Centre plans Khajuraho as convention destination

Spread over 14,880 sq ft, the convention centre could serve as a place to host meetings, conferences and corporate banquets
Last Updated 29 March 2021, 17:49 IST

Known for its exquisite temples dating back to the 11th century, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh is top on the Centre’s charts for development as a destination for international conventions and exhibitions.

The meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) hotspots in the country are located in the national capital region, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Goa, Bengaluru with destinations such as Agra, Pune, Ahmedabad vying to join the coveted list.

“For MICE tourism, we need a good convention centre, sight-seeing opportunities so that participants can go back happy with good memories. In Khajuraho, we have it all,” Shiv Shekhar Shukla, Principal Secretary (Tourism), Madhya Pradesh government said.

Last week, Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurated the Maharaja Chhatrasal Convention Centre in Khajuraho built under the ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme to turn the town, known mostly for the erotic art some of the temple walls, into a destination for meetings and conferences.

Spread over 14,880 sq ft, the convention centre could serve as a place to host meetings, conferences and corporate banquets – both large and small groups with visits to the group of temples and the Panna Tiger Reserve nearby.

“We need to coordinate with the Archeological Survey of India to have special visiting hours for the participants of such conferences that could be in sync with their programme schedule,” Amaresh Tiwari, Vice Chairman of the India Convention Promotion Bureau said.

He said the global share of the MICE tourism market was to the tune of $745 billion with India having a minuscule 1% toe-hold.

Of the total MICE events over the world, 53% take place in Europe and 23% in the Asia-Pacific region. Among the Asia-Pacific countries, Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Sri Lanka have emerged as popular MICE destinations.

Tiwari said besides special timings for visits to and activities at ancient monuments, he expected the government to facilitate group bookings on trains or booking of entire trains for ferrying delegates to nearby tourist spots.

Built between 950-1050 AD by the Chandela Dynasty, the Khajuraho temples depict various forms such as meditation, spiritual teachings, kinship, wrestling, royalty and most significantly, erotic art.

The temples consist of stunning displays of fine sculptures and exceptional architectural skill, making them one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.

The temples were built over a period of 100 years and it is believed that each Chandela ruler commissioned at least one temple in the complex during his lifetime.

(Published 29 March 2021, 17:49 IST)

Follow us on