Special bus service to boost ‘Pahari’ tourism

The Uttarakhand government is all set to launch a special bus services in 13 districts for tourists to enjoy vibrant Pahari folk arts and traditions and places of cultural attractions including castles, temples and archaeological sites dotting the picturesque Himalayan landscape.

Tourism minister Satpal Maharaj said, “The local youth, who will be trained as guides, will explain the tourists about the locations as well the folklore associated with them. Moreover, the tourists will have a chance to experience the local culinary traditions and enjoy ‘Garhwali cuisines’, popular for their unique tastes”.

The minister is optimistic that the tales associated to the tourist sites would be of great interest to the tourists as most of the fascinating facts are not known outside the state.

Lakhudiyar Rock Paintings

Referring to the ancient cave paintings of Lakhudiyar near Almora he said the heritage site is some 5,000 years old. Visitors would love to visit such places with less information about them to the outside world. Similarly there are a number of Ashrams and Akharas in the shrine town of Haridwar, the tourists would be interested to know more.

Visitors “will discover” many such interesting facts when they would be taken for ‘Haridwar Darshan’. It would be a revelation for them to know that the ‘Garba folk dance,’ which is famous in Gujarat, is originated in Uttarakhand.

Garba Dance

As per the legend the Garba dance was first performed by Usha (daughter of Banasur), when she visited her husband Anirudh’s (Lord Krishna’s grandson) palace in Dwaraka. It is told she was pregnant when performing the dance and thus the dance form become famous as Garba dance (Garba is a distorted form of the Hindi word Garbha, which means pregnant).

The minister said the buses would be fitted with a sound system through which tourists would be explained in detail about the places they would visit during their bus rides to different areas in the state.

Maharaj said this project will generate employment for the youth of the state as they would be trained as authorized guides in the buses. Moreover, the indigenous cuisines of the state will also get a boost and could be developed as culinary tourism.