top of page

Chhattisgarh Tourism Policy

Tourism Policy


Tourism in Chhattisgarh
An assessment report

Ms. Nimisha Jha, ICAS Deputy Secretary, SPC


Table of Contents

No Topic Page No
1 Tourism India-An Overview 3
2 Distinct Features of 5
3 Life of the People-Socio 9
Cultural traditions
4 Tourism in Chhattisgarh- 15
Present Scenario
5 Assessment of Chhattisgarh 21
vis a vis other states
6 Way Forward 24
7 Case Study I 27
8 Case Study II 28

Tourism in India-An Overview

India with its composite culture, secular fervor, multitude of ethnic groups and diverse geographical features is in an advantageous position to respond to the upswing in the Tourism and hospitality sector. India with her beautiful blend of religion, spirituality, art and history is at a central position to catch the attention of tourists from across the globe.

Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The dynamic growth of this industry is evident from the fact that globally tourism accounts for more than 11% of the global GDP and 8% of the world trade employment.

Foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector in India during 1998-99 were estimated at Rs.12,011 crore. Tourism1 has thus become the second largest net foreign exchange earner for the country. Tourism also contributed Rs.24,241 crore during 1998-99 towards the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Domestic tourist visits to states/ UTs grew at the rate of 12.5 percent CAGR during 2006 - 2010 period to reach 7,402 lakhs in 2010. Foreign Tourist arrival grew at 11 percent CAGR during the same period and reached 179 lakhs in 2010.

1 Ministry of Tourism(
WTTC Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2012

Tourism in India has generated 6.4 trillion or 6.6 % of India’s GDP in 2012.It supported 39.5 million jobs or 12.36% of its total employment foreign tourist in India between January to November 2014 were 65.85 lakh with a YoY growth of 7.1%
At the National tourism awards 2013-14, President Pranab Mukherjee stated that tourism is an agent of development, engine of growth and employment generation in India.

To attract more foreign tourists to India, Government launched a
Scheme of “Visa on Arrival” (VOA) for 43 countries in 2014. . There was also an increase in issuance of Visas on Arrival (VoA). In May 2014, 1,833 VoAs were issued as compared to 1,114 VoAs during 2013, marking a growth of 64.5 per cent.

Distinct features of Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh is in central part of India and was part of erstwhile Madhya Pradesh. It was recognized as a separate state in the year 2000 with

Raipur as its capital city. The state shares her borders with Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Utter Pradesh. Blessed with abundance of nature, wildlife arts, culture
,handicraft and a plethora of resources; its virgin beauty is still untouched and unexplored by the common man thus the land being a sure treat to visitors and tourists.

This new state is located on the oldest rocks of the Indian subcontinent. Here one can find Archaean granites and gneisses as well as the Gondwana formations dating back to 250-300 million years bearing coal deposits.

Popularly known as the rice bowl of India the state is famous for its rich mineral deposits, unexplored tourist circuits , dense forest cover with rich biodiversity habitat covering 80% of the state .It can boast of having 3 national parks,11 wild life sanctuaries and 30 plus significant waterfalls and abundant caves.

Unique in nature, its culture dates back to thousands of years. The exact history of the state cannot be outlined but it has been traced that lord Ram stayed here during his exile days and the region was refereed as Dakshin Kosala in the ancient times; the earliest clue from historical era is an Ashokan stone inscription of 257 BC

The tribal population makes up the majority of this region and its culture. And some of the oldest tribes still live in the region and each tribe have their own unique customs, traditions and lifestyle.

By promising sights and surprises almost enthralling, this comparatively new state of the Indian republic is finding its own identity .Raipur city is the only airport for the state which is an ideal point for travelers who can proceed on their journey to other destinations.
In this milieu the tourism sector has to be geared to establish a niche to project the state in the national scenario, thus picking up threads to create space in the international arena with an uncanny ability to create excellence.

