MUSEUM AS A CULTURAL HERITAGE AND TOURIST DESTINATION –A STUDY IN THE ASSAM STATE MUSEUM
Dr. Madhuri Saikia
Associate Professor, Department of History, Dakshin Kamrup College, Mirza, Assam.
The study focusses on the relation between museum and tourism and how a museum can be considered as a cultural heritage and tourist destination. Museums around the world are a rich source of artefacts of several centuries which speaks about the social, economic, religious, architectural, cultural and aesthetic tastes of different civilisations. Being a source of heritage and unfolding the cultural developments of a region, a museum is a source of attraction for the tourists. A visit to the museum falls within the itinerary of the tourists which is a wonderful way to learn about the origin of the society and culture of the place that is visited. The basic idea of a museum is to preserve the artefacts of yore which is showcased to the tourists. Taking the example of the Assam State Museum, the study focusses on how museums can develop into cultural heritage sites by the application of history, heritage and tourism. Tourism is an excellent way by which the past can be preserved, protected and even popularised. The museums located at various archaeological sites as well as the Assam State Museum is visited by thousands of tourists all the year round as it is representative of the socio cultural aspect of Assam. The study concludes with the understanding that museums are cultural heritage destinations which is visited by thousands of tourists as the artefacts and cultural objects preserved in the museum speaks about remote cultural and civilisational developments of Assam and the North East of India.
Key Words: Cultural Heritage; Tourism; Museum as destination; Urbanisation, Preservation