|Opening address by he Chief Minister at MPTM 2016|
The third edition of MPTM (Madhya Pradesh Tourist Mart) was flagged off on 15 Oct after the grand festivities at Jehan Numa Palace hotel on the previous evening. The event was attended by more than 500 delegates from 28 nations including the who’s who of the government, local travel and tourism industry. The Chief Minister of MP, Mr Shivraj Singh Chauhan gave a rousing address to the audience highlighting the unstinted support for promotion and boost to the travel industry. The audio visual presentations and short videos prior to the inaugural speech showcased the best of what the state can offer to the visiting tourists in the state. Among the various endeavors, some promising ones are enumerated as follows
a) Offer of world class 300 roadside facilities
b) Homestays to promote the local culture
c) Water tourism as there are large water bodies in the state
d) Encouragement for adventure destinations by increasing access to forest areas for treks and camping
e) Heritage experience- Starting with conversion of Minto Hall built in 1909 as a Heritage Convention Center
He exhorted the audience by reminding them that they were present” in the right time at the right place”. The39 achievers in 22 categories were rewarded before inaugural of the mart formally. It was a unique experience for interaction of the buyers and sellers to interwork for mutually beneficial deals over two days.
Later in the evening a display of local culture of dance and music added to the glitter in the sprawling complex of Sayaji Hotel where the delegates were ferried to. It was a treat for audio visual senses and taste buds alike for the audience.
|Handicrafts at Sajida Nagar|
|Heritage buildings at Upper Lake|
An early morning heritage walk through the ‘Old City’ of Bhopal was organized by the MP Tourism for the participants to get a feel of the vibrant city of Bhopal the next morning at the onset of dawn. Starting from Kamlapati Mahal, at Chota Talab, it trudged through adjacent Bada Talaba , Shitaldas Mandir, and Gauhar Mahal onwards. The spellbinding stories and history came to life as the enthralled audience admired the Mehat e Shahi, Moti Mahal, Shaukat Mahal, Hira Masjid and Moti Mahal.
|Taj Ul Masajid|
The largest mosque in Asia Taj Ul Masajid was next on the list but not before a bite of hot poha, mawa jalebi and superb tea at the famous Raju Tea Stall.
|Deicious Poha and Mawa Jalebi- Raju Tea Stall|
The tour ended at the Golghar known for a rare collection of paintings and other artifacts on display. At one time in history it was also used as a bird house. Gold and silver threads were kept and the birds wove a nest out of these. The same was presented by Shah Jehan Begum to Queen Victoria of England .
|Mr Hari Ranjan Rao,addressing the media|
The event( MPTM-16) culminated with a very lively interaction with Mr Hari Ranjan Rao, IAS, the energetic Managing Director of MP Tourism and Tourism Development Corporation. A fitting finale was various FAMTours organised for the particiants to explore the hidden gems of the state.. The ambitious plans have set the course of the travel industry with increased public participation to take tourism in the land of immense possibilities to a new height.
PS: Thanks to Manjulika of 'Pendown' for the opportunity to collaborate with her blog for MPTM-2016