Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Circuit tourism is basically about visiting a series of major tourist destinations that are in different cities or towns, but not too far and well-connected with each other. The Delhi-Agra-Jaipur tourist circuit, also called the Golden Triangle, is probably the most famous one in India. And according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, circuit tourism existed centuries ago in ancient India as well. He was speaking at the inauguration of the Umiya Dham Ashram, a place for pilgrims to rest and relax when visiting the holy city of Haridwar, which literally translates to ‘Gateway to god’. ALSO READ: Rath Yatra: When Lord Jagannath literally hits the road
Modi was referring to the traditional spiritual journeys that pilgrims in India have been making since time immemorial. The country is home to hundreds of sites sacred to Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. The Char Dham Yatra, for instance, takes Hindu pilgrims to four sites that cleanse people of their worldly sins: Badrinath, Puri, Dwarka and Rameswaram. Meanwhile, the Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar, Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan and Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi are three of the most revered sites of Islam in India.
Haridwar, Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Speaking at the event, Modi said, “The idea of a Yatra existed as an integral part of our culture. Through a Yatra, we get acquainted with various parts of the country we may never have seen otherwise. The concept of circuit tourism existed in our culture thousands of years ago in the form of a spiritual tradition.” NOW READ: Festivals and Events in India in October 2017 That Promise an Unforgettable Experience
He added that India’s spiritual institutions have been at the center of social reform in the country, before asking that all pilgrims do their part for the country’s Swachh Bharat program. He said, “I appeal to all devotees of Maa Umiya, to become Swachhagrahis for the Swachh Bharat Mission.”