Religious tourism

WHAT IS TOURISM? Tourism is travel for recreational or leisure purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people who "travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited". Tourism has become a popular global leisure activity. In 2008, there were over 903 million international tourist arrivals, with a growth of 6.6% as compared to 2007. International tourist receipts were USD 856 billion in 2008. Despite the uncertainties in the global economy, arrivals grew at around 5% during the first four months of 2009, almost a similar growth than the same period in 2008. TOURISM IN INDIA It is boom time for India's Tourism and hospitality sector which offers almost all types of tourism at one destination. The Indian subcontinent is bounded by the majestic Himalayan ranges in the north and edged by a spectacular coastline surrounded by three seas – Arabian Sea in the West, Bay of Bengal in the East and Indian Ocean in the South, India is a vivid kaleidoscope of landscapes, magnificent historical sites and royal cities, golden beaches, misty mountain retreats, colorful people, rich cultures and festivities. The world’s leading travel and Tourism Journal, “Conde Nast Traveler”, ranked India amongst top 4 preferred holiday destinations in the world! There are number of factors responsible for the growth of Indian tourism at global level. India is a peaceful country without any political disturbance except for few destinations where a tourist is required to get special permission from local authority to enter into that area. There is healthy competition among all the states to attract the tourists from all over the world for speedy economic growth and employment generation. Not only this Ministry of Tourism and Culture has recently launched a campaign called ‘Incredible India!’ in order to encourage different types of tourism in India. WHAT IS CULTURAL TOURISM ? Cultural tourism' (or culture tourism) is the subset of tourism concerned with a country or region's culture, specifically the lifestyle of the people in those geographical areas, the history of those peoples, their art, architecture, religion(s), and other elements that helped shape their way of life. Cultural tourism includes tourism in urban areas, particularly historic or large cities and their cultural facilities such as museums and theatres. It can also include tourism in rural

On the positive side are the unique cultural practices and arts that attract the curiosity of tourists and provide opportunities for tourism and economic development. Cultural tourism has been defined as 'the movement of persons to cultural attractions away from their normal place of residence. The cultural heritage of India is not limited to the art and architecture that we see today in the form of many architectural wonders that dot many Indian cities but it traverses beyond that. different beliefs and customs of the invaders to India. For an indigenous culture that has stayed largely separated from the surrounding majority. Cultural heritage of India is the embodiment of all things beautiful that make one stand and take notice. diverse and unique. festivals. This form of tourism is also becoming generally more popular throughout the world. This is exactly what one feels when on a heritage tour of India.areas showcasing the traditions of indigenous cultural communities (i. dance. and their values and lifestyle. These invasions from outside made India the melting pot of different faiths and cultures. and a recent OECD report has highlighted the role that cultural tourism can play in regional development in different world regions. tourism can present both advantages and problems. THE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF INDIA India with its centuries old civilization is perhaps one of the few nations. India was constantly targeted by many invaders. cuisine. and inland natural areas. with the intention to gather new information and experiences to satisfy their cultural needs'.e. customs or festivals. Be it music. theme parks and country clubs. rituals). Other destinations include historical sites. For example a music concert in the backdrop of the Taj Mahal or a dance festival at the famous Konark Temple leaves visitors enthralled and spellbound. which has a cultural heritage that is rich. Destinations One type of cultural tourism destination is living cultural areas. The richness and diversity of the Indian culture has its roots in its history. It is generally agreed that cultural tourists spend substantially more than standard tourists do. the cultural heritage of India touches you in more than one way. Experience the age-old . The history of India is testimony to the fact that foreign invasions influenced the polity and culture of India. modern urban districts. Right from ancient times when Alexander invaded India and brought with him Greek influences till the coming of the British in the 16th century. coastal or island ecosystems. With these invasions came the art and architecture. fine arts. On the negative side is the issue of how to control tourism so that those same cultural amenities are not destroyed and the people do not feel violated.

