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“Be the change you want to see in the world!” Mahatma Gandhi :

“Be the change you want to see in the world!” Mahatma Gandhi 1. Introduction India. So many faces, so many fates, but one soul – the soul of India is one! “India is not the earth, rivers and mountains of this land, neither is it a collective name for the inhabitants of its country. India is a living being, as much living as, say, Shiva. India is a goddess as Shiva is a god. If she likes, she can manifest in human forms.” The Mother ( Mirra Alfassa , “India and Her Destiny”). 20 April 2018 2


Europeans and Bulgarians who have been in India find it very different from Europe and it is indeed but this is on the surface. Intercultural communication between both is on different levels if we talk about everyday human habits and behavior but what brings them together is HUMANITY. Similarly to all European countries, India had raised the cult to humanity as the most precious essence of human life. 20 April 2018 3


1.1. Subject of the study: Cultural tourism in India The main focus of the current research is the cultural tourism in India. In this study I try to reveal some of the different faces of India and present a part of the living spirit of this enormous, colourful and ancient country. Other main purposes of this thesis are also to present the different offers for excursions from Bulgaria to India – what kind of tours could be found on the travel agencies’ markets, what kinds of destinations, what kind of tourism. This research could be useful for the Bulgarian tourists’ agencies and it is a fascinating tour through the incredible India. 20 April 2018 4


Going back to the subject of study, here I set the following objectives: • To provide an overview of the geography and nature of India in a brief presentation; • To give a review of Indian culture and heritage; holidays; languages; habits and food; • To review the literature available on the tourist destinations, such as Delhi, Agra, Jaipur – in North India; Chennai, Pondicherry ( Puducherry ), Auroville - in South India. • To compare and contrast tentative travel routes to the above mentioned destinations. 20 April 2018 5


1.2. Methodology The main methods of research used here are content analysis and contrastive analysis. I reviewed lots of the literature available on the topics of cultural tourism in India, geography and nature, holidays, etc. I extracted the issues relevant for the current thesis from books, magazines and papers published on the subject. Different holiday destinations in India are presented in this study, as well as the research and comparison of the information on the excursions from Bulgaria to India and sample tours based on the existing offers from a large number of tour operators. 20 April 2018 6


Tourist information about India “If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India!” – Romaine Rolland 20 April 2018 7 India – a land of infinite variety


2.1. Cultural tourism In 2002, the International Council on Monuments and Sites published an official definition for cultural tourism: “Cultural or cultural-cognitive tourism is actually this form of tourism, which focuses on the cultural environment, which in turn may include cultural and historical attractions of a destination or cultural heritage, values and lifestyle of the local people, art, crafts, traditions and customs of the local population. Moreover, cultural and cognitive routes may be extended by visits or participation in cultural events, visits to museums, concerts, exhibitions, galleries and more ”. 20 April 2018 8


2.2. India today The capital of the Republic of India is Delhi. The country is divided into 28 states and each state has its own official language. English is the official language of India as well as Hindi . 20 April 2018 9 Official name: Republic of India Capital: Delhi Population: 1,173,108, 018


2.3. The geography and nature of India In geographical terms this enormous country is the seventh-largest country in the world. India is proud with its contrasting landscapes – high mountains and low river plains, deserts and tropical jungles – and a diversity of animals and plants that match the diversity of the people. Visitors of India are immediately fascinated by the colours , sound and smell that are specific for India. 20 April 2018 10 Beautiful mountains of Himachal Pradesh


Some of the most spectacular natural places in India that are mentioned in the tour offers of some Bulgarian travel agencies are : Mangrove forests; The Banyan Tree; Mimosa pudica (Touch me not plant ). 20 April 2018 11


2.4. Indian culture India is remarkable for its diversity - both cultural and geographical. Every single ethnic group has got its own language and culture. The separate histories of these groups are interwoven in a puzzle that depicts the origin of some of the world’s major religions – such as Buddhism and Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. This diversity of cultures and religions is reflected in the vibrancy and colour of Indian music, dance, and festivals, and in the architectural styles of the Indians majestic palaces and temples. 20 April 2018 12


Indian heritage. Festivals and holidays in India Holi ; Elephant Festival in Jaipur (Rajasthan state ); Diwali ("festival of lights ”). 20 April 2018 13