Zonal Classification of the tourist attractions in the state

Zones Major Tourist Destinations Pilgrimage Wildlife Sanctuaries Archeology
Raipur 
any attractions in the historic city of Raipur
Gangrel Dam

hillai Steel Plant

aya Raipur

awardha Palace 

axman Mandir






irodpuri(Satnami sect)

r centre for Kabir Panthi Barnawapara Sirpur

 sect) anekra
Bilaspur 
adkudweep 
atanpur Achanak Marg Tala
 
any beautiful dams like Buka Bango,Khutaghat, Kota
 hivni Narayan

handrhasni temple at
 

 oal Mines oddess temple at Malhar
ower Plant 
emples at Pali and Chaiturgud(Korb a)
Bastar  Barsoor  

 Kutumb
sur caves
 Tirathg
arh and Chitrakoot Water falls
 Kanker

 anteshwari temple

emple in jagdalpur

 anger valley national park


Sarguja   
ainpat ahamaya ipadhi
 temple
oriya water falls

ailash caves


unkurri church

Source-Self compilation through different online materials

Life of the people-Socio cultural traditions2
One beautiful aspect which has been a part of the tribal is their love for music and dance. This also displays the deep
rooted cultural strength of the tribals. A recreational activity, music and dance makes up their daily lives. It is also a means used to entertain visitors and tourists or any tribal event. Number of tribal groups makes up this region, all with their unique customs, traditions and lifestyle.
Music which displays different tunes taking the tune of folk, classic and modern, dance has its features too. And with tribal dance, there are dozens in form. Some of the forms of tribal dance are Panthi, Pandwani, Rawat Nacha, Soowa Nacha and Karma. Musical instruments also play an

2 Booklet by Sampan Media pvt ltd for Chhattisgarh Tourism Board

important role in their dance and music. Mandar drum and the Jhanjh are two folk instruments.

Panthi and Padwani (a folk ballad) forms of dance are practiced by tribes of the Durg district. Padwani is a form of musical recital. Depending on the story, the leading character takes centre stage. Vedamati and Kapalik are two forms of style to present the Padwani dance. In Vedamati form, a narrator narrates while in Kapalik form, scenes from the selected story are enacted.

During festivals and special occasions, the Stananmi community sing and dance before their idol Jaitkham. The Yaduvanshis (clan of Yadu) practise the Rawat Nacha form of dance. In this form, the performance is in praise of Lord Krishna, on Dev Uthani Ekadashi, the eleventh day after Diwali.
Another famous form of theatre is Nacha. Popular as the Parrot Dance, the womenfolk dance circling a parrot placed in the middle. One can witness this dance in Bilaspur during the Rawat Nach Mahotsav folk dance festival. The tribes of Gonds, Baigas and Oraons practice the Karma form of dance. In this form of dance, men and women dance following the lead of a singer. With the end of rainy season and the beginning of spring season, the tribals practice this dance. The humorous skits of Nacha incorporate issues of social awareness.
Thus Chhattisgarh is blessed with many indigenous performing arts of unique dance style, melodious folk songs and colorful dance dramas. A visit to this beautiful place will only be complete when one can also experience the uniqueness of the region.
Folk Songs

As part of its rich cultural heritage, Chhattisgarh folk songs hold a prominent place in the state. Tribes like Gond, Kamar, Kanver,Korva perform all festivals and rituals with their folk songs.

