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Temple tourism

  1. 1. WKW School of Communication and Information Division of Knowledge Management PILGRIMAGE TOURISM IN TAMIL NADU – INDIASubmitted By ARAVIND SESAGIRI RAAMKUMAR(G1101761F)BALASUBRAMANIAN DIVYA (G1101736H)SELVARAJU NIRMALA (G1101760J)AJAI LOGANATHAN SINGH (G1101834E)
  2. 2. IntroductionTamilNadu and TemplesTamil Nadu is state in India in the far south of the Indian sub-continent. It is a land ofmagnificent temples that have remained intact exposing the marvel and glory of theDravidian culture, art, architecture and spiritual values. Tamil Nadu is popular in India asland of temples for its grand temples that are architectural masterpieces. It is a land thathas always been deep-rooted in traditions and culture while the other states of India havebeen losing their cultural identity with the continued westernization of the whole nation.The churches and mosques along with the temples contribute to the secularism anddiversity of the land. Maximum population is Hindu (88.67%), followed by Muslims (5.47),Christians (5.69%), Sikhs (0.01%), Jain (0.12%), and Others (0.04%). Tamil Nadu is said to beolder than other states in Northern India. North India and the Himalayan range appearedrecently in terms of geological time scale. Tamil Nadu’s ancient existence is part of thecontinent that linked Africa and Australia together. It was called Lemuria orKumarikKandam. It is argued that the origin of the first man might have taken placesomewhere in this continent, and later, the race might have migrated to various parts of theworld.In totality, Tamilnadu holds a unique position with its distinguished culture, grandeur oftemples, architectural styles, arts, custom and traditions of people. It is most popularlyknown for the temple architecture found in different parts of the stateThe entire state of Tamil Nadu is filled with tourist locations. The most important cities andtowns in terms of tourist arrivals (in alphabetical order) as per are: Chennai, Chidambaram,Coimbatore, Coonoor, Kanchipuram,Kanyakumari, Kodaikanal, Madurai, Mahabalipuram,Rameshwaram, Thanjavur,Thirumalai, Tirunelveli, Udhagamandalam (Ooty) and Yercaudetc.Although there are a large number of tourist attractions in Tamil Nadu, the followingattractions have more value :– Mahabalipuram Beach and Caves, Bharatnatyam Dance,Carnatic Music, Chettinad Cuisine, Courtallam Waterfalls, Elliot’s Beach,KanchipuramSarees, Kavadi (Kabaddi) Festival, Marina Beach, Meenakshi Temple,MudumalaiWidlife Sanctuary, Pongal, South Indian Delicacies, South Indian Films andThanjavur Paintings.Temples are a distinct feature of Tamil Nadu not only in important cities and towns, but alsoin villages. An assertion can be made that all places inhabited by people will have at leastone temple. It all began during the age of Bhakti1 with many of these temples patronised bythe kings and land lords. There are 30,000 plus temples constructed by kings of differentdynasties that ruled the land and each temple have its own story of religious and culturalaccomplishment. Each temple showcases a distinctive style, built by Chola, Pallava andPandya dynasty rulers of the past.The temple is the significant and artistic expression ofHinduism producing the focus for both the social and spiritual life of the community it1 Bhakti age refers to the period in history where idol worship has immense in India
  3. 3. serves (Michell, 1977). Over centuries, Hindu temples were built during different periods insouth east Asia and even today it is continued in different parts of the world.Indians have this tradition of visiting places of worship from time immemorial. Therefore,such pilgrimages have created a kind of national integration in a land of diversity.Tourism is the largest service industry in India with a contribution of 6.23% to overall GDP,witnessing 5 million annual foreign tourist and 562 million domestic tourism visits. Thetourism industry generated US$100 million in 2008 and expected to grow at US$250 millionby 2018 at 9.4% annual growth rate. The Ministry of Tourism is the governing body of thetourism development and promotion in India (Chandran, 2007).TN tourism is the second largest in India and it has an annual growth rate of 16%.The tourist destinations in the state of Tamil Nadu can be broadly covered under thefollowing classifications:- 1. Pilgrimage destinations 2. Heritage locations and historical monuments 3. Locations of scenic beauty – hill stations, beaches, and forests/ sanctuaries 4. Tourist Festival locations 5. Adventure destinations 6. Leisure destinationsTemple tourism covers aspects of 1,2 and 3, 4 thereby confirming the popularity of templesas one of the prominent tourist attractions in the state. In terms of coverage, all the templesinside the state of Tamil Nadu accessible by road transport at minimum, qualify to beincluded in the market.
