Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Himachal youth promotes unexplored, rural tourism in Kullu’s Sainj valley

His passion and the success he has achieved has become an inspiration for many to adopt eco-friendly tourism for earning livelihood.

Ritam Thakur has been promoting unexplored tourist destinations in the Sainj valley in Banjar subdivision since 2012. Belonging to Laida village, he has been engaged in adventure activities like trekking, rock climbing, river crossing and bike riding, a report in The Tribune,  Chandigarh, says. 

His passion and the success he has achieved has become an inspiration for many to adopt eco-friendly tourism for earning livelihood.

Ritam identifies picturesque and virgin places around his village to attract tourists. He started the business by turning his house into a homestay.

Ritam worked for eight years in hotels in Shimla and Manali after graduating from the Institute of Hotel Management, Kufri, Shimla. He left his job and started by inspiring youth to start trekking, rock climbing, river crossing, bike riding, etc. He has provided jobs to some youths of the village.

Ritam has  gained success in the venture and has now hosted thousands of tourists. They visit temples and picturesque natural places around Laida, besides relishing traditional dishes prepared in the area. 

He has developed trekking routes till Bunga and Thihani and played a key role in associating Laxmi Narayan temple of Galun and Panchveer Temple of Laida with tourism.

Archana, a tourist from Kerala who has written a review about the rural tourism of Laida village, wrote, “My husband and I stayed here for 10 days. These were the best days of our 50-day Himachal trip. The traditional Kullvi food is very tasty.”

The entire Sainj Valley is a cluster of small villages that are far from being developed as tourist destinations.

Ritam worked for eight years in hotels in Shimla and Manali after graduating from the Institute of Hotel Management, Kufri, Shimla. He left his job and started by inspiring youth to start trekking, rock climbing, river crossing, bike riding, etc. He has provided jobs to some youths of the village.

The primary and possibly the only tourist attraction of Sainj Valley is its natural beauty and scenery. There are no big markets here, no fancy restaurants, no long list of tourist activities, and no luxury hotels either. Your only choice of accommodation are homestays, which are really just the houses of the villagers extended by a room or two that they rent out to the tourists.

Sainj is the largest town or village and pretty much the heart of the valley. It acts as the commercial center and this is where all the shops and offices are. You can find a place to stay in Sainj but it is not much of a tourist spot. 

The temples of Sainj Valley are really unique and unlike any that I had seen so far. Another thing is the number of temples. There are so many of them and all are equally beautiful. The entire valley is marked with numerous temples, some quite big and famous while others are small and unknown. 

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