What do you expect when an ‘action-packed’ tour is mentioned? Scenic places, arduous mountainous terrain, adventure sports, even a jungle or desert safari!
What if we said that you could watch and relive historic battles on your vacation? Exciting, right?
According to a report in the Hindustan Times, the introduction of ‘battlefield tourism’ in Rajasthan is being discussed. Cherish Mathson, General Officer, Commander-in-Chief, South Western Army, spoke about this at the 7th annual convention of the Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA) in Bharatpur.
What is Battlefield Tourism?
Commonly known as ‘War Tourism’, it is recreational travel to active or former war zones for purposes of sightseeing or historical study or even thrill-seeking in dangerous and forbidden places.
The Army commander discussed how the desert state could serve as the foundation to promote ‘battlefield tourism’ as the historic battles fought on its land are an integral part of its cultural and social fabric.
According to a report in The Times of India, some of the battlegrounds that will be revived for the purpose are as follows:
-the 1310 Battle of Jalore fought between Alauddin Khalji and Kanhad Deo;
-the 1544 Battle of Sammel between Sher Shah Suri and the army of Jaita and Kumpa and;
-the battles fought during the two Mughal invasions of Marwar by Akbar from 1562 – 1583 and by Aurangzeb from 1679 to 1707.
One of the crucial steps to help accelerate the project they discussed, would be to create awareness and accept battlefield tourism as a sub-genre or form of tourism. Lieutenant General Mathson added how these battlefield areas first need to be made accessible to the general public by setting up hotels and transportation facilities.
Speaking at a press conference, IHHA President Gaj Singh added that the plan is still in its nascent stage. A roadmap for the resurrection of these regions is still a long way ahead and will have to be explored and debated.
Regardless, the introduction of battle tourism is expected to boost tourism in the state.
“Many people (are) ready for this kind of tourism if the right infrastructure was developed to facilitate the same,” said Singh.
If this vision becomes a reality, soon our kids will not just read about battles in their history textbooks, they will also be able to relive the rich history too!
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)