For all those with travel lust and right now feel like being chained in their homes due to COVID19 situation, there is a trickle of some good news. Among the first states to do this, Madhya Pradesh has reopened its State Tourism Development Corporation Hotels, resorts and many private hotels at tourist destinations for tourists and hoteliers.
Among the efforts to promote domestic tourism state is now allowing all tourists from within the Country. Not just that, another big news is that Madhya Pradesh Forest department has also issued a circular regarding re-opening of its National Parks from 15th June 2020. Buffer zones in these national parks will remain open during monsoon season as well. Normally, all the national parks are closed during the monsoon season. It is welcome news for all those who were missing the wildlife sightings during the summer months. Rajasthan has already opened its tourist destinations for public. Other states are also following the trend.
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Ms Sonia Meena, IAS, Additional Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board has said that Madhya Pradesh is very strong with its domestic tourism products and wildlife is one among them. She said that opening up tourist attractions would also give a sense of “returning to normalcy”. State tourism sees a great potential after re-opening its various destinations related to wildlife, heritage, pilgrimage, leisure, and adventure tourism opportunities.
Although there are no details right now on COVID precautions and required formalities, but state tourism department has said that they will be strictly following the health protection, safety and hygiene guidelines. It is being told that department has sanitised and fumigated all its premises. Besides, they are also ensuring all hygiene and social-distancing norms and SOP issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
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The first segment of the travellers that Madhya Pradesh is looking to attract, are people from within state and neighbouring states coming to visit its tourist destinations. Madhya Pradesh is surrounded by five states- Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. It is very easy to travel by car from neighbouring states to Madhya Pradesh. It has a very good road network which connects almost all major tourist destinations in the state. With many trains already running, one also has option to take a train from metros to any of the big cities in state. Although it is yet not clear whether initially tourists from only these five neighbouring states will be allowed or tourists from other states are also welcome to come.
To begin with state tourism department is expecting small or weekend tours with 3-4 days itinerary. For people with such time in hand, state could be the choicest tourism destination having several interesting tourism attractions. Madhya Pradesh offers an assortment of attractions to everyone who loves to travel. The state has a forest area cover of approximately 77,700 sq. kms (which is almost one fourth of the total land area in state). These forests are filled with sal and & bamboos.
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It has numerous wildlife hotspots with 11 national parks and 24 wildlife sanctuaries. For long it has been considered as heart of India’s tiger land with tiger reserves like Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Pench and Panna being part of many legends and folklores. After loosing for some time, Madhya Pradesh has re-gained the tag of “the tiger state of the country” for having maximum tiger count (526) in the state. The roar of tigers has increased in the dense and beautiful forests of Madhya Pradesh. Besides the regular ones, places like Ratapani wildlife sanctuary and Chambal ghadiyal sanctuary are also getting popularity. The UNESCO World Heritage sites at Khajuraho, Bhimbetka & Sanchi are already among the iconic sites in the state.
Madhya Pradesh is just not for wildlife enthusiasts, it is also land of religion, culture, heritage and history. It is home to two Jyotirlingas- Mahakaleshwar and Omkareshwar. Besides, Burhanpur, Bhopal, Gwalior and Mandu are some of the beautiful architectural sites, whereas lndrasagar, Gandhi sagar, Tawa and Bargi are the spellbinding water bodies. Cultural events like Khajuraho Dance Festival, Mandu Festival, Orchha Cultural Festival, Tansen Festival are some of the annual tourism promotional festivals to attract tourists from all walks of life.
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How soon are you planning to travel after restrictions have been lifted? Do you still want to wait for some more time? Share your views with us in the comments section below.
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