peacocks. The Concept of improving the Tourism in India has always enthralled me and that’s the reason for me to choose Temple Tourism as a Topic for my paper presentation. architecture. A mosaic of faiths. classical dances and music. The Hindu temples apart from being religious also play the role of a social. Hinduism is the religion followed by the Hindus. TEMPLE TOURISM We as Indians have always had and will continue to have an obsession for Temples.customs and traditions followed by Indians on your cultural heritage tour to India. a land as diverse as its people. philosophy. the mesmerizing the pages of India Heritage-a website whole-heartedly devoted to providing a kaleidoscopic view of this wonderland to the world! India “Land of Temples” India . One of the world’s oldest living civilizations . Temples have been a part of the Indian tradition since times Immemorial. India colorful and vibrant. Enjoy the sounds. tropical rainforests.which gave to the world . cultures. customs and languages that blend harmoniously to form a composite whole.A land of intense spirituality and religious faith reflected in the profusion of temples present in this subcontinent.the concept of zero.the India of the 21st century is carving a niche for itself as an economic superpower. Royal Bengal Tiger. cultural and economic center influencing the lives of the people both in the cities and villages. the eternal Ganges. each having certain significance and greatly influencing the lives of the people who regard the temple as a place where they could be close to god. lions…India is all of these and more … India-perennial. India has become the hub of Information technology in south Asia. Yoga. the Cape where the waters of three seas mingle…the rich fauna-snakes. Temples are found every where in India from large monumental structures to small stone buildings. Today . owing to its vast pool of English-knowing technical manpower! Enchanting India…a treasury of art. the Thar desert. the primordial sound Aum. It is an absolute pleasure to know about the cultural diversity of our country. aeronautical and space technologies. the mighty Himalayas. yet young and dynamic. come discover its myriad moods. Our country has achieved remarkable breakthroughs in missile. and Buddhism. These wonderful monuments form a part of the Indian cultural heritage. Any other kind of tourism has to be developed to . The Maharajas of yore have yielded place to some of the wealthiest tycoons of the world. The Hindu philosophy has a very strong influence on the people governing various aspects of their lives including their spiritual life. sights and taste of India with Heritage in India.

Promoting Temple Tourism Secular India is home to Hinduism. The pilgrim seeks to separate himself from the everyday concerns of the world. It may have taken many years. coming from God and returning to God. practiced by over 80% of the population. Sikhism and other innumerable religious traditions. Christianity. In fact India has the second largest population of Muslims in the world after Indonesia. and stay in monasteries or inns overnight. Islam. There are Temples in India which fills the heart of tourists with peace and they are truly bewildered at the aspect of the humungous structures of architecture and cultural traits of India.increase the popularity among people but when it comes to temple tourism the situation is totally different we’ve got the Temples with us. But now the situation is totally different the Pilgrims take time out of their busy schedule to keep their mind at peace. Hinduism is the dominant faith. So let us now see as to what are the most important tourist destinations in India when it comes to temples. Indians see life itself as a journey. Back in the middle Ages pilgrimages were very popular. . Muslims are the most prominent religious group and are an integral part of Indian society. Common practices have crept into most religious faiths in India and many of the festivals that mark each year with music. Jainism. A pilgrimage is a symbol that is acted out. it’s just a question of preserving the temples and promoting the temple tourism among the tourists. Buddhism. Significance of Pilgrimage Pilgrimage is an important part of spiritual life for many Indians. Besides Hindus. pilgrimage tourism is increasing most rapidly. The pilgrims would usually travel in groups. dance and feasting are shared by all communities. India is famous for its temples and that is the reason that among the different kinds of tourism in India. and to spend time in the presence of God as he travels to a place of special meaning.

There are three temples of which two Shiva Temples face east and west respectively. The temple is full of designs made by carvings. This is one of the oldest of the south Indian Temples which were structural temples constructed in the nature Dravidian style. completed the skilled work in his rule. There are sculptures of Somaskanda . It was originally constructed during the 7th century and later it was Narasimha Varman II. built near the sea shore.WORLD FAMOUS TEMPLES OF INDIA SHORE TEMPLE AT MAHABALIPURAM It is believed that there were seven magnificent temples what are known as the seven pagodas. But the lonely survivor is the shore temples. The other one is the Vishnu Temple.lord Shiva with his better half. Parvati. The Vishnu temples were built by Narasimha Varman I and the other two were built by Narasimha Varman II. On both sides of the temple inside are the marvelous sculptures of Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu with their better halves. One can find the beautifully carved twin Dwarka Palaks (gate keepers) at the entrance of the east facing Shiva Temples. and his sons. This shore temple has gained popularity and tourists gather here because it has been listed among the world heritage sites of the UNESCO. Skanda and .

