Tourism ministry plans seven religious tourist circuits

Taj Mahal PanoramaNew Delhi, January 25, 2012: Ancient churches in southern India will be part of seven tourist circuits the federal Tourism Ministry plans to develop across the country.

“India is home to a number of religions and there is a huge scope in terms of boosting tourism to religious places,” Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay told reporters Wednesday in New Delhi.

The ministry said his ministry is preparing a detailed project reports to identify religious places where people can visit and stay for spiritual nourishment.

The aim of the project, he added, is facilitate a packaged tour like experience for people who visit religious places. “We have already engaged consultants to work on these circuits and hope to engage state governments in the project,” he added.

The ministry will identify Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Sufi and Sarva Dharma places.

While the Christian circuit will have the churches of Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the Sufi circuit will include Islamic places in Delhi, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

The Sarv Dharma Circuit, to promote national integration, will be aligned along Tirupathi-Chennai-Velankanni-Nagoor and Vaishnodevi – Golden Temple-Sacred Heart Church (Delhi)-Nizamuddin.

The ministry has taken up the matter with industry stakeholders and some Sufi exponents.

It has identified 35 destinations for Phase I and will cover another 89 in Phase II.

The ministry has proposed a required outlay plan of 94.5 billion rupees for the 12th Plan. It plans to raise 280 billion rupees from private partners for such project.

– indian express

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