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A Geospatial Approach to Enhance Religious Tourism in India

Authors: Rajrani Kalra*, California State University - San Bernardino, Kakoli Saha, Department of Planning,Department of Architecture, School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, India, Rachna Khare, Department of Architecture, School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, India.
Topics: Tourism Geography, Asia, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: Religious Tourism, India, Kumbh Mela, Accessibility GIS
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2020
Start / End Time: 11:50 AM / 1:05 PM
Room: Virtual Track 2
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

There are hundreds of religious tourist spots spread across India that belong to different religions, including: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Islam. Ujjain City, Madhya Pradesh has been selected as a case study for this paper because of its more than 5,000 year history. Ujjain is one of the seven sacred cities of the Hinduism (Sapta Puri - seven holy pilgrimage centres in India). Second, the city is one of the four locations of Kumbh Mela (the mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith in which Hindus gather to bathe in a sacred river), which is held once in every 12 years. During the last Kumbh in 2016, Ujjain City registered visit of 80 million tourists. Considering the importance of the city from the aspect of religious tourism, this paper aims to address issues which can improve the tourism status of Ujjain City. For example, accessibility is an important part of religious tourism considering the fact that differently abled and aged attendees are a significant part of the pilgrims of Ujjain City. This paper explores how geospatial techniques can be used to improve accessibility of religious tourists in Ujjain City. Improve in tourism would result in high revenue generation ultimating benefitting the city residents. Moreover, the proposed technique may be adopted by other such cities endowed with religious destinations as India is a land of several religions.

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