Repackaging India’s Sacred Geography: Travel Agencies and Pilgrimage-Related Travel

Repackaging India’s Sacred Geography: Travel Agencies and Pilgrimage-Related Travel This article is an attempt to open up the study of pilgrimage and tourism by concentrating on the role of travel agencies in developing Hindu pilgrimage in India. Identifying two limitations in the ongoing debate, it makes use of less-explored themes and concepts including travel menus, package tours, itineraries, day tours, circuits, and scheduling. Surveying 46 travel brochures and popular tours promoted by travel agencies in Delhi, Haridwar, and Vrindavan, it investigates how travel agencies repackage the sacred geography of Hinduism, tying it up with the broader tourist geography of India. Turning to the varied motivations of participants in day tours to pilgrimage sites, I present my analysis of the overarching developments in what I call pilgrimage-related travel. Crucially, visits to pilgrimage sites are increasingly framed as darshan tours reflecting how increased scheduling privileges darshan and donation as the principal religious act. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Numen Brill

Repackaging India’s Sacred Geography: Travel Agencies and Pilgrimage-Related Travel

Numen, Volume 65 (2-3): 30 – Mar 15, 2018

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0029-5973
eISSN
1568-5276
DOI
10.1163/15685276-12341498
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article is an attempt to open up the study of pilgrimage and tourism by concentrating on the role of travel agencies in developing Hindu pilgrimage in India. Identifying two limitations in the ongoing debate, it makes use of less-explored themes and concepts including travel menus, package tours, itineraries, day tours, circuits, and scheduling. Surveying 46 travel brochures and popular tours promoted by travel agencies in Delhi, Haridwar, and Vrindavan, it investigates how travel agencies repackage the sacred geography of Hinduism, tying it up with the broader tourist geography of India. Turning to the varied motivations of participants in day tours to pilgrimage sites, I present my analysis of the overarching developments in what I call pilgrimage-related travel. Crucially, visits to pilgrimage sites are increasingly framed as darshan tours reflecting how increased scheduling privileges darshan and donation as the principal religious act.

Journal

NumenBrill

Published: Mar 15, 2018

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