  4. 4. MarketMarket section is used to indicate the temples that are covered under temple or pilgrimagetourism in TamilNadu. In terms of coverage, all Hindu temples in TamilNadu accessible byroad (and in some cases by lake, river or sea) are under our purview. These temples arespread in different parts of TamilNadu. Most of them build 100s of years ago. There arevarious ways to classify the market. One method is classifying the temples by its deities;another method is by the region in the state, falls under this category. A third method isclassifying the temples by the dynasty that administered the construction of the temple.This classification only applied to temples that were built during the classic Tamil period[provide details]. The table 1.1 provides details about the existing classifications.Table 1.1 Classifications of TemplesClassification 1 Classification 2 Classification 3Deity Region DynastyVinayagar Chennai PallavasVishnu Mayiladuthurai CholasSakthi Tiruchurapalli PandyasMurugan Villupuram VijaynagarNavagraha Vellore Nayaks18 Siddhars Madurai
  5. 5. 63 Nayanmars Coimbatore12 Alwars SivagangaiAdeenam/Mutt Thanjavur Tirunelveli SalemDeity based classification:Deity based classification gives a good indication to find out the most popular deities inTamilNadu. Murugan and Vinayagar are two deities that are quite famous in the state and atemple for these two deities can be found in each town by default. Even though thisclassification is a good for ascertaining the popularity of particular deities, it is not a usefulclassification in tourism discussion as tourists just do not visit temples of particular deity.Tourists visit temples that are popular based on historical significance, professed power ofthe presiding deity and the place in general. Navagraha temples are an excellent example ofthe usage of deity based classification. Hindus believe in the concept of planets ruling theirfate. In this concept, planets rule a person fate in sequential order. Each planet has its owneffects. For example, Jupiter has a good effect while Saturn has negative effects. Anastrologer would normally prescribe remedy measures to appease the planet ruler so thatone could have a peaceful time during the period. For this particular reason, people visitNavagraha temples (9 planets temples) to pray and provide offering to the deities at thesetemples. In the below section, there are few temple names and locations provided for thedeities.Table 1.2 Deity Based Classification Deity Prominent Temples Vinayagar KarpagaVinayagar Temple in Pillayarpatti and UchhiPillayar Temple in Tiruchirappalli Murugan Tiruvavinankudi Temple in Pazhani, SwamimalaiMurugan Temple in Swamimalai, Sri Subramanya Swami Temple in Tiruchendur, Tirupparankundram Temple in Tirupparankundram, TiruttanikaiMurugan Temple in Tiruttani, Pazhamudhircholai Temple in Pazhamudhircholai Shiva Brihadeeshwara Temple in Thanjavur, Vaitheeshwaran Temple in Mayavaram, Kapaleeshwarar Temple in Chennai.Region based classificationRegion based classification gives a good indication for potential tourists in planning theirvisits. There are few towns and cities in TamilNadu such as Madurai, Thanjavur(Tanjore),
  6. 6. Kancheepuram and Tiruchy that are filled with famous temples. Foreign Visitors and Indiansliving out of TamilNadu plan their trips based on this classification. The TamilNadu tourismboard focus more on the regions that attract more visitors. Hotels, Lodges and Restaurantsare plenty in numbers in these areas. Local people use this opportunity to cross-sell otheritems. For example, people visiting temples in kanchipuram are often attracted to buy thefamous Kanchipuram silk sarees thereby showcasing a symbiotic relationship between twoindustries.Table 1.3 Region Based ClassificationRegion Prominent TemplesChennai Kapaleeswarar Temple, Parthasarathy Temple Kanchipuram Region - Kamakshi Amman Temple, Murugan Temple, Devarajaswami Temple, Kailashnatha TempleThanjavur-Tiruchy Ramaswamy Temple, Mahamaham Temple, Nageswaran Temple, AdiKumbeswarar Temple, Someswara TempleCoimbatore Bannari Amman Temple, Eechanari Temple, PerurPatteswaraSwamy Temple, Vanabadrakali Temple.Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple, Alagarkoil Temple, KoodalAlagar Temple, MariammanTheppakulam TempleDynasty based classification:This method of classification is used for historians to trace the accomplishments of thedifferent dynasties that ruled ancient TamilNadu. Neither the tourism board nor the agentsuse this classification to lure tourists as caste distinction is a sensitive topic in TamilNaduand is bound to create tensions between local groups thereby hampering the tourismindustry. Nevertheless, local guides give sufficient summary to tourists, about the dynastyinvolved in the building of a particular temple.Wikipedia gives the below classification of temples in TamilnaduTemples of Sangam AgeTemples of Thevaram HymnsTemples of DivyaPrabhantham HymnsCave Temples of the PallavasCave Temples of PandiyasRockcut Monolith Temples of the Pallavas
  7. 7. Rockcut Monolith Temples of thePandiyasStructural Temples of the PallavasStructural Temples of the PandiyasStructural Temples of the CholasStructural Temples of Vijayanagar / Nayaks Figure 2. Temples of Tamil Nadu MapCustomersTourists, in this case the pilgrims travel for many reasons and the most prominent beingspirituality, social status, escape and cultural enrichment. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can
