New Delhi: Tired of the old tourist destinations? Fret not -- the Narendra Modi government now has plans to promote destinations that are associated with "warriors".
A tourism ministry official told PTI that plans were afoot for a Warrior Circuit, on the lines of the Krishna and Ramayana Circuits launched by the ministry last year, promoting regions linked to epic heroes.
"Such warriors would be identified from the Jat belt of Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh, from the northeast states as well as from South India," a ministry official said.
A part of the Greater Noida-based Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya institute of Archaeology, under the ministry of culture, will be turned into a museum for a local Gujjar warrior, the official said.
Stories of bravery were are also being identified in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, where three museums are proposed to be set up.
"The circuits will mark many warriors who fought the Mughals such as Shivaji. There is also Lachit Borphukan, who fought the Mughals in Saraighat in Assam," said the official. Another battle in history whose protagonists are going to find a place in the circuit are those who were involved in the Kakori conspiracy.
The looting of a train near Kakori in Lucknow in August 1925 became known as the Kakori conspiracy. The looters comprised several people involved in the Indian independence movement. A memorial to those revolutionaries exists in the town.
If the project outlay for the other circuits are anything to go by, the Warrior Circuit, if approved and put in place, is likely to boost tourism in the the areas earmarked.
The union ministry of tourism had launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme in 2014-15 to develop theme based tourist circuits in the country.
Under this scheme, 13 thematic circuits have been identified for development. They include the Buddhist Circuit, North-East India Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Himalayan Circuit and Krishna Circuit.
Apart from these, the ministry has in mind a Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.
The Warrior Circuit is the latest to join the list. Not everybody is enthusiastic about it. Rani Sarma, member, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), said it was likely to remain a regional draw rather than have an all-India or global appeal which the Ramayana and Buddha Circuits enjoy.
"Local warriors generate interest at a very localised area. For example, a circuit around Krishnadevaraya (who was the emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire from 1509 to 1530) would be a great draw in Karnataka, but I doubt it would sell as a tourist destination," she said.
This circuits, she said, would help only to strengthen "community identities" and acquire political connotations. "We have enough identity clashes in India already," she said.
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