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Ramayana Circuit: Current Affairs 

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Ramayana Circuit

Relevance: Culture

Context: The Union Minister of Tourism in a written statement in Rajya Sabha stated that two projects had been sanctioned under Ramayana Circuit.

About Ramayana Circuit

  • It is one of the fifteen thematic circuits identified for development under the Swadesh Darshan scheme.
  • The circuit consists of 15 destinations where Lord Ram is believed to have travelled across India.
  • These destinations will be developed by bridging infrastructural gaps like the provision of drinking water, accommodation facilities, etc.
  • Destinations Under Ramayana Circuit
    • Ayodhya, Shringverpur, and Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh, Sitamarhi, Buxar, and Darbhanga in Bihar, Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh, Nandigram in West Bengal, Mahendragiri in Odisha, Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh, Bhadrachalam in Telangana, Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, Hampi in Karnataka, and Nashik and Nagpur in Maharashtra.

What is Swadesh Darshan Scheme?

  • The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, for the integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits in India in 2014-15.
  • It implements the idea of positioning the tourism sector as a major engine for job creation, driving force for economic growth, building synergy with various sectors to enable tourism to realize its potential.
  • It is a Central Sector Scheme that is envisioned to synergize with other Government of India schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, Make in India, etc.
    • It will be a joint effort of the states and the central government.
  • So far, 15 such thematic circuits have been approved.
    • Buddhist, Coastal, Desert, Eco-Heritage, Himalayan, Krishna, North-East, Ramayana, Rural, Spiritual, Tirthankar, Tribal, Wayside Sub scheme, and Wildlife.
  • National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) is another initiative of MoT which aims at developing religious/heritage sites in India.

Additional Information

  • Direct bus service between Janakpur (Nepal) and Ayodhya (India) was started in 2018. Both are sacred cities for Hindus and bus service was launched as part of India’s Ramayan Circuit under Swadesh Darshan Scheme to promote religious tourism in Nepal and India.
  • The Indian Railways Introduced a special tourist train which will visit places associated with Hindu epic Ramayana. The Shri Ramayana Express will commence in New Delhi and travel from Ayodhya to Rameswaram.
  • Tour package also includes destinations in Sri Lanka. Those who wish to continue the tour after Rameswaram will have to fly to Colombo from Chennai.

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