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Now, a special zone for Lord Ram
Shashikant Trivedi in New Delhi | October 02, 2007 03:57 IST
The spiritual legacy of the small town of Chitrakuta in Madhya Pradesh dates back to the times of the Ramayana.
The place is known for temples and according to Hindu mythology, Lord Ram, Sita and brother Lakshmana spent eleven and a half years of their fourteen years' exile in Chitrakuta. It is also famous for sages and seers like Sati, Anusuya, Dattatreya, Markandeya, Sarbhanga, among others, who are said to have meditated here.
Speaking to Business Standard, a well-placed source said, "The special spiritual zone will be created in Chitrakuta to build infrastructure through private-public partnership for pilgrims. The state government wants to promote Tirthatan (pilgrimage) and not Paryatan (tourism), through this concept."
"The idea of public-private partnership does not necessarily mean the government will invite industry to develop infrastructure. Instead, it may take support from those in India and abroad who were hurt by recent remarks made against Lord Ram," the source added.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is likely to make an announcement in this regard tomorrow on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
Although the details are to be worked out, the source said, "The government is likely to offer more than what has been given for other tourist destinations. The cultural department will be the nodal agency for implementing the task. Another area in Satna district, known as Ram Van, will be developed with public-private partnership in a religious manner."
The SSZ is another step by the BJP-ruled state government to pursue the "Ram" issue. Recently, the government announced it would make efforts to trace the route Lord Ram took when he went into exile. The government has decided to seek the support of the Archaeological Survey of India.
The state archaeology department is learnt to have spoken to other departments in the state to explore the places in the state with links to Lord Ram.