foreign ones. In contrast, Kashmir is known as a paradise on earth with its pristine natural beauty. But the fact is that our roads are bumpy and tourist destinations left to the ravages of humans. Our administrations, it appears, are not interested in making these into world class destination. The pristine beauty of Kashmir is modified by none other the nature itself.
As the world knows, Kashmir is rich in hospitality but it needs preservation , prudent management and modification. We ought to preserve it from pollution, environmental degradation and other forms of degradation.
Dal Lake and Wullar Lake, two prominent water bodies of Kashmir very well depict the management of tourism in Kashmir- these lakes are shrinking day by day. One department responsible for their upkeep, Lakes and Water Bodies Development Authority (LAWDA) is in deep slumber. This constitutes a travesty. It is high time that we should preserve these water bodies and, in the least, render these pollution less and clean. This is our moral and ethical duty.
— The author is a student of Tourism and Travel Management at the University of Kashmir. He can be reached at: [email protected]