Food and beverage “You are what you eat,” especially in India, where food is considered as sacred as the human body. 20 April 2018 14 Thali Naan Dosa Mysore Pak Masala Tea


Human relationships and languages in India 20 April 2018 15


The most popular tourist destinations in India: North India - Delhi, Agra, Jaipur (Golden triangle); South India - Chennai, Pondicherry ( Puducherry ), Auroville 3.1. North India - Golden Triangle : Delhi , Agra and Jaipur Delhi 20 April 2018 16 Jantar Mantar Qutub Minar Jama Masjid The Parliament of India India Gate Red Ford


3.1. North India - Golden Triangle: Delhi , Agra and Jaipur Agra 20 April 2018 17 Taj Mahal


3.1. North India - Golden Triangle: Delhi , Agra and Jaipur Jaipur 20 April 2018 18 City Palace Hawa Mahal (" Palace of the Breeze") Amer Fort


3.2 . South India – Chennai, Pondicherry and Auroville Chennai 20 April 2018 19 Mamallapuram ( Mahabalipuram ) Saraswathi Mahal Library


3.2 . South India – Chennai, Pondicherry and Auroville Pondicherry 20 April 2018 20 French Quarter in Ponducherry


3.2 . South India – Chennai, Pondicherry and Auroville Auroville 20 April 2018 21 Sri Aurobindo Ashram Matrimandir


4. Sample Tours from Bulgaria to India In Bulgaria there are so many tourist agencies offering different types of holidays and tours to India. Ten of the most interesting offers, in my opinion, I present here. First, I propose tourist offers and information. They have the following structure : Number of the tourist offer Website Name of the tour according to the travel agency Schedule Details: Tour Style: group; duration of the tour – short or long Duration: number of days Highlights: visited cities Departure point: Sofia airport Schedule Details day by day – 1st day; 2nd day…etc. Price per person in double room Minimum number of tourists for the trip The includes also: tickets; nights; breakfast – dinner; medical insurance 20 April 2018 22


20 April 2018 23 № Name of Bulgarian travel agency Name of the tour Dura tion in days Number of the visited cities Cities in India included in the tourist offer UNESCO objects included in the tourist offers Minimum number of tourists Price per person in a double room in EURO Number of the nights; breakfasts and dinners 1 ‘Top Travel’ ‘Golden Triangle’ + Bulgarian Guide 7 4 Delhi – Jaipur - Fatehpur Sikri – Agra   Fatehpur Sikri Taj Mahal 20 1035 + 260 for single room 5* hotels 5 nights 5 breakfasts 5 dinners 2 ‘Glamour and joy’ ‘South India and the Library of palm leaves!’ + local English speaking guide + morning yoga meditation +spiritual interpreter in Bulgarian 12 11 Chennai - Tanzhor - Trichy - Kumbakonam - Chidambaram - Pondicherry - Tiruvanamalay - Mahabalipuram - Chengalpatu - Kanchipuram - Tirupati Mahabalipuram 15 1999 + 363 for single room 10 nights 10 breakfasts 10 dinners 3 ‘ Mondel Travel’ ‘India – myths, religions, mysticism’ 10 9 Delhi - Varanasi - Sarnath - Jaipur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra - Jhansi - Khajuraho - Orchha Qutub Minar Fatehpur Sikri Taj Mahal 15 1270 + 270 8 nights 4* hotels 7 breakfasts 8 dinners 4 ‘Dream Holidays’ ‘Trip to India – special offer’ + Bulgarian guide 7 4 Delhi - Jaipur - Fatefpur Sikri – Agra Qutub Minar Agra Fort Fatehpur Sikri Taj Mahal Jantar Mantar, Jaipur 20 649 6 nights 4* hotels 6 breakfasts 6 dinners 5 ‘ Bulcard Travel’ ‘India- classic round trip’ + Bulgarian guide 10 7 Delhi – Jaipur - Agra - Gwalior - Orchha – Khajuraho – Varanasi   Qutub Minar Humayun's tomb Taj Mahal Jantar Mantar, Jaipur 20 1348 for less than 10 tourists – 1560 without BG guide 7 nights 3nights in4*hotels 4nights in3*hotels 7 breakfasts 8 diners 5.Comparison and analysis of the sample tours from Bulgaria to India


