Community Based Tourism
As part of the Crosscutting Agra Programme, CURE has focussed on linking communities to their heritage enabling them to derive livelihoods from tourism. CAP is designed around a trail of heritage, but lesser known monuments of Agra and low-income settlements in their neighbourhood. Community based tourism activities have included mapping of areas and grouping monuments into walks /trails, collecting information on the monuments and developing brochures and stories, training young people as walk facilitators and organizing them into a business enterprise, building capacities of tour facilitators to manage the enterprise and provide access to resources/credit, improving sanitation conditions and architectural features in the settlements for tourists. Three community based tourism activities supported under CAP are.
Mughal Heritage Trail : -
CAP is designed around a Heritage Trail of four lesser-known monuments in Agra; Ram Bagh, Chinni ka Rauza, Itmat-ud-Daulah and Mehtab Bagh; across the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort on the other side of River Yamuna, and linked to them through an over bridge. Young boys from the neighbourhood settlements have been trained to facilitate the trail trips.
Mughal Heritage Walk : -
The MHW is a 1km-walking loop that links the traditional Rajasthani settlement (Marwari Basti) through agricultural dikes, fields and the riverbank to the ancient village of Kachhpura and the heritage sites/structures of Mehtab Bagh (Moonlight Garden), the Mughal aqueduct system, the Humayun mosque and the Gyarah Sidi. Trained animators have been organised into a MHW enterprise to facilitate tourist walks. Merchandising products such as maps, souvenirs and scrolls have been developed. Sanitation in the settlements is being improved through repair of drains and walkways, building access roads and putting up signage, development of decentralised waste water treatment system and toilets in the area.