You know 'Kalyug' has arrived when a slum dwelling is preferred by travellers to one of the seven wonders of the world. And that is not just some rumour or the preference of a group of goras wanting see the slumdog way of life, but a finding revealed at Tripadvisor's Travellers' Choice Awards where a small group tour of Dharavi in Mumbai is the top rated preference of tourists visiting India.
Dharavi, the largest slum dwelling of Asia also made it to the list of 'Top 10 Travellers' Choice Experiences in Asia'. In India, this 'Hollywood idea of all things India', is followed by a 'bike tour of Old Delhi' in second and a 'private day tour of Taj Mahal and Agra Fort by a superfast train' in third.
The Asia list was topped by the 'Ubud tour with Jungle Swing in Indonesia'. In the World category, the experience topping all others was the 'faster than skip-the-line experience at the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica Tour in Rome, Italy'.
While we certainly have Danny Boyle and the overzealous Anil Kapoor to thank for the altered tourist focus, let us also thank the farsighted Uttar Pradesh government which famously left out the Taj Mahal from the ‘Hamari Sanskritik Virasat’ (Our Cultural Heritage) section in their their inaugural annual budget. Clearly, this is one place where government initiative saw due impact.