With the Rakhigarhi village excavations revealing the existence of a civilisation even before the earliest ones known to man, Haryana’s prospects as a historical and cultural hub for tourists have only catapulted. The state must now ready itself for the expected boost in numbers.
Ram Bilas Sharma, Minister – Tourism and Art & Culture Affairs, Government of Haryana, believes that this North Indian state is an important destination for inbound tourists due to its close proximity to national capital New Delhi.
According to him, the state also holds both historic and religious importance for the domestic tourist, being the birthplace of the holy Bhagavad Gita (the 700-verse Sanskrit scripture that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata) among other destinations where several events of the Mahabharata are said to have taken place. He adds, “Kurukshetra is also a very important destination to learn and understand more about Hindu mythology. Haryana has also witnessed historical battles, including the famous battles of Panipat, and has lent canvas to the epic battle of Mahabharata at Kurukshetra.”
ln a first-of-its-kind attempt, a team of scientists has investigated and found remains of the Indus Valley civilisation in the Rakhigarhi village of Hisar district in Haryana, and the minister believes that scientists around the world have now proved that Haryana is the lo- cation of the most ancient civilisation in the world. Sharma says, “Scientists have claimed that findings of a civilisation in Rakhigarhi place it even before the Harappa civilisation by almost 900 years. These findings will definitely help boost tourism to the site, in turn attracting history enthusiasts to the state.” Findings of pottery, sculpture, and jewellery at Pehowa, Kurukshetra, and Panipat match with Prithudaka (Pehowa), Tilpat (Panipat) and Sonprastha (Sonipat), establishing the occurrence of the Mahabharata war. In order to boost tourism numbers, both inbound and domestic, to these destinations, Haryana Tourism has developed the heritage sites with ethnic grandeur and has created excellent tourist facilities in Panchkula and Palwal.
These findings will definitely help boost tourism to the site, in turn attracting history enthusiasts to the state
Arts & culture
Haryana is home to the world’s largest arts and crafts fair, the Surajkund International Crafts Mela, which receives visitors from all over the world and from across the country. Every year, the fair is organised by the Surajkund Mela Authority and Haryana Tourism in collaboration with the union ministries of tourism, textiles, culture, and external affairs.
The minister informs that at the 33rd edition of Surajkund International Crafts Mela, which was held in February this year, a large number of renowned national and international folk artists and cultural groups were present. “Representatives from 28 countries and all the Indian states participated. In 2020, we are planning to rope in more partners, and the fair will be bigger and better than its previous editions,” he claims.