An elegant face of State tourism
EVEN THOUGH it took almost four years for the new building of MP State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC) to finally start functioning as the State tourism’s nerve centre, the end result definitely appears to be worth the wait.
Christened ‘Paryatan Bhavan’, the new MPSTDC headquarters at Bhadbhada road could pose a challenge to many a topnotch private corporate office. Spread across a large area, in contrast to its cramped predecessor at Gangotri Bhavan in New Market, the ‘Paryatan Bhavan’ houses separate and spacious halls for almost all sections of the corporation even as the top brass and executives have been provided independent offices.
Ample space for parking vehicles belies the earlier parking area at Gangotri Bhavan, where very often, finding parking space took more time than what a visitor spent inside the office. Former chief minister Digvijay Singh had laid the building’s foundation stone on October 10, 2002. The three-storeyed building, conceptualised by EPCO, stands tall and gracefully amidst a lush of trees and gardens.
Interior designer Ravisha M Merchant has skillfully done the building’s marvelous interiors in a way that augments its beauty on the one hand and justifies it as being the State tourism’s head office on the other.
Beautiful murals on the entrance wall welcome all visitors, while the reservation hub, airlines ticketing counter and reception are situated at the ground floor. An appetisingly done-up canteen, located at what could be called the basement, dishes out favourites like tea, coffee, sandwiches and other snacks.
An almost six-feet-long tiger made of jute adorns the canteen’s entrance. Made by a tribal artist of MP, the jute tiger is an appreciable piece of art.
The tiger could, however, be much better placed right at the entrance where it would be significantly more visible and also
symbolize MP’s `Tiger State’ credentials. Besides the canteen is space for stalls of tourism departments of other states to showcase their tourist spots.
Further up on the first and second floors are offices of MPSTDC Chairman, MD, ED, and other high-ranking officers and executives. Various section offices are also located on these floors. An exquisitely carved bench has been placed outside MD Ashwin Lohani’s office and airy waiting areas have been created on all floors for visitors. A meeting and conference hall, ‘Vichar Vimarsh’ is located on the second floor.
The four-sided building has open space in the middle that has been decorated with figures of birds, trees and other artifacts made of wrought iron and wood.
Meanwhile, all walls and staircases have been decorated with photographs and paintings of tourist spots, national parks, temples, palaces and other destinations of the state.
MPSTDC officers and employees vouch that they feel greatly rejuvenated and immensely motivated while working in the new building. How much that optimistic mind-set would translate in increasing the actual number of tourists coming to MP is, however, yet to be seen.