6th Indian Heritage Tourism conclave: Sustaining Heritage Tourism in Khajuraho

– Ambuj Saxena

“We are expecting this event to be a runaway success like the earlier editions. Have a look at the banner on the roadside. It has your logo in the bottom row! Other sponsors also have been generous in giving their support to the event!”- exclaimed Mr. Yogesh Srivastav, the dynamic Director, PHD Chamber of Commerce, incharge of Tourism committee.
He was referring to the 6th edition of the annual Heritage Tourism conclave- Sustaining Heritage Tourism of Khajuraho, organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce Tourism committee, headed by Mr Mukesh Gupta. The Heritage tourism conclaves aim to create a strong platform to exchange best practices and experiences, discuss challenges and opportunities, future perspectives and changes in the Heritage Tourism sector. It offers an excellent opportunity to explore new ways to actively penetrate in and attract more tourist from the new emerging markets as well as discuss actions aimed to promote heritage tourism in India.

PHDCCI, BnBNation, Heritage Tourism
6th Edition of India Heritage Tourism Conclave: Sustaining Heritage Tourism of Khajuraho. Click on the pic to access the souvenir book.

The Tourism committee had been organizing such unique Indian Heritage Tourism conclaves since 2011. These conclaves have been a runaway success with participation and enthusiasm increasing exponentially each year. This time, the Tourism committee comprising Mr. Mukesh Gupta, Mr. Rajan Sehgal, Mr. Yogesh Srivastav, Dr. GG Saxena thought it better to hold it in Khajuraho.
The conference started on time with the traditional form of welcome as can be seen here:

Local artists welcome delegates with traditional music and songs
Mr. Yogesh and Mr. Raja Bundela lead the way in introducing the dignitaries which included His Excellency Igor Polikha, The Ambassador of Ukraine to India along with his wife. His excellency gave a resounding speech in Hindi and to many, it seemed Hindi was his mother tongue!

This was followed by the Ms. Daniela from Embassy of Romania to India, who gave her views on Heritage tourism in India. Her speech met with thunderous applause. Two Belgian scholars who stayed in a village near Khajuraho for 6 months internship presented their observations to carry out their research presented their points in a concise manner. Dr GG Saxena, Honorary member of Tourism committee, PHDCCI, and mentor of BnBNation left everyone spellbound by putting forward tourism statistics and urging all stakeholders to join hands and preserve Indian heritage. His awe-inspiring speech met with a loud round of applause!

Dr GG Saxena, IAS retd Honorary Member tourism committee, PHDCCI sharing his thoughts at the 6th Indian Heritage Tourism conclave, bnbnation
Dr GG Saxena, IAS retd Honorary Member tourism committee, PHDCCI sharing his thoughts at the 6th Indian Heritage Tourism conclave

Later, I was asked to present my thoughts on how social media can play a role in Heritage tourism through a 10-minute presentation. My ideas gave the audience ways to preserve, celebrate, share and educate communities about heritage sites and in turn increase heritage tourism.

The conference provided a platform for various stakeholders to brainstorm, PHDCCI, bnbnation
The conference provided a platform for various stakeholders to brainstorm. Here we can see His Excellency, Ambassador of Ukraine to India along with his wife enjoying their stay in Khajuraho.

Mr. AB Shukla, Member National Monuments Authority (NMA), was left with little time but presented his thoughts precisely on what steps are being taken to preserve national monuments by NMA and to encourage Heritage tourism in India. His speech was an eye-opener for everyone in the audience.

The conference saw an overwhelming response with the number of speakers being too many and time falling short. Mr. Yogesh Srivastav and Mr. Raja Bundela kept the audience entertained and kept a strict watch on time. After the conference, sumptuous lunch was organized for all the delegates and half an hour was squeezed in for a Heritage walk around the Khajuraho Western Group of Temples before the delegates left.

A glimpse of the 6th Heritage Tourism conclave, bnbnation, PHDCCI
A glimpse of the 6th Heritage Tourism conclave  Clockwise: Mr Rajan Sehgal, Co-chair, Tourism committee, PHDCCI, Mr AB Shukla, Member, NMA; Mr Yogesh Srivastav, Director, PHDCCI and Mr Raja Bundela

Following were the takeaways from the 6th Heritage Tourism conclave for sustaining Heritage Tourism in Khajuraho:
• Poor connectivity to Khajuraho which the authorities and political party members volunteered to alleviate soon.
• Costly air tickets to Khajuraho
• One Deluxe train from metropolitan cities of India to Khajuraho was suggested so that foreign tourists do not have to travel and face the inconvenience in the local trains as well as to earn handsome foreign exchange.
• The idea of a single umbrella organization was mooted. This organization would house various agencies that work towards preservation of Khajuraho’s western group of temples as well as the Heritage tourism agencies
• It was also suggested that trains be operated from Agra, Allahabad and Mumbai and other places from where tourists frequent Khajuraho.

