Published on: Nov 16, 2022 @ 13:08
SPT News, Kolkata, 16 November: Tourism-travel-Bengali have become synonymous now. No matter where you travel in the country or abroad, you will meet Bengalis. However, Bengalis are a little more nostalgic for Rajasthan. Whenever they get a chance, they visit Rajasthan. Why is Bengali’s love for Rajasthan, why do they travel to Rajasthan many times? Hinglaj Dan Ratnoo, Assistant Director of Information and Public Relations and Officer-in-Charge, Kolkata, RTDC. He also spoke highly of Swami Vivekananda’s turban.
Bengalis are more travelers. They love to travel. Very popular with Rajasthanis. There are several aspects behind this. At one time, Bengal had a matrimonial relationship with the royal family of Rajasthan. Again, through films, the yoga formula has been established in Rajasthan. Rajasthan has also established a close relationship with Swami Vivekananda, the ideal man of Bengali. All these things helped the Bengalis to be closer to Rajasthan.
Swamiji is embedded in the minds of the people of Rajasthan
Hinglaj Dan Ratnoo brings to the Sangbad Prabhakar Times some remarkable aspects of Bengali’s love of Rajasthan. He said – Rajasthan’s relationship with Bengalis is not today, but more than a hundred years old. Once upon a time, Bengal had matrimonial relations with the royal family of Rajasthan. The second reason is Swami Vivekananda. We think Rajasthan is Swamiji’s second home. Swamiji is embedded in the hearts of the people of Rajasthan. Especially today everyone knows about his cordiality with Maharaja Mangal Singh of Alwar and Maharaja Ajit Singh of Khetari.
Swami Vivekananda’s friendship with Maharaja Ajit Singh of Khetri
Swami Vivekananda’s friendship with Maharaja Ajit Singh of Khetri should never be forgotten. What Hinglaj Dan Ratnoo said is absolutely true. Rajasthan was Swamiji’s second home and his friendship with the Maharaja of Khetari is evidenced in a letter written by him. In a letter to Maharaja Ajit Singh dated November 22, 1898, Vivekananda wrote, “I am not ashamed to speak my mind to you and I consider you my only friend in this life.”
You will also be happy to know that it is from Rajasthan that we get Tagore’s Naren as Swami Vivekananda. A young monk wearing a turban and a saffron robe. And for that we should be grateful to Maharaja Ajit Singh Bahadur.
Advice to Maharaja of Vivekananda-Khetri from Bividishananda
Narendranath, a devotee of Sri Ramakrishna, set out from Belur as an itinerant monk in 1888 AD. His travels were like those of other monks, “without fixed abode, unbound, free and like strangers wherever they went”. His only possessions were a “kamandalu” (a water pot), a stick and two of his favorite books, Bhagavad Gita and Imitation of Christ. As Bibidishananda he met Maharaja Ajit Singh Bahadur of Khetri. Maharaja became his disciple. It was later on his advice that Narendra agreed to change his name to Swami Vivekananda and to wear a saffron robe and turban, which became his trademark attire.
Swamiji was shown tying a turban by Maharaja Ajit Singh
Surprisingly, Narendra met Ajit Singh only three times in his lifetime – in 1891, 1893 and 1897 – and is said to have developed a very close bond with him. During his time as a wandering monk, he first met Ajit Singh at his summer retreat, Khetri House, in Mount Abu. His longest stay is said to have been with Narendra and Ajit Singh, who convinced him to stay in warmer climates. Narendra stayed for a few months from 4 June to 27 October 1891, resulting in a lifelong friendship. It was during this visit that Ajit Singh advised her to wear a turban as protection from the hot Rajasthani winds and showed her how to tie a turban in the Rajasthani style. Narendra was a quick learner and adopted the turban as his permanent headgear.
Respect Bengali Tourists – Hinglaj Dan Ratnoo
Such a relationship has been created between Rajasthan and Bengal. Like Swamiji’s friendship with Maharaja Ajit Singh which is eternal. Hinglaj Dan Ratnoo has talked a lot about Bengalis love of Rajasthan travel and tourism. He said, “The special aspect of Bengali tourists is that they are very aware. I think that if one has to say a real tourist, it should be a Bengali tourist. Because, you know what! Bengali tourists who go to Rajasthan see the history, art, culture, monuments, customs very well. Not only do they see, they also take pictures. They even write diaries every day. Today I saw Amer Fort, I saw Nahargarh, I saw Chitor. Saw Udaipur Fort, Mehernagar, Sonar Kelaa. Seeing these things, they wrote in the diary. They hand over all these written things to the third generation. They form three generations of tourists. I respect these Bengali tourists very much. They have taken Rajasthan tourism to another height. I have always said this. I said at a function held at the Kolkata Press Club on the occasion of World Tourism Day – Bengal and Rajasthan have a long-standing relationship.” Rajasthan today is constantly working towards the development of tourism. I hope it will be better than this, thinks this official from Rajasthan.
Distance can never block the path of love – Hinglaj
In addition to West Bengal, most of Rajasthan is also visited by many from Gujarat. Referring to this, Hinglaj said, “Gujarat and West Bengal are the most popular tourist destinations in Rajasthan. Between these two states one to two percent may vary. Actually located very close to Rajasthan in Gujarat. It is our neighboring state. Gujarati tourists reach Rajasthan in just four hours by road by car. But all the tourists who go from Bengal travel a long way to reach there. They travel two to two and a half thousand kilometers. This is where Bengalis make a difference. They have shown that distance can never block the path of love. This is what Bengalis have shown as love.