Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday approved the state’s new tourism policy aimed at establishing Uttar Pradesh as the hub of religious and spiritual tourism in the country.
The government through the policy has also laid emphasis on developing the lesser-known places, the state’s Urban Development Minister AK Sharma said.
Giving details of the new policy approved by the Adityanath cabinet, he said Ayodhya, Chitrakoot, Bithoor and other such “places of significance” will be included in the Ramayana circuit.
Similarly, Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, Govardhan, Barsana, Nandgaon, and Baldev will be included in the Krishna circuit and the Buddhist circuit will include Kapilvastu, Sarnath, Kushinagar, Kaushambi, Shravasti, Ramgram and other places.
The Jain circuit will also be extended from Deogarh, Hastinapur to Parshwanath Digambar Jain temple, Ramnagar, the minister said.
To promote wildlife and eco-tourism, sanctuaries and forest reserves across the state will be developed, Sharma said, adding that places endowed with natural beauty and with eco-tourism potential will be identified and developed.
At the same time, it is proposed to increase tourist-friendly facilities while developing areas related to wildlife, he added.
He said the Mahabharata circuit has also been envisaged and places like Hastinapur, Kampilya, Echhatra, Barnawa, Mathura, Kaushambi, Gonda and Lakshagriha have been selected.
Similarly, the Shaktipeeth circuit will also be developed. It will extend from Vindhyavasini Devi, Ashtabhuja to Devipatan, Naimisharanya, Maa Lalita Devi, Maa Jwala Devi, Shakumbhari Devi from Saharanpur to Shivani Devi, Chitrakoot and Sheetla Mata in Mau district.
He said to boost spiritual tourism in the state, Gorakhpur, Balrampur, Mathura, Sant Ravidas Sthal, Maa Parameshwari Devi, Azamgarh, Bighu Ashram of Ballia, Bateshwar of Agra, Hanuman Dham Shahjahanpur have been included.
A Sufi Kabir circuit will also be developed along the same lines. It is proposed to be extended from Amethi, Maghar, Sant Kabir Nagar to Kabirdas’ Karmabhoomi – Lahartara in Varanasi.
In an innovative move, the government will also develop craft circuits. The districts famous for handicrafts will be developed. A proposal has been passed to construct a craft circuit by including all such districts, the minister said.
Moreover, places like Meerut, Shahjahanpur, Kakori and Chaurichaura which played an important part during the freedom struggle will also be developed as tourist sites, he said Apart from this, the Bundelkhand circuit is also to be developed. This will include districts like Charkhari, Chitrakoot, Kalinjar, Jhansi, Deogarh, Lalitpur, Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur, and Jalaun.
A total of 22 tourist-friendly facilities such as budget hotels, heritage hotels, star hotels, heritage homestays, eco-tourism units, caravan tourism units, exhibitions, pilgrim dormitories, Dharamshalas, wellness resorts, all-weather seasonal camps, reservoir-lakes and wellness and adventure tourism activities have been given a place in the new policy, the minister added.