Sohar Songs at the time of birth of a son.
Sua Songs-are very popular in the Bilaspur and Dantewada, Sung specially during Dussera and Diwali celebrations.
Khuduwa-Generally sung in native dialect and are part of every festival and celebration that takes place in the state.
Pathoni song is also integral, sung during gauna , an auspicious occasion that bids adieu to a newlywed wife.
Cher Chera song is a style that celebrates the growth of crops, closely
L associated with tribal lifestyle.
Danda Songs composed of simple and poetic expression and enchanting


a melodies reflects rich musical heritage of Chhattisgarh.

e most

widely used dialects are Surgujia ,Kalanga, Sadri Korwa, Baigani etc. whatever be the language or dialect the script is essentially Devnagari


Chhattisgarh nurtures some unique kind of handicrafts that are fundamental aspect of the state. The well known varieties are traditional bell metal, bamboo craft and craft items made of wood. chhatisgarh is also well known for the metal crafts, jewellery, and paintings. Amazing wood carvings, bamboo work/furniture, figures of terracotta, tribal jewellery and clay artifacts are some specialties of the place.

Bell Metal

Bastar and Raigarh districts of Chhatisgarh are popular for crafting bell metal handicrafts using brass and bronze. Tribes such as Ghadwas of Bastar and Jharas of Raigarh mainly practice this art form called Dokra. This is done with lost wax technique or hollow casting Dokra metal is perhaps the only living tradition of metal image making in eastern India. The technique has managed to survive many centuries and the change of dynasties owing to its modesty of application in everyday lives of traditional lives of traditional tribal people of Bastar, Chhattisgarh. The artifacts prepared from dokra technique use the Cow dung, paddy husk and the red soil in the preparation, beeswax being the most important one. Apart from contouring wax wires are also used for decoration purposes and for giving a finishing touch to artifacts.
Iron Craft

The ironsmiths or lohars of Kondagaon village in Bastar have been engaged in iron craft for generations together .The iron objects are made by hammering them into shape; they are not cast or molded. The hot iron is beaten repeatedly to the desired shape while the unnecessary portion is cut away and filed to remove the sharp edges.

Wood Carving

Over the years wood has been used for carving objects and other forms of carpentry. A tribe called Badhais is skilled in this craft. Traditional wood carving in Chhattisgarh is an ancient craft, the skills of which are passed

from generation to generation. The craftsmen are rich in experience and make products such as fixtures of houses, pillars, bows and arrows.

Clay Pottery and Terracotta

This art represents rituals and customs of tribal life in the state and symbolizes their emotions. Votive terracotta figures are found widely in the districts of Bastar, Sarguja.
This is the oldest form of art dating back to 7000Bc as the remains of this craft can be traced to Neolithic period.

Tumba Craft

This is specific of Bastar region , where hollow gourd shells as containers are used by the tribals to store water and salfi.This art form is unique as different lamp shades and exquisite hanging have found expression in this art form


The well known craftsmen Kamars of Raipur use bamboo in the construction of houses and fences as well as for making bows and arrows
,hunting tools, fish and bird traps. Narayanpur district is acclaimed to have state of the art machinery and artisans working in bamboo under National Bamboo Mission.


Traditional wall painting of the state is associated with rituals .Floors and walls are painted with colours and in almost every instance the depiction being associated with some ritual. These painting originated in the tribal area of the central India which is presently in Madhya Pradesh, Paintings are occasion based and done during child birth, marriages etc.


For the tribals of this place, tattoo lauds for social importance and is done all over the body .This is done at early age of seven and done till the time of marriage. Tatoo are considered as social security codes which remain with women at the time of death when all the ornaments are removed.
Tribal Jewellery and Costumes
Simple yet maverick the jewellery symbolizes a way of life among these rural folks. Intricately made of beads (bones, seeds, woods) worn as laces, ropes, fillets and collars. Jewellery in Chhattisgarh is crafted in gold , silver
,bronze and mixed metal. Tribal men and women both wear these customary ornaments .Iron, brass and copper wires are worn into armlets, gold is mainly worn in the ear, nose and neck too. Silver worn on the neck as a hoop on the legs as a square-bar anklet. These ornaments can be purchased from local hats or bazaars across Bastar area.
The costumes are a display of vibrant colors mainly in linen, silk and cotton fabrics .The technique of fabric making is essentially from Madhya Pradesh

which mainly comprises of batik, tie-dye etc. the costumes worn here are like other parts of India, use of color is however central to their attire.

