RURAL TOURISM CLUSTER

Introduction

1. Punjab won the National Tourism Award for Rural Tourism in 2011.

2. In accordance with the revised MoT-GoI Rural (Cluster) Tourism Scheme, detailed rural field visits were made across Punjab, together with specialised craft discussions. This showed that erstwhile rural craft heritage clusters have largely migrated to urban locations due to market access & rural credit issues.

3. Hence after due deliberation, the Ropar District Rural Tourism Cluster has been formulated to consist of Katli, Bahadurpur, Ranjitpura Bas and Tibba Taprian villages, which possess the following unique tourism attributes of predominantly rural natural heritage, around the picturesque environs of the Sutlej which is one of the world's great rivers:


- scenic setting along Sutlej river left bank and right bank of Ropar wetlands (Ramsar site).

- good road proximity with Chandigarh-Mohali-Ropar-Anandpur Sahib/Kiratpur Sahib-Manali and Bhakra Nangal-Kangra-Dharmshala highways.

- Shivalik archaeological sites and ASI museum of Indus Valley Civilisation nearby.

- quick access to historical venues including Anandpur Sahib, Khalsa Heritage Centre & Kiratpur Sahib.

- well-known fish farm; adjoining Sadabart Nature Trail; avifauna species.

- major location for migratory birds from Central Asia.

- Sutlej river (non-motorised rafting, kayaking, rowing) water sports and excursions.

- Sutlej barrage headworks view.

- Sutlej crossing by raft to connect cluster villages on each bank, instead of conventional road route.

- all-terrain bike trails, camping, nature photography.

- wellness and rejuvenation in natural surroundings…PPP/other investment potential.

- diverse experiences of local rural way of life: waste management, village layout planning, gobar gas provision, farming (organic), animal husbandry, vermi-compost, dairy/khoya, durrie/khes craft, mats from re-cycled waste, baan grass craft, bee-keeping, bhangra & gidda dance, cuisine.

- proximity to good quality accommodation, farmhouses and resort lodge.

- hospitable local communities, keen on sustainable tourism capacity building & infrastructure support.

- communities will meet tourism industry/visitor requirements; also convergence with other schemes.

Ropar District Rural Tourism Cluster thus has excellent potential for sustainable rural tourism experiences of visitors with local visitors, community participation and infrastructure support via MoT-GoI Scheme, Capacity Building of Service Providers and Hunar-se-Rozgar.

4. Tourism activities potential in each of these four villages is detailed as follows:

Katli Population: 496 (male 245, female 251, families 75).

- scenic setting along Sutlej river left bank of Ropar wetlands (Ramsar site).

- ASI museum of Indus Valley Civilisation nearby; Sutlej barrage headworks view.

- well-known fish farm; adjoining Sadabart Nature Trail; migratory birds from Central Asia.

- Sutlej river (non-motorised rafting/kayaking/rowing) water sports and excursions.

- diverse experiences of local rural way of life: animal husbandry, farming, bhangra and gidda dance.

Bahadurpur Population: 435 (male 229, female 206, families 66).

- scenic setting close to Sutlej river left bank.

- good road proximity with Chandigarh-Ropar-Anandpur Sahib-Kangra/Dharamsala-Manali highways.

- diverse experiences of local rural way of life: robust hospitable community energised with self-help for waste management, village layout/planning, gobar gas provision, farming (organic), innovative animal husbandry practices, community dairy outlet, khoya, re-cycled waste, vermi-compost, cuisine.

- good quality homestay.

- keenness for provision of visitor interpretation services.


Ranjitpura Bas Population: 259 (male 138, female 121, families 39).

- lady sarpanch, Bibi Charanjeet Kaur.

- Gurudwara Mata Gujjar Kaur, linked to Guru Gobind Singh ji's sons.

- Sutlej crossing from Ranjitpura Bas put-in point to Tibba Taprian.

- by raft with expert guides, safety equipment, safety kayak.

- Shivaliks backdrop.

- rural transport.

- country boat plies the same route.

- interactive experiences on the Sutlej, one of the world's great rivers, flowing through three countries.


Tibba Taprian Population: 1242 (male 685, female 557, families 225).

- scenic setting close to Sutlej river right bank alighting point, across from Ranjitpura on opposite bank.

- good road proximity with Chandigarh-Mohali-Ropar-Anandpur Sahib/Nangal highways.

- all-terrain bike trails, camping, nature photography.

- diverse experiences of local way of life: farming, animal husbandry, baan grass/durrie/phulkari craft, mats from re-cycled waste, afforestation.

- hospitable local community, keen on tourism capacity building.