Travel and Tourism
Tourism has come to be associated with Kashmir since the arrival of Mughals to Kashmir in the 16th century, who built the first aesthetically supreme architectural and historical attractions in the form of Mughal Gardens, Forts, and Caravansarais. The British colonial administrators, Orientalist travellers, and earliest photographers were soon to romanticize Kashmir into an exoticized, imagined ‘paradise’, which was later, reproduced as a territory of touristic fetish by the Indian Bollywood.
In the department of Tourism here at Sopore College, which was established in 2010, we endeavour to critically study Tourism as a social, economic, and political practice in general as part of the undergraduate programme in Bachelor of Arts (BA). With particular focus on the social, economic, political, and religious appropriations of Kashmir Tourism, the course is studied both as a historical process, a managerial practice, as well as a socio-cultural practice embedded in the present geopolitical milieu.
Introduced as a vocational subject in Social Sciences, Tourism and Travel management is being taught as one of the three major subjects together with Economics, History, Geography, and Political Science. Within the scope of the subject our particular focus is to critically study the historically perpetuated truisms about Kashmir Tourism, as the “backbone of Kashmir Economy”, “great contributor to employment”, and “barometer of peace and stability in Kashmir”.
On-the-field Ethnographic studies and constant interface with industry form two of our primary pedagogical approaches to teaching Tourism in this department.
The department runs two main programmes in Tourism and Travel Management.
- Tourism as a vocational Subject in Social Sciences, as one of the three major subjects in combination with Economics, History, Geography, and Political Science, leading to Bachelor of Arts ( BA). Intake capacity: 30 seats. Selection is strictly on merit basis.
- As a UGC-sponsored add-on course in Tourism and Travel Management leading to Certificate Course in Tourism and Travel Management( One year duration), Diploma in Tourism and Travel Management ( Two Years duration) , and Advanced Diploma in Tourism and Travel Management ( Three years duration). Intake Capacity: 20 seats. Selection is strictly on merit basis.
|1||Prof. Rafiq Ahmad Pirzada||M.Sc,Ph.D||Associate Professor||WW1 memorialization practices, postcolonial ruptures in neocolonial conditions, memory and tourism, Power relations in tourism, and transnational cultural transfers of Gandhara Art|
|2||Mudassir Ahmad Dar||M.Sc.||Teaching Assistant||4|
The State of the Art Smart Classroom
The department has a state-of the-art smart classroom with facilities of interactive smart board, visualise, projector, and broadband internet facility. With a maximum capacity of 55 seats, all major theory classes for Tourism 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year are conducted in this classroom.
Tourism Anthropology Laboratory:
The department also has a well established Tourism anthropology laboratory equipped with a projector, 17 desktops, three video cameras, 1 voice recorder, 1 photographic camera, and broadband internet facility. The laboratory is used for both, training students for on-the-field ethnographic studies, and for post-field study analysis of ethnographic data.
Online knowledge Source/interactive platform:
The department also runs an online interactive platform on the social interactive website Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/Tourismamarsinghcollege), which serves as a rich online knowledge sources for students and also as a crucial platform for student to student and student-teacher exchange on relevant issues. This online source/platform takes the learning-teaching experience beyond the confines of classroom and limitations of working hours.
- 6 June 2014: Khirbhawani Mela at Tulmula (The annual Pilgrimage of Kashmiri Hindus)
- 21-27 June 2014: Manasbal-Naranag Etnographic Field Study
- 26 August 2014: Field study for Diploma Programme Semthan Top
- 8-10 September, 2014: International Conference
As an official Partner,together with University of Cergy-Pontoise, & University of Paris- 1, France, the department organised an: International Conference on “Remembering in a Globalizing World: The Play andInterplay of Tourism, Memory, and Place.”September 8 – 10, 2014, Le Chambon sur Lignon, France.
The aim of this international conference was to examine the ways in which memory is appropriated in tourism, both at the individual and collective level, in the articulation of identities, the construction of imaginaries about people and places, the re-invention of the past as an instrument of rule and dominance and as form of resistance. In the context of increasing mobilities – particularly in the forms of neo-nationalism and transnationalism – the conference seeks to confront the rise of memory and its social values in touristic practice. What role does memory play in the construction of “globalised public space”? How does it simultaneously represent both universalizing and particularizing phenomena? And how does it shape new mobilities, ‘mixed cultures’, networks, exchange and renewed ways of communication? We invite scholarly interventions from diverse disciplines and fields including tourism studies, history, geography, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, heritage and museum studies. Given this conference aims to understand how and why remembrance tourism is now a globalized phenomenon we also welcome comparative approaches.
The conference was attended by 80 international delegates from 25 countries from Asia, Africa, Europe and Americas.
- 02-04 December, 2014: Field study on “September 2014 Floods: The psycho-social and economic aftermath and the politics of tourism”:
The department conducted the three-day field study of some of the worst hit areas in Srinagar and Pulwama distiricts due to recent devastating floods in Kashmir. The study aimed to explore the narratives/realities of the affected people within psycho-social and economic perspectives. The study further sought to expose the ‘flood management’ as a political practice which involved not only causing floods deliberately, but shifting focus from working on the ground to imaging ‘rescue operations’. The loss of tourism and the imapct on local tourism industry was studied as an important dimension to the politics of rescue and relief.
- 16-18 May, 2015: Jammu & Kashmir Kashmir Travel Mart SKICC, Srinagar
- 26 May 2015: Khirbhawani Mela at Tulmula, 26 May 2015
- Trekking Expedition to Naranag-Gangabal Lake 9-13 June 2015
The department conducted for it students a 5-day/4-night trek on Naranag-Nundkol-Lake Gangabal from 9th till 13th June 2015. A group of thirteen student including seven boys and six girls accompanied by three staff members hiked on this incredible alpine trekking trail which offered a challenging mix of 15 kms of upslope climbing from Naranag, rough weather, high altitude difficulties, snow trekking, and fast current stream crossing at twelve thousand feet. Bird-watching, wild-flower identification, campfire conversations formed some of the core activities during this trek.
The trek had an unprecedented impact on students who experienced nature, adventure, camping, and the flora and fauna in its pristine glory. Post-trek presentations back in the department from participant students, based on their reflections of their experiences in the trek, were quite revealing and self-educating.
- 14th July, International Worskhop on “Mentoring on the Margins: Your Future” in partnership with University of Ohio and Northern Colorado University, USA
Prof. Haley Duschinski, Associate Professor in Anthropology & Director of the Center for Law, Justice & Culture, Ohio University, USA,
Dr. Ather Zia, Assistant Professor in Anthropology, University of Northern Colorado, USA,
- Special Lecture on Critical Humanities
Professor Suvir Kaul, A.M. Rosenthal Professor of English Literature at University of Pennsylvania, USA delivered a special lecture on Critical Humanities and the pedagogy of bearing witness to Kashmir.