Potential of Khanh Hoa - India cultural and spiritual tourism

Thursday, 30/06/2022, 12:40 [GMT+7]

Potential of Khanh Hoa - India cultural and spiritual tourism

Khanh Hoa Province has recently coordinated with the Consulate General of India in Ho Chi Minh City to held the seminar "Promoting values of cultural and spiritual tourism in Khanh Hoa in cooperation with India". At the seminar, the attendees highlighted the potential and strengths and proposed solutions to promote this meaningful activity.
 
Many similarities
 
According to Le Van Hoa, deputy director of Khanh Hoa Provincial Department of Culture and Sports, Khanh Hoa has the potential of rich and diverse spiritual and cultural heritages, which are divided into mountain and forest culture, plain culture, and sea and island culture. Many of the momentums in Khanh Hoa are associated with the legend of Thien Y A Na Holy Mother. Ponagar Temple is a cultural and spiritual tourism product that attracts a large number of domestic and international tourists to visit and do worship. This place clearly shows the exchange between Cham culture and Vietnamese culture.
 
The other monuments associated with the worship of Thien Y A Na Holy Mother in Khanh Hoa are Am Chua and Suoi Do. Buddhism was introduced into Khanh Hoa in the second half of the 17th century. Currently, the province has more than 170,980 followers of Buddhism, 398 temples and many other Buddhist places of worship.
 
 
Cham dance at Ponagar Temple
Cham dance at Ponagar Temple
 
The similarities in beliefs and religions of Khanh Hoa people with Indian people are the basis for creating products of spiritual cultural tourism, for example pilgrimage tourism, of the two sides. Khanh Hoa has many spiritual cultural heritages. Among them is Ponagar Temple which has been greatly influenced by Hindu culture. This is shown through the statues of the gods Umar (Ponagar), Shiva, Ganesha, and Skandha. Every year, Cham and Kinh people from different places pilgrimage to Nha Trang to attend Ponagar Temple Festival.
 
Promoting religious tourism
 
The land of Kauthara (now Khanh Hoa) was greatly influenced by Indian culture during its historical process, which will facilitate the cooperation between Nha Trang-Khanh Hoa and India to create spiritual cultural tourism. According to some attendees at the seminar, in order to promote the values of cultural heritages and develop Khanh Hoa-India spiritual tourism, it is necessary to first pay attention to honoring and inheriting the values of traditional culture; raising awareness about protecting and preserving the values of the nation’s unique cultural heritages; and creating community cohesion and widely introducing the cultural heritages and spiritual tourism to domestic and international tourists.
 
As said by Vikram Trivedi, managing director of My Tour Box Services Pvt. Ltd. (India), spiritual tourism has received a lot of attention of the Indian Government. More and more Indian tourism businesses are launching unique and attractive products of this type of tourism. They are not only organizing spiritual tours across India for domestic and foreign tourists but also creating tours taking tourists from India to countries with similar religious beliefs. Nha Trang-Khanh Hoa with its advantages can become a destination of spiritual cultural tourism.
 
Madan Mohan Sethi, Consul General of India in Ho Chi Minh City hopes that the cooperation in developing spiritual cultural tourism between Khanh Hoa and India will help to expand this cooperation between India and Vietnam. It is necessary that the two sides come up with ideas and connect Vietnamese and Indian tourism businesses. Four hours by flight from Khanh Hoa to India are not so long for pilgrimage tours between the two sides. In the time to come, India will promote Nha Trang-Khanh Hoa as a tourism destination to Indian people.
 
According to Pranay Verma, Indian Ambassador to Vietnam, Khanh Hoa is one of the localities that India has chosen to prioritize tourism cooperation in the near future. In order to enhance connection and cooperation in tourism effectively, the Indian Ambassador to Vietnam hopes that the province will pay intention to cooperation in building tourism facilities and creating programs to connect destinations of spiritual and cultural tourism, especially Buddhist cultural tourism, Champa cultural tourism, health tourism, etc.
In recent years, Nha Trang-Khanh Hoa has made new strides in promoting the values of cultural heritages in spiritual tourism activities. It is essential to look for potential tourist markets and create sustainable tourism products in order to help the economy recover after Covid-19 pandemic. The cooperation in spiritual cultural tourism between Khanh Hoa and India will bring new hopes to the tourism of Nha Trang-Khanh Hoa.
 
Giang Dinh
Translated by H.N