  8. 8. be applied to provide insights into ways in which a pilgrimage trip or a trip to the templessatisfy the disparate needs of the myriad categories of customers or visitors, technicallycalled the pilgrims. Pilgrimages are essentially journeys to sacred places that are undertakenfor religious motives. Contemporary patterns of travel to sacred sites and pilgrimage sitesare increasingly being referred to as religious tourism. Religious tourism impacts the social,religious, cultural fabric and the physical environment of the host destinations.Incredible India - “Come, seek and be discovered. Match Indias rhythms to your heart, itscolours to your mind, and find a travel experience that is yours alone. An India like noother.Friendly, warm, welcoming ... and uniquely your own.”Pilgrimage tourism in many accounts equals other forms of event tourism. “While someform of spirituality, wish for divine healing or thankfulness inspires the trip, in many waysthese pilgrimages also reflect many of the characteristics of other forms of tourism venues.”(Tarlow, 2010). A visitor to any of these religious sites will quickly note that in the world ofpilgrimage tourism the places produce secondary industries; the souvenir industry or thelodging industry, a series of dependent industries quickly develop around the site.Pilgrimage travel is less vulnerable to economic fluctuations in the market place. Becausefaith-based travellers are committed travellers they tend to save for these religiousexperiences and travel despite the state of the economy. They have different perspectiveand objective for travel than do travellers for other reasons. For example, the faith-basedtraveller often travels as part of a religious obligation or to fulfil a spiritual mission. Faith-based travel can provide a steady flow of income to a local tourism economy.Marketing is an inevitable aspect of tourism management. The religious tourism industryplays a major role in the economic development of the nation. Market segmentation is astrategy that determines the tourism attraction that is most salable to the target market.The typical bases for market segmentation of any type of tourism: Geographic Demographic Socio-economic Psychographic Behaviour pattern Consumption patterns Consumer predispositionsThe tourism attraction may appeal to a multitude of market segments, and the marketsegments overlap to a great extent. Based on the geographic market segments the visitorscould be classified as destination visitors, regional visitors and local residents.Global Audience:
  9. 9. Incredible India is an international marketing campaign initiated by the government of Indiain 2002 to promote the national tourism to a global audience, the destination visitors. Thecampaign concentrated on projecting the Indian tourism market as one that as an attractivedestination by showcasing the strongest aspects of India; culture, heritage andspirituality.Tourism produces services as the products that are mostly intangible; thus, thereare no physical products that are held in the inventory and there is no flow from one salesinventory to another.In 2009, the Ministry of Tourism launched a campaign targeted at the local population toeducate them regarding good behaviour and etiquette when dealing with foreign tourists.Indian actor Aamir Khan was commissioned to endorse the campaign which was titledAtitiDevoBhava, Sanskrit for Guests are like God, which in itself is a culture in India,implying that guests should be treated with the respect shown to God. AtithiDevoBhavaaimed at creating awareness about the effects of tourism and sensitizing the localpopulation about preservation of Indias heritage, culture, cleanliness and hospitality. It alsoattempted to re-instil a sense of responsibility towards tourists and re-enforce theconfidence of foreign tourists towards India as a preferred pilgrimage destination. Theconcept was designed to complement the ‘Incredible India’ Campaign. It was supposed that India was not on the itinerary of millions of tourists, not so muchbecause the country was unable to market itself successfully, but more because of poorconnectivity, exorbitant taxes, visa problems, unsanitary conditions, and shortage ofaffordable, good quality accommodation; and so initiatives had to be taken to disillusion thisopinion and promote the tourism market of India globally to dictate to the variouscategories of the market segments.According to spending data released by Visa Asia Pacific4 in March 2006, India emerged asthe fastest-growing market in the Asia-Pacific in terms of international tourist spending. Thedata revealed that international tourists spent US$ 372 million in India in the fourth quarter(October- December) of 2005, 25% more than in the fourth quarter of 2004. China, whichcame second in the region, was successful in making international tourists fork out US$ 784million in Q4 2005, a growth of 23% over its Q4 2004 figures. The tourist spending figuresfor India would have pleased the Indian tourism ministry, which had been targeting thehigh-end market through its long-running Incredible India communication campaign. Also,the fact that India was able to earn around half of what China could, in spite of attractingonly a fraction of the number of tourists that its neighbour managed to lure, indicated thatthe campaign had been successful in achieving its objective.Local audience:The local audience and the regional visitors are mainly brought into the whirl by “word-of-mouth”; beliefs about a particular traditional or cultural practice bringing success orprosperity to one or more of the pilgrims proliferates the local or the neighbouring market
  10. 10. segments and eventually spreads to the regional market segments and thereby attractingvisitors to the temples to perform the offering and to hope and believe in reaping answersto their prayers and requests.Records of mysterious happenings and some quaint traditions are also propagated by thenative people leading to the inflow of visitors to their temples.Purpose of Visits by the various Market segments:Whatever be the category of the market segments that are being targeted, the purpose ofvisit to the temples can be classified as: Devotees –pay their obeisance Visitors - to appreciate the architectural excellence Visitors – to take part in the social gatherings and celebrations Visitors – to note the historical importance & heritage of the temples The devotees are the visitors who sought the guidance or the bounty of God and journeylong distances to revere the deity. This activity of travelling to pay respects or dues to thedeity elevated the importance of travel as an activity in one’s life and created the conceptthat certain key sites or temples are of long lasting spiritual benefit to the sojourner.Faith-based Visitors (Devotees):The pilgrim must be a believer in faith. There is a difference between a pilgrimage, whoseprimary objective is faith-oriented, and a visit in which the person’s primary purpose of visitis other then the spiritual narrative. These people may be classified as pilgrimage basedtourism but they are not spiritual pilgrims.“Faith based travel may take place for life cycle events, for missionary work or humanitarianinterest projects and for religious conventions and conclaves.” (Tarlow, 2010) Each South Indian State has its own colourful culture consisting of several rituals andbeliefs. The unique and vibrant culture of South India entices many a tourists from acrossthe globe. The South Indian People are fully steeped into their traditions and beliefs.“Tamils are rarely sectarian or dogmatic; their beliefs impregnate every part of their livesand come from the depths of their being and history”. (Boulanger, 1993)There are thousands of temples all over south India in different size, shape and locations butnot all of them are considered to be built the Vedic way. Generally, a temple is proven to belocated at a place where earths magnetic wave is relatively intense; strategically at a placewhere the positive energy is abundantly available from the magnetic and electric wavedistributions of north/south pole thrust. The main idol is usually placed in the centre of the
