UP’s religious tourism centres undergoing massive facelift

  • Tourist places to have plenty of new attractions for visitors by 2022
  • Central Govt spending Rs  600 crore on rejuvenation of major religious sites under ‘Prasad Scheme’

Several tourism centres of Uttar Pradesh are undergoing a massive facelift and will have plenty of new attractions by the year 2022.

The renovation works at some of the centres have already been completed while some of the remaining works are likely to be completed with the advent of the year 2022. The Central Government spending about Rs 600 crore on the rejuvenation of major religious places falling under Ramayana, Buddha, Spiritual and Heritage circuits under the Prasad Scheme

The Government has paid utmost attention to the safety and convenience of the tourists in the works being carried out at tourism centres in order to attract visitors. The transformation of tourist places falling under different circuits is expected to create massive employment opportunities for the locals.  

Tourist places to boast state-of-the-art infrastructure, light & sound, Wi-Fi & CCTV facilities

Under Prasad Scheme, Rs 44.60 crore has been sanctioned for the integrated tourism development of Varanasi and work is in progress. For example, lighting of the ghats has  been completed while works on installation of audio system at ghats, construction of a bridge from Rajghat, façade development, street pedestrianisation, footpath, development of additional infrastructure facilities at Assighat, Panchkrosi Parikrama, Facilitation Center and Signage at Rameshwaram will be completed this month. Cruise boat operation has also started from Assighat to Rajghat.

Similarly, the Central Government has approved a plan of Rs 39.73 crore for the development of Govardhan, a tourist attraction located in Mathura, under Prasad Scheme and work is underway to provide various facilities such as, bus and car stands, clock room, toilets, dustbins, CCTV, sound system, WiFi, signage, toilet block near Chandra lake, ticket counters etc.

It will also include building of a boundary wall and surface development as well as providing furniture enroute Govardhan Parikrama, guard rooms, parking, landscaping and site development, illumination of Kusum lake, Gulab Vatika, toilet, path-way, providing better infrastructure facilities on Mansi Ganga and lighting of ghats. The work is likely to be completed by September this year.

Besides, under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, Rs 127.20 crore has been approved by the Union Ministry of Tourism for the development of Ayodhya, which falls in the Ramayana circuit. As part of the scheme, developmental works have already been completed at Ram Katha Gallery, Multipurpose Hall, Digambar Akhara, Ram Ki Paidi, Bus Stand, Laxman Fort Ghat and Guptar Ghat has been completed whereas renovation of streets and footpaths, creation of tourist shelter at Panchkrosi parikrama, city wide intervention and construction of a multilevel parking will be completed this month.

An amount of Rs 69.45 crore has been sanctioned for the development of Shringverpur (Prayagraj), from where Shri Ram crossed the Ganga river during his exodus, and Chitrakoot. As part of the plan, construction of 177 metres long new ghat (Sandhya Ghat) on the bank of river Ganga at Nishadraj site in Shringverpur, tourist facilitation centre, food plaza at Ramghat in Chitrakoot, modern toilets, parking, foot overbridge and Ramayana Gallery; renovation of Ram Shayan and Sita Kund; providing last mile connectivity; and installation of solar lighting and laser show devices,  as well as thatching work on Parikrama Marg have been completed.

Furthermore, 99.97 crore has been sanctioned for the development of major sites falling in the Buddha Circuit and the work is in progress at major sites associated with Lord Buddha such as Kapilvastu, Shravasti and Kushinagar. For example, construction of parking and modern toilets; installation of signage, solar lighting, waste management facility, CCTV and Wi-Fi and providing last mile connectivity have been completed in Kushinagar. Helipad and last mile connectivity work has also been done in Kapilvastu.

Meanwhile, work is underway on providing signage, drinking water, CCTV, Wi-Fi, modern toilets, solar lighting, waste management, sound and light show, Buddha theme park, tourist facilitation center and parking facilities for tourists by September, this year.

The beautification of the World Peace Bell, construction of parking lot, modern toilets, TFC and Buddha theme park; providing solar lighting, signage and waste management systems; installation of CCTV, Wi-Fi and technology for light & sound shows in Shravasti will be completed by September. 

A total of Rs 65.61 crore has been sanctioned for the development of 39 sites under the Spiritual Circuit. The work being done for tourism development in Ahar (Aligarh), Kasganj, Unnao, Pratapgarh, Kaushambi, Mirzapur, Gorakhpur, Dumariaganj, Basti, Barabanki, Azamgarh, Kairana, Baghpat and Shahjahanpur will be completed this month. In Phase II of the Spiritual Circuit development programme, 46 places are to be developed with an expenditure of Rs 67.51 crore.

The places are situated in Bijnor, Meerut, Kanpur, Kanpur Dehat, Banda, Ghazipur, Salempur, Ghosi, Ballia, Ambedkar Nagar, Aligarh, Fatehpur, Deoria, Mahoba, Sonbhadra, Chandauli, Misrikh and Bhadohi districts. Similarly, 15.76 crore has been approved for the development of Gorakhpur, Devipatan, Dumariaganj in Spiritual Circuit, Phase III.

The development works will be completed by next October. In Spiritual Circuit Phase IV, tourism development works will be completed in Jewar, Dadri, Secunderabad, Noida, Khurja and Banda by October at a cost of Rs 12.03 crore. The ongoing development works in the Heritage Circuit will be completed in September at the cost of Rs 33.17 crore. Currently, works are being carried out at Kalinjar Fort (Banda), Maghar Dham (Sant Kabir Nagar), Chaurichaura Shaheed Sthal (Gorakhpur), Mahawar Sthal (Martyr Memorial) Meerut and Solam Chaupal (Muzaffarnagar). The Principal Secretary reviews development works every week. In order to ensure completion of the development works at tourist sites on schedule and according to the highest standards, Mukesh Meshram, Principal Secretary, Tourism, holds a review meeting this week. 

Yogi seeks to make UP number one in tourism.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath aims at making Uttar Pradesh number one in tourism and strongly believes that religious tourism will play a vital role in achievement of this goal. In view of this, the Yogi Government drafted a policy focusing on safety and convenience of tourists with the tagline ‘UP Nahi Dekha Toh India Nahi Dekha’. The Yogi Government also takes utmost care of those investing in the tourism sector. As a result, rejuvenation of tourist places is progressing rapidly. Uttar Pradesh is believed to be a land of Lord Shri Ram, Shri Krishna and Lord Shiva.