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History and Significance of Durga Puja festival

Discuss about the Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power.

Tourism can be defined as a travelling for pleasure or for the purpose of business. The theory of tourism also includes the business of operating tours, entertaining tourists, accommodating and attracting tourists. Tourism can be international or maybe a within traveller's country. Tourism affects both the country and the concerned place and is considered to be the highest source of income for the country (Murphy 2013). Whereas, the event can be described as something that is occurring and is regarded as happening and is an occurrence that has some importance. It can also be said that an event that is occurring is a pace within a particular interval of time (Boo, Carruthers & Busser, 2014). This particular study focusses on an organization of an event which will prove to be promoting tourism in Chandigarh. Durga Puja is an event which is being planned for the Chandigarh and is focused on promoting tourism for the region.

Durga Puja is one of the biggest festivals of the Bengali community and the most popular festivals in India. This festival is widely celebrated in the eastern parts of India and in the state of West Bengal. It is a four-day festival and is dedicated for the worship of the Goddess Durga. Immense celebration and fanfare take place during the celebration of the Durga Puja celebration. Durga Puja is celebrated in West Bengal usually in the months of September and October. The festival starts with Mahalaya and it takes place seven days before the main festival begins. The main festival thus takes place after 7 days (Tribune India Service, 2018). The festival has a duration of 4 days and each of the days has its own name and they are called Shasthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami and Maha Nabami. The final or the last day of the festival is called the Bijoya Dashami and this is the day on which the immersion of the Durga idol takes place. On this day or the Bijaya Dashami, people meet and greet each other and the young people pay respect to the elder people of the family or neighbourhood. Huge fanfare and celebrations take place all over eastern parts of India and in West Bengal. During the puja day, people of all ages go for pandal hopping in groups and wear new clothes. All over the city of Kolkata and West Bengal planet of Durga Puja takes place. According to the different themes and cultures the puja pandals are decorated and designed. Durga puja can be called as a festival which is a perfect example of the liveliness of state, heritage and culture (Kalibarichd, 2018).

Draft schedule of the event

 During the celebration of the celebration of the Durga Puja, all business houses, educational institutions and the offices remain closed. It is especially seen that the colleagues, friends and families exchange gifts between themselves. As a gesture of goodwill, the business houses and the companies offer gifts to the employees and the customers. Also during this part of the year, special shopping sales take place all through the offline and the online stores. On a wide range of items, plenty of markets and shops offer rebates and the heavy discount offers. Also during the festival season, the hotels offer accommodation facilities and offer a discount so that they can lure more visitors (Thakurta, 2015). Thousands of people hop from one pandal to another and they enjoy to the fullest. Traditional food items and the other type of dishes are prepared during the festival. It is important to mention that apart from the Kolkata, Durga Puja is also celebrated with much fanfare in several other places like the Bhubaneshwar, Jamshedpur, Patna, Mumbai, Guwahati and Siliguri. Even the Bengali communities present in other places like the Kuwait, France, Germany, Australia, United Kingdom and the United States celebrate this festival (Indianholiday, 2018).

The Durga Puja is basically organized during the months of September and October. Thus to organize the same event in Chandigarh these two months will be explicitly selected. Durga Puja has already mentioned that it is a four-day festival and four days will be explicitly selected for the main event and also for the festival. The last day of the festival or the event which is called the Dashami is not included in the event because it is more aligned with the core followers of the Hindu religion (Amazzone, 2012).

The Bengali community is mostly concentrated in sectors like the 31 and the sectors 47. This area carries the same value to Chandigarh like the CR Park is to Delhi. Sector 47 is also considered as the proof of the city as a cultural melting point. The region also has the houses that are of very low cost. This place is also famous for the South Indian foods. The vital thing to note is that Kalibari Chandigarh is a charitable, cultural, premier socio-religious organization and it is located in the 3BRD Air Force road gives the feel of the Bengal. This region also is the place where the Durga Puja festival can be organized in a way which is similar to the puja in West Bengal. The name of the priest of this Kalibari temple is Tarapada Bhattacharya and is originally from the West Midnapore in West Bengal (Mehta, 2018). It is, however, important to note that the 2011 census says that the Bengali population in the city is just 1 percent of the total population in Chandigarh.

The proposed event and its effects

The main purpose of the event is to showcase the beauty and the essence of the festival of Durga Puja. Considering the fact that the place of discussion is already inhabited by the Bengali community, thus conducting the festival will increase the value of the place. According to the 2011 census, the place is inhabited by 1 percent of the people that are Bengalis. Thus, promoting the festival here will lead to the recognition of the place and the Bengali people will be able to uphold their tradition to the fullest (Pioneer, 2018).

The place is just 21km from the Chandigarh International Airport and is thus easy for the international tourists to easily reach the place (figure 2). The region is also 21 km from the Chandigarh Railway Station (figure 3). The region is also 17km from the Chandigarh Bus Terminus (figure 4). It is thus important to note that the place is easily accessible by the domestic tourists as well as the tourists belonging to the other states. Consider the accessibility of the place, the region receives a well-rounded easy accessibility and the place is beautifully planned as well. The place is already considered as the core of the city and thus provides an easy mobilization of the pedestrians and the vehicles. In order to better achieve the tourism goals, it is important to mention that the place and the inhabitants will be able to uphold the tradition and the inhabitants will be able to involve and integrate deeply with the event. The place offers hotels on discounts and thus during the 4 days will provide an adequate number of the visitors to the place.

