A heritage tour guide training event took place at Nakshatra Vedshala, a cultural heritage site established by Acharya Chakradhar Joshi in Devprayag, Uttarakhand, in 1946 for researchers and astronomy enthusiasts.
Under the guidance of Poonam Chand, Deputy Director, Tourism Department, local-level heritage tour guides are being trained to attract tourists to Devprayag through the Tourism and Hospitality Skill Council (THSC). This training program, lasting 10 days, is being conducted by experts like Dr. M.N. Naudeyal and Dr. Srijana Rana from Omkaranda Saraswati Rajkiya Degree College, Devprayag, as well as Dr. Prabhakar Joshi and other eminent individuals from the region.
The Tourism Department’s training partner, Samarpit Media Society, is providing training to participants on various aspects of heritage tourism and heritage tour guiding. This includes presentations on heritage, behavior, communication, Uttarakhand heritage sites, responsible tourism, and more. As part of this, trainees visited the famous heritage site Nakshatra Vedshala.
During the visit to Vedshala, trainees observed various astronomical instruments such as German telescopes, observatories, solar systems, and celestial charts. They also explored a vast collection of literature related to Sanskrit, culture, science, and astrology, including handwritten books, palm leaves, and manuscripts. Dr. Prabhakar Joshi, the son of Acharya Chakradhar Joshi, provided detailed information about Vedshala to the trainees.
Dr. Prabhakar Joshi displayed several rare artifacts, including astronomical models of the solar system, ancient sun and moon observatories, a 12-finger shadow instrument, rare minerals, a contemporary map of the Tehri estate, a 1946 calendar published by Dr. Homi Mehta of Ahmedabad, a 1936 rare photograph by Maithilisharan Gupta, and a 24-volume Hindi encyclopedia edited by Nagendra Nath Basu, among others. A 6-inch lens-equipped German telescope, dating back to 1930, which is still functional, was also demonstrated. These instruments and artifacts have witnessed numerous astronomical events over the years.
Furthermore, this knowledge garden houses approximately 20,000 books in various languages such as Sanskrit, Hindi, Gurumukhi, Urdu, Telugu, and more, covering topics like astrology, Vastu Shastra, and tantra mantra.
Dr. Prabhakar Joshi is part of the next generation that considers preserving the invaluable legacy created by the previous generation as their duty. This is in contrast to many great personalities whose creations were often neglected by the next generations due to negligence.
Dr. Prabhakar Joshi shared his knowledge as a trainer, leaving the trainees greatly enriched. After the training, he distributed free books to the trainees.