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Identification and Mapping of Religious Tourist Resources in Kashmir Valley

International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Systems

Volume 13 Issue 1

Published: 2020
Author(s) Name: Manjula Chaudhary, Naser Ul Islam | Author(s) Affiliation: Professor, Depart. of Tourism and Hotel Mgt., Kurukshetra Univ., Kurukshetra, Haryana, India
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Abstract

Religious tourism is modern day format of pilgrimage. Pilgrimage is an old practice of travelling to the sacred places such as temples, mosques, churches and shrines etc. Religious tourism mixes pilgrimage and features of tourism and is considered a tool for sustainability, change and peace building among communities. It is particularly important for India being the fastest growing segment of tourism and given the fact that the whole country is dotted with important religious sites and is known for largest congregation in the world as in the case of Mahakumbh. While each state of country has a unique mix of religious tourism but the state of Jammu and Kashmir have a wonderful mix of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh religions sites though it is known more for Vaishno Devi shrine and Amarnath yatra. Kashmir Valley in this state is popularly known for its natural beauty and leisure tourism than religious tourism despite the high resources for religious tourism. This study is an attempt to identify and map the religious tourist resources in Kashmir valley. The nature of the study is exploratory and to find answers to queries raised through objectives both primary and secondary data has been used. The mapping of the sites highlighted that Kashmir has a mixture of different religious attractions and some of these attractions are located in close vicinity to one another. Based on geographical proximity, these attractions have been divided in to six tourism clusters. The analysis of these clusters based on parameters of tourism potential revealed that four clusters are under developed. The promotion of these clusters will provide diversity to tourism basket of Kashmir valley. Moreover, the less development of these sites could be taken as opportunity to take cues from developed sites and these can be promoted in a sustainable manner based on community participation.

Keywords: Kashmir Tourism, Religious Tourism, Mapping Tourism, Tourism Clusters

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