The Uttar Pradesh (UP) government has directed the tourism and culture departments to develop Rajapur and Lalapur, the two places in Chitrakoot district of Bundelkhand associated with great poet Tulsidas and famous sage Valmiki, officials said Tuesday.
Rajapur, a town and tehsil of Chitrakoot, is associated with Tulsidas who authored the Ramcharit Manas while Lalapur located on the Chitrakoot-Prayagraj highway is associated with Maharishi Valmiki who penned the Ramayana in Sanskrit.
During a review of Chitrakoot division on September 5, chief minister Yogi Adityanath had directed officials to ready a plan for road linkage to Rajapur and Lalapur. On October 31, on the occasion of the anniversary of sage Valmiki, Adityanath had visited Valmiki ashram in Lalapur, some 30 kilometers from Prayagraj.
“The chief minister then had ordered that the area around the ashram be developed into a tourist spot. So now, we intend to develop it with roads and ropeways, light and sound systems. The sage’s ashram is located atop a hill and to reach there one has to climb at least 480 stairs,” an official said.
Principal secretary, tourism and culture Mukesh Meshramsaid in the first phase the forest department had been given the task of preparing the approach route till the ashram.
These aren’t the only areas that are being developed. In fact, the state government has drawn up an ambitious plan to develop places associated with saints and sages or those known for their temples.
In eastern UP’s Vindhyachal region of Mirzapur, for instance, the government has decided to develop a Vindhyavasini Mandir Corridor, modelled on the lines of Kashi Vishwanath Corridor. The corridor would have a 50-feet wide parikrama path (circumambulation route) around the temple of Goddess Vindhyavasini.
The project was approved by the UP cabinet on October 30.
Even in Amethi, a Congress bastion that the BJP breached in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the government has planned to develop lesser known but locally important temples and sites. The Nand Mahar, named after ‘Nand Baba’ who is believed to have nurtured Lord Krishna when he was enacting ‘Baal leela’, the Kalikan Dhaam, the Kadu Nala forest area as well as the Bijli Pasi fort in adjacent Rae Bareli are some of the spots that the BJP government plans to develop.