Forget Tomatina festival, enjoy our own Chikhal Kalo

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Marcel: Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte on Wednesday said that the perception of Goa as being only Sun, Sea and Sand destination needs to be changed by promoting spiritual tourism.

He said that the state government is working on Spiritual Tourism and Wellness Tourism policies in the state to give much boost to these sectors. Khaunte said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative of Dekho Apna Desh will help to boost these sectors in the coastal state.

Khaunte was addressing after inaugurating three-day-long event to mark the traditional Chikhal Kalo festival at Marcel village in North Goa on Wednesday.

“Goa is known only for the western life, night life and party life. That is being projected as culture of Goa. We need to change the perception,” the minister said.

Khaunte said that post COVID-19 pandemic, the spirituality quotient has increased and people are looking at spiritual and wellness tourism in a big way.

The minister said that Goa is looking at sustainable and responsible tourism. “ We have to change the perception of tourism that does not restrict us to sun sand and sea and going beyond that we should be focusing on Dakshin kashi. Our temples should be promoted,” he added.

Khaunte said that the history behind these temples and contributions like that by Kings like   Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj needs to be told to the world.

“There is a history behind all these temples. We need to make people aware about it,” he said.

The minister said that the connectivity from Goa has increased significantly with the new initiatives like introduction of Vande Bharat train and also new Airport at Mopa which connects to various destinations like Dehradun, Nasik and others.

He said that the traditional festivals of Goa like Chikhal Kalo and Sao Joao need to be promoted

“ We go to play Tomatina festival in spain. But back home we are not highlighting the chikal kalo, which is a festival of mud,” he said.

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