The new BJP government in Uttarakhand will showcase its ancient Mahabharata and Ramayana ‘connections’ by creating special tourism circuits in the state.
State tourism department sources said the Mahabharata connection of the state starting from the country’s last village, Mana — considered as residential place of epic writer Ved Vyas — along Indo-China border to Jaunsar region bordering Himachal Pradesh will be developed as a new tourist circuit in Uttarakhand to showcase the period of Pandavas in Himalaya hills.
The tourism circuit will be around 250-300 kilometers spanning from the north west of the state to its north east.
The department will soon start work on identifying places in the state connected with the Mahabharata era to develop the roadmap for the tourist circuit.
It is believed that besides Vyas Pothi, a cave where Ved Vyas lived at Mana village, three kilometers away from Badrinath shrine, Pandukshewar temple area and birth place of Pandavas on way to Badrinath are two important sites in north east part of the state that will be included in the planned circuit.
Pandukeshwar is the place where Prince Pandu stayed with his wives Kunti and Madri after eschewing his kingdom.
Legends have it that the Pandavas were born at Pandukeshwar.
“Apart from Mana and Pandukeshwar, Hanuman Chatti, 20 kilometers from Joshimath is another Mahabharata site where Bheem and Lord Hanuman are said to have met and the latter blessed his brother for victory in the war,” tourism minister Satpal Maharaj said.
Lakhamandal area is another place known where Duryodhana constructed well known Lakshagrah — the house of lac —to burn the Pandavas alive during their sojourn in the forests with their mother.
“There is also Duryodhana temple in this region which will also be incorporated in the circuit” the minister said.
According to Satpal Maharaj, a similar circuit will also be created to showcase Ramayana era sites in Uttarakhand. This is likely to include areas between foothills of Rishikesh and Chamoli, where Hanuman is believed to foraged for the life saving Sanjeevani herb to revive Lakshmana, lying unconscious in the distant Lanka.