Domesticating the Tourist Gaze: Spaces of Marijuana Consumption in Rampur, Parvati Valley

By Prasenjeet Tribhuvan.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 4, 2016 $US5.00

The concept of the “tourist gaze,” which describes how tourist spaces and places are shaped by the ordering gaze of influential tourists, can be used to explain the spatiality and its functions in most international tourist destinations in India. This paper is based on the small tourist town of Rampur in the Western Himalayas of the state of Himachal Pradesh. International tourists, mainly from Europe and Israel, visit Rampur and other towns/villages of the Parvati Valley to consume locally grown hashish or charas. Charas is consumed in restaurants and guest houses, whose internal and external spaces are designed in a particular aesthetic order. The production, sale, and consumption of charas is a public secret in the valley since all activities related to charas are illegal in the country and offenders can be punished with heavy fines and imprisonment under the strict NDPS act. Ultimately these spaces, which on one hand might be a result of touristic imaginations or the tourist gaze, become spaces where the public secret is acted out, the phenomenon being mediated by such spaces.

Keywords: Spaces, Globalization, Local Effects

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 7, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.11-18. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 4, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 515.407KB)).

Prasenjeet Tribhuvan

Ph.D Research Scholar, Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India