Khajuraho temples are the zenith of India's Nagara style temple architecture, bnbnation, PHDCCI
Khajuraho temples are the zenith of India’s Nagara style temple architecture

At the end of the conference, a souvenir book was launched with BnBNation as the Knowledge partner. The book can be accessed here:

All in all, it was a brilliant conference that saw participation from various continents, political parties of various ideologies, government departments like Air India, state tourism boards like Delhi Tourism, J&K Tourism and private companies like BnBNation as the synergy partner.

A glimpse of the PHDCCI 6th Heritage tourism conference , bnbnation
A glimpse of the PHDCCI 6th Heritage tourism conference

Why Khajuraho was chosen as the venue of 6th IHTC:
Khajuraho’s western group of temples is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage sites list since 1986.
The city is considered the religious capital of Chandela rulers. The western group of temples is among the most beautiful medieval monuments in the country. Built between AD 900 and 1130, it is presumed that every Chandella rule has built at least one temple in his lifetime. Originally, they were a group of 85 temples of which only 25 remain. The sculptures in Khajuraho temples represent the cult images of Parivara, devatas, apsaras, sura-sundaris, secular and animal sculptures. The erotic sculptures are the finest sculptural compositions which vibrate with a rare sensitiveness and warmth of emotion. The most popular temples in Khajuraho are:
• Lakshman temple
• Kandariya Mahadev temple
• Vishwanath temple
• Chitragupta temple
• Parsvanath temple
• Adinath temple
• Chitragupta temple etc.

Keeping the above points in mind, it was only obvious that Khajuraho would be chosen as the venue for 6th IHTC by PHDCCI Tourism committee.


About the Author:
Ambuj Saxena is Co-Founder at BnBNation. He is a 2013 Brand Management graduate from Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA). He has successfully executed various online and offline marketing campaigns for companies operating in Automobile, Fashion, and Lifestyle, Travel and Tourism sectors as well as Government departments. He has co-founded BnBNation as he believes that Tourism and Hospitality are as much online as it is offline, and he can add value to both.

33 thoughts on “6th Indian Heritage Tourism conclave: Sustaining Heritage Tourism in Khajuraho”

    1. Khajuraho is a hot tourist destination. Tourists from all over the world throng here in groups to witness the ornate carvings and erotic sculpture. No wonder khajuraho has earned a place for itself in the UNESCO world heritage sites. You can contact us for a couple of days stay here in the lap of Indian heritage.

    1. Hi sandy and vyjay,
      Khajuraho is a marvellous place to be and the conference was an eye opener of sorts! The number of suggestions on offer during the conference were of varied nature and implementable. Thus it was a great feeling to be associated for a noble cause.

    1. Hi Travel Ninjas,
      Thank you for reading our blog post. The previous Heritage tourism conclaves had been held in major cities of India like Delhi and Jaipur. However, the decision to hold the 6th edition in Khajuraho increased the curiosity in the minds of the participants and the stakeholders! We feel that it was a major decision and the secret behind the success of the event.
      The erotic sculptures and the richness of culture is simply mindblowing! You must plan a visit to the western group of temples in Khajuraho and we would be happy to assist in any way we can.
      BnBNation Team

  1. It is really nice to see these kind of events gaining attention. Khajuraho is a true heritage of Indian culture. So are many other such architectural wonders that need the support of such events!! It must have been a great experience to be a part of such an event

    1. Hi Neha,
      Thank you for taking out time to read our blog post.
      It is indeed a pity that our rich cultural heritage is getting damaged all over the world. However, conferences like these help generate awareness and bring the destruction of culture to the fore. Some political party members pledged full support to the keep the premises of the western group of temples clean and other stakeholders pledged other aspects of preservation. Thus, all in all, it was a fruitful conference and a great experience!
      BnBNation team

    1. Hi Lauren,

      Thank you for checking out our blog post.
      The conclave was indeed an eye opener. The enthusiasm of various stakeholders was infectious!
      As far as Khajuraho is concerned, it is a must-visit destination for domestic and foreign tourists!
      We would be happy to suggest you places to stay in Khajuraho when you plan your visit.