  11. 11. temple, and is technically named the "Garbhagriha" or the “Moolasthanam”. It is supposedthat the infrastructure of the temple is decided based on the position of the moolasthanam.This custom generates a highly emotional or spiritual experience with a heightened sense ofsolidarity, joy, wellbeing and belonging that may challenge orthodox social and culturalorders. In performing such rituals, people from different social structures may eliminateoutward signs of rank and division and transcend their differences in experiencingcommonality in that spaceHinduism is different from other religions because it never had a dominant dogma, nor anabsolute truth which stands as a sole explanation of the universe. Indian thought kept andaccommodated all and every belief, and rare were the periods of intolerance in India. Theearly pre-Aryan cults continue to be practiced to this day without being persecuted, andIndia has welcomed many foreigners, allowing them the freedom of their beliefs. Thetemple has always been the important place in which Tamil culture unfolds and ispreserved. A great number of beliefs which date back to at least the Sangam period are stillperpetuated today. They form the core of the rituals that Tamils diligently practice,whatever their official religion.The ritual slaughter of an animal, commonly a goat, normally forms part of a festival tohonour a Hindu God. A bali sacrifice is claimed to hold the ability to calm an angry deity orcalm those who simply crave blood. The blood, for a blood-craving god, serves the purposeof alleviating their anger and provides relief from the threat of the onset of an illness orworse (Fuller 85 and Harper 230). Her energy is so powerful that it is always ready tooverflow, bringing sickness (she incarnates herself in smallpox) and destruction GoddessKali, receives blood offerings in her temples.The ear-piercing ceremony (Karnavedha) and first haircut (Mundan) ceremonies are alsoconsidered highly significant. These sacraments are performed on both the sexes. Hindusbelieve that the piercing of a hole in the lower lobes of the ear have benefits ofacupuncture.Head shaving is connected to the removal of impurities.Social Gatherings & Celebrations attracting Visitors from Worldwide:Natyanjali:Dance played a very special and important role in Dravidian society. It existed in severalforms, from the very sophisticated dance of the court dancers to the simple one of thesoldiers. It was used to express one’s feelings and accompanied every act of a kings life,who was himself an accomplished dancer. All the deities of South Indian dance, and aresurrounded by dancers and musicians. The married couple is also an essential element ofDravidian Hinduism. Its dynamics are necessary to Creation and the good life of our world.The God’s wedding is the most important temple festival, and it is celebrated every year
  12. 12. with great pomp and ceremony. Even though they sometimes get a little tense, the gods area rather stable couple, and are always very much in love. The ideal spouse is a passionatelover, and even the King of kings cannot resist from melting in Devi’s embrace.Natyanjali festival is jointly organised by The Department of Tourism, Government of TamilNadu, The Ministry Of Tourism, Government of India and The Natyanjali Trust,Chidambaram. It is designed to promote a universal message of Unity in Diversity conveyedin the universal language of music and dance.The Natyanjali festival dedicated to Lord Shiva is celebrated every year during February-March for five days in the temple premises. This is an opportunity for all dancers, from allover India, to perform and to pay their tribute to Lord Nataraja. It begins on the auspiciousoccasion of MahaShivaratri. During this time leading dancers from all parts of Indiacongregate and dance in the temple as an offering to lord Nataraja.Mahamaham:Mahamaham is a Hindu KumbMela festival celebrated every 12 years in a town calledKumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, India. Hindus consider taking a holy dip at the Mahamahamtank on the day of Mahamaham as sacred. The last Mahamaham was celebrated on March6, 2004, with people from various places taking the holy dip in the Mahamaham tank.Mahamaham bathing festival is concentrated on a single day, the concourse of pilgrimsbeing all the more. During this festival, thousands of Hindu devotees come to Kumbakonam,and take bath in a tank named Mahamaham tank, generally followed or preceded by a dip inthe kaveri river at Kumbakonam. The tank has 20 holy wells. These wells are named after 20holy rivers flowing across India. People get themselves drained in these wells. These wellsare also called as “Theertham” (Holy water).Brahmotsava:Once a year, every temple has a specific festival which lasts ten days and is called its“brahmotsava”. As usual, it consists mostly of elaborate processions and special puja relatedto them. Although the brahmotsava is always different for each temple (it usually re-enactsthe foundation legend of that temple).The first ritual of a temple and its icons is its consecration, the “mahakumbhabhisheka”. Thisritual is repeated after each renovation .The “Siva ratri” (the night of Siva) is the mostimportant in Saiva temples. These festivals are often accompanied by artistic events,especially “navaratri” (the nine nights dedicated to the Goddess), but they do not attractgreat crowds of devotees and practically no pilgrims, except when they combine themselveswith the yearly festival of the temple (brahmotsava).