European scholars have compared it to Athens of Greece. that would have been the .” Tirumulla Nayak commenced a gopura. The figure of Vishnu is found in segments which are to be looked through various doors. quite surpassing the main sanctum for architectural elaboration. and 107 ft. It measures 174 ft. the gopuras grew in size from the mid12th century until the colossal gateways came to dominate the temple complex. Relatively small in the earlier period. is the entrance gateway to the Hindu temple enclosure. It was in the past the seat of the Tamil Academy (the Tamil Sangam).Vishnu reclines on the floor listening silently the sounds of names. MEENAKSHI AMMAN TEMPLE This is decidedly the oldest city of South India. truly representing Dravidian culture. would probably have been the finest edifice of its class in southern India. in depth. The central shrine is in the form of a rectangle. wide. The peculiarity about this particular temple is . The entrance through it is 21 ft. in South Indian architecture. had he lived to complete it.) in height. from north to south. Gopuram. which.Ganesha are found on the near wall. It has a magnificent statue of lord Vishnu which is known as Sthala Shayana Perumal or Ananthasayana which means sleeping Vishnu. (Tripe says 57 ft. 9 in. It is estimated that there are 33 million carvings in the Madurai temple. and if it be true that its gateposts are 6o ft.

The great temple at Madurai possesses all the characteristics of a first-class Dravidian temple. it forms a landmark of the utmost value in enabling us to fix the relative date of other temples. The door frame of the arch is about 10ft in height and 8ft 6inches in breath. is named after Hari(God) the temple of God.. It is a symbol of the magnificence and strength of the Sikh people all over the world. The Darshani Deori (an arch) stands at the shore end of the causeway. are single blocks of granite. as its date is perfectly well known. West. North and South. Its doorposts alone. is the most sacred temple for Sikhs. In the evolution of the Darbar Sahib. whether 57 ft. daily wish to pay visit to Sri Amritsar and to pay obeisance at Sri Harmandir Sahib in their Ardas Sri Harmandir Sahib. Sri Harmandir Sahib. and. Punjab. The bridge is connected with the 13 feet wide 'Pardakshna. square. It runs round the main shrine and it leads . GOLDEN TEMPLE The Golden Temple or Darbar Sahib. or 60 ft. is entwined the history and ideology of Sikhism. square platform in the centre of the Sarovar(tank). also known as Sri Darbar Sahib or Golden Temple. in height. situated in Amritsar. is built on a 67ft. and all the other carvings are equally beautiful. The temple itself is 40. carved with the most exquisite scroll patterns of elaborate foliage. The Sikhs all over the world. The door panes are decorated with artistic style.5ft. It has a door each on the East.height of the opening.

Sri Venkateswara is described as the great bestowed of boons. and lies on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini. The temple of Sri Venkateswara has acquired unique sanctity in Indian religious lore. In these epics. A regular recitation of Guru Granth Sahib is also held there. only by worshipping Venkata Nayaka or Sri Venkateswara. The Sastras. Puranas. in the Kali Yuga.It is by the Lord's presidency over Venkatachala. that He has received the appellation. It is often quoted that this architecture has created an independent Sikh school of architecture in the history of art in India. On the top of this room stands the low fluted 'Gumbaz'(dome) having lotus petal motif in relief at the base inverted lotus at the top which supports the 'Kalash' having a beautiful 'Chhatri' at the end. TIRUPATI BALAJI The ancient and sacred temple of Sri Venkateswara is located on the seventh peak. He is also called the Lord of the Seven Hills. Venkatachala (Venkata Hill) of the Tirupati Hill. Venkateswara (Lord of the Venkata Hill). Sthala Mahatyams and Alwar hymns unequivocally declare that. The benefits acquired by a pilgrimage to Venkatachala are mentioned in the Rig Veda and Asthadasa the 'Har ki Paure' (steps of God). Its architecture represents a unique harmony between the Muslims and the Hindus way of construction work and this is considered the best architectural specimens of the world. History . one can attain mukti.