Thus the social customs and ways of life of the people of the state speaks volumes of its priceless tradition and moorings revelation to its maverick history and illustrious heritage ,This can be the real USP for the state if marketed and branded as a invaluable souvenir of Indian Civilization.

Tourism in Chhattisgarh –Present Scenario

The data below is compiled from various sources indicating the inflow of tourists in the state, both Domestic and foreign which gives some indication of the present status of the tourism sector for the state.
Growth in total number of tourists visiting Chhattisgarh (2008-14)

Tourist Visits
(in Lakhs) 2008 2009 2010
Domestic Tourists 4.43 5.12 5.66
Foreign Tourist 0.01 0.01 0.02

Source-India Tourism Statistics, Ministry of Tourism, New Delhi

Compared to average growth rate of 12.5 %, the number of tourists in Chhattisgarh has grown by CAGR of 14.35% during the 2011-2014 period.
The number of tourists, both foreign and national has increased over the period from 143 lakhs to 244 lakhs. This trend is quite encouraging and has shown a positive reaction in response to the incentives offered by state government. However we still need to orient our tourism efforts in a professional manner under various new incentives

Tourist profile of Chhattisgarh

The tourists visiting Chhattisgarh are mainly domestic tourists visiting the state. The foreign tourist consist only a tiny miniscule of the total as depicted below. This shows that we really need to have a head on strategy across the globe through serious push factors and creating a credible brand across the continents. This can be done as through the suggestions mentioned in the chapter way forward.

The growth in domestic tourists has been gradual over the period 2011 to 2015 , with the growth coming at a sustained CAGR of 14.35%.

The growth in International tourists has seen ups and downs and the growth from 2011- 2014 averages to a CAGR of 18.2% with a noticeable drop in 2013 and a 100% jump in 2014.

Plan outlays by state Government (2002-17)

Seasonality of Tourists3
Weather condition in Chhattisgarh is one of the major determinants of tourist arrival. Ministry of Tourism, Government of India study shows that in case of Domestic Tourists; peak months during 2011-12 for overnight and same day tourist visits were March (6195651), February (6098538) and September (4448552). Overall, lowest arrivals of domestic tourists were measured during the months of May and June. In case of Foreign Tourists; the survey findings suggest that peak months for overnight and same day tourist visits were October (812), November (559) and September (543).

3 Sample survey report by Ministry of Tourism-GOI(2001-12)

Overall, lowest arrivals of foreign tourists were measured during the months of July and January.

Distribution of state wise domestic tourists

Ministry of Tourism, Government of India study shows that Domestic tourists in the state of Chhattisgarh. The survey findings suggests that contribution of Maharashtra state was highest (16.9%) in contribution of domestic tourists for the state of Chhattisgarh, followed by Madhya Pradesh (16.7%), West Bengal (13.9%), Orissa (12.1%), Gujarat (11.3%) and Rajasthan (7.3%). On the other hand, the contribution of Jammu Kashmir in domestic tourists for the state of Chhattisgarh was only 2.1%.

Top locations of Domestic and Foreign tourist(2011-12)

Rank Domestic Tourist Foreign Tourist
1 Mtribag Bhillai Jal papaat,Chitrakoot
2 Kananpandari ,Bilaspu Bhoramdev Mandir,Kavardha
3 Bambleshwari,ajnandgaon Laxman Mandir, Baudh
avadh swastika vihar
4 Mahamaya,Bilasur Hill station baudh temple,mainpat
5 Danteshwari temple, Dantewada Vanyapanti,Achanakmarg
6 ShvrinarayaniTemple,Janjgir Jalkrida,Gangrel
7 Tirthgarh Water fall,Bastar Jalpapaat,goofaqasdi
8 Rajiv Lochan Mandi,Raipur Danteshwari temple, Dantewada
9 Chitakoot,Bastar Ispat Karkhana,Maitribag
10 Laxman Mandir,Sirpur,Raipur Thermal Power Plant,Balco korba
Source-Ministry of Tourism-(2011-12) based on sample study done