  13. 13. Besides these three most important cultural celebrations that are celebrated woth pompand glory every single year, there are numerous other local festivities and practices thatattract regional and local and at times even the global visitors.Historical and architectural excellences of the temples:The temples of Tamil Nadu, which are often of huge proportions, are much more than aplace to pray and meditate. They have served to preserve the art, culture and history of thepeople.“Repetition is inevitably one of the factors that explain the stylistic evolution of Hindutemples. The rhythmic projections of the temple plan carried into the vertical elevationwere created by multiplications of the original central wall projection with which earlytemples were provided. ... In the southern style, temple superstructures repeated thearchitectonic elements of the main wall beneath, the temple masses rising upwards in anumber of storeys.” (Michell, 1977, p 92)Great importance is attached to the establishment of the temple’s ground plan because itfunctions as a sacred geometric diagram (mandala) of the essential structure of theuniverse.More than 90% of the existing temples are over a century old and has extremely significanthistorical importance. The heritage of the temples is an important aspect that attractsvisitors from all over the world. Hindu temples were not meant for large congregationalworship. Pillared Mandapas with elaborate sculptures, sadas for dancing & wide circum-ambulating passages with other deities placed around the main deity constitute a templecomplex.“Few are those who have heard about the majestic beauty of the Tanjore temple or themystery of Chidambaram. Although there are more ancient temples and wonders in TamilNadu than in any other Indian state, rare are those know about it or visit it. Two factorsexplain this exceptional cultural wealth: most of Tamil Nadu was spared from Musliminvasions and, more importantly, this country was the cradle of the ancient Dravidiancivilization.” (Boulanger, 1993)ThanjavurBrahadeswara:Today the world knows Rajarajeeswaram as the big temple or Brahadeswaratemple,anUNESCO world heritage monument, but what the world does not know is about the allround skills of its builder RajarajaChola the Great, The architectural intricacies of the templeand the sculptures and arts which have lasted a millennium.Chidambaram Natrajar:
  14. 14. Chidambaram is one of the most ancient and most celebrated of shrines in India. It is ofgreat religious as well as historic and cultural significance. Chidambaram is associated withNataraja, or Shiva in his AnandaTandavapose . The Chidambaram Natarajar temple is aspecimen of the assimilation of several architectural styles. The innermost sanctum of thetemple, houses the grand images of Shiva (Nataraja) and Parvati (Sivakami) in theChitSabhaor the hall of consciousness, adjoining which is the KanakaSabha or the GoldenHall, both these structures resting on a raised platform.Madurai Meenakshi:The Madurai temple complex in itself is breathtaking, given the fort like walls pierced withlofty towers, surrounding an area of about 640000 square feet. The towers, orthe gopurams for which this temple is known, are visible from a distance. No lessthan 12gopurams or towers adorn this temple and the 4 outer ones tower to a height ofover 160 feet.There is a large tank – the Potraamaraikkulam within the temple complex. The thousandpillared hall within the temple complex is also of great importance; its pillarsfeature sculptural work beyond compare.Commercial attractions in the temple sites include retail operations dealing with gifts,handcrafted goods comprising the idols of the revered deity of that temple and other formsof souvenirs like the ring or the pendant with the deity’s form sculpted in it, otheraccoutrements that are usually used for the rituals that are performed in the honour of theGod at home.Travel Agents:“The tourism channel of distribution requires an operating structure, system or linkage ofvarious combinations of organizations through which a producer of travel productsdescribes, sells or confirms travel arrangements to the buyer.” (Goeldner& Ritchie,2012,P.150)Intermediaries are the inevitable participants to convey the products to theultimate customers. In spite of being similar to the other industries the distribution systemof the tourism industry is unique because the products are intangible, the landscape and thescope is constantly changing; powered by advances in technology, e-commerce, smartphones, social media and other day to day up-gradations this industry is changingdramatically too.Thus the various choices in accommodations, travel, destinations, attractions and activities;the decisions about the prices, values, schedules can all be ameliorated and optimized byusing the services of the retail travel agency, and obtaining all these for a fixed fee.There are public as well as private travel agents available in tamilnadu and the nature oftheir services vary to suit the various customers.