It was during the rule of the Vijayanagar dynasty that the contributions to the temple increased. and these statues can be seen to this day.There is ample literary and epigraphic testimony to the antiquity of the temple of Lord Sri Venkateswara.15th century AD) were devotees of the Lord and they competed with one another in endowing the temple with rich offerings and contributions. All the great dynasties of rulers of the southern peninsula have paid homage to Lord Sri Venkateswara in this ancient shrine. The Pallavas of Kancheepuram (9th century AD). the Cholas of Thanjavur (a century later). There is also a statue of Venkatapati Raya in the main temple. KASHI VISHWANATH TEMPLE . and the kings and chieftains of Vijayanagar (14th . Sri Krishnadevaraya had statues of himself and his consorts installed at the portals of the temple. the Pandyas of Madurai.

the Chinese traveler visited Varanasi in the 7th century. Varanasi is the ultimate destination of all Hindu pilgrims searching for moksha from the cycle of birth and re-birth. each about 10 feet in diameter. The entire temple has been conceived as a chariot of the sun god with 24 wheels. The Kashi Vishwanath Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Hyuen Tsang. Philosophy. Seven horses drag the temple. The sun Temple of Konark is dedicated to the sun God or Surya.the Brahmanas. Kashi is mentioned repeatedly in the scriptures .The oldest living city in the world. The temple was destroyed in the various invasions and was rebuilt in 1776 by Rani Ahilyabai of Indore. Upanishads and the Puranas. Arka is the Sun God. Kashi is the 'original ground' created by Lord Shiva and Parvati. The Konark temple is widely known not only for its architectural grandeur but also for the intricacy and profusion of sculptural work. The word 'Kashi' originated from the word 'Kas' which means to shine. A flight of steps lead to the main entrance. . Hundreds and thousands of pilgrims flock to Varanasi to offer homage and wash away their sins. It is the oldest center of learning and the University here is still widely respected for its Sanskrit. in the state of Orissa near the sacred city of Puri. Two lions guard the entrance. with a set of spokes and elaborate carvings. Sun temple has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. and Arts faculties. crushing elephants. KONARAK Konark Sun Temple is located . Stepped in tradition and mythological legacy. It is a masterpiece of Orissa's medieval architecture.

and up the walls and roof. sits in solitary splendor surrounded by the drifting sands. but a center of learning too.The Nata Mandir in front of the Jagamohana is also intricately carved. which are carved around the base of the temple. are the major attractions of the temple. The entire temple has been designed in the shape of a chariot carrying the Sun God across the heavens. Around the base of the temple. soars over 30 m in height. Muslim Mosques India's religious tolerance has made lots of religion flourish. The huge intricate wheels of the chariot. made of sandstone. now in ruins. The pyramidal roof of the temple. the Sun Temple at Konark is also covered with erotic sculptures. The religious centers of Islam are not only a place of worship. Architecture of the Temple The massive structure of the temple. and the shadows formed by these can give the precise time of the day. There are tombs such as Taj Mahal that showcases the depth of undying love and . The spokes of these wheels serve as sundials. are carvings in the erotic style. Like the temples at Khajuraho.

U. It is said that Emperor Akbar sought blessings for his son at the Dargah.P. Muhammad Ali Shah built this imposing structure of Chota Imambara in 1840. White marble has also been used extensively. The remains of seven cities in Delhi include the remnants of Shahjhanabad and Qutub Minar. A Religious Masterpiece The construction work continued for six years. Delhi Jama Masjid is one of the largest mosques in India and the final architectural extravagance of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Agra and Fatehpur Sikri are not mere rich legacies of Mughal History. which are worth a visit. Famous Mosques in India  Jama Masjid . The real name of this structure is Husainabad Imambada Christian Pilgrimage .P. U.  Ajmer Sharif The shrine is considered to be a place of wish fulfillment for those who pray with devout and pure hearts.Mughal Emperor Humayun's Tomb. they are the finest examples of architecture. The third Nawab of Avadh. which combined both Hindu and Muslim elements in it. Also called the Asafai Imambara this huge and elegant building is almost built like a fort. Just like other buildings of Shahjahanabad. It's also known as 'Masjid-i-Jahan Numa'.  Bada Imambara. yet. Fatehpur Sikri is one of the finest examples of Mughal architectural splendour at its height. which is considered the most perfectly planned octagonal building in the history of Indian Architecture.  Chota Imambara. this one was also built with red sandstone. 'Jahan' means 'World' and Numa means 'Visible'. a beautiful building. specially in the three domes and has been inlaid with stripes of black.  Fatehpur Sikri Fatehpur Sikri is the best example of the culmination of Hindu and Muslim architecture. It's an austere. ending in 1644. The structure was placed on a high platform so that its magnificent facade would be visible from all the adjoining areas. Lucknow and Hyderabad's Nawabi legacy is still lurking in the monuments such a Bada Imambara and Charminar. Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulla built this building in a famine relief program in 1784.

