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CM lauds initiatives of HPTDC in promoting tourism

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BOD-meeting-of-HPTDC

BOD-meeting-of-HPTDC

Chief Minister, Shri Virbhadra Singh said that the Government was making earnest efforts to exploit tourism potential of the state to its full. He said that appropriate infrastructure was being developed to attract more domestic and foreign tourists besides increasing the hotel occupancy and providing them with all best possible facilities.

Chief Minister was presiding over the Board of Directors Meeting of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC), here today. He said that the corporation was doing a commendable job in promoting tourism industry and ensuring that the State remains a premier tourist destination in the country as well as all over the world.

Shri Virbhadra Singh said the corporation had earned profit during the current financial year, adding that the income of the corporation was Rs. 75 crore against the expenditure of Rs.72 crore, thereby registering gross profit of rupees three crore. The profit target for the year 2013-14 had been fixed at Rs. six crore which was almost double of this years profit. He said that the initiatives taken by the corporation were laudable to increase its earnings and thereby contribute towards the State’s economy.

The test run for providing Wi-Fi facilities in HPTDC volvo buses on Delhi-Manali and Delhi-Shimla routes was a welcome step as it would provide internet facilities to the commuters on their mobiles, I-pods and laptops, said the Chief Minister.

Principal Secretary, HPTDC, Sh. V.C. Pharka said that to boost tourism in the State the corporation had signed MoU’s with Delhi and Goa Tourism to book each others properties and further tie-up was being finalized with other States like Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan so that more and more people from these states visits such places and vice-versa.

Sh. Pharka said that HPTDC had collected data base of more than 80000 mobile users and e-mail ID’s of tourists and travel agents for bulk SMS and e-mail campaigns for promotion of tourism. The corporation was also exploring possibilities of social media marketing through twitter and face book etc. He said that the search engine optimization had been started by

Subscribing to Google marketing web-tools for ensuring better presence of HPTDC website on Goggle search Engine.

Managing Director-cum-Director, HPTDC, Shri Subhasish Panda detailed about the various facilities and initiatives being taken by the corporation to make it a profit-earning unit. He said that the corporation had introduced many new packages for tourists visiting the State. The packages would benefit and promote religious, adventure and heritage tourism and special honeymoon packages, toy train packages etc. would go a long way in attracting more tourist arrivals and their longer stay in the State.

Sh. Panda said that the corporation had fixed a target of earning Rs. 86 crore in 2013-14 and restrict its expenditure to Rs. 80 crore to make the corporation financially strong and viable.

Sh. Manish Garg, Secretary Finance, Sh. Yogesh Behl, General Manger HPTDC and other officers were also present on the occasion.

ECO-Tourism

Himachal seeks Rs. 300 crore from Centre to promote religious tourism circuit and eco-adventure tourism

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Religious Tourism in Himachal PRadesh

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Government has urged the Union Minister for Tourism, K.J. Alphons to sanction three schemes worth Rs. 300 crore to promote religious tourism circuit and eco-adventure tourism in the state.

The Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, during a meeting in New Delhi, apprised the Minister that Himachal was also a major centre of religious tourism and religious tourism circuits will be developed here to provide devotees more facilities.

The Chief Minister also invited Union Minister to Himachal and said that he himself will take him to the tourist destinations of the State. K.J. Alphons whole-heartedly accepted the invitation.

Chief Minister also urged the Centre to provide funds generously for widespread publicity of tourism sites in the state.

The Union Minister of State for Tourism assured the Chief Minister that the Union Government will extend all possible support to this hill state for exploitation and expansion of its tourism potential.

The Chief Minister said that the focus should be on tourism in the state, which was not given before. However, now the state government is giving special emphasis to strengthening infrastructure in virgin natural places, he said.

Himachal has immense potential for adventure tourism and adventure sports like mountaineering, biking, river rafting, and paragliding and the state is considered as a paradise for these adventure sports.

However, it is true that the governments have done very little to polish and maintain the tourism sector.

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ECO-Tourism

Amidst wild animals, without electricity, phone or clock, an old woman lives alone in Great Himalayan National Park

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Great-Himalayan-National-Park

SHIMLA- Have you ever thought of living your entire life in wild, without electricity and electronics, and even a clock? How about the Great National Himalayan Park that is recognized by UNESCO for its incredibly rich bio-diversity? The 754 square kilometer National Park houses 31 mammal species including leopards, the Himalayan black and brown bear, and the ghost cat – snow leopards. There are over 300 bird species, reptiles, hundreds of insect species amid rich Himalayan flora and fauna.  It sounds more like a Hollywood adventure movie. Is it possible to live in such a harmony with nature?  

