Har Gaon Ki Kahani – A Feather in the Crown of Himachal Tourism

“Atithi Devo Bhavo” has been redefined by the benevolent Govt. of Himachal Pradesh by ushering the new scheme of “Har Gaon Ki Kahani”- story of every village. This scheme even received an award at the International Tourism Conclave and Travel Award function in 2012.

Himachal Pradesh being one of the richest factor of India’s Tourism Department, has been giving a tough competition to other states with a very innovative idea of “Har Gaon Ki Kahani”. Under this scheme, the Panchayats of any village/districts can send anecdotes to the office of Deputy Commissioner or concerned District Tourism development Center. The stories/ anecdotes must talk about the stories of the village’s history, it’s background. Every village has its own predominant culture, customs, traditions and the un-ending traditional stories which need to be highlighted in order to encourage rural tourism also. This scheme was carefully structured in order to induce more tourists in the rural area of the State. At the time of launch, the CM of Himachal Pradesh at that time, Prof.  P.K. Dhumal said that the scheme would introduce employment in the rural areas of Himachal Pradesh while the exploration of the State by foreigners.

All the prevailing stories are compiled in a book which is published and spread across the globe. This would entice people from different parts of the world to be intrigued by the intricate stories, based on the village’s historical events, gods and goddesses, heritage, interesting anecdotes, local customs, stories of prevalent religious beliefs, rituals followed on the occasion of marriage and festivals.

On August 19 2011, Prof. Dhumal launched the first published book with 12 stories, one from each district of the state. He said, that this would expand to 102 villages by the next year with a total budget of Rs 13 crores.

The anecdotes which were included, portrayed uniqueness and the historical bibliography of the villages. For development of infrastructure and basic amenities in the village, the Tourism Department of Himachal Pradesh is obliged to help in all and every way possible. The activities included improvement of paths,health of water Bowlies, water conservation etc in the village was the responsibility under the MNREGA scheme because it is a programme of every villager and participation of every Himachali is solicited.

This ingenious scheme sky rocketed the tourism rate in Himachal and is expected to go further. The population of the state was recorded half of the population of the tourists in the year 2012. Himachal Tourism had previously launched a scheme called “Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai” – a coffee table book which would attract the tourists from all over the world. “Har Gaon Ki Kahani” is a more efficient and extravagant scheme which tops the previous schemes. The funds raised from this scheme will directly be used to improve the rural facilities and infrastructure which would in turn again boost the tourism of the State.

This extra ordinary scheme was acknowledged with the kind gesture of receiving the 22nd National Level Award for Rural Tourism Promotion. This award was given in the prestigious Trade Fair held at Bangalore on 19th January 2012. The Tourism Department explains that mother nature has bequeathed Himachal Pradesh with alluring and angelic nature which has to be brought up in the right manner for the expanding tourism with the right point of view. The aim clearly signifies tourists to spend some quality time in the midst of mother nature. This has vastly been achieved as the stay of a foreign tourist has increased from 1 to 3 days, highlighting the success of this scheme.