Menar Village, Rajasthan
Menar, the bird village, has been recognized as the Best Tourism Village 2023 in Silver Category.
Menar is the situated in the land of Maharana Pratap and Mira Bai. The village offers a neatly carved balance between the heritage tourism and the eco-tourism. It serves the diverse platter of the attractions, from centuries old temples to hundreds of species of migratory birds, from gavri festival to Bird festival.
Rajasthan Tourism Board along with the NGOs and the local community trained the youth to be called as the Pakshi Mirta.
Menar Village, located in Rajasthan, India, is a unique and culturally rich destination with a strong commitment to preserving its heritage and natural resources while promoting tourism and economic sustainability. This rural community is known for its historical 'Nagara Styled' temples, traditional dances like Gair and Gavri, and the grand Rathyatra procession. Additionally, Menar boasts significant natural assets, including two large lakes and protected wetlands, designated as an Important Bird Area by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
The theme of Menar Village's development strategy is centred around the conservation of local culture and natural assets. Through sustainable practices and community engagement, the village aims to safeguard its cultural heritage, promote responsible tourism, and ensure the preservation of its unique natural ecosystem.
- NEARBY ATTRACTIONS
1. Historical Temples: Menar is home to 'Nagara Styled' temples that are over 600 years old, providing a glimpse into the region's rich religious and architectural history.
2. Traditional Festivals: The village hosts traditional festivals like Gair Dance, Gavri, and Rathyatra, which offer visitors an opportunity to experience authentic local customs and celebrations.
3. Bird Watching: The protected wetlands and lakes make Menar a haven for birdwatchers, with over 150 species of birds inhabiting the area. The Forest Department organizes a 'Bird Festival' in January-February, attracting bird enthusiasts from far and wide.
4. Cattle Fair: Menar's annual Mega Cattle Fair, organized on a public-private partnership model, draws many visitors, creating a vibrant atmosphere and contributing to the village's economic development.
● Ecological Conservation: Menar Village has a 200-year-old tradition of ecological conservation, dating back to British colonial times when hunting was prohibited. Regular campaigns and initiatives by the Forest Department and the local community promote ecological sensitivity and lake conservation.
● Pakshi Mitras: Residents known as "Pakshi Mitras" are trained to conserve and record native and exotic bird species and wildlife, contributing to biodiversity preservation.
● Tourism Development: The village has embraced tourism with over 22 hotels and restaurants, attracting tourists through documentaries, Bollywood movie shoots, and eco-tourism tours.
● Skill Development: Initiatives like training girls in jewellery making through Rural Self-Employed Training Institutes (RSETI) and supporting entrepreneurship among youth encourage economic sustainability.
● Public-Private Partnerships: The annual Mega Cattle Fair, organized on a PPP model, generates revenue for village development and lake conservation. Additionally, schemes like the Rajasthan Rural Tourism Scheme and the Rajasthan Tourism Unit Policy promote tourism-related business development.
● Cultural Preservation: Menar Village has successfully conserved its tangible and intangible cultural heritage, including temples, traditional festivals, and rituals, ensuring they are passed down to future generations.
● Economic Growth: Rural tourism has significantly contributed to the village's economy, providing direct and indirect employment opportunities, promoting local businesses, and fostering entrepreneurship.
● Environmental Conservation: The conservation efforts have led to the protection of wetlands and a diverse ecosystem, making Menar an important bird-watching destination and preserving the region's natural assets.
● Social Inclusion: The village promotes social inclusion through initiatives like equal participation in rituals, diverse religious beliefs, and a higher-than-average sex ratio.
● Women Empowerment: Women in Menar participate actively in various activities, from sports to guiding tourists, showcasing their roles in both cultural and economic spheres.