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Shankarapura jasmine drives plan for homestays in Udupi region

Published On : 01 Oct 2016

Udupi (TOI): On World Tourism Day, there was an effort to use the Shankarapura Jasmine to boost tourism in that area.

Stayzilla in association with Manipal University IHM department and Rotary Club organized a two-day seminar on 'Farm tourism and homestays'. Through the programme, the organizers tried to link local farmers of Shankarpura, a hamlet located 10km from Manipal comprising villages like Pangala, Kurlkal, Moodubettu, Innanje, and Shirva renowned for the cultivation of mallige flowers (jasmine), to the world.

Shankarapura Mallige has been much sought after for its fragrance, which remains for a long time and enlivens the vicinity. For the past hundred years, the people of Shankarpura have been involved in this business. They work hard and take care of these plants like their children. Every household here depends on these flowers. Their main revenue, especially for women, is from it. It's like a part-time job for them and farmers start plucking flowers from around 4am till noon. After that, they're free to do other work.

Agents collect flowers from producers daily. The rate is fixed at 11am every day by flower merchants. These flowers reach different places through bus and flight as per the demand of customers.

Jasmines are sent to Mumbai and even exported. These flowers are in demand because they're used for pujas in temples, marriage functions, etc. The price of these flowers reaches its peak during the festive season. This year, the price per atte (a measure used for flowers) touched Rs 850. However, people don't know much about the flower's connection with Shankarapura and there's an attempt to spread information through students and tourists, said Alphonsa of Shankarapura.

The seminar provided detailed information to students about the importance of Jasmine and the need for homestays in India and their potential to boost the local economy.

Ankit Rastogi, Stayzilla VP Marketplace, said, "This event was conceptualized by the students of Manipal - IHM department in association with Rotary Club of Shankarapura to boost tourism in this village. We're very happy to associate with them and conduct an awareness workshop on homestays and farm tourism. Building hotels or resorts at this destination is not feasible and that's why we're encouraging people in Shankarapura to open up their homes and welcome tourists to experience their way of life".

At the seminar were 65 students, three faculty members and principal of the Center for Hospitality and Tourism Research, WelcomGroup.


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