Assessment of Chhattisgarh vis a vis other states

In terms of market share (market share being defined as total number of Tourists visiting a state as a percentage of total tourists in the country ), the top 8 states in the country are as depicted in the table below.
The top 6 states combined receive over 70 percent of the tourists visiting different states/UTs in India.
The market share of tourist in Chhattisgarh is not ascertained presently but is still meager as compared to other top performing states.
Growing at 36 percent, the rate of growth in the number of Tourists is highest for Madhya Pradesh, closely followed by Maharashtra at 30 percent. The rate of tourism growth in these 2 states is significantly higher than the other states present in the top 8, with Tamil Nadu having the next base tourism growth of CAGR 18%.

Source-India Tourism Statistic (

Evolution of ranking of states during 2007-10
The table below clearly indicates tourist preference being Andhra Pradesh from 2007-10 followed by Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In the top 5 states three are from South India clearly defining tourist preference is going towards Southern India.

Following tables indicates 8 most preferred locations during the 2007-10

Source-India tourism

While the above data clearly spells the preference of Domestic tourists and the overall market trend a SWOT analysis of the state as depicted in the flow chart below will evidently focus on the existing potential while bridging the weakness, intensification of the opportunities and exterminating the threats.


Way Forward

By focusing on quality tourism, the State Government should essentially focus on promoting sustainable development of tourism and encouraging the private sectors to develop tourism related infrastructure and services without disturbing the ecology and environment.

The role of private sector is crucial in this venture and has to act as a catalyst to provide activities and impart dynamism & speed to the process of development as well as conservation. Both the Government and Private sector would be required to safeguard the stability and also the social and economic advancement of the local communities and other issues related to it. Conducive environment for public and private sectors collaboration and investments through facilitation, concessions and incentives and other policy related interventions is the need of the hour.

The deep‐rooted symbiotic relationship of tourism culture, traditions, Heritage, natural resources, environment, wildlife & ecology must be fully accepted and provided for improvement and up gradation.

Forward and backward linkages must be established and created for an effective and close relationship between various departments and agencies such as Home, Police, Forest, Environment & wildlife, Transport,roads, Culture, Rural Management & Development, Urban Development.

The real challenge lies in establishing and strengthening the institution of Network of Stakeholders (INS) which is Government led, private sector driven and community welfare oriented. Government should provide a legislative framework to regulate Tourism Trade and Industry by ensuring safety &security of tourists; providing basic infrastructure and health
care facilities of incentives, concessions and conveniences to be provided by the Government.

Creating a positive brand image.
This needs to be done at a urgent pace as the media report projects the state as a naxal and extremist affected region, thus creating a fear psychosis in the minds of the common citizenry

Creating Tourist hubs or zones for Tourism-
This will enable tourist to identify the areas catering to the specific needs of the tourists like Wildlife or archeological interest or simple religion specific tourism. Tourism promotional council can cater to these explicit interests.

Investment in Infrastructure
This essentially can be done through bringing private players in the process and creating more scope of investment by essentially building on a PPP model to develop tourist circuits. This will ensure professionalism and develop tourism at a much faster pace.

365 day tourism circuit a concept of FICCI to promote tourism in India can be showcased for the state by developing a tourism calendar

projecting various opportunities at pilgrimage centres during festivals, Wild life tourism at appropriate seasons, Archeology etc

Wellness Tourism

As the state is uniquely positioned to cater to Herbal and Ayurveda bestowed with her natural resources, pollution free, green and eco‐friendly state, the Wellness tourism can be promoted in its totality with a promising potential to help tourist indulge in a life of serenity away from the hustle bustle of urban living.

