Ayodhya records 2.4 mn visitors in 12 days; govt eyeing historic site development schemes: Modi, ET TravelWorld


<p>Representative Image</p>
Representative Image

In the last 12 days following the Pran Pratishtha of the Ram Temple, Ayodhya has welcomed over 2.4 million visitors, announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Initially, the consecration day alone drew an estimated 500,000 visitors, marking a significant boost to spiritual tourism.

“Our pilgrimage sites, our temples, the places of our faith, are not just places to visit; they are the infinite landmarks of our civilization for thousands of years. These are witness to Bharat’s resilience in facing every crisis. We have seen civilizations that were once very prosperous, now reduced to ruins,” he added.

“When pilgrims and devotees come, even the poorest of the poor earn. Everyone’s income increases whether they are rickshaw pullers, taxi drivers, hoteliers, or street vendors. That is why we have given a lot of emphasis on tourism in this year’s Budget,” said Modi.

“Central government is about to initiate new schemes for the development of places of historical relevance”, he informed.

Also noting the growing enthusiasm for tourism and pilgrimages in the country, the Prime Minister informed about the record influx of devotees in Varanasi after the completion of the Kashi Corridor. “In the past year, 8.50 crore people have visited Kashi, more than 5 crore visited Mahakal Lok in Ujjain, and more than 19 lakh devotees visited Kedardham”, he informed, reiterating that a similar sight will unfold here after the completion of Maa Kamkhya Divya Lok Pariyojana.

Following this, a similar rush after the completion of the Maa Kamakhya Divya Lok is expected in Assam, he said.

Budget 2024: States to be incentivised for tourism centers; Lakshadweep infra projects on cards

Besides branding and marketing on a global scale, a framework for rating the iconic tourist centres based on the quality of facilities will be established. The Finance Minister also highlighted how local entrepreneurship can get a boost with the possible surge in spiritual tourism. She also acknowledged that the plans to expand the existing airports and develop new ones will continue expeditiously.

In a significant move to enhance the visitor experience at pilgrimage sites, the Prime Minister recently marked a milestone by laying the foundation stone for various projects, among them the Maa Kamakhya Divya Pariyojana (Maa Kamakhya Access Corridor). This initiative, sanctioned under the Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North Eastern Region (PM-DevINE) scheme.With this, Assam will become the gateway to tourism in the North East with an increase in the footfall of devotees for Maa Kamakhya’s darshan, the Prime Minister said as he lauded the efforts of the state government.

Explaining the vision and scope of the project, Modi outlined how its completion would not only enhance accessibility and convenience for devotees but also stimulate an increase in visitor numbers. Speaking at the ceremony inaugurating connectivity and infrastructure projects worth INR 11,000 crores in Guwahati, Assam, he underscored how these developments would bolster the state’s connectivity with the North Eastern states and neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, while also generating employment opportunities in the tourism sector.

Pointing out the record number of tourist footfall in the North East in the last 10 years, the Prime Minister said that even though the beauty of the region existed before this, the number of tourists remained extremely low, mentioning poor air, rail and road connectivity in the region.

this year, the government has also increased the region’s development expenditure by 4 times this year. Drawing comparisons to before and after 2014, the Prime Minister stated that the length of railway tracks laid was increased by more than 1900 kilometers, the Railway budget was boosted by almost 400 percent and 6,000 kilometers of new national highways were constructed in the last 10 years compared to 10,000 kilometers till 2014. Referring to the projects inaugurated in Guwahati, the Prime Minister said that it will strengthen connectivity to Itanagar.

  • Published On Feb 5, 2024 at 02:00 PM IST

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