Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Undiscovered tourist spot

Having come back from a "off the beaten track tourist spot", I was able to elaborate my thoughts in line on why the "undiscovered tourist spot" is but a myth.

Once a tourist spot is discovered, it becomes like Lonavla or Shimla or Ooty. "A city on top of a hill" with all the conveniences as dictated by "Touristus Indicus" (Bhargo, we need to expound on this) means the tourist spot is lost for ever. Bhelpuri outlets, Udupi hotels, Crashing cars, giant wheels and amusement parks are the rage than the main attraction there. Add all the other routine things that you need for a spot to be a "tourist attraction" including horse and camel rides and bad food and you would forget that you came to see a cave or a temple or a lake in the first place.

Now, for the tourist spot to be undiscovered with all these above "facilities" is impossible. The conveniences simply cannot exist for the 3 or 4 people who will turn up. So, as a tourist spot gets "discovered", it loses its "charm". In the space of a few seasons, the local food and delicacies are all but buried in the menu and usually "not available because there is no movement".

So, what would happen in an undiscovered tourist spot when Chunnu, Munnu, Pappa and Mamma turn up? There would be no running hot water, no paneer butter masala or Masala Dosa. There would be "no rickshaws" or "tongas" to take them to sunset point. And no chana vendors or raw mango vendors at sunset point either. And inevitably comes the feedback, "Oh the trip was a disaster."

Now, of course, this is great news for the intrepid tourist who is very happy (and rightly so) with local food, unspoilt locations and local hospitality. The intrepid tourist also doesnt mind putting in a bit of effort by perhaps walking or biking it down to the undiscovered fort or befriending a few locals.

So, if you are seeking an undiscovered tourist spot, like we discovered one thanks to Karthik a few days back, relax and let the place grow on you. An ideal undiscovered spot has but a few home stays, a few food places proud to serve their local cuisine, a couple of tea shops on the way, local guides who are very happy to have tourists and locals who look upon you as a guest in the true sense.


purple pitara said...

its not how intrepid the tourist is.....undiscovered tourist spots will stay that way when we as people travel for our own learning and not so much for entertainment.

SloganMurugan said...

That's the reason I explore the city I live in. The citydwellers haven't discovered their cities yet!

Kavi said...

Hmm ! Me envy you !


Anonymous said...

Right now you're looking at two extremes. The spots that used to be undiscovered and are now too touristy, and the as yet undiscovered spots.

I think, as you said in your earlier post, that the solution remains in responsible development, eco-tourism, etc. to reach a sort of compromise mid way.

Every nation has its share of travelers and tourists, both young and old, single, in groups or with families, right? So that means we should expect undiscovered or recently discovered beautiful places that are easily accessible to be developed sooner or later. This is unavoidable.

The question is whether we can stop at development and not cross the line into over development, which is what we see in Indian hill stations today.