The Union government has recognised Pembarthi in the Jangaon district and Chandlapur in the Siddipet district as the best rural tourism villages in Telangana.
These villages will be conferred the recognition on the occasion of World Tourism Day on Wednesday, 27 September, at an event in Delhi.
This is not the first such honour for Telangana: As a part of a Central government initiative, Bhoodan Pochampally was in November 2021 recognised as the “Best Tourist Village” by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
The Central Nodal Agency for Rural Tourism under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Tourism launched the Best Tourism Village Competition for villages committed to promoting and preserving their cultural heritage and sustainable development through tourism.
According to Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy, the evaluation was done based on various parameters in line with the UNWTO Best Tourism Village competition.
These include — but are not limited to — cultural and natural resources, promotion and conservation of cultural resources, economic sustainability, social sustainability, environmental sustainability, tourism development, and value-chain integration.
The Central government recognised two villages from Telangana under the Best Tourism Village category.
Recognition for Pembarthi
The first village to be selected was Pembarthi of the Jangaon district, famous for handicrafts and metalworks since the time of the Kakatiya dynasty.
The intricate and exquisite brassware craftsmanship has resulted in a heritage of handcrafted brass items, including idols, figurines, utensils, and decorative pieces being produced. Brass work has been the occupation of many villagers, and these wares are exported to other countries.
When iron use was not known, copper and alloys were used for making metal tools and objects of daily use.
The early social-historical skill later continuously created objects of art. Statues, carvings, and castings still continue to be made in attractive copper alloys like bronze and brass.
The methods used are still ancient and traditional ones, although the raw material today comes from modern mines and furnaces.
There is a huge international demand for the artworks made in this village with brass and bronze metals being imported in large quantities by the US, Germany, Belgium, and Japan.
Artworks reflecting cultural traditions and customs, idols of deities and home decoration items stand as a symbol of the skill of the artisans here. In addition to this, 25,000 tourists visit this village every year.
The Central government chose Pembarthi as the best tourist village keeping in mind the efforts made in promoting the culture of Telangana and the economic activities taking place.
The government in the past has also taken the initiative in the matter of GI tag recognition for Pembarthi products. It is known that Pembarthi has been a centre for the manufacture of tools and daily-use items since the Kakatiya period with the help of copper and other mixed metals.
Chandlapur also recognised
Chandlapur in the Siddipet district is the second village selected from Telangana for these awards.
Chandlapur is famous for its intricate and exquisite handlooms as the village has a rich heritage of producing handlooms — especially “Gollabhama” sarees. Weaving has become the occupation of many villagers and these sarees are also exported to other countries.
Chandlapur Village of Siddipet Dist is selected as BEST TOURISM VILLAGE in INDIA 2023. Under able guidance of Hon Minister Sri Harish Rao sir world class tourism infrastructure is developed at Ranganayaksagar and tourism circuit at Komati Cheruvu @BRSHarish @TelanganaCMO pic.twitter.com/qhRswdyvds
— Collector Siddipet Prashant Patil (@Collector_SDPT) September 25, 2023
The early social-historical skill later continuously created objects of art. The method used is the traditional jala technique.
The sarees woven in this region are reflections of Telangana art and culture and mirror the artistic skill of Telangana leaders.
The Ranganayak Swamy temple and the surrounding areas are a popular backdrop for rural tourism, and the Central government decided to recognise this area as the best tourist village due to the uniqueness of the sarees.
Devotees offer prayers at the Ranganayak Swamy temple to get rid of mental and physical ailments. The wishes of those who worship the lord in wet clothes by kneeling on the hill for a child are fulfilled.
It is an age-old tradition for the people of many surrounding villages to give names of their children starting with the letter “R”.