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AMRITSAR NEEDS A FILM PICTORIAL MUSEUM
12 Nov 2011

Harjap Singh Aujla

All the tour operators and hoteliers of Amritsar are complaining these days that the tourists do not stay in the city for more than twenty four hours. Things are much better now, a few years ago the hotel industry in Amritsar was complaining that the tourists do not spend the night in Amritsar. At that time Amritsar was a city of day time tourists. Most of the tourists used to come from the New Delhi side. They were interested only in paying obeisance at the Golden Temple and after that they preferred to take the next train to their respective destinations. Now some of the tourists do stay in the city for twenty four hours. They spend the night in the hotels and the Serais of the city. Those who stay overnight also make purchases from the local shopping centres and contribute to the economy of the city.

Now there are enough of secondary tourist attractions in the city and the complaint is that the tourists do not spend two days in the city. As I have said earlier, either open the magnificent Jagatjit Palace at Kapurthala to the all day free flow of tourists or develop more secondary tourist attractions within the city of Amritsar. The Jagatjit Palace is currently under the control of the army and the government neither has the will nor has the time to get it opened to the national and international tourists. For the time being, let us concentrate on the creation of more tourist attractions within Amritsar.

One such attraction can be the establishment of a film pictorial museum in Amritsar. Such a museum should depict the history of the film industry of India, starting from Calcutta and ending in Bombay. It should be divided into several sections, staring from 1931, when the first talky was made and ending with the pictures of the stars of the first decade of the new millennium. Initially the finest pictures (photos) of the actors and actresses should be displayed and as the time passes and the financial condition of the museum improves, the pictures should be replaced by realistic paintings of the film celebrities of the yore and the present. This museum can hold the tourists up to three to four hours. The pictures can be searched from the internet and can be obtained from the nooks and corners of Bombay.

Let all the hoteliers of Amritsar contribute their money for this museum. A piece of land, enough in size to house a four storey high two hundred display size room museum along with a four hundred car garage, should be purchased in a posh area of the city or outside the city on a highway. The building should display a century old architectural style. It should be equipped with the state of the art restroom facilities and fine European and Indian dining rooms. The profit, after recovering the construction expenses and maintenance charges should be equitably distributed depending on the money contributed. Such a museum will be an instant hit with the foreign tourists and will help in retaining the tourist for a second day. The hotel industry will gain tremendously from this museum. Good luck to Amritsar.

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