Making viewers virtually explore the unexplored destinations, create awareness about the hidden tourist spots in Chhattisgarh, its unique culture, tribal heritage and festivals, Tourism Ministry showcased India’s rich diversity at the virtual platform.
The DekhoApna Desh webinar series unfolded the “Hidden Treasures Of Chhatisgarh” to a wider audience as part of the Centre’s Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme.
Moderated by Rupinder Brar, Additional Director General of the Ministry, the session brought out many key facts of the state for the participants.
State’s Tourism and Culture Secretary P Anbalagan set the background for the session with his introductory remarks and the session was presented by Jaspreet Singh Bhatia, Founder, Icecubes Holidays, Jeet Singh Arya, Founder, Unexplored Bastar and Thommen Jose, Author and Blogger.
The three presenters virtualized and highlighted the unexplored destinations and unique cultural and heritage wealth of Chhattisgarh.
Bhatia set the tone of the session by highlighting some of the key facts of the states and its immense tourism potential.
Chhattisgarh, carved out of Madhya Pradesh came into being on November 1, 2000 and is the ninth largest state in India. Being the Central Eastern state of India, it borders seven states, 44 per cent of land covered by forest, 34 percent of tribal population. With three National parks, 11 Wildlife sanctuaries, one Biosphere reserve it is one of India’s greenest states and well connected with the rest of the country by air, rail and road network.
Some of the best waterfalls of the country are in Chhattisgarh, few of them are Chitrakote, Amritdhara, Pawai, Machli etc. The state is also blessed with three shaktipeeths Champaranya, Rajim and Sheorinarayan. Wrought iron, bell metal and terracotta are famous handicrafts of Chhattisgarh.
Arya took the audience to a virtual tour of Bastar. Bastar is one of the unexplored destinations which is south of Chhattisgarh. Bastar region has spectacular scenic views, roads and hidden waterfalls. Bastar region has more than 15 waterfalls. Kutumsar caves, which are the largest series of caves after Meghalaya are in Chhattisgarh.
Bastar Dussehra world’s longest festival which is celebrated for 75 days has a different story related to goddess Dhanteswari. Gond’s, Madiya, Muriaya’s are some of the tribes making Bastar as the land of indigenous tribes.
Handicrafts history dates back to Harappan civilization; the technique used is lost wax technique. Third largest lord Ganesha statue in the world which is made of a single sand stone. Cave paintings with 12,000 years of history are in Bastar region.
Jose presented some lesser known places of tourist interest and experiences that Chhattisgargh offers which include Karkabhat, Dipadih, Ghotul and Sonabai.
While Karkabhat is a megalithic burial site generally ignored by tourists, studies conducted in the area have identified three types of menhirs- Conical, pointed obliquely and bifurcated like a fish tail.
Dipadih is a temple complex dating back to the 7th Century is probably the best kept archaeological secret of Chhattisgarh. Excavated stone pillars have been erected along the path next to the entrance on which are exhibited the mythological creatures.
Ghotul is both an ancient tribal system of education as well as the campus with its own system of hierarchies.
Sonabai is famous bas relief ornamentation works of Chhattisgarh got its roots when Sonabai made little toys for her son Daroga Ram to lull him to sleep.
Cock fighting, Chhattisgarh’s famous tribal games also came alive on the digital platform for the stakeholders of the tourism industry.
Concluding the webinar session, Brar informed the Ministry about releasing the Operational Recommendations for the various hospitality and travel trade sectors namely hotels, Restaurants, B&B , Homestay/farmstay and Tourism Service Provider. These are the recommended safety and hygiene guidelines for the tourism sector to be followed post lockdown travel.
The National e-Governance Division created by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has been playing a pivotal role in supporting the Ministry in conducting of the DekhoApna Desh webinars by providing technical assistance directly with a professional team thereby ensuring effective citizen engagement and communication with all stakeholders using the digital experience platform.