Religious tourism is one of the oldest forms of tourism and a rapidly expanding economy. Religious tourism to pilgrimage sites has existed since the dawn of time in every part of the world. People frequently went on pilgrimages despite journey inconveniences. Hence, it begs the question of the purpose of their visit and what makes their visit most efficient? The present study examined the purposes of religious tourism in the present times vs. Vedic times and proposed considerations for holistic religious tourism. For different purposes, tourists visit religious sites to obtain benefits i.e. 1) religious, 2) spiritual, 3) academic, and 4) pleasure purposes. However, this model of religious tourism is not holistic. In the Vedic model, pilgrimage sites should have religious-pious personalities and a spiritual environment for effectively guiding tourists for new resolutions in life holistic model. In addition, the pilgrimage should result in nation-building and social-cultural benefits besides building the economy. For the same purpose, spiritual practices like Yagyas and Ashwamedha were performed in Vedic times at pilgrimage sites resulting in a holistic model of religious tourism i.e. 1) pilgrimage site has Rishi like personalities, 2) tourists, locals aid in preserving natural resources, 3) culture and social upliftment resulted in nation-building. The core of keeping a holistic pilgrimage site was Yagya. Yagya is a core practice keeping Teerth alive. The Cultural campaign of Ashwamedha and live Teerth is capable of reversing the maladies that have entered public minds. The current study presents that the Ashwamedha Yagya can act as an important component of religious tourism and gives a newer dimension to religious tourism by providing holistic development of the participants at religious sites through Ashwamedha for national unity, peace, and harmony.
Gannon, Martin Joseph; Baxter, Ian W. F.: Collinson, Elaine; Curran, Ross; Farrington, Thomas; Glasgow, Steven; Godsman, Elliot M.; Gori, Keith; Jack, Gordon R. A. "Travelling for Umrah: destination attributes, destination image, and post-travel intentions" (PDF). The Service Industries Journal. 2017; 37(7-8): 448-465. https://doi.org/10.1080/02642069.2017.1333601
Rinschede, Gisbert. Forms of religious tourism. Annals of Tourism Research. 1992;19(1):5167. https://doi.org/10.1016/0160-7383(92)90106-Y
Timothy Dallen J, Olsen Daniel H. Tourism, Religion, and Spiritual Journeys. USA and Canada: Routledge, 2006.
Wharton, D. "Southern attraction, southern attractions: a photographic essay", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 2008;2(2), pp. 102-114. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506180810880683
Akanksha Ghansiyal. What Is Religious Tourism And What Are The Challenges It Is Facing? Travel.Earth November 23, 2019 [Internet]. [cited 2021 November 9]. Available from: https://travel.earth/what-is-religious-tourism-and-what-are-the-challenges-it-is-facing/
Gevorian,Juli. Religious Tourism. Academia. Retrieved 9 November 2020. https://www.academia.edu/37919568/Religious_Tourism
Alan A. Lew C. Michael Hall Allan M. Williams. Religion and Spirituality in Tourism, 2014. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/9781118474648.ch28
Rejman K, Maziarz P, Kwiatkowski A, Haliniarz M. Religious tourism as a tourism product. World Scientific News. 2016; 57: 562-575. Available from: www.worldscientificnews.com
Brahmavarchas (Editor). Teerth Sevan Kyon Aur Kaise? Chapter 1. Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya Works Vol.37. Revised Edition. Akhand Jyoti Sansthan Mathura; UP,India. 2003, Page No 1.1-1.23
Sharma, S. and Sharma, S. "Understanding Pithoragarh's cultural jewels: its fairs and festivals", Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes. 2015;7(4):331-346. https://doi.org/10.1108/WHATT-03-2015-0007
Brahmavarchas (Editor). Yagya; Ygyan Ek Samgra Upchar Prakriya. Chapter 5. Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya Works Vol.26. Revised Edition, Mathura AkhandJyoti Sansthan. 1994, Page no 5.1-5.60
Yagya , Mahayagya , Ashwamedha yagya - Akhandjyoti November 1992, page no :: (All World Gayatri Pariwar) (awgp.org)
Proceedings. 'Yagna's Scientific Interpretation'. Ashwamedha Yagna held in Montreal, Canada, 1996, July 26-28 July.
Singh, Ravindra. Yagya: Ek Aitihasik evam Vaigyanik Drishti. Interdisciplinary Journal of Yagya Research. 31Oct.2018 [cited 9Mar.2019]; (2):15-21. Available from: http://ijyr.dsvv.ac.in/index.php/ijyr/article/view/11
Bhattacharya, Narendra Nath. Glossary of Indian Religious Terms and Concepts. New Delhi: Manohar Publishers; 1999: page 8.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Copyright (c) 2021 Prachi Agarwal, Arunesh Parashar