  15. 15. Public Operator:Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) is a state owned public sectorincorporated in 1971 to initiate novel ventures and innovative new schemes for providingdemonstration effect to the private sector. In performing this role, Tamil Nadu Tourismcoordinates the activities of various other Government Departments / agencies and theprivate sector. TTDC made a strong beginning by taking over Govt. bungalows and it hasearned the proud distinction of owing the largest chain of hotels in south India. It alsoprovides the benefit of the tourists covering all the major tourist destinations in the state.With 14 tourist officers within tamilnadu and 19 tourist information centres are effectivelyfunctioning to promote and guide the tourists. They are also celebrating fairs and festivalsand implementing the projects and offering concessions, and incentives to attract tourists.Through publicity promotion and marketing wing, efforts have been taken to attract moretourists and advertisement in various media. For overseas promotion, these departmentsparticipate in internationally renowned travel marts. Tamil Nadu Tourism DevelopmentCorporation (TTDC) has been operating Hotels, Youth Hostels, Restaurants, Tours, Boathouses, Telescope houses as a forerunner for the private sector to follow as new area ofbusiness proposition.Tourists especially senior citizens are interested only in visiting temples and offering worshipto their favourite deity. They move to tourist centres only if time permits and provided thetrip is easy on the purse. It requires planning and meticulous follow up.Pilgrimage Packages offered by TTDC in Tamilnadu: 1 DAY THIRUVANNAMALAI GIRIVALAM TOUR 1 DAY SRIPURAM GOLDEN TEMPLE TOUR 3 DAYS NAVA GRAGHA TOUR (NINE PLANETS) 4 DAYS ARUPADAI VEEDU TOUR (LORD MURUGA)Private Operator:Numerous travel agencies, recognized by the Department of Tourism, India, offer a varietyof tour packages to different parts of India with all kinds of travel related services forcorporate world and tourists coming from all over world; with the aim of making everysingle tourist fully satisfied by providing world class services to make their tours memorableand enjoyable.These companies aim to promote tourism in India by providing tours to all parts of Indiawith the best of services in this industry. They are equipped with computers for all kinds ofquery at anytime and are committed in maintaining the ethical standards of this industry.Services offered by them:
  16. 16. Package Tours – Theyarrange for a number of tour packages based on various themes like -religion, culture, hill station, beach, wildlife etc. They carefully plan the tour packages,suiting both the group and individual travellers taking into consideration the budget andtime of the customers before constructing any kind of tour package. Besides, customizedtour packages, are also offered in which they help their customers, design their toursaccording to their convenience and taste.Car/Coach Rentals - Car and coach rental services including economy and luxury classvehicles that will provide the best of comfort and luxury are also arranged by the private orthe public tour agent operators.Hotel Reservation - Accommodation facilities in hotels of all categories for individuals aswell as groups are arranged by the agents.Example of Pilgrimage Packages offered by the Tourism agents:Duration: 12 Nights/13 DaysDestination: Chennai-Mahabalipuram-Chidambaram-Kumbakonam-Trichy-Madurai-Rameshwaram-KanyakumariE-services offered by the Tourism Agents:E-Services:In the market place of today’s era, where the direct selling from supplier to consumer ispossible more than ever; the internet as a distribution channel is a very important aspect tobe covered. The internet is used not only for gathering information about the destination; itis instrumental in reserving all aspects of travel and tour and indeed a very powerful socialmedium. Social media is a new way for suppliers to connect with the market.The concept of E-service represents one prominent application of utilizing the useof Information and Communication Technologies in different areas. These mainly consist ofthree main components- service provider, service receiver and the channels of servicedelivery (i.e., technology). As concerned to public e-service, public agencies are the serviceprovider and citizens as well as businesses are the service receiver. The channel of servicedelivery is the third requirement of e-service. Internet is the main channel of e-servicedelivery while other classic channels (e.g. telephone, call center, public kiosk, mobile phone,television) are also considered.The term ‘E-service’ has many applications and can be found in many disciplines. The twodominant application areas of e-services are:E-Business (or E-Commerce): e-services mostly provided by businesses or Non-governmentOrganizations (NGO).E-government: e-services provided by government to citizens or business (public sector isthe supply side). The use and description of the e-service in this page will be limited to the
