For giving a new dimension to rural tourism in the State the Department of Tourism & Civil Aviation is organising a State-level workshop based on Rural Tourism scheme -‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’ on 19th August, 2011 at Hotel Peterhof, Shimla.

Chief Minister will inaugurate the workshop. The scheme has its main objectives as to develop rural infrastructure in the State, diversification of tourists to new areas, create employment opportunities among the youths and to market the hidden rural rich cultural heritage nationally as well as internationally.

Dr Arun Kumar Sharma, Director, Tourism & Civil Aviation said here today that Government had started new schemes for the promotion of tourism and the participants would be acquainted about these schemes also. He said that the scheme ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’ was a unique initiative which would help in diversifying the tourists to the rural areas. The rich cultural-heritage, history, prevalent religious stories, traditions, customs of the rural areas would be tremendous attraction for the tourists.

He said that the scheme ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’ had already been adjudged as the best initiative for promoting the rural tourism in the country recently in Bangalore. ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’ dwells on the rich reservoir of unending stories scattered throughout the State. 12 destinations, one for each of the districts are being merged with the different tourist circuits. The tourists would be taken to these destinations for experiencing the rural areas.

This new ‘experience tourism’ having a genesis in stories viz. Saho in Chamba which is centered around the copper bust of Lord Shiva, cropped locally. Nerti in Kangra, a temple dedicated to the valiant fighter king and from where Jhamakra originated, picturesque Bela—a reminiscent of royal splendour of the Katoch rulers. Five grand trees in Nari village in Una are the embodiment of four disciples and their quru. Stories of sacrifice for water in Salasi—Bilaspur, Brua in Kinnaur and Shamshar in Kullu—in different ways or an invincible wicked demon hiding in Nullah in Hewen, Shimla. Goddesses form the theme of Baniya Devi in Solan and Udaipur in Lahaul & Spiti, Sangrah in Sirmaur is the story of faith while divine justice by Kotlu Devta is a ritual worth experiencing in Mandi district.

Dr. Sharma said that the circuit when fully functional would result in decongesting the saturated tourist places and take tourists to interiors of the state for the economic well being of the rural people.

He said that the Indian Air Force adventure cell had shown keen interest for developing & promoting aero sports activities in the state, particularly in the new areas. A presentation by them on adventure sports will also be made during the workshop, he added. Senior officers of the Indian Air Force are likely to attend the workshop.

The department has invited all Zila Parishad Chairpersons, concerned BDC Chairpersons, Deputy Commissioner’s, Concerned Panchayat Pradhan, respective ward member of Zila Parishad, BDC & Panchayat representing the selected village, concerned SDM’s, BDO’s, DLO’s, DPO’s and other tourism stake holders.