BY TTT NEWS SERVICE
The union government has approved the proposal of the Rajasthan government to set up a tourist attraction centre focussing on the Miracle Temple Complex of Goddess Tanot Rai Mata about 125 kilometres away from Jaisalmer district headquarters and also promote the border tourism of the state.
To upgrade the tourism related infrastructure of the region the centre has also approved Rs.17.65 crores.
The Indo- Pak border area in Jaisalmer is rich in history of war heroics of Indian Army, heritage and culture and the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan plans to exploit the roads which are less travelled so far for the tourists by focussing on border tourism.
The Thar desert is also a favourite toursit spot along with its favourite animal the camel ride. Leisure tourists can also enjoy stay in the several tent houses in the evenings in the sand dunes and enjoy local food and folk music.
This latest intiative of the Rajasthan government will open new vistas in the border tourism as for the first time the highly protected areas will be opened for the common tourists and they will be able to visit the remotest bordering villages , temples and historal and heritage spots along with the central government various agencies and the Border Security Force (BSF), which guards the long Indo – Pak border in Rajasthan.
As per the proposal of the Rajasthan government , the tourism department is planning to set up an interpretation centre, amphitheatre, cafeteria, children’s activity area, solar-powered street lighting, surveillance system, signage, and many other infrastructural upgrades in Tanot of Jaisalmer district.
The Border Security Force (BSF) which at present is entrusted with operating and maintaining the Tanot Mata Temple Complex will also work additionally for the tourist attractions, along with organising exhibitions for tourists at the bordering area.
Longewala is situated on the border area and is widely known for the bravery that the Indian armed forces displayed during the 1971 war with Pakistan. The place serves as a major attraction for tourists and, along with this, the Tanot Mata Temple also attracts tons of visitors almost every day.
There have been a number of past histories of war in the border region of Rajasthan , the Indo -Pak war in Tanot in 1965 and the Indo – Pak War in Longewala in 1971. The Battle of Longewala from 4 to 7 December 1971 is the most significant war fought ever since independence and India defeated Pakistan.
Famous Bollywood movie- Border starring Sunny Deol has been filmed based on the story of the famous battle of Longewala in 1971 at the Indo – Pak border in Rajasthan.
As a part of tourism activities, the BSF will also organise a weapon display, screen a documentary film, and organise a photo gallery at the Operations Base in Jaisalmer.
As of now parts of Barmer, Sri Ganganagar, Bikaner, Jaisalmer etc. are places that tourists can visit without concerns. But not all border areas are accessible without permits or proper safety measures.
Border tourism is not a new concept in India or even globally . Several areas around Leh are being developed for border tourism. Banaskantha district in the state of Gujarat’s northern part was added to India’s border tourism destination list only in April 2022. Wagah Border, perhaps, is the most famous border tourism place in India. There the tourists visit in high numbers to witness the Retreat Ceremony. This is one of the borders (the Wagah-Attari Border) India shares with Pakistan and tourists have to first go to Amritsar in order to visit it.
There is also a theatre, where films of triumph and victory of the Indian armed forces in the War of ’71 are screened for the tourists. The fort in Ghotas near the stare periphery, also pulls and arouses the curiosity of travellers. A railway station named Munabao is in operation in Barmer, which facilitates the movement of Indo-Pak passengers.
On the other hand, Bikaner holds the Sanchu post of the BSF, which is marked as one of the international check posts between the two bordering nations. This area is most popular for its large sand stream as well as a BSF-run museum, guesthouse and canteen. So far , domestic tourists are permitted here only after the approval of the BSF in Bikaner. The tourists are also shown the Pakistani post and museum.
Hindumal Kot border outpost, located at a distance of 18 km from Sri Ganganagar, is another tourist attraction. This outpost has been named after the Chief Dawan Hindumal of the erstwhile princely state of Bikaner. The railway line is very popular . It not only shuttles passengers through the border but also facilitates the import and export of goods between India and Pakistan.
The 471 kilometre stretch Indo Pak international border has a three tier barbed wire fencing.
The Rajasthan tourism department has recently organised a B2B meet (Domestic Travel Mart–2022) in Jaipur from 22 to 24 July to promote tourism in the state.