“Gentleman! History proves that many fall in love. Their love is last in the past. Few know about it and praise it. But if one raises his love to a great height, the whole world will notice it to the end. And this is the monument of love of Shahjahan and Mumtaj known to the world, as Taj Mahal. You are standing before it. It is our good fortune.”
This is what a tourist guide said to the tourists. What could be a better way to present this great monument of love. This is the art of guiding. In every country the guide shows the Tourists River, trees, hills, and buildings available in every country. Then why should a tourist, spending a lot to see them visit another country; because behind them lies a historical cultural story.A tourist guide’s art lies in the way he presents the story. It is like the art of serving cuisines elegantly to one’s guest. Presentation makes even the remains beautiful and worth seeing.
Making falling shrines and bricks of remains as artistic objects and presenting them to tourists is the art of guiding. When he stands before the remains, stupas and chaityas of Sarnath; he explains their histories and cultural significance to the tourists in an artistic manner, making the dead past come alive. This is the zenith of tourism with the tourist realizing the worth of his money and time. Presenting decaying remains clothed in terms of the culture is a great art and when the guide succeeds in doing so the tourist feels that the guide has breathed life in dead stones and bricks.
Such art and effort is the life and soul of the tourism industry. The guide through tourism introduces his culture to the peoplee of other countries.Such a cultural exchange makes the tourist guide a cultural ambassador.
A tour guide is like a stage actor and his expression, clarity, communicability and intimacy put life into the rivers, hills, and remains.
The oldest city of the world, Banaras can boast of its antiquity unaffected by the march of time on its life-style. But this depends on the guide’s presentation of the city so that going back to his country the tourist would write that after returning from Kashi his views changed. When prosperous tourists from the west come here they have cultural shock but the guide mentally prepares them to stand it. He, by his affectionate behavior, creates such atmosphere that the tourist feels a sense of belonging. So much so that when he leaves his eyes are filled with tears.
Showing the Chunar Fort one can say that the ancient fort is built by Kings which came to ruins because of their mutual conflict. But such dull guidance will not help tourism. What is required is an interesting presentation of cultural, historical significance; a story of treachery and deceit. This is an art which has to be learned. Artless guiding is a profession of necessity, not an attraction for the tourist. And why tourism without attraction, and guiding without art?