  17. 17. context of e-government only where of the e-service is usually associated with prefix“public”: Public e-services.Benefits of E-Services: Accessing a greater customer base Broadening market reach Lowering of entry barrier to new markets and cost of acquiring new customers Alternative communication channel to customers Increasing services to customers Enhancing perceived company image Gaining competitive advantages Potential for increasing customer knowledgeE-Services in Temples:These are the various e-services offered in temples are listed below: e-Seva e-Accommodation e-Hundi e-Donatione-Seva:e-Seva is the online services provided by the temple for booking Abishegam,AshtothraArchanai, Golden Chariot, Nine Kala Pooja, SahasranamamArchanaietc for thedevotees to full fill their wish to the god.e-Accommodation: e-Accommodation is the online service provided by the temple forbooking of rooms for the devotees and they can book up to minimum of 3 days andmaximum of 90 days in advance.e-Hundi:e-Hundi is also the form of online services provided by temple for devotees tocontribute amount to the temple in the form of prathana or for the development of temple.e-Sales:e-Sales enable the devotees from all over the world to buy Hindu ReligiousPublications, devotional books, Audio CDs, Video CDs and DVDs. With introduction of thenew service devotees can buy publications of online.e-Donation:e-Donation is the form of online services provided by the temple for devoteesto donate amounts to the temple which can be used for the improvement or maintenanceof various services controlled by the temple administrations.Some laws are based not strictly on harm or self-harm concerns, but also on promoting thepersonal morality of the laws authors. These laws are usually, but not always, grounded inreligious belief.Hinduism
  18. 18. The background reason for the constructions of these temples and the heritage importancethe temples have achieved today,is the evolution and spread of the religion Hinduism andits beliefs.Heritage based Temple TourismHeritage pronounces the old age culture, traditions and customs of a country. Heritagetourism involves visits to historical or industrial sites including temples, ruins, palaces etc.India is promoted as a major heritage site, famous for its ancient culture, architecture, cavesand treasures, monuments and rich and vibrant temples. There has been a substantialgrowth in India for heritage tourism with UNESCO recognizing some of the historicalstructures of India as world heritage sites. Famous architectural structures include TajMahal,QutubMinar, Hampi etc. This accreditation has elevated India in worlds stage as tourismattraction spot. The conversion of heritage sites like palaces into hotels providing tourist tostay in a royal ambience has attracted foreign tourist. According to various statistics,heritage tourism accounts for more than 60% of tourists coming to India. Tourism industryin India is broadly used to enable a broader cultural horizon.Hinduism and TemplesThe roots of Hinduism are deep and sturdy, originated thousands of years ago. Even today,traces of Hindu culture are predominantly seen in Cambodia, Nepal and Bali. For over twothousand years Hindu Asia encompasses the sub-continent of India, major part of south-east Asia and Indonesia.Hinduism as a faith is vague, amorphous, many sided, all things to all men. It is hardlypossible to define it, or indeed to say definitely whether it is a religion or not; it represent away of life that evolved over thousands of years and has gathered so much of humanhistory, tradition, culture, and the greatness and meanness of the intellectual and thecommoner. At the intellectual level, it is only a philosophy. It is entirely based on intellectualenquiry and not based on God experience (Ninan, 2003).There is no founder of Hinduism and nobody could ascertain about its origin but it hasevolved over the eons to the present age. Hinduism is a set of beliefs, practices, modes ofliving and thinking incorporated into larger part of Indian civilization. Hand in hand with thedevelopment of the theistic religion came changes in religious worship in Hinduism. It is tobe mentioned that nowhere in the extensive vocabulary of Indian languages that the word"Hinduism" corresponds to the term "religion" (Michell, 1977). Hinduism covers thecomplete range of Indian culture; from the everyday life in agricultural village to the life of aphilosopher. In Indian civilization; beliefs, practices and thinking of Hinduism has beencarefully crafted into everyday activity of an individual as part of their living. At its foremostthought, Hindu dismisses the world as illusionary and aims to break through the illusion torealize the ultimate reality beyond. The temples reflect this range of Hinduism and provide a
  19. 19. space for penetration to self-realization of ultimate reality, rather than serving merereligious practices associated with certain beliefs.Temples are designed with a complex structure of symbolism by which it embodies the mostelevated Hindu philosophy. It is, therefore, an expression of Hindu society and of the mostprofound levels of Indian civilization. While the largest date of medieval period, kings andrich merchants provide capital for building temples. Although priesthood controls thereligious matters, they were dependent on kings and nobles for financing.Hindu temples were built not only as monuments showcasing religious symbols and a placefor the worshippers, but depicting the cosmos itself. Evolving from a cave, onto a hut or amodest abode of timber, the temple gradually developed into a substantial structureembellished with decorativeHistory of South Indian TemplesThe earliest temples were built using perishable materials such as clay and timber. Cavetemples and brick temples came at the later stage. Heavy stone structure with elaborateand complex architecture and sculpture were built still later. It is remarkable that thebuilding of temple has progressed more or less on a basic pattern. This is because there is abasic philosophy behind the temple, its meaning and significance. Even with a set pattern,variety on architect styles exists over the period of time. These styles can be broadlyclassified into northern and southern styles.The northern India temples have curvilinear style towers whereas southern style has itstower in the form of a truncated pyramid.The southern style, originally known as Dravidadesha style, was practiced during severaldynasties only in the state of Tamilnadu in South India (Geva&Mukherji, 2007). Few of theearliest surviving temples in South India are found in states of Tamil Nadu and northernKarnataka. The Dravidian architecture