Eco Tourism
Greater emphasis will be laid on eco‐tourism whose parameters will be broader than those of nature tourism alone. It must help in elimination of poverty, ending unemployment, creating new skills, enhancing the status of women, preserving cultural heritage, encouraging tribal and local crafts and in improving overall environment and facilitating growth of a sound and fair social order. A new class of tourists with marked preferences for adventure, distant destinations, caves, forests, wildlife, lakes, nature lovers, educational, research, etc. is emerging. This class is not looking for luxury accommodations but only for simple and clean places to stay. For this the Premium destinations for country side stay, home stay and camping sites will be encouraged and promoted

Special thrust will be imparted to Village/Rural tourism, Home Stay and tourism in small settlements, where sizeable assets of our cultural and natural wealth exist. Responsible Tourism aimed at involving local

community in the development and management of tourist’s destinations will be the base.

Below are two states of India whose tourism model can be imitated striking a balance to create an approach both attainable and sustainable picking up threads of excellence from them.

Case Study Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh has emerged as a respectable hub bagging several awards thereby setting an example of the emerging tourism trend in the state. The state has bagged several tourism awards from Ministry of Tourism Government of India and has created an edge for herself in the market. Chhattisgarh state is former Madhya Pradesh and we have all the more reasons to develop this state like her sister to harness the existing potential beyond leaps and bounds. Immaculate development and farsightedness has lead to emergence of Madhya Pradesh as a proper tourist hub due to some of the strategies deployed as under
Marketing –A professional agency was hired to create a tourism friendly image across India and the world
 Identifying new Sites and developing it to the maximum has helped the state leverage and show case herself in a spectacular manner.
 International Investments by creating an environment for worldwide players to play a significant role and leverage on the potential. To

boost 17 tourist spots MP government has invested 12.2 million US dollars recently
 Converting forts into heritage hotels-This has essentially attracted the foreign tourist and given them the feel of India through its glorious times. They have also created a land bank of 500 hectares and invited private players to develop this zone for tourists.
 Regular meeting with various tourism stake holders to create awareness and tie ups for further collaboration in the sector
 African model to boost and create wild life tourism out of their degenerated forests
 Launch of Air taxi service across different districts making the travel highly convenient. The air travel will be offered to 9 cities within the state and 3 cities in neighboring states which are popular tourist destinations

Case Study Kerala

Kerala Tourism is having a global presence and with its clear strategy for growth sheer marketing activities, it has gained a lot of tourist from all over the world, especially from UK, USA, France and Australia.

Let us see how Kerala is pitching to Foreign and Domestic tourists.

The Mission and Vision of Kerala Tourism is to position itself as a global destination for tourism which, based on the advantage of the local resources, thereby attracting investment and resulting into sustainable development for the people of Kerala.

Framework of Kerala Tourism- This framework below is as per the National Tourism policy for Kerala State on which the whole strategy is formulated. The implementation of this framework lead to tourism development and the feedback received from domestic and international tourist were that they wanted to revisit the state and what Kerala has done is that it has made tourism a sustainable business venture and developed on a positioning strategy with proper Tourism Marketing Communication Mix.

The USP of Kerala lies in its Backwater Tourism, Ayurveda and Spa, Houseboats Tour, Temples, Islands and Tea Gardens. The favorite month for the tourist is between November to January. The STP for Kerala could be defined as

Segment-SEC A,B, and C, Age Group between 20-59, Mostly People into Service, Industrialist and Self Employed.
Target-More of Corporate and Every class of the Society

Positioning-MICE tourism (Meetings Incentives Conventions and Exhibition) combined with Eco tourism for Business tourism, Eco and Heritage tourism internationally and domestically for non business tourism.
Tourism Segmented by four objectives – Based on the above segmentation Kerala has the following segment various tourist package as

Kerala thus being an example of sustainable tourism has adopted a 360 degree approach harping its advantages and creating an edge for herself in all aspects by caterings to masses beyond their expectations and achieving a surprise element in its deliverables.

bottom of page