Goa . Francis Xavier. the Grand Duke of Tuscany.Goa The church of Bom Jesus. Cosimo III.  Basilica of Bom Jesus . St.Christianity has had long and glorious relations with India. It was a gift from Medici. it became the first church of India to be elevated to the status of Minor Basilica. It now lies in an airtight glass coffin. Francis's body was brought to Goa almost 150 years after his death. The chapel attracts large numbers of visitors every year. Francis Xavier. placed inside a silver casket fashioned by a 17th century Florentine jeweller. Cajetan. is known principally for the tomb of St. Some of the churches of colonial India are comparable to the best in the world and are as much a part of the heritage of India as its ancient temple. is the best specimen of baroque architecture in India. The basilica. One of the richest churches in Goa. "Good" or "Infant" Jesus. Francis Xavier are kept.  The Church of St. The advent of Europeans in India from the 15th century onwards led to the mass influx of Christians and subsequent development of Christian worship places. In 1946. it is covered with marble and inlaid with precious stones and paintings depicting the life of St. where the mortal remains of St.

with its Tuscan exterior. .  Church of the Sacred Heart. Cajetan is modelled on the original design of St. it is the old church next door. the arches above the altars in the transept of the Se' Cathedral and in the nave on either side of the main altar in the Church of St. It is not impressive from the outside. It is not much of a hill but high enough for the churches on it to be noticed form a distance. the barrel-vault above the nave. Chennai Little Mount in Saidapet is where he lived and preached. It still has those lovely stained glass windows for which it is so famed. The church was proclaimed a Basilica in 1984 by Pope John Paul II. the raised platform with steps leading to the entrance. the Corinthian columns at its portals.P. The Church of Bom Jesus with its facade decorated with Ionic. Michael's Cathedral.The Church of St.  Little Mount. The lofty interior has a towering curved roof. shows the application of the Classical order. Francis of Assisi. The paintings in the churches were done on wooden borders and fixed between panels having floral designs as in the chapels housing the tomb of St. The Se' Cathedral. The new church. Xavier. The most prominent building on the famous Mall of Shimla is the yellow Christ Church. but is miniscule interior has an atmosphere not found in many churches. However. presenting a very grand look. with a facade of white pillars supporting a canopy set against a dark brick background. is yet another example of Renaissance. In 1795 AD. built in 1711 as extension to shrine which the Portuguese had built in 1511 that is thronged by pilgrims. The church was elevated to a cathedral by Pope Paul IV in 1558 AD. and circular arcades turrets rising above the roof to each side of the entrance porch.. About a hundred years later. Bishop Dom Gomez Ferreira commissioned a new building at the same site in 1887 AD. consecrated in 1971 attracts attention by unusual circular shape. Thomas' home. it fell into the hands of the British when they took over Cochin and was demolished. H. reputed to be the second oldest church in northern India. Kerala The Santa Cruz Basilica is a historic church that was built by the Portuguese. This Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament is built against and above the rock cave that was St. Doric and Corinthian pilasters. polished stone floors and broad arches set into smooth walls. Peter's Church in Rome.  Santa Cruz Basilica. Delhi This Church displays a strong Italianate influence.  Christ Church & St.

Role of Religious Tourism in Balanced Economic Growth In India. they will take care of themselves. its products would only be sold. This would definitely provide a lucrative mind space in potential target group in which would not have done by spending millions on conventional promotion tools. It provides livelihood to local population who sell camphor to the devotees which is supplied by camphor manufacturers. The government could seek help from marketers to offer necessary infrastructure support viz. it was . the government would not worry about offering minimum 100 days employment opportunities. well known for a rural deity which is very powerful. They would also take part in developing these Places along with local development authorities. religious tourism plays a vital role in narrowing economic imbalance. 'Sulli Karadu' a small dry rural area near Coimbatore. the marketers would get benefit out of the booming religious tourism as they could find new territories to sell their products and services. a) Marketers could participate in providing basic sanitary facilities along with they could promote their products viz. Hence. ought to be worshipped by offering Camphor in big quantities which is available in nearby shops. Also. Most of the places. especially rural areas and the areas which have no core competence or business. water and sanitation. transportation. If this done. TamilNadu. For instance. b) Marketers could also participate in constructing rooms for devotees to stay and promote their products c) Marketers could offer free/paid transportation facilities which will carry the promotion of their products/ services d) Pharmaceutical companies could sponsor free medical camps in which their products could be promoted e) Food products companies could set up their outlets to sell products with subsidized /actual prices f) Clothing/Garment companies could set up their stalls to promote their products and services It clearly shows that there is enough room for marketers to participate in Corporate Market Responsibility which offers the dual benefit of offering services to the society as well to promote their products/services. If X company sponsors the Free or Paid Rest room facilities. it is the marketers and the state and central government could join their hands to concentrate on these locations in order to generate business and employment opportunities as well to promote their products/services.Strategies to enhance religious tourism through Corporate Market Responsibility (CRP) Definitely. India. survive due to religious tourism. power and other basic facilities which ensure the influx and pleasant stay of pilgrims. Devotees stand in mile long queue to offer their offerings. It provides business and employment opportunities to local population helps to take care of their requirements.

