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‘Hope’ for the best of east UP: The ‘7 wonders’ that can be tourism hotspots

Seven villages of eastern UP, known for producing various unique products and some for their natural beauty, have the potential to become tourist hotspots.

lucknow Updated: Oct 10, 2017 14:09 IST
Sudhir Kumar
Sudhir Kumar
Hindustan Times, Varanasi
7 wonders,East Uttar Pradesh,Tourism hotspot
Terracota work at display at a village in Aurangabad. (HT Photo)

How about learning clay modelling, toy making or seeing rural women making tasty murabba (sweetmeat from vegetable/fruit) and achar (pickle) in their natural surroundings. Seven villages of eastern UP, known for producing such unique products and some for their natural beauty, have the potential to become tourist hotspots.

Four of these villages are part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi while one is in Gorakhpur, the karmabhoomi of chief minister Yogi Adityanath. A village each has been identified in Ballia and Mirzapur. The villages are Deenapur, Dhunnipur, Rameshwar, Chiraigaon (Varanasi), Nagawa (Ballia), Chunar (Mirzapur), and Aurangabad (Gorakhapur).

Incidentally, it was a law student at Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth Divyanshu Upadhyay who discovered the unique aspects of these villages while working for upliftment of people here. Upadhyay along with like minded BHU and JNU alumni and students had formed a non government organisation ‘Hope’ under which they did their work.

Around a month back Upadhyay made his discovery after which he drafted a report on their potential to become tourist hotspots.

He then sent this report to the ministry of tourism around a fortnight ago. Upadhaya also wrote to PM Modi about the seven villages, apprising him of their specialties. He requested the PM to take steps required for promoting village tourism.

Upadhyay also tweeted about his efforts after which joint secretary at Union ministry of tourism Suman Billa sought the report personally.

Hoping his efforts bear fuit, Upadhyay told HT, “The villages can emerge as centre of rural tourism in Eastern UP. If tourism is promoted, income of the locals living in the seven wonders of eastern UP will increase since tourists will buy the products that they make using their skill. The move will also help in conserving folk culture.”

ABOUT THE VILLAGES

Deenapur and Dhanipur villages (four km from Sarnath): Marigold, jasmine and gudhal bloom in the fields around the twin villages. These are known for growing flowers of different varieties. During scorching summers the fields here bloom with marigold flowers.

Chiraigaon village (12 km from Varanasi): Is the best example of women empowerment in rural pockets. The village has over a dozen self help groups and over 80% women make achar, papad and murabba that is supplied across UP and neighbouring Bihar. Many people visit the village to see its success story.

Rameshwar: Has 11 dharmshalas and the famous Rameshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It also has a Sanskrit school and is one of the heritage sites of Banaras.

Chunar: Is known for producing handicraft items especially statues and toys, cup and plates from clay and plaster of paris. Villagers also make beautiful ornamental articles in demand in various parts of the country and neighbouring nation Nepal.

Nagawa (6 kms from Ballia): Is native place of revolutionary Mangal Pandey. There is a memorial in his name, an inter college and a girls degree college.

Aurangabad (12 kms from Gorakhpur): Is known for terracotta work. Each family is associated with terracotta work and produces beautiful ornamental articles. Locals are carrying forward the legacy of the great art they learnt from their ancestors.

First Published: Oct 10, 2017 14:09 IST