20 April 2018 24 № Name of Bulgarian travel agency Name of the tour Dura tion in days Number of the visited cities Cities in India included in the tourist offer UNESCO objects included in the tourist offers Minimum number of tourists Price per person in a double room in EURO Number of the nights; breakfasts and dinners 6 ‘Sofia Luxury Travel’ ‘India - charming and mysterious Golden Triangle’ + Bulgarian Guide 7 4 Delhi – Jaipur - Fatuhpur Sikri - Agra   Qutub Minar Humayun's tomb Agra Fort Fatehpur Sikri Taj Mahal 15 989 5 nights 5* hotels 5 breakfasts 4 dinners 7 ‘Marbro Tours’ ‘India - Golden triangle’ + Bulgarian Guide 8 3 Delhi, Agra, Jaipur   Taj Mahal 15 1042 6 nights 6 breakfasts 6 diners 8 ‘Nicona Travel’ ‘India: Golden Triangle, Udaipur and Mumbai’ + Bulgarian Guide 10 8 Delhi – Agra - Fatepur Sikri – Jaipur - Adzhmer – Pushkar – Udaipur – Mumbai Humayun's tomb Agra Fort Taj Mahal Jantar Mantar , Jaipur 16 1652 9 nights in 4* and 5*hotels 9 breakfasts 9 diners 9 ‘Holiday Delux’ ‘India -Golden triangle’ + Bulgarian Guide 8 3 Delhi, Agra, Jaipur   Fatehpur Sikri Taj Mahal Jantar Mantar , Jaipur 20 1048 6 nights 6 breakfasts 6 diners 10 ‘Active Travel’ ‘India -Golden triangle’ + Bulgarian Guide 7 4 Delhi – Jaipur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra Fatehpur Sikri Taj Mahal Jantar Mantar , Jaipur 20 1035 5 nights 5 breakfasts 5 diners


According to the given information in the table, I did the following comparative analysis and conclusions: 1. According to all mentioned offers about India, the suggested tours are long term. This is because of the big geographical distance – when the tourists travel from one continent to another it isn’t worth to spend time less than 7 days. Of course, to meet the particular clients’ desire, some tour agencies offer ten-day tours, and the longest period mentioned in the presented offers is twelve days. 2. The most important and intriguing issue in a tourist offer are the destinations included in it. According to that point, the most popular destinations can be divided into two main parts: North India and the world famous destination – the Golden Triangle – Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, and the South India with its great number of remarkable picturesque cities – Chennai, Pondicherry, Auroville , Mysore etc. The only offer from South India is the romantic tour №2 “South India and the Library of palm leaves!”, which is proposed by the travel agency “Glamour and joy”. They include also morning yoga and meditation. 3. Between many tour offers about the Golden Triangle, some impress with the added interesting destinations. For example, the offer №4, organized by “Dream Holidays” and called “Trip to India – special offer” includes a short trip in Istanbul on the way back to Bulgaria and this is because their offer is organized by using Turkish Airlines services. The other attractive tour to the Golden Triangle is offered by (№8 in the list) “ Nicona Travel” and has the name: “India: Golden Triangle, Udaipur and Mumbai”. 4. Nine out of ten tour agencies offer Bulgarian guide during the travelling; only one did not mention that. 20 April 2018 25


5. In all offers the expanses for the tourist’s visa are not included – each tourist has to prepare 100 levs (approximately 50 Euro) for this. Personal expenses - food, drinks and services that are not specified in the program, are not included in the final price. 6. Five of the offers require minimum 15-16 tourists to carry out the excursion, while the other five require minimum 20 tourists. 7. After destinations, the future tourist is looking at the suggested price per person for a double room. The prices vary as the following: There are four offers for seven-day tours to India and the offered price is between 649 euro (the lowest offered price in the list by “Dream Holidays”- offer №4) and 1035euro (offered by №1, “Top Travel” and №10, “Active Travel”). There are two offers for eight-day tours and the price is almost one and the same: from 1042 euro (№7, “ Marbro Tours”) and 1048 euro (№9, “Holiday Delux ”). There are three offers including ten days in their schedule and their price starts from 1270 euro (№3, “ Mondel Travel”) and 1652 euro ((№8, “ Nicona Travel”). The only twelve-day tour in the researched list requires 1999 euro per person for a double room and this is the offer №2 “Glamour and joy”. 8. Many of the travel agencies include folklore program or visiting popular festivals in their price list to attract the tourists. One of these agencies is “Top Travel”, which includes folklore program at Narayan Niwas Palace. 9. Nine out of ten travel agencies include flight services with Qatar Airways in their offers. Just one offers a flight with Turkish Airlines. All tours offer traveling to India from Sofia to Doha and after that Doha – Delhi with the approximate duration of one day. 26


