“Ayodhya Mathura Maya Kashi KanchiAvantika |
PuriDwarakavatichaivasaptaide moksha dayika ||”
The relationship of an Indian with the holy city of Ayodhya cant be explained just in words. It’s an emotional bond every Hindu carry with Ayodhya – the birth place of Sri Rama , MaryadaPurushotthama.
The city Ayodhya has been called Mokshadayini. And it is said that just changing the name Ayodhya would relieve a person from all the ‘paapa karma’.
The ancient city of Ayodhya is likely to become the hottest new tourist attraction in India. The makeshift Ram temple in the city, where Ram Lalla was residing, has already attracted more than 3 million visitors a year from different parts of the country. The Ayodhya district administration says more than 7,000 devotees offer prayers at the makeshift Ram temple every day.
This number is set to swell with the Supreme Court paving the way for the construction of a grand temple at the most sacred site- the birth spot of Sri Ram.
Ayodhya set to develop into a bigger and tourism destination of magnanimous scale after SC verdict.
The tourism sector in the city is expected to get a leg-up. It is expected that initial investments would come from the tourism sector, and once the temple is constructed, there will be a plenty of business activity which would further boost tourism.
The Ram Mandir was also a point in the election manifesto of the NDA government and naturally the centre has set the ball rolling for setting up a Supreme Court-mandated trust for construction of a temple at Ramjanmabhoomi site in Ayodhya.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad which was instrumental in the fight to reclaim Ram Janmabhoomi, has suggested that Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath be included in it.
Yogi Adityanath has already portrayed a newer grandeur of Ayodhya this Deepavali, with the Deepotsav which found place in the book of world records.
VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma said that, they hope, the trust would build a grand temple as per the design prepared by the Ram janmabhoomi Nyas (RJN).
The Nyas has been running a sprawling workshop in Ayodhya’s Karsewakpuram since 1990 and artisans and craftsmen have fashioned out magnificently carved stones and pillars over these years, with the devotion that one day it will be used to build a temple for Ram Lallah.
As per the RJN plan, the temple, once built, will be 268 ft long, 140 ft wide and 128 ft high, from the ground to the apex point (Shikhar) and a total of 212 pillars will be used, according to 79-year-old Annu Bhai Sompura, who is the in-charge of the workshop.
The Ram Janmabhomi Nyas is supported by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, whose members volunteer services at the workshop.
Infrastructure development at Ayodhya:
After the landmark Supreme Court judgement on the disputed Ayodhya land, hotel and tourism players are assessing opportunities in the city.
The apex court on Saturday ruled that Hindu parties would get 2.77 acres of disputed land, and a trust would be set up by the central government in three months to monitor the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
According to the director at homegrown hotels brand Leisure Hotels, the hospitality sector is planning to pick a heritage property in Ayodhya city which he would like to convert into a boutique hotel with about 25 rooms.
The tourism in India is largely associated with the piligrimagecentres like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.
Once the temple of a grand scale is constructed, there will be a plenty of business activity which would further boost tourism. While there’s some bit of Hindu tourism in Ayodhya, Varanasi and Prayagraj(especially during the Kumbhmela), central and eastern Uttar Pradesh is largely dependent on Buddhist pilgrimage. But that is set to change after the temple is built.
If we look at mass tourism, the largest segment is spiritual and pilgrimage travel across the country. In Ayodhya, while the market is expected to be skewed towards domestic travelers but there would be some inbound tourist potential as well.
The city is all set to develop into a far bigger tourism destination with potential for spiritual, social events, business, luxury and MICE [meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions] travel over the next three-four years, according to a travel consultant.
The state government has been allocating large funds to develop the tourism market in the city.
Recently, the UP government sanctioned about Rs 446 crore for the construction of 725-feet tall Ram statue on the banks of the Saryu River as part of Ram Nagri project.
The state government has already approved Rs 640 crore for the development of an international airport over 285 acres at Ayodhya to attract domestic and foreign tourists in large numbers. Having an airport would not only uplift the city’s economy but generate higher number of jobs. According to ministry of tourism 2017 report, Uttar Pradesh was the second-most visited state by the domestic tourists after Tamil Nadu.
Spiritual tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the domestic tourism. The role of India as a religious hub for different cultures has helped it attract millions of tourists every year.
In 2014/15, the central government launched a dedicated National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) scheme that aimed towards strengthening the infrastructure for tourism across the country.
We need not build hospital or a school in the temple site, once the temple is built, it will place way for development of the whole city, contribute to the state in form of revenue.
After the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir that opened up the tourism opportunities in the hilly state, the latest order from SC is going to galvanise Ayodhya into a tourist hotspot.
Dr. Sindhu Prashanth