#EXCLUSIVE Ramayana Circuit to boost religious tourism, revive local economy: Satpal Maharaj
After Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, now the Uttarakhand Bharatiya Janata Party focuses on the construction of the Ramayana Circuit to boost religious tourism in the country. “Ramayana Circuit is one of the fifteen thematic circuits identified for development under the Swadesh Darshan scheme of the Ministry of Tourism”. Also, the Indian Railways Ramayana Circuit tours cover sites associated with Rama.
Under the initiative, Uttarakhand govt is keen to bring holy sites associated with Ramayana and build them for tourists to visit and learn about. “We have some holy sites and temples in the state which are linked with Ramayana. We will develop all of them and bring it under our initiative of Ramayana circuit to boost religious tourism in the state,” state tourism minister Satpal Maharaj said in an exclusive conversation with Rabiul Islam of www.indianpsu.com. The minister was among the saints present in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya during the foundation stone-laying ceremony.
“We have some holy sites and temples in the state which are linked with Ramayana. We will develop all of them and bring it under our initiative of Ramayana circuit to boost religious tourism in the state,” Satpal said.
In an exclusive interview with Indian PSU, Satpal Maharaj said, “We have Bharat and Shatrughan temple in Rishikesh where it is believed that the two met Lord Ram to urge him to return to Ayodhya from his sojourn in the forest. Apart from this, we also have Raghunath temple in Devprayag which was visited by Lord Ram.”
“We will link all of these places and develop them. It will help the people know about the significance of Uttarakhand in Ramayana as well as attract them to visit,” said Maharaj.
Many great leaders have sacrificed for the formation of a separate state, Uttarakhand, formerly known as Uttaranchal. Talking exclusively to Rabiul Islam of www.indianpsu.com, Satpal Maharaj, tourism, cultural and irrigation minister in the cabinet of the Government of Uttarakhand said tourism is the backbone of the state. In the wake of the Global pandemic, we saw a huge dip in revenues.
Talking about the relief measures, Satpal Maharaj said we need to allow tourists, who are non Covid, to come to the state and get tourism back on its feet. In the pre corona era, People used to come here for Adventure tourism, Trekking, Bird watching, Home stays, Animal safaris and many more expedition trips in the state.
To promote Tribal Tourism, Satpal Maharaj said – We need to finish the inner line so that tourism can be promoted in the remote villages of Uttarakhand. Global tourists can come here and get to know the unique culture of Uttarakhand. Like Amarnath, Uttarakhand has also witnessed the ‘formation of Shivling’ in the state, where thousands of Hindu pilgrims can come and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva.
Quoting Pandit Deendayal’s ‘Antyodaya’ — serving the last man in the queue, Satpal Maharaj said, there is a continuous developmental work going on in Uttarakhand, and we won’t stop till it reaches the last man in the queue.
We have also envisaged a concept of “All Weather Road’ in Uttarakhand and there are several road and rail projects already going on in the state. Uttarakhand will become a number one state, in terms of connectivity. Post corona, people would like to come here to see the majestic flora and fauna of Devbhoomi again. Our Homestays are one of the best in the world, said Satpal Maharaj.
The tourism minister also said that he had discussed the concept with Union minister of tourism Prahlad Singh Patel a few days ago.
“I urged him to assess the possibility of developing similar circuits in all those states which have some connection with Ramayana. I also urge him to get a study done on the significance of Ramayana on some of the South East Asian countries where it is a part of their culture,” said Maharaj.
Uttarakhand tourism department has also been developing Mahabharat circuit and Sita circuit in the state to boost religious tourism.
“We are already working on them. This new circuit will also open new avenues of religious tourism in the state,” said Maharaj.
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