which generates millions and provides employment opportunities to many. but also gives them a "Bonus" lifetime. starving our antique Indian temples of any funds . well-maintained Delhi Metro. The government is treating our ancient monuments too with the same attention it gives to the railways! The Archaeological Survey of India. Madurai. poorly equipped. It is the dual benefit of catering location population as well to promote the products/services. and well known. "Sabari Malai" in kerala. infrastructure etc. "Shorna Bairavar" which is very powerful to collect the bad debts. periodical maintenance & protecting them from vandals. Red Fort etc. But by doing proper. This generates employment opportunities in the sleeping semi-urban small town. security & service & wears the look of a corporate major. many famous places like "Palani". So. a place called "Thadi Kombu" near Madurai. responsible for the exploration & maintenance of these monuments is dangerously under-staffed & poorly funded. he can either think about the well-built. Though both are owned & operated by the govt. These provide tremendous opportunities for marketers to focus on these locations to market their products and services.interpreted that the whole exercise was orchestrated by the camphor manufacturers to sell their products which has been banned by TamilNadu Endowment Board to camphor in temples. let alone. standard. So. Kanyakumar. proper maintenance not only preserves them for their entire life period. sub-standard Indian Railways. The Delhi Metro has world class infrastructure. the chances are that they’ll fail to live up to their 'intended' life span is dim. which is one of the best in Asia. These are all the examples of small places which generates business and employment opportunities for the local population. whether natural or manmade have their lifespan. his/her prayers would be answered. there is a contrasting difference between these two. PROTECTING TEMPLES It must be understood that all objects. When these places of interest are not maintained. well known for a deity viz. etc. also generated business for bus owners who take devotees for charter trips on that particular day from far off places. in Tamil Nadu. When a person thinks about India.. this is a classical example on the religious tourism which fed the whole village. How ever. the railways leaves much to be desired when it comes to safety. it is the believe that if a pilgrim visit the place for 8 times in a particular day of the month. by quoting the reason that would spoil the environment. Though the largest employer in the world & the most profitable government company.. Rameswaram. the possibility of providing extended lifespan to these inanimate structures always remain. The whole kerala belt has been benefiting from lakhs for devotees visit sabari malai during particular seasons. Also.. the ASI devoted most of its manpower & money power to the high-end monuments such as Taj Mahal. But on the other end lies the poorly maintained.

whereas the freely serviced poor people are forced to wait in their queue's for several hours. a well-funded ASI. By allowing tourists. in Tripathi does not offer any better prospects. Transportation is bleak. People who pay a high some of money to "see" the God are allowed a closer peep. but improve the status of these "iconic" symbols of the world's oldest religion. the temple authorities & of course the devotees. but collection is great! Many temples in India refuse to receive any funding from the governments & solely rely on philanthropists. The government should rein in on "illegal" roadside temples & encourage historically significant temples. poor knowledge of history & its greatness from the part of the temple boards. There needs to be an effective co-ordination between the government. with very little funding.Though India is a Hindu dominated country. if not days! The housing & lodging facilities there are very poor. temples are maintained by the 'Hindu Aranilaya Thurai' which is shredded by politics. So if these great monuments have to be maintained properly and if the Temples have to viewed by tourists and great tourist destinations it is up to the People and Government of India to Protect these Architectural Masterpieces by Educating the general public about their importance and Proper funding to maintain them. which priorities the religious aspect of the temple more than its cultural & historical value will do anything. the historical significance of the temple & its image will be defeated. They do not want to rely on governments claiming to be secular! So. The temple board should also allow non-Hindu & foreign visitors to come in & visit the temple by charging them a fee & diverting it to welfare works. . Even the world's most revenue-rich temple. it doesn't mean that our temples should be preserved well! In Tamilnadu for instance.

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