10 . The next criterion for comparison is the number of cities included in the offers. Offers with less number of included cities: three cities – “ Marbro Tours”(offer №7) and “Holiday Delux ” (offer №9) and the cities are Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. Offers with large number of included cities: eleven cities – “Glamour and joy” (offer №2) and the cities are: Chennai, Tanzhor , Trichy , Kumbakonam , Chidambaram, Pondicherry, Tiruvanamalay , Mahabalipuram , Chengalpatu , Kanchipuram and Tirupati . The most often mentioned cities are: Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri . The least often referred to cities are: Mumbai, Chennai, Ponducherry , Varanasi ect . 11. Another criterion for comparison is according to the hotels’ category: Combination of 3* and 4* hotels in a double room is offered by offer №5 – “ Bulcard Travel ”. Combination of 4* and 5* hotels in a double room is offered by offer №8 – “ Nicona Travel ”. 4 * hotels are only offered by “ Mondel Travel” (offer №3) and “Dream Holidays” ( offer № 4) 5 * hotels are only offered by “Top Travel” (№6) and “Sofia Luxury Travel” (№6). 12. The last criterion is according to the mentioned tourist sites included in the UNECSO list (UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization): All tours suggest visiting of popular sites included in the UNESCO list; The most offered sites are: Taj Mahal ; Fatehpur Sikri ; Mahabalipuram ; Qutub Minar ; Agra Fort; Jantar Mantar in Jaipur; Humayun's tomb . 20 April 2018 27


6. Future tourism from Bulgaria to India during the 21st century - Yoga tourism “ India ... colorful ... mystical and welcoming. Time and space stretch and fold ... the gaps are filled with acceptance ....” Nina Ivanova , Bulgarian tourist of India, spent more than 20 days in ashram. 20 April 2018 28 During the recent years something that became very popular in Bulgaria is the so called “yoga tourism”. Many Bulgarians live a busy life full of pressure and stress that is the reason to visit centers for hatha yoga (physical exercises). This is a natural way to get relaxed and rebuild their mood, condition and health. Yoga instructors want to improve themselves professionally. Some of them stay in India in an ashram - they spend time to practice yoga, relaxation techniques and meditation after that they receive a name in Sanskrit, they are devoted.


There are many descriptions about what yoga is. According to Hristo Iliev , a Bulgarian yoga instructor, who said in the end of his talk at the Annual Bulgarian Summer Yoga Camp, 27.08 – 03.09.2016 in Kranevo , Bulgaria: “What is the aim of yoga? From carbon is made the graphite (black lead), from carbon is made also the diamond – the difference is only in their crystal lattice. So, the aim of yoga is this: from a human being to transform yourself in a Human! From a graphite to transform yourself into a diamond!”. 20 April 2018 29 Bulgarian Yoga Instructors in Indian Ashram of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, 2015 Hristo Iliev , Annual Bulgarian Summer Yoga Camp, 27.08 – 03.09.2016, Kranevo , Bulgaria


Conclusion – the different faces of India I was inspired to start this research by my own incredible ten-day journey to India in April 2015. My husband and I were invited by our family friends – native Indians. Our journey reminded a child’s play – it was planned but not in details and this was the secret of revealing to us the real vivid spirit of India. Being a student of English Philology at Shumen University, this unique journey helped me reach the idea of writing this research. The intriguing title of this paper, “The different faces of India” was offered to me by my supervisor, associate professor Svetlana Nedelcheva , PhD. At the beginning I started my research with the words about HUMANITY – the most important and essential part of our lives. Humanity – the most precious human treasure – is a natural part of the way of living in Europe, but it has specific power in India, too! The authors of the book “Nobody walks away from India forever” Rumyana Nikolova and Nikolay Genov say: “In our journey to India - a country of miracles, we managed to touch not only the history, culture, religion, exotic, but also the people. And from our point of view - it is the most exciting experience!” 20 April 2018 30


“India - an incredible adventure awaits you !” 20 April 2018 31

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