The event is planned in the surrounding area of Kalibari. The event can be exclusively planned in the sector 31 sector 47. These two sectors are the Bengali dominated communities and they will act a buffer zone for the entry of the tourists into the main zone of the Durga Puja that will be held in the Kalibari area and junctions of the roads that are named Chandi Path, Shanti Path, Sukhna Path, Purv Marg, Dakshin Marg and the Jan Marg. These roads are the main connective paths to the Kalibari and thus decoration can be done all through the structures that flank both sides of these 3 roads. These will give the feel of the Durga puja the moment the tourists enter the Jan Marg, Purv Marg and the Sukhna Path. There is a park just between the Kalibari and the Chandi Path. These paths can be made as the chief area of attraction as it is an open space. A big Durga Puja Pandal can be constructed inside the park to make it look different unique. The presence of Kalibari beside the park makes it easy for the tourists to visit the via all the three transport facilities.

Stakeholders in the event

The major stakeholders for the event are the Kalibari Chandigarh, the hotel owners, the residents of the Kalibari area, the transport network in the area, the local municipal government, the central government, the tourists, and event organizers. These are the wide variety of stakeholders that would be contributing to the whole of the tourism in the area. Organizing the Durga puja in the blocks will include the contributions from each of the stakeholders (Basu, Bose & Ghosh, 2013). This will benefit the residents in the area and the people that are living below the poverty line.

  • The major stakeholder is the tourism industry is the (central government. The fact that Chandigarh is a Union territory which is under the jurisdiction and administrative control of the central government. A large number of the tourists, as well as the domestic ones, will have pay a visit and the event will lead to the generation of revenue by the local residents. The local tourism sector of Chandigarh is the most of the cases will incorporate certain laws that will work for the promotion of the Durga Puja in the Kalibari area. The central government along with the tourism department will work together to stage the event.
  • The international tourists, domestic tourists, local people and the tourists from the other states will play a major role in bringing life to the event. The success of the event and the increase in the popularity of the puja will be entirely based on the zeal shown by the tourists.
  • The Kalibari Chandigarh is the only big temple of the Hindus in the area and thus, it is necessary for the residents in the area to focus more on framing the pandals in the area. The other major stakeholder is the residents in the area and along with the small shop owners in the area are the active stakeholder that will work for staging the event.
  • The local hotel owners in the area are the will play a vital role in luring the tourists into the area due to the fact that the whole event is last for 4 days. The international tourists and the tourists from the other areas will be needing places check-in.
    • The transport sector is also a major contributor with respect to the inflow of the tourists into the area. It is important to note that the airport, bus and the train are all the routes that through which the tourists will be able to access the Kalibari area. This will lead to an increased amount of revenue during the event.

The Durga Puja is in itself includes the setting up of beautifully crafted pandals in the area. For the purpose of setting up the puja pandals in the area. The event will be coordinated by the members of the Bengali community and the Kalibari Chandigarh as well. The funds will be provided by the Bengali communities through their donations and the government at the same time will provide the necessary funds for the event. Sponsorships are one of the best ways of promoting the event and this will include the sponsorships by the different business entities as well as the companies. Considering the map, the Kalibari adjacent area has well designed residential area and this area will house the pandals during the puja. Considering the Durga idols, it will be prepared by the artists from Kolkata.

 According to the Erik Cohen's theory, there are 4 different types of the tourists and the types are entirely dependent on the behaviour of the tourists. The first group of the tourists are one that travels in groups, the second ones are more of the individualised tourists that make the decisions based on the trip and the activity. There are other groups called the drifters and the explorers. The explorers are the ones that plan their own trip and interact with the locals of the host place. While the drifters do not engage with the other tourists (Cohen & Cohen, 2012).

Conclusion

 From the above discussion, it can be concluded that the event held in Chandigarh is in fact not celebrated in a big way. However, the present proposal of the event calls for introducing the Durga Puja with the extravagance with which it is celebrated in West Bengal. The event will act to engage the Bengali community as well as the different people that live there. Durga Puja is one of the famous and popular festivals that is held in eastern India as well as the West Bengal. Thus creating an iconic event will demand an equal participation of the local government, tourism department and the Bengali community in the area.

Reference

Amazzone, L. (2012). Goddess Durga and sacred female power. University Press of America.

Basu, S., Bose, I., & Ghosh, S. (2013). Lessons in risk management, resource allocation, operations planning, and stakeholder engagement: the case of the Kolkata Police Force and Durga Puja. Decision, 40(3), 249-266.

Boo, S., Carruthers, C. P., & Busser, J. A. (2014). The constraints experienced and negotiation strategies attempted by nonparticipants of a festival event. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 31(2), 269-285.

Cohen, E., & Cohen, S. A. (2012). Current sociological theories and issues in tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 39(4), 2177-2202.

Indianholiday. (2018). Durga Puja. Retrieved from https://www.indianholiday.com/best-of-india/festivals/durga-puja.html

Kalibarichd. (2018). Kalibari Chandigarh. Retrieved from https://www.kalibarichd.com/

Mehta, K. (2018). Chandigarh all ready for Durga Puja - Times of India. Retrieved from https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/Chandigarh-all-ready-for-Durga-Puja/articleshow/49446873.cms

Murphy, P. E. (2013). Tourism: A community approach (RLE Tourism). Routledge.

Pioneer, T. (2018). Chandigarh in Durga Puja mode. Retrieved from https://www.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/chandigarh/chandigarh-in-durga-puja-mode.html

Thakurta, T. G. (2015). In the name of the Goddess: the Durga Pujas of contemporary Kolkata. Delhi: Primus Books.

Tribune India Service. (2018). Bringing Bengal alive. Retrieved from https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/chandigarh/bringing-bengal-alive/470500.html

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