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Not just religious, Kedarnath to be a dark tourism destination now

Dark tourism mainly involves places ‘which are historically associated with death and tragedy’.

dehradun Updated: Jun 04, 2019 15:13 IST
Suparna Roy
Suparna Roy
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
kedarnath shrine,dark tourism,satpal maharaj
The Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. (HT File )

Kedarnath would now be not only a religious tourist destination, but also a dark tourism destination, the Uttarakhand tourism minister Satpal Maharaj said on Monday.

Dark tourism mainly involves places ‘which are historically associated with death and tragedy’, the minister said. The tourism department will build a memorial where people can pay respects to those who lost their lives in the 2013 flash floods in the state.

“Just like USA has Ground Zero, a memorial and museum for 9/11, or the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre village in France are considered destinations under dark tourism, we want to build a memorial in Kedarnath giving details of the 2013 floods, what exactly happened there, how people dealt with the tragedy, how and from where all people died. All these will be a part of the dark tourism spot in Kedarnath,” Maharaj said.

“This will be an important memorial of the state and people visiting Kedarnath will also like it as it will explain everything and more people will learn about the tragedy that took place in 2013,” added the tourism minister.

On Sunday, the minister returned to the capital city after visiting all the four holy shrines with the high commissioner of Mauritius to India, Jagdish Govardhan. While speaking to reporters on Monday, along with the envoy, the minister also said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed by the Uttarakhand and Mauritius governments, with the objective of promoting tourism between the two regions.

“The state government will give a discount of 50% to Mauritian tourists during the off-season and they would be given 30% discount on bookings during the peak season. Tourists going to Mauritius from the state will also be given special discounts,” informed the minister.

Till now, 80 citizens from Mauritius have already visited the Chardham shrines and around 200 more are expected for the Yatra in September, the minister said. The state government is also exploring the possibility of starting flights direct flights from places including London and New York to make the Chardham Yatra more accessible to foreign tourists, he said.

First Published: Jun 04, 2019 15:13 IST