PM Narendra Modi wants Badrinath to retain legacy as mini-smart spiritual city

Prime Minister Narendra Modi regularly visits Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines in Uttarakhand.
Presentation of a master plan for development of Badrinath shrine was made before Prime Minister Narendra Modi.(Sourced Photo)
Presentation of a master plan for development of Badrinath shrine was made before Prime Minister Narendra Modi.(Sourced Photo)
Updated on Sep 10, 2020 10:10 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Dehradun | ByNeeraj Santoshi | Edited by Abhinav Sahay

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked for developing Badrinath shrine in Uttarakhand with a focus on the spiritual legacy of the famous pilgrimage, which is part of state’s popular Char Dham Yatra circuit.

Modi made the suggestion during the presentation of the development master plan for Badrinath shrine. The presentation was made through video conferencing by Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and state tourism minister Satpal Maharaj.

According to government officials, during the meeting, Modi said the master plan for Badrinath shrine development should not be based on tourism but on its spiritual legacy.

Under the master plan, to be implemented in an area of around 85 hectares, Devdarshini spot in the Badrinath shrine area will be developed along with construction of a museum and an art gallery and setting up of a light and sound show to showcase the ‘Dushavatar’ (or ten incarnations).

The PM was told that the master plan was prepared keeping in mind the hilly terrain and target for its completion has been set for 2025.

The Badrinath master plan was prepared after Modi requested the state government, in June this year, to plan Badrinath Dham’s development keeping the next 100 years in mind. In July, during another meeting to review the progress of Kedarnath reconstruction and development works, CM Rawat sought time from the PM to present the master plan for Badrinath.

During the video-conferencing on Wednesday, PM Modi insisted on maintaining the religious and spiritual legacy of Badrinath shrine while implementing the master plan. He also said that a mini-smart spiritual city should be developed in the area.

Prime Minister Modi also asked for developing home stay facilities in the area, linking the shrine with other nearby religious spots and special lighting arrangement at the entrance of the Badrinath shrine, in line with its spiritual character.

Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said the locals were extending their cooperation for the development works at Kedarnath and Badrinath shrines.

“Work is on for developing home stay facilities in nearby areas. Keshav Prayag, the confluence of Saraswati and Alaknanda rivers would also be developed. Vyas Gufa has special importance in Badrinath shrine area. Pilgrims would be informed about its religious and mythological importance,” he said.

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Rawat added that availability of land won’t be a problem for implementing the Badrinath master plan. “Like in case of Kedarnath, work on development projects will be taken up for all 12 months of the year in Badrinath area,” he said

State tourism minister Satpal Maharaj said that the work on Char Dham road project and Rishikesh-Karnprayag rail line was in full swing. These projects, when completed, will make the pilgrimage to Char Dham shrines much easier, he said.

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On Kedarnath reconstruction and development works, chief secretary Om Prakash said that the development of samadhi sthal (resting place) of Adi Shankaracharya,--an early eighth-century Hindu seer and the founder of the Vedanta school of philosophy-- was in full swing. He apprised the PM that the work on Aastha Path on Saraswati Ghat had been completed and the ongoing work on the two meditation caves near Kedarnath shrines would be completed by this month-end.

Badrinath and Kedarnath, along with Yamunotri and Gangotri, collectively called Char Dham, are one of the most revered pilgrimages in the Hindu tradition and attract lakhs of pilgrims each year. Badrinath is located along the banks of the Alaknanda River in Chamoli district at a height of over 10,000 feet

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