Rajasthan is often described as colorful in tourist brochures and travel articles. And the description is not without merit.
The red and orange and green and blue hues of the traditional attires form a nice symphony with the golden sand of the Thar Desert. The land is thirsty – wanting more. The satiation is in the form of colors galore – not only in the everyday clothing of the native people but also in the traditional arts and crafts, wall paintings adorning almost every house, the beautiful doors framing the brown or white structures – it is in the very lifestyle of the region.
This vibrancy is one of the reasons tourists from far and wide come to visit Rajasthan. The land itself is inviting even though it is arid and dry. The forts, palaces, sand dunes, markets, and the food are, of course, what is advertised and these are true and tangible. These aspects cohesively make Rajasthan a tourism paradise. But the secluded desert areas, by the border, remain largely untouched by tourists for two main reasons; namely safety and lack of accessibility. But it is all set to change soon.
Rajasthan Border Tourism
Rajasthan is definitely not lacking in either domestic or international tourists. But the government is constantly adding new tourism avenues for both first-time and repeat visitors; which is commendable. As per an update by the state government; some border areas will now be open for tourists. This plan for border tourism has also received the central government’s approval along with a financial support of ₹ 17.67 crore. The Border Security Force (BSF) will closely work with the state government on this venture.
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.
The main attraction in this new initiative is the development and promotion of Shri Tanot Complex. Tanot is a place some 100 km or so away from Jaisalmer. There is a temple here of a highly-revered lady (born around 752 A.D.) who is considered a goddess incarnate here. So, essentially, the Tanot Mata Temple is quite famous with the locals. The BSF jawans also come to the temple to pay their respects. There are other attractions nearby such as the Kishangarh Fort and Longewala (the town most famous for the 1971 Indo-Pak War).
As per the proposed plan; there will be an amphitheater and cafeteria for the tourists. Children will have a dedicated area for various activities. Solar power will light up the streets. An enhanced surveillance system for the area is also in the works. BSF will organize activities for tourists such as documentary screenings, photo and weapon exhibitions etc. The operations and the subsequent maintenance of the tourist attractions in this initiative will be the under the BSF.
The Appeal of the Rajasthan Border
The Rajasthan border in the proposed plan is a big deal. The state of Rajasthan shares a long (international) border with Pakistan. This volatile region is what most people see in the movies. For natives, of course, this is their home ground; a part of their everyday lives. Fathoming it is beyond those who do not face the daily adverse conditions of the inhabitants.
Life on the borders; especially in the conflict regions, is difficult. A glimpse into it may offer more insight about what the civilians go through each day and about the perilous lives of the Indian soldiers on the borders. So, Rajasthan Border Tourism is actually quite significant for these reasons.
Is Rajasthan Border Tourism a good idea? Well, only time will tell. But if the plan is executed well; this is certainly a novel idea. And with BSF at the helm of the project along with other stakeholders; it is likely that this idea will soon bear fruit and the region will receive the impetus it deserves. It will, perhaps, also add a new bright hue to Rajasthan tourism.
If you are keen to visit Rajasthan, you can take flights to any major city in India and then fly or travel by road or train to various destinations in Rajasthan. The easiest way is to choose airlines that fly to Delhi Airport and then travel to Rajasthan by train or bus. You can also take a flight to Jaipur Airport or others in the state. It is best to travel to the border areas by bus or train to experience local landscapes and regional life as closely as possible. You can book flights to India via Indian Eagle easily.
What is Border Tourism?
Tourism activities or attractions planned around the border area/s is termed as border tourism. It is not a new concept in India (or internationally). Several regions around Leh are being developed for border tourism. Banaskantha district in north Gujarat was added to India’s border tourism destination list in April 2022. Wagah Border, perhaps, is the most famous border tourism place in India; where tourists go in large 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.