Kashi and Ayodhya emerge tourism magnets, Agra still first choice for foreign visitors in India - Hindustan Times
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Kashi and Ayodhya emerge tourism magnets, Agra still first choice for foreign visitors in India

Sep 27, 2023 07:08 AM IST

Ayodhya’s change of fate from a nondescript town to a preferred religious tourism destination was clearly evident since 2021 when 1.57 crore domestic tourists visited the temple town, as per the tourism department

LUCKNOW With the Yogi Adityanath government pushing Uttar Pradesh as a religious tourism hub, Kashi and Ayodhya have emerged favourite destinations for domestic tourists while Taj city - Agra continues to be the most sought-after place in India for globe-trotters.

Devotees stand in a queue to offer prayers at Kashi Vishwanath Dham on the first day of Sawan month, in Varanasi. (ANI File Photo)
Devotees stand in a queue to offer prayers at Kashi Vishwanath Dham on the first day of Sawan month, in Varanasi. (ANI File Photo)

Ayodhya’s change of fate from a nondescript town to a preferred religious tourism destination was clearly evident since 2021 when 1.57 crore domestic tourists visited the temple town, as per the tourism department.

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As the Ram temple construction progressed in 2022, the domestic tourist footfall in Ayodhya also increased substantially.

In 2022, over 2.39 crore domestic tourists and 1,465 foreigners

visited Ayodhya. The temple town had been on the priority of the BJP government, which was formed in Uttar Pradesh in March 2017.

Varanasi, referred as the abode of Lord Shiva, saw a complete transformation on December 13, 2021 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated 339-crore Kashi Vishwanath Corridor project.

Before the inauguration, 30,75,913 domestic tourists and 2,566 foreigners visited Varanasi in 2021. But in 2022, there was a huge increase in this number when Kashi registered a turnout of 7.11 crore domestic tourists and 83,741 foreigners, as per the data.

Prayagraj, famous for the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, is also among the favoured destinations for domestic tourists. However, this is due to various religious congregations that take place in Sangam city every year. In 2022, 2.55 crore domestic tourists and 1,895 foreigners visited Sangam city.

Situated on the banks of the Yamuna, the mausoleum of love, the Taj Mahal, in Agra continues to be the most favourite destination for foreigners in India. The city attracted 3,45,998 foreign tourists and 91,24,669 domestic visitors in 2022.

Uttar Pradesh surged ahead of Tamil Nadu in 2022 to bag the number one position with visits of 31.791 crore domestic tourists, accounting for 18.37% of the total domestic tourism in top 10 states.

“With its rich history, diverse cultural heritage, and breathtaking landscapes, Uttar Pradesh continues to attract visitors not only from across the country, but also from all corners of the globe,” said Mukesh Kumar Meshram, principal secretary, tourism and culture, UP government.

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