Ayodhya, religious tourism were not on priority list before 2017, says UP minister
LUCKNOW Prior to 2017, Ayodhya was deprived of development and no one talked about religious tourism destinations of Uttar Pradesh before the BJP came to power in the state, said state tourism minister Neelkanth Tewari on Friday.
“Every district across UP has a tourist destination. The state government plans to develop all of them,” Tewari told media persons while listing out achievements of his ministry in the last four-and-a-half years.
As many as 106 tourist destinations had been developed in the Braj region of the state and around 150 proposals worth ₹6,087.90 crore were approved under the new tourism policy, he added
“Before 2017, Ayodhya was deprived of development work and no one talked about religious tourism destinations of UP,” said the tourism minister listing out development projects being executed in Ayodhya, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Prayagraj, Chitrakoot, Mirzapur, Naimisharanya in Sitapur district, Basti and other parts of the state.
Deepotsav in Ayodhya, Dev Deepawali in Varanasi, Rangotsav in Mathura, Krishnotsav in Mathura, Kumbh Purva Vaishnav Baithak in Haridwar and Mahashivratri Mahotsav in Varanasi were among the prominent events organized by the tourism department.
There were 12 tourism circuits in UP including Ramayan circuit, Krishna-Braj circuit, Buddhist circuit, Wildlife and Eco tourism circuit, Bundelkhand circuit, Mahabharat circuit, Shaktipeeth circuit, Adhyatmik circuit, Sufi-Kabir circuit, Jain circuit, Craft circuit and Swatantrata Sangram circuit.
The state government had also proposed the Ganga circuit, which would be the 13th circuit, said the minister.
AYODHYA VISION DOCUMENT
Ayodhya’s vision document for the overall development of the temple town includes projects like beautification of 42 crossings in the city, development of tourist facilities at 14 Kosi Parikrama, renovation of Hanuman Kund, new ghats on the banks of river Saryu, renovation of the existing ghats, conservation of 37 heritage sites in Ayodhya and renovation of Bharat Kund.
LEA Associates South Asia Private Limited, an international consultant hired by the state government, prepared the vision document with the help of the Ayodhya Development Authority. In June this year, chief minister Yogi Adityanath had presented this document before Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a virtual meeting.
PROJECTS IN VARANASI
Projects in the PM’s constituency include Buddha Theme Park in Sarnath, Ram Janki temple, development of Seergovardhan – birthplace of Sant Ravidas, Narsingh Math at Manikarnika Ghat, renovation of Satwa Baba ashram at Manikarnika ghat and Patalpuri Math.
PROJECTS IN GORAKHPUR
Water sports facility at Ramgarh Tal, development of Chauri Chaura as tourist destination among other projects.