Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has urged Union minister of state for tourism (independent charge) Prahlad Patel to grant approval to the state’s plan to develop a circuit along the places Lord Ram visited during his exile under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
Bhupesh Baghel wrote to Patel on Thursday that Chhattisgarh’s tourism department has selected nine such sites and prepared a concept plan at a cost of Rs 137.45 crore for developing the Ram Van Gaman circuit.
Baghel said that under the Centre’s Swadesh Darshan Scheme there is a provision to develop world-class infrastructure for the convenience of tourists in selected projects of tourism.
He said the Chhattisgarh government is working on plans to develop the Ram Van Gaman Path with an aim to providing information to tourists as well as people of the country and the state about the Ram Van Gaman Marg and sites.
The chief minister said the history of Chhattisgarh is ancient as well as evident. He said Chhattisgarh was known as Dakshin Kosala and Dandakaranya in ancient times. And, in Valmiki’s Ramayana, Lord Ram’s journey during exile in Dandakaranya has been mentioned.
According to information received from researchers, research articles and books, Lord Ram spent more than 10 years out of the 14 years of his exile in Chhattisgarh and the state’s folk songs also talk about it, he said.
Baghel said Lord Ram came to Chhattisgarh from north India after spending ‘Chamasa’ at various places and then went to south India. Hence, Chhattisgarh is also called ‘Dakshin Path’.
“Lord Ram entered Chhattisgarh from a place called Sitamarhi Harchaika via the Gawai River in Koriya district and went to south India from Ramaram in Sukma district. During the entire route, he visited 75 sites,” Baghel stated.
The chief minister said nine sites have been selected in the first phase for the purpose of developing Ram Van Gaman tourism circuit in Chhattisgarh.
These sites include Sitamarhi-Harchaika (Koriya), Ramgarh (Ambikapur), Shivrinarayan (Janjgir-Champa), Turturiya (Baloda Bazar), Chandkhuri (Raipur), Rajim (Gariaband), Sihawa-Saptarishi Ashram (Dhamtari), Jagdalpur (Bastar) and Ramaram (Sukma).
For the Ram Van Gaman tourism circuit, the state government had made a provision of Rs 5 crore last year (2019-20) and Rs 10 crore this year (2020-21) in the budget.