      BnBNation Team

  2. I never knew that In India too, the conclaves are held for promoting and improving our sustaining heritage. I loved that idea. Real applause’s and the points put forward in the conference are so worthy. Hope the mentioned things happen soon. Khajuraho is a real architecture wonder. I will love to visit this heritage one day for sure. This article is actually an eye opener for me. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Suruchi,
      We are glad that you could find so many takeaways from the blog. As mentioned in the blog post, our co-founder Ambuj Saxena, gave a presentation on how social media can help encourage heritage tourism. It was an eye opener for the audience. After the conference, many of them sought advise and process to be followed for the same. Since you are active on social media you may be curious to know how all of us can use social media to increase heritage tourism: https://www.slideshare.net/saxenaambuj/role-of-social-media-in-heritage-tourism
      BnBNation Team

  3. Most of the time when we travel, we just take pictures, maybe hear a little bit of history about that place then that’s it. We don’t really know that amount of effort it takes to preserve the national treasures, or know the people behind such endeavors. So this read is quite refreshing to me, in a sense that I’m able to take a peek through the “behind the scene” so to speak. I do hope that more organizations and people would work together to promote heritage tourism and then for us travelers to recognize their efforts.

    1. Hi Marge,
      Thank you for reading our blog post!
      You have put forward your thoughts very well. You have aptly summed up the objective of the conference.
      We, at BnBNation, felt privileged to contribute our thoughts, ideas, knowledge, and actions to sustain and promote Heritage tourism in Khajuraho.
      Your words have encouraged us and propelled us to move in the right direction.
      BnBNation Team

  4. It is good that your country has dedicated organizations for uplifting tourism. How many times do they hold the conclave? Khajuharo seems to be a good venue for the conclave. I’d love to know more about this place and it must be awesome too to attend to one of the sessions.

    1. Hi Erica,

      Thank you for reading our blog post and commenting on it. As was mentioned in the mail, PHD Chamber of Commerce conducts Indian Heritage tourism conclave on an annual basis. Previous 5 editions were held all over India in various cities such as Delhi, Jaipur, Ranchi etc. You may read more about the place on the website: http://www.indiaculture.nic.in/khajuraho-group-monuments
      We’ll keep you posted on the future activities through our social media channels!

      BnBNation Team

  5. I feel happy to see how we as a nation heading towards better tourism and conservation/preservation of our heritage treasure. Its great to see much emphasis on the usage of social media and its benefits. I want to thank you for representing the social media community.

    1. Dear Nidhi,

      Thank you for the kind words. For us, the conference was an eye-opener as many political and non-political pledged their efforts towards heritage preservation and heritage tourism.

      BnBNation Team

  6. It warms my heart that there are people who shares their passion in preserving the heritage, pitch in ideas on how they can sustain the heritage tourism and educate tourist on how they can help in preserving. And Khajuraho sounds like to perfect place for such event! Cheers.

    1. Hi Jane,

      You summed up perfectly our feelings on being the synergy partner of the PHD Chamber of Commerce 6th Indian Heritage Tourism conclave!
      We have nothing more to say! We would be happy to keep you coming back and sharing your wonderful thoughts!

      BnBNation Team

    1. Dear Ms. Indrani,

      PHD Chamber of Commerce has been conducting India Heritage Tourism conclaves since 2011 in various cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Ranchi etc. This event was special due to the continuing legacy and the awe-inspiring Western group of temples in Khajuraho! We were happy to be a partner of the event.
      Various stakeholders at the event expressed willingness to preserve the heritage of India!
      We are glad you enjoyed reading the post!

      BnBNation Team

    1. Hi Iftekhar,

      Thank you for reading our blog post! India is indeed one of the best countries to travel with so many cultural and natural heritage sites such as Khajuraho, Taj Mahal, etc. We believe that one of the best outcomes of British or Mughal rule in India, apart from art and culture has been the architectural development in India. With the advent of Mughals, there was Indo-Islamic architecture that consisted of domes, arches etc that never existed before and later with the advent of the Britishers, there was Indo-Saracenic architecture!
      Indeed, such conclaves are needed albeit with a higher frequency!

      BnBNation Team

  7. It is good that you have underlined the role of social media for developing the tourism. It is so big nowadays. Russia, where I am from, have so many beautiful sights, but no one knows about them. Wish they were better in marketing

Your thoughts...