style or Tamilian style was both rock-cut andstructural; this became popular only from the Vijayanagar times. The later rock-cut templeswhich belong roughly to the period 500-800 A.D. were mostly Brahmanical or Jain,patronised by three great ruling dynasties of the south, namely the Pallavas of Kanchi in theeast, the Calukyas of Badami in the 8th century A.D, the Rastrakutas of Malkhed came topower and they made great contributions to the development of south Indian templearchitecture.The phenomenal growth in South Indian temple architecture both in terms of grandeur inquality and quantity were seen during the next thousand years (from 600 to 1600 A.D.) mostpredominantly in the state of Tamilnadu, India . The first in the series of southern orDravidian architecture was initiated by the Pallavas 2(600-900A.D.) during their rule in2 Pallavas - Pallava dynasty (early 4th century - late 9th century AD) ruled the state of northern Tamil Nadu and southern Andhra Pradeshof present day India with their capital at Kanchi. (Wikipedia)
  20. 20. Andrapradesh and Tamilnadu. The rock-cut temples and the structural temples like theshore temple at Mahabalipuram, Chennai and the Kailasanatha and VaikunthaPerumaltemples in Kancheepuram (700-800 A.D.) are the best representatives of the Pallava style.The Pallavas laid the foundations for the Dravidian school which was later blossomed to itsfull extent during the Cholas3, the Pandyas4, the Vijayanagar kings and the Nayaks. Thearchitect of temples movedto its next proportion, from rock-cut, became bigger, morecomplex and ornate with sculptures. The Dravidian architecture reached its peak during theChola period (900-1200 A.D.) by becoming more imposing in size and endowed with moreartistic carvings and structures. Among the most beautiful of the Chola temples is theBrihadeshvara temple (1010 A.D) at Tanjore with its 66 metre high vimana (tower), thetallest of its kind. The later Pandyas who succeeded the Cholas improved on the Cholas byintroducing elaborate ornamentation and big sculptural images, many-pillared halls, newannexes to the shrine and towers (gopurams) on the gateways. The mighty templecomplexes of Madurai and Srirangam in Tamil Nadu set a pattern for the Vijayanagarbuilders (1350-1565 A.D.) who followed the dravidian tradition. The Pampapati and Vitthalatemples in Hampi are standing examples of this period. The Nayaks of Madurai whosucceeded the Vijayanagar kings (1600-1750 A.D.) made the dravidian temple complex evenmore elaborate by making the gopurams very tall and ornate and adding pillared corridorswithin the temple long compound. The Dravidian style became popular throughout southIndia only from the Vijayanagar times onward. The Vastu-shastra texts are instructionmanuals for the practising architect and describe in detail the construction of the templefrom the selection of the site, measurements and proportions and structural process to theestablishment and consecration of the presiding deity.References: Boulanger., C. (1993). In the Kingdom of Nataraja, a guide to the temples, beliefs and people of Tamil Nadu. Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu: The South India SaivaSiddhantha Works Publishing Society Chandran, A. The Dynamics of Tourism Management in World Heritage Sites of Tamilnadu. FINAL REPORT ON 20 YEARS PERSPECTIVE TOURISM PLAN FOR THE STATE OF TAMIL NADU. (2003). GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF TOURISM AND CULTURE DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM MARKET RESEARCH DIVISION,Pilgrimage tourism in Tamil nadu. (2010, January 25). India net zone. Retrieved March 19, 2012, from http://www.indianetzone.com/26/tamil_nadu_tourism.htm3 chola - rulers of chola dynasty varying from 3rd century BC until 13th century AD(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chola)4 Pandyas - rulers of Pandyandynastry which ruled south India until the 15th century CE. During 13th CenturyAD, Marco Polo mentioned it as richest empire in existence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandya).
  21. 21. Geva, A., & Mukherji, A. (2007). A Study of Light/Darkness in Sacred Settings: Digital Simulations. International Journal of Architectural Computing, 5(3), 507-521 Goeldner,C.R.,&Ritchie,J.R.(2012). Tourism,Principles,Practices,Philosophies.(12th ed.). USA: John Wiley & Sons Hindu Arts, Architecture, and Culture. (2010, February 26). Mahavidya. Retrieved March 15, 2012, from http://www.mahavidya.ca/ Hindu Baby Rites. (2009, August 24). Religions. Retrieved March 15, 2012, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/ritesrituals/baby.shtml Michell, G. (1977). The Hindu Temple: An introduction to its meaning and forms: University of Chicago Press. Ninan, M. (2003). Hinduism: The Story Of Indian Thomas Churches What Really Happened In India: Madathil Mammen Ninan. People and Culture Of South India. (2012). Incredible South India. Retrieved March 15, 2012, from http://www.incredible-southindia.com/travel-guide/people- culture.html Temple layout. (2009). Templenet. Retrieved March 15, 2012, from http://www.templenet.com/Tamilnadu/madurai/architecture.html Temples Construction Under Different Dynasties. (2010). Temples in Tamilnadu. Retrieved March 18, 2012, from http://www.tamilnadu-tourism.com/tamil-nadu- temples/Appendix 1. GlossarySanskrit words English TranslationAtithiDevoBhava Guests are like GodGarbhagriha SantumSanctoriumMoolasthanam SanctumMandapas Open hallsSadas Saints Perimeter outside thePrakaras sanctumGopuras Pyramidal tower structureMandala The Universe Sight of the DivineDarshana form(Deity)Shanthi CalmPradashina Encircling the sanctumSanyasin MonksMahakumbabisheka The ConsecrationYajnaShala Sacrificial groundDiparadhana Worshipping with lampsRishis Sages
  22. 22. Bali SacrificeTheertham Holy waterMundan Holy shaveKarnavedha Ear piercing ceremonyNatyanjali Dance as an oblation