Indian woman Living in forest alone

Photo: GHNP

There is no habitation for miles as all natives were removed to a separate buffer –zone when the area was declared as a National Park. However, there was a woman, who refused to depart from the nature. She has been sharing the forest with wild animals for decades now. 

Woman lives in himalayan national park

Photo: IANS

So it’s not entirely true that there is no habitation inside the park. An 83-years-old lady, Chatri Devi, still lives in her clay-house, all alone.

Woman lives along in forestPhoto: Xerxespa
She doesn’t have electricity or a phone. She doesn’t even possess a clock and calculate time by following sun. This seclusion, complete isolation and wild animals do not scare her at all.

Leopards and black bears do come near to my house, even with their cubs, but they never attacked me as I am not their prey. Why should I be afraid of them? They go on their way (pointing towards a thick forest adjoining her house),

Chatri Devi says.

chatri devi GHNP

Clay House of Chatri Devi in GHNP/ Photo: Gaurav Chaudhary

It’s not that she doesn’t have a family or is bound to live here. Rather, she has a big family comprising of three married sons, their wives, and nine grandchildren, who live in a village outside the park. It takes about one and half hour walk uphill to reach her from their place.

Great Himalayan National Park

Photo: GHNP

The only reason for her to choose this life in the park is that she loves it as she has a strong emotional attachment to the house she had build with her husband decades ago and small-piece of farmland where the couple grew wheat, barely, potato, corn and rajmah. She is the only one person who refused to relocate when the the area was declared as the GHNP in 1999. 

chatri devi in great himalayan national park

Xerxespa.Blogspot

Her death is the only way to separate her from the house, she said.

When asked if she ever gets bored, she replies,

These birds and animals are also part of my family. Every winter ‘jujuranas’ or western tragopans and gorals descend here. So I ejoy watching them.

These days, as she is very old now, one of the family members come to visit her everyday after taking that hours long uphill walk to ensure she is doing fine and returns by evening. 

She makes a remarkable example of complete harmony with nature and its creature, away from modernised and way far complex, stressful urban life. 

About The Himalayan National Park

Top Image: IANS

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ECO-Tourism

India’s first Igloo hotel in Manali is the fresh tourist attraction in Himachal

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Manali Igloo Stay 4

SHIMLA- Manali Igloo Stay is the fresh tourist attraction not only in Himachal Pradesh, but in entire India. First-of-its- kind, made entirely of snow, the Igloo houses are owned by Kelinga Himalyan Adventures, a winter-sports and travel company that offers ski courses and treks. The company, that comprises of local youth Tashi and Vikas, had been looking for good snowfall to give the concept a try.  It’s eco-friendly, as it used no non-biodegradable material (snow), there would be no waste after it’ll meltdown.

Himachal Igloo hotel

This year, it snowed heavy and temperature was also favorable to build Igloo houses at Sethan village, near Prini. Each structure is made of compressed snow and measures 8×9 foot in width and 6.5 feet in height. The Igloos were opened at the end of the January, 2017. 

The igloos are built by Tashi and Vikas with their friends.

When we discussed this concept with our friends, they were so excited that they spent hours with us and even helped us build them,

the duo told to an English daily.

Igloo hotel himachal

The visitors are provided with bedding, table and lights. Accommodation is available only on a twin-sharing basis as there are only two structures. For sleeping, the visitors are given warm feather sleeping bags and a hot water bottle.
Manali Igloo Stay 2

The temperature is chilling outside, but apparently inside is comparatively warmer. The Igloos can sure save visitors from cold winds outside. So, the idea is quite practical.

Igloo Manali

The company hopes that the Igloos will stand for another month before it begins to meltdown with change in season. The rates vary from 4,500 to 7,000 depending upon different packages.
Manali Igloo Stay 3

Igloos are mainly found in colder parts of the world like Switzerland, Canada, Finland etc. Definitely, it would be entirely a unique experience to find out what it feels to live in an Igaloo. No need to say, these Igloos would be available only in winters, hardly for a couple of months.

That’s not all; visitor can try to build their own Igloo houses at a height of about 9,000 feet, somewhere near Hampta pass.

This year, we have introduced two igloos on a trial basis and it has been successful. Lower areas of Manali, including the town, are warmer than Sethan. We plan to to get this concept registered with the tourism department so that they (officials) can also help us promote it, especially in rural areas,

they said.

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